Last words of eminent athesits

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wayne-scales, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. Archmage Orintil

    Archmage Orintil New Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo
    This misunderstanding comes from the usage 'nothing' rather than 'emptiness'. Something that really should have been avoided in the beginning. Ignore the occasional feather puffing and focus on the physics. I think the pertinent part comes around 30-40 minutes in.
     
  2. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    If you think religious zealots have a monopoly on hate, you are sadly mistaken. If you think religion saps a person of free thought and logical thinking, you are again mistaken. Beliefs built on scientific grounds are no more or less logical than those built on faith, nor are science and faith mutually exclusive. I believe that there is more to this world than meets the eye or microscope; this doesn't mean I don't believe science can reveal things about the workings of the universe. I just process scientific data differently, through the filter of what I believe to be true about the nature of reality.

    Also, science is not strictly objective. Any experiment is approached with some preconceived notions. Thus, data obtained is interpreted eisegetically. Strictly exegetical processing of data is impossible, and so scientific findings are naturally colored by preconception.
     
  3. Drog Alt

    Drog Alt Member

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    I find the need to comment that your templar avatar is very fitting, Jungle Japes.
     
  4. Rain-Dog

    Rain-Dog Member

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    No.

    And I take issue with Thomas Paine being described as an athiest. He didn't like organised religion but he did believe in a personal god.
     
  5. magikot

    magikot Well-Known Member

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    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/i2nfXfTg92E?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/i2nfXfTg92E?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
     
  6. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    My, what a compelling argument.
     
  7. Frigo

    Frigo New Member

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    These cases are probably similar to that of Darwin. The supposed deathbed conversion was claimed by a staunch believer who was at least a city away at the time of Darwin's death, and in fact they have never even met.
     
  8. Rain-Dog

    Rain-Dog Member

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    Science is the application of logic to observation. Religion is the denial of logic to preserve beliefs that developed from limits on possible observation.

    Science is inherently and inexorably logical.
     
  9. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Faith in God is based on what is seen, heard, felt, smelt and tasted. Illogical would be belief in something without reason. Based on data I have gathered from my five senses I reason that there is more to life and existence than can be directly sensed with the senses or detected and measured by any scientific apparatus. Naturally this belief directly affects the way I interpret scientific data, just as your belief to the contrary affects your interpretation of the same data. I do not deny the validity of science, but I believe that many scientific findings are erroneous because they are based on the false assumption that the universe was not designed and created but simply happened.
     
  10. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    That's a delightful opinion.

    Science and religion do not, and should not, interfere with one another. They never really have, and they never really will. It's individuals and the Church whom cause this interference. Why? Because they're taking religion, a tenement of faith, and applying logic to it. You can't apply logic to faith. That isn't to say that faith isn't logical, but to say that you cannot apply a literal examination of something that's abstract. It does not work.
     
  11. Archmage Orintil

    Archmage Orintil New Member

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    *'Faith: belief that is not based on proof'

    And that's why I'm not capable of taking a religious person serious. Their baseless faith prevents them from seeing the glaring contradictions of their own assertions. Redefining words to fit what you desire to be true does not make a valid argument of it actually being true.

    On the contrary. For much of our history science attempted to remain in alignment with religion. There was no assumption of the universe not being designed or created. The assumption was that it was created (exactly as what you just did really). The problem arises that everytime we looked, we found no gods or substantial evidence of their existence. Unless you wish to believe thousands upon thousands of scientists over the course of centuries from innumerable cultures and religions are somehow part of some anti-god conspiracy. It has nothing to do with religion or lack thereof. Science doesn't care about such trivial things. Most scientists that have ever lived have been highly religious, however, everytime someone has pulled the 'god did it' card (Issac Newton for example) it was the result of limitations in their ability to garner information. They effectively hit an impenetrable mental barrier. They couldn't move further because of ignorance. Soon enough tho', someone came along without that limitation (invariably due to technological advances and advances in our understanding) and were capable of taking the work a bit further. Eventually they hit their limitations where the only answer they had was 'god did it', and so on. With this past track record in mind, it is reasonable to assume that todays 'god did it' will be discovered tomorrow and it won't be supernatural (because so far, it never has been supernatural). In the mean time the only intellectually honest answer when hit with that wall of ignorance at the end of our current limitations is 'we don't know', and to acknowledge that our current ignorance is not a license to fill in the gaps with whatever pleases us most.
     
  12. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    My beliefs do not contradict themselves, they contradict your beliefs. Nor does your refusal to accept the basis of my beliefs make them baseless. My faith has been proven by logical means, though you do not accept the basis for this proof so obviously you will not accept it as proven; in the same way, I do not accept the basis for your 'proof' of a differing viewpoint and thus we must disagree. Just don't make the closed-minded assumption that I have not applied due logic to my belief system and should not be taken seriously. Failure of scientist to detect the scientifically undetectable proves nothing.
     
  13. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    I have read Dawkins, and it makes me think how revealing it is that he starts so many sentences with "The thing that scares me..."

    "Religion" is not the same as "fundamentalist, politicised, abrahamic, stone-age fascism." Although many branches of religion have taught mindless acceptence, many religions also focus on observing reality directly and thinking for yourself. Science rejects god not because it is essential to its nature to do so, but because it developed in opposition to the church in europe.

    An alien anthropologist would count scientific philosophy and religion as two kinds of the same creature.
     
  14. Archmage Orintil

    Archmage Orintil New Member

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    I didn't say your beliefs did, but your post does.
     
  15. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Did I misconstrue this statement then? And just exactly how does my post contradict itself?
     
  16. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

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    As a quasi-adult who has strayed away from the Christian faith in which he was reared, I wholly expect that on my deathbed, I will likely make similar statements. I anticipate this because inherent weakness of spirit and fear will probably drive to make such desperate utterances. Perhaps I'll believe them when I say them -- I don't know.

    More to the discussion at hand, Jungle Japes, I would appreciate a couple of examples of on what data you base your beliefs. Please PM me if you so choose to humor me, post here if you would humor others with similar curiosity, or ignore this request altogether.

    I expect this to offend most Christians although it was not designed to, I have recently concluded that Christianity is in actuality not a monotheistic religion.
     
  17. magikot

    magikot Well-Known Member

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  18. Philes

    Philes Well-Known Member

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    Japes, I learned awhile ago that the best way to have an honest discussion with people about faith is person-to-person. In the real world, with someone you have the benefit of shared experience with. Where a life lead by example can flow naturally to discussions about religion and spirituality.

    People on the internet aren't ready to listen. What they are ready to do is spout off their own particular brand of rhetoric (myself included, as you can see), quickly creating arguments for the sake of hearing their voice echo in the din.

    When was the last time you honestly changed someone's opinion on a forum? Or has anybody? How could you even know if you did? Does anybody cruise the web thinking "Boy, I sure hope I can find the perfect argument for solving X in my life before I load me up some Team Fortress 2 on Steam!" Real people in the real world don't snap change their mind about politics or most things instantly. Change happens over time as people piece together their own ideas of how things are or should work, or see the effects of those with similar beliefs in action. Change doesn't happen by reading a 2-screen scroll quote reply with breakout counter-arguments to everything someone says.

    I'm all for interesting discussion; Threads on forums are all about discussion. People posting and chatting are what create a community. But, certain topics (like religious or political debate) discussed on the internet hold no value to me.
     
  19. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    That said, Philes, a forum thread could very well be a part of that change. A single argumentative discussion is not enough to alter someones perception of the world, but it could be a step in that direction. I changed my mind about religion after having read a forum thread and a book. These discussions hold value to me.

    I have, as well as you Japes, come to the conclusion that I can't experience all there is in this universe with my mere five senses. There are things that humans simply aren't built to see. But we differ in our conclusion of what this means. Your interpretation of this is that, since you can't see it, it must be supernatural (am I correct?). God made it this way. My interpretation is that some things simply are beyond my understanding, but in a natural way. They are part of this universe. They obey it's laws. These things were not designed by or part of some transcendent superbeing; my body is just not suited to see them. But, with time, more and more of these things have become visible to us. We learn to understand new things. We see more of our reality. I don't want to be arrogant and say that we will one day be able to see everything, but I do believe that some day we might. Do you see where I'm going with this? You are also coloured by your belief that the universe was created by something or someone. What proof have you found of this other than what's written in the bible, or how you "feel"? I'd like to give you a thought-experiment to toy with: if the universe was indeed created, must it have been created by something supernatural? Could it have been created by humans, humans with far greater technological understanding than us? Could we, in fact, be sims in an enormous simulation? Do you think this could be possible? And, if not, why? Why must the creator be supernatural rather than natural?

    That's not what I wrote. Read my post again. I said that several forces gives humnkind reasons to do evil. I did however write that none of these forces could compete with religion in this matter. Religion doesn't sap people of their free will, but it does promore the idea of belief without question. Belief without proof. You never question your holy scripture. To question it would be to question God. And if you start questioning God, then are you truly a believer?

    I don't want to force anything upon you, Japes, and I'm sorry that my first post had an agressive tone to it. I do however want to present you to a different train of thought. I want you to test your ideas, your preconceptions of reality. It's ultimately up to you what you want to believe, anyway.
     
  20. Philes

    Philes Well-Known Member

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    Every day of living and breathing as a person either with or without faith is questioning your belief system. Only an ignorant or stupid person doesn't question their reality or nature of their beliefs, and the reason people listen to sermons or engage in study of their religious text of choice is to better understand it. I personally think that it is the self-examination and successful defense of a position that strengthens it. When I got done with The God Delusion I felt like I had read the work of a man who had all the cards laid out on the table and saw a completely different hand than what I saw.

    Blindly assigning traits to people doesn't help arguments. Pointing to the extremists and claiming they and anyone who even partially shares their beliefs are crazy is like pointing to a serial rapist and claiming all men need to be locked up. Demanding Japes provide "proof" of something insubstantial and widely known to be currently "unprovable" is a straw man argument. Youtube videos with soothing music and a calm voiceover are just as much propaganda as anything else. I was going to list out every post here that made wild, baseless claims and took them one step further to create a foundation for their point but I got a headache. Someone here in the beginning of the thread even made a blanket statement that they automatically can barely talk to someone they know to be religious because they believe them to be incapable of logical thought.

    I mean, seriously:

    Claiming religion is the denial of logic is such an absurd, ignorant, fight-picking thing to say.

    I'm not really sure how to respond to this because it's late and I'm tired, but the placating tone of this post (and many of the posts above it I have similar issues with, I don't mean to pick on you Wolfsbane) are the reason I simply chose not to engage online for the most part in these types of threads. Wading through 10 posts of tripe for 1 decent post is demoralizing.

    And I've become the person I hate, quoting out of context and creating counter-arguments. Dammit. One thing I think we can all agree on is that most people need to follow the advice in my sig when it comes to things like this, both IRL and on the web. For that matter, I apologize if this post is somewhat rambling and disjointed, it's nearly 5am where I am currently and I should have gone to bed hours ago.
     
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