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(Some Guy)   This is the thread where you defend what you believe in and call everyone else's believes bollocks. Now with a Venn diagram for easy navigation   (crispian-jago.blogspot.co.uk) divider line 531
    More: Cool, Venn diagram, critical thinking  
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16603 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Mar 2013 at 3:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-27 10:06:50 PM

Farking Canuck:

But atheists are not putting forth a claim ... we are deciding if we feel the claim put forth by religious people, that gods exist, holds any water.

You may speak for yourself, but many people who call themselves atheists assert that THERE IS NO GOD.  And, yes, it often is in caps like that...
 
2013-03-27 10:11:03 PM

MBooda:

Agnosticism is a lack of belief. Atheism is the belief that there is no God.

Indeed.   (God, I miss MXC)   However, lots of folk today are claiming to be atheist, and by that meaning only that nobody has proved it to them.  Then they deny God exists.   Personally, my belief is that they are chicken-shiat, and are trying to avoid being (accurately) labeled as a person of faith.
 
2013-03-27 10:15:21 PM

willfullyobscure: Z-clipped: willfullyobscure: Not me- The Catholic Church.Ohhhh... that explains the thousand year old reasoning then.  I'm not going to get into this stuff, first because it's a waste of time rehashing all of modern philosophy when we have a perfectly serviceable discussion going on, and second because I'm sure there are actual philosophy majors floating around who would be better at it than I.

glad to see that neither you OR Kant can refute the First Mover argument. After all, it provides a rational religious framework for evolution, empirical observation and experimental science, Bing Bang theory and relativity, so you're in good company.


Oh I CAN refute it, I'm just not going to. Let's see if YOU can figure out what's wrong with it.
 
2013-03-27 10:16:04 PM

Z-clipped:

How is it that you've never seen Bull Durham? Were you raised by wolves, man?!

Ha!    Wrong Kevin Costner movie: Dances with Bikers.
 
2013-03-27 10:22:04 PM

GeneralJim: MBooda: Agnosticism is a lack of belief. Atheism is the belief that there is no God.
Indeed.   (God, I miss MXC)   However, lots of folk today are claiming to be atheist, and by that meaning only that nobody has proved it to them.  Then they deny God exists.   Personally, my belief is that they are chicken-shiat, and are trying to avoid being (accurately) labeled as a person of faith.


Atheism is a hard thing to define, every one sees it in their personal definition.  At root, it means something akin to "non theist"

As such, be you agnostic, or disbeliever, or something like wiccan(?) or satanist, you fall under the category of Atheism.

As I entailed above, once you get on that side of the fence, the discussion is often just spliting of so many hairs, it's colloquially known as "non religious".  I can understand clarifying for religion like bodies that fall under the header of "non theist", but other than that, Atheist as itself really shouldn't be tied to hard to one of many definitions.

But when argued against people also implicitly tie it to "apathy".  As in people think we shouldn't care what's taught in schools or what laws are passed if we're not religious.

*shrugs*
 
2013-03-27 10:24:20 PM

MBooda: Z-clipped:

MBooda: Whoa. We need a new Venn diagram.

We have one.  Smidge was kind enough to provide it just upthread. I'll repost it here to save your scrolling finger:

[www.smidgeindustriesltd.com image 394x589]

Man, that's not only subjective, it's downright selfish.  Theists and Atheists divide up all the Agnostics.  I feel like Poland in 1939.


Don't feel bad. You can be agnostic about a lot of things, not just gods... Its just that atheist/theist as its defined here is a binary position. You either have a belief, or you don't. So anyone who is agnostic about gods automatically falls into one of the two categories. And as long as you're willing to let go of the impulse to label all atheists as "strong" atheists, that's not really a big deal.
 
2013-03-27 10:26:46 PM
GeneralJim:
You may speak for yourself, but many people who call themselves atheists assert that THERE IS NO GOD.  And, yes, it often is in caps like that...

They exists. But the people who are actually make a claim are rare (as it is an unprovable and therefore illogical position). Of course the religious love to attack this position because they know they cannot be successful of attacking the position that the majority of us hold. It shows the weakness of your position that you insist on attacking the fringe group and pretend they represent the whole.

Indeed.   (God, I miss MXC)   However, lots of folk today are claiming to be atheist, and by that meaning only that nobody has proved it to them.  Then they deny God exists.   Personally, my belief is that they are chicken-shiat, and are trying to avoid being (accurately) labeled as a person of faith.

And here it is ... the foundation for your strawman. Is this a conspiracy too? What does the Urantia book have to say about this??

You are conflating the making of a claim of knowledge that god does not exist and simply evaluating the existing evidence and taking the position that it is unlikely that gods exist and therefore, until more evidence is provided, taking the position that god does not likely exist.

One is a claim made by very few people (again because it is impossible to prove) while the latter is standard deductive reasoning used by everyone every day on an infinite number of topics.
 
2013-03-27 10:53:05 PM

GeneralJim: MBooda: Agnosticism is a lack of belief. Atheism is the belief that there is no God.
Indeed.   (God, I miss MXC)   However, lots of folk today are claiming to be atheist, and by that meaning only that nobody has proved it to them.  Then they deny God exists.   Personally, my belief is that they are chicken-shiat, and are trying to avoid being (accurately) labeled as a person of faith.


I think it's cute how religious people need so badly to label atheists as "people of faith", because they just can't conceive of an existence without blind surrender to a higher authority. I'll admit that it used to annoy me, until I realized that it's not your fault- your brains are just wired that way.

It's not that we're chicken. It's actually the opposite: it's that we're brave enough to face our existence without believing in something silly simply because we want it to be true. I think death is probably the end of my consciousness, and that scares the crap out of me. But not so much that I need to invent some ridiculous daddy-figure up in the sky who's going to make it all better for me.
 
2013-03-27 11:11:14 PM

GeneralJim: Farking Canuck: But atheists are not putting forth a claim ... we are deciding if we feel the claim put forth by religious people, that gods exist, holds any water.
You may speak for yourself, but many people who call themselves atheists assert that THERE IS NO GOD.  And, yes, it often is in caps like that...


To elaborate on what FarkungCanuck said, the statement "there is no god" on its own has some inherent ambiguity.

I'll readily say that the Christian god is a silly idea, and that I'm confounded by adults who believe in such obviously fabricated nonsense- I've felt this way ever since I was 5 years old, and someone first proposed the idea of god to me. So it's fair to say that I think there's no such thing as gods.

However, just because I might say that in casual conversation doesn't mean that the belief isn't implicitly qualified by an agnostic position. Its just too cumbersome for most of us to always say, "I believe that god, while technically not completely impossible, is so unlikely and functionally indistinguishable from the Tooth Fairy that I deem the probability of his existence to be negligible."

As soon as theists stop misrepresenting my position as gnostic so that they can muster something akin to a rational argument against it, we can all just move on with our lives.
 
2013-03-27 11:13:09 PM

MBooda:

I feel like Poland in 1939.

You know who else felt like Poland in 1939, after a Czechoslovak appetiser?
 
2013-03-27 11:13:33 PM

Farking Canuck: GeneralJim:
You may speak for yourself, but many people who call themselves atheists assert that THERE IS NO GOD.  And, yes, it often is in caps like that...

They exists. But the people who are actually make a claim are rare (as it is an unprovable and therefore illogical position). Of course the religious love to attack this position because they know they cannot be successful of attacking the position that the majority of us hold. It shows the weakness of your position that you insist on attacking the fringe group and pretend they represent the whole.

Indeed.   (God, I miss MXC)   However, lots of folk today are claiming to be atheist, and by that meaning only that nobody has proved it to them.  Then they deny God exists.   Personally, my belief is that they are chicken-shiat, and are trying to avoid being (accurately) labeled as a person of faith.

And here it is ... the foundation for your strawman. Is this a conspiracy too? What does the Urantia book have to say about this??

You are conflating the making of a claim of knowledge that god does not exist and simply evaluating the existing evidence and taking the position that it is unlikely that gods exist and therefore, until more evidence is provided, taking the position that god does not likely exist.

One is a claim made by very few people (again because it is impossible to prove) while the latter is standard deductive reasoning used by everyone every day on an infinite number of topics.



It's like, someone took a global warming thread, and copy/pasted, but swapped the names.

Damn near word for word.

"Ignorant DEnier"

"Dude, I'm just skeptical!"

I'm not sure, but I would find it very humorous if GJ was playing you.
 
2013-03-27 11:21:27 PM

Z-clipped: To elaborate on what FarkungCanuck said, the statement "there is no god" on its own has some inherent ambiguity.


I went on at that at great length up thread, and have in several such threads.  Glad people grasp the concept and it's spreading.(not taking credit, just glad it's seeing the light of day).

Its a pedants argument.  Simple statements are meant to be taken with a grain of salt, as it were.

"There is no god" colloquially is not an absolute.  People should understand that, everyone does it, utter an offhand phrase in lieu of a multiparagraph diatribe.  It allows for efficiency, which allows for a better honing of intelligence, etc.
At this point in time, if someone says that, before accusations come out, clarification is needed. This is what is known as common courtesy.

"There is certainly no god" is an absolute. Flame away.
 
2013-03-27 11:34:14 PM

omeganuepsilon:

As such, be you agnostic, or disbeliever, or something like wiccan(?) or satanist, you fall under the category of Atheism.

Meh.  Wouldn't a Satanist be a theist?  On top of everything else, every (claimed) Satanist I have met DOES believe in God -- but works on the "other team."

And, from this and the rest of your post, it looks like you are claiming that "atheist" approximately equals "non-Christian."  Personally, I favor the "old names," in that a theist believed in gods or God, an agnostic did not have what they considered knowledge of God or gods' existence or lack thereof, and atheists believed that there was no real world analog of the "gods or God" idea.  With all these sliding definitions, we've lost the value of the words.  Now, rather than just saying "I'm an agnostic," it takes a paragraph or two to describe oneself.  I don't think that's an improvement.

 
2013-03-27 11:38:22 PM

GeneralJim: Meh.  Wouldn't a Satanist be a theist?


Sorry, when I say that I tend to think of a specific brand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism

God and satan are symbolic only.  Prayers are mental practices for focus.  They "worship" themelves, etc.
 
2013-03-27 11:43:09 PM
Marilyn Manson was that kind of "satanist", typically when I hear about a "satanist" it's someone belonging to that group or just it's ideals.

Now the other satanists, the kids getting drunk in the graveyard, they're just dipshiats.

The other very few real worshipers of satan, most of them belong in an asylum of some sort, or at least therapy.
 
2013-03-27 11:45:51 PM

Farking Canuck:

And here it is ... the foundation for your strawman. Is this a conspiracy too? What does the Urantia book have to say about this??

We're having a nice, polite conversation here, and you have to start whipping religious hate around.  Fark you.  There is a BIG-ASSED difference between "I've never seen any proof of God, so I don't believe it" and "God does not exist." And I have seen a lot more anti-theists than atheists with a agnostic bent. But the process itself precludes having a good idea of proportional belief. An agnostic, or "soft atheist" is likely to go about their business, ignoring whatever other people might believe. It's the hard-core, arrogant prick in-your-face, Westboro Atheists, like you, who are easily identified. And since you jackasses are constantly braying about your superiority though disbelief in God, and your contempt for anyone with a differing opinion, it is trolls like you who identify atheism for most people. You're a poster child for You're-Not-Helping.
 
2013-03-27 11:49:09 PM

GeneralJim: omeganuepsilon: As such, be you agnostic, or disbeliever, or something like wiccan(?) or satanist, you fall under the category of Atheism.
Meh.  Wouldn't a Satanist be a theist?  On top of everything else, every (claimed) Satanist I have met DOES believe in God -- but works on the "other team."
And, from this and the rest of your post, it looks like you are claiming that "atheist" approximately equals "non-Christian."  Personally, I favor the "old names," in that a theist believed in gods or God, an agnostic did not have what they considered knowledge of God or gods' existence or lack thereof, and atheists believed that there was no real world analog of the "gods or God" idea.  With all these sliding definitions, we've lost the value of the words.  Now, rather than just saying "I'm an agnostic," it takes a paragraph or two to describe oneself.  I don't think that's an improvement.


This is ironic since, in the 'old way', agnostic is not a noun. I will concede that modern use has created a meaning for it that is a noun describing a religious fence sitter ... but this meaning is fairly new.

The original use of the terms gnostic and agnostic are adjectives describing the surety of a person's position on a subject ... any subject - not just religion.

Personally I don't believe that a true fence sitter exists - but this is only my opinion. The way I see it, even if you are completely full of doubts of the existence of a god, in the end you either give deference to a divine being or not - you give 'holy men' some form of deference or not - you worry about 'taking the lord's name in vain or not' - you worry about judgement or not - etc.

If you fall on the 'not' sides of those equations then you are an atheist ... your doubts make you an agnostic atheist. Same if you worry about the above things "just in case" ... then you are an agnostic theist. Of course the true believers on both sides form the respective gnostics.

So you can take your new way of using the word agnostic and call it the 'old way'. I will stick to letting people tell me what their position is and then argue what they present. Strawmen are dishonest.
 
2013-03-28 12:02:49 AM

Z-clipped:

I think it's cute how religious people need so badly to label atheists as "people of faith", because they just can't conceive of an existence without blind surrender to a higher authority. I'll admit that it used to annoy me, until I realized that it's not your fault- your brains are just wired that way.

It's not that we're chicken. It's actually the opposite: it's that we're brave enough to face our existence without believing in something silly simply because we want it to be true. I think death is probably the end of my consciousness, and that scares the crap out of me. But not so much that I need to invent some ridiculous daddy-figure up in the sky who's going to make it all better for me.

Yes, yes, we all know atheists are God's special people.  Thanks for reminding me AGAIN of your superiority.  And, I AM speaking of the atheists who boldly claim that THERE IS NO GOD.  Unless you feel that there is conclusive proof of the lack of existence of God or gods, that is an irrational position of faith.

Now, I understand this position -- it used to be mine.  I was purest agnostic, and was sent to church (Sunday School) as a child, where a reaction against indoctrination made me quite unpopular.  The resistance to the indoctrination pushed me into disbelief, and cemented that idea firmly in my mind.  I was finally kicked out of Sunday School, which gave me a 2-day weekend.  My logic was the simple "There are hundreds of mutually-exclusive belief systems.  Most of them are easily shown to be ridiculous, so this is an obvious flaw in human thinking, and sufficient to provide cause for all religious belief, obviating first cause arguments for the existence of a primal cause."  I was a tireless campaigner against theism, and I knew the Bible word-for-word as the result of an eidetic memory.  And, as I found, there is no better way to deflate a religious argument from a Christian than to have the entire Bible at your fingertips.

So, I get it, and I was just as arrogant and loud-mouthed as any anti-theist.  I never passed up an opportunity to show my superiority over the fable-befuddled.  At least, that's the way it seemed to me at the time. And, yeah, I demanded respect for my position, while I denigrated the position of others. Any of this sound familiar?

 
2013-03-28 12:05:51 AM

omeganuepsilon:

I'm not sure, but I would find it very humorous if GJ was playing you

Hey, STFU -- I'm busy here.
 
2013-03-28 12:05:53 AM

GeneralJim: There is a BIG-ASSED difference between "I've never seen any proof of God, so I don't believe it" and "God does not exist." And I have seen a lot more anti-theists than atheists with a agnostic bent


This is because you insist that everyone who says "god does not exist" is actually making a claim of surety. This is wrong and, since it has been explained to you many times, you are being dishonest when you continue to intentionally misrepresent atheists this way. *profound sense of deja vu*

As Z-clipped explained above:
However, just because I might say that in casual conversation doesn't mean that the belief isn't implicitly qualified by an agnostic position. Its just too cumbersome for most of us to always say, "I believe that god, while technically not completely impossible, is so unlikely and functionally indistinguishable from the Tooth Fairy that I deem the probability of his existence to be negligible."

As soon as theists stop misrepresenting my position as gnostic so that they can muster something akin to a rational argument against it, we can all just move on with our lives


I have to admit that I do enjoy the irony in the fact that, in order to attack the common atheist position, religious people have to re-frame atheism as a religious belief. They are in effect admitting that there in an inherent flaw in religious belief which is assailable. It is especially entertaining that they are willing to resort to dishonesty to accomplish this undermining of their own positions ... an unethical tactic that their beliefs supposedly tells them not to do.
 
2013-03-28 12:09:38 AM

omeganuepsilon:

"There is no god" colloquially is not an absolute.

Actually, it is a simple declarative sentence.   I don't buy the waffling about how long other answers are.  How hard is it to say "I don't believe in God."?   It's only one word longer, and it avoids ambiguity.
 
2013-03-28 12:14:18 AM

omeganuepsilon:

GeneralJim: Meh.  Wouldn't a Satanist be a theist?

Sorry, when I say that I tend to think of a specific brand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism

God and satan are symbolic only.  Prayers are mental practices for focus.  They "worship" themelves, etc.

No worries; normally I wouldn't mention it.  But this IS a thread very much about parsing the language... (LaVey is an orthodox egoist.)
 
2013-03-28 12:16:26 AM

omeganuepsilon:

Marilyn Manson was that kind of "satanist", typically when I hear about a "satanist" it's someone belonging to that group or just it's ideals.

Now the other satanists, the kids getting drunk in the graveyard, they're just dipshiats.

The other very few real worshipers of satan, most of them belong in an asylum of some sort, or at least therapy.

Yeah, I agree on all points you make here -- especially the "dipshiat" point.
 
2013-03-28 12:17:47 AM

GeneralJim: omeganuepsilon: "There is no god" colloquially is not an absolute.
Actually, it is a simple declarative sentence.   I don't buy the waffling about how long other answers are.  How hard is it to say "I don't believe in God."?   It's only one word longer, and it avoids ambiguity.


How hard is it to not assume that everyone matches the strawman you built? If you are unsure then ask ... people will usually happily give you a two sentence explanation as no terms are standardized nor will they ever completely apply to an individual.

Declaring that everyone must use your approved terminology is a cop-out. You are not interested in the truth [* more deja-vu *] ... you are interested in scoring argument points.
 
2013-03-28 12:23:46 AM

Farking Canuck:

This is ironic since, in the 'old way', agnostic is not a noun. I will concede that modern use has created a meaning for it that is a noun describing a religious fence sitter ... but this meaning is fairly new.

The original use of the terms gnostic and agnostic are adjectives describing the surety of a person's position on a subject ... any subject - not just religion.

Not true.  Thousands of years ago, there were Gnostics, meaning those who know.  Adding an "a" is not much of a stretch - those who DON'T know.
 
2013-03-28 12:27:04 AM

GeneralJim: omeganuepsilon: "There is no god" colloquially is not an absolute.
Actually, it is a simple declarative sentence.   I don't buy the waffling about how long other answers are.  How hard is it to say "I don't believe in God."?   It's only one word longer, and it avoids ambiguity.


True, on a technicality, but wielded in that manner it's not typically done in these threads except by people trolling.  As I mentioned up thread, when you sit down and rationally talk to these people, they admit the possibility.  In normal conversation it is typically off-handed(lazy if nothing else), on fark it's usually stated with purpose. They typically word it exactly that way to incite a riot.

I agree in general, it is "you're not helping" as far as fark goes.

I don't think it's worth making a point out of at any rate.(specific instances in context maybe)

Your interactions with FC aside, of course.  Fun seeing him almost quote me verbatim from those other threads.
 
2013-03-28 12:28:04 AM

Farking Canuck:

This is because you insist that everyone who says "god does not exist" is actually making a claim of surety. This is wrong and, since it has been explained to you many times, you are being dishonest when you continue to intentionally misrepresent atheists this way. *profound sense of deja vu*

Nope.  I'm talking about people I have talked with, and I'm not basing this on any one-liner.  I would say that your mistake is that you fail to account how much LOUDER anti-theists are.  I factor this in, and realize that I really don't have a good idea how this "splits," as you don't hear from the agnostics much.  They don't have a point they are pushing.
 
2013-03-28 12:31:10 AM

Farking Canuck:

I have to admit that I do enjoy the irony in the fact that, in order to attack the common atheist position, religious people have to re-frame atheism as a religious belief. They are in effect admitting that there in an inherent flaw in religious belief which is assailable. It is especially entertaining that they are willing to resort to dishonesty to accomplish this undermining of their own positions ... an unethical tactic that their beliefs supposedly tells them not to do.

And I enjoy, in a thread where you have repeatedly biatched about people setting up a "straw man" and arguing against that, that you do the same to me.  Do you feel it is rational to expect better treatment than you give to others?
 
2013-03-28 12:45:20 AM

Farking Canuck:

How hard is it to not assume that everyone matches the strawman you built? If you are unsure then ask ... people will usually happily give you a two sentence explanation as no terms are standardized nor will they ever completely apply to an individual.

Declaring that everyone must use your approved terminology is a cop-out. You are not interested in the truth [* more deja-vu *] ... you are interested in scoring argument points.

Sorry...  This post apparently was supposed to be for you, and was mis-addressed.

Do you see what I mean?  For example, since it's only this one thread, please show me where I say that everyone must use my terminology?  You are setting up a straw man as you complain about that behavior, of which I am not guilty.  And, if I am to deconstruct English so fully that "There is no God" might mean "There could be a God, I'm just not sure" what CAN I assume from what someone says?  Do you think you could communicate more clearly in French?  We can do that if you'd like, although I would imagine that your hypocrisy and straw-man problems would be present in any language you might use.

 
2013-03-28 02:37:48 AM

Farking Canuck: This is ironic since, in the 'old way', agnostic is not a noun. I will concede that modern use has created a meaning for it that is a noun describing a religious fence sitter ... but this meaning is fairly new.


It's worth noting in reference to all of GJ's "Westboro Atheist" claims that this terminology is "new" because it's only recently that anyone has bothered to explore and contemplate the atheist positions in depth and in a positive way, since doing so publicly in the past would get you universally ostracized, banished, tortured, or executed, depending on the location and social epoch.

American Christians seem to get really bent out of shape that atheists are finally able to be open about their beliefs and assert themselves in government.  I guess when someone has been meekly handing over their lunch money for 200 years, it comes as a bit of shock when decide they want to sit at the table too.

GeneralJim: Thanks for reminding me AGAIN of your superiority.


If it bothers you, you might refrain from implying that I'm a "chicken-shiat" in the first place.

This echoes the typical passive-aggressive religious bullshiat I'm talking about above:
"God says you're a bad person and you're going to hell if you don't shun gays and pray before the town meeting."
"I don't believe in your god, so I'm not going to do those things."
"Why are all of these ATHEISTS so MILITANT!?  Why can they just respect my beliefs?"

GeneralJim: How hard is it to say "I don't believe in God."? It's only one word longer, and it avoids ambiguity.


If only.  And yet here we are discussing what the atheists you've invented in your head say, instead of what people are actually saying.

GeneralJim: Not true. Thousands of years ago, there were Gnostics, meaning those who know. Adding an "a" is not much of a stretch - those who DON'T know.


Philosophy evolves.  Terms are re-purposed.  It happens.  The use of gnostic in my posts is not related to the Gnostics you're referring to.

