Sunday, May 2, 2010

Atheist/Theist debate

One thing that bugs me to no end is the constant atheist refrain "there's no evidence for god." What really gets me is people who deride my arguments. I sometimes feel like saying 'yea, but for God arguments they are pretty good." I mean come on, consider what they are. For proofs of nuceal fission they suck. But compared to other arguments for God they are pretty damn good. But I think atheists lose all critical faculties and in the end are totally unable to think objectively about God arguments.

I believe that it is not possible to be objective about evidence on a topic like this. Thus evidence is of no avail. We always consecutive evidence in light of our previous decisions about God.

There is a point to be made about the glass half empty/full. That usually is taken as denoting pessimism or optimism but it goes with the atheist/theist debates too. If you can link that to pessimism/optimism I think it might be apropos. But be that as i may, the atheist sees the glass half empty, the theist half full. This is not meant in terms of negative/positive or pessimism/optimism but in terms of rational warrant. For the theist the warrant is rational if the chasm that the leap of faith must be traversed is half filled with warrant. But to the atheist the gap, however small, is insurmountable. Thus to the atheist there is no point in any warrant and the evidence is never adequate. To the theist evidence is more than adquate because they have already made the leap.

23 comments:

Rex said...

You are correct, the theist always sees the glass as half full, because obviously, in order for the "glass" to be completely full, one must fill the rest of the "glass" with religious nonsense and superstition that completes you all, and gives you a fear of living this life to the fullest, because you are worried about what will happen after.

Non theists' "glasses" are smaller. They don't need the extra room for the Great Invisible Whatever. They are already full of the awe and wonder of life right here and now. They are full of the life and the world that we are living at the moment.

Metacrock said...

You are correct, the theist always sees the glass as half full, because obviously, in order for the "glass" to be completely full, one must fill the rest of the "glass" with religious nonsense and superstition that completes you all, and gives you a fear of living this life to the fullest, because you are worried about what will happen after.

Meta: Gratuitous mindless mocking and ridicule is demonstrative of a shallow nature.




Non theists' "glasses" are smaller. They don't need the extra room for the Great Invisible Whatever. They are already full of the awe and wonder of life right here and now. They are full of the life and the world that we are living at the moment.


Meta: O yea religoius people don't have awe and wonder of life, taht's why we want life be nuturerd intead of negated. that's why we believe in love instead shallow selfish gain at the expense of others.

atheists are cowards. you are afraid to think,you afraid to hope afraid to have faith, you don't have "wonder." you scared to death to wonder. you have to have the permission of a guy in white lab coat to sneeze.

A Hermit said...

I think it was George Carlin who said "Some people say the glass is half full; some say it is half empty. I think the glass is just too damn big." ;-)

I think you're partly right though; what you consider "rational warrant" looks to me like interesting speculation at best and we're probably both biased by our preconceptions as to where that level of evidence needs to be in order to be persuasive. It's not that the gap is insurmountable at any level, it's just that for me it has to be considerably more than half to be persuasive enough for me to live my life as if it's true.

Kristen said...

Hmm. If your atheist glass is full, and my theist one isn't, it may be because I've got a brandy snifter and you've got a shot glass. They're both as full of as much of "life right now" and "the world we are living in" as they can be, because there's only a limited amount of those things to put in the glass. But my glass has room for more than that, and yours doesn't. Anything that won't fit in your glass, you don't think exists.

Kristen said...

BTW-- my last comment wasn't directed to Hermit, but to Rex, because I didn't appreciate having my views called "nonsense." Calling something "nonsense" just because you don't agree with it, deserves a retort. Hermit's post, on the other hand, was respectful and courteous, and I wouldn't want him to think I was responding with rudeness.

Metacrock said...

It was a good comment Kristen. They are both good guys, Rex is just a good little soldier, deducted to this ideology. that's the way he is socialized.

Hermit is thoughtful and respectful. HE's a good guy. I'm glad all three of you post here.

Rex said...

@Kristen:

So is your glass filled with invisible pink unicorns too? They don't exist, so sadly, I don't have room for them in my glass.

Do you?

There is a quote that I have seen often, I think it applies here:

I can appreciate the beauty of a garden without having to believe that there are fairies living beneath it.

My glass is full of reality, and it has no room for superstition.

Metacrock said...

Rex said...

@Kristen:

So is your glass filled with invisible pink unicorns too? They don't exist, so sadly, I don't have room for them in my glass.

Do you?

There is a quote that I have seen often, I think it applies here:

I can appreciate the beauty of a garden without having to believe that there are fairies living beneath it.

My glass is full of reality, and it has no room for superstition.
May 9, 2010 8:53 PM


you are scared to death of reality. that's why you have to pretend that you know all about experienced you never had and that you can disprove and mock and ridicule thins that are way over your head both intellectually and existentially.

you are scared to death to believe in anything that's not nailed to the ground, and you are highly selectivea bout that.

you close your eyes and stick your head in the ground and go "alalall" real loud when the scientific data about religious experience is read.

all of the things you take as "reality" are highly selectived and they are chosen to weed out and ignore the truths that are onconvient for your little brain wahsing.

you still made big mean Mr. God for whatever reason, he didni't force Mommie and daddy to love each other or whatever and you just can't let him off the hook even though it means it pretending you know all about the experinces of other peoople.

but there is a huge body of scientific data that proves your world view is crap. you are not such big brave realist when it comes to look at that. Then your sense of what's proved by science becasue totally selective.

Rex said...

@ Meta:

First of all, my comment was a response for Kristen’s comment. You are so predictable in your responses that I usually don’t bother with you any more, and your nearly unintelligible rant here is a perfect example.

you are scared to death of reality. that's why you have to pretend that you know all about experienced you never had and that you can disprove and mock and ridicule thins that are way over your head both intellectually and existentially.

If your “beliefs” are so strong and so real and so great, why do you freak out so much when someone questions or mocks them a bit? If your “beliefs” are really that tenuous and fragile, then I think you should be focusing on them instead of the mocking, or the person doing the mocking.

you are scared to death to believe in anything that's not nailed to the ground, and you are highly selectivea bout that.

you close your eyes and stick your head in the ground and go "alalall" real loud when the scientific data about religious experience is read.

Yeah, I don’t believe in people being killed during exorcisms, and I don’t think that child molestation should be part of the “religious experience”. I also don’t think that religious institutions should use their tax free status to support the lavish lifestyles of the top echelon. I am aware that these things as well as other religious atrocities exist precisely because I do not stick my head in the sand.

all of the things you take as "reality" are highly selectived and they are chosen to weed out and ignore the truths that are onconvient for your little brain wahsing.

Guilty! I am highly selective about the things that I take as reality, you know, they like have to be real! Show me some current day hard physical evidence (not a feeling, not a personal experience) for your superstition, and I will consider moving it out of the “useless unfounded superstition” category. God used to talk to and appear to the authors of the bilbe all the time. Funny how all of that stopped when better documentation methods came along. It is kind of like how there are no more UFO abduction reports now that almost everyone on the planet has a cell phone with a camera!

you still made big mean Mr. God for whatever reason, he didni't force Mommie and daddy to love each other or whatever and you just can't let him off the hook even though it means it pretending you know all about the experinces of other peoople.

Project much??? You don’t know a thing about me and my family, yet YOU are in a position to tell me my history and how I feel? I think your religiobrain needs a judgment attenuation and a reality enhancement.

You seem to be laboring under the false assumption that I am angry with god for something. This concept is quite wrong. How can I have anger or resentment for something that doesn’t exist. I still have a little anger for my ex, but I have proof that she exists. It goes back to the invisible pink unicorn, I have no anger or fear for them, or a desire to please them, because THEY DON’T EXIST!

but there is a huge body of scientific data that proves your world view is crap. you are not such big brave realist when it comes to look at that. Then your sense of what's proved by science becasue totally selective.

Dude, the people speaking in tongues and molesting kids and killing people during exorcisms and promoting fear and hatred of people who are different, are on your team! If you have “scientific” evidence defending that craziness, then you must be dividing by zero somewhere. BTW, dividing by zero is not possible, you know, in case you start “believing” that it is!

Let Kristen make her own comments, because you are out of your league with me.

Metacrock said...

Rex said...

@ Meta:

First of all, my comment was a response for Kristen’s comment. You are so predictable in your responses that I usually don’t bother with you any more, and your nearly unintelligible rant here is a perfect example.

It's a shame that you have to mock and ridicule people to feel better about yourself. that' the whole function of mocking and ridiculing Christian in atheist psychology to build the sense of superiority by comparison with a hated group. That's how the cult get lonely disaffected people ho have low sense of self esteem.

Meta: what I said before: you are scared to death of reality. that's why you have to pretend that you know all about experienced you never had and that you can disprove and mock and ridicule thins that are way over your head both intellectually and existentially.

If your “beliefs” are so strong and so real and so great, why do you freak out so much when someone questions or mocks them a bit?

I don't. If you would bother to use some intelligence in your observations instead of jumping the gun you would find that I never freak because people disagree with me, it's obviously they way they do it. Anyone really observing what's going on would see that.



If your “beliefs” are really that tenuous and fragile, then I think you should be focusing on them instead of the mocking, or the person doing the mocking.

you want to believe that because it would dash all your hopes if saw how strong my beliefs are. Just look at those threads I put up. do you see how I stand up tot 19 bullies at a time? I outargue the whole board all 35 of of them at once? It doesn't bother me at all to face the best ones and with a huge company of idiots trying make me lose track and give up. I don't give up I win.

Kristen said...

Rex, if invisible pink unicorns existed, they would find that there's room in my glass. I wouldn't say to them, "Go away! I've already determined you can't exist, so no matter how loud you neigh, and even if you stab me with your horn, I will not see, hear or notice you."

I won't put myself in a position where I predetermine what can and can't exist, and therefore refuse to see anything but what I've already given myself permission to see.

So far there has been nothing to lead me to think there might be invisible unicorns, pink or otherwise. (Not sure how an "invisible" unicorn could also be pink, since "pink" is dependent on vision. Nor am I sure why you'd make such a point of they're being pink-- is it because that's what little girls' toys look like? Am I detecting a trace of misogyny in your mockery? Hmmm.)

But there's been plenty to lead me to believe there's a God, and God is nothing like a little girl's plaything. The only reason I can think of why you'd conflate the two is that you appear to want to think I'm a little girl. Since you've already predetermined that, nothing I say to the contrary about being more mature than you've decided I am, is going to make any difference, so why should I bother?

Hmm. This interesting. Maybe you think I'm reading too much into what you said. Maybe you think I shouldn't jump to such negative conclusions about what YOU believe, based only one your one comment. But sir, tit for tat is fair play, is it not?

Metacrock said...

Meta: you are scared to death to believe in anything that's not nailed to the ground, and you are highly selectivea bout that.

you close your eyes and stick your head in the ground and go "alalall" real loud when the scientific data about religious experience is read.

REX Yeah, I don’t believe in people being killed during exorcisms, and I don’t think that child molestation should be part of the “religious experience”.

that's a little satanic lie and you know it is. You know you made that up now which of us is freaking now/ hu? you are resorting to calling me a child molester and implying that I do stuff like that and just nothing more than calling my beliefs names because you are too stupid to really think abut anything. that shows right there are so shaking in your boots you to resort to very childish lying stupid tactics.


Rex:
I also don’t think that religious institutions should use their tax free status to support the lavish lifestyles of the top echelon. I am aware that these things as well as other religious atrocities exist precisely because I do not stick my head in the sand.


I don't either. so what?

Meta(before) all of the things you take as "reality" are highly selectived and they are chosen to weed out and ignore the truths that are onconvient for your little brain wahsing.

Rex Guilty! I am highly selective about the things that I take as reality, you know, they like have to be real!

are so dull witted you don't even understand the criticism do you? You don't even get that I'm saying that you ignore all evidence against your lying world view and you only accepted as "real" the lies you bolster your brain washing.

Show me some current day hard physical evidence (not a feeling, not a personal experience) for your superstition,


but see this just goes back t how stupid you are. That's the thing tiself stupid! The "feeling" you are afarid of is the supernatural that's what it is.
the hard evidence is the documented transformation power that changes lives as a result of the experiences. that's the superantual that's what it's for. that's hwat it does.



and I will consider moving it out of the “useless unfounded superstition” category.

I have also documented many ohter aspects in the past it didn't mean anything to you because you don't about facts, you don't want facts. you are can't accept facts. that's why you have this lie about claiming to have facts oriented world view when in reality all you have a is selective list of alleged "facts" that bolster your bull shit.

Metacrock said...

God used to talk to and appear to the authors of the bilbe all the time. Funny how all of that stopped when better documentation methods came along.


I can't believe you are really that stupid. what better documentation? that's just horrible idiotic. how was the documentation IN Jesus day any better than in the OT period? there's a thousand five hundred year gap between Jesus and modern methods like printing press.(did you know the Bible stops with soon after Jesus day?)

It is kind of like how there are no more UFO abduction reports now that almost everyone on the planet has a cell phone with a camera!

so what is the equivalent of cell phones in Jesus day?

that is genitally stupid. It's 1800 years between the last of the Bible and real documentation method would actually preserve evdience, (like photographs). I really can't believe anyone over the age of seven would argue that!



Meta you still hate big mean Mr. God for whatever reason, he didni't force Mommie and daddy to love each other or whatever and you just can't let him off the hook even though it means it pretending you know all about the experiences of other people.

Project much??? You don’t know a thing about me and my family, yet YOU are in a position to tell me my history and how I feel? I think your religiobrain needs a judgment attenuation and a reality enhancement.


You are right I don't know the specific childish reason you hate God but i know there is one and it's childish.

You seem to be laboring under the false assumption that I am angry with god for something.

duh


This concept is quite wrong. How can I have anger or resentment for something that doesn’t exist.

yea! why don't you think about that? Such a good point maybe you should give it some thought.

Metacrock said...

I still have a little anger for my ex, but I have proof that she exists. It goes back to the invisible pink unicorn, I have no anger or fear for them, or a desire to please them, because THEY DON’T EXIST!


you can't answer any of my God arugments. God does exist. I know it and 90% of human races knkows that. the reson you deny it is some stupid personal thing, you were hur,you would mistreat by religious people welcome to the club man. Like I wasn't mistreated by religious people. No one has done ore to earn my hatred than atheist shit holes.

if you want to change that stop treatingg Chrsitians like dirt!

I know you need that to feel good about yourself. But it really is true if you learn to feel good about yourself because God loves you then you will be much better off and you wont be treating people like dirty anymore.

comparing yourself to a hatred group to put yourself up by putting them down is not a valid or effective means of gaining self esteem.


Meta but there is a huge body of scientific data that proves your world view is crap. you are not such big brave realist when it comes to look at that. Then your sense of what's proved by science becasue totally selective.

Dude, the people speaking in tongues and molesting kids and killing people during exorcisms and promoting fear and hatred of people who are different,

Douuud you are a lyer! you are slandering good decnent people. you cannot prove to me one single person who speaks in toughwes who has molested chilren (is that happened to you?).

catholic priests don't speaking tugnes. you are a hysterical thinker. your thinking is always taking the most extreme examples an blowing up into things they don't don't come close to representing. a person person would have to be a true idiot to find that approach valid.

it's just hysterical lies really.




are on your team!

you have to rely on slander rather than facts.

If you have “scientific” evidence defending that craziness, then you must be dividing by zero somewhere. BTW, dividing by zero is not possible, you know, in case you start “believing” that it is!


the scientific evidence about religion shows that it's good for you. those are the facts you ignore. 200 studies that say religion is good for you and makes you better. vs your hysterical lies where built facts out of nothing and slander decent people because you need make yourself feel better about who you are.

Let Kristen make her own comments, because you are out of your league with me.


ajahahaahahahaahah I spent 5 years studing Ph.D. level work and made 4.0 for thos five years. what did you do? how far did you go in school?

I have a Masters degree in theological studies. I read Greek and French. O so out my leathery with a hysterical illiterate child who thinks in gracious lying terms based upon adolescent traumas and hysteria.

you are trade in slander. you are arguments are all abased upon exaggerating things for the same of slandering other people.

Kristen said...

Rex, you can't prove empirically that anyone loves you, so I have to conclude that no one does. Anyone who says they do is deluded or lying. Too bad.

Rex said...

@ Kristen:

Sincerest apologies if my comments gave any hint of misogyny. That would never be my intent. Misogyny and racism are things that make my blood boil quicker than about anything, even quicker than theist - non theist stuff if you can believe that!

I have used the invisible pink unicorn example to represent something imaginable but nonexistent with Meta on several occasions. It conveys only my sarcasm and cantankerous nature and nothing about you.

If they were real, they would find a place in my glass too. That was exactly my point.

You are correct, I cannot prove that my girlfriend loves me. She says that she does, but as Meta can attest, I find it very difficult to accept a statement of a feeling as a concrete fact.

Luckily for me, I have lots of evidence from her in thought and word and deed that she does in fact, love me. I can cite literally hundreds of continuing concrete examples that I and others have witnessed from her that validate her love for me.

Happily, I don't have to take that one on faith.

Metacrock said...

We have more than feelings, a lot more. Nothing wrong with feelings. The result of the experience is transformation life.

Kristen said...

Rex,

No offense about the supposed misogyny; I was merely trying to make a point. A point about what it is you are really communicating to theists when you equate belief in God with belief in pink unicorns. Or even blue unicorns; but for some reason, calling them pink is more mocking. It's sad, but it's true.

But here's the real point: I don't know you and I don't know your girlfriend. For all I know you could be lying. You may not have a girlfriend any more than you have an invisible pink unicorn eating roses in your garden. Or if I did meet your girlfriend, I still have no indisputable, falsifiable evidence of her love for you. It could be a trick. She could be after something else from you and be putting on an act.

So-- when it comes right down to it, you can't prove your girlfriend loves you. You appear to be even so deluded as to think love is worth something, that it's more than a mere mating instinct. Maybe you even think it means something; that it's not just a movement of chemicals across your brain.

But you can't prove any of that. Should I therefore mock and denigrate it, equate it with stupidity and childish fantasy? Should I claim that your love is nonsense, that you believe it completes you in some idiotic way? Should I tell you that you should lay aside this silly fantasy and live in the real world that consists only of things that can be proven?

Because if something has to be proven to be real, then your girlfriend's love for you-- heck, even love itself-- isn't real. All you have is a rational warrant to believe it; you have no empirical proof such as you demand of theists-- such as you demand of me. You you call my rational warrant nonsense and delusion; you mock my deepest, highest feelings. Why, then, should I spare yours?

Rex said...

@ Kristen

Great discussion!

You should have your own blog, I think that we could have a great interchange of ideas, even if we never agree.

You posed several thought provoking questions in your last comment.

You are correct in that my girlfriend's love for me cannot be definitively proven. However, if you felt very strongly that belief in her love was having a negative impact on society and that it was an obstacle for progress and that it was a delusion that was holding humanity back from its potential, then not only do you have the right to resist it by whatever non violent means possible, but you would have a duty do so.

If your goal is to get humanity to lay down their superstition so that we can truly move beyond these philosophical squabbles, and use the brain and the compassion that we have for everyone's benefit, then hurting someone's feelings, no matter how highly they value those feelings becomes not only necessary, but imperative, because to do otherwise is condoning the problem.

Kristen said...

Rex,

Even if you were correct, mocking and ridicule are not going to accomplish your goals. All that mocking and ridicule do is harden the heart and the mind against whatever message you might be trying to get across.

As for the substance of what you're saying-- you seem to be equating all religious belief with fundamentalism. You talk about belief in your girlfriend's love-- believe me, belief in God's LOVE is not what has a negative impact on society. Belief in the deep, abiding value of every individual, whether that belief is rooted in theism or atheism-- this belief is not the problem. It's when the belief is anti-love-- when the individual is devalued for the sake of ideology (whether the ideology is theist or atheist)--THAT is what has the negative impact.

Do you know that I have heard fundamentalists say the same thing you are saying? "If the goal is to save humanity from itself, then hurting feelings is necessary, even imperative." But is "feelings" all you're hurting? What about the right of the individual to consider these things for her/himself? What about the dignity that we afford others in respecting their conclusions, no matter how much we disagree with them? Hurting "feelings" is a euphemism for running roughshod over others, in what we have decided (in our great wisdom) is for their own good. This is very much the same way fundamentalists justify the way they treat others. They seek to save you from your self-delusional, evil beliefs-- by hurting you if necessary. You seek to save them from their self-delusional, evil beliefs-- by hurting them if necessary. In neither case is there any respect for the person being hurt.

Does it work to use on others the same methods that you profoundly resist when they are used on you?

Do you believe that negative means are justified by the end you want to achieve? I don't. I will treat you as having immense value, by respecting you and giving you the dignity of not deliberately "hurting your feelings" for your own good. Who am I to decide what is for your own good? That's not doing unto you as I would want you to do unto me.

As for having my own blog-- I have considered it. For the time being, at least, I have decided that I am not the kind of person who can lay my deepest feelings out there, week after week, to be both mocked and ridiculed by atheists, and judged and condemned by fundamentalists. I appreciate your kind words, however.

Rex said...

People deserve respect, beliefs do not.

To see it any other way sets us back into the dark ages forever.

Innovation and progress only comes from challenging the beliefs and and the paradigms that have always existed. Even the institutionalized ones.

If the Wright brothers had respected and honored everyone's belief that man could not fly, where would we be?

Metacrock said...

you do't believe people deserve respect. you give Christians no respect at all. in fact your whole reaon for being on this blog is because you need to mock and ridicule Christians.

Kristen said...

But Rex, what I keep telling you is that you're not respecting ME. You're not just disrespecting beliefs, you're disrespecting people who have those beliefs. People's beliefs are part of who they are. Argue with beliefs, reason against beliefs, cry out against the injustice of beliefs-- but don't ridicule beliefs. Ridicule is one weapon in the arsenal of thought control.

Your example of the Wright brothers (sorry for the pun) does not fly. The Wright brothers did not mock and ridicule people who didn't believe they could fly. What good would that have done? But respecting others who held that belief didn't mean they were endorsing it themselves. The Wright brothers just went ahead and did what needed to be done. They didn't appoint themselves as the guardians of truth for other people. They didn't have time. They had real work to do, trying to learn to fly.

However, the Wright brothers were, no doubt, mocked and ridiculed by people who thought their belief that they COULD fly was stupid and fanciful. It was these people, who closed their minds through mocking and ridicule, who were never going to be able to think outside the box. If the mockers and ridiculers had respected the Wright brothers, they might, possibly, have opened their minds to new possibilities.

"To see it any other way sets us back to the dark ages forever." In what way does respecting a diversity of beliefs return us to the dark ages? I can't see that at all. Are you sure that the result of this kind of attitude won't be to move us into another era where only one way of thinking will be allowed-- namely, yours?