Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
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24-07-2014, 08:19 PM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
Sweet Zombie Jesus.

God.

No.

Stop quote-mining Einstein.

Just stop. You look like an idiot.

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24-07-2014, 09:41 PM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2014 10:10 PM by thespiritualanarchist.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(24-07-2014 08:19 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Sweet Zombie Jesus.

God.

No.

Stop quote-mining Einstein.

Just stop. You look like an idiot.

No honestly in this case you look like the idiot.

Quote mining is the deceitful tactic of taking quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the quote miner's viewpoint.

You are making a similar argument as the Christians I debate do when they say I am taking scripture out of context.

I remember one such debate where I posted several scripture quotes that show God commanded people to kill those with different beliefs.

None of these Christians could make any arguments for what the context should have been and none of these Christians could expand the quotes to show that they could be understood in any other way.

You are doing the same thing here.

I have given you quotes where Einstein admits that he does not believe in a personal God.

I have given you quotes where Einstein admits that he is not an Atheist.

And I have given you quotes where Einstein describes what he believes God means including his Pantheistic understanding

Now if these quotes are out of context then show me where these quotes mean something completely different from what I claim they mean. Go ahead and provide the proper context to prove it.

As for for my comments on Quantum Physics and my use of quotes from Einstein to support my views

... I only try to support that there are Metaphysical Implications to Quantum Physics and that some of these implications made Einstein uncomfortable by using the quotes I use.

Again I challenge you to show me how I got the context wrong in any of these quotes.

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24-07-2014, 10:02 PM (This post was last modified: 24-07-2014 10:08 PM by thespiritualanarchist.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
If any Atheists on here could give up the idea that I am a Theist because I use terms like God or Soul we could have a rational discussion.

Aren't most Atheist disgusted by the arrogance and closed mindedness of most Theist?

Don't you as an Atheist wish a Theist would respond to what you actually said rather than what they think you said?

Don't you wish Theist would actually reason out your real arguments instead of just knocking down Strawmen or arguments that have nothing to do what you are saying?

My point is that many on here are using all the tactics that Theists have used on me and you should know better because you are Atheists.

I am not a Theist and whether I am right or wrong on what I am arguing I would appreciate it if you would address what I have actually said rather than arguing with an imaginary Theist. (So please stop using the word "Supernatural" in relation to my post)

Please stop using debaters tactics like correcting my spelling to discredit my intelligence. Even if English was my second language and I couldn't spell a damn thing it would not affect the validity of my arguments.

Other debater tactics include addressing another form of argument then the one that I am actually making or using terms like quote mining just to discredit me and not because I actually did this.

If you are not going to fight fair then perhaps you do not have as much confidence in your position as you claim?

Anyone that has to fight dirty in order to gain any ground is either an arrogant fool or an intellectual coward.
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24-07-2014, 10:11 PM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(24-07-2014 09:41 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  No honestly in this case you look like the idiot.

Quote mining is the deceitful tactic of taking quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the quote miner's viewpoint.

Indeed. Much like you've done here.

(24-07-2014 09:41 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  You are making a similar argument to the Christians I debate when they say I am taking scripture out of context.

I remember one such debate where I posted several scripture quotes that show God commanded people to kill those with different beliefs.

None of these Christians could make any arguments for what the context should have been and none of these Christians could expand the quotes to show that they could be understood in any other way.

You are doing the same thing here.

Irrelevant. But thanks for sharing?

(24-07-2014 09:41 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I have given you quotes where Einstein admits that he does not believe in a personal God.

I have given you quotes where Einstein admits that he is not an Atheist.

And I have given you quotes where Einstein describes what he believes God means including his Pantheistic understanding

Now if these quotes are out of context then show me where these quotes mean something completely different from what I claim they mean. Go ahead and provide the proper context to prove it.

As for for my comments on Quantum Physics and my use of quotes from Einstein to support my views

... I only try to support that there are Metaphysical Implications to Quantum Physics and that some of these implications made Einstein uncomfortable by using the quotes I use.

Again I challenge you to show me how I got the context wrong of these quotes.

Don't write a check with your mouth that your intelligence can't cash.

All you've said is a vague and incoherent mess of "but, like, maybe there's something out there, maaan".

Your single biggest problem is that you do not, and cannot, provide a coherent definition of "God". You don't even try.

Your second biggest problem is that you do not, and cannot, provide a coherent definition of "metaphysical". You don't even try.

There is nothing in the selected passages (ones which we've all heard trotted out for any number of ends) to suggest Einstein was "troubled" by "metaphysical implications" in anything even remotely like the sense you mean to imply. What he disliked was the idea of a probabilistic universe. On that matter, he was simply wrong. End of story.

Your own position is so inadequately explored that I guess it's possible you're not using Einstein's quotes to justify it. In which case, they're not relevant at all, and one wonders why you bothered including them. That's disingenuous at best.

(now might be a good time to point out the fact that this is obvious copypasta, as evidenced by your leaving in the reference numbers on some of the quotes and not including the references)

You refer, throughout, to "atheists", "some atheists", "most atheists", "a lot of atheists", "many atheists" and the like without once substantiating or explaining a single usage; that's extremely disingenuous. As such your claims like "atheists reject philosophy" or "atheists reject metaphysics" are shallow straw men. Do note that I pointed this out to you previously, to which you gave... no response whatsoever. Oh, well.

I suspect that what you actually know of quantum mechanics and the implications of its precepts would fit on a napkin. Prove me wrong by going beyond the mere Deepak Chopra buzzwording you've done so far.

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24-07-2014, 10:27 PM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
For anyone interested let's try a little experiment.


I am calling all the Atheist who read this post to list every idea,though. or concept that they have encountered with Theist that they reject.

Please do not waste time explaining why you reject these ideas or thoughts.

I will then tell you out of every idea or thought you have listed what I also reject.

You might be surprised.