GeneralJim: And, if I am to deconstruct English so fully that "There is no God" might mean "There could be a God, I'm just not sure" what CAN I assume from what someone says?


So how do you feel about the phrase "There is no Santa Claus"?  Does it provoke you to argue?  What do you assume about the person who says it?

We're only parsing terms and debating the finer points of epistemology here because the number one immediate retort by theists to "There is no God" is to assume the claim is being made with gnosis, and invoke the burden of proof.  Any argument against Santa Claus can be leveled just as effectively against God.  The dismissal of God by atheists is no different from whatever reasoning you use to dismiss Santa (assuming you do, of course.)

If you just assumed that anyone who says "There is no God" or "God doesn't exist" without qualification really means, "For all intents, in all reasonable likelihood, allowing for the fact that a negative cannot be conclusively proven, I think that there's no God", you would probably avoid the problems you're having (pretending to have).  Sure, there are wackos out there who claim to know for certain, epistemologically that God doesn't exist, but I'm confident that their crazy will manifest noticeably outside of that one statement, just like I don't need to ask whack-job fundamentalists about their theological beliefs because it's obvious from the fact that they're bombing abortion clinics, pushing Intelligent Design in the classroom, or trying to get a prayer read before state government assemblies.
 
2013-03-28 02:48:30 AM

omeganuepsilon:

GeneralJim: omeganuepsilon: "There is no god" colloquially is not an absolute.

Actually, it is a simple declarative sentence.   I don't buy the waffling about how long other answers are.  How hard is it to say "I don't believe in God."?   It's only one word longer, and it avoids ambiguity.

True, on a technicality, but wielded in that manner it's not typically done in these threads except by people trolling.  As I mentioned up thread, when you sit down and rationally talk to these people, they admit the possibility.  In normal conversation it is typically off-handed(lazy if nothing else), on fark it's usually stated with purpose. They typically word it exactly that way to incite a riot.

Well, yeah...  But, among other things, "I don't believe in God" is a statement about one's own mind, and only an idiot would argue with someone about what the other person is thinking -- not that it doesn't happen to me regularly on Fark, but, as I say, only by idiots.  Making such "I believe" statements should provide some measure of flame-retardation.  And, unless one is an arrogant prat, there really is no reason to imply that one has ultimate knowledge of the more important questions of life.

 
2013-03-28 02:50:42 AM

omeganuepsilon:

Your interactions with FC aside, of course. Fun seeing him almost quote me verbatim from those other threads.

I get the impression he doesn't have many thoughts of his own, and generally quotes SOMETHING.

/ (Don't tell him I said that...)

 
2013-03-28 02:53:13 AM

Z-clipped:

GeneralJim: Thanks for reminding me AGAIN of your superiority.

If it bothers you, you might refrain from implying that I'm a "chicken-shiat" in the first place.

Now THAT'S a fair cop.   Sorry.
 
2013-03-28 02:55:01 AM

GeneralJim: So, I get it, and I was just as arrogant and loud-mouthed as any anti-theist.


It is not arrogant to claim there is no God, in the sense that the vast majority of atheists make the claim.  It's completely rational to dismiss the notion of any (specific) given deity as irrelevant, vastly unlikely, and preposterous.  It is also not "disrespectful" to push for adherence to separation of Church and State.

The fact that Xians in the US (and Muslims in some other places.. i doubt Jews would really care) aren't used to having their overwhelming social dominance given anything but the widest berth is the only reason doing so is viewed any differently from the analogous theist behaviors that permeate society, from evangelism to open affirmation to what's printed on our money to common expressions used when we sneeze.

Also, I've never been forced to attend a church service, and I never had religious indoctrination pushed on me as a child.  As I said earlier, I decided god was "pretend for grownups" very early on.  I think your own experiences with religion and the reactions you had to them are coloring your view of others on this topic.  You should try to step back from them a bit, perhaps.
 
2013-03-28 02:58:23 AM

GeneralJim: Now THAT'S a fair cop. Sorry.


No sweat.  I'm here to help, not fight.  If I've become spiky at any point, you have my apologies as well.
 
2013-03-28 03:09:54 AM

GeneralJim: "I don't believe in God" is a statement about one's own mind, and only an idiot would argue with someone about what the other person is thinking


Agreed, a little honesty goes a long ways.

"There is no god" as an offhand comment.  Of course, I'll still say it.  It's an attention getter.  Not an attention whore, but in today's ADHD addled world, it can serve the purpose.  Lots of teachers employ the practice to great effect.  It can generate interest and create focus, sharpen the mind in general.

I think that may be why people mistake me for a troll on fark, they totally miss that concept of communication.  Serves another purpose in that regard.  Shows me who the reactionary contrarians are.
 
2013-03-28 03:16:17 AM

Z-clipped:


So how do you feel about the phrase "There is no Santa Claus"? Does it provoke you to argue? What do you assume about the person who says it?

How do I feel?  I would think that the person saying it doesn't believe that Santa Claus is real.  That would not surprise me.  As to arguing...  I just MIGHT be tempted to point out that SC is based upon a real person, but that lots of stories built up around this person.  Incidentally, I might say the same to someone who said "There is no Jesus."  Of course, some things are easier to prove than others...

www.nobodygoeshere.com
 
2013-03-28 03:21:57 AM

Z-clipped:

GeneralJim: So, I get it, and I was just as arrogant and loud-mouthed as any anti-theist.

It is not arrogant to claim there is no God, in the sense that the vast majority of atheists make the claim. It's completely rational to dismiss the notion of any (specific) given deity as irrelevant, vastly unlikely, and preposterous. It is also not "disrespectful" to push for adherence to separation of Church and State.

How about you take my word for it?  I was loud-mouthed and arrogant, as very many anti-theists are. The things you say CAN be done appropriately -- but often are not. For example, any argument that includes the phrase "Sky Wizard" is likely to be of the sort I am discussing.
 
2013-03-28 03:25:49 AM

Z-clipped:

GeneralJim: Now THAT'S a fair cop. Sorry.

No sweat.  I'm here to help, not fight.  If I've become spiky at any point, you have my apologies as well.

*SNIFF*  Now's when we go out for beers.... And, yeah, you have, but it's also no big deal; I expect it.
 
2013-03-28 03:35:31 AM

omeganuepsilon:

I think that may be why people mistake me for a troll on fark, they totally miss that concept of communication. Serves another purpose in that regard. Shows me who the reactionary contrarians are.

Har...  Good idea.  For myself, I tend to be outrageously literal.  If I am asserting that there is no God, I will say "There is no God."  If I'm not certain of it I'll say "I don't believe there is a God" which covers it nicely.  If I want to be more forthcoming, I'll say "I don't believe there's a God, but I wouldn't be shocked to find out I'm wrong about that.  The evidence so far sucks."  I've probably said close analogues of all of those statements at one time or another.

My theory is that communications between two human beings are so freaking noisy that it makes no sense to add any avoidable noise to the process.  I know -- I'm weird.  I worked at a world-class datacomm company... so nerdy that if someone was lost in thought and missed something someone said to them, the normal response was "NAK."  And I liked that. I'm a fan of all sorts of techniques, such as ideational encoding, or as most people know it, speaking in parables.

 
2013-03-28 03:53:20 AM

GeneralJim: How do I feel? I would think that the person saying it doesn't believe that Santa Claus is real. That would not surprise me


OK, so if "There is no Santa" == "I don't believe in Santa", why isn't "There is no God" == "I don't believe in God"?  Why does God require some special brand of epistemological hand-wringing qualification while Santa doesn't?  Why don't people come out with "Well, absence of evidence for Santa isn't evidence of Santa's absence"?

Why is it perfectly acceptable to dismiss Santa in polite conversation, but not God?

GeneralJim: How about you take my word for it? I was loud-mouthed and arrogant


Oh, I wasn't disputing that part... ; )

GeneralJim: as very many anti-theists are.


Can you point to any in this thread?

GeneralJim: The things you say CAN be done appropriately -- but often are not. For example, any argument that includes the phrase "Sky Wizard" is likely to be of the sort I am discussing.


I can't speak to the exact instances you're referring to, but in my experience, the "Invisible Sky Wizard" talk generally comes out in situations where some religious jerk has drawn first blood.  Like for example when TFA is a story about one of the seemingly daily instances of blatant Christian hypocrisy over town holiday displays, or the justification of insufferable bigotry or anti-feminism on religious grounds.  I can't really blame people for getting a little snarky when Christians complain that they aren't being allowed to trample someone else's rights, or aren't being given the special treatment under the law that they're used to enjoying.

I'm not out to to rub logic in the face of every Xian I meet and tell them they're stupid, but that doesn't mean I'm going to gently patronize their delicate belief-system while they act entitled and petulant either.  Respect is earned where respect is given, you dig?
 
2013-03-28 04:03:50 AM

omeganuepsilon: I think that may be why people mistake me for a troll on fark, they totally miss that concept of communication. Serves another purpose in that regard. Shows me who the reactionary contrarians are.


I'll admit, we've had serious communication issues in threads like these before, where I was only willing to drop the impression that you were trolling because you had the patience to hash things out in extended fashion.  I'm glad that we're seeing eye-to-eye these days.  The written word is not the most effective means of communication, and while I'm willing to debate politely with anyone who argues honestly, I have the unfortunate flaw of quickly becoming hostile when I suspect that someone isn't genuine.  And even though we've come to verbal blows in threads before, I have no doubt that we'd get along fine in person.
 
