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Author Topic:   WooHoo! More idiots running the gub'ment.
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 166 of 245 (549723)
03-10-2010 4:23 AM
Reply to: Message 165 by Meldinoor
03-10-2010 3:48 AM


Re: Animal Allegories
All of the blind men are right, in a way, having captured a single aspect of the elephant. While they may agree on a few things (the smell for example), their blindness gives them vastly differing opinions of what an elephant is. Another blind man would be wrong to draw the conclusion that elephants do not exist based solely on the fact that there is disagreement on what an elephant is.

Except that to properly make the analogy apply to deities, you wouldn;t be able to let the blind men even feel the elephant. You'd have to just ask, "what is an elephant," when they have no objective data upon which to base a description whatsoever.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by Meldinoor, posted 03-10-2010 3:48 AM Meldinoor has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by Meldinoor, posted 03-10-2010 4:47 AM Rahvin has responded

  
Meldinoor
Member (Idle past 3122 days)
Posts: 400
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 02-16-2009


Message 167 of 245 (549724)
03-10-2010 4:47 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by Rahvin
03-10-2010 4:23 AM


Re: Animal Allegories
Most religious people believe that they are, in some sense, able to "perceive" the supernatural. Of course, everyone else will just have to take their word for it. However, those who haven't "touched the elephant" can not take for granted that "elephant believers" have not touched the elephant. I can not rule out that someone, somewhere, has had a genuine spiritual experience (I might have myself, but that's another story).

I don't agree that a lack of objective evidence is evidence of absence. The blind man who is touching the elephant may indeed have evidence that a blind bystander does not possess. I believe the term is "subjective evidence", which of course is worthless to anyone who isn't standing near the elephant.

Now, you might say: "But anyone can walk up and feel the elephant". Sure, that'd make the evidence for elephants objective. If it were not possible for everyone to get to the elephant, however, it does not nullify the subjective evidence that the "elephant groper" possesses.

Thus, I can not rule out that any religious person may have a good reason to believe what he believes, merely because I don't have access to his evidence. Of course, his word does not qualify as evidence to garner my belief.

I hope that makes sense. It's almost 3am and I've been wracking my brain on some projects, so I don't know how sensible I am at the moment

Respectfully,

-Meldinoor


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by Rahvin, posted 03-10-2010 4:23 AM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 168 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-10-2010 6:09 AM Meldinoor has responded
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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1415 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 168 of 245 (549727)
03-10-2010 6:09 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Meldinoor
03-10-2010 4:47 AM


Re: Animal Allegories
Most religious people believe that they are, in some sense, able to "perceive" the supernatural. Of course, everyone else will just have to take their word for it. However, those who haven't "touched the elephant" can not take for granted that "elephant believers" have not touched the elephant. I can not rule out that someone, somewhere, has had a genuine spiritual experience (I might have myself, but that's another story).

The problem is, that all these "spiritual experiences" are:

a. completely subjective
b. not supported by emperical evidence.
c. easily induced by a plethera of psychosomatic and external triggers
d. the evolution of which can be traced back through human history and biological evolution
e. are present in just about all cultures on Earth, showing that these "experiences" are part and parcel to the human condition
f. rudimentary evidence of spirituality can be found in other species i.e. the wild chimpanzee community has links to animism Chimpanzee Spirituality

If it were not possible for everyone to get to the elephant, however, it does not nullify the subjective evidence that the "elephant groper" possesses.

Subjective 'evidence' is not verifiable evidence and thus useless to anyone outside that person experiencing it. Even the most moral and ethical person has there own biases and can easily and unintentionally skew personal experiences based on there individual psychological makeup and worldview. This is why we have peer review and other methods of validation in the scientific community to help validate emperical evidence that is presented. Even then we often incorrectly misinterpret this data because of human bias.

Thus, I can not rule out that any religious person may have a good reason to believe what he believes, merely because I don't have access to his evidence. Of course, his word does not qualify as evidence to garner my belief.

The point is that you can't use this subjective 'evidence' to prove anything without validating it and thus the existence of such 'evidence' is a moot point. What would be the standard to allow this 'evidence' to be presented? Why not evidence of UFO encounters, big foot, ghosts, or any other paranormal experiences?


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous.” - Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Meldinoor, posted 03-10-2010 4:47 AM Meldinoor has responded

Replies to this message:
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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 169 of 245 (549732)
03-10-2010 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by Dr Adequate
03-09-2010 11:56 PM


Re: Athiestic Values
Dr Adequate writes:

So were Luther and Calvin not Christians?

Whereas the people who were tortured and brutally killed by Protestants were just a bunch of Catholic heretics.

Nice try, Doc, but violence is not sanctioned by Jesus and his apostles, whereas Mohammed and his apostles and successors who wrote the Sunnahs and the Haddith all advocated violence as did the popes and bishops of the inquisitions. By and large protestant Christians have advocated and practiced non-violence as per the NT. All groups have their non-conformists.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-09-2010 11:56 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Huntard, posted 03-10-2010 9:31 AM Buzsaw has responded
 Message 185 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 03-10-2010 8:18 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded
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Huntard
Member (Idle past 609 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 170 of 245 (549734)
03-10-2010 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by Buzsaw
03-10-2010 9:10 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
Buzsaw writes:

All groups have their non-conformists.


That can be used as an excuse for anything Buz. All those "atheists" you accuse of slaughter in say, Soviet Russia? Non-conformists, all of them. (remember, you don't know what values atheists hold, so you can't say they are not).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Buzsaw, posted 03-10-2010 9:10 AM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Buzsaw, posted 03-10-2010 9:34 AM Huntard has responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 171 of 245 (549735)
03-10-2010 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 164 by Huntard
03-10-2010 2:58 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
Huntard writes:

So, you in fact don't know what values atheists hold, yet you seem convinced that these are bad values. I find such reasoning very strange.

So far it appears that Buz is the only one who has cited any significant atheistic value, being that they consider themselves unaccountable to a higher power. Nobody else, including atheists have come up with anything significant. Dr Adequate gives his sole reason as believing it's true. Ladedah! We all believe our stuff is true.

As for the values being bad, I've cited secularistic atheistic minded regimes of the Communist block nations which forbad Bibles into their nations who tortured and who slaughtered scores of millions last century as examples of the fruits of atheism when it becomes prevalent in a culture. Perhaps some of this may be due to the fact they those despots didn't think they would be accountable to a higher power for their bloody ruthlessness.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by Huntard, posted 03-10-2010 2:58 AM Huntard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 174 by subbie, posted 03-10-2010 9:40 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded
 Message 175 by Huntard, posted 03-10-2010 9:52 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded
 Message 178 by Rahvin, posted 03-10-2010 12:36 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded
 Message 180 by hooah212002, posted 03-10-2010 6:58 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded
 Message 192 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-11-2010 12:09 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 172 of 245 (549736)
03-10-2010 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by Huntard
03-10-2010 9:31 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
Huntard writes:

That can be used as an excuse for anything Buz. All those "atheists" you accuse of slaughter in say, Soviet Russia? Non-conformists, all of them. (remember, you don't know what values atheists hold, so you can't say they are not).

LOL again, Huntard. The non-conformists in those nations were the ones tortured and slaughtered; more than a few.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Huntard, posted 03-10-2010 9:31 AM Huntard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Huntard, posted 03-10-2010 9:55 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 173 of 245 (549737)
03-10-2010 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 165 by Meldinoor
03-10-2010 3:48 AM


Re: Animal Allegories
To make your elephant analogy analogous, you'd need them to say contradictory things about the elephant, often even contradicting themselves. One might say the turtle is red all over, has five legs and gives birth to penguins. The next might say the turtle has two legs is brown on top, red on the bottom with a hard, smooth shell, has seven legs and gives birth to chain link fences. The third might say the turtle an invisible chartreuse hippoplatysaurus covered in fur with one leg that tells him to love all his neighbors and kill the ones who snore in their sleep in the name of kindness and sprouts its offspring from the side of its head.

It's not just that they disagree, it's that they're mutually inconsistent.


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:
 Message 165 by Meldinoor, posted 03-10-2010 3:48 AM Meldinoor has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by Meldinoor, posted 03-12-2010 5:30 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 174 of 245 (549738)
03-10-2010 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by Buzsaw
03-10-2010 9:31 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
Buz writes:

I've cited secularistic atheistic minded regimes of the Communist block nations which forbad Bibles into their nations who tortured and who slaughtered scores of millions last century as examples of the fruits of atheism when it becomes prevalent in a culture. Perhaps some of this may be due to the fact they those despots didn't think they would be accountable to a higher power for their bloody ruthlessness.

