Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
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15-08-2014, 06:34 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
(15-08-2014 04:49 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  My tactic for dealing with the faithful when they say things like "he gave you life for you to question and tell him what to do?" Or "free will blah blah free will." Is to ask questions about the further implications about their statements:

If god needs validation that we are grateful, doesn't that make god insecure?

Or so this hurricane is god's punishment for our disobedience? I thought hell was the punishment? Are you implying that god would be so unjust that he would punish us twice? Especially since the hurricane is a rather underhanded way to punish us since it's not clear why we are being punished for? I'm sorry but that implies a god is abusive..

Since they refuse to look at the implication of what they are saying. That was my first step to atheism. To see god in a different light before I saw that that he was never there to begin with.

Just tell them "since god has a plan for everyone, his plan was to give me time off for good behavior."

"God made me an atheist."

My favorite is "since god is in charge of everything, nothing is ever outside of gods plan, so it really does not matter what we do, since it is all gods doing."

Fight messed up logic with messed up logic. It's fun.
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15-08-2014, 07:01 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
(14-08-2014 06:20 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  I find it ridiculous that it just never occurs to them that if god has the power to intervene, it begs the question: why would he torture a 3 year old child for 11 days? He has a lot to answer for and should beg for this family's forgiveness.

Cuz mysterious ways, that's why. That was easy.

Mysterious Ways: letting you ignore your misses for 2,700 years.
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15-08-2014, 09:59 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
(14-08-2014 08:02 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(14-08-2014 06:20 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  There was an article in the NY Post about a 3 year old girl who went missing for 11 days and survived with her dog.

People on FB commented "by the grace of god" and "it's a miracle."

I find it ridiculous that it just never occurs to them that if god has the power to intervene, it begs the question: why would he torture a 3 year old child for 11 days? He has a lot to answer for and should beg for this family's forgiveness.

Praise the dog! BowingBowingBowing

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15-08-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
God by definition cannot make mistakes and only does good deeds. This requires some mental gymnastics to justify everything, both ill and benign, in the whole world. Everything has to be good or god didn't do it, and god's hand is in everything, so everything that can possibly be must be good Facepalm.

It is also a surrender of responsibility and reasoning. Bad things are hard to cope with it, if you just "give it into god's hands" then you don't have to come to terms with it, only accept that it happened. When good things happen, even a small good thing at the end of a lot of bad things, then the use it to reaffirm their faith, and less damnable, find some positive thing to focus on and give them hope. It is such a powerful and debilitating delusion. In my opinion, probably that saddest thing about christianity.
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15-08-2014, 11:17 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
(14-08-2014 06:20 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  There was an article in the NY Post about a 3 year old girl who went missing for 11 days and survived with her dog.

People on FB commented "by the grace of god" and "it's a miracle."

I find it ridiculous that it just never occurs to them that if god has the power to intervene, it begs the question: why would he torture a 3 year old child for 11 days? He has a lot to answer for and should beg for this family's forgiveness.

(15-08-2014 04:49 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  My tactic for dealing with the faithful when they say things like "he gave you life for you to question and tell him what to do?" Or "free will blah blah free will." Is to ask questions about the further implications about their statements:

If god needs validation that we are grateful, doesn't that make god insecure?

Or so this hurricane is god's punishment for our disobedience? I thought hell was the punishment? Are you implying that god would be so unjust that he would punish us twice? Especially since the hurricane is a rather underhanded way to punish us since it's not clear why we are being punished for? I'm sorry but that implies a god is abusive..

Since they refuse to look at the implication of what they are saying. That was my first step to atheism. To see god in a different light before I saw that that he was never there to begin with.

I always find it so ridiculous how Christians will twist anything into whatever they want it to be, and never see the ridiculousness or hypocrisy involved in it. This is usually how the conversation goes when I talk to them on this subject:

Christian: "It is through God's love and grace that that little girl was found alive!"

Me: "So some people are more special in the eyes of God than others."

Christian: "I never said that."

Me: "Um, yeah, you did. As soon as you said that God intervenes in the lives of people, RIGHT THERE, you are saying that some people are more special in the eyes of God than others."

Christian: "Well, that's not what I mean..."

Me: "It doesn't matter what you mean, it's already implied in what you said. You said that God helped rescue a missing child. Well, why the fuck didn't he rescue all the other missing children that ended up being found dead? Did those children not deserve to live?"

Christian: "No, I didn't say that..."

Me: "So what ARE you saying? The only thing you're saying to me is that you want to contribute any kind of fortunate event to your god, while turning a blind eye to all the bad things that happen. If he is omnipotent, and sees and knows everything, then he could have helped those other people in bad situations just as easily as he helped you or anybody else you can think of where they found themselves in a fortunate situation."

Christian: "You just don't understand what I'm saying."

Me: "I understand exactly what you're saying. You just don't like being called out on the hypocrisy of your beliefs."

This is where they usually stomp away because they no longer have any valid argument.

I also love the natural disasters being claimed as a sign of "God's wrath" - a particular favorite among Christians when it comes to trying to figure out strategies to use to keep their sheep together and not straying from the herd. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are especially fond of this tactic. Their whole spiel about how the U.S. not being a theocracy was the reason for Hurricane Katrina was a well-known instance of this. Of course, if that is truly the case, how come countries with highly atheist populations like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are not suffering from these natural disasters like the U.S.?

So, Christians, let me make sure I have this straight now: God is sending hurricanes to kill people and destroy cities in the U.S. - which has a large majority of its population made up of Christians - and not sending them to countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, which have high populations of atheists...? If that is how your god works, I would give up your religion as soon as possible, because your god is a fucking idiot!

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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16-08-2014, 09:56 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
"Counting the hits, ignoring the misses "

I'd say this is down to the issue of confirmation bias. It's worth understanding how that comes about, since most people who aren't aware of the problem are in fact affected by it.

At it's very root, I'd say it's down to the fact that all humans like to experience good feelings but don't like to experience bad feelings. And also the fact that perceptions which confirm our pre-existing beliefs tend to generate good feelings, whereas perceptions which contradict our pre-existing beliefs tend to generate bad feelings.

In terms of information which relates to our beliefs, this causes us to avoid (e.g. look the other way, or even remain in denial) when information comes in that might challenge our beliefs. It also causes us to celebrate and make a big deal out of it when information comes in which seems to confirm our beliefs.

Here's a test: when googling facts in support of some debate you are having, do you cherry-pick? Eg if you are honest with yourself, do you find it easy to ignore and dismiss out of hand any information which comes from reasonable sources but which throws your position into question?

When I first read about the issue of confirmation bias, I did start noticing that my position was often quite badly affected by it.

It's a very insidious problem which is why the principle of peer review is so important in academic papers, this process makes a truly objective perspective much easier to obtain since the reviewers are unlikely to share all the author's specific biases.

Phil
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16-08-2014, 10:06 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
(14-08-2014 06:20 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  There was an article in the NY Post about a 3 year old girl who went missing for 11 days and survived with her dog.

People on FB commented "by the grace of god" and "it's a miracle."

I find it ridiculous that it just never occurs to them that if god has the power to intervene, it begs the question: why would he torture a 3 year old child for 11 days? He has a lot to answer for and should beg for this family's forgiveness.

That would make this sky hero a selective deadbeat when you consider all the kids like Adam Walsh and Polly Class who don't get foun.d and get raped and murdered. That is not to mention all the kids in Africa, on average 20,000 A MONTH who die from famine, or all the kids who die from childhood disease like cancer.

It is our species flaw of filling in the gaps with selection bias and sample rate error.

The reality worldwide is that humans die from everything 50 million times a year. Everything from disease, natural disaster, crime and war and old age, young and old. That is half a billion in a decade and 1 billion deaths every 20 years.

If a factory produced that amount of flawed product, that business would not stay in business.

Survival or death is not about a magical puppeteer vs a magical super villain fighting over the neurons in your brain. If one survives or dies because of any situation it is because the multiple factors leading to the conditions that lead to the outcome either way.

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16-08-2014, 10:12 AM
RE: Counting the hits, ignoring the misses
I've a good friend who gets "feelings" about various things. One morning she got into her car and it wouldn't start and just a "feeling" moments before that something was wrong.

She felt so strongly about her "feelings" she decided she must have a psychic connection to gawd, so she began documenting all this crap on Facebook.

The idea being when she had a "feeling" she would update her status and let everyone know when it came true.

When it became clear that her "misses" outweighed her "hits" she changed it to "strong feelings"

It wasn't long before she gave the whole thing up and hasn't mentioned it since.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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