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This topic contains 189 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Pastor_Jason Pastor_Jason 5 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 190 total)
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  • #6504
    Profile photo of thief
    thief
    Participant

    Religious people engrage and sicken me beyond what I ever thought possible. I hope nobody takes that statement to mean anything less than exactly what it says.

    I have to leave the conversation now, but I hope my disgust makes some impression on those who remain.

    Good luck, Atheists.

    - Nick

    #6505
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    thief wrote:

    Religious people engrage and sicken me beyond what I ever thought possible. I hope nobody takes that statement to mean anything less than exactly what it says.

    I have to leave the conversation now, but I hope my disgust makes some impression on those who remain.

    My impression: grow up.

    I used to be like that.

    Then i found out most economists are wrong about economics, most philosophers are wrong about philosophy, most mathematicians are wrong about math, and people are wrong about people. All in my humble opinion, of course.

    Disagreement over the existence of the invisible pink unicorn, well, it just doesnt excite me like it used to.

    #6506
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    I gave specific examples already

    You gave one example, ‘multiverse’ hypothesis, which is theoretical physics. I don’t think the people who formulate these theories would call them “silly” but they do realize that these are just “theories” that seem to hold true given the existing evidence. But you said that my “anti-theism leads to all sorts of silliness”. Did you know that Abdus Salam, a very famous theoretical physicist who worked on the Electro-Weak Theory, was a devout Muslim his whole life? Edward Witten (superstring dude…I like him because he was referenced on Futurama) is Jewish. I guess those theists can come up with some silliness too.

    Did you know that themodynamics says jezus could have walked on water? That the seas could have parted for mozes?

    So which is it? Did God part the Red Sea, or was it some kind of flash flood and wind-water effect? I will completely agree with you that I guess fluid dynamics shows it might be possible for a body of water to suddenly decrease it’s level. I don’t believe that some murder-loving genocidal supreme being did it.

    You have never seen it, yet you know it exists, but you dont believe in it? Funny thing, semantics.

    I don’t have to believe it…I know it. I know it because I observe its effects. How is that semantics?

    Now if you dont slow down a little, stop writing in caps,

    I write in CAPS to EMPHASIZE certain words, rather than use the BOLD function. And I think I have been quite civil, thank you very much.

    #6507
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    i_is_j_smith wrote:

    You gave one example, ‘multiverse’ hypothesis, which is theoretical physics.

    I gave two examples, and no it isnt. Its philosophy. That you seem to think otherwise, is precisely the point i try to make.

    I don’t think the people who formulate these theories would call them “silly”

    Does the pope?

    but they do realize that these are just “theories” that seem to hold true given the existing evidence.

    They are entirely orthogonal to any concept of evidence. They are true in that sense, yes. Along with the invisible pink unicorn. And you seem to swallow it without even flinching. Oops.

    But you said that my “anti-theism leads to all sorts of silliness”. Did you know that Abdus Salam, a very famous theoretical physicist who worked on the Electro-Weak Theory, was a devout Muslim his whole life? Edward Witten (superstring dude…I like him because he was referenced on Futurama) is Jewish. I guess those theists can come up with some silliness too.

    Who are you talking to, exactly?

    So which is it? Did God part the Red Sea, or was it some kind of flash flood and wind-water effect?

    I dont know: i didnt suggest physics had any relevancy to the question at all. I dont think the sea ever parted either, for that matter.

    I will completely agree with you that I guess fluid dynamics shows it might be possible for a body of water to suddenly decrease it’s level. I don’t believe that some murder-loving genocidal supreme being did it.

    So why did you bring up physics then?

    I don’t have to believe it…I know it. I know it because I observe its effects. How is that semantics?

    By the same reasoning, Newton wasnt incorrect: there is just all this dark matter, which makes it seem as if einstein was closer to the truth.

    I write in CAPS to EMPHASIZE certain words, rather than use the BOLD function.

    I got that.

    And I think I have been quite civil, thank you very much.

    Ill be sure to give your opinion proper weight.

