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Author Topic:   Anti-theist
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 69 of 464 (883983)
01-20-2021 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by mike the wiz
01-19-2021 5:17 PM


mike the wiz writes:

But if you use a BROAD epithet such as, "mammal", now you can associate me with filthy pigs.

Such is true, a broad term can be used inappropriately.
Of course, it can also be used appropriately.

That is, if you wanted to discuss any warm-blooded, furry-or-hairy, milk-from-mother-drinking babies kind of creature... then using the term "mammal" is a great choice.

With the term religionist... you're right. One could associate "belief in an invisible sky lord" along with "belief in talking snakes" or "belief in magic crystals."

Or, it could also be used appropriately.
That is, if one is talking about "holding any beliefs about the nature of reality without regard or care for scientific evidence one way or another" - then, well, "religionist" seems like a pretty decent term.


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 Message 49 by mike the wiz, posted 01-19-2021 5:17 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 70 of 464 (884036)
01-21-2021 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by mike the wiz
01-19-2021 5:46 PM


mike the wiz writes:

By analogy, if you are say described as a snake, and I can only say things about snakes, I can't really associate you with dirty rats or filthy pigs. But if you are described as a, "mammal", because the term is BROADER you can then ASSOCIATE me with those things.

Snakes are not mammals.

But, as stated in my previous post, broad terms can be used inappropriately, or appropriately.

Just saying that a broad term can be used in a wrong way doesn't show that it *is* being used in a wrong way in this context.

"Religion," here, is being used broadly to describe people who hold beliefs about reality without taking into the scientific evidence and implications that has been so good at describing that reality so far.

It seems to be an appropriate use of the term.

So think about it, if atheism is ultimately false then it is a sort of science-fiction alongside religious fictions. Sort of like your DVD collection might contain fictional drama, science fiction, supernatural fiction, fantasy fiction, etc....

Of course.
And if pigs could fly then wouldn't have a saying like "Not going to happen until pigs fly!"

But pigs can't fly.
And atheism doesn't seem ultimately false at this time.

CONCLUSION: Really it's all semantics.

That's the only way it helps your case, yes - if you call it "all semantics."
But, it's not all semantics, is it?

What you're doing is comparing two different ways of identifying the truth about reality.

1. There's not only 2 ways. So right off the bat you're not playing with a full deck.

2a. Religion - Identifying the truth about reality by holding to beliefs interpreted from an ancient text.
2b. Science - Identifying the truth about reality by testing reality, following where the evidence leads, and seeing what happens.

Religion has a historical track record of getting a great many things wrong about reality and needing to be corrected by science.
Science has a historical track record of getting a few things wrong about reality... and needing to be corrected by... more science.

I'll leave it to the reader to decide which one they want to follow when attempting to discover the truth about aspects of reality.
But one thing is for certain - it's not "just semantics" - there's clear and obvious differences.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by mike the wiz, posted 01-19-2021 5:46 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 71 of 464 (884037)
01-21-2021 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by mike the wiz
01-19-2021 5:55 PM


mike the wiz writes:

For example there are in prison a small percentage of innocent people. "From where the jury sat" they were guilty yet the innocent know they are innocent.

Of course there is.

No one said the system is perfect.
Only the best we have right now.

What better system are you putting forward?

One based on people's personal declaration of their innocence instead of the available evidence?
I don't think that would be better. I think that would be much, much worse.

With atheism how can you not conflate genuine ignorance with the negative? For example if we are right and the Lord does exist and His spirit is in us, we do have eternal life, have experienced the miraculous etc.....how can you know that your own perspective of looking at it and thinking it ridiculous is actually not a symptom of your own personal ignorance?

By looking at the available evidence in reality.

Right now, there's no evidence that says miracles actually even happen.
There is evidence that people say miracles happen when they actually did not (sometimes purposefully trying to deceive!)

When actual evidence for the Lord's existence is... anywhere... then it will become an idea with more credence.
Until then, it stays at the same level of reality-credentials as Thor and Zeus - things people believed in with devout fervor - willing to give their lives for it... but seem to be, unfortunately for them - wrong.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 72 of 464 (884038)
01-21-2021 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by mike the wiz
01-19-2021 6:10 PM


mike the wiz writes:

So when evolutionists tell me I am an ignorant idiot and I go and score 90% on logic and science tests or more, or solve difficult riddles I thought were beyond me it isn't so much I am impressed I am more surprised by that.

Those who score so highly on tests are able to understand the logic and science so well that they can explain their results to others without logical or scientific errors and all seekers-of-the-truth are able to see the same, correct answer.

