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


(2)
Message 28 of 245 (548736)
03-01-2010 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
03-01-2010 5:28 AM


As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

I really, really despise your insipid mindless middle nonsense.

There have been two major anti-religion despotic regimes - Communist Russia and China. It is very true that both of these regimes have committed vast atrocities and crimes against humanity, including mass purges of their own citizenry.

However, the purges were not on the order of "kill all the religious people." It was not a purge of the faithful. Instead, it was a political purge. Anyone who was not loyal to the Party was a target - this included religious leaders and pious citizens who would not acknowledge teh Party as their highest loyalty, true. But it also included anyone else who did so for any other reason as well.

Stalin wasn't out to kill Christians like some Roman emperor throwing them to the lions. He was killing off anyone loyal to the opposition, in any form that might take. It's not even clear that Stalin himself was an Atheist, as he had some strong ties to Orthodoxy.

To identify this as some sort of purge to create a religion-free society is grossly dishonest, as it paints atheism as the cause when any honest glance at history shows that atheism itslef was a means to an end in this case, while actual religious purges are themselves the sought after end.

And to suggest that anti-religion mass murders have been worse than religiously-motivated purges is blatantly stupid.

The Holocaust was religiously motivated, and there is frankly no way to argue otherwise if you read even just a few excerpts from Mein Kampf (a stomach turning exercise, but then, nobody ever claimed history was pretty).

The Inquisition was quite obviously religiously motivated. There is no possible way to contest this.

The Salem Witch Trials were the same.

The Crusades were religiously motivated. September 11th was both religiously and politically motivated. American slavery and the genocide of the Native Americans were religiously justified, if not realistically religiously motivated.

It's true that there are "whackos" of every political and religious (and irreligious) persuasion. Sociopathic behavior is rooted in the individual, and the rest is just the trappings.

But some philosophies do lend themselves to work as motivations or jsutifications of abhorrent behavior more than others. Atheism isn't even a philosophy in and of itself - it's simply an absence of any belief in deities. It's rather difficult to jump from "there are no gods" to "we should kill all the Jews."

Christianity, however, has been used to justify all manner of atrocities - including killing Jews, who after all killed Jesus remember, or taking blacks as slaves, because after all they were the seed of Ham, or destroying Native American cultures, since they're just filthy heathens anyway, or shunning the use of condoms in the middle of the African AIDS epidemic...

I don't think I need to go into detail about Islam, given many of that religion's worst atrocities have been committed recently enough for us to remember the headlines.

Perhaps I should touch on the barbarism required by the native Aztec religion? Or should I mention the suffering caused by traditional Hindu beliefs?

My advice to you is not to turn this in to an "Us versus Them" thing. That would only further perpetuate ignorance.

Indeed. You've already perpetuated more than enough on your own.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-01-2010 5:28 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Buzsaw, posted 03-01-2010 7:35 PM Rahvin has responded
 Message 91 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-02-2010 9:30 AM Rahvin has responded

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


Message 37 of 245 (548795)
03-01-2010 9:16 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Buzsaw
03-01-2010 7:35 PM


Re: Communist Religious Persecution
Grossly dishonest? Why then did it become necessary to smuggle Bibles into the nation at the peril of imprisonment, torture and/or death?

Like China, they had a few state licensed show churches which were allowed only what the state mandated. The purpose of these were solely propaganda.

Yes, Buz, grossly dishonest, although even Hyro's typical mindless middle habits pale in comparison to the complete red herring you're posting now.

I never said China was a "good place."

I simply said that it;s grossly dishonest for Hyro to say that:

quote:
As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

Hyro was being extremely inaccurate, both in saying that the atrocities committed by "atheist regimes" outnumber those committed in the name of religion, and by gross distortion in saying that the atrocities that were committed by those regimes were done to favor atheism or out of some atheistic mandate.

Your words, Buz, of course have nothing whatsoever to do with any of that.

Saying "Oh yeah?! China is guilty of human rights abuses, including the repression of the freedom of religion!" doesn't in any way change the facts I stated above. it does nothing to further Hyro's accuracies.

In short Buz, you posted a red herring.

And then:

What you want Taz is for gub'ment to continue the establishment of athiestic secularism into the schools and ban any religious exercisement in the schools. You people want to eliminate the republic so as to get your athiestic and secularist agenda exclusive in schools. You want the kiddies to be totally indoctrinated into your stuff.

BULLSHIT, you dihonest lying waste of bandwidth.

The law does not ban religious exercise in schools - it only bans school-led and publicly-funded religious exercise. that means kids CAN pray in school, but the teachers can't lead them in prayer. The two are very different. Your child can pray to Yahweh in school personally without fear of a teacher leading your child in a prayer to Allah or Visnu or Quetzalcoatl or being told that Yahweh does not exist.

Public schools do not in any way say that God(s) does not exist. Public schools are required to simply say nothing about religion, so that (what a concept) parents and the children themselves can decide what religious beliefs they should or should not have, rather than those beliefs being dictated or even suggested by the state.

We've told you this so many times, Buz, that I'm straight-up calling you a liar. You are bearing false witness. You are making a false statement that you know to be false.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Buzsaw, posted 03-01-2010 7:35 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Buzsaw, posted 03-01-2010 11:40 PM Rahvin has not yet responded
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 99 of 245 (548909)
03-02-2010 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Hyroglyphx
03-02-2010 9:30 AM


The Mindless Middle
quote:
I really, really despise your insipid mindless middle nonsense.

What does "middle nonsense" consist of???

It's "mindless middle" nonsense, actually.

The Mindless Middle refers to the strong tendency to seek the "middle ground" in any given dispute and attribute to it a higher likelihood of accuracy than "either side," and label this conclusion as "objectivity." You'll note that at no point is such an assessment actually based on an analysis of facts, but is rather determined by making a compromise of sorts from all sides of any dispute.

