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(Some Guy)   Student stabs himself in the hand with a pen to prove the existence of God. It didn't work   (collegiatetimes.com ) divider line
    More: Strange, stabbing, emergency calls, student groups, stabs, Student stabs, Nicole Schrand, existence, resisting arrest  
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15516 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2011 at 3:04 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



439 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2011-04-13 11:45:00 PM  
Your Bic has forsaken you.
 
2011-04-13 11:46:38 PM  
FTFA: Alexander M. Huppert, a freshman university studies major

What's a university studies major..... do they study universities?
 
2011-04-13 11:52:37 PM  
Ugh, at this rate we'll switch from racial and religious profiling to "Have you ever been a student at Virginia Tech?" =/
 
2011-04-13 11:52:42 PM  
Always a bummer when the schizo fires up in the kiddies.
 
2011-04-13 11:52:56 PM  

Arthur Jumbles: FTFA: Alexander M. Huppert, a freshman university studies major

What's a university studies major..... do they study universities?


www.fatguygolf.net
 
2011-04-13 11:55:59 PM  

Arthur Jumbles: What's a university studies major..... do they study universities?


Kinda, it's Tech's "undecided" option, you can be there for your 1st two years.
 
2011-04-13 11:57:30 PM  
TFA:If it had been a more streamlined pen, I would have expected it to go through
images.easyart.com
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2011-04-13 11:57:35 PM  
Someone needs to check his computer for a Richard McBeef sequel.
 
2011-04-13 11:58:12 PM  
A for effort, E for execution. So we'll give it a C.
 
2011-04-13 11:59:18 PM  

Arthur Jumbles: FTFA: Alexander M. Huppert, a freshman university studies major

What's a university studies major..... do they study universities?


I hear they weave a mean basket.
 
2011-04-14 12:02:06 AM  

Theaetetus: A for effort, E for execution. So we'll give it a C.


And what does Jesus's last name start with?

Bam, there's your proof.
 
2011-04-14 12:02:19 AM  
I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's hand will prove the existence of God.
 
2011-04-14 12:04:56 AM  
I wish my campus atheist group had seen crazy like this.
 
2011-04-14 12:07:38 AM  
The "use" of "quotes" throughout the "article" was "commendable."
Thank "GOD" for those "brave" and "courageous" people that "saved" everyone from that "pen-wielding" *hic* "drunk" *hic* freshman
 
2011-04-14 12:20:42 AM  
Atheist groups are weird.

Religion is a community. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Daoists, Wiccans; they all have provisions in their religions that create an organization of other members. In the monotheistic religions, their clergy are the voice of god on Earth. In the non-theistic religions like Buddhism, the community is seen as nessecary to provide the ideal environment for study of the religious principles so you can get deeper quicker and without wasting years and decades like the Buddha did.

But atheism merely requires you do nothing. And not all atheists are atheists for the same reason. Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance. The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of meditation so I'll just ignore 10,000s of years of indirect evidence of something important being here and just call it a life.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.
 
2011-04-14 12:20:47 AM  
imfreakinoutman.jpg
 
2011-04-14 12:25:48 AM  
How in the hell does a stab wound in the hand prove or disprove anything except what a dicknut you are?
 
2011-04-14 12:28:44 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.


And they get so offended if you point out that atheism is just another religion. If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.
 
2011-04-14 12:31:08 AM  

kitryne: How in the hell does a stab wound in the hand prove or disprove anything except what a dicknut you are?


It can prove that you're a total badass, but I don't think the god you would be proving would be the Christian one.

More like Tyr or Thor or Odin. I think berserks were said to have Odin's battle rage. If you are frothing at the mouth and fire cannot harm you and then you stab yourself in the hand, you might just be one of the faithful.
 
2011-04-14 12:32:19 AM  

doglover: It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


That's all very silly of you to say.
A) plenty of atheists are active in their atheist communities, some, much to many people's chagrin even proselytize.

2) It takes more effort to think for yourself than to follow

c)All of that is explainable by science.

Atheists aren't weird. We're the same as everyone, we just prove to believe what's written in the science books instead of religious text. Many atheists meditate. Buddhism is an atheistic religion, and those dudes are the kings of meditation.

Some people want to get together with other people who see things the same general way as they do so they can discuss things. Same as religions. You don't need to have faith in a deity for that.

And some people want to dispel the image that people have of us, that we're evil sinners who'll suck you into damnation or whatever the hell it is people think we do. They don't like us, that's the point. And we would like to change that, because we're pretty cool and maybe you might learn something in the process.
 
2011-04-14 12:33:15 AM  

doglover: If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine


How do you touch the divine if you don't believe in the divine? Unless you meant "divan," in which case, I've done that. I was unimpressed. It was comfy and all, but that's about it.
 
2011-04-14 12:33:45 AM  

doglover: More like Tyr or Thor or Odin. I think berserks were said to have Odin's battle rage. If you are frothing at the mouth and fire cannot harm you and then you stab yourself in the hand, you might just be one of the faithful.


See, like, I could see putting a cigar out on your face before going into a murder-rage working here, but somehow, a bic pen slightly denting your hand is just silly.
 
2011-04-14 12:34:13 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


And a boring one at that! Seriously, would you rather party with the dudes who say "Our god is the god of wine. For him, AN ORGY!" or the guys who say "There's nothing but what physics already knows to life. Nothing. Yep. Still nothing."
 
2011-04-14 12:36:23 AM  

doglover: And a boring one at that! Seriously, would you rather party with the dudes who say "Our god is the god of wine. For him, AN ORGY!" or the guys who say "There's nothing but what physics already knows to life. Nothing. Yep. Still nothing."


Man, are you kidding? Scientists make the BEST shiat. Those dudes can get down, with their labs and titration and abilities to buy chemicals without being asked a lot of questions.
 
2011-04-14 12:37:35 AM  
Did he use a Bic Biro, Waterman 400 or a Montblanc 149? To really show proof of God he should have gone for a Namiki Emperor, it leaves a bigger hole.
 
2011-04-14 12:39:23 AM  
Remember that time when Ashton Kutcher was in prison and he told his cellmate that he was Jesus? Then he went back in time and stabbed his hands in elementary school and when he came back to prison the religious guy believed him?

This is like that.
 
2011-04-14 12:39:40 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


So political parties are religions too?
 
2011-04-14 12:42:45 AM  

bighasbeen: So political parties are religions too?


...well...
 
2011-04-14 12:42:47 AM  

bighasbeen: So political parties are religions too?


Are political parties organized around beliefs regarding the divine? Well, besides the GOP.
 
2011-04-14 12:51:46 AM  

RodneyToady: How do you touch the divine if you don't believe in the divine?


A fair point. You put aside your childish beliefs in a magic sky jew and your adult beliefs in electromagnetic waves and atomic structure and practice a religion with an open mind for a change, expecting nothing. Then you may truly judge its worth. Chances are you will be surprised but likely not converted. (Unless it's Buddhism. Very tricksy, Buddhism is. But it's so full of amicable things almost anyone will find SOMETHING appealing. Especially if they don't believe in gods.)

That's all it takes. Find ONE religion and give it an honest chance and you will invariably find you were wrong about it. But be careful. It takes more than just sitting in a bench like a sheep. You have to pray or meditate or fast or climb the mountain or eat the cactus. You can't just sit there and expect something many, many, MANY wise men and women spent their whole lives seeking to understand to be presented up to you on a silver platter.

The whole point of religion is this effort on YOUR PART. It's something you do, not something you read. Going to Church on Sundays and saying grace isn't nearly the same thing as actually being a Christian. Nor is squating down five times a day and growing a beard gonna make you an actual Muslim. You have to change your mind from closed to open and then try honestly without expectations in order to observe something property.


kitryne: Atheists aren't weird. We're the same as everyone, we just prove to believe what's written in the science books instead of religious text.


That's not weird. What's weird is a community based around what is not even a lack, just a nothingness. You deny religion as though religion denied science. It doesn't, usually. You only experience red neck senators who wouldn't know about prayer if it bit them in the ass trying to endumben the public with retarded laws because "Science is hard." or "Babies are good!"

Look at a man like Mr Rogers. THAT is a practicing Christian. That is not only the ideal, but the inevitable result of the practices set forth in the Bible performed properly diligently.

Never confuse laypeople with the actual members of a religion. Even Scientologists can do a lot of good in the community via entertainment. I've also heard they're all smiles and work ethic on set, too. Just remember never to confuse authority in the cult with honest practice of the religion. Not always the same thing.
 
2011-04-14 12:53:22 AM  

doglover: drivel


I live with my mom
 
2011-04-14 12:54:16 AM  

doglover: Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way?


Keep your religion out of my government, entirely, and I won't give a rat's ass about your religion. But when you use religion for justification from everything to anti gay marriage, anti choice, anti planned parenthood funding, creationism in schools, and even, somehow, farking economic policy ("Jesus didn't believe in the minimum wage"), then you're forcing me to get involved with your religion. Keep it to your own damn self and you won't have any problems.

/May not refer to you, but refers to many many religious people in America
 
2011-04-14 12:54:49 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Are political parties organized around beliefs regarding the divine?


I just don't see advocacy of a position equaling religion.

kitryne: bighasbeen: So political parties are religions too?

...well...


I mean, it is zealotry.
 
2011-04-14 12:58:25 AM  

doglover: adult beliefs in electromagnetic waves and atomic structure


Science is the search for fact, not truth. If it's truth you're interested in Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall.
 
2011-04-14 01:04:18 AM  

TheOnion: doglover: Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way?

Keep your religion out of my government, entirely, and I won't give a rat's ass about your religion.


Isn't it a bit ironic that you're angry about "religion" forcing itself into government, but you have no problem with atheism forcing itself in just the same way?

If you want to talk about brainwashing children, why don't we start with forcing Evolutionism down the throats of today's public school students?
 
2011-04-14 01:07:26 AM  

doglover: That's all it takes. Find ONE religion and give it an honest chance and you will invariably find you were wrong about it.


Lawd, you're being serious.

When you look at the data, you'll find that atheists/agnostics know more about religion than any other group (new window).

The days of being able to accuse us of not knowing what it is that we're criticising are over, I'm happy to say.

doglover: The whole point of religion is this effort on YOUR PART. It's something you do, not something you read. Going to Church on Sundays and saying grace isn't nearly the same thing as actually being a Christian. Nor is squating down five times a day and growing a beard gonna make you an actual Muslim. You have to change your mind from closed to open and then try honestly without expectations in order to observe something property.


To be religious requires at least some kind of supernatural belief. If that's not what you mean by being religious, I don't know what you're talking about.

There is nothing that needs to be presupposed on insufficient evidence in order to reject all of the theistic doctrines on offer. All an atheist is is someone who has heard the claims made by the religious, considered them carefully and honestly, and found them to be ridiculous.

Atheist activists like the group in the story are people who want to educate and encourage critical thinking, and hopefully go some way to minimising the harm that is caused by religion (which there is no shortage of).

doglover: What's weird is a community based around what is not even a lack, just a nothingness.


The natural world, the world as it really is, is not nothing at all. In fact it's everything. The empty supernatural claims of believers - they're what really represent nothing. Atheist and skeptical activists do much good work, like promoting science education and resisting the infiltration of dogma into politics and other places it doesn't belong. We have well formed and rounded morals and philosophies. We exist as groups because we live in a world where many many people believe many very strange things. Organising how we do makes perfect sense in the context of the strange beliefs in society.

Another good thing we do is support many secret non-believers, who are unable to be honest about their atheism for fear of losing their family and friends - or even face the threat of abuse. This is a big problem for a lot of people, not just in the Islamic world but in middle America too.
 
2011-04-14 01:08:43 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: If you want to talk about brainwashing children, why don't we start with forcing Evolutionism down the throats of today's public school students?


8/10

You didn't overplay it, and you'll probably get a few bites.
 
2011-04-14 01:10:29 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Isn't it a bit ironic that you're angry about "religion" forcing itself into government, but you have no problem with atheism forcing itself in just the same way?


Do you have any idea how nonsensical that question is? It's like saying "You spend all your time keeping guns out of schools, but you have no problem with NOTguns getting in?"

Ridiculous.
 
2011-04-14 01:11:50 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: You didn't overplay it, and you'll probably get a few bites.


>:|

fine...
 
2011-04-14 01:16:46 AM  

doglover: And a boring one at that! Seriously, would you rather party with the dudes who say "Our god is the god of wine. For him, AN ORGY!" or the guys who say "There's nothing but what physics already knows to life. Nothing. Yep. Still nothing."


I can't speak for ancient Romans but in my experience the atheists and freethinkers are the ones most likely to take part in something like an orgy. Plus we've got science on our side, so it would be more like: "You kids have fun with your wine. We just grew some pot with triple the THC content and Andrew just made some LSD. Who wants to get farked up and have an orgy?"
 
2011-04-14 01:16:52 AM  

Fuller: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: You didn't overplay it, and you'll probably get a few bites.

>:|

fine...


I was halfway into typing "Establishment Clause" before I reconsidered and hit refresh.
 
2011-04-14 01:17:02 AM  

doglover: Going to Church on Sundays and saying grace isn't nearly the same thing as actually being a Christian. Nor is squating down five times a day and growing a beard gonna make you an actual Muslim. You have to change your mind from closed to open and then try honestly without expectations in order to observe something property.


I'm an agnostic, not an atheist. I was raised Catholic, but it didn't take. By your standards, I know legitimate Catholics, other Christians, Jews, etc. I don't take issue with them. They embody the spiritual as well as nominal aspects of their faiths. But the vast majority of followers lack the spiritual aspect. They're born into their religion, or choose it out of desperation after illness or addiction. And they vote, and have political positions, and make laws. And they help drive whatever positive feelings I have about religion into the ground.

Many truly seek the divine, and some find it, and that's great. I'm fine with the concept of a deity, or many deities, in an abstract way. I'm fine with some people who believe in an interpersonal God who cares about them as an individual. I stop being fine when people tell me I should live my life, and we should base our laws, on some old book that claims to be the "Word of God."

Sorry. No.

A god or gods may or may not have created the universe. I don't know, and in a pretty fundamental way, I don't think it matters. But there's no way anyone is going to convince me that this god (or these gods) have any interest at all on the gender of the person I'm screwing, or whether or not I have a beard, or what I'm eating on any particular day of the week or year.
 
2011-04-14 01:21:20 AM  

doglover: What's weird is a community based around what is not even a lack, just a nothingness.


See, that's not true at all. We believe that science made some pretty biatchin stuff and damned if we're not gonna learn everything about it.

I personally believe that the fact our existence happened pretty much by random chance on the grand scale of the universe(s?) is far more awe inspiring than to think that some dude put it together. It's just too easy of an answer.
 
2011-04-14 01:23:01 AM  

doglover: What's weird is a community based around what is not even a lack, just a nothingness.


It helps understanding if you can grasp the notion that most of the "atheist communities" are not so much atheist as secularist.

TheOnion: Keep your religion out of my government, entirely, and I won't give a rat's ass about your religion.


...for example.

Fuller: To be religious requires at least some kind of supernatural belief.


"Supernatural" isn't the best dividing line, from what I can see; my impression is that a couple strains of Buddhism avoid it. The element of ritual seems a more precise demarcation - although the precise definition of "ritual" is anthropologically fuzzy.
 
2011-04-14 01:26:45 AM  
doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)
 
2011-04-14 01:30:40 AM  

abb3w: "Supernatural" isn't the best dividing line, from what I can see; my impression is that a couple strains of Buddhism avoid it. The element of ritual seems a more precise demarcation - although the precise definition of "ritual" is anthropologically fuzzy


Yeah I go with supernatural even though it may not be an absolutely perfect divider - the difference between natural and supernatural is about as clear as you can get. 'Ritual' is far more vague.

Fuller: doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)


Sorry should have warned NSFW - there's a couple of swears in there, nothing especially bad though.
 
2011-04-14 01:38:40 AM  

Fuller: doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)


Wow, he certainly murdered that strawman.
 
2011-04-14 01:40:20 AM  
See, we can get along! There just needs to be someone even crazier nearby.
 
2011-04-14 01:40:58 AM  

Fuller: doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)


That was farking BEAUTIFUL. Thank you.
 
2011-04-14 01:43:48 AM  

doglover: kitryne: How in the hell does a stab wound in the hand prove or disprove anything except what a dicknut you are?

It can prove that you're a total badass, dumbass but I don't think the god you would be proving would be the Christian one.

More like Tyr or Thor or Odin. I think berserks were said to have Odin's battle rage. If you are frothing at the mouth and fire cannot harm you and then you stab yourself in the hand, you might just be one of the faithful dumbasses.


ftfy
 
2011-04-14 01:50:43 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Wow, he certainly murdered that strawman.


I'm happy to get into the nitty gritty here, but you'll have to elaborate a bit first..
 
2011-04-14 01:51:32 AM  

Fuller: doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)


Actually, I think this deserves a more thoughtful reply. Isaac Newton was one of the most profoundly important people in the history of the world. Many scientists still hold him up as one of their role models. You really can't understate his importance to both science and math.

That was half of what Newton did. The other half was on theology and the occult. And it wasn't just because it was popular at the time: it wasn't. But between his work in science and theology, he considered his work on theology to be more important. Let me restate that: the man who invented calculus, thermodynamics, described gravity, wrote laws of motion, and more, spent more time writing on religion than on science.

But I'm supposed to listen to some beat poet when he tells me that religion is stupid and only idiots believe in it?
 
2011-04-14 01:54:53 AM  

jaylectricity: Remember that time when Ashton Kutcher was in prison and he told his cellmate that he was Jesus? Then he went back in time and stabbed his hands in elementary school and when he came back to prison the religious guy believed him?

This is like that.


Will you be my facebook friend?
 
2011-04-14 01:55:35 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Actually, I think this deserves a more thoughtful reply. Isaac Newton was one of the most profoundly important people in the history of the world. Many scientists still hold him up as one of their role models. You really can't understate his importance to both science and math.

That was half of what Newton did. The other half was on theology and the occult. And it wasn't just because it was popular at the time: it wasn't. But between his work in science and theology, he considered his work on theology to be more important. Let me restate that: the man who invented calculus, thermodynamics, described gravity, wrote laws of motion, and more, spent more time writing on religion than on science.

But I'm supposed to listen to some beat poet when he tells me that religion is stupid and only idiots believe in it?


Yes, there are many scientists who did great science despite having some kooky beliefs. Is this supposed to be an argument in support of kooky beliefs?

He's remembered for the science. Not for the alchemy. If all he did was alchemy and occult stuff, he would NOT be the famous and respected figure he is today.

Plato thought that men had more teeth than women, and that flies were spontaneously generated from cow carcasses. Again, not why he's remembered.
 
2011-04-14 01:57:53 AM  

doglover: The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices.


For the sake of disambiguation, are you saying there is proof in certain religions?
 
2011-04-14 01:59:52 AM  

Fuller: Yes, there are many scientists who did great science despite having some kooky beliefs. Is this supposed to be an argument in support of kooky beliefs?


It's an argument that says it's silly to just dismiss everything you can't observe with science as a "kooky belief." It's an act of extreme hubris by in effect saying you're so much smarter than people like Newton.
 
2011-04-14 02:00:15 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: But I'm supposed to listen to some beat poet when he tells me that religion is stupid and only idiots believe in it?


Also, he never said that only idiots believe in it. That is a real strawman. A blatantly dishonest representation of the message if there ever was one.

And also, Tim's not entirely a beat poet or anything, he's a comedian...here's some other great stuff.

Link (new window)

Link (new window)

Link (new window)
 
2011-04-14 02:00:51 AM  
I can prove God exists.

Stab my hand.
 
2011-04-14 02:02:14 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: I can prove God exists.

Stab my hand.


I can prove my hand exists.

Stab God.
 
2011-04-14 02:02:58 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's an argument that says it's silly to just dismiss everything you can't observe with science as a "kooky belief." It's an act of extreme hubris by in effect saying you're so much smarter than people like Newton.


I don't say I'm smarter than Newton, where are you getting this stuff from? I simply benefit from being born later - which means there is a much larger body of accumulated knowledge available to me.

Because of this body of knowledge, any one of us could thrill Newton to his core with a lecture on what we now know.

And are you seriously advancing the argument that alchemy can't be dismissed as kooky? I thought it was a pretty safe example..
 
2011-04-14 02:04:52 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Fuller: Yes, there are many scientists who did great science despite having some kooky beliefs. Is this supposed to be an argument in support of kooky beliefs?

It's an argument that says it's silly to just dismiss everything you can't observe with science as a "kooky belief." It's an act of extreme hubris by in effect saying you're so much smarter than people like Newton.


"What I'm saying is, if God wanted to send us a message, and ancient writings were the only way he could think of doing it, he could have done a better job."

-Carl Sagan
 
2011-04-14 02:05:52 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's an argument that says it's silly to just dismiss everything you can't observe with science as a "kooky belief." It's an act of extreme hubris by in effect saying you're so much smarter than people like Newton.


We have access to information that Newton did not have access to - E&M theory, relativity, satellites, space probes, and countless others. In this way we are much, much smarter than Newton. That's not hubris.

I also see that you neatly dodged the question. Do you support beliefs in homeopathy, auras, psychics, flying spaghetti monsters, and so on?
 
2011-04-14 02:06:05 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: I can prove God exists.

Stab my hand face.


FTFY?
 
2011-04-14 02:09:19 AM  
I like how the kid from the atheist group and the other kid from Campus Crusade for Christ teamed up to help the police officer and also complimented one another on the constructive dialogue they had.

Then there is this thread... lulz..
 
2011-04-14 02:25:08 AM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Then there is this thread... lulz..


Hey don't look at me, I'm perfectly amiable. I've just had to (as per) defend non-believers and organisations comprised of such, from some pretty outrageous misrepresentations.
 
2011-04-14 02:25:29 AM  
I like how an unbalanced religious nutball confronts a group of atheists claiming to be able to prove the existence of God, tells them to stab his hand with a pen and when they refuse to do him bodily harm, he stabs himself, attacks a cop, has to be physically subdued by the cop and others --including a student from a campus Christian organization-- but it's the atheists who are the unreasonable nutters.
 
2011-04-14 02:33:18 AM  
You know, Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head.
 
2011-04-14 02:35:39 AM  

GreenAdder: You know, Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head.


That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me.
 
2011-04-14 02:46:14 AM  

GreenAdder: You know, Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head.


that would have worked if you hadn't stopped me.
 
2011-04-14 02:46:52 AM  
dag, yo. day late and a dollar short
 
2011-04-14 03:23:22 AM  
chzhistoriclols.files.wordpress.com
 
2011-04-14 03:23:35 AM  
fc07.deviantart.net
 
2011-04-14 03:25:52 AM  
FTFA: "We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."

I don't get this. Why? You're just rearranging some molecules, man, what's the big deal? Not like anything you do will matter in a hundred years. Even if it still matters in a thousand years, eventually, the universe will run down and then nothing that happened prior to that will matter one wet fig. Besides which, some people really need to be assaulted. What about that? Very confusing.
 
2011-04-14 03:26:22 AM  

doglover: Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way?


Because it's no fun to be the only sane guy in the loony bin. God does not have to exist in order to be a pain in the ass.

(not my blog, some ads may be NSFW)
 
2011-04-14 03:27:18 AM  
Oh No Melon

Er...too late. Sorry about that. Wish I'd seen this about 2 minutes ago.

**zzzzzzziiiip**
 
2011-04-14 03:27:21 AM  

doglover: What's weird is a community based around what is not even a lack, just a nothingness.


No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.
 
2011-04-14 03:28:58 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: bighasbeen: So political parties are religions too?

Are political parties organized around beliefs regarding the divine? Well, besides the GOP.



You're reaching.

Sorry, but I still go with the bald is a hairstyle, and clear is a color as working analogies for atheism is a religion.

try them out for a bit. before you toss them off.
 
2011-04-14 03:30:21 AM  
Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify. That is insanity, plain and simple. All the pontificated arguments in this thread boil down to that one undeniable FACT. Theists are no different than some psycho fanboy who talks about Lord of the Rings as if that shiat had actually happened. Atheists choose to rely on what can be proven. Hey, I personally like the IDEA of god, it's pretty darn cool... some all-knowing father-figure who is always looking out for you, that's a freaking awesome idea. But to profess that a good idea is actually real just because it makes me feel good to think about it? That's just farking crazy, and that's pretty much what we Atheists are saying. It's awesome that you theists think that this "god" cat is so cool and loving, but at the end of the day, it's just a cool idea as far as you or anyone else KNOWS.
 
2011-04-14 03:30:50 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Fuller: doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)

Actually, I think this deserves a more thoughtful reply. Isaac Newton was one of the most profoundly important people in the history of the world. Many scientists still hold him up as one of their role models. You really can't understate his importance to both science and math.

That was half of what Newton did. The other half was on theology and the occult. And it wasn't just because it was popular at the time: it wasn't. But between his work in science and theology, he considered his work on theology to be more important. Let me restate that: the man who invented calculus, thermodynamics, described gravity, wrote laws of motion, and more, spent more time writing on religion than on science.

But I'm supposed to listen to some beat poet when he tells me that religion is stupid and only idiots believe in it?


You know he also stuck a needle in his eye to see what would happen, and by a number of accounts, was generally a bit of an asshole? That whole "If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants" wasn't him being humble.


But hey, let's not get carried away with the fact that Newton wasted half of his life on nonsense after giving up science at about 30.
 
2011-04-14 03:31:55 AM  
Please don't mock the Lord! He loves all of you. You are his children. He created you. He is your Father! The Lord will not tolerate this. He will cast your souls into a burning lake of fire where you will be tortured by demons, your skin will be torn, your flesh pulled from your bones - eternal agony! Please repent so we can all met in Heaven with our loving and benevolent Father. Or, burn in hell for all time. It's your choice.
 
2011-04-14 03:33:56 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

Religion is a community. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Daoists, Wiccans; they all have provisions in their religions that create an organization of other members. In the monotheistic religions, their clergy are the voice of god on Earth. In the non-theistic religions like Buddhism, the community is seen as nessecary to provide the ideal environment for study of the religious principles so you can get deeper quicker and without wasting years and decades like the Buddha did.

But atheism merely requires you do nothing. And not all atheists are atheists for the same reason. Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance. The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of meditation so I'll just ignore 10,000s of years of indirect evidence of something important being here and just call it a life.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


I agree with this. I'm an atheist, and I generally just don't care. If someone else wants to practice their religion, then that's their right (as long as they're doing it legally, no kiddie diddling or anything). I will engage in religious arguments with people who go off on me for being atheist, and I always find it amusing.

When someone demands that I prove God doesn't exist, I demand proof that he does. I really don't care, but I've known religious people in my time that were generally cool, and I've known a few bat shiat crazies that like to go nuts and give human beings in general a bad name.

I like to view religion as a coffee shop. Some people want lattes, some people just want the special of the week, some people want a soda, and some people just want a glass of water. It's their choice, and there's nothing stopping a pumpkin spice latte drinker from being friends with someone who ordered straight drip.

/will intentionally piss off religious nut jobs though
//sadly lost some friends in high school to some 'Christian reborn' thing
/people can practice their religion, but don't condemn me for not going with them to church
 
2011-04-14 03:33:57 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

And they get so offended if you point out that atheism is just another religion. If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


It's not a religion.

The opposite of atheism is theism. Most of the religions mentioned in previous posts fall into that category. (Buddhism could actually fall under atheism or theism)

Atheism is a collection of many religions. That is why it is such a diverse group as a whole: it is not one group but a collection of many. If you stuck representative members off all the aforementioned groups in a room, they would seem just as eclectic.
 
2011-04-14 03:35:07 AM  

untaken_name: FTFA: "We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."

I don't get this. Why? You're just rearranging some molecules, man, what's the big deal? Not like anything you do will matter in a hundred years. Even if it still matters in a thousand years, eventually, the universe will run down and then nothing that happened prior to that will matter one wet fig. Besides which, some people really need to be assaulted. What about that? Very confusing.



really? THAT is just something you can't get ? that atheists are moral ?

You haven't really tried to figure this out have you ?
 
2011-04-14 03:39:35 AM  

doglover: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.

And a boring one at that! Seriously, would you rather party with the dudes who say "Our god is the god of wine. For him, AN ORGY!" or the guys who say "There's nothing but what physics already knows to life. Nothing. Yep. Still nothing."


"Would you rather" never has anything to do with discussing whether something is true or not.
 
2011-04-14 03:39:35 AM  
I almost expected this to end with the professor dropping the chalk, it hitting his foot, etc....
 
2011-04-14 03:41:01 AM  

untaken_name: FTFA: "We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."

I don't get this. Why? You're just rearranging some molecules, man, what's the big deal? Not like anything you do will matter in a hundred years. Even if it still matters in a thousand years, eventually, the universe will run down and then nothing that happened prior to that will matter one wet fig. Besides which, some people really need to be assaulted. What about that? Very confusing.


I live with my mom.

That's high grade unfiltered derp.
 
2011-04-14 03:41:46 AM  

dbaggins: really? THAT is just something you can't get ? that atheists are moral ?

You haven't really tried to figure this out have you ?


Where do atheist morals come from? I am assuming you mean this definition of "moral", please link the correct definition if I'm wrong:
Adjective

* S: (adj) moral (concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles) "moral sense"; "a moral scrutiny"; "a moral lesson"; "a moral quandary"; "moral convictions"; "a moral life"

If you are using this definition, how could atheists possibly be moral*? There is no right and wrong, therefore why would you concern yourself with the principles of right and wrong? It doesn't make any sense. I have actually spent a great deal of time trying to figure this out, but no one's been able to explain it to me in a logical manner. I hope that you are the one who can do it.

/*Please note that because there is no right and wrong, NO ONE can be moral, but since you specified that atheists can be, limiting your explanation to how atheists specifically can be moral will suffice, since that would provide a method by which non-atheists could also be moral.
 
2011-04-14 03:42:55 AM  

Fuller: And are you seriously advancing the argument that alchemy can't be dismissed as kooky? I thought it was a pretty safe example..


Alchemy actually gets an unfairly bad rap. It deserves to be thought of as proto-chemistry. (The terms were frequently used interchangeably; Boyle considered himself an alchemist, and other early alchemists knew quite a bit of practical chemistry.) There's really nothing at all weird about Newton having been interested in alchemy.
 
2011-04-14 03:43:07 AM  

InfidelSavant: untaken_name: FTFA: "We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."

I don't get this. Why? You're just rearranging some molecules, man, what's the big deal? Not like anything you do will matter in a hundred years. Even if it still matters in a thousand years, eventually, the universe will run down and then nothing that happened prior to that will matter one wet fig. Besides which, some people really need to be assaulted. What about that? Very confusing.

I live with my mom.

That's high grade unfiltered derp.


In other words, you can't answer the question. Noted. (Hint: people attack when they can't counter with facts. It's transparent.)
 
2011-04-14 03:45:11 AM  
 
2011-04-14 03:46:40 AM  

doglover: Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way?


I suspect there are several reasons. Perhaps some of them just wish to accomplish something in particular related to atheism, like this particular group -- trying to dispel myths so that people don't vilify them. Which does happen. Or perhaps they want to make a place for people who come from a religious background but who have doubts or who want to leave it -- such peoples friends and family are often bound up in religion, and they may have trouble finding people on the other side of the fence to sit down and talk with.

There are plenty of reasons I can think of.


Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


Really? That's your definition of a religion?
Well damn, I guess the frats at school should qualify, then. Or any given sports team. Or the Lady Gaga Fanclub.

We (or at least I) don't get offended when you say atheism is a religion. But the thing is, you can only do it by hacking the term down to such a broad generality that it is useless, because it describes so many things that aren't religions.

So it's stupid. But not offensive.
 
2011-04-14 03:48:07 AM  

untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from? I am assuming you mean this definition of "moral", please link the correct definition if I'm wrong:


Same place religious people do, society around them, culture, basic humanity. Oh wait, you thought it came from those ancient books and belief in deities?

LOL. Have you noticed how religion changes over time? How the emphasised parts of a given religious work are different depending on the prevailing culture?

That's right, religious folk impose their moral code onto their religion, not the other way around.


untaken_name: There is no right and wrong


FAIL.
 
2011-04-14 03:50:28 AM  

Skyrmion: Fuller: And are you seriously advancing the argument that alchemy can't be dismissed as kooky? I thought it was a pretty safe example..

Alchemy actually gets an unfairly bad rap. It deserves to be thought of as proto-chemistry. (The terms were frequently used interchangeably; Boyle considered himself an alchemist, and other early alchemists knew quite a bit of practical chemistry.) There's really nothing at all weird about Newton having been interested in alchemy.


That's like saying astrology unfairly gets a bad rap. In their time, understandable ignorance. Today, we know damn well it's bunkum.

untaken_name: InfidelSavant: untaken_name: FTFA: "We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."

I don't get this. Why? You're just rearranging some molecules, man, what's the big deal? Not like anything you do will matter in a hundred years. Even if it still matters in a thousand years, eventually, the universe will run down and then nothing that happened prior to that will matter one wet fig. Besides which, some people really need to be assaulted. What about that? Very confusing.

I live with my mom.

That's high grade unfiltered derp.

In other words, you can't answer the question. Noted. (Hint: people attack when they can't counter with facts. It's transparent.)


Sure I can. I don't attack people because I don't like being attacked. People are independent autonomous agents who react unfavourably to being attacked. Plus there are laws against attacking people. That's why the words you say are stupid, and by extension, you are stupid.
 
2011-04-14 03:51:09 AM  

lisarenee3505: Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify.


As do atheists.
 
2011-04-14 03:52:02 AM  

untaken_name:
Where do atheist morals come from?
...

/*Please note that because there is no right and wrong, NO ONE can be moral, but since you specified that atheists can be, limiting your explanation to how atheists specifically can be moral will suffice, since that would provide a method by which non-atheists could also be moral.


Society. The societal norms will create what is right or wrong. There are cultures that eat people, that believe it is moral to eat people. There are cultures that believe it is not moral to eat people. An atheist would (should) say that both are correct in the respective cultures.
 
2011-04-14 03:52:37 AM  

Skyrmion: Fuller: And are you seriously advancing the argument that alchemy can't be dismissed as kooky? I thought it was a pretty safe example..

Alchemy actually gets an unfairly bad rap. It deserves to be thought of as proto-chemistry. (The terms were frequently used interchangeably; Boyle considered himself an alchemist, and other early alchemists knew quite a bit of practical chemistry.) There's really nothing at all weird about Newton having been interested in alchemy.


Nor, given what we know about element decay, is the fundamental principle that one form of matter can be transmuted into another form of matter incorrect.
 
2011-04-14 03:52:49 AM  

doglover: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.

And a boring one at that! Seriously, would you rather party with the dudes who say "Our god is the god of wine. For him, AN ORGY!" or the guys who say "There's nothing but what physics already knows to life. Nothing. Yep. Still nothing."


Dionysianism is the sexiest religion.

/why isn't it more popular?
//let's bring it back
 
2011-04-14 03:52:50 AM  

Gothnet: untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from? I am assuming you mean this definition of "moral", please link the correct definition if I'm wrong:

Same place religious people do, society around them, culture, basic humanity. Oh wait, you thought it came from those ancient books and belief in deities?

LOL. Have you noticed how religion changes over time? How the emphasised parts of a given religious work are different depending on the prevailing culture?

That's right, religious folk impose their moral code onto their religion, not the other way around.


untaken_name: There is no right and wrong

FAIL.


Um, care to define "basic humanity" and show me where it exists?
Also, if right and wrong exist, define them for me, and show me from where they derive. I don't mean using bs feel-good terms like "basic humanity". I mean show me how the existence of good and evil may be experimentally proved. Thanks.
 
2011-04-14 03:54:26 AM  
FTFA: Alexander M. Huppert, a freshman university studies major

Er, can anyone tell me what he's actually studying? I'm not understanding of American university subject matters.

There's a subject called 'University Studies'? Wha?


/psycho nutjob, I'd stab you in the penis
 
2011-04-14 03:54:55 AM  

untaken_name: If you are using this definition, how could atheists possibly be moral*?


What about that definition prevents atheists from being moral? It doesn't stipulate that moral principles have to come from a deity or anything.

I'm not trying to be confrontational, but I really don't understand your argument. Plenty of philosophies that put forward moral principles exist independent of religion - Objectivism and Utilitarianism, to name two off the top of my head. And for that matter, there are plenty of religions that don't concern themselves with morality - the ancient Greeks' principles of morality and religious beliefs existed almost entirely apart from one another.

What you're saying doesn't seem to make any sense.
 
2011-04-14 03:55:16 AM  

InfidelSavant: Sure I can. I don't attack people because I don't like being attacked. People are independent autonomous agents who react unfavourably to being attacked. Plus there are laws against attacking people. That's why the words you say are stupid, and by extension, you are stupid.


So, morality is based on what you, personally, like? Or based on laws, which are a product of human minds and many of which are contradictory? And you call ME stupid? Well, geez, man, with such conclusive evidence, you've sure proved your case. Well, except for completely and totally failing to prove your case, that is.
 
2011-04-14 03:57:07 AM  

untaken_name: If you are using this definition, how could atheists possibly be moral*? There is no right and wrong, therefore why would you concern yourself with the principles of right and wrong? It doesn't make any sense.


Who says there is no right or wrong just because we don't believe in a God?

The fact is that morality doesn't come from religion but from society and from our own emotional responses. Our parents teach us right and wrong, and we learn to be good people by noticing that we feel emotionally rewarded when people respond to or reciprocate our generosity. Morality doesn't have to be objective, it is built into us and built into society.

The idea that, without a book full of moral commands, that we should all be selfish, greedy rapists and murders is preposterous. Even chimps and other apes have a better social contract with each other than that, and they certainly don't go to church. Give human beings a little credit, we're at least as good as our hairy cousins.

Besides, I'd say that if the only reason you're refraining from killing and stealing is because the Bible or your pastor told you that God would punish you, maybe you aren't really a very moral person.
 
2011-04-14 03:57:07 AM  

untaken_name: Um, care to define "basic humanity" and show me where it exists?



you really need to pick up a book sometimes (no, not that book, you already think you know what's in there).

This is a topic that you could put in the effort learning a lot about if you wished to actually learn about it.


There is a reason that people don't keep slaves today, despite most ancient holy books saying it is fine. Why do you think that is ?
 
2011-04-14 03:57:19 AM  
I bet if we all tried hard enough, we could finally prove the existence (or non-existence) of God and lay down the fundamental moral code which guides all of humanity. All we need is more debate, because that always comes to a satisfactory conclusion and convinces all sides of the validity of the winning side.
 
2011-04-14 03:57:52 AM  

Chinchillazilla:
Dionysianism is the sexiest religion.

/why isn't it more popular?
//let's bring it back


26.media.tumblr.com

/one religion this atheist could get behind
//not getting into the usual fark atheism flamewar
 
2011-04-14 03:57:54 AM  

Gunther: What about that definition prevents atheists from being moral? It doesn't stipulate that moral principles have to come from a deity or anything.


Because it includes the imaginary concepts of right and wrong. There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist. There can only be pseudo-morality, which is completely subjective. You can CALL things moral, but you have no way to PROVE whether they actually are.
 
2011-04-14 03:58:27 AM  

untaken_name:
Um, care to define "basic humanity" and show me where it exists?


Nope

Also, if right and wrong exist, define them for me, and show me from where they derive. I don't mean using bs feel-good terms like "basic humanity". I mean show me how the existence of good and evil may be experimentally proved. Thanks.

Nope.

Just because atheists as a group don't believe in right and wrong as concepts handed down by the divine doesn't mean they don't have a concept of right and wrong. Where that concept comes from, how it's defined and what basis it has are questions of philosophy.

I didn't come here to say that atheist morality is complete, well grounded or correct, the variation amongst atheist folks almost guarantees a massive spectrum of moral leanings and foundations anyway.

My comments were more to point out that you were being a complete arsehead by assuming that all atheists are necessarily moral relativists or nihilists. Not that you need my help.
 
2011-04-14 03:59:11 AM  
If you are going to try and prove god by somehow causing bodily harm to yourself could you at least have the decency to do it without witnesses and by throwing yourself off a really high cliff in the middle of nowhere? Please?
 
2011-04-14 03:59:36 AM  

Gawdzila: Who says there is no right or wrong just because we don't believe in a God?


No, I say there is no right and wrong because no one can prove the existence of right and wrong. They can provide only subjective definitions. Sorry, but as a rational person I don't believe in imaginary concepts. I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate. Any other position is irrational.
 
2011-04-14 03:59:37 AM  

Necrosis: Chinchillazilla:
Dionysianism is the sexiest religion.

/why isn't it more popular?
//let's bring it back

/one religion this atheist could get behind
//not getting into the usual fark atheism flamewar


This just seems like one to stay out of.
 
2011-04-14 04:00:11 AM  

untaken_name: Gothnet: untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from? I am assuming you mean this definition of "moral", please link the correct definition if I'm wrong:

Same place religious people do, society around them, culture, basic humanity. Oh wait, you thought it came from those ancient books and belief in deities?

LOL. Have you noticed how religion changes over time? How the emphasised parts of a given religious work are different depending on the prevailing culture?

That's right, religious folk impose their moral code onto their religion, not the other way around.


untaken_name: There is no right and wrong

FAIL.

Um, care to define "basic humanity" and show me where it exists?
Also, if right and wrong exist, define them for me, and show me from where they derive. I don't mean using bs feel-good terms like "basic humanity". I mean show me how the existence of good and evil may be experimentally proved. Thanks.


I always assume that "basic humanity" is more or less empathy, being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understanding how you would feel. Although really that's somewhat of a learned trait, as children and babies are jerks, but in the end it seems to be one of the traits that comes with being a rational being. Over time those empathetic thoughts get codified (don't kill other people because you wouldn't like other people killing you, don't steal other peoples stuff because you don't like having your stuff stolen, etc.) And, of course, because each culture grows differently, those rules end up changing. A culture that doesn't have hangups on possessions wouldn't talk about stealing. A culture that doesn't have sexual hang ups wouldn't have anything about homosexuality. Things like that.
 
2011-04-14 04:00:15 AM  

Gothnet: My comments were more to point out that you were being a complete arsehead by assuming that all atheists are necessarily moral relativists or nihilists.


No, only the honest and rational ones.
 
2011-04-14 04:02:31 AM  

Penman: lisarenee3505: Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify.

As do atheists.


A more accurate assessment would be that theists have absolute belief in things that are impossible to verify. This is a different prospect on a fundamental level than having varying degrees of confidence in a theory based on the level of evidence available.

People who accept empiricism also accept implicitly that nothing is ever proven 100%, but the important part is the amount of confidence we have in a conclusion because of supporting evidence. Having 100% confidence despite a lack of evidence (or even contradicting evidence) is a hallmark of religious faith.
 
2011-04-14 04:03:08 AM  

untaken_name: No, only the honest and rational ones.


Why?

So far all you have is bluster.

Also, the number of completely honest and totally rational people on the planet can probably be counted on the fingers of one foot.
 
2011-04-14 04:03:28 AM  

InfidelSavant: Skyrmion: Fuller: And are you seriously advancing the argument that alchemy can't be dismissed as kooky? I thought it was a pretty safe example..

Alchemy actually gets an unfairly bad rap. It deserves to be thought of as proto-chemistry. (The terms were frequently used interchangeably; Boyle considered himself an alchemist, and other early alchemists knew quite a bit of practical chemistry.) There's really nothing at all weird about Newton having been interested in alchemy.

That's like saying astrology unfairly gets a bad rap. In their time, understandable ignorance. Today, we know damn well it's bunkum.


Not quite. The problem is that there isn't a real historical distinction between "chemistry" and "alchemy". It would be a bit like if we retroactively decided that the study of medicine from before 1700 would be called "almedicine" and only modern medicine would be called medicine. Is "almedicine" bunkum? Well, much of it, but doctors of that age did know a few things.
 
2011-04-14 04:03:53 AM  

Tachikoma: /people can practice their religion, but don't condemn me for not going with them to church


I don't. But if you form a church of Atheism it's a big disappointment. Do you thing, pot, but call not the kettle black. I support atheists, but an atheist group seems odd.
 
2011-04-14 04:04:57 AM  
img.photobucket.com

Surely Bevets would have some crappy quote that would not explain this in the least bit!
 
2011-04-14 04:05:17 AM  

dbaggins: untaken_name: Um, care to define "basic humanity" and show me where it exists?


you really need to pick up a book sometimes (no, not that book, you already think you know what's in there).

This is a topic that you could put in the effort learning a lot about if you wished to actually learn about it.


There is a reason that people don't keep slaves today, despite most ancient holy books saying it is fine. Why do you think that is ?


I actually HAVE put in a lot of time. That's how I know that no one is going to be able to contradict me. If some philosopher had managed to derive objective right and wrong without invoking a deity, it would be the discovery of the century, at least, and if the combined weight of human philosophy hasn't managed it yet, I doubt some random farker is going to manage it.

Why do I think people don't keep slaves today? Why on Earth would I think that? It's not true. Link (new window)
 
2011-04-14 04:05:32 AM  

untaken_name: There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist.


Of course objective standards of right and wrong exist, one needs merely define results for positive and negative morality and chart how actions influence those. Nothing subjective about this.
 
2011-04-14 04:06:19 AM  

untaken_name: Gunther: What about that definition prevents atheists from being moral? It doesn't stipulate that moral principles have to come from a deity or anything.

Because it includes the imaginary concepts of right and wrong. There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist. There can only be pseudo-morality, which is completely subjective. You can CALL things moral, but you have no way to PROVE whether they actually are.


Let's put aside the positive claim you're making with zero evidence (that "there can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong", which isn't something you've shown any evidence for) for now. Plenty of non-religious philosophies claim to have objective standards of right and wrong (Like oh, say... objectivism). Do those just not count because they don't involve the supernatural? That seems awfully arbitrary. How do you even reach that distinction?

Can Buddhists be moral? there's gods in Buddhism, but they don't lay down objective standards of right and wrong.
Can a Deist be moral? They believe in god, but don't believe He handed down a bunch of commandments or anything.

Your view that morality must somehow involve religion is just baffling to me. You treat it as though it should be an obvious fact, but plenty of real-life religions and philosophies separate the two.
 
2011-04-14 04:06:27 AM  

The Fark Filter: Stigmata


Bicmata?
 
2011-04-14 04:06:45 AM  
I'm an atheist. I'm quite happy with my lack of belief in deities or forced social structure.

But that said, I usually don't get together with a bunch of people and talk about how great it is to be atheist. In fact, I've NEVER done that. I usually just have a BBQ, invite over Atheist and believers alike, and have some ribs and beer. Maybe watch a football game. And don't talk about religion or lack thereof.
 
2011-04-14 04:07:06 AM  
Should have gone with the sword, chief.
 
2011-04-14 04:07:57 AM  

Gothnet: Why?


Because morality depends upon the existence of right and wrong, which do not exist. Since the concepts upon which morality depends do not exist, it cannot exist. If it cannot exist, people cannot be it. It's really pretty easy to follow.
 
2011-04-14 04:08:36 AM  

untaken_name: No, I say there is no right and wrong because no one can prove the existence of right and wrong. They can provide only subjective definitions. Sorry, but as a rational person I don't believe in imaginary concepts. I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate. Any other position is irrational.


So there is no set of irrational numbers?
 
2011-04-14 04:09:50 AM  

untaken_name: Gunther: What about that definition prevents atheists from being moral? It doesn't stipulate that moral principles have to come from a deity or anything.

Because it includes the imaginary concepts of right and wrong. There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist. There can only be pseudo-morality, which is completely subjective. You can CALL things moral, but you have no way to PROVE whether they actually are.


I may be wrong, but you seem to think that there is no right and wrong. I disagree

easy example

right: having sex
wrong: raping someone

now can you honestly tell me that raping someone is ok?

that's not really subjective. its just wrong any way you look at it
 
2011-04-14 04:10:27 AM  

Vangor: Of course objective standards of right and wrong exist, one needs merely define results for positive and negative morality and chart how actions influence those. Nothing subjective about this.


So...link me to the chart, would you? From where are these objective standards derived? Remember that the same action in different places can be considered both moral and immoral, thus rendering your idea of objective morality unlikely. You might be able to chart what certain people in certain situations think is moral or immoral, but you cannot state that action A is always moral or always immoral, because there will always be a circumstance where that is not true.
 
2011-04-14 04:10:33 AM  

Shadowknight: I'm an atheist. I'm quite happy with my lack of belief in deities or forced social structure.

But that said, I usually don't get together with a bunch of people and talk about how great it is to be atheist. In fact, I've NEVER done that. I usually just have a BBQ, invite over Atheist and believers alike, and have some ribs and beer. Maybe watch a football game. And don't talk about religion or lack thereof.


You haven't lived until you've had the sort of party where your dad and your uncle Jim have ripped their sister's religion to shreds, leaving her in tears, looking desperately to her husband for support until he agrees with them...
 
2011-04-14 04:10:40 AM  

doglover: Tachikoma: /people can practice their religion, but don't condemn me for not going with them to church

I don't. But if you form a church of Atheism it's a big disappointment. Do you thing, pot, but call not the kettle black. I support atheists, but an atheist group seems odd.


If they're getting together just to discuss how god doesn't exist, then sure, but people tend to want to socialize with others who hold similar beliefs in order to minimize friction.

Also, churches tend to be heavily involved in social and community programs, so it's understandable for atheists who want to contribute to form a group that does the same without the religious involvement.
 
2011-04-14 04:11:19 AM  

Gunther:
Can Buddhists be moral? there's gods in Buddhism, but they don't lay down objective standards of right and wrong.
Can a Deist be moral? They believe in god, but don't believe He handed down a bunch of commandments or anything.

Your view that morality must somehow involve religion is just baffling to me. You treat it as though it should be an obvious fact, but plenty of real-life religions and philosophies separate the two.


Wouldn't the 8 Fold Path and the four noble truths more or less be laying down an objective standard of right and wrong?

Gawdzila:

A more accurate assessment would be that theists have absolute belief in things that are impossible to verify.



I wouldn't say they believe in things that are -impossible- to verify. If some being came down right in front of me and said "Hey, I'm God. Check this out" and does a number of random God-acts, wouldn't that qualify as verifiable?
 
2011-04-14 04:11:38 AM  

untaken_name: Gothnet: Why?

Because morality depends upon the existence of right and wrong, which do not exist. Since the concepts upon which morality depends do not exist, it cannot exist. If it cannot exist, people cannot be it. It's really pretty easy to follow.


Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist. They are intellectual concepts. And if they do not exist then that means that everything ever written does not exist.
 
2011-04-14 04:11:48 AM  

untaken_name: No, I say there is no right and wrong because no one can prove the existence of right and wrong.


Sure we can. It clearly exists, because our society revolves around the concept.


untaken_name: They can provide only subjective definitions.


So what?


untaken_name: Sorry, but as a rational person I don't believe in imaginary concepts.


Why is a concept imaginary simply because it is subjective? Emotions are subjective, but only a complete idiot would take that to mean that they don't exist.


untaken_name: I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate. Any other position is irrational.


It is easy to prove the existence of the concepts of right and wrong.

But you're looking for someone to produce some sort of electrical instrument that measures the amounts of "rightness" and "wrongness" in the fabric of the universe, as if they are entities unto themselves, before you'll acknowledge that they're rational, meaningful concepts? That's completely, dumbfoundingly ridiculous. It ignores the possibility (in fact, the certainty) that "right" and "wrong" do not exist as an objective moral code chiseled in stone, but rather as the complex results of the neurochemistry of emotion coupled with hundreds of thousands of years of human societal evolution and instinct.
 
2011-04-14 04:11:48 AM  

tweek46420: untaken_name: Gunther: What about that definition prevents atheists from being moral? It doesn't stipulate that moral principles have to come from a deity or anything.

Because it includes the imaginary concepts of right and wrong. There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist. There can only be pseudo-morality, which is completely subjective. You can CALL things moral, but you have no way to PROVE whether they actually are.

I may be wrong, but you seem to think that there is no right and wrong. I disagree

easy example

right: having sex
wrong: raping someone

now can you honestly tell me that raping someone is ok?

that's not really subjective. its just wrong any way you look at it


Some people have rape fetishes. For them, it's ok. For others, it might not be ok. That's why it's called "subjective".
 
2011-04-14 04:11:49 AM  

Gunther: Can Buddhists be moral? there's gods in Buddhism, but they don't lay down objective standards of right and wrong.


Actually...
Link (new window)
 
2011-04-14 04:12:10 AM  

untaken_name: Gawdzila: Who says there is no right or wrong just because we don't believe in a God?

No, I say there is no right and wrong because no one can prove the existence of right and wrong. They can provide only subjective definitions. Sorry, but as a rational person I don't believe in imaginary concepts. I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate. Any other position is irrational.


You're not a rational person. You're a troll. Otherwise known as a dick.
 
2011-04-14 04:13:03 AM  

Mock26: Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist.


Um, are you serious? By that logic, God exists, as does Zeus, Thor, the Easter bunny, and single, attractive, non-biatchy women. Give me a break.
 
2011-04-14 04:13:46 AM  
It's gotten to the point that you can't tell the trolls from the jokers from the God-botherers around here.
 
2011-04-14 04:14:16 AM  

Gawdzila: Why is a concept imaginary simply because it is subjective? Emotions are subjective, but only a complete idiot would take that to mean that they don't exist.


Actually, emotions are the product of chemical reactions that can be understood and reproduced. So of course they exist. Can't say the same about "right" and "wrong".
 
2011-04-14 04:14:30 AM  

Gothnet:

You haven't lived until you've had the sort of party where your dad and your uncle Jim have ripped their sister's religion to shreds, leaving her in tears, looking desperately to her husband for support until he agrees with them...


And I am glad that I am not related to such scum as that.
 
2011-04-14 04:14:46 AM  

sirbissel: Gawdzila:

A more accurate assessment would be that theists have absolute belief in things that are impossible to verify.


I wouldn't say they believe in things that are -impossible- to verify. If some being came down right in front of me and said "Hey, I'm God. Check this out" and does a number of random God-acts, wouldn't that qualify as verifiable?


Okay, sure, that's true. But then it wouldn't qualify as an article of faith anymore ;)

I guess the more important thing to take away from that statement is that the belief is not a function of the evidence available at all.
 
2011-04-14 04:16:17 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Actually...


sirbissel: Wouldn't the 8 Fold Path and the four noble truths more or less be laying down an objective standard of right and wrong?


Sure, but the eightfold path wasn't handed down by a deity (It was written by a human spiritual teacher who became Buddha), so by untaken_name's rather bizarre standards of morality, it doesn't count.
 
2011-04-14 04:16:54 AM  

InfidelSavant: untaken_name: Gawdzila: Who says there is no right or wrong just because we don't believe in a God?

No, I say there is no right and wrong because no one can prove the existence of right and wrong. They can provide only subjective definitions. Sorry, but as a rational person I don't believe in imaginary concepts. I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate. Any other position is irrational.

You're not a rational person. You're a troll. Otherwise known as a dick.


Um, yes, I am a dick. But just because you can't answer my question, or you don't agree with my position, that doesn't make me a troll. And what makes me rational is relying on reason. You can believe in your imaginary sky-concepts of good and evil if you want to, but that doesn't make them any more real than the tooth fairy. Some people believe in that, too.
 
2011-04-14 04:17:04 AM  

untaken_name: Some people have rape fetishes. For them, it's ok. For others, it might not be ok. That's why it's called "subjective".


People with rape fetishes don't want to be raped. They like to play at it. It's very different from actual rape.
 
2011-04-14 04:17:25 AM  

untaken_name: Mock26: Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist.

Um, are you serious? By that logic, God exists, as does Zeus, Thor, the Easter bunny, and single, attractive, non-biatchy women. Give me a break.


God does exist as a concept. So do Zeus, Thor and the Easter Bunny. Do they physically exist? Maybe, maybe not. But the thought of them radiates through the actions, writings, etc. of many, many people. To say that the concept doesn't exist is just blindingly stupid.
 
2011-04-14 04:18:16 AM  

Mock26: Gothnet:

You haven't lived until you've had the sort of party where your dad and your uncle Jim have ripped their sister's religion to shreds, leaving her in tears, looking desperately to her husband for support until he agrees with them...

And I am glad that I am not related to such scum as that.


It's called tough-love.
 
2011-04-14 04:18:50 AM  

untaken_name: Mock26: Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist.

Um, are you serious? By that logic, God exists, as does Zeus, Thor, the Easter bunny, and single, attractive, non-biatchy women. Give me a break.


Far fetched, bad example is, well, far fetched and bad. There is a huge difference between a morality concept like Right and Wrong and the idea of mythical/divine/living creatures.
 
2011-04-14 04:19:25 AM  

sirbissel: Wouldn't the 8 Fold Path and the four noble truths more or less be laying down an objective standard of right and wrong?


No, it would be a subjective one, since it was the subjective opinion of one person. That's kind of the whole definition of subjective...
Also, moral codes handed down by "deities" are no more objective, since only the followers of those deities follow those codes (and most don't even do that). But they are subjective because they are all different.
 
2011-04-14 04:19:55 AM  

untaken_name: So...link me to the chart, would you?


Charting would be a mental task as the specificity of actions is too expansive to be meaningfully useful as a graphic, yet the human mind works wonderfully with examples including those of experience and reactions of fellow humans.

untaken_name: From where are these objective standards derived?


This was exactly what I discussed in the comment.

untaken_name: Remember that the same action in different places can be considered both moral and immoral, thus rendering your idea of objective morality unlikely.


Regardless of place, those standards remain the same. Others may interpret those differently, but this would be true of your own perception of an objective reality unless all people simultaneously clung to a precisely identical moral construct.

untaken_name: but you cannot state that action A is always moral or always immoral, because there will always be a circumstance where that is not true.


This is not a result of lack of objectivity but lack of specificity.

What you mentioned was a lack of objective standards of right and wrong. Those exist. What you want are immutable standards of right and wrong which are intrinsic in the universe, which is absurd considering morality is a human construct.
 
2011-04-14 04:20:44 AM  

untaken_name: Um, yes, I am a dick. But just because you can't answer my question, or you don't agree with my position, that doesn't make me a troll. And what makes me rational is relying on reason.


You're using a definition of morality that is only used by you and crazed religious fundamentalists. Nobody else in the world believes that morality has to come from the supernatural.

So yeah; by your batshiat-insane definition of morality, morality doesn't exist. By a normal, non-retarded definition of morality, it does exist.
 
2011-04-14 04:20:58 AM  

Gunther: AverageAmericanGuy: Actually...

sirbissel: Wouldn't the 8 Fold Path and the four noble truths more or less be laying down an objective standard of right and wrong?

Sure, but the eightfold path wasn't handed down by a deity (It was written by a human spiritual teacher who became Buddha), so by untaken_name's rather bizarre standards of morality, it doesn't count.


Buddha was, of course, a deity in the manner that Jesus was a deity.
 
2011-04-14 04:21:23 AM  

Fuller: The natural world, the world as it really is, is not nothing at all. In fact it's everything. The empty supernatural claims of believers - they're what really represent nothing.


Excellent point. The natural world is indeed everything, humbling and profound, such as Hubble telescope findings and video from a space vehicle flying through Saturn's rings. How anyone can witness such breath-taking views of the universe and think it looks only 6,000 years old is beyond my comprehension.

Atheist and skeptical activists do much good work

Would only add that non-theist charity is given with no strings attached. Fulfilling need for its own sake without receiver obligation, guilt or shame, such as Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross.

Another good thing we do is support many secret non-believers, who are unable to be honest about their atheism for fear of losing their family and friends - or even face the threat of abuse. This is a big problem for a lot of people, not just in the Islamic world but in middle America too.

Amen and amen.
 
2011-04-14 04:21:36 AM  

Ed Grubermann: untaken_name: Some people have rape fetishes. For them, it's ok. For others, it might not be ok. That's why it's called "subjective".

People with rape fetishes don't want to be raped. They like to play at it. It's very different from actual rape.


Right. Like the craiglist lady that wanted to be murdered - that wasn't real murder, right? Or maybe rape is wrong but murder isn't.
Either way, there's no objective code. It doesn't exist.
 
2011-04-14 04:21:54 AM  

untaken_name: Gawdzila: Why is a concept imaginary simply because it is subjective? Emotions are subjective, but only a complete idiot would take that to mean that they don't exist.

Actually, emotions are the product of chemical reactions that can be understood and reproduced. So of course they exist. Can't say the same about "right" and "wrong".


ALL thoughts and actions are the product of chemical reactions in your brain that can be understood, including those that qualify as "moral".
If you'd bothered to read the rest of my response, you'd see where I posited:

Gawdzila: "right" and "wrong" do not exist as an objective moral code chiseled in stone, but rather as the complex results of the neurochemistry of emotion coupled with hundreds of thousands of years of human societal evolution and instinct.


Is this not a possibility?
Because I'm pretty sure that is the prevailing viewpoint.


Anyway, I'm done with you. You're just cutting pieces out in whatever way suits your ridiculous argument best and not even bothering to read or understand people's responses to your posts. I have better things to do with my time.
 
2011-04-14 04:21:59 AM  

Gothnet: You haven't lived until you've had the sort of party where your dad and your uncle Jim have ripped their sister's religion to shreds, leaving her in tears, looking desperately to her husband for support until he agrees with them...


Myself and my siblings are atheist. My parents claim to believe in something, but don't know what or go to church, so they are best classified as agnostic.

My wife, however, is a church going Lutheran. She also believes in gay rights, gay marriage, and doesn't think people are going to hell for not believing as she does.

At least in my circle, a fight is hard to come by.
 
2011-04-14 04:22:22 AM  

untaken_name: tweek46420: untaken_name: Gunther: What about that definition prevents atheists from being moral? It doesn't stipulate that moral principles have to come from a deity or anything.

Because it includes the imaginary concepts of right and wrong. There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist. There can only be pseudo-morality, which is completely subjective. You can CALL things moral, but you have no way to PROVE whether they actually are.

I may be wrong, but you seem to think that there is no right and wrong. I disagree

easy example

right: having sex
wrong: raping someone

now can you honestly tell me that raping someone is ok?

that's not really subjective. its just wrong any way you look at it

Some people have rape fetishes. For them, it's ok. For others, it might not be ok. That's why it's called "subjective".


no its not, someone with a "rape fetish" is still a willing participant, therefore it is not really rape.

Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape is about power, not sex

so try again pal
 
2011-04-14 04:23:03 AM  

untaken_name: sirbissel: Wouldn't the 8 Fold Path and the four noble truths more or less be laying down an objective standard of right and wrong?

No, it would be a subjective one, since it was the subjective opinion of one person. That's kind of the whole definition of subjective...
Also, moral codes handed down by "deities" are no more objective, since only the followers of those deities follow those codes (and most don't even do that). But they are subjective because they are all different.


Not so, as that one person was giving the underlying laws of reality. Whether it's true or not is a different question, but they say that those are objective rules. Similarly, if Christianity is true, then that would mean that there would be some sort of objective rules that the universe exists by. If Christianity is not true, then yes, they would be subjective rules. It all depends on the truth of the various belief systems. I can't say whether one is or isn't objective because I don't know what, if any, underlying rules to the universe there are.
 
2011-04-14 04:23:10 AM  

Vangor: Regardless of place, those standards remain the same. Others may interpret those differently, but this would be true of your own perception of an objective reality unless all people simultaneously clung to a precisely identical moral construct.


No, sorry. Gravity just works, regardless of your perception of it. Same with thermodynamics and all other natural laws. If there were objective morality, it would work the same way. There isn't.
 
2011-04-14 04:24:00 AM  

untaken_name: sirbissel: Wouldn't the 8 Fold Path and the four noble truths more or less be laying down an objective standard of right and wrong?

No, it would be a subjective one, since it was the subjective opinion of one person. That's kind of the whole definition of subjective...
Also, moral codes handed down by "deities" are no more objective, since only the followers of those deities follow those codes (and most don't even do that). But they are subjective because they are all different.


Who cares if they are subjective? Without subjective concepts like this then society would not exist.
 
2011-04-14 04:24:09 AM  

Gawdzila: Is this not a possibility?
Because I'm pretty sure that is the prevailing viewpoint.


That would be more subjective morality. What I asked for originally was OBJECTIVE morality. Who's ignoring what now?
 
2011-04-14 04:24:22 AM  

Skyrmion: Mock26: Gothnet:

You haven't lived until you've had the sort of party where your dad and your uncle Jim have ripped their sister's religion to shreds, leaving her in tears, looking desperately to her husband for support until he agrees with them...

And I am glad that I am not related to such scum as that.

It's called tough-love.


Or just what happens when you stick siblings in a room together for several hours with lots of booze.


untaken_name: Mock26: Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist.

Um, are you serious? By that logic, God exists, as does Zeus, Thor, the Easter bunny, and single, attractive, non-biatchy women. Give me a break.


Err, no. right and wrong are concepts.
The concept of god certainly exists, to deny that would be nuts. The thing itself, not so much.

Deliberately misunderstanding arguments so you can continue trolling is no way to go through life son.
 
2011-04-14 04:25:27 AM  

Mock26: Who cares if they are subjective? Without subjective concepts like this then society would not exist.


I don't care that they're subjective. I'm just tired of people telling me they're somehow objective when they aren't. If everyone just admitted that they were moral relativists subject to situational ethics I wouldn't have any problem. I'm just tired of people who reject one imaginary concept only to replace it with another.
 
2011-04-14 04:26:17 AM  

Gothnet: Err, no. right and wrong are concepts.
The concept of god certainly exists, to deny that would be nuts. The thing itself, not so much.


Yes, the CONCEPT of objective morality exists. The thing itself, not so much.
 
2011-04-14 04:26:55 AM  

Shadowknight: Myself and my siblings are atheist. My parents claim to believe in something, but don't know what or go to church, so they are best classified as agnostic.

My wife, however, is a church going Lutheran. She also believes in gay rights, gay marriage, and doesn't think people are going to hell for not believing as she does.

At least in my circle, a fight is hard to come by.



Heh, it's not a frequent thing in my family either their mother (my grandmother) had just died a little while before and everybody was drunk...
 
2011-04-14 04:27:08 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy:

Buddha was, of course, a deity in the manner that Jesus was a deity.


Ehhhhhh.... I guess it depends on what you mean by "in the manner that Jesus was a deity." Buddhists tend not to believe that Buddha was actually God's physical form, but just an enlightened being.
 
2011-04-14 04:27:22 AM  

untaken_name: No, sorry. Gravity just works, regardless of your perception of it.


Unless, of course, you use universal gravitation rather than general relativity, and only until you venture into the quantum scale. Gravity does merely work, as do actions creating those morally positive or negative outcomes. Data is always through the lense of interpretation, otherwise those are merely motes of data meaning nothing themselves. "Gravity" is a construct to explain the motes of data.
 
2011-04-14 04:27:23 AM  
FTFA: "We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."

Is that guy really an undercover robot alien who studied assaulting people, then formed a policy and belief system based on the assault data?

Personally, I believe in candy and I'm very against rape-rape.
 
2011-04-14 04:27:55 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Buddha was, of course, a deity in the manner that Jesus was a deity.

Ehhhhhh.... I guess it depends on what you mean by "in the manner that Jesus was a deity." Buddhists tend not to believe that Buddha was actually God's physical form, but just an enlightened being.


You're drawing a distinction that doesn't exist.
 
2011-04-14 04:30:34 AM  
The stupid christers are at it, again!
 
2011-04-14 04:31:16 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy:
You're drawing a distinction that doesn't exist.


Christians believe that Jesus is God. Buddhists do not believe that Buddha is God. Or even a god. So if Christianity is correct, Jesus would be the creator, the almighty, etc. If Buddhism is correct, the Buddha would not be the creator, the almighty, etc. -- So it depends on what you mean by "in the manner that Jesus was a deity"
 
2011-04-14 04:31:23 AM  

untaken_name: Yes, the CONCEPT of objective morality exists. The thing itself, not so much.


So what?

I'm calling troll on this one because you started off by saying atheists can't be moral, and now you're trying to argue that "rational" atheists can't be "objectively" moral. You've moved the goalposts over to another pitch entirely.
 
2011-04-14 04:31:55 AM  
Have fun rationalizing your faith in imaginary things. I only believe in the existence of one less objective moral code than you.
 
2011-04-14 04:32:17 AM  
Sounds like he needs a social worker.
i.imgur.com
 
2011-04-14 04:32:25 AM  

untaken_name: 'm just tired of people telling me they're somehow objective when they aren't.


Again, you want immutable, intrinsic standards. Stop misusing "objective".

For instance, I consider someone "smart". You tell me the person is not "smart". We agree upon a definition, I show measures which demonstrate someone conforms to this definition of "smart". My considering of someone to be "smart" is therefore objective. However, "smart" is not immutable nor intrinsic in our universe, the same as any language construct.

Try this same task with "chair". What you seek is impossible for "chair" because there is no immutable, intrinsic standard for what "chair" means. One may effectively determine if an object is a "chair", though. Unless you wish to argue chairs do not exist, in which case I'll leave you to your delightful little world.
 
2011-04-14 04:34:48 AM  

untaken_name: I don't care that they're subjective. I'm just tired of people telling me they're somehow objective when they aren't. If everyone just admitted that they were moral relativists subject to situational ethics I wouldn't have any problem. I'm just tired of people who reject one imaginary concept only to replace it with another.


Moral relativism doesn't exist, though. If you honestly believe that morality is relative, then you have to agree that my belief that morality is objective is just as true as your belief that morality is relative. If you don't, it proves you think that moral relativism is objectively more true than moral objectivism, and are thus a moral objectivist yourself. Hence; there is no such thing as moral relativism, and morality is objective.

How does it feel to have someone redefine your positon as inherently contradictory? Kinda frustrating, maybe? Then perhaps you should stop doing it to us, you douchebag.
 
2011-04-14 04:35:16 AM  

untaken_name: Mock26: Who cares if they are subjective? Without subjective concepts like this then society would not exist.

I don't care that they're subjective. I'm just tired of people telling me they're somehow objective when they aren't. If everyone just admitted that they were moral relativists subject to situational ethics I wouldn't have any problem. I'm just tired of people who reject one imaginary concept only to replace it with another.


But this isn't the point you raised in your Boobies, where you questioned how atheists have morals at all. They have morals subject to the societal conventions they were brought up in, which I believe someone pointed out early on and you glossed over.
 
2011-04-14 04:35:35 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:
You're drawing a distinction that doesn't exist.

Christians believe that Jesus is God. Buddhists do not believe that Buddha is God. Or even a god. So if Christianity is correct, Jesus would be the creator, the almighty, etc. If Buddhism is correct, the Buddha would not be the creator, the almighty, etc. -- So it depends on what you mean by "in the manner that Jesus was a deity"


You're trying to draw a distinction between the concept of God and that of an enlightened being. Gautama was certainly a human being, as was Jesus. But the Buddha is God as Jesus was God.

See John 1 for the similarities, if you're that interested. (I doubt it, though. It's not that interesting and really moot)
 
2011-04-14 04:36:22 AM  

untaken_name: Have fun rationalizing your faith in imaginary things. I only believe in the existence of one less objective moral code than you.


Trollery and dickshiattedness?
 
2011-04-14 04:36:52 AM  
haha idiot, ya gotta stab a pen through one of your testicles to prove that God exists. and it has to be a fountain pen especially...
 
2011-04-14 04:40:04 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy:

You're trying to draw a distinction between the concept of God and that of an enlightened being. Gautama was certainly a human being, as was Jesus. But the Buddha is God as Jesus was God.

See John 1 for the similarities, if you're that interested. (I doubt it, though. It's not that interesting and really moot)


God requires an underlying permanent reality. Buddhism rejects that.
 
2011-04-14 04:40:13 AM  

untaken_name: Mock26: Who cares if they are subjective? Without subjective concepts like this then society would not exist.

I don't care that they're subjective. I'm just tired of people telling me they're somehow objective when they aren't. If everyone just admitted that they were moral relativists subject to situational ethics I wouldn't have any problem. I'm just tired of people who reject one imaginary concept only to replace it with another.


Ahh, got you. I missed the bit about "objective" in the opening shots of this little side discussion.
 
2011-04-14 04:44:10 AM  

Vangor: Try this same task with "chair". What you seek is impossible for "chair" because there is no immutable, intrinsic standard for what "chair" means. One may effectively determine if an object is a "chair", though. Unless you wish to argue chairs do not exist, in which case I'll leave you to your delightful little world.



Schlock: But this isn't the point you raised in your Boobies, where you questioned how atheists have morals at all. They have morals subject to the societal conventions they were brought up in, which I believe someone pointed out early on and you glossed over.



I like both of these things :)

AverageAmericanGuy: See John 1 for the similarities, if you're that interested. (I doubt it, though. It's not that interesting and really moot)



Have you seen "The Man From Earth"?

Low budget movie mostly set in one room with a group of people sitting around, talking about the life of one of them, who is leaving town after 10 years, which he does every 10 years and has been doing for centuries. His grudging admission that the whole jesus thing was just his attempt to bring the teachings of buddha to a wider audience, and that he never meant for it to go so far, was quite entertaining
 
2011-04-14 04:44:40 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: But the Buddha is God as Jesus was God.


The distinction between the Buddha and deities is an important one for the origins of Buddhism. Jesus was effectively an avatar of God, while in Hinduism there are numerous facets of Brahman such as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Of those, they have physical manifestations which are avatars which are still a portion of the deity. The Buddha was not a deity, facet, avatar, or otherwise, but was one who found how to escape Samsara. Highly spiritual person, but not a deity and quite distinct from Jesus.
 
2011-04-14 04:45:29 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

You're trying to draw a distinction between the concept of God and that of an enlightened being. Gautama was certainly a human being, as was Jesus. But the Buddha is God as Jesus was God.

See John 1 for the similarities, if you're that interested. (I doubt it, though. It's not that interesting and really moot)

God requires an underlying permanent reality. Buddhism rejects that.


A permanent state of impermanence? How interesting.

To address your claim, I suggest you contemplate what Dharma could be if not the underlying permanent reality of impermanence.
 
2011-04-14 04:46:24 AM  

sirbissel: The societal norms will create what is right or wrong. There are cultures that eat people, that believe it is moral to eat people. There are cultures that believe it is not moral to eat people. An atheist would (should) say that both are correct in the respective cultures.


I can only recommend you, as a matter of urgency, read Sam Harris' 'The Moral Landscape'

Atheists most certainly CAN believe in absolute morality without believing in God. Its such an enormous lie to say they cannot that it beggars belief that anyone would take it seriously.
 
2011-04-14 04:48:33 AM  
AverageAmericanGuy
I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's your own hand will prove the existence of God.

I'd like to see science explain how a total knobjob like that can be the end result of thousands of years of that so-called "survival of the fittest".
 
2011-04-14 04:48:42 AM  

Fuller: Link (new window)


Well shiat... that made my night! Thanks for the link!

untaken_name: So, morality is based on what you, personally, like?


No... Actually "morals" are established by the family we are raised in and the culture that family exists within. There are even some fairly common threads of morality that appear to bridge most societal and cultural differences... Such as not stealing and not murdering people. But even then there are some families and cultures that don't agree with that. A rational person might recognize those common morals as "common sense". They are things that generally help people get along with other people. They aren't handed down from on high by and unseen and unheard deity to man, they have developed through experience.

Let's look at not stealing... If one steals something from someone else in a society, there is a good chance that the person who was stolen from will be angry about it. Not having whatever was stolen could have a serious impact on that person's life. That person also might have worked very hard to obtain the thing that was stolen. It is easy to see, that stealing or having something stolen from you is a bad thing. It could lead to retribution, suffering, etc... so most societies view stealing as a generally bad thing. Hence, it is a widely accepted moral. Sometimes, we even write laws about them to make it easier to punish those that harm others. Interestingly enough, even the people who commit violations of these common sense morals tend to know that what they're doing is wrong, but just don't care. Those people we could accurately call, "amoral".

There are lots of other morals which religions have co-opted from society as "having originated from their deity". But what else would one expect from a creation of man (religion), it will be built around the experiences and societal wishes of those who wrote it initially.

The thing is... once some of these folks started convincing other people that these common sense morals came from their deity, they began to use that influence to create new "morals" that weren't based on common sense and were mostly based around their "likes" or "dislikes" as the case may be. Take homosexuality as an example. Realistically, there is nothing wrong with being attracted to someone of the same gender. One might try to make the argument that it doesn't help to continue the species, but lets face it, we don't have any shortage of people and we don't need everyone to breed and make more of us. Which is why homosexuality is not nearly as universally viewed as amoral among societies... Because it isn't common sense... it's bigotry being portrayed as a moral by people who simply "dislike it".

So... in a way... real morals are based on what we like, not what I or you like individually.

Perhaps if religious people were less apt to try and paint their personal 'dislikes' as 'morals' and try to impose them upon others, people wouldn't be so resistant to the existence of religions. Heck... perhaps religious people would even be able to get along with other religious and areligious people.

Things like common sense morals and why they exist really isn't that hard to understand if you take a little time to think about it without just falling back on the age old cop-out of, "God did it."
 
2011-04-14 04:50:24 AM  
Aw man, you give Farkers a hilarious article about atheists with quotes like:

The incident took place near a table promoting a local version of "Ask an Atheist Day."

Huppert borrowed a pen and drew a circle with a cross inside on the back of his hand. Huppert then asked students at the table to stab him in the cross with the pen to "prove to us God existed." The students declined.

"We don't believe in assaulting people," Schrand said. "We're very against assaulting people."


Do I get 'LOLWUT' pics? Maybe some /b/tard wishing the guy would become an hero? No, I get the old religion arguments being rehashed.

img585.imageshack.us

/No, atheism is not a religion
//Since we're sharing our personal opinions on topics people haven't been able to resolve in millenia: Russell's teapot
 
2011-04-14 04:52:03 AM  
Anyone who asserts that objective morality can't exist without religion is cherrypicking for their definition of objective.

Even religious people will admit that their idea of "God" is different from others. Religious texts were written by humans. Both of these things indicate subjective interpretations.
 
2011-04-14 04:54:09 AM  

untaken_name: Mock26: Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist.

Um, are you serious? By that logic, God exists, as does Zeus, Thor, the Easter bunny, and single, attractive, non-biatchy women. Give me a break.


You're either a very successful troll, or a very stupid person.
 
2011-04-14 04:55:50 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy:
A permanent state of impermanence? How interesting.

To address your claim, I suggest you contemplate what Dharma could be if not the underlying permanent reality of impermanence.


If everything changes, then even the Dharma changes.

gaspode:
I can only recommend you, as a matter of urgency, read Sam Harris' 'The Moral Landscape'

Atheists most certainly CAN believe in absolute morality without believing in God. Its such an enormous lie to say they cannot that it beggars belief that anyone would take it seriously.


If there is an absolute morality that is not based on cultural norms but is instead based on some rule from the universe, then how would it be possible for the various cultures to have differing cultural morals? Or, really, why wouldn't all other animals be afflicted with the same concepts of morality?
 
2011-04-14 04:55:54 AM  

Mock26: Surely Bevets would have some crappy quote that would not explain this in the least bit!


Shhhhhhut-up! I would like to see at least one religion/atheism thread that isn't crapped on by his pathetic quote mining and linking to complete and utter random bullshiat.
 
2011-04-14 04:56:55 AM  

StuartMcIntyre: I'd like to see science explain how a total knobjob like that can be the end result of thousands of years of that so-called "survival of the fittest".


Actually... There is a crucial portion of "survival of the fittest" that is often overlooked. It's more like, "survival of the fittest at surviving". You don't have to be the biggest and strongest to survive, heck... there are scenarios where being the biggest and strongest isn't the best route to survival. But essentially... that guy and his ancestors have managed to be good enough to survive. Which today, isn't really all THAT tough. It used to be much harder. These days... even really stupid people who would might have otherwise been eaten by wolves before they could breed manage to live long, full lives because we've destroyed the majority of direct threats from areas where we live.

Point is... survival and the adaptability has a lot more to do with evolution than a lot of people seem to realize.
 
2011-04-14 05:00:11 AM  

RodneyToady: doglover: Going to Church on Sundays and saying grace isn't nearly the same thing as actually being a Christian. Nor is squating down five times a day and growing a beard gonna make you an actual Muslim. You have to change your mind from closed to open and then try honestly without expectations in order to observe something property.

I'm an agnostic, not an atheist. I was raised Catholic, but it didn't take. By your standards, I know legitimate Catholics, other Christians, Jews, etc. I don't take issue with them. They embody the spiritual as well as nominal aspects of their faiths. But the vast majority of followers lack the spiritual aspect. They're born into their religion, or choose it out of desperation after illness or addiction. And they vote, and have political positions, and make laws. And they help drive whatever positive feelings I have about religion into the ground.

Many truly seek the divine, and some find it, and that's great. I'm fine with the concept of a deity, or many deities, in an abstract way. I'm fine with some people who believe in an interpersonal God who cares about them as an individual. I stop being fine when people tell me I should live my life, and we should base our laws, on some old book that claims to be the "Word of God."

Sorry. No.

A god or gods may or may not have created the universe. I don't know, and in a pretty fundamental way, I don't think it matters. But there's no way anyone is going to convince me that this god (or these gods) have any interest at all on the gender of the person I'm screwing, or whether or not I have a beard, or what I'm eating on any particular day of the week or year.


This.
Oh So Much This.
But please get out of my head.
 
2011-04-14 05:01:12 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:
A permanent state of impermanence? How interesting.

To address your claim, I suggest you contemplate what Dharma could be if not the underlying permanent reality of impermanence.

If everything changes, then even the Dharma changes.


Can God create a stone so heavy that He could not lift it?
 
2011-04-14 05:02:13 AM  

sirbissel: If there is an absolute morality that is not based on cultural norms but is instead based on some rule from the universe, then how would it be possible for the various cultures to have differing cultural morals?


Determine for me as near as possible the circumference of a circle whose diameter is 4. Your answer will vary depending on if you know pi at all, if you recollect pi well, and how many decimals you are willing to use since "near as possible" is difficult to fulfill with an irrational number. Yet, there is an absolute value for what the circumference of the circle is. Same with if an absolute morality exists (not arguing this does); the lack of following this morality does not preclude its existence. People reject or subvert reality often.
 
2011-04-14 05:02:33 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:
A permanent state of impermanence? How interesting.

To address your claim, I suggest you contemplate what Dharma could be if not the underlying permanent reality of impermanence.

If everything changes, then even the Dharma changes.

Can God create a stone so heavy that He could not lift it?


If an ultimate underlying creator doesn't exist, then no, because God wouldn't be able to create a stone due to his lack of existing.
 
2011-04-14 05:05:27 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:
A permanent state of impermanence? How interesting.

To address your claim, I suggest you contemplate what Dharma could be if not the underlying permanent reality of impermanence.

If everything changes, then even the Dharma changes.

Can God create a stone so heavy that He could not lift it?

If an ultimate underlying creator doesn't exist, then no, because God wouldn't be able to create a stone due to his lack of existing.


Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?
 
2011-04-14 05:08:12 AM  

Vangor:

Determine for me as near as possible the circumference of a circle whose diameter is 4. Your answer will vary depending on if you know pi at all, if you recollect pi well, and how many decimals you are willing to use since "near as possible" is difficult to fulfill with an irrational number. Yet, there is an absolute value for what the circumference of the circle is. Same with if an absolute morality exists (not arguing this does); the lack of following this morality does not preclude its existence. People reject or subvert reality often.


Then what are the underlying moral codes? And why is it more than likely that the underlying moral codes are going to correspond with your concept of morality more than the tribe Piers Gibbon visited? Maybe there is an underlying moral code, but without any sort of guide to what it is, then how do you know that the one you're rejecting isn't the -actual- moral code, and the one you're following isn't the subversion? So either you follow the moral code that your culture, family, etc. has instilled in you, believing that to be the objective morality (although without proof of it being such) or you follow a random other morality, still lacking the proof. It's no different than claiming the existence (or nonexistence, really) of God. You believe in it because you believe it is true. Whether it is or isn't is something different.
 
2011-04-14 05:08:21 AM  

Skyfrog: untaken_name: Mock26: Right and Wrong exist because we (mankind) have decided that they exist.

Um, are you serious? By that logic, God exists, as does Zeus, Thor, the Easter bunny, and single, attractive, non-biatchy women. Give me a break.

You're either a very successful troll, or a very stupid person.


Considering he seems to have left the thread and yet still nearly every post is either replying to him or to his arguments, I'm thinking:

images.starcraftmazter.net
/hotlinked
 
2011-04-14 05:08:41 AM  

doglover: Religious groups are weird.

Humanism is a community, and just like; Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Daoists, Wiccans; they all have provisions in their religions that create an organization of other members.

But Religion merely requires you Have faith. And not all Christians are Christians for the same reason. Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance. The whole "Evolution is just a theory." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in reality, using scientific methodology. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of education so I'll just ignore 1,000,000,000s of years of direct evidence of something important being here and just call it GodisbeautifulTM.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, researched the facts and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to science that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


I couldn't agree more.
 
2011-04-14 05:09:40 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?


Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.
 
2011-04-14 05:12:00 AM  
...that should say Buddha to be God as Jesus is God... or something like that. I don't know, it's 4 and I should be asleep.
 
2011-04-14 05:12:20 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?

Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.


Then is the Buddha not a person?
 
2011-04-14 05:15:53 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:
A permanent state of impermanence? How interesting.

To address your claim, I suggest you contemplate what Dharma could be if not the underlying permanent reality of impermanence.

If everything changes, then even the Dharma changes.

Can God create a stone so heavy that He could not lift it?

If an ultimate underlying creator doesn't exist, then no, because God wouldn't be able to create a stone due to his lack of existing.

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?


Ki?
 
2011-04-14 05:16:42 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's hand will prove the existence of God.


www.dn3austin.com

Yeah, well, my hair is a bird, therefore, it WILL prove the existence of God.

images2.wikia.nocookie.net

Babel Fish, however, is a dead giveaway.

/i'm gonna lookout for zebra crossings for awhile
 
2011-04-14 05:16:46 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?

Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.

Then is the Buddha not a person?


The Buddha is not the ultimate underlying creator, so the Buddha's personhood is irrelevant.
 
2011-04-14 05:17:38 AM  

sirbissel: So either you follow the moral code that your culture, family, etc. has instilled in you, believing that to be the objective morality (although without proof of it being such) or you follow a random other morality, still lacking the proof.


It's not an 'objective' reality in any way like a law of physics, but would you disagree that one could come up with an outcome based morality in which good is measured by the effect of an action upon an individual or a society?

Theoretically one could prove and measure the rightness or wrongness of an action, and therefore the morality rating of an individual, within such a framework; you could 'prove' that the morality itself is 'good' for a given (or agreed) value of good.

I get the impression that objectivism would fall into this category, though I don't know enough about it to say for sure.
 
2011-04-14 05:22:49 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?

Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.

Then is the Buddha not a person?

The Buddha is not the ultimate underlying creator, so the Buddha's personhood is irrelevant.


Does that make Jesus' personhood irrelevant? Surely even Jesus prayed to another.
 
2011-04-14 05:23:30 AM  

sirbissel: Then what are the underlying moral codes?


Again if an absolute morality exists (not arguing this does). You read far too much into my response beyond merely the fact of different groups having different beliefs on what absolute morality is or on the existence of absolute morality not being itself an argument against absolute morality.

"Absolute" constructs is a rather bizarre, almost oxymoronic notion.
 
2011-04-14 05:25:10 AM  

Gothnet: It's not an 'objective' reality in any way like a law of physics


Still "objective", merely not "absolute". Physics is "absolute". Physics is "objective"ly verified. Morality is not "absolute". Morality may be "objective"ly verified, though generally isn't.
 
2011-04-14 05:27:35 AM  

Gothnet:
It's not an 'objective' reality in any way like a law of physics, but would you disagree that one could come up with an outcome based morality in which good is measured by the effect of an action upon an individual or a society?

Theoretically one could prove and measure the rightness or wrongness of an action, and therefore the morality rating of an individual, within such a framework; you could 'prove' that the morality itself is 'good' for a given (or agreed) value of good.

I get the impression that objectivism would fall into this category, though I don't know enough about it to say for sure.


Although that still ends up being based on the society/individual. That is, take what I've been babbling about with eating people. In a society where they have no food, for whatever reason, stuck in the mountains after a plane crash. For them, the only way to survive was to eat another person. So eating a person would be considered good morally. However, it would generally be considered bad form to munch on your neighbor's roasted leg as a midnight snack.

So maybe if you think of morality not so much in a "Don't kill people." sort of way, but more in a "Do what you need to do to survive, but not more than what you need to do to survive" or something. Although even that, the homeless bum that can't seem to get a meal would be seen as immoral for killing and eating someone...

I dunno. *shrug*
 
2011-04-14 05:30:48 AM  

sirbissel: I dunno. *shrug*


Probably the best answer, and certainly one I can can agree with :)
 
2011-04-14 05:34:04 AM  

sirbissel:

If there is an absolute morality that is not based on cultural norms but is instead based on some rule from the universe, then how would it be possible for the various cultures to have differing cultural morals? Or, really, why wouldn't all other animals be afflicted with the same concepts of morality?


Then those people who adopt local moral codes contrary to this basic morality would be wrong. That is perfectly possible. Only a moral/cultural relativist approach says that all cultures are equally right, and that approach is not even faintly universal among atheists.

Certainly None of the currently famous prominent atheists subscribe to it.
 
2011-04-14 05:36:01 AM  

FishyFred: I wish my campus atheist group had seen crazy like this.


I wish my campus (20 years ago) had an atheist group. Heck, maybe it did. I was too immersed in religion to know...A bunch of science courses DID help, though.
 
2011-04-14 05:39:08 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy:
Does that make Jesus' personhood irrelevant? Surely even Jesus prayed to another.


If Jesus is God or if Jesus is 1/3rd God, or whatever, then no, because Jesus would be part of the ultimate creator.

Vangor:
Again if an absolute morality exists (not arguing this does). You read far too much into my response beyond merely the fact of different groups having different beliefs on what absolute morality is or on the existence of absolute morality not being itself an argument against absolute morality.

"Absolute" constructs is a rather bizarre, almost oxymoronic notion.


Ah, sorry. I must've skipped the "if an absolute morality" bit while reading your reply. I'll chalk it up to being tired. My point, though, is that even if there is an absolute morality, without some sort of thing beating us over the head saying what it is we'd have no idea, so does it really matter if it's there or not? Although I don't think that's worded quite right...
 
2011-04-14 05:39:57 AM  

sirbissel:

Theoretically one could prove and measure the rightness or wrongness of an action, and therefore the morality rating of an individual, within such a framework; you could 'prove' that the morality itself is 'good' for a given (or agreed) value of good.

I get the impression that objectivism would fall into this category, though I don't know enough about it to say for sure.

Although that still ends up being based on the society/individual. That is, take what I've been babbling about with eating people. In a society where they have no food, for whatever reason, stuck in the mountains after a plane crash. For them, the only way to survive was to eat another person. So eating a person would be considered good morally. However, it would generally be considered bad form to munch on your neighbor's roasted leg as a midnight snack.

So maybe if you think of morality not so much in a "Don't kill people." sort of way, but more in a "Do what you need to do to survive, but not more than what you need to do to survive" or something. Although even that, the homeless bum that can't seem to get a meal would be seen as immoral for killing and eating someone...


That is exactly the kind of question Harris tries to begin addressing in his book. The philosophical intelligensia have for 30 years been so immersed in relativism (one area where the right wings criticism of academia has merit) that this has until now been a woefully neglected subject.
 
2011-04-14 05:44:35 AM  

gaspode: That is exactly the kind of question Harris tries to begin addressing in his book. The philosophical intelligensia have for 30 years been so immersed in relativism (one area where the right wings criticism of academia has merit) that this has until now been a woefully neglected subject.


You might enjoy a book called Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science by Alan Sokal.
 
2011-04-14 05:48:06 AM  
Well, in any case, I'm off to sleep. Thanks for the bit of discussion on this.
 
2011-04-14 05:48:50 AM  

sirbissel: without some sort of thing beating us over the head saying what it is we'd have no idea, so does it really matter if it's there or not?


To a degree, I would say yes. We develop new means to measure at a dizzying rate anymore, doing what was previously thought impossible or correcting the long held consensus or intuition. Measuring absolute morality or finding a way to discover this seems to me impossible especially not being a believer in an absolute morality, but who knows, perhaps someone finds a way to truly detect this. It would really matter to say if this is there or not.

As well, the existence or lack of could have influence on believers of absolute morality regardless of knowing what this morality is. If absolute morality existed, believers could simply become less willing to change with their own morality somehow more ensconced. Or, a lack could cause a massive shift where those absolute moralists reflect upon themselves and the value of moral codes.

In reality, I suppose the existence or lack of is less important than what believers believe about this existence since you would not actually be able to draw a conclusion on whether or not absolute morality exists if you could not also figure out what this absolute morality contains.

I would find this interesting to know if an absolute morality exists or not even if I might not do anything with the information.
 
2011-04-14 05:50:42 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:
Does that make Jesus' personhood irrelevant? Surely even Jesus prayed to another.

If Jesus is God or if Jesus is 1/3rd God, or whatever, then no, because Jesus would be part of the ultimate creator.


One who embodies the Truth, then is part of the Truth?
 
2011-04-14 05:50:43 AM  
gaspode: 30 years been so immersed in relativism

Funny thing about that, the idea of ethical relativism was first articulated in an academic sense by a professor of theology, one Reinhold Niebuhr.
 
2011-04-14 05:54:00 AM  
StuartMcIntyre: I'd like to see science explain how a total knobjob like that can be the end result of thousands of years of that so-called "survival of the fittest".

Any confusion you may be having is probably due to the misleading nature of the phrase "survival of the fittest", a phrase which Darwin didn't originally use, though he added it in later editions of "On the Origin..." at the behest of Wallace.

For one thing, "survival of the fit enough" would probably be a better phrase if you want to talk about evolution from an "organism-centric" point of view. Such confusion essentially disappears if you consider evolution from a "gene-centric" point of view (if you haven't read "The Selfish Gene", and if you really are interested in evolution, then you really should). For another thing, evolution generally deals with populations (or gene pools from the gene's point of view), so talking about a given individual in a population will often be misleading.

Given all of the possibilities of genetic recombination (during meiosis to make the gametes) and mixing due to sexual reproduction, it should not be surprising at all to see a range of many types across a population, including combinations of traits that you see (whether they actually are or not) as "unfit".

Just sayin'.
 
2011-04-14 05:54:05 AM  

Fuller: doglover - here's a short piece to help you understand skeptical/atheist philosophy. It's new, and it's funny and entertaining even if you (somehow) come away disagreeing with it.

Link (new window)


That's a great piece!

^_^
 
2011-04-14 05:55:16 AM  
Gunther: . If you honestly believe that morality is relative,

Well, is it always wrong to, say, take an apple from a tree that isn't your's? The idea that whether or not it's wrong depends on the circumstances, is a very very old idea. Indeed, depending on whose moral precepts you look at, you find different answers.
 
2011-04-14 05:55:29 AM  

Vangor:
To a degree, I would say yes. We develop new means to measure at a dizzying rate anymore, doing what was previously thought impossible or correcting the long held consensus or intuition. Measuring absolute morality or finding a way to discover this seems to me impossible especially not being a believer in an absolute morality, but who knows, perhaps someone finds a way to truly detect this. It would really matter to say if this is there or not.

As well, the existence or lack of could have influence on believers of absolute morality regardless of knowing what this morality is. If absolute morality existed, believers could simply become less willing to change with their own morality somehow more ensconced. Or, a lack could cause a massive shift where those absolute moralists reflect upon themselves and the value of moral codes.

In reality, I suppose the existence or lack of is less important than what believers believe about this existence since you would not actually be able to draw a conclusion on whether or not absolute morality exists if you could not also figure out what this absolute morality contains.

I would find this interesting to know if an absolute morality exists or not even if I might not do anything with the information.


Right, and at some point it might matter. But in the here and now, if we can't measure it, if we can't be sure if it does or doesn't exist (or even what it is) then its existence doesn't make a difference (outside of people debating it, or trying to find a way to measure it) -- and while it might be interesting to know if it does or doesn't exist, it makes as much difference as whether God does or doesn't exist (sans him popping up and slapping me around with a trout or something, as that would just be damned obnoxious) - It might at some later point make a difference, where it could be measured, but at this point we have to muddle through with what we've got.

And now, to bed. Really this time.
 
2011-04-14 05:58:07 AM  

mamoru: Any confusion you may be having is probably due to the


...fact he used "thousands of years" in his comment to probably troll. Maybe I give him too much credit.
 
2011-04-14 06:30:06 AM  
Meh... whatever. Just pointing out the fact that science can explain it, just in case anyone out there was nodding thoughtfully and thinking he was making an interesting point.

:-/
 
2011-04-14 06:52:40 AM  

untaken_name: Have fun rationalizing your faith in imaginary things. I only believe in the existence of one less objective moral code than you.


Neo-Nazi or troll. The only two ways you could be legit.
 
2011-04-14 06:54:09 AM  
If I were God, I definitely wouldn't reveal myself to this idiot.
 
2011-04-14 07:06:58 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's hand will prove the existence of God.


...yeah, this.
 
2011-04-14 07:11:04 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

And they get so offended if you point out that atheism is just another religion. If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


Yeah, I mean just like theism is a religion. Wait, what do you mean it's not, you mean, this guy clearly struggles with a basic understanding the English language?
 
2011-04-14 07:13:16 AM  
THERE IS NO DREW!
 
2011-04-14 07:15:38 AM  

zomega: AverageAmericanGuy: I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's hand will prove the existence of God.

...yeah, this.


The same way a guy I know thinks that if he prays, people's problems will be fixed. He once prayed that my wife's eyes would be better (she has poor vision)... needless to say, it didn't work; she still requires glasses/contacts to see well. He also believes that if you pray over someone their limbs, eyes, etc can grow back. They really believe that nonsense. So... maybe he thought that his God would give him no wounds or wouldn't let the pen hurt him... or something equally stupid.

Religious people, especially extremely devout and/or fundamentalists, tend to believe some rather strange and absurd things.
 
2011-04-14 07:26:09 AM  
Did a discussion about the validity of atheism just arise from an article about a religious whackaloon who stabbed himself in the hand at an atheist gathering?

This is not the thread to make a case for religion.
 
2011-04-14 07:33:52 AM  
www.dreamlandmagic.com
I don't think that's how that trick is supposed to work.

9oops.com
If you're going to stab yourself with a pen to prove religion, do it right, man!
 
2011-04-14 07:35:24 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2011-04-14 07:36:57 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2011-04-14 07:37:20 AM  
www.mtkilimanjarologue.com
 
2011-04-14 07:41:21 AM  

doglover: Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.


Seeing various groups of people fight about whether 2+2 equals 5 or 6 gets to you after a while. The religious share their belief in a higher power, these people are sharing their belief in logic.
 
2011-04-14 07:41:53 AM  
Obviously you all just don't understand the complex theology behind cross-in-circle-hand-stabbing.
 
2011-04-14 07:48:45 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.


Not really weird, since religious groups have been determining how people should be governed for a very long time.
 
2011-04-14 07:51:37 AM  

sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?

Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.


What test can I do that will prove a God exists?

