Um, where is....
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26-12-2014, 06:36 AM
RE: Um, where is....
(26-12-2014 04:42 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  If someone points out how your argument is fallacious, such as an argument from authority for example, is that characterising your argument or addressing it?

Great question, thank you. I believe there is a great deal of sincere confusion on this matter, and maybe you can help clear it up.

If I post "your argument is fallacious" and leave it at that, I am merely characterizing your argument. The same would be true if I said only "your argument is wonderful". Lazy.

If I post "your argument is fallacious for the following specific reasons 1, 2 and 3", and those reasons demonstrate a good faith effort to add something intelligent and useful to the conversation, then I am addressing the argument.

To me, the concept of "good faith effort" is important in an open public forum such as this. The poster need not be a Phd, published author, or otherwise expert. It's not about credentials.

To me the deciding issue is, is the poster trying to add something intelligent and useful to the conversation?

Or are they just jerking off their ego with the fewest possible keystrokes? And are they doing that routinely? To me, just one opinion, these folks belong on Facebook, not a forum with "thinking" in the title.
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26-12-2014, 06:39 AM
RE: Um, where is....
Quote:Baba Bozo Wrote:
What I'm seeing from here is that some of you wish to assert my points are boring...

Prove me wrong please, thanks!

Well, I fell asleep halfway through this thread. Not proof of boredom, perhaps, but highly indicative.
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26-12-2014, 08:16 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2014 08:21 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: Um, where is....
(25-12-2014 11:45 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(25-12-2014 11:30 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Atheism is a lack of belief in the existence of gods.

What is the lack of belief built upon? Where does it come from? What is it's source?

Since the author of the post above didn't give you a positive answer to argue against, I'll give one: Scepticism, both of one's own beliefs and of new claims. It is unreasonable to accept every belief you hold is true, and it is unreasonable to accept that every claim made to you is true. It is trivially true that at least some of these claims are false, since many are mutually exclusive. For one to be true others must be false.

So let's consider what approach one might take in assessing new claims as they come in. Should we accept ordinary claims based on ordinary evidence? Well, we might as well. It isn't harmful to accept your claim of what you ate for breakfast. It isn't harmful to accept your claim of the route you take to work. However if some important decision rests upon the claim, especially if the claims has a low "prior probability" we would tend to expect the claim to be backed by a standard of evidence consistent with its impact and with its extraordinary nature.

Let's take a claim in a safety system, such as "this product contains no small parts that could be swallowed by children". As someone responsible for the accuracy of this claim I would either verify myself or obtain sworn testimony from reliable individuals that the design has been checked for the size of these parts. I would verify myself or take sworn testimony from people working in QA on the production line that no small parts were being inadvertently manufactured or included. This is an important claim with serious implications on both the company I might work for, for my career, and for the lives of children around the world. As a consumer I might not check so carefully. I may accept the claim because I know it must have been carefully checked for the product to have made it onto shelves. Yet I still expect a basic standard of evidence.

When a claim is presented to me that demands I live my life in a particular way, die and am disposed of in a particular way, look forward to a particular afterlife, and promote these ideas to others it would be strange indeed on my part not to expect evidence commensurate with the expected impact of that claim on my life and commensurate with how extraordinary the claim is. This is true many times over when I also consider the many competing mutually exclusive such claims that exist. I know not all are true, but it it certainly seems possible that all are false. My default position for any such claim surely must be to disbelieve it until corresponding evidence is presented to support it. I can certainly entertain such ideas and consider them carefully, but to believe them without good reason would seem an unreasonable position.

This is all of course orthogonal to the question of whether or not it is possible to "know" whether any such claim is true or false. It may well not be possible, therefore the only reasonable tool we have to navigate this possibility space is heuristic... and given the large number of mutually exclusive claims available it seems the most reasonable default position doesn't stray very far from "I don't know what is true. I don't have any firm believe in this area but I'm prepared to believe anything that has the evidence behind it. Convince me.". But after a while and after hearing the same terrible arguments trotted out over and over again this does tend to calcify closer to a position of: "I'm pretty sure you're all full of crap. Convince me otherwise."

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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26-12-2014, 11:09 AM
RE: Um, where is....
(26-12-2014 03:23 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(25-12-2014 11:03 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Thus, the existence of any entity that can be meaningfully discussed can be evaluated by human reason. Such an evaluation may be flawed but, at an absolute minimum, the question "Does this entity exist?" can be asked.

Yes, the question can be asked, on that we all agree, me included. But that tells us nothing about whether a useful answer can be obtained. Again, like everybody else, you haven't addressed the question.

If a meaningful answer cannot be obtained then any discussion of the entity in question is equally meaningless. The statement "God is good" has no meaning if we cannot demonstrate that "God is."

We can postulate the existence of a deity that wound up the universe and let it go. It set the starting conditions for the Big Bang and everything that unfolded from there. It is forever outside the universe, existing outside its bounds of space and time. Such an entity is amusing but unprovable and inconsequential. Does it exist? We can't know. What were its motives? We can't know. Every question we might ask about it is answered by "We can't know." Any discussion of it is without meaning. This god is inconsequential.

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26-12-2014, 11:17 AM
RE: Um, where is....
(26-12-2014 04:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Atheists, both gnostic and agnostic, more commonly have to endure a real sense of loss when losing their faith, have too many unanswered questions and are not convinced by the explanations and are not satisfied with the lack of evidence.

While certainly true in some cases, this statement doesn't reflect my experience. Not that I expect you ever intended it to be a broad blanket statement. I was raised liberal christian (UCC) but the religion just never stuck. My belief in god never matured beyond my belief in Santa. There was more sense of loss when I discovered that Santa didn't exist.

I'd be interested in seeing what the actual numbers are of atheists who lost their religion compared to those who never got it. Both here on TTA and in the general population.

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26-12-2014, 04:42 PM
RE: Um, where is....
(26-12-2014 08:16 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  Since the author of the post above didn't give you a positive answer to argue against, I'll give one: Scepticism, both of one's own beliefs and of new claims.

Thank you for being straightforward and providing the perfectly obvious answer as to where lack of belief comes from, (excepting those like babies who have never heard the god proposal.)

Lack of belief comes from faith in reason's ability to deliver a useful answer to god questions.

And yes, it's faith, until such time as somebody can prove those qualifications.

Quote:So let's consider what approach one might take in assessing new claims as they come in. Should we accept ordinary claims based on ordinary evidence? Well, we might as well. It isn't harmful to accept your claim of what you ate for breakfast. It isn't harmful to accept your claim of the route you take to work. However if some important decision rests upon the claim, especially if the claims has a low "prior probability" we would tend to expect the claim to be backed by a standard of evidence consistent with its impact and with its extraordinary nature.

I am sincere in saying your post is quite intelligent and articulate, kudos for that. I look forward to more from you. But your post suffers from the same fundamental malady as all the other posts.

You dive right in to doing the reason dance, without first demonstrating that reason is qualified to answer god questions. This is the same as a theist who is constantly quoting Bible passages, but they will never address whether the Bible is qualified to credibly speak to those topics.

You seem to be proposing that because reason is indeed excellent for evaluating many claims, it is therefore qualified to evaluate all claims, even the biggest claims about the most ultimate fundamental questions. It's the same old unproven leap.
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26-12-2014, 04:57 PM
RE: Um, where is....
(26-12-2014 11:17 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(26-12-2014 04:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Atheists, both gnostic and agnostic, more commonly have to endure a real sense of loss when losing their faith, have too many unanswered questions and are not convinced by the explanations and are not satisfied with the lack of evidence.

While certainly true in some cases, this statement doesn't reflect my experience. Not that I expect you ever intended it to be a broad blanket statement. I was raised liberal christian (UCC) but the religion just never stuck. My belief in god never matured beyond my belief in Santa. There was more sense of loss when I discovered that Santa didn't exist.

I'd be interested in seeing what the actual numbers are of atheists who lost their religion compared to those who never got it. Both here on TTA and in the general population.

We have a recovering from religion section and a share your deconversion story section. Smile

You might find a partial answer there.


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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26-12-2014, 10:25 PM
RE: Um, where is....
Bozo - lol

There is really no reason for anyone to seriously respond to anything you have to say anymore.

You've proven yourself to be a annoying B.....
I mean an annoying Bozo

You will now go on the ignore list

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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26-12-2014, 10:49 PM
RE: Um, where is....
(26-12-2014 04:42 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Lack of belief comes from faith in reason's ability to deliver a useful answer to god questions.

No. False.
There are things humans have learned about reality that were non-intuitive and not at all based on reason. There was however evidence for them. Reason is necessary but not sufficient.

YOU use brain processes to arrive at your beliefs, (insane as they are).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-12-2014, 11:20 PM
RE: Um, where is....
(25-12-2014 08:26 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  .... the Real Life Debate With Atheists section?

Yes, I know everybody wants to play the role of "The Great Debunker", me too.

But what fun is debunking theists? They can retreat in to the "we believe on faith" hidey hole at any time, so what's the point?

Yes, I know this is an atheist forum. Or is it?

Doesn't atheism explicitly or implicitly propose reason as an alternative to religion? Isn't reason the foundation upon which "lack of belief" is built?

Are we really doing reason if we don't challenge every claim, every position, every chosen authority with equal vigor?

And what is the point really of challenging other people's beliefs when the truth is, we really can't do much of anything about them? Isn't challenging other people's beliefs sort of inherently illogical, an illusion we perpetrate upon ourselves?

If we challenge our own beliefs instead, we at least have a chance of learning something that we can actually implement.

I'll go first.

As a Fundamentalist Agnostic, I firmly believe that "nobody knows". I'm quite adamant about it. In fact, I'm certain. I can make some pretty decent arguments that nobody knows. I'm relentless, long winded, kinda rude, and all the other requirements of fundamentalism.

And it's all a load of crap.

In order to know that "nobody knows" I'd have to both know everybody, AND I'd have to know what The Answer is not. So even though I'm claiming "nobody knows" I'm at the same time claiming that "I know" thus defeating my own position without any help from anybody.

So I'm full of crap. And I know it. See it very clearly. But it doesn't stop me from sincerely believing with excessive enthusiasm that nobody knows. Welcome to the human condition Bozo.

Like that. Grow some balls guys. Rip your own position to shred without mercy.

I swear, it's like conversing with 10-second Tom!
Listen Bozo, YES, the typical back-and-forth on the topic of God-meme has something to do with needing proof, but it's those who present an idea who are required to provide proof! Not the many who simply have no idea what it is you're talking about! Are you really gonna keep your mind open to any crazy old premise even when then attributes "believers" give the thing make it totally unlikely?

Should I spend my life avoiding black cats? Old wives tales have said that those critters give you bad luck. Mind you, no proof has ever been provided but gee, I have to remain 'open-minded', right?

Stevie Wonder says "Superstition ain't the way".

Drinking Beverage
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