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Author Topic:   What is the point of this forum?
Percy
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Posts: 17645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 121 of 139 (536167)
11-20-2009 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by Arphy
11-19-2009 9:19 PM


Atheism is not a Religion
Archy writes:

I'm just stating that there is nothing in atheism that would make it wrong for a person to do harm.

The familiar creationist claim that atheism is a religion just like any other religion is oft-refuted, and that atheism has no system of morals is yet another reason why atheism is not a religion. Atheism is a lack of belief, so of course there's "nothing in atheism that would make it wrong for a person to do harm." That's because it's not a religion, neither is it a system of morals. It's a rejection of the possibility of the existence of God.

The belief that we should not do other people harm isn't within atheism but within atheists, as it is within most people. This belief is there whether you're religious or not.

Christianity has rules about not harming other people, but all the evidence tells us that Christians are quite free to obey or disobey these rules. They both obey and disobey them all the time. Being a Christian apparently doesn't make a person any more or less likely to refrain from harming other people. Given that atheists as a group tend to be more educated than the general population, and given that education level is negatively correlated with criminality, atheists as a group probably commit fewer crimes than Christians, measured on a percentage basis, of course. What does that tell us about the value of Christian morals?

Most people do not need a list of rules to tell them what is right and wrong. If Christian morality is all that is keeping you from raping and pillaging then I say thank God for Christianity, but most people's morals come from within, including Christians. For instance, most American Catholics have little problem disobeying the Pope on birth control. That birth control is not morally wrong is something they feel from within themselves. And that harming anothers *is* morally wrong is something they also feel within themselves, and if the Bible said it was okay to harm others (which arguably it does) then they would likely reject that, too.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 122 of 139 (536180)
11-20-2009 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Arphy
11-20-2009 1:17 AM


Re: Is morality based on an opinion vote?
YES!!! Finally!!! You have a CHOICE you are not RESTRICTED in atheism.

Everyone has a choice, not just atheists. Does "Freewill" ring a bell? People restrain themselves due to consequences. That's how laws work. Much like the laws passed in the Babylonian king's list, which predates the earliest biblical writings.

So I ask again, what makes a choice as in "grab what I can when I can in a raucous, unending struggle wherein my survival is incumbent on how well I oppress my fellows" "wrong"? Is it simply your opinion that it is wrong? Or maybe morality is just based on an opinion vote? But wait, isn't everyone allowed to form their own opinions?

Wrong in the sense of how morality evolves over time and varies culturally. A good example is that it once was morally acceptable to stone your kids for back talking you, but now you go to prison for child abuse if so much of a hair is out of place.

You seem to be trying to segue in to some great truth/revelation about God. God is not the reason why people choose to obey laws or choose to follow a form of morality.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams
This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 123 of 139 (536193)
11-20-2009 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 120 by Parasomnium
11-20-2009 6:42 AM


And if your religion is true and there is an afterlife, you still won't experience the progress of society, because you will be somewhere else, won't you. So why should you care?

Oh come on, everyone knows that we're gonna be up there on the clouds looking down at the progesses of society. They even have these things up there:

Hell's the same place but you just don't get any quarters.


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Coyote
Member
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 124 of 139 (536195)
11-20-2009 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by dwise1
11-20-2009 4:35 AM


Creationists doing science
Your creationism can't do science? Well, there's probably a very good reason for that!

Actually there is a recent case of creationists doing science.

The RATE project, a half dozen creationists with scientific credentials and over a million dollars of creationist money, set out to prove that the decay constant wasn't a constant so as to discredit radiometric dating.

Here are the key findings (from the first link, below):

The key points of the book can be summarized as follows:

  1. There is overwhelming evidence of more than 500 million years worth of radioactive decay.
  2. Biblical interpretation and some scientific studies indicate a young earth.
  3. Therefore, radioactive decay must have been accelerated by approximately a factor of one billion during the first three days of creation and during the Flood.
  4. The concept of accelerated decay leads to two unresolved scientific problems, the heat problem and the radiation problem, though there is confidence that these will be solved in the future.
  5. Therefore, the RATE project provides encouragement regarding the reliability of the Bible.

