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Old 08-09-2008, 04:24 PM   #181
Miles T
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Matthekage View Post
As a fellow atheist, I'm loving' it
I identify myself as an agnostic, not an atheist (which I consider to be someone who actively denies the claims of theism) on the grounds that I have not yet come across a sensible definition of theism, and am therefore unable to judge its validity. Additionally, many of the common tenets of theism (such as the existence of an 'omniscient being') remain unproven, but they have also not been disproved, leaving only agnosticism as a rational position. The jury might not think that the evidence presented to them is sufficient to show that a defendant is guilty, but that does not mean that the defendant is necessarily not guilty. That said, sometimes it is outright impossible for the defendant to be guilty (that is, some specific theistic positions are impossible, and I would be 'specifically atheist' towards them).

As a possibly interesting side-note, I reject the usage of the term 'innocent' to necessarily refer to somebody who has not been shown to be guilty, as their guilt often remains a possibility.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:32 PM   #182
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
This is a good cue to make a point that was touched upon earlier. My posts may seem “dickheaded” in their arrogance and because of what seems to be presumptuousness. However, my conviction in my position grows with every pro-theism argument I think I refute. Having done so a good few times, and also having one of the finest human minds on my side, I have rightfully become very confident in my position, and that can come off as arrogant and presumptuous. I do not reflexively decry arrogance as inherently bad, and embrace my own ‘arrogance’ with the support of how my intellect and intelligence has proven superior to so many others time and time again. I also realise that, at a certain point, one can become reasonably sure of the correctness of one’s positions, and can then act upon their convictions—even in situations where others are left behind.
Word. I just call it confidence instead of arrogance, personally. Nothing wrong with being confident in your stance so long as you can back it up, you know? ; )

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Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
I identify myself as an agnostic, not an atheist (which I consider to be someone who actively denies the claims of theism) on the grounds that I have not yet come across a sensible definition of theism, and am therefore unable to judge its validity. Additionally, many of the common tenets of theism (such as the existence of an 'omniscient being') remain unproven, but they have also not been disproved, leaving only agnosticism as a rational position. The jury might not think that the evidence presented to them is sufficient to show that a defendant is guilty, but that does not mean that the defendant is necessarily not guilty. That said, sometimes it is outright impossible for the defendant to be guilty (that is, some specific theistic positions are impossible, and I would be 'specifically atheist' towards them).

As a possibly interesting side-note, I reject the usage of the term 'innocent' to necessarily refer to somebody who has not been shown to be guilty, as their guilt often remains a possibility.
I honestly haven't given it too much thought, but I've always considered myself an atheist since I don't believe in any god. I think it's called weak atheism.

I mean, because I don't believe in magic, gnomes, fairies, flying invisible turtles, and pretty much everything else I can make up either. Yet there's no evidence that stuff like that doesn't exist. And when you apply Occam's Razor to these things you'll end up disregarding them. Sure, they might exist, but since we've got no reason at all to believe all these things exist we just assume the default stance of non-existence. As far as I know, thats the most logical thing to do.

Functionally, it seems atheism (both strong and weak) and agnosticism are pretty much the same anyway. One operating under either stance would go about his daily life as if no god existed, I would think. Just like one would go about his daily life as if flying invisible turtles and magic multicolored dragons don't exist, even though those things have the same probability of existing as a god would. So in the end, I guess it really doesn't matter too much. =p
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:13 PM   #183
Miles T
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Miburo View Post
So in the end, I guess it really doesn't matter too much.
Going by the principle I see in strong atheism (‘it has not been proven or it is unlikely, therefore it is not true’), someone who has not been proven guilty of a crime or whom has been shown unlikely to have committed it during one trial can never be found guilty in another trial, even with different evidence presented. The strong atheist is forced to follow the principle it to all its absurd conclusions or to be inconsistent in applying it.

