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Dead Zone => The Bottomless Pit => Topic started by: Hguols on December 21, 2010, 01:53:50 PM

Title: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 21, 2010, 01:53:50 PM
1) An unconventional perspective gets dumped into the den
2) 7+ people question and make remarks
3) Outsider replies (optional)
 4a) Newcomer eventually turns to personal attacks (perhaps accompanied with claims)
 - community retaliates personally, upon the eventuality (perhaps accompanied with claims)
 4b) Community members eventually turn to personal attacks (perhaps accompanied with claims)
 - newcomer retaliates personally, upon the eventuality (perhaps accompanied with claims)
5) 3+ people state to the outsider, "Oh is this overwhelming for you?", perhaps accompanied with a "I'm here to help you!"
6) The communal group attacks continue until the individual outsider leaves
7) Group high five when "another one bites the dust" (theory, not proven fact)

Ah, the joys of putting asunder! 

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: JeffPT on December 21, 2010, 02:12:57 PM
1) An unconventional perspective gets dumped into the den
2) 7+ people question and make remarks
3) Outsider replies (optional)
 3a) Community members eventually turn into personal attacks
 - newcomer retaliates personally, upon the eventuality
3b) Newcomer eventually turn into personal attacks
 

3a and 3b are very often reversed.  People get mad when their beliefs are questioned.  Newcomers feel overwhelmed by the high activity of the posters and they get defensive.  It happens a lot.  After 43 posts, I wouldn't expect you to see that. 

- 3+ people state, "Oh is this overwhelming for you?", perhaps accompanied with a "I'm here to help you!"

Sometimes more, sometimes less.  Depends how dumb the original perspective was.  A lot of us won't respond to posts that my 5 year old could refute.  See La7 for details. 

- the communal group attacks continue until the individual outsider leaves

Hmm, sort of.  If you substitute the word "and" for where you put the word "until", then maybe.

- group high five when "another one bites the dust" (theory, not proven fact)

Nope.  None of that.  The threads just die when we have nothing else to comment on. 

Heh.  Atheists pillage.

We don't generally pillage.  But we do eat babies.  I prefer barbecue. 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 21, 2010, 03:37:07 PM
There is a pattern to the mailbag, but we don't typically take it all that seriously.  Every now and then it turns into a useful and good exchange.  Are you certain that your particular experience is typical?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: PostalGirl on December 21, 2010, 03:57:31 PM
For the record, members are invited to respond to this thread. Not sure if few people are responding because they assume it'll be deleted anyway. It is a valid topic for discussion, in my opinion. Does Hguols have it right? Missing the point? Somewhere in between? Other? Nothing wrong with a little introspection. If anything, this is the place to work it out rather than in the middle of the Mailbag thread where it started.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 21, 2010, 04:18:53 PM
You left out one Hguols: Newcomer ignores thoughtful, responsible and non-combative posts because they're no fun.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: One Above All on December 21, 2010, 04:20:56 PM
BM
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Alzael on December 21, 2010, 04:42:23 PM
 4a) Newcomer eventually turns to personal attacks (perhaps accompanied with claims)
 - community retaliates personally, upon the eventuality (perhaps accompanied with claims)
 4b) Community members eventually turn to personal attacks (perhaps accompanied with claims)
 - newcomer retaliates personally, upon the eventuality (perhaps accompanied with claims)

Note the order at which this takes place.

5) 3+ people state to the outsider, "Oh is this overwhelming for you?", perhaps accompanied with a "I'm here to help you!"

You forgot the part after this where the newcomer ignores or spits back at the people legitimately offering help.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on December 21, 2010, 04:58:27 PM
OK, the site is based upon the question, “WWGHA?” This attracted atheists as they realised a truth that supported their world view.

It also attracted godbotherers who came up with every possible excuse, deception, half-truth, circular argument, etc., known to man.

After a while the atheists saw that there was a repetition of apology from godbotherers and few ever post anything that is new. The atheists having learned the many, many refutations of gods were only too eager to impart knowledge to free those enslaved by religion – hence the enthusiasm. In the case of a godbotherer, the chances are that they are repeating an old tale.

Several members here try posting on Christian sites. Christian sites  have open season on atheists and ban them as soon as they even suspect opposition to an “all loving God” As in North Korea, opposition is not encouraged. Here, at WWGHA, even fervent godbotherers get their chance as long as they abide by the reasonable rules.

I don’t know about anyone else here, but if someone could give an argument that showed the presence or even a strong probability of a god anywhere or at any time, I personally would send their name to the Nobel Prize Committee. So far, I have not seen one argument that even approached sanity.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: abecedarian on December 21, 2010, 05:46:16 PM
<snip> removed @ poster request. </snip>
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: sammylama on December 21, 2010, 05:48:14 PM
Read through the (other) thread...

Are we supposed to feel sorry for Hguols now?  Please.  He jumped in right away, blow-for-blow with the jabs he was getting.  Looks like he can take care of himself to me.  What's the point of this thread, anyway?  To prompt an actual conversation?  Look at the OP.  It's just another jab.  I don't see a "victim" here the way it's trying to be portrayed.

Do we pounce on the rampant stupidity that makes its way through the Mailbag?  Of course.  The subject matter is usually presented in such a laughable manner that it simply begs to be leveled. 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 21, 2010, 06:12:09 PM
For the record, members are invited to respond to this thread. Not sure if few people are responding because they assume it'll be deleted anyway. It is a valid topic for discussion, in my opinion. Does Hguols have it right? Missing the point? Somewhere in between? Other? Nothing wrong with a little introspection. If anything, this is the place to work it out rather than in the middle of the Mailbag thread where it started.

I think it is a very valuable topic.  I was intimidated as an atheist when I first arrived here.  And I certainly do not approve of some of the attack mentality that occurs at times in certain threads.  When a theist arrives for the first time, they should not be expected to recognize immediately what is going on at this forum.  Which means that we have an opportunity to be better at welcoming, and helping some of them find their way around, and even become an integral part of the forum.

Now, mind you, I'm not saying that this should happen on every thread - because I openly admit that I am not always standing at a thread door with open arms! Tthere are threads where the OP doesn't deserve a response at all.  But maybe we can find ways to better discern the sincerity or ignorance of a newcomer, and try just a bit harder to help them acclimate before we get too deep into a topic.

I think one way to improve is to ask questions that help us better understand their theistic views, if it's not obvious.  And I'm sure there are other ways we can work to keep things from degenerating into pointless back and forth.

I don't think that Hguols has an accurate model of how it works, I think it is from his personal experience, and a rough sampling of some recent mailbag posts.  But maybe others, including the OP, can enlighten me on where I may be wrong?

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Nam on December 21, 2010, 07:19:01 PM

The mailbag is a relaxing day at the beach.  Stop pissing in the sand.

-Nam
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 22, 2010, 12:34:09 AM
I expected over-corrective, over-defensive egghead blah blah blah, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this little gem.

Dare I say it, Im just an old hippie - I had loads and loads of acid, me n my kids dad used to deal it  - it never fitted into whatever society deemed correct  but whenever I pretended to fit in with them, the somehow accepted me...........  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

This brightened my day.  Thanks so much Trish!

You forgot the part after this where the newcomer ignores or spits back at the people legitimately offering help.

....and this is the great mystery to me.  (unless you're full of crap)

Why would an atheist help a Christian?  (as from what I've seen, most "God" believers referenced here are Christians)  They have no reason to help a Christian - it's illogical.  The "help" you're offering is useless, and they won't accept it because they just don't see it.

How many Christians have you discussed with, and they were like, "Oh, you're right.  God doesn't exist.".  Don't most of you, who were former theists, draw that from your own conclusion there is no God, than from some lunatic ranting and raving about "the truth"?  (an approach probably learned from preachers)

I mean, Christians are delusional people with imaginary friends.  Is it really the most sane thing to do, to rationalize with the insane?  Most of them have their mind set, and even the most brilliant points made against what they think are better accepted by a sack lunch with eyes drawn on the bag.  Since I'm one of those delusional God believers, I might as well be lumped into the Christian stereotype.  (won't make a difference either way) 

I think part of it is they don't see atheism so much as not believing, but believing against.  I traverse around this forum, and I see more derogatory posts about Christians, Jesus, and a huge amount of Christian bashing.  Hell, quite a bit of it is funny actually.  I can laugh at my beliefs being made fun of.  There's less laughing with those beliefs being attacked, none at all with personal attacks.

....but it doesn't say much to outsiders for someone (who lives up to the atheist "label") to have a huge this association with mocking imaginary friends, and delusional people with imaginary friends.  I'm just in awe at a group that spends so much time on what they don't believe is true.  For the Bible and other religious books being utter rubbish, they sure are studied a lot, even in active atheism.  Why?  To prove how MORE wrong it is? 

Even though there is no genuine proof of, or proof against, the whole lot of you here have drawn your own conclusion.  ....and put a lot of effort in why.  I can respect that.  Mocking and attacking to the side, since when does a system deeply rooted in apologetics change world views? 

"Christians are responsible for violence, threatening eternal lives, bunk laws, banning science from schools, ad infinitum".  Don't you guys think if maybe you stopped acting like a rebellious clique, that maybe you could make an impact and change this place for the better?

I've never listened to a debate happy ranting lunatic, no matter how "true" he was, but if someone cared and was sincere in their heart, (with a tactful approach) you're damn right I (and probably a few others) would have a completely different attitude about all of this.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: sammylama on December 22, 2010, 01:21:10 AM

Don't most of you, who were former theists, draw that from your own conclusion there is no God, than from some lunatic ranting and raving about "the truth"?  (an approach probably learned from preachers)


Actually, yes.  In my case, you are correct...although I would never profess to have a full grip on "the truth." 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 22, 2010, 01:48:59 AM
Having had spittle fly all over my face by a christian telling me I was going to hell because I am an atheist, I tend appreciate being able to find a place I can mingle with my own.

Yea, I should have punched her out, but she looked like you from the back, and besides, she was 70.

I hope you're not surprised that there are places on the web where atheists congregate. There are congregations of flat earthers, bigfoot lovers, perverts, trekkies and recovering WWF addicts. And for you to think that a bunch of like-minded folk who don't believe in god would treat all religious comers as yet another breathe of fresh air would be naive. Many in the mailbag (oh how we missed it when it was gone) show up fully expecting that their 1.5 paragraph post will convert the lot of us on the spot. And many get pissed quick when that doesn't happen.

We have learned to expect a huge range of possible personality types when new christians show up. And yes, we have some members who are more combative than others. So while some of us might be demonstrably polite, others sometimes attack with their verbal baseball bats. We atheists seldom strike the first blow, but we're pretty good on ganging up on folks who do their best to diss us.

Other christians show up and demonstrate both intelligence and understanding. Enough so that we have relatively sane conversations for awhile. Most disappear fairly quickly, for reasons not always clear. I tend to assume that when they realize they probably won't convert anyone, they go elsewhere.

As a bunch of independent thinkers, I think we are fairly moderate in our behavior. As has been mentioned before, most christian websites won't tolerate atheists at all and ban them the moment they are identified. We ban only the grossest of our believers, who do nothing but preach and yell. We are not governed by anyone and I have no idea who the moderators are, other than I assume many of them are old-timers on the site. I, for one, show up, have some fun, and return when I have the time. This last few weeks I've had lots of time and it's cold outside, so here I sit.

That we've irked you and you've stuck around either means we're lousy irkers or you're a glutton for punishment. I've no idea which. And since you have never responded directly to any of my posts, I assume you won't respond to this one. But being ignored won't shut me up.

Oh yea, I wanted to comment on this that you said:
Quote
I'm just in awe at a group that spends so much time on what they don't believe is true. 

It's not the no-god part that has us spend time here. It is the effect of people who think otherwise on our lives and our world that we are here to discuss. The no-god thing is a hobby. The "I hate your guts because you don't look at my god with awe and reverence" crowd is who we are more concerned with.

Oops, forgot who I was talking to. Let me rephrase that.

It's not the no-god part that has ME spend time here. It is the effect of people who think otherwise in MY life and MY world that I am here to discuss. The no-god thing is a hobby. The "I hate your guts because you don't look at my god with awe and reverence" crowd is who I am more concerned with.

Right guys?  :)

edit: Fixed spelling problem. My computer is so stupid.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: kindred on December 22, 2010, 01:52:07 AM
@ OP

Personally, I celebrate the fact that I need one less fancifull bullshit crutch than most people. I also mock the people that DO need the crutch.

In the end, I feel better and get entertained with little to no cost.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on December 22, 2010, 02:17:16 AM

Why would an atheist help a Christian?  (as from what I've seen, most "God" believers referenced here are Christians)  They have no reason to help a Christian - it's illogical.  The "help" you're offering is useless, and they won't accept it because they just don't see it.

How many Christians have you discussed with, and they were like, "Oh, you're right.  God doesn't exist.".  Don't most of you, who were former theists, draw that from your own conclusion there is no God, than from some lunatic ranting and raving about "the truth"?  (an approach probably learned from preachers)

I mean, Christians are delusional people with imaginary friends.  Is it really the most sane thing to do, to rationalize with the insane?  Most of them have their mind set, and even the most brilliant points made against what they think are better accepted by a sack lunch with eyes drawn on the bag.  Since I'm one of those delusional God believers, I might as well be lumped into the Christian stereotype.  (won't make a difference either way) 

I think part of it is they don't see atheism so much as not believing, but believing against.  I traverse around this forum, and I see more derogatory posts about Christians, Jesus, and a huge amount of Christian bashing.  Hell, quite a bit of it is funny actually.  I can laugh at my beliefs being made fun of.  There's less laughing with those beliefs being attacked, none at all with personal attacks.

....but it doesn't say much to outsiders for someone (who lives up to the atheist "label") to have a huge this association with mocking imaginary friends, and delusional people with imaginary friends.  I'm just in awe at a group that spends so much time on what they don't believe is true.  For the Bible and other religious books being utter rubbish, they sure are studied a lot, even in active atheism.  Why?  To prove how MORE wrong it is? 

I noticed this.

Why wouldn't an Atheist want to help a Theist?  The only difference between the two of us is the Theists faith in an unknown.  As many different kinds of people that exist as theists, exist as non-theists, meaning you'll find kind, cruel, considerate, spiteful, generous, stingy atheists just like you would with theists.  Personally I think that there are less theists than we like to imagine, I suspect that most people are merely 'social theists', or 'cafeteria catholics'.

I can't speak for others here, but when I talk to my friends my goal isn't to convert them or change them.  If anything simply using critical thinking where it comes to things like the bible is enough to stop most theists from treating it as if it were literal. (see: Noah's Ark, most of the Old Testament, and most of the New Testament)

It bears noting that many of the people who participate on the forums here used to be theists, some of them were quite heavily invested personally with their various churches.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on December 22, 2010, 07:31:46 AM
ParkingPlaces:
Quote
We are not governed by anyone and I have no idea who the moderators are, other than I assume many of them are old-timers on the site.

The moderators are current members; they have one account as a member, and another account as a moderator.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agga on December 22, 2010, 07:57:47 AM
Definite bookmark.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on December 22, 2010, 09:12:33 AM
@ OP

Personally, I celebrate the fact that I need one less fancifull bullshit crutch than most people. I also mock the people that DO need the crutch.

In the end, I feel better and get entertained with little to no cost.
This is exactly as God foretold: John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

You are doing The Lord's Work.  ;D
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: kin hell on December 22, 2010, 09:51:17 AM
bm
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on December 22, 2010, 10:20:16 AM
This is the WWGHA forum not the WWJD forum.
 
It should be pretty obvious to reasonable people what the forum is here for and how it operates. Unreasonable persons have a tendency to weed themselves out rather quickly.

Anyone who has seen the videos, or read the rules and spent a little time reading through the various threads, should be able to find a way to fit in (if they really want to).

Muscles and beards aside, the one who survives WWGHA is not necessarily the fittest, but who has the most adaptable traits.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agga on December 22, 2010, 10:23:50 AM
Muscles and beards aside, the one who survives WWGHA is not necessarily the fittest, but who has the most adaptable traits.
Bravo. Nicely put.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 22, 2010, 11:54:15 AM
Having had spittle fly all over my face by a christian telling me I was going to hell because I am an atheist, I tend appreciate being able to find a place I can mingle with my own.

What's the ratio of theists here to atheists?  10 to 1?  15 to 1?  While the spittle factor isn't here on forums, a majority against a minority they're different from, does have noticeable friction, especially to the minority.

A theist on an atheist board for example, or an atheist showing up on a theist board, a barbecue champion on a vegan board, a dog being brought to a cat show, the list goes on....

Yea, I should have punched her out, but she looked like you from the back, and besides, she was 70.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  I would have fucking hit her anyway.  (just kidding mods - cut this part out if you want) ^_^

I hope you're not surprised that there are places on the web where atheists congregate. There are congregations of flat earthers, bigfoot lovers, perverts, trekkies and recovering WWF addicts. And for you to think that a bunch of like-minded folk who don't believe in god would treat all religious comers as yet another breathe of fresh air would be naive. Many in the mailbag (oh how we missed it when it was gone) show up fully expecting that their 1.5 paragraph post will convert the lot of us on the spot. And many get pissed quick when that doesn't happen.

I'm certainly not surprised.  Honestly, my introduction to this site has to do with some videos I watched that were embedded on another forum.  I didn't know it was proclaimed atheist material from looking at it - I just thought it was someone who had a problem with Christianity.  (which I can relate to, even a lot of Christians have a problem with Christianity.)

I wrote my e-mail basically giving my answer to the name of the site.  (I mean, it was in question format on the video) 
I read that the e-mail could be posted on the forums, but I assumed they probably wouldn't bother with it. 

What doesn't make sense to me is the mailbag has debate rules, but I'd say a good portion of original posts don't follow them.  (like making a claim, they should be backed up.)  Why should they?  They've contributed to the forum without even stepping foot on it.  I'm sure e-mails are weeded out to a certain extent, but if I would have known I was required to have a foundation for my claims, I would have either made a more air-tight post, or not even bothered with it.

We have learned to expect a huge range of possible personality types when new christians show up. And yes, we have some members who are more combative than others. So while some of us might be demonstrably polite, others sometimes attack with their verbal baseball bats. We atheists seldom strike the first blow, but we're pretty good on ganging up on folks who do their best to diss us.

I'd like to consider myself polite until provoked.  Easily provoked perhaps, and I'm not going to minimize that.  As mentioned before, if it's not the tone of the posts, it's the hypocrisy in comparison to real life.

Perhaps if it were face to face, politeness would be easier to maintain, because of external factors. 

Point being, I can not only get along with atheists, but get along with them here.  I see no problem with you, or the mods saving you guys from me, and a few others like Rev45 and PianoDrawf were extremely pleasant to talk to. 

It's just the ones I butt heads with that make headlines.

Other christians show up and demonstrate both intelligence and understanding. Enough so that we have relatively sane conversations for awhile. Most disappear fairly quickly, for reasons not always clear. I tend to assume that when they realize they probably won't convert anyone, they go elsewhere.

Maybe it's lack of common interest?  I'm just throwing out my guess. 

I mean what does a barbecue champion at a vegan forum really want there?  He knows he's in the wrong locale, if not when he shows up, he knows it after a few posts at least.  Not only interest, but overall disadvantages. 

I'm a theist, outnumbered by atheists.  There's that disadvantage.
I don't have much refining in apologetics.  There's another disadvantage.  Probably because most of the people around me believe the same or similar, or that I could lift the front end of their car, I've never really felt the need to have claims/evidence for my faith.
I know I've had some outlandish behavior here, but from what I've observed, there is some small amount (I probably am minimizing) bias from the authorities here.  I've been reprimanded for something other members have done right back to me, while they weren't even (publicly) notified (to my knowledge).

...I'll take full responsibility for the first two disadvantages though...   and mods aren't perfect.  Certainly no hard feelings about that, and I don't take the job someone tries to do personally.

As a bunch of independent thinkers, I think we are fairly moderate in our behavior. As has been mentioned before, most christian websites won't tolerate atheists at all and ban them the moment they are identified. We ban only the grossest of our believers, who do nothing but preach and yell. We are not governed by anyone and I have no idea who the moderators are, other than I assume many of them are old-timers on the site. I, for one, show up, have some fun, and return when I have the time. This last few weeks I've had lots of time and it's cold outside, so here I sit.

Me and Death over Life are friends on another forum, a Christian based one.  While it's actually a specific hobby/entertainment forum for Christians, there is the theology section.  We both mentioned it to the mods and community there.  Someone here posted they wanted to check that forum out.  A couple people there there thought it would be a bad idea. 

This forum's cool - you wouldn't be banned for being a non-believer, but I have yet to see an atheist that wasn't at least borderline aggressive with their "points" and "claims". 

...and that wouldn't last long there, or anywhere except forums with similar correlations actually.  Who else really wants to argue about that?
._.

That we've irked you and you've stuck around either means we're lousy irkers or you're a glutton for punishment. I've no idea which. And since you have never responded directly to any of my posts, I assume you won't respond to this one. But being ignored won't shut me up.

Yay!  Your reverse psychology worked! 

I think its a little bit of both - of the lousy irkers and me being a glutton for punishment.  I think some of you have NO IDEA how to handle people like me, and as much as it irritates me, it also amuses me.  I'm hoping its at least a little bit mutual in that feeling.

Unless some of you stand to post here, I hope this doesn't cause you soil your seats....   for my job, I'm actually a CIT.  (Counselor in training)  I'm not certified yet, as that takes a few years, but I'm on my way.  I've been an "adviser" for years though. 

I actually veered more toward the confrontations a bit, because there's more of an outlet for me.  The only way this could be better was if I had a punching bag in front of me.  After all, I can't, don't and won't directly or indirectly insult clients.  (I'll lump passive aggressive head games in there as well, as they can be every bit as damaging as insults)

My boss thinks I'm wasting my time here with "those people", but eh.  If I found it pointless to be here, I wouldn't be here.

It's not the no-god part that has us spend time here. It is the effect of people who think otherwise on our lives and our world that we are here to discuss. The no-god thing is a hobby. The "I hate your guts because you don't look at my god with awe and reverence" crowd is who we are more concerned with.

Oops, forgot who I was talking to. Let me rephrase that.

It's not the no-god part that has ME spend time here. It is the effect of people who think otherwise in MY life and MY world that I am here to discuss. The no-god thing is a hobby. The "I hate your guts because you don't look at my god with awe and reverence" crowd is who I am more concerned with.

Right guys?  :)

edit: Fixed spelling problem. My computer is so stupid.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!   Damn right it's "you" not "us"!  I've been stating some of my escapades here on the other forums.  I actually didn't notice all the "we" and "us" statements until someone pointed it out to me, and handed me a list of how many "group statements" are made.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, to "sound like a damn hive".  (as that person put it)  It doesn't give the "independent thinkers" statement you made much weight though.

Side note, what does "bm" mean?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: voodoo child on December 22, 2010, 12:06:41 PM
hey Hguols,

When I first came here, I just wanted to know why some people threw their mind out the window for a belief in the complete unknown. I have spent all my life ignoring religion, not interesting to me at all. Now I am up to my neck in it.

My step son was an intelligent well rounded individual with great athletic and artistic abilities. With some help and practice his artistic or athletic abilities could have given him a living.
 
He suddenly flushed all of that down the toilet two years ago, to become a preacher.
And guess whose helping to pay for that crap… 67 thousand for four years of bible collage?  :o fuck anyone can study the bible for free.!

Now, when I talk to him its like listening to a broken record that I have heard so often.   
I highly doubt that anyone on this forum could change his mind. because what it really boils down to is, fear of the unknown.  He feels a great deal of fear within himself.

Not to mention he feels my mind is being controlled by the devil himself, even though my money is alleviating his fear…
Fuck, I had no idea how deep one could crawl down a rabbit hole.

Hope you get a perspective on how allot of atheists think, if anything we our all very different.

Wtf someone give me some karma or am I that bad of a writer?   As stubby mechanic fingers hunt and peck unfamiliar button device.  :laugh:

just noticed karma score card gone.  :?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on December 22, 2010, 01:29:03 PM
BM is for Book Mark.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agga on December 22, 2010, 01:52:38 PM
H-daaawg,

+1 (pseudo) for being the most fun christian I've ever seen on the forum. In a lot of ways you remind me of myself when I was a christian.

I can see what you're saying in this thread and, for the most part, I tend to agree with a lot (not all) of what you're saying.

I find a few of the atheists here to apply such a rigid double-standard that it has, on occasion, made me feel ashamed to be a part of the community. I often see atheists provoke hostile responses from theists and get away with it while the theist is busted for responding in kind.
Then again, this is an atheist forum. That said, many atheists here are moderated for being too mean to theists, so the door does swing both ways.

I don't like intellectual snobbery. Never have and never will. There's too much of it flying around here for my liking and, frankly, at times, I fantasise about punching some of those snot-noses into the back of their heads. But I suppose that’s another story.


I mean, you're right in what you say. The ratio is daunting.
A few months ago I tried an experiment where I set up a thread and tried to defend my old beliefs from a christian perspective. Basically, I pretended to be a Christian and several atheists tried to argue with me to prove me wrong.

I kid you not, it traumatised me so much, literally, that I had to spend a few weeks off of the forum to get over it! It was bloody hard work trying to keep up with so many atheists demanding answers and creating lots of very long posts for me to respond to. Never mind the fact that my arguments were ripped apart and stomped on, it was just so hard trying to keep up with all the replies.


Some people didn't realise what was going on and actually thought I was a christian, so they were pretty rude to me.
Here's the hypocrisy: the moment they cottoned on that it was just an exercise, they started being nice to me again elsewhere on the forum. I no longer speak to those members.

It really is very, very hard to keep up when you're outnumbered on this forum.

I don't agree with anything you say about god, obviously, and I may not agree with the way you've handled yourself in every single post, but I have respect for you like no other christian who's arrived here because, well, you're just a normal, down to Earth fella. Warts and all. You're not perfect, and neither are any of the atheists here.

My gut tells me that if you stick around you'll be hounded and be given a hard time over your beliefs (if that's all you talk to us about). My gut also says that you could work out how things work around here and make contributions that aren't always focused on your god-belief and, I, for one, would like to see them.


Cheers mate.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Ashe on December 22, 2010, 02:44:09 PM
How many Christians have you discussed with, and they were like, "Oh, you're right.  God doesn't exist.".  Don't most of you, who were former theists, draw that from your own conclusion there is no God, than from some lunatic ranting and raving about "the truth"?  (an approach probably learned from preachers)

I should point out that this forum, or at least this forum when it was the old forum, has indeed converted theists. It may not be one single post that flips the switch, but every post, every small bit of information, chips away at the dam. It's been interesting.

Also, to make a more general point, there hasn't been any other place online that has taught me more about science and theology than right here. We're not here solely to bash theism, although I suppose that's fun. This is a community with some ridiculously smart people who have made me think twice about all sorts of issues that stretch beyond whether God exists or hates gays or pants or whatever.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Seppuku on December 22, 2010, 02:50:02 PM
It's not common that we do get people coming in here with a level of disrespect, the people I don't like are those that come in here with a superior attitude and for me, it works both sides, so it does bother me a bit when I see an atheist making an attempt at being superior, of course, here, we do hear the same thing over and over and I can see people losing their patience. But I suppose patience is a virtue and it's better to explain to people the issue rather than snap at them, I know some have their own methods and prefer to use sarcasm to deliver a point. But the style in which the forum works is that it can get very heated, of course, it makes it difficult for many theists and I think this is where talk of the overwhelming threads comes in. I think the moderators have recognised the problem, as well as the members and there is a solution, which I spoke a little about in your Mailbag thread.

I don't doubt that we have some folk on this forum that try to be harsh, I don't know whether it's for self satisfaction (high-fives as you say), being cruel to be kind or thinking they're being cruel to be kind. But I think it's worth taking it all with a pinch of salt. I've not seen people actively making high-fives and I think many members want theists who engage with the forum. That in itself can be a difficulty because many don't engage with the forum positively and do break a lot of rules along the way. Mods give them fair warning and try to point them in the right direction, when they don't they get sent to ER in order to correct any issues and a lot of them end up getting banned because they either: don't accept the rules or refuse to admit they've broken them, here, it pays to at least be able to back up points you've made. Some just want to preach the word of God and enlighten us, many people, especially with the backgrounds they've had, take such action to be insulting. When you think of places in America, like along the bible belt, atheists are persecuted by people who want to 'enlighten' them, there are atheists here who have perhaps faced persecution. We had a member on here who actually faced physical abuse from his father because he came out as an atheist. So certain behaviour can be taken personal. Of course, that's no excuse to whip out a can of whoop-ass on a theist who brings faulty logic.  :)

Also, I don't think some of the people you've clashed with have been trying to clash with you, I'll name one name, Screwtape, I've been on the receiving end of his posts and when I was new, I misinterpreted his attitude greatly, insults were passed (I probably threw the first). I think once you get to know some people around here, your views might change of them. From my perspective, yes, he makes points bluntly, but he's actually trying to be helpful. Sorry I named a name, but I thought I'd put an example out there. Now he's going to think I'm licking his arse...and well it all tastes shit.  ;)


So I do agree with and understand some of the things you're saying, so I say stick around, learn how things work here and you might have a positive experience. Speaking of which, I wonder what ever happened to Old Church Guy? (He was like the token theist regular everybody got along with)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Paperbackslave on December 22, 2010, 07:16:31 PM
About angry atheists....

Someone posted this a while back, and I saved it because I reallllly think she nails how many of us feel, and why we may be perceived as, 'They're always so angry', or bitter.   I think mostly, I at least, am frustrated.

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=87202278 (http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=87202278)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 22, 2010, 08:20:10 PM
About angry atheists....

Someone posted this a while back, and I saved it because I reallllly think she nails how many of us feel, and why we may be perceived as, 'They're always so angry', or bitter.   I think mostly, I at least, am frustrated.

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=87202278 (http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=87202278)

Yes, that blog catapulted Greta into atheist fame.  Great blog, and true to life.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Death over Life on December 23, 2010, 08:55:39 PM
I am really enjoying this thread. Everybody has made some great posts, and I practically agree with everything concerning context.

I may have stepped on the wrong foot into the forums, but yes, Hguols is a best friend of mine who I will come to the aid of if needed. That didn't mean He needed my help to discuss with you guys on anything. I had chosen to, because I was curious, and the fact that a friend is already on here, hey why not? As I've also had some atheist stereotypes in my head, which the quote Paperbackslave points out, where I was heavily surprised by some, some I consider family myself, there were others, who did nothing but prove the stereotype already in my head True. I understand we Christians do the exact same thing. I think it would be far greater to speak on an individual perspective rather than Christian vs. atheist like I see much of this whole forum is.

Where we do get great discussions, it is mostly a gang-warfare, like Bloods vs. Cryps for example, or Nazi vs. Jew as another one. I think this is what may be going on actually, although intentional or not.


About angry atheists....

Someone posted this a while back, and I saved it because I reallllly think she nails how many of us feel, and why we may be perceived as, 'They're always so angry', or bitter.   I think mostly, I at least, am frustrated.

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=87202278 (http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=87202278)

This atheist has brought up some great stuff.

To summarize much of them, discrimination against ANYONE should be unacceptable. The fact that this exists, is staggering imo.

I will specifically speak on some though.

Quote
I'm angry that almost half of Americans believe in creationism.

Having dealt with what I or you or someone else personally view to be a minority, when it comes to just believing, I personally don't care what other people believe. I do love talking to others about it, and I'm cool with what ever you believe, but being angry over what somebody else believes, (having done that myself and looking back) is stupid. I don't know any way to say that more nicely. Just be concerned about what you believe, and the rest can buzz off. It doesn't mean we should not discuss, quite the contrary. I'm just saying, your beliefs shouldn't be formed on what other's believe.

The School Boards, whether preaching creationism or evolution, is all screwed up. I think we should rather concentrate on an overhaul on our education system instead of arguing over something so trivial.

The abortion thing, is definitely a can opener for such harsh discussions. I won't delve into that. I just want one curious question (technically 2) answered. Why not send to the adoption agency instead? Or why not meet a family that REALLY wants a child, but can't have one?

Quote
I'm angrier when religious leaders explicitly tell children – and adults, for that matter -- that the very questioning of religion and the existence of hell is a dreadful sin, one that will guarantee them that hell is where they'll end up.

Alright, guess I'm going to Hell then! :) I especially encourage the questioning of religion and the existence of the Grave. Questioning is not a sin, quite the contrary, it is actually encouraged.

Quote
I get angry when religious believers make arguments against atheism -- and make accusations against atheists -- without having bothered to talk to any atheists or read any atheist writing. I get angry when they trot out the same old "Atheism is a nihilistic philosophy, with no joy or meaning to life and no basis for morality or ethics"... when if they spent ten minutes in the atheist blogosphere, they would discover countless atheists who experience great joy and meaning in their lives, and are intensely concerned about right and wrong.

I would personally apologize for this one, as that is something I have done. I can testify she proved me right with what she said here. I will ask this though: How can you be concerned about right or wrong, when according to what I’ve seen from atheism, right and wrong are only suggestions, not absolutes? To me, why care about a suggestion, when you can do whatever you feel is what you should do?

Quote

I get angry when religious believers base their entire philosophy of life on what is, at best, a hunch; when they ignore or reject or rationalize any evidence that contradicts that hunch or calls it into question... and then accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth.

With all due respect, I agree with you. However, this is the double-standard some atheists have, that I constantly see. Christians may do this to you guys, but you can’t deny, atheists do the same thing to Christians. Instead of accusing one or the other, we should just drop accusations from both sides. With this quote alone, I honestly don’t know if the author is an atheist or Christian, because both do it to each other.

As for everything else, I agree with, and definitely should open up some eyes.

The only thing I can possibly say on any that I agree with is, it is True what she says. However, this view will be valid on someone who actually discusses with you, then the second they do what they do (get angry and start damning) then act like they are superior, that anger she feels is justified. I think it is wrong however, for a brand new person who introduces themselves, and just so happens to claim they are Christian, with no prior discussion to them or thought of who they are, and the atheist just already throws the sword up to the Christian’s neck. It is the same on the Christian’s end that she pointed out, which is sad.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 23, 2010, 10:21:02 PM
Quote from: Death over Life
With all due respect, I agree with you. However, this is the double-standard some atheists have, that I constantly see. Christians may do this to you guys, but you can’t deny, atheists do the same thing to Christians. Instead of accusing one or the other, we should just drop accusations from both sides. With this quote alone, I honestly don’t know if the author is an atheist or Christian, because both do it to each other.

There is no double standard here - unless an atheist actually tells you with 100% absolute certainty, that there is no god (I am as close to that as I can get, I think, but I cannot say it with 100% certainty.)  The atheist position is correct, insofar as there has never been a proven god, ever.  The Christian has always been forced to admit that their belief is based on faith, and that their god cannot be proven to exist unless faith is invoked.  And invoking faith gives the advantage to the atheist every single time.

Unless you can show me otherwise?  I'm willing to admit there is a god, if it were shown to exist.  Can you do that?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Death over Life on December 23, 2010, 10:42:06 PM
Quote from: Death over Life
With all due respect, I agree with you. However, this is the double-standard some atheists have, that I constantly see. Christians may do this to you guys, but you can’t deny, atheists do the same thing to Christians. Instead of accusing one or the other, we should just drop accusations from both sides. With this quote alone, I honestly don’t know if the author is an atheist or Christian, because both do it to each other.

There is no double standard here - unless an atheist actually tells you with 100% absolute certainty, that there is no god (I am as close to that as I can get, I think, but I cannot say it with 100% certainty.)  The atheist position is correct, insofar as there has never been a proven god, ever.  The Christian has always been forced to admit that their belief is based on faith, and that their god cannot be proven to exist unless faith is invoked.  And invoking faith gives the advantage to the atheist every single time.

Unless you can show me otherwise?  I'm willing to admit there is a god, if it were shown to exist.  Can you do that?

Here's the problem, there is no 100% certainty. It is all speculation and interpretations.

I can't prove my God the same way you can't disprove my God. I can prove my God the same way you can disprove it. Neither atheist nor Christian were there at creation, so even Science is nothing but a guessing game.

How can I directly prove God? I can't. I don't have that kind of power. Indirectly? Yes I can. As it is said, the creator always leaves it's mark on the creation. If you wish to see the creator, you will need to look at the creation. We were not here by chance. Every company, every life form, wasn't here by chance. We all had a creator. For us, it is our parents, for them, it is our grandparents, and so on for family trees. For plants, they are caused by seeds from other trees, just like us. Computers, electronics, were by companies, which were made by people. Every animal, has parents.

Everything has an origin. By the end of the night, once you get to the very beginning, you are only going to be left with 2 answers. Either NOTHING created our planet with the Big Bang, or that SOMETHING created our planet (Big Bang or not).

And, with this "prove it" attitude lying among atheists. Here is a challenge: Because of what I said being True, and because Science says nothing can be created from nothing and something can create something: I will drop my faith, if I can have True Scientific proof, that absolutely NOTHING (no molecules, no micro-organisms, NOTHING) can create SOMETHING (microbes, food, another human being I don't care). Until this is proven, I will always believe in some sort of God or Goddess. So, I can't prove God directly, now I say: Prove to me that nothing can create something. If you can prove this, then I will be shocked, and will really take atheism into consideration, instead of the stance I have right now on it.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 23, 2010, 10:52:26 PM

Here's the problem, there is no 100% certainty. It is all speculation and interpretations.

I can't prove my God the same way you can't disprove my God. I can prove my God the same way you can disprove it. Neither atheist nor Christian were there at creation, so even Science is nothing but a guessing game.

How can I directly prove God? I can't. I don't have that kind of power. Indirectly? Yes I can. As it is said, the creator always leaves it's mark on the creation. If you wish to see the creator, you will need to look at the creation. We were not here by chance. Every company, every life form, wasn't here by chance. We all had a creator. For us, it is our parents, for them, it is our grandparents, and so on for family trees. For plants, they are caused by seeds from other trees, just like us. Computers, electronics, were by companies, which were made by people. Every animal, has parents.

Everything has an origin. By the end of the night, once you get to the very beginning, you are only going to be left with 2 answers. Either NOTHING created our planet with the Big Bang, or that SOMETHING created our planet (Big Bang or not).

And, with this "prove it" attitude lying among atheists. Here is a challenge: Because of what I said being True, and because Science says nothing can be created from nothing and something can create something: I will drop my faith, if I can have True Scientific proof, that absolutely NOTHING (no molecules, no micro-organisms, NOTHING) can create SOMETHING (microbes, food, another human being I don't care). Until this is proven, I will always believe in some sort of God or Goddess. So, I can't prove God directly, now I say: Prove to me that nothing can create something. If you can prove this, then I will be shocked, and will really take atheism into consideration, instead of the stance I have right now on it.

You are misunderstanding me, seriously.  Atheists are NOT making any claims.  The claims of gods are rejected by atheists, which places 100% of the burden on theists to prove their god is real.  There simply is NO burden whatsoever on atheists to disprove anything.

Everything you say about your god above is purely special pleading, and personal belief.  None of it has any basis on which I can go out and validate in any way. 

You don't get to sit back and make some claim that because everything must come from somewhere, that a creator is required.  It does not work that way.  And until you realize your error here, you will never be able to objectively see why there are atheists in the first place.  If there was a god, there would be very few nonbelievers.  Like nonbelievers in Bigfoot, the rest of the world moves on, without a single concern about disproving the existence of Bigfoot.  Gods are no different, you just think they are.

Of course, having said all of that, I suppose I don't have any right to tell you what you can and cannot do or think...but I can show you where your logic is flawed.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Death over Life on December 24, 2010, 12:00:41 AM

Here's the problem, there is no 100% certainty. It is all speculation and interpretations.

I can't prove my God the same way you can't disprove my God. I can prove my God the same way you can disprove it. Neither atheist nor Christian were there at creation, so even Science is nothing but a guessing game.

How can I directly prove God? I can't. I don't have that kind of power. Indirectly? Yes I can. As it is said, the creator always leaves it's mark on the creation. If you wish to see the creator, you will need to look at the creation. We were not here by chance. Every company, every life form, wasn't here by chance. We all had a creator. For us, it is our parents, for them, it is our grandparents, and so on for family trees. For plants, they are caused by seeds from other trees, just like us. Computers, electronics, were by companies, which were made by people. Every animal, has parents.

Everything has an origin. By the end of the night, once you get to the very beginning, you are only going to be left with 2 answers. Either NOTHING created our planet with the Big Bang, or that SOMETHING created our planet (Big Bang or not).

And, with this "prove it" attitude lying among atheists. Here is a challenge: Because of what I said being True, and because Science says nothing can be created from nothing and something can create something: I will drop my faith, if I can have True Scientific proof, that absolutely NOTHING (no molecules, no micro-organisms, NOTHING) can create SOMETHING (microbes, food, another human being I don't care). Until this is proven, I will always believe in some sort of God or Goddess. So, I can't prove God directly, now I say: Prove to me that nothing can create something. If you can prove this, then I will be shocked, and will really take atheism into consideration, instead of the stance I have right now on it.

You are misunderstanding me, seriously.  Atheists are NOT making any claims.  The claims of gods are rejected by atheists, which places 100% of the burden on theists to prove their god is real.  There simply is NO burden whatsoever on atheists to disprove anything.

Everything you say about your god above is purely special pleading, and personal belief.  None of it has any basis on which I can go out and validate in any way. 

You don't get to sit back and make some claim that because everything must come from somewhere, that a creator is required.  It does not work that way.  And until you realize your error here, you will never be able to objectively see why there are atheists in the first place.  If there was a god, there would be very few nonbelievers.  Like nonbelievers in Bigfoot, the rest of the world moves on, without a single concern about disproving the existence of Bigfoot.  Gods are no different, you just think they are.

Of course, having said all of that, I suppose I don't have any right to tell you what you can and cannot do or think...but I can show you where your logic is flawed.

You can show me all the flawed logic, could we just drop the constant "we have nothing to prove" posting, and just actually answer the question/experiment at hand? If my logic is flawed, then the question should be an easy one. If my logic is correct, then why aren't you answering the question?

Why is it you demand Christians prove their God, then when we say disprove the gods you don't believe in, you claim it's solely our responsibility? That is what I call, ducking and dodging the challenge. I can put my views to the test. Do I really have to approach to you, and have sex with someone in front of you to show you that something (me and a partner) can procreate something (child)? You know (and even Science says it) that there is nothing that is created without something. Something can create something and nothing, but nothing can only create nothing. It can not create something.

Why can't you reply to that, instead claim my logic is flawed?

You can disprove Christianity to me, and make it valid. Let us see something be created from nothing for the 1st time ever (or 2nd if the Big Bang Theory is indeed correct), and we will have witnessed the True Deicide of the God belief you guys proclaim never existed to begin with. Yet, we see every day, almost every second, something creates something.


Anyways, despite that, I am honestly interested in what you have to say about my logic. And, I am also interested in what atheists say about how our planet was created. That would make a great thread imo. Apologies for the staying of the thead.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Positiveaob on December 24, 2010, 12:56:16 AM
Allright 2 things.

First with regards to the something can't come from nothing argument.  You're right, at least according to what we can observe in our view of the universe around us.  Soooo, tell me again where this god you speak of came from?

Something doesnt have to come from nothing.  For all I know time goes infinitely in both directions, in the future and the past.  Nothing about the big bang makes a claim that something came from nothing.  Just states that at one time all mass and energy was compressed in a really really tiny space.  Doesn't say what happened before that.

YOU are the one making the something came from nothing claim.  You are just prefacing it with the phrase "and a god said let there be..." before it. 

Second, with regards to the "you guys can't disprove my god", I dont know why this has to be brought up over and over and over because it is a pretty simple logical concept that doesnt at all represent a double standard.  You cannot disprove the existence of imaginary things.  It is impossible.  The burden of proof is on the person claiming they exist not the one calling bullshit.

I also can't prove that Casper the friendly ghost doesn't exist.  I can't prove that leprechauns don't really exist.  I can't prove that there's not an alien warship orbiting on the other side of the sun.  Does that provide evidence that these exist?  That I can't show they don't?  After all, you have to weigh the proof on both sides by your logic, right?

On the flip side, you absolutely can prove that something does exist.  You just show it. 

If I make the claim that I have a rare valuable coin in my possession how can you prove me wrong?  Wherever you look in my house or yard, I can just claim it's hidden somewhere you're not looking.  So you can't prove I don't have it.  But I CAN prove I have it, if I'm telling you the truth.  I can just show it to you.  See the difference?  You can prove existence, you cannot prove non-existence.

So does that mean you just dismiss everything you don't see?  No, certainly not.  Thats where common sense and reason enter the picture.  But if there is no evidence at all for the existence of something when there absolutely should be, then you rightfully call BS.  For example, instead of a rare coin, I tell you there's an 800 pound gorilla somewhere in my house and you dont find it, guess what?  That's pretty much all the evidence you need to "prove" it doesn't really exist. 

The same goes for an invisible being in the sky, who selectively reveals himself to a few individual members of his creation and expects them to get the word out to everyone else over thousands of years, but somehow expects us all to believe in him or else.  You can safely call BS on that one too.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: naemhni on December 24, 2010, 05:19:39 AM
Why is it you demand Christians prove their God, then when we say disprove the gods you don't believe in, you claim it's solely our responsibility?

Because the burden of proof lies on the theist.  The atheist bears no burden of proof because he is making no claim to prove.

Quote
That is what I call, ducking and dodging the challenge.

Then you are wrong.  It is simply placing the burden of proof where it belongs.  It's kind of like in criminal trials: the defendant does not need to prove that he is innocent, it's up to the state to prove that he is guilty.  If the state cannot make its case, the defendant is acquitted.  (N.B. that this is not the same thing as saying that he is innocent.)

Similarly, it's not up to atheists to prove that deities don't exist.  It's up to theists to prove that they do.  If the theist cannot make his case, reason resides with the atheist.  If you really can't get this, please read Sagan's "The Dragon In My Garage":
http://www.users.qwest.net/~jcosta3/article_dragon.htm (http://www.users.qwest.net/~jcosta3/article_dragon.htm)

Quote
Why can't you reply to that, instead claim my logic is flawed?

Done.

Quote
Let us see something be created from nothing for the 1st time ever (or 2nd if the Big Bang Theory is indeed correct)

Strawman.  The Big Bang Theory does not say that something was created from nothing.

Quote
I am also interested in what atheists say about how our planet was created.

The only thing that all atheists have in common is that they lack belief in deities.  That having been said, we do tend to have certain traits in common, chief among them a strong adherence to what science says about the world (inasmuch as science is the chief alternative viewpoint to religion).  Most atheists therefore accept the scientific explanation for the creation of the universe and, by extension, the creation of our planet.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 24, 2010, 09:25:32 AM
OK, let me start by saying that even though we are at odds, I like the way you handle these replies!


You can show me all the flawed logic, could we just drop the constant "we have nothing to prove" posting, and just actually answer the question/experiment at hand? If my logic is flawed, then the question should be an easy one. If my logic is correct, then why aren't you answering the question?

You have not posed a question from what I can see.  All you have done is asserted that I cannot prove God does not exist, and made that a position that you call equal to yours.  An atheist is NOT making a positive assertion that a god does not exist - rather, they are making a statement that rejects the theist claim.  Keep in mind, there was never a time in human history where someone stood up and declared "there is no god" before the first humans declared there was a god.  The god claim is what started this mess, and proving it is real is what will end it, or at least eliminate that aspect of the argument.

Why is it you demand Christians prove their God, then when we say disprove the gods you don't believe in, you claim it's solely our responsibility? That is what I call, ducking and dodging the challenge. I can put my views to the test. Do I really have to approach to you, and have sex with someone in front of you to show you that something (me and a partner) can procreate something (child)? You know (and even Science says it) that there is nothing that is created without something. Something can create something and nothing, but nothing can only create nothing. It can not create something.

I have never made a single claim or rejection of any "something from nothing" idea.  Humans tend to reach a logical conclusion that something that exists, had a cause, or was somehow created.  I agree with that idea, and it makes a lot of sense to me logically.  I will point out though, that I include any and all god claims in that logic.  If there is a god, what created it, or caused it?

Why can't you reply to that, instead claim my logic is flawed?

I wanted to focus on the logic, instead of specific claims, because I think it is fundamental to how we each approach problems.

You can disprove Christianity to me, and make it valid. Let us see something be created from nothing for the 1st time ever (or 2nd if the Big Bang Theory is indeed correct), and we will have witnessed the True Deicide of the God belief you guys proclaim never existed to begin with. Yet, we see every day, almost every second, something creates something.

I think Christianity has been disproved for a very long time already.  As far as I can see, the only thing that holds Christianity together is The Bible.  And honestly, if there were more extra-biblical evidence of the books, chapters and verses, I would concede that The Bible has valuable historic information.  Unfortunately, I have not seen very much credible evidence to back up most of the claims in The Bible (miracles being something obviously mythological.) 

As far as the big bang, it is only the current, very well researched theory on the expansion of our known universe.  Science does not know the cause, but is actively trying to figure it out.  Maybe science will find God at the helm?

