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(The Jakarta Globe)   Right now, six people running for the job of the leader of the most powerful nation on earth are trying desperately to convince voters that they don't believe in science and won't govern based on it   (thejakartaglobe.com) divider line 511
    More: Scary, White House, Republican, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Utah Governor  
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23635 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2012 at 1:27 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-02 09:37:52 PM

BurnShrike: common sense is an oxymoron: And you may be confusing atheism with agnosticism. Being unconvinced that there might be a god is not the same as denial of the existence of any gods. My point was that hard-core atheism (the flat statement, "There is no god") relies on facts and evidence just as much (or as little) as does devout belief (the flat statement, "There is a God [or gods]").

However, your "null hypothesis" idea does sort of agree with my own mental model: If you consider religions to be analogous to natural numbers (monotheistic religions = 1, etc.), then atheism would equal zero. Zero isn't a natural number (religion), but it is a whole number (faith-based, in this analogy). Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.


I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
-- Isaac Asimov


This is a valid real-world argument, and I'll set aside my obsession with semantics.
 
2012-01-02 09:43:34 PM

whidbey: common sense is an oxymoron: My point was that hard-core atheism (the flat statement, "There is no god") relies on facts and evidence just as much (or as little) as does devout belief (the flat statement, "There is a God [or gods]").

No it doesn't. Being an atheist means you live your life using reason and science as tools. No belief or evidence required. It's just life. No doctrine, no dogma, no statements that need to be proven.


I might classify that as areligionist. I think many people in modern Europe would consider themselves to be areligionist: they don't follow any of the doctrines or rituals (or they do, but just out of convenience or convention) of a particular religion but they may still harbor a sense of an Entity. That feeling is not hard to remove as it's been ingrained into people's thoughts and habits for over several millennia.

Atheists are those who, like me, have fully self-proved the non-existence of any god.
 
2012-01-02 09:44:42 PM
Anyone else notice that as recording devices have come into use the fewer the flashy miracles being claimed?
 
2012-01-02 09:46:19 PM

2wolves: Anyone else notice that as recording devices have come into use the fewer the flashy miracles being claimed?


Yeah, God went from moving aside a sea of water to appearing as a water stain on a wall. He's really let himself go.
 
2012-01-02 09:48:31 PM

dericwater: Atheists are those who, like me, have fully self-proved the non-existence of any god.


I dunno. You're going to run into a lot of problems with that conclusion. You cannot prove or disprove a negative, for one thing.

You're better off realizing that those who make the claim can't prove theirs, and that looking for God serves about the same purpose as OJ looking for "the real killer."
 
2012-01-02 09:51:49 PM

Lordserb: discospinster: Lordserb: Not science, but the agressive forced interpretation of science that disallows God to exist.

It's hardly aggressive or forced.

If that were the case then schools shouldn't have a problem teaching creationism vs. evolutionism.


I have no problem with the public schools teaching creationism, as long as it's in a philosophy class. Science classes are for science, things which have evidence supporting them and which help us understand the world around us. Creationism is not science, it's a large cluster of techno-babble added on to the hebrew creation myth to try to make it sound like science.

By all means, I'd love if the public schools offered philosophy classes so that the teachers could sit up there and say 'some people ignore all scientific evidence to the contrary and believe that the world is a few thousand years old and was made in six days, while many groups in rural eurasia believe that it was born from a flower, or crafted by an ice giant drinking from a cow's udder.' etc. etc. I think schools should have philosophy classes which teach children about all the myriad beliefs and creation myths humanity has held over the centuries. But they need to be reminded constantly that belief has no effect whatsoever on the physical world and that any hypothesis or theory contradicted by empirical evidence is inherently a flawed theory and needs to be either revised or discarded.

I wish there was a way to guarantee that scientists were above political corruption, because we desperately need a 'chief scientist' position here in the US that, whenever a politician starts running his mouth about science he doesn't understand, or someone introduces a bill that regulates some form of technology they don't understand (I'm looking at you, SOPA supporters and the Net Neutrality opposers) the chief scientist can simply veto their bills or order them to shut up and retake high-school science classes until they understand not just that they're wrong, but also how wrong they are and why they needed to shut up.
 
2012-01-02 09:52:45 PM

whidbey: MSFT: Just out of curiosity, what kind of material do you have in mind for the wide angle lens (lower than 35mm)?

Landscapes, mainly. I notice that taking shots with the 50 is like cropping a picture taken with the 18-50. But I'm learning that any lens you can zoom with could compromise sharpness/focus.


Agreed. I haven't used my 18-200mm that came with the camera since I picked up these recent fixed lenses.
I'm just having trouble understanding why Canon (or Sigma, or Tamron, etc.) haven't filled that 35mm gap. I assumed that there was a correlating lens between both of the big brands, especially when it comes to something so "standard" in my opinion.

Oh well, best of luck. At least we live in an area that is target rich. I'm looking forward to bringing mine along to Stevens Pass over the coming weeks while I'm snowboarding and my son is learning to ski.
 
2012-01-02 09:52:50 PM

2wolves: Anyone else notice that as recording devices have come into use the fewer the flashy miracles being claimed?


You'd think that cellphone cameras would have proven the existence of Bigfoot by now, too...;)
 
2012-01-02 09:57:02 PM

hubiestubert: (Many comments made in many posts.)


I'm late to this party, but welcome to my favorites list.
 
2012-01-02 09:58:02 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.


No it isn't. For most atheists God is irrelevant and you don't need any sort of faith to pay no attention to the idea. Just because you made something up, it doesn't mean I have to have faith to ignore it.
 
2012-01-02 10:00:30 PM

MSFT: Oh well, best of luck. At least we live in an area that is target rich.


Yes. The pictures practically take themselves. :)
 
2012-01-02 10:02:46 PM

whatshisname: common sense is an oxymoron: Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.

No it isn't. For most atheists God is irrelevant and you don't need any sort of faith to pay no attention to the idea. Just because you made something up, it doesn't mean I have to have faith to ignore it.


It's almost as if the faithful can't stand the fact that everyone doesn't view things in the same skewed square peg/round hole realm of thinking, so they project their insecurities onto sane rational people.
 
2012-01-02 10:03:42 PM

BurnShrike: 2wolves: Anyone else notice that as recording devices have come into use the fewer the flashy miracles being claimed?

Yeah, God went from moving aside a sea of water to appearing as a water stain on a wall. He's really let himself go.


After the Anger Management class between the Old and New Testaments you'd think he'd have loosened up a bit.
 
2012-01-02 10:04:29 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: Baryogenesis: common sense is an oxymoron: Atheism is a faith-based doctrine (at least unless/until someone can offer proof that no supernatural beings of any description exist), but it is not a religion (who/what do atheists worship?).

Technically yes, in the sense that all knowledge rests on a handful of assumptions/axioms which cannot be proved, but using the word faith there can be, and often is, misleading. More specifically about your point, it's odd to say that one has "faith" when one does not believe in something for which there is no evidence or proof. It's more akin to a null hypothesis.

You may be committing a common mistaken: assuming atheists are 100% certain about there being no God(s). Merely stating one remains unconvinced isn't a matter of faith.

And you may be confusing atheism with agnosticism. Being unconvinced that there might be a god is not the same as denial of the existence of any gods. My point was that hard-core atheism (the flat statement, "There is no god") relies on facts and evidence just as much (or as little) as does devout belief (the flat statement, "There is a God [or gods]").

However, your "null hypothesis" idea does sort of agree with my own mental model: If you consider religions to be analogous to natural numbers (monotheistic religions = 1, etc.), then atheism would equal zero. Zero isn't a natural number (religion), but it is a whole number (faith-based, in this analogy). Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.


Has anyone posted the Blue Gargoyle yet?

i2.photobucket.com

As I already said, atheism doesn't automatically mean 100% certainty that God(s) do(es) not exist. Your whole point about atheism being a type of faith falls apart when you understand atheism is fully compatible with agnosticism and, in fact, most atheists would be more appropriately labeled as agnostic-atheists. It's not faith to say, "hang on a minute, why should I believe that?". Some people call the type of atheist you refer to as "hard atheists" and the type I refer to as "soft atheists". Anecdotalaly speaking, I've seen very few hard atheists. Dawkins, to use a prominent example, is a soft atheist.
 
2012-01-02 10:05:34 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk
 
2012-01-02 10:08:16 PM

SteveB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk


Bevets? Is that you? Halleluiah! He has risen!
 
2012-01-02 10:14:00 PM

Xenu's Giant Pink Replicock: Baryogenesis 2012-01-02 09:06:04 PM
Xenu's Giant Pink Replicock: This is where I draw the line. Anyone who tries to bring science in to religious discussion is actually an anti-theist. They are trying to minimize the role of faith, and are the misguided false prophet the Bible warns people about.

Science can certainly comment on religion because religions make testable claims. I do agree with you that science can't address the metaphysical, in fact, science purposefully restricts itself to examining the natural universe.

One can bring religion in to scientific discussion under any circumstance. That would be where science can comment on religion. Keep in mind, many of the functions that quantum physics discusses would be seen as metaphysical in earlier years. You can try to prove God exists, or does not, or ghosts, or ESP, all you want, as long as you do it using the scientific method - repeatability, transparency, and an open mind.

It is bringing science in to religious discussion that is problematic. No scientific justification has any place in Christianity, to be specific.


Science can be used any time Christianity or any other religion makes a testable statement. Resurrection, the efficacy of prayer, evolution, transubstantiation, miracles, etc are all testable claims. They happen in the natural world. They can be tested by science. The only place science doesn't tread is the purely metaphysical.
 
2012-01-02 10:14:11 PM

whidbey: Gyrfalcon: letrole: Atheism is a Religion

A truth.

Not sure if derping on purpose.


I needed it to make my second statement possible. Atheism is a religion is true in the same way that douchebag is a human being.
 
2012-01-02 10:15:01 PM

BurnShrike: SteveB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk

Bevets? Is that you? Halleluiah! He has risen!



I don't know who this Bevets is that you speak of, but sure. I'm that person.
 
2012-01-02 10:17:31 PM

whidbey: common sense is an oxymoron: My point was that hard-core atheism (the flat statement, "There is no god") relies on facts and evidence just as much (or as little) as does devout belief (the flat statement, "There is a God [or gods]").

No it doesn't. Being an atheist means you live your life using reason and science as tools. No belief or evidence required. It's just life. No doctrine, no dogma, no statements that need to be proven.


Then being a believer axiomatically means you don't live your life using reason and science as tools? This may hold true for fundamentalists of just about any religion, but it certainly isn't true in all cases, and it doesn't constitute a defining difference between atheists and believers.

And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.
 
2012-01-02 10:21:03 PM

Baryogenesis: It is bringing science in to religious discussion that is problematic. No scientific justification has any place in Christianity, to be specific.

Science can be used any time Christianity or any other religion makes a testable statement. Resurrection, the efficacy of prayer, evolution, transubstantiation, miracles, etc are all testable claims. They happen in the natural world. They can be tested by science. The only place science doesn't tread is the purely metaphysical.


I'm pretty sure he's taking the opposing stance to the point of absurdity to make a point, as evidenced by the highlighted statement above. It's hard to tell though. Damn you Poe!
 
2012-01-02 10:25:18 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.


Evidence for nonexistence? There's no more evidence for the nonexistence of Santa Clause than for the existence of the same. Should we seriously entertain the existence of Santa Clause too?
 
2012-01-02 10:27:16 PM
So in other words brainwashed religious idiots still believe in talking snakes and that the Earth is only a few thousand years old but reject proven scientific data. At least I'm not living in a time where they still burn witches (in my country at least).
 
2012-01-02 10:35:14 PM

whatshisname: common sense is an oxymoron: Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.

No it isn't. For most atheists God is irrelevant and you don't need any sort of faith to pay no attention to the idea. Just because you made something up, it doesn't mean I have to have faith to ignore it.


There's a difference between atheism and disbelief in a Big White Guy in the Sky who dispenses Justice in the Hereafter.
 
2012-01-02 10:36:04 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.


I'm not the one who needs to prove anything. Just living my life.

Again, the person making the statement that God exists has the burden, not those with the common sense to reject the statement because of lack of proof.

But I have a feeling that you know all this.
 
2012-01-02 10:39:24 PM

SteveB: BurnShrike: SteveB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk

Bevets? Is that you? Halleluiah! He has risen!


I don't know who this Bevets is that you speak of, but sure. I'm that person.


No, you're not. You're capable of making a directed answer that isn't a link to a fundamentalist creationist website or poorly-edited misquote of someone else. Bevets is a Fark mini-legend. Many of us are still undecided as to whether it was an actual person who believed his rhetoric, a person trolling us by being even more over-the-top-fundie than Stephen Colbert, or a very advanced chat-bot that evolved (ironically) the ability to automatically seek out threads in which any kind of science was discussed which contradicted its creator's beliefs and spa it with repetitive nonsensical quotes and links, often responding to the people who responded to it. (y vote still goes for the latter)
 
2012-01-02 10:40:53 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: whatshisname: common sense is an oxymoron: Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.

No it isn't. For most atheists God is irrelevant and you don't need any sort of faith to pay no attention to the idea. Just because you made something up, it doesn't mean I have to have faith to ignore it.

There's a difference between atheism and disbelief in a Big White Guy in the Sky who dispenses Justice in the Hereafter.


How do you define your God then?
 
2012-01-02 10:48:54 PM

Calm Down You Spaz: GungFu: USA! USA! USA!

If anything, asimovs got kickass sideburns

/ rereading foundation


Good choice. He eventually ties 12 or 13 of his books into it. Took me forever to read but it was a good ride.
 
2012-01-02 10:53:03 PM

Baryogenesis: Has anyone posted the Blue Gargoyle yet?

[i2.photobucket.com image 640x548]

As I already said, atheism doesn't automatically mean 100% certainty that God(s) do(es) not exist. Your whole point about atheism being a type of faith falls apart when you understand atheism is fully compatible with agnosticism and, in fact, most atheists would be more appropriately labeled as agnostic-atheists. It's not faith to say, "hang on a minute, why should I believe that?". Some people call the type of atheist you refer to as "hard atheists" and the type I refer to as "soft atheists". Anecdotalaly speaking, I've seen very few hard atheists. Dawkins, to use a prominent example, is a soft atheist.


Thanks. I'd heard the hard vs. soft descriptors used for agnosticism ("the evidence isn't in yet" vs. "the question is unanswerable from our perspective") but not for atheism. What you call "soft atheists" I would simply call agnostics, although atheistic agnostics certainly make sense, since I've always acknowledged theistic agnosticism (after all, that's why it's called "faith").

/son of a very hard atheist
 
2012-01-02 10:54:50 PM

Learned Louisianian: Many of us are still undecided as to whether it was an actual person who believed his rhetoric, a person trolling us by being even more over-the-top-fundie than Stephen Colbert, or a very advanced chat-bot


I have a confirmation from the top eschelon Fark God Community that he was real and had dinner one night with said FGC and he is in fact a real person, and pretty geeky at that. Big surprise, right?

However, conspicuously absent from the report was whether the whole thing was a troll or not, and I didn't ask.
 
2012-01-02 10:56:47 PM
Once again everyone misses the point. Who cares if there is a god or not?
Why can't we just allow the technology to improve everyones lives and leave religion out of it.

The 6 mentioned in the article shouldn't be running anything, and is why they are for the most part, still in congress, as for the past 30 years congress has failed to lead, or even do anything of consequence for America, and in fact has just held it back.

Technology has come from the Academic and Private sectors of America. Congress has been the place where Technology gets held back via lobbyists protecting existing technologies.

The only component where Religion comes in, is where religious beliefs lead into the hinderance of new technologies and maintain hegemonic realities of power and the status quo.

If we could somehow agree that coal should be used for graphene, carbon fiber and the replacement to Silicon as the best way to construct 3 dimensional transitors that could increase computing power by 1000 fold again in the next 10 years, instead of just using it to burn.

If we could somehow agree that we could be using bio-organisms to produce our oil supply instead of relying on buried deposits that introduce new carbon into the atmosphere, and use solar catalyzing carbon capture units to create useful carbon based items that could remove the entire carbon content inserted since the beginning of the industrial revolution from the atmosphere within 10 - 20 years.

If we could somehow agree to establish a backbone grid of solar, wind and water based generators spanning the continental US, and upgrade the transmission system, as well as decrease the voltage of transmission required (less heat, less energy loss).

If we could just forget about belief systems, and stop flinging religious/areligious names at each other and focus on building the future, we'd have jobs, we'd have energy, we'd have a cleaner environment, but as always we can't. As Fark is the extreme microcosm of the world, and we are so focussed on being funny/smart or trollish/ignorant that it is apparent that this is the real reason we can't fix things.

Forget about religion, we just need to fix our reality. The tech is here, the money is available, we just have to fins a way to insist that these things be done. We have to find a way to override congress, or at least get people who want to move the country forward in a way that allows us to improve the world by being leaders again. We had people like that before, there must be people who exist today that want to do this today. Why don't we seek them out and elect them?
 
2012-01-02 10:59:04 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.

Evidence for nonexistence? There's no more evidence for the nonexistence of Santa Clause than for the existence of the same. Should we seriously entertain the existence of Santa Clause too?


farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2012-01-02 11:04:50 PM

whidbey: common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.

I'm not the one who needs to prove anything. Just living my life.

Again, the person making the statement that God exists does not exist has the burden, not those with the common sense to reject the statement because of lack of proof.

But I have a feeling that you know all this.


I do. But it all depends on who is making the statement. And "God does not exist" doesn't equal "I don't believe God exists."
 
2012-01-02 11:07:30 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: LouDobbsAwaaaay: common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.

Evidence for nonexistence? There's no more evidence for the nonexistence of Santa Clause than for the existence of the same. Should we seriously entertain the existence of Santa Clause too?

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 526x239]


I'm perfectly serious. You cannot prove a negative; claiming the existence or nonexistence of X is equal because there is equal evidence for both is absurd. Show me the evidence that Santa Clause doesn't exist. Or elves, fairies, or giant upside-down purple jellyfish that disappear when you try to look at them. There's no evidence of their existence, and (like anything else) there's no evidence of their nonexistence.

If we're supposed to seriously entertain the notion that God exists because there's no evidence for his existence or nonexistence, then we have to seriously entertain the existence of Santa Clause, elves, fairies, the disappearing upside-down jellyfish, and anything else you can think of off the top of your head. You need a better argument than this.
 
2012-01-02 11:09:23 PM
Are we sure that this is news?
 
2012-01-02 11:11:10 PM

Jz4p: Are we sure that this is news?


No. It's Fark.
 
2012-01-02 11:14:38 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: "God does not exist" doesn't equal "I don't believe God exists."


But it does. God is merely an ill-defined idea. It can have no existence beyond what we believe.
 
2012-01-02 11:20:08 PM

Rob3Fan: I believe in evolution and science.

I don't believe in the exagerated claims of human induced climate change.


Just a quick heads up, but if you don't believe that carbon dioxide increases the ambient temperature of an ecosystem, then you don't believe in science.

If you believe that it does, but don't believe that increasing carbon dioxide in an ecosystem increases the ambient temperature of an ecosystem, then you don't believe in math. You know, that thing where adding two numbers together yields an even higher number.

If you do believe both of these things, but insist that our not knowing exactly how much our artificial inflation of atmospheric carbon dioxide is having an effect on this process is evidence that we should just go ahead and do it as much as we want...then you believe in playing Russian Roulette with the fate of humanity.


This idea that climate science is politicized on both sides is a lie being sold, by corporations, to people who are more than eager to believe it. If you believe the entire scientific community is running a big scam to live fat off of research grants, in all honesty you need to really examine this belief, really put it under your own scrutiny, and ask yourself if that really makes sense. Because the overwhelming drive for *most* scientists is discovery, to find something new, to figure out something no one else could. And with this, comes a high emphasis on prestige among scientists. It is simply impossible that such a grand scheme could occur within the scientific community, because for each and every one of the scientists involved, the ability to prove your fellow scientists are fraudulent is just as valuable to your prestige, your career, and your pocketbook as proving you are right.

The very premise Republican's pose on this subject is fundamentally contradictory. They assert that basic human greed causes the scientific community to rip off the world for the sake of making a name and getting some bucks, yet don't recognize that the very same attribute would immediately lead to the scam being exposed by each and every one of those greedy, dirty scientists for the sake of making an even bigger name, and making even more money.
 
2012-01-02 11:27:18 PM

letrole: Science does not exist.


I'll go with science is a religion. Haven't seen this variant yet.
 
2012-01-02 11:27:44 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: Baryogenesis: Has anyone posted the Blue Gargoyle yet?

[i2.photobucket.com image 640x548]

As I already said, atheism doesn't automatically mean 100% certainty that God(s) do(es) not exist. Your whole point about atheism being a type of faith falls apart when you understand atheism is fully compatible with agnosticism and, in fact, most atheists would be more appropriately labeled as agnostic-atheists. It's not faith to say, "hang on a minute, why should I believe that?". Some people call the type of atheist you refer to as "hard atheists" and the type I refer to as "soft atheists". Anecdotalaly speaking, I've seen very few hard atheists. Dawkins, to use a prominent example, is a soft atheist.

Thanks. I'd heard the hard vs. soft descriptors used for agnosticism ("the evidence isn't in yet" vs. "the question is unanswerable from our perspective") but not for atheism. What you call "soft atheists" I would simply call agnostics, although atheistic agnostics certainly make sense, since I've always acknowledged theistic agnosticism (after all, that's why it's called "faith").

/son of a very hard atheist


Yes, the general division between "types" of agnostics is unknowable in principle vs. unknowable currently. Then, atheists vary in their certainty of their position where 100% certain is usually called hard atheism and anything less is soft atheism.
 
2012-01-02 11:37:04 PM

whatshisname: common sense is an oxymoron: whatshisname: common sense is an oxymoron: Atheism may be the the faith that something does not exist, but in the absence of absolute evidence (either positive or negative) it is faith nonetheless.

No it isn't. For most atheists God is irrelevant and you don't need any sort of faith to pay no attention to the idea. Just because you made something up, it doesn't mean I have to have faith to ignore it.

There's a difference between atheism and disbelief in a Big White Guy in the Sky who dispenses Justice in the Hereafter.

How do you define your God then?


I see a world full of different religions, more than one of which claim to the the One and Only True Path to Eternal Salvation. Since they can't all be right, and since there is no way to determine which one (or more, if any) may indeed be an accurate description of the universe and its creator, I don't see any point in choosing to believe any of them. Meanwhile, science is providing an increasingly accurate description of the universe which does not rely on fixed dogma and is able to make real-world predictions far more successfully than any religion.

My definition of God is, if anything, based on which supposedly divine events have not taken place. I think I can safely write off a God who intercedes directly upon each and every prayer, but I'm not so certain about one who created the universe and then just let it run.
 
2012-01-02 11:46:03 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: whidbey: common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.

I'm not the one who needs to prove anything. Just living my life.

Again, the person making the statement that God exists does not exist has the burden, not those with the common sense to reject the statement because of lack of proof.

But I have a feeling that you know all this.

I do. But it all depends on who is making the statement. And "God does not exist" doesn't equal "I don't believe God exists."


Well, I can't speak for many others, but for me it, this conversation usually boils down to:

Theist: Go exists! (or some similarly unfounded statement)
Me: Prove it.
Theist: Well, look at all this stuff!
Me: Um, I already know how all that happened. look at the evidence.
Theist (usually getting angry at this point): well, you can't prove he doesn't exist!
Me: I don't have to. Burden of proof lies on you. You're the one making the statement. Until I see hard evidence, I'm going to have to relegate all concepts of 'god' to abstract thought experiments that have no influence on reality.
Theist (usually furious by now): But god is everywhere and affects everything!
Me: Again, prove it.
Theist: I DON'T HAVE TO! YOU HAVE TO PROVE HE DOESN'T!
Me: That's not the way the world works. --Walk away--
 
2012-01-02 11:52:49 PM

common sense is an oxymoron: I do. But it all depends on who is making the statement. And "God does not exist" doesn't equal "I don't believe God exists.


What equates to "I don't care, stop shoving your mythology down my throat? ;)
 
2012-01-02 11:56:40 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: common sense is an oxymoron: LouDobbsAwaaaay: common sense is an oxymoron: And you seem to disagree with my statement that there is no more evidence for the nonexistence of god(s) than for the existence of same. If you do have such evidence, please share.

Evidence for nonexistence? There's no more evidence for the nonexistence of Santa Clause than for the existence of the same. Should we seriously entertain the existence of Santa Clause too?

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 526x239]

I'm perfectly serious. You cannot prove a negative; claiming the existence or nonexistence of X is equal because there is equal evidence for both is absurd. Show me the evidence that Santa Clause doesn't exist. Or elves, fairies, or giant upside-down purple jellyfish that disappear when you try to look at them. There's no evidence of their existence, and (like anything else) there's no evidence of their nonexistence.

If we're supposed to seriously entertain the notion that God exists because there's no evidence for his existence or nonexistence, then we have to seriously entertain the existence of Santa Clause, elves, fairies, the disappearing upside-down jellyfish, and anything else you can think of off the top of your head. You need a better argument than this.


I'm not expecting you to seriously entertain anything. I'm simply saying that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and that while there is no evidence that God (hardly a single, monolithic concept) exists, there is also no evidence that some form of god/creator does/did not exist.

But your Santa analogy was not a good one. We've seen the North Pole. We've been there on foot and by submarine, and we've viewed it from orbit. There are no workshops, no reindeer (flying or otherwise), none of the things that should be there if Santa really existed. We have yet to visit heaven.

/maybe it's because the believers reposition heaven from time to time as science advances, but that's neither here nor there
 
2012-01-03 12:02:54 AM

whidbey: dericwater: Atheists are those who, like me, have fully self-proved the non-existence of any god.

I dunno. You're going to run into a lot of problems with that conclusion. You cannot prove or disprove a negative, for one thing.

You're better off realizing that those who make the claim can't prove theirs, and that looking for God serves about the same purpose as OJ looking for "the real killer."


Certainly you can (dis)prove a negative. It's done all the time in mathematics. Proof of non-existence of certain types of abelian groups, certain types of topological spaces, etc. It's standard bread-and-butter claims and proofs in math.

All it requires is a clear definition of what a "god" is. I can't give a proof until someone provides a clear definition of "god". Then it's pretty easy to prove. Of course, if one wants to weaken the definition to be "any entity that heads the US executive branch at the federal level" well, that certainly exists, but I would question how much of a god that that entity would be.
 
2012-01-03 12:07:46 AM

Learned Louisianian: Well, I can't speak for many others, but for me it, this conversation usually boils down to:

Theist: Go exists! (or some similarly unfounded statement)
Me: Prove it.
Theist: Well, look at all this stuff!
Me: Um, I already know how all that happened. look at the evidence.
Theist (usually getting angry at this point): well, you can't prove he doesn't exist!
Me: I don't have to. Burden of proof lies on you. You're the one making the statement. Until I see hard evidence, I'm going to have to relegate all concepts of 'god' to abstract thought experiments that have no influence on reality.
Theist (usually furious by now): But god is everywhere and affects everything!
Me: Again, prove it.
Theist: I DON'T HAVE TO! YOU HAVE TO PROVE HE DOESN'T!
Me: That's not the way the world works. --Walk away--


I really don't have a dog in this fight. I agree that there are far more outspoken theists than there are outspoken atheists (and the more outspoken the theist, the more repressive their theology seems to be); but again, if an atheist had opened the above conversation by stating "God does not exist," then the burden of proof would be on the atheist.
 
2012-01-03 12:12:52 AM

common sense is an oxymoron: I really don't have a dog in this fight.


Yeah, right.

if an atheist had opened the above conversation by stating "God does not exist," then the burden of proof would be on the atheist.

This is your "dog," and it's already been shown to be an illogical premise. You do not prove a negative. There is no burden on the atheist whatsoever.
 
2012-01-03 12:14:06 AM
You guys might want to compare the test scores from private (religious) schools with those of government-run public schools.

The only "anti-science" teachings today are coming from the Democrats.

The best example is liberals trying to tell us two males can make (and raise) a baby!
 
2012-01-03 12:15:39 AM

dericwater: Certainly you can (dis)prove a negative. It's done all the time in mathematics. Proof of non-existence of certain types of abelian groups, certain types of topological spaces, etc. It's standard bread-and-butter claims and proofs in math.

All it requires is a clear definition of what a "god" is. I can't give a proof until someone provides a clear definition of "god".


Good luck with that. As far as I'm concerned, there are as many definitions of "god" as there are believers. It is a personal belief, and it should remain so.

Yes, that means out of our laws and our private and public lives.
 
2012-01-03 12:17:08 AM

DarnoKonrad: AirForceVet: I'll just leave this quote here.

"No people can be both ignorant and free." ~ Thomas Jefferson


Mr. Jefferson needs to try telling that to 'real America.'


The funny thing about those anti-Obama tire gauges is that it was a knee-jerk reaction to Obama giving Americans common-sense, low-cost, low-impact advice on saving money on gas bills, and it required zero government intervention. For some reason conservatives had a problem with this.

So what I took away from this is that conservatives hate solutions that don't require government intervention, that aren't expensive, and that conservatives likely hate common sense.

Sure, it's advice that should be known to everyone. Putting it in a speech sends a clear message about what the government planned to do to get gas prices down, though.
 
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