Why and how? [Kill Em With Kindness]

ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Why and how? [Kill Em With Kindness]

Hi guys,

I received an email asking me to please come back and visit soon, so I thought I'd ask you two questions.

I believe in God. Why does that need fixing, and how do you propose to do it?

Thanks.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7530
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:Hi guys,I

ercatli wrote:

Hi guys,

I received an email asking me to please come back and visit soon, so I thought I'd ask you two questions.

I believe in God. Why does that need fixing

Because God believers are a danger to themselves and everyone else around them. (paraphrasing Bill O'Reilly)

 

 

Quote:
and how do you propose to do it.

 

Which of the several thousand gods to choose from do you believe in?  Why?  How long have you been a believer?  What is your most compelling evidence that he/she/it actually exists? 

If we could prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're god doesn't exist, would you still believe in him/her/it?

 

- Brian Sapient


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


Jeffrick
High Level DonorRational VIP!SuperfanGold Member
Jeffrick's picture
Posts: 2406
Joined: 2008-03-25
User is offlineOffline
Welcome back

ercatli wrote:

Hi guys,

I received an email asking me to please come back and visit soon, so I thought I'd ask you two questions.

I believe in God. Why does that need fixing, and how do you propose to do it?

Thanks.

     It is nice to see your interest. Yet rather then write a long post let me direct you to what has already been written in answer to your question: just click onto:

              http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15064   

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Hey guys, thanks for your

Hey guys, thanks for your replies. I read the reference you gave, Jeffrick, and I can see you are a bunch of fun guys and girls, so I thought I'd respond in the same way.

But really, I think you should look to your advertising. Rational Response Squad sounds pretty imposing, and "Believe in God?  We can fix that." is a pretty cool slogan, but 2 out of 4 ain't really good enough! Yes, you did respond, and I'll take your word for it that you're a squad (they're the easy parts), but so far there wasn't any deep rationality that will fix my "problem"of belief in God.  I don't think you guys realise what's at stake here - the future of world atheism, the future of the world itself, and perhaps, if Bill O'Reilly and Sapient are correct, the safety of the world, are all in danger, and you really need to lift your game! Who knows what harm I might do to myself, let alone to others?

So to your responses .....

"Because God believers are a danger to themselves and everyone else around them."

Do you really think how believers behave is an important factor? If so, perhaps you can show me how I'm a danger. I've believed in God for many many years, and I don't think I've ever murdered anyone, or self harmed. Yeah, I did get overtired once staying up late trying to help someone, is that what you mean? 

"Which of the several thousand gods to choose from do you believe in?  Why?  How long have you been a believer?  What is your most compelling evidence that he/she/it actually exists?"

I'd be interested to see if you could name several thousand gods that anyone seriously believes in, but perhaps rationality allows exaggeration? But this isn't the point. Your slogan didn't specify any particular god, just any god, or perhaps the God. And as for my most compelling evidence, I thought that was what you were doing - fixing me! I didn't advertise I could fix you!! This response hardly fills me with doubt.

"If we could prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're god doesn't exist, would you still believe in him/her/it?"

"If" is a big word (!!??). So far you're not living up to that either.

"rather then write a long post let me direct you to what has already been written in answer to your question: just click onto:   http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15064 "

I went there, and found a bit of humour, and a bunch of misconceptions some people apparently have about atheists. I don't recall seeing any misconceptions that I have (I haven't even had any conceptions, being a male! - no that wasn't funny was it, but ....). More importantly, I didn't see anything that would even begin to fix my belief in God.

But perhaps that was just the friendly opener, and the deep rationality that will fix me is yet to come. I can be charitable.  : )

Best wishes.

 


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
Answering questions

ercatli wrote:

"Which of the several thousand gods to choose from do you believe in?  Why?  How long have you been a believer?  What is your most compelling evidence that he/she/it actually exists?"

I'd be interested to see if you could name several thousand gods that anyone seriously believes in, but perhaps rationality allows exaggeration? But this isn't the point. Your slogan didn't specify any particular god, just any god, or perhaps the God. And as for my most compelling evidence, I thought that was what you were doing - fixing me! I didn't advertise I could fix you!! This response hardly fills me with doubt.

My first question would be what defines serious belief?

But if you want to be picky and we have to start narrowing things down then please tell us which god/God you believe in.  Once you've done that if you could give us a reason why you believe in this god/God over Thor, Allah, the Rainbow Serpent, Vishnu, Ra, or any other deity that would be a real help.

Why?  It's the first step.  In 'fixing' your belief in God much of the group here will point out the inconsistency is believing in one supernatural entity while discounting all others.

 

ercatli wrote:

"If we could prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're god doesn't exist, would you still believe in him/her/it?"

"If" is a big word (!!??). So far you're not living up to that either.

You're right.  "If" is a big word.  So big that it's stopped you from answering the question.  Before anyone starts trying to convince you of anything you have to answer this question.  It's a simple answer; yes or no.  If you can't answer yes to this question, if you aren't honestly willing to be convinced, then there's no point in anyone even trying.  This question has to be asked because so many lay down a similar challenge to yours and all they really want is to come along, listen to arguments they have no intention of heeding, and walk away feeling great about a belief they had no intention of questioning.

 

M

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Because God believers

Quote:

Because God believers are a danger to themselves and everyone else around them. (paraphrasing Bill O'Reilly)

Out of curiosity, what did he really say? Whatever it was probably wouldn't shock anymore given that he is so far right I'm surprised he doesn't have swastikas tatooed on his eyelids.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
All idol worship is worse

All idol worship is worse than just silly , and so RRS is here to the rescue, to save all from all that is idol worship dogma shit.

Yeah I am god, and fuck anyone who denies me or you , and fuck dictionary gods too, so yeah, "believe in god" as the masses do? ,  I can fix that .... Go RRS.

Fuck faith and belief, all that would be of any religious idol worship. If you don't know you are gawed you are the enemy of all humanity to heal .... To be an atheist is to reject all god definitions of any definition of separatism. All is one , and science is the study of all the details of the all connected "ONE".  

  This god of the religious is embarrassing .... what a crock of shit idol worship is ....

 I hate all traditional religion, all idol worship, all dogma, all superstition .... ALL OF THAT,  I am god as you and yeah I am pissed off, and yeah religious people suck, and yeah I want your kind to be healed, cause I love humanity and care ....

I am not going to take it anymore .... fuck all you idol worshipers .... And me god doesn't forget , not yet ..... I admire wisdom, no idols.

This is a pretty cool clip, to help make my point, from the movie "Network"

- "I'm Mad as Hell"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dib2-HBsF08&feature=related

 If you think that was a bit harsh of me, re-read the words of my atheistic caring indignant story book character jesus.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13829
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:Hi guys,I

ercatli wrote:

Hi guys,

I received an email asking me to please come back and visit soon, so I thought I'd ask you two questions.

I believe in God. Why does that need fixing, and how do you propose to do it?

Thanks.

Your belief needs fixing just as if you were a 20 year old who still believed that Santa visited all houses in the world with children in one night. If it sounds like magical fiction, it is. We are merely calling a duck a duck in hopes that you will stop blindly accepting naked assertions.

If you accept that there is no god named Thor who magically made lighting, then it should be easy to reject claims that a ghost can knock up a girl or that dead human flesh can survive rigor mortis.

"Question with boldness even the existance of God, for if there be one, surely he would pay more homage to reason than to that of blindfolded fear" Thomas Jefferson.

He was saying that no matter what you believe, it is better to question it to know if one is wrong, than it is to blindly believe something that is false.

Human history is full of magical sky daddy claims from the ancient polytheism to the modern monotheism. It makes much more sense that these are merely stories that people make up because they like the idea of a super hero, than to actually believe that the magical claims of any religion are real.

We are trying to help you escape the bonds of superstition. If you can escape the delusion of Santa as a child, you can escape the delusion of Santa for adults.

Now to any theist reading this, do not post pathetic responses about how atheists are out to create a fascist state. Putting a challenge out to the public to think about the claims one makes, is not an advocation to oppress human rights. So if anyone feels like posting that garbage, don't bother.

Theists wishing to respond have every opportunity to present their evidence.

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


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
All those seeking "god"

All those seeking "god" wisdom should read the words of the wise prophet Brian37


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13829
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:All

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

All those seeking "god" wisdom should read the words of the wise prophet Brian37

I've noticed you posting comments after my posts that come across as sarcastic as if to say you think I am a know it all? If that is not the case please explain.

I am not a prophet and am just as normal and mundane as the other 6 billion people on this planet. I simply saying that people do not need to buy superstitious fiction to guide their lives.

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


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
.... and that is the message

.... and that is the message of all the wise , as you. Yes Brian37, you are a wise buddha as I have read your many words, and I do thank you .....


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 Hi MichaelMcF: Thanks for

 Hi MichaelMcF:

Thanks for trying to help me out.

"But if you want to be picky and we have to start narrowing things down then please tell us which god/God you believe in."

But your slogan promised to "fix" my belief in God period. Are you now indicating there is fine print, and the real slogan should be "Believe in God? If it's a belief in some unbelievable god like Thor or Ra, and if you promise to help us out a little, then we can maybe perhaps fix that, sort of."? Do you only have a library of god-specific arguments and don't have a general argument that fixes things?

"In 'fixing' your belief in God much of the group here will point out the inconsistency is believing in one supernatural entity while discounting all others."

Would it be unkind to point out that if this was really a Rational Response Squad, you wouldn't make such a statement. It is obvious that this statement could only be true if all the gods under discussion had equal, and equally poor, reasons for believing in them. Which of course, you haven't established yet.

"You're right.  "If" is a big word.  So big that it's stopped you from answering the question.  Before anyone starts trying to convince you of anything you have to answer this question.  It's a simple answer; yes or no."

There's no need to be so severe and noble! Of course if something is proven, a thoughtful person could only believe it. You would presumably answer the same if I asked you the counter question. But "proof" is an amazingly strict thing, and if you have such a proof, your future in philosophy is assured. But until you show it, I'll say it's a big "if" and challenge you to offer anything even remotely resembling a "proof".

So perhaps you are unable to explain why my belief needs fixing, not how you can do it. Certainly you haven't got very far so far. But thanks for replying.

 


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 Brian37,Thanks too to you

 Brian37,

Thanks too to you for trying to assist me.

"Your belief needs fixing just as if you were a 20 year old who still believed that Santa visited all houses in the world with children in one night."

As I pointed out to MichaelMcF, if this was really a Rational Response Squad, you wouldn't say that. Logic says that your comparison can only be useful if you have first established that God is sufficiently similar to Santa to draw some conclusions. Which of course, you haven't established yet.

"If you accept that there is no god named Thor who magically made lighting, then it should be easy to reject claims that a ghost can knock up a girl or that dead human flesh can survive rigor mortis."

I presume you are making a reference to the christian doctrines of the virgin birth and the resurrection, and are keen to demonstrate to me the depth and sensitivity of your understanding of those doctrines. Well you can assume I've drawn the appropriate conclusion. But this is a non sequiter in answering my question, unless you first establish that these doctrines are inseparable from belief in a god. And of course, the same comments about the validity of comparisons needing to be established applies here too.

"It makes much more sense that these are merely stories that people make up because they like the idea of a super hero, than to actually believe that the magical claims of any religion are real."

You can say that, but you haven't demonstrated it either yet. It remains an unsupported assertion.

So I can only repeat, do you actually have any support for your statement that "we can fix that"? After all, rationality is built on logic and evidence, and so far you've only present dodgy comparisons and unsupported assertions.

But thanks for trying.


Renee Obsidianwords
High Level DonorModeratorRRS local affiliateSilver Member
Renee Obsidianwords's picture
Posts: 1388
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
I take my car into Midas

I take my car into Midas when my brakes are on the fritz. I guess I became familiar with their service because of their popular slogan  "trust the midas touch"

I should go in and demand they turn something into gold; I mean their name "midas" and their slogan implies I should trust their touch and midas' touch is touted to have turned everything into gold!

As for the slogan "believe in god, we can fix that" I am glad it got your attention.

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Well, here's a basic

Well, here's a basic start.

1. You have to want to change your beliefs.

2. Find a place/book that teaches critical thinking skills.

3. Apply yourself and learn those skills.

4. Apply those skills to what your church leaders tell you and what you read in whatever holy book you use.

RRS is not so much a teaching organization (though there are people to learn from here) as it is a resource area.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Wonko
Wonko's picture
Posts: 518
Joined: 2008-06-18
User is offlineOffline
ercatli,If you went to see a

ercatli,

If you went to see a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst or anyone else in the pysch field, would you expect to be able to waltz in to an office, plop down on a  couch and without so much as an "amen" out of your mouth, expect the professional to be able to help you?

The RRS slogan does indeed say "We can fix that". That doesn't mean you sit back and neglect whatever it is that is bothering you by refusing to come out of your faith shell. You must participate, you must provide us with the details of your beliefs in order that we can assist you. Failure to do that simply shows us that your arrival to our website, as well as subsequent returns every so often, aren't really designed so that you can learn the answer(s) to any questions you may have. And should you return again, don't expect that we will have all the solutions, because we don't.... but using logic, reason and science, we are working on those answers.

Regarding the slogan.... my guess is that those at the top of RRS didn't want to have a slogan that would be a mile and a half looooooong. Therefore the question, 'Believe in God?' does work and is appropriate. It's up to the believer to provide further details and further clarify his/her position on that question. After that is done, some of us, especially those who have more free time than I, can set about with the fixing.


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:After all,

ercatli wrote:

After all, rationality is built on logic and evidence, and so far you've only present dodgy comparisons and unsupported assertions.

Ah! Now we cut to the heart of the matter.

"Logic and evidence." If there were evidence for God, then logically one might rationally believe in God.

However, if there is no evidence for God, the logically one may not rationally believe in God.

So, to "fix" your belief in God, we'd first need to understand the evidence you propose that supports the existence of God. If that evidence is unequivicable and compelling, then we have nothing to fix, and you are rational in your belief. If, however, the evidence is circumstantial, discredited, hearsay, subjective, or otherwise faulty, then your belief in God is not rational. In that case, perhaps we can be of assistance.

This all depends, of course, on your desire to understand reality. If you are comfortable in your belief, irrational or not, then there is little we can do. If your belief does not lead you to destructive actions, such as attempting to propogate misinformation such as Intelligent Design, then your belief is benign, and I have no interest in dissuading you. If, however, your belief results in actions such as opposition to gay marriage, support of teaching intelligent design in science class, tearing down the wall that separates the church from the government, or other actions that force your misguided beliefs on others, then I will oppose you at every opportunity.

But first, let's hear your logic and evidence for your rational belief in God.

"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


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13829
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
ercatli

ercatli wrote:

 Brian37,

Thanks too to you for trying to assist me.

"Your belief needs fixing just as if you were a 20 year old who still believed that Santa visited all houses in the world with children in one night."

As I pointed out to MichaelMcF, if this was really a Rational Response Squad, you wouldn't say that. Logic says that your comparison can only be useful if you have first established that God is sufficiently similar to Santa to draw some conclusions. Which of course, you haven't established yet.

"If you accept that there is no god named Thor who magically made lighting, then it should be easy to reject claims that a ghost can knock up a girl or that dead human flesh can survive rigor mortis."

I presume you are making a reference to the christian doctrines of the virgin birth and the resurrection, and are keen to demonstrate to me the depth and sensitivity of your understanding of those doctrines. Well you can assume I've drawn the appropriate conclusion. But this is a non sequiter in answering my question, unless you first establish that these doctrines are inseparable from belief in a god. And of course, the same comments about the validity of comparisons needing to be established applies here too.

"It makes much more sense that these are merely stories that people make up because they like the idea of a super hero, than to actually believe that the magical claims of any religion are real."

You can say that, but you haven't demonstrated it either yet. It remains an unsupported assertion.

So I can only repeat, do you actually have any support for your statement that "we can fix that"? After all, rationality is built on logic and evidence, and so far you've only present dodgy comparisons and unsupported assertions.

But thanks for trying.

Thank you for your self centered condensation, but I am not the one who needs a "Pat on the head" as you are so stupidly trying to say to me.

BEYOND NATURE!

If one is to buy the claim that a man could ride a sleigh and land on every roof of every house in the world in one night, that would be BEYOND NATURE.

God is a naked assertion and is also BEYOND NATURE according to the claimant.

The only difference between the two is that one is one is bought as fact when both are fiction but BOTH ARE utterances dealing with things beyond nature.

Superman flying is BEYOND NATURE. When you understand why you accept that rightfully as fiction you will understand why I place your superstition in the same category as Superman.

Like I said, the only difference between the two is one is falsely accepted as fact.

Men don't fly like that and ghosts don't knock up girls. BOTH ARE fiction.

Not my fault you buy fiction as fact, only you can change that.

You really have deluded yourself if you cant see the connection.

 

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


shikko
Posts: 448
Joined: 2007-05-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:ercatli

Brian37 wrote:

ercatli wrote:

 Brian37,

Thanks too to you for trying to assist me.

"Your belief needs fixing just as if you were a 20 year old who still believed that Santa visited all houses in the world with children in one night."

As I pointed out to MichaelMcF, if this was really a Rational Response Squad, you wouldn't say that. Logic says that your comparison can only be useful if you have first established that God is sufficiently similar to Santa to draw some conclusions. Which of course, you haven't established yet.

(snip)

Thank you for your self centered condensation, but I am not the one who needs a "Pat on the head" as you are so stupidly trying to say to me.

BEYOND NATURE!

If one is to buy the claim that a man could ride a sleigh and land on every roof of every house in the world in one night, that would be BEYOND NATURE.

Let's go one step further: Santa is a god concept for children.  To compare:

a) God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Santa can visit the house of every child on earth in 24 hours, whether they have a chimney or not.

b) God is omniscient.  Santa "knows if you've been bad or good".

c) God rewards and punishes adherence to strictures with heaven and hell.  Santa rewards and punishes adherence to "good conduct" with presents and coal.

d) God has never been seen by any living person; the only records of sightings come from a single unreliable collection of stories.  Believers look to pastors for explanations of the attributes of god they do not understand.  Santa is never seen by children, only heard about in songs and stories or seen on TV.  Children look to their parents for explanations of the attributes of Santa they do not understand.

 

In conclusion, Santa is "god lite", specifically designed to be a semi-secular representation of the Christian god, tailored to habituate children to believing extraordinary claims of an unseen entity that enforces adherence to rules with reward and punishment.  Once they are used to the idea of Santa (who always manages to do good, tangible things for them), they will accept the premise of god on exactly the same level of evidence.

The difference, however, is that Santa is a belief out of which children are expected to grow.  They are supposed to come to the conclusion that is through human actions alone that we can make connections with each other, spreading happiness and a sense of community.  No fat man with magic powers is necessary to make people reflect on what it means to be a part of a group, be that group familial or civic.  As they grow, presents start to lose importance, replaced by feelings of togetherness.  Indeed, if a child were to never grow out of a belief in Santa, physicians would probably find it symptomatic of a mental imbalance.

So, with all the major commonalities highlighted, let me ask: do you believe in Santa?

--
maybe if this sig is witty, someone will love me.


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 shikko wrote:Let's go one

 

shikko wrote:

Let's go one step further: Santa is a god concept for children.  To compare:

a) God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Santa can visit the house of every child on earth in 24 hours, whether they have a chimney or not.

b) God is omniscient.  Santa "knows if you've been bad or good".

c) God rewards and punishes adherence to strictures with heaven and hell.  Santa rewards and punishes adherence to "good conduct" with presents and coal.

d) God has never been seen by any living person; the only records of sightings come from a single unreliable collection of stories.  Believers look to pastors for explanations of the attributes of god they do not understand.  Santa is never seen by children, only heard about in songs and stories or seen on TV.  Children look to their parents for explanations of the attributes of Santa they do not understand.

Thank you Shikko, you are the first one to try to present an argument, so I will address you first.

You have alleged 4 similarities between Santa and God. Let's look at them. (In this comparison, we are not yet discussing reality, only the definitions of the two entities - the assessment of reality comes later.)

(a) Omnipresent and omnipotent: I've never heard anyone claim that for Santa as is claimed for God, just highly present (pun?) on one particular night, and having one ability (to fly a sleigh). Comparison fails.

(b) Omniscient: God knows everything whereas Santa just knows where each child lives (well, each one in the west anyway, poor Indian and Ethiopian children don't seem to get presents). Hardly the same. Comparison fails.

(c) Rewards and punishments: A couple of toys isn't quite up to heaven. Comparison fails.

(d) Unseen: I'll take your word for it that no-one has claimed to have seen Santa, but many people claim to have seen God. Your statement that the records of sightings is in only one source is erroneous, and that that source is "unreliable" is an unsupported assertion. Comparison fails.

It is clear that the comparison is about as valid as comparing a 15W light globe to the sun, and inferences drawn from that comparison are thus quite erroneous. You might further like to ponder the many dissimilarities: Santa didn't create the world, God did; Santa does one miracle, God does many; Santa didn't create life, God did; Santa has left no revelation of himself, God did (depending on which God you are talking about), etc.

So, I guess it is clear that your comparison is actually a very poor one, should I say, not a RATIONAL one? So we are no nearer to fixing my belief, are we? But thank you for at least attempting the question.

 


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
Last things firstercatli

Last things first

ercatli wrote:

So perhaps you are unable to explain why my belief needs fixing, not how you can do it. Certainly you haven't got very far so far. But thanks for replying.

I'd like to state first and foremost that you have to take the RRS as a community of people with differing opinions and ideas.  That being said... belief in God needs 'fixing' because theism and the belief in sky parents serve no purpose in the modern world.  Faith in supreme beings clouds peoples minds with ridiculous rules and ideals that prevent them from understanding and, in some cases properly functioning in, this world of ours.  As the years have passed we have continually proven that things that once were thought to be caused by God are explainable by natural causes that need no supernatural hand to guide them.  As God's dominion has shrunk further and further into the esoteric the reasons to believe have grown smaller and smaller.  Belief is a vestigial trait from a time when we couldn't and wouldn't understand the world.

It needs to be fixed because it causes people to interfere in the private lives of others, trying to control people that will never affect their lives with threats of eternal punishment and retribution.  All because they don't agree with what someone else is doing.

It needs to be fixed because of the murders, rapes, forced marriages, twisted upbringings and traumatic childhoods that are caused in the name of an allegedly kind and loving God.

And before you say "but I've never done any of those things" - it needs to be fixed because the sheer wealth of people that profess to believe give a silent majority voice to the deranged and the damaged minds of the world that believe these actions are justified by their God.

How's that?

 

ercatli wrote:

But your slogan promised to "fix" my belief in God period. Are you now indicating there is fine print, and the real slogan should be "Believe in God? If it's a belief in some unbelievable god like Thor or Ra, and if you promise to help us out a little, then we can maybe perhaps fix that, sort of."? Do you only have a library of god-specific arguments and don't have a general argument that fixes things?

"In 'fixing' your belief in God much of the group here will point out the inconsistency is believing in one supernatural entity while discounting all others."

Would it be unkind to point out that if this was really a Rational Response Squad, you wouldn't make such a statement. It is obvious that this statement could only be true if all the gods under discussion had equal, and equally poor, reasons for believing in them. Which of course, you haven't established yet.

 

You're either missing or dodging the point.  I'm not sure which so I'll break it down for you:

1)  Atheists do not believe in any Gods.

2)  All Gods are treated equal in this regard.

3)  You have stated that you believe in God

4)  You must have a reason, or alleged evidence, for belief in this God over all the others.  Your own statement suggests that some Gods have better reasons for belief

5)  We would tell you that you're an atheist as well - we just believe in one less God than you.  Thus we would like to know what the reasons are for your belief in this God are.  Why do you believe in your God over Thor or Ra?  Only then can any attempt to "fix" your belief be started.

 

ercatli wrote:

"You're right.  "If" is a big word.  So big that it's stopped you from answering the question.  Before anyone starts trying to convince you of anything you have to answer this question.  It's a simple answer; yes or no."

There's no need to be so severe and noble! Of course if something is proven, a thoughtful person could only believe it. You would presumably answer the same if I asked you the counter question. But "proof" is an amazingly strict thing, and if you have such a proof, your future in philosophy is assured. But until you show it, I'll say it's a big "if" and challenge you to offer anything even remotely resembling a "proof".

 

Well I could be direct and start by saying the burden of proof lies with you... but all I'll say is 'excellent'. You're saying that you're willing to accept proof, and are thus willing to listen to rational discourse.  By that I'm assuming you're genuinely willing to be convinced otherwise of faith in God.  So, to begin, please answer the points outlined above.

 

M

 

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 Brian37,I'm sorry I

 Brian37,

I'm sorry I offended you. But look at it from my perspective. I asked an innocent question in response to an email from the RRS to visit this site. You made several quite insulting and gratuitous comments about what you assumed might be my belief, and I responded with a tongue-in-cheek "Thank you for trying". And this upset you? I don't think that's a very rational response, but I guess you guys never claimed to be a Polite Response Squad or to have a sense of humour. But let me apologise for the offence, and let's move on ....

"BEYOND NATURE!"

The substance of your response is summed up in these two words. Santa, Superman and God are all BEYOND NATURE, and therefore must all be false. There's only one problem with this argument, which we can see if we set it out rationally (remember, that's what this site is supposed to be all about?), like this:

1. Santa, Superman and God are beyond nature.

2. Anything beyond nature is untrue.

3. Therefore God is untrue.

Now I'm not sure you've established #1 - Superman and Santa seem to be within nature, just with extra-human powers - but let's leave that aside. But I'm quite sure you haven't established #2 - you haven't even offered a single reason to believe that proposition. So the argument just doesn't fly at the moment, sorry.

There is a second, implied, argument here as well, which can be presented as:

1. God is like Santa and Superman.

2. Santa and Superman don't exist.

3. Therefore God doesn't exist.

But again, this argument  fails. As I've outlined to shikko above, the comparison between Santa and God is a very feeble one, quite insufficient to justify the statement. This is an argument from analogy, and if you check out references on philosophy and logic, like this one from the University of North Carolina, when arguing from analogy, one should:  "Identify what properties are important to the claim you're making, and see whether the two things you're comparing both share those properties." If this isn't done, then the analogy is weak and the argument is fallacious. So you have quite a job to do to make that argument even vaguely logical.

So, unfortunately (for you), but fortunately for both me and God, your arguments fail and do not seem to be worthy of a site that elevates rationality to a high level. But thanks again.


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Renee Obsidianwords wrote:I

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

I take my car into Midas when my brakes are on the fritz. I guess I became familiar with their service because of their popular slogan  "trust the midas touch"

I should go in and demand they turn something into gold; I mean their name "midas" and their slogan implies I should trust their touch and midas' touch is touted to have turned everything into gold!

As for the slogan "believe in god, we can fix that" I am glad it got your attention.

 

Thanks Renee. At least you have given a straight answer. The slogan is exaggerated. I agree. And yes, it did get my attention, so like all good advertising, it worked. Unfortunately, like much advertising, it is neither rational nor true - at least, no-one has been able to demonstrate that yet. I guess that means your name should be changed to ERS - the Exaggerated Response Squad!?  : )


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 jcgadfly, wonko and

 jcgadfly, wonko and nigelTheBold,

I'm taking the liberty of replying to you all at once, because you essentially make the same point, summed up by nigelTheBold:

 

"Logic and evidence." If there were evidence for God, then logically one might rationally believe in God.

However, if there is no evidence for God, the logically one may not rationally believe in God.

So, to "fix" your belief in God, we'd first need to understand the evidence you propose that supports the existence of God. If that evidence is unequivicable and compelling, then we have nothing to fix, and you are rational in your belief. If, however, the evidence is circumstantial, discredited, hearsay, subjective, or otherwise faulty, then your belief in God is not rational. In that case, perhaps we can be of assistance.

In summary, tell us what you believe about God and then we'll "fix" it. Present your evidence, and we'll see what we can do with it. There's just a few problems with that:

1. I never promised to fix your belief, you promised to fix mine. The ball's in your court.

2. It is a little simplistic to say that if you can knock down my reasons, then your view is proven correct. That isn't RATIONAL (that word again!). If you disprove my arguments, all you've done is disprove my arguments, not disproven my conclusion nor proven your own. Take an example. Suppose I say that in quantum physics, changing how a particle is measured in one place in the laboratory could change how other particles behave a hundred metres away, when the only physical connection between the two sets of particles occurred before any of this happened, and I offered as my reason that quantum particles have magic properties granted to them by the Goddess Bliss. You might well be able to demolish my argument, but the original statement would nevertheless be true, as experiments show.

3. You also reveal some apparent ignorance of the world of philosophy. Some of the best minds have argued about belief in God for millennia, and the result is still unproven either way. It isn't clear what is rational in this area. If you think you have a new proof, your future in the hallowed halls of philosophy is assured. Lets' see it! But the reality will be that if I presented arguments, they would "only" suggest reasons why I believe God's existence is more probable, and your arguments could only show why you believe his existence is less probable.

So again, you cannot live up to your slogan, and honesty and rationality would suggest you don't make claims you can't fulfil. If nothing else, visitors like me could at least take you more seriously. Thanks for your comments.

 


Wonko
Wonko's picture
Posts: 518
Joined: 2008-06-18
User is offlineOffline
   shikko wrote: Let's go

  

 

shikko wrote:
Let's go one step further: Santa is a god concept for children.  To compare:

a) God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Santa can visit the house of every child on earth in 24 hours, whether they have a chimney or not.

b) God is omniscient.  Santa "knows if you've been bad or good".

c) God rewards and punishes adherence to strictures with heaven and hell.  Santa rewards and punishes adherence to "good conduct" with presents and coal.

d) God has never been seen by any living person; the only records of sightings come from a single unreliable collection of stories.  Believers look to pastors for explanations of the attributes of god they do not understand.  Santa is never seen by children, only heard about in songs and stories or seen on TV.  Children look to their parents for explanations of the attributes of Santa they do not understand.

ercatli wrote:
Thank you Shikko, you are the first one to try to present an argument, so I will address you first.

You have alleged 4 similarities between Santa and God. Let's look at them. (In this comparison, we are not yet discussing reality, only the definitions of the two entities - the assessment of reality comes later.)

(a) Omnipresent and omnipotent: I've never heard anyone claim that for Santa as is claimed for God, just highly present (pun?) on one particular night, and having one ability (to fly a sleigh). Comparison fails.

(b) Omniscient: God knows everything whereas Santa just knows where each child lives (well, each one in the west anyway, poor Indian and Ethiopian children don't seem to get presents). Hardly the same. Comparison fails.

(c) Rewards and punishments: A couple of toys isn't quite up to heaven. Comparison fails.

(d) Unseen: I'll take your word for it that no-one has claimed to have seen Santa, but many people claim to have seen God. Your statement that the records of sightings is in only one source is erroneous, and that that source is "unreliable" is an unsupported assertion. Comparison fails.

It is clear that the comparison is about as valid as comparing a 15W light globe to the sun, and inferences drawn from that comparison are thus quite erroneous. You might further like to ponder the many dissimilarities: Santa didn't create the world, God did; Santa does one miracle, God does many; Santa didn't create life, God did; Santa has left no revelation of himself, God did (depending on which God you are talking about), etc.

So, I guess it is clear that your comparison is actually a very poor one, should I say, not a RATIONAL one? So we are no nearer to fixing my belief, are we? But thank you for at least attempting the question.

