Why get so angry and hateful?

Sapient
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Why get so angry and hateful?

Quote:
----- Original Message -----
From: rowl4141@yahoo.com
To: sapient@rationalresponders.com
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 12:13 AM
Subject: [General Question] Why?

> Doug Rowland sent a message using the contact form at
> http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.
>
> If you don't believe in God, then why get so angry and hateful. I mean,
> why would you even care? If a Christian wants to change your mind it's so
> your soul will go to heaven. Why are you so concerned with persuading
> people to not believe in a God? I mean if you are right then what
> difference does it make what others believe. Maybe it's for all the
> donations I see here on your website.
>

If your child believed that he/she needed to sit on the toilet for two hours
a day in order to attain enlightenment in the afterlife, would you say
something? If you did say something to help your child, would you be
befuddled when people claimed you were angry and hateful?
Would you think it was weird if a friend was questioning your desire to
help your child overcome his/her delusions?

- Sapient

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


MrRage
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Yet another theist who

Yet another theist who thinks being an atheist means being a nihilist. Sigh.

Oh, and I love how trying to persuade someone that their beliefs are wrong makes you angry and hateful.


The Patrician
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Oh dear...

Sapient wrote:
If your child believed that he/she needed to sit on the toilet for two hours a day in order to attain enlightenment in the afterlife, would you say something? If you did say something to help your child, would you be befuddled when people claimed you were angry and hateful? Would you think it was weird if a friend was questioning your desire to help your child overcome his/her delusions? - Sapient

I'm sorry, did you actually just compare passive faith to forcing a child to sit on a toilet for two hours a day?

Shame on you.

Passive religious faith is fine. No, really it is. What other people believe in the privacy of their own homes or their churches or whatever is no concern of you or I as long as it isn't contrary to the law. People have a right to freedom of religious expression - I believe that was clarified in the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Now I agree there is a problem when others try to impose their religion onto people who don't adhere to it and that needs to be fought off wherever it rears its ugly head. I'm bang on for that one - it would be horrible (not to mention unconstitutional) if, say, homosexuals were allowed to be stoned to death for violating Leviticus 18:22.

However, what's equally wrong is to impose religious non-beliefs on to other people - it's just as much an infraction of the First Amendment as a fundamentalist Christian trying to force prayer back into school or some other bollocks.

In other words: Unless it's a direct threat to the constitution you need to mind your own damn business. People can make their own minds up on private matters.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


Vastet
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Doug Rowland wrote: If you

Doug Rowland wrote:
If you don't believe in God, then why get so angry and hateful.

Why do theists get so angry and hateful when we say there is no god, then project that anger and hate onto us, who are free of it?

Doug Rowland wrote:
I mean, why would you even care?

I normally wouldn't. But there are a couple billion morons out there who would like nothing more than to shove their competing beliefs down my throat. A small but not insignificant percentage of them are willing to hurt people to achieve this. They must be stopped.

Doug Rowland wrote:

If a Christian wants to change your mind it's so your soul will go to heaven.

There's no such thing as a soul or heaven. So that's impossible. They want to turn me into a mindless zombie that donates money to spreading the lie and causing an apocalypse. I refuse.

Doug Rowland wrote:
Why are you so concerned with persuading people to not believe in a God? I mean if you are right then what difference does it make what others believe.

I already covered this.

Doug Rowland wrote:
Maybe it's for all the donations I see here on your website.

Oh yeah. I'm here telling people there's no god when I don't see a penny of the money that gets donated to the RRS. The only profit I'll ever see is a world with less stupidity in it.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


inspectormustard
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The Patrician

The Patrician wrote:

Sapient wrote:
If your child believed that he/she needed to sit on the toilet for two hours a day in order to attain enlightenment in the afterlife, would you say something? If you did say something to help your child, would you be befuddled when people claimed you were angry and hateful? Would you think it was weird if a friend was questioning your desire to help your child overcome his/her delusions? - Sapient

I'm sorry, did you actually just compare passive faith to forcing a child to sit on a toilet for two hours a day?

. . .

No. Er, no. No, that's not what he wrote. Where did you read that? What? Forcing? Did you actually compare a child sitting on a toilet for two hours a day voluntarily because of their beliefs to being forced? Do I have to say anything else?


The Patrician
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inspectormustard

inspectormustard wrote:
No. Er, no. No, that's not what he wrote. Where did you read that? What? Forcing? Did you actually compare a child sitting on a toilet for two hours a day voluntarily because of their beliefs to being forced? Do I have to say anything else?

Actually, yes, you do although I admit that 'forced' is the wrong word to use.

Firstly, people aren't taught to sit on a toilet for two hours voluntarily - unless they've had a really, really dodgy curry - so it's a totally irrelevant and facetious comparison. In other words, it's a stonkingly bad analogy - that's what the criticism is for.

A better one would be forcing...alright, convincing, a child that they must leave a pork pie and a glass of sherry out for Santa (not forgetting the turnip for his reindeer) or they won't get any Christmas presents. As we know, most - if not all - children will grow out of it when they see that Santa is in fact their Dad in a badly fitting red suit and that the pork pie and sherry are only responsible for his expanding waistline rather than the arrival of their presents. However, it's something they find out for themselves without someone rudely rushing in and saying "Santa isn't real! Nee-ner!"

And that's really rather the point.

Religion is the choice of the individual. Now parents may advise their children to be theistic or atheistic and, bluntly, I think that doing either is morally wrong. A person should be entitled to make up their own mind on the subject and then everyone else should respect that decision and leave them the hell alone.

It is all very well to rail at 'those crazy Christians' and their 'indoctrination of their kids' but atheists who force their views on their children are guilty of exactly the same thing. It isn't for us to say what they should believe in unless it's contrary to the law.

See?

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


Vessel
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The Patrician wrote: It is

The Patrician wrote:
It is all very well to rail at 'those crazy Christians' and their 'indoctrination of their kids' but atheists who force their views on their children are guilty of exactly the same thing.  It isn't for us to say what they should believe in unless it's contrary to the law.

See? 

I disagree, well, once again omitting the word force. No one has said anything about forcing anyone to do anything so, in order to stay relevant, you should probably stop using that word. Using 'indictrination' doesn't really fit either as the act of showing one why forming a theistic belief is irrational is not really indoctrination. You can't 'indoctrinate' one into a lack of belief system. Anyway, on to the children (please notice on to is two words).

 Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions. Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism, as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


The Patrician
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Yes but...

Vessel wrote:

I disagree, well, once again omitting the word force. No one has said anything about forcing anyone to do anything so, in order to stay relevant, you should probably stop using that word.

I used the word 'force' once in error in my first post, however I believe that the usage is relevant in the paragraph you've snipped from my second one.

Quote:
Using 'indictrination' doesn't really fit either as the act of showing one why forming a theistic belief is irrational is not really indoctrination. You can't 'indoctrinate' one into a lack of belief system.

Actually, you can. In fact you can pretty much indoctrinate people into believing - or not believing - anything. Part 3, Chapters 4 and 5 of 1984 give a reasonable example of how this works.

Quote:
Anyway, on to the children (please notice on to is two words).

Oh dear, a grammar Nazi. And, even worse, a grammar Nazi who isn't keeping up with things:

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/english/data/d0082510.html

English evolves too, son. Keep up.

Quote:
Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions.

Yup, if you'd read my post you would have noticed I agreed with that. However, faith is a virtue. Do you not have faith in your fellow men?

Quote:
Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism

No, children should be taught the processes that allow them to make their own choices. It may lead to atheism but it's not really our business if it doesn't.

Quote:
as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own.

I think we're mostly in agereement here, however in order to have an objective view of the world shouldn't you be teaching children about all of the possibilities and letting them sort it out themselves?

Otherwise what would be the point? You'd merely be swapping one load of drones for another.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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The Patrician

The Patrician wrote:
Vessel wrote:

I disagree, well, once again omitting the word force. No one has said anything about forcing anyone to do anything so, in order to stay relevant, you should probably stop using that word.

I used the word 'force' once in error in my first post, however I believe that the usage is relevant in the paragraph you've snipped from my second one.

It would only be relevant if people were condoning forcing people to believe a certain way which I have not seen anyonin this thread do.

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Using 'indictrination' doesn't really fit either as the act of showing one why forming a theistic belief is irrational is not really indoctrination. You can't 'indoctrinate' one into a lack of belief system.

Actually, you can. In fact you can pretty much indoctrinate people into believing - or not believing - anything. Part 3, Chapters 4 and 5 of 1984 give a reasonable example of how this works.

I should have been more specific. You can not indoctrinate children into non-belief unless they have first been indoctrinated into belief. If never introduced to a ridiculous concept in which they could form a flawed belief there would be no need.

   

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Anyway, on to the children (please notice on to is two words).

Oh dear, a grammar Nazi. And, even worse, a grammar Nazi who isn't keeping up with things:

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/dictionaries/english/data/d0082510.html

English evolves too, son. Keep up.

It was a joke. Try not to be so defensive merely because someone disagrees with you. I wasn't at all speaking of grammar but was acting as if I had to clarify that I wasn't telling you to gert onto the children, as I believe that is illegal. Really, don't try to read things as insulting and you will often find they aren't intended to be. I'm often a jokey kind of dude.

 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions.

Yup, if you'd read my post you would have noticed I agreed with that. However, faith is a virtue. Do you not have faith in your fellow men?

I trust some of my fellow men, and women as well.

The problem here is that faith can mean trust or it can mean belief without evidence (which is the way it is normally used in religious discussion such as this). While trust may be a virtue, religious faith, which is the type one normally assumes is being discussed on such a site, is not. Did you really think I was referring to trust?

The patrician wrote:
Quote:
Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism

No, children should be taught the processes that allow them to make their own choices. It may lead to atheism but it's not really our business if it doesn't.

Yes, it is our business. We should discourage all people from holding irrational beliefs as it is an inherently dangerous practice. This is not to say we have the right to force one to not believe in fantasies but we definitely have the right to discourage belief in fantasies. In fact, we do iot in societies every day. Only theistic fantasy gets this special pass ofbeing respected.  

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own.

I think we're mostly in agereement here, however in order to have an objective view of the world shouldn't you be teaching children about all of the possibilities and letting them sort it out themselves?

Otherwise what would be the point? You'd merely be swapping one load of drones for another.

Why do you consider theism a possibility? And no you aren't creating drones. Do children become drones if we don't teach them that it is possible Zeus lives atop Mount Olympus? We teach them that this is a mythology which is exactly what should be taught in reference to the Christian's god, or any other. The prevelance of belief in particular deities does not give them special status as deserving of being considered as possibilities even though they are unevidenced. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


The Patrician
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Vessel wrote: It would

Vessel wrote:

It would only be relevant if people were condoning forcing people to believe a certain way which I have not seen anyonin this thread do.

