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Old 09-02-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
31,777 posts, read 24,004,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophane View Post
What's the difference between atheism and Atheism? I have seen both spellings used.
I see you're trying to overplay capitalization more than trying to engage in a debate on the subject. The argument was:

You: Science is a worldview
Me: How so? An explanation, not a statement, would go a long way towards a meaningful discussion.

If you choose to run away, I won't stop you.

 
Old 09-02-2011, 06:09 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,397,072 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
Faith wouldn't be a better term. It's quite reasonable to question my use of that word; I'm happy to oblige. The best way I can define the word 'religion' as I use it; a belief structure ascribing intent to a supernatural prime mover with the capacity to affect the natural world. For instance, Christianity, in its many forms, includes beliefs about their god's intent toward an array of issues.
Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

Would you say that secularism is also a "belief structure" ascribing intent to no supernatural prime mover - in other words, belief in the non-existence of God?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
The intent of their god is born out of unsubstantiated speculation.
...and atheistic beliefs that ascribe no intent and no God are also based on unsubstantiated speculation?

What merit would there be in us debating what it is that actually constitutes "unsubstantiated speculation?" That which one may tend to view as favorable hard evidence may be viewed by others as "unsubstantiated speculation." Pretty subjective assertion IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
"happen to include theism" ... That's the problem. One camp waxes philosophical about things beyond those limits, based on knowledge and processes born within those limits. The other does the same but injects speculation about a supernatural guy in the sky. Make no mistake, my problem lies not with those who are willing to consider the possibility of the supernatural. It lies with the belief structures that define what has not been substantiated.
What is to stop both "camps" from making decisions to believe certain aspects that are "based on knowledge and processes born within those limits? In other words, to use the same information and techniques but arrive at ultimately different conclusions based upon their own subjective assessments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
Sorry, I can't speak for those people. Again, I point out, the idea of a god isn't what I take issue with. I take issue with any belief structure about the character, intent, capacity, desire, etc. of that god (religion) based on unsubstantiated speculation.
Well, I naturally would not expect you to speak for anyone else.

If one is willing to accept the notion of God's existence, would it not follow that one would naturally seek to know something about this God? Logically, what good is it to believe in a God that I can't know anything about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
I don't know enough about you to speculate. Are you religious?
As listed in my profile, I'm of the Calvinist persuasion - if that means anything. I consider myself to be a Christian - others might take issue with such a declaration.

So, am I religious? I'm quite fond of repeating the assertion that Christianity is not a religion, it's a person. The record would seem to indicate that it was actually the religious people of the day that persecuted Christ. I get the impression that God doesn't like religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orestes View Post
It doesn't appear that way to me. I think the naturalist philosophizes on the unknown based on what is known. The theist includes unsubstantiated speculation about a supernatural man upstairs into their philosophy. To me, they're quite different.
Again, what would stop any theist from also basing their view upon what is known (empirically observable/testable)?

It seems to me that unsubstantiated speculation is unsubstantiated speculation, irrespective of it's application to theism or atheism.
 
Old 09-02-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,062,995 times
Reputation: 3717
Default I'll try again.

Here: Let me repeat, since you may have missed my simple question much earlier today, and several theists have since posted but didn't answer:

Previously On "The Rifleman":

"But by "Faith", theists and you seem to automatically mean [ed. add for clarity: faith only in ] an invisible God as an explanation for the (currently) inexplicable?

Interesting, but a time-limited viewpoint, since in just the last 10 - 15 years, the use of the SM to resolve unknowns has had a spectacularly successful track record. To wit: it has answered a huge set of previously unanswerable concerns.

Imagine what the next 10 - 25 yrs will unveil? Especially in light of the foot-stampingly absolute claims by theists that man (science) will never create life in a test tube environment, or that Evolution does not work, or that the world is only 6000 yrs old, a few.

And what if they unveil enough of the Big Questions (to the satisfaction of the rational and truly inquisitive at least) that the current "Goddunnit" version is forced out of existence?

Can you please answer me that specific question and not go all evasive on me? Anyone? Anyone?"


Anyone?

