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View Poll Results: Do you consider yourself an agnostic or atheist?
agnostic 57 36.54%
atheist 99 63.46%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-08-2014, 12:56 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,290,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
You aren't able to have this discussion politely, so I won't discuss it with you at all.
I see nothing impolite in my post. Is failing to agree with you "impolite" now? I did not realise that in a world of politeness we are all compelled to agree on everything. You are making a point on the thread.... and I am simply pointing out the flaws in your point for the benefit of others first and foremost.... and for you second.

If you do not want to read along while I point out these flaws to others reading the thread... there is an ignore function. If you feel there is something rude or impolite in my posts... there is a report function.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
When and If you ever learn how to discuss a subject without resorting to childish insults
Stop making things up. I never used one single insult in this whole thread. You did. Quite directly too. I will not respond in kind but let the moderators deal with it. I merely want to stay on topic. Do you want to directly address a single point I made or are you just going to continue the tantrum?
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:06 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,290,725 times
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
We can easily imagine something that is far less evolved than us, but we have difficulty finding it plausible that there could be things far more evolved than us. (We could substitute "advanced" for "evolved" here, just so there is no misunderstanding.)
The attempt to avoid misunderstanding there is futile given the premise you are presenting is flawed and in error. You are representing Evolution as some kind of progression. As if there is any such thing as being more or less evolved, or more or less advanced.

This is human bias and hubris to think in this fashion. Nothing on the planet is "more" or "less" evolved than humans. We all, plant, animal, ameoba, human, whatever, are exactly as evolved as each other.

The lay person to evolutionary science does tend to go around with this graph like image in their heads of evolution, as if evolution is always tending upwards in some kind of progression. It simply does not work this way and talking about finding creatures "behind" or "ahead" of us as you do, is simply an error. As is therefore talking about "half way points" and other such progression or goal driven linguistics you might pepper into the conversation.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:23 PM
 
561 posts, read 1,034,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
The attempt to avoid misunderstanding there is futile given the premise you are presenting is flawed and in error. You are representing Evolution as some kind of progression. As if there is any such thing as being more or less evolved, or more or less advanced.

This is human bias and hubris to think in this fashion. Nothing on the planet is "more" or "less" evolved than humans. We all, plant, animal, ameoba, human, whatever, are exactly as evolved as each other.

The lay person to evolutionary science does tend to go around with this graph like image in their heads of evolution, as if evolution is always tending upwards in some kind of progression. It simply does not work this way and talking about finding creatures "behind" or "ahead" of us as you do, is simply an error. As is therefore talking about "half way points" and other such progression or goal driven linguistics you might pepper into the conversation.
Exactly, and this is a misconception many have about evolution. Species evolve based on what is adaptive for the environment they inhabit. Sharks are one of the most well-adapted marine species that is ever lived. However, if you took it out of the ocean and drop it on dry land it would die quickly. Why? Because the species spent it's entire evolutionary history adapting to life in the ocean.

"Advanced" is an entirely human concept that is pertinent primarily to human technology and concepts. Applying it to the process of evolution is a logical fallacy.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
Exactly, and this is a misconception many have about evolution. Species evolve based on what is adaptive for the environment they inhabit. Sharks are one of the most well-adapted marine species that is ever lived. However, if you took it out of the ocean and drop it on dry land it would die quickly. Why? Because the species spent it's entire evolutionary history adapting to life in the ocean.

"Advanced" is an entirely human concept that is pertinent primarily to human technology and concepts. Applying it to the process of evolution is a logical fallacy.
This is an interesting conversation. I would argue there are two types of evolution involved here; one biological and one memetic. Because we are a species that has developed a means to archive understanding and knowledge (biological evolution has unintentionally bestowed this potential ability upon us) , our technological memes allow us to progress or advance (survive and flourish) better/faster than biological evolution would. If we were stripped of our semi-advanced technology, our population size would probably be in the few hundred thousands, or low millions. We would simply be large apes smacking each other over the heads with sticks. Ironically, we're not too much better than that picture as it is.

And further on Boxcar's idea of a god. If we're both correct and the universe is indeed teaming with other socially and technologically "advanced" life-forms, than there would not be just one god, there would be innumerable gods. Another reason in my estimation not to call these things gods, if they do indeed exist.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
This is an interesting conversation. I would argue there are two types of evolution involved here; one biological and one memetic. Because we are a species that has developed a means to archive understanding and knowledge (biological evolution has unintentionally bestowed this potential ability upon us) , our technological memes allow us to progress or advance (survive and flourish) better/faster than biological evolution would. If we were stripped of our semi-advanced technology, our population size would probably be in the few hundred thousands, or low millions. We would simply be large apes smacking each other over the heads with sticks. Ironically, we're not too much better than that picture as it is.
Actually, compared to apes humans aren't all that big: gorillas and orangatans are bigger.

Humans are still humans regardless of whether we live in cities amongst millions of others, or share huts with a few dozen. In one form or another we've always exhibited the full range of virtuous to heinous behavior. Like all species our behavior is an interactive consequence of our biological capabilities and situations we find ourselves in.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
Actually, compared to apes humans aren't all that big: gorillas and orangatans are bigger.

Humans are still humans regardless of whether we live in cities amongst millions of others, or share huts with a few dozen. In one form or another we've always exhibited the full range of virtuous to heinous behavior. Like all species our behavior is an interactive consequence of our biological capabilities and situations we find ourselves in.
True enough, but there are plenty of primates (probably should have used primates instead of apes) that are smaller than us, and none that even come close to our numbers (we are the largest (by population) mammal species on the planet). My point is that without our ability to store and retrieve information learned by others (past generations mostly), we'd not be nearly as successful as we've been. We might in fact have already gone extinct. Ironically, this same ability may turn out to cause our extinction. It's already lead the development of weapons that can completely destroy our only current home. We simply don't seem intelligent enough to handle the technology we've developed in a reasonable and responsible manner.

Last edited by NOTaTHEIST; 04-14-2014 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post
True enough, but there are plenty of primates (probably should have used primates instead of apes) that are smaller than us, and none that even come close to our numbers (we are the largest (by population) mammal species on the planet). My point is that without our ability to store and retrieve information learned by others (past generations mostly), we'd not be nearly as successful as we've been. We might in fact have already gone extinct. Ironically, this same ability may turn out to cause our extinction. It's already lead the development of weapons that can completely destroy our only current home. We simply don't seem intelligent enough to handle the technology we've developed in a reasonable and responsible manner.
Not to be picky or anything, but there are actually about 4-times as many chickens as humans. I don't know if this counts because they're produced by us...

But relative to your other point... everyone is an agglomeration of different characteristics and of course individual abilities are highly varied: Some have the ability to invent highly destructive weapons, while others might have the power and access to use them. So it goes...
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:55 PM
 
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Agnostic here. I don't know if there is a God or not.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
Not to be picky or anything, but there are actually about 4-times as many chickens as humans. I don't know if this counts because they're produced by us...

But relative to your other point... everyone is an agglomeration of different characteristics and of course individual abilities are highly varied: Some have the ability to invent highly destructive weapons, while others might have the power and access to use them. So it goes...
Chickens are not mammals (animals with mammary glands)... not to be nit-picky I too thought it strange that humans had become the highest populated mammal species on the planet. I thought for sure rabbits or rats would outnumber us, but apparently this is no longer the case. In a world without our ability to circumvent nature with our technology, our species' population would naturally be very small. It's a general rule that the physical size of the animal is directly related to its population size. Humans have significantly overcome this norm. And yes, you're quite correct, the chicken population would be much smaller if humans were not involved. So would all the other agricultural animals that we breed to feed upon or keep as pets.

I'm not sure how your second point corresponds to my theory that there is a second class of non-biological evolution humans are subject too. How this memetic evolution is changing our social structure and even our ability to survive at a much greater rate than biological evolution ever could. Sure, we all have slightly different innate biological limitations and advantages, and we even are subject to different exposures of the memetic knowledge that drives our individual experience. I am however speaking to the meta experience of humanity, not the individual.

Last edited by NOTaTHEIST; 04-14-2014 at 09:19 PM..
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:07 PM
 
354 posts, read 246,356 times
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Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
Agnostic here. I don't know if there is a God or not.
But do you believe there is a god? If the answer is yes, then you're an agnostic theist. If the answer is no, then your not-a-theist (which literally means the same thing as atheist) but can retain the same agnosticism we all have.
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