Theists don't ask questions

Argue for and against Christianity

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Blastcat
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Theists don't ask questions

Post #1

Post by Blastcat »

Hi

I ask a lot of questions.. and SOMETIMES ( but not always ) get answers.

One of the reasons that I do ask a lot of questions, is that I don't actually learn anything new by proselytizing atheism. I do that a bit, of course, I think it's important that people get to know an atheist and what he thinks about the "big questions" and so on, but I am ALSO here to learn what OTHER people think.

So, the questions.

It just occurred to me that I RARELY get any questions from the theists.
Isn't that odd?

____________

Question for debate:


  • Why is it that theists don't seem very curious as to what outsiders to their beliefs think?

____________


:)

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Blastcat
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Re: Moved to this thread

Post #191

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 167 by William]


[center]
Even MORE great questions
[/center]

William wrote:
Ummm...I don't think I have ever claimed to be a 'theist' Blastcat. I simply have questions to ask and since you put it out there that you - as an atheist - would like to be questioned, I took the opportunity to do so.
Are you HIDING your position?
I thought you were a theist.

If you make me guess like that, don't caution me for guessing like that.
And, by the way, I STILL don't know your position.

What is it.. a secret?

William wrote:
Q: Do you think I am a theist?
Not anymore.

William wrote:
Q: How do you know this is the case?
I guessed that because you are asking me about atheism as if you never heard of it before.

William wrote:
Not sure if that is 'yes' or 'no'. Specifically I was speaking about babies in relation to being fully ignorant of anything...pre-learning anything from anyone.
Look, I don't know.
I just never had a philosophical discussion with a new born.

William wrote:
So then yes you are the type of atheist who believes one has to be exposed to ideas of GOD(s) and then reject those, before you can declare yourself as an 'atheist.'

Q: Do you agree?
No.

There are people who are never exposed to the belief as children, and just don't have that belief.

Not many, but I've met a few.
My children were brought up in an atheistic home.

They were not ever taught to believe in any gods or goddesses.
And I am repeating myself.

Yeah.
Well, science is the best we got to verify claims about our universe.

SO far, right?
William wrote:
Physical claims, for sure. Faith based claims, no.
As I said before, that's a huge problem for the theistic side.

In effect, you are admitting that science doesn't DETECT any "faith based" phenomenon, other than the people believing. Sorry, but in science, that's a big honking "doesn't exist".

William wrote:
Q:What is your position on this?
1. Claiming that a god or a goddess exists IMPLIES that these phenomena are a part of our universe. That's what the word "exists" means, basically. If you want to say that gods or goddesses exist in some OTHER realm, then you also now have to prove that the OTHER REALM exists. Of course, none of this has been done. By anyone, scientist ( and yes, there ARE theistic scientists ) and not by any wise holy man. Sorry about that, but when it comes to the God Hypothesis, we have zero evidence.

2. What science tells us about the "faith based" claims, is that people make them, and there is no evidence that they are justified.

Otherwise, we would have news of it in the scientific journals. We don't.
There isn't much for scientists to OBSERVE.


It's almost as if there IS nothing there to observe in any way.

If we can't say that something exists by way of science... we should hold off on believing it.
William wrote:
Q: To be clear here, do you mean believing it as possible, or believing it in faith?
Can you clarify and give your reason for this please.
I have no idea what you mean by "believing it in faith". But if we hold off on believing that it's even possible, why have "faith" in it?

But when VERY smart people end up conclusions that don't stand up to scrutiny, something is going on. It's just that for me, learning how to think has led me AWAY from religion, not closer.
William wrote:
Q: Can you give an example of something which you see as "conclusions that don't stand up to scrutiny," in relation to any idea of GOD? (you choose which one you would like to make an example of here.)
If there were a religious claim that stood up to scrutiny, I would have to raise the probability of gods or goddesses existing. I have no reason to think that gods or goddesses actually exist.

Miracle claims... heaven, hell, all that.. angels.. pick one.
No religious claim has been demonstrated true.

What we have is lots of belief.
It's true that most people believe in gods or goddesses.

William wrote:
I am unclear as to what you are saying here.
Even secular people can have "non god" religions.
If we really stretch the meaning of the word "religion", I have one.

It has NOTHING to do with the concept "God", nor does it have more participants than one. Like I say, it's a real stretch of the imagination to call it a "religion, but I really don't worry too much about that. Maybe it's more of an "intentional aesthetically pleasing philosophical stance". And pizza is involved.

Maybe I should write an essay.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think this is the case with everyone and that we should all understand this in relation to how we each interact with others, by taking it into consideration?
Yes.

I think that too many people assume that communication is easy. It can be, but not always, and especially, in philosophical debates where the issues are EXTREMELY complex.

William wrote:
Q: Do those bad things concern you and help support your particular type of atheist position, or is the focus solely on rejecting all ideas of GOD?
No.
As I said, these are two completely separate issues.

Even if I BELIEVED in some god or goddess, I would STILL be perfectly able to see the harm that religions cause.

William wrote:
Q: Specific to the subject of the reality of warfare, do you think that a potential panacea exists?
Is so, where?
I don't believe in magical thinking, no. I don't think that one simple answer will solve all of our problems.

We must do our best.
Not even Donald Trump has a magical solution.

William wrote:
Q: So atheism is politically applicable 'because' theism shouldn't be?
No.

I don't think that a particular leading religious group actively seeking political power will fight against theocracy. So, that usually falls on the OUTSIDERS... people of different religions and ... the atheists to oppose them.

Imagine that some fanatical but very numerous Buddhists ( just looking for a neutral example ) took over my country politically... I would join in with the Christians and the Muslims to fight them off.

William wrote:
Q: What logical reason do you have for believing that theism should not be concerned or concern itself with politics?
I can plainly see the historical and modern day abuses of theocracy.

In other countries, other religions want to muscle into politics. I think that a theocracy is a terrible thing. I'm for forms of democracies, instead.
William wrote:
You have said already that the majority of human beings are theists.
Yes, I don't have the actual stats, but I think it's safe to say that most people are religious. I think these are just very rough estimates, but it's indicative:

"Studies on the demographics of atheism have concluded that self-identified atheists comprise anywhere from 2% to 13% of the world's population,"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

William wrote:
Q: In regard to that, if it is fact - then do you think democracy should not be an option for anyone who is a theist to partake in?
Not at all.
What I don't want is some preacher with a gun telling me what to do.

William wrote:
Q: What do you mean by "forms of democracies"
Democracy is practiced in different ways in different countries.

"Pure democracy" where everyone votes on everything all the time isn't practical. But that's a form. In most countries, we have what is known as "representative democracy" where we vote for people to represent our positions. That's a very popular form of democracy. If we are really clever, we may come up with even better forms. Time will tell.

But these are political positions.. atheism is JUST about one issue.. the belief of gods or goddesses, right?
William wrote:
Yes obviously, but we are specifically speaking about the reality that there are many types of atheists.

Essentially I am asking "should atheists be involved with politics, if indeed theists should not be?"
People have the right and I would say the duty to take part in politics.
BUT.. that doesn't at all mean that our religions should dictate our politics.

I don't want to be dictated to by religious leaders.
I got my fill when I was a kid.

Didn't like it.

William wrote:
Q: Does atheism have any part to play in politics?
Atheism isn't about politics.

William wrote:
I think the verifiable evidence shows that this is a concern for theists as well, and a democratic one at that.
They too do not want atheism mingling with social law and order.
You say that as if atheism has an agenda.
It doesn't.

I keep having to repeat that atheism is only a rejection of beliefs of theism.

Deeply devout religious people also do not want other kinds of religious leaders telling them what to do. They don't mind their own, of course.

There are many good Christians out there who understand why we need to have a separation between church and state. A lot of others don't care, and don't think.

I think that they should.

William wrote:
My personal 'ideally run world' would be that of a benevolent dictatorship', but dreams are free right? I acknowledge that this is wishful thinking but don't apologize for it.
I wonder who you think is that perfect dictator? Mussolini? Sheikh Hasina? Hitler? Ashoka the Great ? Frederick the Great? Your favorite preacher?

We tried a LOT of dictators, you know.
Not all of them turned out to be so very benevolent.

Dictators think of themselves as "benevolent'.
Personally, I would not put so much power into the hands of just one person.

But this is off topic.
I'm not a big fan of political theory.

In a perfect world, religion or the lack of it would never come up.
William wrote:
Q: What do you mean by 'perfect world'?
One without imperfections.

William wrote:
Q: Why do you assume that this world is not already perfect?
Fine, if you want to call the world perfect, go right ahead.
I won't stop you.

You may want to explain some of the problems that people are talking about though....

William wrote:
It appears that you are blaming the existence of theists and ultimately the idea of GOD for human beings not being 'perfect' (whatever you mean by that) and 'if only' people would stop beliving in any ideas of GOD, everything therefore WOULD be perfect.
I already told you that I don't believe in any panacea.
I don't indulge in magical thinking.

What I meant is that if there were no religions at all... we would not need to have an opposition to it. The only reason that there are atheists is because theists exist.

Getting rid of religion completely might not create a "perfect" world. But it might help the only one we got.

