Notices
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 109

Thread: The Problem with Dawkins

  1. #1 The Problem with Dawkins 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    Forgive my ignorance but I have only read The Blind Watchmaker but it seems to me that Dawkins argues for atheism, then bases evolution on his religious belief. Having read books like Finding Darwin's God and Darwinism and its Discontents it seems that it would be alot easier to prove evolution scientifically, like in these books. As opposed to basing evolution on religious beliefs, which, including atheism, are built on much more shakey ground. What's your opinion on this?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Forgive my ignorance...
    That's okay, we are all ignorant of something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    ...but I have only read The Blind Watchmaker...
    Whereas some people have eaten it, licked it, and thoroughly digested it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    ...but it seems to me that Dawkins argues for atheism, then bases evolution on his religious belief.
    Don't let Dawkins hear you saying that, he considers that he does not have a religious belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    ...it would be a lot [sic] easier to prove evolution scientifically...
    Proving it scientifically would be another way of doing it, agreed. Whether that would actually be easier would depend on how you define easier. The Blind Watchmaker is aimed at a quite specific market and seeks to counter a specific argument against evolution. It is not so much arguing for evolution as it is arguing against those who claim to see design in the universe. In doing so he has, in my opinion, brought himself down somewhat to their level - in the same way a primary school teacher does - and in doing so has left out some of the more beautiful and more rigorously scientific arguments in favour of evolution.

    Think of it like this: There are people - materialists - who prefer natural solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to grasp the relevance of rationality in our lives and who will also tend to use rationality to argue for the type of solutions that science proposes. These people do not generally require to have the argument of the blind watchmaker refuted for them because they do not tend to see the watchmaker present in the universe.

    There are also people who prefer spiritual solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to see the hand of an entity at work in their lives. These are the folks who tend to see the hand of the blind watchmaker at work in the universe and they are, therefore, the people at whom Dawkins has aimed his book.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    What's your opinion on this?
    Dawkins does, however, start from a position of considering that materialism is the correct way to be and that any other view is necessarily illogical, irrational and therefore wrong. This approach makes him, in my opinion, a rather strident and intemperate proponent of science who seeks to show that anyone who doesn't agree with him is silly and irresponsible. All of this he bases on his unproven assumption that rationality necessarily trumps any other option in all cases for all time. For this reason I do tend to disagree with him on much outside his area of professional expertise.


    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3 Re: The Problem with Dawkins 
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Forgive my ignorance,
    I might have done, had it not been, for the next line.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    but I have only read The Blind Watchmaker but it seems to me that Dawkins argues for atheism,
    He's arguing for good sense. Atheism is not a system of belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    then bases evolution on his religious belief.
    Please elaborate, how does he manage to do that, excuse the religious pun " that would be a miracle "
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Having read books like Finding Darwin's God and Darwinism and its Discontents it seems that it would be alot easier to prove evolution scientifically, like in these books. As opposed to basing evolution on religious beliefs,
    Then it seems you missed the point of the book, it is a book not of science as much as it is about creationism/ID. Which as far as I know are religious concepts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    which, including atheism,
    How so! Atheism not being a religion and all that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    are built on much more shakey ground. What's your opinion on this?
    If your argument had come from a basis of logic then there may have been an opinion, but as it is one only based on ignorance, theres no real opinion to put forward.
    Though the previous poster (numbers) does seem to have a lot to say. However this I would like an answer for, if at all possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    All of this he bases on his unproven assumption that rationality necessarily trumps any other option in all cases for all time. For this reason I do tend to disagree with him on much outside his area of professional expertise.
    Could you possible show us an alternate way of address the same arguments. If yours are better, perhaps we should adopt yours.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Could you possibly [sic] show us an alternate way of addressing [sic] the same arguments.
    I think I have already done that; please read my previous post in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    If yours are better, perhaps we should adopt yours.
    Please be so kind as to refer me to the part of my post where I said that the alternative was better.

    What I said was that Mr. Dawkins choice was predicated on an unproven assumption.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Could you possibly [sic] show us an alternate way of addressing [sic] the same arguments.
    I think I have already done that; please read my previous post in this thread.
    Already did, and just then again, don't see it, sorry!

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    If yours are better, perhaps we should adopt yours.
    Please be so kind as to refer me to the part of my post where I said that the alternative was better.

    What I said was that Mr. Dawkins choice was predicated on an unproven assumption.
    Ah! so are you suggesting, that all possibility's are just assumptions, be they logical or not.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,245
    I haven't read any of his books, only the first half of The Ancestor's Tale and a few paragraphs of The God Delusion. I can't say that I fancy him much as a writer. He tries to inject some sort of humour and sense of story in The Ancestor's Tale that does not really appeal to me, although it does contain some interesting points. He seems to love to invent his own terms as well, which I find rather presumptuous.

    The god delusion did not appeal to me much either, since I did not see him making any new points regarding the theism/atheism issue. I also did not really like his attitude toward the issue much, so I subsequently stopped reading it altogether.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,893
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    The Blind Watchmaker is aimed at a quite specific market and seeks to counter a specific argument against evolution. It is not so much arguing for evolution as it is arguing against those who claim to see design in the universe.
    Agreed. I was going to say something like this, but I see you posted it for me first.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...don't see it, sorry!
    • There are people - materialists - who prefer natural solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to grasp the relevance of rationality in our lives and who will also tend to use rationality to argue for the type of solutions that science proposes.
    • There are also people who prefer spiritual solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to see the hand of an entity at work in their lives.
    These are alternate ways of looking at things.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Ah! so are you suggesting, that all possibilities [sic] are just assumptions, be they logical or not.
    No. I am saying that it is not possible to determine, objectively, between these two possibilities, which of them (or even if either of them) is correct.

    I am saying that Mr. Dawkins does not allow for this state of affairs in his books but simply proceeds as though his assumption is correct and he considers anyone holding an alternate opinion to be silly or ridiculous.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...don't see it, sorry!
    • There are people - materialists - who prefer natural solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to grasp the relevance of rationality in our lives and who will also tend to use rationality to argue for the type of solutions that science proposes.
    • There are also people who prefer spiritual solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to see the hand of an entity at work in their lives.
    These are alternate ways of looking at things.
    Still don't see how these are alternate ways of looking at it. If the latter is what you call an alternate way of looking at things then anything I could imagine could be an alternate way.
    and isn't the former exactly what Dawkins is suggesting, isn't the natural solution the only course of action possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Ah! so are you suggesting, that all possibilities [sic] are just assumptions, be they logical or not.
    No. I am saying that it is not possible to determine, objectively, between these two possibilities, which of them (or even if either of them) is correct.
    How so, the former has a solid foundation, the latter no foundation whatsoever.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I am saying that Mr. Dawkins does not allow for this state of affairs in his books but simply proceeds as though his assumption is correct and he considers anyone holding an alternate opinion to be silly or ridiculous.
    Well do you wonder at it, given the baseless alternative, you claim is an alternative.
    Hence why he may appear condescending, when you have imaginative and idiotic ideas like ID.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Think of it like this: There are people - materialists - who prefer natural solutions to the important questions and who therefore tend to grasp the relevance of rationality in our lives and who will also tend to use rationality to argue for the type of solutions that science proposes. These people do not generally require to have the argument of the blind watchmaker refuted for them because they do not tend to see the watchmaker present in the universe.
    I don't think materialist is the right label for this. Those who perfer a natural explanation for things are naturalists. These are further divided into the metaphysical naturalist and the methodological naturalists. The first thinks that nature (what is described by science) is the only reality there is, and the second are those who simply prefer a natural explanation for the things of nature (that which is objectively observable), but do not necessarily believe that nature is all that exists. Materialists, on the other hand, are those who believe that matter is the only thing we know really exists and thus everything should be explained as interactions between material things. It arose in consideration of the philosophical problem of how mind and matter interacts, to which materialism answers that there is only matter.

    Materialism is a bit of an old fashioned category since E=mc^2 revealed that matter was just another form of energy, making energy the more basic substance of things, so this has been superceded by the terms physicalism (especially for the mind-body problem) and naturalism. These both include energy as a physical phenomenon and as as part of the natural scientific explanation of things. Furthermore there has arisen the concept of emergent phenomenon which can be taken to mean that some things cannot be explained as an interaction of matter but can neverthess be given a completely natural explanation.

    I for example am a methodological naturalist and so I do prefer natural explanations for things but I also believe in a spiritual aspect to reality for which spiritual explanations are appropriate.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Still don't see how these are alternate ways of looking at it. If the latter is what you call an alternate way of looking at things then anything I could imagine could be an alternate way.
    According to the definition of the word alternate then any way you could imagine would be an alternate, yes.

    Do I really need to point out that simply saying an alternate exists is not necessarily a validation of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...isn't the former exactly what Dawkins is suggesting,...
    Yes, that is what Mr. Dawkins is suggesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...isn't the natural solution the only course of action possible.
    The natural solution is not a course of action, it is a belief. Starting from the premise that all questions are best answered rationally, the materialists who prefer the natural solution use something similar to the following: It isn't rational to invent an entity when one is not required; therefore I will not invent one; therefore the universe was created without an entity; therefore I subscribe to the natural solution.

    As I said in my first post, this relies on the untested assumption that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    How so, the former has a solid foundation, the latter no foundation whatsoever.
    This does not address the question (and is in fact logically incorrect). For a materialist to be able to insist that their choice is correct they would need to be able to show that their assumption has passed the test. It is probably not fair of me to assume anything, but since you want to defend the materialists point of view, can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Well do you wonder at it, given the baseless alternative, you claim is an alternative.
    I suggest that the fervour of your defence is undermining your objectivity. I will repeat, it is not about whether or not the alternative has a base. It is simply that because an alternate exists, it is incumbent on those who seek to insist that their chosen version is the only correct one to show that the assumption on which their version is based is objectively true. Until the assumption underlying their choice has been properly tested all choices are equally valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...when you have imaginative...
    It is not a criticism to call someone's ideas imaginative. It takes imagination to come up with the theory of inflation; it takes imagination to propose that light can be both a particle and a wave; it takes imagination to see how the force of gravity declines according to the square of the distance, and so on. Imagination is an attribute we should value; would you prefer your christmas presents be chosen with some imagination?

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...when you have imaginative and idiotic ideas like ID.
    Hardly my idea, susan.

    Hint: This conversation is about making untested assumptions.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    mitchellmckain,
    I do get your point, and thank you for making it. But where I come from the word "naturalist" has connotations that would be readily jumped upon by the people I normally encounter in these forums. Giving them an opportunity to giggle like silly schoolgirls about the possibility of me being a naturalist is something I would rather avoid. (Even though that would of course prove my point about making untested assumptions).

    At this level of debate, materialist serves as being non-judgemental and not obviously wrong. Where I struggle is in finding a word that properly describes the other camp. Spiritualist would be the obvious corollary but that also has connotations I would prefer to avoid (crystal balls and Ouija boards, etc).

    Some people have suggested I simply call them theists, but the fact is that this camp can theoretically include people who don't actually believe in a God, so I would prefer a word that includes them, or more specifically does not logically exclude them.

    Suggestions appreciated.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    but I have only read The Blind Watchmaker but it seems to me that Dawkins argues for atheism,
    He's arguing for good sense. Atheism is not a system of belief.
    I currently consider myself an atheist (that may change in the future) but I do consider it a 'religious' belief because of the way I define a religion. If you define a religion as something that suggests there is a God, forgive me, atheism is not a religion. However the way I meant religion to mean was any idea that says something about God or gods and metaphysical reality and therefore is built on some shakey ground (since most agree God cannot be put in a test tube), in this sense atheism is a religion.

    then bases evolution on his religious belief.
    Please elaborate, how does he manage to do that, excuse the religious pun " that would be a miracle "
    I got the impression that he argued that God was not a viable alternative to evolution. Since God is too complex. His rebuttle to ideas such as God couldn't of existed forever seemed to be based on Paley's objection of life existing forever. I wasn't convinced. So I think, had I been a creationist, I would have similar misgivings about evolution. Also he states that if God existed forever, why not say that about life? I think the clear answer to this is the evidence for the universe having a beginning and furthermore the inablity of life to survive in the early universe. Whereas if a Abrahamic God existed, being omnipotent and outside the universe, could have existed before and also survived early universe conditions.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    mitchellmckain,
    I do get your point, and thank you for making it. But where I come from the word "naturalist" has connotations that would be readily jumped upon by the people I normally encounter in these forums. Giving them an opportunity to giggle like silly schoolgirls about the possibility of me being a naturalist is something I would rather avoid. (Even though that would of course prove my point about making untested assumptions).
    I guess you are talking about the term "Naturist" which I suppose the ignorant might confuse with Naturalist. But I have never encountered anyone who has displayed this particular confusion before. Hm.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Still don't see how these are alternate ways of looking at it. If the latter is what you call an alternate way of looking at things then anything I could imagine could be an alternate way.
    According to the definition of the word alternate then any way you could imagine would be an alternate, yes.

