Two atheists were talking ...

OrdinaryClay
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Two atheists were talking ...

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 


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Not necessarily, and it all

Not necessarily, and it all depends on why you have defined one as "lesser" than the other in terms of intellect. If you just mean "less intelligent" then that's alright. Your question is simply answered with "yes", but with an important qualification which your question abjectly fails to address.

 

Having "faith" in something which is beyond one's comprehension is rather common. We all do it on a day to day basis. In fact if we didn't then even simple functions such as driving a car or riding an elevator would be impossible for many people should an explicit understanding of the process be a pre-requisite to availing of it. However that is placing faith in something for which an explanation is readily available should one have the time and inclination to educate oneself.

 

Having "faith" in something which is beyond comprehension because no plausible grounds obtain regarding its existence is quite a different matter.

 

The first example is of placing faith in something which is demonstrably a fact, whether one as an individual understands completely the processes involved or not. Your question addresses such a scenario. The second example is unwarranted ascription of the status of fact to something which demonstrably isn't.

 

One is logical, and even intelligent. The other is irrational, and implicitly stupid.

 

(EDIT) - "Believe with no evidence" is not the same as "Believe despite failing to understand the evidence". The former is not something a rational person is inclined to do. The latter is remedied through education in the broad sense of the term.

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Nordmann wrote:Having

Nordmann wrote:

Having "faith" in something which is beyond one's comprehension is rather common. We all do it on a day to day basis. In fact if we didn't then even simple functions such as driving a car or riding an elevator would be impossible for many people should an explicit understanding of the process be a pre-requisite to availing of it. However that is placing faith in something for which an explanation is readily available should one have the time and inclination to educate oneself.

If the individual does not have the mental capacity to understand something then whether it is explainable is irrelevant, they as an individual still need to take it on faith that it is true. I'm not talking about not understanding something because of a lack of education, interest or inclination. I'm talking about the inability to understand something. In this case the atheist with less ability still needs to believe with no evidence.
 

Quote:

(EDIT) - "Believe with no evidence" is not the same as "Believe despite failing to understand the evidence". The former is not something a rational person is inclined to do. The latter is remedied through education in the broad sense of the term.

If the person does not have the ability then there is no difference.


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There would also be some

There would also be some atempts to explain the positions in the conversations between the atheists.

The Christian conversation goes like this:

1. God's writers put something in the Bible.

2. One of God's minions reads it and tells another what he believes God meant to say.

3. The second person doesn't understand.

4. The first minion says "Have faith and ask God to help you understand it"

The conversation ends.

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 

Not at all. This is nothing more than an argument of authority. It doesn't matter if he's an atheist and the smartest man on the planet. If he tells you the sky is red, he is wrong. Verifiable evidence trumps everything else.

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

No. The less-intelligent atheist has two choices: admit ignorance and move on, or attempt to understand and verify whatever is being presented by the more-intelligent atheist. If understanding proves impossible, it's best just to admit ignorance and move on. (This is the problem most theists have; instead of admiting ignorance, they automatically paint over the gap in knowledge or understanding with a thick coat of god-coloured paint.)

Even intelligent people can be wrong, or lie.

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Well Clay, you are

Well Clay, you are making an error here. As Nordman observes, we all accept things in our day to day life that we simply have not taken the time to educate ourselves about. Take riding an escalator as an example. If I bothered to ask an escalator mechanic, I am sure that I could find out more about how they work. Honestly though, I really don't care.

 

However, the problem with your idea is not on that level at all. You have postulated the existence of an atheist with such a low mental capacity that he is basically not going to be able to understand a concept that is clear to the smart atheist no matter how patient the smart one is in explaining the matter.

 

OK, is this theoretical dumb atheist able to understand any complex concept, such as how an escalator works either? Probably not would be my guess. If he cannot be expected to understand how an escalator works, then following a lengthy discourse on the infinite regress of saint Anselm is likely beyond him as well.

 

Now let me reverse your position to a smart theist and a dumb theist.

 

The dumb theist will pretty much take whatever he is spoon fed as reliable because it comes from a person he has already granted status as an authority. If that authority tells him that all the steps of an escalator pile up at the end and have to be carried back to the starting point periodically, then that is probably good enough for him even though it is wrong.

 

The smart theist on the other hand has the ability to ask the same questions of an escalator mechanic as do I. However, if he chooses to do so, he is not required to then accept the doctrine of escalatorism. The facts are what they are and can be easily apprehended.

 

Now the question comes to mind, what of a conversation between a smart atheist and a smart theist? The smart atheist can make all of his points to the smart theist and it falls to the smart theist to accept or reject those points. However, with the escalator as an example, the smart theist can accept the nature of such a machine because it is consistent with the facts of how machines work. Then with the example of atheist statements, the smart theist must decide to accept or reject those points based not on how stuff works but rather on a basis of whether or not those points are consistent with his theological view.

 

Do you see the difference now?

