Author Topic: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern  (Read 10160 times)

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Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #58 on: December 29, 2010, 05:57:54 PM »
Great post Jetson.  I do find myself overgeneralizing because the more blatant members are the members with more volume.  I know it's not all of the members here. 

Belief and non-belief aside, what's the real benefit to unleashing wrath like that?  To me, it's more harmful than good.  Sure it may not be an all out violent jihad, but it's more for planting the seed of resentment than change.  <-anyone wanna' comment on that little paragraph?

I'm all for agreeing to disagree.  Really, I don't see that because I have a belief, I HAVE to prove it to anyone here.  I'm not out to convince anyone here of anything I believe.  Go ahead and believe there's no God.  Fine by me.

Sure I'll tell my belief.  I mentioned it in an introduction thread and responses were warm and welcoming. 

Now if only I had that amount of understanding in other places here besides the introduction thread....

What is there to discuss?  He/she is trying to tell you he understands why you feel overwhelmed because you're outnumbered.  And you want us to "discuss" this?

I've been on christian forums and the comments I received from them were alot harsher than anything you've seen here, believe me.  You persevere by arguing your point with logic, evidence and reason, not by putting your fingers and your ears and closing your eyes and screaming "lalalalalalal". 

....and your even harsher mistreatment on Christian forums somehow makes the harsh mistreatment here irrelevant or warranted?  Please.

When are you going to make an argument?  Just ignore everything else for a moment and tell us one reason why YOUR god belief has any merit to it compared to any of the thousands of gods and cultural superstitions throughout mankind's history.  Just give us one reason.

I've made my stance here.  Therein I state one good reason why the God of my understanding has merit.

Don't like it?  Then go away.  You have nothing to gain from being around me.

Like it?  You can go away anyway.  I'm not interested in your input.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 06:11:00 PM by Hguols »


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Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #59 on: December 29, 2010, 06:38:44 PM »
No. You're confusing the hobby of religious debate with atheism. Atheism is not about going on forums to discuss theology, just as Christianity is not about playing baseball. Some atheists enjoy debating theology. Some Christians enjoy playing baseball. But you cannot mix the two and say, "Since some atheists spend a lot of time talking about religion, atheism must be a belief."

That does not make sense to me.  Why would someone who disbelieves in deities, have a hobby relating to the belief in deities? 

It doesn't appear to be a fluke instance.  It seems actually quite a few disbelievers have this "hobby".


“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” ~ Carl Sagan

Offline Historicity

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2010, 06:48:49 PM »
Belief and non-belief aside, what's the real benefit to unleashing wrath like that?  To me, it's more harmful than good.

Yeah, I think I heard a proverb somewhere that says something like " A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."[1]

Or as someone else put it "Show me a violent man who produced good ends and I will take him for my teacher."[2]


 1. Proverbs 15:1
 2. Tao Te Ching 42:3.  The most widely distributed (and disputed) translation is James Legge's which puts that verse as "3. What other men (thus) teach, I also teach.  The violent and strong do not die their natural death.  I will make this the basis of my teaching."

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2010, 07:08:29 PM »

That does not make sense to me.  Why would someone who disbelieves in deities, have a hobby relating to the belief in deities? 

It doesn't appear to be a fluke instance.  It seems actually quite a few disbelievers have this "hobby".

As an atheist, my interest in the subject is twofold. First of all, of course it is nice to see that I am not the only one in the world who does not believe that there is a god. Pre internet, it was sometimes difficult to find similarly minded folks. We are a minority, but we look normal. So finding a place where I can chat with folks who agree with me in some general way is nice. Not necessary, but nice.

I am also interested as to why people who do believe, whether it be in your god or others, that it is true that there is some omni-something belng out there micro or macro-managing this planet. I find is fascinating that people can believe one god story as absolutely true while casually dismissing all other god stories as false. That they cannot see the pattern is beyond me, but at least in a forum like this I can watch and listen as folks such as yourself come here and try to show us your point of view.

I do my best to be civil with believers, in real life or here, and generally succeed. But sometimes folks who dislike us are so vehement that I feel that releases me from being a nice guy. I won't hesitate to tell someone they are a stupid racist homophobe pig with the maturity level of fart when necessary. You don't fall into the category at all, other than even I think you're playing the victim card a bit too much. But otherwise you are a good person to be talking too. Sadly, since I haven't dissed you much, you've ignored most all of my posts. No biggie.

The stamp collector analogy is a good one, but you chose to respond to what Ashe said and ignore a clearer explanation of the analogy from Asmoday when a bit earlier when responding to your query on the subject. 

Quote
Quote
Someone has stated, "Is not collecting stamps a hobby?" in regards to the belief/disbelief, but comparing a hobby and someone's "personal view" is like comparing elephants and pancakes. 

If not-collecting stamps involves, on a regular basis:

- arguing with stamp collectors,
- debating the purpose of collecting stamps,
- denying the existence of stamps,
- written statements that not collecting stamps is more logical than collecting stamps

...then it's a damn hobby to not-collect stamps.

If those collecting stamps interfered with my life, routinely halted the progress of science, interfered with the education of children, caused war after war after war, prevented people from living their lives the way they want and marrying those they want, etc etc etc etc, then hell yes I would actively argue with stamp collectors.  Otherwise, your analogy fails miserably.

This sums it up nicely. I have never been spit on by stamp collectors for not collecting, I have never had stamp collectors constantly coming to my door with tracts on stamp collecting. I have never had to put up with long dreary sermons on stamp collecting at the funeral of atheist friends; funerals where their family insisted on going overboard, apparently hoping they could influence the guys chances of getting to heaven. I have never been asked to go to a stamp collectors group meeting on sundays. Nor condemned because I wouldn't. And no stamp collector has tried to get their alternative way of explaining life (we were licked into existence by our writers) into public schools.

Big big difference. If you can't see it, I'm sorry. We can't explain it any better. Just like none of us can get through to you as to why we don't think there is a god.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2010, 07:17:44 PM »
Hguols:

Since your sig is still there...does that mean you weren't impressed with Gnu's logic? Did you find anything useful in the link I offered?

I'm glad you're here, though I don't know how it will work out for you. I already said why I wouldn't want to change your belief in God, and you have stated that you do not want to change anyone's belief either. So what will you be able to discuss at WWGHA if not theism/atheism? Maybe the science threads or chatter will work for a while. But somehow all subjects are going to eventually revolve around differing beliefs.

The discussions will get heated and sometimes folks can be unkind, but it is usually not persons being attacked, but ideas. Feeling warm and welcome may be a bit difficult under these circumstances.

You could just read posts to learn how some of us think, if you being here is about curiousity, but that would sort of be like me hanging around the gym.

And I would feel uncomfortable hanging around the gym due to the fact that I am physically not able to lift weights and workout, etc. While everyone was working out and talking about working out, I would just be sitting around. I'm sure some folks would be annoyed at the fact that I was hanging around with no apparent purpose and always trying to engage them in conversation not related to working out. They would soon question what my motives for being there are.

And what if I stated from the outset that I thought body building was a bad idea? What if I made the statement: Spending all that time making your muscles look big makes the one muscle that really counts look small by comparison? Then decided to hang around the gym anyways. How might I be received then?

And for me, what would be the point beyond curiosity? Hanging around the gym and not working out, would be less useful than practicing swimming on dry land.

I think not arguing beliefs on WWGHA forum is sort of like that.

Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #63 on: December 29, 2010, 07:26:39 PM »
Belief and non-belief aside, what's the real benefit to unleashing wrath like that?  To me, it's more harmful than good.

Yeah, I think I heard a proverb somewhere that says something like " A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."[1]

Or as someone else put it "Show me a violent man who produced good ends and I will take him for my teacher."[2]
 1. Proverbs 15:1
 2. Tao Te Ching 42:3.  The most widely distributed (and disputed) translation is James Legge's which puts that verse as "3. What other men (thus) teach, I also teach.  The violent and strong do not die their natural death.  I will make this the basis of my teaching."

Do you really believe this? 

I mean, just because its a old proverb doesn't mean its gold.  There's an old Chinese proverb that says "After being struck on the head by an axe, it is a positive pleasure to have your body beaten by a wooden club".

How about some input that's a little less archaic? 



“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” ~ Carl Sagan

Offline jetson

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2010, 07:34:08 PM »

That does not make sense to me.  Why would someone who disbelieves in deities, have a hobby relating to the belief in deities? 

It doesn't appear to be a fluke instance.  It seems actually quite a few disbelievers have this "hobby".

Yes, it does seem that way, and I don't find fault in you thinking this way.  But there is a purpose to it all, at least to me.

I have only been an "outspoken" atheist for a few years now.  Prior to that, I was basically an "I don't give a shit" non-believer who never thought of calling himself an atheist.  But all of that changed when I realized the very real and disturbing things that are happening in this country related to religious believers and their desire to suppress the voices of anyone who does not suck up to their god.  This is far more real and dangerous than you might think, or even realize.

The best way I can describe it is discrimination.  And oddly enough, when I decided to call myself atheist, I quickly became the target of open discrimination, hatred, and bigotry - almost identical, and in some ways worse than homosexuals.  In fact, one of the first things I discovered was a movement by Richard Dawkins to have atheists "come out", as it were, so the world recognizes that atheists are indeed here, and we deserve as much respect as anyone else.

I have a feeling that you have felt discrimination for some part of your lifestyle, outside of religion?  Is that true? And if so, what, if anything did you do about it?  Not that doing something is required, mind you, but it does feel right for certain people to be outspoken, and to carry their message so that the idea spreads.  The gays have been very effective with this tactic, and it has gained them considerable acceptance in modern society over time.

The thing is, I have decided that it is very important for me to speak out, (shameless blog promotion) in my own small way, and contribute to a movement that I think is very worthwhile.  Human dignity and equal rights are at stake, which makes it very worthwhile to me personally.  My dad accepts my atheism, but he does not yet understand why I won't shut up about it.  I'm working on him!

Here's something else that might interest you to know.  I have not completely come out with my atheism, because I am literally afraid, as are many of my internet friends who are also atheist.  There are very real repercussions that come along with coming out, which you have to admit is very unfortunate.  At worst, my career can be completely shredded (although I don't think so, I'm still nervous.)  However, I have decided that I can talk about my atheism to certain "real" people in my daily life, and I am ready to defend myself if necessary.

So yeah, I'll call it a hobby, for lack of a better term, but I truly enjoy it, and as a bonus, I am now more knowledgable on The Bible than a whole big pile of Christians!


Offline Graybeard

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2010, 08:00:08 PM »

I mean, just because its a old proverb doesn't mean its gold.  [...] How about some input that's a little less archaic?
Can I ask you to tell that to some of your Bible-believing friends?
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2010, 08:07:55 PM »

I mean, just because its a old proverb doesn't mean its gold.  [...] How about some input that's a little less archaic?
Can I ask you to tell that to some of your Bible-believing friends?

Sure. 

Can you tell your friends not to use theist archaic literature as a weapon to club theists with?



“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” ~ Carl Sagan

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #67 on: December 29, 2010, 08:22:39 PM »
Monkeymind:
Quote
Since your sig is still there...does that mean you weren't impressed with Gnu's logic?

What do you say, Hguols?

Offline Historicity

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2010, 08:24:14 PM »
Do you really believe this? 

I mean, just because its a old proverb doesn't mean its gold.  There's an old Chinese proverb that says "After being struck on the head by an axe, it is a positive pleasure to have your body beaten by a wooden club".

How about some input that's a little less archaic?
I can't tell what your point is here.   I was following off what you said.

I don't know what you mean by archaic here.  If it was a question of science I'd know why something being archaic was better or worse but I don't know what you want.


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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2010, 08:28:05 PM »
Do you really believe this? 

I mean, just because its a old proverb doesn't mean its gold.  There's an old Chinese proverb that says "After being struck on the head by an axe, it is a positive pleasure to have your body beaten by a wooden club".

How about some input that's a little less archaic?
I can't tell what your point is here.   I was following off what you said.

I don't know what you mean by archaic here.  If it was a question of science I'd know why something being archaic was better or worse but I don't know what you want.

I could ask how a person big on the bible could complain about something being archaic, but I'm bigger than that.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2010, 08:29:07 PM »
...

I didn't realize how heavy discrimination is toward atheism.  Do you have some example bylaws?  (I'll look at some extreme examples, but would prefer them not to be on an individual basis)

I've felt discrimination.  I was discriminated against because of my appearance (big muscles, scary beard), I've been discriminated against because of my drinking, and....   here.

My appearance, if it involved a job or someone was going to have a zero-tolerance policy about it, I just moved on.  There wasn't much I could do.  Most of the time, people figured out they could get along with me fairly well and you can't judge a book by its cover.

My drinking, it was killing me.  The discriminators were absolutely right and trying to save my life.  It was actually really hard to let this go because the addiction was so strong, but when literally everyone was for my sobriety....   that made it easier.

Here.  It doesn't matter what I say because I'm here for the wrong reason.  Like what Monkeymind said in this post.  The sad thing is, I'll be discriminated against until I start "lifting weights".

Why not just throw in the towel?  Why put up with this?  Probably for a similar reason why you don't....   I refuse to be passive and submissive with something that I feel strongly about.

I know I've said this before, I'm not interested in debating...  it has too much "push" that works more on hard feelings than getting people to come around.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 08:37:07 PM by Admin 1 »


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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2010, 08:36:24 PM »
I could ask how a person big on the bible could complain about something being archaic, but I'm bigger than that.
I'm not: post #65 above  ;D
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2010, 08:40:12 PM »

Sure. 

Can you tell your friends not to use theist archaic literature as a weapon to club theists with?
I suspect that they are relying on showing that the incoherent ramblings of godbotherers are merely illogical and delusional and that thus the reason for being a theist is equally so.

Is there any modern theistic literature that you would approve? e.g. Kent Hovind?
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2010, 09:04:55 PM »
Huguols said:

Quote
I refuse to be passive and submissive with something that I feel strongly about.

I know I've said this before, I'm not interested in debating...  it has too much "push" that works more on hard feelings than getting people to come around.

Those 2 bolded parts seem contradictory.

The last sentence is confusing as well. How can you possibly get some one to come around to your beliefs (ones that you will not be submissive or passive about) here at WWGHA without debating/discussing arguing them?

Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2010, 09:15:58 PM »
Not contradictory MM... He's not going to be passive, but he's not going to debate, means he's going to just preach and complain about how unfairly he's been treated here.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #75 on: December 29, 2010, 09:55:06 PM »
I could ask how a person big on the bible could complain about something being archaic, but I'm bigger than that.
I'm not: post #65 above  ;D

Great minds think alike, but not necessarily verbatim or at the same time.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #76 on: December 29, 2010, 10:01:20 PM »
Hguols:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discrimination

Quote
treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

Treatment at WWGHA, I find, is generally based on the individual's merit. I think it has been in your case, as well.

However, what I really want to say to you is this: It can be a difficult and painful experience to change one's core beliefs, and I'm betting you aren't hot to go through that again. Especially if someone is forcing that on you. But here you are, on your own accord.

It's as if deep down you know that Bible/Christian/God does not line up with reality, and so like a jilted lover you keep complaining but coming back for more.

I don't know what's better, a Sober Christian, or a drunk atheist. Maybe a sober atheist, but it's not really my decision. If you hang around here you will most likely eventually de-convert or else get pissed off and break forum rules and get banned, or leave mad. Why go through all that?


Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2010, 12:01:38 AM »
Hguols

Enough already with the randomly repeated intimation as to how big and strong and scary you are. I mean you don't have to remind us so frequently as though we haven't already witnessed your obvious need for recognition for your obvious muscle-bound.

I mean your profile says  "muscles and a beard"   surely that is descriptive enough?

I'm starting to see here that the true "hilarious mailbag pattern" is this continued posturing, hand in hand with your sustained and very whimpy cry of victimization at the hands of this forum. Hilarious.

Before you adopt your standard defensive posture of attacking me as unworthy of communicating with, save your breath bloke.
Essentially, my pushy intolerance to your stated aims of "claiming but not defending" should warrant little to no reply from you (don't get me wrong Hguols if you feel the need to not be passive and submissive knock yourself out ....I mean no-one's better equipped here for that task).

It's just if you are not here to debate, >Edit snip abuse< I for one am not interested an any of your bodybuilding poses, nor am I interested in hearing any of the theist claims you are willing to make, but don't have the substance to debate.

And could you please stop whining about your treatment here at this atheist forum, it just comes across as very weak joke.
 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 12:14:23 AM by kin hell »
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all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2010, 12:49:18 AM »
Hguols:

Since your sig is still there...does that mean you weren't impressed with Gnu's logic? Did you find anything useful in the link I offered?

It looks like he missed all of this, from what I can tell, MM. He must still thinks it is valid.

Troll.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #79 on: January 01, 2011, 01:36:30 PM »
Hguols, do you have a response to my post? (this one).


Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #80 on: January 01, 2011, 04:07:24 PM »
......
If you refuse to make a decision, you are in effect choosing the "No treatment" option.

But, this doesn't mean that "No treatment" is a form of treatment.

......

And exactly as before, this doesn't mean that "Lacking belief" is a form of belief.

So Mr Barron is wrong: disbelief is not a form of belief.

Gnu.

Sorry for not addressing this.  It is a good post, and I'll offer my explanation.

I understand the point you're trying to make, but I disagree.  Knowing about the choices and how this works this puts a different spin on things.

Say the patient KNOWS that if he chooses nothing, he will get stuck with the no treatment option - that's puts a different perspective on choice, and ALMOST turns this into an ultimatum.

He can either chose option A, B, or C - the 3 different types of treatment, or option D, no treatment.  That "No Treatment" choice CAN be made mind you.  If he's left with the choice between A, B, C, or D, and is told and understands that there is a condition:  Not choosing is EXACTLY THE SAME RESULTS as option D.

If he knows this, intentionally doesn't choose but has the ability to chose, (gives no answer) then he has, not directly - in effect, chosen D.

Applying this to belief or disbelief, this is where we might differ in views.  I still see the same almost in the ultimatum sense.  To try to keep it in the same formula, I see it as:

Theism = Treatment A and/or B
Atheism = Treatment C
Agnosticism = Treatment D

See, Agnosticism is the true un-decision.  They haven't drawn a conclusion - they truly haven't chosen anything because they, in effect, don't know.  They don't believe in God, yet, they don't believe there isn't one.

I've heard it said here as an Atheist statement.  Correct me if I'm wrong:

There is no God(s).

That is a conclusion drawn.  Isn't drawn from proof, but lack of proof.  It isn't drawn from evidence, but lack of evidence.  It's still a statement, and that statement makes a point - a point made from a conclusion drawn.



“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” ~ Carl Sagan

Offline One Above All

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #81 on: January 01, 2011, 04:22:59 PM »
Gnosticism refers to knowledge, it is not a religious position. Gnostic/agnostic must ALWAYS be followed by "atheist" or "theist", otherwise it just means with/without knowledge of god. To be purely agnostic, one must be completely ignorant of the concept of god

Also, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. I call Russel's teapot on this. You can't prove that there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn, for example. But this doesn't mean it exists. However, without evidence to support the assertion that there's a teapot orbiting Saturn, we can conclude there isn't one
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Ashe

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #82 on: January 01, 2011, 04:38:12 PM »
Gnosticism refers to knowledge, it is not a religious position. Gnostic/agnostic must ALWAYS be followed by "atheist" or "theist", otherwise it just means with/without knowledge of god. To be purely agnostic, one must be completely ignorant of the concept of god

This is well said, and very true.

"Agnostic" is more of an adjective or a modifier.
If I'm asking someone whether they believe in a god and they tell me they're an agnostic, they haven't answered the question. I'm not asking if they know whether there's a god. I'm asking whether they believe.

Atheism and theism deal with belief.
Agnosticism deals with knowledge.

You don't say, "I'm an agnostic" just as you wouldn't say, "I'm a blue." A blue what?
An agnostic what?

Unfortunately these sorts of word games and issues of semantics are part of what makes it so difficult to have conversations like this. If we all - atheists included, perhaps especially - can't even decide on what a word means, how can the discussion move forward? It's one of those frustrating tidbits.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #83 on: January 02, 2011, 06:50:44 AM »
Gnostic theist: I know a deity exists! (Or many exist)
Agnostic theist: I don't know if a deity exists (or many exist), but I believe.
Gnostic atheist: I know there exist no deities what-so-ever
Agnostic atheist: I don't know if any deities exist and I don't believe in the existence of any either


Those are some of the different positions. We did have a debate on 'agnosticism' on here a while back and many do just take the term 'agnostic' as a position, it was argued on here that belief is binary, therefore you either believe or you don't. As I argued in that discussion, a person may not know what they believe, perhaps skepticism on both sides or just not enough thought on the subject to make a judgment, hence people refer to themselves as 'agnostic'. In reality the term is a modifier (as just stated), so you need to be careful on how you think about atheism. Not every atheist claims to know that God (or any gods) doesn't exist. When I talk about any gods I won't say, "God doesn't exist" or "I believe God doesn't exist", but merely, "I don't believe God exists." My position is a lack of belief with no claims to knowledge, hence I fit under the 'agnostic atheist' category. But gnostic atheists feel there's a strong enough case against the existence of deities to be able to say, "there are no gods" and I can understand their case as there's as much evidence to support the existence of deities as there are unicorns, pixies or faeries. It sounds like an offensive thing to say about theistic views, but the difference is that belief in deities is far more popular, but no less valid in terms of evidence and we accept unicorns, pixies and faeries to all be mythical (and non-existent) creatures and as soon as somebody says, "I just saw a faerie" you'd think they're insane (for many this is what people saying, "God spoke to me" is like). So although I say that I'm still an agnostic atheist, after all I don't know unicorns, pixies or faeries don't exist either, I just have absolutely no reason to believe that they do exist, I've never experienced one nor have I seen evidence support their existence and I will not immediately believe a person's testimony for a number of reasons, e.g. I don't believe my mum's testimony of seeing ghosts (that doesn't mean, "I believe she didn't see a ghost" either), but there's a number of reasons as to why it might not be true (interpretation for one), heck I saw a ghost when I was a kid...was it actually a ghost? I don't know. Ghosts are also written about in all kinds of media too and throughout history (as are deities), but like the existence of any deity, that's not enough for me to start believing they're real.
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Offline Str82Hell

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2011, 09:02:38 AM »
I realise that I often act like a jerk and lately I've been using this board a little bit to vent off my frustrations, often at the cost of a theist who is wilfully ignorant and refusing to engage in a conversation. And honestly, that doesn't bother me that much at all. On the other, I don't want to act like a jerk and maybe I can be an example to other people and often I find that the most pleasant thing is not to get involved in big bull crap topics.
When I see someone who I think is honestly willing to have a conversation, I'm quickly on it and try to figure out what this person has to say. Too often, however, I'm disappointed to find out that the person is not willing or capable to have a conversation at all.

Now I will explain the reason why I decided to join this board, which is probably more or less similar for many people around here. I've been raised in a Christian community and I've always been disappointed by the lack of interest of other people to ask questions and find answers to them. I've always been disappointed I've never got an intelligent remark from anyone when I was asking critical questions. I've joined this board because I recognised how much I had in common with many of us here. I really like it how people are willing to explore the world around us here. A couple of such topics which come to my mind are from the Science section, e.g. "Incredible new caves discovered in Vietnam", "Science! It works bitches! Awesome news inside!" or "Great story: Kids doing real science".
If you are interested in similar topics and if we share an inquisitive nature, then I really don't care whether you're Christian or not, but I prefer not to have lengthy discussions with you about Christianity is or is not true, and by doing so I more often than not find out that we do not really share that inquisitive nature. Or that you're too afraid to leave your comfort zone to be able to let your inquisitive side go its own way.

So, I'd rather let someone else do the religious conversion, but sometimes I'll pop in and totally act like a jerk. Sometimes I'll try to prevent other from acting like jerks. I'm human and I'm not perfect.
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The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2011, 09:20:39 AM »

Yeah, I think I heard a proverb somewhere that says something like " A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."[1]
 1. Proverbs 15:1
There’s an old story about a man who gets a donkey and he wants it trained. He takes it to the donkey trainer. The first thing the donkey trainer does is to whack it over the head with a baseball bat.
“Hey! Why did you do that!” asks the owner.
The trainer replies, “Well, first you have to get their attention.”

A soft answer may turn away wrath but, if the subject for deconversion is cocooned in a warm blanket of delusion, you’ve got to get through that first otherwise you fall into the trap of letting the subject lead a debate on his mythical grounds.

Once the atheist starts sympathising with the concept of something like, 'Jesus might have risen from the dead but the witnesses were confused', acres of print and hours of education are lost.

A sharp tap on the head with a baseball bat, gives a moment of lucidity to the godbotherer who then might be encouraged to see that he/she has not the faintest reason to believe fairy tales and a real discussion about real things can take place.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2011, 01:43:13 PM »
There’s an old story about a man who gets a donkey and he wants it trained. ....The first thing the donkey trainer does is to whack it over the head with a baseball bat.....
......
Once the atheist starts sympathising with the concept of something like, 'Jesus might have risen from the dead but the witnesses were confused', acres of print and hours of education are lost.

A sharp tap on the head with a baseball bat....

WOW.  I think I'm understanding how some of you guys tick a little better.
...."training" people like this is like a really lo-fi subtle version of brainwashing.

....and you're different from Christians because..........
__________________

Agnosticism isn't JUST an adjective.  It can be used as an adjective, but that's not what I'm talking about.

(Wikipedia) Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical  claims—is unknown or unknowable

(dictionary.com) Agnosticism ~NOUN
an intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge.

(Webster.com)Agnostic ~NOUN
a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly :  one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

I completely agree with what's said in regards to the adjective sense.  ....but once again, that's not what I'm talking about. 
Lets talk about the noun version of the word(s), since that's what I've implied all along.

Essentially, someone who's agnostic doesn't dismiss or accept "fill in the blank".  The "why" is in the name....   they don't know.  I would call this the true unbelief to the treatment analogy, just like I said its the true un-decision. 

If you wanted to just play the adjective route, we're all agnostic.  Being rigorously honest with ourselves, none of the theists really know there is a God, just like none of the atheists know there isn't a God.  If you wanted to get super general with the adjective (like Ashe did with the "I'm a blue") then every human being that has ever lived is agnostic, at least in regards to something.

I guess the reason I'm getting some mixed messages is because I've heard statements "There is no God", "God is imaginary" and "God doesn't exist", etc.   which I think are a belief, and as a drawn conclusion formed statement, need to hold true to the burden of proof.  Here are some definitions from different sources, sans the examples and bolded why I still disagree with the belief/disbelief argument.

Some definitions of belief:
(Wikipedia)Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.

(dictionary.com) Belief
–noun
1.something believed; an opinion or conviction.
2.confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
3.confidence; faith; trust.
4.a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith.

(Webster) Belief, see Believe
Intransitive verb
1a : to have a firm religious faith b: to accept something as true, genuine, or real
2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
3: to hold an opinion : think
transitive verb
1a : to consider to be true or honest b: to accept the word or evidence of
2: to hold as an opinion : suppose

Maybe this is where things get complicated.  In the religious, credence, faith-based definitions of the word, there's nothing even remotely atheistic about that.  In the most general sense of the definition of the word "believe", you all have/hold an opinion on the existence of God.



This 37 second video is a good example at how that "belief" reasoning is extremely weak logic, if not fallible. 


“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” ~ Carl Sagan