Buddha is a real person, Siddhattha Gautama. Buddha is not a god. He is a teacher. If you wish to find enlightenment, he can show you have to achieve it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha (new window)
 
2011-04-14 07:56:26 AM  
I shall show you the face of my god:

img857.imageshack.us

...-dess.
 
2011-04-14 08:00:48 AM  

doglover: If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.


Okay, one at a time:

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part

You mind explaining what in the world you're talking about? Touch the divine? Life itself is divine, I don't need some fairy God father to tell me how to be a good person, especially since this fairy God father is some deity from the 1st century and there's not one speck of truth that he's real.

You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all.

We care enough to show people there is a more viable way to live your life without fairy God fathers that tell you to condemn certain people and not others. A true Just God wouldn't be like that in my eyes, in fact I find it down right evil the way some of these people act and I am happy to use my goodness to fight them.

It shouldn't even be a part of your life.

As soon as all religion is dismissed and not shoved in our faces daily by nuts who either are in my government or in my social circle or in my school then it won't be part of my life. I am stating the circle is round and I will not tolerate someone telling me the circle is blue and requires me to hate gay people on top of it or go to hell. Keep religion out of my life and then you can say it's not part of my life, until then we are forced to push back with reality.

Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something

Because it basically is a sport knocking down irrationality and bigotry and intolerance, and it's a moral sport on top of it. If we can make the world a better place by applying logic and reason and love without threats of violence then I see nothing wrong with being involved with fostering understanding between religious and non-religious people.
 
2011-04-14 08:02:14 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: And they get so offended if you point out that atheism is just another religion. If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


Just like telling the people the dangers of taking drugs means you're a druggie.
 
2011-04-14 08:04:20 AM  

kitryne: Buddhism is an atheistic religion


Hell, Buddhism is even better than that. Buddhism says believe whatever you want to believe, just make it for morally good reasons, celebrate what you want to celebrate, just don't hurt anyone/thing.

/Not really Buddhist so I may be off here
 
2011-04-14 08:09:03 AM  

sirbissel: I always assume that "basic humanity" is more or less empathy, being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understanding how you would feel. Although really that's somewhat of a learned trait, as children and babies are jerks, but in the end it seems to be one of the traits that comes with being a rational being.


Yes, it would be 'empathy,' also logic and reason, but those [logic and reason] are only partially (refined really, though they can be quite a bit) learned, "empathy" for what it's worth is innate and is an emergent result of mirror neurons, of course, like anything else dealing with neurons is plastic. But given that you carry a certain set of genes, only plastic to an extent (not nearly as much as the social sciences have spent their time trying to frame it as), you will have very universal things in common with every other human in the gene-pool majority. Logic and reason are ironically functions of the 'higher' regions of the (Paleomammalian brain structure) limbic system, it's ironic because it also controls/is-at-cause for your emotions (something often seen colloquially as oppositional to logic and reason). So it really does turn out to be true, something neurologist have known for about decade or so, that those who are more-so adept at thinking critically (in the vein of logic and reason) also feel much 'deeper' (think more Spock-ish) than those who express themselves in more readily emotional terms (think a histrionic attention whore), rather, really your base emotions are the forerunners to logic and reason based decision making. In the brain they are very inter-tangled.

People in the social science tend to want to make up more gibberish than do 'uncomfortable' studies that might end up having social consequences for people outside their immediate western culture. For the last century and some time now, I'd say the majority, have a gigantic guilt streak running in their academic circles as a result of what happened (happens) in early mid and late imperialism and in other failed social experiments. As a result they all tend to avoid studying things that makes us similar or "universals" (emergent universals, cultural or neurological, ergo still subject to the individual (their genes etc.), aka subjective) like fire, and tend more in the direction of hyper-focusing on markets, ignoring other cultural failings and promoting a sort of everyone is different and super-special (everyone gets a trophy) in their own way(excuse making).
 
2011-04-14 08:13:15 AM  

JohnnyC: zomega: AverageAmericanGuy: I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's hand will prove the existence of God.

...yeah, this.

The same way a guy I know thinks that if he prays, people's problems will be fixed. He once prayed that my wife's eyes would be better (she has poor vision)... needless to say, it didn't work; she still requires glasses/contacts to see well. He also believes that if you pray over someone their limbs, eyes, etc can grow back. They really believe that nonsense. So... maybe he thought that his God would give him no wounds or wouldn't let the pen hurt him... or something equally stupid.

Religious people, especially extremely devout and/or fundamentalists, tend to believe some rather strange and absurd things.


Then run this by him:
If God is all-knowing, wouldn't he be aware of the situation already?

If God has a plan for everything, and God has a reason for things happening the way they do, which involves bad things happening to people at times, aren't you questioning God's Will in this regard?

Is it really a "fair" world view that the more virtuous people "vote" a person to recover and live through acts of prayer, while a more obscure or less popular person goes blind or dies? Wouldn't this turn the mere act of living into a personality contest? If God heals and favors through prayer, how can you avoid the converse, that disease, accidents, and misfortune are the result of insufficient prayer, and that a "prayer economy" exists that trades favor with God?

Because, however humble the wording, it seems to be pointing out that he's overlooked something. Either suggesting that God did not notice that someone had cancer, or perhaps that God was not aware that this person was good and worthy of getting better. The third possibility is that God knows this person has cancer, and knows this person is worthy of being cured, but has a policy of holding back on curing them until others ask for it through prayer.

Some interpret prayer in that God's gifts of healing and good fortune REQUIRE the presence of worshipers on Earth praying to carry it out. That seems to be the "Holy Ghost" thing (was never clear on what the Holy Ghost was, even Wikipedia didn't make it much clearer to me). But the practice does not seem altogether consistent with that, as prayers are conventionally supposed to be humble and ask things of God in the nicest possible way. It asks God to do these things, as opposed to the worshiper taking God's power and willing it to someone in need. And in any case, the concept of God's Will NEEDING prayer to carry it out is still inconsistent with belief in the other aforementioned ways; it seems to assume God is unaware of the needs without prayer, or holds back on delivering good things to people known to be in need until a third person with higher "status" with God asks it.

Of course, not all prayer asks God to deliver personal favors. AFAIK, Muslim prayers are always rote recitations. Our family was Presbyterian and I recall it always being a rote recitation also, the gist of which was generally "please give us the strength to do these things". Not that I asked people about what they prayed for personally.
 
2011-04-14 08:17:30 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2011-04-14 08:20:03 AM  
farm1.static.flickr.com
Can't believe this hasn't been played yet.
 
2011-04-14 08:21:56 AM  

TigerStar: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?

Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.

What test can I do that will prove a God exists?

Buddha is a real person, Siddhattha Gautama. Buddha is not a god. He is a teacher. If you wish to find enlightenment, he can show you have to achieve it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha (new window)


Not only that but no one has to die. When is the last time a Buddhist blew up people/buildings?
 
2011-04-14 08:27:50 AM  

untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?


Intelligence and common sense. Common sense dictates that I shouldn't harm others, now, how far do we take that? Me? I'm a huge environmentalist and animal person, not only do I feel it is immoral to harm people I feel it is also immoral to harm the Earth and the animals that live on it. See, I'm already more moral than most religious people I know. You should be able to deduce the rest for yourself. Or perhaps not.
 
2011-04-14 08:31:15 AM  

Fuller: When you look at the data, you'll find that atheists/agnostics know more about religion than any other group (new window).


so much this. So many of the faithful know so little about the faith they put their time and money into.

Some here, like every other atheism thread, argue that atheism is the absence of something. I'd argue that for so many Christians and other faithful, there is a much greater absence, an absence of any effort put into their faith and atheists are quite the opposite. They go to church, they sing the songs, they put their $5 in basket. That's not faith, thats entertainment. Its also hard not to notice how religious participation goes up the older we get. Are these actions of a born out of boredom or wisdom? Or are they simply hedging their bets as they get closer to the grave. That's for them to decide. Atheists notice things like this but dont always comment on them because any questioning of faith is seen not as a discussion but an attack by many faithful.

As Fuller points out, generally atheist do their research and are more well versed in the stories and tenants that make up a particular religion than most that profess to follow it.
 
2011-04-14 08:31:26 AM  

sirbissel: Society. The societal norms will create what is right or wrong. There are cultures that eat people, that believe it is moral to eat people. There are cultures that believe it is not moral to eat people. An atheist would (should) say that both are correct in the respective cultures.


I wouldn't, not unless the person being eaten wants to be eaten, then you are doing something against their will and well-being. That is not moral. This is the crux of why atheists speak out because we see the immorality in some cultures and religions. Hating gays is immoral, killing women for daring to get raped is immoral, letting people die because they don't have money but the means is there is immoral.
 
2011-04-14 08:31:47 AM  
I like how Christians immediately set about complaining about atheists in a thread concerning a Christian student who flipped out on atheists and then assaulted a police officer.

Literally every article about Christian misbehavior on Fark is full of Christians complaining about atheists. When this is pointed out one or two will issue a half-hearted single sentence condemnation of the Christian nutbar in question and then quickly return to complaining about atheists.
 
2011-04-14 08:35:56 AM  

InfidelSavant: untaken_name: Gawdzila: Who says there is no right or wrong just because we don't believe in a God?

No, I say there is no right and wrong because no one can prove the existence of right and wrong. They can provide only subjective definitions. Sorry, but as a rational person I don't believe in imaginary concepts. I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate. Any other position is irrational.

You're not a rational person. You're a troll. Otherwise known as a dick.


^This^ Anyone that says there is no right or wrong is either a sociopath or a troll, I'm reluctant to call it pure stupidity but it could be that as well.
 
2011-04-14 08:36:43 AM  
Example:

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: "And they get so offended if you point out that atheism is just another religion. If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion."

No condemnation of the Christian nutter, complaints about atheism following a prime example of Christian misbehavior. It's also the sort of language that convinces me he's a douchebag with no interest in understanding what atheists think, only in shiatting all over them from a great height. When someone says something like this I lose all respect for them and go out of my way to avoid ever interacting with them again.
 
2011-04-14 08:37:26 AM  

Zamboro: I like how Christians immediately set about complaining about atheists in a thread concerning a Christian student who flipped out on atheists and then assaulted a police officer.

Literally every article about Christian misbehavior on Fark is full of Christians complaining about atheists. When this is pointed out one or two will issue a half-hearted single sentence condemnation of the Christian nutbar in question and then quickly return to complaining about atheists.


If their natural reaction to contrary information wasn't some form of active dissonance, how else could they maintain their belief in ineffectual religious superstition?
 
2011-04-14 08:39:49 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

And they get so offended if you point out that atheism is just another religion. If you spend your time in an atheist group talking about how much you love being an atheist and setting up tables to convert other people to atheism then for that person, atheism is a religion.


By your definition, if I like hockey, set up tables to recruit people to play hockey, then hockey is a religion.

Except it isn't. Words mean something.
 
2011-04-14 08:43:24 AM  

untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?


Where do religious morals come from? A book? The Bible says that if you marry, and the woman is not a virgin, the man is commanded to murder her. Does anyone believe this anymore? No. Both Christians and Jews reject this idea, so they don't get their morality form the Bible either.

So where do religious morals come from? It's not the Bible. They reject the Bible. So where do they come from?
 
2011-04-14 08:44:29 AM  
iollow: "Words mean something."

Yeah, but the more we defend themselves the more they'll dance about madly, shrieking in delight at our attempts to defend ourselves and how it must mean they're right. It's farking playground tactics.

These are rotten people. There is no reasoning with them. The mere mention of atheism makes their deep seated insecurities about the validity of their belief system flare up. Rather than deal with that through introspection and reconsideration of the evidence, they interpret it as offense, such that no matter how mildly our arguments are stated they'll react as if we ran over their dog. Hence their habit of dumping on atheists at the drop of a hat even when the article is about another Christian just like them dumping on atheists. :\
 
2011-04-14 08:45:21 AM  
Me "Yeah, but the more we defend themselves ourselves"

farking 5:45 in the morning, how does it work.
 
2011-04-14 08:49:24 AM  

Space_Poet: untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?

Intelligence and common sense. Common sense dictates that I shouldn't harm others, now, how far do we take that? Me? I'm a huge environmentalist and animal person, not only do I feel it is immoral to harm people I feel it is also immoral to harm the Earth and the animals that live on it. See, I'm already more moral than most religious people I know. You should be able to deduce the rest for yourself. Or perhaps not.


A person doesn't need religion to understand morality. Some of the morals the Abrahamic religions (Christian, Judaism, Islam) teach are to not murder people, don't steal, don't lie, and don't commit adultery. However, anyone who is a member of a community knows these ideas. Take the idea of murdering a person. There are only 2 options for a society...either murdering a person is acceptable or murdering a person is not acceptable. In every society on Earth, murdering a person is not acceptable. It is not acceptable in Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, India, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Hawaii. A person doesn't need to be a member of a religious group to understand this. Who wants to live with a murder?...or a thief?...or a liar?...or a adulter? It is a simple idea. Further, anyone who does bad behavior would be ostracized from the group. Their behavior will have negative consequences.

Humans (homo sapiens) have been on Earth and living in groups for ~150,000 years. For 99% of the time humans have been on Earth, they did not have the Abrahamic religions to teach them morality (they learned morality on their own), but somehow they survived...praying to the wrong Gods and living immoral lives. Funny!
 
2011-04-14 08:51:55 AM  

iollow: untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?

Where do religious morals come from? A book? The Bible says that if you marry, and the woman is not a virgin, the man is commanded to murder her. Does anyone believe this anymore? No. Both Christians and Jews reject this idea, so they don't get their morality form the Bible either.

So where do religious morals come from? It's not the Bible. They reject the Bible. So where do they come from?


Who wants to live with a murder, or a thief? A person doesn't need a twisted rulebook to figure this out.
 
2011-04-14 08:58:37 AM  
Wade Duvall, who was also working at the table, walked away from the table to call police. Duvall, a graduate student studying physics, first called the Tech Police non-emergency number.

"They told me to hang up and call 911," Duvall said.


Really? Someone is stabbing himself with a pen and you don't first consider that an emergency situation?
 
2011-04-14 09:04:31 AM  

Gunther: untaken_name: I don't care that they're subjective. I'm just tired of people telling me they're somehow objective when they aren't. If everyone just admitted that they were moral relativists subject to situational ethics I wouldn't have any problem. I'm just tired of people who reject one imaginary concept only to replace it with another.

Moral relativism doesn't exist, though. If you honestly believe that morality is relative, then you have to agree that my belief that morality is objective is just as true as your belief that morality is relative. If you don't, it proves you think that moral relativism is objectively more true than moral objectivism, and are thus a moral objectivist yourself. Hence; there is no such thing as moral relativism, and morality is objective.


Hoooold on chief, I have to call you on that one. Morality is clearly relative.

All morality is a product of the period and culture in which it exists. There are those who say slavery, human sacrifice, and cannibalism are all "immoral", but really it is a product of our current culture.

Like many things, morality evolves. What used to be acceptable behavior in society no longer is, and just because something is moral/immoral in modern society does not make it absolutely so. One example I would cite is "child sexual abuse". In early society, women were often married (or the contemporary societal equivalent) not long after the onset of puberty. Even as late as the Victorian age, marriage at ages under 18 was more the rule than the exception, and generally to an older male partner. Today that would in many cases be seen as abuse or molestation.

Likewise, holding hands in public was a big deal in Victorian England, and to do so before a proper period of engagement was considered immoral. So was an unmarried couple spending time together unchaperoned. Today, not so much.

Now, most core concepts of morality remain largely unchanged throughout time. Murder, Theft, Deception, for example have always been immoral, though under some circumstances allowed (dueling for example). Rape is immoral by western standards, but in some cultures it is an accepted legal punishment. I think it's ridiculous, but to those cultures it is not. They view my lack of respect for God as immoral, so we're even I suppose.

We view concepts like slavery, human sacrifice, etc. through the lens of history. I wonder what practices we have in modern society which will be viewed similarly in 2000 years. Capital punishment? Capitalism? Gambling? Obesity? Who knows?
 
2011-04-14 09:05:37 AM  

iollow: untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?

Where do religious morals come from? A book? The Bible says that if you marry, and the woman is not a virgin, the man is commanded to murder her. Does anyone believe this anymore? No. Both Christians and Jews reject this idea, so they don't get their morality form the Bible either.

So where do religious morals come from? It's not the Bible. They reject the Bible. So where do they come from?


You're not serious, are you? Have you read the same book you promote, how, pray tell, did you come to preach/like the passages you like, and abhor and rationalize the ones you don't, since it was not always the practice to rationalize all that you do? How pray tell is it that the phenomena, so many follow, of the "living (basically culturally evolving) word" works? I'd say slowly but surely reason and logic cause religious infighting which changes the inner culture that over the ages rationalizes once accepted , now barbaric, practices of their own religion as now "incorrect." If it were a de-facto book of rules written by a supreme intelligence about things that are objective, this wouldn't happen, ever, but it's not even close to that, its not even mediocre, and it typically changes in the conservative majority only after other elements of society have already deemed that something is inequitable or accused of inequity when it's equitable, how is that a guide instead of a following?
 
2011-04-14 09:10:45 AM  

Kome: Wade Duvall, who was also working at the table, walked away from the table to call police. Duvall, a graduate student studying physics, first called the Tech Police non-emergency number.

"They told me to hang up and call 911," Duvall said.

Really? Someone is stabbing himself with a pen and you don't first consider that an emergency situation?


To be fair, he probably reasoned that the campus cops were closer and might actually DO something more quickly
 
2011-04-14 09:11:06 AM  

Kome: Really? Someone is stabbing himself with a pen and you don't first consider that an emergency situation?


This is Virginia Tech, they've seen some S that better defines "emergency situation" than a wackjob jabbing himself with a pen.
 
2011-04-14 09:12:15 AM  

untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?


Same place they came from before the 1000's of religions were invented by man. From society.

/when a man wrote your magic book he used societies morals of the time
//that is why slavery is supported in both the old and new testaments of the bible
/current society does not need cave man morals
 
2011-04-14 09:13:12 AM  
So will this wackadoodle be put on a list to not be able to buy a gun? Or will we be reading about his shooting rampage at a later date?

/member of the don't-let-crazy-people-have-guns coalition
 
2011-04-14 09:14:01 AM  

sip111: iollow: untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from?

Where do religious morals come from? A book? The Bible says that if you marry, and the woman is not a virgin, the man is commanded to murder her. Does anyone believe this anymore? No. Both Christians and Jews reject this idea, so they don't get their morality form the Bible either.

So where do religious morals come from? It's not the Bible. They reject the Bible. So where do they come from?

You're not serious, are you? Have you read the same book you promote, how, pray tell, did you come to preach/like the passages you like, and abhor and rationalize the ones you don't, since it was not always the practice to rationalize all that you do? How pray tell is it that the phenomena, so many follow, of the "living (basically culturally evolving) word" works? I'd say slowly but surely reason and logic cause religious infighting which changes the inner culture that over the ages rationalizes once accepted , now barbaric, practices of their own religion as now "incorrect." If it were a de-facto book of rules written by a supreme intelligence about things that are objective, this wouldn't happen, ever, but it's not even close to that, its not even mediocre, and it typically changes in the conservative majority only after other elements of society have already deemed that something is inequitable or accused of inequity when it's equitable, how is that a guide instead of a following?


I've read it three times and I still don't see how you're countering his point, or even addressing his point. Did you quote the right person?
 
2011-04-14 09:20:33 AM  
Did anyone else notice that the kids at the atheist table major in things like physics and psychology, while the Christian kids major in bullshiat like communications and "university studies"?
 
2011-04-14 09:25:47 AM  
"[..] doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices."


And what proof might that be? Fasting? Prayer? These are proof you can diet successfully and talk to yourself. I grew up in the church, attended 3 services a week and never saw a hint of god anywhere in those walls. There never has been and never will be any proof god exists. Thats why religious nuts prize faith over everything else.
 
2011-04-14 09:26:21 AM  
doglover

Going to Church on Sundays and saying grace isn't nearly the same thing as actually being a Christian. Nor is squating down five times a day and growing a beard gonna make you an actual Muslim.

'No. You have to strap on a bomb belt and hop on school bus full of Jewish kids to convert to that 'faith'
 
2011-04-14 09:30:22 AM  

sip111: People in the social science tend to want to make up more gibberish than do 'uncomfortable' studies that might end up having social consequences for people outside their immediate western culture. For the last century and some time now, I'd say the majority, have a gigantic guilt streak running in their academic circles as a result of what happened (happens) in early mid and late imperialism and in other failed social experiments. As a result they all tend to avoid studying things that makes us similar or "universals" (emergent universals, cultural or neurological, ergo still subject to the individual (their genes etc.), aka subjective) like fire, and tend more in the direction of hyper-focusing on markets, ignoring other cultural failings and promoting a sort of everyone is different and super-special (everyone gets a trophy) in their own way(excuse making).


This. I took an intro sociology course back in college and had similar thoughts as I listened to the teacher talk about all these different influences and how everyone is a result of their environment without giving any credence at all to biology, and really came to the conclusion that it was a bunch of crap.

I look at it this way...WHAT we think about is determined by our environment, but HOW we think about it is determined by our brains and biology. So two different people with two different brains can see the same exact thing in two totally different ways.
 
2011-04-14 09:31:22 AM  
doglover

... You put aside your childish beliefs in a magic sky jew...
Glad you're showing us how atheists are the superior group.

I see little difference in your attitude and insults and some Jehovah's witness telling someone they're damned.

same b.s. attitude, right?
 
2011-04-14 09:58:57 AM  

Tsu-na-mi: Moral relativism doesn't exist, though. If you honestly believe that morality is relative, then you have to agree that my belief that morality is objective is just as true as your belief that morality is relative. If you don't, it proves you think that moral relativism is objectively more true than moral objectivism, and are thus a moral objectivist yourself. Hence; there is no such thing as moral relativism, and morality is objective.

Hoooold on chief, I have to call you on that one. Morality is clearly relative.


If so, you'll be able to point out a flaw in that argument.

You won't though; relativist philosophers have tried for thousands of years, ever since Socrates first used it to argue against Protagoras (who was possibly the world's first relativist) sometime around 420BC. Nobody has yet come up with a convincing counter-argument.
 
2011-04-14 10:00:15 AM  

untaken_name: Where do atheist morals come from? I am assuming you mean this definition of "moral", please link the correct definition if I'm wrong:
Adjective

* S: (adj) moral (concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles) "moral sense"; "a moral scrutiny"; "a moral lesson"; "a moral quandary"; "moral convictions"; "a moral life"


I'd note, in passing, that the notion of right/wrong, good/evil, and so on involves the notion of creating an ordering relationship over a set of choices. It's thus associated with what mathematicians term a poset.

untaken_name: If you are using this definition, how could atheists possibly be moral*? There is no right and wrong, therefore why would you concern yourself with the principles of right and wrong? It doesn't make any sense. I have actually spent a great deal of time trying to figure this out, but no one's been able to explain it to me in a logical manner.


The question relates to the Euthyphro Dilemma of Socrates and to Hume's is-ought problem. I'd suggest reading both the Wikipedia entries; the full Socratic Dialog or the full Hume piece can be checked out as well, but they're a bit more roundabout.

Hume's problem is concerned with making inferences in the form of "ought" statements. It's easy enough to make ought-inferences, if you already have an Ought-premise; for example, given "you ought not to build the bridge across the river so it falls down immediately" and "if the bridge across the river is built with cheese, it is going to fall down immediately" as starting premises, the conclusion "you ought not build the bridge across the river out of cheese" is not hard to reach. However, this raises the question of how the first ought-premise is obtained.

The point of the Euthyphro dilemma is that this is not merely unclear for atheists, but for theists. Are choices good because they are commanded by gods, or are they commanded by gods because they are good? If the former, it requires an implicit assumption of the ought-premise "You OUGHT to do as the gods command", which is not justified by any priors; if the latter, morality has a foundation independent of the gods, gods are irrelevant to the question of morality, and it makes just as much sense to ask how theists could possibly be moral.

This is where I bring in the notion of posets. Given a (finite) set of choices, it is possible to construct all the possible ordering relationships for the set by enumeration. From that perspective, it's not a question of whether the relationship exists, but which one is associated with the label "good/evil". This association is, in the end, done by axiomatic definition that says "this is the relationship I refer to by the term morality".

So, getting back to your question, theists typically use the axiom "You OUGHT to do as the gods command" as their starting point. In the sense they claim to use the word, if there is no God, then there are no commands, and all choices are pairwise incomparable. However, this is only true in the sense that they use the term, such that "OUGHT" refers to "as the gods command"; if you associate a different basis for the ordering relationship to the term "OUGHT" that does not rely on the existence of God, you may get more interesting choice pairs where A≥B.

Axiomatically, Atheists simply pick one other than the theists' to define which relation they're talking about. Exactly which is picked depends on the atheist. However, in most cases, the output usually has some resemblance to the conventional sense of "morality"... although not an exact resemblance, in that there's more sleeping in on Sunday. On what basis do they pick one? Well, they're still humans, which are social animals. Thus....

Gothnet: Same place religious people do, society around them, culture, basic humanity.


More or less.

untaken_name: Um, care to define "basic humanity" and show me where it exists?


Pinker's The Blank Slate gets into some of the instincts that humans appear to have.

untaken_name: I mean show me how the existence of good and evil may be experimentally proved.


Experimentally, it is readily observable that humans order choices; thus, the aforementioned class of ordering relationships has at least one member instantiated.

Of course, philosophically, the question is which (if any) of the ordering relationships used by humans OUGHT to be used.

untaken_name: So, morality is based on what you, personally, like?


That's one way, yes; usually not a very interesting one.

untaken_name: There can be no morality without an objective standard of right and wrong, which does not exist.


No; but you need to do it axiomatically, and which axiom you choose changes what objective ordering relationship you are associating to the terms "right" and "wrong".

untaken_name: I only believe in what I can prove, or what someone else can prove that I could, with enough time and inclination, replicate.


However, all proof must necessarily start from priors that are not proven. Therefore, you must be taking axioms.

untaken_name: you cannot state that action A is always moral or always immoral, because there will always be a circumstance where that is not true


That depends on your definition of moral, and whether action A is given in a fully contextual description, and whether the description need be finite.

Or in other words, there are circumstances where your claim is not true. =)

InfidelSavant: You're not a rational person. You're a troll. Otherwise known as a dick.


Based on past evidence, he's rational, but young and within one standard deviation of median intelligence. He's sincere in his interest, but a bit of a nihilist. That last will probably get corrected in a couple of years or so.

Vangor: Regardless of place, those standards remain the same.


Or perhaps, the standards necessarily include the place and manner of choice as functional inputs for determining the ordering.

untaken_name: Same with thermodynamics and all other natural laws. If there were objective morality, it would work the same way.


At least one ordering relationship is derivable via thermodynamics (or rather, the statistical mechanics that gives rise to thermodynamics), which has non-trivial resemblances to the conventional notion of "morality". Whether you OUGHT to use that relationship is of course a separate question.

sirbissel: It's no different than claiming the existence (or nonexistence, really) of God.


On the contrary. The existence of God is an "is" question; that merely requires resolving Hume's problem of induction. The is-ought problem is rather less tractable.
 
2011-04-14 10:05:36 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

Religion is a community. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Daoists, Wiccans; they all have provisions in their religions that create an organization of other members. In the monotheistic religions, their clergy are the voice of god on Earth. In the non-theistic religions like Buddhism, the community is seen as nessecary to provide the ideal environment for study of the religious principles so you can get deeper quicker and without wasting years and decades like the Buddha did.

But atheism merely requires you do nothing. And not all atheists are atheists for the same reason. Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance. The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of meditation so I'll just ignore 10,000s of years of indirect evidence of something important being here and just call it a life.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


This just in: religious man confounded by logical people. Film at 11.
 
2011-04-14 10:06:47 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy: sirbissel: AverageAmericanGuy:

Why do you think the underlying truth of reality, which is called Dharma, should be something that can be implied to be related in any way to personhood?

Because the Christian God is related to personhood. So in order for Jesus to be God as Buddha is God, then the underlying creator must be related to personhood.

Then is the Buddha not a person?

The Buddha is not the ultimate underlying creator, so the Buddha's personhood is irrelevant.

Does that make Jesus' personhood irrelevant? Surely even Jesus prayed to another.


The Buddha never claimed to be anything more then a man. Jesus claimed to be a demi-god at the least, that's a much more fantastic a claim.
 
2011-04-14 10:14:00 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.


I think you posted in the wrong thread again
 
2011-04-14 10:17:18 AM  
"Virginia Tech Police"

jesus, maybe it's about time you guys stopped recruiting from the local mental institutions to fill out your student body.
 
2011-04-14 10:22:26 AM  

TigerStar:
Humans (homo sapiens) have been on Earth and living in groups for ~150,000 years. For 99% of the time humans have been on Earth, they did not have the Abrahamic religions to teach them morality (they learned morality on their own), but somehow they survived...praying to the wrong Gods and living immoral lives. Funny!


No. They have not survived. They are all dead. Funny!
or if you prefer a real argument: God does not depend on our belief. That would be something mundane like mathematics. According to Catholicism, faith has nothing to do with which gods you may believe exist or not. We do not presume to judge the faith of an ardent atheist. Nor do we know anything about the faith someone from a culture who may have never heard of any "God". That is how the church is catholic. Certainly if one believes in the God of Abraham, she does not think that prehistoric men lived in a time before or without God.
 
2011-04-14 10:23:18 AM  

sip111: Yes, it would be 'empathy,' also logic and reason, but those [logic and reason] are only partially (refined really, though they can be quite a bit) learned, "empathy" for what it's worth is innate and is an emergent result of mirror neurons, of course, like anything else dealing with neurons is plastic.


I understand what you are saying here, but, what programming language was that sentence written in?
 
2011-04-14 10:25:23 AM  

dbaggins: There is a reason that people don't keep slaves today, despite most ancient holy books saying it is fine. Why do you think that is ?


Because we have enslaved ourselves?
 
2011-04-14 10:26:19 AM  

Kome: Really? Someone is stabbing himself with a pen and you don't first consider that an emergency situation?


It was a farking Christer. Slow-boating the process may give him time enough to actually kill himself. Not that I would expect any amount of time could allow one of Homo nonsapiens farktardius to actually do something useful; Lord knows they haven't yet.

Hell, if we are talking morality, then Christ was the most evil monster ever. His followers explicitly state they try to emulate his actions. They have pretty much been the Platonic ideals of evil incarnate on this planet since they showed up*. We can then see that Christ must have been just as evil, if not more so, as he is the template for what they do (as they themselves explicitly state; they can claim they are fallen beings lving up to those ideals imperfectly, but considering the only way Christians seem to "grow" is more evil, we have to assume they mean imperfectly evil). And since he is the Christian God also, said God is undoubtedly and irrevocably evil. Christians have no basis for lecturing others on morality, because they not only do not have any, but manifestly work against ethics and morality as a basic tenet of their faith.

/"turn the other cheek" is one of the most anti-human, anti-moral screeds in the history of humanity. Jesus took the position that it is imperative that when oppressed, one must not only accept the oppression but actively work to increase it. Christianity is expressly and explicitly based upon the idea of actively working to increase the pain and suffering of all peoples on the Earth so that those people can then be traumatized even more - because God loves you and wants what's best for you.

* And don't even try that "those aren't real Christians" BS. When you can prove 0.000000000000000001% is a majority, then you can use that argument; until then you own your fellow shiatheads' actions
 
2011-04-14 10:30:39 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

Religion is a community. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Daoists, Wiccans; they all have provisions in their religions that create an organization of other members. In the monotheistic religions, their clergy are the voice of god on Earth. In the non-theistic religions like Buddhism, the community is seen as nessecary to provide the ideal environment for study of the religious principles so you can get deeper quicker and without wasting years and decades like the Buddha did.

But atheism merely requires you do nothing. And not all atheists are atheists for the same reason. Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance. The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of meditation so I'll just ignore 10,000s of years of indirect evidence of something important being here and just call it a life.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


That's odd, I can't find any movie titles in here.
 
2011-04-14 10:31:20 AM  
doglover

Atheism isn't a choice, any more than believing that the sky is blue is a choice. You don't choose whether you want to believe in something, you either believe it or you don't. To me it is simply incomprehensible that adults can believe this stuff, so I can't "try out" a religion and see if I like it....it doesn't work that way.

And the vast, vast majority of atheists are not part of any atheist related groups, they don't hand out pamphlets, they don't try to change the slogans on money or the pledge of allegiance.

They find something that makes life worthwhile (and it isn't hard, life is awesome) and they do it.

You don't read about those guys on fark, you only hear about the whackjobs who want to get christmas trees removed from christmas parades and stuff.
 
2011-04-14 10:32:24 AM  
doglover:

You sound Unitarian.
 
2011-04-14 10:34:12 AM  

doglover: "There's nothing but what physics already knows to life. Nothing. Yep. Still nothing."


Are you saying I should assume there's random bullshiat controlling the universe, and plan my actions around being judged forever by a guy with a very oddly-specific rulebook that isn't mine, because it's more FUN?

I have no religion in my life. The other shiat I do expands to fill the time. It's not like I just sit on my hands between 9-11 AM on sundays SIGHING.

/no, I'm here on fark instead
 
2011-04-14 10:36:07 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Surely even Jesus prayed to another.


Well, there was "Why hast thou forsaken me", but he crassly neglected to join his hands, so I'm not sure if that counts.

/oh wait
 
2011-04-14 10:37:42 AM  

WarpZone: Atheism isn't a choice, any more than believing that the sky is blue is a choice. You don't choose whether you want to believe in something, you either believe it or you don't.


This. I'm sick of hearing about how the world "is better" with a god, or assuming there's a god. The world is more 'fun' with a real, living, magic Santa Claus delivering toys, too, what's YOUR excuse for not believing in that?

/don't say that's different
//because it's not
 
2011-04-14 10:41:03 AM  

WarpZone: doglover

Atheism isn't a choice, any more than believing that the sky is blue is a choice. You don't choose whether you want to believe in something, you either believe it or you don't. To me it is simply incomprehensible that adults can believe this stuff, so I can't "try out" a religion and see if I like it....it doesn't work that way.
And the vast, vast majority of atheists are not part of any atheist related groups, they don't hand out pamphlets, they don't try to change the slogans on money or the pledge of allegiance.
They find something that makes life worthwhile (and it isn't hard, life is awesome) and they do it.
You don't read about those guys on fark, you only hear about the whackjobs who want to get christmas trees removed from christmas parades and stuff.


The same can be said of religious people, except they are often part of a religion related group. But then even the atheist often takes part in groups that are not religious at all.
 
2011-04-14 10:41:39 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.

Religion is a community. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Daoists, Wiccans; they all have provisions in their religions that create an organization of other members. In the monotheistic religions, their clergy are the voice of god on Earth. In the non-theistic religions like Buddhism, the community is seen as nessecary to provide the ideal environment for study of the religious principles so you can get deeper quicker and without wasting years and decades like the Buddha did.

But atheism merely requires you do nothing. And not all atheists are atheists for the same reason. Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance. The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of meditation so I'll just ignore 10,000s of years of indirect evidence of something important being here and just call it a life.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


Tell me, have you actually followed your own advice? Have you studied other religions or the atheist mentality? Have you tried to be an atheist or a Buddhist or a Catholic or a Muslim? No? Hmmm...

I've tried several religions, and I always revert back to being an atheist. I jumped through the hoops, did the meditation, did the prayer thing and not once did I feel anything close to what you call "the divine". Well, correction, the Buddhist meditation was very nice and I still do it every now and then to deal with stress. Plus, its a very unique religion in that they are far more concerned with helping people than most other religions which I find commendable.
 
2011-04-14 10:42:06 AM  
I have it on good authority from Fark religion defenders that religion had nothing to do with this, and the guy would have stabbed himself for some other reason if religion didn't exist.
 
2011-04-14 10:45:41 AM  
This is what happens when you let militant athiests proselytize. I hope they get charged for provoking this poor, oppressed Christian into such desperate acts.
 
2011-04-14 10:46:16 AM  

Space_Poet: doglover: If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

Okay, one at a time:

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part

You mind explaining what in the world you're talking about? Touch the divine? Life itself is divine, I don't need some fairy God father to tell me how to be a good person, especially since this fairy God father is some deity from the 1st century and there's not one speck of truth that he's real.

You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all.

We care enough to show people there is a more viable way to live your life without fairy God fathers that tell you to condemn certain people and not others. A true Just God wouldn't be like that in my eyes, in fact I find it down right evil the way some of these people act and I am happy to use my goodness to fight them.

It shouldn't even be a part of your life.

As soon as all religion is dismissed and not shoved in our faces daily by nuts who either are in my government or in my social circle or in my school then it won't be part of my life. I am stating the circle is round and I will not tolerate someone telling me the circle is blue and requires me to hate gay people on top of it or go to hell. Keep religion out of my life and then you can say it's not part of my life, until then we are forced to push back with reality.

Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something

Because it basically is a sport knocking down irrationality and bigotry and intolerance, and it's a moral sport on top of it. If we can make the world a better place by applying logic and reason and love without threats of violence then I see nothing wrong with being involved with fostering understanding between religious and non-religious people.



I'm only responding to the underlined bit because it's very important that you grasp one simple thing: reality is illusory.

Sure, you can take accurate measurements of the physical with science so precise that we are able to launch projectiles all the way to Saturn with near pinpoint accuracy and they can send back images via manipulation of things our bodies are physically incapable of detecting. That is the physical. That is real. But is it reality?

Consider for a minute something wonderful. Let's say your favorite food. Those atoms arranged in a certain way through certain processes result in that thing. It's great. You love it. You can already feel your mouth begin to water in anticipation. Mental objects are attached to the physical. That is your reality. The mind supposedly results in the brain from complex cellular interaction. But is that real?

Consider now someone else in the room. They once got terribly sick as a child and they ate your favorite food right before an extended 72 hour puking session that traumatized their poor GI tract so badly that to this day the smell of that food makes them physically ill. They spot your meal and are repulsed. They are horrified to see it. They want to flee. They can feel bile rising in their throat. That is their reality.

The same atoms in the same structure can produce two entirely different physiological responses simply by minor changes in the mental. This doesn't really apply to internal chemistry, so don't try to say I said "Dur, you can pray away cyanide!" because I didn't say anything of the kind. What I wish to convey here is that reality is the mental added to physical, not just one or the other but the combination.

If this is the case, you would be correct to say that gods are not real. However they can easily be part of your reality. For a better example than Christianity (monotheism is so droll) you could look to voodoo or wicca to see invocations of actual (but not physically real) gods. There are tremors, shakes, convulsions, and all kinds of things going on with the people who invoke the gods into themselves and no physical evidence of them when investigated scientifically. But were you to actually JOIN those people in the ceremony and invoke a god yourself, you would find that your reality was warped and there really was and alien presence inside of you that was every bit a part of your reality as the layers you cake upon the rest of the world with other mental objects.

You can attempt to deny it, and then celebrate with your favorite drink. But the moment it touches your lips remember that there's no "favoriteium" on the periodic table. The gods are as real as you opinions.
 
2011-04-14 10:49:05 AM  
Well, I need no more convincing my atheist ways are wrong. I will hand my soul over to jah in the morning.
 
2011-04-14 10:53:17 AM  

doglover: Atheist groups are weird.


This is interesting - in response to an article about an atheist group that has done nothing offensive, you choose to demean those groups. How many atheist groups have you encountered or studied?

Some approach it from a position of educated wisdom, but many more approach it out of reactionary ignorance.

Why do you think this?

The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices.

Most atheists come from religious backgrounds, and often are more informed about the principles of their given religion than their theistic bretheren. Most outspoken atheists have spent considerable time investigating religious claims and found them lacking.

Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

Atheist groups form a type of community. Often atheist groups build on common interestes, such as the undue influence of religious leaders on society and government.
 
2011-04-14 10:55:27 AM  

nubzers: (on Buddhism) Plus, its a very unique religion in that they are far more concerned with helping people than most other religions which I find commendable.


The Roman Catholic church has done and continues to do more to help people than any other group of people throughout history. In fact, there are those in the church that believe that is the only thing to do. For example; Gustavo Gutierrez and Mother Theresa, they both felt belief in God was a private matter and the only way on earth to worship God was to help one another. Just make sure people have food and shoes, stuff like that. No mention of Jesus was necessary or even helpful to the "liberation" theologists.
 
2011-04-14 10:58:04 AM  

doglover: But were you to actually JOIN those people in the ceremony and invoke a god yourself, you would find that your reality was warped...


The real question is, are they warped because they believe in a god, or do they believe in a god because they are warped?

/active ingredient:placebo, how does it work?
 
2011-04-14 11:04:47 AM  

phrawgh: Please don't mock the Lord! He loves all of you. You are his children. He created you. He is your Father! The Lord will not tolerate this. He will cast your souls into a burning lake of fire where you will be tortured by demons, your skin will be torn, your flesh pulled from your bones - eternal agony! Please repent so we can all met in Heaven with our loving and benevolent Father. Or, burn in hell for all time. It's your choice.


I'm not mocking "the Lord". I'm mocking you. If he exists, I'm fine with him - most of his followers, however, drive me nuts.
 
2011-04-14 11:05:15 AM  
doglover

I'm only responding to the underlined bit because it's very important that you grasp one simple thing: reality is illusory.

yes, PERCEPTION of reality is subjective. a dog's reality is different from mine, and no less "real".

But the fact that "we" are here thinking and acting, whether our actions are "real" or simply the result of our own imaginations, means that SOMETHING actually exists. Empty space does not contemplate itself. There is an objective reality, but we can't perceive it.

Science is the attempt to uncover reality and overcome our natural inability to see the world as it truly is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "reality", but it's in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.

In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself.
 
2011-04-14 11:19:55 AM  

jaylectricity: Theaetetus: A for effort, E for execution. So we'll give it a C.

And what does Jesus's last name start with?

Bam, there's your proof.


You can't explain that.
 
2011-04-14 11:20:05 AM  

doglover: If this is the case, you would be correct to say that gods are not real. However they can easily be part of your reality.


I know a few schizophrenics who will be glad to learn that reality is whatever they believe it is, and they can stop taking their medication now.

Your brain is misinterpreting what your senses are feeding it. That's fine and dandy, if you think it's fine and dandy, but don't farking tell me it's not happening. Yes, everything is subjective, but our societal definition of the word "crazy" is around for a reason.
 
2011-04-14 11:28:00 AM  

FormlessOne: phrawgh: Please don't mock the Lord! He loves all of you. You are his children. He created you. He is your Father! The Lord will not tolerate this. He will cast your souls into a burning lake of fire where you will be tortured by demons, your skin will be torn, your flesh pulled from your bones - eternal agony! Please repent so we can all met in Heaven with our loving and benevolent Father. Or, burn in hell for all time. It's your choice.

I'm not mocking "the Lord". I'm mocking you. If he exists, I'm fine with him - most of his followers, however, drive me nuts.


Why not mock "the Lord?" He's a gigantic asshole, if the stories about him, or by him, are true.
 
2011-04-14 11:29:19 AM  
Zamboro:

Literally every article about Christian misbehavior on Fark is full of Christians complaining about atheists. When this is pointed out one or two will issue a half-hearted single sentence condemnation of the Christian nutbar in question and then quickly return to complaining about atheists.

Talk about flippin' the script. Jeez...
 
2011-04-14 11:29:28 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: I'm not sure how stabbing a cross on the back of someone's hand will prove the existence of God.


Some people just don't understand it.
 
2011-04-14 11:29:42 AM  

WarpZone: ...There is an objective reality, but we can't perceive it.
Science is the attempt to uncover reality and overcome our natural inability to see the world as it truly is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "reality", but it's in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself.


There is a God, but we can't perceive Him. Religion is the attempt to understand God and overcome our inability to see God as He really is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "God", but it is in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself. (Hey I just made that up!)
 
2011-04-14 11:34:24 AM  
Religion = Superstition + $$$$$
 
2011-04-14 11:39:01 AM  

Inflatable Rhetoric: Religion = Superstition + $$$$$


Economics = Superstition + $$$$$
 
2011-04-14 11:39:06 AM  

Kome: Wade Duvall, who was also working at the table, walked away from the table to call police. Duvall, a graduate student studying physics, first called the Tech Police non-emergency number.

"They told me to hang up and call 911," Duvall said.

Really? Someone is stabbing himself with a pen and you don't first consider that an emergency situation?


I don't. Does he not have a right to stab himself?
 
2011-04-14 11:40:55 AM  

Ablejack: Inflatable Rhetoric: Religion = Superstition + $$$$$

Economics = Superstition + $$$$$


That, too.

You can get paid for predicting the weather, economic predictions, and religion and never be accountable.
 
2011-04-14 11:46:14 AM  

WarpZone: In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself.


Perhaps we are the universe trying to figure out why some particles ever decided that they didn't understand in the first place
 
2011-04-14 11:47:39 AM  

Ablejack: WarpZone: ...There is an objective reality, but we can't perceive it.
Science is the attempt to uncover reality and overcome our natural inability to see the world as it truly is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "reality", but it's in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself.

There is a God, but we can't perceive Him. Religion is the attempt to understand God and overcome our inability to see God as He really is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "God", but it is in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself. (Hey I just made that up!)


There is a Tooth Fairy, but we can't perceive Him. Religion is the attempt to understand The Tooth Fairy and overcome our inability to see The Tooth Fairy as He really is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "The Tooth Fairy", but it is in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
 
2011-04-14 11:48:15 AM  
A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.
His peers of differing beliefs and backgrounds immediately give him aid and contact strangers better able to help him recover from his self mutilation. They rush to his side to heal and comfort him. :: There is a God. (But seriously the boy did demonstrate his conviction of Faith rather well. He just needs to work on his understanding of Faith.)
 
2011-04-14 11:48:20 AM  

WarpZone:
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself.


Carl Sagan wants his quote back.

"We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself."

/miss you, Carl, you benevolent genius.
 
2011-04-14 11:51:04 AM  

Ablejack: A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.
His peers of differing beliefs and backgrounds immediately give him aid and contact strangers better able to help him recover from his self mutilation. They rush to his side to heal and comfort him. :: There is a God. (But seriously the boy did demonstrate his conviction of Faith rather well. He just needs to work on his understanding of Faith.)


Really? The altruism that was required for our social species to survive prior to the development of weapons is PROOF of a god? Because that's exactly the kind of evolutionary trait that makes a god unnecessary.
 
2011-04-14 11:52:47 AM  
Ablejack
There is a God, but we can't perceive Him. Religion is the attempt to understand God and overcome our inability to see God as He really is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "God", but it is in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself. (Hey I just made that up!)


last I checked, religion isn't "trying" to understand anything, it has everything pretty well figured out and put into neat little boxes. it "knows" that god exists, and created the universe and all of us, and it even "knows" what happens to us when we die. For the religious, reality was defined thousands of years ago, there's no attempt to understand anything new, there is no uncertainty, everything is right there for you to perceive.

Find and replace is not a debate skill, buddy.
 
2011-04-14 11:53:42 AM  

kingoomieiii: Ablejack: A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.
His peers of differing beliefs and backgrounds immediately give him aid and contact strangers better able to help him recover from his self mutilation. They rush to his side to heal and comfort him. :: There is a God. (But seriously the boy did demonstrate his conviction of Faith rather well. He just needs to work on his understanding of Faith.)

Really? The altruism that was required for our social species to survive prior to the development of weapons is PROOF of a god? Because that's exactly the kind of evolutionary trait that makes a god unnecessary.


Not really. That's why I parenthetically stated "but seriously".
 
2011-04-14 11:53:47 AM  

Ablejack: A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.
His peers of differing beliefs and backgrounds immediately give him aid and contact strangers better able to help him recover from his self mutilation. They rush to his side to heal and comfort him. :: There is a God. (But seriously the boy did demonstrate his conviction of Faith rather well. He just needs to work on his understanding of Faith.)


Did the devil make him do it? What was Satan's (or Satin, for a lot of believers) part in this?
 
2011-04-14 12:05:37 PM  

WarpZone: Ablejack
There is a God, but we can't perceive Him. Religion is the attempt to understand God and overcome our inability to see God as He really is. It's probably impossible for us to perceive "God", but it is in our nature to try, and I think it's a natural and admirable thing for an intelligent creature to pursue.
In essence, we ARE the universe trying to understand itself. (Hey I just made that up!)

last I checked, religion isn't "trying" to understand anything, it has everything pretty well figured out and put into neat little boxes. it "knows" that god exists, and created the universe and all of us, and it even "knows" what happens to us when we die. For the religious, reality was defined thousands of years ago, there's no attempt to understand anything new, there is no uncertainty, everything is right there for you to perceive.

Find and replace is not a debate skill, buddy.


You have been simply wrong since you last checked. Religions arise and develop over time, and continue to do so. There are religious people doing serious work trying to further understand and question ourselves and our relationship with God and others. There is plenty of uncertainty, perhaps moreso than in any other field. There is for example the study of the numinous. What can be more uncertain?
As for the "find and replace" comment, it was simply a demonstration that the statement about science works just as well as a remark about religion. But you knew that, pal.
 
2011-04-14 12:12:09 PM  

kitryne: doglover: It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.

That's all very silly of you to say.
A) plenty of atheists are active in their atheist communities, some, much to many people's chagrin even proselytize.

2) It takes more effort to think for yourself than to follow

c)All of that is explainable by science.

Atheists aren't weird. We're the same as everyone, we just prove to believe what's written in the science books instead of religious text. Many atheists meditate. Buddhism is an atheistic religion, and those dudes are the kings of meditation.

Some people want to get together with other people who see things the same general way as they do so they can discuss things. Same as religions. You don't need to have faith in a deity for that.

And some people want to dispel the image that people have of us, that we're evil sinners who'll suck you into damnation or whatever the hell it is people think we do. They don't like us, that's the point. And we would like to change that, because we're pretty cool and maybe you might learn something in the process.


Your last sentence nailed it. They might learn something.
 
2011-04-14 12:15:08 PM  

Schlock: To be fair, he probably reasoned that the campus cops were closer and might actually DO something more quickly


I don't know if VT has the same setup, but at UVA the 911 center is an integrated dispatch - whether you need U-police, city police, county police or sheriffs, fire, or ambulance, it's all 911. The non-emergency number is for administrivia - finding out if a particular officer is next on duty or such. For anything else, call 911, and open with "I don't think this is an emergency..." -- unless, of course, it's an obvious emergency.

Antimatter: Jesus claimed to be a demi-god at the least, that's a much more fantastic a claim.


Actually, it's not clear whether he did, or his followers later attributed the claim to him. Trinitarian Christians take the "demi-god at the least" side, but early American Unitarian Christians (John Adams and the like) didn't believe in the divinity of Christ or that he even claimed it.

doglover: If this is the case, you would be correct to say that gods are not real. However they can easily be part of your reality.


You appear to be confusing the map and the territory. A god and the idea of a god are not the same thing.

americanglob.com



Inflatable Rhetoric: I don't. Does he not have a right to stab himself?


He does. However, it's a behavior that is sociologically abnormal, of a sort that often tends to be associated with psychological aberration of a kind that has the potential to be hazardous to others. Having a cop arrest him for it is unjustified, but having a cop ask him what he's doing and why is probably reasonable caution, since they're more likely to be better trained to deal with the possibility of the observed self-directed violent impulses getting redirected to an external target.
 
2011-04-14 12:20:38 PM  
Ablejack: A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.

Inflatable Rhetoric: Did the devil make him do it? What was Satan's (or Satin, for a lot of believers) part in this?

I do not pretend to know why he did it. He apparently claims it was to prove the existence of God. A psychologist might offer another explanation. For myself I do not actually believe it was the Devil that made him do it. As an atheist I don't believe there is the devil nor a God, although sometimes I play advocate for them.
 
2011-04-14 12:28:59 PM  

doglover: The whole "Prove god exists and I'll believe." doesn't work when you don't actually go take a look at the proof which is found in certain religious practices. Oh, but wait, that takes physical and mental discipline to actually accomplish the proper depth of meditation so I'll just ignore 10,000s of years of indirect evidence of something important being here and just call it a life.

If you've actually taken the time, put in the sweat, touched the divine and still decided you do not believe that there's anything worthwhile to religion that's a commendable choice on your part, but STILL the group confuses me. You deny something for various reasons, so you don't care about it at all. It shouldn't even be a part of your life. Why waste time with declaring how much you don't believe in something with a bunch of people who feel the same way? Go play a sport or have another beer or something.

It would be like a group of people who were blind from birth getting together to discuss how they don't like the color of rooms in houses they've never been in or heard anyone describe to them.


That's a specious analogy based on a nonsensical argument. If you want me to prove to you that I own a car, I can drive over, pick you up, and show you my title over lunch.

If God is as difficult to detect as you seem to think he is--and by the way, you can see literally ANYTHING if you meditate hard enough--maybe he's not returning our calls for a reason.

I think it's quite likely something/someone/some group created the universe as we know it (well, actually as it/he/she/they know it, but still), but that whatever thing or being did so does not fit any existing human definition. It's just that it's always been easy for us to write off anything we don't understand by chalking it up to some invisible sky fairy.

To deists, by the way, THEISTS are weird. We set our ethics by what we CAN observe.
 
2011-04-14 12:39:43 PM  

MikeBoomshadow:
To deists, by the way, THEISTS are weird. We set our ethics by what we CAN observe.


To some of us ATHEISTS, our ethics arise from our interaction within the linguistic environment, ie. the "world"; Which is also weird. Humans, if they are at all interesting, are all weird.
 
2011-04-14 12:40:35 PM  

Ablejack: Ablejack: A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.

Inflatable Rhetoric: Did the devil make him do it? What was Satan's (or Satin, for a lot of believers) part in this?

I do not pretend to know why he did it. He apparently claims it was to prove the existence of God. A psychologist might offer another explanation. For myself I do not actually believe it was the Devil that made him do it. As an atheist I don't believe there is the devil nor a God, although sometimes I play advocate for them.


The only rational course is to burn some witches.
 
2011-04-14 12:41:06 PM  
Ablejack
You have been simply wrong since you last checked. Religions arise and develop over time, and continue to do so. There are religious people doing serious work trying to further understand and question ourselves and our relationship with God and others. There is plenty of uncertainty, perhaps moreso than in any other field. There is for example the study of the numinous. What can be more uncertain?
As for the "find and replace" comment, it was simply a demonstration that the statement about science works just as well as a remark about religion. But you knew that, pal.


point taken. but realistically, most believers don't subscribe to newsletters that tell them the latest "breakthroughs" in religious research. They are taught as kids, and that's that. And it takes the church hundreds of years to acknowledge changing cultural norms, if they do at all.

So, although I understand and appreciate your perspective, I think the majority of religious people and leaders are pretty much bound to teachings that have not really changed much. For most devout religious people, the answers have already been found. In my mind, this is a folly of massive proportions and a great disservice to the followers of religion and humanity as a whole.
 
2011-04-14 12:55:12 PM  

WarpZone: Ablejack
You have been simply wrong since you last checked. Religions arise and develop over time, and continue to do so. There are religious people doing serious work trying to further understand and question ourselves and our relationship with God and others. There is plenty of uncertainty, perhaps moreso than in any other field. There is for example the study of the numinous. What can be more uncertain?
As for the "find and replace" comment, it was simply a demonstration that the statement about science works just as well as a remark about religion. But you knew that, pal.

point taken. but realistically, most believers don't subscribe to newsletters that tell them the latest "breakthroughs" in religious research. They are taught as kids, and that's that. And it takes the church hundreds of years to acknowledge changing cultural norms, if they do at all.

So, although I understand and appreciate your perspective, I think the majority of religious people and leaders are pretty much bound to teachings that have not really changed much. For most devout religious people, the answers have already been found. In my mind, this is a folly of massive proportions and a great disservice to the followers of religion and humanity as a whole.


I agree. But still we do the best we can in all areas of study. There are always those who resist paradigm change. Consider for a moment the history of mathematics. These conservatives are not altogether bad for the progress of ideas. Often the conservative thinker helps to hone the presentation of new ideas and to keep the willy-nilly ideas in check. We both know that religions are notoriously suspect of revolutionary ideas. Vatican II (50 yr old official Catholic doctrine) is still considered recent and radical. As for the followers, I don't know what to say... "They know not what they do?"
 
2011-04-14 12:57:10 PM  

Inflatable Rhetoric:
The only rational course is to burn some witches.


all too often.
 
2011-04-14 12:59:39 PM  
"See, stabbed myself and no blood. Want to see it again?"

www.exposay.com
 
2011-04-14 01:11:45 PM  

abb3w: doglover: If this is the case, you would be correct to say that gods are not real. However they can easily be part of your reality.

You appear to be confusing the map and the territory. A god and the idea of a god are not the same thing.


i think you are missing his point.
something becomes part of your reality when you can see or feel the tangible effects of its existence.
if you are poor and hungry and cold, and somebody provides food and shelter because of their faith, god is indeed part of your reality.
 
2011-04-14 01:19:46 PM  

Popular Opinion: abb3w: doglover: If this is the case, you would be correct to say that gods are not real. However they can easily be part of your reality.

You appear to be confusing the map and the territory. A god and the idea of a god are not the same thing.

i think you are missing his point.
something becomes part of your reality when you can see or feel the tangible effects of its existence.
if you are poor and hungry and cold, and somebody provides food and shelter because of their faith, god is indeed part of your reality.


No, their beliefs, their claims about those beliefs, and their actions because of those claims and beliefs are a part of your reality. They may assert all of those are due to the existence of god. I can just as easily assert that they are due to their erroneous belief in the existence of God, and guess which one of us will be able to find evidence to support the position?
 
2011-04-14 01:20:31 PM  

gaspode: The philosophical intelligensia have for 30 years been so immersed in relativism (one area where the right wings criticism of academia has merit) that this has until now been a woefully neglected subject.


Not all of them, but the ones who aren't are essentially voices in the wilderness. I highly recommend picking up Allan Bloom's works. Bloom is an example of a man who is castigated as a right-wing conservative shill simply because he questioned a lot of the fundamental assumptions of modern academia.

"As [Nietzsche] understood it, men in our current decrepitude could take it easy if they believed God, nature or history provides values. Such belief was salutary as long as the objectified creations of man were still noble and vital. But in the present exhaustion of the old values, men must be brought to the abyss, terrified by their danger and nauseated by what could become of them, in order to make them aware of their responsibility for their fate. They must turn within themselves and reconstitute the conditions of their creativity in order to generate values. The self must be a tense bow. It must struggle with opposites rather than harmonize them, rather than turn the tension over to the great instruments of last manhood-the skilled bow unbenders and Jesuits of our days, the psychiatrists, who, in the same spirit and as part of the same conspiracy of modernity as the peace virtuosos, reduce conflict. Chaos, the war of opposites, is, as we know from the Bible, the condition of creativity, which must be mastered by the creator. The self must also bring forth arrows out of its longing. Bow and arrow, both belonging to man, can shoot a star into the heavens to guide man." - Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind (1986) p. 198
 
2011-04-14 01:27:31 PM  

Boris S. Wort: jaylectricity: Theaetetus: A for effort, E for execution. So we'll give it a C.

And what does Jesus's last name start with?

Bam, there's your proof.

You can't explain that.


youredoingitwrong.jpg

It's:
Pen goes in, pen comes out: you can't explain that!
 
2011-04-14 01:30:42 PM  

doglover: But were you to actually JOIN those people in the ceremony and invoke a god yourself, you would find that your reality was warped and there really was and alien presence inside of you that was every bit a part of your reality as the layers you cake upon the rest of the world with other mental objects.


This is easily explained by both bias confirmation and physiological tendencies for the body to be more than the sum of its' parts. You are correct, there is nothing more complexed in the known universe than is what is sitting behind your eyes, but I attribute that to the striving of millions upon millions of years of planet Earth's biological function. We are the cutting edge of the planet and it is sad to play small minded games when what you're talking about is just scratching the surface of not only our imaginations but our possibilities. I don't believe there is anything that can be defined as "supernatural" only natural and amazing. Trust me, I've felt the power of my being, and I thank my lucky stars I was born in this body in this time in this country, it is very lucky indeed, but that's all it is, luck.
 
2011-04-14 01:31:28 PM  

KiltedBastich: Popular Opinion: abb3w: doglover: If this is the case, you would be correct to say that gods are not real. However they can easily be part of your reality.

You appear to be confusing the map and the territory. A god and the idea of a god are not the same thing.

i think you are missing his point.
something becomes part of your reality when you can see or feel the tangible effects of its existence.
if you are poor and hungry and cold, and somebody provides food and shelter because of their faith, god is indeed part of your reality.

No, their beliefs, their claims about those beliefs, and their actions because of those claims and beliefs are a part of your reality. They may assert all of those are due to the existence of god. I can just as easily assert that they are due to their erroneous belief in the existence of God, and guess which one of us will be able to find evidence to support the position?


i think you would have a difficult time disproving the existence of god. go for it.

i find it funny that people who were raised in a judeo-christian society, under governments founded upon the tenants of those faiths and the rules set out by those faiths can so easily dismiss religion and claim it has no basis on human nature and society's morals and ethics.
"We would act the same if there was never any religion."
And just how would you know that?

People claim humans are just good on their own...and yet i read the news and see something completely different.

/not religious
 
2011-04-14 01:33:03 PM  

The First Four Katy Perry Albums:
"As [Nietzsche] understood it, men in our current decrepitude could take it easy if they believed God, nature or history provides values. Such belief was salutary as long as the objectified creations of man were still noble and vital. But in the present exhaustion of the old values, men must be brought to the abyss, terrified by their danger and nauseated by what could become of them, in order to make them aware of their responsibility for their fate. They must turn within themselves and reconstitute the conditions of their creativity in order to generate values. The self must be a tense bow. It must struggle with opposites rather than harmonize them, rather than turn the tension over to the great instruments of last manhood-the skilled bow unbenders and Jesuits of our days, the psychiatrists, who, in the same spirit and as part of the same conspiracy of modernity as the peace virtuosos, reduce conflict. Chaos, the war of opposites, is, as we know from the Bible, the condition of creativity, which must be mastered by the creator. The self must also bring forth arrows out of its longing. Bow and arrow, both belonging to man, can shoot a star into the heavens to guide man." - Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind (1986) p. 198


"Get down on it. How you gonna do it if you
really don't want to dance, By standing on the wall?
Get your back up off the wall!" - Kool and the Gang, (echoing Nietszche's prescription to dance in the abyss, or simply celebrate in our creativity and existence- good times.)
 
2011-04-14 02:12:36 PM  
Jesus is a hell of a drug.

You know the kid was standing there seething because atheists were on his campus, and he was praying for Jesus to help him perform a miracle to change these atheists into believers. Since Jesus is long dead and can't tell anyone anything, he had to come up with his own plan, which only succeeded in illustrating how batshiat crazy a lot of Christians are.
 
2011-04-14 02:16:04 PM  

Popular Opinion: i find it funny that people who were raised in a judeo-christian society, under governments founded upon the tenants of those faiths and the rules set out by those faiths can so easily dismiss religion and claim it has no basis on human nature and society's morals and ethics.
"We would act the same if there was never any religion."
And just how would you know that?



I find it funny when people put up straw men and knock them down because it makes them feel like they've finally won something.
 
2011-04-14 02:18:14 PM  

abb3w: You appear to be confusing the map and the territory. A god and the idea of a god are not the same thing.

Popular Opinion: something becomes part of your reality when you can see or feel the tangible effects of its existence.
if you are poor and hungry and cold, and somebody provides food and shelter because of their faith, god is indeed part of your reality.

KiltedBastich: No, their beliefs, their claims about those beliefs, and their actions because of those claims and beliefs are a part of your reality. They may assert all of those are due to the existence of god. I can just as easily assert that they are due to their erroneous belief in the existence of God, and guess which one of us will be able to find evidence to support the position?


More or less. I'd also note that just because you have an experience, does not mean you attribute the cause correctly.

But essentially, the illustration confuses the charitable theists idea of God, for God. The former exists; the latter, not so much. (And the idea doesn't even have to be self-consistent. There's probably an Invisible Pink Unicorn analogy that I'm too lazy to elaborate.)

Popular Opinion: i think you would have a difficult time disproving the existence of god.


Depends on the sense of the word "proof" you have in mind.

Popular Opinion: go for it.


Been there, done that. Nowadays, people seem to have convulsive fits when I bring it up here on Fark.
 
2011-04-14 02:28:46 PM  

abb3w: He does. However, it's a behavior that is sociologically abnormal, of a sort that often tends to be associated with psychological aberration of a kind that has the potential to be hazardous to others. Having a cop arrest him for it is unjustified, but having a cop ask him what he's doing and why is probably reasonable caution, since they're more likely to be better trained to deal with the possibility of the observed self-directed violent impulses getting redirected to an external target.


Are you sure about this? I mean, he seems good and crazy. Couldn't we just tase him a few times to remind him of the pain the state can inflict and perhaps bypass his self damaging tendencies? This seems like a good time for a red flag party of intervention!
 
2011-04-14 02:28:49 PM  

abb3w: (And the idea doesn't even have to be self-consistent. There's probably an Invisible Pink Unicorn analogy that I'm too lazy to elaborate.)


It's not often you see a fellow Unicornian (PBUHHH) these days. That damned upstart spaghetti monster has attracted all the kids to his new cult!
 
2011-04-14 02:41:48 PM  

untaken_name: dbaggins: really? THAT is just something you can't get ? that atheists are moral ?

You haven't really tried to figure this out have you ?

Where do atheist morals come from? I am assuming you mean this definition of "moral", please link the correct definition if I'm wrong:
Adjective

* S: (adj) moral (concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles) "moral sense"; "a moral scrutiny"; "a moral lesson"; "a moral quandary"; "moral convictions"; "a moral life"

If you are using this definition, how could atheists possibly be moral*? There is no right and wrong, therefore why would you concern yourself with the principles of right and wrong? It doesn't make any sense. I have actually spent a great deal of time trying to figure this out, but no one's been able to explain it to me in a logical manner. I hope that you are the one who can do it.

/*Please note that because there is no right and wrong, NO ONE can be moral, but since you specified that atheists can be, limiting your explanation to how atheists specifically can be moral will suffice, since that would provide a method by which non-atheists could also be moral.


The reason you can't grasp the concept of a moral atheist is because you are starting with a false premise. The false premise of a deity being the source of morality or right and wrong. In your own definition of morality, there is no mention of any divine mandate or inspiration. Simply an agreed upon standard. And if you actually study cultures, you will find that despite having very different religious and philosophical views, nearly all cultures come to the same basic morals: Don't kill each other, don't steal, share, etc. Why does morality have to come from a god? It seems the evidence points away from any divine inspiration for morality so there must be a natural explanation. Is it written in our genetics? Is it simply a social meme that is successful because its the only way societies can exist? Thats where science comes in. Gather the evidence, make observations, and experiment and see what happens. You will find that most atheists are humanists and do far more to help others than 99% of christians. Try talking to a few and find out.
 
2011-04-14 03:04:18 PM  

abb3w: abb3w: You appear to be confusing the map and the territory. A god and the idea of a god are not the same thing.
Popular Opinion: something becomes part of your reality when you can see or feel the tangible effects of its existence.
if you are poor and hungry and cold, and somebody provides food and shelter because of their faith, god is indeed part of your reality.
KiltedBastich: No, their beliefs, their claims about those beliefs, and their actions because of those claims and beliefs are a part of your reality. They may assert all of those are due to the existence of god. I can just as easily assert that they are due to their erroneous belief in the existence of God, and guess which one of us will be able to find evidence to support the position?

More or less. I'd also note that just because you have an experience, does not mean you attribute the cause correctly.

But essentially, the illustration confuses the charitable theists idea of God, for God. The former exists; the latter, not so much. (And the idea doesn't even have to be self-consistent. There's probably an Invisible Pink Unicorn analogy that I'm too lazy to elaborate.)

Popular Opinion: i think you would have a difficult time disproving the existence of god.

Depends on the sense of the word "proof" you have in mind.

Popular Opinion: go for it.

Been there, done that. Nowadays, people seem to have convulsive fits when I bring it up here on Fark.


i suppose my posts are confusing you because i don't differentiate between faith in god and the actual existence of some sort of almighty being.
god, if he exists, exists in the hearts and minds of people with faith in such things. whether there is some actual being is irrelevant in the context of cause and effect. "god's" influence is undeniable, whether it's based on some hokey superstition or not.

Gothnet: Popular Opinion: i find it funny that people who were raised in a judeo-christian society, under governments founded upon the tenants of those faiths and the rules set out by those faiths can so easily dismiss religion and claim it has no basis on human nature and society's morals and ethics.
"We would act the same if there was never any religion."
And just how would you know that?


I find it funny when people put up straw men and knock them down because it makes them feel like they've finally won something.


i'm sure you were trying to make a point, but i missed it. sorry bout that.
 
2011-04-14 03:07:56 PM  

trappedspirit: Are you sure about this?


Well, I'm not sure whether or not you're a cabbage.

trappedspirit: Couldn't we just tase him a few times to remind him of the pain the state can inflict and perhaps bypass his self damaging tendencies?


You could; but as I alluded, frequently self-damaging tendencies result from redirecting/sublimating tendencies to damage others. Tasering him is likely to redirect the tendencies outward again, which could result in a net detriment relative to other possible approaches. It's possibly more resource efficient to reduce the magnitude of the impulses first before risking redirecting them.

Gothnet: It's not often you see a fellow Unicornian (PBUHHH) these days.


Do bear in mind, while I've a mild appreciation, I'm not a follower. If anything, I'm more inclined to Discordianism - older school still.
 
2011-04-14 03:20:33 PM  

Popular Opinion: i suppose my posts are confusing you because i don't differentiate between faith in god and the actual existence of some sort of almighty being.


Rather, I suspect that your failure to make the distinction is confusing your reasoning, much like a software programmer can get in trouble if they don't keep the pointers and variables distinct.

Popular Opinion: whether there is some actual being is irrelevant in the context of cause and effect.


On the contrary; there is at least one substantive difference.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick
 
2011-04-14 03:32:31 PM  

nubzers:
Some farker: Where does an atheist's moral come from?

nubzers: The reason you can't grasp the concept of a moral atheist is because you are starting with a false premise. The false premise of a deity being the source of morality or right and wrong. In your own definition of morality, there is no mention of any divine mandate or inspiration. Simply an agreed upon standard. And if you actually study cultures, you will find that despite having very different religious and philosophical views, nearly all cultures come to the same basic morals: Don't kill each other, don't steal, share, etc. Why does morality have to come from a god? It seems the evidence points away from any divine inspiration for morality so there must be a natural explanation. Is it written in our genetics? Is it simply a social meme that is successful because its the only way societies can exist? Thats where science comes in. Gather the evidence, make observations, and experiment and see what happens. You will find that most atheists are humanists and do far more to help others than 99% of christians. Try talking to a few and find out.


You could easily argue (as Catholics do) that an atheist's morals come stem their faith in God as well. Pope Paul VI epistles on faith separate it [faith] from belief systems. Faith is described as a grace from God. As Jesus stated you do not have the authority to judge the faith of another. Nor can you be sure of your own. At best, we can pray for the gift of Faith but even that is no guarantee and is not necessary to have faith.
Geneticists and sociologists having an explanation for morality would not displace it from being God's work. For instance the Catholic position on evolution is that it is an "effectively proven fact"- (John Paul). Yet Catholics do not suppose this means God did not "create" man. Evolution (for Catholics) gives us a worldly explanation of how God created the corporality of man.
You have provided no reason that attributing morality to a deity is a false premise, any more than I have reason to claim that attributing morality to mundane causes is a false premise.
 
2011-04-14 03:34:18 PM  

abb3w: Popular Opinion: i suppose my posts are confusing you because i don't differentiate between faith in god and the actual existence of some sort of almighty being.

Rather, I suspect that your failure to make the distinction is confusing your reasoning, much like a software programmer can get in trouble if they don't keep the pointers and variables distinct.


let's take the opposite tact. if there is no god, what is it that these people believe in?

god is at least as real as compassion, love, lust or greed.

Popular Opinion: whether there is some actual being is irrelevant in the context of cause and effect.

On the contrary; there is at least one substantive difference.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick


people who receive charity from faith based groups don't have to believe in god, and yet they can still get nourishment from the food and feel warmth from the shelter. they can benefit without believing.
 
2011-04-14 03:52:11 PM  

Popular Opinion: abb3w: Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick

Popular Opinion: people who receive charity from faith based groups don't have to believe in god, and yet they can still get nourishment from the food and feel warmth from the shelter. they can benefit without believing.


ablejack: For most of history people not only did not believe but were not even aware of the God of Abraham, He did not "go away."
Atheists can benefit directly from their own faith (without believing in God) as well as the kindness of others who may believe in God.
 
2011-04-14 04:44:23 PM  

lisarenee3505: Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify. That is insanity, plain and simple. All the pontificated arguments in this thread boil down to that one undeniable FACT. Theists are no different than some psycho fanboy who talks about Lord of the Rings as if that shiat had actually happened. Atheists choose to rely on what can be proven. Hey, I personally like the IDEA of god, it's pretty darn cool... some all-knowing father-figure who is always looking out for you, that's a freaking awesome idea. But to profess that a good idea is actually real just because it makes me feel good to think about it? That's just farking crazy, and that's pretty much what we Atheists are saying. It's awesome that you theists think that this "god" cat is so cool and loving, but at the end of the day, it's just a cool idea as far as you or anyone else KNOWS.


aw, thanks for calling us crazy and talking to us like we can't even tie our shoes! I'm sure that helps people see your point of veiw tons! no, really! ass
 
2011-04-14 04:50:26 PM  
I clicked it and then it went to the CT! Hahaha. The CT is a shiatty newspaper, but this is awesome! Hahaha.

Recent VT grad.
 
2011-04-14 05:12:01 PM  
God microwaved a burrito so hot that I could not eat it.
We are all part of god.
Paradox.
 
2011-04-14 05:12:24 PM  

doglover: A fair point. You put aside your childish beliefs in a magic sky jew and your adult beliefs in electromagnetic waves and atomic structure and practice a religion with an open mind for a change, expecting nothing. Then you may truly judge its worth. Chances are you will be surprised but likely not converted. (Unless it's Buddhism. Very tricksy, Buddhism is. But it's so full of amicable things almost anyone will find SOMETHING appealing. Especially if they don't believe in gods.)

The whole point of religion is this effort on YOUR PART. It's something you do, not something you read. Going to Church on Sundays and saying grace isn't nearly the same thing as actually being a Christian. Nor is squatting down five times a day and growing a beard gonna make you an actual Muslim. You have to change your mind from closed to open and then try honestly without expectations in order to observe something properly.


Why is it that when someone asks or tells you to open your mind, what they really mean is to ignore any contradicting evidence and blindly accept our truth/effectiveness/belief. It doesn't matter if it is religion, psychic readings, or homeopathic medicine. All require you to approach the subject with an "open" mind, or else you will not fully appreciate/believe in the subject.
 
2011-04-14 05:21:20 PM  

Oznog: THERE IS NO DREW!


DREW IS GOD!
 
2011-04-14 05:52:06 PM  

EngineerAtWork: Why is it that when someone asks or tells you to open your mind


Well... in a sense they're accurately asking for something. They want you to "open" your mind so they can "fill it with bullshiat". Notice they're not asking you to think...

I find it ridiculous too... but really I don't think they're even really putting as much thought into it as I just did. They're just regurgitating what they were told/taught.
 
2011-04-14 05:52:59 PM  

Gunther: Tsu-na-mi: Moral relativism doesn't exist, though. If you honestly believe that morality is relative, then you have to agree that my belief that morality is objective is just as true as your belief that morality is relative. If you don't, it proves you think that moral relativism is objectively more true than moral objectivism, and are thus a moral objectivist yourself. Hence; there is no such thing as moral relativism, and morality is objective.

Hoooold on chief, I have to call you on that one. Morality is clearly relative.

If so, you'll be able to point out a flaw in that argument.

You won't though; relativist philosophers have tried for thousands of years, ever since Socrates first used it to argue against Protagoras (who was possibly the world's first relativist) sometime around 420BC. Nobody has yet come up with a convincing counter-argument.


You mean that argument was meant to be serious? The "flaw" in it is that it's complete nonsense. You've completely confused the concepts of moral relativism and total epistemological relativism.
 
2011-04-14 05:55:39 PM  
I am amazed that so many people who can write with lucidity and at length, and who evidently have thought about this for years, have never bothered to go and read anything.

How can you sit and say 'Well how can man be good without God huh? you didn't think of that did you?', with hundreds of years of philosophy on ethics behind you? Have you never heard of Utilitarianism? Epicurianism? Mill?

This is hardly a new subject, for all that a lot of religious and relativist rubbish has characterised the public debate in recent years..
 
2011-04-14 05:58:53 PM  

Popular Opinion: let's take the opposite tact. if there is no god, what is it that these people believe in?


A causative agent which, while giving at least a pseudo-description of their experience, is not the description most probably correct.

It's essentially an example of pareidolia.

www.heavingdeadcats.com



Popular Opinion: people who receive charity from faith based groups don't have to believe in god, and yet they can still get nourishment from the food and feel warmth from the shelter. they can benefit without believing.


But it's not the recipient's belief that was the cause ascribed to the effect. Instead, the recipient is now receiving from a person who has fallen to an incorrect but socially advantageous delusion.

Of course, the charity may not go away with the belief; humans can also be charitable without a belief in God. On the other hand, it may.

Fish_Fight!: aw, thanks for calling us crazy and talking to us like we can't even tie our shoes! I'm sure that helps people see your point of veiw tons!


It depends on the metacognitive capacity of the individual; some people will stop and reconsider their beliefs if you suggest their conclusions are as unsupported by premise as those of a Zegnatronic Rocketeer. Others, however, won't. It tends to be rather ineffective on persuading the more highly religious (possibly due to other cognitive traits that contributed to the religiosity, rather than the religiosity itself); contrariwise, not much is significantly effective on persuading the highly religious, and I'm not convinced it increases the persuasion resistance all that much.
 
2011-04-14 07:00:31 PM  

Ablejack: A misguided boy deliberately stabs his hand with a pen.
His peers of differing beliefs and backgrounds immediately give him aid and contact strangers better able to help him recover from his self mutilation. They rush to his side to heal and comfort him. :: There is a God. (But seriously the boy did demonstrate his conviction of Faith rather well. He just needs to work on his understanding of Faith.)


i.imgur.com
 
2011-04-14 07:07:01 PM  

Skyrmion: You mean that argument was meant to be serious? The "flaw" in it is that it's complete nonsense. You've completely confused the concepts of moral relativism and total epistemological relativism.


Socrates' original argument was against epistemological relativism, but it's fairly easy to modify to show the inherent oxymoronic nature of any relativist position. To whit; moral relativism can be defined as "there are no objective moral statements", which is in an of itself an objective statement about morality.

Anyway, I'm curious as to what difference you moral relativists think of the old "Ted Bundy" reductio ad absurdum:

Then I learned that all moral judgments are "value judgments," that all value judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either "right" or "wrong." I even read somewhere that the Chief Justice of the United States had written that the American Constitution expressed nothing more than collective value judgments. Believe it or not, I figured out for myself - what apparently the Chief Justice couldn't figure out for himself""that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero, multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational. Nor is there any "reason" to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring "" the strength of character "" to throw off its shackles. ... I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable value judgment" that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these "others"? Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog's life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as "moral" or "good" and others as "immoral" or "bad"? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me""after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and uninhibited self.

Fairly certain that isn't a real quote, but it eloquently demonstrates a problem moral relativists face - strip away the sophistry, and what is the difference between moral relativism and moral nihilism? The latter doesn't have to worry about Socrates' argument, I suppose - denying the existence of morality makes the position a lot harder to argue against.
 
2011-04-14 08:03:59 PM  

Gunther: Skyrmion: You mean that argument was meant to be serious? The "flaw" in it is that it's complete nonsense. You've completely confused the concepts of moral relativism and total epistemological relativism.

Socrates' original argument was against epistemological relativism, but it's fairly easy to modify to show the inherent oxymoronic nature of any relativist position. To whit; moral relativism can be defined as "there are no objective moral statements", which is in an of itself an objective statement about morality.


Wow, you literally don't believe in the very concept of subjectivity. This may in fact be the most absurd position on anything I've ever heard.

(Hint: you're still confusing the two. An "objective moral statement" and an "objective statement concerning the topic of morality" are not the same thing.)
 
2011-04-14 08:15:59 PM  
At least he didn't get a toothache.

/shouldn't be obscure
 
2011-04-14 08:49:19 PM  

Fish_Fight!: lisarenee3505: Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify. That is insanity, plain and simple. All the pontificated arguments in this thread boil down to that one undeniable FACT. Theists are no different than some psycho fanboy who talks about Lord of the Rings as if that shiat had actually happened. Atheists choose to rely on what can be proven. Hey, I personally like the IDEA of god, it's pretty darn cool... some all-knowing father-figure who is always looking out for you, that's a freaking awesome idea. But to profess that a good idea is actually real just because it makes me feel good to think about it? That's just farking crazy, and that's pretty much what we Atheists are saying. It's awesome that you theists think that this "god" cat is so cool and loving, but at the end of the day, it's just a cool idea as far as you or anyone else KNOWS.

aw, thanks for calling us crazy and talking to us like we can't even tie our shoes! I'm sure that helps people see your point of veiw tons! no, really! ass

------------------------------------------------------------

Hey, you're the ones who choose to rabidly adhere to irrationality. If you think and act like a child, expect to be spoken to like one.
 
2011-04-14 08:50:41 PM  

Penman: lisarenee3505: Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify.

As do atheists.

---------------------------------------------------

You just stopped reading at that first sentence, didn't you? See, I know you did, because if you'd actually read the rest of the post, you wouldn't have made such an asinine statement.
 
2011-04-14 09:03:46 PM  

lisarenee3505: Penman: lisarenee3505: Theists profess to "believe" in things they cannot verify.

As do atheists.
---------------------------------------------------

You just stopped reading at that first sentence, didn't you? See, I know you did, because if you'd actually read the rest of the post, you wouldn't have made such an asinine statement.


That one amazed me too. If the term 'atheist' means anything, it means not believing in things that can't be verified.

It makes literally no sense at all to say that atheists are the same as theists in this regard. Theists seem to think any argument, no matter how vacuous or nonsensical, is justified as long as it supports their pre-existing notions. It's just awful.
 
2011-04-14 09:06:12 PM  

lisarenee3505:
Hey, you're the ones who choose to rabidly adhere to irrationality. If you think and act like a child, expect to be spoken to like one.

-said the kettle.
 
2011-04-14 09:11:39 PM  

Ablejack: -said the kettle.


Again, it's not an argument to just take a criticism of theism and claim, without any justification, that it applies equally to atheism too. It's childish and completely devoid of reason.

"I know you are but what am I LOLZ!"

It's like if someone says: "Boxing is too violent", and a boxing fan defends it by saying: "NOTboxing is just as violent!"
 
2011-04-14 09:20:13 PM  

Skyrmion: Wow, you literally don't believe in the very concept of subjectivity. This may in fact be the most absurd position on anything I've ever heard.


Yep, that's totally what I said and you aren't repeatedly failing to understand a fairly simple point at all.

Skyrmion: (Hint: you're still confusing the two. An "objective moral statement" and an "objective statement concerning the topic of morality" are not the same thing.)


I noted that moral nihilism doesn't fall into the trap, and that's how - it isn't making any sort of objective moral statement, it's making a statement about morality. But moral relativism agrees with moral objectivism that morality exists, just disagreeing on the issue over whether it is objective. Do you see the difference? Moral relativism is arguing that, amongst other things, the belief that cannibalism is moral and the belief that cannibalism is immoral are equal, but that's a positive claim. It's no more or less an objective moral statement than stating that the belief that cannibalism is moral and the belief that cannibalism is immoral are not equal.

I honestly don't know how much more I can simplify this. I can point you in the directions of a few philosophy books if you still aren't getting it.
 
2011-04-14 09:46:15 PM  
It's easy to make an objective moral statement, you just have to assume that morality relates in some way to the well being of conscious creatures. This is the argument Sam Harris makes, and it's a pretty easy assumption I think.

Objective moral statement: "The worst possible universe, that is, a universe in which every conscious creature suffers as much as possible for as long as possible...is bad."

If you don't think the worst possible universe is bad, I don't know what you mean by bad. Now, once you've accepted that the worst possible universe is bad, you've accepted that every other possible universe is, by definition, objectively better. You've accepted that there right and wrong ways to move in our universe that result in a measurably better or worse reality.

I could go on, but we've already done established the point. However complicated morality may be, in principle it is no different from any other field of understanding.
 
2011-04-14 09:53:25 PM  

Fuller: but we've already done established the point.


Went to correct that...but I kind of like how it reads I think
 
2011-04-14 10:08:12 PM  

Popular Opinion: Gothnet: Popular Opinion: i find it funny that people who were raised in a judeo-christian society, under governments founded upon the tenants of those faiths and the rules set out by those faiths can so easily dismiss religion and claim it has no basis on human nature and society's morals and ethics.
"We would act the same if there was never any religion."
And just how would you know that?


I find it funny when people put up straw men and knock them down because it makes them feel like they've finally won something.

i'm sure you were trying to make a point, but i missed it. sorry bout that.



The point was that you set up a position in an argument that nobody in this thread was taking ("religion throughout has had absolutely no effect on morality, ever!"), then ridiculed it. This is a straw-man argument. Nobody was saying that, but well done for winning your made-up quarrel.
 
2011-04-14 11:24:05 PM  

abb3w: Do bear in mind, while I've a mild appreciation, I'm not a follower. If anything, I'm more inclined to Discordianism - older school still.


Then all hail Eris!

I do find it funny that this stuff gets invented over and over again.
 
2011-04-14 11:37:21 PM  

Gunther: Fairly certain that isn't a real quote, but it eloquently demonstrates a problem moral relativists face - strip away the sophistry, and what is the difference between moral relativism and moral nihilism?


Well, to give an analogy to Einsteinian relativity, it's legitimate to ask under moral relativism how exactly the moral framework changes with a change in co-ordinates. (Coming up with an analogy for acceleration and a general relativity seems an interesting notional challenge.)

Moral nihilism doesn't recognize any of the frameworks, and simply says "who gives a f*ck?"

Fuller: If the term 'atheist' means anything, it means not believing in things that can't be verified.


Even atheists have to start their reasoning from axiomatic level premises; and axioms can't be verified.

That said, it's a long way from picking axioms to the any argument, no matter how vacuous or nonsensical, is justified that seems common to too many theists.

Gunther: Do you see the difference? Moral relativism is arguing that, amongst other things, the belief that cannibalism is moral and the belief that cannibalism is immoral are equal, but that's a positive claim.


An alternate way of thinking about it, for anyone who's bothered looking at the stuff on Posets that I periodically point to: moral relativism says all frameworks are equivalent, while moral nihilism says all frameworks are incomparable.

Fuller: It's easy to make an objective moral statement, you just have to assume that morality relates in some way to the well being of conscious creatures.


Except that "well being" implicitly slips in an ordering relationship without an ought-justification. (Why it should be limited to "conscious beings" also isn't justified, but that's a secondary problem.) Now, one can give a definition of what biologists mean by "well being" to reduce the problem, but that doesn't give a premise as to why we OUGHT to seek such well being.

The pragmatic answer of telling the philosopher "I don't know; let's experiment on you with the alternative for a bit" tends to be frowned on.

Fuller: I could go on, but we've already done established the point. However complicated morality may be, in principle it is no different from any other field of understanding.


Not that different, anyway. Similar to going from Euclid's first four axioms to geometry with the fifth (or a non-euclidean variant), you do need an axiom to define which ordering relationship you're talking about; however, after that, getting further inferences is more tedious than difficult.
 
2011-04-15 01:06:33 AM  

Gothnet: Popular Opinion: Gothnet: Popular Opinion: i find it funny that people who were raised in a judeo-christian society, under governments founded upon the tenants of those faiths and the rules set out by those faiths can so easily dismiss religion and claim it has no basis on human nature and society's morals and ethics.
"We would act the same if there was never any religion."
And just how would you know that?


I find it funny when people put up straw men and knock them down because it makes them feel like they've finally won something.

i'm sure you were trying to make a point, but i missed it. sorry bout that.


The point was that you set up a position in an argument that nobody in this thread was taking ("religion throughout has had absolutely no effect on morality, ever!"), then ridiculed it. This is a straw-man argument. Nobody was saying that, but well done for winning your made-up quarrel.


ah, thanks for replying.

bullshiat! perhaps you should read the posts.
 
2011-04-15 01:18:42 AM  

abb3w: Even atheists have to start their reasoning from axiomatic level premises; and axioms can't be verified.


Yes but that's a long way from...

abb3w: That said, it's a long way from picking axioms to the any argument, no matter how vacuous or nonsensical, is justified that seems common to too many theists.


*nod*

abb3w: Except that "well being" implicitly slips in an ordering relationship without an ought-justification. (Why it should be limited to "conscious beings" also isn't justified, but that's a secondary problem.) Now, one can give a definition of what biologists mean by "well being" to reduce the problem, but that doesn't give a premise as to why we OUGHT to seek such well being.


Yes it does, so long as you assume that the worst possible universe, as outlined before, is bad. Once you've accepted that assumption, the rest follows, because an 'ought' to avoid the worst possible universe is a logical consequence of accepting that the worst possible universe is bad. It's a tautology in a sense, I don't deny it - but only in the same way that any field of scientific inquiry can be ultimately reduced to, if one so wishes.
 
2011-04-15 01:19:55 AM  
Popular Opinion: "bullshiat! perhaps you should read the posts."

Perhaps you should provide your own example of someone making that claim. That's your job, not his.
 
2011-04-15 01:22:45 AM  

Zamboro: Popular Opinion: "bullshiat! perhaps you should read the posts."

Perhaps you should provide your own example of someone making that claim. That's your job, not his.


get tossed. not my job to provide examples for retards.
 
2011-04-15 01:33:19 AM  

Popular Opinion: Zamboro: Popular Opinion: "bullshiat! perhaps you should read the posts."

Perhaps you should provide your own example of someone making that claim. That's your job, not his.

get tossed. not my job to provide examples for retards.


i am going to assume that was unacceptable.
it took a minute to find one...

Gawdzila:
The fact is that morality doesn't come from religion but from society and from our own emotional responses.
 
2011-04-15 01:34:26 AM  

abb3w: (Why it should be limited to "conscious beings" also isn't justified, but that's a secondary problem.)


Wait, I glossed over this bit. That's easy. Imagine a universe with no conscious life whatsover. No life at all, for that matter. What meaning does morality have in this universe?

Morality only has an apparent meaning in the context of conscious experience, it seems like a completely empty concept without it. Now, compare the conscious experience of a spider with a monkey. There seems to be a fairly common understanding that a monkeys conscious experience is far greater than that of a spiders.

Of course, we could be wrong about this, I guess. Maybe the makings of a conscious experience are not manifested in a central nervous system at all, maybe they come from something else, something ethereal, something supernatural. If that's the case, it could be that spiders are capable of feeling a far greater range of joy and pain than monkeys are. But as far as we can tell, that isn't true.

So we do what we can given the information we have. We call it far more acceptable to kill or torture a spider than we do a monkey, simply because we recognise that a monkey is capable of a far greater range of conscious experience, and we instinctively wish to maximise the well being of that conscious creature. We form our morals based on our understand of well being.

Why 'ought' we to do this? Well, even at an axiomatic level, its clearly the best option available. Even religious morals relate to well being - they simply posit a measure of well being that extends beyond natural life, and into a hypothetical next life. That's why heaven is supposed to be so great, and hell so shiat. Those experiences can be reduced to a measure of well being as well. It doesn't appear to go any deeper than that.
 
2011-04-15 01:39:27 AM  
Popular Opinion: "get tossed. not my job to provide examples for retards."

Woah there. Aren't you the religious "person" here?

Popular Opinion: "it took a minute to find one..."

And it's absolutely correct, humans had morality prior to religion and those of us without religion today have morality. Were it not for religion, things would surely be different, but we'd have the same core set of rules for purely pragmatic reasons.
 
2011-04-15 01:39:35 AM  

Zamboro: Popular Opinion: "bullshiat! perhaps you should read the posts."

Perhaps you should provide your own example of someone making that claim. That's your job, not his.


by the way, if you haven't noticed, i am not even religious and i still came the the conclusion that you are a retarded farking idiot.
 
2011-04-15 01:40:52 AM  
Popular Opinion: "by the way, if you haven't noticed, i am not even religious and i still came the the conclusion that you are a retarded farking idiot."

I'm sorry you're incapable of participating in an adult conversation. The rest of us would like to enjoy ours, so please leave.
 
2011-04-15 01:41:52 AM  

Popular Opinion: i am going to assume that was unacceptable.
it took a minute to find one...

Gawdzila:
The fact is that morality doesn't come from religion but from society and from our own emotional responses.


...so your challenge is to provide examples of morality that don't come from religion?

Seriously?
 
2011-04-15 01:46:18 AM  

Zamboro: Popular Opinion: "by the way, if you haven't noticed, i am not even religious and i still came the the conclusion that you are a retarded farking idiot."

I'm sorry you're incapable of participating in an adult conversation. The rest of us would like to enjoy ours, so please leave.


adult? please. you are a farking tard.

and yes, i meant that in the most adolescent way possible.
if you have something of value to say, by all means, otherwise, stfu.
 
2011-04-15 01:47:16 AM  

Popular Opinion: by the way, if you haven't noticed, i am not even religious and i still came the the conclusion that you are a retarded farking idiot.


What's with the personal attacks? We're just talking here, chill.
 
2011-04-15 01:47:39 AM  

Fuller: Popular Opinion: i am going to assume that was unacceptable.
it took a minute to find one...

Gawdzila:
The fact is that morality doesn't come from religion but from society and from our own emotional responses.

...so your challenge is to provide examples of morality that don't come from religion?

Seriously?


he asked for an example similar to the one i provided.
please try to keep up.
 
2011-04-15 01:51:06 AM  

Fuller: Popular Opinion: by the way, if you haven't noticed, i am not even religious and i still came the the conclusion that you are a retarded farking idiot.

What's with the personal attacks? We're just talking here, chill.


sorry, you are right...
however, when somebody wants to engage in debate, and acts and posts as though they are retarded, it is difficult for me to ignore the ignorance. i have to assume that they don't really want to discuss the topic intelligently, but are trolling, and are therefore not deserving of any respect.
 
2011-04-15 01:51:39 AM  
Popular Opinion: "adult? please. you are a farking tard."

I said nothing to deserve your attacks. You're simply a rotten person. You don't belong on Fark, or anywhere else.
 
2011-04-15 01:52:23 AM  

Gunther: Skyrmion: Wow, you literally don't believe in the very concept of subjectivity. This may in fact be the most absurd position on anything I've ever heard.

Yep, that's totally what I said.


Sounded like it to me (glad you're not totally nuts, though). Since you protest, it means we're disagreeing on a matter of definition, probably "relativism". I would have held that it was essentially a denial of "objectivism", which is to say (in the moral case) it is the position that no system of morality can have claim to objective truth; that any moral system must rest on some unsupported axioms / subjective beliefs.

On the other hand, your definition of "moral relativism" sounds like something completely incoherent, which I suppose may have something to do with why you object to it. Fair enough.
 
2011-04-15 01:56:08 AM  

Zamboro: Popular Opinion: "adult? please. you are a farking tard."

I said nothing to deserve your attacks. You're simply a rotten person. You don't belong on Fark, or anywhere else.


you baited me.

now i feel bad. :o(
 
2011-04-15 01:57:44 AM  

Ablejack: nubzers:
Some farker: Where does an atheist's moral come from?

nubzers: The reason you can't grasp the concept of a moral atheist is because you are starting with a false premise. The false premise of a deity being the source of morality or right and wrong. In your own definition of morality, there is no mention of any divine mandate or inspiration. Simply an agreed upon standard. And if you actually study cultures, you will find that despite having very different religious and philosophical views, nearly all cultures come to the same basic morals: Don't kill each other, don't steal, share, etc. Why does morality have to come from a god? It seems the evidence points away from any divine inspiration for morality so there must be a natural explanation. Is it written in our genetics? Is it simply a social meme that is successful because its the only way societies can exist? Thats where science comes in. Gather the evidence, make observations, and experiment and see what happens. You will find that most atheists are humanists and do far more to help others than 99% of christians. Try talking to a few and find out.

You could easily argue (as Catholics do) that an atheist's morals come stem their faith in God as well. Pope Paul VI epistles on faith separate it [faith] from belief systems. Faith is described as a grace from God. As Jesus stated you do not have the authority to judge the faith of another. Nor can you be sure of your own. At best, we can pray for the gift of Faith but even that is no guarantee and is not necessary to have faith.
Geneticists and sociologists having an explanation for morality would not displace it from being God's work. For instance the Catholic position on evolution is that it is an "effectively proven fact"- (John Paul). Yet Catholics do not suppose this means God did not "create" man. Evolution (for Catholics) gives us a worldly explanation of how God created the corporality of man.
You have provided no reason that attributing morality to a deity is a false premise, any more than I have reason to claim that attributing morality to mundane causes is a false premise.


Western morals are hardly unique to nor originate from christianity.
 
2011-04-15 01:58:02 AM  

Zamboro: Popular Opinion: "adult? please. you are a farking tard."

I said nothing to deserve your attacks. You're simply a rotten person. You don't belong on Fark, or anywhere else.


i did provide the example you implied didn't exist, and you weren't even man (or woman) enough to acknowledge it.
 
2011-04-15 01:58:24 AM  

Fuller: Objective moral statement: "The worst possible universe, that is, a universe in which every conscious creature suffers as much as possible for as long as possible...is bad."


Is it just the percentage that counts? Or do total numbers factor in? What's worse, a universe with nothing but one human in it, all living in agony, or one with just 100 persons in such a state?
 
2011-04-15 02:06:35 AM  

Mock26:
Western morals are hardly unique to nor originate from christianity.


i agree they aren't unique.
where did western morals originate from?
 
2011-04-15 02:11:03 AM  

Popular Opinion: however, when somebody wants to engage in debate, and acts and posts as though they are retarded,


That isn't happening. I don't know what else to tell you.

Skyrmion: Is it just the percentage that counts? Or do total numbers factor in? What's worse, a universe with nothing but one human in it, all living in agony, or one with just 100 persons in such a state?


Absolutely worthwhile questions, and this is exactly the kind of conversation that needs to be had, once we've accepted the premise that morals should be based on well being.

The point that I'm trying to get across is that questions such as the ones you have asked do not at all negate the premise. It's much like medicine, where there isn't necessarily only one right answer to any given problem. There isn't only one precisely correct diet or dosage of medicine or way to organise a medical system. Nonetheless, there is agreement that medicine overall is a good thing, and no one says that the fact that medicine isn't precise means the whole thing should be tossed.

In regards to your specific questions, farked if I know. I suggest we should focus our moral 'science' on pragmatic issues - in the context of a world with 7 billion people, many of whom suffer, and how that suffering can be alleviated. I would further suggest that those moral choices should not be based on religion or other forms of supernaturalism, which are frameworks that have simply failed to do the job that clearly needs to be done.
 
2011-04-15 02:15:58 AM  

Popular Opinion: where did western morals originate from?


My offering as someone with very limited historical knowledge would be: Greek philosophy, which led to the Enlightenment, out of which our ideas of democracy and secularism and science and naturalism evolved.