Rationalizing the existence of God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Combo, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Actually atheism doesn't deny the possibility of a god. It just requires evidence for belief. There are an infinite number of concepts that one could argue are outside of our present comprehension. If god is one concept in trillions of trillions of trillions, it's still not compelling evidence. In fact it makes it extremely unlikely.
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  3. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    ..."aside"...for the moment.

    Combo, it has a crucial "bearing on the discussion what...(your)... own beliefs are". As the Original Poster of the Original Post in this Thread - you SEEMED to presume or assume that the article you predicated this Thread on was indeed, fact.
    Combo, do you honestly believe that a real adult, logical, rational and reasonable human being...would, could or should :
    a.) - presume or assume anything at all about anyone or anything?
    b.) - that any simple 9-word definition of "atheism", leads to any kind of rational or reasonable, let alone logical, full comprehension or understanding of an "Atheists" true beliefs or indeed an accurate representation of atheistic thinking?

    Combo, was not the OP of this Thread "go(ing) off on a tangent (by)discussing" the obviously biased presumptions, assumptions and notions of a Theist?
    Combo, an adult human being does not base their position, in any truly logical, rational or reasonable discussion, on obviously biased presumptions, assumptions and notions - they base their position on facts!
    So...no Combo, "discussing this" would not "be a distraction ".
    Also, Combo, - just so you COMPREHEND and DO NOT continue any SEEMINGLY puerile ASSUMING or PRESUMING - I, dmoe, CAN NOT "...surely...agree that a plant lacks the capacity to comprehend an animal"!

    So...back to what you, Combo, chose to set "aside".

    The "statements" you SEEM to be alluding to were prefaced by a true statement:

    - quoting my Post #55 - "Combo, if all I had to go on was your Posts in this Forum Thread, other than the seeming ability to type that you seem to possess - I have met pets and wild animals that have shown more comprehension and , indeed, intelligence or knowledge than you have exposed in this Thread!
    So...now...Combo, would you please apply what intelligence, knowledge and comprehension skills you may have...and tell me, am I, dmoe, a Theist, an Atheist, an Agnostic or..." - unquote

    Combo, does the words SEEMING or SEEM have any definitions in your dictionary - more than just a 9-word ones, hopefully?

    I, dmoe, used the word seeming and seem to signify my ingrained truly adult and disciplined INABILITY to presume or assume anything about any other human being!

    So...Combo, - even though YOU have the SEEMING ability to presume or assume a SEEMINGLY unlimited comprehension or knowledge of an "Atheists Beliefs" from a simple 9-word definition.
    You find it "peculiar" that I, dmoe, would prefer - NOT to presume nor assume from the literally hundreds of words YOU, Combo, have Posted - but to instead ask questions so as to get further understanding or clarification?

    Combo, will you forget any of your "distractions" to SEEMINGLY attack me personally, and get back on the Thread Topic!

    Again, Combo, I would really like some honest, thoughtful answers - but since you have ignored my other Posts and HAVE STILL FAILED TO HONESTLY AND THOUGHTFULLY ANSWER ANY questions - I do not expect that you will deign to reply!
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  5. Doubter Registered Member

    The religious experience is one thing, the belief in a system of theistic doctrines another.
    Psychologists like Erich Fromm have found that the religious experience may be present at people who don't necessarily believe in any deity.
    Read his book on Psychoanalysis and Religion. That was one of the books that made me think about these things, and opened the path for me to convert from a strictly devoted religious person into a doubter.
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  7. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    LOL, did you actually read what you wrote? You contradict yourself when you say this... "I grew up in organized religion, but I've realized the fallacies and legalistic nonsense of it."

    No, those who are indoctrinated into religions who rely on belief systems for their worldviews.

    Of course, so what? One can believe in the possibility of anything conjured from the imagination, but one certainly doesn't use it as their worldviews, that is not only absurd, it is hypocritical.

    That's nice, but that's just religious indoctrination and wishful thinking at work. It has little to do with reality. It's fine if you don't wish to live in reality.

    Sorry, but spirituality is a meaningless term. There is religion, which you have, whether it is organized or not. And yes, religion is one of the root causes of conflict in the world.
  8. Combo Registered Member

    So you do not agree that a plant lacks the capacity to understand an animal. No wonder we are having disagreements!
  9. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member


    The only thing that shows is that plants don't have evolved brains. Next.
  10. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    My question was: why apply a seemingly scientific premise (interesting as it is) to advance the causes of fundamentalism? IOW, fundamentalism + pseudoscience = Creation Science. A very bad place to be. Why go there? Oh, you're a fundie. Duh.

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    Nope, you read me completely wrong. I've simply nailed you as a fundie. You aren't being direct so you're leaving this up to the reader.

    Get off the gas. Submit that to your nearest college of drama; they might be able to use it.

    I got that. Better is to skip the analogies and stop pretending to be Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount. Just spell out your position.

    This sounds like Creation Science complaining that humans are too stupid to have good science.

    This sounds like equivocation. What does "superior reality" even mean? You mean Heaven? If so, just spit it out and stop beating around the bush. Besides, it's the other way around; acceptance of the limitations of human intellect entails the rejection of all of the religious hyperbole that glorifies ignorance.

    Of "superior realities", or people too stupid to have good science? What nature has given us are its laws. What fundamentalism has given us is the denial of natural law.

    Now tell me again you're not a fundie.

    You mean atheists advocate for science? Perish the thought.

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    No, atheists tend to accept the evidence of evolution and of the creation of the universe in the Big Bang. It's the Creation Science nuts who reject observation, not atheists. But way to turn the tables.

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    No, visions of the Virgin Mary in the paint peeling from the wall attests to human limitations. The rejection of the evidence of evolution and the Big Bang in deference to superstition, myth, legend and fable also speaks to the limitations of humans, but neither of these is an indictment against atheism.

    No, there is no Heaven. That is a myth incorporated into Judaic tradition probably in the Maccabean era and probably imported from Persia. It obviously had a huge impact on the Christian movement. But it's not native to Judeo-Christian tradition, contrary to popular belief. I will continue to address the pathetic state of fundamentalism--that it doesn't know it's roots. It's hugely ignorant of world history, among other things.

    Agnosticism says the question is moot.

    Atheism rejects the belief in God, plus much of the trappings of religion, and would like to see Creation Science put out of business, since it's patently dishonest, dead set against science, and determined to reverse the hands of time, to return us to an era of intolerance, ignorance and blind faith. Fundamentalism and Creation Science will create more atheists than all the evolutionary biology classes in all of "Christendom".

    There is no such thing as special creation. First, humans evolved from apelike protohumans which follows a long evolutionary succession over a billion years or so. To say otherwise is to live in denial of evidence, worse than your Linnaean hierarchy of epistemology. In this case the stupid creature has had a wealth of information predigested for him and spoonfed like pap but it still sticks in his craw. He rejects wisdom, in deference to wallowing in ignorance and cynical disregard for learning. That's not an accusation; it's post-conviction appeal refusing to reverse and remand.

    Fundamentalism explicitly insists that humans are the product of special creation. You're equivocating.

    In other words, by rejecting flights of fantasy over tangible evidence . . .

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    No, the rejection of fantasy over evidence is not tantamount to guilt, but I can certainly understand your motivation to lay a guilt trip on atheism. You're into some pretty shallow waters here.

    That doesn't even make sense.

    What a dumb metaphor. The professor emeritus is a human being who distinguishes herself from not only from the cows of the field but the indolent cud-chewing Creation Science herd bleating out on the South 40, and does so by putting her nose to the grindstone and mastering something that requires inordinate character (usually a history of determination) and some exemplary achievements that are the product of a finely tuned mind. Rejecting hearsay, cults, superstition, myth, legend and fable would be typical of that finely tuned mind. Yes, such a mind rejects denial and therefore rejects the refusal to weigh competent evidence. I suppose your intent is to denigrate academia. But obviously a substantial number of academicians are also religious, so whatever stereotype you are generalizing to, it's just not going to fly.

    Rather than wasting our time casting aspersions against science, academia, and the evidence of nature, this thread would be better served by dropping all the pretense, coming out from under cover, and stating your position frankly. Be direct; don't beat around the bush. Avoid analogies, vague speech and generalizing. You sound like wellwisher. Are you sure you're not wellwisher? Seems like an awful lot of sock puppets are popping up lately. If you are wellwisher I suppose you've figured out that I have you on ignore. Crap like this is why. If you're not wellwisher, you can redeem yourself, but only by biting the bullet and using some direct speech. And foregoing the fundamentalist rant.

    In any case, if you wish to express something religious to the atheists here, I suggest you start with a little honesty.
  11. Combo Registered Member

    I have so far stated that the possibility of the existence of realities surpassing man's capacity to comprehend them is reasonable given the abundance of examples in nature of such barriers to comprehension. Your interpretation of this as fundamentalism, pseudoscience and "Creation Science" simply demonstrates your own lack of familiarity with these terms, and as mentioned previously, anger and confusion on your part.

    Rather, it is a humble admission of human limitations. Many of man's intellectual faculties are absent/severely limited in primates, from which man diverged just 5-10 million years ago; that is to say, relative to the age of the universe (13.77 billion years), our intellects are in their infancy. A more specific example related to man's intellectual capacity to comprehend the possibility of an infinite God would be the ability to count to very large numbers and to subsequently contemplate 'infinite' as a concept: indeed some argue that Cantor was driven to insanity in large part from his mathematical endeavors to understand the concept of infinity, which in evolutionary terms our brains only very recently developed a capacity to understand. Does this not suggest that man may be incapable of comprehending higher realities?

    It means just that, realities superior to those immediately perceptible and comprehensible to man. The context here would is the existence of God and difficult concepts surrounding such a higher reality, including "birthless", "deathless", and "infinitude".

    You're debating the rejection of the Big Bang with who exactly?

    You say this because it is imperceptible to your senses. You may find comfort in knowing that the cow in the field agrees with you and fully accepts your logic. The nature of my argument however is that the inability to perceive or comprehend a higher reality does not disprove its existence.

    Interesting, but even without historic tradition man has converged upon and arrived independently at such beliefs as a result of logic and contemplation.

    Makes perfect sense. In the simplest terms: atheism places overconfidence in the intellectual and perceptive faculties of Homo sapiens. When a plant can not comprehend an animal, that doesn't prove the non-existence of the animal. But according to the atheist, if Homo sapiens can not comprehend a reality, then that reality does not exist.

    If I equated theism with "hearsay, cults, superstition, myth, legend and fable" then I would dismiss it as passionately as yourself. This view is of course entirely fallacious. The task of unraveling the diverse ideas you have conflated into a single, abhorrent effigy you have confused with "theism" is likely to require an investment of time and effort at least as great as that needed to arrive at this level of confusion in the first place.

    I'm a wellwisher, but not the person you refer to. The reason you accuse me of "casting aspersions against science, academia, and the evidence of nature" is that you regard these laudable domains as exclusive to atheism, and my use of them to challenge atheism is perhaps provoking some cognitive dissonance. Good luck with that.
  12. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member



    Combo I know for certain that you are not a "plant" - so why do you lack the capacity to understand another human being, an animal, and answer their questions.

    Combo, my houseplants communicate with me better than you do - so which should I think has more capacity to understand an animal.

    Combo, we are not having disagreements!

    Combo, disagreements can only exist human beings that actually interact or have discussions.

    Combo, what actually seems to be going on is that you are Preaching and are only attempting to ridicule.

    Combo, you are FAILING MISERABLY AT BOTH !!!

    Combo, please continue to have an egocentric day!
  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    That violates several rules of intelligent discussion. First is the one from freshman English that states "Thou shalt not be vague." Second is the hijacking of the actual English world "reality" and declaring it plural, which is an offense to the reader, who uses the term to mean "the state of things as they actually are". Third, there is nothing in nature that says "nature is not in the state it's actually in".

    Christian Fundamentalism is the strict literal interpretation of the Bible. It's atrociously ignorant and dishonest. It's also highly phobic, loathsome of the perceived threats coming from atheism and science. So you get a check in that square. Pseudoscience is the false representation of science, usu. by a person not formally trained in the field, to deliberately convince naive people that something which is false is true, and vice-versa. Check to that. Creation Science is the movement born out of fundamentalism to exploit pseudoscience in order to propagandize the congregations and incite them against academia, which is notoriously represented by the Scopes monkey trial and the dozens of attempts to return the present world to the ignorance of a hundred years ago (or more). So check to that.

    Not at all. The assumption is that you're not thin-skinned, that you can take what you dish out.

    There's nothing humble about declaring the English language your private property and imposing the glorification of ignorance on readers.

    No, that's equivocating. Humans evolved from ape-like ancestors. The statement is absurd anyway since humans obviously acquired their intelligence as a survival gain over the ancestral form. So that's a gain, not a loss. The rest is meaningless since there is no basis for claiming an unspecified generalized and hypothetical superman as the putative benchmark that humans don't measure up to. For all you know this is as good as its gets for intelligence anywhere in the universe. You don't get to just invent a premise. It has to be grounded in reality. That is--to bring that idea back home again--it has to reflect "the state of things as they actually are".

    I guess if it's child's play you can waltz through all the post-doc programs at all the major universities and clean up. Let us know how that turns out.

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    (BTW start with English.)

    Here we go with the pseudoscience. If you're worried about intellectualizing the metaphysical, start with the history of the fundamentalism you are advocating. Trace the historical origins of your own religion. Go ahead. Before worrying about the infinite, let's just start with the facts. The rest is useless.

    So? Who cares about him. That was an odd digression.

    That's absurd. The evolution of H. sapiens sapiens was completed millions of years before there was even a written language from which any estimate can be made about when the earliest conceptualization of infinity arose.

    No, it just sounds like you're full of yourself. Let's go back to common vernacular and establish the meaning of reality: "the state of things as they actually exist." Try to rehabilitate your arguments from that position and see where it leads you.

    No, it means you're filling these pages with styrofoam. Give us our daily bread. Put something digestible on the table.

    If your plan was to advocate for the existence of God (initially evident by your attacks on atheism) then the honest thing would have been to open with that as your first post instead of all of this weed whacking. None of the things you list above “actually exist” so you don’t get to equate them with “reality”. You are treating the English language as if it’s proprietary, which is just about the same as saying you’d prefer to be conversing with yourself.

    It's not evident from my statement The rejection of the evidence of evolution and the Big Bang in deference to superstition, myth, legend and fable also speaks to the limitations of humans, but neither of these is an indictment against atheism?

    But nice fade from the actual argument which was against your insistence that human limitations are a rationale for accepting God.

    No, as explained to you, this is a myth imported into Judeo-Christianity in roughly the Maccabean era and evidently from Persia. If you want to impose your religious beliefs onto intelligent discussion, please first give us a historical accounting of where they came from. You certainly didn't invent them, did you.

    If that kind of oblique speech makes you happy, run with it. But it does a disservice to the readers. Try a bathroom wall if you just need to vent.

    If you were being frank you would come out of the closet and profess your fundamentalism and proceed to address the laundry list of fallacies we have enumerated against it. If you are attempting to claim that atheists are too dim-witted to swallow the fundamentalist fallacies then you might want to develop that idea. That would make for some good entertainment.

    Au contraire, you are entirely a product of history and tradition. Your belief that you have independence is admirable, but far from reality. Or is this one of those alternate realities we are supposed to buy into, the one that pretends that Christianity was just invented by you a few days ago.

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    No, you're entirely chained to the culture of antiquity that you have chosen to enshrine above all others. The belief that Heaven is a universal concept is going to require you to rewrite all of the other holy books and to indoctrinate all of the lesser religions, and then to deal with the atheists as well. The word used in the New Testament is 'Uranus', which best translates as 'sky'. The term 'the heavens', as in the sentence 'He gazed into the heavens' obviously means 'He gazed into the sky'. Thus, for most of all of Christian history, the holy books used the word caelis which is Latin for 'ceiling' or 'sky', as in pater noster qui es in caelis 'our dad who is in the sky' (hence the term 'sky-daddy'). Similarly the English versions of the Hebrew need to be updated, beginning with Gen 1: Once upon a time the gods made the ground and the sky (etc.) The modern translators have abandoned the term "firmament" which is the more correct notion of the sky of antiquity. This was a dome of some uncertain construction which covered a flat earth. And the gods who inhabited it were the Sun, Moon, stars and planets. The Egyptians and Persians had their sun-gods and these figure into your present belief more than you think. The God of the New Testament is Theos, a Greek concept (compare to Zeus). We could go on with this but if you're striving for accuracy, you'd have to go back to your roots and imagine yourself like the guy who is poking his head through the dome of the sky from his flat earth, checking out the stars and planets and trying to decide which one is Sky Daddy. That's your Heaven. Just a state of confusion that existed before we had Astronomy.

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    That's equivocating. Besides it's fallacious. It's equivalent to saying "now I'm going to apply reason to explain why reasoning is invalid". It's logically absurd. Words like "overconfidence in intellectual and perceptive faculties " are meaningless. These are your personal forays into renouncing logic altogether since you already know religious argument withers under the scrutiny of valid logic. But then logic is the tool for discovery of truth, and you'll exploit logic just like the next guy to arrive at any common sense deduction of what is real and what is not. The moment you step out of your car on the freeway to check a flat, only to discover you've stepped into the path of an oncoming semi will be the kind of moment when you dispense with the horseshit. You'll get real then. You will quickly lose your religion and return to your application of logic as a matter of survival.

    In the first place a plant doesn't comprehend anything, which is not a premise for any conclusions you are attempting to draw. So you are egregiously violating the rules of logic. The second part of that is invoking a foregone conclusion but dishonestly casting it as a proposition with an inference, which is also a violation of logic. Aside from the bogosity of that kind of speech, which is found all over the Creation Science boards, when we remove the victim from the I-beams you've twisted around him, here's what we find: reality is the state of things as they actually exist. Now go deal with that and get over it.

    When you advance the euphemism 'theist' you are suggesting that you might be polytheist which can't possibly be true because these are not the folks who have a gripe against atheism. It's one of those signals that reveals your reluctance to admit your religious heritage as discussed above. I borrowed the phrase "hearsay upon hearsay" from Thomas Paine, who is characterizing the fallacy of literal interpretation of the Bible. And that was in the Colonial Era. People were waking up even that long ago. Back to your remark: as long as you avoid tracing your religious roots to the cults of antiquity which you've chosen to enshrine (above and beyond the likes of the worshippers of Marduk or any other deity), then yes, you'll remain in denial about your cult roots. And as long as you avoid tracing the history through artifacts and other evidence of that and related cults, you'll remain in denial of the superstition, myth, legend and fable that created the legacy you are chained to.

    Aha. So now you're going to play the logic card after calling the house a cheat. You keep alleging my state of confusion without any grounds. I suppose that's because you have nothing to shore up your claims. My summary of the fundamental characters of the cults of antiquity, and their texts, are: superstition, myth, legend and fable. If you wish to propose that the Canaanites/Israelites who founded the Judaic cult and the (probable) Zealots/Essenes who founded the Christian cult are immune from superstition, and the writings of both cults are clear of myth, legend and fable, then feel free to entertain us.

    You have me at a disadvantage since you're demonstrating the same violations of logic, the meaningless analogies and metaphors, the vague speech, equivocation and euphemisms, the hijacking of English, and the reluctance to speak frankly and carry on intelligent discussion.

    Anyone who respects the truth seeks best evidence (science) and learns how to best apply available information to solve practical problems(academia). It's not a matter of casting these activities as 'laudable'. It's just the natural state of a sane mind. You may notice that while you rail against human incompetence, people in the world all around you are struggling to improve themselves through the study and/or application of science --and academics in general. Most either simply can't afford your brand of cynicism, or else they are well-off but have no desire to stoop to that level, having long ago matured out of their teen angst.

    "laudable domains as exclusive to atheism" sounds like wellwisher. When are you planning to get off the gas? Just speak common English and you'll get down the road much faster. Atheism excludes nothing but the specious and fallacious claims advanced by religions. Other than that I have no idea what you mean to say. Perhaps you don't either, or you would have done us the courtesy of at least attempting to be clear and frank.

    No, your dissonant speech is provoking common English speakers to indict you for violating the rules of English 101. You haven't challenged atheism. All you've attempted to do is to advance a vague twisted proposition based on the mangling of the word "reality" into your undefined "realities", then you've used that as a basis for bashing atheists, claiming humans are not advanced enough to understand what you mean. So far you're just spinning your wheels, bogged down in a reluctance to use clear speech, and not really caring if there are any rules to logic or not, because you're simply not interested in being logical. Hence the "intelligent discussion" aspect of the thread lands in the dumpster never to be dusted off and rehabilitated. Why on earth you want to engage random readers that way is beyond me. :shrug:
  14. OriginalBiggles OriginalBiggles, Prime Registered Senior Member

    Combo writes in #68: I have so far stated that the possibility of the existence of realities surpassing man's capacity to comprehend them is reasonable given the abundance of examples in nature of such barriers to comprehension.

    In the sure and certain hope that you possess the gift of infinite patience, I appeal to you to further the ideals of ecumenical debate by restating the abundance of examples in nature that are barriers to comprehension of higher realities beyond those realities of the natural world as they are commonly perceived.[of the supernatural, may we say?].

    Your wretched interlocutor seeks enlightenment and reassurance.
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It is possible. Most atheists would agree with you, both the agnostic atheists (like myself) and most of the strong atheists (i.e. those who hold the belief that god does not exist).
    Please provide... let's go with... ONE example of an atheist who has argued that "inability to perceive proves it does not exist".
    This is, after all, what you are arguing against... those atheists who hold this line of thought.
    So surely you must be able to example at least ONE atheist who has done this?
    From my viewpoint you appear to misunderstand atheism and the reasons for people being atheists.
    This entire thread seems to have been started with at worst one huge strawman - or at best a gross generalisation.
    And it really hasn't gotten any better since then.

    But, appease me, and provide an example of ONE atheist who has argued, as you claim: "if Homo sapiens can not comprehend a reality, then that reality does not exist" and is not merely an atheist because they do not assume that the reality does exist.
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Double post - sorry
  17. Combo Registered Member

    I would encourage you to acquire a new dictionary. Noun: reality. Plural: realities. Of course reality is one, and my use of the plural ‘realities’ is a convenient relativistic construct to distinguish between the perceptible/comprehensible and the imperceptible/incomprehensible.

    Apart from the fact I have not mentioned Christianity, or the Bible, nor discussed any form of interpretative exegeses. You appear to be exercising some pre-rehearsed narrative for atheistic apologetics, irrespective of any relevance to the discussion.

    These are simply false assumptions and unqualified statements. Tick tock.

    This has no relation whatsoever to the present discussion. This is simply an expression of your own baggage and preconceived notions about what constitutes theistic belief.

    Another effort to distract from the topic while ‘casting aspersions’ about your interlocutor.

    Here is the core of our disagreement. I have appealed not to the possibility of a ‘hypothetical superman’, but to the possibility of limitations to man’s faculties of perception and comprehension. This possibility follows naturally from consideration of similar limitations extant in other species, and in the relatively recent evolutionary development of man’s higher intellectual faculties. Your belief that man’s faculties of comprehension and perception are all-encompassing is anthropocentric and unreasonable.

    It is a simple logical proposition:
    1. The capacity to contemplate an infinite God requires the capacity to contemplate the concept of infinity.
    2. The capacity to contemplate the concept of infinity is recently evolved in man.
    3. Therefore the capacity to contemplate an infinite God is recently evolved in man.

    The premises are open to debate, but the argument is logically valid; but of course you seem more interested in throwing your toy out of the the pram and crying pseudoscience instead of engaging in reasonable discussion.

    Honestly, you made a similar blunder in an earlier post which I overlooked but have to bring up before you dig yourself a deeper hole: -

    Other than pointing out you are out by a factor of 100 I can only remark that it is outside the scope of this discussion to describe the evolutionary history of man. Suffice to say, examination of traits (in this case numeracy) between two species does in fact provide evolutionary insights into the origin and development of those traits over time.

    My argument has at no time invoked religious history. Even if what you say is true – and why not, the New Testament acknowledges that the first people to accept Christ were three Persian magi (most likely Zoroastrians) – what relevance does it have? Again you seem to be reciting some pre-rehearsed narrative from atheist apologetics 101.

    Fascinating, now where were we…
  18. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member


    Combo, you are not having disagreements!

    Combo, disagreements can only exist between human beings that actually interact or have discussions.

    Combo, what actually seems to be going on is that you are Preaching and attempting to ridicule.

    Combo, "we" is no one that you seem to respect.

    So...now where were you...?

    You were...PREACHING and ATTEMPTING to ridicule...

  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Probably few people would argue that if Homo sapiens can not comprehend a reality, then that reality does not exist. But that doesn't stop them from meaning it and acting like it is true.
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Nice try. You want us to believe "the state of things as they actually are" has a plurality? No, now your going to have to trot out your definition of "realities". If you're going to use a reference, at least do so honestly.

    Yeah a lot of fundies operate under cover. Along with the neglect of your history comes the failure to explain why it's almost exclusively fundamentalists who attack science, academics and atheism. That's the whole crux of the matter; that's the real topic here. The rest is styrofoam.

    The good ole fundie fade. You'll have to do better than that.

    What I said stands on its own merit. I observed that you opened with an appeal to science (Linnaeus) in order to shore up a fundamenalist claim (atheism sucks). The evidence speaks for itself. See post #1.

    Who's there?

    It's proof that your above claim (unqualified statements) is false. This is a direct answer to you claiming my
    ...to include the term Creation Science.

    All of the baggage is at Creation Science Station. Oh, that's what you meant by tick tock. You've got a train to catch.

    As I said before, your flight to the term "theist" is a cop-out. You're either a Christian or you're not. Odds are, percentage wise. Odds go way way up as soon as you bash science, academia and atheism. If you're a Christian, you're either a Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. If you're Catholic you're either Roman Catholic, or any of several Eastern and African species. If you're Orthodox, you're either Greek Orthodox, Russian, or otherwise. That leaves Protestant. I won't go into the vast array of those, but they principally divide into Church of England, Lutheran, and Calvinist. The fundies derive from Anabaptists which speciated in the US during the pioneering era. Anabaptists are a sect which broke with the Church of England. And CoE broke with Roman Catholicism over Henry VIII's excommunication for seeking a second divorce. So you see these are not my preconceptions. They're yours. You bought into one of these sects, not me. When you bought that ticket it came with the baggage. All aboard.

    Huh? it was a direct response to your remark Rather, it is a humble admission of human limitations. But nice way to derail this, by accusing me of pulling the switch. 'Glorification of ignorance' is a direct indictment of your aspersions against education. That stands and it's no distraction. It's the central topic you opened with. But nice try. You see, there's nothing humble about pronouncing judgment on all the schools, colleges and universities of the world, and all of the hospitals, labs, research stations and surveys. That's just goes to glorifying ignorance. You can take those bags backs to Creation Science Station, pard. They don't belong here.

    That's not even what I said. I said you are inventing a hypothetical benchmark by which you arrogantly (not humbly) declare that humans are below par. There is no such threshold, and there is no rationale for generalizing all humans to your jaded stereotype. The very people you are bashing--educators--are going to be the frontline experts for assessing world academic performance. Who are you? Certainly no expert in pedagogy and testing, no sociologist. You're manufacturing controversy. There is no controversy. We are what we are, we know what we know, and we get there faster and better thanks to standardized curriculum and instruction methods - academics. So unless you are an advocate for education, you're an enemy to societies all over the world. And that's the legacy of fundamentalism. It wants to destroy academic freedom and inject itself into the classrooms so it can control students through religious programming. Your failure to denounce this after I cued it up for you is eating your lunch.

    There is no other extant species that manifests human intelligence, not since the extinction of Neanderthals. But it's devious to even suggest it. You're beating around the bush, concealing your actual goal--which is to justify religious ideation by attacking knowledge and learning. It won't fly.

    Time has nothing to do with it. You're pretending there is some kind of schedule to meet, just like you are pretending there is a threshold for cognitive skills that the human race has not surpassed. These are all artificial hypotheticals. They give us nothing and they mean nothing.

    Hah hah. Way to lie. My actual remark was For all you know this is as good as it gets for intelligence anywhere in the universe. You don't get to just invent a premise. It has to be grounded in reality.

    This is fundie logic which is why I have to keep nailing you for practicing pseudoscience without a license. The attempt to construct a syllogism that arrives at a conclusion which creates a need or justification for religion, but based on meaningless associations, is classic fundie logic. In the first place, evolution has no bearing on the timescale. As I said before, the earliest records of human conceptualization of infinity come after recorded history. That means no matter where you draw the line on the emergence of human intelligence--for simplicity let's mark it at 100 KYA, then since recorded history only date to 5 KYA, then it says that for at least 95% of the time that humans have possessed intelligence, they have not had a concept of infinity--and that's being very conservative. And your point is ... ? :shrug:

    ...said the shadowy figure leaving a suspicious package beside a pram at the train station. Look, the assumption here is that we all wear big boys/girls britches. If you don't like rebuttal when you post anti-science crap on a science board --- well, speaking of intelligence: just how smart is that?

    Yeah I did get sloppy there. To clarify, evolution of H. sapiens sapiens completed 200 KYA, not 5-6 MYA. Evidence of human intelligence dates back to 2.6 MYA and the transitional forms date back to 5-6 MYA.

    5M/200K = 25. 2.6M/200K = 13. But it was the content that was off. My purpose was to baseline the genesis of modern human intelligence. Our baseline says humans spent 195KY of their 200KY before developing writing. The earliest writings do not demonstrate the contemplation of infinity. Earliest sources are the Surya Prajnapti (3rd–4th c. BCE) and Zeno (5th c. BCE) (not extant but known through others). That puts the earliest evidence at ca. 2.5 KYA which says humans spent about 98.5% of their 200 KY without expressing any concept of infinity.

    You brought it up, not me. But suffice it to say it's irrelevant to your case, because it's nonsense to try to associate evolutionary history to some basis for shoring up religious ideation. At best you need to need to be looking at the actual primitive religions which are rooted in animism. It's completely different, it is highly infused with a fear of harm from the unknown and unpredictable aspects of nature.

    So is evolution on the table or not? You're bobbing and weaving here. It's not clear to me what you think biological traits are, but numeracy isn't one. An ecological niche doesn't select for numeracy. It might select for the bower bird that brings 1,000 sparkly things over the one that brings 100, but that's entirely different. Further, Zeno's paradox can just as well be attributed to spatial processing as numeracy. That's closer to identifying an actual biological trait, anyway. But that's immaterial. It's the evolution of human intelligence, which preceded H. sapiens sapiens (part of what I had in mind reaching back too far) which is the only identifiable trait in question. And this is based entirely on the use of tools. Note that there is quite a similar cognitive skill to chipping an edge of flint as that which is employed in Zeno's paradox. It's the successive subtraction of something, but not too much, to arrive at the smallest amount possible. This skill was obviously well developed in primitive humans. But nowhere can we begin to find the gears turning at least until Zeno. Not the ones you're referring to.

    Yes, it's one of your sins of omission, but no, you did open on history. As soon as you wrote "atheist" it admitted as evidence the trial of Socrates. The rest was my argument about the part you failed to tell us -- how and why you came to enshrine one dead cult over another. . . .why rail about Yahweh instead of Marduk? Until you answer the mail on that, you're just spinning your wheels. Worried about how stupid people are? How stupid were the founders of your religion? Take us there, and we'll begin to see some of the seeds of modern atheism. Socrates was sentenced to death as an atheist for being a monotheist. Apparently that's what you usually mean by 'theist', but by all outward appearances you really mean 'fundamentalist'. When we get to the bottom of your reluctance to address fundamentalism, its history, and the history of the Christianity, then we'll be getting somewhere. I suspect all that's hiding there are doubts, fears and the usual superstitions that accompany religious ideation. Let's go there. Just put your cards on the table and let's cut to the chase.

    It's a legend, a fable. Call it what it is. It's nuances like this which undermine your position.

    You engaged me in a conversation about Heaven after I pressed you to come out of the closet and declare what you mean by "other realities". Thus far we are left (after intensive detective work since you are given to subterfuge) with the conclusion that the whole purpose of your thread is to tell us that people who don't believe in Heaven are casualties of an underdeveloped intellect. Something along those lines. You aren't being direct so this involves a lot inference.

    Since atheists aren't positing any claims, they have nothing to defend. But nice try. What's been defended is the sanctity of education. If you need an epithet, how about educational apologetics 101? You can get a sample of some of that at National Academies Press which in fairness needs to be weighed against your brand of apologetics. Although from the educators' apologetics, and the professional and institutional apologetics, you'll build a slightly more complete inventory of claims and counter-claims. Eventually if you ever play your hand we'll probably converge on whatever gripe you have against academia and atheism and then we can skip the generalities. You can begin by telling us whether you sacrifice bulls to Marduk, and if not, why not. Please correlate your conceptualization of infinity to that decision, that is, how does knowledge of infinity relate to the acceptance or denial of Marduk as your Lord and Master?
  21. OriginalBiggles OriginalBiggles, Prime Registered Senior Member

    wynn writes in #24: "The problem is, rather, that atheists tend to implicitly define themselves/their stance in relation to theism. So for all practical and philosophical intents and purposes, atheism stands and falls with theism."

    I beg to differ, in fact I insist you are wrong.

    Atheism does have several interpretations to do with its opposition to theism. My atheism is that which brands all notions of supernaturality as figments of an immature human imagination. Nothing exists which cannot be understood by our five senses using the tools of technology and our intellects.

    PRIMISM is based upon the legitimate premise that all gods, ghosts, demons, spirits etc appeared as the desperate last resort of a primitive but burgeoning imagination in a hominid primate like Homo sapiens a few hundred thousand years ago.

    Prior to this, the Universe was a pristine example of pure chaos evolving to cosmos that we perceive according to the laws of physics with no supernaturality about it, within it or supporting it. There was nothing but matter/energy, the space it occupied and the physical laws that they abided by. Matter/energy are different forms of the stuff that permeates our Universe. This stuff can be neither created nor destroyed. This was the original and prime condition of the Universe

    This view is simplicity itself and therefore wears the imprimatur of William of Ockham. Religious belief in gods etc can make no such claim. This view is subject to scientific falsification or verification. Religious belief in gods etc here also is barred from such a claim.

    Humankind has not outgrown its primitive superstitions. In the deep recesses of its brain, inherited from our non-human ancestors, are instincts and dark things of which it is quite unaware and which rarely surface over our more conscious self. Religious belief plumbs those deep recesses. It is the expression and recognition of fear of the unexplainable.

    Humankind is not as far removed from its primitive genesis as it would like to think. It has some distance to travel before it can shuck off the yoke of obsequious religiosity. The result is as inevitable as is the occurrence of life all through this Universe. If our genetic diversity is sufficient to the task we have an untold number of years to become those gods that we dream of and yearn after today.

    Religion as a human phenomenon will have an age assigned to it in human history but there will be little of significance to mark it.

    From thence forward all civilisation will be atheistic or PRIME. Providing we survive the primitive superstitious fears we inherited, we will continue into the original and prime condition of the Universe having survived a great test of our worth to endure and progress into the Cosmos. It is interesting to speculate rationally and logically. It is vital to our interests that we so speculate. It is the only way that our progress can be assured. It will not be accomplished on our knees tearfully beseeching guidance from a figment of shackled imaginations.

    Atheism, as primism, has now no connection to theism. It has the briefest of philosophical attributes [if it can be seen in a philosophical framework] and it requires no presumptions other than the absolute minimum of existence. The cardinal attribute required of the prime[ie; one who is committed to primism], is PATIENCE. Patience that we have within us the ability to reveal all that which we seek. Science is both the metaphorical tool and the method by which we will accomplish this.
  22. Combo Registered Member

    Aid, It’s difficult to continue a debate surrounded by such sweeping generalizations and misrepresentations. Your equivocation of theistic belief with such repugnant themes as fundamentalism, superstition, pseudoscience, and an attack on “knowledge and learning” is abhorrent and uninformed. You appear to be debating the bogeyman in your own head rather than participating in the present discourse on the limits of empiricism and the rational bases of theism. Your erroneous belief that academic endeavor is incompatible with theism is, thankfully, widely rejected: -

    1914 -- 42% of scientists surveyed believe in a personal God (Lebua).
    1996 – 40% of scientists surveyed believe in a personal God (Larson).
    2009 – 41% of scientists believe in God or a higher power (Pew).

    It seems a large number of those appointed at those "schools, colleges and universities of the world, and all of the hospitals, labs, research stations and surveys" reject your absurd generalizations.

    Please keep in mind this thread is about ‘rationalizing the existence of God’ and deals with questions and approaches which would be equally valid in pre-history, i.e. pre-dating your grievances with religious history.
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    "Meaning it"? I think you'd be surprised that they mostly do not mean it - you just have to ask them and question them on it to realise this - and the vast majority of those I have spoken certainly don't mean it.

    As for acting like it is true... one either acts as though it does exist, or one doesn't.
    This latter group includes both those who claim it does not exist, as well as those who do not make such claims.
    How, otherwise, would you propose that one who merely does not accept that it does exist (i.e. does not go as far as to claim that it does not exist) goes about their life? How is such a "weak-atheist" position supposed to differ from the "strong-atheist" position in this regard?

    As I perceive it, both positions (weak- and strong-) lead to the same practical outcome... so ascribing that practical outcome to only one of the possible causes is a flawed argument, and this seems to be what you are doing here.
    But again, perhaps you can detail how the two positions might act differently?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

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