Hello from the atheist theist, who happens to be agnostic and also conservative-liberal.

Pheonix
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Hello from the atheist theist, who happens to be agnostic and also conservative-liberal.

 Just kidding about most of those.

 

I am, however, a theist who identifies far better with the atheist community and thought process than with any theist I have yet encountered. Here is a quote and rough description of my position. Please help me refine it by showing me where I have made mistakes, as I am sure I have.

 

100percentAtheist wrote:

 

I am totally fine with people who believe just because they believe.   Often, it is really good for them and everybody around.  Some of them become workaholics instead of alcoholics.  And this is good. 

The problem begins for me when some of believers claim that they are exceptional because of their believe. 

Anything else is certainly debatable with joy on this forum.

 

 

Thank you. That is exactly my position. I believe because the universe seems like a better place to live if there is some purpose to it, perhaps a purpose assigned by a higher power. I do not presume that this makes me better than anyone, nor that there is any reason behind my claim. I do not think you are wrong for disagreeing with me, from an unbiased standpoint. Because, logically, there can be, not only no proof, but no evidence one way or the other on the raw issue of god's existence. And so, on that issue alone, as it is when taken independently of all others, preference is the reigning factor in deciding the truth.

 

I believe in god because I want to. But that belief has nothing whatsoever to do with how I think on any other issue. It is little more than a source of comfort, providing a sense of purpose that, otherwise, seems to be missing. It does not support my views on science or other things.

 

I am a scientist, because I seek to explain the "how" of the universe.

I am a Darwinist because I think life evolved over time, because that makes logical sense.

I am a liberal because I think justice can best be found by balancing individual liberty with common equality.

I am a theist because I feel like it. There can be no better reason.

I hate the practice of Scientology with a passion, for its dangerous implications and refusal to accept the obvious fact of psychology.

I dislike abortion as a choice, particularly the idea of it being made lightly, on a whim. I feel I have a rather strong foundation and ability to discuss this and other medical issues, as my access to biomedical ethics issues has been extensive lately.

I support universal health care, as the idea is consistent with my liberal mindset.

I support equality in the extreme, but also logical differentiation. Women are different from men, but possess the same potential in at least most areas, and quite likely more in some.

I dislike religious dogmatism, and am supremely unimpressed by emotional appeals lacking any foundation in logic, particularly those of certain of my relatives, in important issues.

One of my most fundamental beliefs is as follows: Where there exists dissonance between what is and what should be, those with the power to act bear as a consequence of that power the responsibility to act, as best as they are able.

 

 

When arguments erupt between atheists and theists on other issues, I tend to side with the atheists. Generally speaking, more of the rational people I know are atheists.

 

And I like to talk to people who genuinely support a view I oppose, because it helps me form a clearer view of the issue. I look forward to watching my beliefs change and develop as my world-view expands, and I hope this site will help.

 

 

~Pheonix

 

Be as you wish to seem ~Socrates


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Hi Phoenix

Hello,

What kind of a "theist" are you? You sound like a pagan. You are fine with people believing just for the sake of belief? Are you a?

1) Neo-Orthodox

2) Existentialist (Bultmann)

3) Fundamentalist (Rev.Willie)

4) Some Cult member

5) Some Cult Leader

I can see why you like the atheists. Since you have no reason for what you believe and why you believe it, you come to the atheists who ALSO are proud that they have nothing to believe and have no idea why they believe anything.

Pretty funny stuff. I find more comedy on this website then I have in a while.

So while you come to a place that claims you reason, you instead embrace non-reason, and thus absurdity. How funny is that.

Also an interesting name. You remind me of Manly P. Hall (A Satanist).

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


Pheonix
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Jean Chauvin

Jean Chauvin wrote:

 

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

Really? That is the least respectful way to be respectful that my respectfully disrespectful eyes have ever witnessed (irrespective of the behavior of my once-respected high school classmates, that is)

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hello,

What kind of a "theist" are you? You sound like a pagan. You are fine with people believing just for the sake of belief?

 

Let me break it down. None of us can be sure of anything, as our only means of sensing the world around us (eyes, ears, etc) and even the means of interpreting those senses (our brain) cannot be validated. Thus we can never "know" anything, as we may well all be constructs of some computer program, or... etc, etc... I am sure you are all familiar with this concept.

 

In order to function, we absolutely MUST make certain fundamental assumptions for granted (the validity of logic, for example).

 

Any evidence for or against the existence of god (when taken independently against all other assumptions) is reducible and irrelevant. There is no scientific evidence that even suggests god does not exist, nor is there any that suggests that he does. There cannot be, when the issue (as I have said repeatedly) is taken independently of other criteria. If I reject any and all criteria for the existence of god, then all that is left is... Nothing. Just my gut. Just my preference. If I say "X doesn't have to be true for god to exist," then X becomes irrelevant. Thus I believe in a god without criteria, as every person must who claims to have faith. Faith necessitates a lack of evidence. You must be unable to know for sure in order to have faith. Thus if you think you can prove god's existence, you lack faith, and are inconsistent.

Be as you wish to seem ~Socrates


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Hi Pheonix

 

Pleased to meet you. Yours is an honest human position - good for you. If you want to believe, believe by all means. I take it you don't go with the bible literally?

I see you've met Jean. We're sorry he's not fully house-trained but somehow his moral-o-meter got stuck in that primary school state where it's all about reward and punishment and never about empathy for other human beings. Jesus would be sad Jean never grew up into a complete person.

Personally I think this is because A: Jean has never experienced pain himself and has no idea what it feels like to be beaten shitless or B: Jean is a Poe and is entertaining himself at our expense. I hope it's B but it's probably A.

I'll be keen to see what the other folk here think but I have no problem with a flat out preference in god on the basis of the same no evidence I see. I can't but feel you must see some possible core need for a god in the scheme of things but perhaps not and no matter.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Pheonix wrote:   Just

 

Pheonix wrote:

 

Just kidding about most of those.

 

I am, however, a theist who identifies far better with the atheist community and thought process than with any theist I have yet encountered. Here is a quote and rough description of my position. Please help me refine it by showing me where I have made mistakes, as I am sure I have.

 

No worries. At least you seem to be honest about stuff.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I am a scientist, because I seek to explain the "how" of the universe.

 

Good for you. Actually, we are getting on to the point of dealing with some of the why? Questions as well. Gloss job that it might be, one of the experiments that the LHC is dealing with is going to explain why a locomotive is more massive than an ant.

 

Seriously, a year from now we may be able to have that answer.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I am a Darwinist because I think life evolved over time, because that makes logical sense.

 

Yah, evolution is only a theory. Sort of like the theory that if I drop a sledge hammer on my big toe, I will scream obscenities.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I am a liberal because I think justice can best be found by balancing individual liberty with common equality.

 

Wow! The same reason that I am conservative.

 

"Do you want to feel good, or do you want to do good?" - Ted Nugent

 

“Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism” - Barry Goldwater

 

Pheonix wrote:
I am a theist because I feel like it. There can be no better reason.

 

+1 for honesty.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I hate the practice of Scientology with a passion, for its dangerous implications and refusal to accept the obvious fact of psychology.

 

Well, they are at least a dangerous as any other religion.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I dislike abortion as a choice, particularly the idea of it being made lightly, on a whim. I feel I have a rather strong foundation and ability to discuss this and other medical issues, as my access to biomedical ethics issues has been extensive lately.

 

OK, if I think in terms of 'had my mother made a different choice' that gets kind of creepy.

 

Don't get me wrong. There are women who run off to the doctor every time the rubber breaks. They should probably consider getting on the pill. Which will not help the spread of scary diseases but it will reduce the number of abortions.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I support universal health care, as the idea is consistent with my liberal mindset.

 

Universal health care is also consistent with increasing the general productivity of the work force. Which is a conservative thing. The real deal is how we pay for it.

