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This is a discussion on As an atheist/anti-theist, this got me thinking. within the Critical Thinking & Philosophy forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Originally Posted by g_w That's a *slight* misquote of Lewis: he pointed out that the difficulties he had with religion ...

  1. #121

    Quote Originally Posted by g_w View Post
    That's a *slight* misquote of Lewis: he pointed out that the difficulties he had with religion were not biological, but metaphysical; for naturalistic evolution requires (if you trace the "turtles all the way down" so to speak) that rationality and logic arise from non-rational causes; he emended this after debating Elizabeth Anscombe (a Roman Catholic student of Wittgenstein) to the observation that random causes cannot effectuate veridical or veriferous thought; ironically, this is even more damning to the evolutionists than his original proposition, since the attempted foxhole in which materialists hide is that thought which comports with the real world (..."veridical") inherently provides survival value thereby closing the feedback loop necessary for evolution.

    Next point, is the problem with confusion over terms about evolution:
    a) evolution is tracking the time change of alleles within a population
    vs.
    b) most if not all of the biodiversity (morphological differences between species, cladistics) are the result of evolution acting over time as random changes in the environment deselect certain traits for survival value, and random changes in the allele select certain traits for survival value.

    When people give "gold-plated" proof (direct experimental verification) of evolution they point to the first (e.g. the nylon bug); the second is "proved" generally by argument from authority ("lookit all them scientists who published on this, n00b!" ; "borrowing" prestige from associated studies in genetics; or evidences of common descent (endogenous retrovirus insertion, which are hard to account for in a *systematic* fashion by any other model, supernatural interference in any fashion being excluded ex hypothesi); and all of the above enforce by dorm room bull session sneer -- "Come ON, nobody *really* can believe THAT!"
    The theory of evolution is not a philosophy. It does not state whether "rationality and logic arise from non-rational causes". That is your own philosophical interpretation. Many Christians (myself included) believe that God is not a whimsical clown who puts his hands down and makes magical things happen, but rather a very smart and crafty all-powerful being who can design something as complex as evolution without his abilities being questioned. Lewis's point about the material requiring the metaphysical is a matter of philosophy, not a commentary on evolution. He was proving why God is essential to life, not why evolution may or may not be real.

    You just said that people are "proving" evolution by quoting many acclaimed scientists; have you ever thought of actually reading said acclaimed scientists' work, or are you just automatically debunking them on the grounds of "I don't care"? When I say, "The holocaust really happened" you can't argue by saying, "Oh yeah? You're just stealing prestige from historians." Please watch this. If this topic is important to you, I implore you to at least *consider* the other side of it. I have read Creationist websites, articles and "scientific" papers. Just watch this.

    I can explain to you sometime why exactly creationism is not biblical, and why evolution actually fits into Genesis quite easily if you view it as a metaphor similar to Revelations. Or you can ignore me with some dismissive slur and go on believing you're better.
    JoetheBull, Ember, monemi and 2 others thanked this post.

  2. #122

    Quote Originally Posted by devoid View Post
    I can explain to you sometime why exactly creationism is not biblical, and why evolution actually fits into Genesis quite easily if you view it as a metaphor similar to Revelations. Or you can ignore me with some dismissive slur and go on believing you're better.
    You can actually do that for me.

  3. #123

    Quote Originally Posted by Angst View Post
    Discussions change. New discussions start within discussions. There is no changing goal posts.

    And about me not criticizing them: true, I think they should be civil too but in their defence, they have no one to answer to. :P You on the other hand... What did Jesus mean when He instructed us to love our enemies?

    I don't belong to any group, atheist or theist. I am just an observer. Gaining knowledge, lurking around here and commenting when something interests me. That is all. For me, empirical evidences and even much of logical reasoning belong to atheists. While theists have to resort to philosophy and finding faults in logic. To the point where logic is meaningless. Everything can be, in the end, argued against.
    Ah, yes. The standard Alinsky tactic of making your enemy live up to his own set of rules.
    Too bad I got the drop on you for that one, chum.
    "Athiests don't have to be civil because they have nobody to answer to."
    Well, OK. I guess that settles it.
    But why limit it to just being civil? Why not sexual immorality, rape, murder, and the rest?
    And don't quote "survival value" at me: the Darwinian world is FULL of losers who die cause they couldn't cut the mustard:
    and extending temporally beyond that, survival is merely a blip on the cold, impersonal universe which dooms everything to extinction via the Laws of Thermodynamics.
    Oh, *THAT*'s right! (snaps fingers). Skepticism is only for use on *OTHER PEOPLE'S* values, when you disagree with them.
    Not yours, because, they're like, self-evident.
    And therefore, you know, "true".
    (Even though they are just as much a product of random environmental variables of country of origin, era you were born in, family circumstances, and the rest.)
    Well, that still leaves me room a-plenty to castigate you for illogical thought, special pleading, petitio principii, and all the others.
    Oh, WAIT! (snaps fingers again).
    I can't. I just can't.
    Because evolution. And theodicy.
    And this game just isn't any fun any more, you stupid Bible-thumping mouth breathing fundie.
    Oh -- by the way.
    Didja notice (speaking of it) that you just quoted the Bible to me as a serious, authoritative guide to moral behaviour?
    I'm gonna report you to the disinterested philosopher union, and they'll suspend your noble-sage-card.
    dvnj22 thanked this post.

  4. #124

    Quote Originally Posted by g_w View Post
    Ah, yes. The standard Alinsky tactic of making your enemy live up to his own set of rules.
    Too bad I got the drop on you for that one, chum.
    "Athiests don't have to be civil because they have nobody to answer to."
    Well, OK. I guess that settles it.
    But why limit it to just being civil? Why not sexual immorality, rape, murder, and the rest?
    And don't quote "survival value" at me: the Darwinian world is FULL of losers who die cause they couldn't cut the mustard:
    and extending temporally beyond that, survival is merely a blip on the cold, impersonal universe which dooms everything to extinction via the Laws of Thermodynamics.
    Oh, *THAT*'s right! (snaps fingers). Skepticism is only for use on *OTHER PEOPLE'S* values, when you disagree with them.
    Not yours, because, they're like, self-evident.
    And therefore, you know, "true".
    (Even though they are just as much a product of random environmental variables of country of origin, era you were born in, family circumstances, and the rest.)
    Well, that still leaves me room a-plenty to castigate you for illogical thought, special pleading, petitio principii, and all the others.
    Oh, WAIT! (snaps fingers again).
    I can't. I just can't.
    Because evolution. And theodicy.
    And this game just isn't any fun any more, you stupid Bible-thumping mouth breathing fundie.
    Oh -- by the way.
    Didja notice (speaking of it) that you just quoted the Bible to me as a serious, authoritative guide to moral behaviour?
    I'm gonna report you to the disinterested philosopher union, and they'll suspend your noble-sage-card.
    You win.

  5. #125

    Quote Originally Posted by g_w View Post
    Ahh, back to moving the goalposts, eh? I quite pointedly notice you have not once -- in my sight or hearing -- chastized any of the atheists for loudly proclaiming how EEEEVIL God is and how stupid Christians are for believing in Him. But all the sudden when someone becomes snarky in favor of the Christianists, it's time to call down shaming.

    If God doesn't exist, and nobody has the right to force morality, then you don't have the right to force your morality on me, either.
    Or does the mirror only go one way, where you get to judge others, but they can't criticize you?

    Or, if you want a Christian answer, check out St. Paul -- "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (1 Cor. 9:19, I'm playing the sneering intellectual instead of the credulous, befuddled loser who has given up his intellect and is begging you to become mindless too.)

    DO you believe that the greatest thing anyone can have, is LOVE? Over knowledge? Over wisdom? Over charitable deeds? Over doctrine?
    If you're going to swear up and down that your faith makes you a better person and that the world should conform to your lifestyle, you better walk the talk.
    JoetheBull and treschanna thanked this post.

