Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
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08-04-2011, 04:40 PM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
1. You "are the only one" who challenged me on this.
2. You also decided that a suspicion cannot be voiced without proof. I disagree. As long as it is voiced as a suspicion and not as a fact, which is what I did. The idea that someone will take a comment out of context means that no one can say anything because everything can and has been taken out of context.
3. What I see as related material, you see as unrelated.
4. You claim that I made this up. I said it was a suspicion and I had years of experiences that brought me to that suspicion.
5. The bottom line is that I said I was suspicious.

suspicion (səˈspɪʃən)

— n
1. the act or an instance of suspecting; belief without sure proof, esp that something is wrong
2. the feeling of mistrust of a person who suspects
3. the state of being suspected: to be shielded from suspicion
4. a slight trace
5. above suspicion in such a position that no guilt may be thought or implied, esp through having an unblemished reputation
6. on suspicion as a suspect
7. under suspicion regarded with distrust

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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08-04-2011, 06:16 PM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
No. J.

1. What does that have to do with anything?
2. That is a lie. I said that unsupported defamation is universally bad and that you were being slanderous and that when unsupported suspicion is libellous, it should be called out. I said nothing about cannot. You may have said suspicion at first but when I asked you what you based it on, you offered evidence. You tried to prove it. So stop hiding.
3. So that's how inquiry works? "Here's my evidence, Bill." "I don't think it's a very good support, Ted." "Well too bad, Bill."
4. Again, you said that you based it on years of experience (negating your suspicion defence) but you can't offer anything tangible. "Niggers are stupid thieves. I can't produce any evidence, but trust me, I base it off of years of experience."
5. No, the bottom line is if you had said, "they're just suspicions," the first time I asked what you based your statements on, you'd have a point. But you offered historical references, you tried to demonstrate a causal link, talked about protests, admitted your distrust of the Pope and of the Church, conversion attempts by Theists on this board, persecution by Theists, asked about history's relation to the present, claimed that there was documentation that you were in fact basing this on that covered several years but that you couldn't locate it or post it, missionary activity, the incriminating nature of "Know Thine Enemy", the unlikely of turnaround for monolithic organisations (particularly those with chequered pasts), voicelessness of Atheists as evidenced by backlash against billboards by loosely affiliated groups but that Catholics were guilty by association, outdated criticism of anti-AIDS/Condom policy, that Bible-belt Theists consider Atheists devil-worshipers, burning musicians for playing the diminished 5th, questioned my knowledge of the Catholic Church's history and why I couldn't see the links you saw, and then you have the audacity to say that after all of that, you were just stating a suspicion.

I don't like slander. I don't like it when it's some televangelist slandering Atheists, or Fox slandering the Democrats, or Atheists slandering Theists. If neither you nor anyone else wants to recognise that what you said was not only slander, but an affront to evidence-based reason, then so be it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-04-2011, 10:14 AM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Quote:I said that unsupported defamation is universally bad and that you were being slanderous and that when unsupported suspicion is libellous, it should be called out. I said nothing about cannot. You may have said suspicion at first but when I asked you what you based it on, you offered evidence. You tried to prove it. So stop hiding.

The problem here is that all suspicions are somewhat unsupported; if full corroborating evidence existed they would not be suspicions. Using your definitions, no one should able to ever be allowed to voice a suspicion of anything because, as all suspicions by definition not fully supported by evidence, all will be "slanderous". Sorry, but that's ridiculous.

What No. J did was react, based on his knowledge of the church's history and passed agenda, to news about them and voice a suspicion. You may not agree with is his suspicions and you may not follow the logic of how he got there. But, to say that because he doesn't have clear and convincing evidence as to the Church's intent he's somehow prohibited from voicing a negative opinion on their intentions because it's slander is simply preposterous. He has every right to do so and the church, in my suspicious opinion, has asked for those types of reactions over the long, disgusting course of their history. You don't want people to assume the worst of you then don't live up to those expectations at every opportunity.

I'm extremely suspicious of the church's motivations too and do not believe at all that their goal is to reach any kind of common understanding. Their fundamental position is that there is a god, his son Jesus Christ died on the cross for humanities sin and the only way to eternal salvation is to accept that. If you fail to do so, you are going to hell. That is their most basic, steadfast belief and it really does not leave a whole lot of room for compromise. That the church now wants to talk about mutual coexistence is, in my sole opinion, less likely to be the result of a desire to be understanding and altruistic and more likely to be the result of their dwindling membership and the financial losses they have incurred after it was revealed they hid very serious crimes for decades. Now they are trying to recover, find new members, and probably inspire the members they have to continue with the faith. I find it very difficult to believe there is anything aside from those goals involved in anything they do. You want to call that slander, you are free to do so but I completely disagree.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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09-04-2011, 02:22 PM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey, BnW.

Thanks for responding to me saying I'm not saying something by saying I'm saying that very thing, but you're way off the mark.

I suspect it's going to rain.
I suspect AT&T stock is going to go up.
I suspect there will be a drought in Bangladesh.
I suspect that road fatalities will go up now that they've increased the speed limit.
I suspect that much of the criminality surrounding marijuana will disappear once it's leagalised.
I suspect that the Green Party will win at least one seat in the coming federal election.
I suspect that the contract negotiations are going to fail.

All of those are suspicions and all of them may or may not be based on anything. But NONE of them are slanderous.

I suspect that new black family in the neighbourhood are drug dealers.
I suspect that Obama isn't an American.
I suspect that you lied.
I suspect that they're using this peaceful gesture as a cover so they can undermine us.
I suspect that the Democrats rigged the election.
I suspect that Bob is cheating on his wife.
I suspect that Richard Dawkins worships Satan.

All of those are suspicions and all of them may or may not be based on anything. But ALL of them are slanderous.

If someone offers EVIDENCE as a support for their suspicion, then that evidence can be scrutinised. How you of all people think otherwise is beyond me.

If someone offers EVIDENCE as a support for their suspicion, it's not a suspicion any longer.

One last time. I don't like slander. If I see it, I'll call it out and I think that everyone should. And if someone offers evidence in support of it, that evidence should be scrutinised just like any evidence should be scrutinised.

I have never once used the word "prohibited" nor any variation thereof nor any synonym. That, my friend, is a strawman.

So say whatever you want, whenever you want. But if you are slanderous and you have no evidence, forget me calling you out, you can be SUED. This is a matter of LAW, not opinion.

The fact that anyone on the site called THE THINKING ATHEIST can say with a straight face that it's fine to say whatever you want without any evidence is so thoroughly shocking to me that I cannot express what it makes me feel. You wanna talk ridiculous, that's ridiculous.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-04-2011, 04:45 PM
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
I have no idea what the first sentence means so I'm just going to ignore it. If there is something you think is important in there, feel free to re-state it. Moving on....

Nothing in your first list would constitute a suspicion. Words actually do have meanings and you can't just change them to make a point (although I'll concede that a lot of definitions get butchered in every day usage). But, you don't have suspicions about the weather, an electoral outcome or the outcome of a contract negotiation. That is not what the word means. You could have suspicions about the new black family in the neighborhood, Obama's country of origin, that I lied. etc. Your second list definitely constitutes things that would qualify as suspicions. Your statement that all of them are slanderous, however, is an opinion, not a fact. Some of them may be slanderous and some of them may not be. For example, the comment about Obama is pretty much a lock that it's not going to be slander.

As for the issue of evidence, your second sentence is basically right (or right enough for this discussion): if someone offers evidence to support a suspicion then it's no longer a suspicion. Because, that is what a suspicion is; a suspicion is a belief or a feeling without evidence to fully back it up. That is what all suspicions are, by definition. And, if you take the position that any accusation without full evidence to support it is slander, then you are saying that no suspicions should be uttered. That's not a strawman, that's your argument.

As for your law comment and the risk of being sued, don't be ridiculous. If you really want to get into this: first, we are actually talking about libel, not slander. There is a difference. Second, if you live in the US or a country governed by English common law, you basically can't slander or commit liable against an institution like the Catholic Church. Large institutions that put themselves out before the public like that generally don't get those types of protections to their reputations. There are some exceptions to that, but we are not even close to those exceptions so please give the "you can be SUED" stuff a rest. This is not a matter of law and it absolutely is a matter of opinion.

Finally, whether you agree with his logic or not, I still think that No. J. put forth an explanation for his comments. You rejected it, and that's fair enough, but that doesn't mean he based his suspicion on nothing. Whether his suspicion is reasonable is a matter of opinion but that's not quite the same as slander.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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10-04-2011, 09:19 AM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2011 09:23 AM by Ghost.)
RE: Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists
Hey, BnW.

Quote:And, if you take the position that any accusation without full evidence to support it is slander, then you are saying that no suspicions should be uttered. That's not a strawman, that's your argument.

You're absolutely right. If you redefine what it is I am saying and endlessly repeat that I'm saying things that I am not, that isn't a strawman, that's my argument. That's airtight logic.

I didn't change the meaning of anything. I'm not going to post dictionary definitions of slander, libel and defamation. You can look them up yourself. But you seem convinced of their meaning, so whatever.

As for the law comment, I can see how you took that. I wasn't accusing you or even No. J. of violating a law. I was just making the point that defamation, libel and slander are on the law books. And you're right, as far as I know an institution cannot sue for any of them. That being said, is still don't think that it is morally correct to defame an organisation or a people and, as I have already stated, I will call it out whenever I see it because I think it's a dangerous practice. Quite frankly I just cannot wrap my head around how anyone thinks it's just A-OK.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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