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Posted: 22 July 2017 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Lausten - 21 July 2017 05:47 PM

I understand what you’ve said, it’s just that you are wrong.

See?  This is why I continually kick your butt.  You love to make big vague claims like “you’re wrong” without any substance to back them up.

First, you claim to agree with me in a series of statements such as….

So, to your first question in bold. There is no proof of that.
To, the second, it shouldn’t be.

And then in a subsequent post you tell me I’m all wrong.

You want your cake and eat it too.  Sorry, not allowed.

You want to agree there is no proof reason is qualified to address the very largest questions…

...And then in the next breath you proclaim atheism is perfectly logical and valid etc.

It’s nothing more than a tidal wave of BS.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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From the OP….

the non-existence of god, strikes me as monumentally uninteresting

From atheist.org

Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

I don’t believe in Father Christmas or fairies either. I deal with that by recognizing these imaginary phantoms have no significance to my life and don’t worry about them. Don’t even think about them.
Have “the biggest questions” been defined yet? Have we examined if they are big questions to everyone? Or perhaps the implied “big question” is just a phantom and we should be asking a different one.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Tanny - 22 July 2017 05:11 AM
Lausten - 21 July 2017 05:47 PM

I understand what you’ve said, it’s just that you are wrong.

See?  This is why I continually kick your butt.  You love to make big vague claims like “you’re wrong” without any substance to back them up.

First, you claim to agree with me in a series of statements such as….

So, to your first question in bold. There is no proof of that.
To, the second, it shouldn’t be.

And then in a subsequent post you tell me I’m all wrong.

You want your cake and eat it too.  Sorry, not allowed.

You want to agree there is no proof reason is qualified to address the very largest questions…

...And then in the next breath you proclaim atheism is perfectly logical and valid etc.

It’s nothing more than a tidal wave of BS.

You are right on some of your premises, but wrong on your major conclusioms. It’s not that hard.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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JohnH - 22 July 2017 09:37 AM

Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

Ah yes, the good ole “we merely lack belief” dodge.  Seen it at least a million times.  And it’s all completely wrong.

You don’t “merely lack belief in gods”.  You have a faith based belief in a different chosen authority than theists.  It’s the simplest thing.

Theists believe in holy books.

Atheists believe in human reason.

Both believe.  Both beliefs are faith.

What’s obstructing you from seeing this overwhelming obvious fact is that you’ve built a self flattering personal identity out of your faith based beliefs, just as many theists do.  You don’t want to give that self flattering personal identity up, because it’s a pleasing emotional experience for you.  And so even though you can’t prove the credentials of your chosen authority any more than theists can, you cling stubbornly to atheism, because it’s providing that which is the most important to you, fantasy superiority.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing what I’ve just described.  Nothing at all.  Not a thing.

Unless you wish to be a person of reason.

And then it all has to go.

I don’t believe in Father Christmas or fairies either. I deal with that by recognizing these imaginary phantoms have no significance to my life and don’t worry about them. Don’t even think about them.

Right.  You don’t even think about them.  You just type about them throughout the day every day.  Give me a break.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Lausten - 22 July 2017 10:08 AM

You are right on some of your premises, but wrong on your major conclusioms. It’s not that hard.

More vague claims offered without any kind of argument to support them.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Tanny - 22 July 2017 10:15 AM
Lausten - 22 July 2017 10:08 AM

You are right on some of your premises, but wrong on your major conclusioms. It’s not that hard.

More vague claims offered without any kind of argument to support them.

I’m not going to repeat my arguments with every post. If you quit being such a jerk, I might go find them all for you.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Ok, I agree we need to engineer a truce, or give it up.

As I see it, you’re trying to escape my logic by tossing up a wall of vagueness that allows you to be safely on all sides of the question, and I’m trying to breach the wall with an emotional frontal assault.  I agree that endlessly repeating this pattern is not going to accomplish anything useful or interesting.

We probably need a new thread where we rigidly narrow the focus, and we might need a referee too.  Not sure where to find that.

I’ll give it some thought and see if I can come up with some constructive plan which I can put on the table for your review.

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Posted: 22 July 2017 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Advocatus - 21 July 2017 09:16 AM

Now this is important—atheists do not claim that we know the answers to these hypothetical “largest questions” (whatever they are).  We only claim that “God” is NOT a good answer.  That’s all.  That’s what “atheist” means—“God” is not a good answer.  How is that “faith”?

“God” isn’t a good answer; you’re right.  The Christian says, the RESURRECTION; He the Lord Jesus is risen from the dead.  “God” is in there, but the leading tip of the arrowhead of the Christian answer, is the RESURRECTION.  That’s the Gospel, that the Christian Church believes.

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Posted: 23 July 2017 05:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Tanny - 21 July 2017 03:59 PM
Lausten - 21 July 2017 06:58 AM

So, to your first question in bold. There is no proof of that.
To, the second, it shouldn’t be.

Ok, thank you.  That concise clarity surely does help move things along.  I will try to reply in kind. 

So, having arrived at this agreement, we can if you wish explore what the implications are.

It seems to me that if there is no proof reason is qualified for largest of questions, then the situation with reason is little different than the situation with holy books, in regards to questions of that scale.

You could start right here. It is not a little difference between reason and holy books. Reason draws upon the sum of all human knowledge. Using holy books means just that, arbitrarily selecting a book that can be held in one hand as the source of all knowledge. That’s just one, very large difference.

Or did you mean something else?

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Posted: 23 July 2017 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Lausten - 23 July 2017 05:05 AM

It is not a little difference between reason and holy books. Reason draws upon the sum of all human knowledge. Using holy books means just that, arbitrarily selecting a book that can be held in one hand as the source of all knowledge.

Try this perhaps.

A twelve year old can do more sophisticated math than a three year old.  But neither of them can calculate the orbits of distant asteroids.  If we were judging whether the twelve year old was qualified to work for NASA, the comparison to the three year old is irrelevant.  The proper comparison is between the ability of the twelve year old and the requirements of the NASA job.

Thus, even if you can prove that human reason is more qualified than holy books, that’s meaningless unless you can address the question I’ve asked you a couple dozen times now.

Is there any proof reason is qualified to deliver credible theories and conclusions on the very largest of questions, ie. the scope of god claims.  The proper comparison is not between reason and holy books, but between reason and the job you are asking it to do.

Does that help?

I think what’s happening is something like this. 

Humans survive in this world by knowing things.  Knowing is to us what wings are to a bird.  We have a built-in very deep interest in knowing anything we can.  When it comes to the largest of questions naturally we want to know these answers too.  Some of us want to know very very much.  And so we turn to some chosen authority or another in search of answers.

What I’m asking you to consider is…

1) There simply is no credible method of developing useful theories and conclusions to the very largest of questions.  Theism can be ripped to shreds, and atheism too. 

As example, 5% of observable reality is made of atoms.  Science has no idea what the other 95% is, nor what percent observable reality is of all reality.  Even if we accept reason and science as the only way forward, we are still no where close to being in a position to address the largest of questions.

2) There is no evidence that endlessly recycling the theism vs. atheism debate is leading us towards anything but more of the same.  That debate is like a children’s merry-go-round.  There are lots of blinking lights and carnival music which give the illusion of movement, but really the whole thing is just going endlessly round and round in a small circle to nowhere.

3) Once one gets #1 and #2 above, what is one’s relationship with this subject?  Some people will decide to bail on the whole topic, which seems reasonable.  Other people will want to continue the inquiry by some other method which doesn’t have a well documented record of longstanding failure, which would also be reasonable.

A real investigation begins at the moment the investigator arrives at #3.  For most people, getting to #3 typically requires first sweeping theism and atheism off the table.  The biggest obstacle to that is usually that most people have created a self flattering personal identity out of their ideology, whatever it might be, and they are very reluctant to give that up.

The question then becomes…

Am I a person of reason, or an ideologist?

The person of reason will examine the evidence and discard that which has proven not to lead anywhere.  The ideologist will cling to whatever makes them feel good.

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Posted: 23 July 2017 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Tanny - 23 July 2017 06:23 AM
Lausten - 23 July 2017 05:05 AM

It is not a little difference between reason and holy books. Reason draws upon the sum of all human knowledge. Using holy books means just that, arbitrarily selecting a book that can be held in one hand as the source of all knowledge.

Try this perhaps.

A twelve year old can do more sophisticated math than a three year old.  But neither of them can calculate the orbits of distant asteroids.  If we were judging whether the twelve year old was qualified to work for NASA, the comparison to the three year old is irrelevant.  The proper comparison is between the ability of the twelve year old and the requirements of the NASA job.

Thus, even if you can prove that human reason is more qualified than holy books, that’s meaningless unless you can address the question I’ve asked you a couple dozen times now.

Is there any proof reason is qualified to deliver credible theories and conclusions on the very largest of questions, ie. the scope of god claims.  The proper comparison is not between reason and holy books, but between reason and the job you are asking it to do.

Does that help?

No, it doesn’t help. Your ideas on what to do seems to assume there is some other way of knowing, that, if we could stop what we’re doing and go look for it, we’d find it. Your analogy of 12 year olds breaks down because there are 13 year olds. You seem to be acting as some sort of observer who can judge the entire human race. I’ve been a 12 year old, and I’ve watched them try to work things out, they get things wrong. I’ve observed humanity, read its history, they get things wrong. But that’s as far as the analogy can go. I know humanity has gotten things wrong because I am privileged to look back on that history with more tools than they had. I can predict there are things we are doing now that will be found to be wrong, but I don’t have more knowledge than the sum of all human experience, so I can’t know which things those are.

I can even see that human arrogance is a stumbling block to knowledge, but what do you propose we do? Have you listened to the guy occupying the White House lately? It’s pretty hard to reason someone into being reasonable. You also seem to be unaware of the many people who are willing to concede point #2. Stephen J Gould had his non-overlapping magisterium. Neil DeGrasse Tyson prefers the term agnostic. Richard Dawkins has a scale where 7 is pure atheist, certain God does not exist, and he puts himself at 6.7. I think you would be better off trying to find partners who think like that, instead of worrying about the people who have created “self flattering personal ideologies”, or trying to convince everyone that is what they did, when they haven’t.

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Posted: 23 July 2017 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Tanny - 23 July 2017 06:23 AM

Is there any proof reason is qualified to deliver credible theories and conclusions on the very largest of questions, ie. the scope of god claims.  The proper comparison is not between reason and holy books, but between reason and the job you are asking it to do.

God is between your feelings, your mind and yourself.  Reason has no place in assessing god.  I’d suggest that reason works for things that we can see and experience and measure.  God is beyond all that, god’s closer to the ‘emotional’ realm than the ‘reason’ realm, so it seems to me your question is not applicable.

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Posted: 23 July 2017 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Don’t know why, but this has reminded me of an old joke.

“Women need men, like a fish needs a bicycle.”

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Posted: 23 July 2017 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Lausten - 23 July 2017 07:29 AM

I can even see that human arrogance is a stumbling block to knowledge, but what do you propose we do? Have you listened to the guy occupying the White House lately? It’s pretty hard to reason someone into being reasonable. You also seem to be unaware of the many people who are willing to concede point #2. Stephen J Gould had his non-overlapping magisterium. Neil DeGrasse Tyson prefers the term agnostic. Richard Dawkins has a scale where 7 is pure atheist, certain God does not exist, and he puts himself at 6.7. I think you would be better off trying to find partners who think like that, instead of worrying about the people who have created “self flattering personal ideologies”, or trying to convince everyone that is what they did, when they haven’t.

Recently at a Durango skeptics meeting this was being discussed and a fellow made a most interesting presentation that he ought to get on YouTube.
Basically he pointed out that the overlooked fallacy (maybe that’s not the right term)  is that while the 1 has absolute faith in God - his stance is that nothing will shake that faith - PERIOD.  Whereas the 7 points out that in over two millennia of claims regarding God, there has been not one shred of physical proof presented to support the notion, so am sure that God does not exist. 
YET, they remain open, present some proof and I will reconsider my position!!! 
Whereas the faithful make a point of not wanting to know about anything that might in the least threaten their faith.

Big difference there.

Of course, there are those like me who argue the entire question of god is irrelevant - the infinite universe provides all we need.  Call it what you will.

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Posted: 23 July 2017 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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No, it doesn’t help.

I claim that today is Sunday, and this is a forum.  In your opinion, is that all totally wrong too?

Your ideas on what to do seems to assume there is some other way of knowing, that, if we could stop what we’re doing and go look for it, we’d find it.

First things first. 

Is there any evidence that the theist vs. atheist paradigm is leading to anything other than an endless repetition of all the same old arguments already made a million times?  Is there any evidence that either side of that debate will ever be able to prove anything?

Do you feel that doing the same things over and over and over again while expecting that this will somehow lead to some different result is a good example of reason and quality critical thinking?

So long as you believe, without any evidence at all, that the theist vs. atheist dance is accomplishing something, and that your side is somehow winning, you’ll never have any motivation to look for alternatives, and thus will remain stuck on the theist vs. atheist merry-go-round to nowhere.  Your call of course.  But just maybe you are more interested in the inquiry than to be satisfied with riding that merry-go-round to nowhere.

Your analogy of 12 year olds breaks down because there are 13 year olds. You seem to be acting as some sort of observer who can judge the entire human race. I’ve been a 12 year old, and I’ve watched them try to work things out, they get things wrong. I’ve observed humanity, read its history, they get things wrong. But that’s as far as the analogy can go. I know humanity has gotten things wrong because I am privileged to look back on that history with more tools than they had. I can predict there are things we are doing now that will be found to be wrong, but I don’t have more knowledge than the sum of all human experience, so I can’t know which things those are.

This is what I mean by “wall of vagueness” which you use to try to exhaust me.  I’ve routinely presented you with a very simple question, which you refuse to actually confront.

Is there any evidence that human reason is qualified to meaningfully address the very largest of questions?

I really wish you would either address the challenge in a straightforward honest manner, (like for instance, cough up the requested evidence) or put me on ignore and stop wasting my time.

I can even see that human arrogance is a stumbling block to knowledge, but what do you propose we do?

Ah, but then you actually ask an interesting question, and so I’m encouraged to continue.  In reply…

We can observe that BOTH theists AND atheists agree that the point of the inquiry should be to create knowledge.  And we can observe that both have failed to develop credible knowledge, in spite of the longstanding efforts of some of humanity’s brightest minds on all sides of the debate.

When you are repairing your car, and your planned fix fails again and again and again, what do you do?  Don’t you at some point push back from the job and begin questioning the assumptions your plan is built upon?  You don’t just keep doing the same failed thing over and over again for centuries, right?

The theist/atheist paradigm is built on the shared assumption that the point of the inquiry should be to develop knowledge.  What if that assumption is wrong?  Could that perhaps explain the longstanding record of failure?

You also seem to be unaware of the many people who are willing to concede point #2. Stephen J Gould had his non-overlapping magisterium. Neil DeGrasse Tyson prefers the term agnostic. Richard Dawkins has a scale where 7 is pure atheist, certain God does not exist, and he puts himself at 6.7.

Why would I listen to atheist ideologues when they haven’t proved the qualifications of their chosen authority, and won’t even try?  Do you listen to religious clerics who dismiss your challenges with a lazy wave of their hand?

I think you would be better off trying to find partners who think like that, instead of worrying about the people who have created “self flattering personal ideologies”, or trying to convince everyone that is what they did, when they haven’t.

Um, so you’re happy to simply ignore the 100 million posts on the Internuts where atheists brag about how much smarter they are than those stupid theists?  What is that if not the ongoing maintenance of a self flattering personal identity?

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