Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
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22-10-2017, 11:26 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Claims require evidence, and a claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

There is also logical argument, which requires no empirical evidence.

(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The god of modern Christianity can trace it's origin back to Yahweh Sabaoth and El Shaddai, regional deities who existed within a pantheon of other competing gods....

Such a being is well within the scope of falsification.


Yes, such a god could be falsified.

I don't know of anyone who makes an argument for a god like this nowadays.

(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But let's be real here, the reason that god has been pushed further and further back and away from his followers isn't because of any evidence to suggest such a move or change in nature has actually occurred. Gods used to live atop Mt. Olympus, until we scaled that mountain and found it empty. Gods used to live in the sky, but sure enough we conquered the skies as well. We even managed to land a human on the moon, and still a god did not deign to make their presence known. Now it is claimed that god exists outside of perceptible space and time, a very convenient place to hide a god if you never want it challenged by the specter of falsification.

I think your historical narrative may not be accurate.

Both Plato and Aristotle worked out concepts of an ideal or prime mover which was not a part of the world of time and space. This is the basis of the God of the philosophers and the theologians, who have never cared about the tribal gods you mention. I don't know what percentage of the rank and file know about this, and I don't much care. If you only want to argue about the God that the least educated people think about, you will have easy victories.

The assertion that God is outside space and time is not a new claim, made in the face of scientific discovery. Nor has it ever been claimed that such a god is subject to empirical falsification. Only things available to the senses are subject to such. The arguments for a transcendent God are difficult and involved (Hitchens' book demonstrated that he knew almost nothing of theology) but I have never heard a persuasive argument against the logical conclusions drawn by people in that tradition. Nor am I saying you ought to believe it, especially -- I find the whole thing too difficult for me to draw a conclusion.
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23-10-2017, 12:50 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2017 02:03 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Claims require evidence, and a claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
There is also logical argument, which requires no empirical evidence.

Actually, they do.

The reason why a logical axiom such as [A+B=B+A] still stands is precisely because we can test it, and evidence shows it to be true. Sure, everything needs a starting point, an axiom, to start moving forward. But if you find evidence that such an axiom is no longer true, then you need to drop or modify the axiom.

Evidence still trumps them.

See Also: Wave-particle duality and quantum mechanics.


(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The god of modern Christianity can trace it's origin back to Yahweh Sabaoth and El Shaddai, regional deities who existed within a pantheon of other competing gods....

Such a being is well within the scope of falsification.

Yes, such a god could be falsified.

I don't know of anyone who makes an argument for a god like this nowadays.

Why do you think that is?

Nobody seriously claims god lives atop the firmament because it's evidently clear no such firmament exists.


(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But let's be real here, the reason that god has been pushed further and further back and away from his followers isn't because of any evidence to suggest such a move or change in nature has actually occurred. Gods used to live atop Mt. Olympus, until we scaled that mountain and found it empty. Gods used to live in the sky, but sure enough we conquered the skies as well. We even managed to land a human on the moon, and still a god did not deign to make their presence known. Now it is claimed that god exists outside of perceptible space and time, a very convenient place to hide a god if you never want it challenged by the specter of falsification.
I think your historical narrative may not be accurate.

Both Plato and Aristotle worked out concepts of an ideal or prime mover which was not a part of the world of time and space. This is the basis of the God of the philosophers and the theologians, who have never cared about the tribal gods you mention. I don't know what percentage of the rank and file know about this, and I don't much care. If you only want to argue about the God that the least educated people think about, you will have easy victories.

But it is that god, not the ephemeral deistic one, that the vast majority of adherents buy into. It is that god that people hate fags for, fight wars for, disown their children for, or fly planes into buildings for. Senators aren't out there on their soapboxes decrying abortion and Muslim immigration, and people aren't tithing 10% of their wages to an international army of pedophiles, because of Plato's 'first mover'.

Deism is unfalsifiable, but also lacks any trappings of the god religious people actually believe in. A deistic god doesn't interfere in reality, a deistic god does not punish sin nor answer prayer; a deistic god is effectively identical to a non-existent one. The people trying to use their religion against others do not adhere to a deistic view of god. Fortunately there is currently no evidence to get you from deism to theism (you know, a god that actually cares about what you do with your naughty bits and with whom); many have tried, but all have ultimately failed.


(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  The assertion that God is outside space and time is not a new claim, made in the face of scientific discovery. Nor has it ever been claimed that such a god is subject to empirical falsification. Only things available to the senses are subject to such.

Oh, please do tell how nuclear radiation then is subject to our senses.

We can clearly test and falsify things that we cannot detect with our five natural senses alone. Trust me, nobody is eyeballing the Higgs-Boson over at the LHC.


(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  The arguments for a transcendent God are difficult and involved (Hitchens' book demonstrated that he knew almost nothing of theology) but I have never heard a persuasive argument against the logical conclusions drawn by people in that tradition.

Once again, it's as simple as this. Whiteout evidence, nobody has any reason to move those assertions from possible and into the realm of probable. We can stand around having a jolly ol' wank about what is possible all day long, but that won't actually get us anywhere. If you want to assert a logical argument for a first mover that lacks evidence, all I need to do is likewise assert something that created your first mover. We now both have no way to prove the other wrong, to show either assertion being more probable.

It might make you feel good, but it gets you nowhere. Like I said, mental masturbation.


(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  Nor am I saying you ought to believe it, especially -- I find the whole thing too difficult for me to draw a conclusion.

What's so difficult to understand about Hitchen's Razor? If someone makes an assertion, but lacks the empirical evidence to back it up, you treat that assertion as the empty and easily dismissable drek that it is.

I'm interested in the probable. If I wanted what's possible, I'd sure as hell read anything but the world's supposedly holy books. History is replete with far more creative authors than to waste my time trying to squeeze enjoyment out of those undeserving prose.

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23-10-2017, 01:17 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
I'm embarrassed to link to this site: The Federation of Australian Astrologers (FAA).

Which was formed to:

• establish and propagate a code of ethics for Australian Astrologers,

• publish articles on and to encourage research in all fields of astrology,

• conduct examinations and to award diplomas or other documents evidencing the performance of candidates in those examinations,

• represent a group of people dedicated to the astrological principles of education and research.

[Image: The-FAA-offers-two-astrology-qualifications.jpg]


The fact that its diplomas are recognised internationally provides all the proof that one needs for the validity of astrology. Sign me up.

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I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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23-10-2017, 01:25 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 01:17 AM)SYZ Wrote:  • publish articles on and to encourage research in all fields of astrology,

We've already done that.

It's called physics.

Your head lying down on your pillow exerts hundreds of times the force on your head than does the pull of the moon's gravity. Stars hundreds to millions of light years away have zero perceptible affect on humans and their development, outside of the superstitions we ourselves invent and adhere to.

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23-10-2017, 02:33 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
The html is annoying, so I'm going to use quotation marks.

EK: "The reason why a logical axiom such as [A+B=B+A] still stands is precisely because we can test it, and evidence shows it to be true."

B: Well, I guess I have to start asking all the unmarried men if they are bachelors.

EK: "Nobody seriously claims god lives atop the firmament because it's evidently clear no such firmament exists."

B: That's right. I don't know why you mention this.

EK: "But it is that god, not the ephemeral deistic one, that the vast majority of adherents buy into."

B: So go argue with them. I find them boring.

EK: "Deism is unfalsifiable, but also lacks any trappings of the god religious people actually believe in."

B: I don't find deism persuasive either. Nor did Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, or any of the others who set up theology. Deism requires a god who begins the world at a temporal point. None of the people I named believed that way. For them, God is logically prior, not temporally prior. This is a big difference.

EK: "We can clearly test and falsify things that we cannot detect with our five natural senses alone."

B: Sure. Based on theory and very indirect observation. It's hard to understand the theory; it requires study. But you believe in it anyway.

EK: "If you want to assert a logical argument for a first mover that lacks evidence, all I need to do is likewise assert something that created your first mover."

B: No, the first mover is by definition not contingent.

EK: "What's so difficult to understand about Hitchen's Razor?"

B: By begging the question about what constitutes evidence he closed his mind. Nor did he bother to study the arguments he thought he was refuting.

People who claim that only science can give us knowledge about the world demand that we stop at a point where science stops. I have heard people claim that asking about metaphysics is impermissible. Yet I find it interesting, and I enjoy reading the arguments that neither Hitchens nor you are willing to address. If you don't like that, fine. Some of the greatest minds in history have worked on these things, and for a deeper understanding of literature and art we need to know what they said.

You should do what you enjoy.
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23-10-2017, 02:55 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(22-10-2017 11:26 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 10:19 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Claims require evidence, and a claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

There is also logical argument, which requires no empirical evidence.

Technically, that's an incorrect statement. Logical arguments require evidential or definitional premises. If definitional premises are used, then arguments can be analytic but not synthetic. That's why the ontological argument fails, according to Kant and many other philosophers. You can't define God into existence, you can only support such an existence with evidence.

Now you can point to something like the big bang as evidence of a "prime mover," but you still have to make some case that such a prime mover is equal to whatever God concept you wish to promote. And if the prime mover is indeed a God, then you have to demonstrate that it necessarily had willful consciousness. That's a tall order, given what we now understand about the physics of big bang cosmology. So no matter how smart ancient Christian philosophers were for their times, they did not have to tackle the problems any modern Christian philosopher has to tackle, given our understanding of the world presented by science.

In other words, we are not so much arguing that knowledge can only be limited to what science tells us (although we may think that too), but rather that any assumed knowledge of God must be presented in such a way that it is consistent with what we now know from science. Any assertion which discards or conflicts with scientific theories is not likely to be knowledge. And religious people make assertions which discard or conflict with science all the time.
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23-10-2017, 02:58 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 02:55 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  you can point to something like the big bang as evidence of a "prime mover,"

I wouldn't, because the prime mover posited by Aristotle, etc., is logically prior, not temporally prior. Aristotle thought the universe probably had no beginning.

Again, I have never heard a good argument against what those guys actually said. Nothing posited by modern science speaks in any way against the God of the philosophers and the theologians. Physics does its thing, and metaphysics ponders the things physics can't.
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23-10-2017, 03:03 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2017 03:09 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The reason why a logical axiom such as [A+B=B+A] still stands is precisely because we can test it, and evidence shows it to be true.
Well, I guess I have to start asking all the unmarried men if they are bachelors.

Let me know when you find evidence for a married bachelor then. Drinking Beverage


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Nobody seriously claims god lives atop the firmament because it's evidently clear no such firmament exists.
That's right. I don't know why you mention this.

Because if the evidence against such things was not as monumental as it currently is, the assertion would seem comparatively less ridiculous; as indeed it was for a very long time.


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  But it is that god, not the ephemeral deistic one, that the vast majority of adherents buy into.
So go argue with them. I find them boring.

We do so regularly. They also make up the vast majority of the people we share this planet with, whom we must interact with on a daily basis, who hold the keys to power and influence. So needless to say (or at least I had thought) as to why those believers consume far more of our attention.


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Deism is unfalsifiable, but also lacks any trappings of the god religious people actually believe in.
I don't find deism persuasive either. Nor did Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, or any of the others who set up theology. Deism requires a god who begins the world at a temporal point. None of the people I named believed that way. For them, God is logically prior, not temporally prior. This is a big difference.

It is also a largely meaningless one.


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  We can clearly test and falsify things that we cannot detect with our five natural senses alone.
Sure. Based on theory and very indirect observation. It's hard to understand the theory; it requires study. But you believe in it anyway.

There are plenty of things that we all defer to experts on, because it is simply not feasible to be an expert at everything personally.

But I have looked into the evidence for nuclear radiation, and I found the evidence to be compelling.


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If you want to assert a logical argument for a first mover that lacks evidence, all I need to do is likewise assert something that created your first mover.
No, the first mover is by definition not contingent.

But without evidence to say otherwise, you have nothing to disprove my assertion. All I need is assert that my assertion (the Norks, who create first movers by definition, because that's how I've defined them) supersedes yours. Yep, then we're right back into big ol' mental wankfest. Might as well be arguing who's imaginary friend would win in an actual fight.


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 12:50 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  What's so difficult to understand about Hitchen's Razor?
By begging the question about what constitutes evidence he closed his mind. Nor did he bother to study the arguments he thought he was refuting.

Funny how evidence is only scoffed at by those who lack it. Consider


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  People who claim that only science can give us knowledge about the world demand that we stop at a point where science stops. I have heard people claim that asking about metaphysics is impermissible.

It is certainly permissible, but no one else need take you seriously until you have evidence to back it up. Nobody is out there corralling the String Theorist, giving them a good tut-tut over their thought experiments. But everyone knows that it's not really a theory until they can make with the evidence, which is why there are so many different competing versions of the idea with varying amounts of dimensions, because none of them have the evidence to show which (if any) are evidently true.


(23-10-2017 02:33 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  Yet I find it interesting, and I enjoy reading the arguments that neither Hitchens nor you are willing to address. If you don't like that, fine. Some of the greatest minds in history have worked on these things, and for a deeper understanding of literature and art we need to know what they said.

You should do what you enjoy.

Congratulations, so have some of the most vapid. Newton was a brilliant mathematician, doesn't make his study of alchemy or biblical numerology any less worthy of derision. Intelligent people are not immune to wasting time on foolish pursuits. If you want to go navel gazing, have at it boss, but I have zero interest in an ephemeral possibility wankfest.

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23-10-2017, 03:07 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2017 03:37 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 02:58 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 02:55 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  you can point to something like the big bang as evidence of a "prime mover,"

I wouldn't, because the prime mover posited by Aristotle, etc., is logically prior, not temporally prior. Aristotle thought the universe probably had no beginning.

Again, I have never heard a good argument against what those guys actually said. Nothing posited by modern science speaks in any way against the God of the philosophers and the theologians. Physics does its thing, and metaphysics ponders the things physics can't.

That answer falls into the category of discarding science. In other words, for modern theists to argue they have knowledge, they must demonstrate how what they say they know connects with what we know from other areas. They consistently fail to do so. If they define what they say as another category of knowledge separate from other knowledge, that just rationalizes their position rather than explaining it. Atheists don't have to answer to rationalizations.

If theists would refrain from asserting that their beliefs determined observable realities, we likely wouldn't bother arguing with them at all.
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23-10-2017, 04:17 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 03:07 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  That answer falls into the category of discarding science.

Not at all. Science and metaphysics address different fields. We can accept science and also ponder the things science doesn't address.

(23-10-2017 03:07 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  In other words, for modern theists to argue they have knowledge, they must demonstrate how what they say they know connects with what we know from other areas. They consistently fail to do so.

Most don't demonstrate this. Some do. I understand that the goal here is to fight with those theists whose conclusions we dislike.

(23-10-2017 03:07 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  If they define what they say as another category of knowledge separate from other knowledge, that just rationalizes their position rather than explaining it. Atheists don't have to answer to rationalizations.

Then don't answer them. But keep in mind that there are different fields of study, and metaphysics addresses the causes that science properly doesn't address.

(23-10-2017 03:07 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  If theists would refrain from asserting that their beliefs determined observable realities, we likely wouldn't bother arguing with them at all.

If posters on this forum would stop making wildly generalizing statements about religion, when they are really addressing a subset of unpleasant modern non-thinking people, I wouldn't bother arguing with them at all.
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