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 

 

There are several grounds he can use to assume it is true. When you have reason to beleive what the person is saying is true then I wouldn't say it is faith. Expert opinion is one such ground. common knowledge is another, personal knowledge, nessicary truth, your own personal knowledge, reliable testomony. These are reasons to think it is true but obviously do not address if it is true or not. All three questions have to be answered yes in the same catagory for the ground to apply. In other words if these apply it isn't based on pure faith, you have reason to believe even if you don't understand the the topic.

 

Personal knowledge

Is the situation described by the claim one you can experience fairly directly?

Have you in fact had direct personal experience of the situation?

Is the claim free of any serious dispute or basis for doubt?

Reliable expert opinion

Is the claim concerned with a matter which requires special expertise?

Is the claimant an expert in the relevant area who is sincere and trustworthy with no conflict of interest?

As far as you know, is the claim free from serious dispute among the relevant experts?

Common knowledge

Is it widely believed?

Is popular belief well-founded? (Is there an independent ground?)

As far as you know, is the claim free from any serious dispute?

Reliable testimony

Is the claim concerned with a matter not requiring special expertise?

Was the claimant sincere, trustworthy and in a position to know the truth of the matter?

As far as you know, is the claim free from any serious dispute?

Necessary truth

Is the claim one that couldn't possibly be false, given the concepts involved?

Would denying the claim be a logical absurdity?

Can you see these things clearly? Do you understand the claim well enough?

Considered plausibility - use only if none of the others apply.

Does it seem to be clearly true?

Have you thought diligently about it, looking for reasons for doubt?

Is the topic on one which you are reasonably qualified to judge?

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:
Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

Does the stupider atheist not have evidence that the smarter one is smarter? Also, the smarter one could definitely be deceiving the stupider one. Of course.

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

 

So we're going on the assumption that the "lesser" atheist will never be capable of understanding the concept?  No matter how he tries?  You want the answer to be yes to this because you can then equate this to humanity's relationship with god.  We will never be able to understand the concept of god so our lack of understanding doesn't mean he's not true, it means we just have to take it on fatih.

 

Where to begin?  Your scenario posits that the smarter atheist has something to explain which *can* be explained.  This suggests that there is evidence so the belief isn't a pure act of faith.  There is evidence to support his belief whether he understands it or not.  So your next step is going to be "that's the case of humanity... there is evidence for God but not all of us are equiped to see it".  The subsequent analogy being if the "lesser" atheist gave birth to a race of dumb-ass atheist's like him after the smart guy had died;  No-one understands the rules but they accept them as an act of faith.  Am I taking your argument in the correct direction?

 

The problem is, in the case you've cited, there is an implicit assumption that what the "smarter" atheist has to say is true.  Unfortunately for you the argument also stands if the "smarter" atheist has been telling lies all along.  He could invent a concept that's a complete fabrication that the "lesser" guy will never, ever get.  The lesser guy won't be able to figure it out but he'll take it on faith that the smart guy knows what he's doing.... and thousands of years down the line everyone is believing in a total crock of horse-shit.  Then when a "smarter" atheist is born again and says "Hey guys, this crock is full of shit" the response he'll get is "but we know it's not shit!  The Book of the Elders says so!".

 

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Quote:Suppose we have a

Quote:
Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist.

You rang?

Sorry... couldn't resist.

Quote:
If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

No.  Evidence is any data that supports a conclusion.  Some evidence is better than others, obviously.  If I tell you that I have a diamond the size of my fist, and you've always known me to be truthful, you have a rather weak piece of evidence (my testimony) that I have such a diamond.  Considering the evidence against me having such a diamond (I've never displayed signs of conspicuous wealth before) you would do well not to believe me without more compelling evidence.

However, supposing that I was an authority on philosophy and logic, and I told you that your assumption about the hypothetical atheist's "faith" overlooked the fact that the unfortunate mental midget has, in fact, got evidence, you would do well to believe me on several counts:

1) You have at your disposal copious writings by me on this site demonstrating my philosophical and logical prowess.

2) You have at your disposal this wonderful invention of man called Amazon.com, where you can purchase any number of books on critical thinking, all of which would confirm my testimony.

3) You presumably have basic reasoning and language skills, and unless you are a mental midget yourself, the truth of my statements ought to be evident.

 

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spike.barnett

spike.barnett wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 

Not at all. This is nothing more than an argument of authority. It doesn't matter if he's an atheist and the smartest man on the planet. If he tells you the sky is red, he is wrong. Verifiable evidence trumps everything else.

You are right it is an argument from authority. Your recognition of what is clearly evident is refreshing. Now if these beliefs are fundamental to atheism then this atheist must base his atheism on faith.


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OrdinaryClay wrote:You are

OrdinaryClay wrote:

You are right it is an argument from authority. Your recognition of what is clearly evident is refreshing. Now if these beliefs are fundamental to atheism then this atheist must base his atheism on faith.

Why do you keep trying to expand the definition of atheism? All it means is "A lack of belief in god". That's it.