Then you are entirely comfortable with parents teaching their children about religious faith?

Quote:
I should have been more specific. You can not indoctrinate children into non-belief unless they have first been indoctrinated into belief. If never introduced to a ridiculous concept in which they could form a flawed belief there would be no need.

Accepted. 


Quote:
It was a joke. Try not to be so defensive merely because someone disagrees with you. I wasn't at all speaking of grammar but was acting as if I had to clarify that I wasn't telling you to gert onto the children, as I believe that is illegal. Really, don't try to read things as insulting and you will often find they aren't intended to be. I'm often a jokey kind of dude.

Or it was a sarky remark you got called on.  Whatever, it's irrelevant to the discussion so let's move on.

Quote:
I trust some of my fellow men, and women as well.

The problem here is that faith can mean trust or it can mean belief without evidence (which is the way it is normally used in religious discussion such as this). While trust may be a virtue, religious faith, which is the type one normally assumes is being discussed on such a site, is not. Did you really think I was referring to trust?

No, I didn't.  I've been debating religion for about ...eh... 10 years now on the net so it would be naive to think so.  I was, in fact, just being a smart arse.  Mind you, all faith is based on trust so...

Nah... not worth pursuing.  Yet.

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Yes, it is our business. We should discourage all people from holding irrational beliefs as it is an inherently dangerous practice.

What, you mean irrational beliefs like love, truth and honesty?   Where's the rationality in those?

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This is not to say we have the right to force one to not believe in fantasies but we definitely have the right to discourage belief in fantasies.

Do you?  Even if they don't harm you in the slightest?  Why rob people of their dreams? 

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In fact, we do iot in societies every day. Only theistic fantasy gets this special pass ofbeing respected.

We should when it's harmful.  When it isn't harming anyone - including the person with the beliefs - I don't see why we should.  For example, I believe that the Scottish Rugby Team will one day win the World Cup.  Bluntly I'm f**king delusional but I can believe, can't I?

Quote:
Why do you consider theism a possibility?

Because, although I srongly believe that there are no god or Gods I can't prove it absolutely.  In any event it doesn't matter a hill of beans what I think, if soemone is comfortable with theism and minding their own business then what right have we to tell them what they shouldn't believe.  Sure, it may be dumb and delusional to us but it's still their belief, not ours.

Quote:
And no you aren't creating drones. Do children become drones if we don't teach them that it is possible Zeus lives atop Mount Olympus? We teach them that this is a mythology which is exactly what should be taught in reference to the Christian's god, or any other. The prevelance of belief in particular deities does not give them special status as deserving of being considered as possibilities even though they are unevidenced.

You missed the point - I'm not bothered if people believe in God or Zeus or Mrs Miggins.  If people don't accept atheism of their own free will after considering all the possibilities than it's utterly, utterly pointless.  All you have is a set of people who unthinkingly believe in something other than religon.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


Vessel
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The Patrician

The Patrician wrote:
Vessel wrote:

It would only be relevant if people were condoning forcing people to believe a certain way which I have not seen anyonin this thread do.

Then you are entirely comfortable with parents teaching their children about religious faith?

A parent can teach their child that dogs fly if they wish. I did not teach my children such a thing, and if I encounter children who believe dogs fly I will likely speak to them about why it is a ridiculous belief to hold and discourage them from holding such beliefs.

 Even more importantly, when I encounter people who hold religious beliefs I will discourage them from holding such a ridiculous belief as any belief system that teaches that there is a force which can do no wrong, and which must be obeyed at the risk of erternal damnation or eternal bliss, holds unparralleled potential to cause harm. 

Quote:
It was a joke. Try not to be so defensive merely because someone disagrees with you. I wasn't at all speaking of grammar but was acting as if I had to clarify that I wasn't telling you to gert onto the children, as I believe that is illegal. Really, don't try to read things as insulting and you will often find they aren't intended to be. I'm often a jokey kind of dude.

Or it was a sarky remark you got called on.  Whatever, it's irrelevant to the discussion so let's move on.

Why would I care to be snarky?

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
I trust some of my fellow men, and women as well.

The problem here is that faith can mean trust or it can mean belief without evidence (which is the way it is normally used in religious discussion such as this). While trust may be a virtue, religious faith, which is the type one normally assumes is being discussed on such a site, is not. Did you really think I was referring to trust?

No, I didn't.  I've been debating religion for about ...eh... 10 years now on the net so it would be naive to think so.  I was, in fact, just being a smart arse.  Mind you, all faith is based on trust so...

Nah... not worth pursuing.  Yet.

No, religious faith and trust are completely separate. Trust must be earned. Religious faith has no such criteria. No one would trust a doctor if we didn't have verifiable evidence that doctors, the vast majority of the time, help us. Having religious faith requires nothing of the sort. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Yes, it is our business. We should discourage all people from holding irrational beliefs as it is an inherently dangerous practice.

What, you mean irrational beliefs like love, truth and honesty?   Where's the rationality in those?

They are all completely rational. We know they exist. They are well evidenced.

Truth and honesty must exist as to say no truth exists leaves us with a self refuting premise that 'all staements are false'. A similar problem arises with trying to refute the existence of honesty. Love is an evolutionary tool that aids in forming strong family and societal units and thus increasing the chance of successfully rearing offspring.

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
This is not to say we have the right to force one to not believe in fantasies but we definitely have the right to discourage belief in fantasies.

Do you?  Even if they don't harm you in the slightest?  Why rob people of their dreams?

A nuclear weapon doesn't harm me at all either. It is not about what harms others and does not harm others, but what has the potential to harm others while not providing any unique benefit to the society at large. I know of nothing religion accomplishes that can not be accomplished without religion. Why support, or even condone, the existence of an inherently dangerous ideology that offers no unique societal benefit in return?

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
In fact, we do iot in societies every day. Only theistic fantasy gets this special pass ofbeing respected.

We should when it's harmful.  When it isn't harming anyone - including the person with the beliefs - I don't see why we should.  For example, I believe that the Scottish Rugby Team will one day win the World Cup.  Bluntly I'm f**king delusional but I can believe, can't I?

Nothing is harmful in and of itself. Again, it is the potential to do harm that is the problem with theistic belief. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Why do you consider theism a possibility?

Because, although I srongly believe that there are no god or Gods I can't prove it absolutely.  In any event it doesn't matter a hill of beans what I think, if soemone is comfortable with theism and minding their own business then what right have we to tell them what they shouldn't believe.  Sure, it may be dumb and delusional to us but it's still their belief, not ours.

Its awesome potential to do harm.

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
And no you aren't creating drones. Do children become drones if we don't teach them that it is possible Zeus lives atop Mount Olympus? We teach them that this is a mythology which is exactly what should be taught in reference to the Christian's god, or any other. The prevelance of belief in particular deities does not give them special status as deserving of being considered as possibilities even though they are unevidenced.

You missed the point - I'm not bothered if people believe in God or Zeus or Mrs Miggins.  If people don't accept atheism of their own free will after considering all the possibilities than it's utterly, utterly pointless.  All you have is a set of people who unthinkingly believe in something other than religon.

But they don't believe in something. That's the point. They don't believe in atheism as that is impossible. You can't believe in the lack of a belief. if we can convince people to be rational and stop indoctrinating their children into theistic belief systems then you are not indoctrinating anyone into atheism and turning them into an unthinking drone, you are simply removing a useless (utterly incoherent) belief from existence.

This is all aside from the fact that this is a hypothetical you have set up in which people's religion doesn't affect the society. Religions are spread because followers are ordered to recruit by their doctrine. Name a religion that doesn't try and actively make its existence known so as to attract new recruits and then you will have a religion that only affects the believer. You will also have a religion of one. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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The sad truth

It is sad to say that the real reason why they get so worked up about religion and religious people is because as children religion was forced on them or they had a bad experience as a child with religious people around them. They just have mommy and daddy issues. Instead of taking it out on christians and other religions they need to see a shrink and work out there skeletons. So sad to force thier beliefs on children when the reason they hate religion is because it was forced on them. I pray for you all and instead of hating God be sure to worship him because you know you all believe in him. Your just mad at Daddy for something bad that happened to you and you felt like he wasn't there. Much Faith in Him +


The Patrician
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Oh noez!

The Patrician wrote:

A parent can teach their child that dogs fly if they wish. I did not teach my children such a thing, and if I encounter children who believe dogs fly I will likely speak to them about why it is a ridiculous belief to hold and discourage them from holding such beliefs.

I thought we were done with the facetious analogies?

Quote:
Even more importantly, when I encounter people who hold religious beliefs I will discourage them from holding such a ridiculous belief as any belief system that teaches that there is a force which can do no wrong, and which must be obeyed at the risk of erternal damnation or eternal bliss, holds unparralleled potential to cause harm.

I bet that makes you popular at parties.  Seriously though, why do that?  It's none of your concern if they believe in God or not provided they're not strapping themselves into semtex jackets or voting for adulterers to get the death penalty. 

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Why would I care to be snarky?

Dude:  Let. It. Go. 

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No, religious faith and trust are completely separate. Trust must be earned. Religious faith has no such criteria. No one would trust a doctor if we didn't have verifiable evidence that doctors, the vast majority of the time, help us. Having religious faith requires nothing of the sort.

I would dispute that.  If you're basing the fate of your immortal soul on something then you're going to have to have a lot of trust in it, aren't you?  It may be misplaced, but it's still there. 

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They are all completely rational. We know they exist. They are well evidenced.

Really?  Show me where love is rational.  Show me where I can find tangible proof of love.  Oh sure, I can look at a couple walking hand in hand down a street and think "Gee, they're in love!" but what is it?  Pheromones?  Neurological transmissions? Faith in each other?

 Ah, faith.  It comes down to that again. 

Love is an emotion.  Here's a good read on Love:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/love/

Quote:
Truth and honesty must exist as to say no truth exists leaves us with a self refuting premise that 'all staements are false'.

A similar problem arises with trying to refute the existence of honesty. Love is an evolutionary tool that aids in forming strong family and societal units and thus increasing the chance of successfully rearing offspring.

I would argue that love is an evolutionary tool.  The counter argument is that if a man impregnates as many women as he can he has a better chance of his genes surviving.  I appreciate the point about secure family units meaning that a reduced number of offspring may have a better chance of survivial though.  

As for truth - which statement is true:

The statement below is false

The statemet above is true 

Truth exists both as an absolute and as a subjective concept.  As for honesty, is it rational to tell someone something that prevents you from having a competitive advantage over them?  What is the rational benefit of this altruism, specifically with reference to the survival of the fitest?

Ok, let's not get Darwinian about this but you see the point?  Emotions and abstract concepts like love, truth and honesty require a lot of faith too. 

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A nuclear weapon doesn't harm me at all either. It is not about what harms others and does not harm others, but what has the potential to harm others while not providing any unique benefit to the society at large.

Nuclear energy benefits society.  Religious faith - despite all the horrors it has been responsible for - has also benefited society. 

Quote:
I know of nothing religion accomplishes that can not be accomplished without religion. Why support, or even condone, the existence of an inherently dangerous ideology that offers no unique societal benefit in return?

Because life isn't about stripping away what isn't inherently valuable. In addition I presume you also feel that we shouldn't have freedom of speech.  After all, it's inherently dangerous and hardly necessary for society.

OK, that was an awful strawman but it illustrates the point. 

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Nothing is harmful in and of itself. Again, it is the potential to do harm that is the problem with theistic belief.

Everything has the potential to do harm.  Should we also get rid of government, the military, the police, scientific experimentation, etc? 

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Its awesome potential to do harm.

Yes, but so what?  As I've mentiond a lot of other things that aren't essential have the potential to cause harm.  

Quote:

But they don't believe in something. That's the point. They don't believe in atheism as that is impossible. You can't believe in the lack of a belief. if we can convince people to be rational and stop indoctrinating their children into theistic belief systems then you are not indoctrinating anyone into atheism and turning them into an unthinking drone, you are simply removing a useless (utterly incoherent) belief from existence.

I'm not talking about belief as in 'a person's religious faith', I'm talking about belief as in 'a principle or idea, etc accepted as true, especially without proof'.

Quote:
This is all aside from the fact that this is a hypothetical you have set up in which people's religion doesn't affect the society. Religions are spread because followers are ordered to recruit by their doctrine.

And the purpose of RRS is...? 

Quote:
Name a religion that doesn't try and actively make its existence known so as to attract new recruits and then you will have a religion that only affects the believer. You will also have a religion of one.

As pointed out, it's not just religions. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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the wrote: It is sad to say

the wrote:
It is sad to say that the real reason why they get so worked up about religion and religious people is because as children religion was forced on them or they had a bad experience as a child with religious people around them. They just have mommy and daddy issues. Instead of taking it out on christians and other religions they need to see a shrink and work out there skeletons. So sad to force thier beliefs on children when the reason they hate religion is because it was forced on them. I pray for you all and instead of hating God be sure to worship him because you know you all believe in him. Your just mad at Daddy for something bad that happened to you and you felt like he wasn't there. Much Faith in Him +

 

Now that is utter bollocks. 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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The Patrician wrote:The

The Patrician wrote:
The Patrician wrote:

A parent can teach their child that dogs fly if they wish. I did not teach my children such a thing, and if I encounter children who believe dogs fly I will likely speak to them about why it is a ridiculous belief to hold and discourage them from holding such beliefs.

I thought we were done with the facetious analogies?

I never agreed to such a thing.

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Even more importantly, when I encounter people who hold religious beliefs I will discourage them from holding such a ridiculous belief as any belief system that teaches that there is a force which can do no wrong, and which must be obeyed at the risk of erternal damnation or eternal bliss, holds unparralleled potential to cause harm.

I bet that makes you popular at parties.  Seriously though, why do that?  It's none of your concern if they believe in God or not provided they're not strapping themselves into semtex jackets or voting for adulterers to get the death penalty. 

Most of my partying is well behind me. Anyway, because it is an unparralleled potential danger with no unique benefit, as stated. And again, religions do affect the societies in which they exist, so the hypothetical 'it affects no one but the believer' religion is a strawman. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Why would I care to be snarky?

Dude:  Let. It. Go.

 

If you had desired it to be let go you should not have made the snide remark, all but calling me a liar, after I explained how you had misunderstood what I wrote. It was a comment that required a response. As is "Dude let it go".

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
No, religious faith and trust are completely separate. Trust must be earned. Religious faith has no such criteria. No one would trust a doctor if we didn't have verifiable evidence that doctors, the vast majority of the time, help us. Having religious faith requires nothing of the sort.

I would dispute that.  If you're basing the fate of your immortal soul on something then you're going to have to have a lot of trust in it, aren't you?  It may be misplaced, but it's still there.

You first must have faith in its existence to have trust in it. Even then the trust is not really trust, but again religious faith, as there is no evidence that such a being is deserving of trust. Religious faith and trust are in no way synonymous.

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
They are all completely rational. We know they exist. They are well evidenced.

Really?  Show me where love is rational.  Show me where I can find tangible proof of love.  Oh sure, I can look at a couple walking hand in hand down a street and think "Gee, they're in love!" but what is it?  Pheromones?  Neurological transmissions? Faith in each other?

http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm

Probably somewhat simplistic, but the science is getting there. Just because we experience it as something that seems to defy explanation does not mean that we can't find the explanation. 

 

The Patrician wrote:
Ah, faith.  It comes down to that again.

Are you trying to interchange religious faith and trust again? Please, for the sake of not wasting valuable elctrons,stop that. 

You trust that someone loves you based on the way they treat you. If they shot you in the kneecap daily, you probably would not trust that they loved you. If they treat you in a way that makes you happy, then you have reason to trust that they love you. 

The Patrician wrote:
Love is an emotion.  Here's a good read on Love:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/love/

It is interesting. I just scanned it but will read it more in depth later.

The thing is, it seems to me that once we have scientific justification of the existence of emotions the need to justify them philosophicaly falls away. They then become a material existence with the same ontological basis as any other material existence.

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Truth and honesty must exist as to say no truth exists leaves us with a self refuting premise that 'all staements are false'.

A similar problem arises with trying to refute the existence of honesty. Love is an evolutionary tool that aids in forming strong family and societal units and thus increasing the chance of successfully rearing offspring.

I would argue that love is an evolutionary tool.  The counter argument is that if a man impregnates as many women as he can he has a better chance of his genes surviving.  I appreciate the point about secure family units meaning that a reduced number of offspring may have a better chance of survivial though.

Yeah, being as that man seems to have evolved in small family groups as opposed to large packs, probably for reasons of being able to support the needs of the group, it would seem to make the need to form strong bonds more of a factor than the need to procreate willy-nilly, so to speak.   

The Patrician wrote:
As for truth - which statement is true:

The statement below is false

The statemet above is true

Neither one as neither one refers to anything outside of itself. They are simply word games that, outside of the small paradox they seem to create, have no referent and thus no actual meaning.

The Patrician wrote:
Truth exists both as an absolute and as a subjective concept.  As for honesty, is it rational to tell someone something that prevents you from having a competitive advantage over them?  What is the rational benefit of this altruism, specifically with reference to the survival of the fitest?

Altruism is beneficial because of reciprication and, again, because of bond formation. And yes, it is beneficial to the overall population which is the mechanism affected by environmental pressures which lead to the survival of the fittest. 

The Patrician wrote:
Ok, let's not get Darwinian about this but you see the point?  Emotions and abstract concepts like love, truth and honesty require a lot of faith too.

I don't believe they do. There seems to be very rational reasoning and solid logic behind our acceptance of these concepts. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
A nuclear weapon doesn't harm me at all either. It is not about what harms others and does not harm others, but what has the potential to harm others while not providing any unique benefit to the society at large.

Nuclear energy benefits society.  Religious faith - despite all the horrors it has been responsible for - has also benefited society.

Nuclear energy is not a nuclear weapon. 

It may have benefited society, Ihave made no claim to the contrary, but what unique benefit does it provide. What benefit does it provide that could not be achieved without belief in the existence of an unsupported incoherent entity?   

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
I know of nothing religion accomplishes that can not be accomplished without religion. Why support, or even condone, the existence of an inherently dangerous ideology that offers no unique societal benefit in return?

Because life isn't about stripping away what isn't inherently valuable. In addition I presume you also feel that we shouldn't have freedom of speech.  After all, it's inherently dangerous and hardly necessary for society.

 Though freedom of speech may not be necessary it does have unique benefit. Can you not see unique benefit from freedom of speech. Come now, lets keep this discussion honest. I never claimed religion was unmatched in its potential to do harm and unnecessary,but that it is unmatched in its potential to do harm and without unique benefit.

The Patrician wrote:
OK, that was an awful strawman but it illustrates the point.

Yes and no. It was a strawman, but being one, it can not possibly illustrate a relevant point. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Nothing is harmful in and of itself. Again, it is the potential to do harm that is the problem with theistic belief.

Everything has the potential to do harm.  Should we also get rid of government, the military, the police, scientific experimentation, etc?

If we could find ways to get the benefits we receive from these things without there harmful potential, yes. Why shouldn't we?

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Its awesome potential to do harm.

Yes, but so what?  As I've mentiond a lot of other things that aren't essential have the potential to cause harm.

No one has has referenced non-essential things, this is another strawman.  

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:

But they don't believe in something. That's the point. They don't believe in atheism as that is impossible. You can't believe in the lack of a belief. if we can convince people to be rational and stop indoctrinating their children into theistic belief systems then you are not indoctrinating anyone into atheism and turning them into an unthinking drone, you are simply removing a useless (utterly incoherent) belief from existence.

I'm not talking about belief as in 'a person's religious faith', I'm talking about belief as in 'a principle or idea, etc accepted as true, especially without proof'.

 I personally don't care for any irrational belief, and I do everything I can to understand things the best I can and have justification for the things I believe. But, if unsupported beliefs are not potentialy harmful to society i.e. your sporting desires, then they are utterly irrelevant to the conversation. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
This is all aside from the fact that this is a hypothetical you have set up in which people's religion doesn't affect the society. Religions are spread because followers are ordered to recruit by their doctrine.

And the purpose of RRS is...?

A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion. No one is saying it is an acheivable goal, but I consider it to be an honorable one. It also isn't possible for me to change many other things I find wrong and speak o0ut against but that won't stop me from putting forth effort. 

The Patrician wrote:
Quote:
Name a religion that doesn't try and actively make its existence known so as to attract new recruits and then you will have a religion that only affects the believer. You will also have a religion of one.

As pointed out, it's not just religions. 

When the RRS starts saying that they are the ultimate authority and in order to have eternal bliss and avoid eternal torture you must follow their commands, I'll try and discourage people from joining.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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the wrote: I pray for you

the wrote:
I pray for you all

And I'll think for you...but seriously, isn't about time you started pulling your own weight in that department? 

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Iruka Naminori
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Passively criticizing the

Patrician wrote:

Passive religious faith is fine. No, really it is. What other people believe in the privacy of their own homes or their churches or whatever is no concern of you or I as long as it isn't contrary to the law. People have a right to freedom of religious expression - I believe that was clarified in the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Now I agree there is a problem when others try to impose their religion onto people who don't adhere to it and that needs to be fought off wherever it rears its ugly head.

 

Passively criticizing the RRS for criticizing religion is fine. No, really it is. What Patrician believes in the privacy of his own home or church or whatever is no concern of yours as long as it isn't contrary to the law. People have a right to freedom of religious expression - I believe that was clarified in the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Now I agree there is a problem when others try to impose their views that RRS shouldn't criticize religion onto others...oh, wait. That's exactly what Patrician is doing. My bad.

Go back to your regularly scheduled thread, already in progress.

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the wrote: So sad to force

the wrote:
So sad to force thier beliefs on children when the reason they hate religion is because it was forced on them.

Becuase you know, spreading lies is no big deal.

Having a fear in the big bully in the sky is no big deal.

Being raised to hate just becuase is no big deal.

 

Quote:
I pray for you all

I'll do something useful for you.

 

Quote:
be sure to worship

We're not that immoral as to worship a whiny egomaniacle bully like whats-his-face.

Quote:
Your just mad at Daddy

Quote:
Much Faith in Him +

New D&D thing going on here.

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


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*Interlude*

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Passively criticizing the RRS for criticizing religion is fine. No, really it is. What Patrician believes in the privacy of his own home or church or whatever is no concern of yours as long as it isn't contrary to the law. People have a right to freedom of religious expression - I believe that was clarified in the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Now I agree there is a problem when others try to impose their views that RRS shouldn't criticize religion onto others...oh, wait. That's exactly what Patrician is doing. My bad.

Go back to your regularly scheduled thread, already in progress.

If Baby Jesus existed you would have made him cry with post. In fact, having FSM in your avatar would make him cry even more. Hell, it makes me tearful as FSM committs the biggest sin of all: that of not being funny.

Is it just me or have people who wear FSM T-shirts and have FSM avatars kind of missed the point about being an atheist? I'm sure it's just a joke but then so was scientology at one point.

Actually it still is, it's just become a bit more serious.

Oh yeah, the reason you woud have made Baby Jesus cry is because you've confused passive religious worship with active criticism. You've also failed to make the connection between religious evangelism and atheistic evangelism.

Parody is not for you.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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And now, back to our main event...

Vessel wrote:

I never agreed to such a thing.

Pardon me whilst I gently weep. 

Quote:
Most of my partying is well behind me. Anyway, because it is an unparralleled potential danger with no unique benefit, as stated. And again, religions do affect the societies in which they exist, so the hypothetical 'it affects no one but the believer' religion is a strawman.

No, the strawman is 'religion causes harm'.  The correct statement is 'organised religion manipulated by a few crazy and evil bastards causes harm'.

Quote:
If you had desired it to be let go you should not have made the snide remark, all but calling me a liar, after I explained how you had misunderstood what I wrote. It was a comment that required a response. As is "Dude let it go".

Dude, chill. Seriously. 


Quote:
You first must have faith in its existence to have trust in it. Even then the trust is not really trust, but again religious faith, as there is no evidence that such a being is deserving of trust. Religious faith and trust are in no way synonymous.

From Chambers UK dictionary:

faith (noun) 1 trust or confidence.

Admittedly religious faith is an extension of this (and actually definition 2).  Personally I have no faith in God but then I wouldn't trust he/she/it with a half sucked lollipop.

If it existed.  Which I don't think it does. 

Quote:
http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm

Probably somewhat simplistic, but the science is getting there. Just because we experience it as something that seems to defy explanation does not mean that we can't find the explanation.

Intersting indeed but as yet unproven.

Quote:
Are you trying to interchange religious faith and trust again? Please, for the sake of not wasting valuable elctrons,stop that.

Absolutely not.  Merely pointing out that faith is required for a lot of things, for example religious conviction or trust in another person.  Faith here is in the global sense rather than in the more specific def. 2 of Chambers UK.   How do you think religions spread?  By trust in the message and the belief that it's right.

Quote:
You trust that someone loves you based on the way they treat you. If they shot you in the kneecap daily, you probably would not trust that they loved you. If they treat you in a way that makes you happy, then you have reason to trust that they love you.

And since most theists seem perfectly happy (except Catholics, but then I think they enjoy the guilt) they have reason to trust God.  No, I don't get it either, but they do.

Quote:
It is interesting. I just scanned it but will read it more in depth later.

Worth doing.  Research into emotional states is fascinating. 

Quote:
The thing is, it seems to me that once we have scientific justification of the existence of emotions the need to justify them philosophicaly falls away. They then become a material existence with the same ontological basis as any other material existence.

Entirely possible.  I cannot help but feel we will be the lesser for it though. 

Quote:
Yeah, being as that man seems to have evolved in small family groups as opposed to large packs, probably for reasons of being able to support the needs of the group, it would seem to make the need to form strong bonds more of a factor than the need to procreate willy-nilly, so to speak.

Though we still try.  Usually before we get married and, sadly, not that succsesfully, Eye-wink 

Quote:
Neither one as neither one refers to anything outside of itself. They are simply word games that, outside of the small paradox they seem to create, have no referent and thus no actual meaning.

I know, but it serves to show that truth isn't always cut and dried from a logical point of view. 

Quote:
Altruism is beneficial because of reciprication and, again, because of bond formation. And yes, it is beneficial to the overall population which is the mechanism affected by environmental pressures which lead to the survival of the fittest.

In some theories, yes.  However a lack of altruism can also enable people to rise to great heights.  It's not nice but it does happen and very often too.

Quote:
I don't believe they do. There seems to be very rational reasoning and solid logic behind our acceptance of these concepts.

Up until someone does the dirty on you. Until we understand the nature of emotions then we're going to have to have faith in those about us.

Global definition!  Honest! 

Quote:
Nuclear energy is not a nuclear weapon.

However, the nuclear reactors making the energy have the potential to produce weapons grade material.

Quote:
It may have benefited society, Ihave made no claim to the contrary, but what unique benefit does it provide. What benefit does it provide that could not be achieved without belief in the existence of an unsupported incoherent entity?

Spiritual comfort, faith in the afterlife and hope of ressurection to millions.  Hey, I didn't say it was rational, just unique. 

Quote:
Though freedom of speech may not be necessary it does have unique benefit. Can you not see unique benefit from freedom of speech. Come now, lets keep this discussion honest. I never claimed religion was unmatched in its potential to do harm and unnecessary,but that it is unmatched in its potential to do harm and without unique benefit.

The unique benefit of freedom of speech is the right to say anything about anybody without fear of censure.  Of course, it doesn't quite work like that.  The unique benefit of religion is as outlined above - note that I don't agree with it, however billions do.

Quote:
Yes and no. It was a strawman, but being one, it can not possibly illustrate a relevant point.

Touche. 

Quote:
If we could find ways to get the benefits we receive from these things without there harmful potential, yes. Why shouldn't we?

And what are we then left with?  Every human being has the potential to cause harm.  What do we do then? 

Quote:
No one has has referenced non-essential things, this is another strawman.

Nonsense.  Nuclear energy is hardly essential, is it? 

Quote:
I personally don't care for any irrational belief, and I do everything I can to understand things the best I can and have justification for the things I believe. But, if unsupported beliefs are not potentialy harmful to society i.e. your sporting desires, then they are utterly irrelevant to the conversation.

Have you ever seen a football riot?  I'd say that could be pretty harmful to society. 

Quote:
A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion. No one is saying it is an acheivable goal, but I consider it to be an honorable one. It also isn't possible for me to change many other things I find wrong and speak o0ut against but that won't stop me from putting forth effort.

Ah.  Atheist evangelists then. 

Quote:
When the RRS starts saying that they are the ultimate authority and in order to have eternal bliss and avoid eternal torture you must follow their commands, I'll try and discourage people from joining.

That wasn't the question though.  RRS actively tries to make its existence known and attract recruits.  I'm not syaing it's bad, I'm saying it's what they do.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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The Patrician

The Patrician wrote:
Vessel wrote:

Yes, it is our business. We should discourage all people from holding irrational beliefs as it is an inherently dangerous practice.

What, you mean irrational beliefs like love, truth and honesty? Where's the rationality in those?

Fallacy of equivocation. Theism is irrational in that it is a non contingent faith, a belief that is either unjustified, or even held in the face of negating evidence .

Love is 'irrational' in the sense that it is an emotion. It is not a non contingent belief.

As for 'truth' and "honesty' being 'irrational', I can only wonder what you even thought you meant here...

Quote:
No, the strawman is 'religion causes harm'.  The correct statement is 'organised religion manipulated by a few crazy and evil bastards causes harm'.

The recent mass murderer from Virginia was possibly suffering from religious delusions (along with some paranoia), perhaps due to epileptic seizures in his amygdala... religious beliefs in of themselves can be dangerous, sans an organized body.  

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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todangst wrote: Fallacy of

todangst wrote:
Fallacy of equivocation. Theism is irrational in that it is a non contingent faith, a belief that is either unjustified, or even held in the face of negating evidence .

Love is 'irrational' in the sense that it is an emotion. It is not a non contingent belief.

I always though that a contingent proposition was one that could be either true or false.  As far as I can recall this has nothing to do with it's actual truth-value, merely that it isn't self-contradictory.  The proposition "God exists" would therefore seem to be contingent in that it is either true or false - he exists or he does not.  The proposition "I love her" would also fit this definition.

As such I'm not sure why theism would be construed as a non-contingent proposition. 

It's a very long time since I was involved with philosophy though so correct me if I'm wrong. 

Quote:
As for 'truth' and "honesty' being 'irrational', I can only wonder what you even thought you meant here...

If you read my post further you'll note that I refer to honesty and truth in the sense of altruism - that is being truthful or honest about something that if lied about would give one an advantage.  As you know, a number of philosophers - Nietzsche and Rand (ugh) amongst them - would view such an action as irrational.

Quote:
The recent mass murderer from Virginia was possibly suffering from religious delusions (along with some paranoia), perhaps due to epileptic seizures in his amygdala... religious beliefs in of themselves can be dangerous, sans an organized body.

Oh come on, that's nonsense.  To equate Cho's actions to religion is totally disingenious.  Had he not had religious delusions - if he actually did - it is highly likely he would have found other focii to fixate upon.  The end result would have been the same. 

Thomas Hamilton killed seventeen people - sixteen of them children aged under seven years old - because of paranoia and possible sexual repression.  I don't see us saying sex is dangerous because of this.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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The Patrician wrote:

The Patrician wrote:
Iruka Naminori wrote:

Passively criticizing the RRS for criticizing religion is fine. No, really it is. What Patrician believes in the privacy of his own home or church or whatever is no concern of yours as long as it isn't contrary to the law. People have a right to freedom of religious expression - I believe that was clarified in the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Now I agree there is a problem when others try to impose their views that RRS shouldn't criticize religion onto others...oh, wait. That's exactly what Patrician is doing. My bad.

Go back to your regularly scheduled thread, already in progress.

If Baby Jesus existed you would have made him cry with post. In fact, having FSM in your avatar would make him cry even more. Hell, it makes me tearful as FSM committs the biggest sin of all: that of not being funny.

Is it just me or have people who wear FSM T-shirts and have FSM avatars kind of missed the point about being an atheist? I'm sure it's just a joke but then so was scientology at one point.

Actually it still is, it's just become a bit more serious.

Oh yeah, the reason you woud have made Baby Jesus cry is because you've confused passive religious worship with active criticism. You've also failed to make the connection between religious evangelism and atheistic evangelism.

Parody is not for you.

You're right.  You parody yourself much better than I do.

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The Patrician wrote:


The Patrician: Nothing has been said until now, hoping you will be civil in your posts.

However, the time has come to remind you about the Rules of the RRS forums.

What you are posting in several threads is clearly in violation of Rule 2.1 (Antagonism).

You are welcome to join the discussions and debates, but we must ask that you refrain from posting attacks and insults.

[edited for format] 

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Fair enough. You will, of

Fair enough. You will, of course, be passing the same message onto the members of your team who are doing the same thing, won't you?

Privately is fine.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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That does happen, worry not.

That does happen, worry not.

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Ghost of Amityville
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Vessel wrote:

Vessel wrote:

Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions. Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism, as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own.

What if a child doesn't believe that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence we are born into, but rather metaphysics is the best means; that faith is a virtue; and/or that theism isn't a fatally flawed basis for a worldview?

Using your system, wouldn't that indeed be forcing something on a child in those circumstances?

I take pride in being a newb. I'm not all experienced and boring like the normies.


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Ghost of Amityville

Ghost of Amityville wrote:
Vessel wrote:

Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions. Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism, as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own.

What if a child doesn't believe that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence we are born into, but rather metaphysics is the best means; that faith is a virtue; and/or that theism isn't a fatally flawed basis for a worldview?

Anyone who feels that way is more than welcome to live their life in delusion. It certainly doesn't mean I should sit quietly by and allow them to propogate their ignorance amongst other members of society unchallenged. If they feel that these are the best methods by which to acquire reliable knowledge they are welcome to present their case. Of course, being as that I have never seen anyone who could show how faith leads to a reliable picture of reality, I highly doubt that will happen. 

 

Quote:
Using your system, wouldn't that indeed be forcing something on a child in those circumstances?
 

I'm not talking jackboot enforcement here. Take what I said in the context of the conversation instead of pulling out the paragraph and acting as if I am condoning forcing people to believe a certain way. I am talking about what I feel would be best for society. Other's opinions may differ. They have every right to believe differently and pursue what they think isbest. Does this mean I should not voice my opinion, present my case, attempt to make changes that I see as beneficial?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Why are you so hatefull to

Why are you so hatefull to people that think blowing things up will get them laid in an afterlife? Oh wait, you might not hate them, but surely you'd think they are nuts holding such beliefs.

We dont hate religious people, we do hate the lack of questioning and blind worship of ANYTHING, be it a nation, politician, celebrity or religion.

Wouldnt you think it stupid in this day and age to claim the world to be flat?

Ok, for that same reason you find it rediculous to claim the world to be flat, I find it rediculous to claim that a disimbodied being can get a girl pregant or that human flesh can survive rigor mortis after 3 days. Liking a belief is not evidence of anything but the fact that you like it. If we are wrong and it is not rediculous to believe that spirits can get girls pregnant, then why is there an absance of a universal test to demonstrate and falsify such a claim?

For the same reason there is no universal test to test or falsify getting 72 virgins in an afterlife. People believe those things because they like believing it, not because they have any way of universally proving it to the rest of the world. If they did, it would be ovious, not ambigious or disputed. 

I'd rather someone tell me I have a booger on my nose, than walk around in public all day with it. The booger on humanities nose, is not that they believe things I think are rediculous, but that clinging to something without examining it and then expecting me to give it respect without question.

There will always be people who believe redicious things. I am not out to force people to be a clone of me. But I am damn sure not going to allow theocrats or politicians tell me I cant challenge them.

If an argument is solid it can be universally tested and falsified by anyone of any nation of any religion or political persuasion. If you cant test something . When a diety claim can be viewed like miosis, then the believer will have something.

I highly suspect though that believers will hide behind their fear insted of going outside their comfort zone. Skeptics have nothing to fear because we dont let fear rule us. When we are shown something to be false, we will adapt the correct postion. 

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

Vessel wrote:
Ghost of Amityville wrote:
Vessel wrote:

Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions. Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism, as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own.

What if a child doesn't believe that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence we are born into, but rather metaphysics is the best means; that faith is a virtue; and/or that theism isn't a fatally flawed basis for a worldview?

Anyone who feels that way is more than welcome to live their life in delusion. It certainly doesn't mean I should sit quietly by and allow them to propogate their ignorance amongst other members of society unchallenged. If they feel that these are the best methods by which to acquire reliable knowledge they are welcome to present their case. Of course, being as that I have never seen anyone who could show how faith leads to a reliable picture of reality, I highly doubt that will happen.

 

Quote:
Using your system, wouldn't that indeed be forcing something on a child in those circumstances?

I'm not talking jackboot enforcement here. Take what I said in the context of the conversation instead of pulling out the paragraph and acting as if I am condoning forcing people to believe a certain way. I am talking about what I feel would be best for society. Other's opinions may differ. They have every right to believe differently and pursue what they think isbest. Does this mean I should not voice my opinion, present my case, attempt to make changes that I see as beneficial?

Now, how do you know that people who feel that way are living their life in delusion and that they are in ignorance? Is it just your assertion that they don't have a reliable of reality? 

I take pride in being a newb. I'm not all experienced and boring like the normies.


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Ghost of Amityville

Ghost of Amityville wrote:
Vessel wrote:
Ghost of Amityville wrote:
Vessel wrote:

Children should be taught to be critical thinkers, taught that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence into which they were born, taught that, regardless of what some might tell them, faith is not a virtue, taught that they are responsible for their own actions, taught that fear of punishment/desire of reward is not a solid basis for making moral decisions. Basically, children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism, as they are the best tools we have available to form productive, compassionate, reality based societies. That theism is a fundamentally flawed basis for a worldview as it can never lead to reliable truth is a conclusion they should then arrive at on their own.

What if a child doesn't believe that the scientific method is the best means for understanding the existence we are born into, but rather metaphysics is the best means; that faith is a virtue; and/or that theism isn't a fatally flawed basis for a worldview?

Anyone who feels that way is more than welcome to live their life in delusion. It certainly doesn't mean I should sit quietly by and allow them to propogate their ignorance amongst other members of society unchallenged. If they feel that these are the best methods by which to acquire reliable knowledge they are welcome to present their case. Of course, being as that I have never seen anyone who could show how faith leads to a reliable picture of reality, I highly doubt that will happen.

 

Quote:
Using your system, wouldn't that indeed be forcing something on a child in those circumstances?

I'm not talking jackboot enforcement here. Take what I said in the context of the conversation instead of pulling out the paragraph and acting as if I am condoning forcing people to believe a certain way. I am talking about what I feel would be best for society. Other's opinions may differ. They have every right to believe differently and pursue what they think isbest. Does this mean I should not voice my opinion, present my case, attempt to make changes that I see as beneficial?

Now, how do you know that people who feel that way are living their life in delusion and that they are in ignorance? Is it just your assertion that they don't have a reliable of reality? 

If they base their knowledge of what 'is' on faith then no, they do not have a reliable method to ascertain truth. Its not my fault, its simply what follows from the definitions of the terms faith, reliable and truth. If faith is my basis for arriving at truth then how do I differentiate between true and false beliefs?  

As I said, repeatedly, if someone disagrees they can present their case. What part of this is difficult to understand? I'm really not following why you seem to have a problem with people using their right to voice their position. Do you feel that no person should ever voice their oposition to the beliefs of another?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Quote:

Quote:
When the RRS starts saying that they are the ultimate authority and in order to have eternal bliss and avoid eternal torture you must follow their commands, I'll try and discourage people from joining.

 

well, they've already started calling atheists who don't agree with them "pussy atheists" or saying they aren't "atheist enough", so I have to wonder. I agree with what The Patrician says and I think it's very telling that he got "warned" when the others didn't, even though they seemed "antagonistic" too. are you that intolerant of anyone disagreeing with you? and some of the shows on here hardly pass for "rational discussion".

 

[MOD EDIT - fixed quotes] 


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Vessel wrote:

Vessel wrote:
Anyone who feels that way is more than welcome to live their life in delusion. It certainly doesn't mean I should sit quietly by and allow them to propogate their ignorance amongst other members of society unchallenged. If they feel that these are the best methods by which to acquire reliable knowledge they are welcome to present their case. Of course, being as that I have never seen anyone who could show how faith leads to a reliable picture of reality, I highly doubt that will happen.

History has shown that this very attitude is nothing more than prejudice and hatred. It's the argument that radicals used against the Turks for the Crusades, the first settlers used against Natives, what plantation owners used against Africans and later what one race uses against another to show their superiority, and not to mention what one group would do to another for being the supreme race since they had the perceived "picture of reality."

The Patrician is correct and how you can't see the hate that is coming from you or even the mission statement of RRS is amazing. For example...

Vessel wrote:
I am talking about what I feel would be best for society.

Does this mean I should not voice my opinion, present my case, attempt to make changes that I see as beneficial?

...children should be taught the thought processes that lead most to atheism

We should discourage all people from holding irrational beliefs as it is an inherently dangerous practice

Religions are spread because followers are ordered to recruit by their doctrine. (a flat out lie because you assume 100% of theists do this)

A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion (assumptions, which is what I've seen usually coming from discussions towards anyone with a different view of belief, are not a form of rational discussion). No one is saying it is an acheivable goal, but I consider it to be an honorable one (just as the Nazis or KKK did?). It also isn't possible for me to change many other things I find wrong and speak o0ut against but that won't stop me from putting forth effort. (again just as the Nazis did?)

Can you not see the anger? Why do you direct this towards a group of people before you even know a single person? You think I'm delusional or irritional because I believe in God yet you don't know why I do or how I live my life but yet you'll still assume to know me and those who I consider friends all from that one viewpoint?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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Godwin's law is amazingly

Godwin's law is amazingly accurate.

How some people can jump from "rational discussion" to "just like the Nazis" is beyond me.

When somebody starts to endorse the use of violence and terror to enforce their beliefs, then you might make the comparison. Until that point, you lose the debate for using emotionally charged hyperbole.

-----
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Max Wilder wrote: Godwin's

Max Wilder wrote:
Godwin's law is amazingly accurate.

How some people can jump from "rational discussion" to "just like the Nazis" is beyond me.

When somebody starts to endorse the use of violence and terror to enforce their beliefs, then you might make the comparison. Until that point, you lose the debate for using emotionally charged hyperbole.

So it's not possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence?  KKK does it.  Modern Nazis/Skinheads do it.  Many radicial groups do it today, so how can you reduce it to some "rational" explanation when it very much is an emotional issue because of past experiences. 

If you chastize a group as being wrong because of their existance, it is first judgemental and second establishing a base for violence so please do not tell me there isn't emotion there.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: So it's

razorphreak wrote:
So it's not possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence? KKK does it. Modern Nazis/Skinheads do it. Many radicial groups do it today, so how can you reduce it to some "rational" explanation when it very much is an emotional issue because of past experiences.

You are amazingly good at twisting words. That is not a compliment.

A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion is not "preaching hate". Certainly not against people. That's what theists do. KKK, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Witch hunts... Those are are Christian, remember?

RRS stands for rational discussion, not hate and violence. The stand taken is against irrational beliefs, not "a group being wrong because of their existance"! That is absurd! Many of the people here were theists in the past, and have family and friends who are still theists. We want those people to give up their superstitions; we do not want them hurt.


razorphreak wrote:
If you chastize a group as being wrong because of their existance, it is first judgemental and second establishing a base for violence so please do not tell me there isn't emotion there.

Are you engaging in philisophical debate, or are you chastising atheists as being wrong because of their existance, as you falsely accuse us of doing?

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I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
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Max Wilder wrote: A group

Max Wilder wrote:
A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion is not "preaching hate". Certainly not against people. That's what theists do. KKK, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Witch hunts... Those are are Christian, remember?

So you are going to base what Christians are off the actions of idiots?  Interesting...do you do the same with women (or men) if one cheated on you?  Do you do that to cops because of Rodney King? 

You didn't answer my question, "So it's not possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence?"

Max Wilder wrote:
RRS stands for rational discussion, not hate and violence. The stand taken is against irrational beliefs, not "a group being wrong because of their existance"! That is absurd! Many of the people here were theists in the past, and have family and friends who are still theists. We want those people to give up their superstitions; we do not want them hurt.

Really.  "Fighting to free humanity from the mind disorder known as theism" doesn't sound like a stand taken against irrational beliefs when you don't know what every single person's individual beliefs are or where they came from.  Exactly how is that rational? 

Max Wilder wrote:
Are you engaging in philisophical debate, or are you chastising atheists as being wrong because of their existance, as you falsely accuse us of doing?

Don't turn it around in some kind of ad hominem attack.  I made a direct statement as to the actions I have been witness to on this forum and listened to from the so called debates with other theists.  You don't know me yet you wanted to lump me in with other more radical Christians because I say I believe in God.  Is that judgemental or not?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote:

razorphreak wrote:

So you are going to base what Christians are off the actions of idiots? Interesting...do you do the same with women (or men) if one cheated on you? Do you do that to cops because of Rodney King?

You accused Vessel of supporting ideas similar to Nazis or KKK, which he absolutely did not. I countered by pointing out that KKK and many other harmful, hateful organizations and movements were Christian. I do not believe that the majority of Christians are like them, I am simply pointing out how absurd it is to compare an atheist to the KKK, or for that matter to the Nazis, who held to some strange mix of Christian symbology and pagan mysticism. They are not at all similar to atheists who wish to discuss the irrationalities of theism.

razorphreak wrote:
You didn't answer my question, "So it's not possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence?"

Because the question is irrelevant. But since it seems important to you, here goes: Hate speech has a tendency to lead to violence, or at least provide an environment where violence is likely to occur. Hate speech should be strongly discouraged by society for that very reason. That being said, it is possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence. Though we must protect freedom of speech, I would strongly oppose any group that preached hate, and I would encourage others to oppose them as well.

While I do not believe all theists preach hate, it is clear to me that the vast majority of groups that do preach hate have some theistic belief at their core.

 

razorphreak wrote:
"Fighting to free humanity from the mind disorder known as theism" doesn't sound like a stand taken against irrational beliefs when you don't know what every single person's individual beliefs are or where they came from. Exactly how is that rational?

The concept of theism is fundamentally irrational. Theism is the belief that there is a god that created and rules the universe and has revealed himself to humans. Using Christianity as one example of many, they believe the Bible is fact. To me it is just a bunch of books written by human beings a long time ago. If I ask for proof that it is true, none can be given. Therefor belief in the Bible is irrational.

I don't need to know "every single person's individual beliefs" to know that theism is irrational. It is irrational as a fundamental concept.

razorphreak wrote:
I made a direct statement as to the actions I have been witness to on this forum and listened to from the so called debates with other theists. You don't know me yet you wanted to lump me in with other more radical Christians because I say I believe in God. Is that judgemental or not?

If you have seen atheist in this forum or elsewhere use hate speech against individuals or groups (as opposed to their beliefs) then I tell you right now that I am opposed to them, and it is clearly stated in the rules of the forum that they will not tolerate slander, libel, ad hominem attacks, trolling, abuse, bullying, or threats. I believe hate speech is covered by those.

However...

It seems to me that you are taking arguments against your beliefs as personal attacks and over-reacting. I could be wrong, that's just what it looks like. If you can site any actual cases of hate speach on this board that was not dealt with by the admins, I would be very surprised.

[Edited for clarity - MW]

-----
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


razorphreak
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Max Wilder wrote: You

Max Wilder wrote:
You accused Vessel of supporting ideas similar to Nazis or KKK, which he absolutely did not.

So the statements he's made, you don't consider hateful?  Interesting... 

Max Wilder wrote:
I countered by pointing out that KKK and many other harmful, hateful organizations and movements were Christian. I do not believe that the majority of Christians are like them, I am simply pointing out how absurd it is to compare an atheist to the KKK, or for that matter to the Nazis, who held to some strange mix of Christian symbology and pagan mysticism. They are not at all similar to atheists who wish to discuss the irrationalities of theism.

I'll remember that next time someone insults another person on this forum.

Max Wilder wrote:
Because the question is irrelevant. But since it seems important to you, here goes: Hate speech has a tendency to lead to violence, or at least provide an environment where violence is likely to occur. Hate speech should be strongly discouraged by society for that very reason. That being said, it is possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence. Though we must protect freedom of speech, I would strongly oppose any group that preached hate, and I would encourage others to oppose them as well.

Not relevant yet you don't consider insulting a person (e.g. calling them delusional or an idiot or stupid) who happens to believe something you don't as hate speech?

Max Wilder wrote:
While I do not believe all theists preach hate, it is clear to me that the vast majority of groups that do preach hate have some theistic belief at their core.

To which I agree but not all groups do this.

Max Wilder wrote:
The concept of theism is fundamentally irrational. Theism is the belief that there is a god that created and rules the universe and has revealed himself to humans.

I'm not going to debate this on this thread but I will say simply that according to you it is.  It is judgmental to think everyone should think as you do.

Max Wilder wrote:
Using Christianity as one example of many, they believe the Bible is fact. To me it is just a bunch of books written by human beings a long time ago. If I ask for proof that it is true, none can be given. Therefor belief in the Bible is irrational.

That's not a legit question.  I don't believe evolution of humans is true because there simply is no legitimate, unquestionable proof of it.  Now because I don't accept that does not make it possibly true hence cannot be considered irrational.

Max Wilder wrote:
I don't need to know "every single person's individual beliefs" to know that theism is irrational. It is irrational as a fundamental concept.

That's very judgmental of you but then I guess you don't mind if people judge you in the same way maybe?

Max Wilder wrote:
If you have seen atheist in this forum or elsewhere use hate speech against individuals or groups (as opposed to their beliefs) then I tell you right now that I am opposed to them, and it is clearly stated in the rules of the forum that they will not tolerate slander, libel, ad hominem attacks, trolling, abuse, bullying, or threats. I believe hate speech is covered by those.

Hmm so if say I called you delusional, stupid, or deserving of a mental institution, would that not be considered hate? 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
The concept of theism is fundamentally irrational. Theism is the belief that there is a god that created and rules the universe and has revealed himself to humans.

I'm not going to debate this on this thread but I will say simply that according to you it is. It is judgmental to think everyone should think as you do.

Perhaps we should start a thread (if there isn't one already) where we could debate what exactly theism is. It is the core of this debate, after all.

 

razorphreak wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
Using Christianity as one example of many, they believe the Bible is fact. To me it is just a bunch of books written by human beings a long time ago. If I ask for proof that it is true, none can be given. Therefor belief in the Bible is irrational.

That's not a legit question. I don't believe evolution of humans is true because there simply is no legitimate, unquestionable proof of it. Now because I don't accept that does not make it possibly true hence cannot be considered irrational.

There may not be absolute proof, but there is a preponderance of evidence. There is no evidence to support the veracity of the Bible. Theism is founded on a lack of evidence.

 

razorphreak wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
I don't need to know "every single person's individual beliefs" to know that theism is irrational. It is irrational as a fundamental concept.

That's very judgmental of you but then I guess you don't mind if people judge you in the same way maybe?

Nope. I would not mind if people judged me based on my irrational beliefs, since I am continuously seeking to eradicate them.

 

razorphreak wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
You accused Vessel of supporting ideas similar to Nazis or KKK, which he absolutely did not.

So the statements he's made, you don't consider hateful? Interesting...

Max Wilder wrote:
I countered by pointing out that KKK and many other harmful, hateful organizations and movements were Christian. I do not believe that the majority of Christians are like them, I am simply pointing out how absurd it is to compare an atheist to the KKK, or for that matter to the Nazis, who held to some strange mix of Christian symbology and pagan mysticism. They are not at all similar to atheists who wish to discuss the irrationalities of theism.

I'll remember that next time someone insults another person on this forum.

...you don't consider insulting a person (e.g. calling them delusional or an idiot or stupid) who happens to believe something you don't as hate speech?

Hmm so if say I called you delusional, stupid, or deserving of a mental institution, would that not be considered hate?

In my opinion, insults are not the same as hate speech. Insults are rude, and counterproductive in an argument, but they lack the degree of seriousness or generalization.

Purely for example, let me cite some examples of what I consider hate speech:

- "(insulting term for gays) should burn in hell."
- "(insulting term for African Americans) are a bunch of monkeys."
- "Kill all the f-ing (insulting term for middle-easterner)."

I've seen those things said and they make me sick. You can see how insults are a part of them, but it goes much further than just an insult, whereas:

- "You're an idiot."
- "That's a stupid thing to say."
- "How delusional is that."

... are nowhere near as serious or inciting as the earlier examples.

And statements like "Theism is irrational and should be eradicated" is not even an insult. It is a fact coupled with an opinion, and does not encourage violence against anybody. It is an opinion against a belief, not against the people themselves.

You seem to be elevating insults to the level of hate speech, which in my opinion is wrong and dangerous. It demeans the serious nature of hate speech and clouds what is already a difficult thing to define. I am not saying insults are ok, just that they are not nearly as serious.

To cite another of your examples, if somebody said "All Christians should be put in mental institutions" then I would agree that borders on hate speech. It's not quite as bad as the others I mentioned above, but it is hurtful, demeaning, and a gross generalization.

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I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Max Wilder wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
Perhaps we should start a thread (if there isn't one already) where we could debate what exactly theism is. It is the core of this debate, after all.

It is but it isn't. Don't make the incorrect assumption that I am here to convince anyone that what I believe is the only way to live. I know you are fairly new to this forum so I'm sure you are not familiar with where I stand on the issues addressed on the various threads in which I have participated in.

This thread happens to represent one of the biggest problems if not THE biggest I have with RRS in that with some individuals little effort is made to understand my position as an individual Christian living in the United States. The assumption follows that I am delusional, irrational, have a mental disorder, or I have hatred towards anyone who does not believe.

What theism is to me may not be the same to you and others but to apply some or all of the theist attributes to EVERY person who believes in God is not the definition of a peaceful movement and the opposite of being peaceful towards others is having hatred or anger towards others.

Max Wilder wrote:
There may not be absolute proof, but there is a preponderance of evidence. There is no evidence to support the veracity of the Bible. Theism is founded on a lack of evidence.

I don't want to get off topic so I'm going to leave this alone for now..

Max Wilder wrote:
Nope. I would not mind if people judged me based on my irrational beliefs, since I am continuously seeking to eradicate them.

Discussing your beliefs and calling you an idiot without understanding your beliefs are totally different and this is the kind of judgments I'm talking about.

Max Wilder wrote:
In my opinion, insults are not the same as hate speech. Insults are rude, and counterproductive in an argument, but they lack the degree of seriousness or generalization.

Wait a minute...insults are HATE/ANGER. Period. If you don't like someone (hate) then you insult them (anger). Anger stems from hate and hate breeds anger...you really can't have one without the other.

Max Wilder wrote:
And statements like "Theism is irrational and should be eradicated" is not even an insult. It is a fact coupled with an opinion, and does not encourage violence against anybody. It is an opinion against a belief, not against the people themselves.

Ah but I don't know this. I mean as a believer nothing is going to change my mind of this belief because I did not receive it from another person. So exactly how any atheist wants to remove the belief in God from me by only using words which won't work, what else is left? You might say it would never get to that point but this is why I brought in the examples of those extreme groups such as the KKK and Nazis - they didn't start off violent against the groups they hated either; they just wanted them removed. Remember?

Max Wilder wrote:
You seem to be elevating insults to the level of hate speech, which in my opinion is wrong and dangerous. It demeans the serious nature of hate speech and clouds what is already a difficult thing to define. I am not saying insults are ok, just that they are not nearly as serious.

I am elevating it because any anger or hatred or insults directed at me has the potential to being violent at any time. I've only been approached by ONE person from this forum to trying to find out why i believe what I believe from a position of humility and interest. Only a few others which I can count on one hand have approached me with respect for my position in disagreement. After that, well you get the idea. I have respect for what some atheists are doing here because it take a lot of guts to do this especially with real death threats. But what I don't have any respect for is when you use an "eye for an eye" stance but not against the one person who threatened but against ALL from the same group.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


Max Wilder
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Ah, so much to respond

Ah, so much to respond to...

razorphreak wrote:

Don't make the incorrect assumption that I am here to convince anyone that what I believe is the only way to live.

Feel free to point me to the thread in which you explain why you are here.

 

razorphreak wrote:

This thread happens to represent one of the biggest problems if not THE biggest I have with RRS in that with some individuals little effort is made to understand my position as an individual Christian living in the United States. The assumption follows that I am delusional, irrational, have a mental disorder, or I have hatred towards anyone who does not believe.

What theism is to me may not be the same to you and others but to apply some or all of the theist attributes to EVERY person who believes in God...

The definition of theism is very simple, and it applies to ALL Christians, Jews, and followers of Islam among others. It looks like you are trying to make it more complicated than it is:

the·ism
n. Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

- The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

However much your version of theism may be different from others, all versions fall under this definition. So yes, we can apply that definition to EVERY religious person.

 

razorphreak wrote:

...to apply some or all of the theist attributes to EVERY person who believes in God is not the definition of a peaceful movement and the opposite of being peaceful towards others is having hatred or anger towards others.

This makes no sense. Something does not have to be the definition of a peaceful movement in order to be peaceful. Plus, this site is about discussion, which is used to avoid violence.

 

razorphreak wrote:

Wait a minute...insults are HATE/ANGER. Period. If you don't like someone (hate) then you insult them (anger). Anger stems from hate and hate breeds anger...you really can't have one without the other.

Yeah, yeah. Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate leads to suffering. Thanks Yoda.

The problem here is that you are conflating anger and hate. They are related, but not the same. A person may be angry with a loved one, but that does not mean they hate them. A person may get angry with a stranger, but they can't hate them until they know them (bigotry and prejudice, which are also irrational, aside).

Insults are an outburst of anger, and depending on the person, may be done with a low threshold of anger. One might even insult a friend out of playfulness. Also keep in mind that insults are (sadly) much more common on the internet, specifically because there is a much lower risk of violence. If a stranger was insulting you to your face, then I would agree that violence may be imminent. The context on message boards is much different.

 

razorphreak wrote:

I mean as a believer nothing is going to change my mind of this belief because I did not receive it from another person. So exactly how any atheist wants to remove the belief in God from me by only using words which won't work, what else is left? You might say it would never get to that point but this is why I brought in the examples of those extreme groups such as the KKK and Nazis - they didn't start off violent against the groups they hated either; they just wanted them removed. Remember?

The goal is not to remove it from every single person right now. As you said, there are people like you who will simply ignore all evidence that goes against your beliefs.

There are some, though, who will respond to rational arguments, analyze their beliefs in a way they've never done before, and come to the conclusion that they no longer need to hold superstitions. Those are the people I want to reach.

Eventually those who refuse to give up their fixed beliefs will grow old and die in the natural course of life. Hopefully the next generations will listen to reason.

There is no need for violence. In fact it is counterproductive for those of us who treasure reason.

 

razorphreak wrote:
... any anger or hatred or insults directed at me has the potential to being violent at any time.

That sounds like paranoia. Have you personally been threatened with bodily harm by somebody on this forum?

 

razorphreak wrote:
...nothing is going to change my mind of this belief because I did not receive it from another person. So exactly how any atheist wants to remove the belief in God from me by only using words which won't work, what else is left?

de·lu·sion (as related to Psychiatry)
A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.
-
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

We assert that your beliefs are false. We have logical arguments that invalidate them. Your counterarguments are without merit.

Delusion is a strong word, but you are the one who says nothing could ever convince you to change your beliefs. It is not surprising that some may come to that conclusion.

 

 

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I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


razorphreak
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Max Wilder wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
However much your version of theism may be different from others, all versions fall under this definition. So yes, we can apply that definition to EVERY religious person.

For discussion sake I'll accept this then.

Max Wilder wrote:
This makes no sense. Something does not have to be the definition of a peaceful movement in order to be peaceful. Plus, this site is about discussion, which is used to avoid violence.

Well if you aren't peaceful then you are going to showing hate and anger no? That really is black and white now.

Max Wilder wrote:
The problem here is that you are conflating anger and hate. They are related, but not the same. A person may be angry with a loved one, but that does not mean they hate them. A person may get angry with a stranger, but they can't hate them until they know them (bigotry and prejudice, which are also irrational, aside).

When you are angry at a person you hate that person or that person's actions. They are different but interrelated to where you can't really have one without the other. An atheist doesnt even know me yet (from other postings) they obviously hate that the theistic mind exists. Am I wrong?

Max Wilder wrote:
One might even insult a friend out of playfulness.

Bad example. You know when you are messing around with your buddies by calling them a loser or idiot or whatever there is no hate or anger behind it and typically there is laughter along with it. That's not an insult but a joke.

Max Wilder wrote:
Also keep in mind that insults are (sadly) much more common on the internet, specifically because there is a much lower risk of violence. If a stranger was insulting you to your face, then I would agree that violence may be imminent. The context on message boards is much different.

But how exactly am I to know that right now it's sticking to only online? I mean come on you know as well as I do how impressionable some people are and things like that level of hate can begin to spill out into reality. Are we going to start seeing God hate crimes? I don't want to wait to find out so I'd rather address it before it gets to that point.

Max Wilder wrote:
The goal is not to remove it from every single person right now. As you said, there are people like you who will simply ignore all evidence that goes against your beliefs.

I never said I ignore it. Because I know where my faith comes from this so called "evidence" is not going to persuade me. But you better make a bet I will not ignore it.

So why do you say "right now"? Why is it so important to remove the freedom of religion?

Max Wilder wrote:
There are some, though, who will respond to rational arguments, analyze their beliefs in a way they've never done before, and come to the conclusion that they no longer need to hold superstitions. Those are the people I want to reach.

I respond to any so called "rational argument" with what I know to be the truth as I have observed it. You not accepting it is another story. But as it is, I never asked you to accept why I believe in God anyway but when it is asked of me, I'll answer.

Max Wilder wrote:
Eventually those who refuse to give up their fixed beliefs will grow old and die in the natural course of life. Hopefully the next generations will listen to reason.

There is no need for violence. In fact it is counterproductive for those of us who treasure reason.

Yes it goes against reason to me that some completely ridiculous arguments are used in attacking the definition of theism. These illogical conclusions or assumptions that are made without one single question are the most irritating so how can I listen to what you might consider "reason"?

Max Wilder wrote:
That sounds like paranoia. Have you personally been threatened with bodily harm by somebody on this forum?

Given the history of man when it comes to one group disagreeing with another, it's justified.

Max Wilder wrote:
We assert that your beliefs are false. We have logical arguments that invalidate them. Your counterarguments are without merit.

Delusion is a strong word, but you are the one who says nothing could ever convince you to change your beliefs. It is not surprising that some may come to that conclusion.

And yet I don't remember anyone asking EVERY believer why they believe. Your assertion that it is false is based upon an assumption that is true from your point of view and not that of the other person hence is one illogical and two clearly a misuse of authority. You honestly don't know because you have not experienced what I have. How can you know? And even if you were an ex-Christian, I don't know why you claimed to have believed then and are claiming not to believe now so it would be dishonest for me to make any claims about who you are now or then without at least asking you a few questions to understand. This very rarely happens from what I can tell from the atheist side of the house.

You say my counterarguments are without merit yet if I know who I am, how can I not know what I've experienced? I never told you to believe as I do but UNDERSTAND why I believe. Understanding, even when beyond your knowledge of what science has told you, is what I and others, especially those who are not here to force our beliefs upon you (only explain them), want.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion is not "preaching hate". Certainly not against people. That's what theists do. KKK, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, Witch hunts... Those are are Christian, remember?

So you are going to base what Christians are off the actions of idiots? Interesting...do you do the same with women (or men) if one cheated on you? Do you do that to cops because of Rodney King?

You didn't answer my question, "So it's not possible for a group to preach hate but never commit violence?"

Max Wilder wrote:
RRS stands for rational discussion, not hate and violence. The stand taken is against irrational beliefs, not "a group being wrong because of their existance"! That is absurd! Many of the people here were theists in the past, and have family and friends who are still theists. We want those people to give up their superstitions; we do not want them hurt.

Really. "Fighting to free humanity from the mind disorder known as theism" doesn't sound like a stand taken against irrational beliefs when you don't know what every single person's individual beliefs are or where they came from. Exactly how is that rational?

Max Wilder wrote:
Are you engaging in philisophical debate, or are you chastising atheists as being wrong because of their existance, as you falsely accuse us of doing?

Don't turn it around in some kind of ad hominem attack. I made a direct statement as to the actions I have been witness to on this forum and listened to from the so called debates with other theists. You don't know me yet you wanted to lump me in with other more radical Christians because I say I believe in God. Is that judgemental or not?

I am not quite sure how to read this.

Yes it is possible for someone to express hate without being violent or advocating violence. I think it is bullshit for anyone to claim that they dont hate a single thing in their life, be it a food, or a TV show or politician or religious claim. I'll be the first to admit that I hate that people actually believe that a ghost knocked up a girl. But I cant practically hate every single human who buys such a claim.

I also hate politicall correctness which both liberal and consirvitives both atheist and theist hide behind to protect their egos so they dont have to face the reality that not everyone will like everyone, even within their own label.

Here is what most theists (incert lable here) dont do. They dont seperate themeselves from the claims they make. Most atheists I know dont "lump" all theists in the same stereotype.

We do see tons of people, not just you or your claims or your religion, making claims without anything to back it up. It is not you that atheists judge, it is the claims you make, nothing more, nothing less.

You claim it, you back it up. We treat you no differently if you were claiming that you could fart a Lamborginni out of your butt, or if you claimed that Ganish or Flying Spaggitti Monster were real.

Most here, and I dont speak for everyone, but most, have lots of contact and friendship with theists. The issue is NOT YOU. Our issue has always been about what you have to show us to back up what comes out of your mouth. 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Sorry, I hadn't noticed

Sorry, I hadn't noticed this response as this thread was dead for a while, but I feel I should at least confront the charges of Nazi-like behavior, ridiculous as they may be.

razorphreak wrote:

Vessel wrote:
Anyone who feels that way is more than welcome to live their life in delusion. It certainly doesn't mean I should sit quietly by and allow them to propogate their ignorance amongst other members of society unchallenged. If they feel that these are the best methods by which to acquire reliable knowledge they are welcome to present their case. Of course, being as that I have never seen anyone who could show how faith leads to a reliable picture of reality, I highly doubt that will happen.

History has shown that this very attitude is nothing more than prejudice and hatred. It's the argument that radicals used against the Turks for the Crusades, the first settlers used against Natives, what plantation owners used against Africans and later what one race uses against another to show their superiority, and not to mention what one group would do to another for being the supreme race since they had the perceived "picture of reality."

The attitude that people are welcome to live their lives as they want and that I should have the same right and utilize it by voiceing my opinion and trying to persuade others towards what I think is a better society through the use of reasonable discourse? This is bigoted? Surely you realize how ridiculous this charge is.

In truth, I could just as easily say that you are showing your hatred and intolerance and prejudice by saying that you think I am prejudice simply because you do not agree with me. I'm sorry, but I refuse to tolerate your hatred and intolerance. Do you see how anyone can make this claim about those who disagree with them? Now, do you see how silly it is?

Try not to be led by your emotions and, instead, reason through what is being discussed.  

Quote:
The Patrician is correct and how you can't see the hate that is coming from you or even the mission statement of RRS is amazing. For example...

I have no hate whether you think that is what you perceive or not. That you think I am exhibiting hate simply because I state an opinion that differs from your's is not reasonable. Please, if you are going to accuse me of being hateful and bigoted provide examples of such behavior on my part.

Quote:
Vessel wrote:

Religions are spread because followers are ordered to recruit by their doctrine.

(a flat out lie because you assume 100% of theists do this)

I don't think that constitutes a flat out lie, but that is neither here nor there. It was a poorly worded statement. Many religions stress this but not all.

Quote:
Vessel wrote:
A group devoted to the eradication of irrational beliefs through rational discussion

 (assumptions, which is what I've seen usually coming from discussions towards anyone with a different view of belief, are not a form of rational discussion).

I have read many of your replies to people on these boards. I have seen no reason to consider you an authority on what constitutes assumption and what constitutes rational discussion. Either way this is simply your opinion and I am unsure why you felt the need to state it in this discussion as whether it is assumption or rational discussion had nothing to do with the point.

 

Quote:
vessel wrote:
No one is saying it is an acheivable goal, but I consider it to be an honorable one

 (just as the Nazis or KKK did?)

Just as Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr. did?

 There have been many that have considered their goals noble and have spoken out against the current status quo. Why did you choose those examples? See that is the kind of emotional childish comparison that has no place in a reasonable discussion.   

Quote:
Vessel wrote:
It also isn't possible for me to change many other things I find wrong and speak o0ut against but that won't stop me from putting forth effort.

 (again just as the Nazis did?)

Again, see above.

Quote:
Can you not see the anger?

I do not really get angry as I am a very non-emotional person. 

 

Quote:
Why do you direct this towards a group of people before you even know a single person?

I know many people. What is it you mean to say here? 

Quote:
You think I'm delusional or irritional because I believe in God yet you don't know why I do or how I live my life but yet you'll still assume to know me and those who I consider friends all from that one viewpoint?

I consider all god beliefs irrational and think they are all based in what is basically delusional thought processes. Theists don't even know what it is they believe in. 

How you live your life is irrelevant. I am speaking out against what is an inherently dangerous and completely unnecessary thought process and worldview. Why do you personalize it so? This has nothing to do with individuals but with dangerous ways of thinking and the dangers inherent in placing responsibility for humanity in the hands of some non-existent caretaker instead of in the hands of humans. These are not conversations about individual people. If you are going to personalize the ideas discussed in these type of conversations then you will never be able to look at things from a perspective that isn't highly influenced by irrational emotion.      

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Max Wilder
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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
This makes no sense. Something does not have to be the definition of a peaceful movement in order to be peaceful. Plus, this site is about discussion, which is used to avoid violence.

Well if you aren't peaceful then you are going to showing hate and anger no? That really is black and white now.

Let me put this as simply as I can. A group that is dedicated to open and reasoned discussion is about as far as you can get from violent and still hopefully affect change. In order to maintain open and reasoned discussion, it is important to avoid violence, hence "peaceful" is implied. It is natural for a poster on a message board to occasionally lose his temper and throw out an insult or two. If you can't take that, then stick to the Kill 'Em with Kindness forum. In order to be any more peaceful, there would have to be no debate at all. I bet you'd like that.

Your "black and white" thinking is part of the problem.

Furthermore, until you have some evidence of gangs of atheists going out and perpetrating hate crimes on innocent theists, you are looking more and more foolish. Right now, atheists are very much the minority, and historically speaking it is the local theist majority that instigate violence. Before you say anything, I am not accusing every theist of this! But of those random acts of violence that occur, they either have nothing to do with religion, or they are a majority group picking on a minority.

razorphreak wrote:
Am I wrong?

Yes.

razorphreak wrote:

But how exactly am I to know that right now it's sticking to only online? I mean come on you know as well as I do how impressionable some people are and things like that level of hate can begin to spill out into reality. Are we going to start seeing God hate crimes? I don't want to wait to find out so I'd rather address it before it gets to that point.

As soon as atheists become the majority and all the hate crimes against gays stop, I'll maybe, possibly consider the possibility that this might one day become a problem.

razorphreak wrote:
Why is it so important to remove the freedom of religion?

(shakes head in despair)

How many times are you going to say something that implies I want to take away somebody's freedom? I support Freedom of Religion! Probably everybody on this board supports Freedom of Religion! Please stop asking questions with incorrect assumptions. By the way, have you stopped beating your wife?


razorphreak wrote:
And yet I don't remember anyone asking EVERY believer why they believe.

No matter how many times you say this, it will never make more sense. Why do you think we should ask anybody why they believe? So we can hear a sermon based on teachings that we have already decided we don't believe? So we can hear you recount the touching story of how you were in a bad place and God spoke to you in your heart? Every time I hear one of those stories it makes me sick to my stomach because I know how screwed up this person is and how much therapy they will need to ever come back to reality.

In short, I say again, I don't need to know the specifics of what you believe or why in order to debate the principles of religion. I also don't need to hate anybody in order to work against what I believe to be a contagious mental cancer. I may grow to hate you, but it's not because you're a theist, it's because you don't listen.

razorphreak wrote:
You say my counterarguments are without merit yet if I know who I am, how can I not know what I've experienced? I never told you to believe as I do but UNDERSTAND why I believe. Understanding, even when beyond your knowledge of what science has told you, is what I and others, especially those who are not here to force our beliefs upon you (only explain them), want.

You probably told your story in your self-introduction post. I didn't read it. I don't care. Your personal experiences will not affect the logic I have used to come to my conclusions. On the other hand, if you want to argue against something I said, I will read that. Unlike you, I might change my mind. Logical arguments can affect my opinions and conclusions. That's what being rational is all about.

-----
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt