That's Not Evidence
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13-08-2015, 09:37 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2015 10:25 AM by Free.)
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 06:18 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(13-08-2015 05:46 AM)epronovost Wrote:  You should willfully ignore your feelings because feelings are the least reliable method to determine the veracity of what surrounds you.

Just because you desire to ignore your feeling doesn't mean you actually can. In fact you're more inclined to imagine you've ignored your feeling, than actually ignoring your feeling. You're more inclined to rationalize your feeling into your assumptions, rather than being able to set them aside.

A man who claims to have ignored his feelings, is more likely to be lying to himself than telling the truth. Anyone who despises religion, who sees it as something to scorn and mock, and thinks that he can set these feelings aside when trying to evaluate religious beliefs, is lying to himself.

But emotional responses to certain things are not always the best avenue to take. There is a time and place for our emotions to be employed, and a time and place for our reasoning and rationalism to be employed.

When it comes to matters such as existence, it is only rational that we view it from a logical and reasonable perspective. We examine any available evidence, and move forward as each new discovery is made, creating a chain of evidence that can be reasonably formulated into a hypothesis, then a theory, then reality.

We cannot do that with our emotions because our emotions do not possess that unique human ability. We cannot make judgments and assessments of reality based upon a "feel-good" mentality.

When we atheists insist on the employment of intellectual honesty, we are not saying "put your heart into it." We are encouraging people to use their reasoning skills, and to actually evaluate arguments and evidence in a rational train of thought. It is intellectually dishonest to hold onto beliefs that defy all reasoning just because they make anyone feel good.

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13-08-2015, 09:39 AM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2015 09:43 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 08:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(13-08-2015 07:48 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I freely admit, and have for some time now, that my greatest challenge is to neutrally review and analyze new information in regards to theology. I have to overcome my inner biases....just like theists have their god glasses on, I would be dishonest if I said I don't have my atheist glasses on sometimes. The key is I acknowledge that propensity within myself, and work to overcome it when I consider new information. I think it is a natural condition for experienced or even inexperienced people on both sides of the issue to put a critical eye immediately towards any countering information. Realization I think helps as you can kind of check yourself, and try to neutrally view the information, and validate it critically while trying to suppress your own biases and emotions toward the subject.


Just my two cents, sorry about the ramble...

I don't think this is really possible. While we call thoughts thoughts, and feelings feeling, they're all just chemical reactions. What provokes those reactions are a multitude of factors, some that we may be aware of, and others that we're not. A claim that a man has reached a point close to neutral, or even neutral, is likely false.

What composes a belief that there is no evidence of God? What causes those series of chemical reactions leading to this belief? Do factors like poor experiences in one's religious upbringing play a role? Does an attraction to certain roles models play a role? Does a divine authority problems play a role?

If you claim that it's a belief that arises from a near neutral state, I would find that quite doubtful.

Everyone has inner biases and personal agenda to overcome if one wishes to be honest with oneself. It is created, as you well know, by ones life experiences, upbringing, personal perspective, emotional and psychological composition, belief system, familial relationships, inter-personal relationships, education, and level of knowledge in the subject...all of those obvious things make us who we are, and heavily impact how we view information in regards to faith, or non faith, belief or disbelief. I think it would be accurate to surmise that not a single human being is without some level of bias.

What composes a belief that there is no evidence of god? I am sure each person has their own answer for that. Mine is due to my personal level of obtained knowledge, education, and life experiences. There are many things we do not know about the world and universe we live in, and there is a good chance we may never know the answers to those questions. Fabricating a god to fill that gap is unnecessary. Emotion blocks ones ability to think objectively and to learn. Reason and logic are the critical tools in which to utilize and introspectively consider "evidence".