 

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

No. The less-intelligent atheist has two choices: admit ignorance and move on, or attempt to understand and verify whatever is being presented by the more-intelligent atheist. If understanding proves impossible, it's best just to admit ignorance and move on.

 If the concept is fundamental to his atheism then the lesser atheist basis his atheism on faith.

 

Quote:

Even intelligent people can be wrong, or lie.

I'm not assuming any malicious intent. Your point about being wrong highlights the recursive power of the argument.
 


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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

You have postulated the existence of an atheist with such a low mental capacity that he is basically not going to be able to understand a concept that is clear to the smart atheist no matter how patient the smart one is in explaining the matter.

 

OK, is this theoretical dumb atheist able to understand any complex concept, such as how an escalator works either? Probably not would be my guess. If he cannot be expected to understand how an escalator works, then following a lengthy discourse on the infinite regress of saint Anselm is likely beyond him as well.

No, I'm postulating an atheist on the lower edge of smartness such that he can not understand a fundamental concept being explained by the atheist. If you are claiming such an atheist does not exist then you are special pleading. Is the basis of your argument that all atheists are adequately smart?
 

Quote:

Now let me reverse your position to a smart theist and a dumb theist.

...

Now the question comes to mind, what of a conversation between a smart atheist and a smart theist?

...

Do you see the difference now?

Which distinction are you asking about?
 


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Let me get this straight

So your arguing that atheism requires the same type of faith that theism requires?

So my lack of belief in a god, is the same as your belief in a god? Because last time I checked my atheism is due to the fact that there is no credible evidence that any god exists at all, at least not those described by any religion to date. As well no evidence has come to light to show that there is any possibility that a god exists. So my lack of faith is due to lack of credible evidence. Unlike the theistic faith which for the most part (about 99.9999 percent of the believers I have met) have faith in a god due to the fact that there is no evidence of a god.

Now lets take this further, i have faith in a doctors ability to do their job, why do i have faith, because i have no clue if they are good at it, however in Canada to open a clinic or work in a hospital you have to be trained as a doctor, taken school and of course spent numerous hours under the teachings of other doctors to know what they are doing. I don't need to have been there every time they have done a diagnosis or surgery. I assume it because of their field of work that they have done the proper training. Same goes with bus drivers, I have faith that they actually know how to drive the bus, the mechanic knows how to fix my car, but all of these are not the same thing has having faith in god.

These are things we have more or less dealt with in our life time to accept. Now if you get into the more supernatural realm, or if you get told something that doesn't sound right, for example, I get told about ghosts, or about demons, sorry I am not going to believe you or have faith in your story, merely because I don't have anyway of proving it true. Same goes for Hamby's story about the diamond, he may well have it, however my assumptions are dubious because from what I have heard and learned about him, he doesn't have the money for such a diamond.

 


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Tapey wrote:There are

Tapey wrote:

There are several grounds he can use to assume it is true. When you have reason to beleive what the person is saying is true then I wouldn't say it is faith. Expert opinion is one such ground. common knowledge is another, personal knowledge, nessicary truth, your own personal knowledge, reliable testomony. ... All three questions have to be answered yes in the same catagory for the ground to apply. In other words if these apply it isn't based on pure faith, you have reason to believe even if you don't understand the the topic.

Saying the person has reason to believe is saying they have evidence. So again you are making the same argument that all atheists are sufficiently smart.

 

Quote:

These are reasons to think it is true but obviously do not address if it is true or not.

This is called faith.
 

 

 


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:
Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

Does the stupider atheist not have evidence that the smarter one is smarter?

What evidence should he use that the smarter atheist is smarter?
 


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OrdinaryClay wrote:nigel

OrdinaryClay wrote:

nigel wrote:

Even intelligent people can be wrong, or lie.

I'm not assuming any malicious intent. Your point about being wrong highlights the recursive power of the argument.

No it doesn't. Even if one person believes what another says (regardless of their respective smarts) you don't have a case for "faith" in any sense other than "trust". One person is not required to trust another, and even in a liberal sense of "faith", you're clearly equivocating.

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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:
Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

Does the stupider atheist not have evidence that the smarter one is smarter?

What evidence should he use that the smarter atheist is smarter?

I don't know, it's your hypothetical world. That's why I asked.

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist.

You rang?

Yes.

 

Quote:

Sorry... couldn't resist.

I know.

 

Quote:

Quote:
If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

No.  Evidence is any data that supports a conclusion.  Some evidence is better than others, obviously.  If I tell you that I have a diamond the size of my fist, and you've always known me to be truthful, you have a rather weak piece of evidence (my testimony) that I have such a diamond.  Considering the evidence against me having such a diamond (I've never displayed signs of conspicuous wealth before) you would do well not to believe me without more compelling evidence.

There are two aspects to this argument: context and probability. You are supposing that all arguments needed by the stupid atheist have a probability greater then 0 of being true. What do you base this on?
 

