Question for the Group

Hambydammit
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Question for the Group

Since Pineapple has had an epiphany, I'm trying to have one myself.  I may need some help.  Is it possible that Pineapple and I are disagreeing about what the word "cause" means?  If so, is it a legitimate disagreement, or is it just a semantic ploy for one or the other of us to get our way?

Let's start simple.  If I desire an apple, and there's an apple sitting in front of me, I might eat the apple.  If I do so, I will say, "My desire for an apple caused me to eat the apple."

We can make that more complicated, of course.  My desire to eat an apple was caused by several things:

1) I was hungry.  My hunger caused me to eat the apple.

2) I've had apples many times before, and like them very much.  My previous experience with apples caused me to eat the apple.

3) The decision that I wanted an apple was reached by my brain before I became consciously aware of it.  My unconscious brain caused me to eat the apple.

I could go on.  In fact, if I really had to, I could probably come up with hundreds of causal agents for me eating the apple.  My muscles, my eyes, my nose, my mother, my genetic makeup, etc, etc.

Ok, now let's ask the question:  Are any of these statements incorrect?  It seems to me that they are all correct, and that any one of them is a good answer for a specific question.  By the same token, many of them are unsatisfactory answers for a good many questions.  Observe:

Q: Policeman to apple thief:  "Why did you eat the apple?"

A: Because every action I commit is caused by the unique algorithm that represents the computational process used by my brain.

Or similarly:

Q: Neuroscientist, while studying raw data from an fMRI scan of a test subject who ate an apple:  Why did he eat the apple?

A: Because he was hungry.

 

None of this is particularly new philosophical ground, but maybe it needs to be retrod.  (Retrodden?  Damn you, English Grammar!!  Where is Thomathy?)   The question um... in question... is whether or not it is acceptable for me to say that "religious belief causes X" where X is a particular behavior.  Pineapple has continually chided me for not offering scientific peer reviewed studies to back my statement.  I'm honestly at a loss to understand why.  Here's my reasoning with a specifically religious behavior -- prayer, and I'll use Christianity specifically instead of religion as a whole.

Christianity teaches that prayer works.

Christianity teaches that praying is good to do.

Christianity teaches that humans ought to pray.

 

From here, we can make a rather obvious statement about people who believe Christianity:

There are Christians who believe that prayer works, that it is a good thing to do, and that they ought to pray.  These people pray.

Now, I'm at a total loss for why, given these readily observable facts, I am required to submit a peer reviewed study to claim the following:  Christianity's teachings cause people to pray.  I'm not being flippant.  Would anyone at any psych department really demand peer review for such an obvious connection? The only thing I can think of is that Captain Pineapple thinks I am using the word "cause" in a different way than I think I'm using it.

Is there some other reason I need peer review for this?  Anyone?

Pineapple has often said that causality is too complicated for me to make such a claim, but is that simply a way for her to use the multiplicity of cause I explained earlier to dismiss a claim she finds offensive?  I'm perfectly willing to admit that religion is culture is religion.  Hell, I have written thesis length articles espousing that very truth.  So... yeah, culture causes people to pray, and religious belief causes people to pray, and teachers at Sunday School cause people to pray.  All three are true, but each observation answers some questions well and some poorly.

Pineapple, do you think that by saying "Religion causes X" I am trying to exclude all other potential causes?  Do you think I'm saying, "ONLY Religion causes X" or "There are no other significant causal influences for X other than religion"?

Somebody help me here.  I'm having a really hard time understanding why anyone could say with a straight face that I need peer review to observe that religious belief causes behaviors. 

 

 

 

 

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

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Cpt_pineapple
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As I've said on my blog if

As I've said on my blog if religion is false than these behaviours have to come from somewhere else.

 

If Christians are wrong about think prayer works, God obviously didn't tell them to do it [if Christianity is false], then WHY do they pray. You can say, because Christianity teaches it, but that simply moves it back a notch. WHY does Christianity teach it? Why did the early Christians who came up with this stuff decide that Christians should put their hands together before they eat?

 

 

No, prayer is an expression of something else, Little Timmy praying for a PS3 for Christmas is an expression of his deisre for a PS3, it would be ludocious to say that Timmy's religion causes him to desire a PS3 just because he prays for one.

 

 

So if the woman who prayed for her son instead of sending him to the doctor, had not been religious, it is likely that she would have been waving magnets over him or some other new age homeopathic woo woo.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:As I've

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

As I've said on my blog if religion is false than these behaviours have to come from somewhere else.

Actually that does not follow. Beliefs do not have to be true to 'cause' behaviors. You are being illogical here.

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

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I had an epiphany once, but

I had an epiphany once, but the doctor gave me a shot for it. BA DUM CHA!

In all seriousness for Capt, what was this "epiphany"? If you don't mind me asking. Not to distract from the thread.

But to respond to the last post. I think it is not as deep as you want to make it out to be. Certainly if it were not prayer it would be the "magnets", and the reason is simple. We have built into our evolution pattern seeking, and when there is a gap in that pattern, we seek to fill it, even if it is a false answer we insert. It is a simple psychological tool we use as a coping mechanism. Like all other aspects of evolution, this too is not perfect and these false placebos may placate our emotions, they can and do often lead to wrong answers.

 

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Hambydammit
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Quote:As I've said on my

Quote:
As I've said on my blog if religion is false than these behaviours have to come from somewhere else.

Oh, boy...  I'm gonna open this can of worms because your response answered my question perfectly, and I'm not worried about your objections anymore.  My claim that religion causes X doesn't fit your use of cause (which is somewhat schizophrenic) but it fits mine perfectly.

Ok... now...

If religion is false?

What could that possibly mean?  What truth values are you using here?  Religion is a system of belief and practice.  It is neither true nor false.  It is a phenomenon.  Do you mean, "If the truth claims made in a particular religion's teachings are false"?

If that's what you mean, then what does the rest of the sentence mean?  If I believe I've won the lottery but the truth is that I have not, is my trip to the lottery office to get my winnings not caused by my belief, despite the lack of objective truth value?

So... if a person A holds X as true, and X is false, by what reasoning do you conclude that A's action Y (as prescribed by X) must come from something other than X?  That's... odd.

Quote:
If Christians are wrong about think prayer works, God obviously didn't tell them to do it [if Christianity is false], then WHY do they pray. You can say, because Christianity teaches it, but that simply moves it back a notch. WHY does Christianity teach it? Why did the early Christians who came up with this stuff decide that Christians should put their hands together before they eat?

Here's the schizophrenia I was talking about.  My instinctive knowledge that eating is necessary when I'm hungry is the cause for me eating the apple.  Fine.  Totally true.  Also, my desire for an apple caused me to eat an apple.  Also, my brain caused me to eat an apple.  Also... etc, etc.  You've just decided not to allow one particular paradigm because... um... I don't know why.

Talk about impossible burdens.  You've essentially implied that any statement "X causes Y" must follow a chain of causation back to some "original cause" which set everything else in motion.  That's absurdly reductionist, since I could eventually go back to whatever event spawned abiogenesis.  For that matter, I could go back to the freaking Big Bang.  The Big Bang caused religious atrocity.

Do you see what I mean?  You don't like that I am looking at a very short chain of causality.  I mean, for Christ's sake, half of what I write about is the evolutionary origin of human desires and behaviors.  Do you think I don't understand that there's a longer causal chain than "Religious Teaching >>>> X Behavior"?!  Do you really think I'm so dense as to suppose that religion is some magical cause-less thing that infects an otherwise pristine human nature?

No... I'm picking parameters and working with them.  I have no desire to reduce suicide bombing to neurology.  That's for neurologists to do.  I can, however, reduce suicide bombing to the obvious cause-effect chain at the top of your endless regress of cause.  "The belief that suicide bombing is good and effective causes people to commit suicide bombings."  Once I say that, you can point out that there is a longer chain of causation, and I'll happily agree.  But why in the world would you think that you have to demand peer review for clear relationships between beliefs and actions?

Quote:
No, prayer is an expression of something else, Little Timmy praying for a PS3 for Christmas is an expression of his deisre for a PS3, it would be ludocious to say that Timmy's religion causes him to desire a PS3 just because he prays for one.

Yes.  Prayer is an expression of something else.  Prayer is a method of trying to get what one wants.  I would never say that religion causes Timmy to want a PS3.  I would say that religion caused Timmy to pray for a PS3.  Get it?  Without the belief that prayer is effective, Timmy would not pray.  Timmy prays because he believes prayer is effective.  Without religion, perhaps Timmy would believe that the most effective way to get a PS3 is to get money.  He might notice other boys getting jobs mowing lawns, and might emulate them.

Seriously, I can't believe I'm having to explain this to you.  I think I'm insulted.  Do you really believe that I don't know that religion is an expression of lots of aspects of human nature?  Sheesh.  After everything I've written explaining evolutionary origins for our behaviors and beliefs?

Quote:
So if the woman who prayed for her son instead of sending him to the doctor, had not been religious, it is likely that she would have been waving magnets over him or some other new age homeopathic woo woo.

Oh, for fuck's sake.  You have no possible way to prove this.  You're demanding a peer reviewed study from me to prove that Bob prays because he believes prayer works, but you're free to just baldly assert that if we could rewind time and raise Suzy in a thousand different environments, that in all environments where she had a son, she'd find some false belief to justify involuntarily killing him when he got sick?

You honestly believe that if Suzy had been raised by excellent critical thinkers who taught her the scientific method from the moment she could learn it, that she'd still have found some woo-woo and believed it?  I'm walking away from this discussion.  You've descended into the absurd, and I'm not interested in arguing against the absurd.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Hamby wrote: You honestly

Hamby wrote:

 

You honestly believe that if Suzy had been raised by excellent critical thinkers who taught her the scientific method from the moment she could learn it, that she'd still have found some woo-woo and believed it?

 

 

 

That's rich Hamby.

 

You are underestimating human irrationality

 

Hell, I even made a topic about it

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/17532

 

 

Find me somebody who is 100% rational 100% of the time.

 

 

William Dembski has a PhD in mathematics and philosophy, Micheal Behe has a PhD in biochemisrty.

 

 

Both were obviously taught the scientific method, and yet they're the front liners in the ID movement.

 

 

 [EDIT]

 

And for the record Hamby, I know why you're throwing a hissy fit. You want an excuse, any excuse to dismiss me.

 

You were on a hare trigger and just created this topic for a pissing contest.

 

 

[/EDIT]

 

 

 

 

 

 


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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

As I've said on my blog if religion is false than these behaviours have to come from somewhere else.

Actually that does not follow. Beliefs do not have to be true to 'cause' behaviors. You are being illogical here.

 

Okay, a Christians says that "God told me to eat the apple"

 

To me that, says that she had a desire to eat the apple, and because she is Christian, attributed that feeling to God telling her to do so.

 

 or God literally told her to eat the apple.

 

 

 


Hambydammit
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 Well, no...My argument:

 Well, no...

My argument:  Religious belief causes behaviors consistent with those beliefs.

Your argument:  If people didn't have religious beliefs, they would behave the same way, and justify their actions differently.

And magically, I have to have peer review, but your proposition is obvious, and true because you assert it.

That's why I'm done with this discussion. 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: Well,

Hambydammit wrote:

 Well, no...

My argument:  Religious belief causes behaviors consistent with those beliefs.

Your argument:  If people didn't have religious beliefs, they would behave the same way, and justify their actions differently.

And magically, I have to have peer review, but your proposition is obvious, and true because you assert it.

That's why I'm done with this discussion. 

 

 

Okay, at least address this before you go into the dust:

 

 

A Christians says that "God told me to eat the apple"

 

To me that, says either:

 

1] she had a desire to eat the apple, and because she is Christian, attributed that feeling to God telling her to do so.

 

or

 

2] God literally told her to eat the apple.

 

 

So, what caused her to eat the apple?

 

So if she wasn't Christian, she would have not eaten the apple? Or she had a desire to eat the apple, and would have done it regardless of her Christianity?

 

 

from my blog:

 

I wrote:

 

Religious Override



Here, I argue that since religion is false, then people cannot get there morals FROM religion, rather they attribute it TO religion.

If we got our morality from religion, then that morality could override our secular morality. For example, we are hard-wired to take care of our offspring, so killing said offspring requires something to over ride it.

I have yet to see any evidence [aside from anecdotes] that religion can do this.

Take for example the failure of abstenece programs. It fails of course, because of our natural tendacy to want to pass on our genes and that means fucking.**


If religion can over ride our instincts, then we should see success of the abstence programs. Ask Palin about that.

That's just one example.

If religion is evil and can override our instincts to be moral, then we should see the over whelming majority of religious people killing and stoning. But we don't, mainly because religion can't override our innate altruism, we see good people who are religious, stay good people.

Some will say that they are good despite their religion, which kinda proves my point doesn't it? They are going against their religion*, because religion can't over ride their inner morality.

Next time you are with a bunch of religious people, ask them if they would kill their family if God told them to. If they say "no", congrats, their religion didn't override their innate morality, because it can't.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:[1] she

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

[1] she had a desire to eat the apple, and because she is Christian, attributed that feeling to God telling her to do so. 

or

2] God literally told her to eat the apple. 

So, what caused her to eat the apple?

Why can't it be...

[3] She ate the apple because she believes God told her to eat the apple. However, God didn't actually tell her to eat the apple.

Quote:
If religion is evil and can override our instincts to be moral, then we should see the over whelming majority of religious people killing and stoning. But we don't, mainly because religion can't override our innate altruism, we see good people who are religious, stay good people.

I don't think religion is inherently evil. I think it is inherently irrational. The quality of its moral system depends on the specific religion, interpretation of scriptures, denominations, factions, etc. 

Most religious people don't believe that they are supposed to kill and stone everyone else. Many religious people, especially moderates, prefer to emphasize love and tolerance. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 Pineapple, butter answered

 Pineapple, butter answered your question.  I'm honestly dumbfounded that you still don't understand what I have been saying about religion.  I don't have the energy to write it all out again, and frankly, I don't know anything other than plain English, so I'm at a loss for how to explain it any other way than I already have.

There's a point at which I have to just say you don't get what I'm saying, and leave it at that.  You're the only one here who doesn't seem to get it.

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

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Hambydammit wrote:Q:

Hambydammit wrote:

Q: Neuroscience, while studying raw data from an fMRI scan of a test subject who ate an apple:  Why did he eat the apple?

A: Because he was hungry.

Actually, Michael Gazinger, referenced a subject who had a portion of his brain damaged, that one side of the brain couldn't communicate effectively with the other portion of the brain (I don't have the book (Human) so I'm going off of memory, so he was told to cover one his eyes, and was presented with a banana and a sign that told him to pick it up, then he was told to cover the other eye, and explain why he picked up the banana. 

His response was, "because he was hungry", which was in fact false. The reason why he picked up the banana was because he was instructed to by a sign.

We say the reason why someone ate an apple is because they were hungry, because 99.99% of the time we eat an apple when we're hungry, but just knowing someone ate an apple, doesn't determine that he ate it because he was hungry, perhaps he was held at gunpoint and forced to it, perhaps someone offered him a hundred dollars to eat it, perhaps he ate it not because he was hungry, but because he didn't want it to go to waste.

 

 


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:
Christianity teaches that prayer works.

Christianity teaches that praying is good to do.

Christianity teaches that humans ought to pray.

And what's missing here, is what prayer works as?

Does prayer work, as means of conveying a sense of gratitude? And the answer is that yes it does. Does prayer work as a means of coping and dealing with miserable conditions out of ones control, and the answer is that for many people yes it does.

And in this working of prayer, is prayer a good? A say it is. I've always felt that my mothers nightly prayers, even when I was a disbeliever, was something that was "good" for her. 

As an atheist, I would have said prayer works, and it is a good thing. 

 


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butterbattle wrote:Why can't

butterbattle wrote:

Why can't it be...

[3] She ate the apple because she believes God told her to eat the apple. However, God didn't actually tell her to eat the apple.

 

Which would be a re-wording of option 1]


 

And Hamby I understand completly what you are saying about religion
 

 

That religion teaches X behaviour and people do X behaviour because fo their religion. That religion teaches bad things are good, so religious people do bad things because they think they are good.

 

 

 

I think the reason for your confusion is that I have a hard time expressing myself.

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Why can't it be...

[3] She ate the apple because she believes God told her to eat the apple. However, God didn't actually tell her to eat the apple.

 

Which would be a re-wording of option 1]

Cpt, the point is that in [1] the desire to eat the apple causes her God-related belief, while in [3] the desire to eat the apple is caused by her God-related belief.  You claim that if [1] is the case then removing religion wouldn't change her apple-eating desire, but this is less likely in [3].  Much more problematic in this regard is:

[4] She hates apples and prefers bananas, but she ate the apple anyway because a priest told her that God wants her to eat the apple and she's been taught never to question a priest when he says what God wants.  However the priest never actually heard God claiming this particular desire.

In which case removing religion would probably have a huge impact on her apple-eating habits.

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

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


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Zaq wrote:Cpt, the point is

Zaq wrote:

Cpt, the point is that in [1] the desire to eat the apple causes her God-related belief, while in [3] the desire to eat the apple is caused by her God-related belief.  You claim that if [1] is the case then removing religion wouldn't change her apple-eating desire, but this is less likely in [3]. 

 

 

Let's say you are right. We now have two competing theories as to why she ate the apple.

 

1] and 3]

 

Now how do we determine which one?

 

Well, let's think about what would happen if 1] and 3] was true.

 

So we ask her: "Why did you eat the apple?"

 

If it is 1], then she will say "God told me to do it."

 

If it is 3], then she will say "God told me to do it."

 


 

You see the problem here?

 

 

 

Zaq wrote:

 

Much more problematic in this regard is:

[4] She hates apples and prefers bananas, but she ate the apple anyway because a priest told her that God wants her to eat the apple and she's been taught never to question a priest when he says what God wants.  However the priest never actually heard God claiming this particular desire.

In which case removing religion would probably have a huge impact on her apple-eating habits.

 

 

Go to the average moderate Christian and ask them if the preacher told them to murder their family and burn down the house if they would do that.

 

When they say "no" you will realize my response to that point.

 

 

 

 


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I believe that there are a

I believe that there are a lot of valuable things to discuss in this topic, so I'll add my two cents, and my own personal perspective on the matter.

First, let us examine the claim that is under dispute:

Hambydammit wrote:
Christianity's teachings cause people to pray.

On the whole, not particularly novel, one would think. Nothing spectacular is unearthed in the statement, and I think that most would agree, at least on a basic level, that the statement holds true. Christian teaching *does* encourage prayer, and those who follow Christian teaching tend to hold to that particular tenet of it. So why all the fuss? I believe that the dispute here stems from ideas of religious plurality; if Captain and I see things the same way, then she sees prayer as merely one of many forms of meditation - that is, inward thoughts focused onto an external source. When I look at the whole spectrum of religious thought, and the whole spectrum of prayer/meditation/mantra/etc. I do not see it as coincidence that some form of ritualistic theism is practiced on virtually every part of the globe. To extend the metaphor of the apple, I see that people are brought to religion (or were originally) because we are hardwired to hunger for it.

(To make myself perfectly clear, and to prevent the topic getting sidetracked by what may seem to be loaded statements, I feel that I need to pause at this and acknowledge that there is, as far as I'm aware, no research that supports this view, and that this is merely my perspective, formed from my own experiences with world religions, and with those who practice them. I must also in no uncertain terms deny that the human desire to search for the "metaphysical" or "supernatural" has any implications about the actual existence of such things. Human fascination with things such as UFO's, mythical creatures, and other such conspiracy theories implies nothing about those entities, only about the humans who are fascinated with them.)

To continue upon my original tangent: I see the original claim as having too limited a scope to be largely useful. Obviously, use is relative, and perhaps the claim is sufficient for your use of it, but I don't see it as a useful descriptor of religious practice in and of itself. While your statement of causation with the apple includes both external and internal causes for your eating of an apple (because you have been made aware of apples and their deliciousness, and because you are hungry, respectively), your statement of causation in regards to prayer lacks any stab at what internal forces drive people to pray, meditate, or practice other such rituals.

 

It is very late, so I will reorganize my thoughts and possibly continue this sometime in the afternoon. I hope that what I've written here can help shed some light on the nature of the disagreement, or at the very least proves to be entertaining, if not particularly thought-provoking.


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LosingStreak06 wrote:I see

LosingStreak06 wrote:
I see that people are brought to religion (or were originally) because we are hardwired to hunger for it.

They certainly hunger for something, and it very strongly resembles something parental in many cases. In fact, religious ideation seems to be an excellent way to figure out what people really want unconsciously. If they don't feel as though they can express their desires openly, they can always imagine a sparkling ideal for comfort. The ideal father, mother, or entire community can be used to express a group's values without having to place the responsibility of those values on a single individual.

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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

LosingStreak06 wrote:
I see that people are brought to religion (or were originally) because we are hardwired to hunger for it.

They certainly hunger for something, and it very strongly resembles something parental in many cases. In fact, religious ideation seems to be an excellent way to figure out what people really want unconsciously. If they don't feel as though they can express their desires openly, they can always imagine a sparkling ideal for comfort. The ideal father, mother, or entire community can be used to express a group's values without having to place the responsibility of those values on a single individual.

An astute observation, as usual, Will. I will think more on what I've said and see if I can further clarify my ideas.


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Stop it Pineapple! Hambi

Stop it Pineapple! Hambi certainly is the thorn in your side. But that doesnt make your arguments for magic lagit.

Hambi enjoys much like I do, the fist a cuffs in debate. But we do not confuse human empathy or lack of answers on either side as magic existing.

The bastion of belief to the theist depends on wishful thinking. The direction  of the skeptic is that we can assess reality without clouds.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37
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Hambi, Capt wont get it

Hambi, Capt wont get it anymore than any other theist claiming any other naked assertion. They can empathize to a certain extent but "evidence" to any believing label in a deity is merely that which one wants to be true, not what they can prove.

You can both agree that ice cream is tasty but will argue to the end over who made the ice cream,. Where you and I would not assign ice cream to magic, others would.

Capt is a hopeful to me, not in a strict sense, nor a reality, but in that the "epiphany" or "crack" happened.

Semantics and arguments aside, magic does not exist, and Capt can spend countless wasted hours trying to convince us otherwise. But the fact that Cap finally admitted to a tool that we all can use, says that the myth so fervently clung too is holding as much water for Cap as a spaghetti strainer.

Cap is a cunt hair away from 'Joining the dark side". ( LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER)!

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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darth_josh
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Now,How many people read

Now,

How many people read this thread and said, "Dammit! I'm hungry and want an apple BECAUSE everyone else gets to eat this apple that this chick ate or did not eat of her own volition." ???

 

Given: The depth and breadth of human reactions are nigh incalculable.

Subjects: Pineapple, Hamby, christian, prayer, causes, and results

Permutation:

Pineapple and hamby are walking along in a forest. They see a christian praying beneath an apple tree. Suddenly an apple falls from the tree into the overjoyed hands of the christian who devours it immediately. Pineapple and hamby ask the christian, "What were you praying for?"

The christian responds, "An apple to fall from the tree."

Immediately, the christian's faith has been strengthened beyond measure. However, Pineapple and Hamby are dubious.

Their reactions diverge from this point. One looks at the tree. The other looks at what is left of the apple. One examines the conditions of the environment. The other looks at the trajectory of the falling apple. One asks how long the christian prayed for the apple. the other asks if it was a specific apple that was prayed for.

The sated christian is indifferent to their inquisitive natures and offers to pray with them for their own apples.

Hamby shakes the tree, while pineapple climbs the tree. Apples fall everywhere.

The christian is unimpressed because they already got their apple just by praying.

Moral of the story...

Arguing over causes makes a shitstorm of apples come down, but doesn't do anything to explain the cause of the christian's prayer in the first place.

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I have nothing to add but to

I have nothing to add but to let Hamby know that either use is acceptable, if archaic. 

Retrod the trodden path tread so many times before.
Treaded? 
Nay, trod upon
And retrodden like that spot on the carpet oft trod upon that's now warn,
Perhaps in front of your bedroom door.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."