Last edited by rifleman; 09-02-2011 at 06:51 PM..
 
Old 09-02-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,397,072 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
How do you fit Science into this definition then?
Just to help keep this on track, this is in response to your original "...no world view (religion) can address ultimate questions..." assertion.

Can you name for me any world view that doesn't claim to be consistent with the latest up-to-date scientific information? It seems to me that virtually everyone of every diverse world view (to include the 'mystics') would make the claim that the latest scientific findings are in complete accordance with their world view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
I would be wrong if I learn about you questioning everything you believe in, having investigated it without fear of being punished for it. Have you?
I've actually directed a great deal of effort in this pursuit. I've been quite active in this forum since 2009 asking and fielding some pretty hard questions. I believe in absolute truth and am committed to making every effort to find it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
Not yet, yes. But a world view would call for surrender. Science doesn't work that way.
While surrender might be an option, I wouldn't agree that it's called for. My world view says to keep asking, keep seeking, keep learning and, when and where practicable, use logic and reasoning in order to move forward with decisions that concern issues of faith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
Take lack of empirical evidence for God creating Adam, and Eve out of Adam's ribs. A world view dictates that you believe it, verbatim.
Stating that something lacks empirical evidence is a somewhat subjective statement, but I see your overriding point.

You're not alone. Many (Christians as well) see things in rather circular fashion. The Bible says...so I must check my brain at the door and choose to believe and accept various things on blind faith alone.

What's wrong with asking whether or not it's logical and reasonable to believe? If I believe it to be both logical and reasonable, why not choose to believe until such time as further information dictates otherwise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
Do you believe it?
Yes, I see no reason not to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
Do you believe in virgin birth of Jesus for which there is no empirical evidence?
There is, I believe, ample evidence. Should it be considered as empirical? Quite probably and arguably debatable.

Anyway, yes, I believe in the virgin birth of Christ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
Science, would dismiss it on a few facts that the earth is a lot older than it would be with Bible derived time line. Do you call THAT a world view?
You appear to be privy to some startling information. What is the "Bible derived time line?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
The first part bodes well with science. The second part (only considering the way you've chosen to word), not so much. Things can be very much inside the box, or outside. The key to a view is evidence. A world view doesn't require it and stops with it, Science does and goes looking for it.
A rather open minded assessment. My compliments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
2- Then you believe in earth being no older than 6000 years old. Is this a belief or do you have empirical evidence for it?
I don't believe that those positing the young earth perspective have a proper Biblical hermeneutic. In other words, I'm unconvinced that the Bible gives us the age of the earth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
I separated your question from above because you've asked for a Scientific approach, and I would prefer to keep it simply and to the point. But since you ask, my logic dictates in the Biblical story being no more or less credible than other creationist stories, sometimes less so than many others. Logic demands details and the Bible does not provide that. Bible doesn't tell us where the other tribes in the neighborhood came from. Its time line is ridiculous at best.
Of course I would beg to differ...but I appreciate you taking time to provide your assessment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
Do I believe many of the stories mentioned in the Bible happened? You bet I do. In fact, I would say that Noah did deal with a massive flood, albeit a local one. He didn't really save the entire planet's creature, but his livestock. It is logical to believe that, illogical to believe the way the story ended up in the Bible.
Logically, if you are convinced that parts of the Bible are false, why believe any of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
My logical alternative to creation is, right now, around the M-theory. That we live in a universe that is one of many that came around into existence about 14 billion years ago.
Okay. Logically, what would theoretically cause the theoretical strings (in string theory) and theoretical colliding 'branes' to come into existence, theoretically?
 
Old 09-02-2011, 07:17 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,397,072 times
Reputation: 106
I just want to take a moment to thank those of you who have been posting in this thread. Things have been quite cordial up to now and, hopefully, will remain so.

Anyway, I do appreciate your input and hope to respond to more posts in due time.

My sincere thanks.
 
Old 09-02-2011, 08:13 PM
 
37,477 posts, read 25,224,572 times
Reputation: 5853
Only laws with secular societal interests and bases that are devoid of religious speculation . . . should be enacted. There is no place for religious laws in society, period. God should be able to take care care of His own enforcement without the involvement of society . . . or God is impotent.
 
