What it all boils down to

Arletta
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What it all boils down to

In just about any atheist/theist debate, weather about evolution/creationism or what have you, it all comes down to one core debate.  And that is speculation.  Both sides are arguing that the other is just speculating to come to their conclusions.  The truth is, both sides are right in that respect.  Theists claim that non-theists are basing their assumptions on data that is not 100% guaranteed, that they have to take some liberties to come to their conclusions, and of course everyone knows this is true to an extent.  Scientist sometimes really have to.  Scientists can show fossils of what we believe to be the original life forms, but they can't say for certain which one was first.  No, there is always that chance that there was something older but we just hadn't found it yet.  On the flip side of that, atheists claim theist base their conclusion on nothing but speculation, assuming that the bible is the word of god and all answers can be found within it while having no data at all to back up their claims.  And of course that is true.  So who should prevail in the debate?  While the claims of atheists (and scientist) may not have the definitive certainty the theists have, atheists have an actual basis for their assumptions.  If this were a court of law and the jury was filled full with theists and the prosecutor put forth all this evidence of someone's guilt while the defendant quoted passages from a single book from eons ago to prove his innocence, every single one of those theist would find him guilty.  Having some evidence is always better than having none at all.  So in conclusion I say the debate has really already been won, theists just have to learn to accept it.


darth_josh
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Actually, that's where we

Actually, that's where we come into the picture, Arletta.

Over time I have found that an astounding number of people have never given a thought to ask for evidence. When we ask for it and they can't find it, they go one of three ways:

1) Begin to question more things

2) Ignore the question for faith and become angry.

3) Preach more to themselves and others.

Even more alarming is the fact that because we are in the minority in the US, atheists have a hard time discussing the issue out of fear of ostracization and/or persecution physically, monetarily, or emotionally.

 

Typically, (not all) the theists I encounter have never heard the arguments against god belief. Meanwhile, we hear, understand, and expound upon these same arguments.

You're right that there is no 100% guarantee for everyone, but when everything is examined honestly then a person has to make up their own mind.

Personally, I don't want to share an ideology with someone who has it 'forced' upon them. That is where we get our pretentious term of 'freethinker' in my opinion. All that we can do ethically is bring our issues into the open for others to examine.

The old saying: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." never really accounted for ignorant horses that would drown if you didn't pull their heads up out of the water occasionally. Or we might be the wiser horse at the trough nudging the other when they've had enough.

Either way, it seems to me that we have a human duty to scrutinize ourselves and others looking for harmful things like ignorance. If they haven't heard the argument then we can't ethically call them stupid. Like I said, that's where we come into the picture.

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Sir Valiant for...
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Read both quotes in my

Read both quotes in my signiture.

I don't care if the view you hold is theism, atheism, or whatever. These debates (that even I participate in) over the evidence for or against any position are totally irrelevent. What matters is if the position itself is actually in a position to prove anything, which not many theists can do, and I fail to see how atheism can at all.

I, unlike many of this generation of religious universalism, take my epistemic duties seriously, and until such time as it is proven to me that atheism can prove something epistemologically speaking, I am logically bound to theism regardless of whatever any evidence says.

Evidence is stupid. It can be made to say almost anything the interpreter wants it to.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

Fixing the world, one dumb idea at a time.


JeremiahSmith
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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
Evidence is stupid. It can be made to say almost anything the interpreter wants it to.

I hear the same complaint made about statistics.

What it usually means is that the complainer doesn't show shit about statistics. 

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


Arletta
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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
Evidence is stupid. It can be made to say almost anything the interpreter wants it to.

Yes and with no evidence at all you can say whatever you want to.  As I said having some evidence is always going to trump the side having none at all.  And if you disagree, then I guess you have to always vote not guilty anytime you have jury duty since evidence doesn't actually mean anything.


darth_josh
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Fine, Sir Valiant. Don't

Fine, Sir Valiant.

Don't believe in god because it is bad for you. If you believe in the incorrect god then he will hate you more than me because I don't believe in any of them. So I will be treated with indifference if there is one while you have royally pissed off the one true one or a whole group of true gods.

Pascal's wager in reverse. 

If you have not heard of this argument before then you really need to read some of the knowledge of the people whom you denigrate based upon your knowledge without evidence.

BTW, I don't believe in epistemic duties. LOL. 

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