 

Pheonix wrote:
I support equality in the extreme, but also logical differentiation. Women are different from men, but possess the same potential in at least most areas, and quite likely more in some.

 

Not just women. Every group of people is different from every other group. Provide help where help is warranted but never forget that the common good is the goal.

 

The fact is that a few years ago, I had a couple living next door to me. The father was about 1/16 African and the mother was Swedish. Their kids sat next to my kids at school. Should they get preferential college admissions because of some wrong thing that has never affected them?

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


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Pheonix wrote:I dislike

Pheonix wrote:

I dislike abortion as a choice, particularly the idea of it being made lightly, on a whim. I feel I have a rather strong foundation and ability to discuss this and other medical issues, as my access to biomedical ethics issues has been extensive lately.

 

I'm not quite sure what you mean here.  Do you mean you don't like it, but think it should still be legal, or do you mean to say you seek to criminalize it and send doctors and women who seek the abortions to rot in prison or be killed?

 

I dislike the consumption of alcohol- I  *really* dislike intoxication- and I would support prohibition except for the simple fact that we tried that before, and it didn't work.  That kind of big-brother totalitarian ban on a personal liberty usually doesn't work.

Prohibition of alcohol didn't work.  Prohibition of abortions didn't and still don't work (where they are practiced).  It kills women from botched procedures, infection, and very frequently suicide.

 

Any rational person who has any respect for liberty - regardless of one's views on abortion (love it or hate it) - supports the right to safe and legal abortions.  Be that a good choice or a bad choice, it's the person making the choice's responsibility to decide- not the government.

And I really mean anyhttp://www.catholicsforchoice.org/   http://anti-abortion.info/  and many more...

 

 

This isn't a "biomedical  issue, it's a political one, and one about forcing the views of one group upon another.  "Pro-life" is an extremist position of legislative totalitarian morality- it is abhorrent to anybody with an iota of respect for the life of actual human beings, no matter how much one hates abortion.

"Pro-life" is not up against "pro-choice" as a polar extreme, but up against "mandatory-abortion".

 

"Pro-life" (extreme) -- pro-choice (compromise = liberty)  -- mandatory abortions (extreme)

 

Pro-choice is a compromise-- a compromise of personal autonomy and freedom from governmental interference with our moral choices and privacy.  Abortions don't affect any other member of society (unlike unwanted children), and it's unconscionable to ban such an action, particularly in light of the consequences.

 

"Pro-life" symbolizes everything that's wrong and oppressive about religion.  That mindsets like those are borne from religion- mindsets which seek to impose an irrational and socially destructive morality subscribed to by one subset of the population upon everybody at gunpoint (which is what the law is)- is a chief reason to oppose religion wherever it may lie.

 

If you seek to be rational or even reasonably moral by common social standards, don't fall into that trap. 


Pheonix wrote:
I believe because the universe seems like a better place to live if there is some purpose to it, perhaps a purpose assigned by a higher power.

Being puppets to the will of some other being the created us for its purpose is better than being able to decide our own life goals and meaning?


Pheonix wrote:

Because, logically, there can be, not only no proof, but no evidence one way or the other on the raw issue of god's existence.

Logically, there is proof against such a being existing.  Empirically, there just isn't evidence against a 'god of the gaps' due to the limits of empiricism.  Logically, though, make no mistake- such a deity is a fallacy.

 


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 Pheonix,Welcome aboard!

 Pheonix,

Welcome aboard!  Many of the arguments that the boardmembers here would make in reference to the problems with your god were argued recently in a thread in which Willie G introduced himself.  Allow me to suggest you peruse it, maybe it will give you a different insight.

Glad to have you here,

 

Sapient

 

 

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Pheonix wrote: Just kidding

Pheonix wrote:

 Just kidding about most of those.

 

I am, however, a theist who identifies far better with the atheist community and thought process than with any theist I have yet encountered. Here is a quote and rough description of my position. Please help me refine it by showing me where I have made mistakes, as I am sure I have.

 

100percentAtheist wrote:

 

I am totally fine with people who believe just because they believe.   Often, it is really good for them and everybody around.  Some of them become workaholics instead of alcoholics.  And this is good. 

The problem begins for me when some of believers claim that they are exceptional because of their believe. 

Anything else is certainly debatable with joy on this forum.

 

 

Thank you. That is exactly my position. I believe because the universe seems like a better place to live if there is some purpose to it, perhaps a purpose assigned by a higher power. I do not presume that this makes me better than anyone, nor that there is any reason behind my claim. I do not think you are wrong for disagreeing with me, from an unbiased standpoint. Because, logically, there can be, not only no proof, but no evidence one way or the other on the raw issue of god's existence. And so, on that issue alone, as it is when taken independently of all others, preference is the reigning factor in deciding the truth.

 

I believe in god because I want to. But that belief has nothing whatsoever to do with how I think on any other issue. It is little more than a source of comfort, providing a sense of purpose that, otherwise, seems to be missing. It does not support my views on science or other things.

 

I am a scientist, because I seek to explain the "how" of the universe.

I am a Darwinist because I think life evolved over time, because that makes logical sense.

I am a liberal because I think justice can best be found by balancing individual liberty with common equality.

I am a theist because I feel like it. There can be no better reason.

I hate the practice of Scientology with a passion, for its dangerous implications and refusal to accept the obvious fact of psychology.

I dislike abortion as a choice, particularly the idea of it being made lightly, on a whim. I feel I have a rather strong foundation and ability to discuss this and other medical issues, as my access to biomedical ethics issues has been extensive lately.

I support universal health care, as the idea is consistent with my liberal mindset.

I support equality in the extreme, but also logical differentiation. Women are different from men, but possess the same potential in at least most areas, and quite likely more in some.

I dislike religious dogmatism, and am supremely unimpressed by emotional appeals lacking any foundation in logic, particularly those of certain of my relatives, in important issues.

One of my most fundamental beliefs is as follows: Where there exists dissonance between what is and what should be, those with the power to act bear as a consequence of that power the responsibility to act, as best as they are able.

 

 

When arguments erupt between atheists and theists on other issues, I tend to side with the atheists. Generally speaking, more of the rational people I know are atheists.

 

And I like to talk to people who genuinely support a view I oppose, because it helps me form a clearer view of the issue. I look forward to watching my beliefs change and develop as my world-view expands, and I hope this site will help.

 

 

~Pheonix

 

 

Welcome, Welcome I concur with much of what you have said here, glad to have you and I hope to have many good conversations with you. 

I am the God of where I stand


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Different beliefs, Welcome aboard.

If not for different ideas and different viewpoints, how would I have any true way of being certain of my positions on things ?

Although I am guilty of making some pretty derogatory remarks about theists from time to time on here, my only issue is when someone takes a sacred text and uses it as a weapon of intolerance, anti-reason and anti -education. Thus far, while I personally do not believe in god, I do not see how one person's perception could be a threat to my own.

I have no issues with discussing any viewpoint with those that hold differing opinions than mine. After all, if I did, I would be guilty of the same behavior as the dogmatic religious people with whom I happen to dislike.

Were it not for the different ideas that are tossed about on here from time to time and if we mutually agreed on here all the time, I think it would get boring after awhile.

So if theists and atheists alike are willing to gain greater understanding of each other, I am all for it. Welcome aboard.

Quick question, is  the word god, in the case of someone who believes in the existence of something but does not quantify it in the realms of religion, used for lack of a better term ? If your seeing god as a possible force, a possible intelligence, that may/may not be aware of or interfering with our personal lives, how do you arrive at the name god ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Hello Phoenix! Pheonix

Hello Phoenix!