    Do I really need to point out that simply saying an alternate exists is not necessarily a validation of it?
    Of course not, However there is no point bring up an alternative unless it has a valid basis. So we stick with the one we know effects all our sense. Reality.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...isn't the former exactly what Dawkins is suggesting,...
    Yes, that is what Mr. Dawkins is suggesting.
    So your stating the obvious, simply to promote a alternate fantasy.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...isn't the natural solution the only course of action possible.
    The natural solution is not a course of action, it is a belief.
    Sorry wrong, knowledge honed through testing, study, is not a belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Starting from the premise that all questions are best answered rationally,
    As opposed to irrationally, We are back to whats the alternative.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    the materialists who prefer the natural solution use something similar to the following: It isn't rational to invent an entity when one is not required; therefore I will not invent one; therefore the universe was created without an entity; therefore I subscribe to the natural solution.
    Using the knowledge we and other have gained over the centuries through testing and experimentation, etc.. we use our sense reason a intellect to discern our surroundings. We dont invent something, just because we are to lazy to use our heads.
    thats is a fools errand.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    As I said in my first post, this relies on the untested assumption that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever.
    As opposed to irrationally. So I ask you again. "Could you possible show us an alternate way of address the same arguments. If yours are better, perhaps we should adopt yours."
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    How so, the former has a solid foundation, the latter no foundation whatsoever.
    This does not address the question (and is in fact logically incorrect). For a materialist to be able to insist that their choice is correct they would need to be able to show that their assumption has passed the test.
    Wrong why! what is the alternative, please!
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    It is probably not fair of me to assume anything, but since you want to defend the materialists point of view, can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?
    I simply asked you a question of which you are yet to answer.
    It 's not for me to try to show you an alternate way, as I know of none, but you seem to so please feel free to posit it, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Well do you wonder at it, given the baseless alternative, you claim is an alternative.
    I suggest that the fervour of your defence is undermining your objectivity. I will repeat, it is not about whether or not the alternative has a base. It is simply that because an alternate exists,
    What alternative. Show me an alternative that can match up, Once you've done that then your argument will hopefully make sense but until then, ?
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    it is incumbent on those who seek to insist that their chosen version is the only correct one to show that the assumption on which their version is based is objectively true. Until the assumption underlying their choice has been properly tested all choices are equally valid.
    So lol fred the spidercat who lives on the planet splog, is equally valid, as the creator of all. Do you see how infantile your argumment sounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...when you have imaginative...
    It is not a criticism to call someone's ideas imaginative. It takes imagination to come up with the theory of inflation; it takes imagination to propose that light can be both a particle and a wave; it takes imagination to see how the force of gravity declines according to the square of the distance, and so on. Imagination is an attribute we should value; would you prefer your christmas presents be chosen with some imagination?
    No it takes tried and tested knowledge as a basis, If we didn't have knowledge of one thing we could not begin to imagine another.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    ...when you have imaginative and idiotic ideas like ID.
    Hardly my idea, susan.
    Lol, "You" as in the general sense, but you knew that already.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Hint: This conversation is about making untested assumptions.
    Then you should stop making them and come up with a reasonable alternative.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16 Re: The Problem with Dawkins 
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Atheism is not a system of belief.
    Err......what is it then Susan?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    However there is no point bringing [sic] up an alternative unless it has a valid basis.
    And all I am asking you to do is to demonstrate that the criteria by which you are determining this "valid basis" are the correct criteria.

    So, at the risk of repeating myself: can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Atheism is not a system of belief.
    Err......what is it then Susan?
    There is no scripture to atheism, there is no dogma to Atheism an Atheist is not something that you so much are. Rather, it's something you are from a Theistic perspective. Ultimately the word only says what you're not, that the term "Theist" is not applicable to you.

    But it seems to you that people on this forum who lack any belief in gods, have a belief.
    We don't regard lacking any belief in gods, as a belief, because lacking belief in gods, is not a belief.
    It's that simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    However there is no point bringing [sic] up an alternative unless it has a valid basis.
    And all I am asking you to do is to demonstrate that the criteria by which you are determining this "valid basis" are the correct criteria.

    So, at the risk of repeating myself: can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?
    As opposed to irrationally.

    Your using a strawman argument here.
    Your the one that says there are alternatives not I, the onus is yours to show your correct.
    what is the alternative for the rational position.
    If you cant show that, then your argument is invalid.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    792
    Firslty, I am myself an atheist.

    But I do have to agree that I find Dawkin's discussion on evolution to be somewhat contrived and riddled with religious irrelevancies. (Im basing this more on his public appearances and his recent documentary on Darwin than his writing, I think that ancestor's tale is one of the best books I have ever read on the subject under science lit.)

    Before explaining evolution I feel he is already trying to argue against religion or trying to defend evolution against creationism. He ruins evolution by imposing atheism as a necessity to comprehending evolution when to be purely scientific, one does not need any view on it at all.

    In saying that, I do understand the implications of the details of the theory but in my opinion this is something someone should arrive at themselves, rather than having it shoved in their face before they can comprehend the theory.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Atheism is not a system of belief.
    Err......what is it then Susan?
    There is no scripture to atheism, there is no dogma to Atheism an Atheist is not something that you so much are. Rather, it's something you are from a Theistic perspective. Ultimately the word only says what you're not, that the term "Theist" is not applicable to you.

    But it seems to you that people on this forum who lack any belief in gods, have a belief.
    We don't regard lacking any belief in gods, as a belief, because lacking belief in gods, is not a belief.
    It's that simple.
    So that's what you believe then is it?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Atheism is not a system of belief.
    Err......what is it then Susan?
    There is no scripture to atheism, there is no dogma to Atheism an Atheist is not something that you so much are. Rather, it's something you are from a Theistic perspective. Ultimately the word only says what you're not, that the term "Theist" is not applicable to you.

    But it seems to you that people on this forum who lack any belief in gods, have a belief.
    We don't regard lacking any belief in gods, as a belief, because lacking belief in gods, is not a belief.
    It's that simple.
    So that's what you believe then is it?
    lol.

    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    326
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Atheism is not a system of belief.
    Err......what is it then Susan?
    There is no scripture to atheism, there is no dogma to Atheism an Atheist is not something that you so much are. Rather, it's something you are from a Theistic perspective. Ultimately the word only says what you're not, that the term "Theist" is not applicable to you.

    But it seems to you that people on this forum who lack any belief in gods, have a belief.
    We don't regard lacking any belief in gods, as a belief, because lacking belief in gods, is not a belief.
    It's that simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    However there is no point bringing [sic] up an alternative unless it has a valid basis.
    And all I am asking you to do is to demonstrate that the criteria by which you are determining this "valid basis" are the correct criteria.

    So, at the risk of repeating myself: can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?
    As opposed to irrationally.

    Your using a strawman argument here.
    Your the one that says there are alternatives not I, the onus is yours to show your correct.
    what is the alternative for the rational position.
    If you cant show that, then your argument is invalid
    .
    there's your dogma baby

    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    So, at the risk of repeating myself: can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    As opposed to irrationally.
    This sort of answer does you no credit susan. It wastes both your time and mine and it's flippancy betrays your lack of effort.

    The negation of rational is not irrational.

    Rational is when there is good reason to choose A over B, and you choose A.
    Irrational is when there is good reason to choose A over B, and you choose B.
    Non-rational is when there is no good reason to choose either, you just choose one or the other.

    Non-rational is when you choose which pair of socks to wear; there is no good reason to pick any particular pair, you just pick a pair of socks and put them on. We make hundreds of choices every day on an entirely non-rational basis; non-rational is a perfectly valid position.

    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    You're [sic]the one that says there are alternatives not I...
    Susan, with no more than five seconds thought you should see for yourself that, logically, there have to be at least two alternatives. It is either raining outside your window, or it is not. The tree is either ten feet tall, or it is not. You are either married, or you are not. The Universe was either created naturally, or it was not. There are two logical alternatives to almost every question.

    If your argument consists of you trying to deny that the alternative exists then I am wasting my time talking to you, because in that case your argument is simply, "I am right because I am right and you are wrong because I'm right." If you really want to adopt that position then please feel free to go and debate it in the primary school playground. If, on the other hand, you want to adopt a slightly more mature position then please let's have a discussion.

    There are, logically, two alternatives.

    My position is that there is objectively nothing to choose between them. You, however, contend that you have a method for choosing one over the other. Your method consists of you making the rational choice. Having made the rational choice you contend that anyone making any other choice is wrong. All I am asking you to do is to demonstrate that the rational choice will always provide the correct answer.

    If you can demonstrate that rationality always provides the correct answer then we can both agree that, since you have made the rational choice, it is correct. However, absent your demonstration we must conclude, logically, that if there is a reason for choosing one over the other, rationality is not that reason.

    What it boils down to is this: You have said your answer is correct because it is rational. I have simply asked you to show that rationality provides correct answers to all questions.

    So, at the risk of repeating myself: Can you demonstrate, objectively, that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever?
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Rational is when there is good reason to choose A over B, and you choose A.
    Irrational is when there is good reason to choose A over B, and you choose B.
    Non-rational is when there is no good reason to choose either, you just choose one or the other.
    My objection to this would be that you must ask "is a good reason" according to who? I think the only reasonable answer must be the person making the choice.

    So what happens when we fix this?

    Rational is when a person thinks he has a good reason to choose A over B, and he chooses A.
    Irrational is when a person thinks he has a good reason to choose A over B, and he chooses B.
    Non-rational is when a person thinks he has a good reason to choose either, and he just chooses one or the other.

    But now we have some problems. The first is because the "irrational" sounds a little unbelievable that this would be applicable to someone and so it becomes incredible that the vast majority of the times that this word is used that this is actually what is meant. The second is that when we compare rational and non-rational and consider the fact that it is quite often the case that people have good reasons for both choices. Third it seems reasonable that we should also consider the role that logical fallacies might play in a persons thinking process in making their decision. This suggests the following changes.

    Rational is when a person considers the reasons for A and B and then decides the reasons for A are better reasons and so he chooses A, provided that his thinking in this process is consistent with the rules of logic.
    Irrational is when we cannot see any good reasons for what a person is doing but rather only see good reasons why the person should not be doing it. This should be confirmed by asking about the person's reasons for what he does and if we find a blatant contradiction or a logical fallacy in his thinking this would go a long way in confirming that the person was making an irrational choice.
    Non-rational is when a person does not seem to be considering the reasons for A and B, when making a choice between them. In this case there would be no thinking process to examine with regards to correct logic.

    Some people might make a distinction between rational and logical but I cannot really see the point of such a distinction.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Some people might make a distinction between rational and logical but I cannot really see the point of such a distinction.
    The distinction might be made clearer if I re-write my original list in the following way:

    If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is rational to choose A over B. (rational is consistent with logic)

    If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is irrational to choose B over A. (irrational is not consistent with logic)

    In the absence of logical reasons it is non-rational to choose either.

    My point was that susan had repeatedly supplied a flippant response implying that anything other than rationality has, by default, to be irrational. I merely wanted to remind her that there is another option. Non-rational is a perfectly valid option in many situations.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Well Susan I was going to spend a little bit of time pulling your argument apart about atheism not being a belief system, but having run into your ignorant obstinacy on here before, I really don't think it is worth it. This arguments been discussed on here time and time again!

    Firstly

    Any idea we have that forms our understanding of the world which is difficult or impossible to prove is a belief, whether that be believing that there is a God, or there is not, or whether Sainsbury's doughnuts are better than Asda's etc etc etc

    A belief does not require dogma structure or system in order to be a belief. If a person acts and behaves according to a particular idea which is not fact, then that is a belief.

    Theists are people who have given considerable thought to the possibility of the existence of God, through this thinking a theology, a philosophy and an explanation of the belief has been formed.
    That is no different to somebody carefully pondering the possibility that there might not be a God and forming a philosophy and explanation for their reasoning.

    Nevertheless whenever there is a choice in any matter regardless of what it is about, when you have considered the options and decided upon a course of thinking or action, you have formed a belief that the particular course you have chosen is the right one.

    Please sit down for a moment Susan and consider exactly what a belief is and exactly what it means.

    You seem to know all the right words relevant to this type of discussion which sounds good, but you need to learn to construct coherent sentences and arguments with those words. It's no good just stringing together these words and hope they will speak for themselves and provide irrefutable proof to your argument.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    I don't belief in God Almighty. My belief system is Atheism.
    I don't belief in UFO. My belief system is AUFOism
    I don't belief in ghosts. My belief system is Aghostism.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    1,415
    A belief system can refer to:
    • A life stance.
    • A religion.
    • A world view
    • A philosophy.
    • An ideology.


    Atheism is a philosophy.

    Therefore, atheism is a belief system.

