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November 05, 2008

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Just how frelling ignorant do you have to be to think that Hindus worship a god called "Hindu"?

If you have to ask...

Somehow I doubt Conrad will ever publicly refer to that comment again...

I was really depressed when Elizabeth Doles's whole "godless" smear thing came out in North Carolina against Kay Hagan.

First that being "godless" was deemed a valid reason not to vote for somebody, but I realised I was actually more so when the victim said in her riposte (amongst others):

"I believe in God. I taught Sunday School. My faith guides my life, and Sen. Dole knows it."

That actually would be most off-putting to me if I were eligible to vote in said election. To me, that's like saying she felt guided by Ronald McDonald. Not the sort of person I'd choose to be in charge, I'm afraid.

I think I'd have to put my cross against "None Of The Above".

I simply gotta get this game. THEN we'll see whose god is bigger!!! :D

Well, to be fair, Christians are still a minority worldwide, and I'd personally prefer to see it remains that way.

And ... Thor? Please. Compared to Mighty Cthulhu, Thor is ... well, a light snack, actually.

God's a dwarf. He used to come into my bar on Saturday nights and moan in his beer all night about how the idiots were going to pester him all the next day with pathetic requests. He finally moved to LA to start a street barber business for homeless people.

Christianity is a minority? Is the sarcasm? Sorry I might have missed it.

Nero,

yes Christianilty all taken together is still a minority religion of around 2 billion people. Islam is also a minority religion with a little over 1.5 billion participants. Hinduism makes third 0.9 billion. We godless/agnostic chime in at about 1.1 billion.

Then you can imagine the status of the different 12 or so denominations of christianity which further break into something like 300 sects. Tiny minorities.

https://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html


I think a fairer characterization of the position of Christianity would be "plurality" rather than "minority".

To get technical, Allah may be easily interchangeable with the Yahweh of Judaism, but most branches of Christianity believe in a distinctly different God--one who exists (and I use the term loosely) as a Trinity of entities, whatever the hell that means. Any Muslim or Jew will tell you that their God has never had a son and does not have three heads, despite the Christian claims that their God is the God of Abraham.

In other words, while all three religions claim belief in the Abrahamic God, Christianity's version has a built-in expansion pack, and the other two aren't quite compatible.

God--one who exists ... as a Trinity of entities, whatever the hell that means.

But, but, didn't you see that guy in religulous?

Its like how water can exist in three states, gas, liquid and solid. God can exist as God, Holy ghost and Jesus.

Duh! what is wrong with you? It makes perfect sense.

-tech

Kinda like a quantum being a wave and a particle...

Hey! I got to "quantum" first! Bingo!

Can the point be made that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and yes New Age along with those (how many TINY sects) believe in a supreme being of some kind? "We godless/agnostic chime in at about 1.1 billion". Then in reality (we godless/agnostic) becomes minuscule and the bottom of the heap right?

I think the real point is why the argument?
Is there something about the godless/agnostic who must be right?
What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?

SCIENCE (your god) has yet to prove there is or is not.
Please don't waste all of our times dragging out the tired argument that it is not YOUR job to prove there IS or IS NOT a god.
Since apparently you guys are the opposition to the point its your job to prove the point because in the long run you are the only ones who care :)

I only say that because you seem to be pretty driven and stuck on/in the same "old boring" trench.

As one of my fellow Raytractors said

"Now, I'm going to go pray to the mighty God; Hindu - he knows how to get a man elected around here..."

Science is no god, and no, it is not our job to prove yours or other gods exist. Haven't you been told that the burden of proof is on the positive assertion once before? It's your claim so you need to back it up. If you have credible evidence, then we can refute it.

You've been here before and it would seem that you're the one stuck with the tired old canards. Learn the arguments and dig yourself out of your own trench. Digging deeper is not worth your while.

Techskeptic:

Its like how water can exist in three states, gas, liquid and solid. God can exist as God, Holy ghost and Jesus.

Duh! what is wrong with you? It makes perfect sense.


You know, that does make more sense than most descriptions of the Trinity that I've seen. Unfortunately, the "phases of matter" view of the Trinity was discarded as heresy (Modalism, I think) centuries ago by the mainstream church.

Valkyries's:

Can the point be made that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and yes New Age along with those (how many TINY sects) believe in a supreme being of some kind?

No, the point can't be made, because it's not true. Christianity and Islam each believe in a supreme being, but the beliefs of Hinduism with regard to a supreme being vary widely according to each sect, with some being atheists and pantheists who would reject such a notion, while others might accept it. Newage, which has no real set dogma, doesn't necessarily entail any supreme being, though there are often invocations of supernatural powers or lost/alien civilizations made up of superior beings, who may or may not be the objects of worship.

Naturally, the "supreme beings" of these various faiths tend to be mutually exclusive, particularly the first two you mentioned.

I'll note that you wisely left Buddhism, one of the religions noted in the original post, out of your claim, since it clearly does not recognize a supreme being.

"We godless/agnostic chime in at about 1.1 billion". Then in reality (we godless/agnostic) becomes minuscule and the bottom of the heap right?
Truth is not determined by the number of people who believe it, it's determined by the facts. There was a time when the majority of people believed that the sun revolved around the Earth; that didn't change the fact that the sun is at the center of the solar system.
I think the real point is why the argument? Is there something about the godless/agnostic who must be right? What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?
Beliefs inform actions. If people kept their beliefs private and personal, we'd have a lot less problem with people believing whatever nonsense they want. But that's not the case. People act on their religious beliefs; they pass legislation based on religious morals that restrict the freedoms of other individuals, they work to undermine education and provide our children with religiously-derived misinformation about science and health. Religious beliefs promote a mindset that ignores real demonstrable problems, like pedophilia and global warming, and focuses instead on problems that exist only in the believers' minds, like sin, premarital sex, apocalyptic prophecy, and witchcraft. How many children must die from parents who chose prayer over healthcare, how many doctors need to be blown up for "killing babies," how many young girls must be stoned to death for the crime of being a rape victim, how many people must simply go their whole lives fearing that they will be tortured forever because a child-woman once took bad advice from a talking snake in a magic garden--and that such a belief is just and deserved, before people stop asking skeptics and atheists why they care what other people believe?

While I'd prefer it if everyone made their decisions based on logic, reason, and evidence, I'd be content if people's silly fantasies didn't encroach on my life. I think foot fetishism is silly too, but as long as you're not licking my toes without my permission, I don't give a damn what turns you on.

SCIENCE (your god) has yet to prove there is or is not.
Ah, the old "Science is just another religion" strawman. Science isn't my god, nor is it the god of anyone here. It's a tool, a method of finding things out. It's the best tool we have for determining reality from fantasy, but no one here would claim that it's infallible, or would believe it on faith alone, regardless of the evidence. We accept the findings of science because those findings can be shown to work.

As far as "prove there is or not," I'm going to assume you mean "prove whether or not there is a supreme being." I'm going to further assume that you're the same Valkyries who posted here several months back. It's good to see that you've learned absolutely nothing from your fallacies and arguments in March, and that you're still spouting the same stupid arguments that we corrected you on back then. That's the problem with your "common sense logic," it doesn't have any method for error correction. Once again, it's not up to science to disprove every silly claim and belief out there. It's not up to science to provide some conclusive disproof of gods or unicorns or leprechauns or flying spaghetti monsters. Science starts with the only reasonable position with regard to any of those claims: the null hypothesis. When those claiming the existence of gods or unicorns or leprechauns or flying spaghetti monsters provide sufficient evidence in support of their claims, we will reject the null hypothesis and accept that those things exist. Until such evidence is provided, the only reasonable position is to assume that gods, leprechauns, unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, and any other entity or claim for which there is no evidence, do not exist.

Please don't waste all of our times dragging out the tired argument that it is not YOUR job to prove there IS or IS NOT a god.
Too late. It's not our job to prove that your claims are false, it's your job to prove that they're true. No one is under any obligation to believe your claims--or even to give them any respect or attention at all--until you provide some evidence to support them. Why is that so hard to understand?
Since apparently you guys are the opposition to the point its your job to prove the point because in the long run you are the only ones who care :)
Yes, we're certainly the only ones who care whether or not gods exist. That's some tortured logic there, Valkyries.

It'd be easy enough to show that some gods are highly unlikely to exist, provided that god can be pinned down to a specific definition or a set of predictions that should be fulfilled if the god exists. When a god is defined in such a way as to be testable, the scientific method can be applied to the question of its existence.

So, for example, a testable claim might be "If God exists, then the Bible should be completely factually accurate." We can demonstrate quite easily that the Bible is not factually accurate, which would then lend support to the null hypothesis with regard to that particular Inerrant-Bible God.

You want science to weigh in on the existence of higher beings? Give us some defining characteristics of those beings so we can develop testable hypotheses. I can't define your god for you; you're the one who believes in it.

I only say that because you seem to be pretty driven and stuck on/in the same "old boring" trench.
This from someone who's recycling identical arguments to ones that were knocked down six months ago. And for thousands of years before that. Arguments that we've faced dozens of times before and since you last visited. Meanwhile, science marches onward, collecting new data and discovering new and exciting things about our universe. I'd say it's you who's stuck in the boring trench, Valkyries.

Valkyries's wrote:
"What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?"

It matters to me what someone else believes only insofar as it interests me, or in some other way affects me.

But what about you? It seems to "MATTER" to you what I think - otherwise you wouldn't have commented. Why do you think there is something wrong with it mattering for me, while it's fine for it to matter to you?

"SCIENCE (your god) has yet to prove there is or is not."

That's a rather strange thing to say. What you imply demands a definition of God as something that is blindly and foolishly worshipped. That definition is fine with me, but it doesn't describe my attitude to science.

"Please don't waste all of our times dragging out the tired argument that it is not YOUR job to prove there IS or IS NOT a god."

Nonsense. Surely it's up to anyone who's interested in the truth to develop their own ideas.

"Since apparently you guys are the opposition to the point its your job to prove the point because in the long run you are the only ones who care."

What??? That's insane! We are the only ones who care??? So you are commenting about a subject you don't care about, and couldn't care less whether God exists or not and whether the philosophy you live by is right or wrong, smart or stupid, and you even want us to prove it for you? That is hypocritical, lazy and stupid.

"I only say that because you seem to be pretty driven and stuck on/in the same "old boring" trench."

Uhuh, and you're not "driven". You just like posting on blogs about subjects which you couldn't care less about. You don't seem to even know the first thing about yourself.

What do you do in your spare time? Play chess because you don't care about that either, then duck out of the game if you see you're going to lose it, and then try to ridicule your partner for taking it so seriously and being "driven"?

What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?

Why it matters to me

Actually Val, We don't care.

Our only real problem with the arguement of wether there is or isn't a supremem being is how often we get drug into it.

The discussion here is that if that man who spoke for Ijovah is right, then the other gods are stronger.

The sad fact is that he turned a perfectly poitless political debate, and turned it into a perfectly pointless "mine is bigger" contest.

And everyone know size isn't nearly as important as effectiveness.

Oops, both sides are lacking on that too.

You want proof that there isn't a supreme being? All right. Have this one: What is the effect of either? If there is a.. well God if you will, then he/she/it/they refuse to intervene in mortal affairs. So prayer is pointless, because if they exsist, they won't do anything.

If they don't exsist, well... it's the same thing, isn't it?

As for how to test it, no problem. none of them can exsist, because if there's one, there's all of them. Because we can't prove the other deities don't exsist, they all do. And since all the gods exsist, they would all smite all non-believers. Since no one believes in everything (except for people who watch Opra)everyone gets smote.

Conclusion: everyone has not been smote by every other god they don't believe in.

have a nice day , Val

Random
Prince of Montreal

"Can the point be made that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and yes New Age along with those (how many TINY sects) believe in a supreme being of some kind? "We godless/agnostic chime in at about 1.1 billion". Then in reality (we godless/agnostic) becomes minuscule and the bottom of the heap right?"

