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Author Topic:   What I have noticed about these debates...
jcgirl92
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 238 (25019)
11-30-2002 7:43 AM


One thing that I have noticed about the whole debate over whether or not there is a God is that there are a lot of harsh Theists (one who believes in a god), and there are a lot of harsh Atheists! I see in all the arguing that goes back and forth a lot of the same stuff that you also see in Ireland between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants there and in Bosnia between the Serbs and the Croatians. My question in all of this is this - "Is the problem with having faith, or is the problem found in bigotry, misunderstanding, pride, and taking a different view to one's own as a personal offence to oneself?"

The argument that one group is less intellectual because one doesn't agree with the views that that group holds is very childish! Honestly, I have seen the Atheism/Theism debate and the Creation/Evolution debate turn into a debate not on the evidence for these ways of thinking but on a Atheists against Theists fight with one group putting down another group in some way just because they don't agree with the other's point of view. That is just going to cause the debate to go round and round and round and round etc ... That is not going to get anywhere!

The truth is that a lot of people in these debates are looking at things through their own "belief-structure glasses," and perish the thought of laying these "glasses" aside and looking at the question of "Does God exist?" without these glasses or with someone else's glasses! Could it be that one group is not less intellectual than another group for thinking the way that they do, but it is just that both groups have their own way of looking at life, themselves, other people, and the world around them based on what they have seen and experienced?

One thing that I have personally noticed about a lot of people who have left the Church or their faith in God is that there is a lot who have been hurt somehow. A lot of Atheists have been hurt, and that hurt hasn't been healed, but covered up by this fight that has been taken up to rid the world of this cruel hoax that there is a God.


Replies to this message:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 238 (25031)
11-30-2002 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jcgirl92
11-30-2002 7:43 AM


I have been guilty of a "harsh" comment in an ill-advised attempt to be witty.

But there are some open-minded people on this forum.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by jcgirl92, posted 11-30-2002 7:43 AM jcgirl92 has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 3 of 238 (25038)
11-30-2002 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jcgirl92
11-30-2002 7:43 AM


quote:
My question in all of this is this - "Is the problem with having faith, or is the problem found in bigotry, misunderstanding, pride, and taking a different view to one's own as a personal offence to oneself?"

In my experience, most non-believers are happy to let anyone be as religious as they like as long as it doesn't impose upon others' right to live and believe as they wish. This is where a lot of the conflict comes from, because many of the Christians who frequent these discussions obviously believe that everyone in the world should believe as they do.

quote:
The argument that one group is less intellectual because one doesn't agree with the views that that group holds is very childish!

Well, I hope that we take each person on their individual merits, but it does become painfully obvious that many, many, many Fundamentalist religious people come here and loudly denounce evolution without haveing a CLUE about Biology or science.

This does tend to influence one's opinion of the intellectual honesty of Fundamentalists in general.

quote:
The truth is that a lot of people in these debates are looking at things through their own "belief-structure glasses," and perish the thought of laying these "glasses" aside and looking at the question of "Does God exist?" without these glasses or with someone else's glasses!

A big part of the problem is that the religious folks often refuse to put on the "science", or "logic" glasses when looking at scientific or logical issues.

quote:
Could it be that one group is not less intellectual than another group for thinking the way that they do, but it is just that both groups have their own way of looking at life, themselves, other people, and the world around them based on what they have seen and experienced?

I don't mind if someone has a different way of looking at life. I do mind when people want to teach religious non-science in public school science classrooms.

I don't mind if someone wants to believe in the supernatural. I do mind when they distort and abuse science to make their argument seem more intellectual to the scientifically-illiterate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by jcgirl92, posted 11-30-2002 7:43 AM jcgirl92 has responded

Replies to this message:
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jcgirl92
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 238 (25108)
12-01-2002 12:41 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by nator
11-30-2002 11:28 AM


Hey there schrafinator!

Have you been to www.exchristian.net or places like that? Now that is full-on discussion, and hanging out in message forums like that is what I guess I am talking about! Quite honestly, I have sat back and watched this debate get quite heated!

By the way, is it that Christians are abusing science just because they believe that the world around us didn't come into being by accident? Or is it just that everyone in the world has the same evidence that we're looking at, but we are interpreting it differently based on the persuasion we take - and don't think that just because a scientist is of an evolutionistic persuasion that he is unbiased!

There have been many major and well-respected scientists who believed that the world was created by an intelligent being - it's not just something for those who are uneducated. Maybe you have talked to a lot of uneducated or uninformed Christians, but there are quite a lot of very intelligent, well-educated people out there who also believe that there is a God Who created the world - just as there are a lot of uneducated or uninformed non-Christians who believe in evolution! That doesn't mean that either belief is less intellectual than the other, it just means that there's one or two in every bunch!


This message is a reply to:
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graedek
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 238 (25111)
12-01-2002 3:20 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by jcgirl92
12-01-2002 12:41 AM


quote:
Originally posted by jcgirl92:
Hey there schrafinator!

Have you been to www.exchristian.net or places like that? Now that is full-on discussion, and hanging out in message forums like that is what I guess I am talking about! Quite honestly, I have sat back and watched this debate get quite heated!

By the way, is it that Christians are abusing science just because they believe that the world around us didn't come into being by accident? Or is it just that everyone in the world has the same evidence that we're looking at, but we are interpreting it differently based on the persuasion we take - and don't think that just because a scientist is of an evolutionistic persuasion that he is unbiased!

There have been many major and well-respected scientists who believed that the world was created by an intelligent being - it's not just something for those who are uneducated. Maybe you have talked to a lot of uneducated or uninformed Christians, but there are quite a lot of very intelligent, well-educated people out there who also believe that there is a God Who created the world - just as there are a lot of uneducated or uninformed non-Christians who believe in evolution! That doesn't mean that either belief is less intellectual than the other, it just means that there's one or two in every bunch!


I very much agree with your explanations of these basic communication problems Jcgirl
IMO, emotional control/restraint in these head-on confrontations of values is also very counterproductive

------------------

[This message has been edited by graedek, 12-01-2002]


This message is a reply to:
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zipzip
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 238 (25115)
12-01-2002 5:55 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by graedek
12-01-2002 3:20 AM


Unfortunately, the whole debate itself is unproductive. Atheists want theists to prove the existence of God. Occasionally, the tables are turned and the atheist is asked to prove the non-existence of God. Both are equally reasonable requests, and both are probably impossible as far as science is concerned.

What is left are (in the Christianity debate, as most of this site refers to) the Bible's claims as a theist's evidence of the existence of God and a particular atheist's assertions that these same claims are false as his or her proof of God's nonexistence.

The one has faith in the accuracy of the Bible and the other has faith in the fallacy of the Bible. So it is not really a scientific debate at all but a question of faith.

Which is why I can be a scientist and believe in God at the same time (just like Newton, Gauss, Einstein, and a number of other bright folks).


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3915 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 238 (25121)
12-01-2002 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jcgirl92
11-30-2002 7:43 AM


Hi jcgirl, welcome to the forum!

I’m not sure that the problem is so much one of “theist” vs “atheist” – at least on this board (and possibly except for those threads specifically devoted to that topic). Although it often seems to come across that way, the real problem and indeed the reason for my participation in the debates stems from science vs anti-science. There are quite a few (possibly the majority) of Christians who are quite comfortable coupling a belief in God with an acceptance of the findings of science – several here on this board (Percy, Karl, Andya (a Moslem), gene90 and others spring immediately to mind).

In that sense, I think your question, "Is the problem with having faith, or is the problem found in bigotry, misunderstanding, pride, and taking a different view to one's own as a personal offence to oneself?" represents only one possibility.

In addition, I don’t think the basic approach in most cases is that “one group is less intellectual” than the other. Where this particular problem arises is when a scientist (or one who has some knowledge of the subject) is confronted with the stereotypical “U r wrong i know evilution is fake because the BIBLE says so and there arnt any transitional fossils because of the flud u cant prove that we came from monkeys because why are there still monkeys?” It might sound utterly silly, but I culled this exact statement from a message board (I saved it in my “I can’t believe this person is smart enough to actually turn on a computer” file). WinAce, another occasional poster on this board, has amassed a huge collection of these, hmmm, malapropisms culled from various message boards. You have to question the intellectual capacity of someone who posts like this. Of course this kind of thing makes it difficult to take the post seriously – and it is all too easy to generalize from “This Christian is a moron” to “All Christians are morons” – which is a significant fallacy, obviously, because the poster would be a moron even if he WASN’T a Christian.

More subtly, and I think more unfortunately, there is a plethora of creationist websites – from the “professional” sites like AiG and ICR, to the one-person shows – which are simply stocked to the gills with carefully crafted but utterly erroneous scientific-sounding pontifications. Added to these sites are a growing number of popular books written and published by professional creationists which are ALSO chock full of errors. The more informed creationists most often use these websites and books as sources of information for their self-imposed “mission to confront evolution” – I mean what other sources do they have? So when I, at least, am confronted for the 500th time about “no new information”, an “argument from irreducible complexity” or something cut-and-pasted from some creationist website that “refutes evolution”, I can get a little short with the answer.

Still, I don’t really think you can say it’s a question of worldview. When two people observe the same physical phenomena, they may argue about the mechanisms or reasons for the phenomena – or even what it is – and some of that may be colored by their preconceptions and experience. However, it’s unlikely that one or the other will deny that there is a phenomenon to observe – which is precisely what creationists do. As an example, it would be one thing to argue about whether Neanderthal is an extinct subspecies of Homo sapiens or in fact is a distinct species of extinct human Homo neanderthalensis. It is quite another to argue – in the face of and despite mountains of evidence – that Neanderthal was merely a modern human with rikketsia. It’s one thing to argue about the relative importance of natural selection in speciation, it’s another to state that speciation doesn’t occur, and then drag in spurious out-of-context quotations from “evolutionists” seeming to bolster the claim as your only evidence. Finally, it becomes quite irritating when someone with shockingly limited knowledge of a subject – say evolutionary biology – comes on a message board such as this one and proclaims that 150 years of scientific progress is bunk. This isn’t a worldview difference – it’s a question of intellectual honesty.

As to the acerbic nature of some of the exchanges, well, that depends a lot on the participants. Contrast, for example, a creationist such as Ten-sai or the ever-popular Jet with forgiven or even you. For my part (and everyone’s different), people will get the type of response they project.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Ten-sai
Unregistered


Message 8 of 238 (25122)
12-01-2002 8:09 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by nator
11-30-2002 11:28 AM


Hello Mrs. Shrafinator,

Actually, you are quite illogical and it is clear you are biased in a most shameless way. Have you no shame young lady?

Let me demonstrate by taking a look at what you believe:

quote:
In my experience, most non-believers are happy to let anyone be as religious as they like as long as it doesn't impose upon others' right to live and believe as they wish. This is where a lot of the conflict comes from, because many of the Christians who frequent these discussions obviously believe that everyone in the world should believe as they do.

Emphasis added. To show the inconsistencies of your beliefs. Soooo, if you sincerely believe (NOT!!) people have "the right to live and believe as they wish," you have outed yourself as a HYPOCRITE in the highest order! Congratulations. Are you one of those feminazis?

Hopefully, you aren't one of the people brainwashing little children in public schools by telling them their parents lied to them about the Bible's creation accounts (or Koran or Torah) and "GOD didn't creat YOU, fool! You were created from a swirling dust ball which collapsed on itself into a molten rock where ALL life came from." Such violates the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in a most egregious manner. The irony is that the 1st Amendment is consistent with your above stated belief.

For the record, I don't care if you believe like me, or what you believe. I assume you are an adult and can think for yourself. How about allowing others to do the same when it comes to opining on the ultimate question of life? Unless you've been hiding your evidence of abiogenesis? Perhaps following your own advice would be advisable under the circumstances...

quote:
A big part of the problem is that the religious folks often refuse to put on the "science", or "logic" glasses when looking at scientific or logical issues.

Among other things, aren't you one of the many who falsely proclaim that there are valid logical principles like "the God of the gaps fallacy" and "abiogenesis is illogical to evolution"????????

Because those are LIES, and no less so even if you believe them. Folks, there is NO SUCH THING as a "God of the gaps fallacy" -- it is not contained in any known existing logical paradigm. Don't believe me? How about a "peer-reviewed" resource on the logic behind "the God of the gaps fallacy"??? It doesn't exist. Only a person shamelessly insecure about their own beliefs in God would make such a statement and brainwash children into believing the same. Again, you are a hypocrite and have ZERO credibility. Shame on you!

Finally, abiogenesis IS the logical imperative of evolution!!!!!!! Believe they are irrelevant to eachother if you want, but it is YOU who are being illogical one here and have absolutely NO evidence for the foundation of your belief in evolution. Or maybe you can give us a peer-reviewed article i've been asking for ad naseum on the "logical irrelevance of abiogenesis to evolution"? Or, since one does not exist, you can be the first to take a stab at it and WE will peer review it right here!! Here is your chance to demonstrate your command over logic and make a fool out of anyone who doesn't believe exactly as YOU do. Hypocrite.

Peace,

Ten-sai

[This message has been edited by Ten-sai, 12-01-2002]


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nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 9 of 238 (25130)
12-01-2002 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by jcgirl92
12-01-2002 12:41 AM


quote:
Originally posted by jcgirl92:
Hey there schrafinator!

Hey!

quote:
Have you been to www.exchristian.net or places like that? Now that is full-on discussion, and hanging out in message forums like that is what I guess I am talking about! Quite honestly, I have sat back and watched this debate get quite heated!

This one message board is enough for me, thanks. I like that there are so many scientists here, and that the moderation is fair and effective. It's true that the debate gets intense, but the rules are enforced pretty well, and that is rare in web-land.

quote:
By the way, is it that Christians are abusing science just because they believe that the world around us didn't come into being by accident?

No. Any particular belief of an individual has no effect at all, actually. I could believe in invisible pink unicorns and this would not be an abuse of science.

quote:
Or is it just that everyone in the world has the same evidence that we're looking at, but we are interpreting it differently based on the persuasion we take - and don't think that just because a scientist is of an evolutionistic persuasion that he is unbiased! ;)

First of all, it is true that scientists are biased.

Scientists are biased in favor of the evidence, as anyone playing by the rules of real scince aught to be. This is the kind of bias you have when you are biased in favor of the idea that the sun will rise tomorrow.

Now let me explain to you the fundamental difference between real science and Creation "science".

Real science always works from the evidence found and observed in nature, then formulates hypothese and theories in order to explain that evidence. If reliable new evidence comes to light, it may strengthen the existing theory, or it may contradict it, in which case the theory is modified or replaced. It is this tentativity, or falsifiability, of science, that makes it so dynamic and powerful. What we think is true about nature can change if the evidence is there.

Creation "science", by contrast, begins not with the evidence found in nature, but with a given interpretation of the Protestant Christian Bible. All of nature must be made to fit into this interpretation of this religious book, which is also held to be without error. So, there is nothing at all which can count against this Bible. This is unbeatable dogma, not falsifiable science.

quote:
There have been many major and well-respected scientists who believed that the world was created by an intelligent being - it's not just something for those who are uneducated.

Really? Like who?

OTOH, so what if there were? Just because they believe something is supernaturally-caused doesn't mean that it was just because they say so. They have just as much evidence as my cat does that the world was created by an intelligent being.

quote:
Maybe you have talked to a lot of uneducated or uninformed Christians,

Oh my, yes.

quote:
but there are quite a lot of very intelligent, well-educated people out there who also believe that there is a God Who created the world -

Again, this is irrelevant to if it is true or not.

quote:
just as there are a lot of uneducated or uninformed non-Christians who believe in evolution!

No argument there.

However, I am curious; what do you think of Theistic Evolution?

quote:
That doesn't mean that either belief is less intellectual than the other, it just means that there's one or two in every bunch! :)

Oh, but Creation "science" is very much an intellectually-dishonest, manipulative, and calculated effort to dress up religion in scientific-seeming veneer in order to sound impressively plausible to the scientifically-uninformed.

They do not play by the rules of science and co-opt the respectability and educated "feel" of science to promote their religious dogma.

Creation "science" doesn't care a bit about science. They only care about convincing people to believe them. They distort real science and lie to make that happen.

------------------
"We will still have perfect freedom to hold contrary views of our own, but to simply
close our minds to the knowledge painstakingly accumulated by hundreds of thousands
of scientists over long centuries is to deliberately decide to be ignorant and narrow-
minded."

-Steve Allen, from "Dumbth"


This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 10 of 238 (25131)
12-01-2002 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Ten-sai
12-01-2002 8:09 AM


Sorry, this little fish ain't takin' the bait.

I don't bother debating with crazy, angry, so-called "Christians".

You certainly have some anger-management issues, don't you? You certainly do fear women, too.

Wow, if being a Christian means I have to be like you, no thank you.

I was wondering...are you in a mental hospital for the crimially-insane somewhere and read a lot of law books?


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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 807 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 11 of 238 (25137)
12-01-2002 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Ten-sai
12-01-2002 8:09 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Ten-sai:
WE will peer review it right here!!

What qualifies you to be my peer, mister potty-mouth?

db


This message is a reply to:
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Ten-sai
Unregistered


Message 12 of 238 (25157)
12-01-2002 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by doctrbill
12-01-2002 10:40 AM


Hi Mr. Bill!

You said:
What qualifies you to be my peer, mister potty-mouth?

I say:
Do you mean someone with a potty mouth isn't YOUR peer? Maybe you could define "potty-mouth" for us????

Perhaps your flame was directed towards this end:

quote:
I was wondering...are you in a mental hospital for the crimially-insane somewhere and read a lot of law books?

Are you, like Shrafinator, a hypocrite Mr. Bill? Or is your modus operandi to also acquiesce to hypocrites so long as your position is supported? Good sound logic there!

More evidence of sound logic: I made an assertion of a substantive nature, illuminating certain LIES perpetuated, or acquiesced to at the very least, by some members on this forum. It is uncertain at this time if you fall into that category...

Nevertheless, instead of addressing substance, you impliedly conclude I am not your peer. What a bore you are!!! Anyway, before I tell you what qualifies ME as YOUR peer, you must LOGICALLY lay a proper foundation by telling me precisely what are the OBJECTIVE qualifications for a peer. Afterwards, establish YOU are a peer' under the "objective" guidelines (what qualifies YOU to be mine or anybody else's peer?). Good luck!!!!

We can talk about these irrelevant ad hominem things if you want, seeing how you clearly want to avoid getting into a discusion which addresses the logical FALLACY of certain closely held beliefs by the evolution crowd, to wit: "the God of the gaps fallacy" and "abiogenesis is logically irrelevant to evolution"....both untrue, and I bet both of these beliefs are embraced by yourself??? Who is surprised you would get ticked off? My guess is that I was the first to challenge these patently FALSE reliances of yours et al on pseudologic.

One last thing, "Dr." Bill, you wouldn't happen to be a doctor of logic would you? How did I know you weren't?

Peace,

Ten-sai


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gene90
Member (Idle past 1866 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 13 of 238 (25159)
12-01-2002 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by jcgirl92
12-01-2002 12:41 AM


quote:
By the way, is it that Christians are abusing science just because they believe that the world around us didn't come into being by accident?

To say that something happened by "accident" is to imply purpose, which is outside the realm of science. I know Gould and many others do this in their popular books but it isn't a scientific outlook, as no evidence can quantify whether something can happen by "accident".

[QUOTE][B]Or is it just that everyone in the world has the same evidence that we're looking at[/QUOTE][/B]

The problem is that lots of Creationists have a problem of distorting evidence to make their case look appealing. And there are those that basically distort science so much as to make it into a lie in order to make their case seem appealing. To make it worse, these people pander to audiences with no science background and pretend to have credentials. (Anybody want to guess which Creationist I have in mind when I say this?)

[QUOTE][B]There have been many major and well-respected scientists who believed that the world was created by an intelligent being[/QUOTE][/B]

Yes, but believing the world was created is not the same as saying it was made in a week, ex nihilo, 6,000 years ago, then had a global flood. VERY very few people with competant backgrounds in science, especially biology and the geosciences, make that kind of claim. Of course there are a few. There are a few (the late atronomer royale Sir Fred Hoyle for one) that believe the Universe had no beginning and that HIV fell to Earth from a comet. There are some people with competant science backgrounds who believe space aliens abduct people for experimentation. That doesn't make it so.

Plus, you should read the lists of "Creation Scientists" certain groups put out. They run heavy on engineers, social scientists, and even people such as plastic surgeons, but are weak in geologists. Even then, quite a few of their most famous "creationists" lived before the Theory of Evolution even came about!


This message is a reply to:
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Tranquility Base
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 238 (25172)
12-01-2002 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Quetzal
12-01-2002 7:57 AM


Quetzal

The point is that it is up to the reader to distinguish between the idiot YECs, the misinformed YECs and the well informed and honest YECs. We can't control what uneducated YECs will post on websites!

YECS have to put up with uneducated and completely biased evolutionists just as much as you guys have to put up with misinformed, uneducated and biased YECs.

[This message has been edited by Tranquility Base, 12-01-2002]


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jcgirl92
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 238 (25176)
12-01-2002 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by gene90
12-01-2002 5:35 PM


"Plus, you should read the lists of "Creation Scientists" certain groups put out. They run heavy on engineers, social scientists, and even people such as plastic surgeons, but are weak in GEOLOGISTS."

My great-grandfather was a geologist and was a practicing Christian
- Sir Edmund Teale
Not hugely famous, but, just so that you know, there are also geologists out there who believe in the Bible!!!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by gene90, posted 12-01-2002 5:35 PM gene90 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by doctrbill, posted 12-01-2002 9:55 PM jcgirl92 has responded
 Message 26 by zipzip, posted 12-03-2002 3:36 AM jcgirl92 has not yet responded
 Message 30 by gene90, posted 12-03-2002 5:27 PM jcgirl92 has not yet responded
 Message 232 by alicelove, posted 09-26-2005 5:29 PM jcgirl92 has not yet responded

  
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