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  1. #21
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post

    You should stop accusing your interlocutors of being mustache-twirling villains. It's a very unappealing trait.[/COLOR]
    I have never been fan of non-contextual quote. Even less so of inaccurate and uninvited 'advice' of a personal nature for which the PM function would be the more ... appropriate method.

    This seems dishonest. Either you do not hold to the belief that Christianity should be proselytized and that the world would be a better place if everyone held the Christian worldview as true.
    There is more to the specific quote, which I edited for space, the gist of which is that proselytizing, or making the case of religions, is somehow detrimental or nefarious. That is the case point.

    To ask in rebuttal whether one has a problem with religions making their case, i.e. proselytizing, is ... well, completely in line and doesn't appear to offer anything about villainy or mustache twirling. Indeed, I am rather perplexed how you could even drive at such a conclusion IN CONTEXT?

    There are many points to the militant brand of atheism that I do indeed find quite villainous, a few of its practitioners whom I would indeed count as mustache twirling cads too boot. However, a discussion about proselytizing, even by atheists, isn't what I find egregious. Its not that atheists make their case, its simple another inductive argument about God, its that the 'argument' made by militant atheists is often not even an inductive argument - its naked hate mongering. Its precisely because they opened their mouths and the droll crap reign out that we know what they say and can contrast that with say ... philosophical atheism, which is based largely in logical inferences rather than on bigoted attacks of opponents.

    Please take the time to get the context of the statement correct.

    If you happen have something to add about proselytizing - fire away.
    Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

    Albert Einstein

  2. #22
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232 View Post
    Why on earth should we?
    Is this a rhetorical question? Because I don't recall anyone advocating such. But if you want to discuss it, lets see what happens....

    In fact, I will openly state that this is a serious problem with the atheist community in general - the veneration of science above all else.
    Atheists values science above a lot of things, but I would not say above all else. Science is a tool, a very powerful, very useful tool. It allows us to effectively predict the future and thus manipulate it to our advantage. But science is a how, not a why. Why is a question of ethics and civics. An atheists interest in science specific to atheism is simply how it relates to various religious claims counter to known science.

    Again, before the screeching begins, please note that there is no disdain or lack of appreciation for science here, merely the question about its government mandated supremacy.
    Noted.

    SHOULD we value science above all else?
    No, not in general.

    What about the engineers who take those idea and create useful items, both consumer and industrial?
    What about mechanical design and manufacturing (construction)? People who take the products and actually do the production work?
    Science is critical to engineering. Its not everything of course, but it is probably core to engineering.

    What about those who build and maintain infrastructure? Who manage and maintain efficient ports, vast road infrastructure, bridges, rail networks, etc?
    Science is very important there, well made things require less maintenance and are safer to maintain.

    What about accountants who, in a basic sense, keep track of all of this stuff and help make balanced decisions about the allocation of resources to ALL of these things including scientific research? Who do things like audit and analyze to increase efficiency.
    Here science is less critical, you are more interested in the economic human value ascribed to the ends of the effort and the economic cost to achieve the ends.

    What about philosophers and ethicists who look at these structures and put limits and regulations in lace to keep the system both balanced and fair? Refs, if you will, who enforce those rules.
    They should understand the science ideally but it is not the criteria for their decision making.

    What about the gatherers of commodities? What if, say 50% of humanity was needed just to raise food to feed us rather than less than 1%? Big difference right?
    Yes that is a big difference, but I'm not sure what your point is exactly.

    I think you get the point. What a society needs is a balance of functions, not the favoritism of one to the eventual detriment of the others. In a sense this is one of the things about atheism that many religious people think atheists just don't get. The vast majority of atheists, despite this apparent calling and primacy of science in all things, are not scientists, and yet this is the most important thing in a society? Do you understand what you miss when exclude or downplay other areas?
    I think in this case what you don't get is that atheists don't generally argue science should be supreme in all things. What it should be supreme in is an understanding of the operation of the natural world since that is what it is designed for and has proven to be the most effective system for dealing with.

    So basically this is line of argument is a straw man. A perception perhaps based on the fact that science is often used to refute specific religious claims about things like the age of the earth or the evolution of man as an organism and that government efforts to suppress or ignore scientific knowledge should be avoided. If you have some case where you see Atheists saying science matters more than say civil liberty or homelessness please point it out, I'm curious.

    (The atheist confronted with this will nominally, and usually indignantly, claim they get all this).
    Hopefully I'm not being indignant. But ya, mostly we would react saying that we understand that because, well we do understand that.

    Yet the fact remains we have the basically unquestioned claim that science should be primary within society (as opposed to part of the balance - an admittedly important one).
    Do we really? Why do you think this? If atheists are all telling you they don't think this is true, why do you think it is true?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  3. #23
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Is this a rhetorical question? Because I don't recall anyone advocating such. But if you want to discuss it, lets see what happens....



    Atheists values science above a lot of things, but I would not say above all else. Science is a tool, a very powerful, very useful tool. It allows us to effectively predict the future and thus manipulate it to our advantage. But science is a how, not a why. Why is a question of ethics and civics. An atheists interest in science specific to atheism is simply how it relates to various religious claims counter to known science.



    Noted.



    No, not in general.



    Science is critical to engineering. Its not everything of course, but it is probably core to engineering.



    Science is very important there, well made things require less maintenance and are safer to maintain.



    Here science is less critical, you are more interested in the economic human value ascribed to the ends of the effort and the economic cost to achieve the ends.



    They should understand the science ideally but it is not the criteria for their decision making.



    Yes that is a big difference, but I'm not sure what your point is exactly.



    I think in this case what you don't get is that atheists don't generally argue science should be supreme in all things. What it should be supreme in is an understanding of the operation of the natural world since that is what it is designed for and has proven to be the most effective system for dealing with.

    So basically this is line of argument is a straw man. A perception perhaps based on the fact that science is often used to refute specific religious claims about things like the age of the earth or the evolution of man as an organism and that government efforts to suppress or ignore scientific knowledge should be avoided. If you have some case where you see Atheists saying science matters more than say civil liberty or homelessness please point it out, I'm curious.



    Hopefully I'm not being indignant. But ya, mostly we would react saying that we understand that because, well we do understand that.



    Do we really? Why do you think this? If atheists are all telling you they don't think this is true, why do you think it is true?
    Your are rather missing the point.

    Take engineering, MATH is critical to engineering, INTUITION is critical to engineering, SPECIFICATIONS are critical to engineering, PROBLEM ASSESSMENT is critical to engineering, the AVAILABILITY of different types of based material is critical to engineering, the COST of different types of material is critical to engineering, the maintenance costs, requirements, and desired location against the availability of theses things is CRITICAL to engineering, the WORK ETHIC of the engineer is critical to the success of engineering, the lack of CORRUPTION is critical to the success of engineering, the marketing of the project (justifies costs or generates capitol) is critical to the success of engineering.

    You take any of those things out of whack and the process fails - which happens to engineering companies ALL the time. Its why engineering companies have an R&D section (Science) but its rarely the largest section, with general administration, and simple logistics taking the lions share of the companies efforts. The Scientists need things BROUGHT to them to make the scientific efforts efficient, and the rest of the company/system has to remain productive and profitable to be able to provide the scientists with the resources they need to ... problem solve.

    General Business Management does not give us any indication that overly favoring science is a good method to success, quite the contrary. It offers specific caution about business fundamentals, and focus on a consumer set or specific industrial requirement (where you expertise is designed) and requires the 'science' be tightly garnered toward that field.

    Academic Science comes with its own price: teaching - with the expensive projects not just driving the boundaries of knowledge but serving as training ground for future scientists.

    The issue here is blunt: Atheists have the science issue wrong.

    The problem is not that religious people don't get science and atheists do! The problem, as you aptly demonstrate above, is that religious people seem to better understand that science, wonderful as it is, is part of a much larger whole - and in some cases, in terms of basic fundamentals, it can be a LOT less vital than you think.

    An Analogy? Take your body. It is a clockwork marvel of many functions, and a critical one is water. Too much water however can leave you with Hyponatremia, or, roughly water intoxication that can be severe enough to kill you (you can thank the Army for teaching me that one the hard way - thankfully not me, but I watched it happen thanks to overzealous Instructors in a hot Georgia Summer, dropping several troopers who were over hydrated by the zealotry). The same thing can happen with 'Science'.

    To the vast majority of religious people, science is wonderful, amazing, we love it - can't get enough of it. To a point. There is a point where just adding more on 'faith' if you will, is not necessarily a good idea. Hot and having to train in Georgia in the Summer where you sweat like fat Russians in a Sauna all day? More water seems like a good idea, right up to where its not.

    The contention in the end that is more science, when measured against OTHER priorities and the availability of resources, is a good idea - but making science the intended ACME of the system of society may not be that great of an idea.

    An additional point is that science is a human thing, and simply dumping more resources into it or making it the ACME doesn't address some the issues we have with science right now. People are people and will always be so. Take a look at climate change, and you see there are people who take views that, though technically grounded in science, also have an ingrown bias - more science ... won't necessarily solve that, it may worsen it.
    Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

    Albert Einstein

  4. #24
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232 View Post
    Your are rather missing the point.
    Ok, make it clear for me brother and I'll do my best not to miss it.

    Take engineering, MATH is critical to engineering, INTUITION is critical to engineering, SPECIFICATIONS are critical to engineering, PROBLEM ASSESSMENT is critical to engineering, the AVAILABILITY of different types of based material is critical to engineering, the COST of different types of material is critical to engineering, the maintenance costs, requirements, and desired location against the availability of theses things is CRITICAL to engineering, the WORK ETHIC of the engineer is critical to the success of engineering, the lack of CORRUPTION is critical to the success of engineering, the marketing of the project (justifies costs or generates capitol) is critical to the success of engineering.
    Ya, but if you don't account for gravity in engineering none of that matters much. Without any kind of science being involved to be precise about loads and weights and stresses its not engineering its just building ****, its Lego time. Work Ethic is not critical to engineering, its critical to project timelines. Intuition is useful in poker more than engineering. Bridges are not designed using intuition primarily, they are designed using knowledge of physics. All the things you list come into play yes, but an engineer that doesn't know his science is not an engineer as where an engineer who has limited intuition is still an engineer.

    You take any of those things out of whack and the process fails - which happens to engineering companies ALL the time. Its why engineering companies have an R&D section (Science) but its rarely the largest section, with general administration, and simple logistics taking the lions share of the companies efforts. The Scientists need things BROUGHT to them to make the scientific efforts efficient, and the rest of the company/system has to remain productive and profitable to be able to provide the scientists with the resources they need to ... problem solve.
    Much of that however is also needed in ice cream stands and massage parlors. So what? No one makes much of science in a massage parlor because its not too important there. At an engineering firm it is extremely important, its a big part of what defines that profession. A chemist might spend a lot of time advertising their business, but that doesn't mean science isn't the primary concern of a chemist.

    General Business Management does not give us any indication that overly favoring science is a good method to success, quite the contrary. It offers specific caution about business fundamentals, and focus on a consumer set or specific industrial requirement (where you expertise is designed) and requires the 'science' be tightly garnered toward that field.
    But who does that? What windmill are you tilting at here? I've not seen any Atheists baying at the moon that account managers aren't using enough astrophysics in their practices. Who exactly are the science mongers and where are they trying to introduce science where it doesn't belong?

    The issue here is blunt: Atheists have the science issue wrong.
    So far its only you that has it wrong. You seem to think that there are Science preachers somehow trying to insert science into good hand jobs or marketing campaigns or lord knows what because you don't really have any good examples. The only examples I can think of are things like textbooks in school about evolution or issues of environmental concern. These days those are the areas that science advocates are clashing with other interests. And honestly biology and weather are areas where science is pretty important so it doesn't seem to fit your argument very well.

    The problem is not that religious people don't get science and atheists do! The problem, as you aptly demonstrate above, is that religious people seem to better understand that science, wonderful as it is, is part of a much larger whole - and in some cases, in terms of basic fundamentals, it can be a LOT less vital than you think.
    You are going to have to actually make a case somewhere along here. So far all you do is say "Argh those darn atheists love science too much and my religious people are much more right thinking by God!" And I think. WTF are you talking about? Be specific man, out with it!

    An Analogy? Take your body. It is a clockwork marvel of many functions, and a critical one is water. Too much water however can leave you with Hyponatremia, or, roughly water intoxication that can be severe enough to kill you (you can thank the Army for teaching me that one the hard way - thankfully not me, but I watched it happen thanks to overzealous Instructors in a hot Georgia Summer, dropping several troopers who were over hydrated by the zealotry). The same thing can happen with 'Science'.
    OK, got any examples for us or is every argument here just an imaginary scenario?

    To the vast majority of religious people, science is wonderful, amazing, we love it - can't get enough of it. To a point. There is a point where just adding more on 'faith' if you will, is not necessarily a good idea. Hot and having to train in Georgia in the Summer where you sweat like fat Russians in a Sauna all day? More water seems like a good idea, right up to where its not.
    Got it, you love science, check.

    The contention in the end that is more science, when measured against OTHER priorities and the availability of resources, is a good idea - but making science the intended ACME of the system of society may not be that great of an idea.
    Are you saying we need less scientific knowledge? Are you saying we spend too much money on science education? Are you saying we should teach babies are delivers by storks? What exactly are you on about?

    An additional point is that science is a human thing, and simply dumping more resources into it or making it the ACME doesn't address some the issues we have with science right now. People are people and will always be so. Take a look at climate change, and you see there are people who take views that, though technically grounded in science, also have an ingrown bias - more science ... won't necessarily solve that, it may worsen it.
    Finally something at least a little specific! So how would you approach the challenge of climate change without using science to try and understand it? What alternate approaches to the weather do you think would be effective?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  5. #25
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Ok, make it clear for me brother and I'll do my best not to miss it.


    Ya, but if you don't account for gravity in engineering none of that matters much.
    WHAT? GRAVITY is not something that science discovered. Its pretty much a constant, and for most forms of engineering, other than structural, its not terribly important. It's not much of a factor in the computer or pad that I am using. Nor indeed, if I am looking to move water for say ... irrigation ... do I need 'science' to tell me that moving it DOWNHILL is more economical than moving it UPHILL.

    That is not exactly the knowledge that science brings in to table. Anymore than it brings to the table the reality that daylight works better of ... ahem ... solar panels than moon light (sure as hell will inform the chemical or biological processes that generate power in the panel though).

    Without any kind of science being involved to be precise about loads and weights and stresses its not engineering its just building ****, its Lego time. Work Ethic is not critical to engineering, its critical to project timelines. Intuition is useful in poker more than engineering. Bridges are not designed using intuition primarily, they are designed using knowledge of physics. All the things you list come into play yes, but an engineer that doesn't know his science is not an engineer as where an engineer who has limited intuition is still an engineer.
    No, that is engineering. And yes, you can devise, unaided and without science, the reality that some stones are harder than others, easier to cut than others, and some metals have a higher or lower melting point, etc. Science can improve these, and obviously has, allowing stronger and more complex structures, smaller and faster computers, but you can make the same point about any of the point NEEDED in a process or system and if you remove it .. its dead. Remove the resources? Engineering process stops completely just like if the science doesn't support it. Elminate the funding for the project - its just as dead.

    You seem to be keenly attempting to prove my point. Science is PART of the process, but its NOT THE ONLY ONE, and often not the most important.



    Much of that however is also needed in ice cream stands and massage parlors. So what? No one makes much of science in a massage parlor because its not too important there. At an engineering firm it is extremely important, its a big part of what defines that profession. A chemist might spend a lot of time advertising their business, but that doesn't mean science isn't the primary concern of a chemist.
    That's because they aren't really part of either process. Recipes are not science in a strict sense. Neither is massage - its a practice that has been around a long time before formal science looked at either one, and, in all honesty, it hasn't done much to improve either one (other than marketing and medical aspects of the former or making sugar free ice cream for diabetics).

    But again, how will more science randomly make this better? The need for good tasting food is is profound (what a difference in quality of life it makes!) But sciences biggest impact here has been on reducing farm labor (and that process of maximizing farm efficiencies relies on far more than just science), and logistics to be able to bring fresh food to mass consumer base. Yet the logistical infrastructure that, for example, is an entire process of complexity and competing interests and the blind faith that 'more science' will yield better results alone is not necessarily the case.

    Its often better management (a human dimension), the reading of power (centralization of autonomy as needed within a system), safety features, etc.



    But who does that? What windmill are you tilting at here? I've not seen any Atheists baying at the moon that account managers aren't using enough astrophysics in their practices. Who exactly are the science mongers and where are they trying to introduce science where it doesn't belong?
    I suggest you see my initial response to one liner praise of science above all:
    (The atheist confronted with this will nominally, and usually indignantly, claim they get all this).
    The point is that you, and atheists in general, place science on a pedestal, is one tool in a tool kit - and as the old adage says, not every problem is nail that requires a hammer. The issues is with the claim you made, that 'more science' is often not the answer - because there are other elements and necessities to humanity that will, and many times should, trump science. Like ethics.


    So far its only you that has it wrong. You seem to think that there are Science preachers somehow trying to insert science into good hand jobs or marketing campaigns or lord knows what because you don't really have any good examples. The only examples I can think of are things like textbooks in school about evolution or issues of environmental concern. These days those are the areas that science advocates are clashing with other interests. And honestly biology and weather are areas where science is pretty important so it doesn't seem to fit your argument very well.
    You do seem intent on proving my points.

    A. Religious people, vast majority, GET SCIENCE. This seems a very tough thing for you to acknowledge?

    B. As an atheist, and not merely just you, we hear: Science, science, science, science, science, science ... more science.

    The religious response is - OK, but what about all this other stuff? And the engineering example is the perfect proof - there are a hell of a lot of things that can halt an engineering process, and once in the collective brain housing group of an engineering firm or consortium, its often experience and creativity with available tools that allows them to solve problems or overcome problems in the project. So you can preach science, but if the problem is your investor just went bust ... best know how the markets work or have developed some financial relationships - or you are pretty much screwed. And something like a RELATIONSHIP being the most critical factor in a ENGINEERING project? Say what?

    Do you know how much emphasis MBA programs place on building relationships in business is? Against science? That's THE POINT.



    You are going to have to actually make a case somewhere along here. So far all you do is say "Argh those darn atheists love science too much and my religious people are much more right thinking by God!" And I think. WTF are you talking about? Be specific man, out with it!
    Nothing has been hidden here, you seem simply not to what to acknowledge that there is other factors at work - as if its a giant trap! That the game of the evidence in the external argument of God vs Atheism will suddenly shift in some dramatic way! Well, it won't, its still inductive. Most atheists are honest enough to concede that there are different types of evidence subjected to different rules of accountability, of which science is not the only process of examination. Critical thinking and problem solving are not processes that UNIQUE to science.



    OK, got any examples for us or is every argument here just an imaginary scenario?
    They have been provided repeatedly, is this just pique?



    Got it, you love science, check.
    No, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, the vast majority of them - are educated in the same schools as atheists. We understand the same science. I am not terribly capable of understanding why this is such a difficult point to concede?

    Atheists get emotions to. Its not zero sum.



    Are you saying we need less scientific knowledge? Are you saying we spend too much money on science education? Are you saying we should teach babies are delivers by storks? What exactly are you on about?
    More pique? I've pretty clearly and repeatedly said that we need BALANCE - as opposed to a society that elevates science over all else. That is kind of the THESIS statement.

    Its not a trap - and its not Family Guy.



    Finally something at least a little specific! So how would you approach the challenge of climate change without using science to try and understand it? What alternate approaches to the weather do you think would be effective?
    As we have two competing scientific narratives, one says it is happening and the other that it is not - which is correct? You know what you need now? Not more science, its pretty clear, what you need is BETTER argumentation. And the side that has an interest in maintaining certain energy policies (this is not a scientific desire is it? Its a financial one) have figured out that hiring 'people' who are good are science AND ARGUMENTATION can throw a wrench into the works of clarity through science to delay policy.

    More science on climate change is not the solution. If, as I often argue, people examined the evidence themselves, such things are self evident. In fact, in this particular case, its overwhelming at least in the general if not the specifics.

    Its at the point of conspiracy.

    How much more science will convince the 9-11 nut balls that it wasn't an inside job?

    How much more science will convince the flat earth society that the earth is round?

    How much more genetic evidence will be required to prove to the KKK that blacks and Jews really are human too?

    How much more science will it take to prove that the lunar missions were real?

    How much more material than bonafide expert rated academic works with documented evidence out the wazoo do we need to convince Jesus Mythers that, at the very least, Jesus was a real guy?

    I could go on.

    The bottom line is, we know what the climate science states about climate change. What is needed now is not more science, its leadership and willpower.

    We religious people seem quite capable of making the necessary leaps to other tools in the tool kit to solve the proverbial problem revealed by science here. And my case here is that we seem much more in tune with and value all those other tools in the kit than the atheists who are still looking at the climate change issue as one of science. It isn't. Not any more, not in any true scientific sense of the issue. Its effectively a paradigm.

    Science gave us what we need in the problem of climate change. At this point in the game ... the tools needed to move into the solution stage (enact controls) are political, or enact counter measures (science, engineering, resources, etc.).

    Science is important, but there are oodles of issues of raising it, at a societal level, as THE ACME rather a prestigious and important partner in the process. That is the point. And the less cognizant we are of the other tools available, and indeed critically important in the process, the less likely they are to inform the problem solving process we incorporate.
    Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

    Albert Einstein

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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232 View Post
    WHAT? GRAVITY is not something that science discovered. Its pretty much a constant, and for most forms of engineering, other than structural, its not terribly important. It's not much of a factor in the computer or pad that I am using. Nor indeed, if I am looking to move water for say ... irrigation ... do I need 'science' to tell me that moving it DOWNHILL is more economical than moving it UPHILL.
    You are familiar with Sir Isac Newton I suspect? 9.8 meters per second squared and all that good stuff? That constant is a product of science and it is quite terribly important in engineering. Go find an engineer and tell him gravity and the science of it are not central to his work and he will have a good laugh at your expense. Go find a modern farmer and ask him how important science is in his farm. Water can move uphill using something called water pressure, also science BTW. You are just making yourself look silly with this line of argument.

    That is not exactly the knowledge that science brings in to table. Anymore than it brings to the table the reality that daylight works better of ... ahem ... solar panels than moon light (sure as hell will inform the chemical or biological processes that generate power in the panel though).
    It is though, that's the thing. Just because you have some common knowledge that only requires limited experimentation, that doesn't mean it is not science. Science is a methodology to discover consistent rules by which the natural world operates. The level of complexity of those rules or how obvious they are to a layman is not relevant to the definition of science. Science was used before there was a formal discipline in the modern age. It is a method of learning.

    No, that is engineering. And yes, you can devise, unaided and without science, the reality that some stones are harder than others, easier to cut than others, and some metals have a higher or lower melting point, etc.
    Unless you are just taking wild guesses or praying to the wind gods to tell you these things it is science. If you take two stones and bang them together to find out which one is stronger, that's science. Rudimentary perhaps but science none the less. You just did what is called an experiment. Not a well controlled one perhaps but one none the less. Start doing more experiments to learn more and you are doing more science. Testing what metals melt at what temperatures is also science.

    Science defined: The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    You seem to be keenly attempting to prove my point. Science is PART of the process, but its NOT THE ONLY ONE, and often not the most important.
    I know, crazy and I'm an Atheist Too! Perhaps you don't know what you are talking about with Atheists? Have you considered that what you think we think might be a mis impression. That we don't thing science is some kind of divine power or that it is paramount in every activity?

    Have you considered the notion that we think science is the best way to predict and manipulate the natural world and when that is what is needed then we look to science only because it has proven to be the most effective method? Does that sound crazy to you?

    But again, how will more science randomly make this better?
    It won't Science does make anything randomly anything. It is a means of collecting knowledge, what you do with that knowledge is probably not random at all. If you use it to achieve a goal, then you have used science to make your life better, congratulations!

    I suggest you see my initial response to one liner praise of science above all:
    I suggest you actually tell me who praises science above all instead of insisting on this now rather tired and unsupported strawman.

    The point is that you, and atheists in general, place science on a pedestal, is one tool in a tool kit - and as the old adage says, not every problem is nail that requires a hammer. The issues is with the claim you made, that 'more science' is often not the answer - because there are other elements and necessities to humanity that will, and many times should, trump science. Like ethics.
    The only person with a pedestal here is you Gree. No one has put science on any pedestals. It is a powerful tool. The most powerful tool for understanding the natural world. What you do with that knowledge is something else entirely. If you want to contend this claim, you need to show a more powerful tool for understanding the natural world. Once you have done that let me know.

    You do seem intent on proving my points.
    You should ask yourself what that means in terms of this overall argument. Am I an idiot, or are you totally missing the point that Atheists don't think what you think they think. You and they have basically the same view of science, you just have a distorted view of atheists.

    A. Religious people, vast majority, GET SCIENCE. This seems a very tough thing for you to acknowledge?
    Can you read, because I've specifically acknowledged that at least twice in our conversation. I went out of my way to say that I acknowledge that you like science. Here is an example from the prior post.
    Sig says: "Got it, you love science, check." What did you think this meant? Did you even bother to read it?

    B. As an atheist, and not merely just you, we hear: Science, science, science, science, science, science ... more science.
    Only when some theists say stupid **** like the earth is flat, or evolution is "just a theory" or that you only believe in "microevolution", aids is a curse from god, or other ******** nonsense that represents gross ignorance of science in the day and age they say it. When some fart thinks an old legend is going to tell them more about the universe than actually examining the universe they need some correction. If they would stop being ignorant ****s no one would need to school them in this stuff.

    The religious response is - OK, but what about all this other stuff? And the engineering example is the perfect proof - there are a hell of a lot of things that can halt an engineering process, and once in the collective brain housing group of an engineering firm or consortium, its often experience and creativity with available tools that allows them to solve problems or overcome problems in the project. So you can preach science, but if the problem is your investor just went bust ... best know how the markets work or have developed some financial relationships - or you are pretty much screwed. And something like a RELATIONSHIP being the most critical factor in a ENGINEERING project? Say what?
    Where are the atheists who are so obsessed with science that they are somehow demanding engineers not have account executives or labor managers or what have you? I don't get it Gree. What are you babbling about in reality? What exactly are people doing here? I've got no clue. I'm an atheists, most of my friends are atheists, none of them are scientists nor do they ramble on about how the world has to only be about science. Most of my friends write role playing games, science has got almost nothing to do with that. You are tilting at windmills here sir.

    Do you know how much emphasis MBA programs place on building relationships in business is? Against science? That's THE POINT.
    WTF? Why on earth would building business relationships be against science? MBAs are not scientists, no one expects them to be.

    Nothing has been hidden here, you seem simply not to what to acknowledge that there is other factors at work - as if its a giant trap! That the game of the evidence in the external argument of God vs Atheism will suddenly shift in some dramatic way! Well, it won't, its still inductive. Most atheists are honest enough to concede that there are different types of evidence subjected to different rules of accountability, of which science is not the only process of examination. Critical thinking and problem solving are not processes that UNIQUE to science.
    Dude, it's not a trap, no one is even hunting you. Atheists understand what science is and what it is for more often than not. We are not alien monsters from mars, we are normal human beings that live on the same planet you do. We are not programmed to say science should replace poetry or whatever you think is going on here. I have many times here told you science has its place and other disciplines have theirs. You are the only one that seems confused about this.

    They have been provided repeatedly, is this just pique?
    No, you have given no examples in the real world of any atheist telling anyone that science should be anything other that what science is. All we have is you imagining arguments no one is actually making. I feel like I'm talking to a schizophrenic at this point, some terrible break with reality.

    No, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, the vast majority of them - are educated in the same schools as atheists. We understand the same science. I am not terribly capable of understanding why this is such a difficult point to concede?
    Dude, I never challenged this point. Look, there are some idiots out there who have some pretty ignorant views of certain issues in science and others who spread a lot of misinformation. That is not most religious people, and they tend to only be this way about issues for some reason they think threaten their beliefs. All in all religious people respect science. Can you please acknowledged that I have acknowledged this repeatedly?

    More pique? I've pretty clearly and repeatedly said that we need BALANCE - as opposed to a society that elevates science over all else. That is kind of the THESIS statement.
    And no one, not atheists or anyone esle things everything is about science. You do know what a straw man is correct? It is when you construct an argument that no one is making and then work to disprove it. That's the thing, no one is claiming we don't need balance. It is a mythical argument.

    As we have two competing scientific narratives, one says it is happening and the other that it is not - which is correct? You know what you need now? Not more science, its pretty clear, what you need is BETTER argumentation. And the side that has an interest in maintaining certain energy policies (this is not a scientific desire is it? Its a financial one) have figured out that hiring 'people' who are good are science AND ARGUMENTATION can throw a wrench into the works of clarity through science to delay policy.
    So we don't need to come to an understanding of how the climate works, we just need to find out who has economic interests at play and that will determine what will happen with the weather? I mean , **** who cares what the climate does, not like that matters for growing food or anything. What is really important is what kind of political games people are up to right?

    You realize how stupid that sounds right? What is happening and what we should do are somewhat independent questions. When you have good information it helps you make good decisions. Good decisions made with bad information often become bad decisions.

    The job of scientists is to try and understand how the climate works so that we can then make decisions about what we should or should not do about it. The dominant view is that the climate is warming and our economic activities have something to do with that. Modern climate science is amazingly complicated. Its a work in progress, but our atmosphere is pretty important to our food supply, water supply, and general physical safety so it is very useful to try and understand it.

    But science doesn't tell us what to do, it only tells us what is possible to do and helps us predict what will happen if we do certain things, or help us determine what actions can bring about a given objective. Remember it is a tool.

    If you want to take some action, then the science can help you understand the effect of that action. Its that simple. As you say, science is not a solution, it is a tool to understand the situation and predict the outcome of actions. Personally I'd think anyone turning their nose up at knowledge is a fool of the first order. not saying that is you, just saying it if someone did, they'd be a fool.

    I don't know any atheist or anyone else claiming that simply studying climate will solve any problems. We can study it all day long and if we do nothing then we will change nothing.

    Its at the point of conspiracy.
    -How much more science will convince the 9-11 nut balls that it wasn't an inside job?
    None, they believe what they want to believe for psychological reasons.

    -How much more science will convince the flat earth society that the earth is round?
    At this point none, though science was very effective in persuading the vast majority of people it is round.

    -How much more genetic evidence will be required to prove to the KKK that blacks and Jews really are human too?
    None, but that is not why we do genetic research for the most part, mostly it is to create better medicine and food stuffs.

    How much more science will it take to prove that the lunar missions were real?
    - None.

    How much more material than bonafide expert rated academic works with documented evidence out the wazoo do we need to convince Jesus Mythers that, at the very least, Jesus was a real guy?
    - What has this to do with science? Remember it is a tool for studying the natural word.

    The bottom line is, we know what the climate science states about climate change. What is needed now is not more science, its leadership and willpower.
    The thing is, we don't really have that much knowledge about it. We are still making a lot of new discoveries that are proving incredibly valuable for farmers, people who may need to evacuate for disasters, and economic planners worried about water levels and the like. Some day if we can learn to truly manipulate weather we would have an incredible tool for the good of the world in myriad ways. What would be bad about that? Why shouldn't we continue to research it?

    As to leadership and willpower, that we need as well if we are to make changes. But unless you understand the impact of your decisions, how can you apply leadership and willpower wisely? What exactly do you think needs to be done that we lack the willpower or leadership to achieve?

    We religious people seem quite capable of making the necessary leaps to other tools in the tool kit to solve the proverbial problem revealed by science here. And my case here is that we seem much more in tune with and value all those other tools in the kit than the atheists who are still looking at the climate change issue as one of science. It isn't. Not any more, not in any true scientific sense of the issue. Its effectively a paradigm.
    So If I understand you, you are saying that the science clearly indicates.... (something) and thus no more study is needed to address the problem of global warming, only the will needed to take some (unspecified action) that will result in a better world for all of us. But atheists are blocking that decision making due to scientific uncertainty? Sorry but I'm not seeing it.

    Personally, among people I know who are atheists (and mostly among those not atheists) is that the science suggests strongly that the earth is warming due to the use of fossil fuels and that we should be acting more strongly to reduce our use of them so that we can present these changes which they think science suggests will be largely disruptive to peoples lives and livelihoods. Mind you I've not seen this as an atheist view for the most part, more the view of people aligned with environmental preservation/conservation.

    Opposition tends to come from business interests and politicians who find it against their interests to make such changes. I've not noticed any religious component to these arguments, theist or atheist. (a few small exceptions from some especially bozo preachers)

    I'm a bit of an outlier in that I think we will probably sort thorough most of the changes in climate the way we always do, adapting to them with our best efforts and making the best of the circumstance. It may be wise to reduce fossil fuel use but I suspect its not going to happen for a host of pragmatic reasons. I don't especially doubt the science of the day, more doubt people's estimation of priorities.

    Science is important, but there are oodles of issues of raising it, at a societal level, as THE ACME rather a prestigious and important partner in the process. That is the point. And the less cognizant we are of the other tools available, and indeed critically important in the process, the less likely they are to inform the problem solving process we incorporate.
    What is "THE ACME"?

    And again, who exactly is saying all we need is science here?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  7. #27
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Epistemology is about knowledge. So unless in (A) you meant something like, "I know that I believe X is true", then (A) isn't an epistemological claim at all. It might be something like a psychological report on one's experience.
    Here I'm making a distinction between beliefs ranging from somewhat reliable to very reliable. So let me clear up my language by issuing the following definitions:

    "If I weakly believe proposition P, then I believe that proposition P has a greater probability of being true than not, but doesn't have sufficient probability to fall within a range of being certain.", and I'll let you fill in the specifics with your own epistemic framework.

    "If I strongly believe proposition P, then P falls within a range of probability that I would declare it to being certain."

    (Again, in the nuanced version of "certain".)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    What else is knowledge of p, if not assigning a high probability to p?
    No, I agree, that's pretty much it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    That's pretty much all you can hope for in terms of justificatory support for one's belief. So I don't know why you're insisting that we can know that, say, evolution occurs (because we assign a high probability to the proposition that evolution occurs), but insist that you don't know that God doesn't exist even though you assign a low probability to the proposition that God exists.
    Well because there's a narrow, specific conception of evolution with a specific set of predictions, essentially all of which (or the major statements, anyways) have been experimentally corroborated. Gods, in general, are a very nebulous, generally ill-defined, and essentially impossible to come up with predictions except for specific models of the god or gods. That obfuscates and impedes one's ability to make concrete claims. As I said, if you give me a specific model of god, for instance the god invented from whole clothe by L. Ron Hubbard, then, yes, I see sufficient evidence to assign that god's existence a low enough probability to be considered "certain" that it doesn't exist.

    But let's strip away everything and talk about a deistic creator. I don't see any need for this being, but I also cannot say that such a being does not exist with certainty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Because you're engaging in special pleading. For one particular proposition (or class of propositions--those relating to the existence of a god), "knowledge" has a much higher standard than for any other proposition that you would affirm you know.
    Please explain (preferably quoting me) where I'm saying, either implicitly or explicitly, that I'm holding the proposition "We need a different standard of evidence for the proposition 'God exists' than we do other types of claims."

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    It's unreasonable to believe in the tooth fairy; there's no justification for this idea. Do you know that there aren't tooth fairies?
    We seem to be making the same point here. Yes, I'd say we know there are no tooth fairies. There aren't thousands of models of tooth fairies, there's a simple set of statements about what tooth fairies do, and those are known to not be true. I don't think I can claim the same thing of god(s).


    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Yes, I understand the distinction you're making. My argument is that the general atheist position on God isn't like that case at all, and is rather more like the general atheist position on tooth fairies and unicorns.

    Well, you can't have it both ways. Either atheism includes everything that isn't specifically grounded in a theistic worldview ("weak" atheism), or atheism includes only those things that are grounded in a (strongly) atheistic worldview.

    To put it another way, say that a collection of beliefs or worldview is atheistic if it doesn't include or entail the proposition that at least one god exists. Then a worldview like "My wants trump others' needs" would be atheistic, as would many nationalistic, racist, and political worldviews that undoubtedly lead to great suffering around the world.

    Or we can agree that when we say "atheism", we're referring to the collection of worldviews that answer "No" to the question, "Is there a god?", rather than ones that fail to supply an answer or for which the answer is "It could go either way".
    No it wouldn't, that's a facile equivocation. "My wants trump others' needs" is no more atheistic than it is Christian or Islamic, or anti-ZFC. It isn't affirming anything other than one normative statement. In order for it to be an atheist statement it needs to affirm atheism.

    But yes, you could come up with many, many ideologies that involve a lack of a belief in god. Again, in reality this ranges from Epicureanism to Jainism to Buddhism to Ethical Culture and Secular Humanism to Communism. But they aren't atheistic until it affirms atheism as a tenet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    What justifies this reduction in scope? Because it looks like you want to slough off the massive counterexamples to the claim that (weak) atheism isn't responsible for many deaths.
    Firstly, I haven't claimed that I'm narrowing scope to weak atheism, but to the modern New Atheist movement. Secondly, I think the simple fact that Communism is a massively different world view than New Atheism would be sufficient. For instance, I think this is a perfectly valid statement for Quakerism just as it is New Atheism. Contrarily, I think that it's incredibly dishonest (as gree has done) to take let theism take credit for the philosophy of Quakerism when he presumably doesn't follow it. He shouldn't be able to take credit for it anymore than I can take credit for the generous and peaceful acts of Jains or Buddhists over the last 2,500 years.

    As I said a few posts ago, I find these analyses more compelling the more specific they are, not the more unspecific.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    That's not the question, is it? Rather, it's about what sorts of worldviews these various harmful acts are ultimately grounded in, and whether it's the theistic or atheistic components of that worldview that are to blame.
    I agree. Both you and gree seem to be assuming that I place any stock at all in this analysis. I do only insofar as it makes crystal religious and political doctrines can easily be used to manipulate people into doing great harm to humanity. Fervency is the sin here, not not necessarily Christianity, Islam, Socialism, or atheism in and of itself. Now, I think openly pro-violence ideologies, of which the Bible and the Qur'an contain many verses/ayah that support violence, this task is only made easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Again, your argument becomes much easier if you ditch the "atheism is everything that isn't theism" / "rocks are atheists" position.
    I'm sorry, you seem to be imparting some sort of meaning in my statements that isn't there. Would you mind justifying the assertion that I've said or implied that "rocks are atheists." I don't seem to recall having said this, but perhaps my memory is not as good as of late.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    My point was that there are worldviews, such as anti-imperialism non-interventionism and postmodern multiculturalism, which have strongly secular and atheistic grounding, which are responsible for the toleration of great evils done in other non-United-States parts of the world.
    Please justify the claim that anti-imperialism and non-interventionism is atheistic in nature. Also, this seems like a particularly historically ignorant position to take. This was an incredibly popular philosophy in the USA during the 1910's through Pearl Harbor, you'll notice that there weren't many atheists in America during this time, but there was a profound number of Christian voters against interventionist policies and voted against any president who wasn't anti-interventionist.

    Secondly, again, secularism isn't pro-atheism. It means simply not paying credence to religion. You should be able to understand why secularism isn't pro-atheism by noting that the first modern secular government was created by the Framers of the American Constitution, many of which were Christians themselves, many of them deists, and very few if any atheists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    I'm referring chiefly to Harris's discussion on free will and compatibilism. Dennet has taken Harris to task for failing to respond to any of the work done on these topics in the last hundred years. Certainly Harris's moral philosophy is greatly wanting, since he ends up on objective morality by simply ignoring the is-ought problem and the entire subfield of metaethics because "it's boring" to talk about.
    I don't disagree, of course, regarding the latter. I must confess I've never much cared for free will discussions.

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232 View Post
    Indeed, lets have that conversation:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist–Leninist_atheism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-re...sian_Civil_War

    I'd quote specific quotes ... but that would be pretty much everything. The atheistic bend to what was happening is clear and clarion. If you really want to see the human side of it, you should try the post Revolution literature which takes the facts of say, the 'test' of being told to kill two men but only being assigned one bullet (a true historical event from the Revolution) which puts a very human spin on the discombobulated morality that took hold under such barbaric conditions. It makes very clear what had to be repressed and driven away to allow that kind of thinking to dominate - and post Revolutionary literature isn't necessarily fiction. When the Revolution both demands you murder and be held accountable for murder to serve the Revolution? When these men caught in that trap realize was removed to get them there and what value they lost in subordinating themselves to the Revolution is eye opening.

    Atheism played a part in this. Just like Christianity did in the Crusades. And JUST like Christianity does not NECESSARILY lead to the Crusades again, acknowledging how Stalin and others hijacked atheism doesn't NECESSARILY lead to that same revolution. QUITE THE OPPOSITE, by acknowledging how YOUR IDEOLOGY can be and has been manipulated, you can actually guard against it. If not? Some unscrupulous bloke and can just do it again, comfortable that, "these morons will just deny this away!"

    Honesty is not offense to atheism, but failing to acknowledge its involvement in these serious issues most definitely is.



    And yet the Bible, alone an unassisted, itself somehow caused men to uproot from Europe, go plodding to the Middle East and lunge swords in strangers ... all by itself? Again, IF atheists were more interested in the truth than in naked partisanship, they would clearly acknowledge the MASSIVE anti-religious/atheist movement within these revolutionaries and the ideological basis of them that flows from a half century of previous 'ideological' besmirching of religion - which oddly, is the same thing that happened with the Crusades, Urban II did not just create the conditions out of thin air, but there is a generational process of his predecessors to build the Templars and to extoll the militancy of Christianity that set the stage for Urban's ultimate pull of the trigger. (Kind of like American isolationism took more than a day to end, and our current militarism isn't going to dry up in a day either).

    But the same thing cannot happen to atheism? Despite the very clear evidence that it did?

    Well, OK, your partisanship and complete avoidance of the ideological material of the Revolutions has me convinced.



    Do you understand that there is an OLD and NEW Testament? That there are changes between the two narratives and indeed INTENTS.

    Do you understand the difference between the LOWER and HIGHER law that is a standard teaching point of Christian theology? That the former is meant to teach the very concept of morality to beginners (Heh fellow tribal people, you should neither stick your penis in your daughter, a donkey, or a light socket when its invented!) And the later is meant for mature ethicists, and, generally, is principle based morality - instead of telling people where they should NOT stick their penis, we give them the PRINCIPLE of chastity and COMMITMENT as a guide for sex, so there really is no question when things like sex with alligators comes up, because that is not specifically banned in the OT.

    But you find this rather standard portion of our theology to somehow be dishonest? You find that 'death' - which is the end state of ALL unrepented sin, must be literal? So LITERALLY THEN, ever Jew killed himself after EVERY sin? Obviously not - but the disingenuous interpretation here could not possibly arise from the side with a known animus and bias toward religion? THAT would be highly improbable?




    Have you actually read these guys?

    Do you actually think Belfast is dangerous on a Sunday morning?

    Could you address how Hitchens attacks Ecclesiastical History, even as Ph.D's disagree with him - marking him a conspiracy nut rather than a scholar? (Bizarre is what the period scholars of all marks call these guys - including atheists Will Durant and Michael Grant?) Could it be that the two atheists, trained historians passing through rigorous academic methods arrive at the same conclusion as ... sane people ... just might be the correct atheists as opposed to an aid to crap mouth?

    Do you think Abe Lincoln, A Christian, was actually an atheist and that this therefore eliminates all Christian thought from an action in the abolition moment, making atheism the REAL reason that the salves were freed in America? (William Wilberforce guy doesn't get mentioned - oddly enough).

    Do you agree that the concept of the atonement is wicked and purely evil?

    Do you, like Dawkins, think that the only claim that is 'really made' by religion is that of the Creationist position?

    Do you believe that every religious person should actually be treated for mental health issues?

    What about your support for mild pedophilia?

    Maybe you should read these guys and attempt to support their positions before you launch into a totally unsupported polemic about how stupid religious people are to reject this idiocy. Its unsupportable, and when you are the side calling the doctrine of atonement, one of the most charitable and selfless doctrines ever (regardless of whether you are Christian or not) unveiled evil just so you can be a total mean douche who shoves crap in people's throat's for the violent thrill of leaving a bad after taste in people's mouths - you are on the wrong side - period.

    Being a raging **** is not an 'intellectual' thing, its bad choice.







    If my argumentation was that I am right because I am a Christian, and by proximity all other Christians are right due to their closeness to my divine argumentation, and all others are wrong because I launch ad hominem at them and ask people to glean over even obvious errors to retain a partisan purity based solely on MY position? Well, we could fairly call that a narcissistic argument couldn't we?

    I am right and billions are wrong because I called them stupid (and gosh I, ME, I again would know ... and ONLY I, ME, and I again would know) ... yep narcissistic.

    Do you really think that people are too stupid to notice narcissism? Or only if they are religious?




    If you are claiming that I did not address Tyler's content than you are brazenly misinformed. And yes, narcissism introduces a known bias into argumentation, (Generally, the introduction of the 'self' into an argumentative construct is to be avoided) and if its the SUMMATION of the assessment of the bizarre and unsupportable argumentation that was fully examined - its the final nail in the coffin of the total lack of value of the diatribe.

    Are you just blindly defending anything an atheist writes? (One you acknowledge you have not even read?) No matter how awful? Narcissistic? Bigoted? Well, now you understand the question of the OP.

    There just so happens to be good and bad atheists, just like religious people, and there was this guy ... Martin Luther King Jr? Ever heard of him? Yeah, he said that we should judge people by their displayed character and in no other way. I agree with him, which is why I don;t feel the need to support the Westboro Baptist Church or the Neo-Nazi 'Christian' organizations and can indeed condemn them. That atheists cannot condemn the polemists, snake oil salesman, and outright hate mongers in their midst?

    But they wish to be treated as the RATIONAL and OBJECTIVE ones? Should thus be the first to call out the malcontents that are clashing with basic academics and ethics then, correct? Not excusing them and claiming, without support, that the criticism of these positions is 'ignorant' and 'dishonest'.





    Only if you think that being a raging, acerbic mercenary who will take his admitted intelligence and use it for the intellectual equivalent of defiling any virgin that comes within his senses is something to 'praise'. I am especially fond of Hitchen's drunken squeals for genocide and murder of Muslims (just contrarianism ... tee hee).

    My experience with almost all Chris Hitchens apologists and sycophants is that they have not read him. When they are informed of what the clod actually wrote - none have actually stepped up to defend him. Nor indeed can they - just as you do not ACTUALLY defend what Tayler wrote. Do we see what kind of people wind up following militants?






    Just as you will find it difficult to convince anyone with even a twinge of education about the 20th Century Revolutions of the fact that atheism had nothing to do with it. Kinda the point. Feudalism did not cause the Crusades, people in positions of power did. ONE of the things they manipulated to achieve that end was Christianity. Somehow, atheists believe that they are in a special category of humanity and are immune to this - despite oodles of evidence to the contrary - not only are they provably wrong, but the very position is fallacious - its called special pleading.

    Atheist statement: Religious ideology is capable of being manipulated, not ours! (Even though it essentially flows from the same philosophical schools of thought, being an antithesis in philosophy means the manipulation of philosophy cannot apply to you). That is dumb. That is not 'atheism' - its an illogical dogmatic inference that SOME atheists have apparently made into a personal and unquestioned gospel - one that, as we see above, stands at stark adds both with known facts and basic logic.



    No, I would call that simple being a curmudgeon. There is one guy that 'caused' the Holocaust - Adolf Hitler. As fun as the stupid, vain, and utterly pointless debate about Hitler's religious views can be (no sarcasm really!) the reality was that he was a social darwinist, and the 'book' that drove him was Mein Kampf. What happened in Europe ... well, read the book and then you are free to make the case that the dominant ideology that drove Hitler's MULTIPLE crimes against humanity was either Christianity or atheism. Educated people again seek truths, social darwinism is your answer.

    The involvement of atheists in this mud slinging madness? Apparently uninformed of social darwinism or unaware of the existence of Mein Kampf, instead seeking the religious boogie man everywhere!!!! EVERYWHERE!!!! Well, its precisely the danger of the militant atheist delusion presented in the OP.

    If you cannot even get an accurate read on douche like Hitler? You need to question your objectivity.

    If you doubt it, you can go into any religion forum on the internet and use 'Hitler was a Christian!' thread title, and see for yourself what kind of atheists you attract - see if 'smart' and 'rational' and 'driven by science and stuff' applies to those articular atheists in the least.





    Are you afraid of allowing Christians to make their case?

    What does that have to do with FORCIBLY attempting to remove someone's faith? If you can convince me that there is no God by making a solid case - more power to you. Pulling a Tayler and simple saying, "Bad Dog! Mean Horse! Back, Back! Bewitched Toad! Wouldn't you rather be smart and 'rational' like me! (looking at hands for green webbing?)" Is neither convincing nor rational.

    It does however, as I say, attract a certain brand of humanity. Its just not the rational humans it attracts. In the long run, as every snake oil salesman finds out, it doesn't pan out. That is why the REALLY good scam artists change their scams. (Not that atheism is, but militant atheism? Yep).



    Again, where you got this from, is beyond my comprehension. I can only hope that this is not from the infamous bag of militant atheism's indoctrinated points in which, er ... despite the existence of open forums and things like Apologetics, you believe that religious people actually fear argumentation?

    Perhaps you should take a gander at reddit and its religious forum and see why there are so few religious people there. Hint: its not because quality argumentation drove them away. Hint Hint: Its probably has something to do with the packs of vicious militant atheists that gang up and attack religious people in droves as if the possession of the site by brute force vindicates their position rather than advertises a pure viciousness of atheism that drives away thousands.

    It does, however, as I mention above, attract a certain type of humanity - it is not, however, the rational and objective.






    Thank you for more special pleading. NO Christian alive today supports the reasoning and justification of the Crusades, but, being as we value little things like ethics and integrity, we nevertheless acknowledge the history there and how OUR beliefs were manipulated - and we attempt to avoid the mistake.

    Not atheists though ...





    Why thank the strap hangers and ignore the leaders? I am all for inclusion, but what you are doing here is asking us to ignore the center for the edge and steak for a pea. And the militant atheist view in Tyler is that THERE IS NONE OF THIS - RELIGION caused all these bad things, and solved none of them ... again, its doesn't take much to note that this is equivalent to starving and ignoring the steak and potatoes for the ... pea.

    I have no problem with people going back in history and finding people of similar views in these times to venerate them as examples for OUR time, but I have an immense problem when history itself changed or warped to deliberately misrepresent it to support bigotry - 'religion poisons everything' - your man Hitchens started that crap, and Tyler is picking up where he left off. Unlike Hitchen's who at least got a shock (he was the first), now Tyler is seeings its much tougher to just pick up the schtick. The shock is gone, and what is left is an audience who increasingly sees nothing but a worn bigot demanding payment for the performance.



    What is dishonest is to deny that its there when it clearly is, and instead make these same people sources of evil and degenerate suffering.

    What is doubly dishonest, is calling the correction of that fantastically bigoted statement with facts a denial that anything else was there. The anti-slavery movement started with Quakers, and spread through that nefarious Christian movement. That is fact. That does not mean there were not other groups involved, but if you are going to call us evil? Pretend the strap hangers were the leaders? You are telling us you demand respect you refuse to give. Noted.





    So was atheism. Men are just a commodity? Aristotle, so often listed by atheists for praise, was prominent supporter of slavery. That Social Darwinism thing ... did not arise out of any religion, and rather explicitly justifies the enslavement of vast classes of humanity. There are of course strictly legal defenses (and others, of the institution of slavery), pointing out that one did as you? Pot meet kettle.

    Guess which side of the debate we Christians near universally concede won the debate more than a century ago? Why are atheists unable to concede that salient point? Is it rational to pretend that the conclusions of today are in doubt when they are not? Or is that the opposite of rationality?




    Yeah, Africans are too stupid to think for themselves. And the Catholics, whom are not all Christians, have a great record of their followers on ALL continents taking that guidance to heart.

    I am sorry you have such a low opinion of Africans. However, I disagree with it, and find your singling out of the African Continent as somehow more susceptible to religious beguiling than other areas (have you been the Appalachia?) unhelpful.

    Being largely a poor continent, does not make them stupid. But then I learned that fighting the largely uneducated Taliban, who have taken on the most advanced fighting force the world has ever produced and fought them to a stalemate using mostly fertilizer and scrap wood and metal. Yet these ultra religious zealots should be the dumbest on earth according to militant atheists, correct? Hitchens preached it didn't he? Demanded we murder them by droves deliberately targeting the Koran's over their hearts so we could pierce that degenerate faith with every death we caused?

    Sound like a good use of technology to you? And again, you defend him and call those who reject him 'misguided' and 'ignorant'?





    If it says he was Methodist, guess what we can do? Do you think denying his religious leanings and their influence is helpful or even necessary to garnering an accurate understanding of the man?

    TO deny a man his CHOSEN religiosity is ... stupid. Its completely unnecessary and, at an intellectual level, dishonest. Could you understand Hitchens accurately if you denied his atheism? Specifically his MILITANT atheism? Of course not - but denying others their religion to make ourselves feel better rather than to better understand the forces that shape people in the world? Is exacty the danger I point out in the OP.



    Unfortunately, you continue to fail to miss the point entirely. Tayler, and all your other atheist horsemen, DENY THAT RELIGION has had any benefit and is indeed the sources of societal and global tragedy - violence and needless blood lust and nothing else. Somehow, highlighting the opposite in DIRECT REBUTTAL TO A BIGOTED ATTACK means we are demeaning atheism?

    This may come as shock, but most religious people are quite aware that the world is a diverse place. Nor are we forming groups whose basic narration is that atheists are the source of evil and should, as a moral imperative, be mocked and attacked.

    For some reason, just correcting the obvious bigotry of militant atheism is deemed such a threat that we must listen to every minor bit role of atheism in history ... or what? We'll treat you the way militant atheists ARE treating us?

    Is my rejection of 'religion poisons everything' starting to sound like its rather logical, and is Hitchens still your hero?





    You clearly have no been to the Middle East have you? There is reason that Egypt has been able to enforce the isolation of Hamas in Gaza, PLO nabs its agents in the West Bank with impunity, and the Muslim Brotherhood (the root organization of Hamas) is under attack across the Middle East, from BOTH sides of the Suna - Shia divide, a position that takes quite an extraordinary bit of cumbersomeness to achieve in the region. But heh, they get $3-7 per person trapped behind a massive international embargo enforced by the regions most potent military with nary a whimper for Hamas (the Palestinians trapped there with Hamas? Different story).

    Not sure how this makes 'religion' a terrible thing? Seems Hamas is providing some pretty fine case studies in political bungling instead.






    You have never read Dawkins 'religious' books have you? Well, I have, but I will differ to the critics, in whose opinions I agree with:

    "Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology. Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince. The more they detest religion, the more ill-informed their criticisms of it tend to be. If they were asked to pass judgment on phenomenology or the geopolitics of South Asia, they would no doubt bone up on the question as assiduously as they could. When it comes to theology, however, any shoddy old travesty will pass muster. These days, theology is the queen of the sciences in a rather less august sense of the word than in its medieval heyday."

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/terry-e...ng-mispunching

    So a man educated in biology isn't even getting the theology he's slamming correct enough to actually be slamming it (which again, why his sycophantic followers think he 'tearing us apart' or exposing 'some great truth' that will cause us religious people to fall to our knees ... despite that obviously not happening? Maybe they should read the rebuttals to his positions? Again, militancy attracts a certain type of human, its not the rational ones.)

    We should also note that Dawkins, when he debates religion - loses.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/reli...for-words.html

    So the question then, for militant atheists who's mantra and battle cry is 'SCIENCE' and 'RATIONALISM' is to explain why their favored leaders are doing so poorly in the Hegelian matchup against the supposed easily defeated adversaries who are 'about to be confined to the annuls of anthropology' according to guys like Tyler?

    Maybe ... just MAYBE ... atheism is the case that there is no God and doesn't really have any need to be anti-religious AT ALL.
    Gree, you seem to be combating a phantasm of your imagination rather than anything I've actually said. In addition to committing rather serious ad hominem fallacies, most of this is little more than a sequence of emotional tirades engaging in non-sequiturs and strawman. Perhaps you don't understand this, but bloviation is not a valid form of argument. If you want to understand my positions on a subject, feel free to ask me. But I am not equivalent to this atheist stereotype that you believe I should conform to. Perhaps if you read what I had written, you might realize this.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; April 19th, 2015 at 08:56 AM.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Here I'm making a distinction between beliefs ranging from somewhat reliable to very reliable. So let me clear up my language by issuing the following definitions:

    "If I weakly believe proposition P, then I believe that proposition P has a greater probability of being true than not, but doesn't have sufficient probability to fall within a range of being certain.", and I'll let you fill in the specifics with your own epistemic framework.

    "If I strongly believe proposition P, then P falls within a range of probability that I would declare it to being certain."

    (Again, in the nuanced version of "certain".)



    No, I agree, that's pretty much it.



    Well because there's a narrow, specific conception of evolution with a specific set of predictions, essentially all of which (or the major statements, anyways) have been experimentally corroborated. Gods, in general, are a very nebulous, generally ill-defined, and essentially impossible to come up with predictions except for specific models of the god or gods. That obfuscates and impedes one's ability to make concrete claims. As I said, if you give me a specific model of god, for instance the god invented from whole clothe by L. Ron Hubbard, then, yes, I see sufficient evidence to assign that god's existence a low enough probability to be considered "certain" that it doesn't exist.

    But let's strip away everything and talk about a deistic creator. I don't see any need for this being, but I also cannot say that such a being does not exist with certainty.



    Please explain (preferably quoting me) where I'm saying, either implicitly or explicitly, that I'm holding the proposition "We need a different standard of evidence for the proposition 'God exists' than we do other types of claims."



    We seem to be making the same point here. Yes, I'd say we know there are no tooth fairies. There aren't thousands of models of tooth fairies, there's a simple set of statements about what tooth fairies do, and those are known to not be true. I don't think I can claim the same thing of god(s).




    No it wouldn't, that's a facile equivocation. "My wants trump others' needs" is no more atheistic than it is Christian or Islamic, or anti-ZFC. It isn't affirming anything other than one normative statement. In order for it to be an atheist statement it needs to affirm atheism.

    But yes, you could come up with many, many ideologies that involve a lack of a belief in god. Again, in reality this ranges from Epicureanism to Jainism to Buddhism to Ethical Culture and Secular Humanism to Communism. But they aren't atheistic until it affirms atheism as a tenet.




    Firstly, I haven't claimed that I'm narrowing scope to weak atheism, but to the modern New Atheist movement. Secondly, I think the simple fact that Communism is a massively different world view than New Atheism would be sufficient. For instance, I think this is a perfectly valid statement for Quakerism just as it is New Atheism. Contrarily, I think that it's incredibly dishonest (as gree has done) to take let theism take credit for the philosophy of Quakerism when he presumably doesn't follow it. He shouldn't be able to take credit for it anymore than I can take credit for the generous and peaceful acts of Jains or Buddhists over the last 2,500 years.

    As I said a few posts ago, I find these analyses more compelling the more specific they are, not the more unspecific.



    I agree. Both you and gree seem to be assuming that I place any stock at all in this analysis. I do only insofar as it makes crystal religious and political doctrines can easily be used to manipulate people into doing great harm to humanity. Fervency is the sin here, not not necessarily Christianity, Islam, Socialism, or atheism in and of itself. Now, I think openly pro-violence ideologies, of which the Bible and the Qur'an contain many verses/ayah that support violence, this task is only made easier.



    I'm sorry, you seem to be imparting some sort of meaning in my statements that isn't there. Would you mind justifying the assertion that I've said or implied that "rocks are atheists." I don't seem to recall having said this, but perhaps my memory is not as good as of late.



    Please justify the claim that anti-imperialism and non-interventionism is atheistic in nature. Also, this seems like a particularly historically ignorant position to take. This was an incredibly popular philosophy in the USA during the 1910's through Pearl Harbor, you'll notice that there weren't many atheists in America during this time, but there was a profound number of Christian voters against interventionist policies and voted against any president who wasn't anti-interventionist.

    Secondly, again, secularism isn't pro-atheism. It means simply not paying credence to religion. You should be able to understand why secularism isn't pro-atheism by noting that the first modern secular government was created by the Framers of the American Constitution, many of which were Christians themselves, many of them deists, and very few if any atheists.



    I don't disagree, of course, regarding the latter. I must confess I've never much cared for free will discussions.



    Gree, you seem to be combating a phantasm of your imagination rather than anything I've actually said. In addition to committing rather serious ad hominem fallacies, most of this is little more than a sequence of emotional tirades engaging in non-sequiturs and strawman. Perhaps you don't understand this, but bloviation is not a valid form of argument. If you want to understand my positions on a subject, feel free to ask me. But I am not equivalent to this atheist stereotype that you believe I should conform to. Perhaps if you read what I had written, you might realize this.
    Please.

    Are you telling me that Richard Dawkins does not exist? That Chris Hitchens did not exist? That Jeff Tayler did not publish the article in the OP? That Sam Harris did not exist? The New Atheist movement does not exist? That the things that I QUOTED THEM SAYING are actually phantasms of my imagination?

    You know what is REALLY offensive? When atheists take that crap being thrown at us, and rather than condemn it for the obvious garbage that it is, they turn around on us, and attempt to make the purveyors of bigotry out to be the good guys. If you think anything quoted is out of line, then instead of sitting here fallacious laying the special pleading victim, you are free to check for yourself and PROVE it wrong.

    But stand there and tell a guy that is quoting the militant atheists that he he's delusional and insulting. If that stuff makes you feel offended, then take up with the peddlers of hatred that you are excusing. It really is that simple GP.

    Modern SECULAR governance was created in the Aftermath of the 30 Years War, by the Treaty of Westphalia. At no point above is the phrase 'non-interventionism' was an atheistic thing, uttered, and I believe I was pretty clear that secularism is NOT an atheist thing, but that does not prevent that does not prevent atheistis from defining things as the 'secularist' world view, etc. by which they mean 'atheist'. An example:

    http://infidels.org

    Why the 'Secular Web' of course!

    Do you actually have something other than saying, "I disagree!" Well, that and an attempt, as many atheists do when confronted with the mad hatter bigotry in their midst, poison the well.

    Noted.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232
    You know what is REALLY offensive? When atheists take that crap being thrown at us, and rather than condemn it for the obvious garbage that it is, they turn around on us, and attempt to make the purveyors of bigotry out to be the good guys.
    To what bigotry do you refer? Which quotes, specifically?
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232 View Post
    Please.

    Are you telling me that Richard Dawkins does not exist? That Chris Hitchens did not exist? That Jeff Tayler did not publish the article in the OP? That Sam Harris did not exist? The New Atheist movement does not exist? That the things that I QUOTED THEM SAYING are actually phantasms of my imagination?

    You know what is REALLY offensive? When atheists take that crap being thrown at us, and rather than condemn it for the obvious garbage that it is, they turn around on us, and attempt to make the purveyors of bigotry out to be the good guys. If you think anything quoted is out of line, then instead of sitting here fallacious laying the special pleading victim, you are free to check for yourself and PROVE it wrong.

    But stand there and tell a guy that is quoting the militant atheists that he he's delusional and insulting. If that stuff makes you feel offended, then take up with the peddlers of hatred that you are excusing. It really is that simple GP.

    Modern SECULAR governance was created in the Aftermath of the 30 Years War, by the Treaty of Westphalia. At no point above is the phrase 'non-interventionism' was an atheistic thing, uttered, and I believe I was pretty clear that secularism is NOT an atheist thing, but that does not prevent that does not prevent atheistis from defining things as the 'secularist' world view, etc. by which they mean 'atheist'. An example:

    http://infidels.org

    Why the 'Secular Web' of course!

    Do you actually have something other than saying, "I disagree!" Well, that and an attempt, as many atheists do when confronted with the mad hatter bigotry in their midst, poison the well.

    Noted.
    The only thing that's noteworthy about this post, gree, is your stunning ability to carry on a one-sided conversation wherein you don't even glance at your opposition's statements and instead replace it with whatever fanciful and fallacious belief you think that they should hold according to your myopic stereotype of an atheist, and then you retort with a sequence of emotional tirades about how malevolent your opposition is. Gree, you need to actually address what your opponent has actually said, not what you think they said or what you think their position should be, and until you do as such, I will not respond to you further.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; April 20th, 2015 at 08:08 AM.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix
    No it wouldn't, that's a facile equivocation. "My wants trump others' needs" is no more atheistic than it is Christian or Islamic, or anti-ZFC. It isn't affirming anything other than one normative statement. In order for it to be an atheist statement it needs to affirm atheism.
    It's atheist in the sense you gave here:

    Thus, atheism is simply the lack of a belief in all gods
    A worldview that includes "My wants trump others' needs", and which does not include any propositions that entail "There exists at least one god", is an atheist worldview, on your definition.

    Since "My wants trump others' needs" does not entail "There exists at least one god", then in some sense the smallest or minimal worldview containing "My wants trump others' needs" is atheist. It is thus in some sense natural to say that "My wants trump others' needs" is an atheist worldview.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    It's atheist in the sense you gave here:



    A worldview that includes "My wants trump others' needs", and which does not include any propositions that entail "There exists at least one god", is an atheist worldview, on your definition.

    Since "My wants trump others' needs" does not entail "There exists at least one god", then in some sense the smallest or minimal worldview containing "My wants trump others' needs" is atheist. It is thus in some sense natural to say that "My wants trump others' needs" is an atheist worldview.
    A proposition is not an entity with beliefs. If you mean for me to imagine that there exists a person who exclusively believes "My wants trump others' needs" and literally nothing else, then yes, I would label this hypothetical person as an atheist, but you cannot call the proposition atheistic. The person do not have a belief in a deity, that's literally and semantically true. But that doesn't make the belief "My wants trump others' needs" itself atheistic anymore than Stokes' Theorem; they're just propositions. You seem to be failing to distinguish between a person who holds beliefs and a set of propositions. Group theory is a set of propositions (and derivations). A person who believes that group theory is true and its deductions valid, for lack of a better term, we can call a group theorist. If the only thing a person believes in is group theory, then this person's worldview is atheistic, apolitical, and so on. But group theory in and of itself neither affirms nor denies a specific god or a collection of gods, nor contains any proposition addressing the truth content of it. Now if one of the propositions in the collections contains the statement "I do not believe in a god", then yes, it's atheistic.


    I think the issue here, however, lies in the fact that worldviews are necessarily incomplete with regards to the assignment of truth values to all possible propositions. Here, however, I'm focusing on ontological propositions. Either you believe an object X exists or you don't, and if you don't believe object X exists (In other words you're not an X-ist), then I'm counting you as an a-X-ist.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    A proposition is not an entity with beliefs. If you mean for me to imagine that there exists a person who exclusively believes "My wants trump others' needs" and literally nothing else, then yes, I would label this hypothetical person as an atheist, but you cannot call the proposition atheistic. The person do not have a belief in a deity, that's literally and semantically true. But that doesn't make the belief "My wants trump others' needs" itself atheistic anymore than Stokes' Theorem; they're just propositions.
    I'd tend to distinguish between "My wants trump others' needs" and Stokes' theorem, in that the former is a statement of an ethical belief or position, and so seems closely associated with the notion of a worldview, while Stokes' theorem strictly speaking is something like a sequence of symbols.

    And if we're using "atheist" to describe any worldview that does not include belief in at least one god, and if a worldview is a collection of propositions, then Stokes' theorem can be said to be atheistic in the sense I gave.

    You seem to be failing to distinguish between a person who holds beliefs and a set of propositions. Group theory is a set of propositions (and derivations). A person who believes that group theory is true and its deductions valid, for lack of a better term, we can call a group theorist. If the only thing a person believes in is group theory, then this person's worldview is atheistic, apolitical, and so on. But group theory in and of itself neither affirms nor denies a specific god or a collection of gods, nor contains any proposition addressing the truth content of it. Now if one of the propositions in the collections contains the statement "I do not believe in a god", then yes, it's atheistic.
    But you don't have to believe that you're an atheist to be an atheist. You're requiring that, in addition to believing group theory, this person would have to believe "I do not believe in a god" in order to be an atheist. And this is simply not true, according to your definition; it is sufficient that their collection of beliefs does not entail that they believe in at least one god.

    So if all you believe is that, say, apples are real, then you're an atheist even though you hold no beliefs with regard to the existence of a god nor any belief with regard to your beliefs about the existence of a god, etc.

    I think the issue here, however, lies in the fact that worldviews are necessarily incomplete with regards to the assignment of truth values to all possible propositions. Here, however, I'm focusing on ontological propositions . Either you believe an object X exists or you don't, and if you don't believe object X exists (In other words you're not an X-ist), then I'm counting you as an a-X-ist.
    Right, which entails that, say, rocks are atheists (they hold no beliefs whatsoever, and thus don't believe that any objects exist), that agnostics are atheists, that someone who believes only group theory is an atheist, etc. Numbered among the atheist worldviews are such beliefs as "My wants trump others' needs", "It's okay for me to roofie a girl if she doesn't put out", etc.

    Of course, this characterization is only valid so long as we accept the over-broad definition of atheism you've given. If we restrict atheism to those worldviews which include the belief that no gods exist (and agnosticism to those worldviews which include the belief that atheism and theism are on par), then it's suddenly problematic to call "My wants trump others' needs" atheist or agnostic.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by gree0232 View Post
    Such is the delusional self absorption of the militant atheist.
    Gree, can you please define a "militant atheist." Also, what do you think the difference is, if any, between a militant atheist and an atheist?
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I'd tend to distinguish between "My wants trump others' needs" and Stokes' theorem, in that the former is a statement of an ethical belief or position, and so seems closely associated with the notion of a worldview, while Stokes' theorem strictly speaking is something like a sequence of symbols.
    Yes, one is a normative proposition and the other is a mathematical proposition, but both are equally as unrelated to atheism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    And if we're using "atheist" to describe any worldview that does not include belief in at least one god, and if a worldview is a collection of propositions, then Stokes' theorem can be said to be atheistic in the sense I gave.
    Sure if we promote Stokes' theorem from a proposition to a full blown worldview, but you seem to be doing this profoundly odd thing of equivocating a worldview as held by a person with a collection of propositions. In a worldview, you have to acknowledge what objects you believe exists, and then there's an infinite number of possible objects that you haven't acknowledged as existing. A worldview is a more complete set of statements about what exists, what is ethical, etc, rather than just any old collection of propositions. The set of axioms and theorems in group theory is not a worldview, it's a mathematical theory. It doesn't confirm or deny anything outside of what's stated in the mathematical theory. Now, if we take the following propositions as our collection "Stokes' Theorem is true" and "There is no god", then yes, I think these propositions can be described as atheistic because now their content matter deals with atheism. But a smattering of propositions having nothing to do with atheism cannot be called atheistic.

    A worldview, contrarily, that a person holds to does have to make concrete claims about what is and isn't believed to exist, what is wrong or right, etc. I can see how you can call a worldview atheistic because the worldview doesn't affirm a god, but I absolutely cannot see how you could try to affirm a set of propositions unrelated to gods, like group theory, as "atheistic."

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    But you don't have to believe that you're an atheist to be an atheist. You're requiring that, in addition to believing group theory, this person would have to believe "I do not believe in a god" in order to be an atheist. And this is simply not true, according to your definition; it is sufficient that their collection of beliefs does not entail that they believe in at least one god.
    I don't believe in a lot of ****. There's thousands of religions that you or I have not heard of from the ancient past to religions that will be created long after we're dead. I don't believe in any of them, and I don't need to know them for me to right now say "Currently, I do not believe in these gods."

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    So if all you believe is that, say, apples are real, then you're an atheist even though you hold no beliefs with regard to the existence of a god nor any belief with regard to your beliefs about the existence of a god, etc.
    Yes, obviously. If all that person A believes exists in the world are apples, then does person A believe in a god? No. So under what standards isn't person A an atheist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Right, which entails that, say, rocks are atheists (they hold no beliefs whatsoever, and thus don't believe that any objects exist),
    I don't see what point you think you're making here; this is a trivial category error. Rocks don't have beliefs at all. That means they don't have world views, that means they can't be atheists or theists. That's like saying that since black is the absence of color, therefore Democracy must be black because it can't have a color. That's a confusion that's so trivial it doesn't really merit a serious rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    that agnostics are atheists, that someone who believes only group theory is an atheist, etc. Numbered among the atheist worldviews are such beliefs as "My wants trump others' needs", "It's okay for me to roofie a girl if she doesn't put out", etc.
    Most rapists --pick it either absolutely or per capita-- in the United States are Christian, and that means many rapists both believe "Jesus Christ is our lord and savior" and "It's okay to rape women". Just because a position is consistent with atheism (doesn't imply a contradiction if added as a proposition) doesn't mean it's affirmed by atheism. Enslaving blacks and raping women is also consistent with Christianity, in fact it was even argued for a very long time that it was affirmed by Christianity (The Hebrews took concubines and enslaved men to work for them, and there's no explicit verse against either of these in the New Testament). But most modern branches of Christianity do not affirm raping women and allowing for slavery.

    So yes, "My wants trump others' needs" is consistent with atheism, but it isn't mandated by a lack of a belief in a deity. But again, the proposition itself isn't atheistic, unless you're referring to a worldview which espouses only this proposition. But worldviews and propositions are not the same thing. Group theory is not a worldview, natural selection is not a worldview, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    Of course, this characterization is only valid so long as we accept the over-broad definition of atheism you've given. If we restrict atheism to those worldviews which include the belief that no gods exist (and agnosticism to those worldviews which include the belief that atheism and theism are on par), then it's suddenly problematic to call "My wants trump others' needs" atheist or agnostic.
    If you ask an aborigine who's never had contact with the West about whether or not they believe that there is a man named Jesus who died for their sins, who was the Son of God, and is a part of the Holy Trinity involving God the father, Jesus Christ, and a Holy Ghost, and this is the One True God and all others are false the, honestly, I'd be shocked if their response is "I'm 50/50." They'd have their own cultural narrative that this conception of god would radically diverge from, so they would almost certainly immediately reject the existence of the Christian God. As they would presumably reject almost every other god that was monotheistic. They might be closer to 50/50 on non-exclusive gods, like Nordic, Roman, Hindu, or Greek gods, because they might already accept that god entities exist. But they'd probably want proof through hearing stories of miracles, etc, before they considered these gods as being plausibly extant.

    In other words, the prior on the existence of new objects that no one has ever seen before is basically 0%, not 50%. That's why when people were told about Relativity for the first time, people didn't say "Oh, yeah, there's a 50/50 chance that's true.", they said "I want substantial evidence before I'll believe."
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Clive, we want words to be useful.

    Atheist person = person who lacks belief in the god we're talking about at the moment? That's a useful word. We could use it to mean "guy who believes no gods exist," but that's not as useful as differentiating atheism into "strong" and "weak" to accomplish that distinction.

    Atheistic worldview/proposition = a proposition that lacks a pronouncement that a god exists? That's not a useful word at all. And I agree with GoldPhoenix that for "atheistic worldview" to be useful to us, it should be used to refer to worldviews that are notably or substantively anti-theistic, like Communism, rather than those which just happen to not reference divine beings, like mathematics.

    Sometimes a word means different things in different contexts. It's not a big deal.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Yes, one is a normative proposition and the other is a mathematical proposition, but both are equally as unrelated to atheism.
    No, indeed, both are examples of atheist positions if atheism is merely the lack of theism, since both positions lack theism (if they don't lack theism, then one or the other entails the existence of at least one god. That'd be a neat trick.). Likewise, any position that entails theism is a theist position (e.g., "God created lightning").

    Sure if we promote Stokes' theorem from a proposition to a full blown worldview, but you seem to be doing this profoundly odd thing of equivocating a worldview as held by a person with a collection of propositions. In a worldview, you have to acknowledge what objects you believe exists, and then there's an infinite number of possible objects that you haven't acknowledged as existing. A worldview is a more complete set of statements about what exists, what is ethical, etc, rather than just any old collection of propositions. The set of axioms and theorems in group theory is not a worldview, it's a mathematical theory. It doesn't confirm or deny anything outside of what's stated in the mathematical theory.
    Complete in what sense? I don't know what criterion you're relying on here, and it's unclear to me that whatever criterion you're trying to get at is a good one for identifying those collections of propositions/beliefs that amount to worldviews.

    Now, if we take the following propositions as our collection "Stokes' Theorem is true" and "There is no god", then yes, I think these propositions can be described as atheistic because now their content matter deals with atheism. But a smattering of propositions having nothing to do with atheism cannot be called atheistic.
    This makes sense if atheism is the belief that there is no God. But if atheism is merely the lack of theism, then "Stokes' Theorem is true", by virtue of lacking theism, is atheistic (in the same way that a position which entails that at least one god exists would be theistic).

    A worldview, contrarily, that a person holds to does have to make concrete claims about what is and isn't believed to exist, what is wrong or right, etc. I can see how you can call a worldview atheistic because the worldview doesn't affirm a god, but I absolutely cannot see how you could try to affirm a set of propositions unrelated to gods, like group theory, as "atheistic."
    Well, I wouldn't try to except as a reductio for the overbroad definition of atheism used in online apologetics.

    I don't believe in a lot of ****. There's thousands of religions that you or I have not heard of from the ancient past to religions that will be created long after we're dead. I don't believe in any of them, and I don't need to know them for me to right now say "Currently, I do not believe in these gods."
    This is an odd usage, I think. If you haven't even heard of a religion, then your response to the question "Are this religion's claims true?" is pretty irrelevant since you've not no basis whatsoever for a substantive response. Philosophically, we're interested in arguments for and against positions; if you're unfamiliar with the position, then the proper response is to either go out and get acquainted with it or abstain from making claims with regard to the position.

    The sorts of positions that are philosophically interesting are those which provide arguments one way or another with regard to the position. We're not interested philosophically in taxonomizing the particular beliefs that particular people hold; we're philosophically interested in analyzing arguments. So your "atheist" position in this regard is philosophically irrelevant; call it what you like, I suppose.

    Yes, obviously. If all that person A believes exists in the world are apples, then does person A believe in a god? No. So under what standards isn't person A an atheist?
    If atheism is the belief that God doesn't exist, then A wouldn't be an atheist. It seems you're now embracing the (over-)broad definition of atheism, when before it seemed that you had relied on the (appropriately-)narrow definition.

    I don't see what point you think you're making here; this is a trivial category error. Rocks don't have beliefs at all. That means they don't have world views, that means they can't be atheists or theists. That's like saying that since black is the absence of color, therefore Democracy must be black because it can't have a color. That's a confusion that's so trivial it doesn't really merit a serious rebuttal.
    If the criteria for being atheist is merely lacking belief in God, then rocks are atheists. My point is that this definition, which has been routinely used both on ODN and other online discussion fora, is quite silly.

    But as you allude to, this is amendable by adding in the criterion that atheists (say) be rational persons capable of belief, but this definition still falls prey to the other criticisms I've made.

    Most rapists --pick it either absolutely or per capita-- in the United States are Christian, and that means many rapists both believe "Jesus Christ is our lord and savior" and "It's okay to rape women". Just because a position is consistent with atheism (doesn't imply a contradiction if added as a proposition) doesn't mean it's affirmed by atheism. Enslaving blacks and raping women is also consistent with Christianity, in fact it was even argued for a very long time that it was affirmed by Christianity (The Hebrews took concubines and enslaved men to work for them, and there's no explicit verse against either of these in the New Testament). But most modern branches of Christianity do not affirm raping women and allowing for slavery.
    And it was my impression that on that basis you would conclude that atheism (or theism, respectively) were responsible for those behaviors, e.g. the Catholic church's pronouncements being consistent with Catholicism gave a sufficient basis for blaming Catholicism. But suddenly not so for atheism?

    So yes, "My wants trump others' needs" is consistent with atheism, but it isn't mandated by a lack of a belief in a deity. But again, the proposition itself isn't atheistic, unless you're referring to a worldview which espouses only this proposition. But worldviews and propositions are not the same thing. Group theory is not a worldview, natural selection is not a worldview, etc.
    (1) I'm still unclear on what the criterion is that you're using for distinguishing propositions equivalent merely to sets of beliefs and propositions equivalent to a worldview.

    (2) How is any of this relevant to what I've said? I don't think I claimed that atheism entails "My wants trump others' needs"; rather, my point was that the "smallest" worldview closed under modus ponens containing "My wants trump others' needs" would have to be atheist (in the overbroad sense of not affirming theism), and that it is in some sense natural to characterize propositions by their minimal closed worldviews.

    If you ask an aborigine who's never had contact with the West about whether or not they believe that there is a man named Jesus who died for their sins, who was the Son of God, and is a part of the Holy Trinity involving God the father, Jesus Christ, and a Holy Ghost, and this is the One True God and all others are false the, honestly, I'd be shocked if their response is "I'm 50/50." They'd have their own cultural narrative that this conception of god would radically diverge from, so they would almost certainly immediately reject the existence of the Christian God. As they would presumably reject almost every other god that was monotheistic. They might be closer to 50/50 on non-exclusive gods, like Nordic, Roman, Hindu, or Greek gods, because they might already accept that god entities exist. But they'd probably want proof through hearing stories of miracles, etc, before they considered these gods as being plausibly extant.

    In other words, the prior on the existence of new objects that no one has ever seen before is basically 0%, not 50%. That's why when people were told about Relativity for the first time, people didn't say "Oh, yeah, there's a 50/50 chance that's true.", they said "I want substantial evidence before I'll believe."
    Right, but if you've currently pegged the likelihood of a claim at basically 0%, then it doesn't make sense to say you don't believe that the claim is false.

    Being willing to revise your confidence upon introduction of new evidence doesn't mean you don't believe the claim is true/false; presumably scientists are willing to revise their confidence in gravity, neo-Darwinian evolution, the Big Bang, etc., upon introduction of new evidence. Is the proper position on evolution to say "I don't know that evolution is true"? Or "I don't believe evolution is true"?

    ---------- Post added at 06:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Fangrim View Post
    Clive, we want words to be useful.

    Atheist person = person who lacks belief in the god we're talking about at the moment? That's a useful word. We could use it to mean "guy who believes no gods exist," but that's not as useful as differentiating atheism into "strong" and "weak" to accomplish that distinction.
    If you have to make the strong/weak distinction anyway, why not use the overwhelmingly-more-widely-used agnostic/atheist distinction?

    Atheistic worldview/proposition = a proposition that lacks a pronouncement that a god exists? That's not a useful word at all. And I agree with GoldPhoenix that for "atheistic worldview" to be useful to us, it should be used to refer to worldviews that are notably or substantively anti-theistic, like Communism, rather than those which just happen to not reference divine beings, like mathematics.
    This is at odds with your prior characterization of atheist meaning simply not theistic. If a worldview happens not to have any position WRT theism, then according to your first claim, it's useful to say that these worldviews are atheistic, and that the people who affirm that worldview as identical to their own should be called atheists (weak atheists, according to your taxonomy).

    But here you claim exactly the opposite, that such worldviews shouldn't be referred to as atheistic. So your position seems incoherent.

    Sometimes a word means different things in different contexts. It's not a big deal.
    Yes, quite clearly I agree with this. But sometimes a word is given an obfuscatory definition that clashes with its typical usage, and the definition is then used to avoid taking on the proper burden one has for one's claims.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  19. #38
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    The only thing that's noteworthy about this post, gree, is your stunning ability to carry on a one-sided conversation wherein you don't even glance at your opposition's statements and instead replace it with whatever fanciful and fallacious belief you think that they should hold according to your myopic stereotype of an atheist, and then you retort with a sequence of emotional tirades about how malevolent your opposition is. Gree, you need to actually address what your opponent has actually said, not what you think they said or what you think their position should be, and until you do as such, I will not respond to you further.
    Actually what is really remarkable, is that I can quote Chris Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, and call the former a raging jerk and that you would run to the mods claimng that you are a victim of flame bait rather than address the points that have presented to you.

    We do not deny what is in print and cited by claiming the status of foppish victim. The pettiness and simple avoidance of debate is simply wrong. ANYONE is allowed to call Chris Hitchen's, based on his writing, a bigot. (Or anything else from that matter). You are free to disagree, but you are not free to rip the comment out of context and pretend that a comment aimed at Chris Hitchens was somehow aimed at you. THAT is a deliberate falsification.

    Furthermore, unless you can actually prove that what I quoted in inaccurate (thus just emotional figment of my imagination), I demand an apology. Name:  chall4a.jpg
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    Not only are you dismissing quotation from the four horsemen, as they have been tagged, but you are further charging in accurately that it is an 'emotional tirade' to quote them and denounce their obviously bigoted behavior. Now its time for you to prove that the quotes, including those attacking the atonement - And below is brief citation - is not something that can be dismissed as the ranting of a bigoted jerk.

    It's Chapter 15 from God is not Great: How Religion Poisons EVERYTHING.
    Chapter Fifteen: Religion As An Original Sin[edit]
    Chapter 15 discusses five aspects of religions that Hitchens maintains are "positively immoral":

    Presenting a false picture of the world to the credulous
    The doctrine of blood sacrifice to appease gods (such as by the Aztecs)
    The doctrine of atonement (harming innocent people to atone for sins)
    The doctrine of eternal reward or eternal punishment
    The imposition of impossible tasks or rules (including unhealthy views of sex)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Is_Not_Great

    Maybe you should take the time to read the book so you can understand why religious people, being that atonement is central to our faith, are so angry about what Chris Hitchens wrote, rather than spooling off in a emotional rant to the point where we begin making malicious accusations both public and private.

    In fact, its a rather common in the religious rebuttal to the position.

    "And the fact is that the New Atheists in general are on a campaign to stamp out, not fundamentalist religion or dogmatic religion, but religion as such—and they make pains to include “moderate” religion within the scope of their assault. They claim that core religious notions are to blame for the crimes of religious extremists—most notably the concept of “faith,” which is the target of Sam Harris’s unrelenting assault in The End of Faith."

    http://thepietythatliesbetween.blogs...atonement.html

    But you've chosen to not just ignore what these guys are saying, but launch a false attack to not just deny but to make the noting of the position some kind of intellectual befuddlement? No brother, that is not right. Not right at all.

    Well, I choose to stand up and call you to task. Defend yourself and your petty antics please.

    BTW GP - each of your 'thoughts' was addressed: The 30 Years War, not the US Constitution, laid the basis of modern secularism, and no point in any conversation did I ever make 'non-interventionalism' an 'atheistic things', it is apparently a comment from your imagination, and, as specifically quoted for you, many atheists do routinely refer to 'secular' things as a position of broader atheism.

    Your being wrong is not about MY character.

    Your response was to avoid all of those, avoid the quotations from atheism's more militant sect, and run to moderation team because I called Chris Hitchens a raging jerk - who chose to be a jerk (as opposed to be born one). If you are going tp publicly charge people with being emotional, I STRONGLY challenge you to examine your own conduct here GP - because every time someone quotes the militant atheists, the proper defense is not to assume the people noticing it are flawed human beings based on blatantly false accusations. NO ONE forced you to come in and ignore the commentary from atheism's more militant wing. No one. It is OBVIOUS from the OP's title what the subject is, and at no point have you engaged on the ostensible subject of the thread. The three semi germane points that you dumped, were all responded too nevertheless - while attempting steer you onto the commentary at the center of the debate.

    And as militant atheism is the subject of the debate? Whatever are doing in this thread if you do not wish to acknowledge what is being said by the more militant wing of atheism?

    Not that I expect an apology (even if it would be an adult thing to do), but the challenge function will enable you to either support or withdraw the nonsense you dumped out.

    Its a debate forum, so debate. If you cannot - please don't resort to petty antics rather than concede a valid point. The commentary of militant atheism is in the public domaine whether atheists wish to acknowledge it or not - just like the Westboro Baptist Church's commentary is in the public domaine.

    I daresay that every time someone dismisses the Westboro Baptist church as a bunch of homophobic bigots, that the proper response is not to get my Christian panties in a druther and run to the moderation team claiming I am being maliciously flamed because someone quoted the Westboro Baptist Church and dismissed it as a choice be a bunch of jerks to be a bunch of jerks - and that this is a conscience choice.

    Monty Python would be wholly impressed by the 'Help, Help I am being repressed!" Unfortunately, that is not a particularly strong defense of New Atheism's assault on religion. Quite the opposite, and it is a tactic that is known to back fire. If atheists cannot defend actions of the more militant wing, or bring themselves to condemn or otherwise address this VERY public behavior? Do you really expect religious people, whose these comments are aimed at to just take the sheer pettiness of noting and rebutting this commentary as if it somehow reflects on a flawed character?

    I for one happen to think confronting bigotry is a sign of a rather sound character. A STABLE thought process. Apparently, atheists disagree when it comes to an acerbic attack on the atonement based on some rather twisted logic and irrationality, which of course has no need to be addressed, when you can just dismiss the rejection as an 'emotional tirade' and issue false accusations instead. I am sure such tactics form the basis of a perfect intellectual defense that in insurmountable over time.
    Last edited by gree0232; April 23rd, 2015 at 03:26 AM.
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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Gree, can you please define a "militant atheist." Also, what do you think the difference is, if any, between a militant atheist and an atheist?
    See New Atheist movement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Atheism

    Here are the four horseman of anti-theism.

    https://www.pinterest.com/EDOUTDOORG...anti-thiesism/

    And by all means, please tell me that no atheist these days has ever heard of Sam Harris? Richard Dawkins? Christopher Hitchens? Bill Maher? Are these guys really going unnoticed by the same community that has turned them into best sellers?

    Again, I would challenge both you and GP to actually read the article in the OP by Jeff Tayler before pretending that the commentary being flung into the public domain is not there.
    Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

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    Re: Are militant atheists delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Gree, you seem to be combating a phantasm of your imagination rather than anything I've actually said. In addition to committing rather serious ad hominem fallacies, most of this is little more than a sequence of emotional tirades engaging in non-sequiturs and strawman. Perhaps you don't understand this, but bloviation is not a valid form of argument. If you want to understand my positions on a subject, feel free to ask me. But I am not equivalent to this atheist stereotype that you believe I should conform to. Perhaps if you read what I had written, you might realize this.
    There are some serious accusation here by GP, and I want to clarify the challenge I made to GP:

    #1 - you have accused my actions of being an emotional tirade, rather than accurately quoting atheist authors like Dawkins, Hitchens, and the article cited in the OP. That is a grossly inaccurate statement, and one that basic fact checking should have prevented you from making. Name:  chall4a.jpg
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    #2 - you have accused me of 'strawmannirg your position', despite very clearly replying to each of YOUR comments, I challenge you to explain the sudden victim status of strawmannirg you. Name:  chall4a.jpg
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    #3 - You have only accused me of 'stereotyping' atheists, despite the fact that in the opening sentence of the OP is, "Again, as always, I will begin with the delineation between atheists (those who merely do not believe in God) and the nihilistic militant bunch that seems to have taken a walk down crazy town in their anti-religious fever." Somehow, you have inserted yourself into a discussion about repeatedly identified authors who have quoted, and have come to the point where you believe that your personal opinions on atheism are somehow relevant to a discussion of what militant atheists are clearly saying. I challenge you to demonstrate, in context, where the criticism of militant atheism becomes a generalized smear of atheism rather than a strong rejection of the nihilism that is clearly identified throughout this thread. Name:  chall4a.jpg
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    By all means GP, please explain why, as a religious person, I am not allowed to denounce statement, from the article in the OP, like, "Examine the intractable problems in our society – and the world as a whole – and you will espy the ghastly gargoyle of religion rearing its misshapen head behind many, if not most, of them. In view of this, speaking out against religion becomes a moral obligation," without offending YOUR sensibilities?

    You chose to defend statements such as that, and then, quote frankly, went petty when confronted.
    Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

    Albert Einstein

 

 
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