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  1. #41
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Then your challenge was completely off-topic. My original contention was that communion is symbolic cannibalism, not that it means the same thing (even though I've made a fairly good case for that as well after having let you drag me into an actual red herring).

    Check this out:

    The act of a police officer shooting a perpetrator results in the death of the perpetrator.
    The act of a perpetrator shooting a victim results in the death of the victim.

    Follow?

    A cop fatally shooting someone is physically and functionally no different than anyone else fatally shooting anyone else. The death of the other party is the conclusion to identical action. Now, one is called "murder" and the other "a justified killing in the line of duty," but both actions can be called "killing".
    But killing is not the relevant similarity if we were to make an analogy between the two. Just because someone dies, or just because there is a seemingly similar action, it does not mean that it is the relevant similarity that is necessary for the existence of a a valid analogy. That is not how analogies work Gonzo.

    The meaning in the action must be the same so as to represent each instance or event being compared. That's the entire purpose of an analogy.

    Furthermore, you are now backpedaling. You said at the start that it did have the same meaning, that the terms were interchangeable...and as a result, there could be no loss of understanding, application or meaning.
    Your words: It's the language. Theists are comfortable with the language that has been constructed around their deities, yet when reworded (with the exact same meaning), they suddenly are not comfortable with the language. . . Now, when we just use different words (that have the exact same meaning), a Christian will go into a tizzy.
    You can't claim at first that the meanings are the same...get called out for the meanings NOT being the same, then say that it is off-topic because the objection challenges that the meaning are the same. That's ridiculous.

    Just because we have 2 similar events in no way makes them analogous. The analogy here is an argument Gonzo. It has actual principles it needs to follow and characteristics that define it as such. And if you do not follow that formula, it is not a valid analogy. In fact, when it does not possess the actual qualities of a valid argument from analogy (showing the relevant relationships between 2 unrelated things) it is called a "false analogy". It is a fallacy in which an argument is based on misleading, superficial, or implausible comparisons.

    So you have been challenged to properly support that the relationships and comparisons you have made, are not misleading, superficial or implausible. It's been pointed out to you how they are.

    In your comparison statements above...that is a false analogy. The analogy of course being:
    The act of a police officer shooting a perpetrator results in the death of the perpetrator is like the the act of a perpetrator shooting a victim results in the death of the victim.
    The shared relationship being the "death of a person" and "killing by gunshot" being the cause. But they are not analogous. It is misleading, it is superficial. The relevant similarity to draw the actual, valid comparison (to make the events similar) is NOT the killing of someone, it is the reason for the killing. The reason for the killing is not the pulling of the trigger, it is the reason for the pulling the trigger in order to kill someone. The reasons are not related. The reason for the cop was to prevent the perpetrator from causing harm to others, and because it was the cop's responsibility to do so, especially after the perp has proven himself to be a violent, hostile person bent on breaking the law. The reason for the perp shooting the victim would be for self-gain such as money, escape, revenge, ets... The perp had no legal right or responsibility to do so.

    The reasons are not comparable. It's a fallacious analogy. You have mistakenly taken a seemingly similar act, created a false relationship, yet never understood the actual acts themselves. You looked at the seeming end results and used just this to draw the comparison to form the analogy...ignoring however, the necessary relationships required for a valid analogy.

    Here is more on the argument from analogy.

    Formally, it takes this form:
    (Premise 1) Object X and object Y are similar in having properties Q1 ... Qn.
    (Premise 2) Object X has property P.
    (Conclusion) Object Y also has property P.
    http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/arg/analogy.php
    Analogical arguments rely on analogies, and the first point to note about analogies is that any two objects are bound to be similar in some ways and not others. A sparrow is very different from a car, but they are still similar in that they can both move. A washing machine is very different from a society, but they both contain parts and produce waste. So in general, when we make use of analogical arguments, it is important to make clear in what ways are two things supposed to be similar. We can then proceed to determine whether the two things are indeed similar in the relevant respects, and whether those aspects of similarity supports the conclusion.
    You, have not properly used the analogy Gonzo. This isn't me saying so, it is textbook logic, textbook critical thinking. I realize you absolutely hate it when someone disagrees with you in a debate, especially when it comes to issues like theological doctrine and logic (I do not know why, to this date, that such topics are "off limits" to you), but it is simply the case that many of your charges and uses of logical tools are incorrect. It is not fallacious for me to call them out any more than it is fallacious for you to call me out when I misuse a logical tool. You really need to get over this "pride hurdle" Gonzo. It's a serious obstacle.

    You need to either revise the argument about cannibalism or drop it. As it is, it is fallacious (for the numerous reasons pointed out in this post and in others).

    Likewise, a person who eats the "metaphorical" symbol that represents "flesh," that person is engaging in a metaphorical act of cannibalism. How are you not getting this?
    See above.

    You are only further proving my point that a Christian refuses to acknowledge the truth when exposed under the klieg light. It's almost funny now, if it weren't so sad.
    I love it when people make comments like this after they have made such elementary and grievous errors. It really exposes a lot about their character and expertise (or lack there of).

    EDUCATE yourself on the issues here Gonzo. EDUCATE yourself on how logic works. EDUCATE yourself on how analogies operate and what makes them valid. When you do, you'll recognize that such statements as above, are embarrassing to make when we lack the necessary understanding we need to use such tools.

    You don't have to take a formal class. You don't have to buy a book. Use Google. Listen to others who DO have the education and experience. Pride is a horrible, horrible thing at times Gonzo. It prevents objective gains in knowledge and growth. It allows arrogance, stubbornness and ignorance to flourish. These are not qualities that anyone should strive for. You just need to learn to humble yourself my friend. There is nothing embarrassing about growth...only insistent ignorance.

    Let me get this straight.... The way I argue makes it seem like I don't know what "spiritual nourishment" really means, so my comparison of similar acts (without even getting into purpose or meaning) must necessarily be wrong. Because I am lacking something.

    Ri-ight. I think I get it now.
    Apparently you don't. When you use a term it should be fully understood. Here, the way in which it is compared doesn't seem to fit, there is a problem, something is not adding up.

    It is proper to challenge another poster when their claim is not accepted. I do not accept your use of the term "spiritual nourishment". Obviously, the term must be properly defined in an argument...we don't have to assume the meaning. When ambiguous terms are used, it's necessary to properly explain their meaning.

    You've been challenged to do so. How you could be so unaware of this fundamental rule here at ODN when we've had it for years and you have surely seen it used, is unknown to me. I recommend reviewing our Rules Page to get caught up on all our current policies and expectations.

    In short, if you are going to make a claim, then be expected to actually support it (obviously, this includes the terms being used w/i the argument). This is nothing new Gonzo.

    Argumentum ad Apok - a logically fallacy composed of a passive-aggressive ad hominem attack attached to circular logic. e.g. Since you don't agree with me, you must be ignorant of a certain key piece of knowledge. Therefore, your argument fails because you are ignorant. I will not actually address your argument, most likely calling it a red herring, but I will repeat my circular reasoning that your ignorance somehow supports my claim that you are wrong.
    Cute, but none of it is true. I'm sorry that you feel me pointing out the errors you make are fallacious ad hominem attacks...but they are not and despite about 5-6 challenges to support them, you have never once done so.

    Therefore, if you make the charge one more time and do so without support, you will be violating our policy to provide required report. I've been more than lenient with you on this particular issue Gonzo. It shouldn't have to go 5-6 times, but 1.

    An inconsistency in the bible? How weird!?! Besides, I never claimed that symbolic cannibalism is actual cannibalism. I said it is symbolic cannibalism (unless you believe in transubstantiation, in which case you believe you are engaging in actual cannibalism). Taking this passage literally, you could still engage in symbolic cannibalism and not be breaking any commandment.
    A few points.

    1) When we attempt to understand a doctrine or passage, we do not take a verse in isolation, we use other passages and doctrines to help us understand. This is elementary Gonzo. I know of no historian, scholar of ancient writings, or scholar of any sort...who adapts a philosophy otherwise (religious or secular). Do you?

    That being said, if it is the case that Jesus says one thing, and being God, says that doing another is immoral, then we can understand that what was said in one instance, is not related to the other (in so far as its direct meaning and whether or not one should do it).

    2) Why do you completely disregard the principle of charity? You say you are the teacher. You say (through your behavior and secondary statements) you are highly skilled in logic. You say you apparently can learn nothing from any critical thinking course (formal or informal). You say no one has anything they can teach you that you don't already know. Yet...you seem completely oblivious to this necessary and elementary principle. Is it the case that perhaps you might be mistaken about it? Or is it the case that you do not believe in the legitimacy of the principle despite it being accepted by people far more knowledgeable and experienced than both you and I? You see, I think it is this type of arrogance the prevents people from learning from one another. It only hurts that stubborn individual, not those he/she disagrees with.

    3) Any meaning, literal or any figure of speech would be the same here. It being symbolic is irrelevant to it being morally acceptable (or not). It would be like Jesus saying "Do not commit rape, but it is ok to fantasize about forcefully taking the sexual spirit of a child". Then say "That's ok to do because it isn't actually doing so, it's only using figurative language."

    Jesus used figurative language throughout His teachings to bring spiritual meaning to material lessons. The Bible also teaches that just thinking of doing an act that is immoral, is the same (morally) as actually doing it. But you, being the self-proclaimed expert and teacher who apparently knows everything already and cannot learn from any human being on the face of the planet...already knew this...right? So why the contradiction then?

    ---------- Post added at 08:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:57 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Basically, words mean things, and words convey meaning. If you want apples to apples you have to use words that have the same meaning (not similar) and convey the same meaning (as in they are received the same).
    Exactly. This is yet another inconsistency in Gonzo's "reasoning".

    First it was "It's ok to ridicule and mock others" vs "I sincerely want honest dialog".

    Now it is "The terms should have the same, identical meanings" vs "Meanings of the term are allowed to change."

    Not only does the latter result in a fallacy of false analogy (and obviously the fallacy of equivocation), but the over all inconsistency is an untenable philosophy. It's hypocritical and inconsistent and is apparently, what is clouding Gonzo's judgment in this discussion (aside from the running emotions).
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; November 4th, 2011 at 10:31 AM.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    A guy came to our church and walked us through the pass over once. It is absolutely amazing, honestly after watching the link in this post where he puts it all together... to call it symbolic cannibalism is tantamount to slander.
    Part of this comes from the catholic church and their seeming love of using fairly bizarre language to describe their beliefs. In this case Transubstantiation where the offerings become "that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood – the species only of the bread and wine remaining – which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation" (from the council of Trent)

    Species here apparently being the look and feel, but not the reality, meaning or substance. So it may look like normal bread, may taste like it, but in "truth" its the actual flesh of Jesus. And to those of is in the world of not so magical thinking, that sounds like cannibalism...

    Jesus is human
    Canibalism is the act of eating human flesh
    Communion is jesus's flesh
    Communion is therefore eating human flesh
    Communion is therefore canibalism

    Ya, I'm sure there is some line of argument that explains why its not, but at a basic level you can see how one could get that impression looking in from the outside. And this teaching is one that does differ in different churches, many who don't get so "mystical and mysterious" and just say, "hey its symbolic, that's it."

    PS: Why is it the Catholics do this? They seem to really like making grandiose metaphysical statements, and then when they get attacked for being kind of crazy, they spin a long explanation of how its not that crazy really, but they refuse to use simple language and if you do will tell you that you have it all wrong. Its like they decided clarity of writing is a sin.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    Part of this comes from the catholic church and their seeming love of using fairly bizarre language to describe their beliefs. In this case Transubstantiation where the offerings become "that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood – the species only of the bread and wine remaining – which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation" (from the council of Trent)
    I'm aware of that, and your description s accurate as far as I know. However, I'm not catholic. Now regarding what you quoted from me.. do you agree or disagree that after watching the video that continuing to call it cannibalism (especially in reference to my position) is slander?


    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    Ya, I'm sure there is some line of argument that explains why its not, but at a basic level you can see how one could get that impression looking in from the outside.
    Well, that is sort of the point. One needs more than just a passing glance to understand accurately.
    We are calling for more than a "basic" understanding, because the "basic" understanding is incorrect. (for reasons stated)


    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    PS: Why is it the Catholics do this? They seem to really like making grandiose metaphysical statements, and then when they get attacked for being kind of crazy, they spin a long explanation of how its not that crazy really, but they refuse to use simple language and if you do will tell you that you have it all wrong. Its like they decided clarity of writing is a sin.
    I honestly don't know.
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  4. #44
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Gonzo:

    The primary problem with your argument is very simple. As has been pointed out, words - especially words in the English language - have very specific meanings and connotations. You pointed this out yourself when you quite correctly brought up the problem of using the word "killer" to describe someone who uses lethal force in defense of his own life, in exactly the same way as you might use the word to describe a serial "killer". By definition, this means that your premise *cannot* be true. It's essentially based on the idea that what you're saying when you make a parody means exactly the same thing as what you're mocking. However, this is categorically false. Technically, the words may have a dictionary definition that is roughly - or in some cases, actually - equivalent, but that doesn't in any way equate to the idea that they are generally taken to mean the same thing. This renders any argument by analogy fallacious, because the items being compared are not analogous. They may be similar, but they are fundamentally different because of the connotations, which cannot be dismissed while still maintaining any pretense at accuracy or clarity.

    Furthermore, as has already been pointed out, using this tactic to supposedly expose the "ridiculous" nature of the beliefs you're mocking is intellectually dishonest if you claim that you are genuinely seeking a better understanding of that which you mock. In holding up a thing or idea to the light of ridicule, one closes the door on rational debate. The appeal is to pathos, not to logos. That is the fundamental problem with this approach, and no amount of argumentation in its defense will ever make it more effective at what you seem to be saying you want it to accomplish.

    Last, if you are genuinely seeking to understand your opponent's viewpoint and not simply to discredit it by holding it up to scornful comparison with distasteful things (which would be a fallacious appeal to ridicule), it seems to me that the approach you are taking is all wrong. A person who approaches a subject of any kind with the express intent of disproving it has already made up his mind about the subject, whether he will admit it or not. From such a position, it is inevitable that undue bias against otherwise reasonable arguments will cloud that person's judgment as he evaluates the statements he reads. He's not discussing to understand; he's arguing to win. That's very rarely a good forum from which to achieve a better understanding of a subject.

    You say you're holding up a mirror to the Christians so that they might see the folly of their beliefs. However, the only thing you're doing is holding up a mirror to your own biases and opinions, using others' arguments - well-constructed or not - as a sounding board and amplifier for your own opinions. All you'll be able to hear is the sound of your own ridicule ringing in your ears, no matter how solid the foundation upon which it was cast.

    Please take a moment to step back and seriously consider what I'm saying. I think you've dug your heels in to the point that seriously considering that you might be wrong would be pretty galling, which will always result in difficulty understanding the opposition's viewpoint. I'm guilty of it myself on political matters from time to time.

    If you really want to understand why Christians believe what they believe, that's great. However, I'm telling you, from a Christian's standpoint, that your approach won't work very well to open up a productive dialogue. You're starting off on the attack, which is very likely to cause your interlocutor to stop explaining and start defending, which will close the way to mutual understanding.

    If you don't really want to understand why Christians believe what they believe, that's fine, too... but don't pretend it's honest debate. Call it what it is and honestly admit that it's your way of expressing your frustration with what you believe is a totally irrational and indefensible viewpoint that you don't care to understand or examine in any great detail, and that you think that theists - no matter their reasons for believing in an imaginary sky-daddy who self-fathered a telepathic zombie - are all hopelessly deluded and therefore are worthy only of ridicule. Because... no matter how you slice it, when you use that mode of argumentation, that is what you are saying. Do you really think anyone's going to be willing to seriously engage you in a debate about some of their most deeply held and cherished beliefs when they know from the outset that this is the approach you will take?

    Just give it some thought.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Tonight, I held an impromptu ceremony in my kitchen. I cooked a chicken breast (with a little lemon pepper and fresh garlic, Mmmm!), and before I ate it I declared "This is the flesh of my enemies. I eat this flesh in commemoration of the past and future battles we have fought or may or may not fight. May their strength course through my veins. ARRRGGGG!" And then I ate a bite of chicken breast. I then cracked open a beer (a delicious local micro-brew, Mmmm^2!), and before I drank I declared "This is the blood of my enemies. I drink this blood in commemoration of the past and future battles we havve fought or may or may not fight. May their strength course through my veins. ARRGGGG!" And then I took a sip, after spilling some for my homies first, of course.

    Is what I did considered symbolic cannibalism? Why or why not?

    Before I get blasted for argumentum ad ridiculum (which would be false, because I actually performed the above actions), let's talk about the practices of an actual religion.

    Let's talk about voodoo.

    Everyone has at least heard about the practice of sticking pins in a doll to curse someone. This isn't unique to voodoo, but rather a "folk magic" type device used either for boon or bane. It's relevant to this discussion because the doll serves the same purpose as the wafer and wine - it is a symbol. The doll represents a person (or sometimes a spirit, a place, or a general "theme"... but whatever) and whatever is done to this doll happens to the person, right? Not exactly. The pins act like focal points, so "stabbing" a doll in the heart means whatever the person wants them to mean. You could stab an effigy in the heart to bring them love, or to curse them in love, or just health in general. Stab it in the head to bring clarity of thought, or muddle thinking. Stab it in the leg to give it speed and endurance, or pain and lethargy.

    Actions done to the doll represent symbolic acts. A doll isn't stabbed as a metaphor that actually, you know, stabs someone in the head. The action itself is representative of either a curse or a blessing... not an actual stabbing. However, the person casing the curse or blessing is symbolically piercing a doll.

    Stabbing it, if you will. Symbolically. Metaphorically. But actually, physically stabbing it. The meaning behind the action is completely irrelevant to the physical action taking place. The verb in play is "stab/pierce". A symbolic stabbing/piercing.

    What makes communion magically different? The verb in that action is "to eat." What you are eating is representative of the flesh and blood of a man. Eating the flesh and blood of a man is cannibalism. Hence, an act of symbolic cannibalism.

    This is remedial English. I don't see what's so hard to grasp.
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  7. #46
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    First of all, the meal sounds delicious. Aside from the blasphemy involved in the intent of what you were doing (considering the context in which we're discussing this), it would probably have been a great time. I especially liked it when you made a chthonic offering to the dead by "pouring it on the blocks for the homies who didn't make it."

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Before I get blasted for argumentum ad ridiculum (which would be false, because I actually performed the above actions),
    It's not an argumentum ad ridiculum unless you're attempting to equate this to some viewpoint you wish to hold up to ridicule. Furthermore, whether or not you actually performed the actions has nothing to do with whether it's an appeal to ridicule. The intent to ridicule as opposed to an attempt to rigorously question all salient points in a logical, organized fashion is what makes something an appeal to ridicule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo
    let's talk about the practices of an actual religion.

    Let's talk about voodoo.

    Everyone has at least heard about the practice of sticking pins in a doll to curse someone. This isn't unique to voodoo, but rather a "folk magic" type device used either for boon or bane. It's relevant to this discussion because the doll serves the same purpose as the wafer and wine - it is a symbol. The doll represents a person (or sometimes a spirit, a place, or a general "theme"... but whatever) and whatever is done to this doll happens to the person, right? Not exactly. The pins act like focal points, so "stabbing" a doll in the heart means whatever the person wants them to mean. You could stab an effigy in the heart to bring them love, or to curse them in love, or just health in general. Stab it in the head to bring clarity of thought, or muddle thinking. Stab it in the leg to give it speed and endurance, or pain and lethargy.

    Actions done to the doll represent symbolic acts. A doll isn't stabbed as a metaphor that actually, you know, stabs someone in the head. The action itself is representative of either a curse or a blessing... not an actual stabbing. However, the person casing the curse or blessing is symbolically piercing a doll.

    Stabbing it, if you will. Symbolically. Metaphorically. But actually, physically stabbing it. The meaning behind the action is completely irrelevant to the physical action taking place. The verb in play is "stab/pierce". A symbolic stabbing/piercing.

    What makes communion magically different? The verb in that action is "to eat." What you are eating is representative of the flesh and blood of a man. Eating the flesh and blood of a man is cannibalism. Hence, an act of symbolic cannibalism.
    If you want to call what you did "symbolic cannibalism," that's fine.. and from a technically oriented view of the language involved, it may be correct, depending on how you want to take the semantics of it. There is an intellectually defensible argument for this point.

    However, in taking this approach, you will come no closer to achieving an understanding of the Sacrament which you are comparing to this impromptu ritual or why some people believe in it. If that's OK with you, then fine.... just say so, and let those who want to participate in what amounts to an excessively intellectualized flame-war slug it out with you. It'll be cathartic for everyone involved, maybe. But don't call it serious, rational debate, because it's not. You're not trying to understand; you're trying to discredit. You're not using logic to do so, either, which makes it a fallacious appeal to ridicule.

    This is remedial rhetoric.
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  8. #47
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Thank you for the reply, Talthas. I still maintain you are one of the most pleasant people to disagree with.

    The OP asked why atheists make "parody" arguments against God. In answer, I contend it comes down to the language. When you hear "God," you hear "creator of the universe," while I hear "mythological figure used to represent non-scientific explanation". Strangely enough, when you hear "garage dragon," you hear "something that parodies God," while I hear "makes about as much sense as God."

    Specifically on the point of cannibalism, I was being technically oriented. The thing is, the English supports my position - communion is symbolic cannibalism, fact in point. Whatever the purpose behind it matters not to the fact that it is symbolic cannibalism, just like a criminal can't kill someone deader than a cop can. And when called exactly what it is, theists will deny it for three pages before finally coming around and hemming and hawing the "technicality" of it. There is no charity of rhetoric involved when one side in the discussion refuses to admit technical facts simply because they are technical.

    That's what's frustrating about it. And that's why we come up with ridiculous scenarios for comparison. Because all religion looks ridiculous from the outside.

    And to be fair, I don't see theists attempting to meet in the middle, either.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Thank you for the reply, Talthas. I still maintain you are one of the most pleasant people to disagree with.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo
    The OP asked why atheists make "parody" arguments against God. In answer, I contend it comes down to the language. When you hear "God," you hear "creator of the universe," while I hear "mythological figure used to represent non-scientific explanation". Strangely enough, when you hear "garage dragon," you hear "something that parodies God," while I hear "makes about as much sense as God."
    The problem with this explanation is that it's not at all strange that we hear "something that parodies God" when we hear "garage dragon" or "symbolic cannibalism," because both of those things - like a great many other appeals to ridicule - are immediately followed by something that the interlocutor believes represents an irreconcilable flaw in what they're mocking. The high likelihood is that when we start hearing about "sky daddies" and "garage dragons," the interlocutor *is* mocking God. Furthermore, I can assure you that, as a man of science, I have never attempted to use "God did it" as a convenient way of dismissing facts, evidence, or sound logic in order to preserve beliefs I may have in the face of contradictory evidence. So, while you may hear "mythological figure used to represent non-scientific explanation" when you hear "God," I believe that perception prevents you from seriously engaging with theists in a meaningful way about their faith.

    By and large, theists don't believe what they believe without what they feel is a good reason with internally consistent and intellectually defensible points. The depth of these points or the consistency may be limited by intellect or ignorance, but nobody is going to hold onto a belief that they, in their heart of hearts, feel is not really true. Dismissing peoples' belief in God as merely a convenient way of explaining away inconvenient or unexplainable phenomena does them - and you - a disservice. They are ill-served by the presumption that they are either intellectually dishonest with themselves and the entire world or that they are somehow either delusional or mentally deficient. You are ill-served by the virtually inescapable contempt this presumption will breed (and it does, to some degree or another, if you're honest with yourself) and the barriers that it will put in your way to understanding a majority of the human race, who believes in some sort of deity.

    You may disagree with the evidence, the logical process, the interpretation of facts, or the moral and ethical implications of a person's belief in deity, but dismissing the whole thing as a "garage dragon" or a "voodoo doll" is no less flawed simply because you do it based on an absolute faith in the tenets of current human science. There are many things in our universe that science cannot adequately explain, and while I'm not advocating a "God of the gaps" theory at present, I want to bring your attention to the fact that it is precisely the same sort of dogged determination to believe despite conflicting or equivocal evidence that you mock theists for. I'm sure that some quantum theory sounds pretty ridiculous when you break it down into "synonymous" terms, and there's probably enough of it that's open enough to debate that a pretty "convincing" appeal to ridicule could be constructed against it using the same standards you are insisting upon using for us. That's not to say I dismiss our scientific understanding of the universe; I don't. I just don't think it's the *only* valid approach through which we can gain a deeper understanding of both the macrocosmic and the microcosmic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo
    Specifically on the point of cannibalism, I was being technically oriented. The thing is, the English supports my position - communion is symbolic cannibalism, fact in point.
    I'm not really sure that it is. See, even among Catholics, whose beliefs could be most easily misconstrued as "cannibalistic," there are important theological considerations that preclude this interpretation.

    For a start, as has already been brought up, cannibalism involves the consumption of dead flesh. In the Eucharist, even if one believes that the Blessed Host is actually the physical body of Jesus, there is a necessary implication that the consumed substance is therefore very much alive, by virtue of it being part of Jesus, who is not only alive, but is alive in a way that far surpasses our current mortal state.

    Second, Jesus is equally Divine and human, with no division between the parts and no distinction. Thus, when one consumes the Host, one is also consuming a portion of living Divine Essence. One takes God Himself into his body, not as an act of cannibalism, but as an act of consecration and holy union. It's not about absorbing strength; it's about being literally "of one body" with Christ and the whole Church, which is to say, the Body of Christ here on earth. One might even say that, when it is rightly consumed, a person partaking in the Sacrament of Communion is as much the consumed as he is the consumer, in that he takes a part of the Infinite into himself and thereby becomes "one with Christ."

    Third, on a similar note, being equally human and Divine, it is not really accurate to say that people who partake of Holy Communion are consuming human flesh, symbolically or otherwise, in any meaningful way that resembles cannibalism, which - as others have pointed out - denigrates the dignity of the one so eaten by treating him as an animal. Jesus, being Divine in nature and possessing a supernatural perfection of human nature, may be said to be corporeal without being composed of literal "flesh" in the sense of meat and bone. He gives Himself to us not in the sense that we would eat a hunk of meat or drink a cup of blood to "absorb strength," but in the very literal sense that He is in us and we are in Him. It is not "consumption" that gives the Eucharist its efficacy; it is "communion," something which cannibalism - symbolic or otherwise - can never achieve.

    While the above issues are technical problems with the use of the word "cannibalism" in describing the Eucharist, the issue goes beyond that. It's also about accurately reflecting what Christians actually believe. If you want to have a meaningful discussion about what someone believes, insisting that what you said is, in fact, what they believe when it's clearly not is a recipe for irreconcilable disagreement. It's like insisting to someone that directs child beauty pageants that they enjoy looking at softcore kiddie porn. Technically, you might be able to make an argument that the two are similar enough to be semantically related, but you totally miss the spirit of the discussion and will never have a productive discussion with someone about what they find appealing or beneficial about child beauty pageants. The technicality simply doesn't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas
    And to be fair, I don't see theists attempting to meet in the middle, either.
    Honestly, I believe that this particular thread *is* meeting in the middle. It's an honest attempt to understand the rationale behind what we theists see as a misguided attempt to engage us in a discussion that will never produce the results either party wants, unless what they're looking for is an acrimonious fight without any real logic, reason, or mutual understanding. The alternative is what you see increasingly on this board: thinking theists who care about their faith enough to talk seriously about it refusing to participate in theological debate with atheists who they feel don't take them seriously enough to bother discussing their beliefs with them. What's left is Christians who either understand logic and rhetoric poorly enough to be baited in, are itching for a fight, or who understand their faith poorly enough to offer indefensible arguments to "defend" their faith. In short, you get the weak, the trolls, and the "baby Christians."

    You don't see me participating in many religious discussions these days, do you?
    -=[Talthas]=-
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  10. #49
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Two points, Talthas.

    1. I do not have an unerring faith in "science-as-god." But I just don't think "God did it" is an adequate explanation for the existence of the universe. Yes, there are a metric f-ton of unexplained things in this universe that science can't even put a dent in... but neither can any nebulous definition of "god". And when it comes to specific deities, I have even less reason to believe. I mean, think about it - you don't believe in Krishna, or Shiva, or the Buddha, do you? There are three major interpretations of the very same god you believe in, with countless minor deviations in each interpretation. I take it you don't have a problem with eating pork, and you don't believe 72 virgins are waiting for you in the afterlife. Islam is to Christianity as Christianity is to Judaism - a splinter group with its own book that ended up with political clout. So why should I be a Christian and not a Muslim?

    2. No definition of the term "cannibalism" has the quantifier "dead" in it. The only place I've seen flesh specified as necessarily "dead" is in THIS THREAD and, sadly, this serves to prove my assertion from the beginning of the thread. Even when the comfortable language isn't there, it'll get retconned after the fact to justify the assertion that "x" can't possibly be "x", because "x" is uncomfortable.

    It all comes down to the language. With the right words, a diabetic can justify eating a piece of cake, because "it's just a small piece"; a smoker can justify having "just one more cigarette"; a child molester can justify a relationship with a minor because "she seduced me".

    If "symbolic cannibalism" sounds ridiculous... I can't help that. But please don't shoot the messenger.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Tonight, I held an impromptu ceremony in my kitchen. I cooked a chicken breast (with a little lemon pepper and fresh garlic, Mmmm!), and before I ate it I declared "This is the flesh of my enemies. I eat this flesh in commemoration of the past and future battles we have fought or may or may not fight. May their strength course through my veins. ARRRGGGG!" And then I ate a bite of chicken breast. I then cracked open a beer (a delicious local micro-brew, Mmmm^2!), and before I drank I declared "This is the blood of my enemies. I drink this blood in commemoration of the past and future battles we havve fought or may or may not fight. May their strength course through my veins. ARRGGGG!" And then I took a sip, after spilling some for my homies first, of course.

    Is what I did considered symbolic cannibalism? Why or why not?
    Yes. Because the purpose, intent and function behind the symbolism is identical to that of actual ritualistic cannibalism.

    It wasn't just "eating" that made it so Gonzo. The chicken meat actually represented the flesh of your enemies in its most literal sense. The desired outcome of eating was identical to that of eating the actual flesh of your enemies (in that it gives some supernatural power).

    It's been explained how this is not the case with communion several times over.


    Everyone has at least heard about the practice of sticking pins in a doll to curse someone. This isn't unique to voodoo, but rather a "folk magic" type device used either for boon or bane. It's relevant to this discussion because the doll serves the same purpose as the wafer and wine - it is a symbol.
    Right. The doll is representative of the individual.

    But as explained, there needs to be something more than merely the existence of a symbol. The existence of figurative language is insufficient to argue from. Analogies have a required anatomy that you are intentionally ignoring or unintentionally not applying and stubbornly refusing to learn about for some reason.

    You've made an argument through analogy. In order for it to be valid, there are certain requirements that you are not acknowledging.

    What makes communion magically different? The verb in that action is "to eat." What you are eating is representative of the flesh and blood of a man. Eating the flesh and blood of a man is cannibalism. Hence, an act of symbolic cannibalism.

    This is remedial English. I don't see what's so hard to grasp.
    Are you reading your own pm's? You expect your opponents to not use such language but you believe you are above such a standard?

    So my response to your argument there is:

    This is remedial logic. I don't see what's so hard to grasp.

    ---------- Post added at 09:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 AM ----------

    It is unfortunate that we don't have any Catholics here to defend their particular beliefs, it would be insightful I'm sure. But I did at least find an essay about the matter written by a Catholic and published associate professor at Baylor University: http://www.thecatholicthing.org/colu...nnibalism.html (for what it's worth to those interested in the topic).
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  12. #51
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    So, you continue to maintain that communion is somehow magically different.

    The voodoo doll is a symbol that represents another person. The wafer and wine are symbols that represent the flesh and blood of a man. I recognize that the flesh and blood they represent are also symbols, but this does not matter in the slightest. The English is very clear - the wafer and wine represent flesh and blood.

    Again, it seems you have a problem admitting the truth when it's not hidden in comfortable language, which has been my point all along.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Your response there Gonzo is nothing more than a "Nuh-uh, you are wrong, I don't have to look at any argument you've provided nor answer any formal challenges". It is not proper debate nor is it acceptable behavior.

    Gonzo, you have been formally challenged about several issues several times over. Your continued misconduct and violation of the rules of ODN can no longer be tolerated. Continuing in ANY line of argumentation that has been challenged will result in an immediate trolling violation as per our rules.

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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Seriously, Apok? Now you're deleting posts?

    SIMPLE FACT THAT HAS YET TO BE REFUTED: "Body and blood" are symbols. These symbols are eaten. By definition, this constitutes symbolic cannibalism.

    I await your argument that actually addresses this fact.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Posts that pertain to violations, warnings and/or infractions are not allowed in debate threads Gonzo. Please familiarize yourself with our Rules Page which explains both that and other expectations we have of our members.

    Among the many explanations and responses to your claim (of which you have ignored and not responded to a single one of them, nor have you answered a single challenge concerning the matter), it was also explained on more than one occasion that the argument you are making requires more than a simple implementation of words (ie "symbolic" and "cannibalism"). You are making an argument from analogy with your parody about the act of Holy Communion. The analogy is not valid if it does not meet certain requirements that make up an actual analogy. This was explained to you in post #25, #29, #30, #36, #41, #50, with nearly all of them issuing formal challenges.

    The very next post of yours in this thread is therefore going to be one of the following and only one of the following:


    1) an actual direct response to the challenges issued (rebuttal or inquiry seeking clarification)
    2) a concession
    3) a different line of argumentation altogether that is not related to cannibalism (since it is the contested, formally challenged argument).

    Any other type of posting is a violation of our policy on formal challenges and will result in a trolling violation Gonzo.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So what is it? What is the reason behind the parodies? Why are they supposed to be effective? What are they trying to reveal?
    To atheists the belief that a god exists is ridiculous. In an attempt to show how ridiculous a belief in god is we create equally ridiculous parodies in the hope of showing how ridiculous the belief in god is. We hope that the parodies will spark the following train of thought:

    1. This parody is obviously totally ridiculous, no one could possibly believe such a thing (this is how atheists feel about the belief in god).

    2. This parody applies to my belief in god. In other words they are one and the same. The only thing different is that in the parody god is called something else, like a dragon.

    3. Therefore, because of 1 and 2, a belief in god is totally ridiculous and thus I will no longer hold such a belief.

    Of course where theists have the most trouble is with number 2. They seem not to be able to make the connection between the parody and their belief. They seem to think that the words god and dragon are not interchangeable. Usually they are not, those words refer to very different entities. However, in the parody nothing is changed if we change the word dragon to god. It still means the same thing and creates the same conclusion.

    Also, I like kittens... they are just so cute... how can you resist wanting to rub this little guys belly?

    Last edited by Apokalupsis; November 6th, 2011 at 07:34 PM. Reason: edited post to embed image
    abc

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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by DR GONZO
    I await your argument that actually addresses this fact.
    .... it's not a fact. It is a faulty conclusion. Faulty for reasons given. ......now moving past that impasse if we can.

    Now the point of the thread was to examine the reasoning behind the parodies... not get bogged down debating a specific parody.
    So we have debated the similarities and the differences on the Cannibalism thing, So I ask this.
    Question to opponent.
    If we assume that you are correct about the similarities so as to make "symbolic cannibalism" linguistically accurate, wouldn't you agree that "symbolic cannibalism" doesn't convey the meaning and focus of communion as held by those that practice it?

    Is using the word anything more than just mockery?
    Is it really to try and convey the perspective of the atheist? If so, isn't the differences (again as pointed out in this thread) significant enough to make a debate based on it inherently faulty?

    I would maintain that beyond the purpose of making a point, it is impossible to honestly hold the position that Christians are practicing symbolic cannibalism in such a way so as to reject Christianity.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    To atheists the belief that a god exists is ridiculous. In an attempt to show how ridiculous a belief in god is we create equally ridiculous parodies in the hope of showing how ridiculous the belief in god is.
    We understand that part. But for the parody to fit, it must be analogous. A parody is an imitation of that which it is exaggerating. I could create a "parody" of atheists who wear thongs and go around the world shooting babies in the head. But it would not be an actual fitting parody because it isn't analogous to atheist philosophy.

    For some reason, some atheists just aren't getting this concept (of which has been thoroughly explained more than once).

    Also, I like kittens... they are just so cute... how can you resist wanting to rub this little guys belly?
    Nevermind...argument over...I couldn't resist.

    You win.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    We understand that part. But for the parody to fit, it must be analogous. A parody is an imitation of that which it is exaggerating. I could create a "parody" of atheists who wear thongs and go around the world shooting babies in the head. But it would not be an actual fitting parody because it isn't analogous to atheist philosophy.

    For some reason, some atheists just aren't getting this concept (of which has been thoroughly explained more than once).
    I fully expected that this part (if the parody is analogous to theistic philosophy) would be what is disagreed upon, after all theists are not fools. However, to atheists the parody is not an exaggeration, the parody is equally as ridiculous as the belief being parodied.

    Lets take for example the dragon in the garage parody. There are tons of differences between a dragon in a garage and god. However, to an atheist those differences are irrelevant. What really matters, the dragon and god have in common. This is the following:

    1. Neither god nor the dragon can be detected in any way no matter what test is performed. Which, to an atheist, makes a belief in something that can never be detected ridiculous.

    2. The statement that god or the dragon exists is meaningless since neither can ever be detected. It is like saying (perhaps you will disagree this, it is just the atheist perspective) that something that doesn't exist exists.

    Like I said there are tons of differences between a dragon and god. But I don't see how someone could disagree with the statements that god can never be detected and that a claim of something existing which cannot be detected, ever, is meaningless.

    Nevermind...argument over...I couldn't resist.

    You win.
    lol, and thanks for fixing the image.
    abc

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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by MYX
    To atheists the belief that a god exists is ridiculous. In an attempt to show how ridiculous a belief in god is we create equally ridiculous parodies in the hope of showing how ridiculous the belief in god is. We hope that the parodies will spark the following train of thought:

    1. This parody is obviously totally ridiculous, no one could possibly believe such a thing (this is how atheists feel about the belief in god).

    2. This parody applies to my belief in god. In other words they are one and the same. The only thing different is that in the parody god is called something else, like a dragon.

    3. Therefore, because of 1 and 2, a belief in god is totally ridiculous and thus I will no longer hold such a belief.
    I think the problem is that atheist have yet to hit on a valid justification for finding God ridiculous. This comes out when they try to set up parody.


    For example, a "transcendent being" is not a ridiculous idea. It has its foundations in several logical arguments and is evidenced through them (at least).

    So proclaiming my dragon is transcendent, and therefore ridiculous. Doesn't address the reasons for a transendant being. It can only ever hope to mock the idea.
    Which, in the end doesn't make theist look silly, but rather the atheist presenting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MYX
    They seem not to be able to make the connection between the parody and their belief. They seem to think that the words god and dragon are not interchangeable. Usually they are not, those words refer to very different entities. However, in the parody nothing is changed if we change the word dragon to god. It still means the same thing and creates the same conclusion.
    Changing a word in an argument can not change the conclusion if the word is 100% the same.

    so what I'm getting from you is that the God parodies are an attempt to change the terms without changing the meanings.
    but if that was the case, why not simply construct the firs cause argument using the word "dragon"?

    If changing the word revealed a flaw in the logic of the actual arguments then it should be done in those threads.. don't you think?


    what I see is a single underlying assumption.
    "God is made up".

    If God is made up, and you believe that.. then when I make up something you should believe it as well.
    Insert FSM.




    Of course this carries with it the underlying problem of ... theists do not believe something that is made up, we believe something based on reasons. Reasons that are not inherently transferable to God parodies, as they are poorly constructed. In fact, I submit that is the only reason why any of the substitute words are "ridiculous". So this represents a smuggled premise in the atheist reasoning.
    Which makes the atheist reasoning unjustified.
    Last edited by MindTrap028; November 7th, 2011 at 05:59 AM.
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    Re: Atheist template examined: god parodies

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think the problem is that atheist have yet to hit on a valid justification for finding God ridiculous. This comes out when they try to set up parody.
    No parody that is made up by anyone, even someone well educated in theistic philosophy, would not be accepted as valid by theists.

    Changing a word in an argument can not change the conclusion if the word is 100% the same.

    so what I'm getting from you is that the God parodies are an attempt to change the terms without changing the meanings.
    but if that was the case, why not simply construct the firs cause argument using the word "dragon"?
    Because then all you have done is renamed god. Instead of calling god god we are then just calling him Allah. This doesn't show anything. It has already been done by other religions.

    what I see is a single underlying assumption.
    "God is made up".

    If God is made up, and you believe that.. then when I make up something you should believe it as well.
    Insert FSM.
    Yes that is the underlying assumption. But since you cannot detect god you can never know if god is made up or not.

    Of course this carries with it the underlying problem of ... theists do not believe something that is made up, we believe something based on reasons. Reasons that are not inherently transferable to God parodies, as they are poorly constructed. In fact, I submit that is the only reason why any of the substitute words are "ridiculous". So this represents a smuggled premise in the atheist reasoning.
    Which makes the atheist reasoning unjustified.
    Yes theists have their reasoning for their belief in god. But they have no physical evidence. Without physical evidence, reasoning is just made up stuff. It is not based on anything. I can make up reasoning for why the tooth fairy is real or not. But since there is no evidence behind my reasoning it is just wild speculation. Without evidence behind something, with just reasoning, any claim is equally valid. But if we believe in things just because there is reasoning behind it, where do we draw the line? There is reasoning behind Santa but we don't believe in Santa.
    abc

 

 
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