Quote:

However, supposing that I was an authority on philosophy and logic, and I told you that your assumption about the hypothetical atheist's "faith" overlooked the fact that the unfortunate mental midget has, in fact, got evidence, you would do well to believe me on several counts:

1) You have at your disposal copious writings by me on this site demonstrating my philosophical and logical prowess.

2) You have at your disposal this wonderful invention of man called Amazon.com, where you can purchase any number of books on critical thinking, all of which would confirm my testimony.

3) You presumably have basic reasoning and language skills, and unless you are a mental midget yourself, the truth of my statements ought to be evident.

You are arguing that the context surrounding the claim, even if it doesn't directly corroborate your claim, is evidence for the stupid atheist. You are basically saying the stupid atheist should believe based on authority alone.  Mere context and Correlation are sufficient to convince them. You can not arbitrarily borrow evidence.
 


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latincanuck wrote:Now lets

latincanuck wrote:

Now lets take this further, i have faith in a doctors ability to do their job, why do i have faith, because i have no clue if they are good at it, however in Canada to open a clinic or work in a hospital you have to be trained as a doctor, taken school and of course spent numerous hours under the teachings of other doctors to know what they are doing. ...

So you are believing based on nothing but authority correct? Or are you saying there is evidence for your belief?


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MichaelMcF

MichaelMcF wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

 

So we're going on the assumption that the "lesser" atheist will never be capable of understanding the concept?  No matter how he tries?  You want the answer to be yes to this because you can then equate this to humanity's relationship with god.  We will never be able to understand the concept of god so our lack of understanding doesn't mean he's not true, it means we just have to take it on fatih.

 

Where to begin?  Your scenario posits that the smarter atheist has something to explain which *can* be explained.  This suggests that there is evidence so the belief isn't a pure act of faith.  There is evidence to support his belief whether he understands it or not.  So your next step is going to be "that's the case of humanity... there is evidence for God but not all of us are equiped to see it".  The subsequent analogy being if the "lesser" atheist gave birth to a race of dumb-ass atheist's like him after the smart guy had died;  No-one understands the rules but they accept them as an act of faith.  Am I taking your argument in the correct direction?

 

The problem is, in the case you've cited, there is an implicit assumption that what the "smarter" atheist has to say is true.  Unfortunately for you the argument also stands if the "smarter" atheist has been telling lies all along.  He could invent a concept that's a complete fabrication that the "lesser" guy will never, ever get.  The lesser guy won't be able to figure it out but he'll take it on faith that the smart guy knows what he's doing.... and thousands of years down the line everyone is believing in a total crock of horse-shit.  Then when a "smarter" atheist is born again and says "Hey guys, this crock is full of shit" the response he'll get is "but we know it's not shit!  The Book of the Elders says so!".

 

Are we going to get a response to this post ?

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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JillSwift wrote:OrdinaryClay

JillSwift wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

You are right it is an argument from authority. Your recognition of what is clearly evident is refreshing. Now if these beliefs are fundamental to atheism then this atheist must base his atheism on faith.

Why do you keep trying to expand the definition of atheism? All it means is "A lack of belief in god". That's it.

I thought atheists believed all are born atheists. If so, and we can safely assume that all these little atheists are exposed to religion, then they must at one point in there life have to make decisions about not being religious.
 


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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Now lets take this further, i have faith in a doctors ability to do their job, why do i have faith, because i have no clue if they are good at it, however in Canada to open a clinic or work in a hospital you have to be trained as a doctor, taken school and of course spent numerous hours under the teachings of other doctors to know what they are doing. ...

So you are believing based on nothing but authority correct? Or are you saying there is evidence for your belief?

I am assuming you didn't understand what I posted, there is requirements to being a doctor,  I am not basing this on merely authority, I don't believe the doctor merely because s/he is a doctor, but because in order to practice in Canada at least there is vigorous training required to do so, and because they get paid from the government and are licenced by the provice I  have to assume (have faith as you would say) that they have done as such, otherwise they would not be having their practice in Canada.

This isn't mere authority, it is the fact that there is evidence for such requirements, that in order for the doctor to be a doctor he needs medical training, I can find out (again if I really really really have to) that they have taken such courses, such as what school they attendent and verify that they actually attended, what hospital they did their residency, etc, etc, I however do not need to have been there for every diagnosis, merely because of past history and evidence tells me that if a doctor is working in Canada and is getting paid to do so, then they have passed all the requirements to have their practice or work in a hosptial or clinic. This again is not the same type of faith that theists have, theists have no evidence for their god, hence they have FAITH (as in I have no evidence therefore I can only believe it to be true but never prove it true) in their god. I can however prove the doctor's training to be true. Can a theists to the same, if not, then it's not the same type of faith is it now.


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AmericanIdle

AmericanIdle wrote:

MichaelMcF wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

 ...

Are we going to get a response to this post ?

Which part? Some of it is ridicule, which I just pass on by. Some I've answered already. I get a lot of responses to my posts. Much of it is redundant. I respond a lot if you have not noticed. I don't avoid a reasoned argument. Perhaps you can be more specific as to which part you want answered. Please be specific and succinct.
 


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OrdinaryClay wrote:JillSwift

OrdinaryClay wrote:

JillSwift wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

You are right it is an argument from authority. Your recognition of what is clearly evident is refreshing. Now if these beliefs are fundamental to atheism then this atheist must base his atheism on faith.

Why do you keep trying to expand the definition of atheism? All it means is "A lack of belief in god". That's it.

I thought atheists believed all are born atheists. If so, and we can safely assume that all these little atheists are exposed to religion, then they must at one point in there life have to make decisions about not being religious.
 

Las time I check all atheists don't believe in a god(s), that's it, nothing more nothing less. I know atheists that believe in in lucky charms (the rabbits foot for example), believe in ghosts, believe in the concept of destiny, but all we have in common is a lack of belief in any type of gods. Why is this such a hard thing for theists to understand so many get what a atheist is wrong so often it's really disturbing that such a simple concept can be so hard for theists to comprehend.


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latincanuck

latincanuck wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Now lets take this further, i have faith in a doctors ability to do their job, why do i have faith, because i have no clue if they are good at it, however in Canada to open a clinic or work in a hospital you have to be trained as a doctor, taken school and of course spent numerous hours under the teachings of other doctors to know what they are doing. ...

So you are believing based on nothing but authority correct? Or are you saying there is evidence for your belief?

I am assuming you didn't understand what I posted, there is requirements to being a doctor, ...

I'm assuming you don't understand my argument. I'm not talking about trivial arguments where a person can verify something. If you read what I have copiously posted you see I made this clear. Your argument has been made already. Your obvious answer was not the first.


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 Quote:There are two

 

Quote:
There are two aspects to this argument: context and probability. You are supposing that all arguments needed by the stupid atheist have a probability greater then 0 of being true. What do you base this on?

Um... No.

That is, no, there are not two aspects to this argument.  It's very plain and simple.  Faith, defined as belief without evidence, is not what the unintelligent atheist has.  He has belief with less than scientifically rigorous evidence -- but not belief without any evidence.

Probability doesn't enter into it.

Quote:
You are arguing that the context surrounding the claim, even if it doesn't directly corroborate your claim, is evidence for the stupid atheist. You are basically saying the stupid atheist should believe based on authority alone.  Mere context and Correlation are sufficient to convince them. You can not arbitrarily borrow evidence.

Didn't anyone ever explain to you that an "appeal to authority" fallacy is different than trust in an authority?

The fallacy goes like this:

1. Mr. Authority says X is true.

2. Therefore, X.

The trust goes like this:

1. Mr. Authority says X is true.

3. Mr. Authority's testimony is sufficient for my needs, and has convinced me that X is true.

Can you see the difference?  The fallacy is in creating a proof from authority.  Belief based on the word of an authority is not a proof.  It is a weighing of evidence.  This is basic critical thinking.  Haven't you ever taken a course in critical thinking?

If Dumbell Atheist believes Mensa Atheist on a matter of science, Dumbell's belief doesn't make the fact true or false.  Dumbell's belief is not part of a formal proof of the truth of the claim in question.  It is simply evidence of Dumbell's water mark for the burden of proof -- how much evidence he needs before he will believe something.

 

 

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latincanuck

latincanuck wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

JillSwift wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

You are right it is an argument from authority. Your recognition of what is clearly evident is refreshing. Now if these beliefs are fundamental to atheism then this atheist must base his atheism on faith.

Why do you keep trying to expand the definition of atheism? All it means is "A lack of belief in god". That's it.

I thought atheists believed all are born atheists. If so, and we can safely assume that all these little atheists are exposed to religion, then they must at one point in there life have to make decisions about not being religious.
 

Las time I check all atheists don't believe in a god(s), that's it, nothing more nothing less.

...

Ok, I'll try and paraphrase. An atheist has a mind. This mind is subject to interaction with other minds. These other minds will vary,  but certainly some of them will try and convince the atheist mind of something - could be theism or it could be a counter theistic argument (maybe after some theist talked to them).

 

 


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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Now lets take this further, i have faith in a doctors ability to do their job, why do i have faith, because i have no clue if they are good at it, however in Canada to open a clinic or work in a hospital you have to be trained as a doctor, taken school and of course spent numerous hours under the teachings of other doctors to know what they are doing. ...

So you are believing based on nothing but authority correct? Or are you saying there is evidence for your belief?

I am assuming you didn't understand what I posted, there is requirements to being a doctor, ...

I'm assuming you don't understand my argument. I'm not talking about trivial arguments where a person can verify something. If you read what I have copiously posted you see I made this clear. Your argument has been made already. Your obvious answer was not the first.

Yet you have failed to understand the problem with your OP. The fundamental thing that atheists have in common is a lack of belief in a god, that lack of belief can vary from person to person as to why they don't believe, but it's just that ONE thing in common, no belief in god(s). That's it, there is no other fundamental belief shared between atheists. Oh and no one is required to believe anything on mere faith. However everyone else as explained in various details the difference between theistic faith and regular everyday faith we have in regards to others and the world around us.


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Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
There are two aspects to this argument: context and probability. You are supposing that all arguments needed by the stupid atheist have a probability greater then 0 of being true. What do you base this on?

Um... No.

That is, no, there are not two aspects to this argument.  It's very plain and simple.  Faith, defined as belief without evidence, is not what the unintelligent atheist has.  He has belief with less than scientifically rigorous evidence -- but not belief without any evidence.

Probability doesn't enter into it.

Uh ... yes. You just said the guy should believe you don't have a diamond based on your wealth status. This is the same as saying he should believe that the likelihood of your having such a diamond is very, very remote. You could have found it, you could have stolen it, or you could of won the lotto and bought it. All are unlikely. Unlikely means there is a probabilistic component. The reasoning used is a form of reasoning under uncertainty. You may not understand this but that does not change the fact that it is.

 

Quote:

Quote:
You are arguing that the context surrounding the claim, even if it doesn't directly corroborate your claim, is evidence for the stupid atheist. You are basically saying the stupid atheist should believe based on authority alone.  Mere context and Correlation are sufficient to convince them. You can not arbitrarily borrow evidence.

Didn't anyone ever explain to you that an "appeal to authority" fallacy is different than trust in an authority?

The fallacy goes like this:

1. Mr. Authority says X is true.

2. Therefore, X.

The trust goes like this:

1. Mr. Authority says X is true.

3. Mr. Authority's testimony is sufficient for my needs, and has convinced me that X is true.

Trust is not evidence. It is trust. You can not arbitrarily borrow evidence. Either there is plausible evidence of some kind that can be used to support a position or not. Saying a person basis his belief on trust is nothing more then saying a person magically turned an appeal to authority to a trust in the authority. It is a magic fabrication of trust. What kind of magic was this. Faith that all is well.
 


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 Quote:Uh ... yes. You just

 

Quote:
Uh ... yes. You just said the guy should believe you don't have a diamond based on your wealth status.

Right.  Evidence to the contrary.

Evidence For Diamond:  I say I have one.

Evidence Against Diamond:  I don't appear to be wealthy enough to have one.

Most people would trust the evidence against more than the evidence for.  It's called "weight."  Some evidence carries more weight than other evidence.  This is basic critical thinking.  Haven't you ever studied critical thinking?

Quote:
This is the same as saying he should believe that the likelihood of your having such a diamond is very, very remote.

No, it's not.  It's saying that given the available evidence, the correct conclusion is that I do not have the diamond.  Given the avialable evidence, it's impossible to determine conclusively whether I do or do not have a diamond.  Belief does not, however, require conclusive evidence.  Only compelling evidence.  My lack of wealth will usually be compelling enough for most people to conclude that I don't have a diamond.

Why are you on about this anyway?  Your initial claim involves whether or not Dumbell Atheist has faith in Mensa Atheist.  He does not.  He has relatively weak evidence.

Quote:
Trust is not evidence. It is trust.

Well damn!  Give the man a cigar and call him Sherlock.

Quote:
You can not arbitrarily borrow evidence. Either there is plausible evidence of some kind that can be used to support a position or not.

I couldn't agree more.

Quote:
 Saying a person basis his belief on trust is nothing more then saying a person magically turned an appeal to authority to a trust in the authority.

Look, Einstein, this is very simple.

Dumbell Atheist has EVIDENCE in the form of the TESTIMONY of Mensa Atheist.  The EVIDENCE is sufficient to cause Dumbell to believe the claim.  Since he BELIEVES based on the EVIDENCE, he is in a state we call TRUST.  Trust is what we call belief based on testimonial evidence.  The belief is not based upon trust.  Trust is based upon belief.

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Tapey

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Tapey wrote:

There are several grounds he can use to assume it is true. When you have reason to beleive what the person is saying is true then I wouldn't say it is faith. Expert opinion is one such ground. common knowledge is another, personal knowledge, nessicary truth, your own personal knowledge, reliable testomony. ... All three questions have to be answered yes in the same catagory for the ground to apply. In other words if these apply it isn't based on pure faith, you have reason to believe even if you don't understand the the topic.

Saying the person has reason to believe is saying they have evidence. So again you are making the same argument that all atheists are sufficiently smart.

Yes they have evidance that there is a good chance what they are being told is reliable and likely the truth. Sure some atheist probably do take it on faith, the only point in making is not all do. It would be stupid to say all atheists have evidance. Just as stupid as saying all theists have evidance.

 

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Tapey wrote:

Quote:

These are reasons to think it is true but obviously do not address if it is true or not.