If you want feel free to post any simple or complicated idea that you accept based on logical reasoning or your scientific understanding or even your personal experience.

I will then tell you out of every idea or thought you have listed what I also accept.

At this point I think you will have to agree that I am also an Atheist.

I will even expand on the little details that I do not agree with most Atheist on.

And I promise you that you will see that even if I do not fit your definition of an Atheist 100% ...that I am so close that no Theist would ever accept me as one of them.
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24-07-2014, 11:42 PM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2014 12:16 AM by thespiritualanarchist.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
Quote:All you've said is a vague and incoherent mess of "but, like, maybe there's something out there, maaan".

Again prove it

Quote:Your single biggest problem is that you do not, and cannot, provide a coherent definition of "God". You don't even try.

That is only because I do not see God as a "person" and I am not a Theist. So I do not try to define God like a Theist so Atheist can argue that I am talking about a supernatural "person".

Obviously if there is a such thing as God then the description can not be like describing an object.

So even I could not describe God I could not do this better than Einstein. This does not prove that I am quote mining.

If I make an attempt to define God then I only have two choices.

1.I can describe God as The Source of All that IS. And I can describe that Source as Awareness itself. And then you will say I am too vague.

or

2. I could describe God as a Quantum Aspect of Reality in which case I would need a degree in Quantum Physics in order to even begin.

If you tried to explain color to a blind man you would have the same problem.

You could either describe the wavelength spectrum or you could try to describe a beautiful sunset.

Either way you would fail to help the blind man experience color as real.

Describing the experience of God is like describing the tasting of tea.

I am sure you could describe what tea taste like. But could you describe what tasting tea is like to you? Not the tea itself. Like whether it is hot or cold or bitter or sweet. But describe what you experience when you taste tea.

What is the experience of tasting like?

If we both are tasting the same tea at the same time we might be able to compare the experience of the tea itself. We both might find the same tea hot and not cold even if we disagree about how hot it is. We might both agree that the tea is more bitter than sweet. But all we would be describing was the tea itself.

When you put that tea to your mouth and the tea hits your tongue you will have an experience that you can not describe beyond just the tea itself.

If you can not describe this experience does this automatically prove that this experience is not real?


Quote:Your second biggest problem is that you do not, and cannot, provide a coherent definition of "metaphysical". You don't even try.

Metaphysics is an accepted Philosophical term. I did not make it up as you are implying. I can not really do a much better job then a Philosophical Dictionary.

Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it,[1] although the term is not easily defined.[2]

Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:[3]
What is ultimately there?
What is it like?

Metaphysics is a broad area of philosophy marked out by two types of inquiry. The first aims to be the most general investigation possible into the nature of reality: are there principles applying to everything that is real, to all that is? – if we abstract from the particular nature of existing things that which distinguishes them from each other, what can we know about them merely in virtue of the fact that they exist? The second type of inquiry seeks to uncover what is ultimately real, frequently offering answers in sharp contrast to our everyday experience of the world.


Quote:There is nothing in the selected passages (ones which we've all heard trotted out for any number of ends) to suggest Einstein was "troubled" by "metaphysical implications" in anything even remotely like the sense you mean to imply. What he disliked was the idea of a probabilistic universe. On that matter, he was simply wrong. End of story.

You obviously have not read the Debates between Einstein and Bohr. And you obviously know nothing about what bothered Einstein. All you know about QM is that it involves Probability and all you know about what Einstein is his saying that God does not play dice.

I have given you plenty of quotes from Einstein that deal with what bothered him and have nothing to do with Probability. You have failed to show that my quotes are out of context or that they have anything to do with Probability. That is because except for the "dice" quote none of them are about Probability.

But the Metaphysical Implications of QM and the problems in Philosophy that it created did not end after Einstein.

Quote:From the inception of Quantum Mechanics (QM) the concept of measurement proved a source of difficulties that found concrete expression in the Einstein-Bohr debates, out of which both the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox and Schrödinger's cat paradox developed. In brief, the difficulties stemmed from an apparent conflict between several principles of the quantum theory of measurement.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-measurement/

On the surface it may look like to you it is all about probability but it wasn't about probability but about measurement. Which makes it a Metaphysical Problem.


Quote:The measurement problem is not just an interpretation difficulty internal to QM. It raises broader issues as well, such as the philosophical debate between, on the one hand, a Lockean “realist” account according to which perception involves the creation of an “inner reflection” of an independently existing external reality, and, on the other hand, a Kantean “anti-realist” concept of the “veil of perception.”

Quote:Your own position is so inadequately explored that I guess it's possible you're not using Einstein's quotes to justify it. In which case, they're not relevant at all, and one wonders why you bothered including them. That's disingenuous at best.

My position is crystal clear and is no different than that of most Quantum Physicists.

My position is simply that Quantum Physics does have Metaphysical Implications. I can not be much clearer than that. Here is another Einstein quote

Quote:[I can't accept quantum mechanics because] "I like to think the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."

Albert Einstein

Now go ahead make that about probability.

Quote:Most of Einstein's contemporaries considered Einstein's thoughts about the existence of an objective reality as philosophical musings without any practical consequences.

Wolfgang Pauli was very clear on this when he wrote: “One should no more rack one's brain about the problem of whether something one cannot know anything about exists all the same, than about the ancient question of how many angels are able to sit on the point of a needle. But it seems to me that Einstein's questions are ultimately always of this kind.”
Einstein Got It Wrong, Can You Do Better?
By Johannes Koelman | December 14th 2011 05:21 PM

Clearly Einstein had Metaphysical questions in relation to Existence and Reality that bothered him. I do not think that Probability is even related to anything Einstein complained about in QM.

Quote:Bell's theorem published in 1964 by John Bell, and particularly its extension published a few years later by Simon Kochen and Ernst Specker, establish that Einstein and Pauli were both wrong. The question if something one can not observe does exist, is not a meaningless philosophical musing, but a question that can be answered experimentally.
Einstein Got It Wrong, Can You Do Better?
By Johannes Koelman | December 14th 2011 05:21 PM

Now tell me how this does not have any Metaphysical Implications.

Quote:(now might be a good time to point out the fact that this is obvious copy pasta, as evidenced by your leaving in the reference numbers on some of the quotes and not including the references)

Yup I copy and paste. I do this with the confidence that I can back up my claims. All I have to do when making the claim that QM has Metaphysical Implications is define Metaphysics. And all definitions of Metaphysics involve the nature of Reality. If my quotes can prove in context that QM changes how we define the nature of Reality I win.

I have done that. Using quotes may be lazy but I was not trying to prove that the nature of Reality is what I say it is. All I was trying to prove was that QM challenged what Einstein could accept about the nature of Reality.

And I have done that.



Quote:You refer, throughout, to "atheists", "some atheists", "most atheists", "a lot of atheists", "many atheists" and the like without once substantiating or explaining a single usage; that's extremely disingenuous. As such your claims like "atheists reject philosophy" or "atheists reject metaphysics" are shallow straw men. Do note that I pointed this out to you previously, to which you gave... no response whatsoever. Oh, well.

I did respond. I already explained what I meant when I said that Atheist reject Philosophy. I was referring to what some of the New Atheist were saying about Philosophy. Heck you yourself reject the idea of Metaphysics without even knowing what it is.

Quote:I suspect that what you actually know of quantum mechanics and the implications of its precepts would fit on a napkin. Prove me wrong by going beyond the mere Deepak Chopra buzzwording you've done so far.


And here we go.

The old Atheist game of demanding mathematical proofs of God.

I can back up what I say about Metaphysics and I have. But if you are waiting for me to "prove" the Soul or God exist using QM you can wait forever.

I never claimed to have that proof. If I had that proof I would not be sitting here talking to you.

I would be off somewhere enjoying my Noble Peace prize.

As I made clear Einstein himself did not reject the Metaphysical idea of God.

But did he have proof?
No.

So how would you expect I did?

Again I never claimed to have this "proof".

All I ever claimed was that QM had Metaphysical Implications. Physicist that deny these implications are no different then the Fundamentalist Christians that claim there are no Theological Implications of Evolution.

And I just backed this up with what Pauli said. Pauli also claimed that QM had nothing to say in relation to Metaphysics. And he was proven wrong by Physicist!

If there were no Theological Implications of Evolution then Theologians wouldn't be trying so hard to redefine Evolution in Theological terms using Intelligent Design.

They would simply accept Evolution as it is. But Evolution as it is contradicts what they believe about Reality and God.

All I was pointing out was that Einstein had the same problem with Quantum Physics.

And judging by the way you argue I would have to say that you do too.
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25-07-2014, 01:49 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(24-07-2014 10:27 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
For anyone interested let's try a little experiment.


I am calling all the Atheist who read this post to list every idea,though. or concept that they have encountered with Theist that they reject.

Please do not waste time explaining why you reject these ideas or thoughts.

I will then tell you out of every idea or thought you have listed what I also reject.

You might be surprised.

If you want feel free to post any simple or complicated idea that you accept based on logical reasoning or your scientific understanding or even your personal experience.

I will then tell you out of every idea or thought you have listed what I also accept.

At this point I think you will have to agree that I am also an Atheist.

I will even expand on the little details that I do not agree with most Atheist on.

And I promise you that you will see that even if I do not fit your definition of an Atheist 100% ...that I am so close that no Theist would ever accept me as one of them.

Most of your stuff is TL; DR but I'll repsond to this.

To be an atheist I just gotta reject *one* idea. Ain't no damn thing such as a God, where God is the sorta old man in the sky type bugger as defined by the religions I have encountered. That is the *definition* of atheist and that's all... so if you also reject the idea of God (not necessarily *know* there is no God, because that requires omniscience blah blah etc), then you are an atheist. If you *don't* reject the idea of a God then you're not an atheist. Finish and klaar.

If one wants to go into semantics it's fine, but hardly edifying.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-07-2014, 04:22 AM
Re: RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(12-07-2014 01:20 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  This Post Has Been Heavily Edited for Clarity Please Reload to See Final Edit

Ok let me take another tact. I am not asking why Atheist do not believe in God. This would be silly. I myself do not believe in God. To believe in God usually means to accept the Christian or Jewish concept of a God person and all that comes with that view. At the very least to say I believe in God entails belief based on faith in contrast to reasoning.

If there is any reasoning that leads the believer to belief in God the reasoning itself is suspect because of the inherent Confirmation Bias of having faith to begin with before attempting to reason things out. And finally to say that you believe in God may not automatically identify what religion you belong to it is usually meant to be taken as acceptance of some form of Monotheism.

Unfortunately the idea of a soul suffers the same problem. And this is because we let religion define our Metaphysical ideas. To most Atheist this is not perceived as a problem because many Atheist reject Metaphysics and philosophy in general in favor of the using scientific method and look at scientific evidence.

But that is the choice that certain Atheist have decided to follow.

I myself am very focused on what constitutes the Scientific Method and Scientific Evidence.

In fact as a Philosopher I have a deep and vested interest in the Philosophy of Science.

Quote:Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methods, and implications of science. The central questions concern what counts as science, the reliability of scientific theories, and the purpose of science. This discipline overlaps with metaphysics, ontology and epistemology, for example, when it explores the relationship between science and truth. There is no consensus on many central problems in philosophy of science, including whether science can reveal the truth about unobservable things and whether scientific reasoning can be justified at all.

In addition to these general questions about science as a whole, philosophers of science consider problems that apply to particular sciences such as biology or physics. Some philosophers of science also use contemporary results in science to reach conclusions about philosophy.