Old 09-02-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,899 posts, read 18,446,350 times
Reputation: 13735
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Here: Let me repeat, since you may have missed my simple question much earlier today, and several theists have since posted but didn't answer:

Previously On "The Rifleman":

"But by "Faith", theists and you seem to automatically mean [ed. add for clarity: faith only in ] an invisible God as an explanation for the (currently) inexplicable?

Interesting, but a time-limited viewpoint, since in just the last 10 - 15 years, the use of the SM to resolve unknowns has had a spectacularly successful track record. To wit: it has answered a huge set of previously unanswerable concerns.

Imagine what the next 10 - 25 yrs will unveil? Especially in light of the foot-stampingly absolute claims by theists that man (science) will never create life in a test tube environment, or that Evolution does not work, or that the world is only 6000 yrs old, a few.

And what if they unveil enough of the Big Questions (to the satisfaction of the rational and truly inquisitive at least) that the current "Goddunnit" version is forced out of existence?

Can you please answer me that specific question and not go all evasive on me? Anyone? Anyone?"


Anyone?
Ohh Ohh, I know the answer to that question!


AI vs. AI. Two chatbots talking to each other - YouTube

So the first A.I. argument is about god and delusions of being a unicorn. Me thinks our future silicone overlords will be just as messed up as we are.

Sorry Riflemn, but god isn't going away that easily. I already know what they will think their gods are like too...

steve jobs vs. bill gates (cartoon) - YouTube

 
Old 09-02-2011, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
245 posts, read 391,633 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

Would you say that secularism is also a "belief structure" ascribing intent to no supernatural prime mover - in other words, belief in the non-existence of God?
I have no problem with saying that 'secularism' is a belief structure, and it may, or may not, include a belief that there is no god (i.e. atheism). However, the secularist doesn't arrive at a belief in 'no god' by accepting speculation without evidence. The secularist arrives at a belief in 'no god' once they find that there is no evidence to support the speculation (i.e. unsubstantiated). There is no need for a secularist to ascribe intent to 'no supernatural prime mover'. The secularist and theist can both speculate a god. While the secularist develops a belief that the speculation is unsubstantiated based on insufficient evidence, the theist chooses to adopt the speculation as valid based on what they believe is adequate evidence. And, as you see so often in this forum, that evidence is thoroughly vetted and found wanting when subjected to scientific method.

I understand your desire to create a "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander" standard here. However, it won't work. Because while I illustrated that both can speculate a god, the secularist doesn't need to. The truth is, the only reason the secularist has for considering a supernatural prime mover is the speculations of theists.
When left to their own devices, secularists are likely to never consider whether or not a god is responsible for the unknown. For those secularists, there isn't a belief in no god; there just simply is no belief regarding a supernatural prime mover, period. There's no need for speculation to arrive at the absence of god belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
...and atheistic beliefs that ascribe no intent and no God are also based on unsubstantiated speculation?
No, my comments above address this; there's no need to ascribe 'no intent' to 'no god'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
What merit would there be in us debating what it is that actually constitutes "unsubstantiated speculation?" That which one may tend to view as favorable hard evidence may be viewed by others as "unsubstantiated speculation." Pretty subjective assertion IMO.
Actually, I'll be upfront about it. That's the exact rabbit hole I intend to chase you down.

It's extremely important and it's not at all subjective. The topic of this thread, "Science has it's limitations" begs my response here! We have a method with a well proven track record to use in determining what is and is not substantiated. Theists enjoy the fruits of objectively substantiating speculations through the scientific method. Theists are altogether happy indulging on the fruits of that objectivity, until it's applied to their speculations regarding the intent and capacity of a possible supernatural prime mover. It seems theists find great appreciation for subjectivity when 'god evidence' is in question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
What is to stop both "camps" from making decisions to believe certain aspects that are "based on knowledge and processes born within those limits? In other words, to use the same information and techniques but arrive at ultimately different conclusions based upon their own subjective assessments?
Absolutely nothing. It happens everyday. And, the scientific method employs mechanisms to root out subjectivity. But, as I've already harped on, theists are happy to have the methodology steer them back to objectivity, until the subjectivity in question is essential to their own personal substantiation of 'god speculations'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Well, I naturally would not expect you to speak for anyone else.
'nuff said

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
If one is willing to accept the notion of God's existence, would it not follow that one would naturally seek to know something about this God? Logically, what good is it to believe in a God that I can't know anything about?
You tell me. I'd love to know. But it doesn't change the dilemma, you can't substantiate speculations about the intent, capacity, desires, etc. of God until you can substantiate speculation of a god.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
As listed in my profile, I'm of the Calvinist persuasion - if that means anything. I consider myself to be a Christian - others might take issue with such a declaration.
It doesn't mean anything to me. I happy to have a discussion with you regardless of labels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
So, am I religious? I'm quite fond of repeating the assertion that Christianity is not a religion, it's a person. The record would seem to indicate that it was actually the religious people of the day that persecuted Christ. I get the impression that God doesn't like religion.
For what it's worth, I somewhat agree. If we are ever able to substantiate speculation of a god, I'd imagine that god wouldn't care for religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Again, what would stop any theist from also basing their view upon what is known (empirically observable/testable)?
Nothing. I'd encourage it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
It seems to me that unsubstantiated speculation is unsubstantiated speculation, irrespective of it's application to theism or atheism.
I'm glad this last section is something we agree on.
 
Old 09-03-2011, 03:11 AM
 
34,457 posts, read 8,876,928 times
Reputation: 4784
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Here: Let me repeat, since you may have missed my simple question much earlier today, and several theists have since posted but didn't answer:

Previously On "The Rifleman":

"But by "Faith", theists and you seem to automatically mean [ed. add for clarity: faith only in ] an invisible God as an explanation for the (currently) inexplicable?

Interesting, but a time-limited viewpoint, since in just the last 10 - 15 years, the use of the SM to resolve unknowns has had a spectacularly successful track record. To wit: it has answered a huge set of previously unanswerable concerns.

Imagine what the next 10 - 25 yrs will unveil? Especially in light of the foot-stampingly absolute claims by theists that man (science) will never create life in a test tube environment, or that Evolution does not work, or that the world is only 6000 yrs old, a few.

And what if they unveil enough of the Big Questions (to the satisfaction of the rational and truly inquisitive at least) that the current "Goddunnit" version is forced out of existence?

Can you please answer me that specific question and not go all evasive on me? Anyone? Anyone?"


Anyone?
I see theism as fighting a rearguard action against an originally outnumbered and inexperienced group. While the professors knew a lot about their professions, they were tyros in debating theists.

Now theism has lots its best weapons and had increasingly had to rely on misinformation (example, a string of places and persons in the Bible attested by archaeology held up as proof that Biblegod exists) and denial. The vociferous rejection of the evidence for evolution by those who clearly are out of touch with what's actually going on.

This denial means that the polemic supporters of theism are not going to give away position by even considering that future research might provide the evidence for something from nothing or abiogenesis. They fervently hope and trust that ain't gonna happen as the present absence of that conclusive evidence is that on which they pin their denial of all the massive other evidence in its support.

Thus, if it doesn't (hopefully) happen, then they won't need to consider their position which would of course be that it doesn't make any difference to them. They would still believe even with no good evidence for God and all the worthwhile evidence against God.
 
Old 09-03-2011, 04:47 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 5,059,606 times
Reputation: 2972
Of course Science has it's limitations. It is only a tool... a methodology.... nothing more. All tools have limitations. Science is just a methodology used by people asking questions in order to help avoid errors in thinking, and fallacies, that are very common to our species naturally. Things like confirmation bias or hyperactive agency detection or our ability to find patterns where none actually exist.

The problem is that theists will try to use the limitations of science as if they themselves constitute evidence there is a "god". You ask them for arguments, evidence, data or reasons that there is a god and they have none, so instead they act like the limitations of science somehow mean there must be one.
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