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Should theistic fact claims be subjected to the same standards of scrutiny as other fact claims?
Posted: 29 August 2013 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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LilySmith,
Actually I think it’s the dragging us into court, mocking Christian beliefs and Christians, being offended by our beliefs and bullying our children in school that are perceived as attacks on Christianity.

Don’t play the victim here. Christian history is filled with atrocities committed against atheists or any non-Christian for that matter, like the Crusades, burning at the stake, putting to the test (plain old torture favored by the Inquisition), or being declared Persona non Grata and shunned by the community.
And I speak from personal experience.  My family and I WERE victims of religious persecution by “good” Christians, not only verbally but physically. 

Read the story of Hypatia, who was literally torn apart and cut into pieces by Christians. Make sure you read page2 also.  http://www.womanastronomer.com/hypatia.htm

You are being “dragged into an intellectual court” because you are making assertions without any proofs. I have not seen anyone being offended by your Christian beliefs, just your argument from ignorance on the existence of a God on which you base your Christianity.

btw, “argument from ignorance” is not an insult, it is a term used to indicate that your assertions are not based on real knowledge, hence the word ignorance.

[ Edited: 29 August 2013 06:49 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 29 August 2013 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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LilySmith - 29 August 2013 04:54 PM

Christians, including slaves, are taught to obey earthly authorities over them, but to understand that they are serving God and he will reward them for the good they do.  Again, our reward has always been in the World to Come, not this one and judgment will come at the end of the age.

The depth of your apologetics is quite impressive. It is almost as if there is a committee of theologians responding to the barrage of questions. Of course, just because you have a response does not mean that your answers are moral, justified, accurate, agreed upon by a majority, accurate interpretations of the Bible, what the original authors meant or anything else. It just means that you aware of the objections and you have a response. The response above, regarding slavery is quite horrid if you really think about it. There are many other monstrously horrible things in the Bible and you are excusing it all. I don’t need to go over each of them seeing that you brush off passages on slavery as if we were just talking about a mean boss. Knowing that you do this, I can’t think of you as a moral person. I realize this is not purposeful on your part, but it is still wrong.

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Posted: 29 August 2013 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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DarronS - 29 August 2013 12:18 PM

Lily, you still haven’t answered my question about the Jewish people wandering the desert for 40 years. This is a fact claim, yet there is no physical evidence to substantiate it.

There has been no evidence to prove this didn’t happen…

You cannot prove a negative. The Bible makes a fact claim here. Provide evidence or shut the eff up.

and there are questions about the route taken by the Jewish people.

Of course there are questions, especially considering there is no evidence of the Jewish people wandering the desert.

Is the route and Mt. Sinai (sic) in the Sinai (sic) Peninsula, or was it through Arabia?

I don’t know. What does your Bible say?

If the route was through Arabia that would be modern day Saudi Arabia and it hasn’t been open to investigation.  Archeologists may be looking in the wrong place.

The Jewish people purportedly left Egypt. Their trail would be easy to follow if this had happened.

Why are there no Egyptian historical records of their army being drowned when the Nile River collapsed upon them?

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Posted: 29 August 2013 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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So LilySmith:

Should theistic fact claims be subjected to the same standards of scrutiny as other fact claims?

Why or why not?

Go ahead, prove again to everyone what we already know about you.

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Posted: 30 August 2013 01:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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LilySmith - 29 August 2013 10:05 AM

The very word atheist defines you based on your relation to a theist.

Exactly. So the ‘atheist belief’ is different for every religious culture. It is defined by what it is not. And that is the reason that it is not a belief in itself, but a non-belief. The atheist must not prove anything, it is the theist that makes a positive statement about the existence of something, so the burden of proof is on his side.

LilySmith - 29 August 2013 10:05 AM

If it’s truly a non-belief, why call yourself an atheist at all; why define yourself based on your rejection of God?

I don’t call myself an atheist. I am only arguing against your position that atheism would be a belief.

Of course I have a lot of beliefs: I believe that the earth is round and revolves around the sun (this is definitely a true belief, because it is justified by many observations and experiments), I believe in evolution (many, many empirical(!) proofs for it), I believe Jesus was a historical person who predicted the apocalypse in his own lifetime (many hints in this direction, but it is not secured very well, therefore it is a disputed point), I believe that the universe has started to expand from a very concentrated hot phase to where we are now, and I believe that it is possible to experience that I am not a separate entity from my body and that such a view makes life more realistic, easier and more worthwile, and that meditation is a way to this experience (I might be wrong!).

So what should I call myself? Humanist, secularist, maybe a little Buddhist? But if I discuss with somebody who believes something else then I am supposed to be an ‘a-what-he-thinks-ist’? Am I an a-racist, an a-conservativist, an a-communist?

Am I an a-parapsychologist, an a-iriscopist, an a-homeopathist? Must I bring proofs of these, or can I just wait and see till the proof of their beliefs is given? Why should I define myself as an a-theist?

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Posted: 30 August 2013 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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To be fair to you, Lily, you asked me a question early on. I’ll answer it now, and then invite your answer to the seminal question of this topic.

LilySmith - 25 August 2013 03:13 PM

You’re taking tenets of a FAITH, and saying they must be proven or what?

That is exactly what I’m saying: what you call “tenets of FAITH” must be proved, else they do not merit belief. Quite a neat trick someone pulled off a long time ago, convincing people that saying “that’s my faith” was a legitimate way to justify a belief. Of course, it didn’t take much convincing. People want to believe whatever appeals to them, whether it’s true or not. We live in a culture that encourages that “method” of thinking. “Blessed are those who believe but have not seen.” And everyone is expected to say “amen” or at the very least, accept that way of thinking.

We secularists do not accept it. We call bullshit on it. We call bullshit because it is bullshit. When you can turn to “faith” (as belief without evidence) to justify what you believe, then you can justify anything you like; and that is exactly what people have done. The consequences have been disastrous, sometimes destroying one life, other times destroying entire peoples. People would do this with or without the idea of faith-as-belief. But religion should lift us up to higher ground, and make us more responsible. Just the opposite, using “faith” to justify belief makes us less responsible. It gives license to irresponsibility and self-indulgence, and invites all manner of self-justification. Again, I invite you to read Paul Tillich’s marvelous book The Dynamics of Faith.

That is why faith-as-belief should not be given an exception insofar as people are making fact claims. Fact claims are reliable only if they have good evidence and sound reason behind them. “I wish it to be true, therefore it is true” is not justified; on the contrary, it damages the fabrics of our societies and impedes our spiritual growth and development.

So the question to you, Lily, is: “Should theistic fact claims be subjected to the same standards of scrutiny as other fact claims?” Why or why not? You’ve demonstrated time and time again how skilled you are at avoiding questions and issues you do not wish to address. Everyone here sees through it. You haven’t convinced anyone. For once, take the question head on and address it honestly.

[ Edited: 30 August 2013 04:51 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 30 August 2013 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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Slavery had a long existence in human history, but it was based on class, not race.  Christianity led Europe to outlaw slavery based on the teaching that one Christian could not own another as a slave since they were brothers.  In the US, poor whites received passage to America as indentured servants.  When a slave ship came to America, those on board were also treated as indentured servants and received their freedom in 3 to 7 years of work.  Ironically, Antony Johnson, a freed slave himself and landowner, was the first to go to court to enslave a fellow African for life.  The American slave trade turned horribly wrong from there.  After 80 years as a nation, American slavery was ended but not without the racial division we see today.  Racial division does not have its roots in Christianity.  The Second Great Awakening in America was the catalyst to end slavery.

Here you go once again using fractured history to make your point Lilly. First off no, slavery wasn’t based on class but whomever of the enemy was left over after destruction of a city or army regardless of social status (see Connolly’ “Greece and Rome at War”)i it became racial during the high Renaissance period after the Diaz expedition in 1488. Portuguese traders bought African slaves and inported them to Europe and the Americas. Next, indentured servants ( I own a Vellum indenture from 1698 BTW) with rare exception were white. What’s your point here? The slave ship you mention was Dutch and in 1619 was blown off course so the captain was compelled to sell his cargo. They became indentured because the colonial governor wasn’t certain what status to assign them. Records indicate that some were kept as permanent slaves and some indentured. So far no concrete evidence exists to fully explain their future status. And yes Johnson is credited with enslaving an African who was wheedled out of his indentured status when, assuming he was free he went to work for another plantation owner. Johnson recanted and sued the other owner and the courts ruled in Johnson’s favor. Without the court ruling you never have heard of this incident. Lastly, if slavery in America wasn’t sustained by xtianity then why did xtian theologians continuously argue for it’s existence by using biblical quotations taken directly from the KJV, and this was done even after the Second Great Awakening up to the Civil War in fact. Southern preachers even exemplified slavery as a “sacred trust” thrust upon them by Great Britain to civilize and Christianized the slaves. You can’t cherry pick your holy book nor can you revise history to suit your argument Lilly.


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Posted: 30 August 2013 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 30 August 2013 06:01 AM

. . . it became racial during the high Renaissance period after the Diaz expedition in 1488. Portuguese traders bought African slaves and inported them to Europe and the Americas.

I had never considered this aspect of history. Could advances in shipbuilding and circumnavigation have anything to do with it?

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Posted: 30 August 2013 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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I had never considered this aspect of history. Could advances in shipbuilding and circumnavigation have anything to do with it?

Absolutely. Beginning with the Diaz expedition and continuing on to South Africa and the Indies by DeGama. Both used a sturdier type of ship called a caravel, a vast improvement in speed and maneuverability over the slower, bluff bowed carrack (Nao). Those types carried the Columbus expedition to the Americas BTW so they were both seaworthy. They also carried the first African slaves to Europe and later to the Americas. They were replaced in the 17th Century by the galleon, larger hold, square sailed and less top hamper. They brought the majority of the African slaves to America. So, yeah you could say that ship design at least made the trade more lucrative by holding more slaves. Those ships as you know were hell holes (see the movie “Amistad”).


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Posted: 30 August 2013 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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GdB - 30 August 2013 01:24 AM

So the ‘atheist belief’ is different for every religious culture. It is defined by what it is not. And that is the reason that it is not a belief in itself, but a non-belief. The atheist must not prove anything, it is the theist that makes a positive statement about the existence of something, so the burden of proof is on his side.

I’m not sure I would define atheism as “what it is not.”  I see it as a position that has been thought about and a determination made to reject the theist position and believe there is no God or gods.  To me that qualifies as a belief.  The theist doesn’t take his position because there is scientific proof, nor does he feel the need to provide proof.  Neither the theist nor the atheist has scientific proof for his position.  If the atheist determines he cannot believe without proof, that’s a requirement he places on himself; that’s his choice.  Theists are more likely to believe in God based on revealed knowledge—God has revealed himself to mankind in some way.  For the Abrahamic religions, that is through a prophet of God, including Christ for the Christian.  Since the Eastern religions teach pantheism, then meditation would help you find the Divine within. 

So what should I call myself? Humanist, secularist, maybe a little Buddhist? But if I discuss with somebody who believes something else then I am supposed to be an ‘a-what-he-thinks-ist’? Am I an a-racist, an a-conservativist, an a-communist?

Am I an a-parapsychologist, an a-iriscopist, an a-homeopathist? Must I bring proofs of these, or can I just wait and see till the proof of their beliefs is given? Why should I define myself as an a-theist?

Language is an amazing ability humans have been given.  We all acquire it naturally at an early age, and all languages are similar in many ways.  Some languages have contrasting words for, say, clean and dirty.  But some languages use clean and unclean.  There is no language, however, that uses dirty and undirty.  I don’t know all languages, so I don’t know if there is a word somewhere to describe someone who is without God in a way that doesn’t reference God.  If you aren’t a conservative, you may be a liberal.  If you aren’t a communist, you may be a capitalist.  If you’re not a racist you can be described as impartial.  But I can find a good word for someone who doesn’t believe in God other than a-theist.

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Posted: 30 August 2013 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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DarronS - 29 August 2013 08:03 PM

Is the route and Mt. Sinai (sic) in the Sinai (sic) Peninsula, or was it through Arabia?

I don’t know. What does your Bible say?

Sinai is spelled correctly.  There is no need for a (sic).

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Posted: 30 August 2013 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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You’re right Lily. Sorry.

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Posted: 30 August 2013 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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Write4U - 29 August 2013 06:37 PM

Don’t play the victim here. Christian history is filled with atrocities committed against atheists or any non-Christian for that matter, like the Crusades, burning at the stake, putting to the test (plain old torture favored by the Inquisition), or being declared Persona non Grata and shunned by the community.
And I speak from personal experience.  My family and I WERE victims of religious persecution by “good” Christians, not only verbally but physically.

The Crusades were a response by Western Europe to push back against Islamic expansion into Europe.  Nations have a right to defend themselves.

Most witch burnings took place in areas where the church was weak and were often a case of local secular law when predominately women complained about other women. “Most of the accusations originated in “conflicts [that] normally opposed one woman to another, with men liable to become involved only at a later stage as ancillaries to the original dispute.” Briggs adds that “most informal accusations were made by women against other women, ... [and only] leaked slowly across to the men who controlled the political structures of local society.” The church isn’t completely innocent, but it isn’t a Christian teaching.  It is an interesting study of human nature, http://www.gendercide.org/case_witchhunts.html 

The Inquisitions were the Catholic Church routing out heretics and only had authority over Christians.  They would not have had authority over atheists.  In Spain, the Inquisition was run by the Monarchy—a secular authority.

What I’m talking about is this modern day behavior against Christians at a High School Journalism Convention to high school age young people.  Totally uncalled for. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alXxsKLVofM

I don’t have to answer to you or provide any kind of proof for my beliefs in order to live according to my faith.  If you think I do, you need to reeducate yourself on freedom of religion in this country.

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Posted: 30 August 2013 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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DarronS - 30 August 2013 08:57 AM

You’re right Lily. Sorry.

I had to look it up again to be sure.  It’s an oddly spelled word. smile

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Posted: 30 August 2013 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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LilySmith - 30 August 2013 08:42 AM

I see it as a position that has been thought about and a determination made to reject the theist position and believe there is no God or gods. 

Ah, the old shell game. Leave it to Smith to shift from negative to positive atheism in mid-sentence, and then of course deny that there’s a difference. “Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa! I can’t hear you!”

LilySmith - 30 August 2013 08:42 AM

Some languages have contrasting words for, say, clean and dirty.  But some languages use clean and unclean.  There is no language, however, that uses dirty and undirty.  I don’t know all languages, so I don’t know if there is a word somewhere to describe someone who is without God in a way that doesn’t reference God.  If you aren’t a conservative, you may be a liberal.  If you aren’t a communist, you may be a capitalist.  If you’re not a racist you can be described as impartial.  But I can find a good word for someone who doesn’t believe in God other than a-theist.

Atheism stands alone. See http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2012/whats-so-special-about-christianity/ .

“Agnostic” and “secularist” denote people who do not believe in a god. There are probably other terms too.

[ Edited: 30 August 2013 09:43 AM by PLaClair ]
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