    #6508
    Profile photo of DM8954
    DM8954
    Participant

    It’s easy to get sucked into these types of debates for many different reasons. People feel threatened or insulted when they hear opposing views on what they feel are important aspects of their core identity. It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you’re on and it applies to other topics besides this one. Once you enter the fray, it can be difficult to walk away, since (no matter what your real reason or intention) it tends to look like you don’t have a strong enough argument to support your beliefs.

    Given that, I’ll try to avoid throwing myself back into another one of these discussions or revealing my every thought on the matter. I feel like I can see where each side is coming from on many points and I know the frustration of being unble to convey the full spectrum of thoughts that a lifetime of evidence and deep contemplation bring to one’s own perspective on the topic. I just want to mention that I’m not entirely sure these two points of view should ever have begun interacting on this direct confrontational level.

    It seems to me the main reason they conflict is mostly cultural and historical in nature. After all, science is the measure and study of the physical world while religion is the search and study of spiritual concepts and ideals. Science isn’t fit to test the supernatural because ‘supernatural events’ defy the very rules by which science is suppsoed to opperate under. Religion shouldn’t try to explain the way the physical world works because that is not the meaninful focus of such beliefs. Each point of view can venture to impose it’s will over the other, and they have countless times over the centuries, but that does not mean that it should be so.

    If someone wants to believe in the literal truth of supernatural events exactly as they are described in a holy text, it does not change the current laws of physics in our every-day lives. If someone wants to believe in the essence of the same scriptures without holding it up to scientific scrutiny and debate, it doesn’t lose it’s moral or spiritual implications for the believer.

    People base their understanding of the world on what they’ve been taught, the sum of their experiences, and their own ability to interpret the interplay between the two main inputs. Even our ability to rationalize comes from external sources. If you’re taught from birth that the bible is the absolute truth in all aspects of life, you can either accept or reject that idea based on your personal experiences and exposure to alternative ideas. If you’re brought up to believe that religious belief is a fairy tale and that there is no god, you’re still left with the same choice in the end. Abolishing the ability of an opposing view to propagate their message is just a way to manipulate the world for your own ends. In this respect, there is no difference between religion and secularism.

    I keep reading the argument that a civilization fell under one or the other’s leadership or that people with one or the other world-view committed attrocities. Is there a sucessful civilization out there? Which culture never fell or manipulated it’s own citizens for personal gain? The answer to this is that there is no perfect society, past nor present, and the entire argument is futile.

    No single person has the capacity to have experienced all things nor been taught all ideas AND flawlessly process such an infinite collection of information. Even if all of the above were possible, there wouldn’t be enough common ground between this super-genious and the rest of humanity to ever pass the ‘truth’ back to the the world. Even if there were an absolute answer to the question, the myriad of opposing points of view ingrained into the very identy of the general population would prevent such an ‘answer’ from spreading until half a dozen generations of faithful followers of both sides die off without fully propagandizing thier offspring.

    In my mind, it doesn’t matter which side is right or wrong. What you believe is important to you alone. Of course, if you believe something strongly you will want to impart your great wisdom, or humble opinion, to others. If you think you are right, it’s logical to want to show others the truth for the benefit of their own understanding (and perhaps to satisfy your own need to be acknowledged or accepted). If you don’t think you’re right how can you claim to believe it? If you’re not sure or don’t care, there’s no reason to devote much effort to promoting either view. The problem comes from supressing any point of view, not matter how ‘incorrect’ it may seem to you. To forcibly remove the right of free speech is worse than anything that could come from allowing the opposing view to persist. What kind of unjust world are you really leaving behind when you continue to use the same unethical practices of the system you wish to overthrow?

    In defense of the original post, it’s not wrong to build a society based around a common set of ideas. That seems like the very definition of a society to me. If you think a world without religion might be the perfect society, give it a try. Just don’t attempt to create such a society through force or coercision nor to forcibly spread and encompass the globe. If you’re really right and it really works, there will be no need to force these ideas on anyone else. All that will be required is that you defend yourself against the corrupt leadership of those who are threatened by your competitive success. If you ever have to set laws in place that selectively impede the rights of others, you’ve already failed as the perfect society… or even a very good one.

    I guess all that remains after all that (I’m not assuming I’m right, just following through as though I might have made a decent point) is that it all comes down to how to seperate corruption and/or personal belief from the leadership of a society. After all, your view of the world is a part of who you are and how you make decisions. A devout christian that makes his views publicly know in the course of his leadership role is at least being honest to himself and others about the ways in which his worldview affects his decision making. A supposed christian who hides their beliefs in order to seem more impartial or an atheist who checks a box next to ‘christian’ in order to be accepted by a religious minority are equally dishonest. Modern politics is all about deceit and keeping up appearances. I believe that this fact above all others is what is most wrong with the system. No one is perfect but only the candidate closest to the appearance of perfection for a majority of people will win, no matter if the appearences are anywhere near reality or not.

    Each elected official either acts on what they truly feel is right, what they feel they have no other choice but to do, or what will benefit them the most personally. If we’re really paying attention, we elect these people based on whatever information is available to us (for most people, this is the propaganda of both sides) in order to choose a person who is most likely to make decisions in our favor despite being completely self-serving. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a politician voting against what he personally believes in strongly just because a majority of constituents disagree with them. If anything, they bow to the fact that going against such overwhelming opposition is likely to destroy your career.

    If only everyone had the ability (and the in-depth knowledge of every issue) to make choices directly over their own lives. Even the experts can be wrong, yet we have only a minute fratcion of their knowledge to make these decisions. Replace the current, imperfect system with several million independent nations and problems with voting and corruption (to some extent) get replaced by exceedingly complex inter-community relationships…. it’s all too complex to be solved on paper or by any one person or small group of people. I’m just quite convinced that all this intricate complexity definitely DOES NOT boil down to merely religion Vs. secularism. It’s all just a very interesting side discussion among many.

    #6510
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Thank God that is only RELIGIOUS people that “engrage” and sicken you. Because as a very “SEASTEADIOUS” person myself, I didnt realize that my beliefs could create so much “engragement” in a stranger’s soul. Just in case that “SEASTEADIUOS” people have the same sickening effect on you as the RELIGIOUS ones i would suggest trying the “TOLERANCE PILL” once in a while…..

    #6511
    Profile photo of thief
    thief
    Participant

    I am tolerant of people with different opinions. But not of people who refuse facts. I am open to the fact that there is a 0.000000…000001% chance of a god existing. But if you compare that to the 99.99999…99999% chance that it doesn’t exist, there is no justification for acting as if the former were true, and every reason to act as if the latter were true.

    Whether or not there is a god is a fact. There either is, or there isn’t. It’s not opinion.

    - Nick

    #6512
    Profile photo of DM8954
    DM8954
    Participant

    I don’t see how physical proof or lack of proof (of which you can’t possibly have seen all) of a non-physical being can proove or disprove its existence. Trying to use science to prove the existence of god is a case of using the wrong tool for the job. It would be like trying to use a microphone to listen to sounds from other planets. Sound can’t travel in a void, so you’re using the wrong tool for the job. It doesn’t disprove the existence of sound on another planet, it just proves you can’t hear it with the microphone in your hand.

    Throwing around percentages that approach 0% or 100% doesn’t demonstrate tolerance in the slightest. You’re essentially saying that you have absolutely no doubt in your own mind but since you can’t prove it to others completely, you’ll humor all the people beneath you by gving them a pat on the head. If you were tollerant, you’d say something along the lines of, ‘I have nothing more to help persuade you’ or ‘I’m too frustrated to continue arguing’ … ‘but you can believe whatever you want to. I’m moving on.’ If you’re so absolutely sure that there is no god, why does it bother you so much that some people believe it? I’m sure many of them are just as frustrated that you don’t see all the same proof that they see or feel the same way that they do.

    Every piece of evidence you’ve seen points to the lack of a god. It fits nicely into your view of the world. You won’t be convinced otherwise. All evidence a believer has seen points them in exactly the opposite direction. It fits nicely into their world-view. They won’t be convinced otherwise. Both groups, though polar opposites, are the same. You’re each strictly devout to your beliefs no matter what anyone else says. Since neither side will ever be persuaded, why argue about it? I’m thinking the only reason is to convince anyone on the fence to join your side.

    thief wrote:
    ….Whether or not there is a god is a fact. There either is, or there isn’t. It’s not opinion. ….

