Irrationality in the name of Rationality

Matt Churchman
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Irrationality in the name of Rationality

1. Is it perhaps irrational to have a forum called Freethinking Anonymous that excludes certain individuals from participating based on the fact that their worldview is different from that of this websites?

Maybe it should be called "Freethinking-so-long-as-you-think-what-we-think Anonymous Sticking out tongue

Or maybe freethinking is just like a brand name or something...like if I started selling a product called 100% Pure Gold that was made of recycled Tinsel.

 

2.  Is it irrational to have Theism as an Irrational Precept? Can a person only make a rational decision once they have every little shred of evidence from both sides of an argument? This is impossible. If this is the case then we are all irrational in which case this whole thing seems pointless. Point is that a person could very well be a rational theist based upon the information they have been exposed to.  You could argue that based on what you  know this is irrational (an opinion) but the individual theist may have made a very rational decision and may be saying the same thing about you (also an opinion). In my view there are irrational theists and athiests, just as there are very rational ones as well. Just a thought.

PS- If you are interested in purchasing some 100% Pure Gold TM please contact me.  My prices are very reasonable. NO REFUNDS. j/k


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Hi Matt. I'm going to start

Hi Matt. I'm going to start a company called "Christianity," and trademark the name so I can sue those who've hitherto used it for free. In this case, the word represents someone called "Christi," who will be the mascot, a la Wendy's. I don't need to look at the historical context in which a term was developed and the meaning or baggage it may have. I'll just take a superficial phonetic swipe at it, and smirk like I won the Nobel Prize.

Consider yourself burned.


Matt Churchman
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LMAO...okay okay that was

LMAO...okay okay that was funny and fair

So what you're saying, if I'm clear, is that the word 'freethinking' that is used here has nothing to do with actually thinking freely but is a term that is used within this context to refer to Atheist thought? 

If that is the case then that's fine by me.  Although I'm not entirely sure that the phrase free thinking was a term that was originally developed to refer to Athiesm. Perhaps 'adapted' by Atheism would be more accurate but you are correct in assuming that I am not entirely informed when it comes to popular Atheist language.  That's cool though...it's kind of like my 100% Pure Gold idea.  It's not to be taken literally.  It just seems like an oxymoron fi taken literally...a place called 'free-thinking' that doesn't promote actual FREE THINKING in the literal sense. Whatever though it's not a big deal. Thanks for responding!

I was actually thinking of coining the phrase 'intelligent thinking' to refer to Christian thought...sure from outside it may seem arrogant but if anyone challenges me on it or questions it at all I will just respond with a combination of sarcasm and condescention and smirk like I just farted in an elevator full of peopleSmiling Yes I take pleasure in the simpler things in life.

Owned!


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Matt Churchman wrote:1. Is

Matt Churchman wrote:
1. Is it perhaps irrational to have a forum called Freethinking Anonymous that excludes certain individuals from participating based on the fact that their worldview is different from that of this websites?

You are not excluded from participating. Did you notice that you were able to post a topic? Furthermore, many Christian forums exclude non-Christians. Muslim forums exclude non-Muslims, etc.

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Maybe it should be called "Freethinking-so-long-as-you-think-what-we-think Anonymous :P

This is going to make me mad, isn't it?

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Or maybe freethinking is just like a brand name or something...like if I started selling a product called 100% Pure Gold that was made of recycled Tinsel.

Miracle Manna!

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2.  Is it irrational to have Theism as an Irrational Precept?

Is theism irrational?

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Can a person only make a rational decision once they have every little shred of evidence from both sides of an argument? This is impossible.

Of course it's impossible.

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If this is the case then we are all irrational in which case this whole thing seems pointless.

Nice ad hominem triumph. 

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Point is that a person could very well be a rational theist based upon the information they have been exposed to.

Ah, good point. However, based on what humans do know about religion, it is definitely irrational. 

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You could argue that based on what you  know this is irrational (an opinion) but the individual theist may have made a very rational decision and may be saying the same thing about you (also an opinion).

True.

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In my view there are irrational theists and athiests, just as there are very rational ones as well. Just a thought.

Atheism is the lack of belief in a God. The word doesn't encompass anything else. How can this be irrational?

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a place called 'free-thinking' that doesn't promote actual FREE THINKING in the literal sense

How so?

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I was actually thinking of coining the phrase 'intelligent thinking' to refer to Christian thought

I've never discovered the need nor the purpose of using the term "freethinker." Agnostic atheist secularism humanism covers my beliefs well enough.  

Are you interested in discussing anything other than playing with semantics to act superior and ridicule everyone?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Matt Churchman
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"You are not excluded from

"You are not excluded from participating. Did you notice that you were able to post a topic? Furthermore, many Christian forums exclude non-Christians. Muslim forums exclude non-Muslims, etc."

I thought I saw a disclaimer right out that says no Thiests can post - Theists post will be destroyed or something like that? And yes I'm sure there are Christian forums that exculed people of other beliefs...not sure where you're going with that one.

"This is going to make me mad, isn't it?"

I wasn't trying to make anyone mad. Sorry if it came across that way. I wrote that post with a smile on my face. HAHA Miracle Manna! I so wish I could sit down and pick that fucking guys brain.

"Is theism irrational?"

My point is that I don't think it is and it seems to be the mission of the RRS to make this claim.  That's why I posed the question.

"based on what humans do know about religion, it is definitely irrational."

Which humans might you be refering to? Because certainly there is a large group of humans who think that based upon what we know theism is a rational option as is atheism.

"Atheism is the lack of belief in a God. The word doesn't encompass anything else. How can this be irrational?"

In this case I was refering to the process by which some people become Atheists.  WhaT I should said is that some Theists believe blindly as do some Atheists.  To believe something or hold to a worldview without any sort of support or reasoning seems irrational but perhaps the word I should have used was 'blind faith'...which in my opinion is somewhat irrational (an opinion).

 

"How so?"

What I mean is that if certain worldviews (theistic) are excluded then free thought is not encouraged or even allowed.  In order to be a free thinker, in my opinion, one must allow for their thoughts to collide with the thoughts of others regardless of how irrational they may appear.  To call something free thinking, yet restrict thought seems like an oxymoron. 

"Are you interested in discussing anything other than playing with semantics to act superior and ridicule everyone?"

See now why when I challenge something or look for clarity on an issue I am told that I am ridiculing or trying to act superior.  If you hadn't noticed my post was far less aggressive and condescending than many of the posts n here made by your Atheist brothers and sisters.  Perhaps you should be as concerned with calling them out on their arrogance no? We understand nothing except through language. If I 'play with semantics' it is because language is one of the most powerful things I can think of.  You say one thing two ways and they mean two different things. Very important.  What I've found is that most our misunderstandings (theists v atheists) are rooted in the use of language. Again I'm not at all tyring to act superior or ridicule anyone - there are many Atheists on here who have much more developed view on these issues than myself...just as there are many Theists who are much more educated than yourself.  I am above no one as I'm sure you would agree. Please do not make assumptions aout my intentions or character and I will attempt to afford you the same respect. Also to answer your question yes I am interested in conversation, if you notice I have actually made a couple of posts on here and had a few insightful conversations about a couple of issues.

"From my own experiences, I assume you already understand all, or at least most of the problems associated with your religion. If you're intelligent, the issue is not that you have failed to recognize these logical fallacies, it's just that the wonderful feeling that you receive eventually grows so powerful that it overwhelms reason. This "faith," this "Holy Ghost," possesses the same effect as alcohol, caffeine or nicotine; you become addicted to it."

I am aware of some of the challenges against my spiritual beleifs...although I am sure there are some that I have not been made aware of.  I hold to my position based on what I believe to be true. Most of the arguments against Theism build on logic quite well but they mostly start with the assumption that there is no such thing as a diety. I am not addicted to any sort of wonderful feeling nor am I closed to the views of others on this issue. Please be aware that I could argue that you or anyone else is comfortable or addicted to their current view of the world because it suits them, in the same way you have claimed this of me. No harm no foul.  I just wanted to clear things up.  - Peace and Love

 

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a place called 'free-thinking' that doesn't promote actual FREE THINKING in the literal sense


BobSpence
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Yes, there is a forum

Yes, there is a forum "Freethinking Anonymous" which does ask Theists not to post, to allow all sorts of topics, including those which typically get Theists in a frenzy of holy indignation and offence, to be discussed and debated without the threads being cluttered and de-railed by their posts.

There are plenty of other parts of the board which are fully open and indeed encourage Theists to post their arguments.

What is your point? What is 'irrational' about providing a range of differently moderated areas to suit individual comfort zones?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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 Matt Churchman wrote:I

 

Matt Churchman wrote:
I thought I saw a disclaimer right out that says no Thiests can post - Theists post will be destroyed or something like that?

Yes, that's correct. Well, to clarify, the forum is open to everyone, but there is a specific room that is reserved for atheists, agnostics, etc.

Matt Churchman wrote:
HAHA Miracle Manna! I so wish I could sit down and pick that fucking guys brain.

Have you seen that infomercial?

Matt Churchman wrote:
My point is that I don't think it is and it seems to be the mission of the RRS to make this claim.  That's why I posed the question.
 

Personally, I think that the belief in a creator is not irrational since we simply don't know the answer to this. However, I consider all organized religions to be irrational in that they contain very complex and elaborate belief systems while lacking any reliable evidence for these beliefs.. 

Matt Churchman wrote:
Which humans might you be refering to?

Oh, I wasn't really referring to any specifics humans. I was stating, that based on what humanity knows about religion, we should be able to reach the conclusion that all organized religions are false.

Matt Churchman wrote:
To believe something or hold to a worldview without any sort of support or reasoning seems irrational but perhaps the word I should have used was 'blind faith'...which in my opinion is somewhat irrational (an opinion).
 

That makes sense.

Matt Churchman wrote:
In order to be a free thinker, in my opinion, one must allow for their thoughts to collide with the thoughts of others regardless of how irrational they may appear. To call something free thinking, yet restrict thought seems like an oxymoron.