Some strong atheists say that the chance of ‘God existing’ is so small that it we should dismiss the possibility altogether; I disagree that we should: we lose nothing by leaving the possibility open (so long as that is all we do), and we still keep the fact that there is a small possibility. The only case I can think of where strong atheism would currently be a rational position is that in which theism is a logical impossibility, which would depend on what theism actually means. Some may have encountered lightweight theists’ definitions and shown them to be ‘impossible’. Similarly, I may be able to ask someone who does not know what water is what water is and use their definition to ‘demonstrate’ the impossibility of water existing. Until there is a reasonably agreeable definition of ‘theism’, it is necessarily irrational to decide it is a logical or nomological impossibility.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:14 PM   #184
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
Come off it. You do not really think that—all else being equal—a person deluded in any way is equal to a rational person without any delusions, do you? Even if the difference is tiny, there will be one—and not in the favour of the deluded person.
Seeing as how it has neither been proven or disproven God exists, I am not deluded.

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What makes a person illogical is also subjective. I would say that thinking God exists does not—by itself—make a person utterly illogical.
Then we're okay here.

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So…you never try to prove God’s existence, you just put forward arguments to support that proposition to other people. Okay then…
I don't have the means to prove god exists, so I don't try. If I did, I would show at least some proof indicative of God existing, but I don't. So I don't try. I'm merely trying to show that those who support God, or the notion of him, are not "fools" or lesser than anyone who doesn't.

That's why it seems atheism is the "right" stance in these amateur debates. The theist side has not the data to prove their side while the atheist can just use the lack a proof as their main argument, which is the only thing you have.

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I can support that which I have said here with rational arguments, and I have not been shown to be wrong. Any assertion of mine you are referring to is probably correct, even if it does not put religious people in a good light.
Yeah, yeah.

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Categorisation of an omniscient being is possible—the name itself categorises. Whether or not knowing that something is an omniscient being is possible seems less clear-cut. Perhaps you can show why it is impossible.
To categorize something, you'd have to know the properties of it. Since your knowledge of God is essentially nil, you'd just default him to the "illogical/irrational" file and move along.

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If a behaviour is exhibited by every member of a group, and that behaviour identifies anything that exhibits it as a fool, every member of the group is a fool. As I said, it comes back to how one personally uses the word ‘fool’.
A behaviour? You're being too general. Humans are invariably unique. To call one religious person a fool because they believe in God, you'd have to call every single religious person in the world a fool. That's not how it works.

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Except (at least) when you put forward arguments supporting your position that a potentially impressionable audience could come across.
That's their choice. I'm not trying to convert anyone. It's what they want to believe. And there is nothing wrong with believing in God.

Last edited by Trey; 08-09-2008 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:16 PM   #185
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Seeing as how it has neither been proven or disproven God exists, I am not deluded.
It is possible that someone who, for no good reason, thinks that everyone in the world wishes to kill them is correct, but that does not necessitate that the person is not deluded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I don't have the means to prove god exists, so I don't try. If I did, I would show at least some proof indicative of God existing, but I don't. So I don't try. I'm merely trying to show that those who support God, or the notion of him, are not "fools" or lesser than anyone who doesn't.
As I already pointed out, the intention of the word ‘fool’ varies from person to person, so trying to show that anybody is not a fool is a futile endeavour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
That's why it seems atheism is the "right" stance in these amateur debates. The theist side has not the data to prove their side while the atheist can just use the lack a proof as their main argument, which is the only thing you have.
Which of theism, agnosticism or atheism is the rational stance is not variable. Whether they seem to is. The burden of proof is not variable. The lack of a necessary amount of evidence to support theism is not variable.

You still do not seem to understand that the burden of proof. The burden of proof is upon the party making a claim; it is not truth just because it has not been disproved. As I pointed out before: If, as you suggest, any proposition that has not been disproved is true, then both theism and atheism are correct propositions, which leads to a contradiction. If a method intended to determine truth leads to a contradiction—as your apparent idea of the burden of proof does—it is not a valid method to determine truth.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
To categorize something, you'd have to know the properties of it. Since your knowledge of God is essentially nil, you'd just default him to the "illogical/irrational" file and move along.
If I asked you if you preferred the colour ‘onetytwo’ or the colour ‘threetyfour’ and you did not know what the colours were (which, I suspect, you do not; I made them up) and you said that you preferred one of them, that would be irrational. The one you chose may indeed be your favourite colour, or it may not be, but you are unable to know. As you do not actually understand the question, trying to give one of those two answers is irrational.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
A behaviour? You're being too general.
No, I am not.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Humans are invariably unique.
A green car and a green boat are different, but they both have something in common.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
To call one religious person a fool because they believe in God, you'd have to call every single religious person in the world a fool.
Why is it not? It would be valid to define a fool as someone who holds an irrational position that imposes unreasonable restrictions upon how they live their life. Thus, it would be valid to say that all religious people are fools.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
That's not how it works.
‘All As are B. All Bs are Fs. Therefore all As are Fs’ is ‘not how it works’? I have already pointed out the subjectivity of calling somebody a fool, so I am unsure as to why you are pressing this point.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
That's their choice. I'm not trying to convert anyone. It's what they want to believe. And there is nothing wrong with believing in God.
There is something wrong with you causing someone to adopt an irrational position that causes them to negatively affect somebody else. By being one of the billions of religious people, you make people think religion is more valid than it really is. If religion were not popular, fewer negative actions would occur due to it.