    People can have an opinion about a fact. Either god does or does not exist… but I’ve seen no difinitive answer to the question out of either camp… therefore people form opinions on the subject. Unfortunatley, on this particular subject people form strict, life-long, hate-inducing, life-and-death opinions on the matter. If people really were more tolerant, rather than merely claiming to be, maybe this wouldn’t be such a painfully heated debate.

    #6515
    Profile photo of thief
    thief
    Participant

    I’m afraid you don’t understand my point. If a god proved himself to me, or if someone else proved its existence to me, I would accept it. But whether or not you like me throwing around percentages, those percentages are factual. I don’t know that there are no invisible pink unicorns, but the odds are so highly stacked against their existence that I would be entirely insane if I believed in them. I would be entirely insane if I believed in FSM, and religious people are entirely insane for believing in gods.

    Whatever angle you look at it from, believing in gods = believing in FSM = believing in invisible pink unicorns = insanity. Or, if you prefer, not insanity but a flat out refusal to choose rationality over a closed mind.

    I don’t know how the universe began, and I don’t pretend to, but I would rather try to figure it out than choose to ignore the possibility that it was anything other than an omniscient being.

    All this is moot, however, as I have already stated that I can accept people believing in A god. What is relevant is the choice, not to believe in A god, but to believe in The God. If we imagine that there is an omniscient being, wouldn’t you consider it supremely arrogant to assume that your vision of this being is correct and all other visions of this being are wrong?

    Also, if the universe was created by a form of consciousness, why would it take any interest whatsoever in this one planet, of the countless trillions that exist? And if we were to imagine that it does care about the human race, why would it “beam down” various images and texts about itself that would lead to massive scale wars and massacres? And again, if we were to imagine that it did give us these varied images, and that it was aware of the consequences, then we’d have to assume that its concern is not with the future of mankind, in which case shouldn’t we all just agree that we can’t know for certain and therefore work together for mankind, against the will of God?

    And yes, I am aware of going back on my own word to leave the conversation.

    One last thing: All the arguments I’ve put forth were formulated by myself, I haven’t paraphrased anyone elses work. However I’m almost certain that they will all have been used by other intelligent anti-theists. What I mean by that, is that we all come to the same conclusions using our own rationality. On the other hand, religious people choose to take on other people’s conclusions, rather than thinking about the matter and reaching their own. Unless you believe that you’d know the story of Jesus (or whatever prophet you worship) without having been told it.

    - Nick

    #6521
    Profile photo of thief
    thief
    Participant

    Ok, this really is my last post in here.

    First of all, I really don’t appreciate being called closed-minded. But I understand that your definition of being closed-minded is probably different to mine.

    And I am able to live alongside religious people, I just find it very very difficult. But as long as I can go home after an argument and punch a wall, or smoke a joint or talk to another major anti-theist, then I can live with them. I hate people who read the Daily Mail (a hate-mongering newspaper that’s very popular in the UK), but I had to do a customer survey for them recently. I smiled and chatted and at the end of the day, I come online and rage about something I hate. Over the past few days that’s been religion, here.

    But the point is, I can pretend not to hate people’s beliefs (unless I really care about the person), so there shouldn’t be a problem on the Ocean.

    I think I had something else for this post, which is frustrating ‘cos I’m going to have to close it now, and its my last.

    If anyone’s interested in anything I haven’t covered, PM me.

    And again, good luck Atheists.

    - Nick

    #6518
    Profile photo of Melllvar
    Melllvar
    Participant

    Nick, no offense, but I think you’re stereotyping religious people (and I’m an agnostic/atheist, depending on how you define God, so don’t think I’m just defending my religion). There are plenty on both sides of the religion debate who have thoroughly examined their beliefs and also plenty (on both sides) who blindly believe what they believe. Example: Many believe in evolution without knowing the first thing about it and couldn’t site one piece of evidence for it, or if they do its only to use some buzz-word like radioisotope dating or the Big Bang. How much of the general population of science over religion people could cite any good evidence for either? I’d be surprised if it was even half. On the other hand, religious folk can follow parallel logic to different conclusions than I (or you) do. Statistically unlikely series of events are often credited as evidence of a higher power, and while I would say that the large number of people on earth and the tendency of the human mind to seek relationships between events is the explanation, some have obviously reached a different conclusion. As was pointed out in the first few pages of this thread, there are many very intelligent religious people who understand their beliefs.

    The main point I’d like to make though is that its only prudent for us all to learn to get along regardless of how ridiculous and idiotic we think the next guys ideas are. Its especially important for something like a seasteading movement since 1) seasteads won’t get built unless a lot of people work together productively without stepping on each others toes and 2) if people actually do form new societies/governments on the ocean they won’t be any better than the ones on land if we keep repeating their mistakes. Look at the US (where I live), its supposed to be based on religious tolerance and separation of church and state, but in practice it isn’t. I can’t think of any better solution to the religion and society question than that (tolerance and separation of church and state), the trouble is getting people to stick too it since religion is such a polarizing issue.

    As a side note, I knew I shouldn’t click on this thread and start reading it, but eventually I did. Then I decided I shouldn’t post in it, now I’m breaking that too. Oh well.

    #6524
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    thief wrote:

    I am tolerant of people with different opinions. But not of people who refuse facts. I am open to the fact that there is a 0.000000…000001% chance of a god existing. But if you compare that to the 99.99999…99999% chance that it doesn’t exist, there is no justification for acting as if the former were true, and every reason to act as if the latter were true.

    It doesnt have anything to do with chance. As i pointed out earlier, probabilaties are meaningless without a repeatable experiment. It is impossible to assign a probability to the existence of god. Why on earth are you even trying?

    Even though i put as little stake in the existence of god as you do, your reasoning is sloppier than that of many theists i know. Work a little on that beam in your eye, before you start getting all worked up over other people’s splinters.

    As many people have pointed out, the important thing to remember here is that seasteading should render all these arguments obsolete in a way. If you really do not like someones belief system, just stay out of oneanothers way. Problem solved.

    #6527
    Profile photo of horton
    horton
    Participant

    “It is impossible to assign a probability to the existence of god.”

    I would say the probability is 50%. It’s a bit counter-intuative, and maybe this is bordering on philosophy, but any proposition that you have absolutely no data for has a probably of 50%. In terms of making decisions on it, the 50% probability is completely useless. For instance, you better become a Christian or you’re going to end up in hell. Yes, that actually has a 50% probability of being true. However, you need to compare it to other probabilities, for instance the probability that if you don’t become a Rastafarian you’ll end up in hell is also 50%.

    We gain knowledge by observing and shifting probabilities away from equal odds. I suppose it’s similar to saying that it’s impossible to assign a probability to it. It’s more of a way of looking at the world, as in just because I’ve never seen it happen, it doesn’t exist. Well, things you have no data for exist in equal odds as non-existence. Reality doesn’t exist from 0 to 1. It starts at .5 and fans out sideways.

    #6530
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    But what does this 50% mean?

    The probability of rolling 1-2-3 on a D6 is 50%.

    Undecidable/meaningless, is something very distinct from 50% probability.

    #6533
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    I’m sorry I got sucked into the whole “is there a god” debate…that was not my intention. It is a topic I am passionate about…that’s my only excuse.

    My only intention in adding to this thread was to show support for the original poster, who offers the idea of a purely secular society without any religious foundation. I take issue with people who believe that a purely secular society would lack any moral or ethical framework.

    I have already shown that:

    1) religion does not provide any special moral or ethical framework,

    2) the societies and governments that most people here look on as “bad” and are actively trying to escape using seasteading are highly theist. Both their populations and, in an even higher percentage, those who set and enforce policy are highly religious,

    3) the only example that most people use when talking about a secular society, the U.S.S.R., is not an example of how secular society is impossible. It does show that secular society is not automatically a utopia…but nobody is arguing that case,

    4) nearly all religions incorporate some form of intolerance or inequality towards certain groups. Since a secular society would provide more equal treatment to its citizens it would have a stronger foundation of freedom.

    I don’t think any of these four points are disputable, and therefore I believe a seastead government formed on a purely secular system would not only work well, but thrive better than thieist societies.

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