    A logical sound argument which proves atheism is a belief system.

    The definition of a belief system is, however:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary
    ...faith based on a series of beliefs but not formalized into a religion; also, a fixed coherent set of beliefs prevalent in a community or society
    I'm not sure atheism meets this criteria though.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Some people might make a distinction between rational and logical but I cannot really see the point of such a distinction.
    The distinction might be made clearer if I re-write my original list in the following way:

    If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is rational to choose A over B. (rational is consistent with logic)

    If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is irrational to choose B over A. (irrational is not consistent with logic)

    In the absence of logical reasons it is non-rational to choose either.
    Lol, kind of says it all. So you agree there is no alternative for the rational position. Thats all you had to say, thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Please sit down for a moment Susan and consider exactly what a belief is and exactly what it means.
    would you like me to give you the dictionary definition, lol.
    Perhaps you might try to understand what a lack of belief is, whilst I familiarise myself with belief, lol.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    So you agree there is no alternative for the rational position.
    No, I do not agree. In fact, I have already explained the alternative for you, more than once. But since you are obviously not interested in either being honest about your quotes, being rational about your arguments or being sincere in your beliefs I will waste no more of my time with you. Goodbye.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Some people might make a distinction between rational and logical but I cannot really see the point of such a distinction.
    The distinction might be made clearer if I re-write my original list in the following way:

    1, If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is rational to choose A over B. (rational is consistent with logic)

    2, If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is irrational to choose B over A. (irrational is not consistent with logic)

    3, In the absence of logical reasons it is non-rational to choose either.
    So you agree there is no alternative for the rational position.
    No, I do not agree.
    Your basic premise for this debate was this
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    this relies on the untested assumption that all questions are best answered rationally, at all times, forever.
    My argument has been if it is not rational, (which is not though assumption but knowledge), then what else fits the bill.
    You then post up your alternatives to mitchell
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Some people might make a distinction between rational and logical but I cannot really see the point of such a distinction.
    The distinction might be made clearer if I re-write my original list in the following way:

    1, If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is rational to choose A over B. (rational is consistent with logic)

    2, If you have logical reasons for choosing A over B, then it is irrational to choose B over A. (irrational is not consistent with logic)

    3, In the absence of logical reasons it is non-rational to choose either.
    Which say it all!
    Using logical reasoning, not making assumptions as you like to say and think, (which is what anybody with good sense does including Dawkins), you come up with option 1
    It would be infantile to posit option 2, and 3 isn't an option, because without logical reasons you would not consider it viable.
    It would be extremely foolish to choose either option 2 or 3. hence they are not considered.
    Perhaps you don't quite understand that logic and reasoning IE logical reasoning, are not made via an assumption. They are made from your logic, sense, reason, and intellect.

    Getting back to your first post here
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    All of this he bases on his unproven assumption that rationality necessarily trumps any other option in all cases for all time. For this reason I do tend to disagree with him on much outside his area of professional expertise.
    Well given your replies and the uses we humans use logic and reasoning for.
    It clearly is the only course of action.
    Unless you can show us a different version of option 1.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by susan


    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Please sit down for a moment Susan and consider exactly what a belief is and exactly what it means.
    would you like me to give you the dictionary definition, lol.
    Perhaps you might try to understand what a lack of belief is, whilst I familiarise myself with belief, lol.
    Perhaps you should eat the dictionary Susan it might relieve your verbose indigestion and perhaps a sprinkle of Philosophy education might make it slide down easier
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Sophomore susan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan


    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Please sit down for a moment Susan and consider exactly what a belief is and exactly what it means.
    would you like me to give you the dictionary definition, lol.
    Perhaps you might try to understand what a lack of belief is, whilst I familiarise myself with belief, lol.
    Perhaps you should eat the dictionary Susan it might relieve your verbose indigestion and perhaps a sprinkle of Philosophy education might make it slide down easier
    With salt or sugar.
    I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Amazing. When I read here the negative things stated about Dawkins and the fact that most of the negativity is from those who really haven't read much of Dawkins, I sense they really don't know what he's saying at all and are simply biased.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Well Susan I was going to spend a little bit of time pulling your argument apart about atheism not being a belief system, but having run into your ignorant obstinacy on here before, I really don't think it is worth it. This arguments been discussed on here time and time again!

    ...

    You seem to know all the right words relevant to this type of discussion which sounds good, but you need to learn to construct coherent sentences and arguments with those words. It's no good just stringing together these words and hope they will speak for themselves and provide irrefutable proof to your argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Please sit down for a moment Susan and consider exactly what a belief is and exactly what it means.
    would you like me to give you the dictionary definition, lol.
    Perhaps you might try to understand what a lack of belief is, whilst I familiarise myself with belief, lol.
    Perhaps you should eat the dictionary Susan it might relieve your verbose indigestion and perhaps a sprinkle of Philosophy education might make it slide down easier
    Well looking back on your talk of obstinacy I must consider what type of obstinacy I would consider more annoying. The obstinacy of refusing to captulate to an argument or the obstinacy of refusing to stop shoving an argument down other people's throat.

    Since you keep turning this discussion in the direction of offering personal criticisms on how people should improve themselves, I would suggest that the next book you attempt to digest might be one on good manners. But of course, if you don't appreciate this kind of personal criticism you might stop doing this yourself and just stick to the topic under discussion.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36 Re: The Problem with Dawkins 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    481
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Forgive my ignorance but I have only read The Blind Watchmaker but it seems to me that Dawkins argues for atheism, then bases evolution on his religious belief. Having read books like Finding Darwin's God and Darwinism and its Discontents it seems that it would be alot easier to prove evolution scientifically, like in these books. As opposed to basing evolution on religious beliefs, which, including atheism, are built on much more shakey ground. What's your opinion on this?
    Even if we assume that the theory of evolution is correct, I see it as the process of creation rather than in conflict with creation. Dawkin's mistake is his assumption that his book, The Blind Watchmaker, addresses the question of who done it, when it really addresses the question of how God done it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    927
    guess i'll just try and do it with a teaspoon:

    atheism is the absence of belief.
    its the yin to the religious yang.
    its the polar opposite of belief.
    atheism is, what belief is NOT.
    atheism is like space. its a word for something that isn't.
    if religion = 1, atheism = 0.
    IF atheism was a belief, it would be believing in not believing,
    which is a circular explanation, and complete nonsense.
    a belief SYSTEM indicates there's several parts. atheism has 0 parts.
    if atheism was explained in terms of time and space, it would be before time and space was created.
    if a belief system was a box, and religion was something you put into that box,
    atheism would be the absense of that box.

    saying "i believe in atheism" is exactly the same as saying "i believe in not believing"
    putting that in mathematical terms:
    believing = 1, not believing = -1. +1-1 = 0.

    arguing about the word atheism is pure semantics nonsense.
    its like arguing that nothing is a form of matter.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    481
    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    guess i'll just try and do it with a teaspoon:

    atheism is the absence of belief.
    its the yin to the religious yang.
    its the polar opposite of belief.
    atheism is, what belief is NOT.
    atheism is like space. its a word for something that isn't.
    if religion = 1, atheism = 0.
    IF atheism was a belief, it would be believing in not believing,
    which is a circular explanation, and complete nonsense.
    a belief SYSTEM indicates there's several parts. atheism has 0 parts.
    if atheism was explained in terms of time and space, it would be before time and space was created.
    if a belief system was a box, and religion was something you put into that box,
    atheism would be the absense of that box.

    saying "i believe in atheism" is exactly the same as saying "i believe in not believing"
    putting that in mathematical terms:
    believing = 1, not believing = -1. +1-1 = 0.

    arguing about the word atheism is pure semantics nonsense.
    its like arguing that nothing is a form of matter.
    As a former Atheist I can atest that I did believe and had beliefs. Not in a god but in other things like empirical evidence, logic and reason. What use are such things to an Atheist? It depends on his ability to perceive. I had "faith" in what I perceived.

    I believed in things like "chance," and "mother nature." I had ideals, dreams, goals--none of which were materially real. For me these things were surrogates for God.

    I was not really a non-believer, but a believer in denial.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    As a former Atheist I can atest that I did believe and had beliefs. Not in a god but in other things like empirical evidence, logic and reason. What use are such things to an Atheist? It depends on his ability to perceive. I had "faith" in what I perceived.

    I believed in things like "chance," and "mother nature." I had ideals, dreams, goals--none of which were materially real. For me these things were surrogates for God.

    I was not really a non-believer, but a believer in denial.
    Ok so this is what being an atheist meant to you. But can we conclude that the same must be true of any atheist?

    I think there are two parts to this question. What is implied by the description "atheist" and what is implied by the limits of our knowledge concerning the type of entity, the human being, which the "atheist" descriptor is applied to?

    The usual argument of the atheists here is that atheism can be described as an absence of belief in something. And so the first question above addresses the validity of this argument. This leads to two more questions. Is a person that has never even considered the question of whether God exists an atheist? Can a person answer the question of whether God exists without asserting a belief? Hmmm, but wait a minute is that even the right question? Does the atheist answer the question, "Does God exist?" or does he merely answer the question, "Do I beileve that God exists?" Hmmm. It seems to me that the atheist argument would be easier to defend in the second case but the problem is that this would annihilate the distinction beteween the atheist and the agnostic, wouldn't it? Both answer no this second question, but while the agnostic asserts that he does not know the answer to the first question the atheist says no to that first question, doesn't he?

    However, before we go on we must distinguish two approaches that would be agnosticism according to the above distinction. There is not only the agnostic who simply does not answer the question of whether God exists, but also the type of agnostic that goes on to assert that it is impossible to answer this question or even that it is even irrational to assert that God exists given the evidence that we currently have available to us. But I would argue that this second assertion should classify the person as atheist. And the result is that atheist either asserts that God does not exist or asserts that it is irrational to assert that God does exist given the evidence and both of these do sound to me like an assertion of belief.


    Furthermore when we look at the other part of this concerning that fact that any atheist must as far as we know be a human being, I find it rather far fetched that any human being can live his life without beliefs. And thus I think it is a fact that both the atheist and the theist have beliefs and they can be distinguished by what it is that they do believe. We might try to argue however that there is nothing that the atheist necessarily believes in that the theist necessarily doesn't believe in. But even so I think there is a shift of some sort, for cannot we at least say that the atheist puts more faith and belief in a certain kind of evidence?


    But now that I have indulged myself in this whole argument I am now going to turn around and shoot it all down.

    This is because I think there is a big blaring hole in the whole thing that makes it all pretty darn meaningless, and that is the rather unwarranted assumption that everyone understands what they are talking about. How can a disagreement, on whether God exists, have any meaning, unless there is first an agreement upon the answer to the question of "what is God?" Sure a lot of people think a simple answer to this is to point to the Bible and say God is what the Bible is talking about? But considering how greatly people disagree about what the Bible is saying about God, I question whether that clarifies the situation at all. Suppose one takes an Einstein-ian type understanding of God as Nature with a symbolic and metaphorical understanding of the Bible, seeing its purpose as nothing more than advocating responsible, ethical and altruistic behavior? Then doesn't the distinction between theist and atheist vanish?

    I think we have to recognize that what the atheist means by God when he says that God does not exist is very different than what the theist means by God when he says that God does exist. I in fact perceive ways in which they are asserting some of the same things, for I perceive that both are usually making an affirmation of life and goodness against death and evil. What usually stands between them is a different experience and perception of theistic religion in the tension between these two.

    A further discussion in this direction can be found at:
    http://www.astahost.com/page-19-t13349-s180.html
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    481
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    As a former Atheist I can atest that I did believe and had beliefs. Not in a god but in other things like empirical evidence, logic and reason. What use are such things to an Atheist? It depends on his ability to perceive. I had "faith" in what I perceived.

    I believed in things like "chance," and "mother nature." I had ideals, dreams, goals--none of which were materially real. For me these things were surrogates for God.

    I was not really a non-believer, but a believer in denial.
    Ok so this is what being an atheist meant to you. But can we conclude that the same must be true of any atheist?

    I think there are two parts to this question. What is implied by the description "atheist" and what is implied by the limits of our knowledge concerning the type of entity, the human being, which the "atheist" descriptor is applied to?

    The usual argument of the atheists here is that atheism can be described as an absence of belief in something. And so the first question above addresses the validity of this argument. This leads to two more questions. Is a person that has never even considered the question of whether God exists an atheist? Can a person answer the question of whether God exists without asserting a belief? Hmmm, but wait a minute is that even the right question? Does the atheist answer the question, "Does God exist?" or does he merely answer the question, "Do I beileve that God exists?" Hmmm. It seems to me that the atheist argument would be easier to defend in the second case but the problem is that this would annihilate the distinction beteween the atheist and the agnostic, wouldn't it? Both answer no this second question, but while the agnostic asserts that he does not know the answer to the first question the atheist says no to that first question, doesn't he?