In any case, we can't really get rid of all religion right now.
It was just a hypothetical.

William wrote:
Q: So atheism isn't about politics at all then?
That's right.

Atheism is not about politics.
It's a negative position on THEISM.

William wrote:
Q: Does this indicate that because politics is involved with warfare, (your taxes support that), that it would not be the case IF theism kept out of politics, that you would be forced to contribute to acts of war?
People have to pay taxes.
Their religious affiliation doesn't matter.

Taxes or wars has nothing to do with atheism.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think you are engaged in warfare with theists because you have no choice?
I am not engaged in "warfare" with anyone.

I don't have to go out and kill anyone.
These debates are as far as I go.
I will leave the killing to ISIS and religious nut cases like that.

Nobody is forcing me to engage in debates.

William wrote:
Q: Do you have a better way in which would bring and end to warfare other than suggesting that theist stay out of politics?
No.
I'm not a political theorist.

But it would be helpful if people didn't try to mess up the world by fighting over what religion we should follow.

William wrote:
The reason I am asking is because it appears to me that you think theists are controlling how you personally have to live your life, against your will, against what you would personally rather be doing and that they make the world less perfect than you may envision in your minds eye as to what you see as a perfect world.

Q: Is that a fair commentary on your position Blastcat?
Yes.

The religious in the world, due to their overwhelming majority, have a lot of power. They also have a lot of money. ( think of all of the churches out there ) If they didn't cause any trouble, I really wouldn't care.

Religions cause trouble.
To pretend otherwise is to be quite foolish.

William wrote:
Q: Any idea how this might be fixed Other then 'get rid of theism from politics'?
No.

And I don't believe that getting rid of all religions will be any kind of panacea. i don't believe in magical solutions to real world problems.

I didn't suggest that getting rid of all religions would make a perfect world. it might, however, cause us less trouble in the one we have.

William wrote:
I think we come from evil and are growing into the light, as a species.
What a very cynical view of the origins of humanity.

William wrote:
Q: Do you know if there is an 'atheist position' about that, in any of the sub-sets of atheism?
Atheism means not having a belief in any gods or goddesses

William wrote:
Q: Do you think your children could never be shown love through theism?
Theism is belief in a god or a goddess.. it's people who love.

William wrote:
Q: Is atheism concerned with love?
No.

Atheism means not having a belief in any gods or goddesses

It's PEOPLE who love.
Atheism isn't about love.

William wrote:
Q: Was it the seed from your loins which helped to bring your children into the world?
Yes, I believe that humans reproduce sexually.

William wrote:
Q: Do you love your children even though you helped bring them into the world which isn't perfect for them?
I just told you that I love my kids.

William wrote:
Q: If so, why is that?
I guess that reaction is mostly biological.
I can't help but love my kids.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think any form of argument should be regarded as an act of war?

I say that if we thought so then we might want to find other ways of trying to communicate.
I don't think that argument is a form of warfare.
Let's debate, instead.

I think we can love one another.
William wrote:
Well I love you.
Thanks.

William wrote:
Q: Does that help?
Doesn't hurt.

William wrote:
Q: Do you love me too?
In the general sense that you are a human, yes.
I don't know you, so i wouldn't use that word. I don't love you romantically, for example, so I would say that I "like" you.

I sure don't love you as much as I love my kids, that's for sure.
Sorry if I disappoint.

William wrote:
Q: Shall you and I thus develop an alternative to argument, if indeed we agree that arguing is a kind of warfare?
No.

I don't agree that argument is a kind of a warfare. Forming arguments is one of the best ways to AVOID actual warfare.

I form arguments in here all the time.
We can discuss our different points of view in a very civil manner.

William wrote:
Q: What, if anything, can atheism help to do in the way of contributing to peace?
I think that our discussion is very useful in that regard. Perhaps if we understand each other, we will be less likely to distrust one another...

William wrote:
Q: Okay - so atheism isn't about peace. People don't need to be atheists in order to be peaceful?
Not at all.
Most religious people are very peaceful.

The problem we have is that it's not ALL of them.
Some people use their religion to cause the world harm

William wrote:
Q: Atheists have to have facts?


Anyone who wants to have a rational discussion needs to have facts.
This has nothing to do with atheism.


William wrote:

Is this another understanding of atheism?



Not at all.

Atheism means not having a belief in any gods or goddesses


William wrote:

The fact that there is no obvious scientific evidence of any GOD=atheism?

Yes, atheism is a conclusion.. it's a position.

If I thought for a second that there was obvious evidence for any gods or goddesses, I would not be an atheist.

William wrote:
I think before even that, we need to have agree-to-rules. Start on the same page, as it were, rather than from positions of polarities.

Q: Do you agree?
Yes.
I quite agree with that.

We have to build our agreements. One item at a time.
That's how learning is done. It's like climbing a ladder.

That's how people can learn to get along.
One step at a time.

Welcome to debates.

William wrote:
Q: What about those atheists who claim that everyone starts out as an atheist? That all human babies are atheists? Atheists without facts, as it were.
I'm one of those.
Babies, are indeed, "atheists without facts".

William wrote:
Q: Is atheism about 'theological discussion'?
Atheism is a philosophical conclusion ( opinion if you will ) about the God Hypothesis. Remember : Atheism means not having a belief in any gods or goddesses

So, no, atheism isn't about philosophical discussion.

If I want to engage in a rational discussion with someone, I will insist on facts, and not fantasy.
William wrote:
Q: Are you saying that 'theological discussion' can be 'rational discussion'?
It tries.
I think it fails at that, though.

William wrote:
Q:What do you mean when you say " it's most likely fiction"?
I mean that the religious stories aren't demonstrably true.
False stories are called "fictions".

William wrote:
Q:IF something is 'most likely fiction' what facts have you about that 'something' (whatever it may be) which allows for this assumption?
It's not at all an assumption.
Again, it's a conclusion based on facts and reason.

If someone claims that a story ( any kind of story ) is true... then they must be able to demonstrate that it is by some kind of convincing evidence. Barring that evidence, the story is most likely not true, and called "fiction", instead.


There is very little evidence of a real "Harry Potter" for example.

William wrote:
Q: Are you perhaps hoping some evidence for GOD would surface somehow through someone?
I've lost all hope.
But... you never can tell.

I am open to it... not holding my breath, though.
It's been at least 2000 years of claims, after all. ( for Christian claims, anyway )

William wrote:
Q: Are you saying specifically that you are hoping for something from Christianity to prove itself to you, that you might KNOW (by the facts presented in that 'something hoped for') that whatever you would consider to being 'evidence for GOD' would be all that could convince you?
Hope is too big a word.
Let's say that I am open minded.

If someone has evidence, I will take a look see.

William wrote:
[thought experiment]
Q: If you died tomorrow and discovered you were still existing, would THAT convince you of the existence of GOD?
Nope.
I would want to be a good skeptic and not jump to conclusions.

William wrote:
Q: If Jesus returned tomorrow with his great army and assumed the position of benevolent dictator, would that convince you of the existence of GOD?
I think that if you understood skepticism, you would know my answer. Because I study this kind of thing, i would imagine that I could be fooled somehow:

1.
By a supernatural being who is NOT a god or goddess... but very powerful.
2. Pan-dimentional hyper-intelligent mice from the future with amazing technology so advanced that we can not tell it from magic.
3. I might have gone off my rocker. Delusions do happen to people.

William wrote:
(I am specifically asking these questions to try and get a clearer understanding as to what you are saying in your answers so far in relation to belief and what would help you to believe.)
I am very impressed by what Matt Dillahunty has to say about this question; I will paraphrase :


An all knowing god would know exactly what it would take to convince even the most hard hearted heathen in the universe.


William wrote:
Q: What don't you have opinions on to which you regard as facts?
Facts are not the same as opinions.

William wrote:
It appears to me that you base your position on lack of facts.
That's true.
There are NO facts that I can say supports theism.

Good.
You are being skeptical of my claim.
William wrote:
I am skeptical of your position and of your reasons for assuming it.
That's great.
I endorse skepticism.

I wonder what your next step will be?
William wrote:
:study:
Good idea.
Study what, specifically?

William wrote:
Q: Are you saying that science makes it way less likely any GOD does exist?
Yep.

Using the scientific method, religious people have not produced any evidence of a "God" phenomenon.

William wrote:
Q: Why do you think that is the case?
We don't observe any phenomenon.

William wrote:
Q: In demanding burden of proof for the existence of GOD, what facts would you expect to be shown?
A phenomenon we could observe.

William wrote:
Q:If their idea of GOD cannot be shown to you to exist because it is not something that can be shown in a way that science can investigate, and they say so...do you think that is acceptable given the truth of it?
They are quite free to claim anything that they like. But if they can't demonstrate that what the believe in is true in any way, then I'll just pass.

I need a good reason to believe that something is real.
A LOT of people make BOGUS claims.

William wrote:
Q:If not, why would you still wish to demand for something which has been explained to you cannot be shown to you using science?
Because people still make the unsupported claims.

William wrote:
Q:As well as that, why would you conclude that they are at fault for believing in something that you cannot see through scientific process?
They can believe anything that they like. But if they want to say that it's REAL, then we can challenge that. As long as they aren't causing anyone harm, they can go ahead and believe anything that they want.

William wrote:
What actually does it matter to you, that you would demand something which you also know cannot be provided by those from whom you demand it?
People DO come in here to find out what atheists have to say.
Theists DO make outrageous theistic claims that they can't prove.

I'm here to challenge those claims and show that they aren't supported in any way than by FAITH and very bad reasoning.

William wrote:
Obviously from what you have said re 'why you are an atheist' you are the type who rejects all ideas of GODs.
Any kind of gods or goddesses, yes.
That's what it means to be an atheist.

William wrote:
Q:Given the facts, why conclude there are none?
I don't observe any facts.

Evidence FOR any god or goddess would change my mind, of course.
William wrote:
You say it is up to the theist to provide the facts, and also assume that there must be facts that they can show you.
No I don't assume there are facts.
I don't observe any, and theists don't provide any.

A skeptic tries his best to AVOID making assumptions.

William wrote:
Q: What do you base your assumption on?
I don't know what assumptions you are referring to.
Sorry.

A good skeptic would AVOID making assumptions.


A skeptic has an open mind about evidence.
William wrote:
Even subjective evidence, and especially their own subjective experience.
As a skeptic I do this myself, which is why I remain open-minded to both polarities...atheism and theism...in relation to my personal subjective experiences.
There is a vast difference between the subjective and the objective.

A good skeptic knows the difference, and doesn't mistake the two.

William wrote:
Q: Do you understand that some ideas of GODs are beyond the reach of present day scientific ability to investigate?
Yes.

And that's a HUGE strike against the possibility of any god or goddess existing.
William wrote:
Q: Why do you think this is so?
Science doesn't support the theistic claims.
Now what?

A OUIJA board?
Prayer?

William wrote:
Q: Do you understand that IF some kind of GOD does actually exist that it exists NOW, regardless of the FACT that our science at present does not have the ability to investigate?
Yes, if something is true, it's true.

So what?
We have no observations that the God hypothesis is true.
I refrain from believing what I don't know to be true, because I'm a skeptic.

William wrote:
Q: In instances where this is the case, do you think it is logical to assume the position of atheism in the way that you justify doing so regardless of whether facts can actually be presented or not?
Facts are not being presented.
Maybe it's because there aren't any.. but in any case... we just don't have any at this time. Believe in gods or goddesses if you like.

William wrote:
Q: Is it irrational for you to try other ways in which to see if such a GOD can be subjectively verified?
What method are you suggesting?
Spin the bottle?

William wrote:
I ask this because it is obvious something is occurring with theists which atheism nor being skeptical cannot do anything about but many atheists would sure like to do something about.
Yes, I think that something is happening with the theists... they believe in a god or goddess for bad reasons.

Skepticism is not just for religious claims.
It's a very useful method to know if any proposition is true or not.

You are free to use any method that you like.
I just prefer to use the right tool for the job, and I have NO idea what method you are suggesting, other than labeling it "subjective".

William wrote:
That's how skeptics and scientists deal with any claim.
Scientists deal with science.
Tap dancers deal with tap dancing.
What's your point?

William wrote:
Skepticism deals also with other things and needn't exclusively use science as a yardstick in matters especially related of ideas of GOD.
Yes, "skepticism deals with other things".
I'm not convinced you know what those other things ARE.


You haven't told us what you think the best method to use in order to find out if any proposition is true.


William wrote:
Q: Do you think it is rational to demand that the idea of GOD should even be a question of science given that you agree that GOD could exist but present scientific capabilities cannot detect GOD?
If I thought that, I would say that science should STOP looking at things that they do not yet understand. That would be silly.

The scientific method has been proven to work.
Theistic claims have not been demonstrated to be true by ANY method.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think science is even useful for looking for GOD?
Yes.
Make any claim.. science has a way to find out if it's true or not.

God claims ... make as many as you like.
If no phenomenon is detected.. the claim has not been demonstrated to be true.

William wrote:
Q: If so, what exactly do you think science would find which could be called GOD?
That's another problem right there.
Theists can't decide what their cherished phenomenon is supposed to be or how to detect it.

Maybe when they figure that out the scientists will have something to look for.

William wrote:
Q: Do you understand that theists positions are established without much in the way of science, but are considered through the fact of their subjective experience - to being at the very least, evidence pointing to some idea GOD - at least in relation to what they feel is communion with their idea of GOD?
You don't seem to understand the difference between the subjective and the objective.

You seem to be treating the idea of a god as an aesthetic object. ( work of art )
"Subjective truths" are more like aesthetic opinions such as "The Mona Lisa speaks to me", or "Picasso isn't true art". Or, "I like pizza".

Apologetics messes with people's capacity to make certain distinctions. Subjective and objective is one of those.

It comes up over and over again in these discussions.
People are very confused.

William wrote:
Therefore atheism is not about morality.
Right.
Your catching on.

Morality is extremely important.
William wrote:
But not in relation to atheism.
Atheism means not having a belief in any gods or goddesses
Atheism is not a moral theory.

I respond to the moral claims of theists. I do so by way of my skepticism, not atheism. Atheism is NOT a method of inquiry. Skepticism is a great one.
William wrote:
Q: Do you use this skepticism to support your position of atheism rather than theism?
Yes.
William wrote:
or;

Q: Does it not matter. It can be used to support either?
Skepticism is a method of inquiry.
That doesn't mean that all practitioners will arrive at the same conclusions.
As with all skill, some do it better than others.

William wrote:
Q:Are you perhaps wanting theists to asks questions of you as a skeptic?
Yes, I promote skepticism.
I believe that everyone should be a skeptic.

William wrote:
Q: Are ALL bible stories about insane evil psychopath ideas of GOD? Obviously you are making the claim, but is it truthful?
Maybe not all of them.
I say MANY.

It's my opinion.
William wrote:
Q: So..not a claim then?
An opinion is not the same as a claim.

But yes, it's a claim that I am prepared to back up. There is a lot of evidence in the Bible.

Take a look at this in the meantime:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyat ... very-kill/

William wrote:
The bible is a group of stories which have the appearance of being related.
Agreed.
Whoever put the stories together thought they were somehow related.

William wrote:
Obviously the story itself is preoccupied with human behavior and I do not argue that there are numerous biblical passages which appear to be 'bad news' for humans - that in itself isn't surprising given the situation humans are in anyway. It is 'bad news' ultimately.
I was saying that whenever God interacts with humans, it's bad news for the humans.

William wrote:
However, I am sure you will agree that it (the human situation) is also 'good news' - and that the polarities of nature are factual for that.
I was talking about Bible stories.

William wrote:
Q: You wouldn't have helped bring children into the world if everything is bad news, would you?
This is quite irrelevant.
I was talking about how the god of the Bible interacts with humans in the stories.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think it is a good practice (even by skeptical standards of practice) to focus ONLY on the NUMEROUS Bible passages which appear to be 'bad news' for humans, when indeed there are also NUMEROUS Bible passages which appear to be 'good news' for humans?
Some Christians seem to think that it's nothing but good news.
In the Bible, when God interacts with humans, there is a lot of violence.

Think of the flood.

William wrote:
Q: Do you take the bible literally then?
The Bible is a bunch of stories.. I'm talking about the stories, which I take as mostly fictional.

So, no. I don't take the Bible literally at all.

William wrote:
I am not that skeptical that I think you would withhold it from me if you had it.
You seem to think that skepticism is a bad thing.
It's not. It's actually very useful.

William wrote:
How do you explain those good things which have come into the world through Abrahamic organised religions influences?
Most people are good people, whatever religion they choose to follow or not.

They could be Buddhists, for all I care.
I think that in some cases, people do good in spite of their religious beliefs, and not because of them.

People are generally good.
William wrote:
Q: Why would you think this?
Observation.

William wrote:
Q: Then why do you think it is not a perfect world because theists are political and since they are also the majority, that is why the world is not perfect?
I said mostly good.
If the world were perfect, everyone would be perfectly good.

William wrote:
IF
People are mostly good
AND
The majority make it that way.
THEN the way theists do things in the world is mostly good because of the majority that are doing it
Yep.
People are mostly good.

It's not due to their religions.
There are lots of different religions.

I think they could do better if they didn't waste their time and efforts supporting and paying for a religion, and just go ahead and do the good stuff.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand that.
William wrote:
:study:
I still don't understand.

William wrote:
I guess that will depend on whether you agree that any argument is something of an act of war.
In debates, I use the word "argument" to mean "a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an idea is true or false."

It's like the very opposite of "war".

William wrote:
Q: Why do you think I do not understand what skepticism is?
Observation.
I keep having to repeat that skepticism is a method.

William wrote:
Rather, I think we might have different understandings as to where it can apply. I am as skeptical of atheism as I am of theism.
I'm not convinced that you know what skepticism means. I use it to mean a method of inquiry. I gave you a link.

You could save us a lot of time by looking it up.
Just type "Skepticism" into Google.

You can't be "skeptical" of atheism, as it makes no claims.
Theism makes claims.

William wrote:
Skepticism to me means 'the jury is still out' and even 'the evidence is not yet all in'.
That isn't a method of inquiry, that's a conclusion. What you mean is that you aren't convinced.

I've been trying to explain to you that I use skepticism as a method of inquiry. It's not just "doubt".

Skepticism is used to figure out how to arrive at the conclusion.
I'm talking about the skeptical METHOD, not the conclusion.

I suggest that you look it up.
It's a thing.

It's basically a short cut for "critical thinking".
That's a real thing too.

William wrote:
Q: If atheism and theism stayed out of politics, do you believe that the world could be made perfect enough for your children to live in?
I already have children.
I don't think the world is "perfect".

This has nothing to do with atheism.

William wrote:
Q: Do you believe it is possible for anyone NOT to stay out of politics regardless of theist or atheist positions?
I think it's everyone's civic duty to engage in politics on some level.
This has nothing to do with atheism.

William wrote:
And that is exactly what human politics are. Pockets of separate groups in various acts of war with one another.
War?

No, actual, real war is very different from actual, real politics.
You are confusing the metaphorical use of the word "war" with the literal use of the word.

William wrote:
In conclusion, it appears that it is the skeptic you are which wants to be questioned.
?

I'm a skeptic.
That's how I would approach any claim.

William wrote:
Atheism is besides the point, as far as positions go.

Atheism isn't skepticism



:)
Last edited by Blastcat on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Theists don't ask questions

Post #192

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 176 by Hector Barbosa]
Hector Barbosa wrote:
You want to believe you are a Ape on blind faith, fine I don't have a problem with that, but you will never convince me of such nonsense for there is 0 evidence of it.
As soon as you state that there is 0 evidence for the theory of evolution, you demonstrate a REMARKABLE ignorance for someone who claims to be interested in science.

Sorry.
But you aren't fooling all of us.


Try this:
http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/in ... -evolution


:)

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Re: Theists don't ask questions

Post #193

Post by Neatras »

[Replying to post 192 by Blastcat]

Really, it must be so bizarre for someone to go up to a person who actually understands evolutionary theory and tries to grandstand about how awesome they are for knowing everything wrong with it. To which the expert would ask very basic questions and have his questions avoided/dismissed. I just don't understand what the point of that is. Surely the point of answering a question is to demonstrate knowledge. Hector has done no such thing this entire time he's been on the forum.

I wonder if he simply doesn't understand the nature of honesty or directness. Instead, like almost all Creationists before Hector, he relies on rhetorical games to disguise his own willful ignorance on subjects. Demanding that we avoid explaining technical aspects of science because, by his claims, he already knows all of them.

Sadly, he'll find that if I genuinely start to care about the baffling non-arguments he makes, I will not take any of his games seriously. I haven't made a good post on evolutionary theory in a while, and he's starting to rile me up. I have many questions he'll refuse to answer, definitions he'll refuse to read, and arguments he'll refuse to address. And at the very least, I'll have the satisfaction of demonstrating the foundational component of his entire debate strategy: He refuses to understand, because understanding would be equivalent to admitting defeat. So he must insist he does understand, because doing so will reinforce his idea that right is right, and wrong is wrong. He can't admit a single point he's "understood" is wrong, because that would bring his ideology crumbling down. What a sad way to live.

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Post #194

Post by OnceConvinced »

[Replying to post 193 by Neatras]


:warning: Moderator Warning


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Please review our Rules.

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Moderator warnings count as a strike against users. Additional violations in the future may warrant a final warning. Any challenges or replies to moderator postings should be made via Private Message to avoid derailing topics.

Society and its morals evolve and will continue to evolve. The bible however remains the same and just requires more and more apologetics and claims of "metaphors" and "symbolism" to justify it.

Prayer is like rubbing an old bottle and hoping that a genie will pop out and grant you three wishes.

There is much about this world that is mind boggling and impressive, but I see no need whatsoever to put it down to magical super powered beings.


Check out my website: Recker's World of Fantasy

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Re: Theists don't ask questions

Post #195

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 178 by William]



[center]

Saying SOMETHING with a lot of confidence..... ?[/center]


William wrote:
Q: What kind of atheist fits you best in relation to the subset positions?"[/b]
I have no "subset" position. I am an atheist in that I meet the definition of an atheist (lacks a belief in a god). Once again, it is literally that simple.
William wrote:
Therefore I can confidently say that while you identify as 'being an atheist' this in itself has no bearing on you position as an individual self conscious human being with opinions to express.
Your opinions expressed are not BECAUSE you self identify as an atheist. You self identifying as an atheist is besides the point in relation to your opinions.
This makes no sense to me at all... would you care to clarify what it is you meant?
I have NO idea what it is that you are saying with so much confidence.


:)

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #196

Post by Blastcat »

[center]Rocks don't have any beliefs in gods or goddesses.[/center]

Well, if you mean that babies don't have any god beliefs?
I guess that's true.

We all start off being agnostics and atheists, ignorant of rocket science and political theories.
Hector Barbosa wrote: How can you start being an atheist, if being an atheist is to REJECT a belief in God?
How can you reject a argument you have not heard?
Don't get stuck on the word "reject". Nobody is pretending that babies ponder philosophy.

People have been trying to tell you that atheists just don't happen to have a belief in gods or goddesses.

Rocks are atheists, in that general sense.


:)

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Re: Theists don't ask questions

Post #197

Post by Divine Insight »

William wrote: I am arguing that science is not the right tool for the job re ideas of GOD.
I am arguing that philosophy is better for that.

Your post has done nothing to convince me otherwise. You have misconstrued by the look of it.
I agree with you completely. Science is not the right tool for making speculative guesses about things that can neither be verified nor disproved.

And yes, I agree philosophy is far suited for that because philosophy has itself been proven to be unable to determine what is true.

Just as philosophy is better suited for making wild unsubstantiated guesses about gods, so too is is better suited for making wild unsubstantiated guess about fairies, or the boogieman, etc.

Science is only useful for addressing questions that can actually be answered with demonstrable truth of fallacy.

Obviously questions about imaginary invisible gods, fairies and boogiemen are not suitable for science. In fact, I'm quite sure that most scientists would agree that these are not valid scientific concepts.

Whether my post convinces you of anything is irrelevant. The fact remains that pure philosophy that ignores actual evidence can never be said to lead to any truths.

You can't say anything more definite about a "god" than you can say about fairies or a boogieman.

But yes, you can speculate about these things until the cows come home. That you indeed can do. But until you can provide any evidence for these things you can't speak of them scientifically, and until you can do that you can't make any truth claims about them at all.

So if you are interested in truth, science is the only option you have.

And keep in mind also that individual scientists are free to speculate and offer potential hypotheses. However, their speculation isn't science until they have evidence to support what it is they are speculating about. Same thing is true of their hypotheses. Until their hypotheses can be tested they are just guesses. They aren't "science".
[center]Image
Spiritual Growth - A person's continual assessment
of how well they believe they are doing
relative to what they believe a personal God expects of them.
[/center]

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Post #198

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to Hector Barbosa]



[center]What does it mean to be an atheist?
Part three
[/center]

Hector Barbosa wrote:
I DO know my own mind, but you asked about what I believe or am convinced by.
If you can not tolerate not being convinced by something then you are no scientist ;)
If you aren't convinced that there are gods or goddesses, and you don't believe in any, you are an atheist.

It's really quite simple.


:)

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Re: Theists don't ask questions

Post #199

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 197 by Divine Insight]

[center]

OH MY GOD... two atheists who don't agree about something.
[/center]

Divine Insight wrote:
I agree with you completely. Science is not the right tool for making speculative guesses about things that can neither be verified nor disproved.
I agree with that.

Divine Insight wrote:
And yes, I agree philosophy is far suited for that because philosophy has itself been proven to be unable to determine what is true.
You seem to be equating "philosophy" with "speculation".
Science uses speculation, too.

But both fields of study are MORE than mere speculation, my friend.

Divine Insight wrote:
Just as philosophy is better suited for making wild unsubstantiated guesses about gods, so too is is better suited for making wild unsubstantiated guess about fairies, or the boogieman, etc.
Philosophy is about taking wild unsubstantiated guesses about GODS?
I think you mean "theology" my friend.


:)

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Post #200

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 27 by theophile]



[center]
THIS JUST IN:
Maybe the atheists know how to live.
[/center]

theophile wrote:
Again, what positive efforts have we heard from atheists or agnostics or whatever else? All we get is negative attacks on theism. Never positive efforts to truly think systematically and provide a coherent, atheistic worldview. I've yet to see that once. Hence my questions. (So much easier to tear down than to build...)
Once we give up the idea of a god telling us what to do and how to do it, we are quite free to look at any other options. You seem to be imagining that atheist don't think about that. However, we don't all of us arrive at the same world view. There isn't an "atheist consensus" about how to live a life.

I'm sorry friend, but you are looking for something that isn't there. There is no "atheist authority" that guides us. The best you will get from us atheists out there is a CASE by CASE idea of how to live.

But you know, the way you frame your question, it's as if you are skeptical that any of us DO know how to live, and live well. Look, I share my toys and get along with other girls and boys.

God or not.


If that's not clear enough, feel free to ask questions. I'm right here.


:)

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