You do this...a lot. You're not alone. It's unfortunately common in hotly contested issues (you're unlikely to see the Mindless middle at work when it comes to whether the Earth is flat or an ovoid sphere, for instance, but it pops up as "teach the controversy" and similar arguments commonly in the EvC debate).

In this case, you've made a statement to paint atheism in the same historically negative light as religion in terms of crimes agaisnt humanity - a sort of massive scale to quoque fallacy.

Objectivity does not mean maintaining absolute neutrality towards each side and seeking the "truth" from all sides. It does not mean trying to find any "middle ground."

Objectivity means impassionately following the facts, regardless of where they lead, unswerved by any emotional bias - including the emotional sense of "fairness" that instinctually urges us to seek compromise. In some cases, one side is simply wrong.

quote:
Stalin wasn't out to kill Christians like some Roman emperor throwing them to the lions. He was killing off anyone loyal to the opposition, in any form that might take. It's not even clear that Stalin himself was an Atheist, as he had some strong ties to Orthodoxy.

You are right to say that Stalin's goal was a political purge, however, Stalin was very much against religion because it heavily conflicted with Marxist ideology. And yes, he attended the seminary in his youth but grew to despise it, possibly more than you despise my "insipid mindless middle nonsense."

The Marxist philosophy in question (that religion is the opiate of the masses, and that religious persuits detract from work that benefits the state) is, in fact, identical to Stalin's political motivation: he wanted the competition out. Remember, for all intents and purposes, Stalin was the state.

The relevant fact here is that this purge cannot be attributed to atheism. It was a political purge, spawned of political ideology. How do we know this? There is no atheistic ideology or philosophy whatsoever. It's ratehr difficult to say that the teachigns of atheism led to a purge of the faithful when atheism has, in fact, no teachings at all.

quote:
And to suggest that anti-religion mass murders have been worse than religiously-motivated purges is blatantly stupid.

It's not a matter of being "worse" in linear terms, but rather the amount killed in relatively much shorter period of time. I am simply illustrating that to indict religion as being a cause for violence is foolish when juxtaposing the opposite. The problem is not religion or irrelegion as it were, but the condition of the human heart itself.

Then the Holocaust trumps all, since Stalin's purges are irrelevant (being politically driven, not atheistically).

Propaganda exists with many faces and people invent all sorts of justifications for why their aims should continue under the threat of sword.

Undisputed. Crazies will be crazies, they just use whatever is avialable to justify theur craziness.

However, it is true that some religions (curiously, not all of them) do lend themselves to justification of sociopathic behavior than others. Certain facets of modern Christian fundamentalism, for example, very easily lend themselves to the killing of abortion doctors, while various other belief systems are less suited to be used as justification for such an act. In some cases, the zealous teachings of a religion can actually create a sociopath (see modern suicide bombers).

Atheism itself has no teachings, and so it's not possible to honestly state that it can somehow be used in a similar way to validate the delusions of a sociopathic whackjob. There's no central philosophy. Remember how many fundamentalists believe that, without a belief in God, people would run amok raping and pillaging and killing? Remember how they're wrong? That's because simply not believing in deities carries no motivation for any specific action (the closest would simply be a disinclination to participate in worship services or pray, for obvious reasons).

quote:
The Holocaust was religiously motivated, and there is frankly no way to argue otherwise if you read even just a few excerpts from Mein Kampf (a stomach turning exercise, but then, nobody ever claimed history was pretty).

The Holocause was less religiously motivated than it was eugenically, socially and racially motivated, since homosexuals, the mentally retarded, gypsy, and Jew were swept up in a tide of pro-cacausian fervor.

Have you ever read Mein Kampf? Hitler wrote it before his political rise to power, and it gives a (rather uncomfortable) startling look into his motivations for the Holocaust.

Here are some quotes:

quote:
"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

quote:
"The root of the whole evil lay, particularly in Schonerer's opinion, in the fact that the directing body of the Catholic Church was not in Germany, and that for this very reason alone it was hostile to the interests of our nationality."

quote:
"Certainly we don't have to discuss these matters with the Jews, the most modern inventors of this cultural perfume. Their whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics of the Lord's image."

quote:
"Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children."

quote:
"What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe."

quote:
"The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties-- and this against their own nation."

There's plenty more, but I think that's more than enough.

Hitler's motivations for the Holocaust were religiously motivated - and were hardly new. He drew very heavily from none other than Martin Luther - the ferociously antisemitic father of all Protestantism (which makes it all the more ironic that Hitler so favored Catholicism). His vision of racial and moral purity were driven by an interpretation of Christian dogma that today almost any Christian would find abhorrent and twisted, but which was immensely popular at the time (and still exists, though thankfully in greatly diminished form).

Homosexuals, the handicapped, gypsies, Jews, blacks, and anyone else of insufficient Aryan purity (including adherence to the Nazi version of Christian morality) was included in the Holocaust, and this was religiously motivated. Hitler considered Christianity to be the "true Aryan religion," and drew his vision of racial purity from Biblical teachings (in much the same way Buz does today when he says that the races were created separately and should thus remain; thankfully, Buz and those like him don;t often cross over into the "kill the other races" arena in the modern age).

quote:
The Salem Witch Trials were the same.

It's really silly to use the Salem Witch Trials since it was localized and about 25 people died versus Nazi-Germany's concentration camps or the Soviet Union's gulags which killed, imprisoned, or persecuted millions.

Perhaps, if we're talking about rapid mass murder. I simply included it as yet another case of obviously religiously motivated crimes against humanity.

quote:
It's true that there are "whackos" of every political and religious (and irreligious) persuasion. Sociopathic behavior is rooted in the individual, and the rest is just the trappings.

That really is all I'm saying, so I don't see the need to be so defensive as if you fall in to that category by proxy because you're an atheist.

It's not defensiveness - it's annoyance at your Mindless Middle conclusions. "You do it too" is only valid if, in fact, you can show actual facts that show that atheism inspired mass atrocities on the scale of those inspired by religion. You never did so - you simply made the unsupported statement that atheistic atrocities have dwarfed religious atrocities in teh mdoern age, a statement which is outright false when actual facts are brought into play.

My point is there is nothing inherently wrong with being religious or irrelegious, since there are good-natured people of both persuasions who have never hurt a soul.

You'll find no arguemnt from me there. There is nothing inherently wrong with being religious, except that it suggests a lack of objectivity. However, I would never suggest that anyone believe anything other than what their conscience dictates. I may find certain beleifs to be reprehensible or silly or even stupid or monstrous, but I respect the right of every person to reach their own conclusions on what to believe based on what facts are available to them.

quote:
But some philosophies do lend themselves to work as motivations or jsutifications of abhorrent behavior more than others. Atheism isn't even a philosophy in and of itself - it's simply an absence of any belief in deities. It's rather difficult to jump from "there are no gods" to "we should kill all the Jews."

It is not always simply an absence of belief. As illustrated by China, Germany, and Russia, religion is antagonistic towards despotism because it offers people outside of the regime that the despots want to control.

Religion is in no way antagonistic towards despotism - see Saudi Arabia, Iran, recently the Taliban, etc.

Stalin and Mao took Marx's suggestion that religion can work to the detriment of the state by either distraction or outright opposition. Other tyrannical states habe used religion to serve their purposes. The greatest example may in fact be North Korea, where Kim Jung Il is worshipped as a living God.

quote:
Christianity, however, has been used to justify all manner of atrocities - including killing Jews, who after all killed Jesus remember, or taking blacks as slaves, because after all they were the seed of Ham, or destroying Native American cultures, since they're just filthy heathens anyway, or shunning the use of condoms in the middle of the African AIDS epidemic.

I'm not religious, so I don't have any affection towards any religion.

Which unfortunately does not guarantee your objectivity.

Like you said people use religious justifications to enact their loathing for something. I am simply saying that is also done in reverse as well.

Name a single atheistic teaching that can be used to jsutify anything. Just one. Any teaching. At all.

The religious persecution that exists in China, even to this day, is frightening. Christians and Falun Gong practioners are routinely persecuted and there is even growing evidence that Christians, Falun Gong, and prisoners organs have been harvested with the government's knowledge and consent.

And as I've said, I do not dispute that China is not exactly a role model for human rights. I simply dispute the attribution of those abuses to atheism, because atheism itself has absolutely no teachings or philosophy on which to base any action, good or bad. China's abuses are committed for purely political reasons. Religion is persecuted for political reasons. It has nothign to do with atheism, and everything to do with unchallenged state control of the population.

You could jsut as easily attribute China's atrocities to internet censorship, since it has the same role in Chinese rule as atheism. A means to an end is not the same as a motivation; enforced atheism is simply a means toward the end of eliminating competition for the hearts and minds of the population, and is motivated by a political doctrine of complete state control.

Why these individuals? Because they're expendable blights on mankind in the eyes of the PRC.

Correction: because they are competition in the eyes of the PRC.

quote:
My advice to you is not to turn this in to an "Us versus Them" thing. That would only further perpetuate ignorance.

Indeed. You've already perpetuated more than enough on your own.


How is that so if I am being objective and you and Hooah seem to be only pointing the finger in one direction?

Here is where you truly demonstrate teh Mindless Middle: you are not being objective at all. Pointing in "one direction" does not in any way mean that someone is not being objective.

In a discussion on the shape of the Earth, an objective analysis of facts will lead to all "fingers" pointing in the direction of a rough ovoid sphere, and none pointing towards a flat circle.

You aren't being objective, Hyro. You rarely are. Instead, you're seeking a compromise between "both sides." You believe that "both sides"have some "truth" to them, and so you conclude that reality is somewhere "in the middle." Your accusation that atheism is "just as bad" as religion when ti comes to atrocities is based solely on trying to find some middle ground that appeals to your inner sense of fairness...but is not in any way based on an objective analysis of fact.

PS - I can't claim credit for the term Mindless Middle. I first heard it from Mike Wong, of CreationTheory.org.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-02-2010 9:30 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by dronestar, posted 03-02-2010 12:33 PM Rahvin has not yet responded
 Message 127 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-06-2010 10:59 AM Rahvin has responded

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


Message 106 of 245 (548917)
03-02-2010 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Buzsaw
03-02-2010 1:07 PM


Re: Establishment Of Athiesm
establishment of athiestic values.

As an Atheist, I'd love to hear what these "atheistic values" are.

Can you name them? Perhaps even one?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Buzsaw, posted 03-02-2010 1:07 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by AZPaul3, posted 03-02-2010 1:45 PM Rahvin has not yet responded
 Message 116 by Buzsaw, posted 03-02-2010 6:02 PM Rahvin has responded

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


(1)
Message 115 of 245 (548946)
03-02-2010 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Buzsaw
03-02-2010 8:56 AM


Re: A secular system...
quote:
DA85 writes:

Why? Why is it hard for you as a Christian to have the same rights as everyone else?


You're still not getting it, DC. Christians and creationists don't have the same rights as the secular humanists. Their ideology is exclusively taught in the classrooms.

This is completely and 100% false. As is often the case with you and this topic, Buz.

"Secular humanism" is not taught at all in public schools.

"Atheism" is not taught at all in schools.

What is taught is science. Current scientific theories date the Earth at a few billion years old, and explain the diversity of life we observe today through the Theory of Evolution. This is not secular humanism. It is methodological naturalism...in other words, science. It is not a religion; it is a means of investigating the world around us in verifiable, testable ways through the use of our physical senses, with am emphasis on discarding anything shown by evidence to be inaccurate in favor of ever more accurate models.

Creationists and Christians are not restricted in tehir rights. At all. Children of any religion are welcome to pray in schools - they simply will not be led in prayer by the faculty on the public dime, because we all (including you, Buz) need to respect the rights of the parents and children who do not have the same religious views; the state cannot be used to endorese, even with the basic suggestion that there is or is not a deity, any religious belief so that all faiths are protected from the tyranny of the state.

At no point is Christianity challenged in public schools. Nobody tells kids that Jesus didn;t exist, or that mankind wasn;t made by God. Likewise, teachers are not permitted to say that those things are the case, to respect the rights of the Muslims and Hindus and Jews and atheists and Native Americans and Buddhists and everyone else.

The one place where some religious dogma comes into conflict is in science class. Religion is not science. There is no scientific controversy on these subjects. At all. And while religion is not taught because it would be inappropriate and illegal, nonreligion is not supported either. Again, at no point does the teacher say "...and all of this happened without God."

Children are simply taught what current scientific theories state. The only alternative is to compeltely scrap science class (as including state-sponsored religious education is bared by the very same Constitutional amendment that ensures that the kinds are allowed to individually pray). This, of course, would be a gross disservice to the kids and to the nation's future, and so it's not really an option at all.

Note that not all religions have a problem with modern scientific models dealing with human origins and the age of the Earth. MNost Christians don't even have a problem with it,noting as a specific example that the Catholic Church endorses the Theory of Evolution as being scientifically accurate and having no conflict with Genesis. A very small minority believes that the scinetific models for the age of teh Earth and diversity of life are inaccurate...and their beliefs on the matter are not scientific in nature, but rather are based solely on faith and religion.

Buz, school ignores religion. The appropriate response to any religious question in a public school is "go home and ask your parents, or ask your religious leader. Religion is a topic best left to you and your families, not to schools, because not all of us are going to beleive the same things." This treats all religions, as well as atheism and agnosticism, failtly and equitably. The way religion is treated in schools today protects the freedom of religion and the ability of parents and their children tobelieve or notbelieve according to the dictates of their own conscience without interference from teh state.

Only a twisted mind can pretend otherwise if you even take a cursory glance at the facts.

Buz, next time you claim that the rights of CHristians and fundamentalists are being violated by the curriculum of public schools, I demand that you post in detail the violation, including what aspect of the curriculum is in legal error, what legal basis you are using to make such an assessment, and what course of action would legally remedy the situation.

If you cannot do those things, then you are making a statement you know you cannot support, and are in effect lying.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Buzsaw, posted 03-02-2010 8:56 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

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


Message 119 of 245 (548953)
03-02-2010 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by Buzsaw
03-02-2010 6:02 PM


Re: Establishment Of Athiesm
You, the athiest are asking me?

Well, you were the one who claimes atheism had any values. It was reasonable to conclude that you knew what values you thought atheism carries.

You are the one who ascribes to their alleged values. That is, athiesm must have values which entice you.

I presume that you don't believe in Santa Claus. Does "Aclausism" have values that entice you?

Atheism is simply a lack of belief in deities. Nothing mroe or less. There is no philosophy or set of life guidelines, no traditions or dogma.

It jsut means I'm not convinced that deities exist. There are no values, benefits, or anythign else. I don't "cling" to atheism to shirk some sort of "responsibility" to a deity - how could I, if I don't think that the deity even exists?

I would suppose one of them would be that athiesm makes you think that you' re not answerable to a higher power and no matter what you do, good or bad, will have no eternal consequenses.

I'm answerable to plenty of "powers," however you want to interpret that. I have plenty of restrictions on my behavior - you'll note that I'm not, in fact, a raving homicidal maniac.

In fact, the only difference between me and any Christian you are likely to name is that I don't go to church on Sundays. I don't steal, I don't kill, I try not to lie, I don't cheat on my partners, and I don't kick kittens for fun.

I'm a member of society, you see. Society has placed restrictions on my behavior (some enforced, some optional) that carry consequences that range from losing social acceptance and being ostracized to actual imprisonment or even execution.

And from my perspective, execution is a rather eternal consequence.

Atheism is not hedonism, after all Buz. Atheism is separate from any and all ethical philosophies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Buzsaw, posted 03-02-2010 6:02 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

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


Message 133 of 245 (549503)
03-08-2010 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by Hyroglyphx
03-06-2010 10:59 AM


Re: The Mindless Middle
quote:
The Mindless Middle refers to the strong tendency to seek the "middle ground" in any given dispute and attribute to it a higher likelihood of accuracy than "either side," and label this conclusion as "objectivity." You'll note that at no point is such an assessment actually based on an analysis of facts, but is rather determined by making a compromise of sorts from all sides of any dispute.

You do this...a lot.


This mindless middle that you've assimilated me in to is characteristic of people who just shy away from conflict. These are people pleasers who are more afraid of being offensive than anything else.

In some cases, yes, but not always. Some of them (and I count you in this subset) actually believe that they are being objective, when they are doing nothing of the sort.

Objectivity requires adherence to facts and logic and nothign else. Not opinions, not compromise. When we see the shape of the Earth from space, we know that obviously the "truth" is not somewhere in the "middle" of the flat-Earth and round-Earth debate.

As an aside, the Midless Middle in politics brings us political drift - when everyone agrees that the correct course of action is "somewhere in the middle," all one side needs to do to swing things their way is to become even more extreme, moving the "center" farther in their direction.

I don't fall in to any of those categories. How many times have I excoriated religious folk on this forum? How many times have I had scathing criticism of the anti-religious folk?

Irrelevant. I;m not claiming that you're biased. I;m claiming that you're not objective. In this thread you;ve made unsupported statements suggesting that "neither side is right." You took a "middle" position, without actually analyzing any facts at all - and it bit you in the ass, because your statements were factually wrong.

1. I'm not seeking their approval or disapproval
2. I'm not meekly tip-toeing around afraid the rock the boat

Irrelevant. These have nothing whatsoever to do with what I;m saying you do.

3. I attempt to view it fairly and not group people together by virtue of association, but rather look at individual (ine)qualities.

"Fairness" is not objective. Fairness is the very definition of the Mindless Middle.

Sometimes it's acceptable to withold "taking sides," particularly when there is insufficient information to make such a judgment with a reasonable degree of certainty that the conclusion will be accurate.

But "being fair" has absolutely nothing to do with being objective. See the definition I posted earlier.

4. My reasons aren't mindless. My reasoning is specific, not just ways to "keep the peace."

Your reasons are irrelevant. Your argument is mindless, because it contains to analysis of fact. It's an unsupported statement.

quote:
In this case, you've made a statement to paint atheism in the same historically negative light as religion in terms of crimes agaisnt humanity - a sort of massive scale to quoque fallacy.

Nonsense, because I never said atheism. You just assumed it and immediately went on the defensive. You're now posturing to defend your worldview that was never in jeopardy to begin with.

I said anti-religion very clearly. To be anti-religious you have to be an atheist, but you don't have to be anti-religious in order to be an atheist. Same concept is Londoners are British, but not all Brits are Londoners.

Liar. See the following quotes from the message I initially responded to:

quote:
Show me where an atheist has don harm in the name of the FSM, or in the name of atheism.

I would tread lightly if I were you. There are whacko's on your side of the fence too.

As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

You were directly responding to a comment regarding atheism, and you specifically referred to "despots seeking a religion-free utopia." What else ycould that have meant, Hyro? Do you think I'm an idiot, or just too lazy to look back at what you actually said? Your furious backpedalling won't make your comments any more objective.

quote:
Objectivity does not mean maintaining absolute neutrality towards each side and seeking the "truth" from all sides.

I know. It's not about neutrality, it's about reality. And the reality is that it just so happens that all atheists aren't anti-religious who are drunk on the blood of Christians, and it just so happens that all religionists aren't cooking up atheist-stew. Is that neutrality or is that probably more closely akin to the way things really are?

This has nothign to do with the comments you made earlier. It's a red herring. You claimed, and I quote,

I would tread lightly if I were you. There are whacko's on your side of the fence too.

As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

You claimed that the number of people killed "under the pretense of religion" is outnumbered by recent mass-murders motivated by a vision of a "religion-free utopia."

That specific statement was false. It was also a Mindless Middle arguemnt, because it sought to paint "both sides" as guilty, yet provided no facts at all to support any such assertion.

quote:
The relevant fact here is that this purge cannot be attributed to atheism. It was a political purge, spawned of political ideology. How do we know this? There is no atheistic ideology or philosophy whatsoever. It's ratehr difficult to say that the teachigns of atheism led to a purge of the faithful when atheism has, in fact, no teachings at all.

Let's not be coy. The very basic nature of atheism is disbelief. Many, if not most, simply disbelieve and provide compelling reasons for that disbelief. However, an entire ideology has in fact been engendered around the umbrella of atheism. That isn't an indictment on atheism, just the fact that some people use it as justification for their anti-religious works.

Atheism contains no ideology! It's simply a lack of belief (for some, an active dis-belief) in deities. THAT IS ALL. I;m used to repeating this to people like Buz or ICANT, but you should know better, Hyro. There is absolutely no coherent ideology surrounding atheism. There's no Great Book of Atheism, no dogma, no clergy, no central philosophy. Atheists don't believe in god(s) for all manner of different reasons, ranging from logical exclusion of the unevidenced, opposition to the idea of a "higher power," a belief in "spritis" but not deities, and a thousand and one others.

Once again, you're just being absurd.

How do I know? Look at all the blowhards in the anti-religion movement who easily are louder than all the religious apologists combined.

And another factually wrong Mindless Middle statement. You're on a roll, Hyro. You've once again claimed that "both sides do this and are equally wrong," without actually qualifying such a statement with facts or evidence or even a logical analysis of the tactics of each.

You can't even defend yourself against a claim of a Mindless Middle argument without making another such argument. Pathetic.

They proselytize in the same manner as their inglorious, religious counterparts. They hold conferences on disbelief, they form churches of disbelief, they actively seek to subvert religion. Nothing about that is simple disbelief.

Who is "they," Hyro? I've never seen a "church of disbelief." Have you" Where? I;ve never met an atheist on the street handing our Jack Chick-esque pamphlets seeking to subvert the faithful.

Are you allergic to evidence, objectivity, or just logic?

Atheism is a non-belief. Yet the anti-religious atheists seem to look upon it as if to a God in the form of believing.

What? THis stament is meaningless. You mean that a subset of atheists persue atheism with a ferver equivalent to those who zealously worship their god(s)? What does theis have to do with the argument at hand?

It seems you've reached the point of just ranting and spouting red herrings.

You still haven't shown how your statement:

I would tread lightly if I were you. There are whacko's on your side of the fence too.

As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

was not an unsupported attempt to cast both "sides" of an arguemtn in an equal light. You;ve still failed to show any form of analysis or present and facts to support the statement that anti-religious regimes have been just as bad or worse than religious ones, and that those regimes were motivated by atheism in the same way that the religious ones were motivated by their specific faiths.

All you;ve done is add more Mindless Middle arguments. Good job, Hyro. You;re making this easy for me.

It just echo's my point that, like anything else, people find justifications for anything.

And if that had been all that you said, we wouldn;t be having this conversation.

Within religion or irreligion some people misuse it. They twist and contort for their own ends. But to say that all atheists and all religious people are crazy and fanatical is propaganda all its own.

Nobody claimed that all of anyone was crazy and fanatical. Apparently you're well-versed in teh creation of Straw Men as well as Mindless Middle arguments. Good for you!

But I'm curious - precisely and specifically which central tenet of atheism is ever "twisted and contorted" for some negative purpose? I find it difficult to believe that a position defined only by a lack of any belief in deities can possibly be "twisted" to any end at all.

You can call that me being in the "mindless middle," I call it common sense.

Common sense is not rational or logical.

Most of all, common sense is not objective.

Your "common sense" is worse than useless here.

This is common sense and has nothing to do with appeasement or placating, or finding middle ground, or seeking a compromise. It's about facts. The simple fact is that on any side of a debate there exists people who manipulate their basic ideological premise.

YOU HAVE NOT PRESENTED A SINGLE FACT TO SUPPORT YOUR COMMENTS IN THIS ENTIRE DISCUSSION! Do not try now to claim that your positions have anything to do with evidence!

What reasonable person would disagree with that? Only people with bias would argue that point because they feel it is a personal slight against them. Why is that? Because they're too wrapped up in the "Us vs Them" dichotomy and have lost objectivity.

You haven't the faintest clue whay objectivity is, Hyro, as you've amply demonstrated here.

TO be objective, you would've needed to present a fact to support your arguments.

You haven't presented even one. That's rather telling.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-06-2010 10:59 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by nwr, posted 03-08-2010 12:38 PM Rahvin has responded
 Message 146 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-08-2010 6:13 PM Rahvin has responded

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


Message 136 of 245 (549507)
03-08-2010 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by nwr
03-08-2010 12:38 PM


Re: The Mindless Middle
quote:
Objectivity requires adherence to facts and logic and nothign else. Not opinions, not compromise.

That would make one a mindless mechanical robot.

Only if you consider that the scientific method requires all scientists to be "mindless mechanical robots."

Besides, this is an appeal to consequence fallacy - whether objectivity results in bland automatons or not is irrelevant to whether or not objectivity does or does not require a strict adherence to facts and logic to the exclusion of all personal opinions, preferences, emotions, and other forms of human bias.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by nwr, posted 03-08-2010 12:38 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by nwr, posted 03-08-2010 1:58 PM Rahvin has responded

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


Message 139 of 245 (549526)
03-08-2010 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by nwr
03-08-2010 1:58 PM


Re: The Mindless Middle
No, there is no such requirement.

Precisely. While a scientific theory must remain objective and contain as little human bias as possible, the scientists are not turned into machines.

In other words, objectivity does not turn one into a "mindless mechanical robot" as you said.

I don't need to be objective when I decide whether I enjoyed a movie or not. But if I'm going to make a claim about reality, I do need to be as objective as possible in order to prevent my personal bias from affecting my accuracy.

Without personal opinions, preference, emotions and other forms of human bias, there would be no science.

Scientists tend to be highly opinionated, and their scientific work often arises from strong emotions. Their choice to consider objective evidence as more important than financial reward is itself a choice derived from emotions.

And yet the peer review process exists specifically to weed out those conclusions that are driven to inaccuracy by the personal bias of those submitting a paper.

You seem to believe that I actually said that scientists are required to think like robots. This is not the case. I said that scientists are required to be objective. You were the one who claimed that maintaining objectivity turned one into an automaton.

There is no requirement for scientists to be emotionless machines without opinions. However, when a scientists (or indeed anyone) makes a specific claim, human bias in the form of preconceived opinions and emotions detract from accuracy. Whether you or I like the rate of U235 decay is irrelevant. Whether ICANT believes in a global Flood 6-10,000 years ago is irrelevant.

All that matters when making a specific claim are the facts and the logical reasoning that draws a conclusion from them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by nwr, posted 03-08-2010 1:58 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by nwr, posted 03-08-2010 3:50 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

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


Message 147 of 245 (549564)
03-08-2010 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Hyroglyphx
03-08-2010 6:13 PM


Re: The Mindless Middle
quote:
Some of them (and I count you in this subset) actually believe that they are being objective, when they are doing nothing of the sort.

Oh, I see, so now I'm also delusional. Great.

I think you simply have an inaccurate sense of what being objective entails. I wouldn't necessarily stretch that so far as to say you're delusional.

quote:
As an aside, the Midless Middle in politics brings us political drift - when everyone agrees that the correct course of action is "somewhere in the middle," all one side needs to do to swing things their way is to become even more extreme, moving the "center" farther in their direction.

What does that have to do with the state of facts either being accurate or inaccurate or a mixture of both?

You miss the point. That comment was a barely-on-topic aside mentioning teh effect the Mindless Middle has on modern politics. When the populace believes that the correct stance is a compromise between two sides, one side has merely to adopt an extreme version of their position to move the "middle" in their direction. It;s something like haggling - you start by asking for a significantly lower price than you know you'll get so that the seller has room to make a counteroffer while still giving a lower price than if you had offered a fair price immediately.

This isn't something you're doing. It's simply me mentioning another application of the same phenomenon you've demonstrated.

quote:
I;m not claiming that you're biased. I;m claiming that you're not objective. In this thread you;ve made unsupported statements suggesting that "neither side is right." You took a "middle" position, without actually analyzing any facts at all - and it bit you in the ass, because your statements were factually wrong.

You're going to have to point out what I said that was "factually wrong" because I'm on several different forums discussing several different topics.

In this particular thread, you said that more people have been killed in recent times by atheistic regimes than by religiously motivated ones. That claim is factually wrong. As I showed in message 99 of this thread, Hitler's Holocaust was in fact religiously motivated, while the purges of Russia were not motivated by atheism - rather, atheism was, like the purge itself, just a means to an end motivated by the political desire to eliminate political competition.

In other words, of the two most horriffic mass-murders of modern history, one was actually religious in nature while the other was done in the name of politics, not atheism, meaning your statements were factually incorrect, unless you can point to a mass murder motivated by atheism that carried a higher death toll.

quote:
Irrelevant. I;m not claiming that you're biased. I;m claiming that you're not objective.

But being objective is not relying on a bias, so which is it?

Not quite. If I claimed you were biased, I would be suggesting that you leaned one way or another on a topic in a way that was not justified by evidence. When I say you're not being objective, I'm saying that you're not basing your statements on facts, but are instead throwing out unsupported assertions based on "common knowledge' (itself a cesspool of misinformation - "common knowledge" results in laughable absurdities like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the X-Men shaping public perceptions on mutation and genetics).

I believe you when you say you have no preference or personal stake. I also note that you didn't qualify your claims with evidence, meaning you cannot be objective.

quote:
"Fairness" is not objective. Fairness is the very definition of the Mindless Middle.

Well, you're dead wrong about that. "Fairness" is the synonym of objective. Here, for your own peace of mind.

I feel like you're asking me to define the word is instead of answering a question directly.

Let me quote the definition of "objective" that I used for my "On Objectivity and the Mindless Middle" thread:

quote:
Objective
5. Not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased

The definition of "fairness" I'm using as it applies to the context of this thread is the practice of giving "both sides" equal consideration, regardless of the evidencial support. In other words, "you're just as bad," or "both sides are partially right," when such statements are not supported with an analysis of relevent facts.

Nonsense, because I never said atheism. You just assumed it and immediately went on the defensive. You're now posturing to defend your worldview that was never in jeopardy to begin with.

I said anti-religion very clearly. To be anti-religious you have to be an atheist, but you don't have to be anti-religious in order to be an atheist. Same concept is Londoners are British, but not all Brits are Londoners.

quote:
Liar. See the following quotes from the message I initially responded to

I would tread lightly if I were you. There are whacko's on your side of the fence too.

As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

You were directly responding to a comment regarding atheism, and you specifically referred to "despots seeking a religion-free utopia." What else ycould that have meant, Hyro? Do you think I'm an idiot, or just too lazy to look back at what you actually said? Your furious backpedalling won't make your comments any more objective.


I very clearly said that to be anti-religion, one had (out of necessity) to be an atheist, but that not all atheists had to be anti-religious. I have been saying that from the beginning, all of which can be verified by simply reading everything I wrote. Oni then said that you could technically be agnostic or deist and be against religion (at least organized religion. I pondered that and came to the same conclusion and retracted my statement that one has to be an atheist in order to be anti-religious. At NO time, however, did I in any sense claim that atheists are to blame. I said clearly that people who are anti-religion go a step further and I even went out of my way to clarify EXACTLY that point.

So, right now, quote me on saying anything like that. You can't because it never happened. You had to quote my original post where you assumed I was speaking about atheists (which is dumb because I'm closer to an atheist than anything else). I'm agnostic, and given my myriad of posts concluding just that, I would think that fact wouldn't be lost on you.

It did happen. I did quote it. I'll do so again:

quote:
Show me where an atheist has don harm in the name of the FSM, or in the name of atheism.

I would tread lightly if I were you. There are whacko's on your side of the fence too.

As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

Later you did indeed retract the assertion that all "anti-religious" people must be atheists. However, you quite plainly above were referring to atheists, as you were responding to a comment regarding atheists.

quote:
You claimed that the number of people killed "under the pretense of religion" is outnumbered by recent mass-murders motivated by a vision of a "religion-free utopia."

Because it's true.

NO IT IS NOT. Go back to Message 99. Re-read what I said. I supported the arguemnts that:

1) the Holocaust was religiously motivated as shown in Hitler's own writings from Mein Kampf, many of which I directly quoted, and which follow directly from the writings of Martin luther, the father of Protestantism.

2) the purges of Stalinist Russia were not motivated by atheism, but by politics. Enforced atheism was a means to an end, not in any way a motivation; it is dishonest to claim that the purges were done "in the name of atheism" or "in the name of anti-religion."

quote:
That specific statement was false. It was also a Mindless Middle arguemnt, because it sought to paint "both sides" as guilty, yet provided no facts at all to support any such assertion.

You don't know anything about history that I have to prove it to you the purges? Is the history of the commissars lost on you? Is the history of the Soviet Union lost on you? This is common knowledge, and that you dispute it only proves that you've lost all objectivity.

Quite the contrary - I rely on the actual writings of Hitler to determine Hitler's motivations, while you rely on an Appeal to Popularity in claiming that it is "common knowledge" that the Holocaust was an atheistic or anti-religious persuit.

"Common knowledge" is very often wrong. That's why you do need to support your assertions rather than just stating them.

quote:
Atheism contains no ideology! It's simply a lack of belief (for some, an active dis-belief) in deities. THAT IS ALL. I;m used to repeating this to people like Buz or ICANT, but you should know better, Hyro. There is absolutely no coherent ideology surrounding atheism. There's no Great Book of Atheism, no dogma, no clergy, no central philosophy.

Rahvin, for most atheists it is simply about disbelieving in deities. But please don't expect everyone here to be blind, as if no atheists went a step further and formed entire anti-religious ideologies of hate around it.

(insert exasperated sigh here)

What tenet of atheism can be used for any form of motivation whatsoever? Name just one. Any philosophical or ideological position of atheism that can be used as motivation for anything at all.

The Communist Manifesto, the Humanist Manifesto, etc are documents that go far beyond mere disbelief. They outline how religion is a blight on mankind and find ways to subvert it. That goes beyond mere disbelief, Rahvin. That's forming an ideology and making an enemy out of religion.

Communism does not hold atheism as some sort of ideal. Atheism is not a motivation for communism. Rather, communism idealizes the State. Communism isn;t motivated to stamp out religion because no god(s) exist; communism is simply motivated to stamp out any competition for the authority of the State.

Do you honestly not understand the difference? It's motivation vs. means. The means are not the motivation. Atheism in communism is a means to an end, not a motivation in and of itself.

You alleging that atheism has no ideology attached to it is just senseless because the whole thing is formed on a philosophical and scientific basis! It wasn't formed in a vacuum. These are carefully constructed ideals.

No. They aren't. Atheism is a default psoition, without any thought required. Logic and reason is only required to revert back to atheism. A newborn baby is an atheist, having no belief in deities, without any knowledge of philosophy or science, or even what any of those concepts mean. Atheism, in effect, is the vacuum.

Atheism is one thing and one thing only: a lack of belief in deities. Nothing else. One can be a compeltely irrational and inscientific atheist. One can believe in the supernatural and still be an atheist. Regardless of your attempts to complicate the issue, atheism is and remains a simple lack of belief in deities, and nothing more. It makes no suggestions on human behavior. It carries no guidance for morality. It does not dictate a methodology for maintaining accuracy in modeling reality. It doesn't have any associated traditions. It doesn;t say anything about the value of human life. It does not form a political standpoint. It is and only is a lack of belief in deities, nothing more or less.

quote:
You've once again claimed that "both sides do this and are equally wrong," without actually qualifying such a statement with facts or evidence or even a logical analysis of the tactics of each.

Qualifying them? Religious and irrelegious people murdered on that basis! I need to qualify that????

Yes. Because I;ve challenged your assertions with evidence, but you have not responded in kind. You simply ignored my evidence and argument, and responded with emotion-filled meaningless blather and additional factual inaccuracies.

quote:
You can't even defend yourself against a claim of a Mindless Middle argument without making another such argument. Pathetic.

Let's talk about pathetic. Your use of this Mindless Middle is a straw man and you wield it derisively to make a futile point since I'm here clearly arguing with you. There's no middle position in that. I am unequivocally stating that people died and it was wrong. I'm just saying that two different sides did the killing and it was equally wrong. Apparently you are justifying why it's copacetic for anti-religious people to slaughter religious people because they didn't do it for ideological reason! Rrrrrrrriiiight.

The only straw man here is the one you've created. I;ve never claimed it was okay for atheists to kill theists. I;ve never even implied as much. I simply disputed your unsupported claim that atheism-motivated murders outnumbered theistically-motivated murders, and then used facts tto support my refutation of your claim.

The Mindless Middle is not a straw man. The Mindless Middle is a form (in this case) of a tu quoque fallacy - you are claiming that atheists shouldn't criticize theists for theistically-motivated atrocities because atheists have committed worse atrocities upon theists. It's simply icing on the cake that your assertion also happened to be factually wrong.

quote:
Who is "they," Hyro? I've never seen a "church of disbelief." Have you" Where? I;ve never met an atheist on the street handing our Jack Chick-esque pamphlets seeking to subvert the faithful.

Well, I was actually being metaphorical, but some actually do have congregations where they talk about the evils of religion.

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=...

http://www.atheistalliance.org/

Well, that's rather amusing. The groups are irrelevant, but the first church or atheism is worth a good laugh.

quote:
You mean that a subset of atheists persue atheism with a ferver equivalent to those who zealously worship their god(s)? What does theis have to do with the argument at hand?

The people that go beyond mere disbelief are not dispassionate about their aims for religion. They have therefore crossed over from simple disbelief in to anti-religion. Not ascribing to a religion and being against religion are two entirely different things, I think you would agree.

Irrelevant. This discussion surrounds the modern mass-murders on a state level, such as the Stalinist purges of Russia or the Holocaust, and their motivation being anti-religious in nature.

As I've already shown, neither was motivated by an "anti-religious" sentiment; quite the contrary in the case of teh Holocaust.

quote:
You still haven't shown how your statement

I would tread lightly if I were you. There are whacko's on your side of the fence too.

Yeah, Hooah is anti-religion not just an atheist. He;s not shy about it. Just click on his name and read any of his posts.

Way to only quote half of a statement. Also irrelevant. The part we've been debating is this:

As for how many atrocities have been committed under the pretense of some religion, it pales in comparison to the numbers murdered by despots seeking a religion-free utopian society in the last 100 years alone.

Are you enjoying your red herring? This isn't about hooah.

quote:
But I'm curious - precisely and specifically which central tenet of atheism is ever "twisted and contorted" for some negative purpose? I find it difficult to believe that a position defined only by a lack of any belief in deities can possibly be "twisted" to any end at all.

You have a simple disbelief in deities. It turns in to a loathing for the religious (or specific religions) which can turn in to an obsession for some.

Really? Not believing in god(s) turns into a hatred for those who do? I thought it was the way theists treat atheists that did that. Silly me, thinkign that a simple lack of belief in god(s) didn;t carry any motivation for anything at all.

Let me guess: my lack of belief in Santa Claus is actually the motivation for my valuation of human life?

That obsession can lead to the same mentality of why the Nazi's hated the Jews.

The Nazi's hated the Jews for very specific reasons, Hyro. Again, check out Message 99 where I specifically quoted Hitler's reasons for anti-semitism. They were religiously motivated, and were derivatives of Martin Lutehr's own writings.

There is no one reason or central reason, it is a concoction of different reasons, whether real or imagined. What was the "central" reason why Nazi's hated Jews?

They weren't Christian or Aryan, in a nutshell.

quote:
Your "common sense" is worse than useless here.

Throughout this post you've been especially congenial with me and I want to thank you for your good behavior.

Niceties are irrelevant. Only argument and evidence are relevant. You've had plenty of the former and none of the latter.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-08-2010 6:13 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by Hyroglyphx, posted 03-08-2010 10:05 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
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

  
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.


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


Message 197 of 245 (549847)
03-11-2010 3:29 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by hooah212002
03-11-2010 3:25 AM


Re: Athiestic Values
"Its not natural" is just another way of saying "it makes me feel icky, personally."

After all, one can hardly reject the unnatural whilst using a computer and the internet.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by hooah212002, posted 03-11-2010 3:25 AM hooah212002 has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 228 of 245 (550817)
03-18-2010 1:45 PM
Reply to: Message 227 by onifre
03-18-2010 1:26 PM


I wouldn't call the North Korean government(Juche socialist) communist in any way. It does resemble a theocracy, what with Kim Il-sung being declared Eternal President when he died, but it clearly is a facist movement.

There is a strong tendency to associate "totalitarianism" with "communism," even though the two don't necessarily need to overlap in all cases.

Granted, all of the communist regimes that have existed so far have been totalitarian. But that;s not the way it has to be. And obviously not all totalitarian states are communist.


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