This is called faith.
 

afraid not. you have evidance that what you are being told is true. It doesn't matter if it isn't evidance about 'atheism'. It is evidance that the person telling you is reliable, trustworthy, has no conflict of interests, is a relavant expert etc. So it is reasonable to say he is tellling the truth. Faith would be if a random person you don't know tells you about it. and he doesn't match the questions i posted.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Some really weird logic or

Some really weird logic or lack of it from the general theist crowd here.

Atheism is not a belief system it to be honest doesnt even require logic its simply the state that every human being is from the moment they are born until they choose (or get brain washed) into a belief system.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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I think it's cute how OC

I think it's cute how OC here is trying *so desperately hard* to make the case for 'the atheism.' Just makes me want to pinch his/her cheeks.

OrdinaryClay wrote:
If you don't believe your non-belief then you don't believe and you must not be an atheist.


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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

JillSwift wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

You are right it is an argument from authority. Your recognition of what is clearly evident is refreshing. Now if these beliefs are fundamental to atheism then this atheist must base his atheism on faith.

Why do you keep trying to expand the definition of atheism? All it means is "A lack of belief in god". That's it.

I thought atheists believed all are born atheists. If so, and we can safely assume that all these little atheists are exposed to religion, then they must at one point in there life have to make decisions about not being religious.
 

Las time I check all atheists don't believe in a god(s), that's it, nothing more nothing less.

...

Ok, I'll try and paraphrase. An atheist has a mind. This mind is subject to interaction with other minds. These other minds will vary,  but certainly some of them will try and convince the atheist mind of something - could be theism or it could be a counter theistic argument (maybe after some theist talked to them).

 

This is just flat irrelevant. All "atheist" means is someone who lacks a belief in god. Reasons and causes and sidelines don't alter that definition.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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I find it funny that, in

I find it funny that, in lieu of having any evidence for their magical deity, this is what we're offered. The philosophical equivalent of snake oil salesman tactics.

 

'...Are you sure it actually instantly heals wounds and puts cancer into remission? I mean, that's a pretty amazing claim to make... why aren't they using it in every hospital? Why isn't this more widely documented?'

'Well, son, look - I ain't no doctor or nothin'. But you know what? Mah auntie had ovarian cancer - I swear on mah mammy's grave she did - and then, she was on her last ropes, and she said t'heck with it, an' she took this oil. Guess what? Remission. Can ya'll explain that t'me? Can ya'?'

 

What's up with the meandering hypotheticals and hand waving, Clay? Why can't you just present evidence?

I have a feeling that we both know why.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 

 

Of course not. If it can't be put into words that he understands, he has no reason to believe it. He should examine the argument himself, and take steps to educate himself on it before coming to a decision.

 

I'm sure that even the most complex ideas can be put into words that anyone could understand and agree with on the basis of logic and evidence.

 

I believe the things I am taught in school because I can discover the principles of the teachings myself, and I understand where it all comes from. If I don't fully understand something, I can delve deeper, ask more questions, and get to the bottom of it. However, if my professors were being secretive, and saying "trust me, you've got to believe X on faith. I can't tell you why. You just have to," and if they were totally unable to even give me a cursory explaination that I couldn't understand; I would be inclined to be skeptical. I would seek a second opinion, I would delve into books. I have found that things make much more sense when your professors tell you the basic reasons that scientists agree on X, or that philosophers agree on Y. It is much more appealing to hear "Well, in 1903, this scientists did this simple experiment, and found out yadayada... which seemed to suggest that X was occuring." Rather than just "X occurs. Learn it for the test."

 

However, religious faith is more along the lines of beliving in something when it is not even POSSIBLE to find evidence or reason to back it up. It is more along the lines of believing your pastor's words even if you understand what he says to be nonsense. It is along the lines of closing off your mind to study and exploration, and simply accepting some axiom for no reason at all. "The son of God was born of a virgin and is the king of kings. Learn it for the rapture." "But why?" "It's too much for you to understand." "Could you simplify it then? I mean, clearly YOU understand it." "You ask too many questions."


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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 

Keeping in mind atheism is simply not believing in gods, give an example of something that is "fundamental to their shared atheism". In other words, how do you build a coherent argument for why you shouldn't believe in something? You could say "I don't believe in god because there is no evidence of it's existence", but in my view that isn't an argument for atheism, it's an argument against theism.

When you drag your post away from your hypothetical wonderland and force it to actually address reality, it doesn't even make sense.


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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)
 

 

Keeping in mind atheism is simply not believing in gods, give an example of something that's "fundamental to their shared atheism". In other words, how do you build a coherent argument for not believing in something? You could say "I don't believe in god because there's no evidence of its existance", but that's not really an argument for atheism, it's an argument against the proposed theism.

When you drag your argument away from your magical, hypothetical world and force it to address reality, it doesn't make any sense.


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OrdinaryClay wrote: I

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 

I thought atheists believed all are born atheists. If so, and we can safely assume that all these little atheists are exposed to religion, then they must at one point in there life have to make decisions about not being religious.
 

Oh, give me a f*cking break, already. Here's what you're saying:

Atheism places a lot of emphasis on science, yet not all atheists are scientists (i.e. "smart&quotEye-wink. So how can non-scientist atheists (i.e. "stupid atheists" really be atheists without "faith"?

The answer is that I may not be a scientist, but I'm not stupid. I trust that I could go back to college and major in biology, astronomy, etc. and ddo just fine.

 

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

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I want to respond to the OP,

I want to respond to the OP, but I can't because I would have to have faith that the OP exists.

geirj wrote:
I trust that I could go back to college and major in biology, astronomy, etc. and ddo just fine.

Haha, that means you have blind faith. You just admitted it.

So, how does it feel to be irrational, like all the theists, geirj?

 

 

 

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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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

AmericanIdle wrote:

MichaelMcF wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist wouldn't the lesser of the two be required to accept based on faith the arguments of the genius? (Note: I'm using faith to mean belief with no evidence)

 ...

Are we going to get a response to this post ?

Which part? Some of it is ridicule, which I just pass on by. Some I've answered already. I get a lot of responses to my posts. Much of it is redundant. I respond a lot if you have not noticed. I don't avoid a reasoned argument. Perhaps you can be more specific as to which part you want answered. Please be specific and succinct.
 

How about this:

Quote:
Your scenario posits that the smarter atheist has something to explain which *can* be explained.  This suggests that there is evidence so the belief isn't a pure act of faith.  There is evidence to support his belief whether he understands it or not.  So your next step is going to be "that's the case of humanity... there is evidence for God but not all of us are equiped to see it".  The subsequent analogy being if the "lesser" atheist gave birth to a race of dumb-ass atheist's like him after the smart guy had died;  No-one understands the rules but they accept them as an act of faith.  Am I taking your argument in the correct direction?

Is this taking your argument in the correct direction ?  If not.. why not ?

Quote:

The problem is, in the case you've cited, there is an implicit assumption that what the "smarter" atheist has to say is true.  Unfortunately for you the argument also stands if the "smarter" atheist has been telling lies all along.  He could invent a concept that's a complete fabrication that the "lesser" guy will never, ever get.  The lesser guy won't be able to figure it out but he'll take it on faith that the smart guy knows what he's doing.... and thousands of years down the line everyone is believing in a total crock of horse-shit.  Then when a "smarter" atheist is born again and says "Hey guys, this crock is full of shit" the response he'll get is "but we know it's not shit!  The Book of the Elders says so!".

Did you mean to imply in your "hypothetical" that what the "smarter" atheist has to say is true ? 

Can you identify historical examples where the conceptual chain of events described (I'm referring to incidents of intentional deception here), has occurred ?

Isn't this (intentional deception) something we find while examining the history of many religious ideologies...? Say Mormonism for one example ?

 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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butterbattle wrote:So, how

butterbattle wrote:

So, how does it feel to be irrational, like all the theists, geirj?

Um, no. I already have undergraduate and graduate degrees. Intelligence isn't the question, which is a flaw of the OP. And trust is not the same as faith. Trust is developed through previous experience. Faith requires no such thing.

 

 

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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geirj wrote:butterbattle

geirj wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

So, how does it feel to be irrational, like all the theists, geirj?

Um, no. I already have undergraduate and graduate degrees. Intelligence isn't the question, which is a flaw of the OP. And trust is not the same as faith. Trust is developed through previous experience. Faith requires no such thing.

You do realize I was being sarcastic, right?

 

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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butterbattle wrote:geirj

butterbattle wrote:

geirj wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

So, how does it feel to be irrational, like all the theists, geirj?

Um, no. I already have undergraduate and graduate degrees. Intelligence isn't the question, which is a flaw of the OP. And trust is not the same as faith. Trust is developed through previous experience. Faith requires no such thing.

You do realize I was being sarcastic, right?

 

I'm posting past by bedtime, so probably not. Smiling

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


Kevin R Brown
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I think the other obvious,

I think the other obvious, glaring mistake in this line of (un)reasoning is the fact that, even if I don't personally know the details of a given scientific assertion (like, say, natural selection), I can still point you to a source that does know the details, and cite them as the person/place to go looking for your answer.

This is something that a theist or New Ager or UFOologist or conspiracy nutjob simply cannot do. They have no evidence, no knowledge, no sources, nothing.

Well, other than their irrational faith, that is. Eye-wink

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


ClockCat
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OrdinaryClay wrote:Suppose

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist
 

 

 

 

ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

 

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


JillSwift
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ClockCat wrote:OrdinaryClay

ClockCat wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Suppose we have a very, very, very smart atheist. If this atheist were trying to explain something (fundamental to their shared atheism) to a much, much, much less smart atheist
 


ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?

 

W...what?

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


ClockCat
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D:

If I wanted to read sentence structure and grammatical skills of an eight year old I would of been a fourth grade teacher.

 

Not to mention logic usage that makes dogs cry.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.