Please, use your logic and science to show that you know the Lord exists.
I would like to learn.

But, if your history is any indication, this is where you tend to fall away from logic and science and use "because I think He does" as a reason that the Lord actually exists.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 73 of 464 (884039)
01-21-2021 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Phat
01-20-2021 3:11 AM


Re: Guilt By Association
Phat writes:

... but our opponents will and do differentiate between raw intelligence and rational educated evidence based thinking. To them, that always trumps belief of any kind.

Not always, no.
But when appropriate - yes.

That is, if we're trying to "identify the truth about aspects of reality" - then we know from history that evidence-based-thinking has a much better track record on getting to the right answer as opposed to belief-of-any-kind.

However, when attempting to find ways to express my love for my wife to her - evidence-based-thinking tends to come off a little... flat. Where belief-in-our-love tends to lead me to ideas and efforts-of-love that make her far happier and feeling like I'm focused on her.

Use what's best for where it's best suited.
What could possible be the reason to do anything else?


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Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by AZPaul3, posted 01-21-2021 12:31 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 78 of 464 (884194)
01-26-2021 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by AZPaul3
01-21-2021 12:31 PM


Re: Guilt By Association
AZPaul3 writes:

Your "belief-in-our-love" is the result of the physical evidence of the depth of your emotional experience with her.

It certainly can be - for some people.
But it doesn't have to be - and isn't for me.

Belief-in-our-love can also be based on belief, and I find that more helpful in this area.

If you can scientifically prove that love-based-on-evidence is better than love-based-on-belief - well, I'm very interested in hearing your ideas.
However, I do think you're confusing "can be" with "is for everyone."

All the little presents, kindnesses, whispered sweet nothings build the emotional state we monkeys call love.

Absolutely.
And if the ideas for those little presents, kindnesses, whispered sweet nothings come from my belief-in-our-love as opposed to our historical-track-record-of-evidence... then that's the way it is for me.

The physical evidence of your relationship and its attendant emotional effect on your monkey brain is the cold hard physical reality of your belief in your love.

Absolutely.
But, again, if the ideas for the parts where I produce the physical evidence come from my belief-in-our-love as opposed to an evidence-based-approach... then that's what it's all dependent upon.

It's still cute. And endearing.

For me and her, it works - yes.
Others will want methods that work best for their own relationships.
Hence is the way of relationships.

But it is, as is everything, evidence-based.

Well, obviously not - if it's belief-in-our-love based.
Or, at least, you have not yet shown this to be true.

You seem to be taking a similar stance of the crowd that defends "there is no such thing as a good action!"
-because they can always identify a possible motivation that is selfish that would result in the same action.
-what they're missing, is that a "possible motivation" does not make it "THE motivation" that was actually used.
-and, if a "good motivation" was actually used - then it was, indeed, a good action.

Your argument seems to be saying that what I do can be measured by physical reality.
-and I agree

What I'm saying is that I am not basing my decision to do the things I do for my wife on an evidential basis.
I'm saying I am basing my decisions to do the things I do for my wife on a belief-in-our-love basis.

Unless you want to argue that all actions are necessarily always fully evidence-based, logical and scientific... then you have to allow for this possibility.

Emotional belief-based perception exists but only as a result of intellectual impairment.

Evidence for this, please.

Evidence for the contrary:
-I know I have fun playing video game A
-I know I don't like playing video game B
-Yet, sometimes, I play video game B anyway, because a part of me wants to like it, and believes I can have fun with it. But I don't, and always go back to game A.
-I do this multiple times a year, always with the same result, always knowing the result will be the same, and it always it.
-yet, the belief remains, and I continue to make the choice because of the belief

There is no intellectual impairment here.
I consider the situation, I know what the result will be, I understand everything logic, science and evidence shows.
And, yet, I do it anyway - because I choose to follow my belief in game B.

This is not "an intellectual impairment in following evidence" - I know what the evidence-based-answer-and-result will be.
I, specifically, choose to follow my belief in game B.

To believe in an unevidenced entity, be it some god, crystal power or the cosmic consciousness, will only result when an impaired brain sees such fantasies as real, viable as against demonstrable reality.

Your very example isn't even true.

It is quite possible to believe in an unevidenced entity, knowing it likely isn't real, but believing in it to gain comfort and a feeling of personal security.
Do you not know how people work?

Parents do it all the time when their military children go on a mission.
Some of those parents are deluded - others are not, and simply find comfort in the known-to-be-unevidenced-and-likely-untrue belief.

You're taking something that "can be a case" and applying it to all cases - with no evidence that this is warranted, and against the evidence that shows it's a silly thing to do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by AZPaul3, posted 01-21-2021 12:31 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by AZPaul3, posted 01-26-2021 1:51 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 80 of 464 (884200)
01-27-2021 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by AZPaul3
01-26-2021 1:51 PM


Re: Guilt By Association
AZPaul3 writes:

You know very well your feelings and you know very well the reasons you have those feelings. The basis for those emotions is strongly evident in the real relationship you have and seek to maintain with this other. It is real, not born of un-evidenced belief-based wishful thinking.

I absolutely agree with everything in the quote above.

And it has no issue with the point I'm making.

The point I'm making is this:

1. I can identify at least 2 different ways to do things.
2.a. One way is evidence-based - that is, to look at reality, measure it, analyze it, make a prediction on what to do based on that, and do it.
2.b. Another way is "belief-based" - that is, to have a feeling that something should be done, and do it.

You are saying (and I agree with this)
-both 2a and 2b above are "evidence based" in the fact that they are facets of reality and exist and we know this because we have physical brains, with physical properties, and we know how such properties work (enough) to say that we understand how these concepts form and why we have them. That is - we have evidence showing how these methods exist.

I am saying (and I think you still don't see this point)
-2a and 2b, although both proven-to-exist in a physical world based on evidence, are two different ways to "do things"
2a relies on an evidence-based-method to decide "what to do"
2b relies on feelings to decide "what to do" (what else is "belief" other than "feelings-that-something-is-true?")

For me in this discussion "belief" is the insistence in the reality of something that isn't real.

I agree.

Where you seem to be defining belief as the psychological confirmation of your emotions without regard for the reasons you are having those emotions.

Nope.
I'm not attempting to make the point about "how belief exists in reality."
I agree with you that "belief exists in reality because it is a property of our physical brain and we understand this quite well due to our scientific understandings of the brain."

I'm attempting to make a point that "doing something while following the scientific method" (evidence-based-reasoning) is different from "doing something while following a belief" (or "the feelings humans get that something is true.")

Those emotions didn't just appear from nothing. There are reasons they arise within you. And, no, it's not because you believe real hard. It's because you and your lady have real actual reality-based interactions, physical, emotional, psychological - all real, all actual, all demonstrable, all love. Evidence.

Again - I agree completely and this has no bearing whatsoever on the point I'm making.

This is true and valid, and remains true and valid while looking at the next point - that it's different to do something while following an evidence-based-approach or to do something while following a belief-(or "feelings")-based-approach.

Even though both approaches are real, and we know they are real based upon evidence - the two approaches themselves, are different when going through the actions on doing them.

One involves examining information and making a logical prediction, the other involves simply doing whatever "feels right to you at the moment."

Once the approach is completed, and the action is done, the results can also be seen to exist in reality through an evidence-based-approach to see if they were successful or not (if one is so inclined to do so.) However, just because the "results" can be seen to manifest physically - does not mean that the "decision to do the action" was not based on a belief or feelings that one should do it.

That is, I can kiss my wife because I know from historical evidence that she usually likes it when I kiss her.
Or, I can kiss my wife because I believe she'll like it this time.

This particular time she may appreciate it or she may not (depends on many, many factors of the particular situation.)
-whether she appreciates it and our love grows is (and I agree) a very physical thing that we understand very well from our scientific and evidence-based studies.
-but this has no bearing on if I decided to kiss her based on an analysis of past experiences (evidence-based) or because I felt like kissing her (belief-based.)

I'm saying that in my relationship with my wife... when I decide to take actions-of-love towards her, I get better results when I do what I feel rather than when I study our past and do what the evidence says she will prefer.

As for the mental defect of belief, to insist on the reality of something that isn't there is a failure in so many cognitive processes, like a child not fully mentally developed. In an adult such deficiencies are impairments to discerning reality.

Again, this depends on the goal.

If the goal is to "identify the truth about reality" - then you're absolutely right.
However, if the goal is to "feel better" - then you're absolutely wrong.

I recommend you do some research on mental health.
For example, some victims of PTSD can have abnormal anxiety attacks that cause them to be unable to function normally in society to the point where they are frightened every day, all day, and cannot leave their house.

However, some of these victims can feel better "believing that a higher power is protecting them" regardless of whether or not they actually know that the higher power likely doesn't exist. (The "higher power" doesn't necessarily have to be the Christian God... or even any god at all... but as the Christian God is highly popular - this is generally the chosen entity for such things.)

If believing in a higher power - that doesn't exist - allows a person to take a walk around their neighbourhood... go to the store and buy groceries... talk to friends... hold down a job... all without collapsing into the fetal position like a frightened child... this "mental defect of belief" is absolutely a good thing for them to do, and I find anyone who says otherwise to be a disgusting human being.

Which is back to my original point - identify your goal, and pick the best method for reaching that goal.

I would not call that belief. That is speculation with a quite inappropriate dose of hope.

Sounds like an irrelevant semantic argument.
And the idea of being "inappropriate" or not, as per my above discussion on mental health, depends on the goal.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by AZPaul3, posted 01-26-2021 1:51 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2021 11:26 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 82 of 464 (884202)
01-27-2021 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by PaulK
01-27-2021 11:26 AM


Re: Guilt By Association
Consider the phenomenon of stalking. Stalkers are often convinced that their targets love them, even though there is no real evidence of it. They let their feelings take control and warp their perceptions to the point where they believe that there is evidence.

I would agree that this is a terrible usage of belief-based methods.

This doesn't seem to alter the fact that I get the best results from a belief-based method in loving my wife.

"Consider the goal" doesn't mean "always use belief-based methods when love is involved in any way."

Everything below is added by edit
--------

In general, I'm not promoting belief-based methods in some sort of 50-50 fairness level.
I really have no idea if there is some sort of comparison like that of the two different methods.
I am, however, fighting against the idea that "evidence-based methods are best, and should always be used, and nothing else has any use whatsoever."

I am perfectly happy if, say, belief-based-methods are only "better" in 0.002% of all possible situations.
I just think that, in those situations - belief-based-methods should be used. Why would we do anything else?

Belief based methods can even be helpful to initiate scientific progress.

Consider someone content with eating, sleeping and living in a small cell.
-there is a door, they just never open it
-a scientific study of their needs are being met - they are content

According to the information they have... all their needs are met, and there is no reason for them to open the door and explore.
-as much possibility as something good might be out there, there's also the equal possibility that something bad might be out there

However there are many belief-based ideas that could motivate them to open the door and explore.
-curiosity
-a hope that something "better" might be out there
-because they hate the door and want to kick it and that moves it and they see what's behind it at this point

In this belief/feeling/desire for exploration... scientific study can move ahead faster than "waiting for an evidence-based reason" to go and explore.

Feelings/belief-based-approaches have their place.
And they're very useful and powerful when used correctly.

They can also be extremely dangerous and harmful.
Viking exploration across the seas wasn't exactly a... health-conscious decision for the first few years (decades?) of attempts.

I think that their usefulness and power can be identified for certain situations to outweigh the possible dangers and harms.
-this decision is, actually, evidence-based (based on all the wonderful things the human race has discovered due to dangerous exploration.)

But, the action of making the decision for the first time... or in certain other situations when it's based on the feelings and not on the evidence...
Those are belief-based situations.
And using them when they are appropriate is extremely helpful.

Edited by Stile, : More to ramble about.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2021 11:26 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by PaulK, posted 01-27-2021 12:02 PM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 84 of 464 (884204)
01-27-2021 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by PaulK
01-27-2021 12:02 PM


Re: Guilt By Association
I suggest that you do, in fact, use evidence to at least a degree. Your wife, for instance, agreed to marry you rather than taking out a restraining order.

That, I would not disagree with at all.

In fact, I mentioned in my post that you originally replied to - that measuring the outcome of the action, regardless of whether the motivation was belief-or-evidenced... the outcome is always measured using evidence.

This just doesn't change that the motivation can (sometimes) rightfully be done using belief.


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 Message 85 by Phat, posted 01-27-2021 12:38 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 88 of 464 (884210)
01-27-2021 2:14 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by PaulK
01-27-2021 1:05 PM


Re: Guilt By Association
In support of PaulK's comments in regards to my recent explanations:

PaulK writes:

Critical thinking is not nihilism. Critical thinking - done properly - is a concern for the truth and a determination to try to avoid error.

My recent explanations have been promoting my use of a "belief-based-approach" for when I love my wife.

I'd like to make it clear this this is "a" situation where belief-based-approach works better than evidence-based-approach.
That is... I'm not saying that belief-based-approaches are better than evidence-based-approaches in matters of love, not even in "mutually beneficial matters of love."

My point is that "mutually beneficial matters of love" are highly dependent on the particular beings involved in that love.

That is, it is quite possible for two people to be in love, and pursue/express that love using an evidence-based-approach on all sides, and this works better for them than the inclusion of any belief-based-approach at all.

My example is only valid for my wife and I in our particular-and-specific relationship togethers.

Others may also see similar results... but this is not due to "belief-based-approaches being better for love." It is due to those-particular-love-relationships-benefitting-better-by-using-belief-based-approaches.

A subtle, but extremely important (to me) distinction.

Love is one of those subjective feelings that can only be described. Not perscribed.
It can be different for everyone - which is why "belief-based-approaches" will work the best for some, and not others.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 4041
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 373 of 464 (886583)
05-25-2021 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 342 by Phat
05-15-2021 6:10 PM


Re: The Ten Commandments Of Progressive Christianity
Rambling time!

My comments included.
Also - I do not intend my comments to create a list of my own Commandments. Although, they might work as a "beginning" for such a list.
The problem with such lists is that they have to end.
Does trying to be a good person ever end? I don't think it does.

Anyway - on to the rambling!

1) Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.

I think the model for living should be "Love."
If Jesus follows that... then follow Jesus.
When Jesus does not... then don't follow Jesus.
If Jesus always follows Love... then following Love will result in always following Jesus.
Commandment #1: Follow Love.

2) Affirming People's Potential Is More Important Than Reminding Them Of Their Brokenness.

This seems very contextual.
I wouldn't make it a Commandment.
May work great when on the subway chatting with strangers.
But following this all the time, with close friends who might want to review Their Brokenness in order to heal, will result in a failure of being a friend.

3) The Work of Reconciliation Should Be Valued over Making Judgements.

I don't see the problem with judging.
People judge things. All the time. Quite possibly without ever ceasing to judge things - EVER.
If people are telling you "you judge too much!" it's not really the judging - it's focusing on negative judgements and professing them too much.
Reconciliation, again, is a judgement... just focusing on a positive judgement.
Of course, there are times when poor behaviours should be judged negatively, and professed as such.

I would re-word this to "Focus on positive judgements, not negative judgements when possible."
...which may be too wishy-washy to be a "Commandment" anyway.

4) Gracious Behavior Is More Important Than Right Belief

I like this one. But the word-choice irks me. Seems so... churchy.
I would reword as: "Thinking the right thing is important, but doing the right thing is much more important."
And, of course, the "right thing" is defined by the people your actions affect. You don't get to define your own actions into "good things." At best, you can define yourself into "trying to do" the right thing.
I would make that another Commandment, it's really important. Then again, perhaps it already is. To me, this is a part of "Following Love" (Commandment #1)

5) Inviting Questions Is More Valuable Than Supplying Answers

Eh. I think (out of context) - this one is too vague to be helpful.
There are plenty of times where supplying answers is much more valuable than "inviting questions" for this to be a Commandment.
I would focus on two separate ideas: "Don't be a Know-it-all" and "Questions should always be welcomed." With the latter being a Commandment. Of course, repeated-identical questions are to be avoided... but Questions are important. It's simply a matter of communication. There are two sides to Questions:
1 - Questions can always be asked, and no one can/should ever get mad at a question.
2 - Questions need to be questions, and not demands. That is, if you ask an actual Question, you need to be prepared for the answer to be "no" or "I don't want to answer that" just as much as you'd like the answer to be "yes" or to get the information you requested - otherwise, it's merely a demand-with-a-question-mark-tacked-on-the-end. People are justified at getting mad at "questions" that are actually demands.

6) Encouraging the Personal Search Is More Important Than Group Uniformity

Eh. Too contextual for me to make it into a Commandment. I would get rid of this one altogether.
Sometimes people should focus on themselves.
Sometimes people should focus on the team/group/society.
Pick your battles wisely.

7) Meeting Actual Needs Is More Important Than Maintaining Institutions

Very good advice.
Maybe I'd reword into something like "Meeting Actual Needs Is More Important Than Maintaining Tradition"
Just to be clear about what it should be focusing on.

8) Peacemaking Is More Important Than Power

Okay.
Should be obvious by Following Love as per Commandment 1, though.

9) We Should Care More about Love and Less about Sex

This one should be right out.
People should care more about whatever-the-hell-they-want-to-care-more-about.
No one should ever tell someone else what they should and should not be caring about or feeling.
That being said - If what-you-care-about causes harm to others... see Commandment 1, and everyone/anyone is justified in calling you out on it.

10) Life in This World Is More Important Than the Afterlife

Is it? What is life like in the Afterlife? Does the Afterlife even exist?
I would just take this one out.
It doesn't seem to add anything to the list (Commandment #1 - Follow Love - Covers a lot on how one should be living...) and there seems to be too many questions about the Afterlife that we don't know to be making this some sort of Commandment.

And, with that said - I'm out!


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 Message 374 by dwise1, posted 05-25-2021 6:43 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
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