Helps does it if you pretend that the godless heathen is at the 'bottom of the heap'? Never mind, there may be a point if they all believed in the 'same' supreme being but they don't so you can't just pretend that roughly they do to bump up the figures so i guess the point cannot be made. In fact it is really funny is it not how there are so many versions of the 'Truth' from this perfect being.

"What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?"

If it were only just a matter of your personal belief then it would not matter at all, but it is not that is it? You see for some reason believers are not satisfied with having a personal belief, no not satisfied at all.

For instance believers want to proselytize unto others and 'save' them. They go around knocking on my door to blitz me with pamphlets and their version of the 'good news', they even go to other countries to do this. Some also like to blow the unbeliever up or smash planes into buildings and all in His glorious name. I have never as yet encountered a single agnostic or atheist who engaged in this (feel free to trot out the Stalin line).

Believers also for some reason wish to impose their personal beliefs on everyone else regardless of whether they share those beliefs or not. They insist on inserting their god into constitutions, the pledge of allegiance or their ten commandments in a court. There are even lands where their personal beliefs and the morals they claim their 'god' decreed form the law of these lands. These theocracies (many brutal, backward regimes) are an obvious example of those personal beliefs being foisted on all.

Or how about those believers insisting that their personal faith based beliefs are as equal and valid as evidenced based science. Hence all, whether they believe or not should have a certain superstitions fantasy taught alongside as though it were a credible alternative?

Or how about the histories of the various groups these believers belong to? Many long bloody histories brimming with ignorance and intolerance? How about those believers posting their hate about the net or those who picket the funerals of dead soldiers, citing their hateful belief as justification. How about those whose children die because of those beliefs? How about all those tax breaks? How about the practical brainwashing of minds too young to question the words of their guardians?

And you have the cheek to ask what does it matter to us? It seems that it is the believers that feel the need to be right, the rest of us utilise evidence.

"SCIENCE (your god) has yet to prove there is or is not.
Please don't waste all of our times dragging out the tired argument that it is not YOUR job to prove there IS or IS NOT a god."

This whole 'your god' thing, does it really make you feel better if you pretend that those who use science to explain the world are the same as those who just pretend 'god done it'? Also I think what you mean by 'waste all of our times' is that you are incapable of countering this valid point and wish to magic it away. If you claim something then the burden of proof is your own and not upon others to prove you wrong. Otherwise I am God and you must send all your money to me, it is not incumbent on me to prove my claim but you must obey seen as I am god..., sorry, God. I am sure that you are also aware that it is impossible to prove a negative, therefore an undefined power can not as yet be disproven. However just about all the current human made versions (which includes the Christian version) can be.

"Since apparently you guys are the opposition to the point its your job to prove the point because in the long run you are the only ones who care :)"

Again I think we can see it is not our job and you evidently do also care otherwise you would not be here. Nor would your fellow believers be so enraged by attempts to remove their chosen superstitions icons from government if they as suggested, not care. Nor indeed would they be knocking on doors etc.

"I only say that because you seem to be pretty driven and stuck on/in the same "old boring" trench."

Yet here you are.

And of course, Tom Foss, says it better.

:)

Random
Prince of Montreal

Yep, he apparently had his done whilst I was still typing.

What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?

Yeah, who cares what politicians, judges, teachers, jurors, voters believe.

Seconded - er - thirded. Tom Foss nailed it.

Aww, shucks. Thanks folks.

SCIENCE (your god) has yet to prove there is or is not.

Let's take another look at this sentance.

First, do you really want to ascribe divine status to science? We know science does exist; there is plenty of evidence of that. Do you really want to ascribe omnipotence to science?

Second, let's remove (your god) from the sentance and take a second look. "SCIENCE has yet to prove there is or not." Assuming you mean 'prove god' then your addition of (your god) makes the whole point of the sentance collapse before it begins. 'Something that exists has yet to prove whether it exists or not.' Do you even read your own work?

Please don't waste all of our times dragging out the tired argument that it is not YOUR job to prove there IS or IS NOT a god.

Will you stop with the tired old implication that the yahweh is even a feasible construct? Evidence of non-existantce is rampant through the lens of the modus tollens exception. Proof exists for the non-existence of the omnipotent god as a matter of defintion. I normally don't like argument by definition, but that which is created with words is just as easily destroyed by them.

Wow. One minute there's this teeny little troll standing there squeaking away, the next there's just pink mist and a nasty stain... Kinda like squirrel hunting with a .50 cal. ;)

Since apparently you guys are the opposition to the point its your job to prove the point because in the long run you are the only ones who care :)

If skeptics are the only ones who care what other people believe, why are there missionaries?

Why am I here?

Simple (though as usual you have all made it far more complicated than it actually is) I had nothing better to do yesterday and decided to peek in on Tom Foss's comments. I like him. I continue to hope he someday breaks out of the staid old scientific rhetoric and shines in his own light. I am beginning to wonder if I might die of old age before that occurs. I do however still have hope. He is good don't ya think? What did I find instead? The same old dead horse discussion and decided to breath a little life into it. WOW! That was successful.

You guys really do not have to go into book length tirades.
Short and simple will do saving me book length responses :)

"You want proof that there isn't a supreme being?"

No my dear I do not WANT/NEED proof.
Is there some point in YOU offering something you can't produce? Not to mention I AM THE CHOIR.
However is or isn't there a god was not, nor ever was the point.

The vast majority of this world believes in something bigger than himself (call it Thor, God or Widget) That makes "we godless/agnostic/atheist" a major MINORITY (bottom of the heap).

No doubt we could argue that point from some perspective, sometime, somewhere, someplace. That does not alter the reality "godless/agnostic/atheist" still remains at the bottom of the heap. THAT POINT IS: Numbers do not make right or wrong even though there might be safety in them. Can I safely assume all "godless/agnostic/atheist" here can leap on that bandwagon?

Let's be honest the "bent" of this board is no different than that of the "RELIGIOUS fanatic".
Your mission is to CONVERT the opposition (whoever or whatever that might be) to your way of thinking (who mentioned conversion blitz?). When that fails (as it usually does) you resort to condescension or all out name calling. Why is that?