While the relevant history of philosophy dates back at least to Aristotle, philosophy of science emerged as a distinct discipline only in the middle of the 20th century in the wake of logical positivism, a movement that aimed to formulate criteria to ensure all philosophical statements' meaningfulness and objectively assess them.
Philosophy of science
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What I am getting at is something similar to what Sam Harris was getting at in his talk at the Atheist Alliance International Convention 2007

Quote:Another problem with calling ourselves “atheists” is that every religious person thinks he has a knockdown argument against atheism.

We've all heard these arguments, and we are going to keep hearing them as long as we insist upon calling ourselves “atheists. Arguments like: atheists can’t prove that God doesn't exist; atheists are claiming to know there is no God, and this is the most arrogant claim of all. As Rick Warren put it, when he and I debated for Newsweek—a reasonable man like himself “doesn't" have enough faith to be an atheist.” The idea that the universe could arise without a creator is, on his account, the most extravagant faith claim of all.

Of course, as an argument for the truth of any specific religious doctrine, this is a travesty. And we all know what to do in this situation: We have Russell’s teapot, and thousands of dead gods, and now a flying spaghetti monster, the nonexistence of which also cannot be proven, and yet belief in these things is acknowledged to be ridiculous by everyone. The problem is, we have to keep having this same argument, over and over again, and the argument is being generated to a significant degree, if not entirely, over our use of the term “atheism.”

So too with the “greatest crimes of the 20th century” argument. How many times are we going to have to counter the charge that Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot represent the endgame of atheism? I've got news for you, this meme is not going away. I argued against it in The End of Faith, and it was immediately thrown back at me in reviews of the book as though I had never mentioned it.

So I tackled it again in the afterword to the paperback edition of The End of Faith; but this had no effect whatsoever; so at the risk of boring everyone, I brought it up again in Letter to a Christian Nation; and Richard did the same in The God Delusion; and Christopher took a mighty swing at it in God is Not Great. I can assure you that this bogus argument will be with us for as long as people label themselves “atheists.” And it really convinces religious people. It convinces moderates and liberals. It even convinces the occasional atheist.

Why should we fall into this trap? Why should we stand obediently in the space provided, in the space carved out by the conceptual scheme of theistic religion? It’s as though, before the debate even begins, our opponents draw the chalk-outline of a dead man on the sidewalk, and we just walk up and lie down in it.

Instead of doing this, consider what would happen if we simply used words like “reason” and “evidence.” What is the argument against reason? It’s true that a few people will bite the bullet here and argue that reason is itself a problem, that the Enlightenment was a failed project, etc. But the truth is that there are very few people, even among religious fundamentalists, who will happily admit to being enemies of reason.

In fact, fundamentalists tend to think they are champions of reason and that they have very good reasons for believing in God. Nobody wants to believe things on bad evidence. The desire to know what is actually going on in world is very difficult to argue with. In so far as we represent that desire, we become difficult to argue with. And this desire is not reducible to an interest group. It’s not a club or an affiliation, and I think trying to make it one diminishes its power.

Now since I am not really into supporting left or right politics I am only marginally interested in some of his main points. Although I am pretty Liberal in my views and I definitely oppose the Religious Right and all they stand for I don't necessarily align myself with all the ideologies of the Democratic Party.

So why bring up his talk? Because I think there was a particular point in his talk when he made clear that we should not let religion define our position and the bridge from that to his idea on looking into Spirituality. And that was when he said...

"Why should we fall into this trap? Why should we stand obediently in the space provided, in the space carved out by the conceptual scheme of theistic religion? It’s as though, before the debate even begins, our opponents draw the chalk-outline of a dead man on the sidewalk, and we just walk up and lie down in it."

This was the main idea that inspired my original post.

And I think it is clear that in this talk Sam Harris wants to distance himself a little from the "New Atheist" or the myth of the "militant atheist" (There is no such thing) and declare himself in more sympathy with Spiritual Atheist.

Quote:As you know, traditional Theists believe in a literal "God" who supposedly created and rules the universe; while traditional Atheists reject the idea of "God" altogether.

Generally, Spiritual Atheists are people who do not believe in a literal "God" (thus the term "Atheist"), but still consider themselves to be (often deeply) "Spiritual" people.

There is no consensus among Spiritual Atheists regarding the literal existence of one's own "spirit" or a collective "spirit"; however, there is consensus that if any "spirit" does exist, it is not external to the universe and it is not "supernatural".

Spiritual Atheists believe that nothing that exists or happens violates the nature of the universe; they believe that all such things only further define the nature of the universe
The Center for Spiritual Atheism

And Sam Harris addresses the problem I was trying to address in the second part of his talk.

Quote:The last problem with atheism I’d like to talk about relates to the some of the experiences that lie at the core of many religious traditions, though perhaps not all, and which are testified to, with greater or lesser clarity in the world’s “spiritual” and “mystical” literature.

Those of you who have read The End of Faith, know that I don’t entirely line up with Dan, Richard, and Christopher in my treatment of these things. So I think I should take a little time to discuss this. While I always use terms like “spiritual” and “mystical” in scare quotes, and take some pains to denude them of metaphysics, the email I receive from my brothers and sisters in arms suggests that many of you find my interest in these topics problematic.

Sam Harris makes it clear that he is still an Atheist and still rejects religion but that he does not want this to define him and what types of thought he can legitimately support or pursue. And he goes on to say that being both spiritual and atheist is not necessarily a contradiction in terms.

Russell Blackford points out that it is a Myth that Atheist are certain that there is no God in Myth 4 of his book 50 great Myths About Atheism.

In this chapter he goes on to say although some Atheist do make the stronger claim that no God exist and that this conclusion is sufficiently supported by argument and evidence to count as knowledge ..that even that is not the same as a claim to certainty.

So if we as Atheist do not claim absolute certainty that a Monotheistic God exists then why jump to the conclusion that there is no reality whatsoever behind the idea of a awareness to the Universe that Pantheist see as God?