Good point. I hope this website doesn't restrict communication. 

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If you hadn't noticed my post was far less aggressive and condescending than many of the posts n here made by your Atheist brothers and sisters.

True. 

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Perhaps you should be as concerned with calling them out on their arrogance no?

Maybe. I do that sometimes.

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We understand nothing except through language. If I 'play with semantics' it is because language is one of the most powerful things I can think of.  You say one thing two ways and they mean two different things. Very important.  What I've found is that most our misunderstandings (theists v atheists) are rooted in the use of language.

I still agree.

Perhaps I should have expanded on the topic of this thread instead of simply dismissing it. Atheists came up with the word freethinker to describe themselves because it emphasizes that they are free from any type of dogma. I actually don't like this term partly because it implies that theists are not free thinkers, but more importantly because I simply don't see the purpose of the word. Maybe someone else can explain this. Obviously, the definition of words is extremely important. Sometimes, we take up entire threads discussing the meaning of terms. This is actually why your post annoyed me, because you were parading around the term "freethinker" in a completely literal and exaggerated fashion.

So, the first question, "1. Is it perhaps irrational to have a forum called Freethinking Anonymous that excludes certain individuals from participating based on the fact that their worldview is different from that of this websites?" Well, we don't exclude anyone, except in the one room. You can jump on us about that if you want.

And, "2.  Is it irrational to have Theism as an Irrational Precept?" HamuRookis' Irrational Precepts is reserved for REALLY irrational beliefs, like the world is 6,500 years old, eating shrimp is a sin, moon landings are a hoax, etc.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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How many timesdoes this

How many timesdoes this bullshit question have to be asked? Freethinker has been another word for Atheist/Agnostic for centuries.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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BobSpence1 wrote:What is

BobSpence1 wrote:

What is your point? What is 'irrational' about providing a range of differently moderated areas to suit individual comfort zones?

I think his beef is with the phrase, "Freethinking." As in, "The forum is called Freethinkers Anonymous, but not everyone can participate, so how is that free? And if the discussion is constrained to the standpoint of rational empiricism, how is that free thinking?"

It's the common misconception that "freethought" means, "thinking whatever you want."

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


BobSpence
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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

What is your point? What is 'irrational' about providing a range of differently moderated areas to suit individual comfort zones?

I think his beef is with the phrase, "Freethinking." As in, "The forum is called Freethinkers Anonymous, but not everyone can participate, so how is that free? And if the discussion is constrained to the standpoint of rational empiricism, how is that free thinking?"

It's the common misconception that "freethought" means, "thinking whatever you want."

We do seem to have had a spate of Theists in lately getting all upset about this word. I can see that it is a little problematic, since it arguably could be seen the way the argue, simply by examining its structure, if you aren't aware of its general usage and historical origins.

This argument has echoes of others where people want to argue about the correct usage of a word, even 'atheist', based on the analysing the derivation of the word, rather than its actual current common usage, which often has drifted way beyond the meaning you can derive by analysing its components. For many words, the components are from Latin or Greek and are no longer readily mapped to current words, so the point usually doesn't arise except with the occasional pedant who is not happy with some usage of a word.

The problem with "Freethinker" is it is still obviously readable as Free Thinker, so someone not exposed to its conventional usage can be forgiven for arguing.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Matt Churchman
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butterbattle

2.  Is it irrational to have Theism as an Irrational Precept?"  - ME

"HamuRookis' Irrational Precepts is reserved for REALLY irrational beliefs, like the world is 6,500 years old, eating shrimp is a sin, moon landings are a hoax, etc." - butterbattle

#1 on Hamrooks list of irrational precepts is Theism.

Thanks for responding and clearing up some of misunderstanding about the word freethinker... and yes...unfortunately I have seen the Miracle Manna infomercials :S Oi

Peace

 


Matt Churchman
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Bob and Nigel

Hey Guys,

Thanks for clearing that up.  My issues with this term were mostly due to my own ignorance of how it used in Atheist circles.  Im still am not sure how I feel about it because of what it could possibly imply but I understand where you all are coming from now.  I definately see the value in having a haven for Atheists to discuss issue of importance without the disruption of theists.  No problem whatsoever with that.  My only problem was with the forum title and what I saw as a contradiction, however now that I see what the word means in this context part one of my post can be ignored.

Peace


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Matt Churchman wrote:#1 on

Matt Churchman wrote:
#1 on Hamrooks list of irrational precepts is Theism.

Oops.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


BobSpence
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The term 'FreeThinker' was

The term 'FreeThinker' was originally intended to refer to people who rejected dogmatic beliefs of all kinds. Institutional Religions were seen as  the major dogma-based world views affecting people's lives, with good reason, IMHO, so the term was seen as predominately opposed to religious thinking, but in principle was meant to apply to anyone rejecting religious, political, economic or other 'dogmas', rather than simply 'freedom to think what you like'.

Oh and thanks, Matt, for a polite acknowledgement of a misunderstanding. All too often here, people who complain about some aspect of our site are determined to find whatever they can construe to complain about and criticise, and refuse to accept any explanation or clarification.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology