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Author Topic:   The evolution of hell: how rhetoric changes religion
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 66 (601034)
01-18-2011 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by ApostateAbe
01-17-2011 7:49 PM


Given that the theory of evolution provided a very scientifically evidenced and very scientifically authoritative reason to dismiss God as an explanation for the existence of life and humanity, it seems very probable that the theory of evolution increased the actual percentage of atheists rather than just bring them out of the closet.

Well I agree with you. It certainly had an effect on my theism.

While I was maturing, one of the last strongholds for needing a religious explanation was the whole "Missing Link" deal. Just how the hell did humans come about was a great gap for god to fit in.

Once that gap was closed, atheism was easier to embrace.

For the record, I'm not an atheist anymore.


As far as the topic goes, From the OP:

And that is why rhetoric matters.

I think you made a good case why rhetoric matters and I couldn't find much to disagree with in the OP. I was interesting though, so thanks for posting it.

I'm not sure where the discussion should go... I guess if you have any questions then fire away!

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AdminPD

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-17-2011 7:49 PM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 3424 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 32 of 66 (601063)
01-18-2011 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by ApostateAbe
01-18-2011 9:41 AM


Re: Also...
Why is it harmful to religion, unless you mean fundamentalism?

Whether there is a god, gods or no gods is irrelevant to the ToE.

Whether it is directed or not has no bearing on the ToE.

If a person want to imply that a god directed evolution so be it.

The point can also be said for other science disciplines particularly Physics, Chemistry & Geology that add to the coming out of Atheists or the conversion from theism to Deism, Agnosticism & Atheism.

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Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 9:41 AM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 5:15 PM bluescat48 has replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 33 of 66 (601092)
01-18-2011 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by bluescat48
01-18-2011 3:04 PM


Re: Also...
bluescat48 writes:

Why is it harmful to religion, unless you mean fundamentalism?

Whether there is a god, gods or no gods is irrelevant to the ToE.

Whether it is directed or not has no bearing on the ToE.

If a person want to imply that a god directed evolution so be it.

The point can also be said for other science disciplines particularly Physics, Chemistry & Geology that add to the coming out of Atheists or the conversion from theism to Deism, Agnosticism & Atheism.


Why is it harmful to religion, unless you mean fundamentalism? Sure, OK. Harmful to religious fundamentalism, good for atheism.

Whether there is a god, gods or no gods is irrelevant to the theory of evolution. Absolutely. But, to look at the converse, the theory of evolution is extremely relevant to the question of whether or not gods exist, because gods are and have been very often and very widely used to explain life on Earth. The connection is very straightforward.

Whether it is directed or not has no bearing on the ToE. Absolutely. And, that is not an issue.

The point can also be said for other science disciplines particularly Physics, Chemistry & Geology that add to the coming out of Atheists or the conversion from theism to Deism, Agnosticism & Atheism. Yes, yes. Physics, chemistry and geology were big scientific hurdles to a purely naturalistic model of the universe, and biology was the biggest. The scientific theories of physics certainly helped, but they could just as easily play into the idea that God engineered a clockwork universe, which is what Newton proposed. The creation of life is central to religion, and it was a core philosophical argument for God. That is why the theory of evolution made such a big difference in belief. Maybe it had such an effect only because of the accumulation of all of the science that preceded it. Sure, I think that is an acceptable proposition.

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AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by bluescat48, posted 01-18-2011 3:04 PM bluescat48 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by bluescat48, posted 01-18-2011 6:15 PM ApostateAbe has replied
 Message 43 by Rrhain, posted 01-19-2011 1:02 AM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 3424 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 34 of 66 (601101)
01-18-2011 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by ApostateAbe
01-18-2011 5:15 PM


Re: Also...
Still how is it harmful to moderate theists?

Atheists make up a very small percentage of those who accept evolution.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 5:15 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 7:32 PM bluescat48 has taken no action

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 35 of 66 (601115)
01-18-2011 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by bluescat48
01-18-2011 6:15 PM


Re: Also...
bluescat48 writes:

Still how is it harmful to moderate theists?

Maybe it wasn't harmful to liberal religion. Maybe it even helped, I don't know. The point is about what happened to atheism.
bluescat48 writes:

Atheists make up a very small percentage of those who accept evolution.

OK.

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD

Edited by ApostateAbe, : No reason given.

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


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 Message 34 by bluescat48, posted 01-18-2011 6:15 PM bluescat48 has taken no action

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 3130 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 36 of 66 (601117)
01-18-2011 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
01-15-2011 6:44 PM


keeping score
So far, you have received four answers about hell, none of which you have responded to; two about the impact of rhetoric, your alleged point, neither of which you have gotten any use out of; and 15 posts responding to your categorization of evolution as historically enabling atheism, of which 14 disagreed and one was vaguely supportive. You have engaged the 14 in every post you have made since the OP.

Was this the thread you intended to be having?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-15-2011 6:44 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 11:12 PM Iblis has replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 37 of 66 (601154)
01-18-2011 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Iblis
01-18-2011 7:46 PM


Re: keeping score
Iblis writes:

So far, you have received four answers about hell, none of which you have responded to; two about the impact of rhetoric, your alleged point, neither of which you have gotten any use out of; and 15 posts responding to your categorization of evolution as historically enabling atheism, of which 14 disagreed and one was vaguely supportive. You have engaged the 14 in every post you have made since the OP.

Was this the thread you intended to be having?


That wasn't my initial intention, but, interestingly, a lot more people seem to be interested in what I have to say about how the theory of evolution allowed atheism to rise. That really is bad forum etiquette--hijacking my own thread like that and ignoring the people who actually stay on topic. It was shameless, but I do find it more interesting. Some people who sort of did stay on topic kinda missed the purpose of what I wrote, which may have been my fault because I wasn't clear. I don't really care about anyone's opinions of what hell is or how hell is justified. The purpose was to talk about the influence of rhetoric. There was someone in another thread who implied that I can't gain anything by criticizing Islam and the Koran, and I wrote this thread as an example of how such criticism can actually be productive. Arguing the theology of hell is something I have done endlessly in the past. It goes all kinds of bizarre directions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Iblis, posted 01-18-2011 7:46 PM Iblis has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Iblis, posted 01-18-2011 11:42 PM ApostateAbe has taken no action
 Message 47 by bluescat48, posted 01-19-2011 2:17 AM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 3130 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 38 of 66 (601160)
01-18-2011 11:42 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by ApostateAbe
01-18-2011 11:12 PM


no true christian
ignoring the people who actually stay on topic.

There were only the two though, other than a half-clause from me in passing, and we all simply agreed. So no loss there.

Some people who sort of did stay on topic kinda missed the purpose of what I wrote, which may have been my fault because I wasn't clear. I don't really care about anyone's opinions of what hell is or how hell is justified.

No, you were clear. The four of us who responded on the doctrine of hell didn't expect to engage you, just to cover the subject for anyone who might be interested. You had already said the impact of rhetoric was your actual point.

But I wonder where the fundies are. There are still plenty of churches out there whose pulpits haven't adopted any new-fangled science fiction hell-aint-hot ideas. They preach on the fire, they still preach "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and make no apologies about it.

So, true believers, I know you are out there. What do you think about rhetoric and hell?

Edited by Iblis, : add link

Edited by Iblis, : fixed link


This message is a reply to:
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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 39 of 66 (601161)
01-18-2011 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Otto Tellick
01-18-2011 3:10 AM


Otto Tellick writes:

Still, the topic seems to be centered on the concept of hell, and I don't see any relevant relation between that and Darwin's theory.

As for the describing these different notions of hell as simply being different "rhetoric", I suspect that some theists would view that as a misstatement, because for them, it's a matter of foundational dogma, such that you can't be a "true Christian" (or "true Muslim") if you don't accept the "correct" notion. I even suspect there are some who call themselves Christian and don't actually believe or accept any notion of hell. Go figure...

I personally agree that it's ultimately a matter of rhetoric, since all assertions about the Christian notion of "life after death" are based on nothing more than speculations about various dreams and made-up stories. But apart from acknowledging the fact that religion is ultimately just an artifact of human language and cognitive patterns, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make by talking about "how rhetoric changes religion."

Allow me to summarize the point: There are some people who think that anti-religious rhetoric makes no change at all. I say, yes it does, and here is how: the moral objections about hell have weakened the Christian religion among those who propose that hell is a place of fiery punishment, and it has caused a morally agreeable religion to emerge of Christians who propose that hell really isn't all that bad.

This message is a reply to:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 1107 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 40 of 66 (601172)
01-19-2011 12:43 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by ApostateAbe
01-17-2011 6:46 PM


ApostateAbe writes:

quote:
I would prefer not to dispute the point with Rrhain

Then you're going to have to make your comments where I can't see them and reply to them. If you don't like your claims being subjected to scrutiny, then perhaps you shouldn't post them in a place that invites such examination.

quote:
Atheists did exist before Darwin, but they were not nearly as many, not nearly as well known, and not nearly as influential as until after Darwin.

Which, of course, is completely unsubstantiated.

Or have you forgotten about a rather famous man called "Socrates." He got himself killed for his atheism.

The problem, of course, is knowing exactly what it would take to convince you that your attitude is incorrect. Do you simply need a list of famous atheists? For crying out loud, the "problem of evil" goes all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, at least, as Epicurus is listed as coming up with the phrasing we have heard: Whence cometh evil? If god wants to prevent it but cannot, then he is impotent. If he can but chooses not to, then he is malevolent. But if he can prevent it and wants to, then where on earth does evil come from?

Have you forgotten about William of Ockham, from whom we get the infamous razor? Machiavelli, Rabelais, da Vinci?

While the French Revolution was about a lot of things, one of them was an overthrow of religious influence.

Have you forgotten about Schopenhauer?

How many atheists do you need to be reminded about before it occurs to you that perhaps your claim is not based upon any evidence?

quote:
With the theory of evolution, there was no scientific reason left to believe in God, and biology was formerly a very big scientific reason.

Incorrect.

First, you ignore the reality behind the development of evolutionary theory. Darwin didn't discover evolution. What he did was come up with a mechanism for how it happens. Evolution had been discussed and debated for many years before Darwin published. And let's not forget, he waited more than a decade to publish his Origin of Species and that only because Wallace was going to beat him to it.

Second, you ignore all the other reasons people had for not believing in god. Simply from a philosophical viewpoint, the idea of theism has had problems. Again, the "problem of evil" goes back more than two millennia. There's a reason that Jefferson rewrote the New Testament: It wasn't because of evolution.

The Neo-Classic period was filled with deists and others who denied the divinity of god or at the very least the active involvement of such in life on this planet. There's a reason that the clockwork universe was the dominant paradigm of the 18th Century.

quote:
When Darwin's theory became established at the end of the 19th century as the only theory besides God to explain life, 100 years after Lyell had already explained the planet Earth without God, that is when we see a big historical shift toward atheism

And thus showing you haven't actually studied this topic at all if you think they're the only ones who had anything of any significance to say about atheism.

Again, do you simply need a list of names? What is it going to take to convince you?

quote:
If you underestimate the influence of Darwin's theory on religion and philosophy, then I suggest that you find another way to explain the rise of atheism.

What about simple philosophy? It's been good enough for all the other atheists. What's so special about any one piece of scientific inquiry?

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-17-2011 6:46 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-19-2011 1:02 AM Rrhain has replied

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 1107 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 41 of 66 (601173)
01-19-2011 12:49 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by ApostateAbe
01-17-2011 11:46 PM


ApostateAbe writes:

quote:
Life is complex, complex things require design, design requires a designer, all religious traditions identify a god as the designer, therefore God exists.

So what did Darwin do that Newton couldn't? The universe is even more complex and he reduced it to a few laws.

quote:
Why not just believe that the theory of evolution really did cause the late 19th century rise in atheism? Is there a good reason why not?

Because it isn't true. Isn't that the best reason? There are too many atheists from before the time of evolution to conclude that evolution had anything to do with it.

What's it going to take to convince you? How many atheists must we name?

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-17-2011 11:46 PM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 1107 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 42 of 66 (601174)
01-19-2011 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by New Cat's Eye
01-18-2011 11:57 AM


Catholic Scientist responds to me:

quote:
quote:
What nonsense. Evolution did not lead to any rise of atheism.

What makes you so sure?


All the atheists from before the development of evolutionary theory.

Same question to you: What would it take to convince you? Do you just need a list of names?

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-18-2011 11:57 AM New Cat's Eye has taken no action

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 1107 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 43 of 66 (601175)
01-19-2011 1:02 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by ApostateAbe
01-18-2011 5:15 PM


Re: Also...
ApostateAbe writes:

quote:
But, to look at the converse, the theory of evolution is extremely relevant to the question of whether or not gods exist, because gods are and have been very often and very widely used to explain life on Earth. The connection is very straightforward.

Incorrect.

Or are you saying the Catholic Church doesn't think god exists? Or that the connection isn't straightforward?

Yes, the official position of the Catholic Church is that evolution is the only scientific explanation for how life diversified on this planet. So if one of the biggest religions on the planet doesn't seem to have a problem with it, why do you insist that it is a problem?

quote:
Physics, chemistry and geology were big scientific hurdles to a purely naturalistic model of the universe, and biology was the biggest.

Which completely ignores the entire 18th Century. Yeah, Newton was a religious whackadoodle, but it is because of his development of the clockwork universe (building upon the work of Galileo...another person who wasn't that enamored on the whole god thing) that we even have a scientific revolution in the first place.

quote:
The creation of life is central to religion

Incorrect. It is only central to some religions.

quote:
That is why the theory of evolution made such a big difference in belief.

Except it didn't. Atheism didn't have any surge after the publication of Origin of Species and there were too many atheists from the millennia before its publication to justify such a claim.

What is it going to take to convince you? So far, a lot of the people you've mentioned were from before Darwin. What does that tell you about your investigation into your claim?

quote:
Maybe it had such an effect only because of the accumulation of all of the science that preceded it. Sure, I think that is an acceptable proposition.

No, it isn't. Again, there were simply too many atheists from before the scientific revolution. Religion and the existence of god have always had their detractors, have always had philosophical arguments against them.

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-18-2011 5:15 PM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 44 of 66 (601176)
01-19-2011 1:02 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Rrhain
01-19-2011 12:43 AM


If anyone thinks that Rrhain makes any serious points, then I will respond. I would otherwise like to refrain from arguing with him.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Rrhain, posted 01-19-2011 12:43 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Rrhain, posted 01-19-2011 1:46 AM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 1107 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 45 of 66 (601180)
01-19-2011 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by ApostateAbe
01-19-2011 1:02 AM


ApostateAbe responds to me:

quote:
If anyone thinks that Rrhain makes any serious points, then I will respond. I would otherwise like to refrain from arguing with him.

Read: "I can't defend my claim."

Look, I asked you nicely what it would take for you to consider the possibility that you were wrong. Is there nothing that would cause you to reconsider? No amount of evidence would be sufficient?

Time to put up or shut up.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-19-2011 1:02 AM ApostateAbe has taken no action

  
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