That's been debunked so many times it's pointless to refute it. Instead, consider this:

Since none of the intelligent atheists here subscribe to any of those things, perhaps those aren't atheist values, in the same way that the things that the RCC does that you disagree with aren't christian values.


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:
 Message 171 by Buzsaw, posted 03-10-2010 9:31 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Huntard
Member (Idle past 609 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 175 of 245 (549739)
03-10-2010 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by Buzsaw
03-10-2010 9:31 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
Buzsaw writes:

So far it appears that Buz is the only one who has cited any significant atheistic value, being that they consider themselves unaccountable to a higher power.


And that's not a value. Also, you were the only one claiming to know which values atheists hold. On further inquiry you admitted that you didn't, in fact, have a clue.

Nobody else, including atheists have come up with anything significant.

We're not the ones claiming to know what values atheists hold, you are. And you don't know, or so you've said.

As for the values being bad, I've cited secularistic atheistic minded regimes of the Communist block nations which forbad Bibles into their nations who tortured and who slaughtered scores of millions last century as examples of the fruits of atheism when it becomes prevalent in a culture.

But those were non-conformists to the atheist's values, and since you, by your own admission, don't know what these are, you can't say they weren't.

Perhaps some of this may be due to the fact they those despots didn't think they would be accountable to a higher power for their bloody ruthlessness.

No, they were simply non-conformists.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Buzsaw, posted 03-10-2010 9:31 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Huntard
Member (Idle past 609 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 176 of 245 (549741)
03-10-2010 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by Buzsaw
03-10-2010 9:34 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
Buzsaw writes:

LOL again, Huntard. The non-conformists in those nations were the ones tortured and slaughtered; more than a few.


The ones doing the slaughtering were the non-conformists to the atheistic values. You know, the ones you admitted you have absolutely no clue about what those are.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Buzsaw, posted 03-10-2010 9:34 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 177 of 245 (549750)
03-10-2010 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Meldinoor
03-10-2010 4:47 AM


Re: Animal Allegories
Most religious people believe that they are, in some sense, able to "perceive" the supernatural. Of course, everyone else will just have to take their word for it.

This "perception" is subjective, and therefore irrelevant.

However, those who haven't "touched the elephant" can not take for granted that "elephant believers" have not touched the elephant. I can not rule out that someone, somewhere, has had a genuine spiritual experience (I might have myself, but that's another story).

When someone comes forward with reproducible, verifiable evidence of the type we can detect through observation with the five senses (ie, touching an elephant), then we can talk. Until then, it's all subjective. Subjective "Evidence" can be personally convincing, but it's never able to be reproduced such that it can be verified by an independant observer.

Let's try an exercise, Meldinoor:

Describe for me a garn. Please be as descriptive as possible.

I don't agree that a lack of objective evidence is evidence of absence. The blind man who is touching the elephant may indeed have evidence that a blind bystander does not possess. I believe the term is "subjective evidence", which of course is worthless to anyone who isn't standing near the elephant.

Of course it's impossible to prove that the "elephant" doesn't exist; it's simply also impossible for anyone to tell that the elephant does exist, or what its properties are without being able to make any observations at all.

That garn I mentioned above could be real. But your description of it (whatever that may be) is not derived from objective observation. You could be accurate - but there's no way at all to tell, because we can't duplicate any "subjective evidence" you may be using. Your description, regardless of what it is, including whether the garn actually exists or not, is demonstrably no more accurate than a blind guess.

So too with deities. Without reproducible objective observations that we can all verify, any description of a deity (any description at all) has no more verifiable accuracy than a random guess. The described deity could exist. It could not. The description could be 100% accurate, or 90%, or 10%, or 0.002%, or compeltely wrong. Quite literally, your guess is as good as mine.

In the absence of reproducible, objective evidence, there is no possible confidence in the accuracy of any description or statement.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Meldinoor, posted 03-10-2010 4:47 AM Meldinoor has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 178 of 245 (549753)
03-10-2010 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by Buzsaw
03-10-2010 9:31 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
So far it appears that Buz is the only one who has cited any significant atheistic value, being that they consider themselves unaccountable to a higher power. Nobody else, including atheists have come up with anything significant.

Considering that Buz is the only one suggesting that any values actually exist, this is not unexpected.

Dr Adequate gives his sole reason as believing it's true. Ladedah! We all believe our stuff is true.

That was Adequate's reason for being an atheist, which is a compeltely different concept from a value.

As for the values being bad, I've cited secularistic atheistic minded regimes of the Communist block nations which forbad Bibles into their nations who tortured and who slaughtered scores of millions last century as examples of the fruits of atheism when it becomes prevalent in a culture. Perhaps some of this may be due to the fact they those despots didn't think they would be accountable to a higher power for their bloody ruthlessness.

Perhaps, as ever, this is a load of bullshit on your part. As has been discussed many, many times, while some regimes have indeed persecuted all religious persuits, atheism was as ever a means to a political end, not a motivation for the political philosophy in question.

To be more specific, atheism does not support either communism nor capitolism. It doesn't lend itself more to the barter system or paper money. A lack of belief in deities carries exactly the same support for a fascist government, a communist dictatorship, a monarchy, a democracy, a constitutionally limited representative republic, conservativism, liberalism, moderation, radicalism, reactionaryism (is that a word? whatever, you get the point), and every other political philosophy with the single obvious exception of a theocracy.

There are no values conveyed by atheism itself. It's just a lack of belief in any deities, that's all. There are many philosophies that include atheism, which is a different matter altogether. Buddhism is an atheistic belief system that has existed for thousands of years. The Stalinist version of Communism certainly included atheism, but wasn't motivated by a lack of belief in deities. I am an ethical pragmatist (the relative "good" or "bad" of an act depend on their objective results, not the dictates of an authority, etc), which often includes atheism, but doesn't always, and is also compatible with theism.

Note, by the way, that some belief systems that do not believe in deities do believe in such concepts as karma or reincarnation - those particular atheists do hold themselves accountable to a "higher power," it's just not a deity.

The truth is, Buz, the values held by atheists differ wildly. There is no central philosophy that ties us all together like there is with a given religious sect. We have no 10 Commandments. We don't even have 10 Suggestions. There's no dogma, no teachings, no unifying philosophy of life or moral guidance or holidays or ceremonies. The only thing we have in common is that we don't believe in god(s). Hell, we can't even all agree on that - some of us simply lack belief, some of us actively disbelieve, some still believe in the supernatural, others do not...I could go on. The point, however, is that there are no values held by atheism. At all. None. Not one.

When you suggest that there are, you are very simply mistaken.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Buzsaw, posted 03-10-2010 9:31 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3840
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 179 of 245 (549763)
03-10-2010 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by Rahvin
03-10-2010 12:36 PM


Re: Athiestic Values
The truth is, Buz, the values held by atheists differ wildly. There is no central philosophy that ties us all together like there is with a given religious sect. We have no 10 Commandments. We don't even have 10 Suggestions.

Though a First Commandment was suggest by Orson Scott Card in his classic Secular Humanist Revival Meeting:

quote:
Thou Shalt THINK!

Something which is apparently anathema in most religions. And obviously in Buz'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 178 by Rahvin, posted 03-10-2010 12:36 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 136 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 180 of 245 (549771)
03-10-2010 6:58 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by Buzsaw
03-10-2010 9:31 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
The difference, as I see it buz, is that you see atheism in the same light as christianity/religion in general. You assume "atheism" must ascribe to a central belief system just as you and your religion do. You must quantify yourself as christian: there are certain things you must ascribe to be a true christian, or even christian in general. The same goes for any religion.

Atheism, in my opinion, is just a word attached to someone who doesn't believe in god. There is no central tenet of beliefs (rather the opposite). Are there atheist groups? Sure. But that's just the same as there are LAN parties or stamp collector gatherings. Is there a value-set for stamp collectors too?

So many times have I seen on this forum YOU telling others they are not christians because of what they do or don't do. Can you do the same for an atheist? Hell, you may even consider a Buddhist an atheist.

If you see a christian, you would ask "what makes him a christian?". You would then have to quantify all of his misgivings and think about whether he is a christian or not. If you see an atheist, you ask "does he believe in god?". If the answer is no, he's an atheist. Simple, to the point. No rigamarole to adhere to.

[sarcasm]Well, I suppose you could say we all kneel and pray to His Holiness Dawkins and Darwin The All-Mighty.[/sarcasm]


"Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws."-Carl Sagan

"On a personal note I think he's the greatest wrestler ever. He's better than Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George -- you name it."-The Hulkster on Nature Boy Ric Flair


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