    However, before we go on we must distinguish two approaches that would be agnosticism according to the above distinction. There is not only the agnostic who simply does not answer the question of whether God exists, but also the type of agnostic that goes on to assert that it is impossible to answer this question or even that it is even irrational to assert that God exists given the evidence that we currently have available to us. But I would argue that this second assertion should classify the person as atheist. And the result is that atheist either asserts that God does not exist or asserts that it is irrational to assert that God does exist given the evidence and both of these do sound to me like an assertion of belief.


    Furthermore when we look at the other part of this concerning that fact that any atheist must as far as we know be a human being, I find it rather far fetched that any human being can live his life without beliefs. And thus I think it is a fact that both the atheist and the theist have beliefs and they can be distinguished by what it is that they do believe. We might try to argue however that there is nothing that the atheist necessarily believes in that the theist necessarily doesn't believe in. But even so I think there is a shift of some sort, for cannot we at least say that the atheist puts more faith and belief in a certain kind of evidence?


    But now that I have indulged myself in this whole argument I am now going to turn around and shoot it all down.

    This is because I think there is a big blaring hole in the whole thing that makes it all pretty darn meaningless, and that is the rather unwarranted assumption that everyone understands what they are talking about. How can a disagreement, on whether God exists, have any meaning, unless there is first an agreement upon the answer to the question of "what is God?" Sure a lot of people think a simple answer to this is to point to the Bible and say God is what the Bible is talking about? But considering how greatly people disagree about what the Bible is saying about God, I question whether that clarifies the situation at all. Suppose one takes an Einstein-ian type understanding of God as Nature with a symbolic and metaphorical understanding of the Bible, seeing its purpose as nothing more than advocating responsible, ethical and altruistic behavior? Then doesn't the distinction between theist and atheist vanish?

    I think we have to recognize that what the atheist means by God when he says that God does not exist is very different than what the theist means by God when he says that God does exist. I in fact perceive ways in which they are asserting some of the same things, for I perceive that both are usually making an affirmation of life and goodness against death and evil. What usually stands between them is a different experience and perception of theistic religion in the tension between these two.

    A further discussion in this direction can be found at:
    http://www.astahost.com/page-19-t13349-s180.html
    Depending on the the definition of God, the theist and the atheist could be in agreement and not even know it. For example, the theist could believe that god and chance are one and the same; the atheist could believe in chance, but think the theist is refering to the Biblical God. The two spend 40 days and 40 nights debating. There is a flood of drama between. What fun! LOL!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Amazing. When I read here the negative things stated about Dawkins and the fact that most of the negativity is from those who really haven't read much of Dawkins, I sense they really don't know what he's saying at all and are simply biased.
    Enlighten us.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    williampin wrote
    Dawkin's mistake is his assumption that his book, The Blind Watchmaker, addresses the question of who done it, when it really addresses the question of how God done it.
    What he did is showing that complex organism can be made without the need for a Designer/Inventor/Engineer. It is just based on a few principles.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  44. #43  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    481
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    williampin wrote
    Dawkin's mistake is his assumption that his book, The Blind Watchmaker, addresses the question of who done it, when it really addresses the question of how God done it.
    What he did is showing that complex organism can be made without the need for a Designer/Inventor/Engineer. It is just based on a few principles.
    I think he failed to show that. Look at the design of anything manmade. Did the perfect design just pop into the engineer's head? Take the computer, for instance. Look at the earliest models and the latest models and compare. The design of the computer has "evolved" significantly.

    Random mutations in nature--like random thoughts in the engineer's mind. Natural selection--like the engineer selecting a good design. Extinction--like scrapping a bad design.

    What Dawkins inadvertedly demonstrated is that evolution could not have a occurred at random; it needed a selection process, a series of experiments resulting in a kind of learning curve. As time goes by, Nature, God, or whatever makes better designs for a given environment just as the engineer tweeks and improves his designs to compete in the market place.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  45. #44  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    williampin wrote
    Dawkin's mistake is his assumption that his book, The Blind Watchmaker, addresses the question of who done it, when it really addresses the question of how God done it.
    What he did is showing that complex organism can be made without the need for a Designer/Inventor/Engineer. It is just based on a few principles.
    I think he failed to show that. Look at the design of anything manmade. Did the perfect design just pop into the engineer's head? Take the computer, for instance. Look at the earliest models and the latest models and compare. The design of the computer has "evolved" significantly.

    Random mutations in nature--like random thoughts in the engineer's mind. Natural selection--like the engineer selecting a good design. Extinction--like scrapping a bad design.

    What Dawkins inadvertedly demonstrated is that evolution could not have a occurred at random; it needed a selection process, a series of experiments resulting in a kind of learning curve. As time goes by, Nature, God, or whatever makes better designs for a given environment just as the engineer tweeks and improves his designs to compete in the market place.
    You have shown only a similarity between an aspect of a human "design" process and evolution. What you have not shown is that this process cannot occur without an external agency or that God would design by this same process. Survival and reproduction is the natural selection mechanism and you have not shown that this by itself is insufficient. Furthermore, it is difficult to understand why an all knowing God would require an experimental process in order to design something and thus I think the claim that evolution represents God's creation of living thing forces you to conclude that either God is not all knowing OR that design is not a very good description of what God is doing.

    When we build something like a skyscraper, a bridge, or a spacecraft, a process of trial and error just will not hack it because too many lives depend on doing it right the first time and this is what the word "design" is really for, not the historical process of learning how to build things but for planning properly so that we can build these things correctly. Thus this evolutionary process is caparable to an historical learning process but NOT really to this concept of design at all.

    Thus it is my conclusion that if evolution does represent God's creation of living things then it is not a process of design but of participation in the lives of living things, whose nature it is to create themselves by growth and learning, in the same way that a farmer, shepherd and teacher participates in the development of living things they "create" to provide the proper care and stimulation.

    But of course notice the if, for the challenges I have made to your claims that Dawkins has not proven his case remain unanswered. I think the best you can claim is simply that Dawkins has not proven that God is not involved in the origin of living things, which is not the same as claiming that Dawkins has not shown that an external designer is not required.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  46. #45  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by susan
    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Well Susan I was going to spend a little bit of time pulling your argument apart about atheism not being a belief system, but having run into your ignorant obstinacy on here before, I really don't think it is worth it. This arguments been discussed on here time and time again!

    ...

    You seem to know all the right words relevant to this type of discussion which sounds good, but you need to learn to construct coherent sentences and arguments with those words. It's no good just stringing together these words and hope they will speak for themselves and provide irrefutable proof to your argument.
    Quote Originally Posted by absum!
    Please sit down for a moment Susan and consider exactly what a belief is and exactly what it means.
    would you like me to give you the dictionary definition, lol.
    Perhaps you might try to understand what a lack of belief is, whilst I familiarise myself with belief, lol.
    Perhaps you should eat the dictionary Susan it might relieve your verbose indigestion and perhaps a sprinkle of Philosophy education might make it slide down easier
    Well looking back on your talk of obstinacy I must consider what type of obstinacy I would consider more annoying. The obstinacy of refusing to captulate to an argument or the obstinacy of refusing to stop shoving an argument down other people's throat.

    Since you keep turning this discussion in the direction of offering personal criticisms on how people should improve themselves, I would suggest that the next book you attempt to digest might be one on good manners. But of course, if you don't appreciate this kind of personal criticism you might stop doing this yourself and just stick to the topic under discussion.
    Argument?

    What argument Mckain?

    It is pointless argueing with people who are so narrow minded, obstinate and ignorant

    It's equivalent to the punishment given to Sisyphus in Tartarus.

    And why the f**k should I be polite to people who are in turn rude and ignorant?

    And having observed some of your discussions with Q, i see you aren't exactly a master in the art of manners. I suggest you take a leaf out of your own book!

    I see you are going to make an excellent Mod on the science forum considering you carry the blind spots and bias which appears to be essential to the role.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  47. #46  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    919
    Flaming and whining.. *sigh* lets grow up, shall we?
    Let me end this debate by saying that Atheism is NOT a belief. A belief is denoted by a faith. If you look at it logically, it would be on par with saying that if you believe the dog exists, and I don't believe the dog exists, then my belief would be the disbelief that the dog exists which makes no sense because then technically I would still have a belief in the dog. I would just have the belief in the non-existence of the dog.

    Think of it another way.
    Do you believe in elves? No? So you have a belief in the non-existence of elves? Why don't you just say that you don't have a belief in elves? It's more simplistic and less convoluted.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  48. #47  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Well looking back on your talk of obstinacy I must consider what type of obstinacy I would consider more annoying. The obstinacy of refusing to captulate to an argument or the obstinacy of refusing to stop shoving an argument down other people's throat.

    Since you keep turning this discussion in the direction of offering personal criticisms on how people should improve themselves, I would suggest that the next book you attempt to digest might be one on good manners. But of course, if you don't appreciate this kind of personal criticism you might stop doing this yourself and just stick to the topic under discussion.
    Argument?

    What argument Mckain?
    That is what I am calling this, whatever you want to call it, that you are claiming that Susan is being obstinate about.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    It is pointless argueing with people who are so narrow minded, obstinate and ignorant
    Well I suppose that we all have to make judgements about what is worth our time and act accordingly. But it is my opinion that the proper action is simply to stop wasting your time talking to that person and not to start a spitting match that will waste everyones time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    It's equivalent to the punishment given to Sisyphus in Tartarus.
    What is equivalent? Sisyphus was defying the gods? Are you equating Susan's definance to that of Sisyphus and taking it on yourself to dispense punishment?


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    And why the f**k should I be polite to people who are in turn rude and ignorant?
    Ask instead what is likely to happen if everyone takes Lamech's attitude and tries to repay sevenfold every wounding they receive. It seemed to me that you were escalating unreasonably and if you just wanted to fight then you could fight me for a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I see you are going to make an excellent Mod on the science forum considering you carry the blind spots and bias which appears to be essential to the role.
    Why thank you. I prefer my blindness to yours.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  49. #48  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Mckain haven't you got anything more useful to do instead of embroiling yourself in silly arguments???

    You're not exactly the master of manners yourself having observed some of your...so called...debates on the forum...in fact you are often downright rude and personal to some of the members here......and seem to have a personal agenda...

    Q for example

    Really some of you people should learn the art of discrimination, you might discover then you will have more time to do brilliant things instead of wasting it nursing your egos.

    As for atheism being a belief

    Atheists are (or should be) people that reject the idea of God on the grounds that there is insufficient evidence.
    Therefore atheists should be analytically minded people who require evidence that a God exists and accept only facts
    Unfortunately this is usually not the case.

    Even stating that 'God' does not exist, necessitates a belief in a God in the first place for a God not to exist.

    If belief requires a 'system' in order to be a belief then atheism naturally leads to the notion of existentialism, which is a belief system in itself.

    Dig yourselves an ever deeper pit with words and arguments.
    Atheism is a belief, whether you like it or not.



    Baron d'Holbach said that "All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  50. #49  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    It is pointless argueing with people who are so narrow minded, obstinate and ignorant
    Well I suppose that we all have to make judgements about what is worth our time and act accordingly. But it is my opinion that the proper action is simply to stop wasting your time talking to that person and not to start a spitting match that will waste everyones time.
    And what are you doing Mckain?


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    It's equivalent to the punishment given to Sisyphus in Tartarus.
    What is equivalent? Sisyphus was defying the gods? Are you equating Susan's definance to that of Sisyphus and taking it on yourself to dispense punishment?
    Oh come on Mckain, I never took you for being this stupid!
    I am talking about the futility of the act of rolling a boulder up a hill and having it roll back etc etc, the act of which is brought to mind when debating with such people as Susan, who is clearly ignorant and unfortunately obstinate with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    And why the f**k should I be polite to people who are in turn rude and ignorant?
    Ask instead what is likely to happen if everyone takes Lamech's attitude and tries to repay sevenfold every wounding they receive. It seemed to me that you were escalating unreasonably and if you just wanted to fight then you could fight me for a bit.
    Wounding? Who's wounded???
    Surely an argument is based on disagreeing with another persons point of view and stating why?
    If the other person is displaying obstinancy and stupidity, surely it is better to point that out, than be as meek as a lamb and allow others to act in ignorance. Imagine the harm that would do (or is currently doing) to society.
    I don't want to fight, but I do have a hard spot for people who promote arrogance and ignorance by blindly adhering to being right simply for the sake of being right in order to win an argument.

    It's called 'Right Man' or 'Right Woman' syndrome and does not foster any advancement to knowledge and learning. On the contrary it promotes more and more ignorance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I see you are going to make an excellent Mod on the science forum considering you carry the blind spots and bias which appears to be essential to the role.
    Why thank you. I prefer my blindness to yours.
    MMmm....that's a real shame. I used to respect you on here and took you to be one of the sane, but I am not so sure anymore
    Reply With Quote  
     

  51. #50  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Flaming and whining.. *sigh* lets grow up, shall we?
    Let me end this debate by saying that Atheism is NOT a belief.
    Is that an appeal to authority - the authority of verzen? LOL

    be∑lief (b-lf)
    n.
    1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
    2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
    3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.
    We can discard #1 right away. But it seems to me that if atheism does not have any mental acceptance of or conviction of the truth, actuality or validity of anything then it is pretty meaningless and without content. No I think it is pretty clear that atheism does hold something to be believed and accepted as true (that God does not exist) and it is a particular tenet of a group of persons. There are atheist organizations promoting certain things that they hold to be true.


    a-the-ism   /ˈeɪθiˌɪzəm/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ey-thee-iz-uhm] Show IPA Pronunciation

    Ėnoun 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
    2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
    dis∑be∑lief
    Pronunciation: \ˌdis-bə-ˈlēf\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1672
    : the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue
    Let me ask you this how would you determine if some one is an atheist rather than a theist or an agnostic without using any of these terms?

    I would claim that it is insufficient that they do not have an answer to the question, "Does God exist?" or that they do not have a belief that some god exists, for the same is true of agnostics. So I think they must either answer no to the question "Does God exist?" (which is equivalent to asserting that God does not exist) or they assert that it is not reasonable given the evidence to believe that a god exists. Both of these are a belief in an assertion.

    If you don't believe any assertions about the existence of God then you are an agnostic not an atheist.


    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    A belief is denoted by a faith.
    Hmmm... interesting so everyone who believes something has faith?
    Do you believe that you exist?


    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    If you look at it logically, it would be on par with saying that if you believe the dog exists, and I don't believe the dog exists, then my belief would be the disbelief that the dog exists which makes no sense because then technically I would still have a belief in the dog. I would just have the belief in the non-existence of the dog.
    Oh I am sure you can think of all sorts of complicated ways of saying things but you do not prove that it is necessary. But ok lets use some real logic...

    If I believe that the dog exist then I believe that the proposition, "the dog exists" is true. If you don't believe that the dog exists then you are either an agnostic in that regard or an atheist, the "dog-atheist" believes that the proposition, "the dog exists" is false. It is the "dog-agnostic" that does not believe that the proposition is true nor that the proposition is false.


    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Think of it another way.
    Do you believe in elves? No? So you have a belief in the non-existence of elves? Why don't you just say that you don't have a belief in elves? It's more simplistic and less convoluted.
    I belief that the proposition, "elves exist" is false. I am an atheist in regards to the existence of elves, but perhaps you are merely agnostic in that regards?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  52. #51  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Mckain haven't you got anything more useful to do instead of embroiling yourself in silly arguments???
    Well I do things and then I take a break and see what damage I can do over here. LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    You're not exactly the master of manners yourself having observed some of your...so called...debates on the forum...in fact you are often downright rude and personal to some of the members here......and seem to have a personal agenda...

    Q for example

    Really some of you people should learn the art of discrimination, you might discover then you will have more time to do brilliant things instead of wasting it nursing your egos.
    Yep. I am deliberately rude and personal on occasion. Well it might not exactly be a brilliant thing to talk to you but I still have hope that it is not a waste of my time. When you nurse your ego do you do it intentionally or is it an unconscious habit?

    (... skipping the part of Absum!'s post that is back on topic ...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Well I suppose that we all have to make judgements about what is worth our time and act accordingly. But it is my opinion that the proper action is simply to stop wasting your time talking to that person and not to start a spitting match that will waste everyones time.
    And what are you doing Mckain?
    Making my own decisions about what is worth my time. In this case I am diverting your anger to myself and seeing what happens.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Oh come on Mckain, I never took you for being this stupid!
    I am talking about the futility of the act of rolling a boulder up a hill and having it roll back etc etc, the act of which is brought to mind when debating with such people as Susan, who is clearly ignorant and unfortunately obstinate with it.
    Some of us consider it an honor to defy unjust gods no matter how powerful they may be and thus no matter how hopeless the fight may be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Wounding? Who's wounded???
    Surely an argument is based on disagreeing with another persons point of view and stating why?
    So you are not wounded and have no argument with Susan and thus no disagreement with Susan,... right??? :?


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    If the other person is displaying obstinancy and stupidity, surely it is better to point that out, than be as meek as a lamb and allow others to act in ignorance. Imagine the harm that would do (or is currently doing) to society.
    I don't want to fight, but I do have a hard spot for people who promote arrogance and ignorance by blindly adhering to being right simply for the sake of being right in order to win an argument.

    It's called 'Right Man' or 'Right Woman' syndrome and does not foster any advancement to knowledge and learning. On the contrary it promotes more and more ignorance.
    Oh good, then you can appreciate it when I point out that you are displaying obstinacy and stupidity. You would not want me to be meek about that right? So you are capable of admitting it when you are wrong? Can you prove it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I see you are going to make an excellent Mod on the science forum considering you carry the blind spots and bias which appears to be essential to the role.
    Why thank you. I prefer my blindness to yours.
    MMmm....that's a real shame. I used to respect you on here and took you to be one of the sane, but I am not so sure anymore
    I have a higher regard for my self-respect than for the respect of others. How about you?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  53. #52  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Oh grow up Mckain

    You are becoming painfully childish.

    You remind me of kids who complain they are being picked on and when the situation is explored it is discovered they are in fact the antagonist.

    I was not arguing with Susan, merely pointing out the stupidity and irrationality in her arguments

    Somebodies got to tell the poor girl, you can't just let her wander around in life rambling nonsense to herself and other people.

    P.s I have started a thread on general discussion exclusively for people who want to argue mindlessly with each other and stop cluttering up the forums discussions with triviality and wasting space by re-quoting every single word and sentence in order to simply be pedantic and pathetic.

    Perhaps you might want to go there Mckain
    Reply With Quote  
     

  54. #53  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Somebodies got to tell the poor girl, you can't just let her wander around in life rambling nonsense to herself and other people.
    any particular reason why you feel this desperate need to tell people their whole life is a rambling nonsense ? most people don't want to hear that type of message, even if it happens to be the truth
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  55. #54  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    927
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn

    As a former Atheist I can atest that I did believe and had beliefs. Not in a god but in other things like empirical evidence, logic and reason. What use are such things to an Atheist? It depends on his ability to perceive. I had "faith" in what I perceived.

    I believed in things like "chance," and "mother nature." I had ideals, dreams, goals--none of which were materially real. For me these things were surrogates for God.

    I was not really a non-believer, but a believer in denial.
    you were not atheist, you were agnostic. 2 separate things.
    don't claim yourself to be an atheist until you're sure you're not agnostic anymore.

    Agnosticism (Greek: α- a-, without + γνώσις gnōsis, knowledge; after Gnosticism)

    Atheist: A-theist,
    as in A-moral, it describes the lack of something.
    theism being the belief in at least 1 deity,
    A-theism would be described as disbelief in a deity.
    to say that atheism is a belief, is like saying you believe in the disbelief of a deity.
    ITS STUPID. STOP IT.
    its NOTHING ELSE. STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE ITS MORE THAN THAT.
    you're all worse than microsoft, packing lots of useless functionality to a program until its impossibly overburdened with stupid shit, and virtually useless.
    atheism is NOT an ambiguous word. stop trying to make it sound ambiguous.
    its very annoying.
    its not open to subjective interpretation.
    its not a belief system, its not a belief, its the absense of belief, which means its not belief, which means its the absense of belief, making it not a belief, because its the absense of belief.
    believers talk about being narrow minded, but you got the exact opposite problem.
    you're so open-minded to everything your brain falls out.
    you think everything is open to interpretation, well ITS NOT.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  56. #55  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    Buddha taught that all things are governed by natural law. Was he an atheist?
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  57. #56  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Somebodies got to tell the poor girl, you can't just let her wander around in life rambling nonsense to herself and other people.
    any particular reason why you feel this desperate need to tell people their whole life is a rambling nonsense ? most people don't want to hear that type of message, even if it happens to be the truth
    Oh surprise surprise it's marnixR,

    Desperate?

    It appears you and others are desperate to keep the argument going?

    Can't you see how pathetic it is to keep responding and keeping the argument going?

    None of you appear to realise the lessons you should have learned in kindergarten.

    If people don't want to hear that kind of message then why are they on here spouting nonsense?????????????????????

    Guilty of honesty, your Honour, shame some others seem to find that so difficult
    Reply With Quote  
     

  58. #57  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Amazing. When I read here the negative things stated about Dawkins and the fact that most of the negativity is from those who really haven't read much of Dawkins, I sense they really don't know what he's saying at all and are simply biased.
    Enlighten us.
    Read his books. At the very least, watch this lecture series:

    http://richarddawkins.net/growingupintheuniverse
    Reply With Quote  
     

  59. #58  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    Even stating that 'God' does not exist, necessitates a belief in a God in the first place for a God not to exist.
    So, stating that leprechauns or unicorns don't exist must also necessitate a belief in them too? You have to state something exists to state it doesn't exist?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  60. #59  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    Even stating that 'God' does not exist, necessitates a belief in a God in the first place for a God not to exist.
    So, stating that leprechauns or unicorns don't exist must also necessitate a belief in them too? You have to state something exists to state it doesn't exist?
    Err....yes....you are just repeating what I said Q
    Reply With Quote  
     

  61. #60  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn

    As a former Atheist I can atest that I did believe and had beliefs. Not in a god but in other things like empirical evidence, logic and reason. What use are such things to an Atheist? It depends on his ability to perceive. I had "faith" in what I perceived.

    I believed in things like "chance," and "mother nature." I had ideals, dreams, goals--none of which were materially real. For me these things were surrogates for God.

    I was not really a non-believer, but a believer in denial.
    you were not atheist, you were agnostic. 2 separate things.
    don't claim yourself to be an atheist until you're sure you're not agnostic anymore.

    Agnosticism (Greek: α- a-, without + γνώσις gnōsis, knowledge; after Gnosticism)

    Atheist: A-theist,
    as in A-moral, it describes the lack of something.
    theism being the belief in at least 1 deity,
    A-theism would be described as disbelief in a deity.
    to say that atheism is a belief, is like saying you believe in the disbelief of a deity.
    ITS STUPID. STOP IT.
    its NOTHING ELSE. STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE ITS MORE THAN THAT.
    you're all worse than microsoft, packing lots of useless functionality to a program until its impossibly overburdened with stupid shit, and virtually useless.
    atheism is NOT an ambiguous word. stop trying to make it sound ambiguous.
    its very annoying.
    its not open to subjective interpretation.
    its not a belief system, its not a belief, its the absense of belief, which means its not belief, which means its the absense of belief, making it not a belief, because its the absense of belief.
    believers talk about being narrow minded, but you got the exact opposite problem.
    you're so open-minded to everything your brain falls out.
    you think everything is open to interpretation, well ITS NOT.
    Oh God have mercy on us

    Here's another one!

    You guys do like to trip yourselves up and complicate the issues!

    You are being stupid dejawolf by making the silly absurd statement that-

    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    Atheist: A-theist,
    as in A-moral, it describes the lack of something.
    theism being the belief in at least 1 deity,
    A-theism would be described as disbelief in a deity.
    to say that atheism is a belief, is like saying you believe in the disbelief of a deity.
    ITS STUPID. STOP IT.
    Atheism is a dis-belief in a Deity. Well done!

    I disagree with theists that say a God exists, therefore i do not believe in the theists argument that there is a 'Superior being'.

    So what do I believe, or does anyone who doesn't believe in God exist in a vacuum whereby there is no belief in anything or otherwise??

    Belief is not the exclusive providence of religion or theists!

    A belief is an idea which a human being decides upon and which governs our thoughts and actions.

    If people didn't believe they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work.
    If people didn't believe fruit was beneficial they wouldn't make concerted efforts to more of it.
    If people didn't believe cruelty to children was unacceptable we wouldn't have the N'S.P.C.C.

    ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC........
    Reply With Quote  
     

  62. #61  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    Even stating that 'God' does not exist, necessitates a belief in a God in the first place for a God not to exist.
    So, stating that leprechauns or unicorns don't exist must also necessitate a belief in them too? You have to state something exists to state it doesn't exist?
    Err....yes....you are just repeating what I said Q
    Then, that is entirely idiotic.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  63. #62  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    Even stating that 'God' does not exist, necessitates a belief in a God in the first place for a God not to exist.
    So, stating that leprechauns or unicorns don't exist must also necessitate a belief in them too? You have to state something exists to state it doesn't exist?
    Err....yes....you are just repeating what I said Q
    Then, that is entirely idiotic.
    SIGH

    It's reminds me of working in Kindergarten

    No Q it is logical.

    In order for me to claim that God does not exist, requires me to consider that God might exist in the first place
    Reply With Quote  
     

  64. #63  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    In order for me to claim that God does not exist, requires me to consider that God might exist in the first place
    That might be appropriate for your thought and decision making processes, but it isn't relative at all to mine.d And of course, you've moved the goalposts and have changed your claim from "necessitating" a belief in god to "considering" a belief in god.

