Author Topic: Does the 10 questions thing use subliminal techniques to make its points?  (Read 5185 times)

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Offline Slapdash

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Persuasive argumentation is not inherently bad. It's inherently human. And, it's a useful tool for an individual with any job which requires frequent communication. That's why we teach it in high school.

Do heart-tugging T.V. commercials from charities, that show starving or abused children demonstrate to you that the charities have some nefarious intent, or that there really isn't a need for your donations because they've had to "sex-up" their adds with persuasive pathos?

Check out any PSA on television, in a nespaper, or on the radio for more examples.

The WWGHA videos fall into that category IMO.
I agree that persuasive argumentation is not bad. In fact it is good to be persuasive, but it should be done with sound reasoning and clear concise points. With this article, the author does do this BUT (and this is where I have a problem) he goes beyond this and adds insult, insinuation of absurdity and forced beliefs among other things. This to me suggests that the author did not believe the strength of his own argument OR he has real personal issues that taint his view. The latter could be seen by the way the article gets steadily more aggressive as it goes on.
Whatever is going on, my main point is that these additions are unnecessary at best and at worst, offensive, patronizing and dishonest.

I would argue that heart tugging commercials actually give you a taster of the truth. From your home you don’t know what it is to starve so they show you the reality of a child who is starving. I wouldn’t say they have ‘sexed up’ their ad but rather shown you the true reality of what is going on out there.

I would say that this article does not fall into this category.

As you mention, adverts and the like do use this kind of thing but I would say that this is a form of deception and as such, wrong. The fact that companies do use these tactics, at great expense, suggests that they do work, contrary to what a number of people here have said.

Offline MrFriday

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There is nothing dishonest or wrong in the way the questions are asked. Starting off, the author tries to build a rapport with the audience and show that he is not talking down to them. He builds the case for each question by making clear reference to the claims of Christianity with plenty of scriptural passages and then points out the facts of reality. When he points out a contradiction, he may say "this doesn't make sense, does it?" However, if you have followed the argumentation up to that point, you will see that he merely wants you to ask yourself if he hasn't demonstrated his point. If you feel insulted, perhaps you are trying to avoid the obvious conclusions. If your beliefs are being shown to be silly and nonsensical, of course you are going to get defensive, unless you have the ability to be honest about your beliefs. He points out that people who hear and see things that are not actually in evidence are delusional. This is not insulting but an established fact. Human beings are very adept at fooling themselves. But there is nothing in these videos or arguments that are trying to create replacement delusions or brainwash anyone.

I think you are making a huge case over the techniques used in the videos/essays as an attack on the author. That is an ad hominem attack and is really not worth anything in a debate. You can make your counterarguments in any way you see fit but attacking the style of the author won't get you anywhere. I suggest you address the points made and forget your lame attacks that have nothing to do with the content. There is nothing subliminal or dishonest in his approach. But I am beginning to see a lot of dishonesty in your approach.
"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline Slapdash

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According to a recent poll, 3 out of 4 doctors believe that God is performing medical miracles on earth right now.

…people who believe in imaginary beings are delusional.

Another thing I thought was interesting, the author quotes a poll that state that 3 out of 4 doctors believe in God and that he is working in a very real way in their profession. But later on the author claims that people who believe in God are delusional.
That is an awful lot of doctors we are talking about who are delusional. Doctors, by definition, are some of the brightest people, having studies the complexities of the human body for decades of their lives.
Now who should I believe has the more trustworthy opinion on God?
This author or 75 % of doctors.

I would say that the author has made a pretty conclusive case for God unless he really thinks that 75% of doctors are delusional.

Offline MrFriday

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According to a recent poll, 3 out of 4 doctors believe that God is performing medical miracles on earth right now.

…people who believe in imaginary beings are delusional.

Another thing I thought was interesting, the author quotes a poll that state that 3 out of 4 doctors believe in God and that he is working in a very real way in their profession. But later on the author claims that people who believe in God are delusional.
That is an awful lot of doctors we are talking about who are delusional. Doctors, by definition, are some of the brightest people, having studies the complexities of the human body for decades of their lives.
Now who should I believe has the more trustworthy opinion on God?
This author or 75 % of doctors.

I would say that the author has made a pretty conclusive case for God unless he really thinks that 75% of doctors are delusional.
Don't take anyone's word for it. Look at the facts. Conclusive stidies show that prayer has absolutely no effect on whether or not a person recovers from a disease. People recover or die from disease at exactly the same rate whether they are prayed for or not.
"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline Slapdash

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Mr Friday, please point our anything dishonest I have posted. I am happy to discuss or withdraw these things.

The rapport thing plays out like ‘good cop, bad cop’. Bad cop comes up later to slate the alternative view. I thought the good cop was very patronizing.

As for the quotes to scriptural passages, he does not build a case for each question as 6 and 7 have nothing and 8 and 9 have very little compared to the other. Also you can quote the scripture to say anything with select quoting like ‘There is no God.’ Is a direct quote from Psalm 14:1 but that doesn’t mean that the Bible believes that there is no God.  Like a science book, you cannot simply pick up the Bible, read one line in the middle and claim to understand it all.

What if the author said ‘does this make sense?’ rather than stating it doesn’t make sense, does it?
This asks the listener to evaluate with a neutral bias rather than pushing his view. Simply weigh up the arguments and decide for yourself.

