Author Topic: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention  (Read 6362 times)

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Online Azdgari

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #87 on: November 25, 2011, 01:51:34 PM »
Luci, what efforts were made to eliminate other variables in the deconversion process?  Are all theists equally prone to it?

And riley:  You misunderstand.  The goal of fighting religion isn't pointless; what's pointless is focusing on the use of debate in order to accomplish it.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #88 on: November 25, 2011, 01:56:08 PM »
Luci, what efforts were made to eliminate other variables in the deconversion process?

None, because debate alone cannot do miracles. It requires, among other things, a theist with an open mind who is also intellectually honest.

Are all theists equally prone to it?

No. Theists, like atheists, are individuals; meaning that different things will work better for different theists. Some might respond to appeals to emotion, others might respond to logic.

And riley:  You misunderstand.  The goal of fighting religion isn't pointless; what's pointless is focusing on the use of debate in order to accomplish it.

I assume that by "focusing" you mean "using only this". If so, you are correct.
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Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #89 on: November 25, 2011, 01:56:34 PM »
And riley:  You misunderstand.  The goal of fighting religion isn't pointless; what's pointless is focusing on the use of debate in order to accomplish it.
If not debate, what would you suggest? :?
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Offline albeto

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2011, 01:58:23 PM »
Joe is right about debating religion, it  is pointless.

There is evidence to the contrary.  Mocking religion is, imo, a fabulous tool.  Embarrassment and social pressures have done great things for society.  People are far less aggressive about defending racism or child abuse - things that were publicly defended just a few generations ago.  At the same time, mockery does elicit a response of digging one's heels in and simply not engaging in discussion any more.  No one likes to be the butt of others' jokes and it's only logical to find like-minded people who will support one's beliefs without question or application of reason or logic.  Discussion, formal or informal, can have the effect of planting seeds of doubt in the mind of one who is sure their belief system is rational. 

There will always be people that believe in God, there will always be people that say they believe in God and truly don't ( that way they have something to blame what they do on), There will always be people that don't believe in God, and there will always be people that say they don't believe, when in truth they do but are just pissed at Him.

Discussion and mockery and other tools can help change the numbers of those who believe in an irrational faith and hopefully inspire others to stop and think before acting in defense of this irrational belief.  Ideally, when the numbers of believers are small enough, closet atheists won't be ostracized for sharing their thoughts publicly.  We won't have to worry about what church any political leader goes to.  We won't worry about taking care of the ills of society based on an archaic concept of "sin." 

Why is it you have to understand everything? I don't have to understand why you feel the way you do, and you don't have to understand why I feel the way I do. And that is ok.

Respectfully, I disagree.  I don't think it's okay at all.  I don't think it's okay for the reasons Joe is offering in this thread as well as other reasons offered in other threads.  I think churches that advertise a cure for HIV which results in people dying because their faith has not been given the attention to detail that we expect of our mechanics and plumbers is unacceptable in any moral or ethical way.  I think that politicians running for office, promoting public policy that is unabashedly theocratically inspired is dangerous for all of us, world wide.  I think each time a child is hit in hopes that their natural "sin nature" will be suppressed so they can embrace the will of god is abusive at the core.  I think it's not okay in any way to not understand what inspires dangerous behavior and challenge it. 

“It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand...”
? Søren Kierkegaard

But religion is not one of them.  We can understand it and we're negligent to not try. 

Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2011, 01:59:58 PM »
 Lucifer;
How would you define, a intellectually honest christian with an open mind?

Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2011, 02:04:26 PM »
None, because debate alone cannot do miracles. It requires, among other things, a theist with an open mind who is also intellectually honest.

By "eliminate other variables" I meant "control for them in one's analysis".  And I think you're right:  Those personality traits are required in order for debate to work.

No. Theists, like atheists, are individuals; meaning that different things will work better for different theists. Some might respond to appeals to emotion, others might respond to logic.

Indeed.  But there's more to it than that.  For some, nothing you write to them is likely to work at all.  Take our old friend BibleStudent, for example.[1]  What will debate accomplish, with him?  Or with the new guy, b2.  Etc.

Some are more reasonable, to be sure.  Debate isn't always useless.  But those for whom it is useful are the more reasonable ones from the outset.

I assume that by "focusing" you mean "using only this". If so, you are correct.

Trouble is that on an internet forum such as this, there are few other avenues.
 1. he just came to mind because he's back and all
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2011, 02:06:41 PM »
If not debate, what would you suggest? :?

Personal, real-life contact and good conduct, as an open atheist.  Plus whatever other good ideas people can think of.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #94 on: November 25, 2011, 02:10:37 PM »
Efforts must definitely move outside of Internet forums and debate boards.  That is a completely biased audience, at best.  I like the billboard campaigns, for example.  It gets people talking.  And we need atheists to come out for these discussions.

We need more tools to keep the dialog open, and to show theists that the world does not belong to them.  And we need more social tools to help us marginalize the lunacy in some way.  It should never be public ally acceptable for a politician to openly ask Jesus to help solve our problems.  That is beyond stupid, and I don't know many theists who would join in openly of they were properly mocked.  It won't be without it's pains though...

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #95 on: November 25, 2011, 02:12:48 PM »
If not debate, what would you suggest? :?

Personal, real-life contact and good conduct, as an open atheist.  Plus whatever other good ideas people can think of.

Yup, this. I remember a couple of years back joining a women's discussion group. Turns out it was a bunch of church ladies, and they opened every meeting with a prayer. I introduced myself, gave a bit of my life story, and told them I was not a believer. I explained a bit about why and what I did believe in. They stopped praying at meetings. They changed the name of the group to be more inclusive of everyone. And while I doubt any of them gave up their faith, they learned a lot, mostly that atheists can be nice, regular people too. One of those ladies became one of my "support team" while I was fighting cancer. Drove me to appointments, offered a place to stay while recovering from treatments. And more. Her preconceptions about atheists were completely turned around and I made a good friend. That kind of understanding rarely comes from debate in my experience.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #96 on: November 25, 2011, 02:15:23 PM »
Lucifer;
How would you define, a intellectually honest christian with an open mind?

An open mind means that a person is willing to consider other ideas, regardless of how different they are to his/her own. However, it does not mean that a person should accept those ideas indiscriminately.
As for intellectual honesty, I saw this and agree with it: http://designmatrix.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/ten-signs-of-intellectual-honesty-2/

By "eliminate other variables" I meant "control for them in one's analysis".  And I think you're right:  Those personality traits are required in order for debate to work.

No control whatsoever.

Indeed.  But there's more to it than that.  For some, nothing you write to them is likely to work at all.  Take our old friend BibleStudent, for example.[1]  What will debate accomplish, with him?  Or with the new guy, b2.  Etc.
 1. he just came to mind because he's back and all

Remember that we (atheists) tend to use logic, not appeals to emotion, lies, et cetera. We will never succeed in convincing everyone if we use the same tactics over and over again. Note that I'm not saying that's a bad thing. If we lied, appealed to emotions, et cetera, we would effectively be "tainting" our goals, so to speak.

Some are more reasonable, to be sure.  Debate isn't always useless.  But those for whom it is useful are the more reasonable ones from the outset.

Agreed.

Trouble is that on an internet forum such as this, there are few other avenues.

True. Does that mean that we should just close everything down and stop debating altogether? Obviously not.

When people talk face to face about issues they feel strongly about, emotions start dictating people's behaviour, bit by bit[2]. We are human, after all, and everyone has their limit.

On a semi-related note: Online discussions might not be the best tool we have but, for some of us, it's the best we can do.
 2. Hell, it sometimes happens here, and most of us have never even seen each other.
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Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #97 on: November 25, 2011, 02:17:03 PM »
Quote
There is evidence to the contrary.  Mocking religion is, imo, a fabulous tool.  Embarrassment and social pressures have done great things for society.   At the same time, mockery does elicit a response of digging one's heels in and simply not engaging in discussion any more.  No one likes to be the butt of others' jokes and it's only logical to find like-minded people who will support one's beliefs without question or application of reason or logic.  Discussion, formal or informal, can have the effect of planting seeds of doubt in the mind of one who is sure their belief system is rational. 
Howeve mocking religion and even threat of death and torture did not stop the growth of religion. All it did was make people hide their beliefs so they could deal with every day life. 
Quote
I think it's not okay in any way to not understand what inspires dangerous behavior and challenge it. 
I agree that dangerous behavior should be challenged, however saying what is and what is not inspiring dangerous can be hard to define. Drinking soda is bad for your teeth but no one is trying to stop Pepsi from making soda , they just incease dental hygiene to take care of the danger.
IT is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand...”
? Søren Kierkegaard

But religion is not one of them.  We can understand it and we're negligent to not try.
Maybe religion is one of them and we just don't understand.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #98 on: November 25, 2011, 02:22:46 PM »
Efforts must definitely move outside of Internet forums and debate boards.  That is a completely biased audience, at best.  I like the billboard campaigns, for example.  It gets people talking.  And we need atheists to come out for these discussions.

...
There was a bill board up in Springfield Mo. that said " Don't believe in God? you are not alone" . Lots of people talked about it , they put it up because they just had a big nonbelievers conference here in Springfield.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #99 on: November 25, 2011, 02:24:49 PM »
Azd to me:
Quote
Agreed re: the claim that religion is harmful.  What do you think about the claim of his that I had challenged?
Azd to Joe:
Quote
You'll get no argument from me if you claim that religion in general is harmful to society.  But "the majority of religious people are harmful to society"?  I'm curious as to what studies you can reference regarding the effects that this majority has, and how large of a majority it might be.  You know, science stuff.  Reality stuff. 
It seems an equally innocuous claim, Azd. An uncontroversial statement here at WWGHA.

Do you agree that teaching gullible children that the world is 10,000 years old harms them? Do you agree that teaching significant numbers of children that the world is 10,000 years old harms society?

I hope you do.

If so, look at the numbers; 40% of US adults believe that the world is 10,000 years old.

(I assume that these 40% are religious. I also assume that they teach their children their creationist beliefs. Fair enough?).

This may not constitute a majority. Christians constitute about 80% of the population, so it's close. But whatever, it's still a significant proportion. And this is only one example of harm. I'm sure we can all think of many others.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 02:37:19 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #100 on: November 25, 2011, 02:25:45 PM »
Maybe religion is one of them and we just don't understand.

Evidence for this claim?
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #101 on: November 25, 2011, 02:31:10 PM »
I have a question for everyone here:

Are we making the distinction between religion by itself (without believers; kinda like a dead language, in the sense that everyone knows they exist but nobody uses them) and religion with followers? Or are we ignoring the first?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #102 on: November 25, 2011, 02:33:32 PM »
It seems an equally innocuous claim, Azd. An uncontroversial statement here at WWGHA.

Really?  News to me, then.  I had thought that characterizing vast swaths of people as harmful on the whole, due to a particular aspect of their personalities or belief systems, would be more controversial with more people.

As an analogy:  Smoking is harmful.  It does not follow that smokers, as people, are harmful, even though they are often causing harm while smoking.  And saying that "the majority of smokers are harmful to society" is making a statement about them as people, not about their smoking.  A great way to dehumanize them, that.

Do you agree that teaching gullible children that the world is 10,000 years old harms them? Do you agree that teaching significant numbers of children that the world is 10,000 years old harms society?

I hope you do.

Sure.  Religion is harmful.  I thought we were discussing the other claim, though.

If so, look at the numbers; 40% of US adults believe that the world is 10,000 years old.

(I assume that these 40% are religious. I also assume that they teach their children their creationist beliefs. Fair enough?).

This may not constitute a majority. Christians constitute about 80% of the population, so it's close. But whatever, it's still a significant proportion. And this is only one example of harm. I'm sure we can all think of many others.

So what you're saying is that because of this instance (and other instances) of harm, society would be better off if these people were to cease to exist.

Well, that can be accomplished, Gnu.  It's been done before.  I believe jaybwell alluded to such a thing already.

But to answer your point directly, so what?  Yes, this is harmful.  Yes, there are other instances of harm.  How does one go about evaluating whether this makes a person more harmful to society than not?  At what point does their existence become a net negative?  Sure, there are people like that.  But you're saying that something close to half the American population is harming society on the whole.  Dude, that is society.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 02:37:48 PM by Azdgari »
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #103 on: November 25, 2011, 02:35:27 PM »
Are we making the distinction between religion by itself (without believers; kinda like a dead language, in the sense that everyone knows they exist but nobody uses them) and religion with followers? Or are we ignoring the first?

^^ Ignoring the first, I think.  Religion only exists in-practice if it is being followed.  I for one am talking about religion as believed and practiced, rather than as exists on paper.
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Offline albeto

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #104 on: November 25, 2011, 02:35:52 PM »
Maybe religion is one of them and we just don't understand.

Can you explain? 

I think we can understand the ancient Greek religion and the roll it played in society.  We can understand ancient Norse religion and the roll it played in society.  We can do this for various European, African and American religions.  Why can't this same knowledge be applied to Christianity? 

Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #105 on: November 25, 2011, 02:38:16 PM »
Maybe religion is one of them and we just don't understand.

Evidence for this claim?
That is a hard one. And I admit that giving evidence for a claim of  not understanding religion may not be possible. So why did I say it you may ask ? Religion is ones belief. I truly don't know how to show evidence for believing in something that is only a deep feeling inside of me. That is why I started my comment with the word Maybe. Not trying to dodge the question, I just really don't know how to answer it.
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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #106 on: November 25, 2011, 02:39:45 PM »
Riley, can you think of any other topic where "we just don't understand" turned out to be a reasonable approach?
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #107 on: November 25, 2011, 02:42:31 PM »
Are we making the distinction between religion by itself (without believers; kinda like a dead language, in the sense that everyone knows they exist but nobody uses them) and religion with followers? Or are we ignoring the first?

^^ Ignoring the first, I think.  Religion only exists in-practice if it is being followed.  I for one am talking about religion as believed and practiced, rather than as exists on paper.

Very well.

<snip>
I admit that giving evidence for a claim of  not understanding religion may not be possible.

I guess not. However, to claim that something is impossible to understand is, in itself, a contradiction. You're claiming to know (understand) that it's impossible to understand.
At best what you could say is that it's very difficult to understand, which you can provide (little) evidence for.

I truly don't know how to show evidence for believing in something that is only a deep feeling inside of me.

That's really all we have to go on when people claim to be theist or atheist - their word.

That is why I started my comment with the word Maybe. Not trying to dodge the question, I just really don't know how to answer it.

OK.

EDIT: Azdgari reminded me of this - If we truly cannot know something, then everything related to it is irrelevant. In this case, worshiping something that you're not sure exists. It's just absurd.
Consider this: You also can't know for sure that the sun won't explode tomorrow, but you're not going to kill yourself today to avoid being killed in a fiery blast.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 02:45:15 PM by Lucifer »
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Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #108 on: November 25, 2011, 02:50:59 PM »
Riley, can you think of any other topic where "we just don't understand" turned out to be a reasonable approach?
No I can't . and believe me when I tell you that I know how foolish this would sound if we were talking about anything else other than the belief of God. Pure reason just does not seem to work here. Let's just for the sake of argument say that God does exist. How could the human mind come close to understanding. I guess that is where faith comes into play. Granted my faith is weak at this point but it is still there. However I do understand you point on the subject.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #109 on: November 25, 2011, 02:53:49 PM »
No I can't . and believe me when I tell you that I know how foolish this would sound if we were talking about anything else other than the belief of God. Pure reason just does not seem to work here.

Correction: Pure reason is rejected by (some) believers. It works wonders when one has an open mind. Look at all the ex-theists on this forum!

Let's just for the sake of argument say that God does exist. How could the human mind come close to understanding.

If a benevolent and omnipotent god existed, it would make its existence, will, et cetera known and understood throughout the universe.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #110 on: November 25, 2011, 03:06:37 PM »
Azd (my bold):
Quote
I had thought that characterizing vast swaths of people as harmful on the whole, due to a particular aspect of their personalities or belief systems, would be more controversial with more people.
I didn't mean to imply that the person was therefore harmful on the whole; that would require a highly complex calculation, to decide if a person's life was ultimately a Good Thing or a Bad Thing.

I meant that in that particular aspect, their behaviour was harmful.

Quote
As an analogy:  Smoking is harmful.  It does not follow that smokers, as people, are harmful, even though they are often causing harm while smoking.
To continue your analogy, they would be harmful if they taught their children that smoking was harmless and encouraged them to smoke.

Which is the case with religion.

Quote
So what you're saying is that because of this instance (and other instances) of harm, society would be better off if these people were to cease to exist
No, because as I said above, some creationists may contribute to society in ways which outweigh the harm they do.

Quote
Well, that can be accomplished, Gnu.  It's been done before.  I believe jaybwell alluded to such a thing already
And even if a creationist's life turned out to harmful on the whole, I never suggested that such people should be executed. And neither did Joe.

Quote
Yes, this is harmful.  Yes, there are other instances of harm.  How does one go about evaluating whether this makes a person more harmful to society than not?
I'm not trying to make such a judgment. The question is whether that particular behaviour is harmful or not.

Quote
But you're saying that something close to half the American population is harming society on the whole.  Dude, that is society.
Indeed. America is a sick puppy. Tell me something I don't know.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 03:16:35 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #111 on: November 25, 2011, 03:11:49 PM »
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Correction: Pure reason is rejected by (some) believers. It works wonders when one has an open mind. Look at all the ex-theists on this forum!

In a fish bowl the fish knows what is going on in the fish bowl. Their knowledge and reason works great for them in the fish bowl. They can come up to the glass, look out and know or feel that something is out side of the fish bowl. But they don't know what it is and they can not use the reason they use inside the fish bowl to figure out what is outside the fish bowl because it is so different. They would not even know where to begin.
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If a benevolent and omnipotent god existed, it would make its existence, will, et cetera known and understood throughout the universe.
.Can you show evidence as to why you would believe that. You question the existence of a benevolent  and omnipotent god, then in the next breath tell me that you know what it would do. I am confused at to what make you think this.
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

Offline One Above All

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #112 on: November 25, 2011, 03:18:18 PM »
In a fish bowl the fish knows what is going on in the fish bowl. Their knowledge and reason works great for them in the fish bowl. They can come up to the glass, look out and know or feel that something is out side of the fish bowl. But they don't know what it is and they can not use the reason they use inside the fish bowl to figure out what is outside the fish bowl because it is so different. They would not even know where to begin.

False analogy. We can "see" outside our planet; we can "see" inside it; we can "see" a lot of things. We know that the universe is bigger than we can even imagine, but we still try to understand it. We started with geocentrism, now we're all the way up to particle physics and creating energy.

Can you show evidence as to why you would believe that. You question the existence of a benevolent  and omnipotent god, then in the next breath tell me that you know what it would do. I am confused at to what make you think this.

"Question" implies doubt. I have no doubt that an omnipotent and benevolent god does not exist. However, most of the time, I consider what would happen if I were wrong about something and draw more conclusions. In this case, I concluded that a benevolent and omnipotent being would not sit and watch while people killed each other for whatever reasons; it would show itself and make its will known for all eternity, or at least stop bad things from happening to good people.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline riley2112

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #113 on: November 25, 2011, 03:31:03 PM »
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False analogy. We can "see" outside our planet; we can "see" inside it; we can "see" a lot of things. We know that the universe is bigger than we can even imagine, but we still try to understand it. We started with geocentrism, now we're all the way up to particle physics and creating energy.
ok. let us make the fish bowl alittle bigger, our fish bowl the universe. Outside the fish bowl , outside the universe

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"Question" implies doubt. I have no doubt that an omnipotent and benevolent god does not exist. However, most of the time, I consider what would happen if I were wrong about something and draw more conclusions. In this case, I concluded that a benevolent and omnipotent being would not sit and watch while people killed each other for whatever reasons; it would show itself and make its will known for all eternity, or at least stop bad things from happening to good people
.I used the word Question because I did not know for sure your beliefs. And what evidence did you use to formulate your conclusions?
[/quote]
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
--Nikolai Lenin

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #114 on: November 25, 2011, 03:33:09 PM »
Riley, can you think of any other topic where "we just don't understand" turned out to be a reasonable approach?
No I can't . and believe me when I tell you that I know how foolish this would sound if we were talking about anything else other than the belief of God.

Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God? 

Pure reason just does not seem to work here.

If it were true, it would.  The fact that it does not, is a good indication that it might not be true. 

Let's just for the sake of argument say that God does exist. How could the human mind come close to understanding.

I hate this argument.  Its one of the worse ones thrown about by theists, but also very common.  If we are to assume God exists, then God could make it so we could understand.  Unless you're saying he's not omnipotent.  Do you really think it would be difficult for God to give us the ability to understand more than we currently do? 

I guess that is where faith comes into play. Granted my faith is weak at this point but it is still there. However I do understand you point on the subject.

Faith is believing in something you know ain't true.   -  Mark Twain. 

Your faith is weak at this point because you're finally hearing the other side of the argument, and its compelling as hell.  We're right riley.  There's no Christian God.  Sorry.  The Christians around you are wrong.  Your pastor is wrong.  Friends and family who believe in God are wrong, and now you are starting to understand why.  I'm not saying that with malice; I'm saying it in exactly the same way as if all those people believed in leprechauns.  They'd be wrong about that too. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

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Re: Religious debate is pointless, the best cure is prevention
« Reply #115 on: November 25, 2011, 03:35:09 PM »
ok. let us make the fish bowl alittle bigger, our fish bowl the universe. Outside the fish bowl , outside the universe

There is no "outside" the universe. Time and space are "confined" within the universe. Without both of those things, nothing can exist. And even IF stuff could exist; without time, no actions can be taken, meaning that you're, quite literally, the most worthless living being inside or outside the universe.

I used the word Question because I did not know for sure your beliefs. And what evidence did you use to formulate your conclusions?

I defined a god and a god worthy of worship, applied logic and concluded that neither of those are possible.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.