    Go back to kindergarten and start again.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  65. #64  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    you were not atheist, you were agnostic. 2 separate things.
    don't claim yourself to be an atheist until you're sure you're not agnostic anymore.
    Williampinn,
    For what it's worth, my advice is to not let other people tell you what you are. If you want to call yourself an atheist then do so, whether anyone else would think of you as an atheist is completely irellevant; it's your life, you live it your way.

    If you really must take someone else's advice on the issue then I would advise you restrict yourself to folks who are able to demonstrate that they have at the very least a vague familiarity with the topic. From the few words of yours quoted by dejawolf s/he could not possiby determine whether you are an atheist or an agnostic, so declaiming that you definitely are not one but are the other is nonsense on their part.

    As for those folks in this thread who want to maintain that atheism is not a belief. The logical consequence of this, if true, would be that atheism is a verifiable, objective truth. Since not one of you has yet been able to demonstrate that you understand such simple phrases as "objective truth" or "logical consequence" it seems perfectly obvious that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Quid pro quo.


    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    So, stating that leprechauns or unicorns don't exist must also necessitate a belief in them too? You have to state something exists to state it doesn't exist?
    Agreed. But I doubt Absum! would realise this is a rhetorical question unless you specifically said so.

    I think that what he meant was that you have to accept that in principle it could exist before you can decide whether you believe in it or not. If I do not accept, in principle, that unicorns could exist, I do not have to choose whether I believe in them. Only after I accept that, in principle, they could exist, do I have to decide whether I believe in them or not.

    But this leads us down a slippery slope because now a philosopher asks what these principles are that prevent me from accepting that unicorns could exist. Those principles, whatever they may be, are then something in which I believe that prevents me from accepting that unicorns exist. So, a particularly pedantic person would argue that this actually constitutes a belief that unicorns do not exist. So Absum's argument fails the plausibility test by infinite descent.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  66. #65  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I think that what he meant was that you have to accept that in principle it could exist before you can decide whether you believe in it or not.
    Perhaps, but it may not even have to go that far, as we can first examine the individual claims of existence prior to entertaining the entire notion of existence. If the claims cannot stand up to scrutiny, the further requirement to entertain the notion of existence becomes irrelevant.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  67. #66  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Belief is not the exclusive providence of religion or theists!

    A belief is an idea which a human being decides upon and which governs our thoughts and actions.
    Yes I have been arguing precisely this and none of the atheists have been objecting so perhaps the disagreement lies in the term "system of belief" and I must admit that I have reservations about saying that this or even the word "philosophy" is applicable to atheism.

    In fact I recall that at times I have pointed out some of the weakness in atheism that derives from the fact that it consists of denial rather than positive assertion and that may be a consequence of treating atheism as if it were a system of belief or a philosophy. Perhaps there is some hair splitting going on but all I know is that I see merits in the idea that atheism is not a system of beliefs and don't see an effective argument let alone a good reason for pursuing an argument that it is a system of belief.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    In order for me to claim that God does not exist, requires me to consider that God might exist in the first place
    And what about that "little girl you raped and killed yesterday", what happens when you consider her?


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Oh God have mercy on us

    Here's another one!

    You guys do like to trip yourselves up and complicate the issues!

    You are being stupid dejawolf by making the silly absurd statement that-
    We've got you surrounded pardner, so come out with your hands up!


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Oh grow up Mckain

    You are becoming painfully childish.
    No thank you. I find boring people to be a far greater cause of pain in others.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    You remind me of kids who complain they are being picked on and when the situation is explored it is discovered they are in fact the antagonist.
    I think you are looking in a mirror.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I was not arguing with Susan, merely pointing out the stupidity and irrationality in her arguments

    Somebodies got to tell the poor girl, you can't just let her wander around in life rambling nonsense to herself and other people.
    A knight in shining armor eh?


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    P.s I have started a thread on general discussion exclusively for people who want to argue mindlessly with each other and stop cluttering up the forums discussions with triviality and wasting space by re-quoting every single word and sentence in order to simply be pedantic and pathetic.

    Perhaps you might want to go there Mckain
    Oh but we are getting our belly full of your trivial, space wasting pedantic and pathetic behavior right here, so there is no need to make a special trip to get any more of it.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  68. #67  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    927
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    you were not atheist, you were agnostic. 2 separate things.
    don't claim yourself to be an atheist until you're sure you're not agnostic anymore.
    Williampinn,
    For what it's worth, my advice is to not let other people tell you what you are. If you want to call yourself an atheist then do so, whether anyone else would think of you as an atheist is completely irellevant; it's your life, you live it your way.
    yeah, and he sure as hell can call himself fit when he weights 300kg and need a breather to survive, but that doesn't make him fit.
    whether you let other people tell you what you are or not, depends on whether you're
    pertinent to keep whathever childhood fantasies of who you are or not.

    oh, whats this i hear? are you going to suggest he should decide what to call himself "within reason" or some other theistic crap like that?
    well reason is also a very subjective and variable thing.
    there's a difference to what an obese person, and an anorexic person thinks about the issue of being fat or thin.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  69. #68  
    Forum Masters Degree pavlos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    liverpool
    Posts
    715
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    If people didn't believe they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work.
    Absum: I think your mixing Knowledge with Belief, they are mutually exclusive.
    IE; If people didn't know they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work, if it was only their belief/opinion, they could never be sure.
    I could say It's my belief, I will win the lotto. but that's just my opinion.
    But if I had the winning numbers in my hand I'd know I've won the lotto, do you note the difference.

    A Belief is an opinion of something not proven.
    Whereas Knowledge is already acquainted with the facts.
    Huge difference.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  70. #69  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    481
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    williampin wrote
    Dawkin's mistake is his assumption that his book, The Blind Watchmaker, addresses the question of who done it, when it really addresses the question of how God done it.
    What he did is showing that complex organism can be made without the need for a Designer/Inventor/Engineer. It is just based on a few principles.
    I think he failed to show that. Look at the design of anything manmade. Did the perfect design just pop into the engineer's head? Take the computer, for instance. Look at the earliest models and the latest models and compare. The design of the computer has "evolved" significantly.

    Random mutations in nature--like random thoughts in the engineer's mind. Natural selection--like the engineer selecting a good design. Extinction--like scrapping a bad design.

    What Dawkins inadvertedly demonstrated is that evolution could not have a occurred at random; it needed a selection process, a series of experiments resulting in a kind of learning curve. As time goes by, Nature, God, or whatever makes better designs for a given environment just as the engineer tweeks and improves his designs to compete in the market place.
    You have shown only a similarity between an aspect of a human "design" process and evolution. What you have not shown is that this process cannot occur without an external agency or that God would design by this same process. Survival and reproduction is the natural selection mechanism and you have not shown that this by itself is insufficient. Furthermore, it is difficult to understand why an all knowing God would require an experimental process in order to design something and thus I think the claim that evolution represents God's creation of living thing forces you to conclude that either God is not all knowing OR that design is not a very good description of what God is doing.

    When we build something like a skyscraper, a bridge, or a spacecraft, a process of trial and error just will not hack it because too many lives depend on doing it right the first time and this is what the word "design" is really for, not the historical process of learning how to build things but for planning properly so that we can build these things correctly. Thus this evolutionary process is caparable to an historical learning process but NOT really to this concept of design at all.

    Thus it is my conclusion that if evolution does represent God's creation of living things then it is not a process of design but of participation in the lives of living things, whose nature it is to create themselves by growth and learning, in the same way that a farmer, shepherd and teacher participates in the development of living things they "create" to provide the proper care and stimulation.

    But of course notice the if, for the challenges I have made to your claims that Dawkins has not proven his case remain unanswered. I think the best you can claim is simply that Dawkins has not proven that God is not involved in the origin of living things, which is not the same as claiming that Dawkins has not shown that an external designer is not required.

    Even a skyscraper is built gradually. An alien from another planet might see this as trial and error or evolution of the skyscraper, but those of us who are privy to the design know better.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  71. #70  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...and none of the atheists have been objecting...
    I would not use that as an authoritative yardstick, if I were you.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...perhaps the disagreement lies in the term "system of belief" and I must admit that I have reservations about saying that this or even the word "philosophy" is applicable to atheism.
    I would agree that atheism would struggle to be a "system of belief", but looking at two different definitions of philosophy I think atheism would have to count under both of them.
    • a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
    • any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation
    I'm not claiming that is authoritative for everyone, but indicative that, generally, atheism can be considered a philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    ...I have pointed out some of the weakness in atheism that derives from the fact that it consists of denial rather than positive assertion...
    Au contraire, good sir. Atheism is a belief; do not let the limp imtellectuals on this forum persuade you otherwise.

    Logically speaking, if atheism were not a belief the statement, "No Gods Exist" would have to be objectively true. Since this is not provably an objectively true statement, atheism must necessarily be a belief.

    Atheism is characterised by (but not defined as) an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.

    Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position; whereas believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism."

    It is important, however, to note the difference between the strong and weak atheist positions. "Weak atheism" is simple skepticism; disbelief in the existence of God. "Strong atheism" is an explicitly held belief that God does not exist. Please do not fall into the trap of assuming that all atheists are "strong atheists." There is a qualitative difference in the "strong" and "weak" positions; it's not just a matter of degree.

    Some atheists believe in the nonexistence of all Gods; others limit their atheism to specific Gods, such as the Christian God, rather than making flat-out denials.

    Some who call themselves atheist actually know what an atheist is.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  72. #71  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  73. #72  
    Forum Masters Degree pavlos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    liverpool
    Posts
    715
    it is a myth to keep saying one cant lack a belief in a thing.
    It is true that exposure to a idea/concept can have some an effect on you. However that effect could be pretty minor and could maybe be an unconscious effect. If we discuss and think on a idea/concept, then we will have some sort of reaction to it. However our reactions might be objective or subjective or both.
    This, however, does not prevent us from have a neutral stance on the subject. hence we have the myths first error, being affected by an idea is not the same as not being neutral on an idea. maybe it could be argued that a perfect and total neutrality is not possible, but thats because we are not prefect. But having such an extreme possibility, doesn't appear to be any logical reason to assert that we cant be totally neutral, about any idea we've been exposed to.
    The thing this myth attempts to do is to compare neutrality with a lack of belief, claiming that a "lack of belief" in something is the same as non-commitment, non-action, and thus complete neutrality. This is a very complex attempt to describe something very simple: if someone makes a claim, and I don't accept that claim as true, then I lack belief in the truth of the claim, even if I don't take that extra step of asserting that the claim is false. There is nothing here about non-commitment, non-action, or neutrality
    An huge question raised here is why people would go so far in redefining such a simple concept like "lack of belief." I am inclined to think that xians who repeat this myth haven't taken much time to think about the topic and, more importantly, haven't taken the time to chat to any atheists or philosophers about it. If they had, their misconceptions would be cleared up rather quickly; then again, that would entail admitting that one might be mistaken about atheists and what they believe. How often have you found Christians and other religious theists admit such a thing?
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  74. #73  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    it is a myth to keep saying one cant lack a belief in a thing.
    LOL

    Agnosticism. That is a lack of a belief concerning God.

    So what is atheism then? If not a belief which agnostics lack, then what? -the lack of a lack of belief? LOL

    The atheist believes that one or more of these propositions is true:
    1) God does not exist.
    2) It is not rational to believe that God exists given the evidence which is available.

    A system of of belief? No. A philosophy? Doesn't really measure up, I don't think. A philosophy may not quite be the same as an ideology but it is most certainly a system of belief.

    But anyway let's test it. Which of the atheists here would answer the question, "what is your philosophy of life?" with the answer, "I am an atheist"?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  75. #74  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Agnosticism. That is a lack of a belief concerning God.
    Fortunately, we have a very clear definition of agnosticism because it was invented to fill a specific role.

    The term "agnosticism" was coined by Professor T.H. Huxley at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society in 1876. He defined an "agnostic" as someone who disclaimed both ("strong") atheism and theism, and who believed that the question of whether a higher power existed was unsolved and insoluble. Another way of putting it is that an agnostic is someone who believes that we do not know for sure whether God exists. Some agnostics believe that we can never know.

    So, following on from my previous post we now have four philosophical positions:

    Weak Agnostic
    Believes we do not yet know whether God exists.

    Strong Agnostic
    Believes it is not possible to know whether God exists.

    Weak Atheist
    Is skeptical about the existence of God.

    Strong Atheist
    Believes that God does not exist.