I would like to point out that I am not attacking the author, a technique I have seen many times. I am discussing what he wrote and there is a big difference there.

I am aware of how I am coming across by avoiding the questions themselves but I think this is important and I do intend to get to them soon.

Offline Slapdash

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Mr Friday, what is your opinion on the poll that concludes that 75% of doctors disagree?

Offline Omen

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I am aware of how I am coming across by avoiding the questions themselves but I think this is important and I do intend to get to them soon.

A technique is valueless without the content provided, that is to say.. ONLY addressing the technique is dishonest and most of your conclusions about the technique are grossly overstated anyways.

The ONLY thing that matters is addressing the meat of the questions, anything less then this is irrelevant.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Omen

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Mr Friday, what is your opinion on the poll that concludes that 75% of doctors disagree?

If you'd bother to read the post you'd see he responded to you.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline William

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Slapdash, I'd be very interested to view any videos made by you to promote rational thinking?  
Videos that satisfactorily illustrate what you are seeking.

I had nothing to do with the production of the videos in question, but I certainly like them.  

I think the 10 questions videos are aimed at people who have entrenched irrational beliefs - so the arguments and language have to penetrate significant defenses, and get under their skin a bit.   They may not work on all audiences but there have been many people who have dropped by or signed up with WWGHA to express their appreciation of the videos, and to tell how the videos helped them deconvert.

But then we also get some amazingly vile Christian hate mail so maybe there is room for improvement  ;)  
So let's see what your videos have got to offer.
Git mit uns

Offline Omen

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Like a science book, you cannot simply pick up the Bible, read one line in the middle and claim to understand it all.

Yet this is the equivalent of religious apologia, this is exactly the intellectual scope and depth of the nature of religion itself.  The really ignorant thing about this comment is the comparison to science that you're attempting to draw.

Science ( as a knowledge based system of objective analysis ) is only as effective as the methodology used to gain that knowledge.  That is, science is as only as 'true' as the method is capable of providing answers that work.  Science begins at methodology, it begs at being objective, and it begins at admitting it does not know.

Religion, or the claim of supernatural systems of belief, do not begin at admitting ignorance, they do not contain methodological systems for gaining knowledge, and the pure fact that someone begins their religious defense based on the presumption that any of it is true in the first place.. throws objectivity out the window.

If you're seriously going to make this comparison then you need to show a logical systematic methodology that differentiates the claims of religion from imagination, fairy tales, myth, and the insane.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Ambassador Pony

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This to me suggests that the author did not believe the strength of his own argument OR he has real personal issues that taint his view. The latter could be seen by the way the article gets steadily more aggressive as it goes on.

He's emotionaly involved? Great detective work, Colombo.

Rather than "taint" his exposition, why can't it just be apparent in it? Like how I was slightly irked by your use of terms like "brainwashing" and "subliminal messages" despite your apparent lack of understanding of those terms. A reader might have been able to perceive I was annoyed by it, but that in no way compromised my ability to state my point effectively.

The emotional component of the Brain's argumentation may not be a liability, but a touchstone for other dissaffected Americans like him. You can read such emotion in great works of rational literature throughout literate time.  

I don't read the passion in King's Letter from Birmingham Jail as an indication that he thinks his arguments about the parade laws are weak. That's not even the point.

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Whatever is going on, my main point is that these additions are unnecessary at best and at worst, offensive, patronizing and dishonest.

They're mainly components of style (persuasive argumentation) and bleed the overdue outrage of a growing minority.

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I would argue that heart tugging commercials actually give you a taster of the truth. From your home you don’t know what it is to starve so they show you the reality of a child who is starving. I wouldn’t say they have ‘sexed up’ their ad but rather shown you the true reality of what is going on out there.

You're misunderstanding my point. The source of the material isn't relevant. It is the intent of the individual showing it. The idea in those ads is to invoke pathos. Any persuasive appeal or argument will include one or more elements of Aristotilean persuasion. Which element, whether pathos, logos, or ethos, is in the argument itself, doesn't necessarily have any bearing on the validity of the argument or allow one to make very many conclusions about the intent of the individual delivering it, other than the fact that they wish to persuade us using those components.    

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I would say that this article does not fall into this category.

Given your misunderstanding, I don't blame you.

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As you mention, adverts and the like do use this kind of thing but I would say that this is a form of deception and as such, wrong. The fact that companies do use these tactics, at great expense, suggests that they do work, contrary to what a number of people here have said.

I mentioned that PSA do. Those are Public Service Announcements. I used those as an example because, like, I think, Brain's website message, those have no intention of deceiving anyone, but of persuading, or at least rallying together.

Yes, corporations use persuasive techniques in ads. They also lie. And, yes they work to achieve the goal of the corporation. Their goals are not synonimous with the goals of the website publisher.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Mr Friday, what is your opinion on the poll that concludes that 75% of doctors disagree?

Human beings are hard-wired with a significant capacity to believe things for reasons beneath rational thought. It is an inate disposition which, from an evolutionary standpoint, has been indispensible to us as a species.

It would be more accurate to say that 100% of doctors, 100% of everyone, in fact, believes at least one thing, due to learning history, that is not consistant with reality. If we apply the definition of delusion strictly, then those people are delusional about that thing. The website author uses the definition to make a rhetorical point.

That 75% of doctors believe something disseminated by an organized institution whose primary job for the past 5000 years has been to effectively perpetuate a specific sort of meme, is not really mind boggling. It's consistent with what we know about how the human brain works.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline velkyn

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That is an awful lot of doctors we are talking about who are delusional. Doctors, by definition, are some of the brightest people, having studies the complexities of the human body for decades of their lives.
Now who should I believe has the more trustworthy opinion on God?
This author or 75 % of doctors.

I would say that the author has made a pretty conclusive case for God unless he really thinks that 75% of doctors are delusional.

so, you think that doctors are so very smart that they know about everything?  Would you take your child to a florist if they were ill or take your car to a lumberjack to get it fixed? 

People can be very delusional and still be smart.  It's called compartmentalization. 


"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline MrFriday

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Mr Friday, what is your opinion on the poll that concludes that 75% of doctors disagree?
I think it says more about levels of faith in the area of the survey than it says about the veracity of religious claims. This is a survey of doctors in the US where at least 83% of the general population believe in God (according to recent surveys). Doctors come from that very same population. The fact that fewer doctors adhere to the traditional beliefs than the general population tells me that reality is pushing them in the opposite direction but there is enough ambiguity in the results of medical treatment that people who start out with strong beliefs can find ways to maintain them even when evidence doesn't bear it out. Most medical doctors are not scientists although they work in a field that uses science. They are essentially technicians who apply science but do not usually conduct research. When religious claims are subjected to rigorous scientific studies, the beliefs of religious doctors is not supported by the results. What doctors believe or don't believe about God is not relevant to the facts on the ground.
"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline Nam

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I feel Brain is speaking to people in the video as if they are simple-minded, i.e.: as if they are children. Which, can be deemed as condescending to some; especially if they are the target audience (i.e. Christian).

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline MrFriday

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Mr Friday, please point our anything dishonest I have posted. I am happy to discuss or withdraw these things.
But you will just deny it as you have done in this very post. You are quibbling over word choices and attacking the style of the author but have yet to make a single post addressing the validity of what he says.

The rapport thing plays out like ‘good cop, bad cop’. Bad cop comes up later to slate the alternative view. I thought the good cop was very patronizing.
And if he hadn’t started out by trying to show that he wasn’t calling people stupid or uneducated, you would probably have complained that he was treating believers like idiots. There’s just no way to win with people who are intent on finding fault.

As for the quotes to scriptural passages, he does not build a case for each question as 6 and 7 have nothing and 8 and 9 have very little compared to the other. Also you can quote the scripture to say anything with select quoting like ‘There is no God.’ Is a direct quote from Psalm 14:1 but that doesn’t mean that the Bible believes that there is no God.  Like a science book, you cannot simply pick up the Bible, read one line in the middle and claim to understand it all.
You are being disingenuous. No one is taking disjointed passages out of the Bible like the ones you mentioned. And Christians continually use passages out of the Bible to prove their points. The author is not trying to say that the Bible says something other than what it clearly says in context. Claiming that things are being taken out of context while not pointing to specific examples from the disputed article is dishonest. In cases where scriptural passages are not directly used, the traditional claims of Christianity are used. If you dispute that those traditional claims are actually what Christians believe, you can say that. But you are content with vague generalities and attacking the author’s style. The fact that you can find Biblical passages to support almost any idea just shows how conflicted and inconsistent the text is. Christians take what they want from the Bible and where it contradicts itself, they say that the passage they like is a clarification of the one it completely contradicts. They decide what they want the Bible to say and disregard where it doesn’t say that or says something completely different.

What if the author said ‘does this make sense?’ rather than stating it doesn’t make sense, does it?
This asks the listener to evaluate with a neutral bias rather than pushing his view. Simply weigh up the arguments and decide for yourself.
You are splitting hairs. The author is showing the conclusion that he arrives at and asks if the reader agrees. What is wrong with that? I have read hundreds of books supporting the Bible and Religion and they often use similar techniques. If the author used the words you suggest, I don’t see it making any real difference to believers who read it and get offended because their beliefs are being called into question. No matter how an atheist phrases his case against religion and God, it will be attacked like this.

I would like to point out that I am not attacking the author, a technique I have seen many times. I am discussing what he wrote and there is a big difference there.
You are attacking the style of the author and questioning his honesty and intent. You have yet to make a single post regarding the content. I don’t see how you can claim that you are discussing what he wrote. What point of his have you addressed at all?

I am aware of how I am coming across by avoiding the questions themselves but I think this is important and I do intend to get to them soon.
What you are using is a tactic known as poisoning the well. You are doing everything you can to discredit the author on his style and any other thing you can nit pick about before you address the issues. It appears that it is important to you to demean the article and author so that anything he has said is tainted from the outset.

"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline Slapdash

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Quote from: Omen
  ONLY addressing the technique is dishonest
Omen, I have stated a few times now that I do intend to get to the questions but I wanted to start here first. I just ask that you bare with me till then and join in with the current topic or not.
I don’t think it is unreasonable to address something I think is biasing the viewer unfairly.
Mr Friday didn’t address the point. He asked me to look at the facts (???) and conclusive studies (???) I am unaware of which facts and which studies are being talked about. Besides that we are still talking about 75% of doctors, with all their knowledge and study, with all the wisdom and guidance of their elders believe they see things that are so inconsistent with this knowledge that their best theory is to attribute these happenings to God. I doubt they do that lightly.
Quote from: Omen
  The really ignorant thing about this comment is the comparison to science that you're attempting to draw.
I think you missed my point in comparing the Bible to a science book. I was not making a link to the kind of information held within but simply pointing out that neither could be picked up at random and understood. Most scientific theory is based on a foundation of pieces of information. In a similar way, one verse from the middle of the Bible is founded on what came before. I imagine one could create any ‘scientific’ theory by taking random bits from different scientific books. The same is true of the Bible.
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  He's emotionaly involved? Great detective work, Colombo.
Rather than "taint" his exposition, why can't it just be apparent in it?
A Pony, I didn’t claim that point as some kind of incredible revelation, it was just a possibility, you now say it is true. I don’t know the guy, I’m only new here.
To answer your question, the danger of this is that emotions can cloud judgment like I’m sure you believe of religious people. He could tailor his biblical quotes purposely just to take a swipe at the church (or whoever) because of some personal grudge rather than trying to present the truth. I apologize if I irked anyone by my choice of words but I never expected such a strong reaction to definitions. I was hoping people would look to my meaning not my words.
Quote from: A Pony
  They're mainly components of style (persuasive argumentation) and bleed the overdue outrage of a growing minority.
I wonder if they would be passed off as components of style if it were a Christian using them. Ridiculing the non-believers, calling them names etc.
Quote from: A Pony
  You're misunderstanding my point. The source of the material isn't relevant.
I think the content in this particular case is relevant. The key difference is one tries to deceive it’s audience (in a world of personal taste) for it’s own gain while the other tries to bring you the truth (in a world of right and wrong) for the gain of those in need.
The questions in question I think are unjustified because it is a matter of opinion and unnecessary to the argument.

To those who justify this use of tactics because of the stubbornness or stupidity of Christians, I would say leave them be unless they violate the law of the land. If they ‘need’ a crowbar then pass them by. I would equate the ‘your delusional’ to the ‘your all going to burn in hell’ tactics.

Offline MadBunny

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How to change a car tire
Materials Needed:
1.Spare Tire
2.Car Jack
3.Lugnut Wrench
4.Flashlight (For a night change)
5.Flares/Emergency Warning Triangles


Step One:
Put the car in park and set the emergency brake if your car is equipped with one. Turn your vehicle’s engine off and put your hazard lights on to alert other motorists that you are stopped. You may also want to lift the hood of your car to further show that you are stopped for repairs. For added safety, set out flares and or emergency safety cones. You are now ready to begin.

Step Two:
Retrieve spare tire and tools from car or trunk. With your lugnut wrench, you need to remove the hubcap from the flat. Simply loosen the lugnuts that are holding the wheel in place. About ½ turn clockwise should do the trick. Do not completely remove the lugnuts before jacking up your car so the tire does not drop off and injure you.

Step Three:
Jack the car off the ground. It is wise now to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the correct and safest jack placement under the car. Jack the vehicle far enough off the ground so that a new, fully inflated tire will fit easily under the car. Too much space is better that not enough.


Step Four:
Now it is safe to completely remove the lugnuts from the flat tires. Be sure to keep track of them, put them in a safe place. You will need them to secure the spare tire. Remove the flat and put it out of your way. You will need plenty of room to work. Lift on the spare tire. Align the holes before attempting the placement. Make sure the air valve is faceing out towards you.


Step Five:
Now the tire is on, replace the lugnuts you have set aside using your lugnut wrench. Tighten opposite nuts then continue around. Work in a star pattern and only slightly tighten your nuts during this step.


Step Six:
It is now time to return your vehicle to the ground. Slowly lower the car using the jack. Once the vehicle is safely on the ground, you can finish tightening the lugnuts. Secure them as tightly as you possibly can. Now reattach your hubcap. You did it, you changed your flat! You are now ready to drive off safely.

* Be sure to replace your tools and equipment so that you can easily locate them next time you need them. You now need to schedule your car into a service station to have a full new wheel put on. Remember while changing your flat, be aware of passing motorists as they may not be aware of you.



Now, compare this to the quotes below.
Note how belief isn't required in any portion at all.  More details can be added where neccesary, for example if a person doesn't know what a 'star' pattern is we can add a graphic

If a person has never driven a car before, or seen one, then more details can be added, such as pictures of what an emergency indicator switch looks, like, possibly what they do.  In each instance of these steps there are definable steps that do not require specific knowlege ahead of time.  The method for delivery of this information can be anything ranging from a naked lady standing next to you giving you instructions, or it can be a hairy turkmen yelling at you.  The result is the same.  The tire gets changed.


You don't need faith to change a tire, you just need the correct equipment and instructions on how to use them.

Like a science book, you cannot simply pick up the Bible, read one line in the middle and claim to understand it all.

Yet this is the equivalent of religious apologia, this is exactly the intellectual scope and depth of the nature of religion itself.  The really ignorant thing about this comment is the comparison to science that you're attempting to draw.

Science ( as a knowledge based system of objective analysis ) is only as effective as the methodology used to gain that knowledge.  That is, science is as only as 'true' as the method is capable of providing answers that work.  Science begins at methodology, it begs at being objective, and it begins at admitting it does not know.

Religion, or the claim of supernatural systems of belief, do not begin at admitting ignorance, they do not contain methodological systems for gaining knowledge, and the pure fact that someone begins their religious defense based on the presumption that any of it is true in the first place.. throws objectivity out the window.

If you're seriously going to make this comparison then you need to show a logical systematic methodology that differentiates the claims of religion from imagination, fairy tales, myth, and the insane.


By attempting to subvert the questions in the video into an attack on the methods used to present those questions you are very obviously avoiding the questions asked in them video.  We have answered your questions about 'subliminal' quite thoroughly, yet you continue to avoid the questions.  Why is that?


I am aware of how I am coming across by avoiding the questions themselves but I think this is important and I do intend to get to them soon.

How about now?

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 Ambassador Pony

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A Pony, I didn’t claim that point as some kind of incredible revelation, it was just a possibility, you now say it is true. I don’t know the guy, I’m only new here.
To answer your question, the danger of this is that emotions can cloud judgment like I’m sure you believe of religious people. He could tailor his biblical quotes purposely just to take a swipe at the church (or whoever) because of some personal grudge rather than trying to present the truth. I apologize if I irked anyone by my choice of words but I never expected such a strong reaction to definitions. I was hoping people would look to my meaning not my words.

Pretty much everything in the above was accomodated by my last post.

You were hoping people on an internet forum, relying only on your words, could decipher your meaning when you were using the wrong words? WTF?

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I wonder if they would be passed off as components of style if it were a Christian using them. Ridiculing the non-believers, calling them names etc.

 &) You need to distinguish between the two parts of the message you were responding to. Half referred to style, what did the other half refer to?   

As above.

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I think the content in this particular case is relevant. The key difference is one tries to deceive it’s audience (in a world of personal taste) for it’s own gain while the other tries to bring you the truth (in a world of right and wrong) for the gain of those in need.
The questions in question I think are unjustified because it is a matter of opinion and unnecessary to the argument.

Your argument is starting to break apart. I don't quite understand what it is you are arguing anymore. 

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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May I ask, where did this 75% of all doctors believe in miracles come from?

Seems a bit low.  ;)

Source, please?

« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 04:04:50 AM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Google is my friend... Brain must be talking about this :

Quote
The study, carried out by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, found that 74 percent of U.S. doctors believe miracles have happened in the past, and 73 percent believe they can occur today.

Among Jewish doctors, 88 percent of Orthodox respondents said they believed miracles have transpired, as did 53 percent of Conservative respondents, 46 percent of Reform respondents and 29 percent of those identifying as culturally Jewish.

The numbers were approximately the same when the doctors were asked if miracles can occur today.  

 <...snip a bit...>

The survey of 1,087 physicians — Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and 253 Jews — also found that 20 percent of Jewish doctors believe supernatural events or acts of God frequently influence treatment outcomes. Among Catholics that number rose to 35 percent, and jumped again to 46 percent among Protestants.

So there's a couple of questions there about sampling, aren't there?

How were the 1087 doctors selected for the survey? On what basis? Religion, or lack thereof? It does rather make a difference.

And how would a random sample of 1087 doctors select 253 Jews? Might the fact that the study was conducted by a Jewish Theological Seminary be significant?

And I don't see any reference there to atheist or agnostic physicians.

I won't jump to conclusions until I get confimation that this is Brain's source. But if it is, it looks somewhat suspect. Does anyone know?
 
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 04:08:17 AM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Gnu Ordure

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OK, I've confirmed it. In the video, Brain tells people to go to this page for details of his survey.

There's a link a few lines down which doesn't go anywhere [EDIT on Aug 1st: Actually, it does go somewhere, it just takes a little while to make the connection, sorry].  However, Brain says next:

Quote
According to the article: "The poll of 1,100 physicians found 74 percent of doctors believe miracles have occurred in the past, and 73 percent believe they can occur today."

This agrees with what I found:

Quote
The study, carried out by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, found that 74 percent of U.S. doctors believe miracles have happened in the past, and 73 percent believe they can occur today

So this must be the study he's talking about, everyone agreed?

In which case, we can now draw our conclusion. Given the evident unscientific and biased nature of the survey, Brain is trying to bulls**t people with dodgy statistics.

One biased survey leads to 3 out of 4 Doctors believe...?

I don't think so.

Gnu.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 04:12:11 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Slapdash

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Quote from:  Velkyn
  so, you think that doctors are so very smart that they know about everything?  Would you take your child to a florist if they were ill or take your car to a lumberjack to get it fixed? 
People can be very delusional and still be smart.  It's called compartmentalization.
I find it interesting that you would rather slate most doctors than accept that belief in God might not be delusional.
BTW I never said doctors know everything. I said by definition they are smart. The process by which they become doctors is there to get rid of the not so smart. As for the compartmentalization, you are talking about the same compartment. They are smart when it comes to someone’s health and they are delusional when it comes to someone’s health.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  I think it says more about levels of faith in the area of the survey than it says about the veracity of religious claims.
We should be clear on this poll that it is not something I have brought up but rather the author. He chose what information to put forward and what to leave out. What I see in the above is reminiscent of something I once heard:
‘you have to create some kind of rationalization. You have to invent an excuse … to explain this strange fact of life.’
Maybe this was a bias poll. I can accept that but why was it included? And why were we not given the whole picture? Something to think about.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  You are quibbling over word choices and attacking the style of the author but have yet to make a single post addressing the validity of what he says.
I am not quibbling over word choice, that is what is happening to me with this ‘subliminal’ thing. I am raising the point that the style used by the author seems to be designed to make you agree with him when his points might fail. What is the result of that? Someone who agrees with the author because they don’t want to be called delusional but rather intelligent! A hollow victory IMO.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  And if he hadn’t started out by trying to show that he wasn’t calling people stupid or uneducated, you would probably have complained that he was treating believers like idiots. There’s just no way to win with people who are intent on finding fault.
My point is that neither is necessary and both can be used to persuade someone without their knowing it. Like with good cop, bad cop both are an act to get a result. If you claim to be trying to reach people on an intellectual level then give them credit due an intelligent person.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  No one is taking disjointed passages out of the Bible like the ones you mentioned. And Christians continually use passages out of the Bible to prove their points. The author is not trying to say that the Bible says something other than what it clearly says in context. Claiming that things are being taken out of context while not pointing to specific examples from the disputed article is dishonest.
- Exodus 21:20-21 – God says that it is OK to own slaves, and it is also OK to beat them.
- Colossians 3:22-24 – Slaves need to obey their masters.
- Ephesians 6:5 – Slaves need to obey their masters just as they would obey Christ.
- 1 Peter 2:18 – Slaves need to obey their masters, even if their masters are harsh .
There are your examples. 2 verses from Exodus, 2 from Colossians, 1 from Ephesians and one from 1 Peter. Notice how the verses are disjointed, notice how none have context attached and notice how the author does not read the actual verse but chooses to interpret it. Whether his interpretation is correct or not is irrelevant. He opens up the risk of incorrect, bias interpretation when he could have easily read out the verse and let the audience make up their own mind.
He does give references so credit is given there.
I will address this point when I get to it.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  The fact that you can find Biblical passages to support almost any idea just shows how conflicted and inconsistent the text is.
That is one way of looking at it but most large bodies of text can be abused. It doesn’t mean that the text is inconsistent or conflicted. I aim to expand on verses quoted as I get to them.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  Christians take what they want from the Bible and where it contradicts itself, they say that the passage they like is a clarification of the one it completely contradicts. They decide what they want the Bible to say and disregard where it doesn’t say that or says something completely different.
This is a gross generalization but in some cases it is true.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  You are splitting hairs. The author is showing the conclusion that he arrives at and asks if the reader agrees. What is wrong with that? I have read hundreds of books supporting the Bible and Religion and they often use similar techniques. If the author used the words you suggest, I don’t see it making any real difference to believers who read it and get offended because their beliefs are being called into question. No matter how an atheist phrases his case against religion and God, it will be attacked like this.
One is neutral and one is not. Just because someone does this in the bias of religion does not make it right. You see it as splitting hairs but it is uncessessary IMO and the points should be persuasion enough.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  You are attacking the style of the author and questioning his honesty and intent. You have yet to make a single post regarding the content. I don’t see how you can claim that you are discussing what he wrote. What point of his have you addressed at all?
I am limiting my analysis to the article in question. It was this technique that got my attention in the first place. Surely I am allowed to discuss what I like. If you don’t care for it then you are free to stand back until I get to the questions if that is what you want to discuss.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  What you are using is a tactic known as poisoning the well. You are doing everything you can to discredit the author on his style and any other thing you can nit pick about before you address the issues. It appears that it is important to you to demean the article and author so that anything he has said is tainted from the outset.
Im glad you mentioned this. Please re-read what I have posted so far. Instead of poisoning the well I have so far been trying to neutralize the poison that I see in the article. The author’s poisoning of the well is exactly what I have been trying to communicate thus far. It is not a neutral article with several interesting points to consider, there is an unhealthy dose of poison thrown in too.

What I want is a neutral start but due to this poison, any attempt by Christians to answer the questions will be seen, before they are even written, as ‘desperate inventions from a deluded mind.’

Far from poisoning the well I am trying to counter the poison already there or at the very least identify the poison to others.

Offline Agga

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Just to buck-the-trend...


I apologize if I irked anyone by my choice of words but I never expected such a strong reaction to definitions. I was hoping people would look to my meaning not my words.

You haven't irked me. Yet.


Semantics over words, definitions and your motives for questioning what you've questioned, aside for a moment...

How the 10 questions are being asked caused my initial sensors to light up too when I first watched the videos, for slightly similar reasons as yours.
I don't think it's that outrageous that you've questioned how someone communicates because what someone is saying can be heavily skewed or hyped by how it is delivered, whether that be in statement or question form.

For example, some have focused on how you've approached your issue in the OP before commenting on what it is you're suggesting.





Regarding the 10 questions videos:

Are "subliminal" techniques used?  No.  The author is very in your face about how he's asking his questions.

Does the author use "pro-active" communication techniques to steer the watchers viewpoint towards his viewpoint?  In my opinion, yes he does, quite obviously.

Is that bad?  Not if it's done openly as in the case of this author.  We all do that all of the time, it's one way that we convince others to see our points of view.

Did he need to do it with this specific set of questions?  In my opinion, not at all, they speak for themselves and don't need an ounce of fluff to help them along.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Could someone suggest that you've used the same tactics in your OP and thread title as you say the author of the 10 questions has in his videos?  Yes, some people could say that.  Think about that.




Agga
I've left WWGHA now, so do everyone else a favour and don't bother replying to my old posts and necromancing my threads.

Offline MrFriday

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Quote from:  Mr Friday
  I think it says more about levels of faith in the area of the survey than it says about the veracity of religious claims.
We should be clear on this poll that it is not something I have brought up but rather the author. He chose what information to put forward and what to leave out. What I see in the above is reminiscent of something I once heard:
‘you have to create some kind of rationalization. You have to invent an excuse … to explain this strange fact of life.’
Maybe this was a bias poll. I can accept that but why was it included? And why were we not given the whole picture? Something to think about.
I’m not making excuses for anything. You asked me what I thought about it. I didn’t bring it up, did I? And it has nothing to do with the question of whether god is imaginary or not. You want to use it as an argument from authority for belief in god. What I said was that we have to look at the facts and not anyone’s opinion. You chose not to address my point that every rigorous scientific study shows that prayer does not work. No matter what anyone says, look at the facts.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  You are quibbling over word choices and attacking the style of the author but have yet to make a single post addressing the validity of what he says.
I am not quibbling over word choice, that is what is happening to me with this ‘subliminal’ thing. I am raising the point that the style used by the author seems to be designed to make you agree with him when his points might fail. What is the result of that? Someone who agrees with the author because they don’t want to be called delusional but rather intelligent! A hollow victory IMO.
First of all, you have not addressed any of his points. Second, you have been shown that there is nothing that can be called subliminal in the authors presentation. All you have been doing is quibbling over words. No matter how anyone presents an argument, the facts presented are what is important. But you refuse to address them. If you look at the entire set of arguments the author has presented, he makes a very convincing case that belief in god is a delusion. So calling it a delusion is not a tactic but rather it is calling a spade a spade. I don’t know of anyone who is going to agree that something is delusional just because someone says so. The facts have to support the premise, and they do. Move on to the facts and quit pretending that you are making a point.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  And if he hadn’t started out by trying to show that he wasn’t calling people stupid or uneducated, you would probably have complained that he was treating believers like idiots. There’s just no way to win with people who are intent on finding fault.
My point is that neither is necessary and both can be used to persuade someone without their knowing it. Like with good cop, bad cop both are an act to get a result. If you claim to be trying to reach people on an intellectual level then give them credit due an intelligent person.
There is no good cop/bad cop tactic being used. That is you trying to disparage the author by making things up about the way he says what he says. Sure, he could have just presented the facts as a list, but he was using a conversational style. It still doesn’t change the facts. Deal with them.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  No one is taking disjointed passages out of the Bible like the ones you mentioned. And Christians continually use passages out of the Bible to prove their points. The author is not trying to say that the Bible says something other than what it clearly says in context. Claiming that things are being taken out of context while not pointing to specific examples from the disputed article is dishonest.
- Exodus 21:20-21 – God says that it is OK to own slaves, and it is also OK to beat them.
- Colossians 3:22-24 – Slaves need to obey their masters.
- Ephesians 6:5 – Slaves need to obey their masters just as they would obey Christ.
- 1 Peter 2:18 – Slaves need to obey their masters, even if their masters are harsh .
There are your examples. 2 verses from Exodus, 2 from Colossians, 1 from Ephesians and one from 1 Peter. Notice how the verses are disjointed, notice how none have context attached and notice how the author does not read the actual verse but chooses to interpret it. Whether his interpretation is correct or not is irrelevant. He opens up the risk of incorrect, bias interpretation when he could have easily read out the verse and let the audience make up their own mind.
He does give references so credit is given there.
I will address this point when I get to it.
You’re quibbling again. The passages prove the point that was made. There is nothing in the context of those Bible passages that change the meaning. There is also nothing in the Bible condemning slavery. Interpretation is not an issue. That is what the Bible says. It says you can sell your daughters into slavery. You can’t sugar coat that turd. The point is that the God of the Bible supports and condones slavery. If you disagree, you can make your case. But you will have to use something other than the Bible because nothing there ever says that slavery is bad. To make a claim that something is taken out of context is to say that the context will show that the passages don’t mean what they actually say. That is not the case so your objection is dishonest. It is an attempt to disparage the author with a lie.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  The fact that you can find Biblical passages to support almost any idea just shows how conflicted and inconsistent the text is.
That is one way of looking at it but most large bodies of text can be abused. It doesn’t mean that the text is inconsistent or conflicted. I aim to expand on verses quoted as I get to them.
Then do it and get past your incessant quibbling. If you think you can make some excuse for God’s support for the concept of slavery, you’ll have to do better than much more accomplished apologists than you appear to be.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  Christians take what they want from the Bible and where it contradicts itself, they say that the passage they like is a clarification of the one it completely contradicts. They decide what they want the Bible to say and disregard where it doesn’t say that or says something completely different.
This is a gross generalization but in some cases it is true.
Hundreds of years of strained apologetics shows that my statement is not a gross generalization. It is in fact being very generous.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  You are splitting hairs. The author is showing the conclusion that he arrives at and asks if the reader agrees. What is wrong with that? I have read hundreds of books supporting the Bible and Religion and they often use similar techniques. If the author used the words you suggest, I don’t see it making any real difference to believers who read it and get offended because their beliefs are being called into question. No matter how an atheist phrases his case against religion and God, it will be attacked like this.
One is neutral and one is not. Just because someone does this in the bias of religion does not make it right. You see it as splitting hairs but it is uncessessary IMO and the points should be persuasion enough.
And yet you have assiduously avoided directing your attention to the points. Stop playing games and get on with it. Whether it is unnecessary is really irrelevant.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  You are attacking the style of the author and questioning his honesty and intent. You have yet to make a single post regarding the content. I don’t see how you can claim that you are discussing what he wrote. What point of his have you addressed at all?
I am limiting my analysis to the article in question. It was this technique that got my attention in the first place. Surely I am allowed to discuss what I like. If you don’t care for it then you are free to stand back until I get to the questions if that is what you want to discuss.
You can discuss whatever you like but don’t be upset when we point out that your analysis is completely dishonest and irrelevant. We can discuss whatever we choose to discuss as well. If you don’t like being called on your veiled attacks then stop doing it.

Quote from:  Mr Friday
  What you are using is a tactic known as poisoning the well. You are doing everything you can to discredit the author on his style and any other thing you can nit pick about before you address the issues. It appears that it is important to you to demean the article and author so that anything he has said is tainted from the outset.
Im glad you mentioned this. Please re-read what I have posted so far. Instead of poisoning the well I have so far been trying to neutralize the poison that I see in the article. The author’s poisoning of the well is exactly what I have been trying to communicate thus far. It is not a neutral article with several interesting points to consider, there is an unhealthy dose of poison thrown in too.

What I want is a neutral start but due to this poison, any attempt by Christians to answer the questions will be seen, before they are even written, as ‘desperate inventions from a deluded mind.’

Far from poisoning the well I am trying to counter the poison already there or at the very least identify the poison to others.
That is an extreme exaggeration. To call the authors style “poison” is blowing his minor differences in style completely out of proportion. There is nothing about his presentation that should warrant the extreme attacks you are making. It is clear to anyone reading this thread that you are not attempting to frame the discussion in a neutral way but are rather attempting to demonize the author over some minor stylistic choices.

But I think we have discussed your dishonest attacks enough. I will not respond to any more of your pathetic weasel words until you get to the points. You can embarrass yourself as long as you like until you are ready to have a real discussion.
"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline Ambassador Pony

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I find it interesting that you would rather slate most doctors than accept that belief in God might not be delusional.

1) Slate? Why do you expect that reading what you write should be a code-breaking activity for others? I think it's selfish for someone to just say "well, you just figure out what I mean". Why don't you make the effort to use the right words? Don't be perfect, make typos, or whatever, that's fine. But, for the love of jesus titty-fucking christ, apply some wisdom in your diction.

2) In stating what they are stating, the hypothetical doctors are observing an improbable occurrence (past or present) and making a causal statement about it, in the absence of any evidence for a definite causal agent. Considering the definition of delusion used by Marshall Brain, the doctors ARE delusional with regard to that subject.

Your argument should be about the connotations of the word delusional, and how it's mean to use the word in this context. It would be defensible, at least.       
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Slapdash

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Agnastic, im glad I haven’t irked you yet. In my brief time here I have detected a high irkability rate so I hope it is not catching.
Could someone suggest I use the same tactics? Absolutely. I do however try to offer my opinion as exactly that. I don’t claim to speak for all Christians and I try to present my thought as my thoughts. If I am guilty, I apologise in advance. I did try to ask the title and Op without bias in a question form so as not to prejudice answers.
My point was similar to your second to last point. Did he need to do it? No! They should speak for themselves.

Quote from: Mr Friday
  That is an extreme exaggeration.
Your choice of words, not mine
Quote from:  Mr Friday
I will not respond to any more of your pathetic weasel words until you get to the points.
Fair enough. See you then.
Ps. Im guessing you are irked too.

Offline Omen

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well

Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a logical fallacy where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say. Poisoning the well is a special case of argumentum ad hominem, and the term was first used with this sense by John Henry Newman in his work Apologia Pro Vita Sua.[1]

We are still waiting for you to actually get to an argument with regards to the questions.

Quote
Quote from: Mr Friday

I will not respond to any more of your pathetic weasel words until you get to the points.

Fair enough. See you then.

Right, you've had a chance to do so over the past 5 days and have done everything except that very thing.. because?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 10:55:40 AM by Omen »
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Slapdash

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Let me post the Cambridge definition again.
not recognized or understood by the conscious mind, but still having an influence on it:
This is what I was thinking about when I used the word.
The 10 questions were the meat of the article. By all means build a case and add references but the rest is unnecessary and I believe that in some cases these additions may be bypassed by the conscious mind but still influence it.
Look back over the last two pages and see how others have offered alternative words and phrases instead of ‘subliminal’. Never the same one twice so chances are that if I had used any of these, people here would have been equally irked.
Quote from: A Pony i think
  But, for the love of jesus titty-f**king christ, apply some wisdom in your diction.
I take it by your choice of words above that you are both angry and want to offend me. If my choice of words causes that much irkation, I can only suggest that you give up on me and my delusional thread. This cant be good for your heart.