What causes those series of chemical reactions leading to any belief? Great question, I have zero background in neurology, and only an above average comprehension of psychology, sociology, and human behaviorisms. What causes dreams, sentience etc?...if that is what you are implying...great questions, others may be able to answer these better, but I don't think it has been nailed down yet. Counter question...if we do not know the answer to this question, and again, we may and I am just not up to speed on neurology, does that mean the cause of this series of chemical reactions must be an omnipotent, omniscient god? What evidence do we have to suggest that? Outside of the philosophical musings of man..

What factors would drive otherwise intelligent humans to embrace faith, the belief in something without evidence, even in the face of superior evidence to the contrary? Also a great question....since the creator of god has long been identified as man, and religion can be traced back to their creators, and the holy books debunked and dismantled by history, archaeological evidence, fossil record, etc etc....why would one determine a god exists? Which god?

Divine authority problem? Not in my case, although if god exists, he is an immature, jealous, pompous animal sacrifice demanding tool....odd personality for a universe and life creating god.....but that is if you believe the holy scriptures, which, like the concept of god, were created by man.

I never claimed my disbelief arises from a near neutral state. I asserted I recognize the challenge each side has in not immediately dismissing evidence/counter evidence due to ingrained biases, which I would suspect get worse with time. I also stated that I recognize that challenge within myself, and I am conscious of it, thus I endeavor to try to remain neutral when reviewing NEW information. I know the old information, pretty well in fact, so whenever that gets tossed in my direction I already know my counter as I have answered that before....NEW information though is something else. My position is both sides have the proclivity to have biased dismissal filters on when considering NEW information. I haven't had much new stuff get brought to light lately...but there is always some new claim, or new discovery that bubbles up in which both sides must consider its validity....ok I am babbling, on duty and bored, beating a dead horse I am Unsure

Just my opinion

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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13-08-2015, 09:42 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Legitimate evidence does not contain logical fallacies.
If God exists and provided evidence for himself than there is logical contradiction between his omniscience and free will of people. Evidence can contradict logic.
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13-08-2015, 10:29 AM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 08:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
I don't think this is really possible. While we call thoughts thoughts, and feelings feeling, they're all just chemical reactions. What provokes those reactions are a multitude of factors, some that we may be aware of, and others that we're not. A claim that a man has reached a point close to neutral, or even neutral, is likely false.

What composes a belief that there is no evidence of God? What causes those series of chemical reactions leading to this belief? Do factors like poor experiences in one's religious upbringing play a role? Does an attraction to certain roles models play a role? Does a divine authority problems play a role?

If you claim that it's a belief that arises from a near neutral state, I would find that quite doubtful.

Actually, there is a subset of people who are very adept at viewing life from the physical and/or the design stance as opposed to the intentional stance i.e. those who are 'separate' from their emotions if not actually controlling them. This makes them less prone to bias.

Nope, I don't mean Vulcans.

But they are from a different planet. Read all about it.

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13-08-2015, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2015 12:08 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 09:42 AM)dimaniac Wrote:  
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Legitimate evidence does not contain logical fallacies.
If God exists and provided evidence for himself than there is logical contradiction between his omniscience and free will of people. Evidence can contradict logic.

First of all, your example would not be a contradiction of logic. It would, at most, be a contradiction of free will, or show the contradictory nature of omniscience.

But second... if we're talking about the Biblical, Christian god... and it sounds like we are, since you're assuming omniscience... the same one that gave Noah precise commands for constructing the Ark, hardened Pharaoh's heart, gave Jonah a mission he couldn't refuse, appeared directly before Jacob/Israel for a wrestling match ... WHEN EXACTLY DID THIS GOD START CARING ABOUT FREE WILL AND THE POSSIBILITY THAT EVIDENCE OF HIS EXISTENCE MIGHT VIOLATE IT?

..... oh, wait, you've decided that logic is not a criteria for evidence. .... that actually explains a lot.
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13-08-2015, 12:18 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2015 12:57 PM by DLJ.)
RE: That's Not Evidence
@Dark,

From the (evidence of) the various replies so far, you seem to have two themes emerging from your OP:
  1. What constitutes evidence?
  2. What determines 'quality' of evidence?
Your first three points relate to the latter i.e. rules or critera relating to the quality of evidence.
Your fourth point relates to the former which is akin to assessing the source of the evidence.

Mathilda has pointed out a potential trimming of the second theme and HoC has added 'revelation' to the first theme.

And I'll add two more:
Faith, Authority, Revelation and Tradition = FART = evidence of hot air.

Regarding quality:
Different disciplines have developed different quality criteria... Legal, scientific, historical, governance, audits, theological etc.

Even sports have quality criteria for evidence and as with everything else, when the stakes are high, we expect greater degrees of preciseness for the evidence:
- Wimbledon has machines now to judge whether the ball was in or out but this does not matter for the amateur players.
- Politicians need enough data to make a judgement between benefits vs. risk vs. costs (they do not wait for all data to be gathered (unless it's expedient so to do))
- Mathematicians do not need to calculate to infinite decimal places.

For theists who have been indoctrinated with the hell-fire theory, the stakes could not be higher.

So one would think that their standard of evidence would be a damn sight (or should that be 'damned site'? Laughat ) better than that which they present to us.

The reason that we (a-ideologists) are confused by what the ideologists consider to be sufficient quality of evidence is because we are expecting them to produce evidence (artefacts / data / information / discernible results or outcomes) that is at least as robust, reliable, repeatable, understandable and logical as we'd expect from a 14 year-old's chemistry homework.

If the stakes are so high, according to them, why is 'feels' even close to adequate evidence?

Consider

Hence, what can we conclude?
Are they lying or are they merely hypocritical?

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13-08-2015, 12:35 PM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 12:18 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Hence, what can we conclude?
Are they lying or are they merely hypocritical?

They are living in fear and in hope.

Fear is an incredible motivator to those who are afraid to die. It has been used to control the masses since human beings roamed the earth. Doctrines get invented that make promises of eternal life or threats of damnation in Hell. Basically, fear tells people to toe the religious line for a reward, and/or oppose it at their own peril.

Hope is what theists have of an afterlife. They hope to have salvation, and re-join those who passed before them. Hope is what religions provide, and it is upon their promises that people believe in the hope that is propagated.

Both of these are emotional manifestations manipulated by exterior forces that are well designed to control the difference between beliefs and reality. If they can subvert the perception of reality insomuch as make it unbelievable, then all that remains for the victim is an ambiguous fantasy that becomes the only reality they know.

They are victims of the travesty of human history, and some are beyond our reach.

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13-08-2015, 12:42 PM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 12:35 PM)Free Wrote:  ...
They are victims of the travesty of human history, and some are beyond our reach.

Aww, c'mon now. I fear you've given up hope.

Big Grin

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13-08-2015, 12:42 PM
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 09:42 AM)dimaniac Wrote:  
(13-08-2015 02:07 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  1. Legitimate evidence does not contain logical fallacies.
If God exists and provided evidence for himself than there is logical contradiction between his omniscience and free will of people. Evidence can contradict logic.

How can evidence contradict logic since logic is the non-contradictory identification of facts? Or what is logic to you if it is not non-contradiction?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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13-08-2015, 12:45 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2015 01:03 PM by Free.)
RE: That's Not Evidence
(13-08-2015 12:42 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(13-08-2015 12:35 PM)Free Wrote:  ...
They are victims of the travesty of human history, and some are beyond our reach.

Aww, c'mon now. I fear you've given up hope.

Big Grin

There are some who are better off left alone. Some of us here can see that in many of them. When I see someone who is unreachable, and refuses to be reached at all, the best I can do is say something to the effect of, "It's okay to believe what you believe, providing your beliefs bring no harm to anyone." This may seem adverse to the position of an atheist, but when some theists are so strongly indoctrinated as to resist all reason and rationality, I pity them instead of continuously admonishing them for I view them as emotionally and mentally injured.

Basically, plant the seed of the Ethic of Reciprocity, and then leave it alone.

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