  6. #126

    Quote Originally Posted by g_w View Post
    Ah, yes. The standard Alinsky tactic of making your enemy live up to his own set of rules.
    Too bad I got the drop on you for that one, chum.
    "Athiests don't have to be civil because they have nobody to answer to."
    Well, OK. I guess that settles it.
    But why limit it to just being civil? Why not sexual immorality, rape, murder, and the rest?
    And don't quote "survival value" at me: the Darwinian world is FULL of losers who die cause they couldn't cut the mustard:
    and extending temporally beyond that, survival is merely a blip on the cold, impersonal universe which dooms everything to extinction via the Laws of Thermodynamics.
    Oh, *THAT*'s right! (snaps fingers). Skepticism is only for use on *OTHER PEOPLE'S* values, when you disagree with them.
    Not yours, because, they're like, self-evident.
    And therefore, you know, "true".
    (Even though they are just as much a product of random environmental variables of country of origin, era you were born in, family circumstances, and the rest.)
    Well, that still leaves me room a-plenty to castigate you for illogical thought, special pleading, petitio principii, and all the others.
    Oh, WAIT! (snaps fingers again).
    I can't. I just can't.
    Because evolution. And theodicy.
    And this game just isn't any fun any more, you stupid Bible-thumping mouth breathing fundie.
    Oh -- by the way.
    Didja notice (speaking of it) that you just quoted the Bible to me as a serious, authoritative guide to moral behaviour?
    I'm gonna report you to the disinterested philosopher union, and they'll suspend your noble-sage-card.
    It's your bible and you can't even obey. Why should anyone else listen to it?
    JoetheBull and treschanna thanked this post.

  7. #127

    Quote Originally Posted by Angst View Post
    You can actually do that for me.
    Here we are then: Genesis chapter one. Genesis 1 ESV

    Keep in mind that the Hebrew word used does not mean "day" but rather "segment of time." Notice there is a reference to the sun being formed, then the earth, then the water is *gathered together to form the seas* (The water on earth, as we now know, was originally brought here on asteroids). Then a few "days" later (a few million years later), we get fish and then birds (life erupts out of the ocean and then moves to land, enter dinosaurs, which were ancestral birds). Then he created mammals, and then humans (do you see how this is "evolving"?) And it specifically says he created men and women, and told them to multiply.

    NOW CHAPTER TWO Genesis 2 ESV Everything is finished, and God rests. And then he makes Adam and Eve.

    Furthermore, the language used in Genesis (The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and using animals to embody spiritual beings or concepts)? This is similar to the language used in Revelations (when Jesus is depicted as a seven-headed sheep, among other trippy imagery) which is strongly telling of a metaphor. The similarities between Genesis and Revelations make sense; Genesis is a metaphor describing events that took millions of years and were far too complex for people at the time to understand at the beginning of time, and Revelations describes things far too complicated and far ahead in the future leading up to the end of time (including both world wars).

    Adam and Eve were the first man and woman to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Does that mean they ate a fruit and it made them smarter? No. It means that they decided to partake in A BELIEF IN GOOD AND EVIL OF SOME SORT. By the way: The garden is described as being in the same place and time as ancient Sumeria, the first civilized society and the birthplace of language (which is also described in a metaphor called the Tower of Babel). The story of Adam and Eve can easily be related to the story of human kind developing the ability to think in abstract ways, allowing us to be more than animals and to understand the difference between good and evil. This evolution of the human brain allowed us to develop things like agriculture (when Adam was cursed to work the fields) and an awareness of complex anxieties (Eve's greater pain in childbirth). It also explains why Adam and Eve grew bitter toward each other and argued, and why they became aware of death. And in fact, Adam and Eve developing complex thought is the only reason we had a need for a savior (there is a reference in there about the devil and Jesus rising up against him as well), because we'd have no need for religion without it.

    I truly believe in every word of the bible. And I truly believe in science. It's actually not as difficult as people make it out to be.
    Ember, LibrlSchlstc, LibrlSchlstc and 1 others thanked this post.

  8. #128

    Quote Originally Posted by devoid View Post

    I truly believe in every word of the bible. And I truly believe in science. It's actually not as difficult as people make it out to be.
    I haven't read the Bible so I'll suck at this but people have pointed out the many, many (self)contradictions in the Bible. How do you deal with something like that if you believe in every word?

    And what about stuff like homosexuality, etc.?

    And... (just a quick Google search.)
    Most immoral things from the Bible : Christianity • Rational Skepticism Forum
    OUTRAGEOUS THINGS IN THE BIBLE
    13 Things The Bible Forbids Other Than Homosexuality (That You're Probably Guilty Of Doing)
    11 Things The Bible Bans, But You Do Anyway. | Monicks: Unleashed
    The Bible is a BAD book, not a GOOD book
    devoid thanked this post.

  9. #129

    Quote Originally Posted by Angst View Post
    I haven't read the Bible so I'll suck at this but people have pointed out the many, many (self)contradictions in the Bible. How do you deal with something like that if you believe in every word?

    And what about stuff like homosexuality, etc.?

    And... (just a quick Google search.)
    Most immoral things from the Bible : Christianity • Rational Skepticism Forum
    OUTRAGEOUS THINGS IN THE BIBLE
    13 Things The Bible Forbids Other Than Homosexuality (That You're Probably Guilty Of Doing)
    11 Things The Bible Bans, But You Do Anyway. | Monicks: Unleashed
    The Bible is a BAD book, not a GOOD book
    Trust me, I was raised Atheist and have been trying to disprove the bible for much of my life up until I converted. xD There are many stories from the bible which are taken out of context to show that God is unnecessarily cruel or that God allows certain immoral behavior. This is not the case at all. If you read it thoroughly and try to understand the meaning, Genesis and Exodus are full of stories which simply back up the creation story's claim that all men born from Adam's seed will sin against God. Nothing which goes against God's commandments is ever approved of in the entire bible. These are stories of the fall of Israel into corruption and the need for a savior.

    Homosexuality is one thing I'm still a bit unsure on, but the policy of "judge not" and "love thy neighbor" are all that apply to me. Marriage as a union under God for the purpose of reproducing is obviously not something homosexuals can really do, since adoption is considered an act of charity and not reproduction (marriage under the state is perfectly fine, though). But their love is certainly sanctioned, as all love is sanctioned by God, just not anal sex. I don't fully know why anal sex goes against God and I won't pretend to know why. I have my own weird theories about disease prevention, health and population control. There are passages in the bible which make it clear that homosexuality is something people are born with, and Jesus said that homosexuals should not marry but are loved all the more by God. My personal attitude is to love people regardless of their orientation (as God commands and as I always have), and to let them decide what they think is right in their heart. After all, premarital sex is considered completely equal in sin to gay sex, and I'm excessively guilty of that one myself. I know several people who were born gay and chose to live a Christian life, and they are happy, believe it or not. And their families and friends know and still love them, and the ones who choose to get married find wives who understand and love them. If it were something destructive in my community, I would be able to complain more.
    Ember thanked this post.

  10. #130

    Quote Originally Posted by devoid View Post
    The theory of evolution is not a philosophy. It does not state whether "rationality and logic arise from non-rational causes". That is your own philosophical interpretation. Many Christians (myself included) believe that God is not a whimsical clown who puts his hands down and makes magical things happen, but rather a very smart and crafty all-powerful being who can design something as complex as evolution without his abilities being questioned. Lewis's point about the material requiring the metaphysical is a matter of philosophy, not a commentary on evolution. He was proving why God is essential to life, not why evolution may or may not be real.
    The theory of evolution is not a philosophy at all. But neither does it exist in a vacuum. The problem with it is that in order to consider the purely biological questions it addresses, it ignores elements of the real world which clutter up the picture. Among these are the philosophical and metaphysical problems of knowledge and rationality; and the purely naturalistic worldview held by so many to be 'proved' by evolution founders on these problems. Methodological naturalism is a "truncated metaphysic."
    (The real answer to the conundrum is that methodological naturalism is an ansatz, used to allow the hopeful progress and/or applicability of science, since to a first approximation, if you have no assurance that God isn't going to leave your test-tubes alone during an experiment, there's not much of a point in experimentation; over time this has hardened into "metaphysical naturalism" via the misapplication of Occam's Razor, and a couple of other factors. Further, it isn't necessary to *require* that there be no supernatural in order for science to work -- it is only required that God *usually* leaves things alone, so that that the experiments are *generally* reproducible and *overall* generalizable from in vitro observations to in vivo.)

    Secondly -- where in Hell (literally, not rhetorically) did you come up with the idea that God might have been "a whimsical clown who puts his hands down and makes magical things happen"? This choice of phraseology is singularly reminiscent of the atheists who like to start off with phrases like "Santa Claus" and "magical sky fairy" and the like: in Christianity miracles are serious business and not a matter of whimsy or humor at all. Incidentally, Chesterton had a slightly different take on this, pointing out that the greatest miracle of all is *our very existence* which is also at the hand of God but which we take for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by devoid View Post
    You just said that people are "proving" evolution by quoting many acclaimed scientists; have you ever thought of actually reading said acclaimed scientists' work, or are you just automatically debunking them on the grounds of "I don't care"?
    Neither one. One of the underlying pricincples of science is that argument by authority (or, to go by its old name, scholasticism) is logically invalid and insufficient for empirical verification or disproof of a putative hypothesis; therefore, to "prove" evolution as is attempted with anthropogenic global warming, by quoting "XYZ% of scientists *believe* in evolution" goes against the very foundations which are supposed to render experiment superior to faith. (Granted, if you find people who know what they're talking about, when they say this what they *really* mean is -- "I have 200 peer-reviewed journal articles which describe specific examples yada yada, but I don't have time, energy, or space to quote all of them at everyone who read [insert Creationist whipping-boy's name here] and think they know science."
    But a lot of the atheists don't know the difference, being mere alt.atheismiscoolbecauseicanhavesexandnotfeelguiltyyoustupidfundie.com atheists.


    [QUOTE=devoid;4169062]When I say, "The holocaust really happened" you can't argue by saying, "Oh yeah? You're just stealing prestige from historians." Please watch this. If this topic is important to you, I implore you to at least *consider* the other side of it. I have read Creationist websites, articles and "scientific" papers. Just watch this.

    I don't care if the scientists are acclaimed or not. I've never taken the time to follow or endorse Intelligent Design in the first place.
    Nor do I read any Creationist websites or articles.


    Quote Originally Posted by devoid View Post
    I can explain to you sometime why exactly creationism is not biblical, and why evolution actually fits into Genesis quite easily if you view it as a metaphor similar to Revelations.
    I don't think Revelations are necessarily a metaphor, but go ahead if you want.

    My own views are that the whole argument is a waste of time due to fundamental misunderstandings of how God interacts with Mankind.

    For an analogy: when I was getting my PhD and doing my post-doc, when one was working on a computer, the program was sacrosanct, and guarded jealously, whereas the data was discarded, re-created, jiggered, and the like. The idea was to optimize the code and refine the algorithms. But when I entered the commercial world, suddenly the DATA was the important thing and protected jealously: the programs were treated with contempt, swapped out, changed constantly, and the like.

    The scientists think that the physical evidence is paramount and all other considerations must give way to that.
    Some Christians think that the Word of God trumps everything else.
    I say, they're both important, but one has to consider "why" God did something, in order to get the proper importance to place on each of the other factors...and you know, sometimes why God does something is something He just hasn't told us, it's none of our business.

    'Cause you know, like, He's *GOD* and has the right to do things without explaining every last detail to satisfy our intellectual curiosity.

    Quote Originally Posted by devoid View Post
    Or you can ignore me with some dismissive slur and go on believing you're better.
    Hey, why not? It's not like you just tried to do the same thing to me, or anything.


     
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