Anyways, despite that, I am honestly interested in what you have to say about my logic. And, I am also interested in what atheists say about how our planet was created. That would make a great thread imo. Apologies for the staying of the thead.

Science has done an excellent job of describing how the expansion of the universe has lead to galaxies, stars, solar systems, and planets.  This is a very easy thing to google and read up on.  But feel free to start a new thread, and you will see that the formation of our planet is not really a mystery at all.  What you will not see, is a single reason to give any credit to any gods, as they of course are all imaginary!
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 24, 2010, 04:23:25 PM
DoL

The something from nothing thing is perceptual. Scientists studying the issue say that it would be harder for there to be nothing than something. Out in open space, trillions of miles from here (and everywhere else for that matter) particles pop in and out of existence millions of times a second, even in a one square inch piece of space. Some disappear immediately, converted back into energy. Others stick around awhile and if you get enough of them they make stuff.

That christians argue "something can't come from nothing" and then say "So God did it" amuses us no end. We keep asking "Where did this God come from?" And most christians look at us like we're crazy.

Having an answer that explain everything without making any sense may seem like an advantage to believers, but it doesn't cut the mustard with us.

There is the video we always link to when theists say it is impossible for something to come from nothing. I knew where to find it in the old forum but not here. Who has the link? Guys?



Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: kin hell on December 24, 2010, 06:08:38 PM
G'day DoL

I realise you are busy, but if you find the time can you tell me what is the basis of your belief?

Is it rational, in the sense that you believe because you have some crucial evidence that convinces you, or does it not require evidence, in the sense that you "know" or "feel" it to be right?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on December 24, 2010, 08:22:14 PM
Everything has an origin. By the end of the night, once you get to the very beginning, you are only going to be left with 2 answers. Either NOTHING created our planet with the Big Bang, or that SOMETHING created our planet (Big Bang or not).

This bears striking resemblance to something known as the Kalam Cosmological Argument. 

It works like this:

The Kalam Cosmological Argument
(1) Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2) The universe has a beginning of its existence.
Therefore:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.

It is a beautiful and elegant argument, the problem is that it only works if you assume some things.  Assumption is the sister of speculation  You seem pretty clued in on logical arguments, so I'm sure you can see the problem. 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 29, 2010, 10:48:37 AM
H-daaawg,

+1 (pseudo) for being the most fun christian I've ever seen on the forum. In a lot of ways you remind me of myself when I was a christian.

I can see what you're saying in this thread and, for the most part, I tend to agree with a lot (not all) of what you're saying.

I find a few of the atheists here to apply such a rigid double-standard that it has, on occasion, made me feel ashamed to be a part of the community. I often see atheists provoke hostile responses from theists and get away with it while the theist is busted for responding in kind.
Then again, this is an atheist forum. That said, many atheists here are moderated for being too mean to theists, so the door does swing both ways.

I don't like intellectual snobbery. Never have and never will. There's too much of it flying around here for my liking and, frankly, at times, I fantasise about punching some of those snot-noses into the back of their heads. But I suppose that’s another story.

I mean, you're right in what you say. The ratio is daunting.
A few months ago I tried an experiment where I set up a thread and tried to defend my old beliefs from a christian perspective. Basically, I pretended to be a Christian and several atheists tried to argue with me to prove me wrong.

I kid you not, it traumatised me so much, literally, that I had to spend a few weeks off of the forum to get over it! It was bloody hard work trying to keep up with so many atheists demanding answers and creating lots of very long posts for me to respond to. Never mind the fact that my arguments were ripped apart and stomped on, it was just so hard trying to keep up with all the replies.


Some people didn't realise what was going on and actually thought I was a christian, so they were pretty rude to me.
Here's the hypocrisy: the moment they cottoned on that it was just an exercise, they started being nice to me again elsewhere on the forum. I no longer speak to those members.

It really is very, very hard to keep up when you're outnumbered on this forum.

I don't agree with anything you say about god, obviously, and I may not agree with the way you've handled yourself in every single post, but I have respect for you like no other christian who's arrived here because, well, you're just a normal, down to Earth fella. Warts and all. You're not perfect, and neither are any of the atheists here.

My gut tells me that if you stick around you'll be hounded and be given a hard time over your beliefs (if that's all you talk to us about). My gut also says that you could work out how things work around here and make contributions that aren't always focused on your god-belief and, I, for one, would like to see them.


Cheers mate.

Thanks for this post.  I'm glad that there is someone here who can truly empathize.
I'm thankful for you here.

I think if a few other members here did a similar experiment, some of the attitudes wouldn't be so prominent, but then again....   trying to get a fundamentalist to see differently than what they "disbelieve" is easier said than done.  The willingness isn't even there to walk in someone else's shoes. 

What does a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist atheist have in common?
They're both right without proof (or lack of proof) and they both discriminate. 

What's the difference between a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist atheist?
The Christian threatens your afterlife, the atheist threatens your sanity and intelligence.

Even thought that's in joke format, but it's more sad than anything.

I know we disagree in regards to beliefs.  To me, it's little more than disagreeing on favorite foods. 
It's hardly grounds for dismissing someone as a person. 

I know you said people would give me a hard time here because of my belief.  I think that's true.  I think people will also deliberately push my buttons so I retaliate....   because they know they won't be out of bounds for doing it, and I will.

You are misunderstanding me, seriously.  Atheists are NOT making any claims. 

Why is it you demand Christians prove their God, then when we say disprove the gods you don't believe in, you claim it's solely our responsibility?

Because the burden of proof lies on the theist.  The atheist bears no burden of proof because he is making no claim to prove.

Some Noun definitions of "claim" from dictionary.com:

- a  demand  for  something  as  due;  an  assertion  of  a  right  or  an  alleged  right:
- an assertion of something as a fact:
- a right to claim or demand; a just title to something:

One of the rules in regards to posting:

Discussion threads are for discussion of the topic at hand, not simply advertising one's opinions. As such, forum members are expected to back up assertions they make, and not engage in stonewalling, shifting goalposts, changing the subject, or employing similar tactics to avoid addressing points raised against their arguments.

Why would atheist forum members be expected to back up assertions, when making assertions is something atheists don't even do?

Like what my signature states, the refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief...   Even "claiming" not to have claims, is still a claim.

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

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

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

...then it's a damn hobby to not-collect stamps.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Omen on December 29, 2010, 11:31:23 AM
1) An unconventional perspective gets dumped into the den

I think there is a bit more build up to this than simply the action itself.  It takes quite a bit of knee jerk emotional reaction to motivate someone to go to the lengths of finding an obscure email on a website just to tell them what they think.  That person is already acting out of a polemical emotional motivation and a dysfunctional conversation is bound to happen.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 29, 2010, 11:52:07 AM
Quote from: Hguols
What does a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist atheist have in common?
They're both right without proof (or lack of proof) and they both discriminate.

This again, seriously?  You continue to imply that atheists are "right, without proof."  But this is not at all what atheists are saying, strictly speaking.  Atheists reject all gods as real or possible.  They make statements like "all gods are imaginary" and "your god is not real", but you would do well to consider that most atheists will not go all the way to the point of telling you that you are wrong, with 100% certainty.  It just feels that way, because of your emotional investment in your beliefs.  If you find an atheist on this board telling you this, point it out, and that atheist will be called out by others (it has happened to me, so I know it happens.)

You see, the atheist is in the only possible correct position, that being, we don't really know.  And perhaps you are also in that position if you would also agree that you are not sure if there really is a god, even if you lean towards yes, there is.  The difference is subtle, but very, very real.  Do you believe that Zeus or Thor are real gods?  Or would you give them any serious benefit of the doubt?  Do you believe that Santa is real?

I could go on and on, but the point is this: the theist has NOTHING to point to that even begins to look like a god, much less a specific god, such as in The Bible.  So why in the world should the atheist even consider it as objectively as you think we should?

Quote from: Hguols
I know you said people would give me a hard time here because of my belief.  I think that's true.  I think people will also deliberately push my buttons so I retaliate....   because they know they won't be out of bounds for doing it, and I will.

No, once again you are trying to play victim here.  Yes, there are more atheists on this forum, but the rules apply to everyone, so if an atheist is out of line you can click the report button.  You do not have to sit back and take any unnecessary abuse from anyone on this forum. 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on December 29, 2010, 12:20:34 PM
Hguols, for someone that complains about the "butthurt" of atheists you sure do seem to have a lot of "butthurt" about atheists.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fundamentalist (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fundamentalist)

Quote
1. One who reduces religion to strict interpretation of core or original texts.

2. (finance) A trader who trades on the financial fundamentals of the companies involved, as opposed to a chartist or technician.

3. (Christian) Originally referred to an adherent of an American Christian movement that began as a response to the rejection of the accuracy of the Bible, the alleged deity of Christ, Christ's atonement for humanity, the virgin birth, and miracles. These points were first listed in a book series entitled "The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth" published in 1909 and affirmed by the PCUSA in its 1910 Minutes of the General Assembly.

4. (pejorative) A fundamentalist Christian (also fundie or fundy)

There is no such thing as a "fundamentalist atheist." This is a strawman you have created.

Atheists have no religion and no core or original texts to interpret strictly.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hatter23 on December 29, 2010, 01:08:51 PM

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

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

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

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

Wrong, the only reason we non-stamp collectors do any of those things is due to philatelists who assume not collecting stamps makes us morally inferior, tell us it is wrong to not collect stamps, and use stamp collecting as a basis to make laws that affect us, and wish to have their stamp collecting subsidized by the government.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Omen on December 29, 2010, 01:15:25 PM
Not holding a position to be true is not equivalent to holding a position to be true.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Positiveaob on December 29, 2010, 01:24:46 PM
What does a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist atheist have in common?
They're both right without proof (or lack of proof) and they both discriminate. 

<<Long sigh with eyes closed and palm on forehead>>
Hgouls, it has been explained to you ad nauseam the difference between proving existence (possible) and proving non-existence (impossible).  I dont know why it hasnt sunk in, I will just give you the benefit of doubt that you are in extreme state of denial/brainwash-ed-ness, rather than being less than bright.  But what about this concept do you not understand?  Prove there is no zeus, no apollo, no thor, etc.  Prove there are no leprechauns, invisible dragons, etc.  Give it a shot.  Please dont bring up some sorry "billions dont believe that..." nonsense.  It has already been shown to you repeatedly why the ad populum argument fails.  Besides the fact that "billions" DID believe in such gods as zeus, thor, the mayan gods, the incan gods, etc etc.

Quote
What's the difference between a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist atheist?
The Christian threatens your afterlife, the atheist threatens your sanity and intelligence.

How is your sanity or intelligence being "threatened"?  Show us a valid argument demonstrating why we should believe in the existence of an invisible god or gods.  So how is asking for that "threatening" to you?

Quote
Even thought that's in joke format, but it's more sad than anything.

Certainly sad, yes. 

Quote
I know we disagree in regards to beliefs.  To me, it's little more than disagreeing on favorite foods. 
It's hardly grounds for dismissing someone as a person. 

No one is dismissing you as a person.  You keep putting up this "you guys are just angry at me, whaahh!" defense and STILL have not offered up any sort of argument on your part aside from "I just have faith, that's all".

Quote
I know you said people would give me a hard time here because of my belief.  I think that's true.  I think people will also deliberately push my buttons so I retaliate....   because they know they won't be out of bounds for doing it, and I will.

Make a damned argument!  Give us one reason at all for believing in the existence of your god!!!  I feel like I am arguing with a 5 year old that keeps saying "it is because I say so.  LALALALALALAAA!  Stop making fun of me.  MOMMYYYYY!"

Quote
Why would atheist forum members be expected to back up assertions, when making assertions is something atheists don't even do?

We make assertions, just not with respect to non-existence.  For example, I assert that there is no more plausibility to  christianity than any other form of mythology throughout mankind's history.  I back this up by pointing out other religions throughout history and the similarity in their thought processes, and how they eventually vanished and are now considered "mythology".  I assert that it is not possible for 2 of all the animals of the world to fit on a wooden boat the size described in the biblical tale.  I back this up by describing the necessary space requirements for the animals, the food, the waste, the impossibility of their walking to one region of the world and surviving.  I also back it up by pointing out they would have no food upon leaving the ark, and that numerous cultures would have apparently survived such a flood since they records both before and after such an event would have occurred.

I assert that such a god as yours, if he existed, would have to be going well out of his way to stay hidden from his creation and I back it up by pointing out that life is essentially the same (with regards to health, lifespan, propensity to commit crime, divorce rates, violence, etc) regardless of whether you choose to hold such beliefs.

But as far as asserting that your god most likely does not exist, I back it up by pointing out that there is no evidence whatsoever he DOES exist and there SHOULD be.  If you have evidence, lets hear it.  Because all I am hearing is post after post of "you guys are mean to me".

Quote
Like what my signature states, the refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief...   Even "claiming" not to have claims, is still a claim.

No, No and NO.  I dont know why you think just saying it makes it so (or finding someone else to quote who says it).  It aint true. 

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

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

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

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

If those collecting stamps interfered with my life, routinely halted the progress of science, interfered with the education of children, caused war after war after war, prevented people from living their lives the way they want and marrying those they want, etc etc etc etc, then hell yes I would actively argue with stamp collectors.  Otherwise, your analogy fails miserably.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Asmoday on December 29, 2010, 01:25:56 PM
Like what my signature states, the refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief...   Even "claiming" not to have claims, is still a claim.
It's nice to see that even though not too long ago a good dozen of people have spent considerable time and effort to explain to you that this is not true, you still go on as if nothing ever happened.

I'm having this slight masochistic feeling today so just for the fun of it:

I say the great ARGLGARBL is watching over us all. He can't be seen, he can't be smelled, he can't be touched and he can't be tasted. The great ARGLGARBL is completely undetectable for all of us. But I tell you he's there. Do you believe me?

If you don't, then there's a simple Yes or No question for you: Does your disbelief in my claims and your disbelief in the great ARGLGARBL require active faith?


And just for laughs:
Does your disbelief in Zeus require active faith? Do you have to believe Zeus does not exist?
Does your disbelief in the Easter bunny require active faith? Do you have to believe the Easter bunny does not exist?
Does your disbelief in Xenu require active faith? Do you have to believe Xenu does not exist?

I do know that you already said you don't believe in all of the above. And you also said you don't care for all of these entities. But this time I'd like you to actually answer the question.

I want you to tell me, if you need to have faith Zeus does not exist in the same way and of the same amount that you need to have have faith that your god does exist.

If what you say is true, then your disbelief in Zeus and your belief in God should be the very same thing. You'd need active faith for both. Do you?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Positiveaob on December 29, 2010, 01:46:10 PM
...

I say the great ARGLGARBL is watching over us all. He can't be seen, he can't be smelled, he can't be touched and he can't be tasted. The great ARGLGARBL is completely undetectable for all of us. But I tell you he's there. Do you believe me?

If you don't, then there's a simple Yes or No question for you: Does your disbelief in my claims and your disbelief in the great ARGLGARBL require active faith?

...

Unless he's planning on changing his course, his response is likely to be something of the effect of: "well, billions of people dont believe in and have their lives changed by ARGLGARBL."  Then several of us will point out that billions of people DONT believe in his god either and have no demonstrable difference in their lives overall compared to those who do believe.  Several will point out that there arent billions who believe as he does, he has his own unique view on such a god figure formed in his head as his own perfect being, there are just many others who loosely share a similar god and call themselves "christian" as a group.  Several of us will point out that "billions" have believed all kinds of wacky things that have subsequently been shown to not be true.  Several of us will point out that "billions" believed in several other gods mentioned in your post, but I assume he doesnt believe truly exist.

Then, if the pattern continues, he will "fight back" with "you guys are just angry, christians are never angry" and retreat.

This has become tiresome.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 29, 2010, 01:54:48 PM
So, why is it when something like this gets posted....

H-daaawg,

+1 (pseudo) for being the most fun christian I've ever seen on the forum. In a lot of ways you remind me of myself when I was a christian.

I can see what you're saying in this thread and, for the most part, I tend to agree with a lot (not all) of what you're saying.

I find a few of the atheists here to apply such a rigid double-standard that it has, on occasion, made me feel ashamed to be a part of the community. I often see atheists provoke hostile responses from theists and get away with it while the theist is busted for responding in kind.
Then again, this is an atheist forum. That said, many atheists here are moderated for being too mean to theists, so the door does swing both ways.

I don't like intellectual snobbery. Never have and never will. There's too much of it flying around here for my liking and, frankly, at times, I fantasise about punching some of those snot-noses into the back of their heads. But I suppose that’s another story.