2013-03-28 09:20:40 AM

GeneralJim: Farking Canuck: I have to admit that I do enjoy the irony in the fact that, in order to attack the common atheist position, religious people have to re-frame atheism as a religious belief. They are in effect admitting that there in an inherent flaw in religious belief which is assailable. It is especially entertaining that they are willing to resort to dishonesty to accomplish this undermining of their own positions ... an unethical tactic that their beliefs supposedly tells them not to do.

And I enjoy, in a thread where you have repeatedly biatched about people setting up a "straw man" and arguing against that, that you do the same to me.  Do you feel it is rational to expect better treatment than you give to others?


You should note that this was an aside directed at "religious people" ... not everything is about you. But, when you insist that everyone who says "god is not real" is a gnostic atheist, you are doing it.

It is not a strawman. it is an extremely common occurrence in every religious thread including this one.
 
2013-03-28 09:32:28 AM

GeneralJim: Do you see what I mean? For example, since it's only this one thread, please show me where I say that everyone must use my terminology?


I don't buy the waffling about how long other answers are.  How hard is it to say "I don't believe in God."?   It's only one word longer, and it avoids ambiguity.

This is what I was referring to. You are justifying your categorizing of people as gnostic atheists because they are not clarifying things well enough for you.

But, as Z-clipped pointed out in his Santa example, you don't insist on this level of clarity for other subjects. Apparently it is acceptable for me to say "GeneralJim can't fly like Superman" without it being labeled as a religious belief but if I say the same thing about gods it is.

Why the inconsistency?
 
2013-03-28 01:11:20 PM

GeneralJim: Farking Canuck: But atheists are not putting forth a claim ... we are deciding if we feel the claim put forth by religious people, that gods exist, holds any water.
You may speak for yourself, but many people who call themselves atheists assert that THERE IS NO GOD.  And, yes, it often is in caps like that...


Often Antitheists pose as Atheist in order to rant under their banner.

I'm an Agnostic Theist myself.
 
2013-03-28 01:51:51 PM

Farking Canuck: GeneralJim: Farking Canuck: I have to admit that I do enjoy the irony in the fact that, in order to attack the common atheist position, religious people have to re-frame atheism as a religious belief. They are in effect admitting that there in an inherent flaw in religious belief which is assailable. It is especially entertaining that they are willing to resort to dishonesty to accomplish this undermining of their own positions ... an unethical tactic that their beliefs supposedly tells them not to do.

And I enjoy, in a thread where you have repeatedly biatched about people setting up a "straw man" and arguing against that, that you do the same to me.  Do you feel it is rational to expect better treatment than you give to others?

You should note that this was an aside directed at "religious people" ... not everything is about you. But, when you insist that everyone who says "god is not real" is a gnostic atheist, you are doing it.

It is not a strawman. it is an extremely common occurrence in every religious thread including this one.


That's a Gnostic Atheist statement and there's no other interpetation I can think of. What the Hell do you think it means?
 
2013-03-28 02:01:07 PM

RedVentrue: That's a Gnostic Atheist statement and there's no other interpetation I can think of. What the Hell do you think it means?


I take it you haven't read the other posts.

When someone says "Santa is not real" are they accused of forming religious beliefs on the subject?

The statement certainly can be gnostic but it is commonly accepted that the preceding clause [see what I did there?] of "In my opinion," has been left off for brevity's sake.

But it seems that, when it comes to gods, religious people will not give you that leeway that is afforded everyone on every other subject. Why is that?
 
2013-03-28 02:09:23 PM

Farking Canuck: RedVentrue: That's a Gnostic Atheist statement and there's no other interpetation I can think of. What the Hell do you think it means?

I take it you haven't read the other posts.

When someone says "Santa is not real" are they accused of forming religious beliefs on the subject?

The statement certainly can be gnostic but it is commonly accepted that the preceding clause [see what I did there?] of "In my opinion," has been left off for brevity's sake.

But it seems that, when it comes to gods, religious people will not give you that leeway that is afforded everyone on every other subject. Why is that?


I read the posts. There is nothing unambiuous about "There is no God", and when there are no other qualifying statements to go along with it, then it is Gnostic Atheist. If you mean something else, then say something else.
 
2013-03-28 02:09:53 PM
Hey, here's a cool one. (Sorry for the size.)

i2.ytimg.com
All atheists and theists divided up between agnostics and gnostics!  Now it's your turn to be 1939 Poland.
 
2013-03-28 02:22:01 PM

RedVentrue: I read the posts. There is nothing unambiuous about "There is no God", and when there are no other qualifying statements to go along with it, then it is Gnostic Atheist. If you mean something else, then say something else.


I guess we all belong to thousands of religious then because we are not specific enough to please you.
 
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