 

ercatli,

You are distorting much of what shikko said. Check a), b) and d) and try again. And as far as c) goes...to many children, getting toys can be very much like heaven. You simply aren't looking at the situation as you were once able to.... through the eyes of a child.

Also, I fear your continued pomposity, will not help us to help you. A little kindness and humility go a long, long way around here.

 


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 Nice try MichaelMcF, but

 Nice try MichaelMcF, but not really good enough. You want me to answer your questions while you refuse, or are unable, to answer mine. You seem unable to mount an argument to support your slogan, but unwilling to admit that makes the slogan false. You use arguments from analogy, when the analogies are demonstrably false, but don't retract them. Why do you avoid these "rational" conclusions?

Now to your points:

"That being said... belief in God needs 'fixing' because theism and the belief in sky parents serve no purpose in the modern world."

A few things wrong here. (1) What have theism and "sky parents" got to do with each other, and what place does a term like "sky parents" have in "rational" discussion? Proves nothing! (2) The statement is another unsupported assertion. You say belief in God has no purpose in the modern world, billions of people say otherwise. Where's your evidence of that statement? Just because you think it doesn't make it true you know. : )

"It needs to be fixed because of the murders, rapes, forced marriages, twisted upbringings and traumatic childhoods that are caused in the name of an allegedly kind and loving God."

Yes, now we're getting down to some sort of argument. But there's two problems.

1. All sorts of nasty behaviours can be found in believers and unbelievers alike. Atheistic regimes (regrettably) appear to have killed more people in the twentieth century than theistic regimes (regrettably) killed in all the centuries leading up to then. And so on. You have to first establish that theists have done more nasty things, per capita, than non-believers - and I think we might be able to establish the opposite. Without that statistical evidence, it seems the best conclusion is that people of all sorts do nasty things, something few believers are going to argue with.

2. Even if you could establish that believers do more nasty things per capita than unbelievers, you'd also need to establish that their beliefs are the reason for that, otherwise it might be something else. Take an example. We might think that Muslim suicide bombers are motivated by their religious belief to do their nasty work, but research actually shows that religion is a small part of their motivation - the main parts are political and defense of their homeland or "tribe".

It's a drag, isn't it, being rational actually requires us to use evidence and facts rather than assertions, but there it is. Perhaps you could change to the "ARG" = The Assertion Response Group! : )

"You're either missing or dodging the point." 

Not at all, I'm just refusing to accept your definition of the point! I still say, you guys made the statement, let's see your arguments - or at least an admission that you can't mount a successful argument unless it is aimed at a specific God. Give the that admission and we can then move on.

"Why do you believe in your God over Thor or Ra?"

When you think about it (not sure if you have, but let's assume), this is really a very silly statement. Do you justify your belief in anything by comparing it with a lot of silly beliefs? Really? Like I'm voting for Barack Obama because he's much better than Bart Simpson or the Easter Bunny?

I never think about Thor or Ra - except when discussing with an atheist, like one poor dude who claimed to be a lecturer in philosophy and tried to argue that Thor could be compared to the Christian God - he gave up when his argument couldn't be sustained, and he misquoted a primary source and was found out. I believe in God because there are good reasons to do so, and Thor and Ra never come into it. Yes, I could give you those reasons, though I doubt it would change anything, but I don't propose to just yet, as I'm exploring you guys' ability to deliver on your claims.

So far, nothing much is happening. But thanks again.


Nikolaj
Superfan
Nikolaj's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: 2008-04-27
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:2. It is a

ercatli wrote:
2. It is a little simplistic to say that if you can knock down my reasons, then your view is proven correct. That isn't RATIONAL (that word again!).
Oh, it is perfectly rational in this situation and here's why. The above statement can be true in some situations, but it depends on the views espoused by both sides. My view (I won't speak for anyone else here) corolates to the following example

 

There is a car in front of the two of us. It is yellow.

you say: The car is red (your view)

I say, the car is not red (my view)

If I can "knock down" (though I would prefer to argue for it, rather than knock it) your reasons for believing that the car is red,  and you accept my arguments then the car is not red by default, because you now see the car is not red. Since my view quite simply is that the car is not red we are now in agreement. My view is "proven correct"

Had my view been that the car was yellow I would be right, but I would have to argue for that seperately.

But the atheist viewpoint is quite simply, "the car is not red"

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


Nikolaj
Superfan
Nikolaj's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: 2008-04-27
User is offlineOffline
And by the way, stop saying

And by the way, stop saying it's "our" slogan. I am as much a part of the RRS as you are. Namely, I am a poster on their boards, as are you. I don't suspect that you consider it "your" slogan, and nor should you consider it mine, or any of the other posters who have replied to you, unless they have specifically told you that they fully endorse that particular slogan, and consider it "theirs". You have yet to provide any evidence for your assertion that it is "our" slogan, so you cannot argue as though it is.

If you insist that we back up every single argument we make with further argument, then you should do the same. We needn't defend the slogan, and adhere strictly to the way YOU think it should be interpreted, unless you can prove to us that it is "our" slogan, and that we are therefore forced to adhere to it's premise.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Wonko wrote:ercatli,You are

Wonko wrote:

ercatli,

You are distorting much of what shikko said. Check a), b) and d) and try again. And as far as c) goes...to many children, getting toys can be very much like heaven. You simply aren't looking at the situation as you were once able to.... through the eyes of a child.

Sorry Wonko, but I don't have to "try again". I wasn't "distorting" what he said, I was testing its validity. shikko was making the argument, so he has to establish the validity of the analogy. I indicated a whole raft of ways in which the analogy failed. If you are so sure I'm wrong, please present the arguments that make Santa anywhere near the same ballpark as God. So far, he hasn't, and neither have you.

"Also, I fear your continued pomposity, will not help us to help you. A little kindness and humility go a long, long way around here." 

I am sorry to sound pompous. I thought your name, slogan and picture looked a bit pompous myself, so I guess it's a matter of taste. (Also, I wonder why you didn't "correct" Brian37 for his insulting expression of christian doctrines? Could it be this is the DSRS - the Double Standard Response Squad?) Or am I pompous because I dare to question your cherished arguments and point out where they are not really "rational"? Sorry, guilty as charged!

Thanks again. I await a rational argument.

 


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Nikolaj,Two posts for the

Nikolaj,

Two posts for the price of one - I am honoured. Thanks for taking the interest.

Nikolaj wrote:

ercatli wrote:
2. It is a little simplistic to say that if you can knock down my reasons, then your view is proven correct. That isn't RATIONAL (that word again!).
Oh, it is perfectly rational in this situation and here's why. The above statement can be true in some situations, but it depends on the views espoused by both sides. My view (I won't speak for anyone else here) corolates to the following example

 There is a car in front of the two of us. It is yellow.

you say: The car is red (your view)

I say, the car is not red (my view)

If I can "knock down" (though I would prefer to argue for it, rather than knock it) your reasons for believing that the car is red,  and you accept my arguments then the car is not red by default, because you now see the car is not red. Since my view quite simply is that the car is not red we are now in agreement. My view is "proven correct"

Had my view been that the car was yellow I would be right, but I would have to argue for that seperately.

But the atheist viewpoint is quite simply, "the car is not red"

So let's test this. In the example you have given, let's replace "the car" with "God", "red" with "exists", and "yellow" with "doesn't exist". (I presume this is what you mean us to do.) Thus I am arguing that God exists. (Actually, I am not arguing that, just testing your claims, but let's overlook that for the moment.) So, following the analogy, you are not saying God doesn't exist (the car is yellow), but just that I cannot say that God does exist (the car is not red). Is that what you are saying? I am interested to hear your answer here, because the two claims "God doesn't exist" and "we haven't proven God exists" are quite different ones. If you do mean what you seem to be saying, then this site's slogan should become "Believe in God? We can throw doubt on that!" I would find that a much more rational and honest slogan!

Nikolaj wrote:

And by the way, stop saying it's "our" slogan. I am as much a part of the RRS as you are. Namely, I am a poster on their boards, as are you. I don't suspect that you consider it "your" slogan, and nor should you consider it mine, or any of the other posters who have replied to you, unless they have specifically told you that they fully endorse that particular slogan, and consider it "theirs". You have yet to provide any evidence for your assertion that it is "our" slogan, so you cannot argue as though it is.

Well you see, it isn't my slogan. No-one asked me if I wanted it, or if I agreed with it. I joined the forum for a particular reason, didn't post, was invited back, saw the slogan, thought it both pretentious and inaccurate, and thought now I was here, I'd try to test out how accurate it was in reality. If you don't "own" the slogan, I am not arguing with you, only with those who do think it is correct.

So, are you specifically disagreeing with the slogan?

Quote:
If you insist that we back up every single argument we make with further argument, then you should do the same.

I'm not insisting you back up any arguments. I'm just suggesting that is what "rational" usually includes. If you want an exemption from that, perhaps you should become the HSSRS - the Hopefully Slightly Sensible Response Squad!

And if I make an argument, I am quite willing to do the same - I just haven't made an argument yet, but questioned all of yours. And I have provided reasons in logic why I ask the questions. As I said to someone else, it's a drag, isn't it, being committed to rationality? It is easy to poor scorn on someone else's beliefs, but much harder if you are required to frame your arguments logically and support them with evidence, and not easy to defend your own position. But that's the onerous task the Squad has taken on.

I don't wish to be too harsh. You go back and check out all the things that have been said in response to my questioning. False analogy, non-logical arguments, unsupported assertions, etc. I don't honestly think one seriously cogent argument has been presented. I invite you as a thoughtful person to look at it as dispassionately as you are all asking me to do about God, and tell me if that statement isn't true. And then draw your own conclusions from that.

This atheism vs theism thing isn't a game, it's deadly serious. So far, your side isn't scrubbing up all that well. I wonder what conclusion you might like to draw from that.

Thanks, and all the best to you.


peterweal
peterweal's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: 2008-06-08
User is offlineOffline
You seem to be a bit hung up

You seem to be a bit hung up on the slogan. 

The point is simply that there is no evidence for any god. Why don't you stop wasting everyone's time by nit-picking people's analogies? You're not even trying to see the big picture here.

Just talk to us about what you believe and why you believe it. I think the back-and-forth dialog will progress better.

 

This thread has quickly become boring.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
It' a simple attention

It's a simple attention getting slogan, and works, and true. It is directed at god(s) of religion thinkers, effectively bringing them to RRS, and it doesn't say fix everyone.

"Want attention, start a fight" .... is an old proverb regarding language use.

      My approval of the slogan out weighs my disapproval. I would prefer "Believe in God of Abraham, we may be able to fix that."  How about, "Believe in Idols, Religion, Superstition, you are SICK, maybe we can help!" ..... "RRS saves!"  Spread the good word, atheism.  LOL RRS .   


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
peterweal wrote:You seem to

peterweal wrote:

You seem to be a bit hung up on the slogan. 

The point is simply that there is no evidence for any god. Why don't you stop wasting everyone's time by nit-picking people's analogies? You're not even trying to see the big picture here.

Just talk to us about what you believe and why you believe it. I think the back-and-forth dialog will progress better.

This thread has quickly become boring.

Thanks for joining in Peter. I guess it will be boring when no one bothers to post any more!

And, no, I'm not hung up on the slogan. I thought it was pretentious and unsupportable, so I thought it might be interesting to test my initial impression. If you can't get that right, how can anyone think you'll get anything else right? So far it's my impression 1 - slogan 0.

No evidence for God? You maybe should get out more (out of this site and do some reading). There are many people presenting evidence. You may not believe their conclusions from that evidence, but that's a different thing. For example, I recommend two books on philosophy, one by an explicit atheist, the other by (I think) a non-explicit theist. They are "God, Reason and Theistic Proofs" by Stephen T Davis and "Arguing for Atheism" by Robin le Poidevin. Both authors are university academics from the UK, and they present many arguments based on much evidence. Even though le Poidevin is an atheist, he doesn't fall into the trap of thinking there is no evidence.

I'll consider going to the next stage of discussion when we have resolved some issues already raised. For starters, let's try these issues that have arisen so far:

1. Arguments from analogy with Thor, Santa, etc, are silly, and cannot be supported by logic. To establish the analogy between God, whose existence is under question, and the other entities, whose existence is generally accepted to be mythical, requires that you first establish that they are all similar. You might as well just disprove God in the first place.

2. If you have a general argument against God, let's see it. The fact that no-one has tried this yet suggests that you don't have one. If you need me to supply the details of the god I believe in before your arguments commence, you are effectively saying that to disprove god, you will need to work your way through all of the thousands of gods Sapient spoke of in his early post one by one. So which is it to be, a general proof, or one-by one?

3. There are many arguments for and against God's existence, and more than the two possible conclusions: "We can prove God exists" and "we can prove God doesn't exist". If they were the only possibilities, then proving one would disprove the other. But other possibilities include "God probably exists", "God probably doesn't exist" and"we can never know for sure one way or the other". Thus disproving one argument in favour of God's existence cannot be enough to disprove God, it merely changes the probabilities a little. To disprove God, you need to disprove all the argument for God and prove at least one against his existence. That's a tall order.

4. Simple assertions that it is dangerous to believe in God require us to examine all the evidence and use logical proof, just like any other assertion.

So, over to you. If we can't get anywhere on these matters, we won't get anywhere on anything else. Thanks.

 


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:It's a

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

It's a simple attention getting slogan, and works, and true. It is directed at god(s) of religion thinkers, effectively bringing them to RRS, and it doesn't say fix everyone.

"Want attention, start a fight" .... is an old proverb regarding language use.

      My approval of the slogan out weighs my disapproval. I would prefer "Believe in God of Abraham, we may be able to fix that."  How about, "Believe in Idols, Religion, Superstition, you are SICK, maybe we can help!" ..... "RRS saves!"  Spread the good word, atheism.  LOL RRS .   

Cool, I can dig that! : ) Just so long as no-one takes it seriously!

Which of course raises the question, why bother if it's not actually true? (Actually, I doubt it brings people in. They have to get here already to see it, like I did. But it is likely to make people feel like they can't take you seriously - which of course I don't mind. : )

Thanks

PS Why were my posts originally in normal type and now they're all coming out in bold italics?


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
ercatliThanks for being here

ercatli

Thanks for being here and caring, really.  Isn't the definition of g-o-d the root of the problem?


AmericanIdle
Posts: 414
Joined: 2007-03-16
User is offlineOffline
ercatli

ercatli wrote:

Quote:
Arguments from analogy with Thor, Santa, etc, are silly, and cannot be supported by logic.

Not silly.  There is not a single major religion that offers a more plausible deity. 

Quote:
 If you have a general argument against God, let's see it. The fact that no-one has tried this yet suggests that you don't have one.

You're right.  You win.  Except one thing, theist.  The burden of proof lies with the positive claimant.  Something you're already certainly aware of when you started this thread with the command for the RRS to "fix you.

I don't speak for the RRS, but "We can fix that", was far more likely to be meant as a provocative statement, than anything else.

As the claimant of something extraordinary, theist... it is your responsibility to provide evidence for this belief.  Kudos for being the millionth theist to try to turn this around.  Yawn !

Quote:
To disprove God, you need to disprove all the argument for God and prove at least one against his existence

It has never been necessary to disprove anything that has no credible evidence for its existence. 

And I've never seen a single argument for god that had any credible evidence.

 

So far, you've been brilliant ercatli.  You've carefully avoided stating your specific theism.  You've danced around any possible definition of god.

This is so much easier than having to come up w/ answers for the violence, hatred, intolerance, and the contradictions of any particular theism, not to mention the unicorns and talking critters.

Only one problem, ercatli.

This crap has been tried before.  Again and again and again on this forum.  Oh you thought you were the first ?

So, tell you what, ercatli.  Either you state what particular father figure holds your belief... or declare what brand of immortality project earns your devotion... or take your theist dance and dance right out the same door thousands of others have tried before you.

Because that theist tact has already been played out.

  

 

 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
He god? , who was god's mom?

He god? , who was god's mom? , fucking babel , fucking religion idol creation god inventions are non sense, absolute crap. Worship how?????

   All IDOLS are my ENEMY .... let's just love one another .... Idols create separatism. How can all not be one? If there is a supernatural other something, it has not announced it self, an it sure the heck isn't anything as written in traditional theology of idol worship. 

   god is a she, a virgin

What a fucking sick ugly harmful thing this idol is, as is religion, the invention of idols and separatism  .....  religion is the enemy of what we truly are ..... "God" and religion are opposing ideas, an oxymoron, and I reject the very premise of religion, which is idol worship. Religion is fucking godless .... it's "devil" worship, meaning wrong thinking .... To be "saved" is to reject Abraham's religion, all idols. It's called atheism or pantheism, or buddhism, or taoism, etc .... fuck Abe's god.


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
I AM GOD AS YOU

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

ercatli

Thanks for being here and caring, really.  Isn't the definition of g-o-d the root of the problem?

I don't think so. I think we could agree on the definition pretty easily. It's the existence of a being meeting any reasonable definition that is the "problem".

I won't respond to your following post, my mum never allowed me to learn the meaning of all those naughty words!  : )

Thanks


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Hi AmericanIdle:It's nice to

Hi AmericanIdle:

It's nice to see new people commenting.

AmericanIdle wrote:

ercatli wrote:

Quote:
Arguments from analogy with Thor, Santa, etc, are silly, and cannot be supported by logic.

Not silly.  There is not a single major religion that offers a more plausible deity.

I'm afraid this is another unsupported assertion. First offer evidence that demonstrates this, then we can talk turkey. Until then, it's just hot air I'm afraid. Or don't you think "rationality" requires evidence?

 

Quote:
 
Quote:
If you have a general argument against God, let's see it. The fact that no-one has tried this yet suggests that you don't have one.

You're right.  You win.  Except one thing, theist.  The burden of proof lies with the positive claimant.  Something you're already certainly aware of when you started this thread with the command for the RRS to "fix you.

I don't speak for the RRS, but "We can fix that", was far more likely to be meant as a provocative statement, than anything else.

As the claimant of something extraordinary, theist... it is your responsibility to provide evidence for this belief.  Kudos for being the millionth theist to try to turn this around.  Yawn !

Nice try. Except for one thing. I'm not a "positive claimant" because I haven't actually presented any argument. I don't have any burden of proof because I'm not trying to prove anything, just ask questions and analyse the responses. Don't you think it is funny that you guys are trying to claim and prove something (We can fix that!) but you won't or can't offer proof; I am not claiming or proving anything, yet you try to make me accept a burden of proof which you won't accept. Sounds like the Double Standards Response Squad again! : )

 

Quote:
Quote:
To disprove God, you need to disprove all the argument for God and prove at least one against his existence

It has never been necessary to disprove anything that has no credible evidence for its existence. 

And I've never seen a single argument for god that had any credible evidence.

Have you considered that you have made two quite different statement here, one quite plausible and one quite questionable? I'm quite willing to believe that you haven't seen any credible evidence, but that might just be because you haven't looked for any, or wouldn't recognise credible evidence if you tripped over it, or it might not be, how would I know?

Your statement "It has never been necessary to disprove anything that has no credible evidence for its existence." is of course literally true also, but in context, you seem to be claiming that there actually and in reality is no credible evidence for the existence of a god. I seem to be repeating a mantra here, but that is an unsupported assertion. Show us all how you would demonstrate its truth (remember, we are trying to be rational here, even if it hurts) and we have something to get our teeth into. But until then, more hot air, I'm sorry.

Quote:
So far, you've been brilliant ercatli.  You've carefully avoided stating your specific theism.  You've danced around any possible definition of god.

This is so much easier than having to come up w/ answers for the violence, hatred, intolerance, and the contradictions of any particular theism, not to mention the unicorns and talking critters.

I'm blushing. : ) Brilliance is not something I'm often accused of. But I haven't danced (I'm a lousy dancer!), I've just stayed focused on one thing, that seems to make you all uncomfortable - asking you to justify your statements. Not too much to ask is it?

But your second statement is another unsupported assertion. As I said in post #25, before you can run that argument, you need to demonstrate that theism has a worse track record than other beliefs, and that it was theism that caused that evil. Not so easy, is it?

Quote:
This crap has been tried before.  Again and again and again on this forum.  Oh you thought you were the first ?

So, tell you what, ercatli.  Either you state what particular father figure holds your belief... or declare what brand of immortality project earns your devotion... or take your theist dance and dance right out the same door thousands of others have tried before you.

Because that theist tact has already been played out.

I'm sorry, but you seem to be a little upset. I'm sorry to do that to you, I'm just trying to be rational and ask you questions. I don't see any reason to be upset at that. And I would guess that if some poor unsuspecting naive theist came on here and you all gave him/her the treatment, and he/she squirmed, felt uncomfortable that their cherished beliefs were being challenged, and reacted, you'd all think it either fun or useful in leading them to the truth. I bet I could find some threads exactly like that if I searched. So I feel a little the same - not fun, this is serious underneath it all, but necessary to allow you the opportunity to see that brave assertion without proper argument and evidence is not really convincing. It might even give the open-minded people here pause to think again, you never know. Nevertheless, I'm genuinely sorry to upset you, but that's the price of having your cherished beliefs challenged, I guess.

