Post Any Evidence For God Here

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby waauw on Thu May 16, 2013 2:07 pm

john9blue wrote:
crispybits wrote:As chang said, I didn't say schooling, but education. Education statrs off as learning by rote, you learn the times tables by repeating them back over and over again. As we get older that changes into understanding how to multiply and being able to do the actual calculations in our heads. As we progress higher and higher in the edcuation systems, free critical thinking is (or at least should be) more and more important, until you get to the PhD and post-docs who are responsible for coming up with brand new ideas about the world and then going about finding tests to see if those ideas are true or false. More education = a more critically trained mind = more atheism.


for many people, it's more like:

more education = more indoctrination = you think you know better than everyone else = atheism (or modern liberalism, there's a reason these two are correlated)

if you talk to people who are intelligent beyond just book-smart memorization skills, you'll find that most of them are agnostic and they lean libertarian (which is far removed from the above). these are the people that realize how much they don't know and are perfectly fine with leaving others alone, instead of forcing others to believe what they believe.


Actually most atheists can be cathegorized as agnostic atheists. The definition of agnosticism is that people don't know whether there is a a god or not. This is a statement most atheists agree with, but atheists still don't think that there is a god because of probability issues.

The only difference between agnostic atheists and pure agnostics(or whatever you call 'm) is that agnostic atheists are interested in the subject and pure agnostics aren't. Pure Agnostics are just indifferent towards the question whether or not a god exists. They haven't looked at the evidence as extensively and are thus unable to pick a side.

There is a human tendency to form an opinion about any subject the more he/she learns about it.

FYI, I don't know what hillbilly school you went to but in my religion classes the teacher held a weekly debate. People could out their opinions there and learn more about both christianism(no other religions were represented in my class) and atheism. This was the way we learned about the different ethical/religious/cultural/... conflicts that exist in current day society. So stating that education is indoctrination is either a lie or a generalization of a school that is biased.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Thu May 16, 2013 2:08 pm

atheism

a (without or lacking) + theism (belief in deity)= without a belief in deity= "what is god?"

I'm pretty sure you yourself have brought up in the past the difference between weak and strong atheism. Just because it's not an active rejection of deism doesn't mean it's not atheism.

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby john9blue on Thu May 16, 2013 2:16 pm

waauw wrote:
Actually most atheists can be cathegorized as agnostic atheists. The definition of agnosticism is that people don't know whether there is a a god or not. This is a statement most atheists agree with, but atheists still don't think that there is a god because of probability issues.

The only difference between agnostic atheists and pure agnostics(or whatever you call 'm) is that agnostic atheists are interested in the subject and pure agnostics aren't. Pure Agnostics are just indifferent towards the question whether or not a god exists. They haven't looked at the evidence as extensively and are thus unable to pick a side.

There is a human tendency to form an opinion about any subject the more they learn about it.


i've had this discussion before... the short version is that agnosticism is a matter of degree. christians also realize that they don't KNOW if god exists or not, since a central tenet of christianity is that you have to have faith that god exists. this means that christians are also agnostic, but not fully. and they also differ in their degree of agnosticism.

a/theism just refers to whether your strong or weak belief is in god or no god... it's binary
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby waauw on Thu May 16, 2013 2:17 pm

john9blue wrote:you say an atheist society wasn't possible and then talk about the "age of reason" where we supposedly moved away from dogma. wat?

also, there were plenty of scientific developments during the so-called "dark ages", but the myth that religion (specifically catholicism) suppressed free thought during the middle ages was propagated by enlightenment thinkers who wanted to believe the same shit that you do, to believe that they were "enlightened" and that they were part of a historically significant intellectual movement.


I think you need to get some facts straight. Yes there were some advances in the middle ages, but they weren't as world changing as those made during the age of enlightenment. I would like to refference you to the work for example Voltaire(propagated republicanism and democracy in a world governed by monarchs) and Sir Isaac Newton(the father of modern physics). The age of enlightenment was about propagating to people to be more critical, to learn more about science and logic and to promote liberalism.

Also if you think religion didn't suppress science, you should do some research about Galileo.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Thu May 16, 2013 2:25 pm

john9blue wrote:
crispybits wrote:They're the two justifications I can think of why keeping religion to adults only and keeping it out of controlling people's lives would lead to "maybe a worse effect than removing religion". I said maybe there was something I don't understand there - you obviously think I've misinterpretted you somewhere, care to elaborate?


you wanted our society to actively discourage people from becoming religious (make it "rated R" and keep it away). if we do that then people will not want anything to do with religious morals and may actively go against them because they are being encouraged to think that religion is seriously wrong.


I said no such thing about discouraging. I personally want to discourage people from taking up any religion unless they can provide evidence, but I don't want any such rules put in place by society. Freedom of religion is a good thing.

Have you thought that the main problems people have with religion are the way it treats children (not a catholic church dig) and the way it tries to run everyone's lives, not just the lives of believers? Do you not think that if religion stopped doing the two things that secular people have the most problems with then activism against religion would decrease, not increase?

Nobody is suggesting religion is "wrong", just that there's a place and a time for it and that's in voluntary exchanges between adults who are free to follow any religion they like as long as they don't force their religious rules on people that don't believe the same things they do. Or they can come up with evidence. Either way is fine by me.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby waauw on Thu May 16, 2013 2:34 pm

john9blue wrote:
waauw wrote:
Actually most atheists can be cathegorized as agnostic atheists. The definition of agnosticism is that people don't know whether there is a a god or not. This is a statement most atheists agree with, but atheists still don't think that there is a god because of probability issues.

The only difference between agnostic atheists and pure agnostics(or whatever you call 'm) is that agnostic atheists are interested in the subject and pure agnostics aren't. Pure Agnostics are just indifferent towards the question whether or not a god exists. They haven't looked at the evidence as extensively and are thus unable to pick a side.

There is a human tendency to form an opinion about any subject the more they learn about it.


i've had this discussion before... the short version is that agnosticism is a matter of degree. christians also realize that they don't KNOW if god exists or not, since a central tenet of christianity is that you have to have faith that god exists. this means that christians are also agnostic, but not fully. and they also differ in their degree of agnosticism.

a/theism just refers to whether your strong or weak belief is in god or no god... it's binary


The problem I'm having is that you said atheism is a form of indoctrination. This is the reason why I wanted to mention that atheism does not claim to know about a divine existence. In indoctrination people do make it sound like they KNOW the answer.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Thu May 16, 2013 2:47 pm

waauw wrote:
john9blue wrote:
waauw wrote:
Actually most atheists can be cathegorized as agnostic atheists. The definition of agnosticism is that people don't know whether there is a a god or not. This is a statement most atheists agree with, but atheists still don't think that there is a god because of probability issues.

The only difference between agnostic atheists and pure agnostics(or whatever you call 'm) is that agnostic atheists are interested in the subject and pure agnostics aren't. Pure Agnostics are just indifferent towards the question whether or not a god exists. They haven't looked at the evidence as extensively and are thus unable to pick a side.

There is a human tendency to form an opinion about any subject the more they learn about it.


i've had this discussion before... the short version is that agnosticism is a matter of degree. christians also realize that they don't KNOW if god exists or not, since a central tenet of christianity is that you have to have faith that god exists. this means that christians are also agnostic, but not fully. and they also differ in their degree of agnosticism.

a/theism just refers to whether your strong or weak belief is in god or no god... it's binary


The problem I'm having is that you said atheism is a form of indoctrination. This is the reason why I wanted to mention that atheism does not claim to know about a divine existence. In indoctrination people do make it sound like they KNOW the answer.


Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned. (Wikipedia)

Atheists are (with the exception of now rare strong atheism) told that the whole point is to think critically about claims made about religious subjects. Seems your claims fall down fairly quickly J9B, but I am constantly amazed by how many brainwashed religious people seem to think that an education in critical thinking is the same as an indoctrination into a dogmatic philosophy. It's like they never got the basic meanings of words explained to them. Usually it's those same people who cry religious persecution and claim they are being victimised when anyone dares criticise any aspect of their personal religious philosophy.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 3:13 pm

john9blue wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Even worse, he doesn't seem to care to understand. He's had this position about religion being the moral fabric, and it failed earlier (from what I recall). He's not going to clarify himself ITT, and I doubt he'll take crispybits' positions into account, so ten months from now j9b will be back to say how atheism is the destroyer of civilization and blah blah blah.


i don't think anyone's argument failed. i can't prove that atheism will have a negative effect on civilization, and he can't prove otherwise. i think the lack of successful atheist societies counts as proof, and he doesn't.


Y'all two are mired in the problem of demonstrating a counterfactual. It's impossible, so a better approach is to argue about the key elements which account for greater success* in atheist societies** compared to theist societies***.,

*what are the criteria for success?
**what exactly is an atheist society? Why not include atheist groups?
***(same questions about the nefarious use of the word 'society').

My question: What kind of institutions (rules of the game) does each group use which in turn leads to greater benefits (or success) for a given group or particular region?


In my opinion, answering the above would better reveal an answer. Without answering those questions, then progress won't be attained.


(For example, Max Weber had an article about the Protestant work ethic. He argued that because the Protestants valued labor/individual responsibility due to their particular religious system, then they performed better than Catholics and those groups without such a religiously enforced work ethic). That's one way of doing that.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby jonesthecurl on Thu May 16, 2013 3:14 pm

john9blue wrote:to claim that something has no evidence, you have to clearly define that thing. you can't say "i don't know what this thing is, but there is no evidence for it". how would you know whether there was evidence if you didn't know what it was in the first place? the two positions are incompatible.



In that case, you can't prove there's no evidence for blimfjog.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 3:22 pm

john9blue wrote:you say an atheist society wasn't possible and then talk about the "age of reason" where we supposedly moved away from dogma. wat?

also, there were plenty of scientific developments during the so-called "dark ages", but the myth that religion (specifically catholicism) suppressed free thought during the middle ages was propagated by enlightenment thinkers who wanted to believe the same shit that you do, to believe that they were "enlightened" and that they were part of a historically significant intellectual movement.


Well, j9b, it's not a myth. If you read about the history of political thought, and peruse the "Great Thinkers'" letters and works, you can see the fear/anxiety in (1) debasing religion from ethics or explanations on human behavior (i.e. no more "cuz God" arguments), (2) a general lip-service to the religious institutions (Hobbes, who was most likely an atheist, yet wrote publicly like a theist), (3) and the general delay in shifting from "cuz God" arguments to more "humanitarian" arguments.

That delay, I'd attribute, to the political power exercised by the Church, which sought to suppress any heretical/blasphemous thought. Those times were not at all a myth. Removing religion from reason was a huge step for humanity, and the Church did not at all appreciate it.

Hell, it took as long as J.S. Mill to write a proper defense of freedom of thought and expression.

I still don't see how the Enlightenment period was another age of dogma--relative to the actual dogma of the Catholic Church and its thinkers.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby AndyDufresne on Thu May 16, 2013 3:52 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:That delay, I'd attribute, to the political power exercised by the Church, which sought to suppress any heretical/blasphemous thought. Those times were not at all a myth. Removing religion from reason was a huge step for humanity, and the Church did not at all appreciate it.


I'd like to add my support to this, with evidence from my Crusader Kings 2 computer games. As a good catholic ruler, I pretty vehemently suppress heretics and blasphemous thoughts, imprisoning and executing vassals and courtiers of mine that succumb to such thoughts. Moreover, sometimes I'll have them excommunicated by the Pope (for a measly 25-50 gold) to put a stain on their family lineage. Also, the Pope gets pretty angry at me when I am not on one of his crusades (or just invading Pagan lands and acquiring them for my empire), and he gives me a negative opinion modifier "Not Crusading," that affects people's opinion of my ruler! Aghast!

Moreover, when I play as an Islamic nation, I similarly keep Islamic heresy and blasphemy in check, once again with imprisoning and executions, including many of my kin, to keep our nation's decadence down in order to be a seen as a good Islamic nation (and to keep the deadly Hashashin, Islamic Assassins, at bay). Also, after I make the pilgrimage to Mecca, I get a nice "Hajjaj" trait which is a nice + modifier.

So, I think the above evidence is pretty sufficient and damning. I mean. Yeah.


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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Thu May 16, 2013 4:10 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
john9blue wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Even worse, he doesn't seem to care to understand. He's had this position about religion being the moral fabric, and it failed earlier (from what I recall). He's not going to clarify himself ITT, and I doubt he'll take crispybits' positions into account, so ten months from now j9b will be back to say how atheism is the destroyer of civilization and blah blah blah.


i don't think anyone's argument failed. i can't prove that atheism will have a negative effect on civilization, and he can't prove otherwise. i think the lack of successful atheist societies counts as proof, and he doesn't.


Y'all two are mired in the problem of demonstrating a counterfactual. It's impossible, so a better approach is to argue about the key elements which account for greater success* in atheist societies** compared to theist societies***.,

*what are the criteria for success?
**what exactly is an atheist society? Why not include atheist groups?
***(same questions about the nefarious use of the word 'society').

My question: What kind of institutions (rules of the game) does each group use which in turn leads to greater benefits (or success) for a given group or particular region?

In my opinion, answering the above would better reveal an answer. Without answering those questions, then progress won't be attained.

(For example, Max Weber had an article about the Protestant work ethic. He argued that because the Protestants valued labor/individual responsibility due to their particular religious system, then they performed better than Catholics and those groups without such a religiously enforced work ethic). That's one way of doing that.


OK, I'll bite and go first for atheism (though I do not do so with delusions of grandeur of being some sort of spokesman for a larger group but rather just expressing my own opinion about my own kind of atheism, just like nobody, not even the pope himself, can claim to speak for all christianity)

What kind of institutions (rules of the game) does each group use which in turn leads to greater benefits (or success) for a given group or particular region?

It's not easy to do this given that atheism holds no real philosophy of it's own, it's a simple state of disbelief in unsubstantiated God myths due to a lack of evidence. As such any list of rules which I write will be highly tied into other philosophies such as empiricism, humanism or noncognitivism. Other atheists may disagree with some of these rules, we do not after all have a single source such as the bible for our claims or counter-claims. An atheist debating a catholic will use different tactics and arguments compared to an atheist debating with a wiccan, a buddhist or a taoist. But I will try and distil out the basic tenets common to atheist argument wherever we find it:

1. Think critically - whenever presented with a truth claim, assess the claim based on evidence, probability, consistency and the authority of the claimant.
2. Start always from a position of disbelief - a claim must be substantiated or verified (or the opposite) before it can be said to have a truth value.
3. Nothing is sacred - any claim should be subjected to testing and debate, no claim should be immune from criticism.
4. Be explicit and clear - when making or evaluating a claim, ensure that all sides are working from the same definitions and avoid / eliminate ambiguity and vagueness.
5. Search for truth - the ultimate end goal of religious debate is to find the truth, not to inflate egos or to do harm to believers' egos.
6. Remain open-minded - the enemy of progress is dogma, always be willing to admit, even if only to yourself, that you may be wrong in your position.
7. Be honest - don't take a position you do not believe just to cause or continue a debate, simply argue for what you actually believe.
8. Avoid fallacy - do not use discredited forms of argument such as ad hominem or circular reasoning and highlight them when you see them, they are not the path to truth.

Now there's probably more I could add there, and I'll probably think of another one as soon as I hit the submit button, but as a first position if we're taking the debate down those lines it's a good start. As for the benefits these rules will bestow upon wider society, it is based around the same principles as the enlightenment about allowing free exchange of ideas, of voluntary devotion to ideas, and of open criticism of ideas. It allows freedom to believe in anything anyone wants to, and freedom for anyone else to find it ridiculous.

By opening up the realm of "allowed belief" to anything on a personal level, society gives itself the greatest chance of developing in every way that people can conceive of being of benefit to that society. If someone thinks that society is lacking in medical advancement due to the rejection of natural drugs, then they can go off and learn about traditional natural remedies and they can campaign for or market them, and if they are effective then society will take them up. If someone thinks that society is lacking in music, then they can learn to play an instrument, and they are free to take that instrument and play it for the pleasure of themselves and others. And if someone decides that society is lacking in religious faith, then they can pick up one of the various holy books that litter the entire world, and they can preach the message of religious salvation.

The important bit though, is that by these rules everyone else is allowed, actually everyone else has a moral duty, to challenge all of these claims, to do their own research to discredit natural remedies, to write reviews about music saying they did not enjoy it, or to call religion a fairy tale. Without this challenge and critique we do not advance towards any truth, we do not advance towards a better society, we just sit in our corners stagnating in our own positions. The mechanisms by which we intellectually challenge each other bring us closer together far more effectively than the mechanisms by which we support each other. I will learn more from a debate with someone diametrically opposed to my personal philosophy than I will from a circle-jerk with someone who agrees with me on every issue. (that's why I love these kinds of thread)

The criteria for success in a society is that the society should be the happiest and the most honest society possible, where everyone has freedom of thought, emotion and expression, and life, liberty and equality for all. And on that criteria open discourse on all subjects is far more effective than any form of dogma (be that religious or secular).
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 5:20 pm

Well said, crispybits. The last three paragraphs are basic, classical liberal ideas, which are not 100% part of any religion. So, with regard to this discussion, if we see any gains from classical liberalism, then we shouldn't conflate them with the gains of religious beliefs--whatever those may be.

I still don't see how religion alone accounts for (1) superior morals/ethics, (2) greater prosperity, and thus (3) "success"--generally defined. For thousands of years, humanity has had its various religions, yet only recently (250 years or so) have humans on average experienced significant gains in standard of living (life expectancy, lower child mortality rates, lesser homicide rates, greater population growth, greater division of labor, income, etc.) (I'd say this is due to a change in ideas toward liberalism and the greater realization of greater gains from trade due to a change in ideas and a change in technologies).

    In short, on many important margins, things have been getting better for humans on average, yet I don't see how the variable (religion) can explain any of these events. Even though religion has experienced some changes (Oh boy, a change from Latin to English), I don't see how any of its minor changes were in any significant way influential on the shifts toward greater prosperity.

For j9b to advance his case, he has to explain how religion causes/bolsters greater prosperity/success over history. If that can't be demonstrated, then the argument falls apart, and as crispybits mentions, it's not really about showing that atheism would improve society. There's substitutes for such systems of beliefs/ideologies/ideas (e.g. classical liberalism, modern liberalism, humanitarianism, utilitarianism, etc.) which are not the exclusive domain of religions.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 5:22 pm

AndyDufresne wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:That delay, I'd attribute, to the political power exercised by the Church, which sought to suppress any heretical/blasphemous thought. Those times were not at all a myth. Removing religion from reason was a huge step for humanity, and the Church did not at all appreciate it.


I'd like to add my support to this, with evidence from my Crusader Kings 2 computer games. As a good catholic ruler, I pretty vehemently suppress heretics and blasphemous thoughts, imprisoning and executing vassals and courtiers of mine that succumb to such thoughts. Moreover, sometimes I'll have them excommunicated by the Pope (for a measly 25-50 gold) to put a stain on their family lineage. Also, the Pope gets pretty angry at me when I am not on one of his crusades (or just invading Pagan lands and acquiring them for my empire), and he gives me a negative opinion modifier "Not Crusading," that affects people's opinion of my ruler! Aghast!

Moreover, when I play as an Islamic nation, I similarly keep Islamic heresy and blasphemy in check, once again with imprisoning and executions, including many of my kin, to keep our nation's decadence down in order to be a seen as a good Islamic nation (and to keep the deadly Hashashin, Islamic Assassins, at bay). Also, after I make the pilgrimage to Mecca, I get a nice "Hajjaj" trait which is a nice + modifier.

So, I think the above evidence is pretty sufficient and damning. I mean. Yeah.


--Andy


This hard-hitting evidence further supports the claim that Andy is indeed a monkey.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby tzor on Thu May 16, 2013 6:14 pm

crispybits wrote:No, the point is that you cannot assume anything in the absence of evidence. The only logically correct position is to assume nothing.


That is an interesting position, but it is not "the only logically correct" position. All logic has to be based on some assumptions; we generally call them axioms. There are a lot of things I assume every day that I currently have to solid evidence to prove. For example, some people some people might want to insist that the speed of light isn't the same in some far off galaxy as it is here. Given the logic of our understanding of light I assume that the speed of light is indeed a constant even I do not have measurements from the neighboring galaxy as evidence for this assumption.

You know, there was a brief period in the late 19th and early 20th century where the laws of physics demanded (in no uncertain terms) that the entire universe collapse at once! (It actually has to do with early notions of atomic theory and how a charge that "accelerates" - and change in angular momentum is acceleration - would emit energy and decay.) Clearly that wasn't the case and quantum physics explained it.

The scientific method proposes things and looks for evidence that would prove that wrong. The lack of evidence is no proof in either direction.

tzor wrote:Well it's not something that people in general are well known for.


crispybits wrote:Agreed. However when engaging in debates about anything then a dogmatic position unable to admit to the possibility of error is useless. Even on the most basic scientific "truths" scientists are willing to admit that they may be wrong. Science is all about proving someone else wrong. It's how scientists gain fame within their field, and the bigger the theory you can topple the more notoriety you will gain. Critical thinking in general subscribes to that same principle.


But what happens when you can't prove something in either direction? The big question is when there is a case where you can show evidence. The early church, once calculated the year Jesus was born (it appears they were off by around 5 or 6 years and most Catholic documents point that out) and the age of the world (which most Catholic documents agree is off by orders of magnitude).

tzor wrote:Stepping back a moment, I should point out that many so called "atheist" movements were often led by delusional utopian megalomaniacs desiring absolute power and causing untold death and destruction in their wake. A small number of the founding fathers of the United States, on the other hand were agnostics, which is as close to atheism as you can get in the 18th century. On the whole, the nation was better off for them.


crispybits wrote:Can you name a few of these delusional megalomaniacs please.


I have to go to choir practice, but I'll look them up when I get back.

crispybits wrote:Just because something is new doesn't mean it's wrong either. The age of an idea has nothing to do with it's correctness. Some wrong ideas have persisted for centuries before being corrected, even within scientific circles. Newton's laws of motion were canon for over 300 years before Einstein came along and blew them out of the water with relativity.


Minor nit pick; they are still correct. They only have errors under certain conditions not considered by Newton. Relativity, for example, has a very hard time at the quantum level or within a black hole.

crispybits wrote:Finally, brainwashing refers to a process in which a group or individual "systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated". The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual's sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making. (Wikipedia). Religion seems to fit this definition pretty nicely, especially when it's being hammered into the head of an emotionally and intellectually undeveloped child.


I think we need to drill down into specifics, especially as you use terms like "unethical" and "manipulative." That's clearly not the crap they teach in Catholic CCD these days. Perhaps you are confused with the public school system.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Thu May 16, 2013 6:57 pm

Firstly, there are no significant assumptions that you make outside of religion that are not based on evidence. Unless you are a high level physicist, the speed of light could be an order of 10 or 100 or 1000 out and it would make no difference to you. But the fact is that we can prove what the speed of light on Earth is. The hypothesis (it might be proven by now, I'm not totally up to date on cutting edge physics) that there may be regions of the universe where the speed of light is not a constant has absolutely no impact on your day to day life, and is itself based on collected evidence, not on some scientists simply saying "well I think this happens and you can't prove it doesn't."

I challenge you to name one non-religious assumption you make without ANY evidence which has any sort of impact upon your day to day life, even occasionally.

You are right that the absence of evidence is no proof of anything except for the absence of evidence, but the contention is not that the absence of evidence disproves the existence of God, but that the absence of evidence makes it irrational to believe in any given God claim. Say I made the claim "molluscs telepathically communicate with each other and have an advanced psychic social heirarchy and culture". The rational way to respond to that claim would be to see if there is any way in which it can be tested. If it cannot be tested then the rational position is not to say "well then it is the truth", but to say to whoever made the claim "provide evidence please". You certainly wouldn't go out and start thinking really hard towards any molluscs you could find in an attempt to communicate with them. All atheists ask is that the same standards which we apply to every other claim are applied equally to religious claims.

But what happens when you can't prove something in either direction?

Then you say "I don't know". What you don't do is say "I know what happened there - God did it!" That is a meaningless answer, and you're heading down the road to a "God of the gaps" type argument which was refuted centuries ago. It also stops you looking, it impedes the advancement of society because once you satisfy yourself that "God did it" then you stop looking for whatever the real answer is.

Relativity is correct within certain bounds, but it is not correct as a universal theory of how space and time and matter work. Neither is quantum physics. Neither is Newtonian mechanics. They are all approximations, our best theories that seem to fit the facts in given situations, and for given degrees of accuracy. None of them is dogma, none of them is meant to be taken as a fact which cannot ever be disproved or an understanding which we can never improve upon. The scientific community, right now, is working it's ass off because the guy who can disprove them gets very very rich and famous indeed, and immortalises himself in history alongside Newton and Einstein and Heisenberg and Schrodinger and others.

The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual's sense of control over their own thinking(1), behavior(2), emotions(3) or decision making(4).

Please explain how this is not a perfect description of religious method. You should not do this or you will go to Hell!(2) You should not think this or you will go to Hell!(1) You should not feel this or you will go to Hell!(3) The only way to not go to Hell is to pray to God for forgiveness and give yourself over to him!(4) Seems very apt to me. Your ideological problems with the public education system may well be justified (you haven't given details for me to know or not and that's outside the scope of this conversation anyway), but that does not stop religion as a whole, and particularly the systematic indoctrination of children with religious concepts they haven't a hope of understanding properly (hence manipulative and unethical), being accurately described as brainwashing.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 7:30 pm

crispybits wrote: Say I made the claim "molluscs telepathically communicate with each other and have an advanced psychic social heirarchy and culture". The rational way to respond to that claim would be to see if there is any way in which it can be tested. If it cannot be tested then the rational position is not to say "well then it is the truth", but to say to whoever made the claim "provide evidence please". You certainly wouldn't go out and start thinking really hard towards any molluscs you could find in an attempt to communicate with them.


Right after a conversation with my mollusc friends, I was informed to tell you that they're offended by your post.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Thu May 16, 2013 7:32 pm

Did I give away too many of their molluscy secrets?
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 7:34 pm

crispybits wrote:Did I give away too many of their molluscy secrets?


They're upset that you're denying the existence of their higher intellectual capacities. Of course, no one else can verify my findings, but that's beside the point.

P.S. My mullusc friends agree with me.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby crispybits on Thu May 16, 2013 7:56 pm

Hey! I'm the one making the claim that they have advanced psychic powers!

It's all those amolluscists they should be getting angry with!

Plus, I like exploring rock pools at the beach, it's a fun place :)
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Thu May 16, 2013 9:04 pm

Mollusks, you say?

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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu May 16, 2013 9:19 pm

The mulluscs are not amused.
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby AndyDufresne on Thu May 16, 2013 11:22 pm

TA1LGUNN3R wrote:Mollusks, you say?

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+10 quatloos for TA1LGUNN3R's contribution on this page.


--Andy
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby Symmetry on Fri May 17, 2013 5:43 am

john9blue wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
john9blue wrote:symmetry, please, the adults are talking.


Says the manchild with a My Little Pony fixation.


wtf? so everyone who likes my little pony is a manchild? tell that to medefe, you ignorant f*ck.


No, I said that you were a manchild with a My Little Pony fixation. Was I unclear?
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Re: Post Any Evidence For God Here

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Fri May 17, 2013 9:13 pm

john wrote:a/theism just refers to whether your strong or weak belief is in god or no god... it's binary


Again, you're applying an incorrect, or at least not complete, definition to atheism.

If you don't know god exists or even what god is, then by definition you are an atheist, because you are "lacking belief in god."

If you wanna change definitions or word structures, then you can make a case for that.

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