I mean, you're right in what you say. The ratio is daunting.
A few months ago I tried an experiment where I set up a thread and tried to defend my old beliefs from a christian perspective. Basically, I pretended to be a Christian and several atheists tried to argue with me to prove me wrong.

I kid you not, it traumatised me so much, literally, that I had to spend a few weeks off of the forum to get over it! It was bloody hard work trying to keep up with so many atheists demanding answers and creating lots of very long posts for me to respond to. Never mind the fact that my arguments were ripped apart and stomped on, it was just so hard trying to keep up with all the replies.


Some people didn't realise what was going on and actually thought I was a christian, so they were pretty rude to me.
Here's the hypocrisy: the moment they cottoned on that it was just an exercise, they started being nice to me again elsewhere on the forum. I no longer speak to those members.

It really is very, very hard to keep up when you're outnumbered on this forum.

I don't agree with anything you say about god, obviously, and I may not agree with the way you've handled yourself in every single post, but I have respect for you like no other christian who's arrived here because, well, you're just a normal, down to Earth fella. Warts and all. You're not perfect, and neither are any of the atheists here.

My gut tells me that if you stick around you'll be hounded and be given a hard time over your beliefs (if that's all you talk to us about). My gut also says that you could work out how things work around here and make contributions that aren't always focused on your god-belief and, I, for one, would like to see them.


Cheers mate.

...it gets ignored.  But when someone says basically little more than a "nu-uh" with you guys, you're all over it?

I'd like some discussion on Agga's post that was quoted. 
Unless you guys just aren't up to it....

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Positiveaob on December 29, 2010, 02:04:14 PM
I'd like some discussion on Agga's post that was quoted. 
Unless you guys just aren't up to it....

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

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

When are you going to make an argument?  Just ignore everything else for a moment and tell us one reason why YOUR god belief has any merit to it compared to any of the thousands of gods and cultural superstitions throughout mankind's history.  Just give us one reason.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 29, 2010, 02:22:29 PM
Quote
H-daaawg,

+1 (pseudo) for being the most fun christian I've ever seen on the forum. In a lot of ways you remind me of myself when I was a christian.

I can see what you're saying in this thread and, for the most part, I tend to agree with a lot (not all) of what you're saying.

I find a few of the atheists here to apply such a rigid double-standard that it has, on occasion, made me feel ashamed to be a part of the community. I often see atheists provoke hostile responses from theists and get away with it while the theist is busted for responding in kind.
Then again, this is an atheist forum. That said, many atheists here are moderated for being too mean to theists, so the door does swing both ways.

I don't like intellectual snobbery. Never have and never will. There's too much of it flying around here for my liking and, frankly, at times, I fantasise about punching some of those snot-noses into the back of their heads. But I suppose that’s another story.

I mean, you're right in what you say. The ratio is daunting.
A few months ago I tried an experiment where I set up a thread and tried to defend my old beliefs from a christian perspective. Basically, I pretended to be a Christian and several atheists tried to argue with me to prove me wrong.

I kid you not, it traumatised me so much, literally, that I had to spend a few weeks off of the forum to get over it! It was bloody hard work trying to keep up with so many atheists demanding answers and creating lots of very long posts for me to respond to. Never mind the fact that my arguments were ripped apart and stomped on, it was just so hard trying to keep up with all the replies.


Some people didn't realise what was going on and actually thought I was a christian, so they were pretty rude to me.
Here's the hypocrisy: the moment they cottoned on that it was just an exercise, they started being nice to me again elsewhere on the forum. I no longer speak to those members.

It really is very, very hard to keep up when you're outnumbered on this forum.

I don't agree with anything you say about god, obviously, and I may not agree with the way you've handled yourself in every single post, but I have respect for you like no other christian who's arrived here because, well, you're just a normal, down to Earth fella. Warts and all. You're not perfect, and neither are any of the atheists here.

My gut tells me that if you stick around you'll be hounded and be given a hard time over your beliefs (if that's all you talk to us about). My gut also says that you could work out how things work around here and make contributions that aren't always focused on your god-belief and, I, for one, would like to see them.


Cheers mate.

I bolded some points you may have ignored in your quote!

You could be a great person to discuss your beliefs with, as soon as you stop playing the persecution card.  And by the way, I was hammered by some atheists for claiming that all gods are imaginary!  I have felt the wrath of some here in the past, and it is not easy to take lying down.  I could tell I wasn't going to convince some people, but I ultimately realized that my argument is just another argument, and that it is more important to learn from each other, and ultimately agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Ashe on December 29, 2010, 03:28:34 PM
Hi, Hguols.

Some Noun definitions of "claim" from dictionary.com:

- a  demand  for  something  as  due;  an  assertion  of  a  right  or  an  alleged  right:
- an assertion of something as a fact:
- a right to claim or demand; a just title to something:

One of the rules in regards to posting:

Discussion threads are for discussion of the topic at hand, not simply advertising one's opinions. As such, forum members are expected to back up assertions they make, and not engage in stonewalling, shifting goalposts, changing the subject, or employing similar tactics to avoid addressing points raised against their arguments.

Why would atheist forum members be expected to back up assertions, when making assertions is something atheists don't even do?

Like what my signature states, the refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief...   Even "claiming" not to have claims, is still a claim.

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

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

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

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


I've been reading through the threads you've participated in, and I think you may misunderstand what atheism is, so I'll try to give an example and then explain the problems I believe I see in the portion I've just quoted above.

You ask, "Why would atheist forum members be expected to back up assertions, when making assertions is something atheists don't even do?"
Because atheists may make claims unrelated to atheism, or there are "strong" atheists who are making claims such as, "There are certainly no gods" or there are atheists who are outright rejecting specific gods based upon stated criteria laid out by believers (for example, the claim "The Christian God does not exist" because of logical contradictions between free will and God's omnipotence). But atheism =/= the claim "there are certainly no gods."

Atheism, at its core, is the lack of belief in a god, and that's not the same as making a claim. I'll give you an example.

I do not believe in a 30 foot, orange, flying zebra with angel wings that occasionally orbits my home on Tuesdays.
Reading that, I'm pretty sure you don't believe such a thing, either.
And you didn't believe it before I mentioned it now. In fact, the thought of a 30 foot, orange, flying zebra with angel wings that occasionally orbits my home on Tuesdays never in your life crossed your mind until this moment when I mentioned it, but you lacked a belief in it all the same. This is why disbelief is not a kind of belief. You disbelieved without ever knowing the entity you didn't believe in in the first place.
That would make you an a-30 foot, orange, flying zebra with angel wings that occasionally orbits my home on Tuesdays-ist, but it wouldn't have meant there was a claim involved.

Let's say I tell you about this creature and I believe in it.
"I don't believe in it," you say.
Does that make our positions equal? Are you making a claim? No, you're rejecting a claim.

As someone stated in a post elsewhere, theists started this whole debate in the first place. Mankind didn't start with a specific belief in a god; someone had to bring it up first ("Hey, maybe water comes from the sky because a big powerful spirit gets drunk and pees on us after partying").

The "Claiming not to have claims is a claim" is true if you're trying to be pedantic.

Last, you say,

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

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

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

No. You're confusing the hobby of religious debate with atheism. Atheism is not about going on forums to discuss theology, just as Christianity is not about playing baseball. Some atheists enjoy debating theology. Some Christians enjoy playing baseball. But you cannot mix the two and say, "Since some atheists spend a lot of time talking about religion, atheism must be a belief."
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on December 29, 2010, 03:33:25 PM
Hgouls:
Quote
    What does a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist atheist have in common?
    They're both right without proof (or lack of proof) and they both discriminate.

I am interested in exploring this idea a bit further. First I'd like to address something else:
Quote
7) Group high five when "another one bites the dust" (theory, not proven fact)

I want to mostly address the second half of that statement. IMO it's mostly about finding the truthiness of things. Logic, reason and the scientific method are the best ways I know to do this.   Don't expect me to cover that in detail, as I only want to point out how important the three words; theory, proven and fact are. Sorry I am limited in my time on this as I have a sister coming from out of town.

Theory is better described as an explanation. Proof to me means a high degree of probability an explanation is correct. Nothing in science is ever really proven. There is always the searching for a better, or alternative explanation. New data comes in. Science rewards anyone that disproves a theory, and is therefore self-correcting, and the scientific method requires that a theory be falsifiable...

Which leads us to your statement about what a fundamentalist Christian and an atheist have in common.

Here is an article from a site often quoted in these forums:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/theory.html (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/theory.html)

In it Richard Carrier makes his case for why he thinks you can prove a negative. Weather or not one agrees with Carrier on this point, it explores the idea of falsifiability and proving a negative a bit.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on December 29, 2010, 03:39:38 PM
Positiveaob:
Quote
Quote
Like what my signature states, the refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief...   Even "claiming" not to have claims, is still a claim.
No, No and NO.  I dont know why you think just saying it makes it so (or finding someone else to quote who says it).  It aint true.

I think the first part is correct, but the second isn't. "Choice" and "Belief" are in different categories, and to equate them is a category error.

If one is faced with a range of choices, one of which is "Do nothing", then refusing to make a choice is in effect the same as choosing that option.

Analogy with medical treatment. Say you have some condition and your doctor offers you three different treatments, or you can let nature take its course and have no treatment.

If you refuse to make a decision, you are in effect choosing the "No treatment" option.

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

Compare that with choosing a theistic belief system. You are offered a choice of three different kinds of theism, or you can do nothing, and lack belief in any of them.

As before, refusing to choose is the same as choosing the "Do nothing" option.

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

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

Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: kin hell on December 29, 2010, 03:56:29 PM
 
retract
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 29, 2010, 05:57:54 PM
Great post Jetson.  I do find myself overgeneralizing because the more blatant members are the members with more volume.  I know it's not all of the members here. 

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

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

Sure I'll tell my belief.  I mentioned it in an introduction thread (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=16949.0) and responses were warm and welcoming. 

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

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

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

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

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

I've made my stance here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=16949.0).  Therein I state one good reason why the God of my understanding has merit.

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

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

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

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

It doesn't appear to be a fluke instance.  It seems actually quite a few disbelievers have this "hobby".
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Historicity on December 29, 2010, 06:48:49 PM
Belief and non-belief aside, what's the real benefit to unleashing wrath like that?  To me, it's more harmful than good.

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

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


 1. Proverbs 15:1
 2. Tao Te Ching 42:3.  The most widely distributed (and disputed) translation is James Legge (http://james legge)'s which puts that verse as "3. What other men (thus) teach, I also teach.  The violent and strong do not die their natural death.  I will make this the basis of my teaching."
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2010, 07:08:29 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big big difference. If you can't see it, I'm sorry. We can't explain it any better. Just like none of us can get through to you as to why we don't think there is a god.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on December 29, 2010, 07:17:44 PM
Hguols:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you really believe this? 

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

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on December 29, 2010, 07:34:08 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on December 29, 2010, 08:00:08 PM

I mean, just because its a old proverb doesn't mean its gold.  [...] How about some input that's a little less archaic?
Can I ask you to tell that to some of your Bible-believing friends?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 29, 2010, 08:07:55 PM

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

Sure. 

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

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

What do you say, Hguols?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Historicity on December 29, 2010, 08:24:14 PM
Do you really believe this? 

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

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

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2010, 08:28:05 PM
Do you really believe this? 

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

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

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

I could ask how a person big on the bible could complain about something being archaic, but I'm bigger than that.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on December 29, 2010, 08:29:07 PM
...

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

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

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

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

Here.  It doesn't matter what I say because I'm here for the wrong reason.  Like what Monkeymind said in this post. (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=16995.msg379266#msg379266)  The sad thing is, I'll be discriminated against until I start "lifting weights".

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

I know I've said this before, I'm not interested in debating...  it has too much "push" that works more on hard feelings than getting people to come around.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on December 29, 2010, 08:36:24 PM
I could ask how a person big on the bible could complain about something being archaic, but I'm bigger than that.
I'm not: post #65 above  ;D
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on December 29, 2010, 08:40:12 PM

Sure. 

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

Is there any modern theistic literature that you would approve? e.g. Kent Hovind?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on December 29, 2010, 09:04:55 PM
Huguols said:

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

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

Those 2 bolded parts seem contradictory.

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on December 29, 2010, 09:15:58 PM
Not contradictory MM... He's not going to be passive, but he's not going to debate, means he's going to just preach and complain about how unfairly he's been treated here.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2010, 09:55:06 PM
I could ask how a person big on the bible could complain about something being archaic, but I'm bigger than that.
I'm not: post #65 above  ;D

Great minds think alike, but not necessarily verbatim or at the same time.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on December 29, 2010, 10:01:20 PM
Hguols:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: kin hell on December 30, 2010, 12:01:38 AM
Hguols

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

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

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

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

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

And could you please stop whining about your treatment here at this atheist forum, it just comes across as very weak joke.
 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on December 30, 2010, 12:49:18 AM
Hguols:

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

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

Troll.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 01, 2011, 01:36:30 PM
Hguols, do you have a response to my post? (this one (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=16995.msg379234#msg379234)).

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 01, 2011, 04:07:24 PM
......
If you refuse to make a decision, you are in effect choosing the "No treatment" option.

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

......

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

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

Gnu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is no God(s).

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

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

Also, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. I call Russel's teapot on this. You can't prove that there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn, for example. But this doesn't mean it exists. However, without evidence to support the assertion that there's a teapot orbiting Saturn, we can conclude there isn't one
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Ashe on January 01, 2011, 04:38:12 PM
Gnosticism refers to knowledge, it is not a religious position. Gnostic/agnostic must ALWAYS be followed by "atheist" or "theist", otherwise it just means with/without knowledge of god. To be purely agnostic, one must be completely ignorant of the concept of god

This is well said, and very true.

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

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

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

Unfortunately these sorts of word games and issues of semantics are part of what makes it so difficult to have conversations like this. If we all - atheists included, perhaps especially - can't even decide on what a word means, how can the discussion move forward? It's one of those frustrating tidbits.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Seppuku on January 02, 2011, 06:50:44 AM
Gnostic theist: I know a deity exists! (Or many exist)
Agnostic theist: I don't know if a deity exists (or many exist), but I believe.
Gnostic atheist: I know there exist no deities what-so-ever
Agnostic atheist: I don't know if any deities exist and I don't believe in the existence of any either


Those are some of the different positions. We did have a debate on 'agnosticism' on here a while back and many do just take the term 'agnostic' as a position, it was argued on here that belief is binary, therefore you either believe or you don't. As I argued in that discussion, a person may not know what they believe, perhaps skepticism on both sides or just not enough thought on the subject to make a judgment, hence people refer to themselves as 'agnostic'. In reality the term is a modifier (as just stated), so you need to be careful on how you think about atheism. Not every atheist claims to know that God (or any gods) doesn't exist. When I talk about any gods I won't say, "God doesn't exist" or "I believe God doesn't exist", but merely, "I don't believe God exists." My position is a lack of belief with no claims to knowledge, hence I fit under the 'agnostic atheist' category. But gnostic atheists feel there's a strong enough case against the existence of deities to be able to say, "there are no gods" and I can understand their case as there's as much evidence to support the existence of deities as there are unicorns, pixies or faeries. It sounds like an offensive thing to say about theistic views, but the difference is that belief in deities is far more popular, but no less valid in terms of evidence and we accept unicorns, pixies and faeries to all be mythical (and non-existent) creatures and as soon as somebody says, "I just saw a faerie" you'd think they're insane (for many this is what people saying, "God spoke to me" is like). So although I say that I'm still an agnostic atheist, after all I don't know unicorns, pixies or faeries don't exist either, I just have absolutely no reason to believe that they do exist, I've never experienced one nor have I seen evidence support their existence and I will not immediately believe a person's testimony for a number of reasons, e.g. I don't believe my mum's testimony of seeing ghosts (that doesn't mean, "I believe she didn't see a ghost" either), but there's a number of reasons as to why it might not be true (interpretation for one), heck I saw a ghost when I was a kid...was it actually a ghost? I don't know. Ghosts are also written about in all kinds of media too and throughout history (as are deities), but like the existence of any deity, that's not enough for me to start believing they're real.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Str82Hell on January 02, 2011, 09:02:38 AM
I realise that I often act like a jerk and lately I've been using this board a little bit to vent off my frustrations, often at the cost of a theist who is wilfully ignorant and refusing to engage in a conversation. And honestly, that doesn't bother me that much at all. On the other, I don't want to act like a jerk and maybe I can be an example to other people and often I find that the most pleasant thing is not to get involved in big bull crap topics.
When I see someone who I think is honestly willing to have a conversation, I'm quickly on it and try to figure out what this person has to say. Too often, however, I'm disappointed to find out that the person is not willing or capable to have a conversation at all.

