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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 18 of 128 (549928)
03-11-2010 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Pauline
03-11-2010 1:54 PM


Re: Oh, And By The Way
Furthermore, this situation is a perfect example to demonstrate that evolution is incapable of providing one with practical wisdom for life. Which you get only from religion.

1) the Theory of Evolution is a scientific model. It no more pretends to provide with "practical wisdom" than does teh Theory of Gravity.

2) suggesting the "practical wisdom" comes only from religion is absurd. I have no faith, and yet I'm perfectly capable of making wise decisions in my life. In fact, as a former Christian, I can honestly say that not one jot of "wisdom" in the Bible is unique to theists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 1:54 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 3:45 PM Rahvin has responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 22 of 128 (549935)
03-11-2010 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by lyx2no
03-11-2010 3:10 PM


Re: Yep, One.
I voted it up, too. That was a good post from ICANT.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by lyx2no, posted 03-11-2010 3:10 PM lyx2no has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 3:46 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 31 of 128 (549951)
03-11-2010 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Pauline
03-11-2010 3:45 PM


Re: Oh, And By The Way
Yes, Rahvin. What you say is true. But unfortunately your theory doesn't conform to your claims...

quote:
1) the Theory of Evolution is a scientific model. It no more pretends to provide with "practical wisdom" than does teh Theory of Gravity.

So do scientific models deal with things like morality? Kindness, love, anger, guilt? When was the last time the theory of gravity or quantum theory told us that morality is a logical consequence of being human?

There are specific fields of science that do, in fact, make a study of human behavior. Relevant fields include sociology, psychology, and the like. For the mechanics of how emotions (and everything else) work in the brain, there is of course neurology.

Evolution is only tangentially related - it tells us how we acquired those features of behavior that we have inherited from our ancestors. The Theory of Evolution, however, does not tell us how we should act. It doesn't say whether any given behavior is ethical, whether we should feel anger or joy or depression or revulsion in any given circumstance.

The Theory of Evolution is only a model that explains the diversity of life's features. Don;t get caught in the trap of trying to ascribe more to the Theory of Evolution than it actually deals with.

quote:
I have no faith, and yet I'm perfectly capable of making wise decisions in my life.

Okay. And what do you rely on to make these decisions? Mutations?

Indirectly, I suppose, since all of the features of the human body and brain are themselves the cumulative result of mutations ofver countless generations of organisms. But your sarcastic tone is warranted, as such a claim would be extremely accurate.

No, I rely on my past experiences, my capacity for logic and reason, the information I have available to me and which I consider reliable, and my empathy- and pragmatically-derived sense of ethics, with the occasional advice from others, to make the various and sundry decisions of my life. Much like everyone else.

Obviously, your innate sense of morality, right? Which...is that the domain of science? No. Then why does evolution peek its ugly head into matters that are not its domain. If it wants to be called scientific, let it not deal with things for which it has no scientific evidence, like emotions.

Evolution says very little about morality, Dr. As I said above, it suggests that we have inherited the traits that give rise to concepts like "morality" and "ethics" (such as the capacity for abstract thought, compassion for members of our social group, a sense of empathy, etc), but the Theory of Evolution can no more tell us if a given action is "good" or "bad" than the Theory of Gravity.

I don't believe in an "innate sense of morality." In fact, I;d challenge you to prove that there is such a thing, given that so many vastly different systems of morality exist (and have existed) in the course of human experience. For example, ICANT and Buz and Peg are authoritarian in their ethical systems: they believe that what is "right" and "wrong" is explicitly what their authority (in this case the Christian God) dictates it to be, and it can change on his whim. In other words, if God says that murder is bad, then murder is bad. If God says that murder is good, then murder is good. I, on the other hand, am an empathetic pragmatist - I judge the relative "good" or "bad" of an action based on the results of that action, and am motivated primarily by my sense of empathy (my capacity for abstract thought that allows me to imagine how I would feel in another person's situation).

I don't mean to say that you use evolution (or that you need to) to make your decisions in life, I don't know what you use. You mention that you once believed, well, I'm lead to believe thatsomething has replaced that empty spot. But do you see my point? Any branch that cuts the cord between supernaturalism and man is doing injustice to the abstract qualities man possesses that are unique to him.

Actually, in the course of my de-conversion, I found that there was no spot to fill, and that was part of the reason I finally gave up any pretense.

As I said above, I use my previous experience and my capacity for reason and logical thought, the information I have available to me that I consider reliable, my sense of ethics which is entirely derived from my sense of empathy and the results of an action, and occasional advice from others, especially those who have had similar experiences. I don't feel a need to pray. I don't feel like there is anything "missing" from my life. Granted, I'd love a chance to see my dead relatives and friends again, and the chance to continue to exist after my own death, but I see no reason to believe that will be the case.

And that is my point. You question the value of anything that explicitly denies or replaces the supernatural. I simply see no reason to think the supernatural exists at all.

That's why I no longer believe in deities, and why I found there was no gap to fill, incidentally - once I no longer believed in god(s), I realized that I had been providing all of the benefits of faith to myself all along. Prayer was just a means to externalize and organize my thoughts - in other words, I was talking to myself, and that can sometimes help me work out a problem. The hope of an afterlife was just an emotional crutch, and whether it exists or doesn't, I have no evidence to guide such a decision, and so it's irrelevant as any deicision I could make would be a random guess. And so on.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 3:45 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 5:52 PM Rahvin has responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 32 of 128 (549952)
03-11-2010 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Pauline
03-11-2010 4:36 PM


Re: Oh, And By The Way
Numbers can play nasty mental tricks. You do realize that not everyone who purports to be "Christian" is a true Bible-believing Christian, don't you?

This is called the No True Scotsman fallacy.

But the truth is, that cartoon (while amusing) is inaccurate. The Christian majority is not complaining of persecution. However, a subset of Christians are, and they are noisy.

As an example, think of the War on Christmas nonsense. There is no such thing - and considering that the vast majority of Americans (including even non-Christians like me) celebrate Christmas, it's utterly absurd to suggest that there is some group actively seeking to ban the holiday. There is simply a subset of Christians who like to exaggerate and play the martyr.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 4:36 PM Pauline has not yet responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 38 of 128 (549963)
03-11-2010 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Pauline
03-11-2010 5:52 PM


Re: Oh, And By The Way
Fair enough, Rahvin. I don't blame you, the evolutionary theory (among others you hold on to) seems to have great success at eliminating the supernatural from your worldview.

Quite to the contrary - the Theory of Evolution did not eliminate the supernatural from my worldview. I believed that evolution was an accurate model of reality long before I gave up Christianity and the supernatural.

In fact, even if I had no explanation whatsoever for the diversity of life, or any other scientific theory, I would still not jump to the supernatural as an explanation unless reproducible, objective evidence supported the supernatural as an accurate representation of reality.

That's the difference between us, it seems: you view the supernatural as a sort of default position for anything you aren't able to readily explain, or for which you feel an emotional reaction of awe or wonder.

I simply follow evidence, and I'm perfectly content to say "I don't know."

We'll see what real science has to say about this. Someday...

"Real science" is anything that is reproducible and makes verifiable, testable predictions. "Real science" has resulted in a number of theories that explain the mechanisms of reality to a demonstrable degree of accuracy, including the Theories of Evolution and Gravity.

The only reason the supernatural is not accepted in science, Dr., is because you cannot test it, you cannot reproduce it, and there is absolutely no way to tell whether any claim of the supernatural is any more accurate than a completely random guess.

If evidence is presented supporting the existence of the supernatural (or anything else, for that matter), in a way that is reproducible by independent parties, that makes predictions that can be tested against reality for their accuracy, and so on, thei I will immediately accept the supernatural as real. Until then...it's all just human imagination as far as I'm concerned.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 5:52 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 7:13 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 61 of 128 (549999)
03-11-2010 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Pauline
03-11-2010 9:26 PM


Hi Dr,

God loves you. Repent or perish.

Just so you know, that particular tactic never works on someone who doesn't already subscribe to your theology. In other words, it might work on a lapsed Christian, or someone of a different denomination, but you'll never ever convince a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, an Atheist, or anyone else that you're spreading "good news" with threats of Hell...whether you believe it to be true or not.

In fact, it's far more likely to cause someone to immediately reject what you're saying...often it can provoke such an emotional reaction that it will color all future interactions with you. Think about how you'd react to a Muslim who tells you that you must abandon Christ and worship Allah or face eternal torment in the same "do what I say or die" manner you've just used.

You've effectively given those you've experienced friction with already even more reason to dislike you and react to your every word with hostility.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 9:26 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 10:19 PM Rahvin has responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 75 of 128 (550022)
03-12-2010 2:23 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Pauline
03-11-2010 10:19 PM


1. This isn't a tactic, Rahvin. Its truth.

It's what you believe to be the truth. I understand that you have a high degree of confidence in that belief. Convincing other people to believe the same is the trick. For that purpose, that particular statement is more off-putting than convincing.

2. Perhaps you are forgetting that there considerable many here that once believed, like yourself. It shouldn't really be more cumbersome to hear what they've already heard AND despised to the fullest extent. When you guys have reached your mental saturation point, you become de-sensitized to truth. IOW, I feel like nothing that I say can make you hate God more. You see?

By and large, Dr, atheists do not hate god - that would be much like you hating leprechauns. I don't say that to offend - I'm trying to give you a point of reference. It's difficult to hate something you don't think exists.

It's not a matter of desensitization - it's a matter of respect for other people, and simple manners. I don't know about you, but when someone threatens me with eternal torment, I consider that rather rude.

My dear Rahvin, they can't dislike me more.

Indeed. But they could like you more. For all many of us disagree with Peg, I react much better to her posts than I do to those Buz makes, for example, even though they're both very capable of conveying their points, and that's largely due to their respective attitudes.

So far I;ve been trying specifically to remain polite and nice with you, and in your responses to me you seem to have done the same.

If you'd like to end the hostility and actually debate as per the purpose of this site, you may wish to demonstrate the Christian principles of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and of turning the other cheek. It'll help keep the moderation staff sane, and lower the blood pressure of all those involved.

Of course, that goes for them, as well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Pauline, posted 03-11-2010 10:19 PM Pauline has not yet responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1352 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 81 of 128 (550110)
03-12-2010 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Pauline
03-12-2010 5:34 PM


quote:
Rahvin writes:

It's what you believe to be the truth. I understand that you have a high degree of confidence in that belief. Convincing other people to believe the same is the trick. For that purpose, that particular statement is more off-putting than convincing.


Note Rahvin, that it all depends on how the recipient perceives the message. In my life, I have shared the Gospel with many people of different ages and varying socioeconomic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Youíve got to realize that the message is not inherently offensive. Iíve seen people who literally cried incessantly when I shared this message with them (more elaborately of course) and the realization of its preciousness led them to believe in God. Thatís called faith, Rahvin. On the other hand, I have people here that purport to be highly educated and civil and yet are so closed-minded and dogmatic. You have to ask yourself why it is rude to youÖ. Not everyone thinks itís rude, to some itís life-giving.

Perhaps. It does indeed depend on how it's received - generally it all hinges upon the acceptance or rejection of 1) the existence of the supernatural, and 2) the "Fallen Nature" doctrine where all mankind is already deserving of that eternal torment. Given acceptance of those, I can see how the offer of avoiding the torture through somethign as easy as accepting what you've already (at that point) been convinced to believe in would be "life-affirming."

I do agree that my saying it was not appropriate for this context. I could have been better. However, it wasn't a threat. I said it of out helplessness.

I completely understand. While this is certainly the most fair and honest place for the Creation v. Evolution debate that I;ve come across, there's still an imbalance in numbers for each side. Unfortunately, the Creationists will need to suffer through dogpiles...and when people start to get nasty and stop addressing points, exasperation is inevitable.

But please also note that the mockery and sarcasm displayed from the opposite side is typically the result of similar exasperation. Quite frankly, we see many Creationists here, and quite a few of them wouldn't know a calm and rational discussion if it bit them. Conversations require that we all actually listen to what the other is saying. All too often we see the Creationist who has no intention of discussion, but instead talks at us...and then when he/she realized that they are not preaching to the choir like various and sundry other sites, they use the same exasperated "you're going to Hell!" type of line that you yourself used. They typically don;t stay long after that...but given that you've been courteous and polite with me, at least, I'd like you to stick around. We need more Creationists that we can actually converse with, rather than both sides beating heads against the proverbial brick wall.

quote:
By and large, Dr, atheists do not hate god - that would be much like you hating leprechauns. I don't say that to offend - I'm trying to give you a point of reference. It's difficult to hate something you don't think exists.

Thatís called denial, Rahvin. As much you would like me to believe you, Iím not blind. Atheism does not inherently call for God-hatred, I know. But again, our perspectives and worldviews aren't always as pure as they should be, are they? Now and then...we find people who once believed but now don't , who have seem to harbor piles of bitterness inside......

That's an over-simplification. Typically, former Christians can bear a great deal of resentment at current Christians and the teachings of the religion specifically. That doesn;t mean they hate a God that they don;t think exists.

In fact, this describes me. I was a Christian for over 20 years, and believed quite strongly. I do resent to a degree the fact that I was indoctrinated into the faith before I was ever old enough to make the decision for myself. I do hold many of my former beliefs in contempt. I do consider many of the stories in the Bible to be reprehensible morally if they had actually happened. But I "hate God" in the same way that you might "hate" the antagonist of a movie.

quote:
It's not a matter of desensitization - it's a matter of respect for other people, and simple manners. I don't know about you, but when someone threatens me with eternal torment, I consider that rather rude.

Uhuh. Is education inversely proportional to open-mindedness? There are great intellectuals whoíve made priceless contributions to science, who readily acknowledge God. Itís all person-specific.

Indeed. Cavediver on this very board is a former physics professor, and was until very recently a fundamentalist Christian. The vast majority of scientists, in fact, are theists of one form or another

Like I said, that people give their lives, literally, for the very message of the Gospel should ring a really loud bell. Unfortunately, some choose to be deaf.

People give their lives, literally, for Islam and Judaism and Hindu and Buddhism, as well. Martyrs and those who devote their lifetime to their faith are not unique to Christianity.

quote:
Indeed. But they could like you more. So far Iíve been trying specifically to remain polite and nice with you, and in your responses to me you seem to have done the same.

If you'd like to end the hostility and actually debate as per the purpose of this site, you may wish to demonstrate the Christian principles of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and of turning the other cheek. It'll help keep the moderation staff sane, and lower the blood pressure of all those involved.

Of course, that goes for them, as well.


There is no debate.
Whatís the point in comparing apples to oranges?
There is no common criterion on which to base arguments in the Creation-Evolution debate. One view thinks in terms of the supernatural and the other, the natural.

Creationist: Evolution is wrong. God is creator.
Evolutionist: Well then, if God physically appeared and told me as much, I would believe.
Creationist. He won't. By definition, He's a spirit. Youíve got have faith. (--Insert something like Paleyís argument---)
Evolutionist: I've got to see physical evidence of His existence.
Creationist: You'll never see it...
Evolutionist: Well, then shut up and get out of here. Who are you to tell me I'm wrong? You can't even provide logical arguments for your claims?! (You obviously are wrong because---Insert a bunch of logical fallacies here----)
Creationist: God is not logical. He transcends human logic. The Bible is proof of God's existence
Evolutionist: ---Insert profane words-----
See where the two worlds don't meet?
Sheer vanity?

Well, of course there is debate. You and I are debating right now.

And your example is accurate only when discussing the existence of God, not evidence of the Theory of Evolution. We actually show the evidence behind the theory on that subject. If you'd like to start a debate thread to debunk the Theory of Evolution, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.

Relating to the abov, however, the place you lose me is when you start saying that "God transcends logic," and "the Bible proves God's existence."

You are saying two things here:

1) "What I'm saying doesn't have to make any sense at all, and even if what I say is self-contradictory or you can show direct evidence that contradicts my claims, I'm still right."

That's just literally unreasonable.

2) "God exists because the Bible says so."

Why should this be true for the Bible, but not true for the myriad other religious texts that describe mutually exclusive deities? Is not teh Koran then proof of Allah's existence? Does the Rig Veda prove that Vishnu exists? Does the Odyssey prove the existence of Poseidon?

Iím not here to tell you all that Creation is more ďscientificĒ than evolution. I for one, donít think even evolution is scientific.

Then you quite bluntly don't understand either the Theory of Evolution or science in general. You may as well say that the Theory of Gravity is unscientific. Once again I'd encourage you to start a thread on the validity of evolution, even if only to discover what you think teh Theory of Evolution is, and why you think it is not scientific.

Like I said, I donít wish to crowd in with the insane. I want to be able to understand why you believe the things you guys do. I have not presented one single scientific argument in any forum on these boards. (and yet, I get rated on my argumentation and presentation skillsÖ) That should be enough proof to you that I could care less about the ďdebateĒ. My only thread that deals with the ďdebateĒ was in the biological evolution forum. And I made it plenty clear there that my intention was to understand the evolutionary rationale. I mostly listened, they talked. In the flow of conversation, I voiced some personal opinion, thatís about it.Ö. The rest of my time here has been spent on the faith and belief forum, since there we at least have a common criterion for argument.

I would love to hear what you got out of your earlier participation. Specifically, I am very interested to hear what you think the Theory of Evolution proposes, in your own words.

And again, don't sweat the ratings system. I think of it as an Appeal to Popularity fallacy - the number of people who agree with or like a statement is irrelevant to its accuracy. If 1000 people rate a message a 1, but the message is accurate to reality, then the 1000 are just wrong, and who cares what they think?

I don't participate much on the faith side here. Mostly that's because I find the concept of faith to be foreign to me now. I cannot choose what I do or do not find to be convincing, and therefore I cannot choose to be convinced of something in the absence of objective evidence. I'd love very much to have a benevolent omnipotent being that cares for me. I just can't believe that to be the case on my own desires alone - I need evidence, not faith.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Pauline, posted 03-12-2010 5:34 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Pauline, posted 03-12-2010 8:16 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

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