"True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
09-11-2010, 10:30 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, BnW.

Yes. Yes it does.

In order to say that something does NOT have a rational explanation, you must know all rational explanations. To say it doesn't correspond to any KNOWN rational explanation doesn't mean that it doesn't have a rational explanation and, by extension, doesn't mean it's necessarily supernatural.

So saying that if something has no rational explanation that it's likely supernatural is to support each and every idea that was at one time considered supernatural and later proved to be rational.

If it is impossible to know scientifically that we have in fact cataloged, well, everything, then the only thing science can ever, ever, say about the supernatural is, "well, we can't explain it."

Rational this, exasper boy!!!

Big Grin

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-11-2010, 07:04 AM
 
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(09-11-2010 10:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  In order to say that something does NOT have a rational explanation, you must know all rational explanations. To say it doesn't correspond to any KNOWN rational explanation doesn't mean that it doesn't have a rational explanation and, by extension, doesn't mean it's necessarily supernatural.

So saying that if something has no rational explanation that it's likely supernatural is to support each and every idea that was at one time considered supernatural and later proved to be rational.

If it is impossible to know scientifically that we have in fact cataloged, well, everything, then the only thing science can ever, ever, say about the supernatural is, "well, we can't explain it."

Curiously, at some level, I agree with this. Given that science can't explain everything, there is always a possibility that something appearing to be supernatural might indeed have a natural explanation.

However, let me re-iterate something I said earlier. Truly supernatural events generally should stand out like a beacon in the night: a person walking on water, turning water into wine, parting the Red Sea, raising the dead, a bush that burns and talks but is not consumed, five loaves and 2 fishes feeding a multitude, etc. Biblical miracles wouldn't be very compelling demonstrations if they didn't show something that's spectacularly unnatural. "Miracles" of the biblical sort would be obviously supernatural to most observers - assuming that it could be shown convincingly that they weren't faked.

Most of the things science doesn't understand are not obviously supernatural - it's plausible to assume they have a natural explanation but we don't yet know it. Anyone postulating a supernatural "explanation" finds themselves in the same quandry as the creationists: such explanations ("god did it") have no explanatory power. If a STCBCG can perform unnatural deeds (deeds well outside the known natural laws), then no natural explanation is possible or even needed, and we should all fall down on our knees in awe. Incidentally, there seems to have been something of a hiatus in the miracle department for the last 2000 years ...
Quote this message in a reply
10-11-2010, 08:12 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:In order to say that something does NOT have a rational explanation, you must know all rational explanations. To say it doesn't correspond to any KNOWN rational explanation doesn't mean that it doesn't have a rational explanation and, by extension, doesn't mean it's necessarily supernatural.

So saying that if something has no rational explanation that it's likely supernatural is to support each and every idea that was at one time considered supernatural and later proved to be rational.

Ok, this confused the hell out of me and I had to go back and re-read a few things until I figured out why. And, here's why: I was not claiming or arguing you can know that something does not have a rational explanation. I was following up on the position that even if humans have no idea what the rational explanation is, and even if we never know, that does not mean there is not a rational explanation and it does not mean we have to defer to the supernatural.

I think you just flipped sides on this debate, but I agree with what you said. In fact, what you just said is the common counter to the "God hypothesis".

So, why did you say it since int seems to be 100% contrary to your original point? See, I'm confused again. And, I don't like being confused. It's very confusing.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 11:06 AM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey, 2buckchuck.

Quote:However, let me re-iterate something I said earlier. Truly supernatural events generally should stand out like a beacon in the night: a person walking on water, turning water into wine, parting the Red Sea, raising the dead, a bush that burns and talks but is not consumed, five loaves and 2 fishes feeding a multitude, etc. Biblical miracles wouldn't be very compelling demonstrations if they didn't show something that's spectacularly unnatural. "Miracles" of the biblical sort would be obviously supernatural to most observers - assuming that it could be shown convincingly that they weren't faked.

A supernatural event doesn't have to be flamboyant, it just has to be outside of the laws of the natural universe. They can be subtle. Like someone in economic distress meets the accountant that can help them. The range from subtle to universe creating is literally infinite.

