An atheist questioning his own atheism

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An atheist questioning his own atheism

We eventually evolved 5 senses to help us survive. But trapped as we are, in our position in the universe, how can we sense things that we have not evolved to sense?

This is the question that sprung into my mind at the age of 8, at that time I was raised in the catholic religion, it was an independent thought that seemed to make logic of the existence of god. and it ended up perpetuating my faith for a few more years.

Later I began to see the inaccuracies and myths of the bible, the christian faith , and most organized religions. and slowly over time I associated more with an atheist view.

But this original question will not go away. and has led me to other questions, like:

In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.

 

I am quite confident that the Bible and most of judo christian, and Islamic literature is incorrect, and dangerous to the betterment of mankind. 

However:

These are my questions:

what came first the material world, or consciousness....and why?

Why are we as atheists, so certain that there is no god or higher power, when that certainty is so close to religious faith itself?

Evolution is great, and is the most logical idea, but what was the catalyst for life on earth?

 

Any answers or questions would be fine, but discussion is what we really need.

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

However:

These are my questions:

what came first the material world, or consciousness....and why?

Why are we as atheists, so certain that there is no god or higher power, when that certainty is so close to religious faith itself?

Evolution is great, and is the most logical idea, but what was the catalyst for life on earth?

 

Any answers or questions would be fine, but discussion is what we really need.

Question the First: The material universe almost certainly developed before consciousness.  It's trivially easy to demonstrate that consciousness depends entirely upon the physical processes that underpin it.  There's loads of papers out there showing damage to different parts of the brain cause radical shifts in personality, mental capabilities, perceptions, etc.  That said, I'm not an expert on the subject, and probably couldn't give you detailed examples.

Question the Second: Richard Dawkins has proposed a sliding scale of belief/non-belief.  At one end of the scale is absolute certainty in God's existence, at the other is absolute certainty in God's non-existence.  Most of us fall somewhere in between. I consider myself very much on the non-belief end of the scale for a few reasons.  The God hypothesis is riddled with inconsistencies and beset by poor definition (George H. Smith wrote masterfully on this subject, at length, in Atheism: The Case Against God).  Another big problem with the God hypothesis is that it's not falsifiable.  Most versions of God exclude God from the realm of limitations as well as from the realm of direct observation.  If that God exists, He could simply magic up any evidence for His existence or away any evidence against.   Therefore, this is not a hypothesis we should feel compelled to take seriously.

Question the Third: Start with an astonishing array of chemicals prone to interacting with one another, add energy in the form of sunlight, heat, electricity, and radiation.  Then let that stew for hundreds of millions of years.  You're bound to wind up with an interesting chemical reaction sooner or later, and the very first one that tends to make more of itself gets you evolution.

Edit: I'd like to add a quick word.  Atheists should question their atheism,  frequently and thoughtfully.  I think atheism and other forms of skepticism are ongoing processes, not, as some middle-of-the-roaders would have it,  dogmatic assertions.  This is one of the reasons I lurk at this forum, and elsewhere.  I'm looking for a good argument for the existence of God, evidence that I'm wrong.  I haven't found any yet.

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Quote:what came first the

Quote:
what came first the material world, or consciousness....and why?

If you're asking about  the "Cosmic Egg" (figure of speech for a primordial singularity-esque object that gave rise to the physical universe) that existed the sparse instant just before the phenomenon of the Big Bang, no one knows what that is, or how it functioned. Science can do a lot of things with regards to physics; one thing it can not do is detail a quantum singularity because, by definition, it defies description of it's function and contents. We can speculate, guess, and hypothesize, but we have no firm knowledge. We don't even necessarily know what happens to stars several times more massive than the sun after they 'die'... just that whatever is left of them, aside from the nebulae their death creates, doesn't give off any visible light. So we borrow one of Einstein's theorizations of what happens to matter squeezed into too tight a space... that it simply continues collapsing until it reaches the smallest possible size (often assumed to be zero.)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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thanks for responding to my

thanks for responding to my questions. but sorry to say I'm still not fully convinced.

if i was blind, and never knew sight, how would you describe sight to me. and would i believe you?

 

we have evolved senses to aid us in our survival.

if there is an energy form or something else in the universe, that knowing about is not detromental to our survival, or it is just so far away that it bears no relavence on our survival, then we would not evolve a sense in which to sense it.

we have technology which can senses things for us, but they are mostly based on our original 5 senses, or are just magnified versions of such. 

To tell you the truth, I 'm not even sure that any of this (reality) is real at all. Just because my senses tell me so, does not make it true. take for example the small blind spot in the human eye, that our brain fills in for us. or when scolding hot water feels cold for a second, i'm sure there are other examples but you get my point I'm sure.

it comes down to practical knowledge, or as I like to call it "an asumption".

the real breakthrough in understanding how the universe works, is on a subatomic level.  this article really caught my eye. click that link

http://free.naplesplus.us/links/click.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciencedaily.com%2Freleases%2F1998%2F02%2F980227055013.htm

and please believe me ,I'm not saying your wrong, or that I'm right.  I'm just saying that we shouldn't be so sure that our inherited knowledge or our senses paint a clear picture of our surroundings, namely the universe.

 

and also.....why would matter need to replicate itself? that is a question that I have asked so many people, and have never got an answer. mabye one day. even if the grand expanse of time leaves so many possiblilties, it seems odd, that those first forms of life basically terraformed earth, our atmosphere.  (conserning the catalyst for evolution and life on earth)

 

one day far in the future we will be able to download our own consciousness into a computer, and basically be immortal, for lack of a better word. uploading from body to body, thinking eachothers thoughts, we could upload ourselves into nano bots  roughly the size of subatomic particles, and convert all the matter in the universe into consciousness, as part of our collective consciousness. we will have massive intellects and the ability to allmost instantly know anything, this might be the next step of evolution. and at the exponential  rate that technology is advancing, we might even see this in our own life time. then we can terraform planets, create new forms of life, and mabye even a new building block like dna, but better. we will basically be god. that is hilarious to me, especially when the new forms of life we create become atheists.

I wonder if we'll be mad at them, and flood the their planet....LOL

 

 

 

 

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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I can't access the full text

I can't access the full text of that article, which was a Letter to Nature in 1997, since I am not a registered user or subscriber, and it would cost me US$32 just to purchase it as a user.

There is nothing in the summary which suggests a conscious observe is at all required, merely the degree of coupling to a detector instrument. They had arranged to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the instrument, which effects the amount of 'decoherence'. This is in accord with recent experiments which went to further lengths to remove any 'conscious' observer from the picture. It is all a matter of how much the quantum scale phenomena interact with macro-scale events and bodies.

Mind is observed to be tightly associated with complex material structures, and intimately affects by physical stimulation and damage to that material structure.

RNA has been shown to able to form spontaneously from simpler molecules that are found in many places in the universe, including in inter-stellar molecular clouds. Since it is the most basic molecule capable of self-replication, all we need for life, in principle, is mix of appropriate molecules, and enough RNA type molecules to form in one place for the process of 'natural selection' to kick in. It had millions of years for suitable conditions to arise long enough somewhere for things to get going.

The physical world of energy and matter particles is most reasonably seen as primary. There is no hint of mind arising other than by evolution from simpler, lower levels of 'awareness'.

Matter particles are required to form the foundation of any persistent complex structure or process, so immaterial minds mare highly implausible.

We have no explanation for how a 'higher power' could arise from nothing, so progressive growth of more complex things from simpler, which we observe every day, is by far the more plausible path for the origin of everything.

What we can detect, map, measure, etc,  is in no way limited to what we can sense with our primary senses.

EDIT: As long as something has some ultimate effect on the motion or energy-state of some physical particle, we can potentially detect it. Such as is the case with 'dark matter'. So trying to base anything much on the limitations of our 'five-senses' is not well thought-out, IMHO.

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

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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

thanks for responding to my questions. but sorry to say I'm still not fully convinced.

if i was blind, and never knew sight, how would you describe sight to me. and would i believe you?

 

<snip for brevity - Kavis>

You're talking about Plato's Cave and universal skepticism.  Sure, our senses deceive us; we cannot be absolutely certain that we perceive reality correctly all the time.  But, the important thing is that you need a reason to doubt specific instances of perception or pieces of knowledge.  Doubting all perceptions and all knowledge because it's conceivable that you're wrong leads only to intellectual paralysis and self-contradiction.

For instance, if we are required to doubt our senses at all times, then I cannot be sure that I am writing at a keyboard, or that I am writing in English, or that what I seem to be writing has any intellectual content whatsoever.  The act of writing, however, and making the arguments for universal skepticism, relies on the assumption that all three of those things (I am writing, using English words, and those words have meaning mutually comprehensible to us both) are true.  Universal skepticism is revealed as self-contradictory, and we must rely on local skepticism to warn us when we err.

