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Chatter / Vigilante killings
« Last post by kindred on Today at 03:39:25 AM »
Introductions / Re: Hi Any Apotemnophiliacs here?
« Last post by MadBunny on Today at 01:31:16 AM »
When I did a search I got this image, along with a few variations that will never ever be put on my photobucket. [1]

 1. ever.
Introductions / Re: Hi Any Apotemnophiliacs here?
« Last post by Lakenye on Yesterday at 11:50:18 PM »
From the post, it makes it easy to understand even more.
The assumption contained in Pascal's Wager is that there is a god who is arbitrarily evil. That is, he bases his criteria on something irrelevant like belief. It is a no win situation since he cannot be trusted in heaven either, and you will most likely dislike the other people because they are chosen arbitrarily.

In game theory, the optimum strategy is to start by assuming a good outcome. If we assume that a god is consistently good and rewards people for the quality of their lives, then atheism is better since atheist countries have better standards of morality. We also have the best outcome with the best god in the best heaven with the best people.

Atheism is also better if there is a Buddhist heaven without a god or no god at all.
MailBag / Re: Please read this [#2822]
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 08:59:13 PM »
Ahh, to be 15 years young again with all the answers.....

Hey Texan, I am a 50-something year old mean black dreadlocked commie mommy, and I have raised several kids who are older than you. I have a relationship with Robert Downey Jr. that is every bit as real as your relationship with Jesus. I can tell you what RDJ looks like and sounds like. Can you tell me what Jesus looks like and sounds like?[1]

If people with illnesses, amputations and afflictions exist to bring other people to Jesus, why do people who have other religions also get illnesses and afflictions? Your argument (which, if true, is a damn cruel reason for god to make people sick and lose limbs) only makes sense for Christians who suffer.

Hindus who suffer and keep their faith bring others closer to Brahma, Krishna, and especially Shiva. Muslims who suffer and keep their faith bring others closer to Allah. Scientologists who suffer and keep their faith bring others closer to Tom Cruise, and deserve what they get.

And what about atheists who get illnesses and suffer, and still don't believe in any gods?  What is the point of their suffering? Oh, I know. Atheists suffer because they don't believe in god! They are there to demonstrate what happens to people who have no faith. Religious people, on the other hand, suffer because they do believe in god, and to demonstrate the positive example of their faith! Perfect logic.

There are atheists (and I am one of them) who will not suddenly decide that there is a god because something bad happens to me. The bad things that have happened to me-- and more importantly, to others who were sincere believers, who prayed, etc and got nothing from god--are part of what convinced me that there was no god. That, and the fact that there is no evidence of any god.

Of course neither atheists nor religious people who have lost arms or legs ever grow back amputated limbs. Both groups sometimes recover from gunshot wounds, cancer and the flu. But neither group ever spontaneously gets better from spinal cord paralysis, dementia, cerebral malaria or ectopic pregnancy. Prayer has exactly the same effect as no prayer when it comes to those conditions. Funny how that works.

Got god evidence, little buddy? Something more than nice Jesus-y feelings and the occasional unlikely (but not impossible) good event?[2]

If you got it, bring it.
 1. I have seen RDJ; I talk to him at night and he comes to me and....ask me about this again in three years. ;)
 2. Other religions have all that and statues with creepy eyes.
Religion In The News / Re: ISIS
« Last post by MadBunny on Yesterday at 08:24:32 PM »

The Taliban operate in the same way in Afghanistan: they drive out the corrupt government officials, replace and add institutions, collect taxes and ensure basic needs.

This actually is a point that I've made before.  The Taliban, when they came to power were the first real group that was able to put a stop to the whole feuding warlords problem.  That they did it via brutality is seen is acceptable to the people who no longer have to worry about their town being gunned to death and their daughters absconded with.

As you point out the I.S. is essentially doing the same thing, but with slightly less overt blowing up of thousand year old statues.  The US is war weary at this time, and the countries on the IS menu are sick of getting bombed all the time.  They'd rather just 'get on' with life.  Islam, for all it's problems is a proven player.  It has the side benefit of being the dominant religion in the area which means that they're also buying into a system their neighbors are using.

The problem with it is that when coupled with ignorance, which seems largely to be fostered by I.S., is that it's extremely repressive and brutally efficient at removing opposition.  It isn't what I would call a tolerant way of life.[1]

How does one go from Islam to a tolerant peaceful state?  I'm not sure.  It doesn't exactly preach acceptance of outside ideas, and the rigid class structure does not encourage risk taking.
 1.   I think a lot of US Christians suffer from Islam envy to be honest.
General Religious Discussion / Re: Why Don't Christians Follow This Verse?
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 08:16:49 PM »
^^^Indeed. Why would Christians try to "improve" on what has been written? Do what it says in the book and have done with it.

Beat those slaves as long as they can get up afterwards. Punish those women who are assaulted, as well as those who do the nasty voluntarily.  Treat gays as pariahs. Curse fig trees. Don't wash your hands before you eat--Jesus didn't. Let bears maul children who sass adults.

Put birds blood on people with leprosy. When other people get sick, anoint them with oil and pray over them. If they die, so be it. God's will. Do not under any circumstances let science or technology beyond what was in the bible ever affect your life. But no.

Christians should all be like the Amish-- I think they are the only Christians actually living a biblical life these days.

Jst, you are now arguing with yourself, or with your bible. Did god create everybody and everything or not? If he did not created everything, then why does the bible say he did?

Okay, leave that for now.

You have said that Jehovah God created (at least) Adam and Eve, right? When god created them, there was no sin in the world, was there? Yet, through them sin came into the world, somehow, right? To get back to the topic, they apparently did not know that what they were doing was wrong, since they sinned in public! Like kids who touch themselves in the middle of the playground because they have not yet learned it makes other people freak out.

And then they told god exactly what they had done and why. At which point god acted like he had no idea that any of that could have happened, and went into the first of many retrofits of the universe.[1]

Were Adam and Eve perfect and without sin? If so, sin came from outside of Adam and Eve. If not, then god created them with sin inside them somewhere. If god created everything, then he also created sin.
 1. Maybe it was not even the first retrofit, if you count him getting rid of the rebellious angels as the first. Kicking A and E out of the garden would then be the second retrofit. Noah's Ark would be the third and Moses would be the fourth. Jesus would be fifth. Or maybe there are some I missed. :-\
Religion In The News / Re: ISIS
« Last post by Chronos on Yesterday at 07:45:29 PM »
Reza Aslan on What the New Atheists Get Wrong About Islam


I think the principle fallacy of not just to the so-called New Atheists, but I think of a lot of critics of religion, is that they believe that people derive their values, their morals, from their religion. That, as every scholar of religion in the world will tell you, is false.

Has Aslan never visited an atheist forum? I don't recall any atheist claiming that believers get their values and morals from their religion. Edicts, yes; morals, no. Atheists are more likely the ones to recognize values and morals common across all religions, which inherently negates one religion being the One True Belief.

MailBag / Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Last post by MadBunny on Yesterday at 07:22:19 PM »

So, really, you end up with an undefined positive number if the number of beliefs becomes infinite.  This number could either be very very big or very very small.


At that point, you would have to rely on arguing that Atheism provides more utility while you are alive than the Heaven and Hell beliefs do, which would again be a difficult argument to make.


(Clipped for brevity)

Hello Dante,
Welcome to the forum.

Infinity can't be a small number, but any number divided into infinity becomes numerically indistinguishable from zero.

So if we have say, five religions and we apply pascals wager we stand a 20% chance of being correct, if none are correct then Atheism is the correct choice.
Your options with Atheism are 50% correct and 20% wrong.  It's either correct or it isn't.  Your odds with being an Atheist are much greater.

If we have infinite choices of religions, and we choose one of them we stand mathematically close to zero percent chance of choosing correctly, whereas with Atheism the odds are still exactly the same.

For what it's worth, if we break this down into comprehensible numbers, there are apparently about 4,200 religions and spiritual systems.  Some are a bit wonky in my opinion, but hey Catholics, amirite?[1]

So lets use 4,200 for your check on Pascals wager.

This gives you a .023% chance of choosing the correct religion for an afterlife plan.
Again, Atheism remains at 50% correct, or .023% that it's wrong.

You will recognize this as BAD MATH, hopefully.  Since the odds on Atheist being correct actually go up as the odds on it being wrong go down.
It's more like the odds are (for five religions) 80% vs 20% and (for 4,200 religions) 99.977% correct vs .023%

If we use vs Pascals wager, we get the only choice worth making is Atheism.  The odds on choosing the one true religion out of infinity choices is numerically indistinguishable from zero.

*edit: ascii code for infinity didn't work.  Replaced with image.

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