Biblical miracles ARE obviously supernatural to their observers. That's why the Bible calls them supernatural.

Hey, BnW.

Quote:I think you just flipped sides on this debate, but I agree with what you said. In fact, what you just said is the common counter to the "God hypothesis".

So, why did you say it since int seems to be 100% contrary to your original point? See, I'm confused again. And, I don't like being confused. It's very confusing.

I didn't flip sides. I'm saying the same thing. I'm an Agnostic. I'm neither supporting Theistic or Atheistic arguments.

The point was made that science is capable of determining that something is supernatural by being unable to explain it rationally. I pointed out why that was retarded. It can only be true if science knows everything. Which it does not.

Quote:Ok, this confused the hell out of me and I had to go back and re-read a few things until I figured out why. And, here's why: I was not claiming or arguing you can know that something does not have a rational explanation. I was following up on the position that even if humans have no idea what the rational explanation is, and even if we never know, that does not mean there is not a rational explanation and it does not mean we have to defer to the supernatural.

Ok. Now this is confusing Big Grin

We don't have to defer to the supernatural. It very well MIGHT have a rational explanation that we don't yet know of. But we can't defer to the scientific. This is the point. Science has limits. It can offer zero commentary on the supernatural outside of "well we can't explain it. Doesn't mean it is but we can't prove that it isn't."

If science knew the answer to everything then of course it could say that something was supernatural. "It has to be X, Y or Z because those are the only possibilities (we know this because we know how everything works) but it's unicorn. So that's not natural." But it doesn't (and likely never will). So all it can say is, well, that doesn't correspond to anything we know or even that shouldn't be possible. But it can't say that's NOT supernatural.

To be clear (too late) I've only ever said one thing here. Science cannot determine whether or not something is supernatural. That doesn't mean that the supernatural exists, but that if it does, science is not the methodology that will determine it because it can't. So can Theists prove that God exists? No. So they can't claim certainty. Can Atheists prove that God doesn't exist? No. So they can't claim certainty.

I fail to see why this is a bad thing. Science is great. It can do all kinds of awesome things. Who cares if it can't comment on the supernatural? It doesn't have to be good at everything. The only reason I can think that it's a bad thing is because Atheists will never have a slam dunk argument against Theism. They want one, but they can't have one. That means that a political agenda doesn't have the backing it needs. Science is more important to me than a political agenda.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 12:11 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
ok, my head just popped off, but I'm following you this time.

My problem is that anything people can make up does not get equal weight and treated with equally validity because it can't be 100% disproven. I can't prove, beyond all doubt, that there are not leprechauns living in the middle of the sun but I can reasonably infer there are none. I can't say for absolute certainty that the supernatural does not exist but I can say it has yet to manifest itself in any observable or tangible way so I can discount it and dismiss it until evidence of its actual existence is somehow presented.

Science, on the other hand, is able to see, to touch, to measure, to question, and to answer many of the mysteries of the universe. No, it has not answered all of them but given the track record of science and the total lack of evidence of the supernatural, it is not unreasonable to assume that all things have a logical, explicable cause and it's not ghosts, goblins or god that causes them.

Finally, I'm not sure where the political agenda comment comes from but science does not have an agenda other than the search for objective truth. Politicians have a political agenda and they will use science or distort science to further their causes. Atheism is not a political movement and is not driven by politics. That does not mean atheists do not have political agendas, though. However, my observation is most of the atheist political agenda is to keep the forces of superstition where it belongs: out of class rooms and in the local theological repository. Beyond that, we fall all over the political spectrum.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 12:39 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hey BnW

Science doesn't have a political agenda but say, an atheist, might have such an agenda in trying to shoehorn science into a discussion on religion.

It's difficult to measure the weight comparison of a thought and a brick. Does that make either less valid?

I'm a theist and I came to that position from weighing up the information presented > then committing to the pre-requisite. What I'm trying to say is that religion presents a logical framework that withstands scrutiny, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 01:00 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
(11-11-2010 12:39 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  It's difficult to measure the weight comparison of a thought and a brick. Does that make either less valid?

What does this mean? "Weight comparison"? Valid in what way?

Quote:I'm a theist and I came to that position from weighing up the information presented > then committing to the pre-requisite.

What prerequisite would that be?

Quote:What I'm trying to say is that religion presents a logical framework that withstands scrutiny, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

What framework?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 02:01 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Fr0d0

Quote:Science doesn't have a political agenda but say, an atheist, might have such an agenda in trying to shoehorn science into a discussion on religion.

I'm not sure what this means but if you're saying that an atheist may have an agenda and will use science to further it, then I agree, he may very well do so. And?

Quote:It's difficult to measure the weight comparison of a thought and a brick. Does that make either less valid?

I have no idea what this means. None. Zippy.

Quote:What I'm trying to say is that religion presents a logical framework that withstands scrutiny, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

I don't dismiss it out of hand. I dismiss it after many years of having it taught to me and realizing it's a total fallacy. As for it withstanding scrutiny, historically it has withstood scrutiny through wholesale slaughter of anyone who dared question religion. However, in the cold light of objective reason and logic, religion crumbles pretty quickly.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 06:57 PM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2010 07:08 PM by fr0d0.)
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Hi Unbeliever

(11-11-2010 01:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(11-11-2010 12:39 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  It's difficult to measure the weight comparison of a thought and a brick. Does that make either less valid?
What does this mean? "Weight comparison"? Valid in what way?
Well we're using a tool that can accurately measure one but is farcical as measuring the other: science used to measure religion.

(11-11-2010 01:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:I'm a theist and I came to that position from weighing up the information presented > then committing to the pre-requisite.
What prerequisite would that be?
Belief

(11-11-2010 01:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
Quote:What I'm trying to say is that religion presents a logical framework that withstands scrutiny, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
What framework?
I'm talking about Christianity specifically. Apologies.
Hi BnW Wink

(11-11-2010 02:01 PM)BnW Wrote:  Fr0d0

Quote:Science doesn't have a political agenda but say, an atheist, might have such an agenda in trying to shoehorn science into a discussion on religion.
I'm not sure what this means but if you're saying that an atheist may have an agenda and will use science to further it, then I agree, he may very well do so. And?[quote]
I was just explaining the point.

(11-11-2010 02:01 PM)BnW Wrote:  [quote]It's difficult to measure the weight comparison of a thought and a brick. Does that make either less valid?
I have no idea what this means. None. Zippy.
hopefully my answer to Unbeliever above helped.

(11-11-2010 02:01 PM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:What I'm trying to say is that religion presents a logical framework that withstands scrutiny, and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
I don't dismiss it out of hand. I dismiss it after many years of having it taught to me and realizing it's a total fallacy. As for it withstanding scrutiny, historically it has withstood scrutiny through wholesale slaughter of anyone who dared question religion. However, in the cold light of objective reason and logic, religion crumbles pretty quickly.
forgive me for considering yours a tainted opinion. With respect.

I search very hard to discredit it and so far have drawn a blank. Working through the logical concepts I find unbelievers have no counters to them. That isn't to say they then believe what I believe, because belief comes from acting upon what you accept to be true. For me it took a huge amount of working out and then given the overwhelming evidence for, a big effort to step over into belief.

I fully respect the atheist position: I've been one for most of my life after all. There are very many good arguments and solid reasoning. None that I have found convincing myself, and nothing that would seriously challenge the faith (in my opinion). I sincerely hope that I'm big enough to be honest about that. I try anyway.

Peace etc Wink
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-11-2010, 07:11 PM
RE: "True Atheists are Hypocrites"
Quote:forgive me for considering yours a tainted opinion. With respect.

I'm not sure what that means, a "tainted opinion". Aren't all opinions tainted by our perceptions, beliefs and preconceptions? I'll concede my opinion is tainted by those things, but no more so than the opinions held by you or anyone else. That's what opinions are.

Quote:Working through the logical concepts I find unbelievers have no counters to them.

Try me, I bet I do. Whether or not you accept them is another matter altogether, but rejecting a counter argument does not equate to not having a counter to them.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: