No dichotomies are real because they're illusion created by human mind and its method of categorizing things. That's the whole point.
You are simply wrong. It's a matter of simple logic in this case. You can pretend it's something else and since you think wishing things away is a valid approach, you are just being unreasonable. You either believe or you don't. Unbelief may be due to ignorance or just a lack of making a choice but either way it is unbelief and makes you an atheist. If you believe in any form of deity, you are a theist. It doesn't matter what you claim God is. There are many kinds of theism. That does not change the fact that it is belief in a god. I know it's uncomfortable for you but your discomfort doesn't change the facts.
That's why people do not understand quantum physics.
That's totally irrelevant to a simple proposition.
And what people do most of the time is reduce things to mere yes or no. Sometimes that's ok, and sometimes it isn't.
Of course there are things that are false dichotomies. That doesn’t make them all false. As you say, sometimes it is just a matter of yes or no. This is one of those cases. Regardless of whether my reasons for not believing apply to all forms of theism, it does not change the fact that you are confusing knowledge with belief in your equivocations.
My point here is that your generalization is a disservice to atheism and you're just being a jerk yourself, putting everything in the same basket. Your list applies to major religions, especially those that suppress the rights of others and can do so because they're organized, influential, whatever.
My list applies to the vast majority of religions and I explain why the rest of them are not worth my time. I put theism in one basket because it is all nonsense. I put it in my nonsense basket. I try to cover all the claims but that is impossible because, as I said, anyone can come up with some sort of contrived magical explanation. Nature does not need magic to explain it. If you want to come up with some natural phenomena that causes things to happen and then arbitrarily call it God, you are just being irrational. If there is a naturally occurring entity that has consciousness and created this universe, then it isn't a deity. It would just be a more advanced being than us. If such a thing exists, maybe we will discover it and learn about it. But to call it God is pure silliness. You might just as well call a fundamental law of physics God.
But you can't forbid people to believe in god, especially if their beliefs are private and not pushed around, shoved into other people's throats.
This is a slippery slope argument. The fact that I have a list of reasons why I do not believe in God does not imply that I am forcing anyone to stop believing. I only share my reasons so that others can see that there are plenty of good reasons not to believe in God. It is a rational and viable alternative. I've stated many times that private belief is not my concern. I have also said many times that I respect the rights of others to believe whatever they choose to believe. My hope is that reason and rationality will one day be the mainstream and superstitious twaddle will be a fringe practice. But I only advocate this through education and sharing ideas. If this is scary to you then I question your intellectual integrity. Nothing in my statements implies that I endorse legislating belief. You are implying that to have a difference of opinion is to forbid other opinions. That's utter nonsense.
Because if you forbid everyone (and such lists are just a first step toward taht goal), you're not different than the next religious zealot...
Since I have never once forbade anyone to believe anything your point is fear mongering and simply ridiculous. It would be no different than if I said your reasons for believing in God make you a terrorist. It's a complete non sequitur.
...(because, let's face it, atheism IS a religion, there is even atheist church!) and should be banned from human society along with them.
You clearly have your own convenient definition of what constitutes a religion. Believe what you like but a lack of belief does not constitute a belief in itself. Whether or not some atheists created an organization or even called it a church is irrelevant to my lack of belief. I lack belief in a God because I have never heard a rational, verifiable reason for believing in one. The entire concept is vacuous. Rather than trying to vilify me for having a different opinion, maybe you should give some good reasons for being a theist, if you have any.
I did say that, and then got pushed around by your equally pompous attempts to tell me whether I'm atheist or theist and that there are no in-between categories.
There are no in-between categories.
You're generalizing things, and generalization is BAAAAAD.
Your personal value judgment notwithstanding, my list applies to at least 80-90% of the world’s belief systems. In principle it applies to all religious belief systems because they have the common element of being nonsense. When people believe nonsense it leads to invalid decisions. I figure that most people can apply the basic reasoning to other belief systems and see how utterly vacuous they all are.
LoL, I see you've read the abstract of the article I linked, but you didn't read the actual article, and yet you have the nerve to discuss it. LoL, and you call _me_ asinine?
Yep. I call them as I see them. I've read many such articles so I think I'm qualified to discuss them. But I did read the article so you are making assumptions. Giggle away, lolcat. This is just more of your haughty self-aggrandizement. Looking down your nose at other people doesn't make you right.
First of all, that's not Matrix universe. No one is implying alien conspiracy, no
- ne is implying that our bodies are stashed away somewhere and harvested for energy while our minds wonder around in virtual reality.
Do you know the differences between theme, premise and plot? I didn't say it was the story of the Matrix. I just used the name because it has the same basic premise. It is the same thing in that it postulates the universe as a virtual simulation. The paper even brings up the Matrix as an example. Or didn't you read it? The authors justify this theory by pointing out other strange concepts in science and saying that it's alright to consider this one just as valid because being strange is not a disqualifier. That's alright as far as it goes but there is a big difference between a hypothesis based on what might be possible and a hypothesis based on actual evidence. Some of the problems I see with this alternative explanation you propose: It is not explaining a God and therefore is not theism which is all I am discussing. If the universe we perceive is actually a virtual creation, it does not explain where the information system that created it came from. Just like the notion of a supernatural God, it just adds another layer that would need explanation. It runs afoul of Occam's Razor by unnecessarily multiplying entities. All it tells me is that you don't even understand the question at hand.
Second of all, ANY theory about the creation of Universe and its nature, scientific or religious, is the SAME: speculation.
Not exactly. Speculation is fine as far as it goes. I never say that it is wrong to consider all possibilities and think outside the box. But to believe in something is more than just speculation. It is a statement about what one accepts as a valid explanation. The difference between science and religion is that theism has no evidence. It is pure speculation and never gets beyond that point. To say that you are at some in-between point on the matter of theism isn't supported by anything you have said. The possibility of this being a virtual universe doesn't even address the issue.
Because we were not there to see it, and can only theorize and speculate about what we see today. So you can either believe in a god, something else, or be a complete nihilist and deny everything and anything because you don't see it. Such people would deny existence itself, but unfortunately for them, it is biting their asses every waking moment of their lives. Many such people are atheists.
Sure, some atheists are nihilists. This sounds like ad hominem or poisoning the well to me. Atheists can hold a great many different philosophies. Atheism is not a philosophy itself. It is just a lack of a particular belief. Theism, on the other hand, precludes a lot of philosophical ideas by its very nature. It's too bad for theists that God is not biting anyone's ass to show that he exists. Your point actually flies in the face of one of the basic statements in your virtual universe example. They state that:
1. The objective reality (OR) hypothesis: That our physical reality is an objective reality that exists in and of itself, and being self-contained needs nothing outside of itself to explain it.
2. The virtual reality (VR) hypothesis: That our physical reality is a virtual reality that depends upon information processing to exist, which processing must occur outside of itself.
Whatever one’s personal opinion, these views clearly contradict. If the world exists as an objective reality it cannot be virtual, and if it exists as a virtual reality then it cannot be objective. That the world is an objective reality and that it is a virtual one are mutually exclusive.
For you to say that reality is biting us in the ass demonstrates your bias toward an objective reality. You didn't say that some virtual simulation is making it seem as though reality is biting us in the ass.
This VR speculation contradicts itself in essence because it says that "[A] VR processor cannot itself logically exist within the virtual reality its processing creates. ... Hence any VR world, by definition, must have existence dimensions outside itself." but it also says "The argument is that virtuality implies an unfalsifiable reality, and so is unscientific and should be dismissed. However this misrepresents VR theory, which postulates no other dimensional “hardware”. It is a theory about this world, not some other unknowable world..." The authors are equivocating here. If the VR processor is not within the simulation, and the simulation is all that exists to the virtual people, it is effectively a different realm and would definitely be treated as such by the people inside it. They are actually shooting themselves in the foot by admitting that there is only one reality no matter how many virtual realities might be created inside it.
This hypothesis provides not just its own method of falsifiability but it shows that it is already falsified, at least by every standard we have of the word. To wit: “VR theory is falsifiable as one could disprove it by showing some incomputable physics.” Quantum entanglement is incomputable. In a very real sense it is not even understandable. Computation relies on programming by someone that understands it. Some of the observable effects of entanglement are computable but it cannot itself be computed. One would have to arbitrarily postulate an unknown programmer with omniscience and hardware that is omnipotent. Of course, the authors point out that it would have to be a turnkey process that never needed more input or power. One wonders how that differs from appeal to magic. It becomes bogged down with the same problems that theism fails with. You point out that this is a peer reviewed paper but you fail to mention what it points out internally: the number of supporters of this notion in the physics mainstream is precisely zero. You clearly want to present this as a strong scientific theory but it is not.
One of the statements that struck me as really telling is “One of the mysteries of our world is how every photon of light, every electron and quark, and indeed every point of space itself, seems to just “know” what to do at each moment.” The operative word here is “seems”. The particles that make up our universe operate according to Newtonian physics almost entirely and when you get into the guts of quantum physics they still operate according to predictable laws with few exceptions. In the future I suspect even the exceptions will be seen to follow predictable laws of some sort. Theists tend to treat these as proscriptive laws rather than simply descriptive laws thereby demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding. Imparting volition to physics is akin to what theists do and it is completely specious. The authors also make the same mistake that theists make by implying that the Big Bang means the universe was created ex nihilo. Even a cursory review of current physics shows that the best theories do not assume any such thing.
Is it possible that we live in a virtual reality? It is just as possible as the idea that reality is merely a dream. As the authors pointed out, if the VR hypothesis could explain things that physics fails to explain, it is more likely to be true. Unfortunately it does not do that. Bertrand Russell was right. Occam’s Razor makes this hypothesis superfluous.
Third, I was asked to bring an example of an alternative possibility between theism and atheism. I did. People failed to understand it (your matrix remark clearly proves that). Soo.... how come I'm asinine if I predict, successfully that people would not understand it?
Because you are clearly wrong. The fact that you don't even seem to understand it while tittering away at others makes you asinine.
See, if people asked me in good faith what are the alternatives, fine, but no, I was attacked and challenged to bring it to the table, expecting I'd fail. Well I haven't.
But you have failed. You have not supported your statements and you have contradicted yourself. Would you care to try again?
I find it funny that you are getting your panties in a wad about how people are treating you when you are the one being arrogant, pompous, hypocritical and snide in everything you say. Right out of the gate you set the tone. Mensa is welcome to you. You fit right in with a bunch of self-important braggarts.