A Problem w/ the Rational Response Squad

BladeSire
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A Problem w/ the Rational Response Squad

Alright. 

i've heard of you guys (RRS) before, and I've seen you debate that crazy guy who tried to say that a banana is proof of God, but only after reading a recent news article about you did I decide that I need to at least have some things clarified for me.  I know some of these sound leading (and, given my particular bias against the Rational Response Squad, probably are), but I'll ask for sincere attempts at answering the questions with the hopes of refining my understanding (since I don't disagree, necessarily, with what the RRS is attempting).

 

First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild.  Would you feel more comfortable saying the Big Bang created this uber-entity (though not divine in a biblical way) we call God and that from God we were created?

Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?  Does calling it the Rational Response Squad (a name which insinuates the irrationality of those whose views it opposes) really help, or does it just generate good publicity?  Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?  (this last question sounds more scathing than it means to, but it's legitimate - because you feel wronged, is that any reason to make a scene against those who've wronged you?)

Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.  I feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

Also, w00t Buddha.


Loc
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Firstly,welcome to the

Firstly,welcome to the forums.

BladeSire wrote:

 

First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

Is it more rational to sat I don't have a huge, invisible, fire breathing dragon in my garage that only talks to me and can't be sensed by any known scientific method by I know beyond a doubt it exists? You tell me.

BladeSire wrote:
Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild.  Would you feel more comfortable saying the Big Bang created this uber-entity (though not divine in a biblical way) we call God and that from God we were created?

Are you asking if I'm more comfortable with a deist type god than a personal one.

Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

BladeSire wrote:
Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?  Does calling it the Rational Response Squad (a name which insinuates the irrationality of those whose views it opposes) really help, or does it just generate good publicity?  Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?  (this last question sounds more scathing than it means to, but it's legitimate - because you feel wronged, is that any reason to make a scene against those who've wronged you?)

This has been discussed alot. The RRS fills a particular niche. And I think they do a good job. I like the in your face style, rather than sitting back and letting theists come to us. And no, I don't try hurt theists feelings. I strive to be polite when debating, becase any other way is a waste of time and will never lead to being able to help people.

BladeSire wrote:
Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

Maybe. The people that belong here do so because they like the style.

BladeSire wrote:
Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.  I feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

 

Hardly unproductive.I've seen theists do some serious thinking here.I'm sure other members could share deconversion stories resulting from the RRS. I don't 'harden' when I sense someone attacking my position, I welcome debate.

Also, I hope you aren't the same guy that posted the last three threads like this.That's getting old

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

dudeofthemoment wrote:
This is getting redudnant. My patience with the unteachable[atheists] is limited.

Argument from Sadism: Theist presents argument in a wall of text with no punctuation and wrong spelling. Atheist cannot read and is forced to concede.


Mick
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My biggest problem with the

My biggest problem with the RRS is that they seem to ignore the truism the concept of  rational beliefs is ridden with philosophical obscurities and there is virtually no agreement on the necessities of rational belief. Now don't get me wrong: I am all for evidence (evidential warrant) being sufficient for rational belief and evidence is certainly desirable. Yet, is it necessary? I don't believe it is. Moreover, we would also have to deal with the issue of what constitutes evidence. For instance, philosophers--or at least some--acknowledge a divide between private evidence and public evidence. Accordingly, personal experiences may be sufficient for my own rational belief X but it need not be the case that my personal experiences act as a sufficient basing for you to rationally belief X.


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Mick wrote:My biggest

Mick wrote:

My biggest problem with the RRS is that they seem to ignore the truism the concept of  rational beliefs is ridden with philosophical obscurities and there is virtually no agreement on the necessities of rational belief. Now don't get me wrong: I am all for evidence (evidential warrant) being sufficient for rational belief and evidence is certainly desirable. Yet, is it necessary? I don't believe it is. Moreover, we would also have to deal with the issue of what constitutes evidence. For instance, philosophers--or at least some--acknowledge a divide between private evidence and public evidence. Accordingly, personal experiences may be sufficient for my own rational belief X but it need not be the case that my personal experiences act as a sufficient basing for you to rationally belief X.

Let me perception-check: you are suggesting that rationality may be subjective? If that is so, is there a "public" rationality (objective) and a "personal" rationality (subjective), or are they essentially the same?

Not to de-rail this topic. I'm just looking for some clarification.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


Mick
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I believe that any

I believe that any conception of rationality is vague and ambiguous. I won't go as far as saying that the nature of rationality is subjective because that betrays the abovementioned sentence.   I think of rationality like I think of being;we know it's there; we can partially grasp it but ultimately only "percieve" parts of it. As such, when we speak of rationality as if we had a concrete basis of it, then we reduce rationality to a caricature.


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BladeSire wrote: First: 

BladeSire wrote:

 

First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild.

As anyone may claim anything to be true he that puts forth the claim must prove it. If I say leprechauns are real and live in my basement but no one can see them is that more rational than saying I don't accept your claim without proof?

As far as any proof of God is concerned he very well could be a very advanced alien but I haven't seen evidence for that position either.

BladeSire wrote:

Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

Yes. Should we just sit quietly at home and allow what we see as myths used for basis in running our government and world? I suppose we could openly revolt and start a civil war as our founding fathers suggested when all else fails.

BladeSire wrote:

Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?

It certainly shows that not everyone accepts the myths and legends of ancient ignorance as reality doesn't it. If you listen to the media and many prominent leaders it is just assumed that we all buy the god thing as real. If no one opposes ideas based in fantasy how would there be a check and balance in place?

 

BladeSire wrote:
Does calling it the Rational Response Squad (a name which insinuates the irrationality of those whose views it opposes) really help, or does it just generate good publicity?

It seems to work doesn't it? It's called marketing. You are exposed to this everyday on your TV and radio. It grabs attention. Generally theists already have the view we just can't see the real truth as we have been touched by Satan. Think about how some of your better teachers and professors got you to really think in school. They challenged you didn't they? It's a similar technique.

 

BladeSire wrote:
Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?  (this last question sounds more scathing than it means to, but it's legitimate - because you feel wronged, is that any reason to make a scene against those who've wronged you?)

I can't speak for others but my feelings have not been hurt by theists. I make no attempt to hurt their feelings only to open their eyes to reality and to attempt to show them they live in a fantasy world. I was involved extensively in Christianity at one point. I resent that I was taught that which is not true but at least I have awakened to the real world now.

BladeSire wrote:

Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

Such as allowing continued discrimination and repression? I could care what people believe as long as they don't attempt to make their fantasies into law.

BladeSire wrote:

Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.  I feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

What part of the viewpoints will a theist consider? That the world appears to be here? That their belief in God cannot be proved? That Science is what brought civilization to the modern world not beliefs in myths?

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.



Hambydammit
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Quote:First:  Is it

Quote:
First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

No.  It's more rational to say, "There is no evidence for god" than "There is a god."

It is irrational to believe in something for which there is no evidence.  Therefore, believing in god is irrational.  There is a significant difference between believing that a thing is definitely non-existent, and not believing for lack of evidence.  If I tld you that I am a multibillionaire, you probably wouldn't believe me right away.  That's not to say you actively believe that I am NOT a multibillionaire.  It's certainly possible that I am.  However, you aren't going to be swayed until you see more evidence than just my word.

See the difference?

Quote:
Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild.  Would you feel more comfortable saying the Big Bang created this uber-entity (though not divine in a biblical way) we call God and that from God we were created?

It's not a matter of comfort.  It's  a matter of evidence.  Regardless of the implications, it's better to face reality for what it is than make shit up.  Aliens sound just as made up as God, when evolution is a very elegant and falsifiable explanation.

Quote:
Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

Well, rational is probably not even the right word for this question.  I think the Blasphemy Challenge was incredibly successful at achieving several goals simultaneously.  As for our methods, we're always examining our methods to see if they're doing what we want.  Change is one of the realities of life, especially with any kind of marketing.  (And no, I don't mind admitting that we're marketing.  Duh.  Why do you think we put it on the internet if we don't want people to see it?! )  If our approach becomes counterproductive, we'll change it.  So far, it seems to be working well.  We're all humans, and some things we do are less successful than others, but on the whole, I think our google numbers speak for themselves.

Quote:
Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?

Have you ever watched politics at all?  Attacking an opposing viewpoint is one of the best ways to help spread an opposing idea.

It doesn't promise to make everyone happy, but did we ever say we were trying to make everyone happy?  We're trying to get people to think rationally and abandon religion.  We know it will piss a lot of people off.  So what?  Sometimes good causes piss people off.

Quote:
Does calling it the Rational Response Squad (a name which insinuates the irrationality of those whose views it opposes) really help, or does it just generate good publicity?

Judging by our tangible results, I'd say it does both.

Quote:
Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?  (this last question sounds more scathing than it means to, but it's legitimate - because you feel wronged, is that any reason to make a scene against those who've wronged you?)

Well, I'm a little insulted that you think I've devoted all this time because my feelings got hurt.  That would be awfully juvenile of me, wouldn't it?

I do all of this because I see a real, legitimate reason -- much larger than myself -- for helping to spread rationality.

Quote:
Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

Well, again, I think the question is whether there is a more effective way.  Yes.  I think there are more effective ways.  However, all of those ways take a LOT of money, which we don't have.  We work on donations of $3-10/month from a small group of people, and the collective input of the core members.  That's not enough to do the kind of promotion we'd like to do.

In short, we're doing the best we can with what we've got.  I'm sorry if it upsets you, but again, we aren't here to make everyone happy.  We're here to accomplish our goal.

Quote:
Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.

You should try sitting on our side of the fence sometime.  You want to talk about disrespect?  Try running for public office as an atheist.  Try getting onto a jury by admitting atheism.  Try starting a business, only to get boycotted by Christians for being an atheist.  Try having your entire life be a carefully guarded secret -- not because of anything you do, but because you don't believe in the same god as the majority.  Please read this essay in its entirety.  It's short, and explains perfectly well why we need to do something:

Why Are Atheists So Angry?

 

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BladeSire wrote:First:  Is

BladeSire wrote:

First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

It's more rational to say "there is no god" and even more rational to say, since there is no evidence of a god, I abstain from believing.

 

Quote:
Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

Not only is it more rational, but it's our moral imperative to help others who don't hold that same rationality on the issue.

 

Quote:
Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?

The best way possible is a multi-pronged attack that draws in people of all types.  Since there are already hundreds of groups that operate in a passive fashion, it's a necessity that some groups play the bad cop card.

 

Quote:
Does calling it the Rational Response Squad (a name which insinuates the irrationality of those whose views it opposes) really help, or does it just generate good publicity?

It's because the name infers some very harsh meanings that it does generate good publicity.  The actual meaning behind it is rather passive, but it never ceases to amaze me how many harsh meanings one can infer.  It simply means we are capable of responding to irrational claims with rationality. 

 

Quote:
  Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?  (this last question sounds more scathing than it means to, but it's legitimate - because you feel wronged, is that any reason to make a scene against those who've wronged you?)

I don't feel wronged by theists today.  I feel bad for them.  An eye for an eye is sometimes justifiable, sometimes it is not.  I feel the theists of the world have been wronged by the creators of the theistic systems.  Theists are merely a host for a virus known as theism, it's theism that wrongs us as a society.  Unfortunately you can't talk to theism, you have to talk to it's host, so it can have the knowledge to eliminate the virus from it's body.

 

Quote:
Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

It depends what your purpose is.  If your purpose is to fill a hole that others haven't filled by speaking blunt, using creativity to get the attention of the masses, and adding a tinge of humor, you will be hard pressed to find a better group.  The closest you will find are comedians like Jon Stewart, David Cross, or maybe the late George Carlin.  If you're purpose is to advance the seperation of Church and State with actual rulings in the court systems than there are dozens of groups that do it great, and we aren't one of them.  Our goal is to change the way people think as a society, so the groups that do fight in the court system are that much more likely to get a judge or jury that "gets it."

 

Quote:
Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.

Like the name of our group, looks are not always what they seem.  I think we actually are more respectful of theists because we try so hard to help them abandon their idiotic beliefs and replace them with sane concepts.

 

Quote:
  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.

It's also human nature for certain people to be pessimistic, but why should an entire group of hopefuls hedge their bets on the views of a pessimist?  (you)

People who are likely to harden their beliefs will harden them even with the most passive of attacks, those people are likely lost for good... but maybe their children are not.

 

Quote:
feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

You've got my approval.  Go ahead and start it up.  I wish you the best at it.

 

- Brian Sapient


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


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Quote:feel a better name

Quote:
feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

I agree.  It's not our bag, but we will support anybody who wants our support and is promoting rationality.

 

Also, did you notice that Brian's answer and mine weren't exactly the same?  That's ok.  We come from different backgrounds, and we have slightly differing philosophies, attitudes about life, etc.  We both agree enough to be on the same website.  If you feel our methods aren't to your liking, that's fine.  We don't believe there's a dichotomy, where everyone has to do it our way, or they're completely wrong.  If you can spread rationality in a different way, we want you to do it.  We encourage you to do it.  We just ask that you give us the same consideration and not spend all your time talking about how horrible our method is.  That's not spreading rationality, is it?  It's just slinging mud.

 

 

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BladeSire wrote:Seriously -

BladeSire wrote:

Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.

Brian and Hamby have certainly given answers (and asked questions) that you should consider. I would like to bring up just one other point that they didn't.

By and large, fundamentalists, and many believers in general, are awaiting the mighty assault from the sly, devious serpent who will visit our world with smiles, handshakes and friendliness. I call it, "the grand deceiver syndrome". I don't think I need to go any further with explanation on this point except to say those people are on a vigilant lookout. BTW, it should be obvious that most moderate Christians don't fall into this group.

So if the song at RRS is continually sweet and alluring, those with GDSsee it as a large deception after just a few words. Sometimes it is imperative that one must shout above the christian cacophony to make a valid point or two. Sometimes it really is necessary to 'hit 'em over the head' to bring about understanding.

Don't get me wrong. I do not advocate constant anger or mean spiritedness on the part of atheists but rather I recognize that there are times when, in the course of discussion and debate, such tactics are preferred and actually more welcomed by many theists as well.


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Alright. I've heard of

 

Alright. 

I've heard of you guys (RRS) before, and I've seen you debate that crazy guy who tried to say that a banana is proof of God, but only after reading a recent news article about you did I decide that I need to at least have some things clarified for me.  I know some of these sound leading (and, given my particular bias against the Rational Response Squad, probably are), but I'll ask for sincere attempts at answering the questions with the hopes of refining my understanding (since I don't disagree, necessarily, with what the RRS is attempting).

 

First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

 In your reality have you seen, touched, smell, god? probably no. Have you seen, touched, smell, milk? yes. Then you can rationally say that milk exists, but not that god exists.

Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild.  Would you feel more comfortable saying the Big Bang created this uber-entity (though not divine in a biblical way) we call God and that from God we were created?

no

Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

this is not a question. You seem to be missing the point of "the Blasphemy Challenge"

Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?

This is not an attack, It's baiting.

  Does calling it the Rational Response Squad (a name which insinuates the irrationality of those whose views it opposes) really help, or does it just generate good publicity?

Both

  Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?  (this last question sounds more scathing than it means to, but it's legitimate - because you feel wronged, is that any reason to make a scene against those who've wronged you?)

We are not trying to hurt any ones feelings. You imply that is what is going on.  I have never been wronged by a theist.

Let me put it this way: If I see a child who can't swim fall into the river I help them back to shore.

Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogs than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

This is not a question.

Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.  I feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

What are you defending against? Do you really feel threatened personally by an apposing point of view? If you do you should examine why you have an irrational fear of other points of view. From what I have observed in Churches people are programed to react this way to any thing that would lead them away from the control of their priest / pastor / whatever. You seem to be expressing that kind of psychological programing. The RRS just acted as a trigger mechanism.

Also, w00t Buddha.

 

 

bodhi


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Mick wrote:My biggest

Mick wrote:

My biggest problem with the RRS is that they seem to ignore the truism the concept of  rational beliefs is ridden with philosophical obscurities and there is virtually no agreement on the necessities of rational belief. Now don't get me wrong: I am all for evidence (evidential warrant) being sufficient for rational belief and evidence is certainly desirable. Yet, is it necessary? I don't believe it is. Moreover, we would also have to deal with the issue of what constitutes evidence. For instance, philosophers--or at least some--acknowledge a divide between private evidence and public evidence. Accordingly, personal experiences may be sufficient for my own rational belief X but it need not be the case that my personal experiences act as a sufficient basing for you to rationally belief X.

This is a perfect example of a self re-enforcing delusion.

Have you ever heard of peer review? It's a useful precept.

You use the word "belief" a lot. Do you know that's a psychological state not a rationale? Because "rational belief" is a contradiction in terms.

bodhi


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I love the general attitude

I love the general attitude of this site. Turn the other cheek doesn't get 'it' done.

 


Renee Obsidianwords
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Glad you found the site,

Glad you found the site, welcome!

You wrote: "There is no god vs there is a god"

Personally I have no belief in a god and can not say "There is no god!" I simply hold  a disbelief in any deity.

You wrote: "Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild. "

I LOVE this idea, but mostly because I don't want to think we are alone in the universe. (And I like scifi)  Funny, I have more respect for the statement "aliens put us here" then I do "god did it"... but I see your point "god" could be the word given to an "alien"...

Regarding your second thought/question "attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible? etc...."

I see our approach as a marketing strategy. Cutting edge, in your face and to the point to draw you in. What I LOVE about this group are the differing viewpoints. We don't all have the same opinions. The majority of us came here seeking a group of atheists to feel comfortable discussing issues with. We are a variety of beliefs, walks of life and personalities. I have never had my feelings hurt by a theist, if anything my heart tends to ache with sadness when I see the blindness their religion has caused.

You wrote: " Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?"

Who is offended? Theists? Why does a group have to tip-toe around the subject of religion? Yes religion is a VERY personal and full of 'feelings' (and yes i feel it is all emotional, nothing else) but why shouldn't we be able to create a communication vehicle such as this site to help break through all that emotion and perhaps wake a few people up? If someone with a religious belief doesn't like this site, I don't blame them! It must be a shock to see a site that undermines their whole way of being. If an atheist doesn't like this site I get angry...we are doing something that most won't even TOUCH because there is a fear of "hurting peoples FEELINGS"

Be sure to take a look around and absorb all you see. I think you will be surprised that once you step through the door, past the facade....we are all just a bunch of atheists talking about politics, life, sex and sometimes religion.

Have fun!

-Renee


 

 

 

 

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I will just state this

As presented to us, by Christians, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans and various other religions, no their gods do not exist, at least not as they present it. two of them say their book is the infalliable word of god and it is truth, however it got it all wrong, from the how humans became to be on this earth to how the universe began, once there is a fault in it, it's god becomes false because it basis itself that the book is not wrong and that it is 100 percent truth. At least by it's institutions. As such those gods do not exist. However could there be a god like being such as Einsteins that created the universe and set forth the laws of physics and then basically never gets involved in day to day operations, sure, I cannot prove otherwise.

As for the rest of it, if religious folks stay out of my business I stay out of theirs, however we all know that is not going to happen. From trying to regulate marriage, to tell me what I must believe and trying to make laws of the land based on their flawed holy texts, sorry I will fight against such tyranny, as we have seen what happens when the church is in power....we called it the dark ages.


Kevin R Brown
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Quote:First:  Is it

Quote:
First:  Is it actually more rational to say "There is no God" as opposed to "There is a God"?

Yes it is. Why? Because 'God' isn't even a properly defined concept / mechanism / being. The ones described in myth certainly aren't real; there's far too much evidence piled against them (they would violate physical laws and they contradict what we know of the planet's history).

Quote:

Perhaps both interpretations of the bible (meaning Christian and Atheist interpretations) are wrong, and God is in fact an alien who hand-crafted us and let us run wild.  Would you feel more comfortable saying the Big Bang created this uber-entity (though not divine in a biblical way) we call God and that from God we were created?

See? Because it isn't properly defined, we run into the problem of ever-shifting goal posts.

Quote:
Second:  Assuming that it IS more rational to claim that God does not exist, is it rational to proceed as the rational response squad seems to (including the Blasphemy Challenge)?

Of course it is! People are blowing-up abortion clinics, perpetuating genocide, refusing to deal with tough questions regarding the future of civilization, brainwashing children, crashing aircraft into skyscrapers, etc, etc, etc, all because they feel that their imaginary deity commands it of them!

This is insanity. Lewis Black said it best:

'It's a clinical psychotic reaction.'

These dangerous departures from reality and humanity must stop, and yes, I'll see them stopped if I can. I imagine the RRS feel the same way.

Quote:
Does attacking an opposed viewpoint actually help you spread your word in the best way possible?

I think they're doing it in one of the best, realistically attainable and diplomatic ways possible, yes. Dialogue goes a long way down this road.

Of course, in one of my not-so-humble opinions, I also think there would be far more effective ways to go about a theism-busting campaign (goodness forbid I should ever attain the influence and assets to engage such a campaign). For example:

I could simply check a theist to see if they understand basic scientific principle, and if they don't, educate them. Once it's clear that they remain unable to let go of their (now willful) ignorance, I just sit them down on a couch in a sealed room, turn on some music, and slowly cycle out their oxygen in favor of nitrogen. We could then grind the corpses into protein shakes, effectively ending several problems at once (world food crisis, world energy crisis, organized religion and theism in general) with one simple measure.

 

See? Aren't the RRS's ideas far more agreeable? Sticking out tongue

Quote:
Does getting your feelings hurt by theists justify attempts to hurt the feelings of theists?

 

 

 

 

...Do those look like just a bunch of 'hurt feelings' to you? Now, on the one hand, yes - on a personal level, I do feel that I should have the right to not be insulted and demeaned simply because I'm skeptical of a retarded notion. But there is very clearly also a bigger picture here, and that's what really motivates me.

Quote:
Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?Third:  Thinking rationally, is there a more rational way to proceed in national cultural dialogues than the Rational Response Squad has taken?

...I have no idea why you felt compelled to ask the same question twice...

Quote:
Seriously - it seems not only disrespectful, but unproductive.  People who might be willing to consider your viewpoints will harden once they sense an attack.  It's human nature, religion or not.  I feel a better name would be "Scientific Sensationalists Squad."

It's 'disrespectful' that I ask people to explain their claims and show me evidence for them? Is this the same sort of 'disrespect' I apparently also show to the Islamic faith by criticizing it for condoning violence and misogyny, or that I show to Christians who don't feel that homosexuals should have rights and try to bully people into their faith with scare stories?

If it is, then Hell yeah - I'm definately a disrespectful asshole. If they 'harden' because I asked them a tough question, that their problem, not mine; I'm not going to get on my tippy toes and skirt around an important issue just because you happen to be hyper-sensitive about it.

Do tell: how should we going about the process then, in your mind?

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

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


Hambydammit
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Kevin, you are the man. 

Kevin, you are the man.

 

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

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ronin-dog
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You anti-RRS guys just don't get it.

By the way, you aren't the first to post threads like this...

The way I see it, the purpose of the RRS is to use media to raise awareness that religion is irrational (and harmful). It may not be the way you would go about it with friends or random strangers, but we are talking about media, not a personal chat.

The RRS is raising awareness and they are providing a forum for people to discuss ideas (and rant Smiling ) .

The RRS are doing a great job!

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


Balrogoz
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 Someone wrote: rational

 

Someone wrote:
 rational beliefs is ridden with philosophical obscurities and there is virtually no agreement on the necessities of rational belief.

  

 

 

What are you talking about?  Gettier?  Seriously..  you have to defend statements like this.

 

I've noticed a disturbing trend for people to use the word 'rational' on this site with wild abandon and a wide, wide range of cobbled together personal meanings.  I think it should be pointed out that claiming to be 'rational' or your opponent 'irrational' does nothing to support your argument or assault your opponents.  Really, stop kicking philosophy like it's a stray dog and create a solid, defensible position.

 

If I have gained anything by damning myself, it is that I no longer have anything to fear. - JP Sartre


Yellow_Number_Five
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Abu Lahab wrote:I love the

Abu Lahab wrote:

I love the general attitude of this site. Turn the other cheek doesn't get 'it' done.

 

It certainly didn't work for Jesus.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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