I didn't really think about whether I was the first theist on this forum, but I guess I would be surprised if I was. I don't see what difference it makes. Either you can justify your (collective) statements, or you can't. So far, you can't, or at least haven't. Rather, you've all tried some half-baked arguments that are almost totally unsupported. I guess I've learned something, as have any other readers.

But I'm afraid I don't feel any pressure to give in to your demand. I have never tried to present my beliefs beyond my initial statement, and I see no reason to at this stage. I think it is educational querying your (collective) views. If you can't defend your own statements, what good do you think it would do to get into an argument about mine?

But never mind. I only came here because of an invitation email, and I don't expect to stay long, so you'll likely get your wish. Thanks for your comments and your interest.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
ercatli, surly you'd agree

ercatli, surly you'd agree there is a problem, so what the problem ? Show me the idol , and so I may examine it ....

The holy grail always has been and always will be atheism ... simply NO idol worship.

            

 


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote: Nice try

ercatli wrote:

 Nice try MichaelMcF, but not really good enough. You want me to answer your questions while you refuse, or are unable, to answer mine. You seem unable to mount an argument to support your slogan, but unwilling to admit that makes the slogan false. You use arguments from analogy, when the analogies are demonstrably false, but don't retract them. Why do you avoid these "rational" conclusions?

The only questions you have asked so far are "Why does that need fixing, and how do you propose to do it?".  Through all the responses so far you have recieved answers to both these questions:  We believe you need fixing because we have seen no evidence to support belief in any god and we propose to fix your belief by demonstrating, through logical discourse, that your own belief falls victim to the same lack of evidence.

There's your answer.

 

ercatli wrote:

 

(1) What have theism and "sky parents" got to do with each other, and what place does a term like "sky parents" have in "rational" discussion? Proves nothing! (2) The statement is another unsupported assertion. You say belief in God has no purpose in the modern world, billions of people say otherwise. Where's your evidence of that statement? Just because you think it doesn't make it true you know. : )

1) Sky parents is a jocular title to cover any God that has set rules for their creation.  If you want I'll list it as my official title for God for the purposes of discussion.

2)  Billions of people may say otherwise but, to throw out an old argument, show me one deed or drive supported by religion that could not be performed by an atheist.  The supposed goodwill acts of many religions are also performed by secular groups.  What purpose does your belief serve?

 

ercatli wrote:

Yes, now we're getting down to some sort of argument. But there's two problems. 1. All sorts of nasty behaviours can be found in believers and unbelievers alike. Atheistic regimes (regrettably) appear to have killed more people in the twentieth century than theistic regimes (regrettably) killed in all the centuries leading up to then. And so on. You have to first establish that theists have done more nasty things, per capita, than non-believers - and I think we might be able to establish the opposite. Without that statistical evidence, it seems the best conclusion is that people of all sorts do nasty things, something few believers are going to argue with.

 

Very true.  Religious groups aren't responsible for all the bloodshed in the world.  There is no evidence to suggest that those regimes murdered people because they were atheists.  No-one was killed in the name of atheism.  Atheism is a lack of belief in something.  Religious atrocities are carried out to this day - see September 11 - because people beleive that they are the chosen of God and have the right to take the blood of the non-believers.

For the record Hitler was a catholic.

 

ercatli wrote:

"You're either missing or dodging the point." 

Not at all, I'm just refusing to accept your definition of the point! I still say, you guys made the statement, let's see your arguments - or at least an admission that you can't mount a successful argument unless it is aimed at a specific God. Give the that admission and we can then move on.

1)  Burden of proof lies with the positive claimant (that would be you)

2)  If we're following your reasoning - nowhere in the title does it explicitly state that we would outright disprove God.  It says we can fix your belief in God.  See above for how.

 

ercatli wrote:

"Why do you believe in your God over Thor or Ra?"

When you think about it (not sure if you have, but let's assume), this is really a very silly statement. Do you justify your belief in anything by comparing it with a lot of silly beliefs? Really? Like I'm voting for Barack Obama because he's much better than Bart Simpson or the Easter Bunny?

I justify my beliefs by looking at all the options and seeing which makes more sense logically.  So yes, you could say I have compared my atheism to silly beliefs (christianity etc....).  By making that statement you've backed up my own point.  We believe your deity is silly.  It is prone to all the weaknesses of any other imaginary being.

Provide evidence for this deity.  If you can't find any evidence to support this deity, or it doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny, then all you have is an assumption and Occam's razor will take care of the rest.

 

M

 

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:But your

ercatli wrote:
But your second statement is another unsupported assertion. As I said in post #25, before you can run that argument, you need to demonstrate that theism has a worse track record than other beliefs, and that it was theism that caused that evil. Not so easy, is it?

You want us to list ALL the evil directly caused by theism ? Yeah, that might take a while.

And just to be clear, if someone flying a plane into a building while screaming "allah akbar !!" isn't proof of religously inspired insanity for you, then what is ?

Okay, let's try this guy then : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

Does he support the assertion ?


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:Even if you

ercatli wrote:
Even if you could establish that believers do more nasty things per capita than unbelievers, you'd also need to establish that their beliefs are the reason for that, otherwise it might be something else. Take an example. We might think that Muslim suicide bombers are motivated by their religious belief to do their nasty work, but research actually shows that religion is a small part of their motivation - the main parts are political

Don't know if you noticed, but politics and religion tend to overlap a little where they come from.

ercatli wrote:
and defense of their homeland or "tribe".

Defending it against the infidels, you mean ?

ercatli wrote:
It's a drag, isn't it, being rational actually requires us to use evidence and facts rather than assertions.

Indeed. So let's have your evidence and facts for your assertions about Muslim suicide bombers. Show us this research you speak of.


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 Hiya Michael, nice to see

 Hiya Michael, nice to see you back, and thanks for your long reply. These discussions have a way of expanding, don't they, so I'll try to pick the eyes out of your response.

Quote:
The only questions you have asked so far are "Why does that need fixing, and how do you propose to do it?"

Actually, I asked the following questions and posed the following challenges:

1. "Do you only have a library of god-specific arguments and don't have a general argument that fixes things?" (i.e.  to disprove the existence of God, do you have to disprove each individual hypothetical god one-by-one, or do you have a general proof?)

2. "It is obvious that this statement could only be true if all the gods under discussion had equal, and equally poor, reasons for believing in them. Which of course, you haven't established yet."  (i.e. can you demonstrate that proposition?)

3. "But until you show it, I'll say it's a big "if" and challenge you to offer anything even remotely resembling a "proof"" (i.e. can you provide that proof?)

I'd say they were quite substantial questions, and I haven't seen any reasonable response yet.

Quote:
We believe you need fixing because we have seen no evidence to support belief in any god and we propose to fix your belief by demonstrating, through logical discourse, that your own belief falls victim to the same lack of evidence.

"We have seen no evidence" is a long way from "there is no evidence", yet it is the latter you need to do the fixing, surely? The first statement might just be due to ignorance.

Quote:
 show me one deed or drive supported by religion that could not be performed by an atheist

I really am surprised at some of the things you guys say. What relevance is it that atheists could do the same things as theists (both good and bad)? The accusation was that belief in God was dangerous, and that requires demonstration of actual outcomes, not theoretical ones. I know it's much easier to just assert things and say we can do anything you can do, but showing what actually happens requires evidence, and that seems in short supply so far. So you haven't supported your own statement at all.

Quote:
Religious groups aren't responsible for all the bloodshed in the world.  There is no evidence to suggest that those regimes murdered people because they were atheists.  No-one was killed in the name of atheism.  Atheism is a lack of belief in something.  Religious atrocities are carried out to this day - see September 11 - because people beleive that they are the chosen of God and have the right to take the blood of the non-believers.

For the record Hitler was a catholic.

It is interesting how you reply to what I didn't say rather than what I did say. Check and see, I didn't say that those regimes murdered people because they were atheists, I specifically said the best explanation was that people of all types do nasty things. But most of your statements here are again unsupported assertions - "no-one was killed in the name of atheism"? "Hitler was a catholic"? Have you got independent historical verification of those statements? (I think they require it.)

Quote:
 Burden of proof lies with the positive claimant (that would be you)

This seems to becoming a piece of atheist dogma. Can you demonstrate it's truth to me? I think the true statement, in formal logic, would be something like "all propositions in a proof require supporting evidence". And you will note, I am not trying to prove anything, I am just asking you to provide supporting evidence for your assertions to me. That is, unless you wish to retract claims like "We can fix that!" and the 3 questions I reiterated earlier.

Quote:
Provide evidence for this deity.  If you can't find any evidence to support this deity, or it doesn't stand up to logical scrutiny, then all you have is an assumption and Occam's razor will take care of the rest.

No, I still have my reasons, it's just that you don't know them yet. As I've said before, you guys made the claims, and have supported them with very limp arguments, without supporting evidence. I haven't made any arguments of my own yet, just examining yours for logic and evidence. You all seem remarkably shy about providing it. You see, it is all a cunning ploy on my part. It is much easier to critique another person's beliefs than defend one's own. You guys mostly get away with free-wheeling critiques of theism with little supporting evidence, so I am challenging you to do the harder job of defending your own statements. I know it must be frustrating, but if you make the statements, I'll ask for evidence. The way forward is to either support the arguments or retract them.

Let's reiterate. Here are some of the arguments you and others have alluded to:

1. Belief in God is as silly as belief Santa or Thor. My challenge: demonstrate the truth of that or retract it.

2. God doesn't exist but we need to know which God you believe in so we can disprove it. My challenge: does this mean that, with thousands of gods (according to Sapient), you can only disprove the existence of God by going through all of them one-by-one, or do you have a general disproof?

3. Theism is a danger to the world. My challenge: provide comprehensive historical evidence that demonstrates that theists are more dangerous than other beliefs, and that their theism is the reason why, or retract it.

Can you, or can you not, provide evidence that supports your statements here?

Sorry to be so frustrating to you, but rising to meet these challenges is good for the soul! (Or for something!) : )

Thanks again.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
ercatl wrote:1. Belief in

ercatl wrote:

1. Belief in God is as silly as belief Santa or Thor. My challenge: demonstrate the truth of that or retract it.

2. God doesn't exist but we need to know which God you believe in so we can disprove it. My challenge: does this mean that, with thousands of gods (according to Sapient), you can only disprove the existence of God by going through all of them one-by-one, or do you have a general disproof?

3. Theism is a danger to the world. My challenge: provide comprehensive historical evidence that demonstrates that theists are more dangerous than other beliefs, and that their theism is the reason why, or retract it.

1. We know how lightning works so belief in Thor is silly. We have discovered how many things formerly attributed to God work, so a belief in God os getting sillier by the day because we keep seeking knowledge). My question to you is "Why do you want to settle for "God did it" and stop learning?"

2.The point of the "WhichWhay God?" (imo) is that the term god is inadequately defined. If youi can't tell me what your god is, how can I argue against it? 

3. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials, The child raping priests, Mormon fundies in Texas and 9/11 aren't enough for you? The problewm with theism is that it can be used as a cloak for the most dastardly deeds. Alll you need is a charismatic speake using flowery God talk and an audience foolish enough to go for it.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:ercatli

Anonymouse wrote:
ercatli wrote:
But your second statement is another unsupported assertion. As I said in post #25, before you can run that argument, you need to demonstrate that theism has a worse track record than other beliefs, and that it was theism that caused that evil. Not so easy, is it?
You want us to list ALL the evil directly caused by theism ? Yeah, that might take a while. And just to be clear, if someone flying a plane into a building while screaming "allah akbar !!" isn't proof of religously inspired insanity for you, then what is ? Okay, let's try this guy then : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony Does he support the assertion ?

Hi anonymouse,

Any relation to dangermouse? Nice to hear from you. Some quick answers ...

1. No I don't think anyone could practically list all the evil done by anyone, not even themselves. Just a reasonable (i.e. not highly biased) historical analysis. You see, it is just possible that the figures, both for the past and the present, show something different to what you guys assert, so it's not unreasonable to ask you to support your statements.

2. You seem to confuse isolated examples with "proof". One person flying a plane into a building, and one nasty dude claiming to act in the name of God in a civil war in Africa, is hardly proof. Especially, as I have said already, when studies shos that the motivation for most suicide bombers is not religion but politics and defending the "tribe". Check out these references.

This study says: "But a growing body of scholarship on suicide bombing suggests that it doesn't work that way. These authors, primarily drawn from political science and social psychology, concur that suicide bombings — with or without the trappings of religion — are largely a response to occupation, or, since September 11, 2001, to perceptions of general political oppression in the Muslim world."

This reference says: "Credible researchers agree that "religion" neither causes nor explains suicide terrorism."

And this reference says: "“People’s initial reaction to a suicide terrorist is to think the person is crazy or a religious zealot, but that’s not the case. Most suicide bombers see themselves as soldiers carrying out a mission to inflict damage on the enemy.... generally to achieve a political goal”

There may be other findings, but they're pretty clear.

It's a pity, isn't it? It's much easier just repeating things you've been told or which seem reasonable, but much harder when experts and research indicate otherwise than what you'd like to think. There's a lesson here - there's almost certainly a lot that's been written on this site that is contradicted by evidence, but you won't know unless you check.

So you need to find real evidence, not just a couple of examples, before you can justify a statement.

Thanks for your contribution.


ercatli
Theist
Posts: 51
Joined: 2008-07-11
User is offlineOffline
 jcgadfly: Quote:We have

 jcgadfly:

Quote:
We have discovered how many things formerly attributed to God work, so a belief in God os getting sillier by the day

Do you think that is a proof? Or even a valid reason? If humans mistakenly attribute to God things that occur by some other means, that doesn't tell us anything about God, only about humans.

Quote:
If youi can't tell me what your god is, how can I argue against it?

There are dictionary definitions of God, they serve the purpose quite well. If (1) you are an atheist and (2) you need the precise god identified, and (3) there are thousands of gods (according to Sapient), then you must need thousands of proofs to be an atheist. If you don't need thousands of proofs, then you don't need the precise god identified. It's logic. Which way do you want to take this?

Quote:
The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials, The child raping priests, Mormon fundies in Texas and 9/11 aren't enough for you?

A theist could quote Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao Zedong, and they alone would account for far more deaths (check out the estimates at reputable websites). So how would you decide between these two pieces of information?

On the basis of numbers? Atheism actually loses.

Argue that those communists didn't kill in the name of atheism? But some quotes show that they did. And the theists can say the nasty things you quote weren't done by true christians. It cuts both ways.

So if you want to mount this argument, you need to look at all the information. I've attached below a slightly longer summary of the info for you to peruse.

Quote:
The problewm with theism is that it can be used as a cloak for the most dastardly deeds. All you need is a charismatic speake using flowery God talk and an audience foolish enough to go for it.

Again, this may be true, but it's irrelevant. For studies on the actual impacts of religion on suicide bombers, see my post #45. Facts are worth a thousand words. 

Addendum: statistics on genocide, war and mass killings

 Which has killed more people? is an anti-christian website that attempts to score how much religion or non-belief contributed to mass killings. It concludes that christianity is culpable in 4 major events in which about 30 million people died (the worst being the conquest of the Americas, in which it estimates about 20 million died) and that non-christian belief systems (mainly Nazism and Communism) are culpable in 4 events in which 75-100 million people died. A further 9 events in which about 70-80 million people died have unclear culpability.

This site probably overstates the impacts of both belief and non-belief, because:

  • It estimates the culpability of religious belief, but does not consider the joint culpability of other contributory causes such as nationalism, political leadership, greed, etc. It is probably impossible to ever separate the influences of belief from the other influences.
  • Rodney Stark (see below) claims that governments and not the church were clearly responsible for the millions who died in the Europeam conquest of the Americas, and atheism was probably not the main factor in the millions of deaths under Chinese and Russian communism.
  • It is unfortunately easier to kill large numbers of people in the twentieth century because of "improved" technology and the greater population, so comparisons and totals are almost meaningless.

Nevertheless, the figures indicate a sorry record for institutional christianity, and a worse record for institutional non-belief.

Other references:

Genocides in history (Wikipedia). But see also revised information by Rodney Stark (below)

Twentieth century death tolls

World War 2 Death Count

Rodney Stark

 

 

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
ercatli

ercatli wrote:

 jcgadfly:

Quote:
We have discovered how many things formerly attributed to God work, so a belief in God os getting sillier by the day

Do you think that is a proof? Or even a valid reason? If humans mistakenly attribute to God things that occur by some other means, that doesn't tell us anything about God, only about humans.

Quote:
If youi can't tell me what your god is, how can I argue against it?

There are dictionary definitions of God, they serve the purpose quite well. If (1) you are an atheist and (2) you need the precise god identified, and (3) there are thousands of gods (according to Sapient), then you must need thousands of proofs to be an atheist. If you don't need thousands of proofs, then you don't need the precise god identified. It's logic. Which way do you want to take this?

Quote:
The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch trials, The child raping priests, Mormon fundies in Texas and 9/11 aren't enough for you?

A theist could quote Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao Zedong, and they alone would account for far more deaths (check out the estimates at reputable websites). So how would you decide between these two pieces of information?

On the basis of numbers? Atheism actually loses.

Argue that those communists didn't kill in the name of atheism? But some quotes show that they did. And the theists can say the nasty things you quote weren't done by true christians. It cuts both ways.

So if you want to mount this argument, you need to look at all the information. I've attached below a slightly longer summary of the info for you to peruse.

Quote:
The problewm with theism is that it can be used as a cloak for the most dastardly deeds. All you need is a charismatic speake using flowery God talk and an audience foolish enough to go for it.

Again, this may be true, but it's irrelevant. For studies on the actual impacts of religion on suicide bombers, see my post #45. Facts are worth a thousand words. 

Addendum: statistics on genocide, war and mass killings

 Which has killed more people? is an anti-christian website that attempts to score how much religion or non-belief contributed to mass killings. It concludes that christianity is culpable in 4 major events in which about 30 million people died (the worst being the conquest of the Americas, in which it estimates about 20 million died) and that non-christian belief systems (mainly Nazism and Communism) are culpable in 4 events in which 75-100 million people died. A further 9 events in which about 70-80 million people died have unclear culpability.

This site probably overstates the impacts of both belief and non-belief, because:

  • It estimates the culpability of religious belief, but does not consider the joint culpability of other contributory causes such as nationalism, political leadership, greed, etc. It is probably impossible to ever separate the influences of belief from the other influences.
  • Rodney Stark (see below) claims that governments and not the church were clearly responsible for the millions who died in the Europeam conquest of the Americas, and atheism was probably not the main factor in the millions of deaths under Chinese and Russian communism.
  • It is unfortunately easier to kill large numbers of people in the twentieth century because of "improved" technology and the greater population, so comparisons and totals are almost meaningless.

Nevertheless, the figures indicate a sorry record for institutional christianity, and a worse record for institutional non-belief.

Other references:

Genocides in history (Wikipedia). But see also revised information by Rodney Stark (below)

Twentieth century death tolls

World War 2 Death Count

Rodney Stark

 

 

 

1. Precisely correct. It does tell us more about humans becaus God is a human construct.

2. You just brought up my point that it's can't be defined adequately. Thank you. I know it's in the dictionary but renaming something is not defining it.

3. Theists can argue that Pol Pot, Stalin et al. killed in the name of atheism if they are dishonest quote miners and don't bother reading history.

4. I never said that religion was the sole cause - why are you saying it can't be?

5. What is institutional non-belief? A fancy way of saying "Atheism is a religion"? When you're through watching TV, do you turn it off or change it to the "off" channel?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


nigelTheBold
atheist
nigelTheBold's picture
Posts: 1868
Joined: 2008-01-25
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote:  jcgadfly,

ercatli wrote:

 jcgadfly, wonko and nigelTheBold,

I'm taking the liberty of replying to you all at once, because you essentially make the same point, summed up by nigelTheBold:

nigelTheBold wrote:

"Logic and evidence." If there were evidence for God, then logically one might rationally believe in God.

However, if there is no evidence for God, the logically one may not rationally believe in God.

In summary, tell us what you believe about God and then we'll "fix" it. Present your evidence, and we'll see what we can do with it.

No. In summary, the only way to rationally believe in God is to have objective evidence for the existence of God. As there is no objective evidence for the existence of God, there can be no rational belief in God.

Quote:

There's just a few problems with that:

1. I never promised to fix your belief, you promised to fix mine. The ball's in your court. 

I didn't promise to fix it. Neither did RRS. The slogan is, "We can fix that." [Emphasis added.] Not that RRS will, but that RRS is capable. Just as a therapist can help you get through grief or anger or other emotional problems, though, it requires yor participation, your willingness to interact in a meaningful way.

Quote:

2. It is a little simplistic to say that if you can knock down my reasons, then your view is proven correct. That isn't RATIONAL (that word again!). If you disprove my arguments, all you've done is disprove my arguments, not disproven my conclusion nor proven your own. Take an example. Suppose I say that in quantum physics, changing how a particle is measured in one place in the laboratory could change how other particles behave a hundred metres away, when the only physical connection between the two sets of particles occurred before any of this happened, and I offered as my reason that quantum particles have magic properties granted to them by the Goddess Bliss. You might well be able to demolish my argument, but the original statement would nevertheless be true, as experiments show.

I don't care about your view. I merely stated that, for your belief in God to be rational, you require objective evidence of God. As you have none, if you believe in God, your belief is irrational. QED.

As a belief in God is irrational, the only rational option is to not believe in God. That is, unless there is a third state between holding a belief and not holding a belief. I certainly don't want to present a false dichotomy.

Quote:

3. You also reveal some apparent ignorance of the world of philosophy. Some of the best minds have argued about belief in God for millennia, and the result is still unproven either way. It isn't clear what is rational in this area. If you think you have a new proof, your future in the hallowed halls of philosophy is assured. Lets' see it! But the reality will be that if I presented arguments, they would "only" suggest reasons why I believe God's existence is more probable, and your arguments could only show why you believe his existence is less probable.

Might I point out that philosophers have been trying to prove the existence of God for even longer, with equal lack of success?

Perhaps I should say, with more  notable lack of success. The claim of a supernatural entity is extraordinary, and so requires extraordinary proof. As there has even been ordinary evidence, let along any kind of proof, the lack of philosophic success for the support of God is in itself damning for the case of God.

As for the general probability that God exists -- our knowledge of the universe leaves a vanishingly-small place for God to hide. There are some here who believe God exists as the universe itself, a consciousness built upon, and building upon, the quantum interaction of information. This is one of the few places in which God can hide safely for the moment.

In the end, this is still a God-of-the-gaps, a way to paint over our ignorance with the concept of a mystical being. We have no reason to believe God exists this way. There is no evidence of God, even at the quantum level.

There is no evidence of a supernatural deity. None. If God did exist, its presence would certainly leave traces. As we've never seen traces of God's existence, there is no reason to assume God exists. And ultimately, that's what you present, is the presumption of God's existence. You have no evidence, and so any argument for God's existence is predicated upon his existence, and is ultimately a circular argument. You have nothing that would increase the chance of God's existence.

Quote:

So again, you cannot live up to your slogan, and honesty and rationality would suggest you don't make claims you can't fulfil. If nothing else, visitors like me could at least take you more seriously. Thanks for your comments.

The RRS lives up to its slogan. A mechanic can fix your car, but you must first take it to her shop and pay her. A therapists can help your with your emotional problems, but you must yourself engage in the healing. The RRS can help you with your theistic delusions, but you must engage in serious discussion, not wallow in smug superiority.

"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


MichaelMcF
Science Freak
MichaelMcF's picture
Posts: 525
Joined: 2008-01-22
User is offlineOffline
You're right ercatli the

You're right ercatli the argument is becoming a little winding and out of control.  I'lll try to bring it back to your OP

 

ercatli wrote:

Actually, I asked the following questions and posed the following challenges:

1. "Do you only have a library of god-specific arguments and don't have a general argument that fixes things?" (i.e.  to disprove the existence of God, do you have to disprove each individual hypothetical god one-by-one, or do you have a general proof?)

2. "It is obvious that this statement could only be true if all the gods under discussion had equal, and equally poor, reasons for believing in them. Which of course, you haven't established yet."  (i.e. can you demonstrate that proposition?)

3. "But until you show it, I'll say it's a big "if" and challenge you to offer anything even remotely resembling a "proof"" (i.e. can you provide that proof?)

...

This seems to becoming a piece of atheist dogma. Can you demonstrate it's truth to me? I think the true statement, in formal logic, would be something like "all propositions in a proof require supporting evidence". And you will note, I am not trying to prove anything, I am just asking you to provide supporting evidence for your assertions to me. That is, unless you wish to retract claims like "We can fix that!" and the 3 questions I reiterated earlier.

...

No, I still have my reasons, it's just that you don't know them yet. As I've said before, you guys made the claims, and have supported them with very limp arguments, without supporting evidence. I haven't made any arguments of my own yet, just examining yours for logic and evidence. You all seem remarkably shy about providing it. You see, it is all a cunning ploy on my part. It is much easier to critique another person's beliefs than defend one's own. You guys mostly get away with free-wheeling critiques of theism with little supporting evidence, so I am challenging you to do the harder job of defending your own statements. I know it must be frustrating, but if you make the statements, I'll ask for evidence. The way forward is to either support the arguments or retract them.

 

I still say the problem here is you are twisting the meaning of the RRS statement.  You are taking "we can fix that!" - a catchy statement to mean "we can prove the non-existance of God".  The two are not equal in any sense of the word.

It has already been explained to you that the term "we can fix that" refers to the fact that the RRS beliefs that it can and should convince people that belief in God is irrational.  This is acheived by pointing out, through discourse, the flaws in the presented evidence for God.  In my mind Sapient asked the "If?" question only to establish whether you were genuinely open to discussion or whether you were just trying to stir a hornet's nest.  At no point does it say anywhere "we can prove the non-existance of God"

 

All of your questions and arguments in the above quote boil down to you shifting the burden of proof.  You're asking the group to prove the nonexistance of God - which is not what we have claimed.  I doubt anyone here can prove a negative (for example can anyone prove I don't own a time-travelling ninja monkey that I only get to use when I die?).

 

But to get to your point:  It is my understanding that all arguments against "god" are good against any god you care to mention.  However, arguments against somethings existance can only come into play once that thing has been defined.  We can only argue against God once something has been postulated.  All Gods have been defined and can be argued against.  So again, please provide information on your god.  It is not anyones job to disprove a negative.  We are here to argue against your God.

 

If you further refuse to define your god and instead impose this false stalemate which assumes we have said that we can prove the non-existence of god then I don't see how we can proceed.

 

M

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


Nikolaj
Superfan
Nikolaj's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: 2008-04-27
User is offlineOffline
ercatli wrote: Nikolaj

ercatli wrote:
Nikolaj wrote:
There is a car in front of the two of us. It is yellow.

you say: The car is red (your view)

I say, the car is not red (my view)...

...But the atheist viewpoint is quite simply, "the car is not red"

So let's test this. In the example you have given, let's replace "the car" with "God", "red" with "exists", and "yellow" with "doesn't exist". (I presume this is what you mean us to do.) Thus I am arguing that God exists. (Actually, I am not arguing that, just testing your claims, but let's overlook that for the moment.) So, following the analogy, you are not saying God doesn't exist (the car is yellow), but just that I cannot say that God does exist (the car is not red). Is that what you are saying? I am interested to hear your answer here, because the two claims "God doesn't exist" and "we haven't proven God exists" are quite different ones.
Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying! If you don't know what atheism is, let me give you the definition again: "Atheism is the LACK of belief in a deity, or deities"

Ergo, I have no belief in the car being red.

ercatli wrote:
If you do mean what you seem to be saying, then this site's slogan should become "Believe in God? We can throw doubt on that!" I would find that a much more rational and honest slogan!
If someone believes something, and a sufficient amount of doubt is cast on said belief, then most normal people will re-evaluate their belief. So the slogan DOES say that, but in a less round-about way. If a belief in God ends, it has been fixed.
ercatli wrote:
Nikolaj wrote:
And by the way, stop saying it's "our" slogan
Well you see, it isn't my slogan. No-one asked me if I wanted it, or if I agreed with it. I joined the forum for a particular reason, didn't post, was invited back, saw the slogan, thought it both pretentious and inaccurate, and thought now I was here, I'd try to test out how accurate it was in reality. If you don't "own" the slogan, I am not arguing with you, only with those who do think it is correct.

So, are you specifically disagreeing with the slogan?
I hereby acknowledge my support for, and understanding of, the slogan. NOW you have evidence from ONE person here.

I was showing you that you have assumed something for which you hadn't provided sufficient evidence: that everyone here considers it "their" slogan. You have persistently refered the many posters who have replied to you here with saying: "Your slogan" as though you had evidence that those people really DID consider it theirs. I'll make a post where I provide evidence for that assertion in a moment.

Two can play at the "Prove it" word-game, my friend.

ercatli wrote:
Quote:
If you insist that we back up every single argument we make with further argument, then you should do the same.
I'm not insisting you back up any arguments. I'm just suggesting that is what "rational" usually includes. If you want an exemption from that, perhaps you should become the HSSRS - the Hopefully Slightly Sensible Response Squad!
(emphasis added) I am not the RRS, and so, should not become anything else. You are doing it again. Claiming something without evidence. You claimed I am the RRS. How so?

ercatli wrote:
It is easy to poor scorn on someone else's beliefs, but much harder if you are required to frame your arguments logically and support them with evidence, and not easy to defend your own position.
I couldn't have said it better myself. What is my position though? What is it I'm trying to defend here? Have you got any evidence that I am defending a belief here? What do I believe, oh please do tell?

ercatli wrote:
This atheism vs theism thing isn't a game, it's deadly serious. So far, your side isn't scrubbing up all that well. I wonder what conclusion you might like to draw from that.

Thanks, and all the best to you.

Here is my reply to that: This atheism vs theism thing isn't a game, it's deadly serious. So far, your side isn't scrubbing up all that well. I wonder what conclusion you might like to draw from that.

Oh, and also, thanks, and all the best to you.

 

I've written a little thing here for you. Take a moment to consider it.

I wrote:
I have not seen God in the heavens above, I have not seen God on the Earth
I have not seen God in Corch or Killarney, In London or Paris or Perth
I have not seen God on the sole of my boot, or seen him on top of my head
Nor do I see that God once lived, but now turns out to be dead

I have not seen God in a rainbow, though I have seen rainbows: a sight to behold!
If you see him there, I should tell you: "you shouldn't believe everything that you're told"


And I'm sure I know what your answer to that will be, but that's not the reason I am not religious.
Absence of evidence is indeed not evidence of absence.

So here is my pre-emptive reply to what I'm sure will be your argument against the above.

I wrote:
I HAVE seen people who claim to have seen and believe, and indeed to KNOW
I have also seen people who say: "God is orange, and fat, an he's shaped like a cow"
That is not to say that they are both wrong, it is just that it's not the same claim
And if I should trust the first guy ON FAITH, then the other deserves the same.
Either I retain Skept'cicm for BOTH these men, or I am in a moral plight
For this is unjust: "The FIRST I believe, but the other is simply not right"

So although I respect them, I don't take for granted it's true what they read in their book
There are countless reasons that book could be wrong. Don't believe me? You should talk to Rook

 

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin