Why is it deemed wrong to "bash religion"?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Baldeee, Feb 15, 2014.

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  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Because if it was knowledge about the belief that knowledge is a kind of belief and you knowingly went against that knowledge then you would lying.

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    Possibly, and also possibly they have been shown to be flawed just as quickly.

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    I would argue that knowledge can only ever be relative to the assumptions that you work with, that truth is subjective which in turn makes knowledge subjective, which thus removes any need for endless regression.
    I guess it is only when you search for knowledge as an objective position that you might come stuck in such infinity.
    I'm not saying that you cannot go direct to knowledge, but knowledge is a subset of belief: by forming direct knowledge you automatically form a belief in which the knowledge is encapsulated, which is both true and justified.

    It is not, as you have exampled, always a case of going: "I believe X, I believe it for this reason, now let's go and see if it's true". But whenever you arrive at knowledge, directly or not, it is part and parcel of an accompanying belief and justification.

    If you disagree then just try to think of something you know that you don't also believe.
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  3. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Say my girlfriend as a little mole on a private spot on her body. I have seen it, but nobody else has or will see it, since it is private. Does it exist? Does proof of its existence require more than one person seeing it?

    Most of our learning in school, from all the various areas of knowledge, require the average student need faith this is knowledge true, since few of the students will see these things directly via hard sensory experience. The Wright Brothers were among the first to fly powered flight. One needs faith even in school, since I was not there to see this and anyone could doctor something on photoshop. If I was without faith, I would need more proof. But I will depend on the cues from the teacher to satisfy the conditions of my faith.

    How many people had faith that the affordable Care act, that it would be affordable? When this sales pitch appeared, it anticipated a future of affordable care from which it got its name. Since, like all liberal ideas, is was unproven, it needed faith. President Obama is trying to force fit it to satisfy the conditions of the faithful. If you guys had stood up against blind faith and recognized the validity of the tangible, what was already there was provable and existed apart from the charisma of faith.

    The point many people appear to be making is, one should only have faith in liberal, secular and atheists belief systems, but not in religion. The wrong in bashing religion is it brings out the hypocrisy of the competitive faiths.
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  5. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Religions bash people. I have read many times Christians bleating that if you're not with them, you are against them. There is no other alternative as far as they're concerned. Indifference does not even cross their minds. They will tell you time and again how you'll fry for an eternity if you don't accept Jesus as your savior. They will tell us that we are being controlled by Satan and his minions, that we are evil, that we are Hitlers and Stalins being groomed by atheism. Religions breed intolerance, bigotry, conflict and hatred.

    They most certainly deserve to be bashed, extensively and unrelentingly.
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    If a bottle containing growth medium is sealed and its contents sterilized, nothing is going to grow in it until it's unsealed. That's why the canned goods that we buy at the grocery store remain uncorrupted for long periods of time on the store shelves, but must be refrigerated after opening.

    In the past, most people believed that new life was being generated all the time. For example, it was believed that if you leave meat out long enough, it will spontaneously generate maggots. A succession of biologists demonstrated that wasn't the case, and that the appearance of maggots was dependent on flies laying eggs on the meat.

    Here's the Wikipedia article on Spontaneous Generation.

    It's interesting to note that Christians happily believed this too, thinking that life was spontaneously appearing all around them all the time. The modern day creationists' insistence that life can only have been created by God at the beginning is a newer doctrinal innovation, in the guise of upholding tradition.
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

    i don't see any evidence i "believe in a god" nor do i see any that proves life arose naturally from the environment.
    and i really don't want . . . well nevermind.
    anyway, how about a few computer models that simulate evolution, more specifically the origin of life.
    seems like a simple matter.

    and i don't want you within 10 miles of my butt. :bugeye:
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Then the assertion that knowledge is true belief wouldn't be an objective statement of the truth but only a subjective belief. IOW, there's no such thing as a true belief, and furthermore no such thing as knowledge. Thus you're whole thesis comes crashing down around you. Look out!

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  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It would remain a subjective truth, and would thus remain consistent with the concept of subjective knowledge. Within such a thesis, that is.

    But if you want to introduce the requirement for an objective truth in a thesis that deals wholly with the subjective, then of course your thesis would crash.

    Fortunately not many would try such a thing.

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  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I wasn't the one asserting that knowledge is true belief, "true" meant in its totally objective sense. That was your thesis. Are you now saying knowledge is only subjectively true belief? What does that even mean? That if it feels true to you then it must be true?
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No one respomded to the very simple definition of the word "belief" as a "propositional attitude".
    I'd like to hear comments on that.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    A vital and important letter was left out!

    Course it exists. It would have existed even if you had not seen it? Why, because it is there, an object that can be touched, seen, etc..

    You needed faith that 1 + 1 = 2?

    Ummm... because you could read to see how and why it was affordable? You know, they had proof of what made it affordable..

    Not really no. When scientific fact or discoveries explain and provide the truth about things, then clinging to 'god did it' is not an excuse for such stupidity.

    A few years ago, public schools in my home state had this big issue arise out of the Religious Instruction classes held across the State. This system is unfortunately an opt out instead of an opt in and the form they provide for it is worded in a way that it doesn't tell you what the opt out form is for (I had to call the school because I am thankfully anal about reading forms and I wanted to know what the untitled form was for). So many parents are not exactly aware that their kids being taken to these classes and those that do, many don't seem to mind as they expected their children to be educated about a wide range of religions. Which was what we all thought. Not so. The classes were overtaken by Pentecostal Churches and other fundamentalist Christian groups and what the kids were being taught was simply wrong. Instead of teaching them about various religions and religious practices, they had taken to teaching these kids about the Bible and stating it as fact. For example:

    PRIMARY school students are being taught that man and dinosaurs walked the Earth together and that there is fossil evidence to prove it.

    Fundamentalist Christians are hijacking Religious Instruction (RI) classes in Queensland despite education experts saying Creationism and attempts to convert children to Christianity have no place in state schools.

    Students have been told Noah collected dinosaur eggs to bring on the Ark, and Adam and Eve were not eaten by dinosaurs because they were under a protective spell.

    Critics are calling for the RI program to be scrapped after claims emerged Christian lay people are feeding children misinformation.

    About 80 per cent of children at state primary schools attend one half-hour instruction a week, open to any interested lay person to conduct.

    Many of the instructors are from Pentecostal churches.

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    Education Queensland is aware that Creationism is being taught by some religious instructors, but said parents could opt out.

    Australian Secular Lobby president Hugh Wilson said children were ostracised and discriminated against if they were pulled out of the class.

    In many cases, the RI lay people were not supervised by teachers.

    Kings Christian Church youth worker Dustin Bell said he taught "about creation" in Sunshine Coast schools.

    Set Free Christian Church's Tim McKenzie said when students questioned him why dinosaur fossils carbon dated as earlier than man, he replied that the great flood must have skewed the data.


    A parent of a Year 5 student on the Sunshine Coast said his daughter was ostracised to the library after arguing with her scripture teacher about DNA.

    "The scripture teacher told the class that all people were descended from Adam and Eve," he said.

    "My daughter rightly pointed out, as I had been teaching her about DNA and science, that 'wouldn't they all be inbred'?

    "But the teacher replied that DNA wasn't invented then."

    After the parent complained, the girl spent the rest of the year's classes in the library.

    If you think that feeding children what is clearly wrong should be acceptable because 'hey, lets have faith instead', then I'm sorry, but no. Not acceptable.
  14. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    If it is not an ad hominem it may not be as readily actionable.

    No one has yet to bring any such case to my attention, in my short tenure as mod. If you have not argued against the existence of a god and feel someone is making a straw man of your position, do let me know.

    Again, so long as the atheist has not made the argument that there is no god, feel free to bring it to my attention. In my experience, atheists of the "lack of belief" variety rarely refrain from making such arguments. But it certainly could happen, and I would address it.

    You have to admit that the varieties of atheism are not the most distinct. Some misunderstanding cannot be helped. It should be fairly obvious that an agnostic atheist has no grounds to deny the existence of a god outright. If they argue as if they do, they are fair game. Just like if a Young-Earth Creationist made arguments in that vein.

    I thought you were arguing for warnings/infractions/edits in lieu of thread closures? Honestly, I am inclined to agree.

    Nature of the beast. You cannot expect me to take punitive action against something that is fully expected from religious people. You can always argue that it is an appeal to authority.

    What "insult"? You seem to have verified that it does indeed elude you, to some extent. Are you saying that philosophy discussions often include ad hominems? Are you saying that it is not an immediate different between the discussions of religion and philosophy?

    Philosophical concepts very often rely on the same sort of a priori assumptions, but rarely do those degenerate to calling others ignorant.

    So if you have some point, please make it, instead of play the victim.
  15. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    In order to know that "it is raining", you must have first gained confidence with such concepts as "wet" and/or "rain" (depending on the sense used). You must have developed some understanding of what differentiates rain from, say, a water sprinkler. Knowledge is generally a gradual differentiation. Just because it now seems automatic, does not mean it has always been so.
  16. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Certainly we cannot deny every conceivable god, but we can deny a specific god on the basis of the testable claims about that god.
  17. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Indeed. Why can they insist I'm going to be tortured for eternity and that's just a respected belief, but if I say they are stupid for thinking god helped them find their keys, I'm the bad guy?
  18. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    No, we would need evidence that is accessible to anyone, like a photograph. And reasonable confidence that the photo was not faked. Obviously, many people have moles, so the standard of evidence isn't that high. If you said she had a mole shaped like Jesus, the standard of evidence would have to be more stringent.

    Experimenting with providing necessary social services doesn't take much faith. Every other industrialized nation has some form of national health care. It takes faith to think that ignoring the problem will make it go away. Indeed, religion just doesn't like the competition, they want people poor and desperate. Just look at where religion thrives.
  19. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Then this double standards: you are saying that using stereotypes of theists is insulting, and that using stereotypes of atheists is not.
    Ad hominems are a different matter and not necessarily insulting.
    I may, if I deem it of consequence.
    Part of what I am trying to do here is understand what is meant by "bashing" but also why it only seems to go one way, or at least why the corrective action seems to only go one way.
    If through this you (and other moderators, as I'm aware you are relatively new to the post) start to appreciate what the other side see as "bashing" then the playing field may become more level.
    In my experience, atheists who merely lack belief tend to go out of their way to be quite precise about what they actually believe to not exist when making such a claim, as they are more aware due to their agnostic position that doing so is an actual claim that should be supported.
    Sure, I have no issue with that.
    But you need to be careful not to interpret their practical position (that god does not exist) with their philosophical position (there is no evidence that god exists or not).
    The practical position is digital: you either live your life with or without god.
    All atheists, whether agnostic or not, live their life without god.
    But this practical position does not equate to believing god not to exist.
    I am arguing for warnings rather than thread closures.
    I was hoping to make the point that if you continue down the thread closure route then you play an even hand.
    Fully expected by whom?
    And I'm not referring to their claim to authority itself but the way they can often express that, such that they would appear to "bash" the non-religious.
    I hope you'd agree that such is not "something that is fully expected"? (Although some might disagree that it is fully expected).
    I have verified no such thing.
    It does not elude me.
    It is the desire for equality in proceedings that seems to have eluded us.
    And the insult was in the hasty assumption and the tone of the wordings.
    But perhaps you think insults are only those that would insult you?
    I am very aware of the difference in this regard.
    But there are also other differences that I have pointed out, especially with regard the claim to truth, and the authority from which they speak.
    And I find that one gives rise to the other.
    Indeed, but feel free to continue the straw man on your own time.
    I have been making my points, thanks.
    That you see it as me playing victim seems only to further demonstrate your bias.
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I am sorry to say but that makes no sense. You mean that those who practically live their life without god are really lying to themselves (and by denying god will go to hell)? Thanks for nothing.

    I would rather propose that those who profess to believe in god, but live their life without god, are blinded by vanity which is a deadly sin and will indeed land you in hell.

    But an atheist or agnostic living a "good" life without god does not equate to living in sin that inevitably will end in spending an eternity in hell. In my experience this is the default state of mind of a fundamentalist bible thumper in regard to an atheist or agnostic. My wife was called the anti-christ for being a democrat by fundamental zealot. Thanks for nothing.

    IMO, the existence of god is moot. It either doesn't exist and things are as they are, or it does exist and doesn't give a damn, because things are as they are.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  21. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    Everyone lives their life without god, though some convince themselves otherwise. As an Atheist I cannot say gods do not exist, all I can point out the complete lack of evidence that any gods do exist so that accepting their existence as real is not rational. My conclusion is that they do not. That conclusion is PROVISIONALLY TRUE, and it is not a belief. The provision being conditional on no valid evidence being found for their existence. I also don't spend a lot of time considering the existence of Unicorns for exactly the same reason.

    And there is a lot of loose use of words in this discussion. Faith and belief are not rational. It is a misuse of the word faith to say one must have faith(acceptance without evidence)that the sun will rise in the East. Faith is not required, there is evidence that leads us to KNOW that the sun will rise in the East. And that the sun will rise in the East is not a belief, it is a fact, whether you are aware of the evidence or not. All of this is PROVISIONALLY TRUE, as is everything we call knowledge.

    One should believe nothing, Faith is an error in dealing with reality. I have no faith that Relativity is true, I don't believe in Einstein. I accept Relativity because it is provisionally true, according to all current evidence(even if I am ignorant of some of it), the principle of Falsification, however, would call it all into question with just one valid piece of contrary evidence. The same is true of the provisionally true conclusion I have about the supernatural, once anything supernatural was shown to exist.

    There are only two apriori things a scientist must accept, that the Universe is as it appears to be and that our intellect is capable of understanding what we see. That is as close to a belief as you should get. You should have faith in nothing. All knowledge should be built on evidence applied to those first two assumptions.


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  22. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    And a theist would argue differently.
    And I don't generally disagree with your points, but irrespective of whether god exists or not, we live our life either as though god exists, or as though god does not exist.
    This is what I meant, rather than questioning the underlying assumption of god's existence.

    And as for not having belief, what of the philosophical position that knowledge is a justified true belief?
    I.e. as Sarkus points out in his discussion with Magical Realist, knowledge is a subset of belief.

    But I agree with your general sentiment, if not the detailed specifics.
  23. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    You misunderstand.
    I have not mentioned anything about people lying to themselves.
    As an atheist myself, why would I think that atheists are lying to themselves?

    My point is the following:
    Let's assume that all people who believe in the existence of god go to church.
    The opposite practical action is that you do not go to church.
    But this action (or non-action, of not going to church) is carried out by those who believe in the non-existence of god but also by those who simply chose not to believe either way.
    I.e. Neither have the belief that god exists, so neither groups go to church.

    As such, there is a digital practical position: you either go to church or you do not.
    But looking at just the practical position does not always tell you about one's philosophical position.
    If you assume, for example, that everyone who does not go to church must believe in the non-existence of god, you would be in error.

    That was my point.
    Hope it is clarified for you.
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