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View Poll Results: Should Atheists be actively Anti-Theist? (directed at atheists)

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9. This poll is closed
  • Yes

    1 11.11%
  • No

    6 66.67%
  • I don't know

    0 0%
  • I don't care

    2 22.22%
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  1. #41
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I'm not switching back and forth...you are. You equivocated in your own post. While you defined atheism in the loosest and most broad possible way, you changed its meaning the moment you gave it context and argued it was a more reasonable position. You went from defining it to be a psychological state of mind to suggesting it is the most reasonable philosophical position. A psychological state of mind (apatheism) is not a metaphysical position.

    Furthermore, you cannot attack a metaphysical position (theism) with a psychological state of mind (apatheism). It's fallacious, a category mistake. It's like saying "Blue smells like butter." Colors do not have properties of smell. Likewise, psychological states of mind do not have properties of reason (the principles thereof).

    This is a huge mistake that "pop-atheists" (for lack of a better term, and not intending to offend...I'd be more than willing to change if a better description is available) often make, and one I explained further in my post to Sig:
    You might want to stick to smaller words. Because you are completely misunderstanding the meaning of equivocation.

    Our exchange started with me defining EXACTLY what type of atheist I was talking about. And I provided a reason why. Neither of which you protested against.

    And right there is where you started debating me. So, for me to equivocate in regards to your and my exchange I would have to stop using "atheist" as a shorthand for "agnostic atheist".

    So, where did I do that in your and my exchange? I didn't. However, you did.

    And seriously, I would have no problem with you doing that had at any point during our exchange you had indicated that you did not accept the use of "atheist" as shorthand for "agnostic atheist". Heck, you could have stated that at the start of the post in question and I would have been fine with it. However, you didn't.

    Now, was I technically doing the same thing prior to your and my exchange? Yes and no. The entire time I was thinking of "atheist" as "agnostic atheist". However, for the most part all the arguments in the debate didn't matter which definition was used. It wasn't until we reached the post you quoted from that I realized that what I was saying in that post might have more than one meaning if I didn't define exactly what I meant by atheist.

    Now you and anyone else of course was free at the time to say, "Hey, we prefer we include all forms of atheists when debating this issue." And I would have happily withdrawn that particular post.

    However, you didn't do that did you? No, you quoted from that post and started debating with me. That is you accepting that definition as part of the terms of our exchange.

    Again, had you just debated someone else or even if you would have debated me later in the thread then I wouldn't have been holding you to that definition. After all, there is a chance you could have missed me saying that. However, I would have clarified it on your first comment. I didn't need to do that in this case though since you quoted straight from the same post as the shorthand definition was provided.

  2. #42
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    One small wrinkle though. I would say it is possible to prove God does exist if indeed god is real. So I think it is possible to prove god, but not possible to disprove god. I get the impression a strong agnostic would say neither is possible.
    I don't think I understand.

    What does it mean "to prove"? Do you mean argue for? Present a reasonable case for?

    Also, are you saying that there can be no arguments against God's existence?

    ---------- Post added at 12:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    You might want to stick to smaller words. Because you are completely misunderstanding the meaning of equivocation.
    Unwarranted insult aside...you are incorrect.

    I explained how it is an issue of equivocation. You committed it in your first post. Respond to that please (instead of merely saying "nuh-uh."

    And right there is where you started debating me. So, for me to equivocate in regards to your and my exchange I would have to stop using "atheist" as a shorthand for "agnostic atheist".
    This is not true. I addressed your post AS IF the term were correctly applied. That is, I recognized that you misunderstood the term by the way you were using it. Instead of calling you out on it, I simply chose to respond to your use of it. You changed the meaning of the term (from your original definition) when you argued as if it were a position. That is, your definition is not a philosophical position...yet you argued FOR a philosophical position. Since states of mind are not subject to logical evaluation and are not states of reality (philosophical/metaphysical positions), there is no need to address it. And because you argued FOR a philosophical position, I objected TO that philosophical position. I'm not interested in your psychological state of mind...nor is anyone else who debates because in debate, we evaluate arguments...arguments which support philosophical positions. You were subconsciously aware of this and that is why you changed the meaning of the term (equivocating it) when you argued it to be a position.

    I cannot respond to a psychological state of mind as it has no way to be logically evaluated. Furthermore, it is not a competing view to theism. You wished to further your position AGAINST theism. This means that you MEANT atheism in a metaphysical sense, not in the pragmatic sense.

    The moment you argue for atheism in the metaphysical sense, it ceases being any arbitrary definition you wanted it to be, an instead, becomes atheism in the metaphysical sense.
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  3. #43
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    This is a huge mistake that "pop-atheists" (for lack of a better term, and not intending to offend...I'd be more than willing to change if a better description is available) often make, and one I explained further in my post to Sig:
    Well, it sounds like you are well educated on the issue. It also sounds like you are very familiar with how most atheists view themselves these days. So, clearly you didn't misunderstand what I was saying in that post when I defined my use of the word.

    If you didn't like using the word as shorthand for "agnostic atheist" then why didn't you say anything? It's not like you aren't saying a LOT now about it.

    Bottom line:

    * You clearly seen me define the word... you quoted from the very post. And it was a rather short post.

    * You made absolutely no objection to us using "atheist" as shorthand for "agnostic atheist".

    * You debated for many posts. Then when I corner you, you start objecting to the shorthand use of the word... providing lectures on it even. Insisting that the word never meant what I clearly defined prior to you and I starting our exchange.

    Your actions are the very definition of equivocation...lol. It just boggles my mind that you could so blatantly do it and have the nerve to accuse me of it.

    ---------- Post added at 02:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Also, are you saying that there can be no arguments against God's existence?[COLOR="Silver"]
    I think that would depend on your definition of "God". I believe there are one or more definitions that can easily be disproven. However, I doubt those definition(s) are ones that most theists use... thus, I'm not going to sit here and try to apply the exception to the whole... unlike what some try to do in debates like this.

    Like you said, theists are not necessarily stupid. And I never claimed they were. Most I'm sure are not going to pick a definition for God that can easily be disproven. They are going to probably pick one that can't be disproven. Unfortunately, in doing so they also are picking one that can't be proven either. Just my opinion of course.

    And just like I don't think theists are stupid these days, I also don't think atheists are either. That is why I was using "atheist" as shorthand for "agnostic atheist". Since that is what most atheists appear to be these days. And I completely understand how enticing it is for you to want to speak to the rarer type atheist that claims they know for a fact that God doesn't exist. Boy, that makes the debate so much easier for you. Just like if I picked one of those rarer definitions for God and just straight up argued that God doesn't exist and then prove it. However, I'm not doing that because it is unfair to theists to argue from the minority vs the majority. It is a shame you aren't willing to do the same.

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    Well, it sounds like you are well educated on the issue. It also sounds like you are very familiar with how most atheists view themselves these days. So, clearly you didn't misunderstand what I was saying in that post when I defined my use of the word.

    If you didn't like using the word as shorthand for "agnostic atheist" then why didn't you say anything? It's not like you aren't saying a LOT now about it.

    Bottom line:

    * You clearly seen me define the word... you quoted from the very post. And it was a rather short post.

    * You made absolutely no objection to us using "atheist" as shorthand for "agnostic atheist".

    * You debated for many posts. Then when I corner you, you start objecting to the shorthand use of the word... providing lectures on it even. Insisting that the word never meant what I clearly defined prior to you and I starting our exchange.

    Your actions are the very definition of equivocation...lol. It just boggles my mind that you could so blatantly do it and have the nerve to accuse me of it.
    This is such an odd response. None of it addresses the issue being discussed. I've explained how when someone (anyone) uses a term in a certain context, that context (not their previously stated definition) actually defines the term. And now...instead of actually addressing any relevant issue in this thread...you are focusing on a completely irrelevant detail. It just doesn't seem like you are interested in rational discourse libre...and instead...just trying to save face (or honestly don't understand anything being posted as a response).

    I'd recommend sending a PM to Sig and asking for his guidance.

    OR...

    perhaps we can try something a bit different and see if the dots get connected in a meaningful way here...

    1) Do you agree, that there are typically 2 ways to derive meaning from a word/term/label? The two ways being:

    a) stated definition (explicit)
    b) used in context (implicit)

    Examples:

    a) feet - the plural of the lower extremity of the leg below the ankle, on which a person stands or walks
    b) The length of the box is 12 feet.

    In other words...by reading a)...do you understand what is meant by "feet"? Also, by reading b) do you understand what is meant by "feet"?

    -----------

    2) Do you agree that equivocation is the type of ambiguity which occurs when a single word or phrase is ambiguous, and this ambiguity is not grammatical but lexical. So, when a phrase equivocates, it is not due to grammar, but to the phrase as a whole having two distinct meanings?

    -----------

    3) Do you agree that there is a difference between making a statement about ourselves and that of reality? That is...the statements:

    a) I like chocolate ice cream.
    b) Chocolate contains cocoa beans.

    ...are 2 separate statements with 2 separate meanings with 2 separate subjects? a) being the self, b) being a statement about reality?

    -----------

    4) Do you agree that when we debate, or argue for or against something, we are arguing about the truth, applicability, and/or reasonableness of statements made about reality (vs statements made about the self)?

    And a follow up...do you agree, that statements about reality are what competes against other statements about reality and that statements of self do not?

    For example:

    a) There is life on the planet Earth.

    competes with the statement:

    b) There is no life on the planet Earth.

    Both are statements about reality, both are positions that can be defended and attacked. Both are competing views because both are statements in the same category...statements about reality?


    And as such...statements of self, cannot compete in the same sense (as far as applicability) as statements of reality?

    For example:

    a) I like to be alive (or "I believe I am alive" or "I think about living."

    doesn't compete or address the statement:

    b) There is life on the planet Earth.

    Correct?


    .

    ---------- Post added at 02:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:22 PM ----------

    Let's start there for now. So it seems to me, that in order to proceed with this discussion, you should pm Sig for an alternative view as to what my posts are saying (as I'm confident he understands)...or you can simply answer the above questions.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; June 3rd, 2013 at 01:48 PM.
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    And just like I don't think theists are stupid these days, I also don't think atheists are either. That is why I was using "atheist" as shorthand for "agnostic atheist" Since that is what most atheists appear to be these days.
    Shorthand? You mean people following the thread are expected to be psychic?

    Nevertheless, now that you've explained your shorthand [code for libre's viewpoint], that's an interesting claim that I would venture to say more then a few atheists might challenge. But regardless of that, can you support that most atheists today are "agnostic atheists' (i.e. the majority)? Because, I think that would show the beginning of a new trend, and I would be interested to see the supporting stats on that.

    And I completely understand how enticing it is for you to want to speak to the rarer type atheist that claims they know for a fact that God doesn't exist.
    What supports the claim that it is rare?


    As a point of clarity, there is no shorthand in English for 'agnostic atheism." It has a definition.

    There is atheism, which has a definition.
    There is agnosticism, which has a definition.
    and there is agnostic atheism, which has a definition.

    Agnostic atheism
    Agnostic atheism, also called atheistic agnosticism, is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact. The agnostic atheist may be contrasted with the agnostic theist, who believes that one or more deities exist but claims that the existence or nonexistence of such is unknown or cannot be known.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

    So when someone is talking about atheists, the English word atheist is not shorthand [or psychic code] for 'agnostic atheists' which has its own definition. Thus, for example, someone who holds agnostic/atheist views, is free to state, and for the purpose of clarity in debate and discussion, is encouraged to state, that he is or holds agnostic/atheist views. Also, there should be no worries; he/she will not be persecuted or jailed in America.
    Last edited by eye4magic; June 3rd, 2013 at 02:25 PM.
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  6. #46
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    This is such an odd response. None of it addresses the issue being discussed. I've explained how when someone (anyone) uses a term in a certain context, that context actually defines the term. And now...instead of actually addressing any relevant issue in this thread...you are focusing on a completely irrelevant detail. It just doesn't seem like you are interested in rational discourse libre...and instead...just trying to save face (or honestly don't understand anything being posted as a response).

    I'd recommend sending a PM to Sig and asking for his guidance.
    Your explanation only holds water though if the term has not previously been defined for the purpose of the discussion in question. It clearly was defined... in the very first post you quoted from in our exchange. Seriously, I don't even see how you can deny this. It's right there in black and white.

    Even if your explanation held water, all you would be telling us is that your goal with that comment was to improperly sidetrack the discussion. Since the discussion we were having had been clearly defined as relating to theists and agnostic atheists. So, either you were improperly trying to sidetrack our exchange or you were using two separate definitions the entire time... just waiting for the opportunity to switch the meanings in the event you got cornered. However, that would just be an act of equivocation... just like what I've been claiming. Of course I guess it is possible you were trying to do both.

    And regardless of all of that, you have yet to show how during our exchange I switched definitions. I've more than defended my position that you were switching definitions. You have yet to show that I did so during our exchange. I provided a single definition at the start of our exchange and I never altered it once. In fact, you claiming I did was a result of me pointing out that you were trying to alter that definition. How can I be the one exhibiting "equivocation" if I'm the one insisting we stick to the same definition?

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    Your explanation only holds water though if the term has not previously been defined for the purpose of the discussion in question. It clearly was defined... in the very first post you quoted from in our exchange. Seriously, I don't even see how you can deny this. It's right there in black and white.
    Again...you are completely missing the point. OF COURSE you defined the term atheism. I haven't denied that. In fact, I stated as such in several posts, several arguments. But it is your USE of the word that CHANGED the meaning from your stated definition (which was explicit) to that of something entirely different (implicit through contextual application).

    I don't know if you saw it, but I had edited my post before you responded. See the latter half.

    Either way, simply regurgitating the same objection doesn't further your position (which is why I suggested bringing in a 3rd party (Sig) and/or simply answering the questions I offered.


    And regardless of all of that, you have yet to show how during our exchange I switched definitions. I've more than defended my position that you were switching definitions. You have yet to show that I did so during our exchange.
    ....how could you think that? How many explanations does it take exactly? When you say that one position is more reasonable than another...which is what your post does by implying that atheists use evidence to reach conclusions and theists use assumptions, it is a position that is being evaluated...not a psychological state of mind. You defined atheism in your post as a psychological state of mind, not a position. Thus...your usage of the term does not correspond with your stated definition.
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  8. #48
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    One small wrinkle though. I would say it is possible to prove God does exist if indeed god is real. So I think it is possible to prove god.
    But in the physical sciences proof does not necessarily mean truth. So do you think it's possible to prove/know God through metaphysics?
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  9. #49
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    But in the physical sciences proof does not necessarily mean truth. So do you think it's possible to prove/know God through metaphysics?
    Proof is the best indicator of truth at any rate. Science can measure forces that are not really understood. No one knows exactly how mass creates gravity, but we have lots of evidence it does. So I think we could collect observational evidence of a God such that we could have reasonable certainty of their existence.

    As to metaphysics, I'm skeptical. The problem is that it needs a good foundation to be of all that much use. So long as you are talking about properties with some basis in reality, sure, if you are talking about properties that are merely posited as possible, not really. Metaphysics is good for exploring an idea in abstract, but when it comes to making claims about empirical reality, it is only as good as its suppositions.

    ---------- Post added at 05:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    So when someone is talking about atheists, the English word atheist is not shorthand [or psychic code] for 'agnostic atheists' which has its own definition. Thus, for example, someone who holds agnostic/atheist views, is free to state, and for the purpose of clarity in debate and discussion, is encouraged to state, that he is or holds agnostic/atheist views. Also, there should be no worries; he/she will not be persecuted or jailed in America.
    Well.... the common use out in the wild so to speak is pretty broad for Atheist. That said, I think that we could all agree to try and use more precise definitions here.

    One reason I was asking Apok for how he would label my view, is that there are actually many different proposed sets of definitions to cover what is actually a pretty wide range of opinion that in shorthand is called Atheist. And really it all developed to describe the state of facts people hold as their mental model of reality. Many different philosophers have proposed many different titles and designations. But it helps if for a give conversation or perhaps for the overall community if we come up with some standards for better communication.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Shorthand? You mean people following the thread are expected to be psychic?
    Of course not. That is why I CLEARLY defined the word PRIOR to his and my exchange. And as I have pointed out, if he (or anyone for that matter) had started debating me later in the thread then I would have of course not assumed they had read that prior definition... and I would have clarified with them if they were okay with it. However, he DIRECTLY quoted from the post where I defined the word. And he did not object to using that definition. And that post with the definition in it was at the very start of his and my conversation. So it's not like he and I were using one form of the word and then I tried to change it. We were clearly using one form of the word until he got cornered... then he switched to a different definition... and if that wasn't bad enough he is now claiming it was I that switched.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Nevertheless, now that you've explained your shorthand [code for libre's viewpoint], that's an interesting claim that I would venture to say more then a few atheists might challenge. But regardless of that, can you support that most atheists today are "agnostic atheists' (i.e. the majority)? Because, I think that would show the beginning of a new trend, and I would be interested to see the supporting stats on that.
    When I presented that I was basically asking if this was a point we could agree on. The person I was talking too agreed. And Apok imo gave a silent agreement. I mean, you don't quote that post, debate it for days and THEN question the premise...lol. I don't want to misrepresent him though... I could be wrong but I don't think he actually is questioning that claim. I'm just pointing out that up until your comment here I am pretty sure that was pretty much accepted as a given for the purpose of discussion.

    If you don't agree with the premise then fine. I only said it because in my entire life I've never met an atheist that wasn't actually an agnostic atheist. Not that I go around looking for atheists...lol.

    That in mind, if you wish to include all versions of non theists in the discussion then my position would read different. My position would be that non theists that claim to know for a fact that God doesn't exist are basing their conclusions on the same level of assumptions as theists do... only in reverse. The only exception of course would be those non theists that just make that claim against specific definitions of God which actually can be proven wrong. I believe there are one or more definitions that fall into that category.

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    But, if you wish to debate with me then my position would be that non theists that claim to know for a fact that God doesn't exist
    This may be the source of confusion. Atheism is not the position or claim that "I know for a fact that God does not exist" any more than theism is the position or claim that "I know for a fact that God exists."

    For one, this is a statement about the SELF. The subject is "I." It is not a statement about reality itself...it is about self-knowledge.

    Furthermore, whenever we make a claim we do not do so from a state of absolutely certainty or make claim that it is absolutely, 100% the case and it is impossible otherwise (very few things outside the first principles of logic can have such a degree of certainty)...instead, the claim represents what is the most reasonable position.

    For example...

    Theism = "God exists" = "The most reasonable or likely position is that God exists."

    Atheism (the metaphysical position) = "God does not exist" = "The most reasonable or likely position is that God does not exist."

    Neither position requires absolute certainty, neither requires there being no room for doubt. It is actually impossible to know with 100% certainty one way or the other about God's existence because it would require knowledge beyond the universe, beyond time, beyond the properties of God Himself (or at least equal to said properties rather) in order to claim such a thing.

    So man, being as limited as he is, can only make claims with the disclaimer that it isn't necessarily the case, it is rather "the best case."

    And this may have been what Sig was referring to a little in his and my latest exchange (and I forgot to post it there). You simply reminded me of it by making that statement.
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    This may be the source of confusion. Atheism is not the position or claim that "I know for a fact that God does not exist" any more than theism is the position or claim that "I know for a fact that God exists."
    Where did I say that was my definition of atheist?

    There are clearly different levels of theists and non theists... I was just making my position clear for the purpose of discussion in regards to extreme examples. Normally that wouldn't be necessary but clearly it is here. Unlike some people, I'm not going to engage someone in debate for days on end and THEN specify these stipulations in regards to my position. I do this up front... just like I provided that definition earlier up front. Would I have an advantage by keeping things vague or using meanings that others aren't aware of, etc? Sure. But imo that is just baiting for drama, etc... more like something a troll would do than someone serious about debating. Not that I'm claiming anyone is doing that here. Just pointing out the purpose of me clarifying these things up front.

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    Where did I say that was my definition of atheist?
    It isn't about your definition, it is about what is meant by the words you choose to use.

    True or False: Someone who claims to know that God does not exist (and therefore, argues the case) is metaphysically an atheist (or at least arguing as one).

    There are clearly different levels of theists and non theists... I was just making my position clear for the purpose of discussion in regards to extreme examples. Normally that wouldn't be necessary but clearly it is here. Unlike some people, I'm not going to engage someone in debate for days on end and THEN specify these stipulations in regards to my position. I do this up front... just like I provided that definition earlier up front. Would I have an advantage by keeping things vague or using meanings that others aren't aware of, etc? Sure. But imo that is just baiting for drama, etc... more like something a troll would do than someone serious about debating. Not that I'm claiming anyone is doing that here. Just pointing out the purpose of me clarifying these things up front.
    Good. However, irrelevant considering there are only a handful of participants in this thread and no one has done such a thing.
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Proof is the best indicator of truth at any rate.
    There is no truth in science. Science thrives and moves forward on the presumed conviction that we, (man) don't have final knowledge about anything. Thus, pretty much any doctrine we come up with, regardless of its credentials, should be subject to inquiry and correction.

    Science can measure forces that are not really understood. No one knows exactly how mass creates gravity, but we have lots of evidence it does.
    Right, and we also have evidence, because it can be measured, that the heart creates an electromagnetic field (that has intelligence) around a person. No one knows exactly how the heart does this but we know it does because we can measure it.

    Heart intelligence is the flow of awareness, understanding and intuition we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. It can be activated through self-initiated practice, and the more we pay attention when we sense the heart is speaking to us or guiding us, the greater our ability to access this intelligence and guidance more frequently. Heart intelligence underlies cellular organization and guides and evolves organisms toward increased order, awareness and coherence of their bodies’ systems.

    So I think we could collect observational evidence of a God such that we could have reasonable certainty of their existence.
    We've had this discussion before. The challenge is not so much in collecting observational evidence of God; the point of contention is often about what constitutes as observational evidence. The other issue, however, is when you say "if indeed god is real" why should we assume our observation of this temporal reality is the only "real" reality? Thus, if we consider observational evidence of God, would you not find it reasonable to consider that any observation of the Divine may not necessarily fit into our nicely-created neat little packaged boxes that we think reality (temporal) is?

    Metaphysics is good for exploring an idea in abstract, but when it comes to making claims about empirical reality, it is only as good as its suppositions.
    Empiricists usually believed that the empirical basis consisted of absolutely ‘given’ perceptions or observations, of ‘data’, and that science could build on these ‘data’ as if on rock. In opposition, I pointed out that the apparent ‘data’ of experience were always interpretations in the light of theories, and therefore affected by the hypothetical or conjectural character of all theories. … there are never any un-interpreted data experienced by us .. Karl Popper; Conjectures & Refutations


    ---------- Post added at 09:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:35 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    I only said it because in my entire life I've never met an atheist that wasn't actually an agnostic atheist.
    Perhaps then, there are no true atheists. Maybe we should consider getting rid of the word.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    It isn't about your definition, it is about what is meant by the words you choose to use.

    True or False: Someone who claims to know that God does not exist (and therefore, argues the case) is metaphysically an atheist (or at least arguing as one).


    Good. However, irrelevant considering there are only a handful of participants in this thread and no one has done such a thing.
    This thread isn't limited to just us though.

    Exactly what do you find wrong with me trying to make sure up front that my position is clear? I know that isn't what some people do but isn't that what I'm supposed to do?

    ---------- Post added at 11:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:39 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Perhaps then, there are no true atheists. Maybe we should consider getting rid of the word.
    In a way that is exactly what is happening. Only instead of getting rid of the word the meaning is being gradually changed in our culture. I think Apok even pointed that out earlier.

    I'm not claiming it is right or wrong for this meaning change to be happening in our culture... I was just trying to go with what I felt... and it sounds like others in the thread felt... was the more current day use of the word. I could have just gone with that meaning without even saying anything and then used it as some kind of cheap way of getting out of an argument later if I got cornered. However, I'm here to debate, not bait people into drama arguments. So, I pointed out up front that this was how I felt we should define the word for the purpose of discussion. I really don't see what is so wrong with me doing that. Not that you are claiming it is wrong... just saying.

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    This thread isn't limited to just us though.
    I didn't say it was, and that is irrelevant to my statement. It isn't about "knowing"...that is never a qualifier. It's a misunderstanding of what the argument means libre.

    Exactly what do you find wrong with me trying to make sure up front that my position is clear? I know that isn't what some people do but isn't that what I'm supposed to do?
    I've been explaining what is wrong with your assertion for several posts now. Either you aren't reading them or you are just dodging.

    However, I'm here to debate, not bait people into drama arguments.
    This doesn't seem true to me at all. You've demonstrated over several threads with several members to not address key issues. However, I'm willing to apply the principle of charity here, perhaps there's just a disconnect in communication or expectation.

    It seems to me there are essentially, 2 types of debaters. Someone who debates for arbitrary points, self-gratification, drama...and someone who debates because they are more interested in truth discovery, wherever that may land them. Now sometimes, we may experience both sides of that coin as individual debaters...but for the most part, I think we could generally classify individuals into one of these 2 camps.

    It also seems to me, that the most productive and meaningful type of debate, is that which is done by the latter sort...where truth discovery and exploration is more important than non-existent, arbitrary "points" that serve only to flatter one's own ego and nothing more.

    So...being charitable here, and assuming you are of this latter sort...that truth discovery and exploration are your primary concerns and interests...let's test that out a bit and see just how true that really is.

    Let's pretend that there are absolutely no posts between us in this thread for a moment. That is, I haven't responded to you yet. We are going back in time so to speak.

    My first post to you then, would be one of truth discovery. Exploring the boundaries and foundation upon which further arguments can be presented and evaluated. It would be as follows:


    ------------------

    1) Do you agree, that there are typically 2 ways to derive meaning from a word/term/label? The two ways being:

    a) stated definition (explicit)
    b) used in context (implicit)

    Examples:

    a) feet - the plural of the lower extremity of the leg below the ankle, on which a person stands or walks
    b) The length of the box is 12 feet.

    In other words...by reading a)...do you understand what is meant by "feet"? Also, by reading b) do you understand what is meant by "feet"?

    -----------

    2) Do you agree that equivocation is the type of ambiguity which occurs when a single word or phrase is ambiguous, and this ambiguity is not grammatical but lexical. So, when a phrase equivocates, it is not due to grammar, but to the phrase as a whole having two distinct meanings?

    -----------

    3) Do you agree that there is a difference between making a statement about ourselves and that of reality? That is...the statements:

    a) I like chocolate ice cream.
    b) Chocolate contains cocoa beans.

    ...are 2 separate statements with 2 separate meanings with 2 separate subjects? a) being the self, b) being a statement about reality?

    -----------

    4) Do you agree that when we debate, or argue for or against something, we are arguing about the truth, applicability, and/or reasonableness of statements made about reality (vs statements made about the self)?

    And a follow up...do you agree, that statements about reality are what competes against other statements about reality and that statements of self do not?

    For example:

    a) There is life on the planet Earth.

    competes with the statement:

    b) There is no life on the planet Earth.

    Both are statements about reality, both are positions that can be defended and attacked. Both are competing views because both are statements in the same category...statements about reality?


    And as such...statements of self, cannot compete in the same sense (as far as applicability) as statements of reality?

    For example:

    a) I like to be alive (or "I believe I am alive" or "I think about living.")

    doesn't compete or address the statement:

    b) There is life on the planet Earth.

    Correct?
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    1) Do you agree, that there are typically 2 ways to derive meaning from a word/term/label? The two ways being:

    a) stated definition (explicit)
    b) used in context (implicit)
    I agree. However, what you appear to be failing to understand is that "a)" was already done for the purpose of discussion. And your statement was part of THAT line of discussion where "atheist" was defined as "agnostic atheist".

    Therefore, that was what we were discussing. Or, are you saying that you were actually saying something unrelated to the discussion? If so, then according to Squatch that means you are spamming? In another thread he is basically telling me that even if you say something related to the thread it is considered spamming if it is not 100% linked to the line of discussion in which you say it. Or at least that is how I read it. I'm not saying I agree with that... just saying that Squatch might be indirectly claiming you are spamming according to that other thread.

    So, which is it? Were you practicing "equivocation" or where you spamming?

    Again, I personally am not claiming you are spamming... just going off what I'm hearing in another thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    2) Do you agree that equivocation is the type of ambiguity which occurs when a single word or phrase is ambiguous, and this ambiguity is not grammatical but lexical. So, when a phrase equivocates, it is not due to grammar, but to the phrase as a whole having two distinct meanings?
    There was absolutely nothing ambiguous about my use of the word. I flipping DEFINED the word at the start of our discussion. And I never wavered from that definition. That is the very opposite of ambiguous...lol.

    Seriously, how can you lecture me on "equivocation" when I defined the word and stuck to that definition. YET, you admit you seen that definition and wavered from it? You can spin it all day long and mix in all the words from your word of the day calendar you want... you aren't going to confuse people into believing you did anything other than what you did. It's right there in black and white.


    Anyway, this is getting old. I'm here to debate. I feel I've more than made my case... I'm sure you feel the same. I've also already said I'm willing to switch the meaning of "atheist" to what you want it to be for the remainder of the discussion. So, do you want to proceed with the debate or continue to beat this dead horse?

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    There is no truth in science. Science thrives and moves forward on the presumed conviction that we, (man) don't have final knowledge about anything. Thus, pretty much any doctrine we come up with, regardless of its credentials, should be subject to inquiry and correction.
    You may be using truth in a different way than I am. I'm simply using it to mean accurate information. For instance. The rate of acceleration of earths gravity is 9.8 meters per second squared. That is a true statement so far as anyone can determine. If it is false then it is false for a reason on one is aware of.

    Right, and we also have evidence, because it can be measured, that the heart creates an electromagnetic field (that has intelligence) around a person. No one knows exactly how the heart does this but we know it does because we can measure it.
    That is mostly a bunch of bunko. Yes the heart has an electromagnetic field, your whole body does and the heart is an electrically driven biological machine as are all your muscles. Electrocadiograms measure the electrical impulses in the heart and is a standard tool of medicine to diagnose heart problems. But... the field around the heart is not intelligent, it is controlled by your brain which is. The HeartMath people are scam artists and quacks.

    -none of the studies listed on the website (at least that I've read) even mention the emWave, but rather the potential for heart rate variability and "coherence" to reduce stress. See http://www.heartmath.org/research/pu...basic_research

    -the founder of the institute is Doc Childre, who isn't actually a doctor. You can find a short biography of him at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doc-childre

    -the organization (or one of its subsidiaries) was, in some way or another, once associated with Dan Winter. An admitted scam artist, his website was recently seized as part of a court order against him. Therein, a HeartMath representative insists that Mr. Winter actually had very little connection to his organization, despite the latter's claims. Unfortunately, Mr. Winter's New Age chicanery is so outrageous and disturbing that any connection whatsoever is highly suspicious. See http://www.danwinter.com/HeartTunerStatements.html

    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/...ientific-.html
    When I attended a HeartMath educational session at a University in the Bay Area run by one of their Cardiologists, I put a few questions to the Cardiologist about the premise behind the IHM’s technology. I said “as an MD, a man of science, how can you agree with the concept that the heart is an organ that can sense its surroundings and possibly even engage in precognition?” His answer to me was “There are so many things in science we haven’t learned yet, it’s just a matter of time for science to catch up to this.”

    Basically they have a heart monitor and teach you that if you calm yourself your heart will beat a steady rhythm and if you are stressed it will be more chaotic. That is not your heart being intelligent, that is normal human function. When you stress out your heart beats faster and more erratically to move more blood and give your muscles more oxygen so you can power fight or flight. The rest of it is a bunch of conjecture that even the scientists who work for them have to admit is not supported by any actual science.

    We've had this discussion before. The challenge is not so much in collecting observational evidence of God; the point of contention is often about what constitutes as observational evidence. The other issue, however, is when you say "if indeed god is real" why should we assume our observation of this temporal reality is the only "real" reality?
    Because its the only reality we can interact with. Why should I not assume that my dream world I can be master of the pudding people is as real as your god? Its a load of nonsense from my imagination and is only real in the sense they are real thoughts. You want to believe in magic and fairy tales. That's fine by me but your not going to convince anyone with a critical mind that its real nor do anything practical with the belief. A critical approach is to observer first, and try to understand second.

    Thus, if we consider observational evidence of God, would you not find it reasonable to consider that any observation of the Divine may not necessarily fit into our nicely-created neat little packaged boxes that we think reality (temporal) is?
    Correct, you either have to do something real with it or its just a load of conjecture. I love imagination but I recognize it for what it is. The world is filled with all manner of wondrous things, but the ones that are real, we can use, the ones that are imaginary, we can't use but in context with other people.

    Empiricists usually believed that the empirical basis consisted of absolutely ‘given’ perceptions or observations, of ‘data’, and that science could build on these ‘data’ as if on rock. In opposition, I pointed out that the apparent ‘data’ of experience were always interpretations in the light of theories, and therefore affected by the hypothetical or conjectural character of all theories. … there are never any un-interpreted data experienced by us .. Karl Popper; Conjectures & Refutations
    Its not clear that you understand that Popper is something of a champion of critical thinking and that he is attacking the idea of classical empiricism. He is on the other hand something of a champion of modern scientific methods, though he has is own ideas on the best form of it. He was not some super-naturalist or believer in mumbo jumbo. He kept an open but critical mind on such matters.

    Perhaps then, there are no true atheists. Maybe we should consider getting rid of the word.
    There certainly are, but strong Atheists are rather uncommon.

    ---------- Post added at 12:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:28 PM ----------

    Libre & Apok

    As a fellow debater, its annoying to watch you two argue past one another. You both have a message you repeat over and over that they other refuses to acknowledge. Until one of you makes a move to reach across the isle and take a moment to view the others position, you will never reach any kind of peace in this discussion about what someone meant when they said a single word. Yes, it matters what words mean, matters a lot for many debates. But if after X number of pages/posts the two sides can't come to some kind of understanding... well its hopeless. I'd advise just letting it die.

    But if not...
    Apok would try to acknowledge what Libre said his intentions were.
    Libre would acknowledge he understands Apoks desire for precise philosophical terminology.

    Libre: Apok is very interested currently in teaching other people critical thinking techniques and formal philosophy/logic. He would sincerely like to help you understand that world and its terminology better. He's likely far more interested in that than the topic of the actual debate.

    Apok: Libre doesn't like being talked down to or treated like a student when he came to debate a particular topic. I think we can all learn from what you have learned but you have to have a willing student first.

    Libre: Please don't talk rules to the board owner, its never going to go over well. He wrote the rules and while Apok isn't perfect, he is the final judge of any and all of them so its just kind of silly to question whether he is spamming or what have you.

    Whatever term you choose to use, Libre knows exactly what his state of mind about God is and why he holds it and almost none of this has anything to do with the OP unless you are about to say each different kind of Atheist should adopt some different approach to theists, none of this matters in the least.

    I hope this doesn't come off as high handed, I just want to have some harmony and good debate and it seems to me you guys really aren't understanding one another here.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    [/COLOR]Libre & Apok

    As a fellow debater, its annoying to watch you two argue past one another. You both have a message you repeat over and over that they other refuses to acknowledge. Until one of you makes a move to reach across the isle and take a moment to view the others position, you will never reach any kind of peace in this discussion about what someone meant when they said a single word. Yes, it matters what words mean, matters a lot for many debates. But if after X number of pages/posts the two sides can't come to some kind of understanding... well its hopeless. I'd advise just letting it die.

    But if not...
    Apok would try to acknowledge what Libre said his intentions were.
    Libre would acknowledge he understands Apoks desire for precise philosophical terminology.

    Libre: Apok is very interested currently in teaching other people critical thinking techniques and formal philosophy/logic. He would sincerely like to help you understand that world and its terminology better. He's likely far more interested in that than the topic of the actual debate.

    Apok: Libre doesn't like being talked down to or treated like a student when he came to debate a particular topic. I think we can all learn from what you have learned but you have to have a willing student first.

    Libre: Please don't talk rules to the board owner, its never going to go over well. He wrote the rules and while Apok isn't perfect, he is the final judge of any and all of them so its just kind of silly to question whether he is spamming or what have you.

    Whatever term you choose to use, Libre knows exactly what his state of mind about God is and why he holds it and almost none of this has anything to do with the OP unless you are about to say each different kind of Atheist should adopt some different approach to theists, none of this matters in the least.

    I hope this doesn't come off as high handed, I just want to have some harmony and good debate and it seems to me you guys really aren't understanding one another here.
    I appreciate the intervention. I've tried to end this a couple times now. Many posts back I straight up said I was willing to accept the new definition for the purpose of our discussion. And I just said it again in my last post... plus I pointed out that we were just beating a dead horse at this point.

    The only thing I'm not willing to accept in all of this is the notion that I was using multiple definitions for the word "atheist". I gave a clear definition of the word at the start of his and my discussion and I stuck with it. During our discussion I never once stated or even imply the word meant anything other than that definition.

    As for the rules. I'm not claiming he is violating any rules. I was just pointing out that according to one of his moderators/admins he might be. I personally don't think he is. However, if an admin or moderator is interpreting the rules such that Apok might be violating one I thought it only fair to let him know. Especially if he is the board owner. Because that would mean he is applying the rules one way in one thread and someone representing him is possibly applying them differently elsewhere.

    Since I personally don't think the actual rule is being violated I didn't see it as a big thing to mention it in public that he was possibly violating an interpretation of the rule. If I thought he was actually in violation then yeah, I should have just reported him and let him decide offline whether it was an actual violation. I get that I'm still bringing light to Squatch possibly interpreting rules wrong in that other thread... but he has already made that rule interpretation public.

    Anyway, just to make sure everyone is clear on this. I'm not claiming Apok is violating rules. I was just pointing out that one of his admin/moderators might be indirectly claiming he is. However, even if they are it would be via an interpretation of the rules. And if Apok owns the site then clearly his interpretation would be the deciding one. Therefore, unless Apok agrees he is violating the intent of the rule then clearly I couldn't be claiming he is actually violating the rule.

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    Re: How should Atheists treat Theists?

    Quote Originally Posted by libre View Post
    I agree.
    Good. We can move on from this point then.



    However, what you appear to be failing to understand is that "a)" was already done for the purpose of discussion. And your statement was part of THAT line of discussion where "atheist" was defined as "agnostic atheist".

    Therefore, that was what we were discussing. Or, are you saying that you were actually saying something unrelated to the discussion? If so, then according to Squatch that means you are spamming? In another thread he is basically telling me that even if you say something related to the thread it is considered spamming if it is not 100% linked to the line of discussion in which you say it. Or at least that is how I read it. I'm not saying I agree with that... just saying that Squatch might be indirectly claiming you are spamming according to that other thread.

    So, which is it? Were you practicing "equivocation" or where you spamming?

    Again, I personally am not claiming you are spamming... just going off what I'm hearing in another thread.
    100% irrelevant. Remember....


    Apok: Let's pretend that there are absolutely no posts between us in this thread for a moment. That is, I haven't responded to you yet. We are going back in time so to speak.

    My first post to you then, would be one of truth discovery. Exploring the boundaries and foundation upon which further arguments can be presented and evaluated.

    There was absolutely nothing ambiguous about my use of the word. I flipping DEFINED the word at the start of our discussion. And I never wavered from that definition. That is the very opposite of ambiguous...lol.

    Seriously, how can you lecture me on "equivocation" when I defined the word and stuck to that definition. YET, you admit you seen that definition and wavered from it? You can spin it all day long and mix in all the words from your word of the day calendar you want... you aren't going to confuse people into believing you did anything other than what you did. It's right there in black and white.


    Anyway, this is getting old. I'm here to debate. I feel I've more than made my case... I'm sure you feel the same. I've also already said I'm willing to switch the meaning of "atheist" to what you want it to be for the remainder of the discussion. So, do you want to proceed with the debate or continue to beat this dead horse?
    Again, 100% irrelevant.

    I'm asking you a simple question. Are you admitting that you cannot answer it?

    So...let's try ONE LAST time here...it's a softball...it's very easy to knock this out of the park libre. We need to lay down the foundation by which all other arguments can be evaluated. Until we do that, nothing else can be discussed as we are using different rules and understandings.



    2) Do you agree that equivocation is the type of ambiguity which occurs when a single word or phrase is ambiguous, and this ambiguity is not grammatical but lexical. So, when a phrase equivocates, it is not due to grammar, but to the phrase as a whole having two distinct meanings?


    -----------


    3) Do you agree that there is a difference between making a statement about ourselves and that of reality? That is...the statements:


    a) I like chocolate ice cream.
    b) Chocolate contains cocoa beans.


    ...are 2 separate statements with 2 separate meanings with 2 separate subjects? a) being the self, b) being a statement about reality?


    -----------


    4) Do you agree that when we debate, or argue for or against something, we are arguing about the truth, applicability, and/or reasonableness of statements made about reality (vs statements made about the self)?


    And a follow up...do you agree, that statements about reality are what competes against other statements about reality and that statements of self do not?


    For example:


    a) There is life on the planet Earth.


    competes with the statement:


    b) There is no life on the planet Earth.


    Both are statements about reality, both are positions that can be defended and attacked. Both are competing views because both are statements in the same category...statements about reality?




    And as such...statements of self, cannot compete in the same sense (as far as applicability) as statements of reality?


    For example:


    a) I like to be alive (or "I believe I am alive" or "I think about living.")


    doesn't compete or address the statement:


    b) There is life on the planet Earth.


    Correct?

    ---------- Post added at 02:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:14 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Until one of you makes a move to reach across the isle and take a moment to view the others position, . . .
    Apok would try to acknowledge what Libre said his intentions were.
    And attempting to start over from the beginning and lay down the foundation for common ground...isn't doing that eh?

    If trying to understand by asking neutral questions with the intent of finding some commonalities to agree on isn't reaching across the aisle to attempt to view the other position and/or shell up some of the disagreement and miscommunication...well...then nothing is and IMHO...your suggestion there is just a bumper sticker response (sounds good...but ultimately, meaningless as it is saying "Do X without actually doing X.").
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; June 4th, 2013 at 02:26 PM.
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