Yes, there are things in the universe we cannot directly perceive.  However, there's a crucial difference between, say, some exotic form of matter we're not equipped to detect, and the supernatural.  The difference is that, despite the fact that we cannot directly perceive some things (dark matter notably among them) they nevertheless interact with the rest of the universe in detectable ways (gravitational lensing around galaxies, for instance).   Supernatural entities such as God, being outside such rude things as matter, energy, and time, must necessarily either not interact with the physical universe at all, or be capable of interacting with it in such a way that is undetectable in principle. 

Lastly, there is no need for matter to reproduce itself.  However, the very first time a chemical reaction tends to create more of the same chemical reaction, natural selection comes into play.  A chemical reaction that replicates itself has a massive selection advantage over all those reactions that do not replicate themselves, and will tend to carry on where ever and when ever conditions are suitable for it to take place once it has initially occurred.

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Why isn't evolution a good

Why isn't evolution a good enough explanation for you? If you accept evolution then there should be no need to ask superfluous questions.

I think what you are falling for is "sense of awe" or allowing a "gap" in your understanding cause you to needlessly take pause. The explanation as to why we have senses is obvious and is explained by science. And as far as detecting things we cannot see with our senses IS also explained by science.

One common and stupid argument is "you cant see air, but you know it exists". Is shear ignorance. Science has developed methods to detect atoms which cannot be seen by the naked eye. And on a much bigger scale, we can see the affects of wind on trees and weather patterns.

It is the same reason why, although we don't know exactly what happens at the center of a black hole, we can detect them, just like we can see the drain in a tub affect the water when the plug is pulled. Not being able to see the bottom of the drain doesn't make the drain magic.

We developed senses because evolution is fact. Just like hydrogen and oxygen by themselves are not water, but when combined become water.

When you understand that things do not go from the complex to the simple, but from the simple to the complex, you'll understand the needless nature of your question. Our development is a product of time and tons of small changes over long periods of time.

If you can accept that a hurricane is not caused by any god, or any lucky horseshoe, then you can understand how we evolved to discover methods to detect things that we cannot directly see. It is why we know what atoms are and even smaller quarks that are part of atoms.

And it may also help you to think of thoughts, not as material things, but a result of a material process, much like running is not a material thing, but the result of legs moving fast. "Senses" is the word we use to describe the end perception  of a material process.

I hope this helps.

 

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Holy shit, someone mentioned

Holy shit, someone mentioned Plato. I used to be a huge fan Plato, until Dawkins blasted him and Bob Spense here, when I questioned why Dawkins blasted Plato, explained why Plato's philosophy was flawed.

I read Plato's stuff  in college, and missed the entire point Plato was making. "Question" was part of the plot, but what I totally missed was that Plato's intent wasn't to test anything, but to question to find the "perfect essence" of something. That philosophy was popular and since has fucked up humanity even to this day.

Plato's "questioning" was not about testing, but looking for excuses to justify "perfection". It has as Dawkins rightfully blasts in "The Greatest Show on Earth".

Dont get me wrong, questioning IS  a good thing, but it means nothing and is completely useless without the quality control of testing and falsification and independent verification. What Plato was doing was mere mental masturbation.

And I do think his play Apology is an uncanny prototype of the Jesus Character. Socrates was condemned to death for questioning authority. Some morons will dispute this arguing details when the MOTIF of challenging authority and the appeal of sympathy for the underdog AS A MOTIF, is the same.

 

 

 

 

 

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If something does interact

If something does interact or influence our Universe in any way, then it is, in principle, detectable by us, by changing the course of events in a non-random way.

Bringing in the limitations of our senses is totally irrelevant.

If it does not change any sequence of events in any systematic way, and has left no trace of such intervention, it is not participating in our reality in any way, therefore it can legitimately be ignored, at least until it does so.

It would be in the infinite category of things which could 'conceivably' exist but for which we have zero evidence.

'Supernatural' is ultimately a useless and self-defeating term.

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

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If something does interact

If something does interact or influence our Universe in any way, then it is, in principle, detectable by us, by changing the course of events in a non-random way.

Bringing in the limitations of our senses is totally irrelevant.

If it does not change any sequence of events in any systematic way, and has left no trace of such intervention, it is not participating in our reality in any way, therefore it can legitimately be ignored, at least until it does so.

It would be in the infinite category of things which could 'conceivably' exist but for which we have zero evidence.

'Supernatural' is ultimately a useless and self-defeating term.

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

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

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

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


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please show me

"There is nothing in the summary which suggests a conscious observe is at all required, merely the degree of coupling to a detector instrument. They had arranged to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the instrument, which effects the amount of 'decoherence'. This is in accord with recent experiments which went to further lengths to remove any 'conscious' observer from the picture. It is all a matter of how much the quantum scale phenomena interact with macro-scale events and bodies."

 

the moment that I saw that article, i emedietly searched for an counter experiment that proved it wrong.  couldn't find one, and being that I am not a scientist, I'll be the first one to admit, that I probably don't speak the language enough to understand if it even was proving it wrong.  If you can show me these "recent experiments" i would be very happy. 

 

and thank you for finally explaining why matter would replicate itself, I think i finally understand now.

 

 

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"Doubting all perceptions

"Doubting all perceptions and all knowledge because it's conceivable that you're wrong leads only to intellectual paralysis and self-contradiction."

 

I really have to disagree, I never put all of my eggs in one basket.  Maybe I'm weird, but I can think more than one thought at the same time. Its kind of like I'm the referee of my own mind, and my thoughts compete in a never ending battle for control, since the game never ends no one ever wins, but at times it would seem that one side has great advantage over the other.  and I'm not sure if I'm really "doubting" reality, if that was the case I probably wouldn't have bought a computer, or even typed what i typed, because of the possibility of it not being real or being a waste of time. probably wouldn't even get out of bed, or even have a bed to get out of.

 

 

If I doubt all perception and all knowledge, and no one stands up for their perception and knowledge then yes, it would lead to intellectual paralysis. 

Remember a few years back when intelligent design was taken to court, and members of the scientific community supporting evolution scoffed at the idea and did not even show up to defend there view.   That is intellectual paralysis right there. and that is why so many people do not understand the fundamentals of evolution. its basically elitism that causes intellectual paralysis.  To scoff and mock creationists and intelligent designers is the biggest mistake the scientific community can make, it destroys its foundations.  Sure its the most logical explanation, but being illogical about how people will react to that knowledge, is so ignorant.

its like telling someone there stupid and expecting them to listen to you.  its all in the packaging, so many scientists let their disdain for ignorance control them, and in doing so they become somewhat ignorant themselves.

in this day and age its become socially acceptable to be stupid or act stupid, well i guess its always been that way.  But have you noticed lately how television and media does this. "reality television" and sure we are in the information age, but most of that info is tits and ass, or how drunk you got, or who you fucked last night.

By taking pride away from knowledge, we can repackage intelligence, and make it more palatable to the ignorant. I really think that most scientists should take psychology classes as well, LOL.

 

and please don't think that I'm talking about you when i say this, i just think its an important point.

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

"There is nothing in the summary which suggests a conscious observe is at all required, merely the degree of coupling to a detector instrument. They had arranged to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the instrument, which effects the amount of 'decoherence'. This is in accord with recent experiments which went to further lengths to remove any 'conscious' observer from the picture. It is all a matter of how much the quantum scale phenomena interact with macro-scale events and bodies."

 

the moment that I saw that article, i emedietly searched for an counter experiment that proved it wrong.  couldn't find one, and being that I am not a scientist, I'll be the first one to admit, that I probably don't speak the language enough to understand if it even was proving it wrong.  If you can show me these "recent experiments" i would be very happy. 

 

and thank you for finally explaining why matter would replicate itself, I think i finally understand now.

 

 

I hope you are NOT a poser. We have seen people pretend to be agnostics or even atheists who have pulled this tactic before.

Look, "I don't know" is OK for people to say. What you are trying to do is leave open the door to ancient myth because you personally cannot figure something out, even if you claim to be neutral.

NO, that is not good logic any human should default to, FOR ANY REASON.

Bentrand Russell has already explained WHY this approach is a bad tactic.

It is not only OK to use the trash can for bad ideas, it is mandatory when good logic and good method is used.

You do not default to everything being true as a starting point. You test everything and discard bad data.

The claim that there is a giant invisible "whatever" that has cognition, IS A MYTH.

It is merely anthropomorphism. It is merely assigning human qualities to nature and the universe.

If you can accept that a hurricane does not have a brain, then you should be able to accept, that even with the things that we don't know about the universe is just as much an object, not capable of thought or caring, just like a hurricane cannot think or care.

What "is" is not a person, or the cause of a person, but the result of an ongoing process. There was a time when we didn't know what caused hurricanes, but no sane person today would attribute them to Posiden. I don't see any reason to assert a cognition to the cause of the universe when we don't do that for a hurricane.

 

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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

"There is nothing in the summary which suggests a conscious observe is at all required, merely the degree of coupling to a detector instrument. They had arranged to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the instrument, which effects the amount of 'decoherence'. This is in accord with recent experiments which went to further lengths to remove any 'conscious' observer from the picture. It is all a matter of how much the quantum scale phenomena interact with macro-scale events and bodies."

 

the moment that I saw that article, i emedietly searched for an counter experiment that proved it wrong.  couldn't find one, and being that I am not a scientist, I'll be the first one to admit, that I probably don't speak the language enough to understand if it even was proving it wrong.  If you can show me these "recent experiments" i would be very happy. 

and thank you for finally explaining why matter would replicate itself, I think i finally understand now.

What article are you referring to that suggests a conscious-observer effect? The intro to the article you originally referred to in Nature did not suggest that, AFAICS.

Do you have a link to an article that does, or does that original article say something within the full article to that effect?

From another old reference to something similar to, or maybe the same , experiment:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm wrote:

To demonstrate this, Weizmann Institute researchers built a tiny device measuring less than one micron in size, which had a barrier with two openings. They then sent a current of electrons towards the barrier. The "observer" in this experiment wasn't human. Institute scientists used for this purpose a tiny but sophisticated electronic detector that can spot passing electrons. The quantum "observer's" capacity to detect electrons could be altered by changing its electrical conductivity, or the strength of the current passing through it.

Apart from "observing," or detecting, the electrons, the detector had no effect on the current. Yet the scientists found that the very presence of the detector-"observer" near one of the openings caused changes in the interference pattern of the electron waves passing through the openings of the barrier. In fact, this effect was dependent on the "amount" of the observation: when the "observer's" capacity to detect electrons increased, in other words, when the level of the observation went up, the interference weakened; in contrast, when its capacity to detect electrons was reduced, in other words, when the observation slackened, the interference increased.

Note; the "observer"-effect here was caused by the presence of an instrument, not a human observer. Since we cannot directly observe quantum-scale effects with our senses, IOW we always have to use some kind of instrument, this discounts any special role for a conscious observer.

I can't currently find a link to an article on the more recent experiment I referred to, but I  haven't found anything pointing the other way.

So if you can find one, please...

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

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

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

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


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to brian37. I'm sorry but I

to brian37.

 

I'm sorry but I really think you missed my point.  Evolution is the most logical explanation, but to stand behind it so confident and sure that it answers everything about why we are here,  and MAINLY to scoff at anyone  who asks these questions or to say that these questions are not valid, creates more ignorance.  by doing this you are contributing to the other side, "who wants to listen to that elitist college boy, with his big college words", "i've never met a nice darwinist, that makes it the devils work".   these are the statements that come from the ignorant people that you've put off with your elitism.

we both know there are unanswered questions regarding evolution and the fabric of reality. but are these gaps making me give up and believe in god.  NO way!

i am not giving in to any "awe" factor. I'm simply asking you to consider something even if for just a moment. to not do so , is ignorant and one sided.

most scientific breakthroughs come from turning an idea upside down, and rethinking it from another standpoint. 

this is basically what I'm trying to say.

If everyone 300 years ago thought like you were just thinking, we would still be living on a flat planet, with the sun rotating around us.

I'm not talking about your particular thoughts in detail, but just the WAY you are thinking.

do you see my point now?

 

its all in the packaging.  and yes I've contradicted myself, I try to, on a daily basis because it fuels my consciousness.

 

 

 

 

 

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the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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Oh i forgot to mention the

Oh i forgot to mention the point that the word "observe" in the context of that article, really means "measure". and yes with some kind of a detection instrument.

but I still haven't found any thing pointing the other way yet.  i will continue the search.  keep me posted if you happen to find anything. 

Being completely honest, I'm really at a disatvantage when reading these articles. mainly because I have to research terms and points, just to be able to understand the first paragraph.

I'm not afraid to admit my own ignorance, but  they should come out with Qauntum mechanics for dummies, LOL!

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Wow!.......Poser?....REALLY?N

Wow!.......Poser?....REALLY?

No I am not posing as an atheist, to undermine you, if thats what you mean,  and I have no tactics or arsenal of explanations in which to do intellectual battle.

Put your intellectual sword back in its sheath dude!  I mean no harm.

But please don't tell me that I'm opening a door to myth, because I can't figure something out.

I'm sure there are plenty of things that you haven't figured out yet, and I'm sure you eventually will, just like I will. But please don't turn this into a battle of wits, or a mud throwing competition.

I'm not trying to compete for moral or intellectual superiority, mabye you should do the same.

 

Can't you see the folly of your present state of mind, can people learn from you, when they feel offended?

How many christian's faith have you unknowingly made stronger by basically being an ass.  Can't anyone see THAT IS THE PROBLEM?

YOUR FRUSTRATION AT AN IGNORANT WORLD (and believe me i'm frustrated too) IS RUINING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PALATABILITY.

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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The 'unanswered questions'

The 'unanswered questions' around evolution are about some of the details, the mechanics.

Evolution by Natural Selection is as close to a fully established principle as anything else in Science. In fact it is virtually a mathematical principle. It has been observed in bacterial colonies, it has been simulated in computers, etc, etc.

It is one of those ideas that, in retrospect, is so f**king obvious, and ultimately simple, that you want to slap your forehead, and say "D'oh!, of course!".

You might as well question the Law of Gravity. Seriously.

But that does not mean anyone in the field has stopped looking for deeper or even possible alternative, or more comprehensive, explanations for anything.

=====

And on another topic, 'offending' people will certainly put them off initially, but we know that it is the key to jolting at least some people into re-examining their beliefs, especially when they try to put them into a form they could throw back at us.

We need all types of 'attack' on the nonsense, both the 'good cop' and the 'bad cop'.

 

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

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

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

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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
we have evolved senses to aid us in our survival.

Can you give us examples? Because our senses of sight, smell, hearing, and touch suck compared to many animals.

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
we have evolved senses to aid us in our survival.

if there is an energy form or something else in the universe, that knowing about is not detromental to our survival, or it is just so far away that it bears no relavence on our survival, then we would not evolve a sense in which to sense it.

That is a fallacy. We could have sure benefitted from 'evolving' to see in the dark, or being able to smell and hear like a dog.

Can you see in the dark, or smell and hear like a dog?

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
   I'm just saying that we shouldn't be so sure that our inherited knowledge or our senses paint a clear picture of our surroundings, namely the universe.

Why shouldn't we?

 

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
 and also.....why would matter need to replicate itself? that is a question that I have asked so many people, and have never got an answer.

lol...matter doesn't replicate itself.

There's your answer...

 

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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"Elitist" is an ad homin

"Elitist" is an ad homin thrown by people who don't have a a retort.

First off, you don't know a damned thing about me personally. You don't know where I live and you don't know what I do for a living.  And for western society to condemn someone OF ANY CLASS for thinking about things deeper or having a bigger lexicon is fucking absurd.

Just to let you know how "Elitist" I am, I have a job working barely above minimum wage. I see no job as being dishonest merely because it is low paying. I value my education and am not so greedy that money or title or status is the measure of me. I am merely ONE PERSON. One of 7 billion. And since all humans ultimately meet the same fate, for you to accuse me of something so absurd, is just that, ABSURD.

You are merely reacting to objections and blasphemy you are not used to reading or hearing.

"Elitist" is what Hitler was. "Elitist" is what religion and politics is based on. "I am better than you"

DO NOT CONFUSE "I have a better position" with "I am better than you"

I am not better than you. If you shoot me the same damned thing will happen if I shot you.

THIS is not about me or you, this is about PROVABLE EVIDENCE.

If I cared about money or class, it doesn't take an education to accomplish those things. Plenty of rich people are money smart but not book smart.

I have much more sympathy for the middle class and working poor than the likes of Exxon or GE. So you are barking up the wrong fucking tree accusing me of being "elitist".

Since when should any human avoid learning more? And since when did my objections to your arguments make me a super hero?

The bottom line is not my ego or my class, but simple LACK OF FUCKING EVIDENCE.

The moon is not made of cheese. The earth is not flat, and magical disembodied brains with magical super powers as an explanation(which humans claim in a variety of labels) does not explain shit. It merely reflects their own personal whims.

Otherwise if everything is true by proxy of the ability to utter sound waves out of your mouth, then throwing a virgin into a volcano works because it was once tradition.

How does it feel to get PWNED by a minimum wage worker?

Yea, I am elitist, and the Pope sells Trojan Condoms out of the Vatican.

 

 

 

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We have not been dependent

We have not been dependent on our raw senses or inherited knowledge for understanding the Universe for a long time.

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

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

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

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We are very ignorant right

We are very ignorant right now, a two year old child investigating the workings of a laptop, but at least we are investigating. If you can't be happy with that then think as you want like most people do anyway.

I'm not certain we will ever really figure out everything about that old laptop but we will learn more about it before it's over, bank on it.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

Wow!.......Poser?....REALLY?

No I am not posing as an atheist, to undermine you, if thats what you mean,  and I have no tactics or arsenal of explanations in which to do intellectual battle.

Put your intellectual sword back in its sheath dude!  I mean no harm.

But please don't tell me that I'm opening a door to myth, because I can't figure something out.

I'm sure there are plenty of things that you haven't figured out yet, and I'm sure you eventually will, just like I will. But please don't turn this into a battle of wits, or a mud throwing competition.

I'm not trying to compete for moral or intellectual superiority, mabye you should do the same.

 

Can't you see the folly of your present state of mind, can people learn from you, when they feel offended?

How many christian's faith have you unknowingly made stronger by basically being an ass.  Can't anyone see THAT IS THE PROBLEM?

YOUR FRUSTRATION AT AN IGNORANT WORLD (and believe me i'm frustrated too) IS RUINING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PALATABILITY.

"Don't attack them, you just drive them deeper into their beliefs"

Yea, that is a risk. But I am damned sure glad women and blacks attacked the white Christian male dominated majority that once thought blacks were sub human and women shouldn't have the right to vote.

But who gives a fuck, right? If women being forced to wear tents makes sexist Muslims happy who are threatened by the prospect of females driving, who are we to judge? They have the right to oppress women because they have the right to their religious beliefs.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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robj101 wrote:We are very

robj101 wrote:

We are very ignorant right now, a two year old child investigating the workings of a laptop, but at least we are investigating. If you can't be happy with that then think as you want like most people do anyway.

I'm not certain we will ever really figure out everything about that old laptop but we will learn more about it before it's over, bank on it.

Rob, as much as you and I are different, this IS one thing I can agree on. The theist depends on a crutch of wishful thinking and self projection. The atheist depends on what can be tested and measured and is willing to have what they hold as a position to be thrashed and kicked around.

Good logic is not about justification. "Justification" to the laymen is looking for excuses to hold a position.

Good logic is about prior data, and kicking the shit out of that prior data, and then the willingness to hand that data over to people with no horse in the race.

Theism has nothing and is childish. Theism is the refusal to give up on Linus's blanket. It defaults to crutches and placebos.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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BobSpence1 wrote:We have not

BobSpence1 wrote:

We have not been dependent on our raw senses or inherited knowledge for understanding the Universe for a long time.

So what you are saying is that no matter how much I "sense" that Angelina Jolie will give me a blow job because women are real, I am real, and blow jobs exist, are you saying that my "sense" of perception is fucked because I would love to have her give me a blow job?

You are such a fucking killjoy!

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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to Brian37.haha, take it

to Brian37.

haha, take it easy man... your talking to an unemployed customer service rep, who was homeless for 2 years in Ireland, who stole bread and pastries to try and survive. i can't find work now, and am probably going to be homeless again pretty soon. to tell you the truth I'm not sure what I'm going to do. so I know what its like, I never even went to college. I hate corporations too. they have fucked me over Big time.

I am not saying that you are an elitist, please read what I say very carefully. and I am truly sorry If i offended you.  I said... your elitism, (and yeah I don't like the word either, but it is a word that is commonly used) and to deny that any one of us lacks even an ounce of elitism, well...your just fooling yourself.  I'll even admit at times I can have an elitist attitude, but come on dude!  can you really say that you've never felt better than someone else on any level, and that it hasn't turned people off to your cause?   would any of us really be here typing away, if that was the case.

 

I merely ask questions, I find gaps, and by doing so, I hope that I fuel the cause of knowledge. I 'm hear to learn, not to say," hey you just got owned by a minimum wage worker". well, hey! you DIDN'T just get owned or pwned ( i think you meant owned) by a soon too be homeless loser, if that makes you feel any better, because that is not what I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to own anybody.

the reason why I question Atheism, is because of its tendency to mimic religion on a small level, that level is of course faith. faith that you are absolutely correct. it is not blind faith like religion, however even on some small level it is still faith.  i can't stand faith!, whether it be religious or atheist (mainly religious).  and for an atheist to have faith (and i don't mean you, to avoid further argument) is the biggest folly of all, it can undermine the cause. not in every situation, but in some. 

For instance how would you explain evolution to a right wing christian farmer from the country side? The "your ignorant" argument will completely offend him.  then he'll tell his friends,"how could I listen to someone so rude", and they will misunderstand your frustration at their point of view, and demonize you. quoted from a devout christian lady I talked to one day, "I've never met a nice atheist, they must be the work of the devil". but ya know what happened? i told her that i was an atheist, and I was nice to her. she may not have given up her religion, but it was a stepping stone to further communication, she listened and didn't turn me off like most atheist experience when trying to explain there point of view. You see, even through your point of view may be correct, to assert that it is such, to a member of the opposite persuasion, can cause many problems.

I'm not saying throw away everything that you've learned because there is a tiny possibility that there are a few errors, or missing pieces.  neither am I saying that because there are missing pieces that there must be a god or higher being.  in fact by asking those questions, I've learned alot, before.... I didn't understand what the catalyst for evolution was.  and although that answer may not be correct, it makes more sense than, "god did it".

 

you wrote: DO NOT CONFUSE "I have a better position" with "I am better than you"

I am not better than you. If you shoot me the same damned thing will happen if I shot you.

THIS is not about me or you, this is about PROVABLE EVIDENCE.

 

i answer:  i have not confused the two things, I am merely saying that others do. and realizing this fact, is the first step in effective communication, i know this has nothing to do with me or you, that's my point.

so i retract my earlier statement that you have missed my point.  because you clearly understand my point, so i really don't understand why you are still arguing with me.  In fact all i did was ask some questions, and was immediately accused of being a poser, of opening up the doorway to myth, and of being on some level with Hitler for using the word elitism.

 

you've won the argument, yeah...an argument that was never there to begin with. and thus I have proved my point further, that this attitude can block effective communication. do you see what we've done here?  maybe this was a strategy after all, maybe unknowingly I've baited someone into an argument that doesn't need to be an argument. therefore demonstrating how ineffective arguing is.

i respect you as a person, and I am truly sorry for offending you if that is what happened here.

i really agree with everything you said about atheism, but disagreeing is in my nature, i can't help it.  It helps me resist shortcomings of faith.

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.

The interpretetion of this depends quite highly on the ability/inability to reproduce these results using a non-conscious "observer."  Here's a simple experiment that would solve this dillema (in other words, testing whether wavefunction collapse can occur without consciousness).

1. Get three polarized sunglass lenses, one lazer pointer, a Lego Mindstorms set, and a contraption that slow drips ink.

3.  Arrange two of the lenses along the optical path of the lazer pointer like so:

  (Laser) -------> (Vertical Lens) --------> (Horizontal Lense)

4. At this point all light from the laser should be blocked.  Insert the third lens in a Diagonal position between the other two lenses.  If you start seeing light, you have verified that these lenses are functioning as polarizers.

5. Construct a lego apparatus.  Use one touch sensor, one light sensor, and two motors.  Program the following:  Each activation of the touch sensor causes Motor A to insert the middle lense (in a Diagonal position), hold it for two seconds, and then remove it.  Each activation of the light sensor causes Motor B to stop.  When not stopped, Motor B is sliding the ink dripper across a page at a (known) constant velocity.  The light sensor is set to detect light coming from the optical configuration.

6. Leave the room, bringing the touch sensor with you.

7. Activate the touch sensor in whatever randomized fashion you desire, recording the times of activation. (Alternatively, you can forgo the touch sensor and have the robotics activate Motor A in a randomized fashion.  For this you will need a separate recording mechanism).

 

If the ink track records large blobs corresponding to the presses of the touch sensor, you have wavefunction collapses caused by a lego robotics kit with no conscious observer present. 

Unfortunately I left my Lego Mindstorms kit at my mom's house when I moved out.  I'll see if I can grab it when I next visit, as a video of this would be great for refuting all that "consciousness causes collapse" hogwash.  If I can figure out a way to make a cheap beamsplitter, I'll try making one that works on interference patterns instead of polarization.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

you've won the argument, yeah...an argument that was never there to begin with. and thus I have proved my point further, that this attitude can block effective communication. do you see what we've done here?  maybe this was a strategy after all, maybe unknowingly I've baited someone into an argument that doesn't need to be an argument. therefore demonstrating how ineffective arguing is.

I'm not interested in how best to communicate with some bible thumping redneck farmer and trying to get his antiquated head out of it's deeply rooted home, up his own ass. He's a lost cause, and will die off soon enough.

I'm interested in getting to his kids and his grandkids before they stick their heads so far up their own asses that they don't listen to reason, as well.

I'm blunt. I'm forward and direct.

And it works.

Your idealist lecturing on the art of communication won't change that.

If you yourself are not successful at it, doesn't mean the method is not successful. It might just mean you're not effective while using that method.

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris all got in the global mainstream spotlight by being deliberately blunt.

America has no problems with high profile people openly demonstrating how Bush or Palin are complete bumbling fools.

WTF should we consider theists as 'victims' for pointing out their stupid ideas and notions?

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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What are the beliefs that

What are the beliefs that the Atheists of 'faith' you refer to typically hold in that absolute way?

Your 'for instance' didn't clarify that, to me. You seemed to be referring to insulting remarks from the atheist, which is a separate issue.

We ARE justified, for many reasons, from logic and empirical and moral considerations at the very least, for treating the possibility of the Abrahamic God existing as so vanishingly small that it really doesn't deserve to be any further considered. It doesn't require faith, for those who have seriously looked into it.

Now whether or not you agree with that, the way we approach someone who lacks anything approaching a modern, science-based understanding of 'Life, the Universe, and Everything' (thank you Douglas Adams), does require some careful consideration, which is also a separate issue from whether we have what you consider excessive certainty about the God thing.

You may be confusing a high degree of confidence in a position or a scientific theory, based on many years of studying it, with a 'faith'-like certainty, not firmly based, that might be displayed by a less science-oriented atheist. As I said before, confidence in the basic Theory of Evolution is very well-justified, much more so than other theories, such as String Theory.

There is much more uncertainty about Abiogenesis, ie how life got started. I hope you aren't missing the distinction between that and Evolution.

Nevertheless, much progress is being made on the actual origins of Life.

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

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

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Hi, nice to meet you

Let me step in for a minute.  Forgive me, Brian37, if I over simplify.  5_senses, you could not have known that you majorly stepped on one of Brian's hot buttons - the word, elitist.  And the whole class thing.  He'll calm down shortly.

 

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

......

the reason why I question Atheism, is because of its tendency to mimic religion on a small level, that level is of course faith. faith that you are absolutely correct. it is not blind faith like religion, however even on some small level it is still faith.  i can't stand faith!, whether it be religious or atheist (mainly religious).  and for an atheist to have faith (and i don't mean you, to avoid further argument) is the biggest folly of all, it can undermine the cause. not in every situation, but in some. 

 

I am not sure I am absolutely correct about the existence of god/s/dess, but I am correct enough to satisfy me.  On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, M.D.  You can probably get a copy through the WorldCat database, so you don't have to spend any money to read it.  I'm currently unemployed, so my local library is my source of good reads lately.  The entire book is about how humans can not be completely totally objective.  The best we can probably hope for is "the perfect oxymoron - partial objectivity". 

I rather agree with Dr. Burton.  We can not shed our biological, genetic, environmental, educational perspective, and we should not want to.   Our five senses tell us everything we know about the world and we can not perceive the world in any other way.  Yes, we can use instrumentation to give us clues about things we can not directly perceive.  But ultimately, it is our 5 senses interpreting the data this instrument collects that allows us to make hypothesis about the information displayed.

The entire point of the scientific method is to ensure that many people in many places around the world view, analyze, hypothesize, replicate and corroborate the data.  This is only possible with data you can measure in some fashion.  Out of a group of 100 college students, how many <believe, do, know, are>?  Is the board one meter or 1.3m?  Is it a red shift or blue?  And so on.  Then someone measures and we compare. 

We have no way to measure some phenomenon.  Yet.  Perhaps never.  If someone can give me a way to measure "divine intervention", I'll think about my position.  Until then, I'll go with whatever I can measure as my definition of reality.

 

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

For instance how would you explain evolution to a right wing christian farmer from the country side? The "your ignorant" argument will completely offend him.  then he'll tell his friends,"how could I listen to someone so rude", and they will misunderstand your frustration at their point of view, and demonize you. quoted from a devout christian lady I talked to one day, "I've never met a nice atheist, they must be the work of the devil". but ya know what happened? i told her that i was an atheist, and I was nice to her. she may not have given up her religion, but it was a stepping stone to further communication, she listened and didn't turn me off like most atheist experience when trying to explain there point of view. You see, even through your point of view may be correct, to assert that it is such, to a member of the opposite persuasion, can cause many problems.

 

Most farmers I know - staunch christian or not - go along with at least "micro" evolution.  That is, they can see the results of any breeding program they may have.  They can count the loss of crops due to weeds developing resistance to herbicides or pests resisting pesticides.  

Yes, sometimes satyagraha or verbal jujitsu will get you further than yelling "you are ignorant".  I think there is a time and a place for all of these tactics.  On the internet, sometimes, yelling is all you are left with.  There isn't any non verbal communication to increase each others understanding and/or empathy.  And some people start calling names when they are backed into a corner.  Other times, a person seems to be receptive and all you can do is suggest an idea and hope they can allow it to grow.

In person, I often do not want to cause a scene, I may have to be with the person in other situations - maybe they are a co-worker or they share a bus ride time - and so I don't like having a continuing confrontation while attempting to do real work.  Politely pointing out a contradiction in a belief may be all that can be done in some cases.  

 

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

I'm not saying throw away everything that you've learned because there is a tiny possibility that there are a few errors, or missing pieces.  neither am I saying that because there are missing pieces that there must be a god or higher being.  in fact by asking those questions, I've learned alot, before.... I didn't understand what the catalyst for evolution was.  and although that answer may not be correct, it makes more sense than, "god did it".

 

you wrote: DO NOT CONFUSE "I have a better position" with "I am better than you"

I am not better than you. If you shoot me the same damned thing will happen if I shot you.

THIS is not about me or you, this is about PROVABLE EVIDENCE.

 

i answer:  i have not confused the two things, I am merely saying that others do. and realizing this fact, is the first step in effective communication, i know this has nothing to do with me or you, that's my point.

so i retract my earlier statement that you have missed my point.  because you clearly understand my point, so i really don't understand why you are still arguing with me.  In fact all i did was ask some questions, and was immediately accused of being a poser, of opening up the doorway to myth, and of being on some level with Hitler for using the word elitism.

 

I don't think you were being accused of being a poser, just that we hope you are not.  It is hard to tell until you have posted some more.

And really, Brian37 is him own self and many of us do not agree with him.  I understand what you were trying to say about people who think you are some "Hollywood/bleeding-heart  liberal" just because you have read a few books after you got out of school.  I lived in an area locally that could be called red neck country.  I've had some of the arguments/discussions you mentioned earlier.  But my biggest pet peeve is deliberate ignorance.  One of these people may disagree with me, but at least they should have some decent evidence and reason for their disagreement.  I don't want them to just parrot what they heard from answeringenesis.

 

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

you've won the argument, yeah...an argument that was never there to begin with. and thus I have proved my point further, that this attitude can block effective communication. do you see what we've done here?  maybe this was a strategy after all, maybe unknowingly I've baited someone into an argument that doesn't need to be an argument. therefore demonstrating how ineffective arguing is.

i respect you as a person, and I am truly sorry for offending you if that is what happened here.

i really agree with everything you said about atheism, but disagreeing is in my nature, i can't help it.  It helps me resist shortcomings of faith.

 

No, no, no!!!, never tell Brian37 he won an argument, he will then argue with you until the cows come home.  

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

to Brian37.

haha, take it easy man... your talking to an unemployed customer service rep, who was homeless for 2 years in Ireland, who stole bread and pastries to try and survive. i can't find work now, and am probably going to be homeless again pretty soon. to tell you the truth I'm not sure what I'm going to do. so I know what its like, I never even went to college. I hate corporations too. they have fucked me over Big time.

I am not saying that you are an elitist, please read what I say very carefully. and I am truly sorry If i offended you.  I said... your elitism, (and yeah I don't like the word either, but it is a word that is commonly used) and to deny that any one of us lacks even an ounce of elitism, well...your just fooling yourself.  I'll even admit at times I can have an elitist attitude, but come on dude!  can you really say that you've never felt better than someone else on any level, and that it hasn't turned people off to your cause?   would any of us really be here typing away, if that was the case.

 

I merely ask questions, I find gaps, and by doing so, I hope that I fuel the cause of knowledge. I 'm hear to learn, not to say," hey you just got owned by a minimum wage worker". well, hey! you DIDN'T just get owned or pwned ( i think you meant owned) by a soon too be homeless loser, if that makes you feel any better, because that is not what I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to own anybody.

the reason why I question Atheism, is because of its tendency to mimic religion on a small level, that level is of course faith. faith that you are absolutely correct. it is not blind faith like religion, however even on some small level it is still faith.  i can't stand faith!, whether it be religious or atheist (mainly religious).  and for an atheist to have faith (and i don't mean you, to avoid further argument) is the biggest folly of all, it can undermine the cause. not in every situation, but in some. 

For instance how would you explain evolution to a right wing christian farmer from the country side? The "your ignorant" argument will completely offend him.  then he'll tell his friends,"how could I listen to someone so rude", and they will misunderstand your frustration at their point of view, and demonize you. quoted from a devout christian lady I talked to one day, "I've never met a nice atheist, they must be the work of the devil". but ya know what happened? i told her that i was an atheist, and I was nice to her. she may not have given up her religion, but it was a stepping stone to further communication, she listened and didn't turn me off like most atheist experience when trying to explain there point of view. You see, even through your point of view may be correct, to assert that it is such, to a member of the opposite persuasion, can cause many problems.

I'm not saying throw away everything that you've learned because there is a tiny possibility that there are a few errors, or missing pieces.  neither am I saying that because there are missing pieces that there must be a god or higher being.  in fact by asking those questions, I've learned alot, before.... I didn't understand what the catalyst for evolution was.  and although that answer may not be correct, it makes more sense than, "god did it".

 

you wrote: DO NOT CONFUSE "I have a better position" with "I am better than you"

I am not better than you. If you shoot me the same damned thing will happen if I shot you.

THIS is not about me or you, this is about PROVABLE EVIDENCE.

 

i answer:  i have not confused the two things, I am merely saying that others do. and realizing this fact, is the first step in effective communication, i know this has nothing to do with me or you, that's my point.

so i retract my earlier statement that you have missed my point.  because you clearly understand my point, so i really don't understand why you are still arguing with me.  In fact all i did was ask some questions, and was immediately accused of being a poser, of opening up the doorway to myth, and of being on some level with Hitler for using the word elitism.

 

you've won the argument, yeah...an argument that was never there to begin with. and thus I have proved my point further, that this attitude can block effective communication. do you see what we've done here?  maybe this was a strategy after all, maybe unknowingly I've baited someone into an argument that doesn't need to be an argument. therefore demonstrating how ineffective arguing is.

i respect you as a person, and I am truly sorry for offending you if that is what happened here.

i really agree with everything you said about atheism, but disagreeing is in my nature, i can't help it.  It helps me resist shortcomings of faith.

You are still not getting it.

Why do we argue? That was the original question.

Because if we don't we lose our voice. It is that simple.

Now, as far as offending me, you personally did not offend me as a person. What DID offend me is the societal idea that smart people are always rich Harvard snobs which you eluded to by using the word "elitist".

And please do not say you respect me as a person, you just met me, you know nothing about me. I like to use the word "value" rather than "respect". I am sure you value my human rights, but you do not have to "respect" my position anymore than I have to "respect" yours. What I do value is when someone makes a solid case for their position.

Now, I think you seem to fall along the "cant we all just get along and live and let live". My question to you is, IN WHAT CONTEXT?

From a human rights constitutional standpoint, YES we should all get along by agreeing not to physically harm or call for the harm of others. In that context humans should get along.

 

BUT that does not, nor should ever mean that a claim ON ANY ISSUE, is owed blind protection and a claim should never be challenged. That is what theocracies like Iran demand of their citizens. That is what the state of Stalin and Hitler demanded. Blind loyalty without question.

I think it is unreasonable to make demands of anyone to never speak ill of others. I know I like to bitch about things I don't like and I am quite sure others want to be free to bitch themselves. While it is reasonable to expect people to leave it at words, it is unreasonable to expect humanity to always say nice things about you(or me).

I personally argue with theists because I am tired of the demonization of atheists and I am tired of superstition infecting public schools and infecting our politics.  I am all for getting along with theists, but not at the expense of not being able to question or even blaspheme their claims.

 

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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no, I get it. we both get

no, I get it.

we both get it.

its just that not every theist is the same or thinks the same.  and therefore not every approach to the theist/atheist debate should be handled in the same way. the majority of them should, but we don't live in a world of absolutes do we?

a good point with a sprinkle of psychology can often go much farther, that just a good point.

 

If i may use an example.

many of us know about The Discovery Institute.  an organization funded by right wing christian conservatives under the guise of intelligent design.  Intelligent design was basically created by lawyers, as an alternative to evolutionist teachings in schools. But most of us here, realize that it was created when the creationists saw that they were losing the battle to include creationist teachings in public schools. It was a compromise on there part, and a smart strategic move when you think about it.

(below I copied and pasted from wikipedia because i'm lazy)

 

The Kansas Evolution Hearings were a series of hearings held in Topeka Kansas, the United States May 5 to May 12, 2005 by the Kansas State Board of Education and its State Board Science Hearing Committee to change how evolution and the origin of life would be taught in the state's public high school science classes. The hearings were arranged by the Board of Education with the intent of introducing intelligent design into science classes via the Teach the Controversy method.[1][2]

The hearings raised the issues of creation and evolution in public education and were attended by all the major participants in the intelligent design movement but were ultimately boycotted by the scientific community over concern of lending credibility to the claim, made by proponents of intelligent design, that evolution is purportedly the subject of wide dispute within the scientific and science education communities.

So by boycotting these hearings, what message did they really send? from some perspectives it certainly seems like defeat. I personally think that they should have shown up and debated it. how could they have lost?

how on earth could they have lent credibility to intelligent design, when it is such a fucking crock of shit to begin with.

 

I mean the only way intelligent design works, is if life on earth and mabye earth itself was created by aliens,  but aliens are not god.

and they would have been very very very  patient aliens, I think is was 90 million years of life doing nothing before dna even came on the scene, and what would be the point of that anyway.  "yeah we're amazing aliens who wasted loads of valuable resources on creating a planet of idiots who will probably rape and pillage the rest of the universe if they don't kill themselves first!"  " and they smell too!"

 

wow... i need to cut down on the coffee and lsd mixed drinks!   its been a crazy day

 

PS.  to brian37:

you deserve a trophy for winning the argument, and I really really really respect you as a person so much that it is not even funny.  your like an ELITIST GOD to me, and i worship you with all of my being. many goats will be sacrificed in your name oh holy one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

PS.  to brian37:

you deserve a trophy for winning the argument, and I really really really respect you as a person so much that it is not even funny.  your like an ELITIST GOD to me, and i worship you with all of my being. many goats will be sacrificed in your name oh holy one!

 

This is the correct smiley -

 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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The idea that intelligent,

The idea that intelligent, complex beings can only be designed/created by more intelligent beings, whether God or aliens, is a logical fallacy, since it leads to a divergent infinite regress. IOW, a series of ever greater 'creators' as you go back.

So 'god' as creator is a nonsense.

Whereas a natural explanation, based on what we actually observe, that complex structures and intelligent beings generally emerge or descend from simpler or less intelligent creatures, has no such problem. Since, mathematically, even a 'truly' infinite regress, where each preceding stage is definitely smaller in energy, scale, complexity, or intelligence, and duration, will converge to an infinitesimal origin in a finite time.

So even entertaining the idea of God as a necessary creator is really not justified. There simply is no logical or empirical argument for it.

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

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

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

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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

So by boycotting these hearings, what message did they really send? from some perspectives it certainly seems like defeat. I personally think that they should have shown up and debated it. how could they have lost?

how on earth could they have lent credibility to intelligent design, when it is such a fucking crock of shit to begin with.

 

I mean the only way intelligent design works, is if life on earth and mabye earth itself was created by aliens,  but aliens are not god.

 

 

The refusal to debate comes from the apparent impression people may have of intelligent design having a 50-50 split with evolution.  After all, in a debate you have one person on one side and another person on the other side - 50/50.  But in reality, it would be 1 creationist and a few hundred scientists on the other side if you were to accurately reflect the proportions of belief in the scientific community.  But most people who show up for these debates are not interested in learning, and they perceive it as ID has at least as much support as evolution because there is only one person on the evolution side at the debate and there are a lot of people there who support creationism.  That this is usually incorrect is not important to those people.

I kind of understand the view point of the scientists who do not wish to debate under the rules the ID'ers propose.  They have no hope of actually presenting a complete picture of any branch of science in the time period of the debate.  Most of the scientists will refuse to express themselves with the confidence of the ID'er.  And this is important since people perceive the most confident person to be the most correct person - even if the most confident is the least competent.  Also, what I understand is the ID'er doesn't respond to the scientist's points.  A lot of them have a set presentation with lousy and inaccurate power point graphics.  They have learned they get a better audience response - that is, no conversions to evolution - if they ignore what the other guy says.  Who wants to submit themselves to that kind of abuse?

I would like to see debates where there is a creationist/ID'er on one side and a representative from each branch of science that supports evolution on the other - one physicist, one evolutionary biologist, one cosmologist, one geneticist, one paleontologist, one geologist, and so on.  That would give a better visual as to the real support in the scientific community. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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cj I see what you mean. 

cj I see what you mean.  That is a much better idea.


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bobspence1:I think what your

bobspence1:

I think what your saying is that given enough time and ingredients life is really inevitable.

 

It seems that intelligent designers don't have a grasp on time.  how vast time can be, and what can happen given enough time.  would you agree?

also just wondering what you think about extra terrestrial life?

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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BobSpence1 wrote:The idea

BobSpence1 wrote:

The idea that intelligent, complex beings can only be designed/created by more intelligent beings, whether God or aliens, is a logical fallacy, since it leads to a divergent infinite regress. IOW, a series of ever greater 'creators' as you go back.

So 'god' as creator is a nonsense.

Whereas a natural explanation, based on what we actually observe, that complex structures and intelligent beings generally emerge or descend from simpler or less intelligent creatures, has no such problem. Since, mathematically, even a 'truly' infinite regress, where each preceding stage is definitely smaller in energy, scale, complexity, or intelligence, and duration, will converge to an infinitesimal origin in a finite time.

So even entertaining the idea of God as a necessary creator is really not justified. There simply is no logical or empirical argument for it.

It's really not even rocket science.

It is completely ignoring the cognitive dissonance that occurs when you special plead that 'everything' has a beginning, and then contradict that statement immediately by asserting only 1 exception, and then build towards the 1 exception that you presupposed. The very definition of a circular argument, and confirmation bias.

It is 'game over' for apologists and *cough* philosophers at the very onset of these types of arguments. This is completely pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps in order to support yourself, and there is positively no way that they can certify that this is absolutely how reality works.

No if, ands, or buts about it.

It just goes to really illustrate how incapable the early philosophers were of overriding their naive intuitions, the most common of which that is experienced in the natural world, that things always 'begin', and always 'end', which leads to looking at the progression of time as a vector, 'starting' at point 'A' and going towards point 'B', and that 'now' is some point in between 'A' and 'B'.

It is only some type of human bias that would prevent someone from taking the outer ends of that 'time line', and not bend them so that 'A' and 'B' meet, and form a circle.

This peripheral view would be very intuitive to ignorant humans who have no concept, or idea of matter at an atomic or subatomic level, and assume the impossibility that all of the universe/reality could never have not existed, and simply changes form, like a multi dimensional kaleidoscope.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

 

These are my questions:

what came first the material world, or consciousness....and why?

Why are we as atheists, so certain that there is no god or higher power, when that certainty is so close to religious faith itself?

Evolution is great, and is the most logical idea, but what was the catalyst for life on earth?

 

Any answers or questions would be fine, but discussion is what we really need.

my answers

1. no one knows which came first or why. 

2. We as athiest are not certain of anything. We do not claim absolute certainty on the existence of a god or gods. We've only taken the position to which our 5 senses show to be more accurate. 

3. Look into Abiogenesis. 

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and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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Atheist does not describe everything about you.

 I should have made this all one post but oh well. I think you don't have a clear understanding of what atheism is. Its a lack of belief in a god or gods. That is it. You are not claiming anything for certain. Atheism is not a religion. We don't have beliefs, we share a lack of belief. That is it. You can be a republican, democrats, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice. It doesn't matter. Lack of belief, that is all. 

Over my last 2 years of life since becoming atheist my thoughts and views have changed, or evolved, and are constantly evolving. My advice I could give to someone questioning their atheism is simple. Never believe something bc another human told you it was true. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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marshalltenbears wrote: I

marshalltenbears wrote:

 I should have made this all one post but oh well. I think you don't have a clear understanding of what atheism is. Its a lack of belief in a god or gods. That is it. You are not claiming anything for certain. Atheism is not a religion. We don't have beliefs, we share a lack of belief. That is it. You can be a republican, democrats, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice. It doesn't matter. Lack of belief, that is all. 

Over my last 2 years of life since becoming atheist my thoughts and views have changed, or evolved, and are constantly evolving. My advice I could give to someone questioning their atheism is simple. Never believe something bc another human told you it was true. 

 

thanks dude, that really puts things into perspective for me. sometimes I tend to forget that the more militant atheists don't define atheism, just because they yell a lot and call people idiots.

 

 

 

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

no, I get it.

we both get it.

its just that not every theist is the same or thinks the same.  and therefore not every approach to the theist/atheist debate should be handled in the same way. the majority of them should, but we don't live in a world of absolutes do we?

a good point with a sprinkle of psychology can often go much farther, that just a good point.

 

If i may use an example.

many of us know about The Discovery Institute.  an organization funded by right wing christian conservatives under the guise of intelligent design.  Intelligent design was basically created by lawyers, as an alternative to evolutionist teachings in schools. But most of us here, realize that it was created when the creationists saw that they were losing the battle to include creationist teachings in public schools. It was a compromise on there part, and a smart strategic move when you think about it.

(below I copied and pasted from wikipedia because i'm lazy)

 

The Kansas Evolution Hearings were a series of hearings held in Topeka Kansas, the United States May 5 to May 12, 2005 by the Kansas State Board of Education and its State Board Science Hearing Committee to change how evolution and the origin of life would be taught in the state's public high school science classes. The hearings were arranged by the Board of Education with the intent of introducing intelligent design into science classes via the Teach the Controversy method.[1][2]

The hearings raised the issues of creation and evolution in public education and were attended by all the major participants in the intelligent design movement but were ultimately boycotted by the scientific community over concern of lending credibility to the claim, made by proponents of intelligent design, that evolution is purportedly the subject of wide dispute within the scientific and science education communities.

So by boycotting these hearings, what message did they really send? from some perspectives it certainly seems like defeat. I personally think that they should have shown up and debated it. how could they have lost?

how on earth could they have lent credibility to intelligent design, when it is such a fucking crock of shit to begin with.

 

I mean the only way intelligent design works, is if life on earth and mabye earth itself was created by aliens,  but aliens are not god.

and they would have been very very very  patient aliens, I think is was 90 million years of life doing nothing before dna even came on the scene, and what would be the point of that anyway.  "yeah we're amazing aliens who wasted loads of valuable resources on creating a planet of idiots who will probably rape and pillage the rest of the universe if they don't kill themselves first!"  " and they smell too!"

 

wow... i need to cut down on the coffee and lsd mixed drinks!   its been a crazy day

 

PS.  to brian37:

you deserve a trophy for winning the argument, and I really really really respect you as a person so much that it is not even funny.  your like an ELITIST GOD to me, and i worship you with all of my being. many goats will be sacrificed in your name oh holy one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know how much of that last line was simply yanking my chain.

I am not an "elitist" by any stretch. And the thought of anyone worshiping me is sick. Nothing deserves worship.

And again, please do not say you "respect" me. I really hate that word. It is a superficial demand to not bruise someone's ego.

If you "value" an argument someone has, that is fine, just say "That makes sense to me, good point".  You can value certain individuals, but no human on the face of the planet, not you, not me, deserves "respect".

AGAIN, there is a difference between a person, and the words that come out  of a person's mouth. I "value" the words that come out of others mouth WHEN what they say is backed up by evidence. But that does not mean I have to "respect" a claim, much less value a claim, simply because I value human rights and the right to utter anything you want.

Spewing words out of your mouth only means you can make noise. Having the ABILITY to demonstrate the credibility of what comes out of your mouth, is what is important to me. Liking a person or not liking a person has nothing to do with a particular claim ON ANY GIVEN SUBJECT.

I CAN also value an individual without liking or agreeing with everything that person says. I love and value my mother, who is Catholic. But I am under no legal obligation to refrain from criticizing the myth of Jesus or virgin birth stories. That doesn't make me love her less because of one issue. AND she loves me and KNOWS that I am an atheist.

GET IT?

So all sarcasm aside, do not confuse my blasphemy and bluntness with thinking I am superior or better than anyone else. I am not. I simply refuse to sugar coat life to placate the emotions of believers. They can make all the claims they want, but I am under no obligation to coddle their fears simply because they might not like what I have to say.

I wont hate someone if they cannot prove what they claim. But I most certainly will hate someone who thinks I owe them silence simply because they are not used to hearing my objections to their claims.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37

Brian37 wrote:

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

no, I get it.

we both get it.

its just that not every theist is the same or thinks the same.  and therefore not every approach to the theist/atheist debate should be handled in the same way. the majority of them should, but we don't live in a world of absolutes do we?

a good point with a sprinkle of psychology can often go much farther, that just a good point.

 

If i may use an example.

many of us know about The Discovery Institute.  an organization funded by right wing christian conservatives under the guise of intelligent design.  Intelligent design was basically created by lawyers, as an alternative to evolutionist teachings in schools. But most of us here, realize that it was created when the creationists saw that they were losing the battle to include creationist teachings in public schools. It was a compromise on there part, and a smart strategic move when you think about it.

(below I copied and pasted from wikipedia because i'm lazy)

 

The Kansas Evolution Hearings were a series of hearings held in Topeka Kansas, the United States May 5 to May 12, 2005 by the Kansas State Board of Education and its State Board Science Hearing Committee to change how evolution and the origin of life would be taught in the state's public high school science classes. The hearings were arranged by the Board of Education with the intent of introducing intelligent design into science classes via the Teach the Controversy method.[1][2]

The hearings raised the issues of creation and evolution in public education and were attended by all the major participants in the intelligent design movement but were ultimately boycotted by the scientific community over concern of lending credibility to the claim, made by proponents of intelligent design, that evolution is purportedly the subject of wide dispute within the scientific and science education communities.

So by boycotting these hearings, what message did they really send? from some perspectives it certainly seems like defeat. I personally think that they should have shown up and debated it. how could they have lost?

how on earth could they have lent credibility to intelligent design, when it is such a fucking crock of shit to begin with.

 

I mean the only way intelligent design works, is if life on earth and mabye earth itself was created by aliens,  but aliens are not god.

and they would have been very very very  patient aliens, I think is was 90 million years of life doing nothing before dna even came on the scene, and what would be the point of that anyway.  "yeah we're amazing aliens who wasted loads of valuable resources on creating a planet of idiots who will probably rape and pillage the rest of the universe if they don't kill themselves first!"  " and they smell too!"

 

wow... i need to cut down on the coffee and lsd mixed drinks!   its been a crazy day

 

PS.  to brian37:

you deserve a trophy for winning the argument, and I really really really respect you as a person so much that it is not even funny.  your like an ELITIST GOD to me, and i worship you with all of my being. many goats will be sacrificed in your name oh holy one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know how much of that last line was simply yanking my chain.

I am not an "elitist" by any stretch. And the thought of anyone worshiping me is sick. Nothing deserves worship.

And again, please do not say you "respect" me. I really hate that word. It is a superficial demand to not bruise someone's ego.

If you "value" an argument someone has, that is fine, just say "That makes sense to me, good point".  You can value certain individuals, but no human on the face of the planet, not you, not me, deserves "respect".

AGAIN, there is a difference between a person, and the words that come out  of a person's mouth. I "value" the words that come out of others mouth WHEN what they say is backed up by evidence. But that does not mean I have to "respect" a claim, much less value a claim, simply because I value human rights and the right to utter anything you want.

Spewing words out of your mouth only means you can make noise. Having the ABILITY to demonstrate the credibility of what comes out of your mouth, is what is important to me. Liking a person or not liking a person has nothing to do with a particular claim ON ANY GIVEN SUBJECT.

I CAN also value an individual without liking or agreeing with everything that person says. I love and value my mother, who is Catholic. But I am under no legal obligation to refrain from criticizing the myth of Jesus or virgin birth stories. That doesn't make me love her less because of one issue. AND she loves me and KNOWS that I am an atheist.

GET IT?

So all sarcasm aside, do not confuse my blasphemy and bluntness with thinking I am superior or better than anyone else. I am not. I simply refuse to sugar coat life to placate the emotions of believers. They can make all the claims they want, but I am under no obligation to coddle their fears simply because they might not like what I have to say.

I wont hate someone if they cannot prove what they claim. But I most certainly will hate someone who thinks I owe them silence simply because they are not used to hearing my objections to their claims.

 

 

 

inferiority complex.

I don't know which I doubt more.
the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

marshalltenbears wrote:

 I should have made this all one post but oh well. I think you don't have a clear understanding of what atheism is. Its a lack of belief in a god or gods. That is it. You are not claiming anything for certain. Atheism is not a religion. We don't have beliefs, we share a lack of belief. That is it. You can be a republican, democrats, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice. It doesn't matter. Lack of belief, that is all. 

Over my last 2 years of life since becoming atheist my thoughts and views have changed, or evolved, and are constantly evolving. My advice I could give to someone questioning their atheism is simple. Never believe something bc another human told you it was true. 

 

thanks dude, that really puts things into perspective for me. sometimes I tend to forget that the more militant atheists don't define atheism, just because they yell a lot and call people idiots.

 

 No problem. Enjoy "your" life. 

 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


BenfromCanada
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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

We eventually evolved 5 senses to help us survive. But trapped as we are, in our position in the universe, how can we sense things that we have not evolved to sense?

Actually we have upwards of 20 senses, but that's a moot point. We have a lot of ways to sense things we haven't evolved to sense. Microscopes, goggles with settings that allow us to see other light spectrums, etc. We need but know it exists and we can build a way to detect it.

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
This is the question that sprung into my mind at the age of 8, at that time I was raised in the catholic religion, it was an independent thought that seemed to make logic of the existence of god. and it ended up perpetuating my faith for a few more years.

Later I began to see the inaccuracies and myths of the bible, the christian faith , and most organized religions. and slowly over time I associated more with an atheist view.

But this original question will not go away. and has led me to other questions, like:

In a study reported in the February 26 issue of Nature (Vol. 391, pp. 871-874), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have now conducted a highly controlled experiment demonstrating how a beam of electrons is affected by the act of being observed. The experiment revealed that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on what actually takes place.

So?

 

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
I am quite confident that the Bible and most of judo christian, and Islamic literature is incorrect, and dangerous to the betterment of mankind.
Are Judo Christians similar to Kung Fu Mormons or Karate Pagans? Do they all get together and fight crimes? (The term you were looking for is "Judeo Christian&quotEye-wink

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
However:

These are my questions:

what came first the material world, or consciousness....and why?

Material world. Consciousness is a function of the human brain.

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
Why are we as atheists, so certain that there is no god or higher power, when that certainty is so close to religious faith itself?
That's one reason most of us aren't certain. However, we can be certain that all the religious myths are just that:myths.

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:
Evolution is great, and is the most logical idea, but what was the catalyst for life on earth?
We have plenty of theories. None of them need a divine creator.


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5_senses_does_not_reality_mak

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

5_senses_does_not_reality_make wrote:

no, I get it.

we both get it.

its just that not every theist is the same or thinks the same.  and therefore not every approach to the theist/atheist debate should be handled in the same way. the majority of them should, but we don't live in a world of absolutes do we?

a good point with a sprinkle of psychology can often go much farther, that just a good point.

 

If i may use an example.

many of us know about The Discovery Institute.  an organization funded by right wing christian conservatives under the guise of intelligent design.  Intelligent design was basically created by lawyers, as an alternative to evolutionist teachings in schools. But most of us here, realize that it was created when the creationists saw that they were losing the battle to include creationist teachings in public schools. It was a compromise on there part, and a smart strategic move when you think about it.

(below I copied and pasted from wikipedia because i'm lazy)

 

The Kansas Evolution Hearings were a series of hearings held in Topeka Kansas, the United States May 5 to May 12, 2005 by the Kansas State Board of Education and its State Board Science Hearing Committee to change how evolution and the origin of life would be taught in the state's public high school science classes. The hearings were arranged by the Board of Education with the intent of introducing intelligent design into science classes via the Teach the Controversy method.[1][2]

The hearings raised the issues of creation and evolution in public education and were attended by all the major participants in the intelligent design movement but were ultimately boycotted by the scientific community over concern of lending credibility to the claim, made by proponents of intelligent design, that evolution is purportedly the subject of wide dispute within the scientific and science education communities.

So by boycotting these hearings, what message did they really send? from some perspectives it certainly seems like defeat. I personally think that they should have shown up and debated it. how could they have lost?

how on earth could they have lent credibility to intelligent design, when it is such a fucking crock of shit to begin with.

 

I mean the only way intelligent design works, is if life on earth and mabye earth itself was created by aliens,  but aliens are not god.

and they would have been very very very  patient aliens, I think is was 90 million years of life doing nothing before dna even came on the scene, and what would be the point of that anyway.  "yeah we're amazing aliens who wasted loads of valuable resources on creating a planet of idiots who will probably rape and pillage the rest of the universe if they don't kill themselves first!"  " and they smell too!"

 

wow... i need to cut down on the coffee and lsd mixed drinks!   its been a crazy day

 

PS.  to brian37:

you deserve a trophy for winning the argument, and I really really really respect you as a person so much that it is not even funny.  your like an ELITIST GOD to me, and i worship you with all of my being. many goats will be sacrificed in your name oh holy one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know how much of that last line was simply yanking my chain.

I am not an "elitist" by any stretch. And the thought of anyone worshiping me is sick. Nothing deserves worship.

And again, please do not say you "respect" me. I really hate that word. It is a superficial demand to not bruise someone's ego.

If you "value" an argument someone has, that is fine, just say "That makes sense to me, good point".  You can value certain individuals, but no human on the face of the planet, not you, not me, deserves "respect".

AGAIN, there is a difference between a person, and the words that come out  of a person's mouth. I "value" the words that come out of others mouth WHEN what they say is backed up by evidence. But that does not mean I have to "respect" a claim, much less value a claim, simply because I value human rights and the right to utter anything you want.

Spewing words out of your mouth only means you can make noise. Having the ABILITY to demonstrate the credibility of what comes out of your mouth, is what is important to me. Liking a person or not liking a person has nothing to do with a particular claim ON ANY GIVEN SUBJECT.

I CAN also value an individual without liking or agreeing with everything that person says. I love and value my mother, who is Catholic. But I am under no legal obligation to refrain from criticizing the myth of Jesus or virgin birth stories. That doesn't make me love her less because of one issue. AND she loves me and KNOWS that I am an atheist.

GET IT?

So all sarcasm aside, do not confuse my blasphemy and bluntness with thinking I am superior or better than anyone else. I am not. I simply refuse to sugar coat life to placate the emotions of believers. They can make all the claims they want, but I am under no obligation to coddle their fears simply because they might not like what I have to say.

I wont hate someone if they cannot prove what they claim. But I most certainly will hate someone who thinks I owe them silence simply because they are not used to hearing my objections to their claims.

 

 

 

inferiority complex.

Not sure what you meant by that response.

But, there are 7 billion people on this planet and all of us one way or another are going to kick the bucket. In life there are people who harm others, and people with bad claims. But we are all the same species capable of the same range of emotions and actions, good or bad.

I don't like people who put others on pedestals and I don't like absurd claims. But I also don't pretend I have super powers or think that the world owes me shit, or that I am special to the world. I am merely one of the 7 billion living now.

The planet will die someday and our species will go extinct. I don't see humans as inferior, I simply see them as flawed because evolution isn't about perfection.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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