In fact, this makes me once again reconsider my stance on private religion. Consider the following argument:

If 'private' religion is acceptable so long as it does not subtract from others, then it must be allowed for everybody to be religious. If everybody were religious, everybody could choose to do nothing on the grounds that their religion dictates doing nothing, so long as they did not subtract from anybody else. This would halt human progress and Illumination, which stands in direct contradiction to my dreams. Thus, I am unable to accept that people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs.

A similar argument could be applied to any irrational position. Thoughts (cough; Miburo)? I suppose I wish to thank Trey for leading me down that path of thought.

Last edited by Miles T; 08-09-2008 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #186
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
It is possible that someone who, for no good reason, thinks that everyone in the world wishes to kill them is correct, but that does not necessitate that the person is not deluded.
But everyone in the world doesn't know one person, so that is not possible.

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As I already pointed out, the intention of the word ‘fool’ varies from person to person, so trying to show that anybody is not a fool is a futile endeavour.
Then we agree here.

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You still do not seem to understand that the burden of proof. The burden of proof is upon the party making a claim; it is not truth just because it has not been disproved. As I pointed out before: If, as you suggest, any proposition that has not been disproved is true, then both theism and atheism are correct propositions, which leads to a contradiction. If a method intended to determine truth leads to a contradiction—as your apparent idea of the burden of proof does—it is not a valid method to determine truth.
You're the one claiming that God doesn't exist--that the thought of him existing is irrational and one who believes in him is deluded. According to your guidelines, the burden of proof is on you.

I understand what burden of proof is, but seeing as I'm not trying to prove God, that doesn't apply to me. It applies to you, moreso than me.

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If I asked you if you preferred the colour ‘onetytwo’ or the colour ‘threetyfour’ and you did not know what the colours were (which, I suspect, you do not; I made them up) and you said that you preferred one of them, that would be irrational. The one you chose may indeed be your favourite colour, or it may not be, but you are unable to know. As you do not actually understand the question, trying to give one of those two answers is irrational.
I'd just say neither, since I do not know what they are.

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A green car and a green boat are different, but they both have something in common.
Direct similarites such as that only extend to humans in the form of skin color.

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Why is it not? It would be valid to define a fool as someone who holds an irrational position that imposes unreasonable restrictions upon how they live their life. Thus, it would be valid to say that all religious people are fools.
What unreasonable restrictions? Seeing as how I live a theist life and you apparently do not, please disclose what unreasonable restrictions that I have.

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There is something wrong with you causing someone to adopt an irrational position that causes them to negatively affect somebody else. By being one of the billions of religious people, you make people think religion is more valid than it really is. If religion were not popular, fewer negative actions would occur due to it.
So by simply believing in God, I make others want to believe? Because we're a majority, folks will think they should convert. That seems to be what you're getting at.

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If 'private' religion is acceptable so long as it does not subtract from others, then it must be allowed for everybody to be religious. If everybody were religious, everybody could choose to do nothing due to their religion, so long as they did not subtract from anybody else. This would halt human progress and Illumination, which stands in direct contradiction to my dreams. Thus, I am unable to accept that people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs.
All religious people do not negatively affect others. Some, admittedly, do. But all don't. So, your dreams are safe.

Now I at least know why you so vehemently attack my stance.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:05 PM   #187
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

I think I forgot to address some of Onikage’s latest reply.

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Originally Posted by OniKage View Post
enough of highlighting the "chances and possibilities" of this issue. Let's trace back in history.
Come off it. You ‘can’t’ just rule out probability and possibility altogether without any reasoning.

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Originally Posted by OniKage View Post
First, not only Biblical records show existence of Christ.
Biblical records show the existence of someone who apparently operated outside of the law of conservation of energy? Could you point me to specific occurrences of these ‘Biblical records’?

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Originally Posted by OniKage View Post
For instance, a record: a shawl was left in a tomb near Jerusalem, showing bloodmarks of a man with a stab on the belly and nail marks on his hands and feet, is believed to be the cloth used to wrap Christ.
A key word here being ‘believed’. When you show that there is a reasonable probability that the Shroud of Turin is evidence, maybe you will have a valid point.

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Originally Posted by OniKage View Post
It is oeen another one of the many proofs of his existence, but the man covered by the shawl may have body, but when they saw the piece of cloth, no one was in it.
I do not understand that.

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Originally Posted by OniKage View Post
The Church made some research about it and they got different results. One was that the fabric was just produced less than 2000 years ago, and doesn't match in Christ's timeline.
Which hurts the ‘Shroud of Turin argument’.

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Originally Posted by OniKage View Post
Another record: Egyptian manuscripts in the time of Ramsees the Great showed the existence of Moses, almost every miracle he did in Egypt was written. It may be different from the one written in the Bible because of different writers and points of view, but they contain similar contents.
Why should I consider that valid evidence? The repeated bare assertion of something does not make it true. Also, are you not admitting that those Egyptian manuscripts contradict the Bible?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
But everyone in the world doesn't know one person, so that is not possible.
Not only are you again confusing statements of the form ‘Not all As are Bs.’ and statements of the form ‘All As are not Bs.’, but you seem to have expertly missed my point. My point was that holding a position can be delusional, regardless of whether the position is disproved or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
You're the one claiming that God doesn't exist--that the thought of him existing is irrational and one who believes in him is deluded. According to your guidelines, the burden of proof is on you.
No, I am not claiming that God exists. I do not have to deny a proposition in order to say that it is irrational to hold it to be true, as I tried to demonstrate with my example of favourite colours. You hold the position that ‘God exists’ (for whatever reason; I refuted the salvation argument, which is what leads you to that position, so surely you have no reason left to think God exists?), so the burden of proof is upon you.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I understand what burden of proof is, but seeing as I'm not trying to prove God, that doesn't apply to me. It applies to you, moreso than me.
You may not be trying to show that God exists, but the burden of proof still applies so that you must show your position to be rationally held in order to hold that position validly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I'd just say neither, since I do not know what they are.
Exactly! So, if one does not actually know what God is, then one should say, “Neither,” to the question of, “Does God exist?” should one not? I understand that you may not be the kind of person who does not know what God is (although based upon experience, the chance of you having a good definition are pretty slim), but many theists are, making their claim irrational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Direct similarites such as that only extend to humans in the form of skin color.
The argument you conveyed was that humans are unique and thus cannot be categorised. I countered with an example to demonstrate that things do not have to be identical to fit into a category together. If anything that has a property that all elements of a certain set have is also something else, then all the elements of that set are also that ‘something else’.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
What unreasonable restrictions? Seeing as how I live a theist life and you apparently do not, please disclose what unreasonable restrictions that I have.
Such as being unable to take the rational position of not claiming God exists and all that that entails. How about the restriction of not being able to deny the rationality of thinking a Flying Spaghetti Monster exists and an infinite number of other positions without being a hypocrite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
So by simply believing in God, I make others want to believe? Because we're a majority, folks will think they should convert. That seems to be what you're getting at.
By thinking something to be the case, you assert (in some way or another) that it is the case. Telling someone who trusts one that they will be fine if they jump off a cliff can be like asserting God exists: one might have genuine conviction, but one’s position is still irrationally held, and can subtract from the other person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
All religious people do not negatively affect others. Some, admittedly, do. But all don't. So, your dreams are safe.
Yet again, you must mean that, “Not all religious people negatively affect others,” which is plausible, but which does not refute my point that allowing everybody to hold any religious convictions means allowing contradiction of the dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Now I at least know why you so vehemently attack my stance.
Do you really think that I think that dismissing your stance will help that dream?

Last edited by Miles T; 08-09-2008 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:54 PM   #188
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
Not only are you again confusing statements of the form ‘Not all As are Bs.’ and statements of the form ‘All As are not Bs.’, but you seem to have expertly missed my point. My point was that holding a position can be delusional, regardless of whether the position is disproved or not.
I was under the notion that being deluded means believing in a lie. Seeing as how God's existence could go either way, I'm not technically deluded. And all this logical/irrational jargon is based on technicalities. If I die, and I'm wrong about God's existence, well then yeah. It's the same for me as you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Man
No, I am not claiming that God exists. I do not have to deny a proposition in order to say that it is irrational to hold it to be true, as I tried to demonstrate with my example of favourite colours. You hold the position that ‘God exists’ (for whatever reason; I refuted the salvation argument, which is what leads you to that position, so surely you have no reason left to think God exists?), so the burden of proof is upon you.
I just said I believed in God, and you came along like "no, he doesn't." I didn't throw up some presentation, baiting all atheists to tear down my claim. You just claimed that he doesn't exits, therefore the proof of burden is on you.

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You may not be trying to show that God exists, but the burden of proof still applies so that you must show your position to be rationally held in order to hold that position validly.
See, you're lumping me along with the other religions, more or less. Even though I believe in God, the closest thing to my belief is Christianity. And my belief isn't able to be proved until the creation of the universe is, so I'll have to put that on hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
Exactly! So, if one does not actually know what God is, then one should say, “Neither,” to the question of, “Does God exist?” should one not? I understand that you may not be the kind of person who does not know what God is (although based upon experience, the chance of you having a good definition are pretty slim), but many theists are, making their claim irrational.
Most religions define God according to their personal faith. I choose my own definition of God. I don't know if it's completely right or not, but I believe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
The argument you conveyed was that humans are unique and thus cannot be categorised. I countered with an example to demonstrate that things do not have to be identical to fit into a category together. If anything that has a property that all elements of a certain set have is also something else, then all the elements of that set are also that ‘something else’.
Humans can be categorized, just not broadly like what you tried to do. Men, woman, who has black hair, who has X condition. Then yeah, we can categorize humans in that respect. But, in the case of calling one a fool, you cannot.

Even you agreed to that, so why are we still arguing this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
Such as being unable to take the rational position of not claiming God exists and all that that entails. How about the restriction of not being able to deny the rationality of thinking a Flying Spaghetti Monster exists and an infinite number of other positions without being a hypocrite?
Believe in Flying Spaghetti. Would make an interesting person, I'd say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miles man
By thinking something to be the case, you assert (in some way or another) that it is the case. Telling someone who trusts one that they will be fine if they jump off a cliff can be like asserting God exists: one might have genuine conviction, but one’s position is still irrationally held, and can subtract from the other person.
But I don't tell them. I don't tell people "Yeah, there's a god, you should believe in that guy. He'll hook you up when you pass away--here take this flyer." I only divulge my faith if someone asks. And seeing as how I don't technically belong to a set religion, I'd have to subsequently explain to them what exactly I believe in, if they're interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Man
Yet again, you must mean that, “Not all religious people negatively affect others,” which is plausible, but which does not refute my point that allowing everybody to hold any religious convictions means allowing contradiction of the dream.
I don't want everybody to hold religious beliefs if they don't want to. And I admit some religious people are belligerent and plain ignorant when it comes to science. So, I agree, everyone being religious is not a good thing. A lot of humanity is learned enough to believe in religion responsibly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
Do you really think that I think that dismissing your stance will help that dream?
No, I just now know why you are attacking my stance. You said it yourself: "...I am unable to accept that people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs. "
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:57 AM   #189
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I was under the notion that being deluded means believing in a lie.
You mean that delusion means thinking something to be the case that has been shown to be false? Even if I were to accept your definition, most (and plausibly all) religionists would still all be deluded (which is not actually something I recall claiming unconditionally): they would still be thinking that it is rational to think God exists despite not knowing what God is, which is false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Seeing as how God's existence could go either way, I'm not technically deluded.
Until you tell me what you mean by the term ‘God’, it is unreasonable of you to expect me to just trust you on that. As, for whatever reason, you apparently will not tell me what you mean by the term, these statements will apparently remain about as informative as you saying, ‘Fivetysix could be true or false. I am not technically deluded.’

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
And all this logical/irrational jargon is based on technicalities.
Your willful carelessness in choosing the words you use neither invalidates my carefulness nor my attention to subtle distinctions.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
If I die, and I'm wrong about God's existence, well then yeah. It's the same for me as you.
No, because I would have lived a (my only?) life without the constraints that your ‘belief’ would impose, while you would have lived with them.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I just said I believed in God, and you came along like "no, he doesn't." I didn't throw up some presentation, baiting all atheists to tear down my claim.
Claiming God exists is pretty strong atheist bait. This is the ‘Debates Section’. Did you not realise?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
You just claimed that he doesn't exits, therefore the proof of burden is on you.
I did? Where was that?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
See, you're lumping me along with the other religions, more or less. Even though I believe in God, the closest thing to my belief is Christianity. And my belief isn't able to be proved until the creation of the universe is, so I'll have to put that on hold.
You are unable to prove your assertion, yet you stick to it. Why?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Most religions define God according to their personal faith. I choose my own definition of God.
‘Your own definition of God’ is based on your ‘personal faith’ though, is it not?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I don't know if it's completely right or not, but I believe it.
‘Belief’ is not a valid tool to supplement rational methods. You are deluding yourself if you think that your belief is true just because you state that it is.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Humans can be categorized, just not broadly like what you tried to do. Men, woman, who has black hair, who has X condition. Then yeah, we can categorize humans in that respect. But, in the case of calling one a fool, you cannot.

Even you agreed to that, so why are we still arguing this?
I did not say that it is necessarily impossible; I said it is contingently possible. Apparently your mind just shuts down when it comes across certain points, because I think this is the third or fourth time I have said that now.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
But I don't tell them. I don't tell people "Yeah, there's a god, you should believe in that guy. He'll hook you up when you pass away--here take this flyer." I only divulge my faith if someone asks. And seeing as how I don't technically belong to a set religion, I'd have to subsequently explain to them what exactly I believe in, if they're interested.
You have stated that you think God exists, which is equivalent to saying that God exists (stating one’s opinion is the same as asserting the proposition of the opinion, and vice versa).

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
I don't want everybody to hold religious beliefs if they don't want to. And I admit some religious people are belligerent and plain ignorant when it comes to science. So, I agree, everyone being religious is not a good thing. A lot of humanity is learned enough to believe in religion responsibly.
So it is fine for you to be religious, but not even theoretically fine for everybody to be religious?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
No, I just now know why you are attacking my stance. You said it yourself: "...I am unable to accept that people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs. "
So what you claim here is, ‘You do not think that people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs. Therefore, you are attacking my religious stance because you do not think people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs’? Again, you miss a premise, as your conclusion does not necessarily follow your premise.

Depending on the quality of your next reply and my whim, I may depart from this particular discourse; it grows stale.

Last edited by Miles T; 08-10-2008 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:37 AM   #190
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
You mean that delusion means thinking something to be the case that has been shown to be false? Even if I were to accept your definition, most (and plausibly all) religionists would still all be deluded (which is not actually something I recall claiming unconditionally): they would still be thinking that it is rational to think God exists despite not knowing what God is, which is false.
It's not my definition, it's the word's definition. You seem to be taking my words as if they hold some underlying meaning.

I'm merely saying that since God is not proven to be false, one is not deluded by believing in him. Can you disagree with that, somehow? Going by the prescribed definition of deluded.

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Originally Posted by Miles man
Until you tell me what you mean by the term ‘God’, it is unreasonable of you to expect me to just trust you on that. As, for whatever reason, you apparently will not tell me what you mean by the term, these statements will apparently remain about as informative as you saying, ‘Fivetysix could be true or false. I am not technically deluded.’
Supernatural being, creator of the universe, omnipotent, all controlling force. Something beyond the current knowledge of man and intangible from the physical plane, only becoming comprehensible upon transcendence (i.e death). That is what I mean by God. I figured we were mutually on the same page there.

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Originally Posted by Miles man
Your willful carelessness in choosing the words you use neither invalidates my carefulness nor my attention to subtle distinctions.
I apologize if my dialect is unbecoming and somehow limited. I don't tend to use uneeded words when common synonyms of them exist.

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Originally Posted by Miles man
No, because I would have lived a (my only?) life without the constraints that your ‘belief’ would impose, while you would have lived with them.
Again, these restraints you keep tossing up. I'm not handicapped in any way by my belief. Prove to me I am and i'll concede this point.

Also, we would be the same, since we would both cease existence in the absence of a god or heaven (or some spiritual realm of some sort).

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Originally Posted by Miles man
Claiming God exists is pretty strong atheist bait. This is the ‘Debates Section’. Did you not realise?
I realized. Can you cease the condescending mocking?

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Originally Posted by Miles man
I did? Where was that?
Your whole stance is in opposition to mines, with you steadily attacking the notion and very idea of a God (which you did so from many angles). I did not mean to say you literally said "no, he doesn't", yet you may as well have done so.

Quote:
You are unable to prove your assertion, yet you stick to it. Why?
It's called faith. Two years ago, no one would have been able to prove that Brett Favre would retire, unretire, and be traded to the Jets. But anyone out there who did believe that kept that faith. Sure, it was always possible something like that could happen, but it's also possible that there could very well be a God (even if the possibilty of such an occurence is minimal, as you had pointed out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
‘Your own definition of God’ is based on your ‘personal faith’ though, is it not?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
‘Belief’ is not a valid tool to supplement rational methods. You are deluding yourself if you think that your belief is true just because you state that it is.
I believe it is true, but I do not rule out the possibility it could be false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
I did not say that it is necessarily impossible; I said it is contingently possible. Apparently your mind just shuts down when it comes across certain points, because I think this is the third or fourth time I have said that now.
Apparently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
You have stated that you think God exists, which is equivalent to saying that God exists (stating one’s opinion is the same as asserting the proposition of the opinion, and vice versa).
I think he exists, but I do not rule out the possibility of him not existing.

I think the Bills will win the SuperBowl, but I do not rule out the possibilty of them losing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
So it is fine for you to be religious, but not even theoretically fine for everybody to be religious?
A lot of humans are not knowledged enough of universal properties, or a just plain immature. I will say I'm neither.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
So what you claim here is, ‘You do not think that people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs. Therefore, you are attacking my religious stance because you do not think people should be allowed to hold irrational religious beliefs’? Again, you miss a premise, as your conclusion does not necessarily follow your premise.
First off, the fact that you use irrational as an adjective to religious, you admit there could be rational religious beliefs. But I assume that isn't the case. Anyways...

I think it's fairly straightforward--kind of like your A=B, B=F, therefore A=F example. You say you will not allow people to hold irrational religious beliefs; you believe me to be a person who holds an irrational religious belief; therefore I came to the conclusion that that was the reason you were attacking my stance. Simple, I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
Depending on the quality of your next reply and my whim, I may depart from this particular discourse; it grows stale.
I agree, it is.

Last edited by Trey; 08-10-2008 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:39 AM   #191
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Supernatural being, creator of the universe, omnipotent, all controlling force. Something beyond the current knowledge of man and intangible from the physical plane, only becoming comprehensible upon transcendence (i.e death). That is what I mean by God. I figured we were mutually on the same page there.
Omnipotence is impossible; God is unable to both die and always be alive. God is unable to be bound by the limitations upon humans.

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Again, these restraints you keep tossing up. I'm not handicapped in any way by my belief. Prove to me I am and i'll concede this point.
Your ‘belief’ seems to have caused you to adopt faith as if it is a valid method to derive truth, which it is not. You live wishfully thinking that God and apparently an afterlife exist, unable to pursue all truth due to the limitations put upon truth by your religious convictions.

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I realized. Can you cease the condescending mocking?
So I am supposed to stop making you look like a fool using valid points because it wounds your ego?

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Originally Posted by Trey View Post
Your whole stance is in opposition to mines, with you steadily attacking the notion and very idea of a God (which you did so from many angles). I did not mean to say you literally said "no, he doesn't", yet you may as well have done so.
I have been an agnostic for the entire duration of this thread. Like many hasty, reflexive religionists, you seem to have made the mistake of assuming that anybody who criticises theism and religion is a strong atheist (what I would just call an ‘atheist’).

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It's called faith. Two years ago, no one would have been able to prove that Brett Favre would retire, unretire, and be traded to the Jets. But anyone out there who did believe that kept that faith. Sure, it was always possible something like that could happen, but it's also possible that there could very well be a God (even if the possibilty of such an occurence is minimal, as you had pointed out).
I have already refuted faith. It can lead to correct conclusions, but it can also lead to an infinite number of contradictory ones.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:47 AM   #192
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
I identify myself as an agnostic, not an atheist (which I consider to be someone who actively denies the claims of theism) on the grounds that I have not yet come across a sensible definition of theism, and am therefore unable to judge its validity.
Quote:
Sitting on the fence: to delay making a decision when you have to choose between two sides in an argument or a competition
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/...g+on+the+fence
If the only valid information was that based on absolutes, we wouldn't be certain of very much.
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However, my conviction in my position grows with every pro-theism argument I think I refute. Having done so a good few times, and also having one of the finest human minds on my side, I have rightfully become very confident in my position.
Well, it sounds like you on you way to joining us Don't underestimate the power of the dark side.
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Some strong atheists say that the chance of ‘God existing’ is so small that it we should dismiss the possibility altogether; I disagree that we should: we lose nothing by leaving the possibility open (so long as that is all we do), and we still keep the fact that there is a small possibility. The only case I can think of where strong atheism would currently be a rational position is that in which theism is a logical impossibility, which would depend on what theism actually means. Some may have encountered lightweight theists’ definitions and shown them to be ‘impossible’. Similarly, I may be able to ask someone who does not know what water is what water is and use their definition to ‘demonstrate’ the impossibility of water existing. Until there is a reasonably agreeable definition of ‘theism’, it is necessarily irrational to decide it is a logical or nomological impossibility.

I once had a discussion with Mibs about applying Occam's razor, I wasn't a big fan. However, I was persuaded that perhaps it is should be applied to theism. We can only go by what is observed to be most likely. If you truly are a fan of science, you have to be ready to accept being wrong on some issues. As we are constantly updating our understanding we are disproving our own theories. That's the nature of the beast. I just don't know about leaving open the possibility of something existing purely for the reason that it can't positively be shown to not exist. That sort of allows for the possible existence of one of Mib's flying purple cheese dragons.

Last edited by Matthekage; 08-10-2008 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:51 AM   #193
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Miles T View Post
Omnipotence is impossible; God is unable to both die and always be alive. God is unable to be bound by the limitations upon humans.
I used omnipotent right, but this isn't a squabble over the definition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
Your ‘belief’ seems to have caused you to adopt faith as if it is a valid method to derive truth, which it is not. You live wishfully thinking that God and apparently an afterlife exist, unable to pursue all truth due to the limitations put upon truth by your religious convictions.
So, you pose the possibilty that there is something other than God/heaven or nothingness awaiting death? That is very interesting, though I'll leave that study to other, more subjectively-driven minds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
So I am supposed to stop making you look like a fool using valid points because it wounds your ego?
No, I just asked you to stop underhandedly insulting my intelligence. I have no problems with you points and stance other than the fact that I disagree with them, yet I respect your stance nonetheless and can see why you hold it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
I have been an agnostic for the entire duration of this thread. Like many hasty, reflexive religionists, you seem to have made the mistake of assuming that anybody who criticises theism and religion is a strong atheist (what I would just call an ‘atheist’).
You have maintained a convoluted medium...in some posts you said the possibility of God is so small it's neglible (the agnostic bit), in others you hinted strongly that he does not exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles man
I have already refuted faith. It can lead to correct conclusions, but it can also lead to an infinite number of contradictory ones.
That is true, but it has yet to be determined where religion falls. All I'm saying.

So, I take it we have nothing more to say?

@Mattthekage--No disrespect, but you really added nothing to the conversation. You just regurgitated what Mibs said.

Last edited by Trey; 08-10-2008 at 02:57 AM. Reason: Fixed some spelling errors
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:08 AM   #194
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

I see, If I have an opinion that runs parallel to someone else's, I shouldn't post. O.K. I'll remember that.

Anyway, I was answering a post from Miles aimed at myself. Not aimed at the general conversation. Just go about you debate.
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:11 AM   #195
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Re: Opinions on Christianity

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Originally Posted by Matthekage View Post
I see, If I have an opinion that runs parallel to someone else's, I shouldn't post. O.K. I'll remember that.

Anyway, I was answering a post from Miles aimed at myself. Not aimed at the general conversation. Just go about you debate.
That is not the case at all, I was merely commenting that you added nothing. Mibs and Miles are basically on the same page, yet they both bring new points or rebuttals to the discussion.
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