Pheonix wrote:

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

Really? That is the least respectful way to be respectful that my respectfully disrespectful eyes have ever witnessed (irrespective of the behavior of my once-respected high school classmates, that is)

Look, that's an evidence of how nomen est omen. Ever heard of chauvinism? Sticking out tongue

I see you like intelligent people too. You'd like my dorm neighbour... One day we talk about genetics and biochemistry (did you know that RNA uses uracil instead of thymine? Wow!) another day about electrotechnics (my high school education) and before that about gastronomic and medical properties of cannabis.
From my experience, religious people don't talk like that. Either they're not smart enough, or they read just Bible and nothing else.

Pheonix wrote:
I am a scientist, because I seek to explain the "how" of the universe.
Wonderful! How untheistic! Religious people just care about the "who" made the universe and nothing else.

Pheonix wrote:
I dislike abortion as a choice, particularly the idea of it being made lightly, on a whim. I feel I have a rather strong foundation and ability to discuss this and other medical issues, as my access to biomedical ethics issues has been extensive lately.
Do you mean any kind of abortion? Is early abortion better than late abortion? Is abortion of noticeably malformed or genetically defective fetus better than common abortion?
Anyway, these pro-lifers are likely the same people who keep old, mindless zombies alive with machines and chemicals long after there is any purpose in keeping them alive. Isn't death a part of life too?

Pheonix wrote:
I support universal health care, as the idea is consistent with my liberal mindset.
Wonderful. You'd be surprised how we europeans are shocked at the sight of american barbarianism, like the lack of universal healthcare and maternity leave. Slandering America is also local favorite topic of chitchat Sticking out tongue

Pheonix wrote:
One of my most fundamental beliefs is as follows: Where there exists dissonance between what is and what should be, those with the power to act bear as a consequence of that power the responsibility to act, as best as they are able.
That is a natural order of things. For example, in my country those in power think that a fat piece of people's taxes should be on their private accounts in Switzerland, and they act to make it so.

Pheonix wrote:
When arguments erupt between atheists and theists on other issues, I tend to side with the atheists. Generally speaking, more of the rational people I know are atheists.
Sure thing, many atheists are people who underwent a great evolution from praying zombies to thinking and educated individuals. Religious people usually just grew up in religious families without any improvement likely for generations.

 

Pheonix wrote:
And I like to talk to people who genuinely support a view I oppose, because it helps me form a clearer view of the issue. I look forward to watching my beliefs change and develop as my world-view expands, and I hope this site will help.
Surely it will. Though most of it is concerned with how religion corrupts american culture, there are some interesting scientific news (Atheistextremist) and general discussion.

Well, and what about some personal info? Age, gender, vocation, musical taste? Anything to help me avoid that terrible feeling of facing an army of uniformous, anonymous english-speaking foreign newcomers? Smiling

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Jean Chauvin

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Hello,

What kind of a "theist" are you? You sound like a pagan. You are fine with people believing just for the sake of belief? Are you a?

1) Neo-Orthodox

2) Existentialist (Bultmann)

3) Fundamentalist (Rev.Willie)

4) Some Cult member

5) Some Cult Leader

I can see why you like the atheists. Since you have no reason for what you believe and why you believe it, you come to the atheists who ALSO are proud that they have nothing to believe and have no idea why they believe anything.

Pretty funny stuff. I find more comedy on this website then I have in a while.

So while you come to a place that claims you reason, you instead embrace non-reason, and thus absurdity. How funny is that.

Also an interesting name. You remind me of Manly P. Hall (A Satanist).

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

Well just curious there Jean why do you have to be in a group, can you not be an individual with their own viewpoint?  I must of touched a nerve with the fundamentalist comment to you but hey it's true and if you mean I am a fundamentalist because I don't agree with you that's cool it's only a word (wrongly applied) but still a word.  You claim we are absurd, I claim you just can't open your imagination enough to understand, you have to stay in your box because you are afraid to question reason and dogma.  I don't know why just my opinion but you apparently like to belittle others to make yourself seem stronger.  I agree with Pheonix's view point and I noticed on pheonix's first post you immediately come in and attack.  I'm sorry Jean but you are the funny one in my opinion and you do bring quite a bit of hilarity to the site.  Thanks Laughing out loud

Reverend Willie G.

 

I am the God of where I stand


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Pheonix wrote:When arguments

Pheonix wrote:

When arguments erupt between atheists and theists on other issues, I tend to side with the atheists.

Hi Pheonix, welcome! It's always nice to meet a theist who identifies more with rationality than the usual superstitions. Unfortunately, it's also quite rare.

I have a question for you, in regards to the quote above. What are your feelings/thoughts about the recent 'Gnu Atheist' public challenges to -- and ridicule of -- religion, over the past few years? E.g. have you read Sam Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, or any other prominent atheist books? Do you find them shrill, rude, unfortunate, etc., or do you tend to agree with their points about the necessity of criticizing religion publicly? Just curious, since I haven't met many theists along your lines, so I don't have enough opinions to work with.

(Curious about your username. Usually it's spelled phoenix.)

Cheers!

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Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, Pheonix.

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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Perhaps a little more clarity from me...

 On the issue of God’s existence:

My point is that we may as well be arguing for the existence of a yellow hot air balloon in the Halo Universe. That is, if we abstract the halo universe out of the context of the books or games, and talk about it as though it actually exists, I could say there is a yellow hot air balloon somewhere, even though the halo books/ games provide no evidence for or against this. In the end, it is just as likely that for some unspoken reason there are no longer any hot air balloons in the halo universe, but even then, there is a chance. In the end, I am sure you would all agree that there is no evidence you can give me that actually suggests that there isn't. Notice, I did not say where it had to be, nor how big, nor whether it functions, nor whether it is actually used, all of which could, potentially, allow it to be proven false. My point is, that yellow hot air balloon is no only un-falsifiable, but entirely irrelevant to the discussion about morality.

 

Sapient wrote:

 

I believe that since he can't be proven or disproved the only logical position is to abstain from believing in a god.  Imagine if I presented the concept of snarfwidgets to you.  Snarfwidgets are small blue creatures that govern the Universe, without them constantly watching over us we would not be able to sustain ourselves.  It is only because of the snarfwidgets that we exist.

Now... do you accept that snarfwidgets exist?  If not... why not? 

 

 

No, I do not. Any more than I ask you to accept that god exists. By all means, reject him, if you prefer. If you want to trust to these snarfwidgets instead, I fully respect your claim. Now, if you start to argue that the existence of snarfwidgits has any literal impact on the fundamental logic of the universe (by claiming, for example, that they effect changes in the realm of science outside of the rules of science) then I would ask you for evidence, which I do not believe you can provide. Thus I would deny the existence of your deities, which is exactly what I should do, and continue to assume the relevance of the rules of science. But unless you start telling me that I must believe you or make some claim about the real world impact of your deities, you do not bear the burden of proof.

 

If you still disagree, perhaps you should explain why god’s existence (taken, as I say, independently of all other issues) is illogical.

 

I make no claims of god, besides this one: That he created the universe, and that my existence was intended by him. That is not determinism, any more than accurately predicting the weather or hitting a target with a bow and arrow is a disproof of quantum physics.

 

God does not tell me that it would be wrong to leave my impregnated girlfriend. I do.

 

 

Now, Answers in Gene Simmons:

 

I sense some sarcasm (and perhaps a touch of contempt) in your post. Perhaps if I explain my position better, it will evaporate.

 

First, science is fundamentally an attempt at answering the “How” of our reality. Science is the art of explaining how the universe works. Philosophy is an art which attempts to explore why the universe exists. Religion is a form of philosophy whose primary function ought to be that very attempt. This is what I make my religion. The question of why cannot truly ever be answered, and so for the sake of consistency, I assume a god.

 

Second, I apologize for not making my position clear. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is fact, scientifically proven. Darwinism is the most likely and incredibly well supported theory that is consistent with evolution, and any who reject it are simply being illogical. But its premise (that all life evolved from a single celled organism) is entirely unproven, and not the only likely event. Life may well have developed from something like life which we would not classify today as an organism. Genetic code as we know it probably developed over time, rather than simply springing into existence. And it seems supremely unlikely that our oldest ancestor was a fully organized cell, but instead some other approximation of life that fulfilled the simple criteria: That it could survive and reproduce, and its reproduced offspring were different from the original. Certain crystals fulfill this criteria, and they, my friend, are not alive by any account but that of certain religions.

 

Third, religion is not, taken literally, dangerous. Organized religion is. It is an important distinction, for not all religion is organized.

 

Fourth, if you are to accept me on this site you are going to have to get used to the idea that when I talk about an opinion of mine, it is often a reference to abstract morality, and not a reference to political perspective. My system of abstract morality exists in the middle ground between libertarianism and socialism. That places me at liberal. Not democrat. I am not discussing the American political system, but rather the fundamental morality of government in general.

This means that I think certain functions that government currently performs in the U.S. are unnecessary limitations on individual freedom. Like so-called “affirmative action” plans that give some people unfair benefits because of the color of their skin, while claiming to promote racial equality.

Liberal, when taken out of the context of any specific political system, means balancing social equality with individual liberty, which is the only sense in which I identify myself as a liberal.

 

 

Now, Blake

 

First, when discussing the ethics of abortion itself, it is a biomedical issue. On that issue, I disagree with the morality of abortion in general.

But attempting to put that into practice is impossible, not to mention that a blanket ban would be counterproductive even if it worked. That is political.

We all own ourselves, our labor, and any product we justly acquire through our labor. This includes the resources of nutrients, oxygen, space, etc. that we contain in our bodies. But wherever we have excess sufficient to be wholly unnecessary, and where others have deficiency sufficient to restrict their liberty, they possess a positive right to that excess as far as is necessary to restore their liberty.

Where a woman did not give voluntary informed consent to accept the risks of pregnancy, she cannot be held responsible for providing the resources the fetus requires to survive. They are, after all, her resources. But where a woman did give voluntary informed consent, she bears as a consequence the responsibility to provide for that fetus, just as a man who gave his voluntary informed consent bears the same responsibility.

But where the cost becomes so great as to restrict her individual liberty (when, for example, she no longer possesses excess resources and thus keeping the fetus would kill or cripple her) her own liberty invariably outweighs that of the fetus.

This is the moral principle that ought to govern abortion. It is what we should all be working towards. But that, of course, is unlikely to happen soon.

 

Second, I believe that some being intended my existence, but that my existence would be meaningless without free will. That it is in fact our free will that defines our value in this reality. If I have sex with the intention of having a child (assume, for arguments sake, that there is a 100% chance of success) then I have intended that child’s existence and set the circumstances so that it would come to be. Does that mean I determined his meaning? No. He will, when he comes to be.

 

Third, you are simply wrong here. There is no logical proof of god’s nonexistence, only of the nonexistence of certain definitions of god. Again, take the issue independent of any claims or criteria, and you can have no proof or evidence.

 

To Sapient:

Thank you, and I have started to peruse that post. I shall finish perhaps after this post.

 

To Reverend Willie

Thanks for welcoming me, and I am intrigued at your position. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

 

To Harley Sportster

Thanks for the welcome, and I look forward to having my different beliefs challenged.

 

To Luminon,

Hello!

I am interested to participate in those discussions you mentioned. I look forward to it.

As for some personal info… I suppose I could give a quick list.

I am 19, Male, and in my second year of college.

I discovered atheism in 10th grade, and since then identified myself as one.

I live in Rochester, Minnesota (U.S.A.).

I discovered philosophy last year (lots of Socrates), and have since come to identify myself as essentially agnostic, though I am technically a theist.

I like an assortment of musical styles, but dislike screaming and pointless noise. I expect my music to have a purpose and message, to evoke some emotion. The better it does at this task, the better the music is.

And I took 3 years of latin, promptly forgetting it all about two weeks after graduating high school.

 

Any other questions about me?

Be as you wish to seem ~Socrates


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natural wrote:Pheonix

natural wrote:

Pheonix wrote:

When arguments erupt between atheists and theists on other issues, I tend to side with the atheists.

 

Hi Pheonix, welcome! It's always nice to meet a theist who identifies more with rationality than the usual superstitions. Unfortunately, it's also quite rare.

I have a question for you, in regards to the quote above. What are your feelings/thoughts about the recent 'Gnu Atheist' public challenges to -- and ridicule of -- religion, over the past few years? E.g. have you read Sam Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, or any other prominent atheist books? Do you find them shrill, rude, unfortunate, etc., or do you tend to agree with their points about the necessity of criticizing religion publicly? Just curious, since I haven't met many theists along your lines, so I don't have enough opinions to work with.

(Curious about your username. Usually it's spelled phoenix.)

Cheers!

 

Thanks, natural. I dislike the generalization that occurs on both sides of that ridicule, but agree with their essential intent. Organized religion is frequently conducive to destruction, pain, death, and evil. Take the extremes of any religion and you get: Bullshit.

But that is not caused by the existence of those religions. This is a correlative fallacy that does not show causation. The primary cause of this bullshit is irrational thought and the necessity of dependence on it.

The cure? Education, compassion, and humanism. We must recognize other people as people, equal in moral status to ourselves and as worthy of our help as those we consider family. We must seek to understand their situation, and the suffering that drives people originally to turn to irrational thought. And of course, we must be consistent with our principles. Be as you wish to seem. ;D

Warning! Story ahead, do not read if totally uninterested in me as a person!

When I was about 14, I was playing Halo for the PC (the first one) and I sucked. I was a total newb. Anyways, I remember I typed "Pheonix" into the chat for some reason (in an unrelated discussion) and this one chick got pissed (she claimed to be a chick). Apparently, she lived in Phoenix Arizona, and so was "offended" that I had misspelled the word and sucked at the game, to boot. I cracked a few jokes about it, and she (who was much, much better than me) started to camp and spawn kill me, so I could do nothing. Anyways, it got so bad that finally I left. Then, about 30 seconds later, I came back as "Pheonix." Almost everybody in the game Roflmao'd, and a bunch of more experienced players started to help get her off my back, which was (for a total newb) quite an awesome experience. So since then, that has been my primary username for just about everything.

Be as you wish to seem ~Socrates


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And also

 Thanks, Butterbattle.


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Quick Questions

If asked to describe the conception of god, would it be in terms of a likened deity or would it be more in terms of something a little more broad (not meaning to poke fun here, but the closest thing that pops into my mind at the moment would be the Star Wars version of the force). For instance, when I hear terms like he or it, is this more intended as a point of reference for an infinte something that can not be quantified by finite minds ? Or would you see it as an actual deity ? If you do not mind me asking, how did you come to believe in the God in which you are describing ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Pheonix wrote:Thus I would

Pheonix wrote:

Thus I would deny the existence of your deities, which is exactly what I should do, and continue to assume the relevance of the rules of science. But unless you start telling me that I must believe you or make some claim about the real world impact of your deities, you do not bear the burden of proof.

 

If you still disagree, perhaps you should explain why god’s existence (taken, as I say, independently of all other issues) is illogical.

 

I make no claims of god, besides this one: That he created the universe, and that my existence was intended by him. That is not determinism, any more than accurately predicting the weather or hitting a target with a bow and arrow is a disproof of quantum physics.

 

Do you feel that your belief in God has any scientific basis?  I don't see it, I don't see any belief in god as scientifically sound.  I believe you wrote that you don't think God can be proven scientifically.  To me such a claim would be an excuse to compartmentalize God belief in a box where science was not utilized.  If you hold science in high regard I would think you would recognize that God claims don't pass any scientific test and therefore aren't worth giving credence to as of yet.

 

I'd say respectfully, but there is an arrogant prick around here that has muddied it's meaning,

 

Sapient

 

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Sapient wrote:Pheonix

Sapient wrote:

Pheonix wrote:

Thus I would deny the existence of your deities, which is exactly what I should do, and continue to assume the relevance of the rules of science. But unless you start telling me that I must believe you or make some claim about the real world impact of your deities, you do not bear the burden of proof.

 

If you still disagree, perhaps you should explain why god’s existence (taken, as I say, independently of all other issues) is illogical.

 

I make no claims of god, besides this one: That he created the universe, and that my existence was intended by him. That is not determinism, any more than accurately predicting the weather or hitting a target with a bow and arrow is a disproof of quantum physics.

 

I'd say respectfully, but there is an arrogant prick around here that has muddied it's meaning,

 

Sapient

 

 

lol, I understand.

 

I do not believe that there can be a scientific basis for god. You assume that I use god as justification for... Any other claim I make. And compartmentalizing the issue of god is exactly what I intend to do. Look at it this way:

 

Me and you are about to watch a horse race filled with horses about which neither of us really knows anything, and we create a little bet between us. You bet on horse A  (who is white), I bet on horse B (who is brown). Then I say, "Horse B is going to win, I can feel it." Would you ask me for proof? Would you say "how do you know?" What if there were no way to measure the probability, no way to determine before hand which horse would win? Say, for arguments sake, that we cannot possibly know which horse will win until the end of the race. That we cannot even measure which is more likely. Would you say I was illogical, to say that Horse B will win? I mean, since there is no way to know and my opinion has no impact on you, it is perfectly rational to have a preference for brown horses,  based, not in science, but on my own feelings about brown. Would you demand that I prove my claim that the brown horse is faster? It would be irrational to say "You cannot possibly believe that horse B is going to win. There is no evidence for it." Because as long as it is unverifiable, I am at perfect liberty to wish that horse B will win. And there is nothing stopping me, in fact, from assuming he will.

Now, if I were to say "Give me the bet now. I just know my horse is going to win, and I want you to pay up so I can go buy myself some chocolate right now" then you would be perfectly right to demand proof, because I am making some claim to correctness that impacts the real, verifiable world.

 

Essentially, my preference for a universe in which god exists is the same as my preference for the color green. There need be no scientific evidence that green is superior to other colors. I simply feel it is better to look at.

Be as you wish to seem ~Socrates


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 Pheonix wrote:Now, Answers

 

Pheonix wrote:
Now, Answers in Gene Simmons:

 

I sense some sarcasm (and perhaps a touch of contempt) in your post. Perhaps if I explain my position better, it will evaporate.

 

OK, you did not see what I was doing there. No worries.

 

The real issue here is that you are making the assumption that politics cannot be separated from religion. Really, this is not even close to an apples to oranges thing. Both are fruits. This is a bananas to horses thing.

 

Pheonix wrote:
First, science is fundamentally an attempt at answering the “How” of our reality. Science is the art of explaining how the universe works. Philosophy is an art which attempts to explore why the universe exists.

 

Trust me, I am well aware of the difference.

 

Seriously though, the example that I had used was not a how/why thing. It was a that/why thing.

 

We know that big things are more massive than small things. One of the reasons for building the LHC was to help us to understand why that happens to be so. Well, the world spent billions of dollars on this thing that may well find the Higgs Boson. That will explain why mass exists. Don't got shit to do with philosophy.

 

Pheonix wrote:
Second, I apologize for not making my position clear. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is fact, scientifically proven.

 

Umm, no. Want to try again?

 

Evolution is a theory. So is gravitation.

 

Come up with a better theory and you may get famous. Hey, Einstein came up with a better theory of gravitation and we are all fairly sure that his is better than Newton's. You can do the same. All that you need to do is remember that science has nothing to do with facts.

 

Pheonix wrote:
Life may well have developed from something like life which we would not classify today as an organism.

 

Again, no. that is abiogenesis. It has nothing to do with evolution.

 

Pheonix wrote:
Third, religion is not, taken literally, dangerous. Organized religion is. It is an important distinction, for not all religion is organized.

 

so disorganized religion is safe? Tell that to the disorganized people who seem to think that America is a Christian nation. Jake help us if they ever manage to push that one through. Now tell me which flavor of Christianity America is.

 

Pheonix wrote:
Fourth, if you are to accept me on this site you are going to have to get used to the idea that when I talk about an opinion of mine, it is often a reference to abstract morality, and not a reference to political perspective.

 

Well, we are an accepting bunch here. We have lots of members who are nucking fut cases. Hell's bells but we have plenty of people around here who want to go on about “you must accept me as...”

 

Trust me on this: we accept you.

 

That much being said, you will get your feet held to the fire no less than any theist.

 

Pheonix wrote:
My system of abstract morality exists in the middle ground between libertarianism and socialism. That places me at liberal.

 

That places you at who you are.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


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Pheonix wrote:I do not

Pheonix wrote:

I do not believe that there can be a scientific basis for god. You assume that I use god as justification for... Any other claim I make. And compartmentalizing the issue of god is exactly what I intend to do. Look at it this way:

Me and you are about to watch a horse race filled with horses about which neither of us really knows anything, and we create a little bet between us. You bet on horse A  (who is white), I bet on horse B (who is brown). Then I say, "Horse B is going to win, I can feel it." Would you ask me for proof? Would you say "how do you know?" What if there were no way to measure the probability, no way to determine before hand which horse would win? Say, for arguments sake, that we cannot possibly know which horse will win until the end of the race. That we cannot even measure which is more likely. Would you say I was illogical, to say that Horse B will win? I mean, since there is no way to know and my opinion has no impact on you, it is perfectly rational to have a preference for brown horses,  based, not in science, but on my own feelings about brown. Would you demand that I prove my claim that the brown horse is faster? It would be irrational to say "You cannot possibly believe that horse B is going to win. There is no evidence for it." Because as long as it is unverifiable, I am at perfect liberty to wish that horse B will win. And there is nothing stopping me, in fact, from assuming he will.

Now, if I were to say "Give me the bet now. I just know my horse is going to win, and I want you to pay up so I can go buy myself some chocolate right now" then you would be perfectly right to demand proof, because I am making some claim to correctness that impacts the real, verifiable world.

 

Essentially, my preference for a universe in which god exists is the same as my preference for the color green. There need be no scientific evidence that green is superior to other colors. I simply feel it is better to look at.

Ok, I will afford you the "I feel horse B is going to win because I feel it."  I wouldn't do so because the statement is possibly true, because it isn't... I would afford it to you because there isn't a cult of people wreaking havoc on the world as a result of that belief.  I'm curious if you realize that when you use god belief in that sense in everyday society you are in a way enabling those who use theism in a much more illogical or dangerous sense.

 

 

Here is one of my favorite passages from the Gospel of Sam Harris on this issue (if you don't read the whole thing, at least read the end):

FROM THE END OF FAITH BY SAM HARRIS

Quote:

People of faith fall on a continuum: some draw solace and inspiration from a specific spiritual tradition, and yet remain fully committed to tolerance and diversity, while others would burn the earth to cinders if it would put an end to heresy. There are, in other words, religious moderates and religious extremists, and their various passions and projects should not be confused. However, religious moderates are themselves the bearers of a terrible dogma: they imagine that the path to peace will be paved once each of us has learned to respect the unjustified beliefs of others. I hope to show that the very ideal of religious tolerance-born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God-is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss.

We have been slow to recognize the degree to which religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man. This is not surprising, since many of us still believe that faith is an essential component of human life. Two myths now keep faith beyond the fray of rational criticism, and they seem to foster religious extremism and religious moderation equally: (i) most of us believe that there are good things that people get from religious faith (e.g., strong communities, ethical behavior, spiritual experience) that cannot be had elsewhere; (2) many of us also believe that the terrible things that are sometimes done in the name of religion are the products not of faith per se but of our baser natures-forces like greed, hatred, and fear-for which religious beliefs are themselves the best (or even the only) remedy. Taken together, these myths seem to have granted us perfect immunity to outbreaks of reasonableness in our public discourse.

Many religious moderates have taken the apparent high road of pluralism, asserting the equal validity of all faiths, but in doing so they neglect to notice the irredeemably sectarian truth claims of each. As long as a Christian believes that only his baptized brethren will be saved on the Day of judgment, he cannot possibly "respect" the beliefs of others, for he knows that the flames of hell have been stoked by these very ideas and await their adherents even now. Muslims and Jews generally take the same arrogant view of their own enterprises and have spent millennia passionately reiterating the errors of other faiths. It should go without saying that these rival belief systems are all equally uncontaminated by evidence.

While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it does not permit anything very critical to be said about religious literalism. We cannot say that fundamentalists are crazy, because they are merely practicing their freedom of belief; we cannot even say that they are mistaken in religious terms, because their knowledge of scripture is generally unrivaled. All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don't like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us. This is not a new form of faith, or even a new species of scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to a variety of all-too-human interests that have nothing, in principle, to do with God.

Unless the core dogmas of faith are called into question-i.e., that we know there is a God, and that we know what he wants from us-religious moderation will do nothing to lead us out of the wilderness.

The benignity of most religious moderates does not suggest that religious faith is anything more sublime than a desperate marriage of hope and ignorance, nor does it guarantee that there is not a terrible price to be paid for limiting the scope of reason in our dealings with other human beings. Religious moderation, insofar as it represents an attempt to hold on to what is still serviceable in orthodox religion, closes the door to more sophisticated approaches to spirituality, ethics, and the building of strong communities.

Religious moderates seem to believe that what we need is not radical insight and innovation in these areas but a mere dilution of Iron Age philosophy. Rather than bring the full force of our creativity and rationality to bear on the problems of ethics, social cohesion, and even spiritual experience, moderates merely ask that we relax our standards of adherence to ancient superstitions and taboos, while otherwise maintaining a belief system that was passed down to us from men and women whose lives were simply ravaged by their basic ignorance about the world. In what other sphere of life is such subservience to tradition acceptable? Medicine? Engineering? Not even politics suffers the anachronism that still dominates our thinking about ethical values and spiritual experience.

Imagine that we could revive a well-educated Christian of the fourteenth century. The man would prove to be a total ignoramus, except on matters of faith. His beliefs about geography, astronomy, and medicine would embarrass even a child, but he would know more or less everything there is to know about God. Though he would be considered a fool to think that the earth is flat, or that trepanning constitutes a wise medical intervention, his religious ideas would still be beyond reproach. There are two explanations for this: either we perfected our religious understanding of the world a millennium ago-while our knowledge on all other fronts was still hopelessly inchoate-or religion, being the mere maintenance of dogma, is one area of discourse that does not admit of progress. We will see that there is much to recommend the latter view.

With each passing year, do our religious beliefs conserve more and more of the data of human experience? If religion addresses a genuine sphere of understanding and human necessity, then it should be susceptible to progress; its doctrines should become more useful, rather than less. Progress in religion, as in other fields, would have to be a matter of present inquiry, not the mere reiteration of past doctrine. Whatever is true now should be discoverable now, and describable in terms that are not an outright affront to the rest of what we know about the world. By this measure, the entire project of religion seems perfectly backward. It cannot survive the changes that have come over us-culturally, technologically, and even ethically. Otherwise, there are few reasons to believe that we will survive it.

Moderates do not want to kill anyone in the name of God, but they want us to keep using the word "God" as though we knew what we were talking about. And they do not want anything too critical said about people who really believe in the God of their fathers, because tolerance, perhaps above all else, is sacred. To speak plainly and truthfully about the state of our world-to say, for instance, that the Bible and the Koran both contain mountains of life-destroying gibberish-is antithetical to tolerance as moderates currently conceive it. But we can no longer afford the luxury of such political correctness. We must finally recognize the price we are paying to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.

 

 

 

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Pheonix wrote:But attempting

Pheonix wrote:
But attempting to put that into practice is impossible, not to mention that a blanket ban would be counterproductive even if it worked. That is political.


You disagree with a blanket ban, then, but you haven't said you are pro-choice.  You've dodged that quite conspicuously.

You seem to be implying that you do agree with bans on certain kinds of abortions, or abortions in certain situations, or restrictions on abortion with exceptions- that is, you are still "pro-life" in that you want to legally restrict or partially ban abortions- you just might have some special exceptions.

That's still quite unacceptable, and your reasoning is terrible.



Pheonix wrote:

First, when discussing the ethics of abortion itself, it is a biomedical issue. On that issue, I disagree with the morality of abortion in general.



Biomedical ethics are one part social contract, two parts bullshit opinion.  Your opinion is that abortions are unethical- nothing more- don't pretend it's based on anything objective, because the vast majority of supposed "ethics" are not.

If you study social contract (a truly objective metric), there is nothing wrong with abortion.  If you use anything resembling a standard metric of suffering (which is at least consistent), then you damn well better be a vegetarian (even vegan) before you criticize abortion, because the animals you likely eat (if you aren't vegetarian) experience far more pain and suffering than a fetus ever does.

The only common metric qualifying abortion as unethical outside of that is the religious one- the presumption of a soul which is special and exclusive to humans, and tied to divine purpose.  If you dare make that argument to force your personal beliefs on others, then you are making as egregious a mistake as any jihadist.  It's un-evidenced, and counter to reason.

How you feel about abortion is personal moral opinion, and you have no basis to enact that into law unless you're following a framework of suffering, and by that metric meat should be banned long before any kind of abortion.  Shit, swatting flies should be banned before abortion- they cause people less financial loss, substantially lower risk of death, and are more aware than fetuses.


Pheonix wrote:

But wherever we have excess sufficient to be wholly unnecessary, and where others have deficiency sufficient to restrict their liberty, they possess a positive right to that excess as far as is necessary to restore their liberty.



Here, again, unless you're at least vegetarian, you're probably a hypocrite at best.

I assume the "other" you are referring to is the fetus?  That's nonsense.

The fetus is not an "other"; it is a "potential other" but not an other with respect to any legitimate social contract.  It does not demand consideration, and it can not have liberty with respect to that.  The future has no bearing on present social contract- but the past does.  The fetus brings nothing to the table and has brought nothing to the table to enter into the social contract- no capability to harm others that it is holding back, and no ability to do so (cognitively) if it had such capability.

This is an argument much more applicable to animal rights than it ever was to fetuses.  If you aren't an animal rights activist, at least in principle and with regards to your own actions, you're some kind of profound hypocrite.


Pheonix wrote:
Where a woman did not give voluntary informed consent to accept the risks of pregnancy, she cannot be held responsible for providing the resources the fetus requires to survive.



This is some grade-A bullshit. 

First, genuinely informed consent is a fairy tale.  People may know the  statistics, but they don't really understand them.

Informed consent is a best effort by doctors, but it doesn't alleviate them of their duties to the patients- that's why, despite how much "informed consent" a patient may give, a doctor can not do something he or she believes will be harmful, or not in the patient's best interest.

Nobody really internalizes all of the risks when they have sex in a medieval country which outlaws abortion- because nobody expects to be the one to get pregnant.  There is an overwhelming sense of 'it can't happen to me' that makes real consent virtually impossible.

THIS is the same reason why the death penalty isn't a very big deterrent- because people who commit crimes don't really expect to be caught despite "knowing" the risk.  After all, it just couldn't happen to them- that's other people who get caught.


There's a great anecdote I heard a few years ago that I'm probably misquoting terribly:

On entering the army, and preparing to go to war, everybody is lined up, and the commanding officer told the troops that two out of three of them wouldn't be coming home.  Each man looks to his right, and then to his left, and thinks "poor bastards".

People do not properly internalize or understand personal risk in their lives' narratives. 

Informed consent is bullshit.  What we can do, is do what's best for the actual people in the situation.




Pheonix wrote:
But where a woman did give voluntary informed consent, she bears as a consequence the responsibility to provide for that fetus, just as a man who gave his voluntary informed consent bears the same responsibility.



You made a mistake huh? 
Well, no room for compassion here.  You will suffer the horrible consequences of your actions for absolutely no reason whatsoever other than to punish you for making the mistake despite the fact that the mistake you made was a personal one and punishment in itself and it doesn't hurt anybody else! 
Also, the future child will suffer the consequences of your actions by being born into and living in a world where he or she was unwanted, in all likelihood lacking resources, education, and attentive parental care.  Why?  Well, the child didn't do anything wrong, but he or she will suffer a defficient childhood anyway for your mistake because we're just bastards like that.



That's how I see you and your argument.  Do you have any concept of what an evil bastard you look like when you suggest something like that?  Seriously, I think the world would be a better place if everybody who thoguht like that dropped dead... provided none of them happened to be flying aircraft over populated cities at the time.



Here's an analogy:



You had a car crash and were severely wounded, but you gave your informed consent when you got in the car!  You knew there could be an accident, so we won't give you medical treatment.  This is your punishment for riding in a car and having an accident.  We will do this for no good reason because our mythology somehow suggests that whatever operation is required to help you is arbitrarily unethical!





Pheonix wrote:
But where the cost becomes so great as to restrict her individual liberty (when, for example, she no longer possesses excess resources and thus keeping the fetus would kill or cripple her) her own liberty invariably outweighs that of the fetus.




Oh, wow!  How profoundly generous of you.  You'll give her  an exception if it will KILL OR CRIPPLE her?  Wow, what a stand up guy you are.  You'll happily force your arbitrary moral whim on other people at gun point for no good reason, but then give them an exception if it will KILL OR CRIPPLE them?


The extent to which an unplanned pregancy can ruin a girl's life is a complete mystery to you, isn't it?

Ever wonder why some girls f*cking kill themselves when they get pregant?



With respect to you ever so gracious exceptions, lets make a new analogy.



You rode in a car, and gave informed consent to having a car crash, even though you're an idiot like every other human and actually understanding the risk is all but impossible. 
By the way, it's apparently important to point out that you didn't *need* to ride in a car- you could have just walked all day you stupid car-whore. (Ad hominem arguments are important for anti-choicers; helps to reduce the sympathy)
Well, the results of this kind of car crash are special- instead of physical injury, it causes social ostracization, makes it much more difficult for you to ever meet a good spouse, makes you drop out of school, costs extremely large sums of money and makes you miss work for a number of months putting you in financial ruin, and to top it all off makes you sick over these months, mildly disabled, and actually might kill you.  There is a simple medical procedure that prevents all of this with virtually no risk, and no legitimate reason not to do it.  However, some fundamentalists have arbitrarily decided that the procedure is immoral on your behalf, and have denied it to you. 

No medical assitance for you, you stupid car-whore.  Walk next time.  Never mind that your life is changed forever now, you brought it upon yourself.



Pheonix wrote:
This is the moral principle that ought to govern abortion.


There we have it.  Your "aught"; your social ideal and consequently legal prescription.

In other words, you seek draconian laws to ban abortion, and force people to obey your morality at gun point, with the exception of rape, possibly minors, and when the mother's life in in serious danger or she will probably suffer permanent disability if the pregnancy continues?


Either get on board with being a rational and civil human being who respects the rights of others to determine their own moralities for themselves rather than enforcing unevidenced, inconsistent, and arbitrary moral whim at gunpoint, or please stop pretending.  As it stands, it seems that you're no better than a fundamentalist.  If these are your views, you are certainly no social liberal.

No matter what you claim to believe, you still seem to espouse the most destructive and socially oppressive sentiments of the worst of them. 

Or did you mis-speak?



Carefully note:

Being pro-choice is not simply an option, and it says nothing about your personal beliefs about abortion, it is an essential compromise to prevent war.


Seriously, read this:  http://anti-abortion.info/

Those people hate abortion, but they have some sense and aren't up for forcing their whims on others at gun point.


It's called being a rational member of society and accepting the freedom of others to sometimes do things you find personally objectionable.  It's called taking other, non-violent measures to pursuade people to do the right thing rather than forcing them at gun point.



If your goal is legislative and you succeed at forcing your morality on me, you had better understand that millions of others will take up their rights to bear arms.

There, I've told you- now you can make informed consent.  If you force your morality on others at gun point, you'll be at gun point too. 
Do you want to risk dying over this?  I don't!  I hate war.  That's why I've already compromised- pro-choice is a compromise!  It's live and let live.


It's not the police, not the government who are the enemy- but people espousing what you seem to be who are controlling them with socially conservative fundamentalist puppet strings.

I do not accept or respect a stance in favor of draconian laws banning abortion- even provided your oh so generous exceptions.



You can feel about abortion however you want, but keep those feelings to your personal objections or attempts at pursuading others not to have abortions through civil means- keep your arbitrary moral opinions out of government, and stop trying to force them on others at GUN POINT.


You can hate abortions.  Hate them then.  Do everything you can to peacefully reduce their frequency and give people other options.


DO NOT force everybody else at gun point to abide by your whims.  It's pretty simple.


Shall we agree to disagree about the morality, but live and let live?  Shall we compromiss and both agree to be completely pro-choice?

I think we should.  I've made the first move.  Pro-choice is an olive branch.  I want peace.  I want to be friends, and I want to move on.  It's your call.






Pheonix wrote:
Second, I believe that some being intended my existence, but that my existence would be meaningless without free will. That it is in fact our free will that defines our value in this reality.



If your value and purpose comes from your free will, then why do you need the deity?  Why not just believe in free will?

Occam's razor.  The deity is without any value in this situation.

Do you think a deity is required in order to *give* you free will?  Because I'll tell you that free will is an absurd and meaningless proposition in either case.

A free will- what it is free from?  Determinism?  In that case it's just a random will.  The concept of a free will is incoherent.

If you want a random will, you have it- everything we do is based on deterministic and random principles.  Both effectively random (through chaos), and genuinely random (from our perspective) by way of quantum events.

You have that- what are you trying to be free from?


Existence based on the reality of will is not meaningless- it posesses ample subjective meaning.  The idea that value and purpose can't be assigned without some mystical "free will" is thoroughly bunk.


 

Pheonix wrote:
Third, you are simply wrong here. There is no logical proof of god’s nonexistence, only of the nonexistence of certain definitions of god. Again, take the issue independent of any claims or criteria, and you can have no proof or evidence.



Take a word independent of context, and you have a non-word.  You can't take shelter in the meaninglessness of language while simultaneously using language to make your arguments.


Certain definitions of a god are easier or harder to disprove, but no definition being referenced qualifies anything known to exist.  For example, 'god' is not "electromagentic fields", and 'god' is not "that rock over there, whatever it is".

At the core of the definition is a supernatural quality- and that very quality is in opposition to logic.  Remove this, and it is no longer a god, but a simple and innocuous force in the universe, or another word for 'logic'- we already have terminology for these things, and 'proving' that god can exist by giving it a dishonest definition is the flaw of equivocation at best.

If you want to argue for something that exists, you should consider removing the notion from the contextual baggage of 'god' entirely.


However, you have already, in explaining the purpose of your god, defined your concept of this deity and as such demonstrated (to a keen observer) your god logically impossible.


Pheonix wrote:
I believe that some being intended my existence, but that my existence would be meaningless without free will.



Your deity is contingent upon the ability to intend your existence, and implicitly the ability to influence it somehow, and the existence of your free will (which you consider to be either the meaning of, or more likely what allows you to give meaning to, your existence).


The fallacy of "free will" alone disproves your god in this context, because for lack of "free will" (which is proven) you assert that your existence is meaningless and so it would likely follow that the idea of intending your existence is incoherent (it having no intent), and no being can exist to accomplish this feat of intending something without intent- therefore a being that must do so is impossible.

Your god does not exist.


If that were not adequate (despite the fact that ignoring the fallacy of free will would break logic and make any other points frivilous), we get to the problem of intending existence, regardless of what that intent is, and the ability to cause or influence the causing of existence.

At the face of it, this is trivial.  If you were not an accident, then it could be said that your parents intended your existence.  Herein lies an important problem- that it is trivial.

Are your parents god?  Is anybody or anything that intended you, specifically, a god?  Or is it anybody who intended anybody?  If so, the definition becomes very strange- quite contrary to any notion of divinity, and a flaw of a definition itself- it becomes trivialized to just about everybody, and even down through other species (because there's no reason to draw the line at humane), to individual cell replications, to chemical processes.

Messy business- maybe we can clean it up a bit- let's ask what intent is.

What is intent?  Well, perhaps we could draw a line at a certain comprehension of premeditated causality.  We could say that a cell doesn't intend because it doesn't really know what's going to happen.  A fish knows a bit better, but not much.  A dog, a bit better than that.  A pig, still more, followed by humans.  Eventually we have a pretty good idea, but we still don't *really* know what we're making or doing.

If you want to draw anything but an arbitrary line, you have to go for the extreme.  You, sir, just inadvertently defined your deity as omniscient.  Apologists weren't stupid when they came to this logical conclusion- there was actually thought put into it- they were just idiots when they used 'god' as a starting assumption.

Your deity had to know exactly what it was doing- to utmost precision- it had to intend everyone and everything to every planck increment.

Omniscience is a proven logical and empirical impossibility in so many fun ways, I don't know where to begin.

My favourite are Gödel's incompleteness, and quantum physics.  But those both require some explanation if you aren't in the know... so, we'll just go with the incompatability of omniscience and free will to get this over with- despite free will being impossible and it being absurd to consider it in the first place because it breaks logic, *if* it were possible and magically didn't break logic, omniscience would be in further contradiction to it.  Meaning- choose your poison.

If you choose god, then free will doesn't exist (again), thus existence is meaningless (by your express explanation), thus god couldn't have intended it, thus god doesn't exist.

If you choose free will, then god doesn't exist. (Gets to the point a bit faster)

In conclusion:  Your god doesn't exist.


But hey, maybe that's not enough (despite either of the two former proofs being sufficient in themselves).  Lets ignore the problem of intent.  What of bringing about existence?  What of prime efficacy?

Also thoroughly impossible.



We can postulate a cosmic writer who invents the  Halo universe, and creates it in his or her head where it becomes "real"- although the halo universe contains plot holes and so can not be a real universe, lacking internal consistency; you can not postulate possible reality based on fiction, because not all fiction is possible reality.

We can postulate a computer programmer who creates a "matrix" universe and populates it.

Every legitimate scenario we can postulate, though, is *not* the case of a prime mover or creator- it is of something that already exists attempting to beget a compartmentalized reality within itself.  That reality is necessarily dependent and part of the greater reality it was created within - (see Gödel's incompleteness again).  The matter, the energy- the information contained within- is not created from nothing, but emergent from another.

0 != 1.  Zero does not equal one.  Objective information genesis is logically impossible.  An objective something can not exist from nothing, and neither can this god- this problem results in an infinite regression which has NO solution.  Placing the deity "outside of existence" in an attempt to solve this merely proves the deity doesn't exist.

A deity is not a solution to existence, but a far greater problem- the solution is actually objective information symmetry and subjective existence (which is emergent from and explanatory of empirical observations), but I won't go into that. 

The point is that your god is fundamentally impossible as a prime mover, and trivial as anything but the prime mover.

Your god does not exist.




Thrice over I have disproved your deity- a deity you claim not to be defined, and thus to be unassailable, but have unwitingly defined very well based on the needs you claim it fulfills for you and the unintended logical consequences of those requirements.

Will you understand any of those proofs?  Most theists choose not to.


The bottom line, though, is that you are wrong.

You are wrong that a general god is unassailable.  You are wrong that free will is needed for meaning.  You are wrong that free will is possible.  You are wrong that a god could intend you.  And you are wrong that a god has or could have served as a prime mover in any way.

You are also wrong about abortion.  You are wrong that medical ethics can ignore what is best for the patient based on 'informed consent'.  You are wrong that informed consent dictates a responsibility the shirking of which must be followed by punishment.  And you are terrifyingly wrong about the principles of the social contract and the concept of rights.


Only time will tell if you will correct any of these invalid beliefs


Blake
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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Well, the world spent billions of dollars on this thing that may well find the Higgs Boson. That will explain why mass exists.

 

I'd say that's very unlikely, the Higgs Boson almost certainly does not exist.  Gravitons are a fantastic and rather elaborate way of explaining gravity when there are other emergent means. 

Find the Higgs Boson, and you still have to explain temporal reference frames.  My theory explains gravity and time dilation entirely (the foundations of relativity) in terms of the emergent properties of known quantum effects with no new exchange particles or assumptions.  Dammit I need clocks!

Now *those* are two theories.  I might be wrong.  I think Einstein's is wrong and mine is right, because Einstein's is messy and makes many assumptions, failing to resolve itself in terms of quantum effects without postulating new particles and missing the most important explanations of relativity- but I *might* be wrong.

 

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Pheonix wrote:
Second, I apologize for not making my position clear. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is fact, scientifically proven.

 

Umm, no. Want to try again?

 

Evolution is a theory. So is gravitation.

 

Kind of wrong.

 

Evolution, as a process, is a fact.  That we came about through evolution from simpler organisms is a theory.  Other theories are that we were made by an alien race using advanced technology, and that this alien race came about by evolution.

 

The process of evolution is logically deducible from genetics and environment provided there is nothing *stopping* it from occurring.  As such, it is a fact.  Beyond that, the process is currently observed and *used* in laboratories to create strains of microbes, and has been used to breed larger animals for ages.  Evolution as the process of change over time by genetic life in the presence of selective forces is nothing resembling a theory.

 

It's just matters of our precise origins that are theoretical.


butterbattle
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I have some yes or no

I have some yes or no questions, Pheonix.

1) You believe in God simply because you want to? So, you recognize that there is no evidence? In other words, you've psychologically conditioned yourself into believing in God and recognizing that this belief is unjustified at the same time?

2) You don't let this belief affect any of your decisions in the real world?

Edit:

Phoenix wrote:
Essentially, my preference for a universe in which god exists is the same as my preference for the color green. There need be no scientific evidence that green is superior to other colors. I simply feel it is better to look at.

You are confusing claims about your preferences with claims about reality.

You don't need to provide evidence that your favorite color is green, that you like green; that is a statement about your preferences. But, you do need to provide evidence if you claim that green is objectively superior to other colors. That is a claim about reality.

Similarly, you don't need to provide evidence that you prefer a universe where God exists, of course. But, you don't just prefer to believe in God; you actually believe in God. You actually hold that this "thing" exists.

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


El-ahrairah
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I also have a question,

I also have a question, Pheonix. Would you say that the god that you believe in is a personal god? In other words, is there any particular reason that you call yourself a "theist" rather than a "deist"? I'm asking because I notice that you're familiar with and have thought through your positions on science, politics, and other stuff.

Oh yeah, and welcome!

"The Aim of an Argument...should not be victory, but progress."
-Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

"All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed."
-Richard Adams, Watership Down, 1972


Blake
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El-ahrairah wrote:I also

El-ahrairah wrote:

I also have a question, Pheonix. Would you say that the god that you believe in is a personal god?

 

It is- note that he said that this god intended his specific existence, rather than just the universe in general- can't get more personal than that.