Another point from the first link:

    The conclusions of the RATE project are being billed as groundbreaking results. This is a fairly accurate description since a group of creation scientists acknowledge that hundreds of millions of years worth of radioactivity have occurred. They attempt to explain how this massive radioactivity could have occurred in a few thousand years but admit that consistent solutions have not yet been found.

Another key point (from the second link below):

    Young-earth creationists have long claimed there is no evidence for an old Earth. The fact that billions of years of nuclear decay have occurred in Earth history has been denied by most young-earth creationists. Now, the RATE team has admitted that, taken at face value, radiometric dating data is most easily and directly explained by the Earth being billions of years old. This is a remarkable development because no longer can young-earth creationists claim it is merely the naturalistic worldview that makes scientists believe rocks and minerals are millions or billions of years old.

In other words, when creationists actually do real science they come up with results that duplicate those of scientists!

And, they refuse to accept the results of their own studies because they conflict with their a priori religious beliefs.

Maybe creationists should leave science to scientists, eh?

Links:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/rate-ri.htm

http://www.reasons.org/...ATEFindingsNegateMainstreamScience

Off topic disclaimer

Concerning the topic, which may have been lost dozens of posts back: this post might (charitably) be considered on topic as an example of "the point of this forum" -- that point being reasoned dialog on the subject of creation and/or evolution. ;-)

Edited by Coyote, : spelling: "money" really should have an 'e' in it somewhere


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
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lyx2no
Member (Idle past 2608 days)
Posts: 1277
From: A vast, undifferentiated plane.
Joined: 02-28-2008


Message 125 of 139 (536205)
11-20-2009 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Arphy
11-20-2009 1:17 AM


ATHEIST EATS STRAW BABY
YES!!! Finally!!! You have a CHOICE you are not RESTRICTED in atheism.

Finally? Would you care to show me where anyone, save you, has said differently? Have you ever seen the movie My Cousin Vinny? There's a scene where ersatz lawyer Vinny is celebrating his wiles having just finagled all of the prosecutor's files containing the evidence against his nephew. Moments later his non-lawyer girlfriend informs him of the discovery rule. It's time for you to feel stupid now. I'm not thinking you will, so I'll do it for you.

So I ask again, what makes a choice as in "grab what I can when I can in a raucous, unending struggle wherein my survival is incumbent on how well I oppress my fellows" "wrong"?

I couldn't say it was "wrong". As a tactic it depends on what one in trying to achieve. If ones goal is to live a precarious existence I guess it's fine. If ones goal is to live in peace and prosperity it's precarious.

Morally it is wrong because it is in violation of the mores established by common decree (opinion vote, if you prefer). Darn near definitional, ain't it?

This gets us back to the topic of this thread: What is the point of this forum? Through forums like this we can communally establish the rules of discourse. You get to learn snarky dismissal from me, and I get to learn why it is important to protect ourselves from barbarians from you.

But wait, isn't everyone allowed to form their own opinions?

It's the rape, robbery and pillage that are primarily the targets of sane men. Opinions are the targets of the pious.


It's not the man that knows the most that has the most to say.
Anon

This message is a reply to:
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subbie
Member
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 126 of 139 (536211)
11-20-2009 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Arphy
11-20-2009 1:48 AM


Biblical "morality"
Yes, indeed, the bible tells christians what to do.

A writer at Answers in Genesis opines on a particular dilemma. Imagine you are living in WWII Germany and a Nazi asks you for the location of a Jewish family. Your choice is to lie and say you don't know, thus violating one of god's commandments, or to tell the truth with the knowledge of what the Nazi's will do. To Bodie the answer is clear. You must not lie. His "reasoning" is as follows:

quote:
As Christians, we need to keep in mind that Jesus Christ reigns. All authority has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18), and He sits on the throne of God at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33; Hebrews 8:1). Nothing can happen without His say. Even Satan could not touch Peter without Christs approval (Luke 22:31). Regardless, if one were to lie or not, Jesus Christ is in control of timing every persons life and able to discern our motives. It is not for us to worry over what might become, but rather to place our faith and obedience in Christ and to let Him do the reigning. For we do not know the future, whereas God has been telling the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Does that sound moral to you?

Edited by subbie, : Subtitle


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. -- Thomas Jefferson

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


This message is a reply to:
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onifre
Member (Idle past 843 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 127 of 139 (536213)
11-20-2009 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Arphy
11-19-2009 9:19 PM


So you have no problem with another group of people choosing a set of morals that might be in conflict with your morals?

What are you talking about, we deal with that every single day in a society as diverse as ours.

That's what we've always dealt with ... but, for us all to get along, we try to find common ground.

Great, what is wrong with anarchy?

Nothing, but are we talking about morals or political systems?

What's wrong with communism, socialism, capitalism, fascism, etc.?

Within all of those systems, individuals still treat each other with respect and common courtesy. Hitler had friends, so did Stalin, Mao, Castro, etc.

Anarchist can still be respectful and courtious to one another, the simply don't like government rule. What's your point?

Does it really matter that civilisation and the earth remain for another 100 years?

It does to me ... I have children, who will also have children and so on. What kind of a person wouldn't want to make things better for their children/grand children's future?

Humans continue to try to keep an orderly society, but if atheism is true, then what is the point?

I don't think there is enough evidence to say that god exists, that's all an atheist is. How is that different from you in the future outlook of our species?

And aren't you religious folk the ones waiting for the end of the world? Athiest aren't waiting for this, it's you Christians/Muslims/Jews that look forward to the end of times ... So I'll ask you the question, if there is going to be an "End Time" what's the point of continuing an orderly society?

Wouldn't a more disorderly society expedite the End of Times?

You guys are the ones that scare me, not people who find no evidence to believe in god.

I'm just stating that there is nothing in atheism that would make it wrong for a person to do harm.

But can't you see that you are misrepresenting atheism? Its not a "way of life," atheist simply don't find enough evidence to believe there is a god; we also don't find evidence for fairies, unicorns, etc. It has no bearing on how we interact with our fellow man and how we treat one another.

What makes it wrong to harm someone is that it's socially wrong.

Are you saying that you only do good because god is watching you? That's pretty sad. Are you incapable of knowing right from wrong on your own? I can understand if you're a child and need guidance, but as an adult? You should know better on your own.

Firstly, you could always fake it when need be.

Wait, first you said:

quote:
Yes, you may respect someone, but you don't need to.

Now you say you can fake it when need be ... So you admit that you'll need to be respectful. Good.

Now, whether you fake it or mean it is irrelevant; as long as society demands you to be and you recognize that I have no argument.

I personally think you'd be a sad individual if you went around faking respect, but as long as you do it, you're fine.

Just recognize that there is a social need for it.

Coming back to my original post, I don't think it is possible to make the claim that atheists are "restricted" to telling the truth.

No one is, we do it because, like eating and being respectful, there are consequences.

Trust is important to any social group - just ask anyone in the military who is in a unit. You MUST be able to trust these guys you're with. Also, talk to people who have been in jail, you MUST be able to trust the people close to you, your safety in both cases depends on it.

Now, if there is someone in that group that is constantly not telling the truth, you will lose trust in this person, which will cause that person to be isolated and defenseless. Putting him at risk for his well being; basically, he can die. So it would be in everyones best interest to be honest to one another for the simply fact that your life depends on it.

This is how early man had to deal within their social groups; anyone not trustworthy was out. So as to not be out of the group, we practice being honest. And really, that's all we can say that any of us do, we practice being honest.

Are you only honest because god tells you to be honest? That's pretty sad. Are you incapable of knowing right from wrong on your own? I can understand if you're a child and need guidance, but as an adult? You should know better on your own.

- Oni

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Arphy, posted 11-19-2009 9:19 PM Arphy has not yet responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1079 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 128 of 139 (536226)
11-20-2009 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Arphy
11-19-2009 9:19 PM


The ethics and morality of Atheism
quote:
what gives them any meaning at all is that we, by our own choosing, select them as good social skills.

So you have no problem with another group of people choosing a set of morals that might be in conflict with your morals?

As others have said, this is the situation in the real world. Many people make differing moral assessments. What one person finds morally reprehensible, another person can find to be morally neutral. What one person finds morally praiseworthy, another can find to be a moral imperative.

But let's expand on that a bit, because you're close to a valid point. I imagine that you envision a world with no objective moral standard (ie, a deity telling you what's good and bad) to be one beyond relativism, where "good" and "bad" don't exist, and people just do whatever they want all the time, to hell with the consequences. Invariably people will have different moral values that come into conflict (one person doesn't recognize property rights, another person does, resulting in accusations of theft and so on). How can you resolve such ethical differences without an objective standard?

The answer is actually fairly simple. A true anarchic society is not self-sustainable. It simply doesn't work. The resolution, then, has been the social contract. Human beings implicitly agree by participating in society to obey by the rules set by that society. This is furthered by cultural conditioning - we tend to have similar moral values to those who have also lived in the same or a similar culture. The rules themselves are binding on every member of society, but they're still not immutable objective tablets handed down from a deity - they're made by us, for us. It's always been that way, even when people have claimed to be receiving their rules from elsewhere, and even when various forms of government have done a poor job of it.

Ethics, of course, are separate from laws, but laws tend to be based at least loosely on ethics. In some societies (ie, the Western world), society's rules tend to be constructed in such a way as to allow for maximum varyation in ethical values pertaining to personal choices, while preventing those personal values from negatively affecting others (ie, it's legal to think it's okay to murder people, but if you actually do it society will impose consequences; it's legal to have different sexual values, but you are not allowed to force sex on the unwilling or on children; it's legal to have different religious beliefs, but it's not legal to force others to adhere to your religious tenets, etc). As you can see from my examples, there are many circumstances where what one person considers to be ethically acceptable, others can consider morally praiseworthy, imperative, or disallowed - and the simple rules of pragmatism allow societies to adapt to handle various ethical differences and disputes.

All without divine laws. Or laws from several conflicting deities. It doesn't matter - in the end, it is human beings who determine how we will treat each other, whether some of us believe that we will eventually answer to a non-human entity after death or not. Your fantasy of moral anarchy simply doesn't pass through natural selection, and so we don't see many societies with such a breakdown.

We do see a few - and we almost universally refer to them as "shitholes." Somalia would be an example - ethics and morality are irrelevant. Dispute resolution is handled by whoever is better suited to force the other to comply. "Property" is defined as whatever you have sufficient force to hold on to.

Most of the world agrees that that is not the way we want to love...and so our societies tend to be different.

quote:
Humans are social, and societies work best when there is order.

Great, what is wrong with anarchy?

Objectively? That depends on your goals. Anarchies don't tend to last well, and tend to have an extremely poor quality and average length of life. If you consider living a long time and having an easier life to be worthwhile goals, or if you simply feel empathy for your fellow man and resent others taking what's your and hurting those you care about while recognizing that others will feel the same about you if you were the one with the big stick, then there is a great deal wrong with anarchy.

One doesn't need a deity to look at the results and determine whether those results are desirable compared to alternatives.

Does it really matter that civilization and the earth remain for another 100 years? After you are dead you supposedly won't care anyway, because, well, you supposedly no longer exist. Why does society need to continue to exist even after you have died?

Human beings tend to care for their children. But of course the deceptively simple answer is that most people live for today with little thought for the futures of their children or the continuation of society. They pay lip-service to "save the children"and genuinely care about their kids, but act only on the small, personal or possibly family scale. "Preserving society" never really comes into the equasion for actual actions of the average person.

Society persists because there is a constant supply of people who each work to better their own lives, and because unsuccessful societies do die out or change.

You might think that it would be "neat", especially when thinking of all technological advances that humans could make in the future. But hey, you won't experience them anyway, if you're dead. There will probably be someone on the planet who thinks it would be "neat" if the world destroyed itself in a nuclear war tomorrow. Humans continue to try to keep an orderly society, but if atheism is true, then what is the point? Because it is "nice"?

Because I have no desire to see the world end in nuclear war, or see climate change ravage coastal cities and destroy island and poor communities. Because I empathize with other human beings, and participating in a society that tries to give the maximum benefit to everyone else gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Quite simply, I like being a decent person, and I don't need a celestial father figure to give me approval or threaten me with a spanking to do it. I like being decent because of the social consequences - other people like me and will continue to interact with me, and together we can improve each others' lives and be happier than if we chose alternatives.

I would be who I am today ethically regardless of the existence of a deity. If God appeared tomorrow and told me to slaughter a bunch of children in His name, I'd tell Him to go stuff it.

Please note that I'm not suggesting that all atheists are anarchists or that if you are an atheist that you should consider becoming an anarchist, I'm just stating that there is nothing in atheism that would make it wrong for a person to do harm. There are no rules except the ones that you personally choose to make!!!

Atheism is not an ethical system. It's simply a statement of a lack of belief in a deity.

There are many ethical systems. Theists like yourself tend to be Authoritarian and Absolutist, drawing ethical dilemmas into stark right/wrong, black/white contrasts and taking instruction from an authority figure. What God commands is good, and what God says not to do is bad, period.

Moral relativism is a bit different - they can still be Authoritarian (and the authority can be the law, a deity, or just a role model), but they tend to see more gray than black/white. They may consider theft to be a lesser crime than murder, even if the authority says that both are bad (in Christianity, all sin is equal, qualifying it as Absolutist - bearing false witness is as bad as murder is as bad as coveting is as bad as not loving God etc, and all require God's forgiveness).

Personally, I am more of a moral utilitarian. I view ethical dilemmas as a contrast of harm vs. benefit. I see killing one person to save a thousand as less negative than letting them all die. I see improving the lives of myself and others as morally praiseworthy, and intentionally harming others' lives or restricting their ability to make their own choices as morally negative. I am also strongly empathetic - I say that killing one to save a thoisand is less negative than letting all one thousand die, but I would almost certainly be unable to actually carry out the deed, even if I were to be among the thousand at risk. My empathy plays a strong part in my determination of "harm" vs. "benefit." I would like my quality and length of life to improve, and so I view those as strong benefits. I don't like being stolen from or lied to, so I count those as "harm." I tend to apply my own determinations onto others, unless they inform me of having different values, in which case I qualify any action I would take that would affect such a person as benefit or harm according to their values as I understand them (ie, a person from another culture may be strongly offended at a handshake, and so I would not shake that person's hand).

What you describe for atheists is a nihilist - a person who believes that nothing matters.

Some atheists are nihilists. Most are not.

These may be different and even conflicting from atheist to atheist. So what is wrong with an atheist choosing a rule that lying is ok if you don't get caught and it benefits you? Is it hypocritcal?

Since atheism says absolutely nothing about ethics in and of itself, your question lacks relevance. One may as well ask whether believing in Santa makes cars good or bad.

But as an empathetic utilitarian who happens to be an Atheist, I can tell you that I do not like to lie because I do not like being lied to, and because dishonesty tends to cause harm in the form of hurt feelings, inaccurate information that leads to bad decisions, false imprisonment, and other possible repercussions. That's not to say that all lies are alike - I may tell a child that Santa does exist in order to comply with the wishes of the child's parents, and I would view such a lie as a very small amount of harm compared to the greater harm of undermining a parent or the emotional damage of destroying a child's belief (personally, should I ever have kids, I won't tell them Santa exists precisely to avoid their eventual discovery that he does not).

quote:
You need to in the same way you need to eat ... because there are consequences. Try not respecting people that you meet every day and see if you get along well; see if you don't need to be respectful to get along.

Firstly, you could always fake it when need be. You don't need to get along well with everyone. If you have some influence or power over a weaker opponent, you can become quite successful.

Most people do "fake it." I force pleasantness when I dislike someone all the time. I have to take great care in my job to avoid sounding condescending or insulting to both my intellectual inferiors and those who are blamelessly ignorant.

Back when I worked retail PC repair, I once had a man get his credit card stuck in his floppy drive because he was trying to pay his bills online. I'm not kidding. Anyone, regardless of the source of the imperative (be it morally from a deity or from empathy, or simply from a desire to keep one's job) would have to "fake it" in such a circumstance simply to avoid laughing in the poor fool's face.

Nobody gets along well with everyone else. Human beings are simply too different and varied. This is true regardless of belief in a deity.

Coming back to my original post, I don't think it is possible to make the claim that atheists are "restricted" to telling the truth.

Atheists are no more or less "restricted" from any action than any other person, and that's what I think you're failing to understand.

What restricts an action is one's moral framework, which is not necessarily tied completely to one's religious beliefs. There are many Christian Utilitarians, for example, who would agree with my moral assessments far more than the Literalist Absolutist Authoritarian would.

Atheism, specifically, is not a moral framework, much as the simple statement "I believe in a deity" is not a moral framework.

Atheists are bound to follow their moral codes to exactly the same extent that theists are to theirs, no more and no less, regardless of the source (real or imagined) of the ethical framework.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Arphy, posted 11-19-2009 9:19 PM Arphy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by bluegenes, posted 11-20-2009 5:11 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 369 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 129 of 139 (536240)
11-20-2009 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by Rahvin
11-20-2009 2:09 PM


An altruistic atheist.
Rahvin writes:

Atheists are bound to follow their moral codes to exactly the same extent that theists are to theirs, no more and no less, regardless of the source (real or imagined) of the ethical framework.

'Tis our nature to have morals. We are social animals. Here's an atheist being altruistic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Rahvin, posted 11-20-2009 2:09 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8810
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 130 of 139 (536247)
11-20-2009 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Arphy
11-19-2009 8:32 PM


Great Debate Topic
Hi, I've finally got a bit of time and have suggested a great debate topic. If you're still interested lets start slowly actually debating unlike what I think both sides did in that pdf.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by Arphy, posted 11-19-2009 8:32 PM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Meldinoor
Member (Idle past 2700 days)
Posts: 400
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 02-16-2009


Message 131 of 139 (536261)
11-20-2009 11:02 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by slevesque
11-19-2009 1:36 PM


Great Debate
Hi Slevesque,

You are invited to take part in a new Great Debate thread. Clicky

The thread discusses the written debate that Arphy linked to in this thread.

Respectfully,

-Meldinoor

Edited by Meldinoor, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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slevesque
Member (Idle past 2532 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 132 of 139 (536263)
11-20-2009 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by Meldinoor
11-20-2009 11:02 PM


Re: Great Debate
Yeah I just saw it. I'll participate as much as I can with the time I have on my hands (I'm in a couple other discussions as of right now around here, I'll maybe 'retreat' from those in order to concentrate on that debate)
This message is a reply to:
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Arphy
Member (Idle past 2325 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


(1)
Message 133 of 139 (536264)
11-21-2009 3:56 AM


Hi everyone
Firstly, just want that I will be taking part in the great debate, which i hope will be entertaining, stimulating, and helpful.

Now to the replies to my post.
Most of you seem to have missed the point and tended to either have a rant against creationists, explain social behaviour, or tell me your personal stance, none of which address that which i was talking about.

I've picked out a few points which portray this, and which show that there has been a lot of confusion (although I really don't know why??) I hope this post clarifys some things.

dwise writes:

I cannot accept the concept of human infallibility

Neither can I.

dwise writes:

No, science is not foolproof. But it is workable.

Yes, correct.

dwise writes:

Uh, no, that doesn't happen. If an idea has been discredited, then it does not persist.

I don't think you actually agree with your statement, do you? Presumably you think that creationism is such an idea.

Generally a quite angry post.

otto writes:

most remarkably, declare both a willingness to "adjust their models ... to accommodate new data" and a stubborn insistence that their singular interpretation of scripture must be TRUE (i.e. cannot be false, is unfalsifiable by mandate) while failing to acknowledge (or comprehend) this obvious self-contradiction.

A new topic, but just a quick note. The bible is not exhaustive knowledge i.e. It doesn't say everything about everything e.g. how to build a car. However it does contain sufficient knowledge which is true. So many models have a biblical conerstone which remains unchanged while the rest of the model may adapt according to the latest evidence.

Parasomnium writes:

And if your religion is true and there is an afterlife, you still won't experience the progress of society, because you will be somewhere else, won't you. So why should you care?

Among other reasons the best being: Because God cares.

percy writes:

The belief that we should not do other people harm isn't within atheism but within atheists

Exactly! We could also say; The belief that we should do other people harm isn't within atheism but may be within some atheists. There are no "rules" to atheistic morality.

percy writes:

..., as it is within most people. This belief is there whether you're religious or not.

Yes, because we have a conscience. However, we are also capable of superseding our conscience.

hyroglyphx writes:

Everyone has a choice, not just atheists.

Yes!

lyx2no writes:

Finally? Would you care to show me where anyone, save you, has said differently?

That was the whole point why I started down this track because of what was written in dwise's post:
dwise writes:

Now, here's the problem with creationist debates per se. The opponent is restricted to being truthful and scientifically correct, whereas the creationist can make whatever wild-ass claim he wants to make. It doesn't matter to the creationist how incredibly false his claims are, just so long as he deems that it sounds convincing. In contrast, the creationist's opponent has to remain truthfulness, which in a creationist debate is a distinct disadvantage.

lyx2no writes:

I couldn't say it was "wrong". As a tactic it depends on what one in trying to achieve.

Exactly!

onifre writes:

but, for us all to get along, we try to find common ground.

Again, in the grand scheme of things, as a little planet whirling round in space, why does it matter if we get along, or if we exist or not. It may matter to us as humans, but does the universe care if you exist? No, it doesn't care about anything because it can't think. As an atheist I'm guessing that you believe that your life has a localised significance, as you suggest later; "It does to me", but that in terms of the universe, you are actually insignificant. Am I right?

onifre writes:

Its not a "way of life,"

But it does influence how you live your life.

onifre writes:

No one is

Exactly, which has been my point. However, lying clashes with the christian belief, and so it is hypocritical. Atheism has no belief, so therefore lying is not hypocritical as such.

onifre writes:

Are you only honest because god tells you to be honest? That's pretty sad. Are you incapable of knowing right from wrong on your own? I can understand if you're a child and need guidance, but as an adult? You should know better on your own.

I have a conscience. However, you would say that our conscience evolved in order to survive. Right? But then is it wrong for someone to go against their conscience in order to become successful? For example, Genghis Khan and his descendants went around raping and pillaging, and in an evolutionary sense he was very, very successful leaving behind many descendants. However, he would have been going against his conscience or suppressing it, or probably just dulling it down. I guess this is what happens to murderers, etc. even today. I would say it is wrong to go against our conscience because it is God-given. What would you answer? Remembering that going against your conscience can mean that you are more "successful" in an evolutionary sense.

rahvin writes:

The answer is actually fairly simple. A true anarchic society is not self-sustainable. It simply doesn't work.

Again why does it have to "work"? Also see first reply to onifre in this post.

Has my post clarified things? i hope so. Again, my complaint was with the initial post by dwise which i found very offensive. In hindsight maybe i should have let the comment slide, but I hope this discussion hasn't been completly useless (coming back on topic Is everything we are doing on here useless? Hmm... you don't have to reply to that) at least I may have made things less "tame", which Otto Tellick seems to appreciate . Think this will be the last post in this topic and will begin focusing on the Great Debate.

See ya all round,

Arphy.

p.s. If you're reading this slevesque could you flick me an email. Your address doesn't seem to be avaliable in the members area. Thanks.


Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by PaulK, posted 11-21-2009 4:50 AM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 135 by Percy, posted 11-21-2009 6:51 AM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 137 by onifre, posted 11-21-2009 1:05 PM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 138 by Blzebub, posted 11-21-2009 2:08 PM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 139 by Otto Tellick, posted 11-21-2009 3:11 PM Arphy has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14343
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 134 of 139 (536266)
11-21-2009 4:50 AM
Reply to: Message 133 by Arphy
11-21-2009 3:56 AM


I got the point. It's pure ad hominem. The whole point is to pretend that creationist lies aren't lies and to imply that those who catch them lying are liars. Combined, of course, with the usual false equation of "creationist" with Christian.

In fact there are many Christians who reject creationism and accept evolution - including far more and better qualified scientists than the list of creationist scientists offered in this thread (which has to stoop to the level of including the likes of Jack Cuozzo - a nutty dentist - to make up the numbers).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Arphy, posted 11-21-2009 3:56 AM Arphy has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 135 of 139 (536268)
11-21-2009 6:51 AM
Reply to: Message 133 by Arphy
11-21-2009 3:56 AM


There comes a point with many creationists where their arguments escape the tug of rationality and logic and fly free into mysterious realms where meanings take impossible trajectories and jumbled conclusions flit every which way. Responding "Yes!" and "Exactly!" to arguments pretty much in direct opposition to your own, combined with the rest of the garbling, tells us that you've reached that point. There wouldn't be much sense in responding to you when you're in this mode, it would just be more grist for your nonsense mill.

On a more concrete note, you might at least recognize that a number of people have gone to the trouble of taking your arguments seriously by providing sincere and thoughtful responses that in turn deserve your own respectful treatment.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Arphy, posted 11-21-2009 3:56 AM Arphy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by Phat, posted 11-21-2009 7:52 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
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