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

So, I'd rather let someone else do the religious conversion, but sometimes I'll pop in and totally act like a jerk. Sometimes I'll try to prevent other from acting like jerks. I'm human and I'm not perfect.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on January 02, 2011, 09:20:39 AM

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

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

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

A sharp tap on the head with a baseball bat, gives a moment of lucidity to the godbotherer who then might be encouraged to see that he/she has not the faintest reason to believe fairy tales and a real discussion about real things can take place.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 01:43:13 PM
There’s an old story about a man who gets a donkey and he wants it trained. ....The first thing the donkey trainer does is to whack it over the head with a baseball bat.....
......
Once the atheist starts sympathising with the concept of something like, 'Jesus might have risen from the dead but the witnesses were confused', acres of print and hours of education are lost.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deepak Chopra Gets Owned. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qySx8tSs8BQ#)

This 37 second video is a good example at how that "belief" reasoning is extremely weak logic, if not fallible. 
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 02, 2011, 02:39:27 PM
Hguols, you're not getting it. And dictionary definitions don't help here, because they're not nuanced enough.

As Ashe and Seppuku said, agnosticism and atheism are on a x and y axis, giving four possible basic positions.

A gnostic atheist declares that there are no gods. That's a claim for which there is no proof, and can therefore be described as a belief. Only 4-5% (IIRC - we had a poll) of atheists on this forum subscribe to this position.

The vast majority of atheists here describe themselves as Agnostic Atheists.

This is not a belief position. It's saying, I lack belief in gods, but I don't know for certain that they don't exist.

Do you understand the difference now?

Let's go back to Mr Barron's statement: The refusal to choose is a form of choice; disbelief is a form of belief.

"Disbelief" describes the agnostic atheist position, merely lacking belief.

And an absence of some thing is not a form of that thing:

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

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





Perhaps you should have a look at the wiki articles on Agnostic Atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism) and Agnostic Theism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_theist), which back up what we're saying here; they explain it all pretty well. After doing so, I'd be interested to know how you qualify your theism; are you gnostic, or agnostic?

Cheers,

Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Ashe on January 02, 2011, 02:48:24 PM
If you wanted to just play the adjective route, we're all agnostic.  Being rigorously honest with ourselves, none of the theists really know there is a God, just like none of the atheists know there isn't a God.  If you wanted to get super general with the adjective (like Ashe did with the "I'm a blue") then every human being that has ever lived is agnostic, at least in regards to something.

Of course! I absolutely agree! We're all agnostic in regards to something, whether we believe or not.

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

I see your point, and this is where it gets kinda hairy.
Some of us here do believe there is absolutely no God or that God is imaginary or that God doesn't exist. I'm not talented enough to articulate the nuance in this case, but those statements aren't always a full claim. Not when they're responding to someone who says there is a god.

Then there's the case of stating, "There's no God" when it's meant as a colloquial statement. I've said, "God is imaginary" to people. But the way I say "God is imaginary" is the same way I say "Unicorns don't exist." I'm technically agnostic to whether unicorns exist, but I'd find it silly to split hairs over whether I can "fully know" that unicorns don't exist. Honestly, there has to be a point somewhere when you can only depend upon the natural senses you have and the scientific knowledge you have to come to a working conclusion to state with as much certainty as is possible that something either is or is not.

We can get into all the definitions that exist and the word headaches that come along with it, but to start focusing on these very fine details would be to miss the big picture - the theist made the first claim. The default position is "Uh-uh" until shown otherwise, especially in extraordinary cases such as, "A god sent himself as his son to be sacrificed to himself to appease himself for the rules he made." And I think someone is entitled to effectively rule that god out with certainty if they can show how that god couldn't logically exist (such as pointing out the contradictory claims of the nature of the Christian god). While I may be agnostic to hundreds of thousands of gods I don't even know exist, there are gods I can be a strong atheist towards. Whether "uh-uh" becomes its own claim at that point doesn't matter; I'm prepared to state, "Because it contradicts itself at X, Y, Z." If you retort that the god is special and defies logic in the case of X, Y, Z, you've only made a new claim, and I'm back at, "Uh-uh," which isn't a claim.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 02, 2011, 02:54:25 PM
I guess the reason I'm getting some mixed messages is because I've heard statements "There is no God", "God is imaginary" and "God doesn't exist", etc.   which I think are a belief, and as a drawn conclusion formed statement, need to hold true to the burden of proof.  Here are some definitions from different sources, sans the examples and bolded why I still disagree with the belief/disbelief argument.

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

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

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

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

You are misusing the word "belief" by referencing a particular definition that doesn't apply in the context of religion. Notice that some of the other definitions DO apply to religious faith.

If I say "I believe it is going to rain today" it doesn't mean I have a "firm religious faith" that it will rain. That definition would be wildly out of context. A definition that does fit would be "to hold as an opinion : suppose."

If you are going to use the dictionary to try to attack something then you need to know how words with multiple definitions works. You don't just snag out any definition and throw it in people's faces. You choose the definition that fits the context.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 02, 2011, 03:11:45 PM
Also, your carrying on about the word "agnostic" is totally pointless. The group you are attacking is what we would call "gnostic atheists," but there aren't too many of those around. Using the word as an adjective with the "atheist" or "theist" as nouns is simply much more concise and accurate.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 04:01:54 PM
Absence of medical treatment is not a form of treatment - it is the antithesis of treatment.

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


Those statements are correct.  I've seen it, and have seen that all along. 
I disagree and think there's more to it than just what those statements conclude.
My response to Agamemnon will hopefully answer your question as well.

Agamemnon, you said the definition chosen needs to fit the context.  I don't have a firm religious faith that it will rain....  makes a lot of sense.  I agree.  However, whether it's a firm religious faith, or an opinion

 - it's still a belief / it's still believing! 

If you "hold an opinion; suppose", or "hold an opinion; think", you're fitting the context of belief / believing! 
You're saying I'm picking the wrong definition, I'm saying you're leaving out a correct one.  Dictionary entries have specific definitions and general ones.  Just because it doesn't apply to a specific definition, doesn't mean it couldn't apply to the general one. 

The religious one is rather specific, and if it doesn't apply, it doesn't fly.  The "Opinion" one is very general. 

(wikipedia) An opinion is a subjective  statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts.

(Dictionary.com) Opinion –noun
1.a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2.a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

(Webster.com) Opinion
1a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter b : approval, esteem
2a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge b : a generally held view
3a : a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert b : the formal expression (as by a judge, court, or referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based

Just what it says, if you "hold an opinion" (have a view, impression, judgment or appraisal), you believe.

You're saying as an atheist, there is no belief....   meaning you do not have a religious faith.  That is very true.  I agree.
Leaving religion and lack thereof aside, it's just as proper of a definition to say "You as an atheist, believe there is no God."  meaning you do hold an opinion, conviction, etc.  to come to that conclusion.

Here's an example:  We're on an art forum that discusses color theory, and I make the random statement "I like to eat oranges." and you say, "That's impossible, you can't eat a color."  Definitions come out, and someone could technically use context to make the point.

.....but really, technically, if its defined, it is what it is.

The only difference is "oranges" applies to a specific definition, a fruit, but "color" is not a general definition - it's another specific one.
In regards to the belief definition, a "religious faith in God" is "an opinion held".

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 02, 2011, 04:49:38 PM
Agamemnon, you said the definition chosen needs to fit the context.  I don't have a firm religious faith that it will rain....  makes a lot of sense.  I agree.  However, whether it's a firm religious faith, or an opinion

 - it's still a belief / it's still believing!

Sorry, both definitions are not applicable. It is either religious conviction or an opinion.

The religious one is rather specific, and if it doesn't apply, it doesn't fly.  The "Opinion" one is very general. 

That is correct. So in the case of a religious debate you are going to use the specifically religious definition of the word unless context dictates otherwise. It is very simple, I don't know why we are even talking about it.

You're saying as an atheist, there is no belief....   meaning you do not have a religious faith.  That is very true.  I agree.
Leaving religion and lack thereof aside, it's just as proper of a definition to say "You as an atheist, believe there is no God."  meaning you do hold an opinion, conviction, etc.  to come to that conclusion.

By adding the words "atheist" and "God" to the statement means that the "religious belief" usage of the word applies, not the "opinion" usage.

Making a statement "I believe it is going to rain" is nothing like "I believe Jesus Christ is our lord and savior" By making the context religious, you excluded the nonreligious contexts of the word.

Here's an example:  We're on an art forum that discusses color theory, and I make the random statement "I like to eat oranges." and you say, "That's impossible, you can't eat a color."  Definitions come out, and someone could technically use context to make the point.

.....but really, technically, if its defined, it is what it is.

Really, technically, if it has multiple definitions then you will want to use the most correct definition for the context in which the word is used, otherwise you have communications issues, like the example you gave above. If both definitions of "orange" were freely interchangeable, as you are trying to do with "belief," then we would have big problems trying to communicate.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on January 02, 2011, 04:59:44 PM
[...]

 - it's still a belief / it's still believing! 
hguols,

Look at my signature. OK?

Right. You seem to think that your belief in a deity is as valid as my belief that there are no gods, never have been and never will be.

The truth of the matter is that you have absolutely nothing to support your side. On my side, I have read the claims for many gods and found them completely vacuous and without merit.

There are as many facile creation myths as there are religions (probably more). There are tales of the supernatural galore and no one believes that they are other than a story. The absence of any evidence here indicates the evidence of absence as far as gods are concerned.

Deluded men, making money from the gullible, have for millennia been seeking something that will confirm their lucrative position of power - every one of them has failed.

Atheists (and members of countless break-away sects) have, for the same length of time, said, "Put up or shut up." Don't you think that by now someone would have come up with something?

So, back to my signature. "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others. - Douglas Adams"

You must see that if I suggest the existence of a winged leopard that changes into a lamppost, it simply has no evidence and we can take it that it is absent.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 05:41:49 PM
Sorry, both definitions are not applicable. It is either religious conviction or an opinion.

Are you saying that a believer can have a "firm religious faith" but not "hold an opinion" regarding this stance?
Those are two different definitions in the belief/believing.

A firm religious faith is one example of an opinion held.  If it is an opinion held (like Atheism) without the firm religious faith, it's still a belief via the opinion held definition.

Really, technically, if it has multiple definitions then you will want to use the most correct definition for the context in which the word is used, otherwise you have communications issues, like the example you gave above. If both definitions of "orange" were freely interchangeable, as you are trying to do with "belief," then we would have big problems trying to communicate.

Obviously we're already having this.
Same with people here insisting the Agnostic term as always being an adjective, while there are clearly noun definitions and uses....
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agga on January 02, 2011, 05:57:58 PM
Wow. This thread's gone from an issue about the mailbag to an issue about language definitions in just 2 pages.

That never happens at this forum. What a shock. &)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 06:02:53 PM
HAHAHAHAA!!!!   *knuckle bumps Agga*

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 02, 2011, 06:10:41 PM
Are you saying that a believer can have a "firm religious faith" but not "hold an opinion" regarding this stance?
Those are two different definitions in the belief/believing.

They can hold an opinion regarding their stance, but when you say that they are a "believer" in a religious context, then you are not using the context that applies to mere opinion.

A firm religious faith is one example of an opinion held.

True, but when you refer to that firm religious faith as a "belief" you are using the religious faith definition of the word, not the opinion definition.

If it is an opinion held without the firm religious faith, it's still a belief.

It is a belief, but it is not a religious belief. The two terms are not the same. They are separated by context. If they were not separated by context then your definitions would look different. There would NOT be multiple definitions and your "religious faith" definition would also include "opinion held." There would not be separate definitions as there would be no need for separate definitions.

Really, technically, if it has multiple definitions then you will want to use the most correct definition for the context in which the word is used, otherwise you have communications issues, like the example you gave above. If both definitions of "orange" were freely interchangeable, as you are trying to do with "belief," then we would have big problems trying to communicate.

Obviously we're already having this.

Only because you insist on equivocating. You want to try to force your out-of-context definitions on us so that you can try to force the burden of proof on us, but that's not the way logic and reason work.

Same with people here insisting the Agnostic term as always being an adjective, while there are clearly noun definitions and uses....

There are noun usages, but f I say I am an "agnostic atheist" then I'm using the adjective variant of "agnostic," not the noun.

If I tell you I am an "atheist," without the "agnostic" adjective, it is simply because it is expedient. If you want more detail about what I think on the subject of gods then you are going to have to ask for more detail. Simply relying on an expedient label is bigoted, unfair and dishonest.

Wow. This thread's gone from an issue about the mailbag to an issue about language definitions in just 2 pages.

Indeed. Hguols enjoys his semantics games, I guess.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 06:33:18 PM
They can hold an opinion regarding their stance, but when you say that they are a "believer" in a religious context, then you are not using the context that applies to mere opinion.

True, but when you refer to that firm religious faith as a "belief" you are using the religious faith definition of the word, not the opinion definition.

There you go!  Now we're getting somewhere.
Just a little bit further....

It is a belief, but it is not a religious belief.

Stop right there.

Is atheism a belief?

Only because you insist on equivocating. You want to try to force your out-of-context definitions on us so that you can try to force the burden of proof on us, but that's not the way logic and reason work.

You want to stay out of definitions just so you don't have to answer your own reasoning.  That's not right.

There are noun usages, but

That's what I'm talking about.  Lets leave the "but" alone for a minute. 
Do you think that someone could be an agnostic in regards to religion/spirituality and not be a theist or an atheist?

Indeed. Hguols enjoys his semantics games, I guess.

Its not just me.  There are plenty of people squirming at the very thought of being stuck with the words "believe" or "agnostic"..... 

....for a reason I have yet to figure out.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 02, 2011, 07:09:48 PM
Stop right there.

Is atheism a belief?

No, "atheism"  is not a belief. We are using the religious context of the word "belief."

You want to stay out of definitions just so you don't have to answer your own reasoning.  That's not right.

False. You think you can use definitions to force us into making implied claims we are not making. As Gnu said earlier, the subject of god belief is not superficial, the way you want it to be.

There are noun usages, but

That's what I'm talking about.  Lets leave the "but" alone for a minute. 
Do you think that someone could be an agnostic in regards to religion/spirituality and not be a theist or an atheist?

Probably not, but that doesn't fix your definitions issue. The adjective variant is exists, whether you like it or not. The reason we have the adjective variant of the word is to allow us to give more information about the noun. If I say I am an "agnostic" atheist then you can't tell me that I'm actually a "gnostic" atheist, which is what you want to do here. That would be a lie that you tell yourself to make you feel better about your own beliefs. You might believe it, but I won't.

You will have created a strawman of my position on the issue of god(s). And that's what this is all about--your creating strawmen to shift the burden of proof.

Its not just me.  There are plenty of people squirming at the very thought of being stuck with the words "believe" or "agnostic"..... 

....for a reason I have yet to figure out.

Well, I don't particularly care for people who try to tell me what I am thinking by slapping inappropriate labels on me.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 02, 2011, 07:16:04 PM
Hguols:
Quote
Stop right there. Is atheism a belief?

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


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

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

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

Which is equally untrue.

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

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


And likewise...

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

Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Ashe on January 02, 2011, 07:19:20 PM
Stop right there.

Is atheism a belief?

*Smile* Round and round we go. Back at square one.

No, atheism is not a belief.
A (without)-theism: "not theism", "without theism"

I suppose the argument can be made that some atheists can hold beliefs within their atheism, but the atheism is not the belief. Atheism is in its very basics, a lack of something. We've gone over this in another example I've used - you're an atheist in terms of gods you haven't even considered existed yet. You don't deny those gods that you haven't considered existed yet, but you lack a belief in them. That's your atheism, and that's not a belief. It's a lack of one.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 08:12:47 PM
No, "atheism"  is not a belief. We are using the religious context of the word "belief."

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

Why are you using the religious context of the word "belief" when Atheism doesn't have a religious context?

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on January 02, 2011, 08:13:49 PM
No, "atheism"  is not a belief. We are using the religious context of the word "belief."

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

Why are you using the religious context of the word "belief" when Atheism isn't religious?

Why are you capitalizing atheism in the middle of a sentence?   ;D
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 02, 2011, 08:18:52 PM
Why are you using the religious context of the word "belief" when Atheism isn't religious?

When you use the word "atheism" you are discussing a subject that is about religion. It falls within a category of discussions pertaining to religion.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 08:30:01 PM
Why are you capitalizing atheism in the middle of a sentence?   ;D

I'm either being incorrect, or trying to be respectful with the title.  *knuckle bumps Jetson*

When you use the word "atheism" you are discussing a subject that is about religion. It falls within a category of discussions pertaining to religion.

Why does it fall into a category pertaining to religion when its not religious itself?  If it doesn't matter who put it in that category, why does it matter if its really a belief or not?  (unless you're trying to dodge the burden of proof)

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 02, 2011, 08:40:18 PM
HG do you mind if I ask you why you are a theist and not a deist?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 08:44:25 PM
HG do you mind if I ask you why you are a theist and not a deist?

I'm not familiar with Deism.  Why do you ask this?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 02, 2011, 08:44:53 PM
Hguols:
Quote
Why does it fall into a category pertaining to religion when its not religious itself?

Because when someone says "I believe in God, do you?", that means they're a theist, and they're using believe in the religious sense.

If we then reply, "No, we're atheists, we don't believe in gods", we're using the word in the same sense that they're using it.




And, you ignored the second part of my post, where I explained that even if Barron was using the word in the sense of opinion, his statement is still wrong.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 02, 2011, 08:47:59 PM
Why does it fall into a category pertaining to religion when its not religious itself?  If it doesn't matter who put it in that category, why does it matter if its really a belief or not?

Did you somehow miss my post on Russell's Teapot?

(http://a420.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/128/l_df5620d83b3189590732bc3cda617253.jpg)


However, I will give you one caveat. 
If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead.  It is a generic catch-all, unlike specific belief systems, such as say, Christianity vs Hinduism vs Taoism vs Islam vs Judaism and so on.  You are presumably 'pro' one of these and 'anti' the others, correct?  Well we're anti all of them until someone presents positive evidence showing that they should be considered.  To be other than a skeptic is sheerest nonsense.

Any argument that you would make that disqualifies the other religions must logically be applied to your own as well.
Are you willing to do that?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on January 02, 2011, 08:51:34 PM
HG do you mind if I ask you why you are a theist and not a deist?

I'm not familiar with Deism.  Why do you ask this?

Deism deals with the idea that there is a greater power or being in charge, but that it does not interact with it's creation.

Deism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 02, 2011, 08:52:53 PM
HG do you mind if I ask you why you are a theist and not a deist?

I'm not familiar with Deism.  Why do you ask this?
Deism means there may be a god,it seems to be a position you take sometimes
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 09:06:22 PM
Because when a christian asks "Do you believe in God?", that means they're a theist, and they're using believe in the religious sense.

What if you don't know the person asking is a Christian, theist, or even an atheist?
What if I ask you "Do you believe in God?" and you know I mean the general definition of believe? 
.....better yet.....
What if I ask you, "Do you have an opinion on God?" or "Do you have an opinion on the existence of God?".

It seems to me, answering yes would mean you qualify for a belief definition.
Answering no, would be deceiving....  because you do have a personal view, impression, etc. of God.  (that He doesn't exist) 
You're not impartial to the God concept - you have a view.

If someone asked me, "Do you have an opinion on the existence of unicorns?", I would say "Yes.  I don't believe they exist."  .....and I would be comfortable that my belief on that issue is that I don't believe in unicorns.
____________________

I'll get to the barron's, deism and teapots after I get to the bottom of this "belief" thing once and for all.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 09:09:21 PM
However, I will give you one caveat. 
If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead. 

A non belief system belief is a belief, correct?
....then why was I told Atheism isn't a belief?  .....when it is?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 02, 2011, 09:11:07 PM
Can they exist (unicorns),as you say they do not exist,does not mean they dont. Can you see the paradox of your arguement. Unicorns may exist,but there fails to be proof that they do you have to use faith'

Bigfoot,Yeti,Loch Ness monster,Boogie man....the list is endless
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 02, 2011, 09:21:04 PM
Quote
Quote
Because when a christian asks "Do you believe in God?", that means they're a theist, and they're using 'believe' in the religious sense.
What if you don't know the person asking is a Christian, theist, or even an atheist.

I apologize, Hguols, I edited my post to make my point clearer, but you missed it; it now reads:
Quote
Because when someone says "I believe in God, do you?", that means they're a theist, and they're using 'believe' in the religious sense.

Is that clearer?

And I repeat:
Quote
And, you ignored the second part of my post, where I explained that even if Barron was using the word [belief] in the sense of opinion, his statement is still wrong.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 02, 2011, 09:21:04 PM
However, I will give you one caveat. 
If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead. 

A non belief system belief is a belief, correct?
....then why was I told Atheism isn't a belief?  .....when it is?

I see, clearly you did miss my other posts to you on this topic.  I would appreciate it very much if you'd go back and address what I wrote since it's pertinent to this.

Rightfully, atheism should be synonymous with skepticism.  Given that there has been no empirical evidence put forth to advance your theistic (or any) claims there is no reason why we should give them credence.  The closest you're going to get to calling atheism a belief system is that it follows a pattern, that of skeptics, but narrowed down to the field of theism.  Unsurprising considering how prevalent theism is.


Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 09:23:36 PM
Can they exist (unicorns),as you say they do not exist,does not mean they dont. Can you see the paradox of your arguement. Unicorns may exist,but there fails to be proof that they do you have to use faith'

Bigfoot,Yeti,Loch Ness monster,Boogie man....the list is endless

There's a benefit to believing in God that the rest of those don't have. 
Even Santa has a little bit of it, but as soon as someone doesn't give a fuck about presents, even being supposed, it's pointless.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 02, 2011, 09:26:02 PM
Ok, you lost me Madbunny.

Why don't we go back to what you said here:

However, I will give you one caveat. 
If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead. 

I mean, it sounds like you want to put terms and conditions to it, but it still is what it is.....   right?
It's a belief!  Why can't anyone here say it?

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 02, 2011, 09:30:07 PM
Ok, you lost me.

Why don't we go back to what you said here:

However, I will give you one caveat. 
If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead. 

I mean, it sounds like you want to put terms and conditions to it, but it still is what it is.....   right?

Obviously there are terms and conditions.  Is theism about a belief in cars?

A skeptic that had never seen a car before might wish to have reasonable evidence of one presented to him.  If you were never able to do so, but continued to assert that cars did in fact exist that would make you a 'car-ist' and the skeptic would be an a-car-ist'. 

Seriously man, go back and read what I wrote to you, it's insulting to have to write it over and over again.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 02, 2011, 09:42:01 PM
Hguols, please understand that we have heard your entire argument before, many times.

It usually takes the form of "Atheism is a religion" - but "Disbelief is a form of belief" asserts much the same thing.

We don't accept this argument. We try to explain that just because we 'believe', or 'have faith', that the sun will rise tomorrow, this doesn't mean that we live our lives on 'faith', the way religious people do. Different meanings of the word.

We also understand why theists do this - they're trying to level the playing-field and show that we are as irrational as they are, on the grounds that we require 'faith' to live, just as they do.

But it's nonsense, because it's based on blurring the two meanings of 'belief/faith', as you are doing in this thread.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 02, 2011, 10:53:23 PM
Can they exist (unicorns),as you say they do not exist,does not mean they dont. Can you see the paradox of your argument. Unicorns may exist,but there fails to be proof that they do you have to use faith'

Bigfoot,Yeti,Loch Ness monster,Boogie man....the list is endless

There's a benefit to believing in God that the rest of those don't have. 
Even Santa has a little bit of it, but as soon as someone doesn't give a fuck about presents, even being supposed, it's pointless.
What exactly is your benefit?.....the Santa Clause myth is something you grow out of (much like a theist growing intellectually into an atheist),only to return to it if you wish when you have children. You assert without proof your god is the one and only god worthy of worship. God himself did not say he is the ONLY god,just that he is the only god you should worship.

Why would you dismiss other gods in order to follow the god of some obscure small tribe in the miidle east some 2000 years ago? Why is your obviously Jewish saviour light skinned,blue eyed with light brown hair?

Are you a bible literalist?(everything in ALL bibles is the solom word of god) or do you choose to believe what is real,literal,metaphor or just a lesson? Is the earth 6000 years old? Did god actually command through the bible,his followers to kill at will non-believers even though his first commandment is "thou shalt not kill?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 02, 2011, 11:03:27 PM
12 monkeys, lets let Hguols catch up on some of his questions.

For example he's already been asked why he says he's a theist rather than a deist.  Getting into a discussion of being a literalist is a whole other conversation for him to avoid.

He's also been asked why he shouldn't have to face the burden of proof on Russell's Teapot as well, but for some reason avoided that question.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 02, 2011, 11:06:39 PM
MadBunny what do I have to do in order to be a follower of Russell's teapot? Does this conflict with my belief that Bigfoot is my guide,saviour and lord?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 02, 2011, 11:13:39 PM
MadBunny what do I have to do in order to be a follower of Russell's teapot? Does this conflict with my belief that Bigfoot is my guide,saviour and lord?

You merely have to assert that it is there.
Since nobody can prove that it isn't, you must be right.  You can even give it all sorts of extra powers not normally associated with tea pots if you like, they can't disprove those either.

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: 12 Monkeys on January 02, 2011, 11:19:10 PM
 so I am now a teapot-bigfoot saint
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 03, 2011, 09:14:30 AM
HGUOLS Said:
Quote
It's a belief!  Why can't anyone here say it?

AOK! I awill say it: Atheism is an abelief.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 03, 2011, 10:40:33 AM
I totally missed that, MM.

It's a belief!  Why can't anyone here say it?

I won't because it is not true.

It is simple boolean logic:

atheism = non-theism.

if theism = belief then non-theism <> belief.

Therefore atheism <> belief.

If a theist is a believer then an atheist is a non-believer.

The atheist has no belief in god or gods.

Not believing a particular set of religious claims does not mean a complete rejection of all possible gods or god-like beings. It simply means rejecting certain claims because they appear to be untrue.

Atheism is not a belief! Why can't you say it?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 03, 2011, 10:59:42 AM
^^^
Quote
Atheism is not a belief! Why can't you say it?

It's one of his biggest stumbling blocks. And if he ever does say it, he'll have to move on to other more difficult concepts.

Folks, let's not let H.G.U.O.L.S. think that
He's Getting Under Our Little Skins.
 
I know he's a
Hairy God-loving Under-brained Over-muscled Little Shit,
But eventually He's Gotta Understand Our Logic & Science.
Meanwhile,
He's Gonna Underrate, Obfuscate, Lie, & Squirm
but when
Hguols Gets Us (Obviously Like he Should)
and
Has Gained Understanding Of Life Sciences
he will shout I
Hguols, God Unbeliever, Observing Life, See
How Groveling Under Omnipotent Lord Sucks,
and
How God Unbelief Offers Life Sobering
power!

And all this will happen because of a little B.O.P. (Burden Of Proof) on the head!
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Jim on January 03, 2011, 11:02:47 AM
^ Heh.  Nice.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 03, 2011, 11:43:35 AM
Folks, let's not let H.G.U.O.L.S. think that
He's Getting Under Our Little Skins.
 
I know he's a
Hairy God-loving Under-brained Over-muscled Little Shit,

LOL!!!!  That's pretty good man! 
....though the Acronym makes me sound more like a growth or infection to those who are weakly endowed in the male department.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Larissa238 on January 03, 2011, 11:56:56 AM
Hguols, I had a thought last night. Just a warning, my hubby always makes fun of my analogies, so if there's something horribly wrong with it, just let me know.

This is what I'm thinking. You, Hguols, are like a person walking into a restaurant and proclaiming "I'm starving!" Now, here in the US that's pretty fine and normal, and that's what you have been doing all your life. Then you go on vacation and say "I'm starving!" in the first eatery you get to, just to find out you are in Somalia and that word has an entirely different meaning there. You get bad looks and people jumping down your throat because you said something that was very misunderstood.

This is what I see when you bang your head against the wall with words like "belief." Your whole Christian life (I know you were not always a Christian, just a semi-recent development) you have used the word belief with ease. You know what you are talking about and all your buddies do too. Then you come here and try to fit your understanding of the word "belief" with people who have gone around and around with people time after time trying to force their definition of "belief" on us when it doesn't fit.

Just my .02
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hatter23 on January 03, 2011, 12:12:13 PM
Ok, you lost me Madbunny.

Why don't we go back to what you said here:

However, I will give you one caveat. 
If you wish to categorize atheism as a 'not belief system' belief then go right ahead. 

I mean, it sounds like you want to put terms and conditions to it, but it still is what it is.....   right?
It's a belief!  Why can't anyone here say it?

Because it is the classic opening gambit for Theists to call Atheism "just another belief" for an attempt for intellectual equivalency. It is a complex form of equivocation. I've seen it a thousand times.

This then will be followed most often by an attept at reversal of the burden of proof. I've seen it a thousand times.

Your quote from Carl Sagan will be used in that attempt at a reversal. I've seen it a few dozen times.







Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 03, 2011, 12:16:51 PM
Folks, let's not let H.G.U.O.L.S. think that
He's Getting Under Our Little Skins.
 

LOL!!!!  That's pretty good man! 
....though the Acronym makes me sound more like a growth or infection to those who are weakly endowed in the male department.

Oh no, that would be foreskins not little skins.

But I want to get serious for a minute.

http://thesaurus.com/browse/misrepresent (http://thesaurus.com/browse/misrepresent)

Do you know that beard is a synonym for misrepresent? And clout is a synonym for muscle. So muscle and beard fits well as a sig for you Hguols. Problem is, your muscles have little clout in the forum. The only muscle that will help you here is the one between your ears. The strength of your arguments will show when you are using it.

Wether you are hiding behind a beard, or a misrepresentation of reality, is none of my concern.  But when you come into the forum saying you are just curious about atheists (as a believer) and then go on to argue the meaning, your real intent becomes clear. You are not here out of curiousity to learn about atheism, but how to argue more effectely against atheism. Maybe you thought arguing with atheists would justify or strengthen your belief(s).

Therefor, I think you are being dishonest with yourself or dishonest with us. It is true that you will gain some experience arguing with atheists here. It is true that you may learn how to better obfuscate, twist and misrepresent atheism to your believer friends, but you will not be able to honestly say that you understand atheism. But then, that isn't really why you came here is it?

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 03, 2011, 12:41:27 PM
It usually takes the form of "Atheism is a religion" - but "Disbelief is a form of belief" asserts much the same thing.

I'm probably stuck on this because of things like this,

Court rules Atheism a religion (http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=31895) August 2005
http://www.cornswalled.com/2007/07/court-rules-atheism-religion.html (http://www.cornswalled.com/2007/07/court-rules-atheism-religion.html) July 2007
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2280807 (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2280807) (Read the asker's pick)

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

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

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

I mean, there is a criteria for religions. 

You have your worldview. 
You have you own orthodoxy.
You have your own brand of Apostasy. 
You have your own brand of prophets.  (Darwin, Russell, Nietzsche)
You have their own "evangelists". (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens are literally seeking to convert people)
You believe.  (whether you want to call a thought, and opinion, it's still a form of belief.)

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

......Then you go on vacation and say "I'm starving!" in the first eatery you get to, just to find out you are in Somalia and that word has an entirely different meaning there. You get bad looks and people jumping down your throat because you said something that was very misunderstood.

......Then you come here and try to fit your understanding of the word "belief" with people who have gone around and around with people time after time trying to force their definition of "belief" on us when it doesn't fit.

Just my .02

Excellent analogy Larissa.  I agree with that more than analogy than "atheism is to belief as bald is to hair color". 
It's clever, but it really makes no sense.  It's a poor parallel example.

There are different definitions and different perspectives....   You would agree the Somalians would in effect tell that person, you are NOT starving. 

.....but in effect.....   both statements are correct.  Starving does have a different degree, and using "starving" in place of "really REALLY hungry" would be correct usage.  .....but just because you're not skin and bones doesn't mean you're not starving. 

You're saying its not a belief, that its a disbelief.  I do see WHY that's said.
....but if its not a "belief" as far as opinion, or a personal view, then what it is?

Its almost like saying atheism isn't even a choice between the ears.

....and I've got to admit, I'm quite intrigued that the word/concept of the dreaded "B" word has atheists recoiling from it as from a hot flame.  That has me more curious than WHY its this or that type of belief.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 03, 2011, 12:48:48 PM
Folks, let's not let H.G.U.O.L.S. think that
He's Getting Under Our Little Skins.
 
I know he's a
Hairy God-loving Under-brained Over-muscled Little Shit,

LOL!!!!  That's pretty good man! 
....though the Acronym makes me sound more like a growth or infection to those who are weakly endowed in the male department.

So, uhm, no response on Russells Teapot and the burden of proof?


Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 03, 2011, 12:51:08 PM
....and I've got to admit, I'm quite intrigued that the word/concept of the dreaded "B" word has atheists recoiling from it as from a hot flame.  That has me more curious than WHY its this or that type of belief.

The "B" word you're looking for is burden of proof.  It's on you.
Please address this.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 03, 2011, 01:03:07 PM
Wether you are hiding behind a beard, or a misrepresentation of reality, is none of my concern.  But when you come into the forum saying you are just curious about atheists (as a believer) and then go on to argue the meaning, your real intent becomes clear. You are not here out of curiousity to learn about atheism, but how to argue more effectely against atheism. Maybe you thought arguing with atheists would justify or strengthen your belief(s).

I came here to learn, and I mean that in the most general definition possible. 
Obviously, some of what I've learned as far as your "doctrine", I disagree with. 
What did you expect me to do?  Not question and blindly accept?

The jabs are mutual (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380892.html#msg380892), if not one sided due to the number difference - and the fact there are jabs, I'm not going to take all of this as serious as a heart attack.  I even repped you up one for your witty poem and acronym - its a breath of fresh air in here.

....so stop trying to be a martyr,
pick yourself up,
dust yourself off,
and
*throws a basket ball into your face*
PLAY!!!!
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 03, 2011, 01:08:45 PM
The "B" word you're looking for is burden of proof.  It's on you.
Please address this.

I can't prove it.  It's impossible to.
I know you recoil from that "B" word as well.....   but humor me. 

Instead of proving there isn't a God, why don't you start with proving me wrong by what was stated in my previous post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380918.html#msg380918) rather than dodging it?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: sammylama on January 03, 2011, 01:15:11 PM
What did you expect me to do?  Not question and blindly accept?

Dammit! 



           Time for plan B . . .
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 03, 2011, 01:26:12 PM
The "B" word you're looking for is burden of proof.  It's on you.
Please address this.

I can't prove it.  It's impossible to.
I know you recoil from that "B" word as well.....   but humor me. 

Instead of proving there isn't a God, why don't you start with proving me wrong by what was stated in my previous post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380918.html#msg380918) rather than dodging it?

I did.  Here.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380677.html#msg380677 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380677.html#msg380677)

and

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380684.html#msg380684 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg380684.html#msg380684)

It isn't my job to prove there is no god.  Until empirical evidence is presented to show that there IS one, then the default is that there is not.  The burden of proof must always lie with the person making the claim.
As I said before, the proper term for that is skeptic, however since religion is so utterly prevalent there has become a special category that relates to just specifically religion, or theism.  'Atheist'.

Do you have a particular belief system regarding Russell's Teapot?  What would you call that?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 03, 2011, 01:34:25 PM
Dammit! 



           Time for plan B . . .

AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!    ^_^
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 03, 2011, 01:40:29 PM
I came here to learn, and I mean that in the most general definition possible. 
Obviously, some of what I've learned as far as your "doctrine", I disagree with. 
What did you expect me to do?  Not question and blindly accept?

OK, I believe you are being honest with us when you say you are here to learn, although I still question your reason for coming here.

It is understandable that you disagree with our "doctrine" (wasn't aware of the law or the doctrine....but if we have a doctrine, I probably disagree with it too). I hope that you do realize that if Atheism is a religion, that the "doctrine" is as varied as all the Christian denominations.

NO, I for one don't expect or want you to blindly accept anything...I have a feeling that is what got you where you are to begin with.

I do understand that you don't believe our not believing is not a belief.

I'll even hi-5 you for actually backing up your claim with real, hard evidence (the federal court ruling that Atheism is a religion). Although, I'm not happy to have to capitalize Atheism. I think I'll have to be civilly disobedient on that.

I do need to tell you, however that the guy prisoner who said he was an atheist was actually a Christian (Some claim that he is not a Real Atheist).

Edit for typos
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 03, 2011, 01:52:15 PM
I wonder if not believing in Leprechauns will ever be ruled a religion?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 03, 2011, 02:22:51 PM
While waiting for other atheist responses, here is something from brother Minority arguing for the other side.


http://mrminority.blogspot.com/2005/08/so-according-to-federal-appeals-court.html (http://mrminority.blogspot.com/2005/08/so-according-to-federal-appeals-court.html)

The judges in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals used no logic at all to interpret the law. Atheism CANNOT be a religion, because it is the opposite of religion. A negative DOES NOT equal a positive, and according to the Court, nothing does equal something. And how can prisoners have a Atheist "Study Group" when they have nothing to study, because they don't believe anything?

The Supreme Court 1961 ruling that you don't have to believe in a supreme being or have a belief system of higher powers is flawed and needs to be reviewed. Secular Humanism is NOT a "belief" system, it is just a individual's belief in himself, not any system of belief in a supreme being. All real religions have something in common, they have a belief system in something higher in power than themselves, as where Atheism and Secular Humanist DO NOT have this belief system. Just another example of America being rotted away by humanists and judges. Thank God, I am a Christian, and I do believe in a Supreme Being God, because there is a consequence for not believing.
Mr Minority
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hatter23 on January 03, 2011, 02:45:44 PM
I wonder if not believing in Leprechauns will ever be ruled a religion?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 03, 2011, 03:36:53 PM
I'm probably stuck on this because of things like this,

Court rules Atheism a religion (http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=31895) August 2005
http://www.cornswalled.com/2007/07/court-rules-atheism-religion.html (http://www.cornswalled.com/2007/07/court-rules-atheism-religion.html) July 2007
http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2280807 (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2280807) (Read the asker's pick)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mean, there is a criteria for religions. 

You have your worldview.

EVERYONE HAS A WORLDVIEW.

You have you own orthodoxy.

There is no orthodoxy required for atheism.

You have your own brand of Apostasy. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The only thing that is required of an atheist is quoted above from the Asker's Pick: a lack of belief in a god or gods.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 03, 2011, 05:59:41 PM
I do need to tell you, however that the guy prisoner who said he was an atheist was actually a Christian (Some claim that he is not a Real Atheist).

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

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

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

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

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

I can cope that you don't see it as a religion, if you can cope with that its not this "nothing" / "negative" lack-of-stance you're portraying it as.  Obviously, if its protected, seen as being the equivalent to religion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_and_religion#Legal_status_of_atheism_as_a_religion) , it has to be something....   

Though in regards to it being a religion, I couldn't help but think you overlooked this from the world net daily article (http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=31895):

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

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

Atheism is a valid form of belief in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism_and_religion#Indian_Religions). 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 03, 2011, 06:04:04 PM
Hello Hguols,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Which is equally untrue.

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

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


And likewise...

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Cheers,

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

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

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

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

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



ADDED: Oh yeah, I plus-ed you for showing us the court decision. Either you knew all along about it and that was a sucker punch, or you were actually researching stuff.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Graybeard on January 03, 2011, 06:21:43 PM
At this point, and nevertheless in the hope of hguols’ reply to Gnu Ordure, I think I have never been more convinced that atheism is neither a belief nor a religion.

Point 1.

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

Point 2.

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

This will not work.

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

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

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

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

ADDED:
From MonkeyPedia:

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

Example: The notion that atheism is a religion  because the 7th Circuit Court ruled that it is.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: RaymondKHessel on January 03, 2011, 09:46:51 PM
Just read the whole thread.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just an idea. And that's all I have to say about that.   
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on January 03, 2011, 11:16:30 PM
Quote from: RaymondKHessel
At the end of the day, I'm of the opinion that I do myself a great disservice if I go around pretending that every shaved ape with a theory is worth respecting right off rip, simply because they have a computer and the will to start typing.

Yep, he's back.  ;D

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 03, 2011, 11:39:18 PM
RaymondK makes me wish I were a believer just so he could convert me.  :)

Edit: Added smiley face to remind myself I'm joking.
Edit: About converting, not about RaymondK
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 03, 2011, 11:53:17 PM
So if you agree with the Answerbag pick then you've conceded your argument.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: sammylama on January 04, 2011, 12:07:47 AM
RaymondK makes me wish I were a believer just so he could convert me.  :)

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




Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: screwtape on January 04, 2011, 12:12:17 AM
This topic started off stupid and only got worse.  To the Pit with you knaves.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 04, 2011, 12:29:13 AM
True, enough, screwtape. I've gone ahead and locked it, since it's obviously not going to improve. If anyone wants a response from Hguols on something they can start a new topic. This one is beat to death.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 04, 2011, 02:02:42 PM
Topic reopened at Gnu's request to allow Hguols to respond to Gnu's post #149 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg381064.html#msg381064).
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 04, 2011, 05:26:36 PM
...you'll be accused of "dodging", and the Mods will be talking to you about it.

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

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

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

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

Atheism is an opinion held, therefor a belief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No belief/opinion = no thought

Do I believe in unicorns? 

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

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

but it is a belief.  It's an opinion.

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

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

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

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

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

Is that brief enough?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for the compliment.  ....and believe it or not, I am learning.  However, it's just not going in accordance to your plans, perhaps.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 08:40:50 AM
SAY Hguols, when your done telling us how the forum works and what atheists believe, could you tell us what Christians believe?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 08:43:59 AM
Also, can you help me get my tax exempt status for the New Church Of Atheism I'm opening here in Texas. Thanx to you, churches like mine will be popping up all over the place. Reverend MonkeyMind sounds nice, doesn't it?

Oh wait! Is that just in Wisconsin? Seems like states are going to have their way in this...
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 05, 2011, 09:56:52 AM
Hey Monkeymind,

I'm thinking about joining your church, but I don't know what denomination it is. Does atheism have 30- to 40,000 denominations, like Christianity, some of which consider most if not all of the other denominations heretics, false religions and doomed to hell?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 10:02:58 AM
Hey, mine is the One True New Church of Atheism.

All you have to do is let me touch you with my Scepter.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 10:14:06 AM
We don't meet 6 days a week (M-Sat).

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

Some of our members are not collecting stamps this week, others are not having their bald heads dyed.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Hguols on January 05, 2011, 11:20:44 AM
Can I join?   :police:

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

Kinda like how Churches work, only not the non-belief in God part. :)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 12:28:41 PM
Can I join? 

Sure, I'm certain that you can find something to not believe in.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Jim on January 05, 2011, 12:37:43 PM
I'm not believing in gravity.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 12:41:48 PM
This place isn't really a place for discussion
Kinda like how Churches work

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

Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: MadBunny on January 05, 2011, 12:48:46 PM
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg381415.html#msg381415 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16995.msg381415.html#msg381415)

What a disappointment.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 05, 2011, 01:52:19 PM
Yes, but that's not at all surprising, is it MB?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on January 05, 2011, 02:19:24 PM

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


Interesting reply...joke?  Probably not.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Tykster on January 05, 2011, 03:04:42 PM
I'm not believing in gravity.

In all fairness Jim, you don't have to :)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: monkeymind on January 05, 2011, 03:06:44 PM
I don't believe in the electron flow theory, but even I won't piss on an electric fence.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Jim on January 05, 2011, 07:26:17 PM
I'm not believing in gravity.

In all fairness Jim, you don't have to :)

Therefore, I can stick my fingers in my ears and say to you: nyah-nee nah nah NAH!

Besides, we all know that grass is God's velcro.  That's why we don't fall off the flat earth.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 05, 2011, 08:12:19 PM
Hguols,
Quote
Atheism is an opinion held, therefor a belief.
Again with the equivocation; it's not an atheist's opinion that he lacks belief in gods; he simply lacks belief in gods. And lack of belief isn't a form of belief, it's the antithesis of belief.

Quote
Quote
Absence of an opinion is not a form of opinion - it is the antithesis of an opinion.
The believe definition included "to hold an opinion; think".  Lets rephrase that....
Why? Why drag in another meaning of 'belief' to muddy the waters? As Aga said, If you are sincerely trying to learn about atheism, then you are going to have to drop these ridiculous semantics games.

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

Quote
.....but there's one small problem.
And what's that?

Quote
When someone says "I'm not thinking about X", in effect, they are.  Its impossible to mention X without it being somewhere in the brain.
<sigh> This is by far the worst of your equivocations so far. You're now trying to say that if someone asks you if you believe in fairies, you can legitimately answer 'Yes' because you believe in the word 'fairies', which does undoubtedly exist. That is a deliberate misinterpretation of the question which fools no-one.

Quote
Example:
"I have no opinion of Twangdillo" can only be true if:
- I don't know what Twangdillo is
- I've never heard of Twangdillo.
If Twangdillo was the name of the latest album by modern pop-combo Extreme Noise Terror, then I can legitimately say that I have no opinion of it on the grounds that I haven't heard the album, even though I've heard of it and know what it is. Thus proving you wrong.

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

Quote
Quote
You seem to be asserting that atheism is a philosophical perspective which encompasses a particular worldview, as religions tend to do. If so, then please describe it briefly.... your answer will need to encompass the worldviews of such atheists as Lenin, Carl Sagan, Pol Pot, Jean-Paul Sartre and Donald Trump....
There are no gods. or We deny the existence of gods.
Is that brief enough?
That's too brief. Agreed, 'we don't believe in gods' is a defining characteristic of (agnostic) atheism.

So what other characteristics are there?
 
For the five categories I gave examples of, communism, environmentalism, fascism, existentalism and capitalism, I could give you five defining characteristics of those world-views.

So give me another four for the agnostic atheist worldview - bearing in mind that all those five people were atheists, so your characteristics must apply to all of them.

Quote
That's one of the trademarks of a cult - a group of people who define and redefine their own words.
We are not defining our own words. We're simply using encylopedia definitions because they are more comprehensive than ordinary dictionaries.

Quote
Don't you see what's seriously wrong with that statement?  Anyone can redefine WIKI for one.... 
So what? There are other encyclopedias, I've got my own copy of Britannica, but it's convenient to use the best on-line one. And no-one's saying Wiki is perfect.

Quote
for another, it just looks like brainwashing
Now you're being silly. Using Wiki as a guide is brainwashing? Please. And who is doing this brain-washing, exactly?

Quote
or a super inflated ego
And now you're just being rude.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: sammylama on January 05, 2011, 09:09:19 PM
This place isn't really a place for discussion...

Do you want to talk about it?    :D
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 05, 2011, 10:24:57 PM
Hguols:
Quote
That's one of the trademarks of a cult - a group of people who define and redefine their own words.

I think that is a trademark of a culture, not a cult. I think what we have here can be described as a culture, but that is no different from any other social group that shares some common traits.

I am a member of a gun club, so I have adopted their culture. I speak the "language" of guns when I visit gun forums or go to the rifle range. It isn't a religion, although some members are very passionate about their guns. It isn't a cult but many of them are frequently defensive and outspoken about their gun rights. I enjoy going to the range, horse trading, etc., but that is about all I have in common with most of them.

It's no different here... With the exception of a noticeably higher level of intelligence here than at the gun club.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on January 05, 2011, 10:28:56 PM

It's no different here... With the exception of a noticeably higher level of intelligence here than at the gun club.

No kidding?
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Agamemnon on January 05, 2011, 10:45:35 PM
...Well... We got our share of knots, you know... ;)
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Gnu Ordure on January 18, 2011, 07:08:28 PM
So I asked Aga to re-open this thread because I thought Hguols wanted to pursue it as much as I did... but Hguols disappeared after one more post to me.

That's disappointing. I thought we were getting somewhere.



(Maybe we were - but he didn't want to go there).


Gnu.
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: johnsonkid on May 17, 2011, 10:04:50 PM
Yeah, I think I heard a proverb somewhere that says something like " A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."[1]

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


Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: Emily on May 17, 2011, 10:30:03 PM
^^ I believe your sig is in violation of the forum rules (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17005.msg416480.html#new) regarding advertising.

I wonder: Do sites like those in your sig even know what a CAL or ELA is?

PS: Openoffice is much better...
Title: Re: Hilarious Mailbag Pattern
Post by: jetson on May 17, 2011, 10:36:47 PM
Yeah, I think I heard a proverb somewhere that says something like " A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."[1]

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








Outlook 2010 (http://www.buymssoftware.com/ms4-Office-Stand-Alone-Programs)
Microsoft Office Professional 2007 (http://www.buymssoftware.com/goods-32.html)
Microsoft Access 2010 (http://www.buymssoftware.com/goods-14.html)

Moderator edit:

Removed unnecessary links in your post.  Please keep unrelated links out of posts.

Jetson