Do you actually think those of us periodically observing this little group don't recognize this behavior for what it is? Low self-esteem sporting an egocentric front.

Can ANY of you claim ORIGINAL THOUGHT? Or are you simply piecing together bits and pieces of SOMEONE ELSE'S work? I see you have adopted the RHETORIC from some equally unoriginal professor/book/webpage. And the beat goes on with a parroting of the SOS.

Big Al: "I was really depressed when Elizabeth Doles's whole "godless" smear thing came out in North Carolina against Kay Hagan.
First that being "godless" was deemed a valid reason not to vote for somebody, but I realised I was actually more so when the victim said in her riposte (amongst others):
"I believe in God. I taught Sunday School. My faith guides my life, and Sen. Dole knows it."
That actually would be most off-putting to me if I were eligible to vote in said election."

You might want to consider that Elizabeth Dole openly showed her character flaws and bad behavior to the whole nation. She lied and slandered her opponent.
So you find Hagan's belief in god worse than Dole who is essentially a liar and cheat? WOW! I find that a little bent but interesting none the less.

Q: "Science is no god, and no, it is not our job to prove yours or other gods exist. Haven't you been told that the burden of proof is on the positive assertion once before? It's your claim so you need to back it up. If you have credible evidence, then we can refute it."

NO it is not MY CLAIM. Let me be crystal clear. I DON'T KNOW if there is a god or not and to top that off neither do ANY of you. Can anyone here be honest enough to admit that? You may have an opinion but lets call it what it is simply an opinion. I am no expert, you are no expert and neither is the opposition so we are ALL on equal ground. For those of you who leap on the high ground you might want to consider you are a pretty good target for the guy on the low ground who sports a .50 caliber.

Darth: "For instance believers want to proselytize unto others and 'save' them. They go around knocking on my door to blitz me with pamphlets and their version of the 'good news', they even go to other countries to do this. "

Well the magazine salesman going door to door bothers me. As a grown up I simply say NO THANKS and close the door. I do not find it necessary to call the chief of police and have him arrested. If a little pamphlet blitz in your life shakes your world I would say you are in for a fairly bumpy ride (caused by yourself alone). Need I say get a grip?

"I have never as yet encountered a single agnostic or atheist who engaged in this"

Sucky argument! I dare say you have probably not experienced much life. There are bad people in all walks of life. Just because you have not met them does not mean they are not there.

Did you miss that Tom? Or do you only counter with people you think are the opposition?

"They insist on inserting their god into constitutions, the pledge of allegiance or their ten commandments in a court."

Holy smoke YOU have got to be KIDDING!
They insist on inserting THEIR GOD into constitutions, the pledge of allegiance or their ten commandments in a court? Just who do you think THEY are? Let me pass a little formal education your way since you clearly flunked it in school. Our founding fathers that's WHO THEY ARE! Surely you know about the men and woman with the guts to fight and die for a principle with god as its base. THEIR GOD was and still is the core of this country. The fact that I do not know or actually care if there is a "real god" does not mean I, YOU OR ANYONE ELSE has the RIGHT to trash the core of what makes you and I free to have this discussion. Since you are so unhappy with the core system in the US an alternative for you might be North Korea, Cuba or Darfur perhaps? I think it might be possible to avoid those things there. I am CERTAIN it would take you about 10 minutes to shift your dislike of the constitution, pledge of allegiance or 10 commandments to probably PRAYING (YES PRAYING) for a pencil, paper and soap box from which you could freely spout. No doubt all of that would afford you a good opportunity to rethink your "TODAY FREE" position in life. You might want to try and wrap your mind around this fact. When you choose to engage in battle to change the constitution of this USA at least half of those 1.3 million godless/agnostic/atheist will be standing against you instead of by your side. That simply means my dear YOU & I WILL BE DEAD before those changes come about. And rightfully so no matter how unhappy that makes you.

Tom Foss you are a very bright young man and I always like to read your stuff:
"Truth is not determined by the number of people who believe it"
Bingo! but it sure makes some of those on the bottom of the heap uncomfortable. It's pretty apparent that most here are not happy with diversity in life. Lucky every once in a while someone comes along and stirs you guys up. Isn't this fun?

By the way Tom I happen to agree science has been wrong quite a lot I.E. your sun example along with the age old flat world. Maybe that is why you scientific guys can not garner the respect you desperately seek. Science is fledgling! so what? NONE of you can know what tomorrow will bring unless you claim to be closet scries. Do be careful that could get you burned at the stake here right?

Which one of you said science was not your god? How far off the mark can you be? Of course it is. According to your own ramblings it IS the core of your belief system and it appears to be everything you hang your hats on. To bad! Do you comprehend how limiting that is? Scientific Dogma is no better than Religious Dogma.

One last point. (thank thor, god, widget or the atheist undiety I have no more time to play here)

Last time I was here I left a little pole that went something like this:

The moon is made of green cheese.
1. yes
2. no
3. maybe

That was a test question given to every would-be programmer in the late 70's by one of the major computer companies here in the US. A no answer was dumped immediately, yes was a consider and a maybe was a sure entry into the program. Why was no chucked when we all know NO is the correct answer? Because "the maybe mind" had the ability to very quickly understand the logic necessary to create the program code. "The no mind" struggled and sometimes could NEVER grasp the logic. It was to time consuming to train people that seldom panned out to be very good. Finally the test was banned by "equal opportunity" and the nation was flooded with programmers that were not worth their salt.

Moral of the story? All of you who answered no? If you are programmers maybe you need to switch professions.

Have a good one guys :)

@Valkyries

How typical for you to ignore every single argument and jump right back in your shortminded little world.
Please stay there and do not bother other people with your ignorance.

You're a hypocrite (You complain about book length post, but yours is as long as the longest one here!) And you either don't understand our arguments or are using a strawman.

If I wasn't too lazy to read your whole post, I could probably come up with a lot more.

WOW... It was a long time ago that I saw such discrepancy between a person's actual intelligence and the intelligence they think they are in possession of!

Why am I here?
To collect dead heroes and carry them to Valhalla?
Simple (though as usual you have all made it far more complicated than it actually is) I had nothing better to do yesterday and decided to peek in on Tom Foss's comments. I like him. I continue to hope he someday breaks out of the staid old scientific rhetoric and shines in his own light. I am beginning to wonder if I might die of old age before that occurs. I do however still have hope.
I came here because I usually come here to check comments, and I decided to peek in on what Valkyries had to say. I don't particularly care for him. I continue to hope, as I continue to hope with all woo concern-trolls, that he someday breaks out of the boring old logical fallacies and shines on his own. I am beginning to wonder if I might die of old age before that occurs. I do, however, still have hope.
What did I find instead? The same old dead horse discussion and decided to breath a little life into it. WOW! That was successful.
What did I find instead? The exact same fallacious arguments and blatant strawmen that we dealt with, with this exact same commenter, back in March. Wow, was that successful.
You guys really do not have to go into book length tirades. Short and simple will do saving me book length responses :)
You might notice that people who aren't fractally wrong don't get fractally long responses.
No my dear I do not WANT/NEED proof.
Then it's imperative that you immediately send me your life savings, because a Flying Purple People Eater has told me that he's going to eat you if you don't immediately give me vast amounts of money that I can then funnel to him. Since you don't see the need to base your beliefs on evidence, then clearly I can be expecting a check or PayPal deposit immediately.
Is there some point in YOU offering something you can't produce? Not to mention I AM THE CHOIR.
Yes, and you're off-key to boot. What the hell are you talking about?
However is or isn't there a god was not, nor ever was the point.

The vast majority of this world believes in something bigger than himself (call it Thor, God or Widget) That makes "we godless/agnostic/atheist" a major MINORITY (bottom of the heap).


Once again, so what? We harbor no delusions about our numbers; why do you keep harboring the delusion that our numbers matter?

No doubt we could argue that point from some perspective, sometime, somewhere, someplace. That does not alter the reality "godless/agnostic/atheist" still remains at the bottom of the heap. THAT POINT IS: Numbers do not make right or wrong even though there might be safety in them. Can I safely assume all "godless/agnostic/atheist" here can leap on that bandwagon?
So, what's your point?
Let's be honest the "bent" of this board is no different than that of the "RELIGIOUS fanatic".
Let's be honest: you're an idiot. More honesty: that straw man was old before the first time you brought it up, it's downright ancient now. Explain to us what, exactly, the "bent" of this board is and how it matches up with religious fanatacism. It seems to me that you probably don't get "the bent," but I welcome you to share your perspective on what our "bent" is. If it's in error, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I'll be more than happy to tell you how to get "bent."
Your mission is to CONVERT the opposition (whoever or whatever that might be) to your way of thinking (who mentioned conversion blitz?).
Um, no, not entirely. I'd say our mission is education, not conversion. Most people, whether you think so or not, already think "our way" about the vast majority of things. Most people trust science because science has demonstrable effects on their lives; most people exercise skepticism in order to keep from being suckers; most people don't accept claims without some evidence to back them up. If there's a "conversion" involved, it's convincing people to apply those same thinking skills more consistently, and to hone them with practice and knowledge.

And, on the subject of gods, again I don't really care what people believe so far as it doesn't affect me. It's not my desire to convert people to atheism. It'd be nice, but I'd be content with people just not forcing their beliefs on others.

When that fails (as it usually does) you resort to condescension or all out name calling. Why is that?
No, we reserve name-calling for people who come in belligerent and arrogant, blatantly lie, refuse to answer questions, ignore arguments in general, repeat the same points over and over without ever acknowledging that they've been addressed previously, and generally behave in a haughty and insulting manner.
Do you actually think those of us periodically observing this little group don't recognize this behavior for what it is? Low self-esteem sporting an egocentric front.
Mr. Pot, I believe I introduced you to Mr. Kettle nine months ago. This seems like a good time for you to get reacquainted.
Can ANY of you claim ORIGINAL THOUGHT? Or are you simply piecing together bits and pieces of SOMEONE ELSE'S work? I see you have adopted the RHETORIC from some equally unoriginal professor/book/webpage.
Nevermind, I see you and Mr. Kettle know each other quite well. Really, Valkyries, what exactly do you think you've said that's so revolutionary? Science is our god? Dear me. We haven't proven whether there is or is not a god, so we can't claim one way or another? Do tell. We're condescending and insulting, preaching to the choir, and not working to convert the opposition? I do say! We're a minority? No shit. Every claim you've made, every fallacy you've resurrected, every straw man you've beaten, we've seen a thousand times before. They weren't right then, they aren't right now, they won't be right in the future. You'll excuse us if it seems like we've trod this ground in the past, since we have, and do, repeatedly.

And yet every time another person comes in here, or elsewhere, commenting about how mean atheists are and how arrogant skeptics can be, and how we can't really know anything, and how quantum physics makes them right, I put the kid gloves back on, address them point-by-point as politely as I can, and hope that the reply won't be the same set of points repeated with no acknowledgement of the responses and no sign of intelligent thought.

And the beat goes on with a parroting of the SOS.
Wow, I'm pretty sure you've just mixed three metaphors there. Does that constitute metaphor soup?
You might want to consider that Elizabeth Dole openly showed her character flaws and bad behavior to the whole nation. She lied and slandered her opponent. So you find Hagan's belief in god worse than Dole who is essentially a liar and cheat?
No, like most people on this side of things, Big Al was expressing disgust and disappointment that Hagan's response treated "godless" as the terrible insult that Dole had intended it to be. Try reading her response, where she decries Dole for "slander," says "I do not share their beliefs," and then claims that all Americans "value the role of faith in American life," while throwing out a résumé full of good Christian credentials. Nowhere--nowhere--did she say what she should have said: that it wouldn't matter even if she were godless, that the godless are Americans too, and that Americans value the fact that there is no religious test for public office. Instead of standing on principles, instead of defending her attendance at the fundraiser, she couldn't wipe the atheist stink off herself fast enough. That's what's outraging.

Not to speak for Big Al, though--but I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.

NO it is not MY CLAIM. Let me be crystal clear. I DON'T KNOW if there is a god or not and to top that off neither do ANY of you.
Define "know." As I said in March, if by "know" you mean "have 100% perfect certainty," then no, I don't know whether or not there's a God; in fact, I don't know anything, really, because "100% certainty" is an unattainable goal. But if you mean "know" in any practical sense, then I "know" there is no god to exactly the same degree of certainty that I "know" there are no leprechauns, no fairies, and no winged llamas that poop rainbows and candy. That knowledge isn't 100%, but it's to a fairly high degree of likelihood, although I'm open to revising it based on new evidence.
Well the magazine salesman going door to door bothers me. As a grown up I simply say NO THANKS and close the door. I do not find it necessary to call the chief of police and have him arrested.
Okay, neither does anyone else. Does your straw man have a point?
If a little pamphlet blitz in your life shakes your world I would say you are in for a fairly bumpy ride (caused by yourself alone). Need I say get a grip?
Funny, coming from someone who repeatedly goes out of his way to repeatedly visit a blog to tell them that no one cares. Also interesting that you chose to ignore the next point, about flying planes into buildings. I suppose you'd tell those folks to get a grip too.
Sucky argument! I dare say you have probably not experienced much life. There are bad people in all walks of life. Just because you have not met them does not mean they are not there.
True enough. But when you run around with atheists and agnostics, often chat with atheists and agnostics, and pay particular attention to what atheists and agnostics do, and none of them have done "X," then at the very least it suggests that "X" is not particularly common. In particular, it suggests that it's not as common as it is in religious circles, which was Darthcynic's point. Your inability to provide any examples to bolster your criticism strengthens that suggestion.
Did you miss that Tom? Or do you only counter with people you think are the opposition?
I'd counter DC if there was anything there to counter. If DC were saying "I have not met an atheist who preaches door to door and wants to kill believers, therefore they do not exist," that'd be an argument from ignorance, and I'd point it out (or, more likely, someone else would point it out before I got to it). But that's not what he was saying; he was quite obviously saying that he's not encountered any atheists or agnostics who want to force their beliefs on others, while such actions are common among believers.
Holy smoke YOU have got to be KIDDING! They insist on inserting THEIR GOD into constitutions, the pledge of allegiance or their ten commandments in a court? Just who do you think THEY are? Let me pass a little formal education your way since you clearly flunked it in school. Our founding fathers that's WHO THEY ARE! Surely you know about the men and woman with the guts to fight and die for a principle with god as its base. THEIR GOD was and still is the core of this country.
Okay, Valkyries, you've just proven that you're an arrogant imbecile, in case anyone doubted it. Let me take you to school, since you obviously paid no attention while you were there:
  • Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was not a Christian. He was a deist, and even authored his own version of the Bible that excised all the supernatural parts, leaving only the teachings of Jesus. Jefferson also explained the significance and meaning of the "wall of separation between church and state."
  • James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, was not a Christian, but a deist, who was frequently critical of Christianity and also affirmed the separation of church and state established by the First Amendment.
  • Ben Franklin was a deist. John Adams was a unitarian who rejected the church. George Washington never professed to be a Christian, did not request any clergy or religious officials at his death, and was said by friends to have been a deist.
  • The United States Constitution contains no reference to religion, except in Article VI, where it states "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." It contains no references whatsoever to Christianity, Jesus, or God. The closest it comes to religious language at all was the date: "in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven," which was a matter of convention.
  • The First Amendment to the United States Constitution clearly establishes the separation of church and state, resulting in a purely secular government. Two hundred-plus years of Constitutional Law and Supreme Court decisions have reaffirmed, strenghtened, and detailed the workings of this commitment.
  • The Treaty of Tripoli, ratified under John Adams, states clearly: "the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."
  • In fact, about the closest you can come to suggesting that the Founding Fathers intended to base this nation on any religion is the reference to "Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence. "Nature's God," naturally, referring to the god of deism, and not the one professed by Christianity.
Surely you know about the men and...well, no, pretty much just men, with the guts to fight and die for a principle with the separation of church and state and the elimination of the state-mandated religion that prevailed in England at its heart! After all, so many of the colonies were started expressly for the purpose of escaping persecution by the Church of England and establishing their freedom to worship according to the dictates of their consciences.

Try cracking open a book, Valkyries. Or at least taking a brief glance at what those founding fathers--who you surely know--actually had to say about religion and the government's establishment thereof. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the men who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the men who served as our first Presidents and Vice Presidents and other officials, were a diverse group of believers and nonbelievers of various stripes, belonging to a variety of different sects and subscribing to a wide range of beliefs. Many of the chief names were deists, many of the rest were otherwise unconventional believers, but just like with Kay Hagan, it wouldn't matter if they were deists or Christians or Scientologists or Underwater Basketweaving Enthusiasts. What matters is that in their actions and writings--chief among which are the Constitution and Bill of Rights--they firmly established a secular government with no establishment of or restriction of religious belief or practice, where the state assumed a position of neutrality, thereby allowing each and every citizen to believe or refuse to believe any religious claim according to his or her conscience.

The fact that I do not know or actually care if there is a "real god" does not mean I, YOU OR ANYONE ELSE has the RIGHT to trash the core of what makes you and I free to have this discussion.
What makes you and me free to have this discussion was the founding fathers' foresight to create a secular nation that does not endorse or prohibit any exercise of religion or speech.

Moreover, that precise same amendment that gives you and me the right to talk about this also gives us the right to trash the core of the nation's founding, if we so choose. You really aren't familiar with that first amendment at all, are you?

Since you are so unhappy with the core system in the US an alternative for you might be North Korea, Cuba or Darfur perhaps?
Since you're so enamored with the idea of a country founded on God and religion, an alternative for you might be Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Turkey, perhaps? The United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; it's a secular nation. Love it or leave it :).
I think it might be possible to avoid those things there. I am CERTAIN it would take you about 10 minutes to shift your dislike of the constitution, pledge of allegiance or 10 commandments to probably PRAYING (YES PRAYING) for a pencil, paper and soap box from which you could freely spout.
How about you actually read the Constitution before you talk about it. Then you might read the 10 Commandments and recognize that they aren't reflected in American laws. Then you might read the Pledge of Allegiance and realize that the Founding Fathers had nothing to do with adding "Under God" to it, since it was done in 1954 under Eisenhower, caving to pressure from religious groups and McCarthyism.
When you choose to engage in battle to change the constitution of this USA at least half of those 1.3 million godless/agnostic/atheist will be standing against you instead of by your side.
Who here is talking about changing the Constitution? The Constitution's pretty much fine; it's the religious folks who keep proposing amendments to outlaw gay marriage or mandate religion. The Constitution establishes a secular government, which takes a position of total neutrality on religious matters.
Bingo! but it sure makes some of those on the bottom of the heap uncomfortable.
What the hell are you talking about?
It's pretty apparent that most here are not happy with diversity in life. Lucky every once in a while someone comes along and stirs you guys up. Isn't this fun?
Yes, I do so love going around in circles with an arrogant idiot who thinks himself better and smarter than everyone, despite not having an iota of actual fact or knowledge to back up his positions.
By the way Tom I happen to agree science has been wrong quite a lot I.E. your sun example along with the age old flat world.
I'll give you the sun example; it takes an awful lot of observation to figure out the problems with geocentrism. Thankfully, the scientific method was able to revise that theory based on new evidence. The flat-earth model, however, was based mostly on religious superstition. Thankfully, intrepid early scientists like Eratosthenes were able to disprove that one too. See, once again, Valkyries: all scientific knowledge is tentative. Science is based on the idea that new evidence may require us to change our models. Science has been wrong, but science always recognizes that it may be wrong, and has mechanisms built-in to correct those errors. Yes, science has been wrong--and only science has ever shown science to be wrong. Science is self-correcting.
Maybe that is why you scientific guys can not garner the respect you desperately seek.
Said by someone on a computer, over the Internet, in a room with electricity, who is presumably not stricken with polio, smallpox, or whooping cough. Yeah, science is so terribly disrespected.

Incidentally, I keep seeing commercials for products that were "developed by NASA" or that use "space-age materials," which "studies show" are the most effective. I can't understand why they keep making appeals to scientific authority when science garners so little respect in society.

Science is fledgling!
What?
so what? NONE of you can know what tomorrow will bring unless you claim to be closet scries. Do be careful that could get you burned at the stake here right?
Yes, because atheists and skeptics have a long history of burning people at the stake. That's why Galileo forced the Pope to renounce God during the Skeptic Inquisition. It's a shame it took the scientific establishment 400 years to apologize for that one.

Incidentally, I can't know what tomorrow will bring, but I can make some pretty educated guesses thanks to the predictive power of the scientific method of observation and extrapolation.

Which one of you said science was not your god?
All of us.
How far off the mark can you be?
Looks to me to be within the Planck length.
Of course it is.
Much like numbers, repeated assertions do not make something true.
According to your own ramblings it IS the core of your belief system and it appears to be everything you hang your hats on.
Really? Show us where in our ramblings anyone has said that. Science is a method. It is a way of examining the real world through systematic observation, experiment, theorization, and revision. I accept the findings of science not out of blind faith, nor out of tradition, nor because science is exalted in an infallible holy book, but because science can be shown to work reliably and consistently. I do not think science is infallible; quite the contrary: the whole point of science is to try to prove your current hypothesis wrong through observation and experimentation. Science makes mistakes, and it has the mechanisms built-in to discover those mistakes and craft new hypotheses that are more closely representative of reality. When science is wrong, more science exposes the mistakes. The body of scientific knowledge and understanding is constantly added to, revised, and challenged through the methods of science. It's not perfect--no human endeavor is--but no other way of knowing that anyone has developed can produce results that are so accurate and so productive.
To bad! Do you comprehend how limiting that is?
Certainly less limiting than a point of view which says that humans are the center of the universe, the most important things in the universe, and are ruled from beyond by a bunch of beings that are pretty much giant humans with magic powers. That "limiting" scientific view has told us that the universe is orders of magnitude older and larger than any religion has ever posited. The "limiting" scientific view has shown us that life on Earth is far more vast and varied and capable of change and development than any religion has ever posited. The "limiting" scientific view has shown us that our perceptions reveal only a tiny part of our universe, that there is a whole different world on the microscopic scale, and another at the atomic, and still another smaller than that, not to mention the sights and sounds sensible at frequencies too high or low for us to see or hear. Yes, how "limiting" the scientific perspective is. I'd much prefer the openness and creativity exhibited by your bias and ignorance.
Scientific Dogma is no better than Religious Dogma.
If there were such a thing as Scientific Dogma, I'd be inclined to agree. But unless you can provide an example of what "scientific dogma" is, I'm afraid I have to conclude that no such thing exists.
One last point. (thank thor, god, widget or the atheist undiety I have no more time to play here)
I'll thank goodness, myself, but agreed.
Last time I was here I left a little pole that went something like this:
I once left a little pole someplace. It went a little something like this: from the ground, up three feet into the air, topped with a little metal ball.

Much better than the time I left a little Pole someplace. He never let me hear the end of that, let me tell you.

The moon is made of green cheese. 1. yes 2. no 3. maybe
Oh, right. That's a "poll." In fact, not even that, just a dumb multiple choice question. And one that was repeatedly answered in the previous thread.
That was a test question given to every would-be programmer in the late 70's by one of the major computer companies here in the US. A no answer was dumped immediately, yes was a consider and a maybe was a sure entry into the program. Why was no chucked when we all know NO is the correct answer? Because "the maybe mind" had the ability to very quickly understand the logic necessary to create the program code. "The no mind" struggled and sometimes could NEVER grasp the logic. It was to time consuming to train people that seldom panned out to be very good. Finally the test was banned by "equal opportunity" and the nation was flooded with programmers that were not worth their salt.
And your point is...what, exactly? That wishy-washy people who can't grasp the idea that there's no such thing as absolute knowledge make better programmers? That may be all well and good for you, but here in the land of the practical and the home of the realistic, we can know to a high degree of certainty that the moon is in fact made of a heterogeneous and differentiated mixture of various minerals and elements, none of which are coagulated milk.

Incidentally, while several people answered this asinine question the last time you posed it, you never did answer Jimmy_Blue's query about the Blancmange theory of the universe.

Have a good one guys :)
See you in nine months, Valkyries. Do try to learn something between now and then. And maybe, instead of ignoring everything that anyone says and clinging to your myopic biases and preconceptions, instead of tossing out the same baseless accusations and blatant lies, instead of holding onto to your ignorance and notions of superiority like your swim trunks in a strong undercurrent, maybe then we can engage in real conversation.

You know, despite the years of responding to these same arguments day in and day out, I'm an optimist. It's entirely possible that Valkyries will actually use some reading comprehension skills and critical self-examination and return without looking like an ignorant, arrogant, hypocritical asshat. Is that likely to occur?

1.Yes
2. No
3. Maybe

@Valkyries

The first Val wrote this:

"What does it MATTER to any of you what I or any other person might believe or not?"

Hence my response of pamphlets, door knocking, commandments in court etc as an 'illustration' of why it matters and how what anyone believes matters to these believers. See now?, it does not 'shake my world' it is an 'illustration', I hope that clears it up some for you as you appear to not have understood.

"I do not find it necessary to call the chief of police and have him arrested. If a little pamphlet blitz in your life shakes your world I would say you are in for a fairly bumpy ride (caused by yourself alone). Need I say get a grip?"

I am not sure why you mention police of any kind as no one brought it up or suggested such absurdity. Nor did I profess any feeling of having my 'world shaken'. I actually find it entertaining when they call to be honest. But I think you just wrote that up to have something extra to type, to make yourself feel better about raving atheists I suppose.

"Sucky argument! I dare say you have probably not experienced much life. There are bad people in all walks of life. Just because you have not met them does not mean they are not there."

Uhhhh sucky?, kay, well moving along. I dare say you are misunderstanding again, it is an 'illustration'. This time of how I have never personally encountered atheists or unbelievers going to the same lengths believers do, I have no idea where you derive the notion that I claim all atheists and unbelievers are the sweetest, nicest people you will ever meet from?

"Our founding fathers that's WHO THEY ARE!"

Since when was Eisenhower a founding father (as far as the pledge is concerned)? I profess that I am less familiar with the entire wording of the constitution. But I am quite certain of the founding fathers intent on separation of church and state and how no one god would be supreme over all others.

"THEIR GOD was and still is the core of this country. The fact that I do not know or actually care if there is a "real god" does not mean I, YOU OR ANYONE ELSE has the RIGHT to trash the core of what makes you and I free to have this discussion. "

Ummm no He is not. The fact that you insist that their god is the core of your country does kind of suggest that you do care. I think that freedom gives you, I or anyone else the right. However before I move to the DPRK or elsewhere I shall let you know that I neither live in the US nor am a citizen so I feel pretty free to say as I please if thats okay with you lad?

"Isn't this fun?"

I hope your having fun or whatever.

Hmmm, I think my point was better put again. :)

Science is fledgling!

Obviously a gerund formed from the verb "to fledgle".

From a brief scan around the room I'm sitting in, "to fledgle" must mean "to bring about more life-improving changes in a hundred years than kneeling in church or beside a bed at night has done in two millennia."

Science may be young in the sense it hasn't developed a way around Godel's incompleteness theorem and gathered all the data in the universe to plug into a Theory of Everything.

But it's much more mature than woo, which never bothers to seriously test itself and never expands. All it does is shuffle around buzzwords every so often.

"Can ANY of you claim ORIGINAL THOUGHT? Or are you simply piecing together bits and pieces of SOMEONE ELSE'S work? I see you have adopted the RHETORIC from some equally unoriginal professor/book/webpage. And the beat goes on with a parroting of the SOS."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


OAUOIHDFKLASD!

HAHAHAHAHahahahahahahahahahahaahhhhhhhhhhhh

besides all that, all "original thought" is based on earlier, prior thoughts and research.

Even your BIBLE. Read OTHER stories from before the bible's time (and after, since every church in power has CHANGED THE BOOK DRAMATICALLY OVER THE YEARS), and you'll start to notice things. Like the winter solstice celebration coincides with another special holiday that the jews celebrate, and is in the old testament. Dig enough, and you can find "the original" story for pretty much EVERY STORY TOLD IN THE BIBLE.

How's that for "ORIGINAL THOUGHT"?

Even the religion that christianity is based on, Judaism, isn't immune from this. Neither is the Muslim religion.

And the idea of Thor was "borrowed" from another story, and so on back through time.

Back to the days of campfires in caves and berry picking hippies with no way to shave.

Get a freaking grip, your stories are NOT special. Your GOD is not special. YOU are not special. I am not special.

--genewitch

Oh sorry about the double post but i was seriously having an asthma attack from the top of my last post that valk said.

But You guys heard of this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

That explains a lot of these sorts of people.
These being "less educated", "indoctrinated into faith", "republic... oh i can't say that because they're not all..."

right? I'm compiling a list of fallacies, paradoxes, and "effects" that i am going to attempt to code into a .NET program (at first) that will work like the grammar and spelling checker in Word™; that is, it will read whatever you feed it, and based on sentence structure and implications of things like premise and conclusion, warn you if there's a possibility of fallacy.

It will be a pain, BUT - it's not impossible. There's already a way to detect verbal abusiveness at the beginning of a sentence. If you even cared about linguistics, you'd know that. Even bloggers and commenters on blogs should have that basic knowledge. (QED!)

But yeah, after i piece together the beginnings of a "reference book" specifically about the three areas i mentioned above, i've got two other people willing to reduce the example arguments i give for each fallacy/whatever to A implies B, !B <> !A sort of stuff.

Skeptico, you don't post often enough. I haven't really looked if your post rate is consistent since the beginning of the blog's life, but i do know that waiting for my RSS feedpage to tell me that you've posted again is painful.

Tom Foss, God love ya!... er, I mean, well done.

Lady V, what difference does it make if a response to your silly question is unoriginal? If someone made the correct point years ago, why shouldn't anyone use it as a response today?

*yawns*

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