So how exactly does the Lord of the Rings text differ, in terms of being a valid form of evidence, to the bible?
That's not quite true.
Looking at those two examples there are several very definite differences. The Lord of the Rings is actually a specific tome, written by one author, but there is no such thing as "The Bible™", it was written by many unknown authors, then redacted by many unknown redactors, then edited by yet more unknown editors and the contents decided by an unknown number of committees made up of unknown numbers of unknown members.
Edited by jar, : add some differences.
Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
If you assume the possibility of God's existance, you must assume the possibility of an infinite number of other phenomena/things that the human mind could possibly conjure up as existing, including pink unicorns.
Because you have (apparently) proven that we cannot rationally consider ANY unfalsified notion as unlikely, improbable or anything else short of absolute agnosticism.
This was proven, and the proof has been posted several times. Here it is again, fleshed out a bit to perhaps help drive the point home Message 344
So you can't say why someone who believes that Jeus Christ, their Lord and Saviour, born from a virgin, son of God who is himself God, able to perform miracles and facilitate ones passage to Heaven is any less "deluded" than he who believes himself to be Napoleon Bonaparte?
Re: Evading? or asking your to clarify your claim?
How is asking why you give special credance to the existance of one supposed supernatural being, God, over any other contrived being a 'hasty generalization'? Again you are dodging the question.
Because I don't "give special credance to the existance of one supposed supernatural being, God" -- you are mistaken.
NOTICE: I am not going to answer all the posts I am getting, as there are just too many that are just repeating old arguments that have already been addressed. I have already answered these, and I have answered them to the point that it is silly to keep repeating my position in the hopes that it is understood and not misrepresented. If you see "RAZD acknowledges this reply" it is because this means you. This is my blanket response to those posts. Likewise if I only answer part of your post/s it is because this applies to the rest. Additionally I may answer your post in reply to someone else, and I just don't need to repeat points already made. NOR am I inclined to answer any posts that are off-topic, or that display an inability to grasp what has been posted. Enjoy
They are "mutually inconsistent positions" because one of us must be wrong, but you don't know which until the coin lands.
Correct. But that doesn't make it a matter of opinion. It's still a position to (eventually) be settled by evidence.
Which you have thus far failed to demonstrate.
Hrm, my memory is that I've long demonstrated it. Perhaps you'd like to open a thread on this subject, I'd hate to be a part of us continuing off-topic. Anyway others are certainly giving you a run for your money on the "existence of God" issue; it seems to be you who's having trouble finding evidence for your position.
As pointed out, this is not evidence that god/s per se do not exist, but that your expectation was not met.
Since that expectation would be met if God existed, the unmet expectation is evidence for the non-existence of God.
This is not objective empirical evidence for the non-existence of god/s, this is you voicing your opinion about what a god would be like
Incorrect. I have no particular opinion on what "God would be like", but the proponents of the God-exists position have defined the character and properties of God. Under almost all of those definitions its trivial to demonstrate the contradiction with reality. And, of course, for the dishonest theists such as yourself who insist on defending God-as-cypher, it's sufficient to note that there's nothing to refute - your position that "God exists" is a meaningless utterance if you refuse to be tied down to any definition of the word "God."
Ah yes, the old ad hominem attack when all else fails, imply that the messenger is uneducated and ignorant.
No, I'm just curious how it is you come to be so completely unaware that there's a difference between matters of fact and matters of opinion.
Thus when the coin is in the air, the logical and rational opinion\position to take is that I don't know.
That's true - you don't know. Unless it's a weighted coin. When the likelihood of heads is, say, 90%, suddenly it becomes much more reasonable to say "Heads is the likely outcome." Not, "I know it will be heads", but to arrive at the provisional, if non-conclusive, position that heads will be the result of the coin toss. You'll be right 90% of the time, after all, and that's pretty good.
The evidence between the existence of God and the non-existence of God is not equally weighted. The preponderance falls on the side of non-existence. That's what makes provisional acceptance of the Strong Atheist position so logical and reasonable.
Those who assert the existence of a teapot in orbit of Alpha Cenauri do not have the same amount of evidence on their side as those who assert the nonexistence of such a teapot, despite there being no evidence for either proposition. Those propositions are not equally likely despite the absence of evidence for both, hence it's reasonable to come to the provisional conclusion that such a teapot is not present.
Interestingly, continuing to assert that there is "massive objective empirical evidence" does not magically make it appear.
And continuing to assert that I'm wrong, or that I've attacked you personally, or that an absence of evidence supports existence or non-existence equally, simply doesn't make it so.
Amusingly, I say no such thing.
Abundantly you do, and have, when you assert that what is properly considered a matter of fact is an "opinion."
Ah yes, Dawkins, the shock-jock of anti-theism. Are you skeptical of any of his claims?
Why wouldn't I be?
Are you going to argue that because he published a popular press book, that this is evidence that god/s do not exist?
Not in the slightest. I'm merely suggesting that someone who holds delusions should be careful about calling skepticism of those delusions a "delusion."
The OP had a very simple question: What steps would you take to identify a false religion?
I see more flotsam from previous discussions that don't really pertain to the topic.
I'm closing this thread so all participants can read this Admnistrative Message. If anyone feels they actually want to address the topic and would like the thread reopened, please make your request in the Thread Reopen Requests 2 thread.