Author Topic: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern  (Read 10842 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #145 on: January 03, 2011, 02:45:44 PM »
I wonder if not believing in Leprechauns will ever be ruled a religion?

The legal ruling is that while atheism is not a religion, it is protected under the same precepts of freedom of religion. Similarly, IIRC, rulings allow Silence is protected under the same rules as freedom of speech, and so forth.

But HUGOL's argument really rests on what is the definition of belief. I have a belief that while I am asleep and there are no recording devices present that my shoes do not fly around the room. You might even call it I have faith in non-flying shoes.

And if you do, so what? You are really really stretching the definition of belief and faith.  The belief in non-flying shoes is not the equal to the belief shoes fly around the room while I am asleep. Both may be claims, for sure.  However the claim, the claim that violates what we see and can test, is the one that has the burden of proof.

Non, until I mentioned The flying shoe thing, you had no belief about flying shoes. You were Aflyingshoeists. After the claim about flying shoes you are still an Aflyingshoeist, but now one with a belief that flying shoes are a falsehood.

Atheism is similar. The Atheism we had as a baby is very different than the atheism we have as adults. Adult Atheism is a belief that things operate as they appear without the need for gods If you belief that there is an invisible force making things operate differently, the burden of proof is on you. Many time through the ages of man has this been demostrated, Gravity being an excellent example. The burden of proof was on the claimant, and they met that burden of proof. Similarly many other such theories have come and gone, and those that have been proven have been added to the sum knowlege of man. Man seem to gain some currency, and when proof was not forthcoming, they were dropped and mostly forgotten, Ether theory for instance.

So while you argue whether Atheism is truly a beleif by semantic games, it is just obsfucation.

It is obsfucation of the the fact that the burden of proof is on the person that is claiming an anseen agency. And Desipite mountains of apologia, that proof has yet to  be forthcoming. I seriously doubt it ever will.


An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #146 on: January 03, 2011, 03:36:53 PM »
I'm probably stuck on this because of things like this,

Court rules Atheism a religion August 2005
http://www.cornswalled.com/2007/07/court-rules-atheism-religion.html July 2007
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2280807 (Read the asker's pick)

Ok, let's look at the opening statement of the Asker's Pick:

Quote
Technically he's exactly right. Atheism simply means "lacking a believe in a god or gods". It's a lack of a belief, not the presence of an alternative belief.

I didn't see anything in the Asker's Pick that is inconsistent with what we've told you here. He uses some different terms, but we have used terms here that describe the same thing:

"Weak atheist" = agnostic atheist
"Strong atheist" = gnostic atheist

So if you agree with the Answerbag pick then you've conceded your argument.

....and this Wikipedia article stating "In the United States, atheism is considered equivalent to religion under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause". 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_and_religion

It has to be in order to extend legal protections, but that still doesn't mean it actually IS a religion. You confuse legal definitions that have to be made to preserve human rights with the true nature of the thing.

I mean, Buddhists, Satanists, Confucianism, Taoism, Scientology....  don't believe in deities.  And they're not only considered religions by the laws of the land, but consider themselves religions, because that's what they are.

Actually, most of those DO believe in deities, and they all engage in religious practices and rituals. They generally believe in communing with a spirit world, afterlife, etc. They have religious qualities that atheism lacks. Some of those are debatable as to whether they qualify as religions or simply philosophies. Some qualify as both. You can be an atheist and still engage in philosophy, in case you didn't know.

Atheists aren't just a little random community of people who flock together because they THINK alike.  (THINK a.k.a. intransitive verb use of BELIEVE)

We actually don't think alike any more than any other nonreligious community. Atheists here have HUGE arguments with each other over all kinds of things and lots of them have left the forum over differences. That doesn't mean they ceased to be atheists.

I mean, there is a criteria for religions. 

You have your worldview.

EVERYONE HAS A WORLDVIEW.

You have you own orthodoxy.

There is no orthodoxy required for atheism.

You have your own brand of Apostasy. 

Not that I am aware of. If I were rejected by all the other atheists I know of I would still be an atheist.

You have your own brand of prophets.  (Darwin, Russell, Nietzsche)

There were atheists before them and atheism does not depend on them. I don't have to know anything about those people in order to be an atheist.

You have their own "evangelists". (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens are literally seeking to convert people)

There were atheists before them and atheism does not depend on them. I don't have to know anything about those people in order to be an atheist. I can freely disagree with them on any particular point and still remain an atheist. If they were to suddenly convert to Christian fundamentalism then I would still remain an atheist. It wouldn't change my position, unless they had some kind of seriously kick-ass argument for adopting a belief in god or gods.

I became an atheist long before I had ever heard of any of those people. I would continue to be an atheist if I had never heard of them.

You believe.  (whether you want to call a thought, and opinion, it's still a form of belief.)

Everything I've seen so far to say Atheism is NOT a belief is either a play on words or a logical fallacy.

That's because you are engaging in logical fallacies to arrive at your opinions about atheism. You do this because you want to engage in a tu quoque fallacy.

The only thing that is required of an atheist is quoted above from the Asker's Pick: a lack of belief in a god or gods.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 03:40:16 PM by Agamemnon »
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Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #147 on: January 03, 2011, 05:59:41 PM »
I do need to tell you, however that the guy prisoner who said he was an atheist was actually a Christian (Some claim that he is not a Real Atheist).

Are you one of the some?  Where's your evidence?

Evidence aside, don't you think its ironic that it got ruled as such?

So if you agree with the Answerbag pick then you've conceded your argument.

Sure, I'll concede my argument, but I completely disagree with the terminology.
It just looks like what I'm seeing here is Agnosticism (the noun) with the "Atheist" title claimed for prestige.  That's fine, but why beat around the bush about it?

It has to be in order to extend legal protections, but that still doesn't mean it actually IS a religion. You confuse legal definitions that have to be made to preserve human rights with the true nature of the thing.

I can cope that you don't see it as a religion, if you can cope with that its not this "nothing" / "negative" lack-of-stance you're portraying it as.  Obviously, if its protected, seen as being the equivalent to religion , it has to be something....   

Though in regards to it being a religion, I couldn't help but think you overlooked this from the world net daily article:

The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described "secular humanism" as a religion.

Actually, most of those DO believe in deities, and they all engage in religious practices and rituals.

Atheism is a valid form of belief in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Did you miss this from the link I posted?  Are you confused about the word valid?

The judges in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals used no logic at all to interpret the law. Atheism CANNOT be a religion, because it is the opposite of religion. A negative DOES NOT equal a positive, and according to the Court, nothing does equal something.

....and you know more than the court system about this?

The Supreme Court 1961 ruling that you don't have to believe in a supreme being or have a belief system of higher powers is flawed and needs to be reviewed. Secular Humanism is NOT a "belief" system, it is just a individual's belief in himself

Exactly.  The same type of belief that atheism is.
Sure, anyone can see its not a "belief system".  I wouldn't say atheism qualifies for organized religion (or very much organized anything) - its every man for himself.  That's a fine and great thing to believe.

Now....   Does it have to be a belief system to be subject to the burden of proof? 
....or will any little personal belief do?

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 06:02:42 PM by Hguols »


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

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #148 on: January 03, 2011, 06:04:04 PM »
Hello Hguols,

Here's a tip. If someone makes a point to you or asks you a question, the rules of the Forum oblige you to respond. If you don't, you'll be accused of "dodging", and the Mods will be talking to you about it.

Now obviously, not answering a point the first time round is not considered an offence, because maybe the point didn't seem very important to you or maybe you missed it. In that case the asker will probably point this out to you, and re-ask you for a response. If you still don't answer, then you're moving into 'dodging' territory. I hope that's clear.

For example, I made a point to you in post #100. You ignored it your reply, so I drew your attention to it in post #108. Your next response still ignored it, and I drew your attention to it again in post #115. You've ignored it again.

And here I am, 47 posts later, asking you for the fourth time. Four is too many, Hguols. Four looks like deliberate avoidance of the point. Do you understand this?

One more chance, OK? This was post 100:
Quote
Hguols:
Quote
Stop right there. Is atheism a belief?
No, because in that context (ie the question is referring to atheism/theism) "belief" is obviously being used in its religious sense.


Anyway, it doesn't really matter, because the logic holds for both meanings of the word.

If we assume that Frank Barron was using the word belief in the sense of opinion, then his quote reads:

Not-having-an-opinion-about-X is a form of opinion-about-X.

Which is equally untrue.

Absence of medical treatment is not a form of treatment - it is the antithesis of treatment.

Absence of religious belief is not a form of belief - it is the antithesis of religious belief.


And likewise...

Absence of an opinion is not a form of opinion - it is the antithesis of an opinion.



Agamemnon has answered your religion argument adequately (thanks, Aga), so I have nothing to add to his response.

OK, just one point. You say that atheism has a worldview. While Aga's correct that everyone has a worldview, I think he's slightly missed your point. You seem to be asserting that atheism is a philosophical perspective which encompasses a particular worldview, as religions tend to do. If so, then please describe it briefly. If you asked me to describe a Protestant Christian worldview, or a Sunni Muslim worldview, I could do that. Can you do the same with this "Atheist Worldview" to which you refer?

While you're thinking about that, consider that your answer will need to encompass the worldviews of such atheists as, for example, Lenin, Carl Sagan, Pol Pot, Jean-Paul Sartre and Donald Trump.

(Assume for the sake of the argument that those people are all atheists - if not, substitute other communists, environmentalists, fascists, existentialists and capitalists, as required).

Hguols, I do believe that you're sincere in wanting to know more about atheism. But you need to learn our language, and you really need to accept our own definitions of who we are. Then we're all using the same terms in the same way, and communication can then take place.

When I came to this site two years, my knowledge of the terms used here were on about the same level as yours now - like you, I thought agnosticism and atheism were alternative categories instead of complementary ones. I'd never heard of ignosticism, I didn't know the difference between strong and weak atheism (aka positive and negative atheism), or the difference between pantheism and panentheism, or between theism and deism, or the meaning of apathetic agnosticism... and so on.

I realized pretty quick that my own definitions, while adequate for my day-to-day life, were inadequate on this Forum; so I learned the language.

What I didn't do, and which you seem to be doing, was insist that my definitions were correct and attempt to get everyone else to accept and use them.

Quote
Everything I've seen so far to say Atheism is NOT a belief is either a play on words or a logical fallacy.
I hope it's clear by now that we're not playing with words; we're simply using all these terms in a very precise way which you're not familiar with. If you learn the language, you'll understand what we're talking about.

And as I said before, don't use ordinary dictionaries for this stuff, they're not nuanced enough; most people here are happy with the Wiki definitions of all these concepts.


Please think about this. You're an intelligent chap, Hguols, you can learn; but only if you first admit that there's something to learn.

Cheers,

Gnu.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 06:15:52 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #149 on: January 03, 2011, 06:14:32 PM »
I do need to tell you, however that the guy prisoner who said he was an atheist was actually a Christian (Some claim that he is not a Real Atheist).

Are you one of the some?  Where's your evidence?
Evidence aside, don't you think its ironic that it got ruled as such?

No, no I was kidding, I don't know  anything about the prisoner. Or the case, so I can't really give an informed opinion on it.

As for the rest of that was a quote from a CHRISTIAN. So your arguments are with him, not me.

And his main point (for me) was that Humanists and atheists were different from all other 'religions' because of NO BELIEF IN A HIGHER POWER.



ADDED: Oh yeah, I plus-ed you for showing us the court decision. Either you knew all along about it and that was a sucker punch, or you were actually researching stuff.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 06:37:38 PM by monkeymind »
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #150 on: January 03, 2011, 06:21:43 PM »
At this point, and nevertheless in the hope of hguols’ reply to Gnu Ordure, I think I have never been more convinced that atheism is neither a belief nor a religion.

Point 1.

In your hand you have an apple; in mine there is nothing – where is the appleness of the empty hand?
In your mind there is a belief in a deity; in mine there is none – where is my belief? 

Point 2.

Hguols, you hope to establish that atheism is a belief system so that you might then place a burned of proof on the atheist.

This will not work.

The default position is that there are no gods. As none of us are born with the idea of a god, we all must be taught, the first human to propose a god had the burden to prove the truth of his assertion. He was introducing an idea. The man who heard and dismissed the idea does not have a burden of proof.
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 #151 on: January 03, 2011, 06:55:53 PM »
HGUOLS SAID:
Quote
Quote
    The Supreme Court 1961 ruling that you don't have to believe in a supreme being or have a belief system of higher powers is flawed and needs to be reviewed. Secular Humanism is NOT a "belief" system, it is just a individual's belief in himself
Exactly.  The same type of belief that atheism is.
Sure, anyone can see its not a "belief system".  I wouldn't say atheism qualifies for organized religion (or very much organized anything) - its every man for himself.  That's a fine and great thing to believe.

Now....   Does it have to be a belief system to be subject to the burden of proof?
....or will any little personal belief do?

Glad to see that you disagree with the court's ruling on atheism being a belief system or a religion. Because, if you think the courts are always right, then you would be for abortion and that might cause you some trouble with your Christian bros. And of course, saying that atheism is a religion just because a court says so is a fallacy.

As for who needs to be B.O.P.ped? Anyone making a positive claim.

ADDED:
From MonkeyPedia:

Judicus Stupidicum Fallacy (Fallacy of the Stupid Court)
Thinking that because a court rules it is so, it is so.

Example: The notion that atheism is a religion  because the 7th Circuit Court ruled that it is.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 07:27:49 PM by monkeymind »
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 RaymondKHessel

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2011, 09:46:51 PM »
Just read the whole thread.

Had a few things to throw out there, random musings if you will...

1.)MAILBAG: Personally, I treat the mailbag way different than the rest of the sections on the forum. The mailbag, to me, is pretty much just a shooting gallery. I don't take it seriouly, because the overwhelming majority of letters that make it in there are usually A.)Old ass arguements I've heard and debunked a thousand times, B.)Hillariously offensive and/or openly hostile or C.)So unbelievably goddamn DUMB in their sentiment that I find myself AWE STRUCK at how such a person could manage to both operate a keyboard *and* find a way to get food into their mouth long enough for them to survive until keyboard-using age.

Because it's a collection of letters from people who fired off an email in the heat of an emotional response to something they've seen or heard, it's rarely worth my time to take any of it seriously.

When somebody signs up to the site however, and starts posting in a genuine attempt to illicit discussion, I tend to actually pay attention. Well, until they go 5 posts in and lose their damn mind, anyway. That happens depressingly often.

So regardless of other things, kudos to HGUOLS, for not being the crazy homeless guy at your local library who sees demons and talks to mother Mary in his soup.

2.)BEING A DICK: I'll be the first to admit, I can be one of the more aggressive types here. Much more so than is called for, on occasion. That sucks. But it's something I'm working on, for the sake of my fellow atheists here who, even when I've completely given up on getting anything positive out of an exchange, continue to put much more time and effort into being constructive, and I've seen people "de-convert" because of that patience.

At the same time though, I've had a few people contact me via PM and say "Hey man, I think you're an asshole for what you said to _______, but I have to admit, I've never looked at it that way before."

"Deconversion" does happen here. More often than most people think, as the de-converted is usually too embarassed by their former mindset to admit it, and many just don't post at all. But it certainly does happen. For all the ones that never come back and admit it, there are still quite a few "testimonials" as well lol.

Point being, the site works. It doesn't usually happen overnight, of course. There are so many loopholes to fall back on, so many little hidey holes for Faith to hide in, so many intellectual barriers built up (usually over the course of a lifetime)... It can take YEARS to break through it all. Or just one mental bombshell. And everybody's got their own triggers... Everybody's different that way. That's another reason I love this site... I like seeing how different mentalities respond to different approaches. It's like my own personal pietri dish of theological thought process.

Sometimes you can plant that seed with love and care and warm words and fuzzy feelings - get the job done with reason and a plea to critical thought, and it takes root. It's great when that happens.

But for some people, it really does take a good solid shake, and somebody to say "Dude, you're a grown ass man and you believe that the all powerful creator of all existance actually cares about how your cock skin is trimmed. What is WRONG with you!?"

Not the most gracefull way to go about it, but if I have to SHAME somebody into re-evaluating their lunatic belief structure, I'm okay with that. It certainly doesn't make me as good a person as many here, and won't win me any popularity contests, but sometimes that's what it takes.

And straight-up, it makes me feel better, to say what's on my mind and get it out there rather than bite my tounge and pretend that the guy arguing on the side of a Jewish Rabbi's pedophelia is actually worth being polite to.

At the end of the day, I'm of the opinion that I do myself a great disservice if I go around pretending that every shaved ape with a theory is worth respecting right off rip, simply because they have a computer and the will to start typing. Don't do that in real life, don't do it here. For me, respect has to be EARNED. It's most definitely not obligatory.

 
3.)ENOUGH WITH THE FOREPLAY: Half this thread is like a conversation with an old ex of mine. I could say something simple, like "I'm tired", and it would become a up-till-5:00 AM bitchfest about what I REALLY meant, and WHY did I use the word "tired", etc. etc. etc.

Like, Jesus woman! I'm TIRED. I *KNOW* what *I* mean when I say I'm tired!!! I'M THE ONE WHO FUCKING SAID IT!!!!

I can sense the same kind of frustration here in a few of the posts. For reasons mentioned by others, while it may SEEM like an important flag to plant from a theist's perspective (for some theists it's MANDATORY beause otherwise they can't find enough common ground to stand on), it's just frustrating for a few atheists...

It's somebody, WHO IS NOT YOU,  constantly TELLING you what you *really* mean and how you *really* are and how you REALLY don't mean what you THINK you mean yadda yadda yadda, in addition to being (again, as was mentioned) just a really limp-wristed tactic for trying to even the playing field. It has this air of smugness/pretention and dishonesty about it that just totally repels me from any desire for a conversation.

I mean, holy f**k. I'm a grown ass man. Been some places. Seen some stuff. Done some things. By that virtue alone, is it impossible for somebody to take me at my word? That when I say "I don't believe in X", what I *really* mean is, you know... "I do NOT have a belief in this thing called X that we are discussing".??? Is that really too far out there?

Because unless the person I'm talking to can accept that I know my own position, that I know how to express myself, and that I know what I mean when I say words out my mouf, the whole thing is doomed. You can't have an intellectual discussion when the opposing party is constantly telling you that they know what you mean more than YOU do. Hope that makes sense.

I'm willing to bet a few other people here probably get frustrated for similar reasons...

I suppose what I'm saying is, I'd really like to see an end to the patty-cake of semantics, and see this thread head somewhere in the vicinity of Substantialville. Let's stop poking at the crust and dig into the brownie.

Because holy balls, this thing went from being potentially interesting in the first 2 pages, to a 4 page snorefest of ultimately inconsequential flippy-floppy wordplay... and if I wanted a nap that badly, I'd boot a big fat syringe of heroin. It would be infinitely more entertaining and it would actually deliver as advertised.

Maybe we could start by making giant flaming picket signs that say "ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU'VE BEEN IGNORING".

Personally, I'd REALLY like to hear a response to the deist question.

Just an idea. And that's all I have to say about that.   
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 09:52:20 PM by RaymondKHessel »
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Offline jetson

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #153 on: January 03, 2011, 11:16:30 PM »
Quote from: RaymondKHessel
At the end of the day, I'm of the opinion that I do myself a great disservice if I go around pretending that every shaved ape with a theory is worth respecting right off rip, simply because they have a computer and the will to start typing.

Yep, he's back.  ;D


Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #154 on: January 03, 2011, 11:39:18 PM »
RaymondK makes me wish I were a believer just so he could convert me.  :)

Edit: Added smiley face to remind myself I'm joking.
Edit: About converting, not about RaymondK
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 11:57:49 PM by ParkingPlaces »
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #155 on: January 03, 2011, 11:53:17 PM »
So if you agree with the Answerbag pick then you've conceded your argument.

Sure, I'll concede my argument, but I completely disagree with the terminology.
It just looks like what I'm seeing here is Agnosticism (the noun)...

Blah, blah, blah. 'Round and 'round we go.

You can't understand something as simple as how nouns and adjectives are used. How can you possibly hope to understand anything about atheism if we can't even communicate on this basic level with you because you are absolutely determined to force your terminology (along with your package deal fallacy) on us?

It doesn't matter if you disagree with the terminology or not, because that terminology is in use, and it's not just here. Why would the dictionary include an adjective variant of "agnostic" if it weren't valid for us to use it as an adjective? Answer: it IS valid!

Here's the thing: Trying to call atheism a belief may work with your fellow Christians, but it won't work with atheists, period. End of story.

Trying to insist that atheists hold a burden of proof for "implied" claims is also not going to work here. End of story.

All of these things are flatly rejected. If you are sincerely trying to learn about atheism, then you are going to have to drop these ridiculous semantics games, that's all there is to it. If you persist with the games then I will assume you are lying about your sincerity to understand atheism. We have a term for people like that: "liars for Christ." They don't last long here.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 11:55:18 PM by Agamemnon »
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Offline sammylama

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #156 on: January 04, 2011, 12:07:47 AM »
RaymondK makes me wish I were a believer just so he could convert me.  :)

Chuck Norris once made up an absurd satirical factoid about RammondKHessel. 




« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 12:16:53 AM by sammylama »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #157 on: January 04, 2011, 12:12:17 AM »
This topic started off stupid and only got worse.  To the Pit with you knaves.
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Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #158 on: January 04, 2011, 12:29:13 AM »
True, enough, screwtape. I've gone ahead and locked it, since it's obviously not going to improve. If anyone wants a response from Hguols on something they can start a new topic. This one is beat to death.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #159 on: January 04, 2011, 02:02:42 PM »
Topic reopened at Gnu's request to allow Hguols to respond to Gnu's post #149.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Hguols

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #160 on: January 04, 2011, 05:26:36 PM »
...you'll be accused of "dodging", and the Mods will be talking to you about it.

Ironic that the thread being closed has nothing to do with dodging. 
It looks like it was closed due to being "beat to death".

I could say, again, why I missed quite a few posts.  What I've been doing is picking one or two and replying to them....   that can come across as being ignored when 7-8 people reply.
Agamemnon at least labeled it properly.

Start of #100
No, because in that context (ie the question is referring to atheism/theism) "belief" is obviously being used in its religious sense.

People here have said so themselves that Atheism is not a firm religious faith. They've also said Atheism is not about accepting something as true, genuine or real - as it is about rejection.  Would the religious/truth definitions really be in context to Atheism? 
I don't think so.

Atheism is an opinion held, therefor a belief.

Not-having-an-opinion-about-X is a form of opinion-about-X. .....
Absence of an opinion is not a form of opinion - it is the antithesis of an opinion.
etc.

The believe definition included "to hold an opinion; think".  Lets rephrase that....

Not thinking about X is a form of thinking about X. 
I can see why you say that makes no sense - and it doesn't....   That is a correct general statement, and I agree with you in the way you put it. 

.....but there's one small problem.

When someone says "I'm not thinking about X", in effect, they are.  Its impossible to mention X without it being somewhere in the brain.

How about, "I hold no opinion of X"?  That can ONLY be a true statement in ignorance, or being absent from the brain.  It might be a phrase used to replace "No Comment", but it's not actually a true statement.

Example:
"I have no opinion of Twangdillo" can only be true if:
- I don't know what Twangdillo is
- I've never heard of Twangdillo.  (though, if its mentioned, you've now heard of it, but still may not know what it is)

It is IMPOSSIBLE to not have an opinion on Twangdillo if you
- know (of) Twangdillo.
- have thought (of) Twangdillo

Opinions are stronger than impressions, but weaker than positive knowledge. 

You can believe Twangdillo.  It's defined as a quick slap, thought its not a common term.  You might lack empirical evidence, but what evidence you have, you can either accept it or deny it....

....but you still have an opinion associated with Twangdillo.

Now, you can disbelieve Twangdillo's existence as a term, concept, etc...   to do so blindly would be silly.  You're educated and have probably put a lot of thought into it.  Your conclusion (in the agnostic sense)

"As far as I know, Twangdillo does not exist."

Now, it's not positive knowledge - but it's more than impression.  You in fact do have the belief that Twangdillo does not exist. 

No belief/opinion = no thought

Do I believe in unicorns? 

Do I believe the animal exists?  No.  That's my opinion.  I'm open to proof if someone has it, but until then, I'll continue to associate it as a mythical animal in my brain.  I believe the word "unicorn" exists.  I believe there are drawings, paintings, movies, stories, etc. of unicorns. 

Someone would argue that unicorns to exist in those manners.  Does that mean I'm a unicorn theist?  Absolutely not.  For one, a unicorn is not a "God" (and I find it ludicrous when people try to throw this association in) and for two, it may not be a "belief-system" or a faith style belief.....   

but it is a belief.  It's an opinion.

It's almost like asking, "Is fiction true?".
It's not fact, but its true that a fiction story is a story, and it does exist.

Agamemnon has answered your religion argument adequately (thanks, Aga), so I have nothing to add to his response.
 

No he hasn't.  He's said little more than the court being wrong in saying its religion.
He overlooked my post saying that according to the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause, it's "equivalent to religion".  Which means its not this "antithesis" its described as here.

You seem to be asserting that atheism is a philosophical perspective which encompasses a particular worldview, as religions tend to do. If so, then please describe it briefly.
....your answer will need to encompass the worldviews of such atheists as....

There are no gods. or We deny the existence of gods.

Is that brief enough?

I realized pretty quick that my own definitions, while adequate for my day-to-day life, were inadequate on this Forum; so I learned the language.

What I didn't do, and which you seem to be doing, was insist that my definitions were correct and attempt to get everyone else to accept and use them.

That's one of the trademarks of a cult - a group of people who define and redefine their own words.  Chances are, like you, a lot of people here were willing to be pointed in the right direction, you might not question something you find easy to agree with, as its what you're looking for.

Since I'm not hear to find what I'm looking for, my bullshit detector is going off.  (old burden of proof pun there)

And as I said before, don't use ordinary dictionaries for this stuff, they're not nuanced enough; most people here are happy with the Wiki definitions of all these concepts.

Don't you see what's seriously wrong with that statement?  Anyone can redefine WIKI for one....   for another, it just looks like brainwashing or a super inflated ego to throw in statements like,
"Dictionaries aren't good enough for definitions."  (we use our own)
"The supreme court doesn't know what they're talking about." (we know more than the law)

Please think about this. You're an intelligent chap, Hguols, you can learn; but only if you first admit that there's something to learn.

Thank you for the compliment.  ....and believe it or not, I am learning.  However, it's just not going in accordance to your plans, perhaps.


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

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #161 on: January 05, 2011, 08:40:50 AM »
SAY Hguols, when your done telling us how the forum works and what atheists believe, could you tell us what Christians believe?
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 monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #162 on: January 05, 2011, 08:43:59 AM »
Also, can you help me get my tax exempt status for the New Church Of Atheism I'm opening here in Texas. Thanx to you, churches like mine will be popping up all over the place. Reverend MonkeyMind sounds nice, doesn't it?

Oh wait! Is that just in Wisconsin? Seems like states are going to have their way in this...
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 #163 on: January 05, 2011, 09:56:52 AM »
Hey Monkeymind,

I'm thinking about joining your church, but I don't know what denomination it is. Does atheism have 30- to 40,000 denominations, like Christianity, some of which consider most if not all of the other denominations heretics, false religions and doomed to hell?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 10:22:28 AM by Agamemnon »
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #164 on: January 05, 2011, 10:02:58 AM »
Hey, mine is the One True New Church of Atheism.

All you have to do is let me touch you with my Scepter.
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 monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #165 on: January 05, 2011, 10:14:06 AM »
We don't meet 6 days a week (M-Sat).

Come on in, we don't believe a lot of things.

Some of our members are not collecting stamps this week, others are not having their bald heads dyed.
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 #166 on: January 05, 2011, 11:20:44 AM »
Can I join?   :police:

I mean, it's kinda already this to a degree.
This place isn't really a place for discussion, rather an Atheist community that reaffirms each others belief that there is no God.

Kinda like how Churches work, only not the non-belief in God part. :)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 12:17:32 PM by Hguols »


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

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #167 on: January 05, 2011, 12:28:41 PM »
Can I join? 

Sure, I'm certain that you can find something to not believe in.
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 Jim

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #168 on: January 05, 2011, 12:37:43 PM »
I'm not believing in gravity.
Survey results coming soon!

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #169 on: January 05, 2011, 12:41:48 PM »
This place isn't really a place for discussion
Kinda like how Churches work

Well, I agree there really is allot of not-discussing (adiscussing) going on in churches, and there is a lot of adiscussion going on in this thread as well, but I do think we could have had a discussion here if not (for example) all your notbelieving atheists notbelieve in God(s).

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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Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #171 on: January 05, 2011, 01:52:19 PM »
Yes, but that's not at all surprising, is it MB?
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 #172 on: January 05, 2011, 02:19:24 PM »

This place isn't really a place for discussion, rather an Atheist community that reaffirms each others belief that there is no God.


Interesting reply...joke?  Probably not.

Offline Tykster

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Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
« Reply #173 on: January 05, 2011, 03:04:42 PM »
I'm not believing in gravity.

In all fairness Jim, you don't have to :)
rhocam ~ I guess there are several trillion cells in a man, and one in an amoeba, so to be generous, lets say that there were a billion. That is one every fifteen years. So in my lifetime I should have seen two evolutionary changes.