I am not asking why most Atheist are not Pantheist or even interested in Pantheism. I am asking the more fundamental question on why some atheist admit that even though Monotheism which paints God as a person is seen as a myth ...Atheist like Russell Blackford has no problem admitting that this knowledge is not a certainty.

Yet when most Atheist are asked about other Metaphysical ideas of God such as Pantheism they are certain that this is too vague a concept of God to even be considered. Yet ironically this is precisely the claim that Theologians make about Pantheism!

This is what happen when Atheist let theologians define concepts for them. My argument is that the best way to for Atheist to show the incoherent and erroneous nature of Theology is for Atheist to support real Philosophy and let Philosophy define Metaphysics instead of Theology.

I am trying to defend Philosophy from Theology by pointing out that Theology is not a branch of Philosophy. I even got in a debate with some Christians in my forum on why Theology has no basis to argue for or against Free Will. I point out to them that Theological arguments for Free Will are irrelevant to the Metaphysical question of Free Will because they almost always use Moral Arguments or Arguments from Necessity. But unfortunately these Christians never get the point of my argument enough to be persuaded that I even have a point.

Why?

Because most Atheist that argue with them accept their ideas in Metaphysics and reject all of Philosophy in the process. This legitimizes them by making Theology a Branch of Philosophy by default. Was Bertrand Russell and Atheist Philosopher? Yes and he accepted Philosophy as a legitimate discipline and Metaphysics as a real discipline. Is Daniel Dennet a real Philosopher ?

Maybe but if you will notice for an Atheist Philosopher to be taken seriously they now have to have mastered a scientific discipline and defend science. Like Thomas Kuhn I see this as a potential conflict of interest because this will lead to the high probability of defending what ever the current Paradigm is.

Sam Harris is Neurobiologist and Dennett is an independent Scholar like me when it comes to the Scientific Disciplines. And I am not suggesting that Science is irrelevant.

Far from it.

But I am only suggesting that Metaphysics is a legitimate discipline.

And in the pursuit of knowledge and that when it comes to certain Metaphysical questions the relevancy of Metaphysics and Philosophy to such Metaphysical questions... is impossible to avoid using purely scientific principles... as Dennett found out when trying to explain away the Hard Problem of Consciousness.

When Dennet makes a the argument that not only don't we understand our own consciousness, but that half the time our brains are actively fooling us he is alluding back to the Metaphysical questions of Descartes. And he admits this in his book Consciousness Explained.

This is a very good book and brings up some good questions but the Hard Problems of Consciousness are far from resolved.

When Atheist make the claim that we have no Free Will and definitely no soul they are making Metaphysical assertions.

If we are too accept these assertions based on the facts of Determinism in Neurobiology,then we can not assume that if Quantum Indeterminism is found to have effects on the brain and therefore consciousness ...

...that not only is this irrelevant to Metaphysical questions of both Free Will and the soul but it is because that Quantum Indeterminism also proves that there is no Free Will or the soul.

But let's get back to Sam Harris on whether Atheist should accept the label of Atheist and let religion define the word Atheist as someone opposed to all Spiritual Seeking.

Quote:In this context, certain people have traditionally wondered whether a deeper form of well-being exists. Is there, in other words, a form of happiness that is not contingent upon our merely reiterating our pleasures and successes and avoiding our pains. Is there a form of happiness that is not dependent upon having one’s favorite food always available to be placed on one’s tongue or having all one’s friends and loved ones within arm’s reach, or having good books to read, or having something to look forward to on the weekend?

Is it possible to be utterly happy before anything happens, before one’s desires get gratified, in spite of life’s inevitable difficulties, in the very midst of physical pain, old age, disease, and death?

This question, I think, lies at the periphery of everyone’s consciousness. We are all, in some sense, living our answer to it—and many of us are living as though the answer is “no.” No, there is nothing more profound that repeating one’s pleasures and avoiding one’s pains; there is nothing more profound that seeking satisfaction, both sensory and intellectual. Many of us seem think that all we can do is just keep our foot on the gas until we run out of road.

But certain people, for whatever reason, are led to suspect that there is more to human experience than this. In fact, many of them are led to suspect this by religion—by the claims of people like the Buddha or Jesus or some other celebrated religious figures. And such a person may begin to practice various disciplines of attention—often called “meditation” or “contemplation”—as a means of examining his moment to moment experience closely enough to see if a deeper basis of well-being is there to be found.

As you can see in his talk he ask us as Atheist if we want to let religion define what we are and what we can seek because we accept the lable of "Atheist" .

My answer is that there is a new movement for Atheist who reject religion but still want to pursue spiritual questions called Spiritual Atheist and I am happy to call myself one.

As for my question on whether Atheists should reject all Metaphysical questions by automatically accepting the religious definitions of certain terms I can only give the same answer Sam Harris gave in relation to the accepting the Atheist label in general.

As a Philosopher who is proud of it I do accept Metaphysics as a legitimate pursuit of knowledge and I reject all religious definitions of Metaphysical ideas like God or Soul or even Free Will.

I do not agree that the Metaphysical questions of Free Will can be answered with the Moral Arguments of Theology.

And I want to make clear that rejecting Metaphysical Concepts in order to reject the accepted definitions by Theology for these concepts is a form of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

And if you are going to throw out the baby with the bath water I would suggest you not only make sure that the bath water is dirty but also that you make sure that the baby is dead first.

(For those who didn't get my analogy I am saying that Philosophy isn't dead just because Theology is. And the bath water is dirty and represents Theological Definitions for Metaphysical Terms where as the baby represents the Metaphysical Concepts themselves. )

I dispute that Metaphysical questions like Free Will can be answered using Moral Arguments on principle. So I have to reject even Sam Harris's Argument on Determinism because it is based on the old arguments of behaviorism supported by Neurobiology. But worse than that in his book "Free Will" he makes it clear that he has a Bias by making a Moral Argument for Determinism. This is the very reason that I reject Theology as a branch of Philosophy. Because they make Moral Arguments for the Metaphysical nature of Free Will. To me this is where Sam Harris again fell into the "Theologian's Trap".

So by all means let us not fall into the religious trap of making us define ourselves by only the term Atheism.

Let us be clear on what type of Atheist we are and what other views we hold. Let us do this by embracing Philosophy as a legitimate Discipline.

Let us take Philosophy back from Theologians by refusing to accept their definitions on Metaphysical terms just as we do in Science by rejecting their pseudo scientific terms like Irreducible Complexity!

Let us do this by accepting Sam Harris's challenge of not only not letting religious people define our Atheism for us but by rejecting their Metaphysical definitions as well. In this way we can better achieve the goal of rejecting Theology as a legitimate branch of Philosophy all together just as we reject Intelligent Design as a legitimate field in science.

As you yourselves said by pointing out that there are Atheist Philosophers like Dennet and Bertrand Russell there are legitimate arguments that Atheist can make in Philosophy. So we certainly shouldn't let Theologians define any Metaphysical terms when Theology isn't a true Branch of Philosophy because it has nothing relevant to say about Metaphysics.

And so I am going to conclude my argument with the same quote I used before by Sam Harris only I want you to try and apply what he said to Philosophy and Metaphysical Concepts and therefore Metaphysical Arguments in Philosophy.

Quote:Why should we fall into this trap? Why should we stand obediently in the space provided, in the space carved out by the conceptual scheme of theistic religion? It’s as though, before the debate even begins, our opponents draw the chalk-outline of a dead man on the sidewalk, and we just walk up and lie down in it.

You combine way too much into generalized certainties. It's a trend on here makes people not taken seriously.

For one, you speak as if metaphysics is all philosophy as a whole when saying philosophy should be taken back from theists. It comes off as thinking that's all that matters.

And you make the annoying statement about atheists having unified ideas, which you don't agree with of course, but there's no rational to where this take on atheists comes from. Many ideas even on religious or metaphysical topics have vast disagreements by atheists as threads and polls here will show.

Im curious oabout your claim of atheists disregarding pantheism off hand, because threads/polls here over the years show many atheists that go through here don't deny a deistic or pantheist gods existence the same that do for a human interacting God like of most religions. It just happens most easily accept going one step beyond them because there's no reason to accept their validity. We can discuss the concepts but the expounding doesn't go very far.

As for you're disagreement with Sam Harris or at least his neurological basis for free will, I thought it sounds like you are saying you disagree with it because it simply doesn't fit your bias of wanting it to be a metaphysical debate.

I get your overall point, but I don't get the reason or "point" behind your point. To me it's arbitrary and these issues aren't as polarized as you protest.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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25-07-2014, 07:28 AM
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:All you've said is a vague and incoherent mess of "but, like, maybe there's something out there, maaan".

Again prove it

You don't seem to understand words.

I don't have to prove what you said.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:Your single biggest problem is that you do not, and cannot, provide a coherent definition of "God". You don't even try.

That is only because I do not see God as a "person" and I am not a Theist. So I do not try to define God like a Theist so Atheist can argue that I am talking about a supernatural "person".

Obviously if there is a such thing as God then the description can not be like describing an object.

So even I could not describe God I could not do this better than Einstein. This does not prove that I am quote mining.

If I make an attempt to define God then I only have two choices.

1.I can describe God as The Source of All that IS. And I can describe that Source as Awareness itself. And then you will say I am too vague.

or

2. I could describe God as a Quantum Aspect of Reality in which case I would need a degree in Quantum Physics in order to even begin.

If you tried to explain color to a blind man you would have the same problem.

So by your own admission you have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

And why is anyone else supposed to take you seriously, again?

Protip: I do have degrees in quantum physics. They do not mention "God".

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  You could either describe the wavelength spectrum or you could try to describe a beautiful sunset.

Either way you would fail to help the blind man experience color as real.

Describing the experience of God is like describing the tasting of tea.

I am sure you could describe what tea taste like. But could you describe what tasting tea is like to you? Not the tea itself. Like whether it is hot or cold or bitter or sweet. But describe what you experience when you taste tea.

What is the experience of tasting like?

If we both are tasting the same tea at the same time we might be able to compare the experience of the tea itself. We both might find the same tea hot and not cold even if we disagree about how hot it is. We might both agree that the tea is more bitter than sweet. But all we would be describing was the tea itself.

When you put that tea to your mouth and the tea hits your tongue you will have an experience that you can not describe beyond just the tea itself.

If you can not describe this experience does this automatically prove that this experience is not real?

Unmitigated woo.

Deepak Chopra would be so proud of you.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:Your second biggest problem is that you do not, and cannot, provide a coherent definition of "metaphysical". You don't even try.

Metaphysics is an accepted Philosophical term. I did not make it up as you are implying. I can not really do a much better job then a Philosophical Dictionary.

Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it,[1] although the term is not easily defined.[2]

Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:[3]
What is ultimately there?
What is it like?

Metaphysics is a broad area of philosophy marked out by two types of inquiry. The first aims to be the most general investigation possible into the nature of reality: are there principles applying to everything that is real, to all that is? – if we abstract from the particular nature of existing things that which distinguishes them from each other, what can we know about them merely in virtue of the fact that they exist? The second type of inquiry seeks to uncover what is ultimately real, frequently offering answers in sharp contrast to our everyday experience of the world.

I especially like how you copied Wikipedia verbatim and without attribution.

So you're not just incompetent but a plagiarist.

Bonus points for including the direct statement that it's "hard to define" by way of defining it.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:There is nothing in the selected passages (ones which we've all heard trotted out for any number of ends) to suggest Einstein was "troubled" by "metaphysical implications" in anything even remotely like the sense you mean to imply. What he disliked was the idea of a probabilistic universe. On that matter, he was simply wrong. End of story.

You obviously have not read the Debates between Einstein and Bohr. And you obviously know nothing about what bothered Einstein. All you know about QM is that it involves Probability and all you know about what Einstein is his saying that God does not play dice.

I have given you plenty of quotes from Einstein that deal with what bothered him and have nothing to do with Probability. You have failed to show that my quotes are out of context or that they have anything to do with Probability. That is because except for the "dice" quote none of them are about Probability.

But the Metaphysical Implications of QM and the problems in Philosophy that it created did not end after Einstein.

Since you lack reading comprehension, I guess you might see things that way.

In a stunning display of irony, the bulk of the quotes you used were actually about Einstein complaining about people misrepresenting his religious and personal views.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:From the inception of Quantum Mechanics (QM) the concept of measurement proved a source of difficulties that found concrete expression in the Einstein-Bohr debates, out of which both the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox and Schrödinger's cat paradox developed. In brief, the difficulties stemmed from an apparent conflict between several principles of the quantum theory of measurement.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-measurement/

On the surface it may look like to you it is all about probability but it wasn't about probability but about measurement. Which makes it a Metaphysical Problem.

Now I am wholly convinced. You don't understand quantum mechanics.

Measurement is just another word for interaction. Quantum mechanics introduces the concept of indeterminacy, meaning that interaction changes the physical state of quantum objects. The intuitive barrier to accepting this precept is that by our macroscopic experience things are more or less deterministic.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:The measurement problem is not just an interpretation difficulty internal to QM. It raises broader issues as well, such as the philosophical debate between, on the one hand, a Lockean “realist” account according to which perception involves the creation of an “inner reflection” of an independently existing external reality, and, on the other hand, a Kantean “anti-realist” concept of the “veil of perception.”

Quote:Your own position is so inadequately explored that I guess it's possible you're not using Einstein's quotes to justify it. In which case, they're not relevant at all, and one wonders why you bothered including them. That's disingenuous at best.

My position is crystal clear and is no different than that of most Quantum Physicists.

Your position is incoherent drivel and I am a quantum physicist.

But by all means, continue.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  My position is simply that Quantum Physics does have Metaphysical Implications. I can not be much clearer than that. Here is another Einstein quote

Quote:[I can't accept quantum mechanics because] "I like to think the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."

Albert Einstein

Now go ahead make that about probability.

It is. Just because you don't understand the problem doesn't mean you can make up your own answers.

Einstein's problem was with indeterminacy. He disagreed with the fundamental idea that quantum states exist in indeterminate combinations, and interaction collapses to single states in a purely probabilistic way. The implications of this are that unobserved objects - which is to say, not interacted with - do not exist in single well defined states, and furthermore, as a consequence, the classical ideal of "perfect" or "complete" knowledge is impossible. Which is true; 80 years of experiment have amply demonstrated both.

His quote - and remember he was wrong about these things - was an attempt at arguing ad absurdum. Macroscopic objects do not exhibit the aforementioned behaviour (Schrodinger's cat has the same origin). Naively, this might suggest that quantum objects don't either, but that's generalisation by intuition, not science. And it's wrong.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:Most of Einstein's contemporaries considered Einstein's thoughts about the existence of an objective reality as philosophical musings without any practical consequences.

Wolfgang Pauli was very clear on this when he wrote: “One should no more rack one's brain about the problem of whether something one cannot know anything about exists all the same, than about the ancient question of how many angels are able to sit on the point of a needle. But it seems to me that Einstein's questions are ultimately always of this kind.”
Einstein Got It Wrong, Can You Do Better?
By Johannes Koelman | December 14th 2011 05:21 PM

Clearly Einstein had Metaphysical questions in relation to Existence and Reality that bothered him. I do not think that Probability is even related to anything Einstein complained about in QM.

Uh, no. Pauli accepted the truth of quantum mechanics and Einstein did not. That's all that that quote indicates.

Whatever woo-woo fill-in-the-gaps nonsense you're peddling has nothing to do with it.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:Bell's theorem published in 1964 by John Bell, and particularly its extension published a few years later by Simon Kochen and Ernst Specker, establish that Einstein and Pauli were both wrong. The question if something one can not observe does exist, is not a meaningless philosophical musing, but a question that can be answered experimentally.
Einstein Got It Wrong, Can You Do Better?
By Johannes Koelman | December 14th 2011 05:21 PM

Now tell me how this does not have any Metaphysical Implications.

I don't care whether you think it does. I care whether you're able to coherently express yourself regarding them.

You're not.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:(now might be a good time to point out the fact that this is obvious copy pasta, as evidenced by your leaving in the reference numbers on some of the quotes and not including the references)

Yup I copy and paste.

Thank you and good night.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I do this with the confidence that I can back up my claims. All I have to do when making the claim that QM has Metaphysical Implications is define Metaphysics. And all definitions of Metaphysics involve the nature of Reality. If my quotes can prove in context that QM changes how we define the nature of Reality I win.

That's a facile tautology. It's almost adorable you think that means you "win".

By that same reasoning, every single physical theory ever has metaphysical implications, since it affects how we define and interact with reality.

Of course, they're not implications if they're explicitly stated assumptions, so there's that.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I have done that. Using quotes may be lazy but I was not trying to prove that the nature of Reality is what I say it is. All I was trying to prove was that QM challenged what Einstein could accept about the nature of Reality.

And I have done that.

Yes. Einstein disagreed with the precepts of quantum theory.

So what?

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:You refer, throughout, to "atheists", "some atheists", "most atheists", "a lot of atheists", "many atheists" and the like without once substantiating or explaining a single usage; that's extremely disingenuous. As such your claims like "atheists reject philosophy" or "atheists reject metaphysics" are shallow straw men. Do note that I pointed this out to you previously, to which you gave... no response whatsoever. Oh, well.

I did respond. I already explained what I meant when I said that Atheist reject Philosophy. I was referring to what some of the New Atheist were saying about Philosophy.

You mean that you're comfortable simply making up other people's opinions for them based on false generalisations. That's highly disingenuous, but I guess at least that's in character, so points for consistency.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  Heck you yourself reject the idea of Metaphysics without even knowing what it is.

Nope. I reject incoherent rambling and thinly veiled woo-woo. There's a difference. That you don't understand or appreciate it is not my problem.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  
Quote:I suspect that what you actually know of quantum mechanics and the implications of its precepts would fit on a napkin. Prove me wrong by going beyond the mere Deepak Chopra buzzwording you've done so far.


And here we go.

The old Atheist game of demanding mathematical proofs of God.

That doesn't answer my request.

If you can't coherently define what you're talking about then you're not actually talking about anything; you're just using the sound of your own voice to masturbate to.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  I can back up what I say about Metaphysics and I have. But if you are waiting for me to "prove" the Soul or God exist using QM you can wait forever.

I never claimed to have that proof. If I had that proof I would not be sitting here talking to you.

I would be off somewhere enjoying my Noble Peace prize.

As I made clear Einstein himself did not reject the Metaphysical idea of God.

More disingenuous quoting. Einstein had a conception of God (Spinozan, as it happens). That does not mean you can appropriate his words to claim he had your conception of God.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  But did he have proof?
No.

So how would you expect I did?

Again I never claimed to have this "proof".

All I ever claimed was that QM had Metaphysical Implications. Physicist that deny these implications are no different then the Fundamentalist Christians that claim there are no Theological Implications of Evolution.

Just because you capitalise words doesn't make them Important.

Not that your incoherent, rambling claims make any sense. "Metaphysics means the nature of reality and quantum mechanics is a theory on the nature of reality, therefore GAAAAAAAAAAWD". Nope. Thanks for playing!

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  And I just backed this up with what Pauli said. Pauli also claimed that QM had nothing to say in relation to Metaphysics. And he was proven wrong by Physicist!

That isn't what he said. Literally. Not what he said. The exact quote is just up the page. And that isn't what it says.

(24-07-2014 11:42 PM)thespiritualanarchist Wrote:  If there were no Theological Implications of Evolution then Theologians wouldn't be trying so hard to redefine Evolution in Theological terms using Intelligent Design.

They would simply accept Evolution as it is. But Evolution as it is contradicts what they believe about Reality and God.

All I was pointing out was that Einstein had the same problem with Quantum Physics.

And judging by the way you argue I would have to say that you do too.

Whatever nonsense you're talking about, it's not quantum mechanics, which you manifestly don't understand, beyond a fatuous aping of Deepak Chopra.

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25-07-2014, 10:03 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2014 10:10 AM by thespiritualanarchist.)
RE: Why Do Most Atheist Let Religion Define Metaphysical Questions?
Quote:You combine way too much into generalized certainties. It's a trend on here makes people not taken seriously.

For one, you speak as if metaphysics is all philosophy as a whole when saying philosophy should be taken back from theists. It comes off as thinking that's all that matters.

Just because I say that Metaphysics should not be blown off it doesn't mean I am saying that it is all that matters.

Quote:And you make the annoying statement about atheists having unified ideas, which you don't agree with of course, but there's no rational to where this take on atheists comes from. Many ideas even on religious or metaphysical topics have vast disagreements by atheists as threads and polls here will show.

I said over and over that I was referring to certain of the New Atheist like Sam Harris and Dan Dennett. I do not know why I have to keep answering the same question over and over.

Quote:m curious oabout your claim of atheists disregarding pantheism off hand, because threads/polls here over the years show many atheists that go through here don't deny a deistic or pantheist gods existence the same that do for a human interacting God like of most religions. It just happens most easily accept going one step beyond them because there's no reason to accept their validity. We can discuss the concepts but the expounding doesn't go very far.

Well so far on this board there has not been much discussion from Atheist who have said one thing to indicate that they support the possibility of Pantheism or Deism. I am well aware that there is a movement of Spiritual Atheist that are open to Non theist ideas about God. I don't think this is an Atheist issue but it does seem to be an issue on this particular thread on this particular message board.

So far people in this thread have been rude and obnoxious to me. But I see people like this on the Theist boards I visit too. People who instead of addressing what I actually say make arguments about the supernatural or claim I'm taking things out of context when I am not.

Quote:As for you're disagreement with Sam Harris or at least his neurological basis for free will, I thought it sounds like you are saying you disagree with it because it simply doesn't fit your bias of wanting it to be a metaphysical debate.

No I am saying that Sam Harris has a confirmation type bias against free will because it simply does not fit his political views or social agenda. Does Sam Harris give good evidence for the likelihood of determinism in the brain? Yes the evidence is there that supports determinism. Does this prove determinism of will to the same extent that evolution by natural selection has been proven true by evidence? No.

Quote:I get your overall point, but I don't get the reason or "point" behind your point. To me it's arbitrary and these issues aren't as polarized as you protest.

I do not really think anything is polarized across the board with Atheist or Theist.

But I do think that popular culture exist. And I do think that the New Atheist are bought and paid for by the Union of Concerned Scientists just like the Intelligent Design people are funded by the Discovery Institute.

To be honest you are one of the first people on here (At least in this thread as of lately) that has at least tried to address what I actually said. There seems to be a weird thing of human nature that shuts down reason or rational thought in debates on message boards.

I think if I debated someone like Richard Dawkins he would definitely put me in my place with certain scientific facts since he is a scientist. But I doubt he would keep using the word "supernatural" once I explained to him that I didn't support that idea. And I know he wouldn't have accused me of quote mining when it was obvious I wasn't using quotes out of the context they were intended.

I may do things that appear to generalize too much and I may even have the habit of generalizing once in awhile to get a point across. But as you can see I am at least answering you in relation to what you have actually said. This is more than I can say for some people on here.
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