Why I Believe
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10-04-2017, 01:26 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(10-04-2017 12:13 PM)John Derderian Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Ok everyone just slow down and take a breath and go back thoughtfully to what has been said, after all this is the "thinking" atheist forum so let's reread and "think" through what has been claimed.

In post #386 moromdog states: As much as religion would love to be able to claim the same effectiveness as science, we cure more people wholesale in a week than have been cured by prayer in the last several thousand years.

If one applies logical reading comprehension what is being posited? Science is more effective than prayer in curing people of illnesses. Now apply logic - to compare any two things and state one is more effective than the other one would have to acknowledge this truth - both science and prayer are capable of curing people of illness.

Uh, no. Morondog's statement that science cures more people in a week than religion has cured in a thousand years includes the possibility that religion has never cured anybody. In fact, any reasonable reading of his statement would recognize that that was what he meant. You have to be *willfully* blind, if not deliberately deceptive, to interpret this to say that morondog was claiming religion does cure people of illness.

Most of the rest of your argument here is based on this false interpretation, so can be dismissed.

Reasonable seems to be subjective here. Actually I would say Uh, no but that that is exactly what morondog did say and intended to say, by his own admission he said he stated that as a trap. Perhaps the insinuation of being deliberately deceptive needs to be redirected don't you think?

As to the dismissal of my argument being dismissed due to false interpretation, everyone is free to be "willfully" blind. But even though we may disagree on this we do have something in common in that I agree that "The game has been rigged so that intelligent, rational people can't get in" although we probably disagree on who is doing the rigging
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10-04-2017, 02:10 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(10-04-2017 01:26 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  But even though we may disagree on this we do have something in common in that I agree that "The game has been rigged so that intelligent, rational people can't get in" although we probably disagree on who is doing the rigging

Nope, we don't agree even on this. This is the fictional statement of a fictional character in a work of fiction that I wrote. You don't agree with me, you agree with a fictional character.
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10-04-2017, 02:38 PM
RE: Why I Believe
LOL... I note that SeaJay wasn't game to address my earlier comment...

Quote:If you were suddenly struck down at home with a heart attack or stroke, what would you immediately do? Fall to your knees in prayer, or phone for an ambulance?

It' s a funny thing—well, not really—but whenever they're backed into a corner, theists invariably choose to simply ignore the hard questions, and hope they'll go away. Weak as piss.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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10-04-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(10-04-2017 12:41 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I would answer by asking first did you talk to all of them, the rest may not compartmentalizeson.
Did YOU talk to all of them?
(10-04-2017 12:41 PM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Secondly if a scientist affirms a faith in a deity yet can objectively still be viewed respectfully to retain his knowledge and ability to rigorously apply their scientific skills yet the majority of the American public who also claim the same belief are viewed as stupid, gullible and misguided who have no evidence of a deity but one that maintains equal footing with FSM, unicorns and pink elephants. This seems to be faulty logic does it not?
That is a mischaracterization. People (and atheists are not immune) believe all sorts of silly, unjustifiable, unsubstantiated and logically inconsistent things. In fact that is the default state of the human mind. It is rife with confirmation bias, agency inference, overdetermined pattern matching and unwarranted assumptions / post hoc rationalizations.

SOME humans do a better job than others of being aware of these perceptual quirks and work better than others to compensate for them.

Some of THOSE manage to pull this off at least in certain areas, in spite of religious ideology tending to drag them in the other direction -- away from neutral assumptions and the pursuit of facts to determine beliefs, and towards the failed epistemology of religious faith, which predetermines what one believes and requires no evidence.

I will admit that we call out many religious notions as silly, and some of us are less than gentle in doing so (much less in Real Life than in the special case of a forum like this, though, which is, after all, a place for debate and discussion about a touchy topic). Some of us may in fact slip into the (fallacious in my view -- certainly un-nuanced) mindset that religious people are invariably knuckle-draggers. But that doesn't mean we don't call those things out in scientists. For example, I think Richard Dawkins is a prig who runs his mouth too much. He is fine when he sticks to his area of expertise, but often cringe-worthy when he holds forth outside it. That doesn't really speak to his actual arguments or their validity however. Each of those ultimately stands or falls on the merits of WHAT he presents and how he SUBSTANTIATES it, not HOW he presents it or what rabbit trails he might go down in the process or how likable his personality is.
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10-04-2017, 03:12 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(10-04-2017 02:38 PM)SYZ Wrote:  LOL... I note that SeaJay wasn't game to address my earlier comment...

Quote:If you were suddenly struck down at home with a heart attack or stroke, what would you immediately do? Fall to your knees in prayer, or phone for an ambulance?

It' s a funny thing—well, not really—but whenever they're backed into a corner, theists invariably choose to simply ignore the hard questions, and hope they'll go away. Weak as piss.
I think you've mixed me up with someone else.

But to answer your question, I'd phone the ambulance.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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10-04-2017, 03:17 PM
RE: Why I Believe
Hi Seajay,

Apologies in advance to everyone, but I only skimmed the thread; I'm almost positive I'll repeat what others have said.

I had a difficult time throughout my twenties ...I had started smelling something rotten with the churches beginning in my teens, and suffered chronic depression all through college and early work years. Part of me thinks even today that the fear of hell might have been a large part of what stopped me from suicide a few times. The fear of being wrong is freakin' POWERFUL!

Honestly, it took years to even begin to comprehend the concept of a world in which there wasn't god ...problem was, I couldn't decide on what God even wasn't, much less what he was. When the cognitive dissonance for what you think God is supposed to be gets so strong, then you begin to start trying to remake God into something you CAN accept. I drifted through paganism, Native American spirituality, eastern philosophy ...but I could never find a deity that fit with reality as I understood it. I really wish I could offer you something that might have trimmed a decade or so off my own searching, but sometimes you just have to find your own path.

The Christian faith is wacky ...and that doesn't mean it's wrong, but in my case, it took quite a few years away from it to truly fathom just how wacky it is. While trying to decide if I wanted to register as a user here, I was reading a thread by a truly whacked out Christian and remembered a guy on a different forum from a few years back that had his moment of zen by reading somebody MORE whacked out than he was, and then realizing that THAT person was exactly how he sounded to other people.

I wish I had good advice, but the number one thing that helped me was to explore why other people thought the way they did, and then apply the same amount of skepticism I gave other people's ideas to my own.
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10-04-2017, 03:55 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(10-04-2017 12:41 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  If one applies logical reading comprehension what is being posited? Science is more effective than prayer in curing people of illnesses. Now apply logic - to compare any two things and state one is more effective than the other one would have to acknowledge this truth - both science and prayer are capable of curing people of illness.
Not at all. "Effective" runs the gamut from "not at all" to "totally" effective. If medicine is more effective, that says nothing about HOW effective medicine or prayer are individually. I would suggest that when controlling for all factors to the extent possible, medicine is probably 65% effective and religion, about 5%. And that's still ignoring patient non-compliance / lifestyle issues mitigating against medicine and placebo effects mitigating in favor of religion. In truth, it's probably more like 80% / 0%. Just guessing of course, but I doubt I'm far off. In a perfect world where people would always follow diets and exercise and take their meds, medicine would be quite effective. In a perfect world where people's subjective sense of well-being were not so squishy and influenceable, religion would be unable to take credit for the occasional spontaneous improvement (or, more typically, to take credit on behalf of itself or god, for what medicine actually DID contribute to help a person).

Religion does this all the time. Claims to heal people, when it was doctors or the body itself. Claims to be the inventor and protector of morality it has hijacked from society. Etc.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Secondly, as so often demanded here, and rightly so, is when a claim is made (science is more effective than prayer at curing people) the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. Therefore morondog having made the claim bears the burden of proof to present evidence that prayer is indeed able to cure illness but that it is less effective that science.
It is no one's job to prove the efficacy of prayer other than the person making the positive claim for its efficacy. The claim of efficacy for medicine is already substantiated. The efficacy of prayer has already been studied, to its detriment, anyway.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  With playtime over back to the proliferance of double standards. In post #394 I offered a "food for thought" link to the claims of a survey doctors, doctors presumably educated and accredited in their fields by the finest medical institutions of the land who stated "they" have seen "treatment results in their patients that they would consider miraculous"
You provided an article from a discredited source that claims there was such a survey but conveniently does not name the source or link to it. So you provided no "food for thought" or "something to consider" at all.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  As to the poll,remember I did not present the poll as proof nor evidence but simply as "food for thought" meaning nothing more than to present something that warrants consideration.
And it was considered, and dismissed out of hand, as it should be.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Here's another poll presented as "food for thought": A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in May and June 2009 of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Results of the poll found that - just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power.
At least Pew is a credible source, assuming you're not misrepresenting or cherry picking it. Since I have work to get done I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt that 33% of scientists are some form of theists. Probably not the sort you would agree much with, I'll warrant. But that doesn't surprise or disturb me. Scientists are human, and they are not 100% logically consistent, and compartmentalize like everyone else. All I care about is if they do valid science, not whether they hold personal beliefs that are entirely consistent with it.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Logically what are the options is one to do with this data if it doesn't fit one's beliefs?
Change your beliefs if the evidence warrants it or is relevant to it.

But of course it's not relevant to the question of the existence of gods. What x% of scientists allegedly privately think about it has no impact on what's actually the case.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  One could simply dimiss it because of who conducted the poll and didn't like the results. Not very rational but possible.
I accept it as interesting information but not relevant to my lack of belief in any deities. To accept is as relevant would be to accept an argument from authority, from popularity, or both. Neither have any influence on whether something is factual.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  One could argue the scientists supporting belief of a deity are doing so irrationally and without basis. If that were true that they were considered this illogical don't you think the American Association for the Advanvement of Science would cease to honor their membership?
Only if they have a religious litmus test for membership, which they do not.
(10-04-2017 10:28 AM)A_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  One could say that only the 49% are right because as previously posted in this forum,the majority of scientist are atheist, by redifining what majority means.

As atheists I would be interested in how do some of you process the data presented by this poll. Thank you for your comments.
Is this the poll you are talking about?

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/11/05/scien...nd-belief/

If so, this poll actually concludes that scientists are much less religious than the general public. Here is the associated graphic.
[Image: Scientists-and-Belief-1.gif]
Unlike you what strikes me here are the contrasts:

1) 83% of the general public "believe in God", vs 33% of scientists

2) 4% of the general public believe NEITHER in god, nor a higher power, vs 41% of scientists

3) While more scientists believe in a "higher power", which I would take to be the vague deist non-personal god or absent watch-maker, even this points to scientists strongly tending to have less rather than more specific views about divinity. In other words, they cling only to the general concept, not the specifics, and this has huge consequences for their worldview and how they relate to reality.

So in summation, most scientists do NOT believe in anything resembling the typical fundamentalist / evangelical / inerrantist / Christian apologist god; scientists are 4.5 times more likely to disbelieve in ANY form of divinity; and what theistic beliefs they have are what I call the Albert beliefs -- such as held by Albert Einstein or Albert Schweitzer, that is, they are deists or pan(en)theists or have a very Spinoza-eseque non-doctrinaire sense of awe before nature as understood by science. These are not positions you would be comfortable promoting, I'm sure.
Thank you for a thoughtful and reasonable reply to my query and one which I acknowledge that each point you addressed was done so reasonably and objectively. In an attempt to be brief I agree that your summation points 1 and 2 are fair and objective conclusion to the polls data. I as acknowledge and agree that of the 51% of scientists who stated a belief of some form of deity it is fair to say the polls data does NOT indicate that most scientists specifically believe in the Christian apologist God, but it would also be fair to say that some percentage do.

Speaking of summations to the many posts by others on prayer and healing, if one takes the time to reread my previous posts you will not find at any point have I indicated modern medical practices do not heal! Neither have I specifically stated God heals through prayers. Do I believe as the doctors earlier that attribute situations they have witnessed to be miraculous. Absolutely. It was asked if I was hit by a car would I pray or call an ambulance. The answer is simple yes! I believe modern medicine is astounding! And I have a artificial hip to show for it. My closest friend's 29 year old son t-boned a van, who didn't see him while on a motorcycle. There was much fervent prayer on his behalf. Did he live? Sadly no he didn't. What do I do with that. You cry with your friend and acknowledge God is not a puppet on a string. The other side of this coin is that in spite of all the modern medical advancements and doctors and modern medical equipment at the Med Trauma Center at Memphis TN modern medicine did not save Brian's life. So again you cry with your friend for his loss. Then you thank God and medicine that 7 organs were donated to help prolong the lives of seven others. Is there any way to see a good God in this? I present this purely as speculation from a Christian viewpoint of a good God who's ways are higher than our ways.

I don't know those seven recipients nor their families but it is entirely feasible those families were praying that their loved ones would receive the needed organ before it was too late. Again purely speculation but who's to say a good God did not answer prayers just for one life, the life of a professing Christian who would go on to spend an eternity in Heaven but rather answered the preayersof 7 others instead.

Again that was presented purely as speculation. No doubt this would probably be dismissed by the the 4% and the 41% in point 2 above yet for the 90% and the 33% noted in point one above?

Look guys I didn't come here to preach, judge nor condemn. As best as I can remember I haven't been quoting scripture or predicting hell fire for non believers. As in my introduction thread I am here as a way to learn how those who believe differently than I logically and rationally justify their position. I have tried to be respectful. I feel I have tried to be polite, not attacking others but admittedly using a little sarcasm now and then, but mainly asking questions and thoughtfully applying logic to the replies. Many have replied respectfully and logically with reason. Thank you, it has been enlightening. To those may have seen my posts as offensive or hostile my sincere apologies, that was not my intention.

That said it seems as if I read I achieved the coveted position of making momsurrondedbydoys buddy list. As a newbie I not sure if that's a good or bad thing but if bad I do invite revelations as to any improper etiquette I may be guilty of. Thank you all for allowing my participation on the forum
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10-04-2017, 04:17 PM
RE: Why I Believe
I'm going to bump this ....
(10-04-2017 10:37 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Hey A_Thinking_Theist, can I ask you to start a new thread with your questions so we both don't have to dig through each others for relevant replies?

I find your post content interesting but I just think it would better accommodate both of us and others in the long run

This would be a great idea. Thumbsup

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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10-04-2017, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2017 04:36 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why I Believe
Coming back to whether the bible is "man made":

Absolutely. It's a book made by men. What reason do we have to think it is anything else? Other than the myths surrounding the book, what could possibly lead us to believe God was "talking" to the people who wrote it?

If God wanted to communicate with us, and this is the method he chose, then he's either stupid, very powerless, or wanted his communication to be indistinguishable from a work of fiction. God could just communicate directly with all of us, presumably. Instead he's sitting back and watching everyone argue about what the message is supposed to mean. Watching people kill each other over it.

If a person who had never heard anything about any sort of religion picked up the bible and read it, they'd probably conclude it was mainly fiction with a bit of history peppered into it. Just like someone who reads Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. There's really nothing special about this book. It's just been hyped up beyond belief.

PS: He could still give us the choice about whether we want a relationship with him. He could just ask us. Why on Earth he'd want to see who would simply believe he existed and who wouldn't, after presenting terrible evidence, I don't know. Sounds like a very stupid game.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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10-04-2017, 04:28 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2017 04:35 PM by SeaJay.)
RE: Why I Believe
(10-04-2017 03:17 PM)Grauwyler Wrote:  Hi Seajay,
Hiya

(10-04-2017 03:17 PM)Grauwyler Wrote:  Apologies in advance to everyone, but I only skimmed the thread; I'm almost positive I'll repeat what others have said.
It's cool

(10-04-2017 03:17 PM)Grauwyler Wrote:  I had a difficult time throughout my twenties ...I had started smelling something rotten with the churches beginning in my teens, and suffered chronic depression all through college and early work years. Part of me thinks even today that the fear of hell might have been a large part of what stopped me from suicide a few times. The fear of being wrong is freakin' POWERFUL!
I can relate for sure

(10-04-2017 03:17 PM)GrauwylerHonestly, it took years to even begin to comprehend the concept of a world in which there wasn't god ...problem was, I couldn't decide on what God even wasn't, much less what he was. When the cognitive dissonance for what you think God is supposed to be gets so strong, then you begin to start trying to remake God into something you CAN accept. I drifted through paganism, Native American spirituality, eastern philosophy ...but I could never find a deity that fit with reality as I understood it. I really wish I could offer you something that might have trimmed a decade or so off my own searching, but sometimes you just have to find your own path.[/quote' Wrote:  I almost became a non believer a few years ago and turned to Buddhism. I felt I needed something to fill the void that Christianity was about to leave me with (though I did stay Christian).

(10-04-2017 03:17 PM)GrauwylerThe Christian faith is wacky ...and that doesn't mean it's wrong, but in my case, it took quite a few years away from it to truly fathom just how [b' Wrote:  wacky[/b] it is. While trying to decide if I wanted to register as a user here, I was reading a thread by a truly whacked out Christian and remembered a guy on a different forum from a few years back that had his moment of zen by reading somebody MORE whacked out than he was, and then realizing that THAT person was exactly how he sounded to other people.
Bit of an eye opener

[quote='Grauwyler' pid='1168453' dateline='1491859054'I wish I had good advice, but the number one thing that helped me was to explore why other people thought the way they did, and then apply the same amount of skepticism I gave other people's ideas to my own.
I've learned to question everything now and take nothing for granted.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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