    For any one individual the word "God" in the above may mean all Gods or it may mean a specific God, such as the Roman Catholic God. So it would be perfectly possible for a Christian to be strong atheist about the Muslim God.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The atheist believes that one or more of these propositions is true:
    1) God does not exist.
    2) It is not rational to believe that God exists given the evidence which is available.
    Here you are attempting to assign a reason (rationality) for atheism which may not be there. Each atheist chooses that position for her own reasons. The only thing you can be sure of claiming an atheist believes is as I described in my previous post. A "strong" atheist believes God does not exist. A "weak" atheist is skeptical about the existence of God. And again, in the above, the word "God" may be interpreted by each individual to mean all Gods or a specific God or a certain subset of Gods.

    For example. You personally believe in the Christian God, but I suspect that you do not believe in Wotan or Thor, or Achilles. You are therefore theist about the christian God, but atheist about Wotan, Thor and Achilles.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    A philosophy may not quite be the same as an ideology but it is most certainly a system of belief.
    I'm not really sure why this point has assumed such huge importance in this discussion. I would have thought that each individual is free to decide for themselves whether their personal philosophy is one belief, a system of beliefs, an ideology or an ideological system of beliefs, or whatever. Your personal philosophy needs to work for you, if it does that then labelling it is not necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But anyway let's test it. Which of the atheists here would answer the question, "what is your philosophy of life?" with the answer, "I am an atheist"?
    The atheists on this forum are certainly not representative of atheists generally. The atheists here are, for the most part, woolly-headed denizens of an intellectual underworld who try to preach their atheism as though it were a verifiable fact. They give me the impression that they are trying to cure theists of their belief. My experience of atheists generally, in the wider world as opposed to just on the intraweb, is that their attitudes towards theists covers a much broader spectrum.

    Most atheists take a "live and let live" attitude. Unless questioned, they will not usually mention their atheism, except perhaps to close friends. Of course, this may be in part because atheism is not "socially acceptable" in many countries (including the USA - I have personally been issued a parking ticket in the States because I told a policeman I was an atheist).

    A few atheists are quite antireligious, and may even try to "convert" others when possible. Historically, such antireligious atheists have made little impact on society outside the Eastern Bloc countries. Richard Dawkins, the original motivation for this thread, is an example of what some people have tried to label "new atheism", which simply means they have decided to stick their head above the parapet and use their belief in rationality and science as a cudgel with which to beat the theists down.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  76. #75  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    In order for me to claim that God does not exist, requires me to consider that God might exist in the first place
    That might be appropriate for your thought and decision making processes, but it isn't relative at all to mine.d And of course, you've moved the goalposts and have changed your claim from "necessitating" a belief in god to "considering" a belief in god.

    Go back to kindergarten and start again.
    No Q

    It's called logic

    In the same vein do philosophers worthy of their salt consider the notion of nothing. There has to be the idea of something in order for there to be nothing.

    What this leads to is the understanding of relationship between things and the dual nature of existence.
    Without duality nothing would quite literally not exist!

    But as you are having difficulty in understanding even the preliminary ideas which lead to this more profound awareness i expect you to argue back that it is rubbish.

    And that's a shame, because you can learn an awful lot by being able to see both sides of a coin in the same instant.

    Perhaps one day
    Reply With Quote  
     

  77. #76  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows.
    But that's the nature of philosophy and inquiry Mckain

    It's circling your prey getting closer for the kill, and the closer you get, the more you learn and the better you are equipped to grasp it
    Reply With Quote  
     

  78. #77  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Belief is not the exclusive providence of religion or theists!

    A belief is an idea which a human being decides upon and which governs our thoughts and actions.
    Yes I have been arguing precisely this and none of the atheists have been objecting so perhaps the disagreement lies in the term "system of belief" and I must admit that I have reservations about saying that this or even the word "philosophy" is applicable to atheism.

    In fact I recall that at times I have pointed out some of the weakness in atheism that derives from the fact that it consists of denial rather than positive assertion and that may be a consequence of treating atheism as if it were a system of belief or a philosophy. Perhaps there is some hair splitting going on but all I know is that I see merits in the idea that atheism is not a system of beliefs and don't see an effective argument let alone a good reason for pursuing an argument that it is a system of belief.
    Well then we at least agree with something!

    The majority of atheists I have met are atheists because they have been raised in secular societies and they have absorbed a bias negativity towards religion as well as being influenced by historical accounts.

    Very few have actually ventured into seeing if there is any value to the claims of religion, or considered whether a deity might exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    In order for me to claim that God does not exist, requires me to consider that God might exist in the first place
    And what about that "little girl you raped and killed yesterday", what happens when you consider her?
    That's an absurd analogy to use Mckain and the sort I would expect a neurotic who would tend to exaggerate to say!

    Yes we could waste time and life thinking of all the opposites and alternatives and possibilities etc, but I would hope that people would learn to apply discrimination in what and what is not useful to inquire into.

    Considering that such a large portion of my fellow humans value religion to be important and this belief has had a huge impact on how it has shaped our history and civilizations.
    Asking whether God and religion has any meaning or value is something worth considering.
    In that respect, should I come to the conclusion that there is no Deity and religion has no use in my life, that decision has more value than someone who has blindly said no to God or religion without consideration.





    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    P.s I have started a thread on general discussion exclusively for people who want to argue mindlessly with each other and stop cluttering up the forums discussions with triviality and wasting space by re-quoting every single word and sentence in order to simply be pedantic and pathetic.

    Perhaps you might want to go there Mckain
    Oh but we are getting our belly full of your trivial, space wasting pedantic and pathetic behavior right here, so there is no need to make a special trip to get any more of it.
    Ok Mckain,



    Read all your statements in this thread in response to me and ask yourself this question, and I want you to be totally honest.

    Are you guilty of what you have just described?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  79. #78  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    If people didn't believe they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work.
    Absum: I think your mixing Knowledge with Belief, they are mutually exclusive.
    IE; If people didn't know they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work, if it was only their belief/opinion, they could never be sure.
    I could say It's my belief, I will win the lotto. but that's just my opinion.
    But if I had the winning numbers in my hand I'd know I've won the lotto, do you note the difference.

    A Belief is an opinion of something not proven.
    Whereas Knowledge is already acquainted with the facts.
    Huge difference.
    No dearest

    I think you are mixing belief knowledge and certainty and uncertainty into a muddy palette.

    A belief is something in your opinion which is not proven? Ok
    And knowledge is already acquainted with the facts?

    Rubbish! You are fooled into thinking you know, but you are actually lulled into a false sense of security

    There are no facts. Only probabilities.

    Do you think the sun is going to rise tomorrow?

    You know that as a fact because it always has?

    There is a possibility that the sun might not rise tomorrow, or ever rise again.

    This could be applied to everything we call knowledge.

    Strip away the illusion and you will discover we have very little facts and certainty based on the possibility of uncertainty and then you will see that practically everything human is built on belief.

    Have a closer look.

    If you dare
    Reply With Quote  
     

  80. #79  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Very few have actually ventured into seeing if there is any value to the claims of religion, or considered whether a deity might exist.
    How interesting and exciting. My experience is more in the opposite direction where the religious are the "evil" establishment and the atheists are those rebelling against the "evil empire".


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    In order for me to claim that God does not exist, requires me to consider that God might exist in the first place
    And what about that "little girl you raped and killed yesterday", what happens when you consider her?
    That's an absurd analogy to use Mckain and the sort I would expect a neurotic who would tend to exaggerate to say!

    Yes we could waste time and life thinking of all the opposites and alternatives and possibilities etc, but I would hope that people would learn to apply discrimination in what and what is not useful to inquire into.

    Considering that such a large portion of my fellow humans value religion to be important and this belief has had a huge impact on how it has shaped our history and civilizations.

    Asking whether God and religion has any meaning or value is something worth considering.

    In that respect, should I come to the conclusion that there is no Deity and religion has no use in my life, that decision has more value than someone who has blindly said no to God or religion without consideration.
    So this means that you are not going to answer the question?


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    P.s I have started a thread on general discussion exclusively for people who want to argue mindlessly with each other and stop cluttering up the forums discussions with triviality and wasting space by re-quoting every single word and sentence in order to simply be pedantic and pathetic.

    Perhaps you might want to go there Mckain
    Oh but we are getting our belly full of your trivial, space wasting pedantic and pathetic behavior right here, so there is no need to make a special trip to get any more of it.
    Ok Mckain,

    Read all your statements in this thread in response to me and ask yourself this question, and I want you to be totally honest.

    Are you guilty of what you have just described?
    Yes and no, because if you read more carefully you will see that I have been throwing your own back at you, and in general toning it down rather than escalating.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  81. #80  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    It's called logic

    i expect you to argue back that it is rubbish.
    Since you've already acknowledged it as such, I see no reason to argue further.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  82. #81  
    Forum Masters Degree pavlos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    liverpool
    Posts
    715
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    If people didn't believe they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work.
    Absum: I think your mixing Knowledge with Belief, they are mutually exclusive.
    IE; If people didn't know they were going to get paid at the end of the month they wouldn't go to work, if it was only their belief/opinion, they could never be sure.
    I could say It's my belief, I will win the lotto. but that's just my opinion.
    But if I had the winning numbers in my hand I'd know I've won the lotto, do you note the difference.

    A Belief is an opinion of something not proven.
    Whereas Knowledge is already acquainted with the facts.
    Huge difference.
    No dearest

    I think you are mixing belief knowledge and certainty and uncertainty into a muddy palette.

    A belief is something in your opinion which is not proven? Ok
    And knowledge is already acquainted with the facts?

    Rubbish! You are fooled into thinking you know, but you are actually lulled into a false sense of security

    There are no facts. Only probabilities.

    Do you think the sun is going to rise tomorrow?

    You know that as a fact because it always has?

    There is a possibility that the sun might not rise tomorrow, or ever rise again.

    This could be applied to everything we call knowledge.

    Strip away the illusion and you will discover we have very little facts and certainty based on the possibility of uncertainty and then you will see that practically everything human is built on belief.

    Have a closer look.

    If you dare
    Ah! so what your saying is, that we are imagining that we exist, nothing is real or fact, you could even all be a product of my imagination. Ah! I see.
    As I understand you, if two or more people see, smell, touch, taste, or hear a thing, they are just dreaming. Right! gotcha.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  83. #82  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    As I understand you, if two or more people see, smell, touch, taste, or hear a thing, they are just dreaming.
    Nearly right. He is not saying that they are dreaming; he is saying that they cannot prove, objectively, that they are not dreaming.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  84. #83  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    As I understand you, if two or more people see, smell, touch, taste, or hear a thing, they are just dreaming.
    Nearly right. He is not saying that they are dreaming; he is saying that they cannot prove, objectively, that they are not dreaming.
    But the problem with this is a lot of assumptions about what waking and dreaming means and our only basis for the meaning of these words is our experiences of waking and dreaming and our experience of waking is NOT like our experience of dreaming at all. So the question is what does it even mean to suppose that we are "actually dreaming" and if you cannot even say what that means then this claim of an inability to prove that this is not the case is also meaningless.

    One thing that might give this meaning is to suggest that one day we will "wake up", which I suppose means that one day we will be in a different state of consciousness, but without any actual experience to base it on, this must be as highly speculative as any claim about life after death.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  85. #84  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Amazing. When I read here the negative things stated about Dawkins and the fact that most of the negativity is from those who really haven't read much of Dawkins, I sense they really don't know what he's saying at all and are simply biased.
    Enlighten us.
    Read his books. At the very least, watch this lecture series:

    http://richarddawkins.net/growingupintheuniverse
    Do you read anything by young earth creationists? I haven't. Until someone can convinces me they have anything of value I see no reason to. I should note that I agree with Dawkins on quite a few issues, but people claim his arguments for evolution are the best out there. From what I have read by him he seems to be somewhat of a strawman. Sorry I'm not going read everything by Dawkins in order to make YOUR point.

    I should note that MY criticisms are not related to how informed Dawkins is about evolution and biology. He is quite good at explaining evolutionary theory. But his philosophy is a bit shakey. Not because he is an atheist but because of atheistic strawmen. Like atheism requires no faith. Some faith is required just to believe this universe is real. The goal should be minimize faith, its like error in science, you cannot eliminate it. I also find it disturbing how often he is quoted, directly, in ID literature.

    But if you prove all this wrong my main belief about Dawkins is that he is simply is NOT the BEST. As many claim.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  86. #85  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    927
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian

    Do you read anything by young earth creationists? I haven't. Until someone can convinces me they have anything of value I see no reason to. I should note that I agree with Dawkins on quite a few issues, but people claim his arguments for evolution are the best out there. From what I have read by him he seems to be somewhat of a strawman. Sorry I'm not going read everything by Dawkins in order to make YOUR point.
    well dawkins isn't really the greatest. if you want some great arguments for evolution, watch carl sagan.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  87. #86  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    well dawkins isn't really the greatest. if you want some great arguments for evolution, watch carl sagan.
    Why? Does he evolve from more primitive life right before your very eyes?

    LOL

    Sorry couldn't resist.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  88. #87  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But the problem with this is...
    There are actually a lot of problems with this, and you kindly identified only one of them. User pavlos critiqued Absum!'s point with a flippant analogy which was incorrect. I tried, unsuccessfully, to correct pavlos' critique in terms of her own analogy. As usual with these extrapolative techniques, with each iteration we get further and further away from what Absum! was originally trying to say, so on this occasion your criticism of my post is entirely justified.

    Let's try again. Absum! was making the perfectly legitimate point that there are very few things in this universe that we can objectively prove, including our own existence. Despite pavlos' incredulity, she cannot prove that she exists, and neither can I. The obvious implication of this is that almost everything we think we "know" is in fact "belief".

    If I remember correctly, this was Absum!'s riposte to those who claimed that atheism was not a belief, although what that has to do with Dawkins escapes me at the moment.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  89. #88  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian

    Do you read anything by young earth creationists? I haven't.
    Of course, in order to know what they are saying.

    Until someone can convinces me they have anything of value I see no reason to. I should note that I agree with Dawkins on quite a few issues, but people claim his arguments for evolution are the best out there. From what I have read by him he seems to be somewhat of a strawman.
    Then, you clearly haven't read any Dawkins if that's what you think.

    Sorry I'm not going read everything by Dawkins in order to make YOUR point.
    That is of course your decision, but please don't make judgment calls on that which you haven't read, and clearly you haven't read Dawkins.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  90. #89  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    numbers wrote
    Let's try again. Absum! was making the perfectly legitimate point that there are very few things in this universe that we can objectively prove
    I rather think it is the opposite. In my view most, if not all, should be proven objectively. For example water boils at 100C, diamond is harder than coal, e=mc^2, the sun is 93 million miles away, virus exists, bear has four legs etc.
    So may be I misinterpret the statement. Please clarify.

    Also would like to see examples of thing proven non-objectively.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  91. #90  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian

    Do you read anything by young earth creationists? I haven't.
    Of course, in order to know what they are saying.

    Until someone can convinces me they have anything of value I see no reason to. I should note that I agree with Dawkins on quite a few issues, but people claim his arguments for evolution are the best out there. From what I have read by him he seems to be somewhat of a strawman.
    Then, you clearly haven't read any Dawkins if that's what you think.

    Sorry I'm not going read everything by Dawkins in order to make YOUR point.
    That is of course your decision, but please don't make judgment calls on that which you haven't read, and clearly you haven't read Dawkins.
    I've read the The Blind Watchmaker and I find his arguments about the origin of life the best out there (possibly because he is one of the few who cares, the rest caring only for established theories). I am basing the strawman argument not on his writings but on how easily he is attacked by Christians (and atheists). Also having read other books by Kenneth Miller and Michael Ruse, website like TalkOrigins.org seem more convincing (but a website allows much more room for information).

    Furthermore me saying something like "his arguments aren't the best" is fairly subjective and saying so doesn't imply much about how much of his writing I have read.

    How much YEC literature have you read, one, two books? Plus wouldn't you read the best they have to offer? For now I'd rather read the best evolution has to offer. I've read one book by Dawkins, if I read others will I see details of the fossil record, refutation of irreducible complexity in biochemical systems, new insights into Darwin's thinking? I can expect to find them in other evolution books.

    Or is this not Dawkins goal, is Dawkins more concerned about atheism than evolution. Then he might be the best (but for the sake of atheists hopefully not). And for this will I find arguments besides multiverse theory, the problem of evil, religion is always evil and God just HAD to be created?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  92. #91  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I rather think it is the opposite. In my view most, if not all, should be proven objectively.
    Well, I'm sorry, but it really doesn't matter what you think. You can't prove any of these things objectively.

    Anything you can think of that has anything at all to do with numbers cannot be proven objectively. Because, numbers do not exist.

    Ever stubbed your toe on a seven?

    No, I thought not. Numbers are simply a construct invented by humans to help us make sense of the world around us. The numbers themselves do not exist. You cannot walk into a wood and pluck a six off a tree, or mine a nine, or fish for a five. Numbers do not exist in anything other than our minds.

    The whole of mathematics is built on a set of basic truths, they call them axioms and some folks call them postulates. They are simply a set of defining principles that you have to accept for everything else to work. The first of these axioms is: 1 is a natural number.

    This is how maths gets around the fact that numbers do not exist; they just invent their numbers and proceed from there. There is nothing false about this, it is not a ploy to deceive anyone, it is just a way of making sense of the world in which we live. And, crucial point, it depends on you believing that 1 is a natural number.

    So, you cannot objectively prove that 1 + 1 = 2 because 1 is just an idea, a symbol to which we attach some meaning. It does not exist and therefore cannot objectively be proven to do anything.

    So, anything that requires counting or measuring cannot be proven objectively. There is, objectively, no such thing as an inch, or a mile, or a kilometre, or a dozen, or a gross, or a tonne. These are just ideas.

    So you can't prove that a bear has four legs, but can you objectively prove that a bear exists?

    Suppose you and I are stood in a zoo, looking over an enclosure in which you see a white furry creature with a black nose, and you point to this thing and say, "Look numbers, it's a polar bear." And I say to you, "Where?"

    Now, how might you prove the bear exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Also would like to see examples of thing proven non-objectively
    Almost everything you currently think of as having been proved has been proved within some system of rules similar to mathematics. This means that the "proofs" are only correct as long as we agree with their basic axioms, their fundamental principles. This is non-objective proof.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  93. #92  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Also would like to see examples of thing proven non-objectively.
    This is typical of proofs in theology, like all the proofs for the existence of God which Dawkins demolishes in "The God Delusion". They are subjective proofs because they only succeed in proving their case to those who would believe in what they prove anyway but cannot stand up to any skeptical examination.

    Just as a subjective observation does not pass the scientific requirement that observations be observer independent and thus objective, a subjective proof only works for the group of people who accept it. Since they do not actually convince anyone to believe in what they prove it is difficult to see their purpose. I propose that their purpose is therefore to justify the "I'm obviously right and you are obviously wrong and probably deficient in some intellectual, perceptual or moral way as well" attitude.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  94. #93  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    17
    The only problem I have when it comes to Mr. Richard Dawkins is that I admire that man so much for who he is, and how he thinks. Then again, that... ain't really a problem, not for us atheists, but for the believers, he indeed is a massive problem, and I really like that. :wink:
    "Why ignore fiction?" - Me

    "Atheism is the way of critical thinking, while Religion is the way of not having to think at all unless you really feel like you have to." - (?)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  95. #94  
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    1,415
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    I rather think it is the opposite. In my view most, if not all, should be proven objectively.
    Well, I'm sorry, but it really doesn't matter what you think. You can't prove any of these things objectively.

    Anything you can think of that has anything at all to do with numbers cannot be proven objectively. Because, numbers do not exist.

    Ever stubbed your toe on a seven?

    No, I thought not. Numbers are simply a construct invented by humans to help us make sense of the world around us. The numbers themselves do not exist. You cannot walk into a wood and pluck a six off a tree, or mine a nine, or fish for a five. Numbers do not exist in anything other than our minds.

    The whole of mathematics is built on a set of basic truths, they call them axioms and some folks call them postulates. They are simply a set of defining principles that you have to accept for everything else to work. The first of these axioms is: 1 is a natural number.

    This is how maths gets around the fact that numbers do not exist; they just invent their numbers and proceed from there. There is nothing false about this, it is not a ploy to deceive anyone, it is just a way of making sense of the world in which we live. And, crucial point, it depends on you believing that 1 is a natural number.

    So, you cannot objectively prove that 1 + 1 = 2 because 1 is just an idea, a symbol to which we attach some meaning. It does not exist and therefore cannot objectively be proven to do anything.

    So, anything that requires counting or measuring cannot be proven objectively. There is, objectively, no such thing as an inch, or a mile, or a kilometre, or a dozen, or a gross, or a tonne. These are just ideas.

    So you can't prove that a bear has four legs, but can you objectively prove that a bear exists?

    Suppose you and I are stood in a zoo, looking over an enclosure in which you see a white furry creature with a black nose, and you point to this thing and say, "Look numbers, it's a polar bear." And I say to you, "Where?"

    Now, how might you prove the bear exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by prasit
    Also would like to see examples of thing proven non-objectively
    Almost everything you currently think of as having been proved has been proved within some system of rules similar to mathematics. This means that the "proofs" are only correct as long as we agree with their basic axioms, their fundamental principles. This is non-objective proof.
    I think you've severely misunderstood the concept of language.

    If you have one apple and then add another, you have two apples. Sure we've defined something by language, but it's meaning is clear and that's why it is objective. Our language defines our enviroment as it is. Your retort that these definitions doesn't prove anything is meaningless because that's not their purpose.

    EDIT: Typo....
    Reply With Quote  
     

  96. #95  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    I think you've severely misunderstand the concept of language.
    Whereas I think you have misunderstood and/or misinterpreted what I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Your retort that these definitions doesn't prove anything is meaningless because that's not their purpose.
    Where in my post did I say that these proofs don't prove anything?

    User prasit was asking quite explicitly about objective proof. I have provided an answer that I hope will help prasit understand the concept of objective proof, which is what was asked for. I made no judgement, and I sincerely hope that I did not imply any judgement about its usefulness or applicability.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  97. #96  
    Forum Freshman The_only_stephen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    20
    I've been lurking on this site for some weeks now, and there have been some weird and wonderful threads to read.

    Numbers, and absum especially, oh and punarmusiko.

    but numbers you have some very weird ideas and beliefs about things.
    this for instance.
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Suppose you and I are stood in a zoo, looking over an enclosure in which you see a white furry creature with a black nose, and you point to this thing and say, "Look numbers, it's a polar bear." And I say to you, "Where?"

    Now, how might you prove the bear exists?
    One way is by dropping you in the encloser, I'll think you'll find out that the bear exists then. Would that be enough objective proof for you.
    It certainly could not be deemed, non-objective proof, could it.
    Some people, think and say, some weird stuff.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  98. #97  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian

    I am basing the strawman argument not on his writings but on how easily he is attacked by Christians (and atheists).
    What of them? Any attacks on Dawkins have been strawmen themselves or simply misinformed, usually because they haven't read his material. Where do you get "easily" from?

    And for this will I find arguments besides multiverse theory, the problem of evil, religion is always evil and God just HAD to be created?
    Yes, of course.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  99. #98  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Somewhere near Beetlegeuse
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by The_only_stephen
    but numbers you have some very weird ideas and beliefs about things.
    Thank you very much indeed, and welcome to the forum. I am quite proud of my ability to have weird ideas and look forward to discussing them with anyone, even someone from Dorset!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_only_stephen
    One way is by dropping you in the enclosure, [sic] I'll think you'll find out that the bear exists then.
    Depends, depends. I think proof is a word that too many people use way too lightly. They often use it when all they have done is demonstrate, to a high probability, that they might be right, and that they cannot think of any other alternative. But objective proof would require you not only to demonstrate to a probability of 1, but also to show that you have excluded all other imaginable alternatives.

    And, as if that were not hard enough, you must do so outside any system of thought that requires preconceived notions, like mathematics, or science or logic, for example. You must do the whole thing from scratch. That means you cannot rely on such ideas as, "well it is not logically possible..." because you would first have to prove, objectively, that logic is possible, and that logic gives objectively correct answers.

    And, when you have done that, you would have to prove what the word "exists" means and that any kind of objective existence is in fact possible.

    And, then you would have to show that throwing me in the enclosure not only agrees with your definition of existence, but that you have completely eliminated any other conceivable possibility.

    I don't understand how throwing me in the enclosure gets you past first base.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  100. #99  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    807
    Dawkins is a man who is a natural scientist and explorer because he is not only capable of knowing what is in the box, he also has the sense to know that there is more beyond its perimeters.

    Such things that may appear unreasonable or irrational might be otherwise tomorrow and so it has been, if anyone cares to look back.
    Discoveries are always made by the rare few that put aside for now that which doesn't fit in the box.
    Unlike the morons subject to words and heresy and regular breakouts of the memes, who must prove themselves to the tribe by blindly and vehemently denying anything which doesn't fit.

    I'm sure he would be dismayed to discover on a science forum so many who see nothing but the box.

    There is more to life than just squares.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  101. #100  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    Numbers wrote:
    So, you cannot objectively prove that 1 + 1 = 2 because 1 is just an idea, a symbol to which we attach some meaning. It does not exist and therefore cannot objectively be proven to do anything.
    Numbering system is a shorthand notation to reflect the real world situation. We can say if a bird flies in the house, another birds flies in, and another bird flies in, and another bird flies in and another birds flies in, and then a bird flies out..then there is a bird, and another bird, and another bird, and another bird in the house. The situation is the same if we say it is the snake instead of the bird. So let's find some shorthand way to saying it: hence 5-1=4.
    Anyway, I think you and I have the same understanding of the approach but just brand it with different names.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •