Atheism kills!

Re: Atheism kills!

Postby TwoTongues » 13 Mar 2010, 00:35

Fortigurn wrote:
TwoTongues wrote:No one is claiming there is no evidence in religion...


Chris wrote:Religion is based in faith; science is based in evidence.


I'm glad we've settled that.


And I'm glad you're smug and simultaneously wrong - Chris did not say that religion didn't have "evidence", he said religion is based on faith, which it is - the evidence for the faith bits is not provable.

Fortigurn wrote:
...we're saying that there is either insufficient evidence, or else the science and logic disproves the evidence of the supernatural bits.


That's subjective.


Ummm no, as we stated elsewhere, there's nothing subjective about the disproving of the supernatural bits. When you have a choice of using a rational and scientific explanation or an unprovable, non-scientific explanation, then there is no choice - otherwise, you could make up any unprovable, non-scientific explanation you wanted! Nothing subjective there.

Fortigurn wrote:
There could be plenty of evidence that a person named Moses existed, but that doesn't help prove the existence of a Jewish god.


I agree.

There is no verifiable evidence of the supernatural bit...


Yes.

...and there is plenty of scientific evidence against it.


Now you've taken a turn into philosophy, and left science behind.


You have scientific evidence against the belief, or you can keep the belief with no scientific backing. How is that philosophy?

Fortigurn wrote:
What are you arguing here?


That religions actually typically make appeals to evidence, contrary to what was claimed.


That's not true, the so-called evidence they appeal to is ambiguous and does not force one into belief into something supernatural. Seeing that little moon is evidence that god put it up there, because who could put it so high but god, plus this book here who I don't know the author or the date it was written, but anyway it says this god guy put it there? This is the evidence? So we have the god option for the moon or the scientific option, in which something hit the earth a billion years ago and split off the moon, for which we can see matching residue and rocks and things. So you're claiming the "god" evidence is somehow acceptable or equivalent eh?

But you see, I bet you know all this already and are arguing idly or for some pedantic reason. All of this is pretty obvious stuff, so what's the idea?

Fortigurn wrote:
This whole science/religion debate comes from the earlier statement equating the world-views of atheism and religion, and some of our belief that they are not even on the same level of philosophy to be comparable.


Science is not philosophy. Let's get that straight. It's useless for philosophy. When people start using it as a substitute for philosophy, and (even worse), as a substitute for ethics, we're all in trouble.


Huh? The argument was that science and religion are not of the same quality to be compared as worldviews, that basing a worldview on something unproven and feel-good and often verifiably untrue is not reasonable like holding the atheist worldview, which most atheists base on science and reason, coupled either with a social benefit ethic or an individualism ethic.
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby ThreadKiller » 13 Mar 2010, 01:17

Screaming Jesus wrote:How can Dawkins walk around scot-free after what he did to this poor Christian boy?



Let's be reasonable. If God is what God should be (an all-loving God), he is not going to allow some young guy, (supposedly) misguided by others, and who committed suicide in his pain and confusion, to suffer in hell for all eternity. If He would allow that kind of thing, he isn't really worth following. I'm not fond of dictators whether they are gods or human.
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby Buttercup » 13 Mar 2010, 01:26

freethinker wrote:
Screaming Jesus wrote:How can Dawkins walk around scot-free after what he did to this poor Christian boy?



Let's be reasonable. If God is what God should be (an all-loving God), he is not going to allow some young guy, (supposedly) misguided by others, who committed suicide to suffer in hell for all eternity. If He would allow that kind of thing, he isn't really worth following.

Besides which, I am - without a doubt - certain that Dawkins book has led to fewer suicides than the teachings of the conservative church.


It's a symbolic story - a bunch of symbols. Fertility, death and regeneration stories. The Judeo-Christian God is the Prime Mover, not some morally suspect guy from down the pub. Jesus is man, with his limitless capacity for redemption and rebirth. :lol:

Atheists kill themselves less frequently than people who believe they might burn in the lake of fire for all eternity? That's not logical.
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby ThreadKiller » 13 Mar 2010, 01:49

oops - just getting used to the forumosa system.
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby ThreadKiller » 13 Mar 2010, 01:53

Buttercup wrote:
freethinker wrote:
Screaming Jesus wrote:How can Dawkins walk around scot-free after what he did to this poor Christian boy?



Let's be reasonable. If God is what God should be (an all-loving God), he is not going to allow some young guy, (supposedly) misguided by others, who committed suicide to suffer in hell for all eternity. If He would allow that kind of thing, he isn't really worth following.

Besides which, I am - without a doubt - certain that Dawkins book has led to fewer suicides than the teachings of the conservative church.


It's a symbolic story - a bunch of symbols. Fertility, death and regeneration stories. The Judeo-Christian God is the Prime Mover, not some morally suspect guy from down the pub. Jesus is man, with his limitless capacity for redemption and rebirth. :lol:

Atheists kill themselves less frequently than people who believe they might burn in the lake of fire for all eternity? That's not logical.


It's not an impenetrable mystery. In many states, atheists also divorce less often. Myths are delightful and tell us something about human nature - they should be enjoyed. But believing the myths are fact is gonna lead to a little oddness.
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby Buttercup » 13 Mar 2010, 02:41

No, they aren't 'myths' that came out of the sky - they are modes of thinking that we createdhelp us deal with mysteries, and the nature of the world, and the sheer horror of life before antibiotics (to give just a tiny example). Religious thought and action will never disappear or diminish, it will just adapt, as we change our physical world. 2000 years ago, there were no horror movies, or nightclubs, or webmd.com

Which states? States of marital bliss? States of confusion? Why are you talking about marriage, anyway? What does that have to do with anything?
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby TwoTongues » 13 Mar 2010, 09:45

Fortigurn wrote:Science is not philosophy. Let's get that straight. It's useless for philosophy. When people start using it as a substitute for philosophy, and (even worse), as a substitute for ethics, we're all in trouble.


Actually, science can very well be used as a basis for philosophy. Suppose you take the hypotheses (best current guesses) and theories (best current facts) of science and add to them a process target, for example

"Given there is a finite amount of resources (some constants based on the best scientific knowledge we have) and a maximal time of life (also based on the latest scientific knowledge), what is the best form of government and economy that provides:
- the maximum human survival rate (number of people)
- with the minimal physical and mental suffering
- with the maximal economic/social security
- with the maximal disposable income
- with the maximal personal choice
- for the maximal amount of time (length of life)?"

To this you add heuristics (weights) for each of these, as there are many solutions to the equation. Then through mathematics, empirical evidence, statistics, and either a really damn good computer or a shit-load of trial and error, you determine the solution to your equation, and base your government policy for social structure and economy on that. Now you have your definition of "morality" with respect to your equation: actions and policies that get you closer to the solution are "better" while policies that get you farther away are "bad". On an individual action and policy level, you have trade-offs of increasing one of the goals while decreasing another. And you may have a lot of other equations for specific personal actions, such as "do I shoot the cat and eliminate a pest and save my pets", versus "do i calm down and think of another way" versus "do i go zen on their ass and watch them serenely in my lotus position".

It is the weighting of this type of equation (actually multiple equations over many more variables, I would think) that defines political and social views; for example:
- if you weight minimizing suffering and maximal economic security and personal choice OVER the total survival rate/total number of humans, with a middle weighting to length of life, then you might end up with an economic conservative and economic darwinist (survival of the fittest and all that)
- if you weight maximizing economic security and human survival rate, with a middle weighting of personal choice and length of life, and a lower weighting on disposable income, you might end up with an economic socialist

and so forth.

If you think abut it deeply, you might realize that this is in fact how we operate on a day-by-day, action by action basis. What you "feel" you "decide" to do is actually a very complicated and often instantaneous process of making choices based on heuristics. And when we say get emotional and say "Republicans are selfish fucks" and "Liberals are commie bastards", that comes from a difference in weighting that we've determined affects us personally to the point where we get defensive.

This sounds cold and devoid of humanity, but that's just because deep down it's a numbers game, and numbers are abstract and impersonal at their rawest. But you are free to envision these equations in other ways, like having to choose between 1000 flavors of jelly bellys on one side that taste really good but are kind of bad for your health, and 1000 more on the other side of the shop that taste, well, Harry Potter nasty but are healthy, and the amount you're forced to take of each type depends on what your goal is: maximizing immediate flavor or long term well being.

So getting back to Fortigurn's statement, scientific analysis, or logical analysis, can and is the basis for all of our so-called morality (even the religious kind, deep down inside, you've chosen to ignore reality (read: science as we currently know it), which brings a host of other possible negatives, but you do it in order to increase your happiness and mental state (for at least a time)). You can believe in a story or hypothesis that contradicts science all you like, but in general, as a philosophy, science has the benefit of always being right at the current time for the current level of knowledge, and that's because it is self-correcting, whereas religion in most cases is not for the supernatural bits. Yes yes there are competing theories, and a given person doesn't hold all scientific knowledge in one place, it's spread out, but we can show that it is possible to put it all together if we had the time and the economic power to do so.

This is what religious people often disparagingly term "relative morality", and unfortunately perhaps, relative morality is the reality: there is no one weighting that is better than another in an absolute sense, like the rules and equations themselves. That's why we generally add in one more huge factor to this equation, and that is the Carlin rule of the Ten Commandments, also the Wiccan rule, also the Golden Rule, which is essentially "don't hurt other people", "do as you will, harm none", "do to others as you want them to do to you". And we do this because we believe that this rule - well, it's more of guideline than a code, as Barbossa once said - is a simplified way to achieve our larger equations.
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby Puppet » 13 Mar 2010, 11:42

Chris wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
Chris wrote:Can you provide an example of a religion that's an exception to my statement?


Sure, Judaism and Christianity. Anthropologists will tell you that religions arose precisely because of evidence (explanations of forces of nature, explanations of apparent connection between weather conditions and ritual behaviour), not in the absence of evidence.

Both religions have an unevidenced supreme being at the core of their belief systems. Both claim that this deity created the universe in seven days, both claim that there was a man named Adam who was the first man, both claim that there was a worldwide flood and that a man named Noah loaded animals onto a boat, and the list goes on and on.

All religions attempt in some way to explain nature; they merely fail at it.


Weren't you the one who just asked what a "fundamentalist atheist" is then proceed to explain your interpretation of scripture as being a fundamentalist interpretation? You answered your own question. :-)
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby Puppet » 13 Mar 2010, 11:45

TwoTongues wrote:
All religions, by which I mean all belief systems which include in a supernatural/spiritual entity, have one or more entities or forces that violate one or more scientific theories or logical rules or what we know about the natural world, which is why we call them "supernatural". "God(s)", "spirits", "chakras", "chi", "life-force", etc are all examples of things that are part of the core to religions and which are not currently supported by the natural laws and scientific theories that we have observed, are repeatable and testable, and do not violate the other laws.


That's my view as a theist, minus the "violate" part. They're not testable, but that doesn't mean they violate them.

You're explanation that the core of religion as something "you can experience but not fully define" is not wrong but it is not complete, and it does not contradict the definition that I have provided (the wikipedia thing - I have no qualms if you prefer a different source). Science and reason provide methodologies for "fully defining" entities and forces; if it is not possible to fully define something, and to even have a method for trying to do so that hasn't yet failed, then it is outside the current scope of science.


Confused on why you're talking about scientific testing to these things.

Trying to define what happened before the Big Bang, for example, might be considered supernatural, as I don't believe we have a method of going beyond that (yet), and if one were to postulate a theory of what happened before it, and turned that into a worldview or way-of-life, then I'd probably argue that too is a form of religion.


Yes...it would be. My speculation is there is a scientific explanation that we haven't found yet as to what happened before the big bang. We may someday know and may be able to prove it.

What's this straw man crap? I never said you can't believe in science and be religious, I am saying that at some point, you have chosen one or more religious beliefs over a scientific theory or logical argument.


What have I chosen over a scientific theory or logical argument?

I still have not seen anyone provide me with a religion that does not involve one of these non-scientific or supernatural entities. I would argue that any "religion" that does not involve one of these is not a religion but rather a philosophy.


Buddhism doesn't have the need for a supernatural deity, but many agree that Buddhism is more a philosophy and a religion.

Still, the point still stands that I am making ~ God is not within the realm of scientific theory. I assumed that was something you would agree with. If God is not in the realm of scientific theory or (obviously) testing, then why bring it up?
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Re: Atheism kills!

Postby Fortigurn » 13 Mar 2010, 11:49

TwoTongues wrote:...Chris did not say that religion didn't have "evidence", he said religion is based on faith, which it is - the evidence for the faith bits is not provable.


Chris said that religion is based on faith to the exclusion of evidence. If he wants to modify that, let him do it himself.

Ummm no, as we stated elsewhere, there's nothing subjective about the disproving of the supernatural bits. When you have a choice of using a rational and scientific explanation or an unprovable, non-scientific explanation, then there is no choice - otherwise, you could make up any unprovable, non-scientific explanation you wanted! Nothing subjective there.


I'm not talking about the method of verification. I'm talking about your subjective interpretation of the evidence, namely that science has proved conclusively that there is no such thing as the supernatural and no religion has any evidence for its truth claims.

You have scientific evidence against the belief, or you can keep the belief with no scientific backing. How is that philosophy?


It's philosophy when you say there's scientific evidence that God does not exist. It's one thing to say that there's no proof for the existence of X, it's another thing to say that there's proof X does not exist.

That's not true, the so-called evidence they appeal to is ambiguous and does not force one into belief into something supernatural.


You have just agreed 'That religions actually typically make appeals to evidence'. First you say it's 'not true', then you say it is.

The argument was that science and religion are not of the same quality to be compared as worldviews...


The statement was actually 'they are not even on the same level of philosophy to be comparable'. Science is not on any level of philosophy. It has nothing to do with philosophy. Philosophy on the other hand is essential to achieving science.
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