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The God Debate: Hitchens vs. D'Souza

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Posts

  • BethrynBethryn Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Honestly, I'd say dark matter is a hypothesis rather than a theory, if we're using the scientific terminology. I have trouble understanding how it can be justified as a theory.

    bethryn.png
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Even if we observed 100% of the universe, understood everything, knew for a fact the big bang happened, and knew for a fact the Universe was still expanding etc etc all that jazz, religion isn't discounted.
    Just the parts everybody cares about.

    How so?
    Let's see...

    God made the world in six days.

    Mankind sinned by eating the fruit.

    Jesus died for that sin.

    Heaven exists.

    Hell exists.

    God interferes personally in wordly affairs.

    God is the source of morality.

    And so on.

    Science forces you to give up on all of that, except maybe the concepts of Heaven and Hell (and even those are starting to get doubtful. Souls have a mind how, exactly?).

    If this keeps up, if "God can still have said bang" is your last resort, then Christianity just becomes another version of deism, so why call it Christianity?

  • mnollmnoll Registered User
    edited April 2010
    The Last Question is a fantastic story!

    NICE

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    No fucking clue what that is.

    http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html

    Short story by Asimov. Considering your theory, you might find it very interesting, it's one of my favorite stories.

    I was trying to find that after Sniperguy's post.

    Amazing short story.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I propose that instead of a debate, we throw these two insufferable douchebags in the Thunderdome and let them fight each other to the death.

    And then the survivor gets fed to a lion.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, I just watched the whole thing. Here are my thoughts:

    D'Souza's one argument for the existence of God came back to the same annoying thing: the God of the gaps. It's strange because he seems quite smart. He debates well. I'm very surprised he doesn't see the massive flaw in it.

    After all, does it not seem silly to him to believe that just because we don't know something we should accept the "best explanation" no matter how preposterous that explanation is? Why can't "I don't know right now" be an answer?

    As an example of this silliness, I found it very amusing that D'Souza brought up the evolution of the eye. I thought I was listening to an atheist speak on the subject in rebuttal to a creationist! A number of years ago, the eye was considered a slam-dunk in an argument with an atheist. "How could this organ develop from an perspective of evolution?" they would say. "It's so complex. Far too complex for evolution to explain it. A divine designer is the most plausible explanation."

    Of course, evolution can explain it and there is a great deal of evidence carefully outlining how it happened. D'Souza knows this. He knows the history. He knows that since our records of religion begin, it has been the "best" explanation for all sorts of things: the rising and setting of the sun; earthquakes; the weather; mental illness; the behavior of animals; and the origin of life. And one after another, a scientific examination of the the world's phenomenon finds a rational explanation. Every century and decade and year, the "gaps" that God occupy are getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

    Now, D'Souza isn't looking at a hurricane and saying "Look! How could that possibly get there? It's so perfect and so massive and destructive, only a divine omnipotent God must have created it!" Rather, he's looking at human morality. And the origin of amino acids, proteins and the first cells. He laughs at the creationists who thought the eye was too complex for evolution to be real - but when he thinks about cells and morality, surely only a divine omnipotent God must have created these things, because there's no other explanation!

    Is he so dense that when confronted with something that has no apparent rational explanation, he immediately turns to the most preposterous explanation - that it happened supernaturally?

    Does he not realize that "I don't know right now, but I bet someday we'll have a plausible solution" is a far more reasonable answer than "a wizard did it?"

    Oh, and by the way, there ARE reasonable explanations for why human beings are moral that are quite interesting. We may not have a 100% foolproof total understanding of it (but we don't really have that for anything), but there are explanations. Anyone interested should start with the Radio Lab podcast on Morality for a total mindfuck.

  • mnollmnoll Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Hitchens is what, 240 lbs?

    he'd snap D'Souza in half

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hitch would also fight dirty. I mean, like biting your hands and shit.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    I propose that instead of a debate, we throw these two insufferable douchebags in the Thunderdome and let them fight each other to the death.

    And then the survivor gets fed to a lion.

    A thousand times: yes.

    steam_sig.png

    Also on PSN: twobadcats
  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    There are many other interesting points made by both sides of the debate. The thing I liked the most out of everything Hitchens said was that there are many religions in the world, and by their definitions and claims, only one of them can be correct.

    Rather than only allowing the possibility that one religion must be correct, it's my belief that ALL religions are somewhat correct.

    Through religion, man has simply created multiple faces of God, not the existence of God.

    Again, "dark matter" should not be the issue; which is something that I believe can be theoretically explained. Rather, importance should be placed on the fact that no one has been able to fully explain what happened to cause the initial effects that created our universe.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    As other people have stated, dark matter isn't a thing. It's a description of a problem.

    Galaxies behave as though they have significantly more mass than we are measuring, using our limited observational tools and possibly inaccurate models for matching mass to measurement. Based on this we assumed our measurement was inaccurate: there is more matter than we can see. Why can't we see it? Because all we can see are things that radiate energy for us to pick up. This other stuff, if it's not an error in our translation of measurement to real mass, is 'dark'. It isn't radiating, or isn't radiating in a manner we can detect.

    There are a lot of different models to explain what makes up the missing mass. Weakly-interacting particles with large masses, astronomical bodies that don't radiate strongly enough for us to see, primordial black holes, cosmic strings, etc. It's also possible that our understanding of gravitational interactions at extremely large scales is inaccurate, or that there is an additional force acting at galactic scales which we are not accounting for. All these ideas have generated dark matter, dark energy, dark blah blah blah. No scientist anywhere expects to build a dark matter detector and find clouds of it floating around. They expect to discover a new type of neutral particle, or a new reason for there to be a bunch of non-radiating bodies, or something.

    And that is why science differs from, is not incompatible with, but will always conflict with religion. When scientists find a hole they seek to discover a plug. What is all this missing mass? When religion finds a question that hasn't been answered, God is the answer. No further seeking necessary. Maybe some thought to reconcile this new aspect of God's greatness with existing dogma, but God is fundamentally beyond human understanding. Science isn't especially concerned with morality or questions like "what is the meaning of life?" so there is no reason one can't be both religious and a scientist. But almost inevitably, religion seeks to provide answers to questions that science does care about, and when a solution is eventually found, the head butting returns.

    What I find amusing is that nobody ever debates the religious aspects of theories that they are aware of directly affecting their daily lives. People will argue about evolution and the big bang until they're blue in the face, but you never hear debates about the role of God in microwave spectrum EM transmissions or the resistivity of metallic films and how man should stay out of God's back yard (well, I suppose you might in an Amish community or something).

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • mnollmnoll Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I'm at minute 48

    D'Souza's saying that the universe being nothing and then something was a religious claim (made by the Hebrews) that was in fact verified by science

    but it seems like he's concluding that if you make a guess and it turns out to be correct that makes guessing a reasonable process to rely on

    and... that's stupid

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Again, "dark matter" should not be the issue; which is something that I believe can be theoretically explained. Rather, importance should be placed on the fact that no one has been able to fully explain what happened to cause the initial effects that created our universe.

    Nothing caused it. Causality is a concept dependent upon temporal effects. Time began with the big bang, so it's fallacious to ask what happened before it or what caused it.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    Now, D'Souza isn't looking at a hurricane and saying "Look! How could that possibly get there? It's so perfect and so massive and destructive, only a divine omnipotent God must have created it!" Rather, he's looking at human morality. And the origin of amino acids, proteins and the first cells. He laughs at the creationists who thought the eye was too complex for evolution to be real - but when he thinks about cells and morality, surely only a divine omnipotent God must have created these things, because there's no other explanation!
    Well, there are unfilled gaps in science. The fun thing is that science tries to fill those gaps with experimentation and observation.

    We can create amino acids and proteins, but we can't figure out what conditions "spark" actual life. We're trying to figure it out, though. Experiment by experiment.

    And, there are also some gaps we may never fill... like knowing what was "before" the Big Bang, what caused the Big Bang, or if there is an "outside of the universe". How the hell can we look "outside" or see "before" spacetime itself? Even if we recreate primordial quarks, I doubt we'll ever really know... it's all outside the observable universe by definition, and probably doesn't even really "matter"... even asking the question is almost ludicrous.

    That doesn't mean you invent cosmological constants, aether, or deities to create some sort of theory of everything.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    That doesn't mean you invent cosmological constants, aether, or deities to create some sort of theory of everything.

    In defense of cosmological constants and aether:

    Einstein's cosmological constant was a mathematical artifact. He didn't like it but included it because it made his model fit observations. It now appears that the constant has a physical explanation, but he didn't so much 'make it up' as see a constant in his equation and say, "Huh... that's weird. Wonder why there's a K there."

    Aether was a model that fit observations and made useful predictions. The equations describing length contracting under relativity were actually developed to explain observations of the same effect under aetheric mechanics. Eventually a prediction was made based on aether theory that was tested and discovered to be inaccurate (the Michaelson & Morely interferometer). In light of that attempts were made to fix aether theory and, when it was found that a whole new type of mechanics could explain both the accurate predictions of aether theory and the observations made under circumstances where aether was wrong, it was replaced. It's more an example of time-delayed underdetermination than of making shit up.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, check out the big brain on Brett!

    (Just kidding, dude... thanks for the edumacation.)

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Why do people keep thinking Science and Religion are mutually exclusive? They're not. At all.

    They are. A scientist can be religious, but he can't apply religion to his work. Applying religion with science eradicates it's arguments and claims piece by piece. It's like science and belief in magic. Literally that in some cases.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Why do people keep thinking Science and Religion are mutually exclusive? They're not. At all.

    They are. A scientist can be religious, but he can't apply religion to his work. Applying religion with science eradicates it's arguments and claims piece by piece. It's like science and belief in magic. Literally that in some cases.

    Non-overlapping magisteria.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Why do people keep thinking Science and Religion are mutually exclusive? They're not. At all.

    They are. A scientist can be religious, but he can't apply religion to his work. Applying religion with science eradicates it's arguments and claims piece by piece. It's like science and belief in magic. Literally that in some cases.

    Non-overlapping magisteria.
    That's right.

    Rainbows are caused by sunlight falling on moisture, but they're also caused by God reminding us of His promise not to commit global genocide again.

    Non-overlapping magisteria is a nice idea, but it doesn't exactly hold up against every form of religion.

  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Oh, and by the way, there ARE reasonable explanations for why human beings are moral that are quite interesting. We may not have a 100% foolproof total understanding of it (but we don't really have that for anything), but there are explanations. Anyone interested should start with the Radio Lab podcast on Morality for a total mindfuck.

    Is the question of why people are moral a big deal for creationists? I wouldn't have thought so, since Christianity is all about how we aren't moral.

  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Why do people keep thinking Science and Religion are mutually exclusive? They're not. At all.

    They are. A scientist can be religious, but he can't apply religion to his work. Applying religion with science eradicates it's arguments and claims piece by piece. It's like science and belief in magic. Literally that in some cases.

    Non-overlapping magisteria.
    That's right.

    Rainbows are caused by sunlight falling on moisture, but they're also caused by God reminding us of His promise not to commit global genocide again.

    Non-overlapping magisteria is a nice idea, but it doesn't exactly hold up against every form of religion.

    What about fucking magnets? How do they work? It's a miracle - God is reminding us to only fuck in the front hole.

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    Also on PSN: twobadcats
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Oh, and by the way, there ARE reasonable explanations for why human beings are moral that are quite interesting. We may not have a 100% foolproof total understanding of it (but we don't really have that for anything), but there are explanations. Anyone interested should start with the Radio Lab podcast on Morality for a total mindfuck.

    Is the question of why people are moral a big deal for creationists? I wouldn't have thought so, since Christianity is all about how we aren't moral.
    It is a big deal to them.

    To the Creatonist (and probably also to some non-Creationists) God is the source of all morality. You are an immoral sinner and you can only reach some kind of righteousness through Jesus.

    Except it doesn't work that way, does it?

    Atheists might be assholes (case in point: Hitchens), but their non-belief does not make them any more inclined to rape, pillage and murder.

    If God Is The Source Of All Morality, as they so sincerely believe, then atheists cannot be decent people.

    But they are.

    And so another core belief (that people are fundamentally sinners who need Jesus) is attacked and possibly destroyed by cruel, uncaring reality.

    Still... maybe... maybe God really is helping those who reject Him be not totally evil. Maybe the Holy Spirit is working in the unbeliever to make sure they're not raping and murdering all the time.

    And then science comes along and says that, no, that's not the case either.

    Goddammit.

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Why do people keep thinking Science and Religion are mutually exclusive? They're not. At all.

    They are. A scientist can be religious, but he can't apply religion to his work. Applying religion with science eradicates it's arguments and claims piece by piece. It's like science and belief in magic. Literally that in some cases.

    Non-overlapping magisteria.
    That's right.

    Rainbows are caused by sunlight falling on moisture, but they're also caused by God reminding us of His promise not to commit global genocide again.

    Non-overlapping magisteria is a nice idea, but it doesn't exactly hold up against every form of religion.

    NOM can't be employed in science, though. Even if you take "they are caused by God" as a scientific hypothesis, your scientific progress stops there. You can't do any tests to determine that they are caused by God.

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Again, "dark matter" should not be the issue; which is something that I believe can be theoretically explained. Rather, importance should be placed on the fact that no one has been able to fully explain what happened to cause the initial effects that created our universe.

    Nothing caused it. Causality is a concept dependent upon temporal effects. Time began with the big bang, so it's fallacious to ask what happened before it or what caused it.

    Says you.

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    Again, "dark matter" should not be the issue; which is something that I believe can be theoretically explained. Rather, importance should be placed on the fact that no one has been able to fully explain what happened to cause the initial effects that created our universe.

    Nothing caused it. Causality is a concept dependent upon temporal effects. Time began with the big bang, so it's fallacious to ask what happened before it or what caused it.

    Says you.

    Says me too. You can't observe something that is, by definition, inobservable.

    "Adios, mofo" -- TX Gov Rick Perry (R)
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Oh, and by the way, there ARE reasonable explanations for why human beings are moral that are quite interesting. We may not have a 100% foolproof total understanding of it (but we don't really have that for anything), but there are explanations. Anyone interested should start with the Radio Lab podcast on Morality for a total mindfuck.

    Is the question of why people are moral a big deal for creationists? I wouldn't have thought so, since Christianity is all about how we aren't moral.
    It is a big deal to them.

    To the Creatonist (and probably also to some non-Creationists) God is the source of all morality. You are an immoral sinner and you can only reach some kind of righteousness through Jesus.

    Except it doesn't work that way, does it?

    Atheists might be assholes (case in point: Hitchens), but their non-belief does not make them any more inclined to rape, pillage and murder.

    If God Is The Source Of All Morality, as they so sincerely believe, then atheists cannot be decent people.

    But they are.

    And so another core belief (that people are fundamentally sinners who need Jesus) is attacked and possibly destroyed by cruel, uncaring reality.

    Still... maybe... maybe God really is helping those who reject Him be not totally evil. Maybe the Holy Spirit is working in the unbeliever to make sure they're not raping and murdering all the time.

    And then science comes along and says that, no, that's not the case either.

    Goddammit.

    To post seriously for a moment, the other major explanation is that our standard of "decent" behaviour does not fully correspond to moral behaviour. This is essentially the position taken by Kirk Cameron's infamous "Way of the Master" - that things like petty lies and sexual fantasies, while within the bounds of normal (understandable if not completely respectable) behaviour is morally equivalent things like rape and murder. Of course this introduces its own set of problems.

    Mostly, though, the reason Creationists bring these arguments out is that their argument is one of ultimate simplicity, and so they throw out as many simple answers to complex subjects as possible so as to identify the weakest argument of whoever it is they're debating with.

    steam_sig.png

    Also on PSN: twobadcats
  • HavelockHavelock Registered User
    edited April 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    Again, "dark matter" should not be the issue; which is something that I believe can be theoretically explained. Rather, importance should be placed on the fact that no one has been able to fully explain what happened to cause the initial effects that created our universe.

    Nothing caused it. Causality is a concept dependent upon temporal effects. Time began with the big bang, so it's fallacious to ask what happened before it or what caused it.

    Says you.

    Says me too. You can't observe something that is, by definition, inobservable.

    ...what if you crafted a cunning system of mirrors?

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Even if we observed 100% of the universe, understood everything, knew for a fact the big bang happened, and knew for a fact the Universe was still expanding etc etc all that jazz, religion isn't discounted.
    Just the parts everybody cares about.

    How so?
    Let's see...

    God made the world in six days.

    Mankind sinned by eating the fruit.

    Jesus died for that sin.

    Heaven exists.

    Hell exists.

    God interferes personally in wordly affairs.

    God is the source of morality.

    And so on.

    Science forces you to give up on all of that, except maybe the concepts of Heaven and Hell (and even those are starting to get doubtful. Souls have a mind how, exactly?).

    If this keeps up, if "God can still have said bang" is your last resort, then Christianity just becomes another version of deism, so why call it Christianity?

    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.

    It's like picking on the retarded kid, sure it's fun, but it gets boring after a while.

    The conflict between science and religion stems from a huge misunderstanding that both the religious and non-religious have both perpetrated since science reared its head in a more recognizable form after Francis Bacon. Largely this has been a confusion stemming from sloppy use of language. Take the following two sentences.

    My chair exists
    Happiness exists

    Now, aside from some incredibly weird people, the word "exist" in those sentences mean slightly different things. My chair has a color, weight, size, shape, texture, so on. What is the color of Happiness? What is its spatial location? Does it even make sense to talk about it having those things? No. However, that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. If you don't like the example of Happiness, then substitute Democracy. You can see how trying to treat those senses of "exist" equally would result in all manner of confusion and would have us trying to look for those things the wrong way. Now, the question is, in what manner does God "exist" or Heaven "exist"? Like a chair, or like Happiness (or Democracy)? Now, I'm not a believer. I don't hold that God exists, and I'm not an on the fence guy. I'm a pretty committed athiest (though I'm probably not as Athi as some). However, this just makes sense to me. It's exactly what every argument against or for God purports to do, establish the existence of something like a chair, an object. D.Z. Phillips, a genuinely cool guy, and a Welsh Philosopher of Religion said something really interesting.

    "It is not as if the athiest posits a certain number of objects in the world and the theist posits simply one more" (Mostly dealing with how we treat God).

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.

    Given how much 99% of religions have traditionally said about the physical universe, I would say it's actually a perfectly valid point. It's only recently that most religions have been backtracking like crazy to pretend that they actually never said that rain falls out of holes in the sky :/

    If you ask most people about what observable consequences their religion has, then they will specify some observable consequences. Which is the realm of testing. So NOMA just doesn't work when you actually apply it to people's beliefs.

    The fact that some religious statements can be held to be analogous to "happiness" doesn't quite cover the gaping hole.

    obF2Wuw.png
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    Again, "dark matter" should not be the issue; which is something that I believe can be theoretically explained. Rather, importance should be placed on the fact that no one has been able to fully explain what happened to cause the initial effects that created our universe.

    Nothing caused it. Causality is a concept dependent upon temporal effects. Time began with the big bang, so it's fallacious to ask what happened before it or what caused it.
    Not to mention that it's a ridiculous god-of-the-gaps argument in the first place.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.
    "Jesus died for your sins and if you accept Him you will be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven" is part of fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity now?

    What do they preach in liberal churches nowaydays anyway?

    Anyways... happiness is a state of mind (or perhaps I should say, a state of the brain). States of mind can be measured. Not perfectly, I'll admit, but I wouldn't be surprised if one day we could.

    Democracy is a process or a kind of society and that, too, can be observed.

    God is... what? A process? A state of mind?

    An idea?

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.

    Given how much 99% of religions have traditionally said about the physical universe, I would say it's actually a perfectly valid point. It's only recently that most religions have been backtracking like crazy to pretend that they actually never said that rain falls out of holes in the sky :/

    If you ask most people about what observable consequences their religion has, then they will specify some observable consequences. Which is the realm of testing. So NOMA just doesn't work when you actually apply it to people's beliefs.

    The fact that some religious statements can be held to be analogous to "happiness" doesn't quite cover the gaping hole.

    Come on, everyone was retarded in the ancient world. It wasn't like religion was special for being dumb.

    I mean, look at the non-christian world views of the Greeks, the Egyptians, etc. If you have a problem with those people being older, then look at anyone in the 1200's. It wasn't like Christianity was extra stupid with Europe and the rest of the world was an enlightened paradise without it.

    I'm not arguing NOMA. NOMA is still a confusion of the issue. Go ahead and ask the relgious person if its reasonable to talk about what color God is, or what his spatial location is. Any person who really believes and thinks about it I doubt would be willing to go there. God isn't a physical object, much like Happiness, or Democracy, or the number 2.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Even if we observed 100% of the universe, understood everything, knew for a fact the big bang happened, and knew for a fact the Universe was still expanding etc etc all that jazz, religion isn't discounted.
    Just the parts everybody cares about.

    How so?
    Let's see...

    God made the world in six days.

    Mankind sinned by eating the fruit.

    Jesus died for that sin.

    Heaven exists.

    Hell exists.

    God interferes personally in wordly affairs.

    God is the source of morality.

    And so on.

    Science forces you to give up on all of that, except maybe the concepts of Heaven and Hell (and even those are starting to get doubtful. Souls have a mind how, exactly?).

    If this keeps up, if "God can still have said bang" is your last resort, then Christianity just becomes another version of deism, so why call it Christianity?

    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.

    It's like picking on the retarded kid, sure it's fun, but it gets boring after a while.

    The conflict between science and religion stems from a huge misunderstanding that both the religious and non-religious have both perpetrated since science reared its head in a more recognizable form after Francis Bacon. Largely this has been a confusion stemming from sloppy use of language. Take the following two sentences.

    My chair exists
    Happiness exists

    Now, aside from some incredibly weird people, the word "exist" in those sentences mean slightly different things. My chair has a color, weight, size, shape, texture, so on. What is the color of Happiness? What is its spatial location? Does it even make sense to talk about it having those things? No. However, that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. If you don't like the example of Happiness, then substitute Democracy. You can see how trying to treat those senses of "exist" equally would result in all manner of confusion and would have us trying to look for those things the wrong way. Now, the question is, in what manner does God "exist" or Heaven "exist"? Like a chair, or like Happiness (or Democracy)? Now, I'm not a believer. I don't hold that God exists, and I'm not an on the fence guy. I'm a pretty committed athiest (though I'm probably not as Athi as some). However, this just makes sense to me. It's exactly what every argument against or for God purports to do, establish the existence of something like a chair, an object. D.Z. Phillips, a genuinely cool guy, and a Welsh Philosopher of Religion said something really interesting.

    "It is not as if the athiest posits a certain number of objects in the world and the theist posits simply one more" (Mostly dealing with how we treat God).

    This is a really excellent post.

    In the "happiness/democracy" sense of existing, I'm completely comfortable in saying that I think it's pretty much indisputable that God exists. I say this as some one who, if asked, would claim to be an atheist (the more detailed position would be something like an a-Yahweh(etc)-ist, but whatever). I would also adopt the position that it is as nonsensical to assign any sort of personality traits or influence over the physical universe to such an entity (if entity is even the right word), in the same way that it would be nonsensical to talk about happiness being offended or angry, or democracy creating the universe.

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  • Mad_Scientist_WorkingMad_Scientist_Working Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Yeah I mean same thing as Aether: "Jeez. Well. Maybe it's just this... this magic shit? Argh" then you test and test and test and then someone goes "haha! Totally disproved that."

    Science is all about having truths that exist only until someone comes along to knock them down.
    The aether was supposed to interact with matter. Dark matter on the other hand supposedly can travel right through you and you would be none the wiser.

    And antimatter destroys matter when they touch!

    That sounds ridiculous to me too, but its (sort of) true. You can certainly make dark matter sound ridiculous (and maybe it is) but that doesn't mean it might not end up as scientific theory. Its not yet, but its possible.

    Yeah I don't get your problem Mad Scientist, Dark Matter is weird and sounds dumb, but it's the best stopgap explanation we have at the moment. The second there's something that's more parsimonious, we'll hop to that.

    I mean you may as well be all 'Yeah but Darwin can't even explain how traits get passed along'!
    Because being weird and dumb is a stupid complaint for a theory or observation being wrong. Take antimatter matter collisions for example. Everyone here has seen one.

  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It always amuses me the way that people construct God to get around all the common objections and end up with something completely different than what is believed by the vast majority of theists.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.
    "Jesus died for your sins and if you accept Him you will be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven" is part of fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity now?

    What do they preach in liberal churches nowaydays anyway?

    Anyways... happiness is a state of mind. States of mind can be measured. Not perfectly, I'll admit, but I wouldn't be surprised if one day we could.

    Democracy is a process or a kind of society and that, too, can be observed.

    God is... what? A process? A state of mind?

    An idea?

    I didn't think that Democracy and Happiness were the kinds of things that reflected light. So, since I've never seen Happiness or Democracy, what does it look like?

    Of course, I've seen people who were Happy, but that's the effect of Happiness in a person, not Happiness itself. I mean, Happiness would still exist if for like 30 seconds no one in the world was Happy, right?

    As for the Fucktarded stuff. Nice how you picked something that wasn't in the list I quoted. St. Thomas Aquinas fixed the "God is the source of all morality" problem back in the middle ages. Pretty much every reasonable form of Christianity doesn't accept the literal truth of "God made the world in six days." Those are fucking silly, and using them to attack reasonable religious people is silly as well.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Bama wrote: »
    It always amuses me the way that people construct God to get around all the common objections and end up with something completely different than what is believed by the vast majority of theists.

    I assume you mean me....

    I think that I've captured the thrust of the reasonable theist better than many. What, praytell, is the complaint? Specifically?

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Come on, everyone was retarded in the ancient world. It wasn't like religion was special for being dumb.

    Yes, but it doesn't have the excuse proto-empiricism/philosophy does. IF a divine being were informing your dudes about the truth, then there is no excuse for any mistakes ever. Accepting that logic is a death knell for a believer because it simply leaves them with the ramblings of a bunch of ignorant dudes as their holy text. They prefer to just duck into the totally meaningless "it's all analogy and metaphor" goalpost moving.
    Go ahead and ask the relgious person if its reasonable to talk about what color God is, or what his spatial location is. Any person who really believes and thinks about it I doubt would be willing to go there. God isn't a physical object, much like Happiness, or Democracy, or the number 2.

    Indeed, and if you pressed them you would find their concept of God was totally indistinguishable from an object that didn't exist at all (as far as observations of it go). At which point you're left asking them what the reason for their belief is, and they can't give you a good answer.

    I just find the whole affair slightly embarrassing >.<

    EDIT: I'm not trying to slam you btw.

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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I did not know that all religion = fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity.
    "Jesus died for your sins and if you accept Him you will be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven" is part of fucktarded fundamentalist Christianity now?

    What do they preach in liberal churches nowaydays anyway?

    Well, if you really get down to it, "Christianity" these days is just a giant religious buffet. You pick and choose the parts of it you like, ignore the parts that are outdated, silly, or would just plain inconvenience your life, and bam, that's your faith.

    I'm not trying to be insulting by this, it's actually pretty depressing.

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  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Bama wrote: »
    It always amuses me the way that people construct God to get around all the common objections and end up with something completely different than what is believed by the vast majority of theists.

    I assume you mean me....

    I think that I've captured the thrust of the reasonable theist better than many. What, praytell, is the complaint? Specifically?
    I think the vast majority of Christians believe in a personal deity, which doesn't seem to fit with the definition you've put forth.

    "Despite all the bitching, if Diablo 3 sucks, I will eat my own cock. Counter-claim: If Diablo 3 does not suck, I will have a list of whiners who need to eat cocks." - Zen Vulgarity
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