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Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Question

Should I even bother? You preface your statement by saying you respect my beliefs then insult the leader of my faith.

You don't have to respect him, but such terms really don't help me discern if you are sincere in asking how the upper echelons of the Catholic Church work, or if you are just making fun of it.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Your beliefs are quite

Your beliefs are quite similar to mine it seems, Steel. I believe the bible was inspired by God, but written by man and thus prone to inaccuracy. I do my best to follow the ten commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ, all of which can basically be summed up as "Bro, don't be a dick."

That said, I don't have a good opinion of the church. I openly label myself as a heretic, often with a jab at the church by stating that my heretical beliefs are that God loved the world and sent his only son to die for our sins. However, what I've heard of the new pope leads me to believe he is a good person who commands my respect, even if I do not respect his institution.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Your beliefs are . . .

. . . your own, of course. Glad we could find some common ground, but I hold no ill will to you for begrudging the See of Rome.

My particular hang up with the Commandments is how people bang on about "thou shalt not kill." The original word had two meanings with different connotations. The original commandment is more sensibly read as "thou shalt not MURDER!"

Which is to say. Killing someone for money, to save face, or just because you can is not the same thing as killing someone who was about to murder an innocent.

I don't think God, would hold it against someone for fatally stabbing a psycho who was about to shoot a child. Just to use an admittedly extreme example.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
On a related note, I'm fairly

On a related note, I'm fairly certain the bit on adultery just means "Don't cheat on your wife." Sex isn't evil, just violating trust and sacred promises.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Of course

The way I was raised, that part was always a given. You've heard it's meant otherwise?

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
The way the morality police

The way the morality police would have you believe, sex is an abomination that should only be done expressly for continuing the species, and a truly good person would be one that goes their whole life without an orgasm.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Morality police?

Yeah, and we still lock up Rabbis in the Vatican basement until they know the Litany of Saints back and front.

What you describe sounds more like 50's propaganda than Catholic teaching. Look, I was raised Catholic, I grew up in a Catholic household, my uncle is a deacon with ten kids. ( . . . we're Irish. XD)

I can tell you sex was usually just plain not addressed. I got the birds and the bees talk from my Mom and God played no part in the conversation.

Do you honestly believe we institute "sex is evil'? What experience do you have to support that?

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Erulastant Erulastant's picture
I respect you as a person,

I respect you as a person, and I respect your personal piety. I respect the core tenants of the christian faiths. I do not believe that divine authority can or should come from a mortal human who was chosen to have that authority by other mortal humans.

To me, it seems like little more than a special members-only club that, due to tradition, holds enormous amounts of moral authority in the eyes of a significant portion of the human race. It's a hierarchical authoritarian structure and I do not understand how people continue to have faith in it. You clearly do have some faith in it, so I am assuming you are seeing or knowing something that I do not.

I suppose my previous lightheartedness was an attempt to show you how it looks to me, as an outsider. A bunch of cardinals (Who are (almost?) exclusively old white men) convene every so often to choose one of their number to be the Ultimate Moral Authority of the catholic faith. It just seems so very strange to me, and I wanted to try to show you just how strange it does seem. I'm generally a pretty irreverent person (I don't think any idea is without flaws, and I find that making mock of a concept is a good way to be sure those flaws aren't forgotten) and sometimes forget that this can be offensive and upset people. My apologies.

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Accepted

Apology accepted. I was simply not sure if what you said was truly meant in levity. Non-verbal learning disability, it's a lesser form a Asperger's. It's difficult enough for me to recognize sarcasm and double speak in actual conversation, let alone tone-less text chat.

I'm not recusing myself of blame, just wanted to give you a proper apology with an explanation.

Perhaps you could be a tad more specific as to your inquiry or prioritize your questions? I'd be happy to share my knowledge.

(PM optional)

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
I am not referring to

I am not referring to official teachings, but rather the memes that persist through culture, such as sex being impure, and feelings of desire being a temptation to be avoided. Such ideas lead to things like discouraging masturbation (which, let's be honest, hurts nobody. Unless you do it raw too much, but that's more a medical than a moral issue), teaching abstinence-only sex ed, and freaking out over a bare nipple. The people who do things like that are who I call the morality police, not necessarily the church as a whole.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that the idea persists that sex and its desires are sinful, or make you less worthy in the eyes of God.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Not now

I'm not saying that has not been the case in the past, and I don't want to throw another religion under the bus. However, while the Catholic Church was never "sex positive" in the past, what you are referring to is the leftover in American culture from the Puritan settlers. Over in Europe, no one cared what the serfs did, it was the Aristocracy that hypocritically imposed such morals on their children, and that was more to maintain purity of their line than any religious purpose.

The German and Irish Catholics that came later to the New World on the other hand? Why do you think the Irish are infamous for reproducing like rabbits? The Catholic's looser, cultural if not scriptural, attitude toward sex as something you do for the sake of your spouse rather than the sake of the community, was a huge contributing factor to why the Quakers, Puritans etc. had a taboo against inter-religious marriages. (That and the drinking and a whole slew of other silly conservative holdovers.)

I just got done having a conversation with my father where he said seeing women as "the vile temptress archetype" (my words, not his) was unfair to the woman because in the end, her supposed victim is making the choice to fall to her whims. The woman we brought up was Calypso who tempted Odysseus away from his trip home to his wife. Further parallel was drawn, by me, to Eve in the garden of Eden. Then continued to modern cinema where the archetype persists. (Although in Odysseus' defense, Calypso may have used sorcery so he may have had his choice outright taken from him.)

The point is, this was two men, father and son, both raised Catholic. Talking about how the woman offering sex is NOT the villain of the piece. Does that not illustrate the point?

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Again, my comment was not

Again, my comment was not that all christians are that way (and I didn't even mention catholics), but rather that that interpretation exists and persists, despite being wrong and causing a slew of problems.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Misinterpretation

From the previous discussion focusing on us, I thought you meant that was us. My apologies.

To add on though, I think that line of thinking is not only ridiculous, it's dangerous. It's not like drugs, where you can somewhat justifiably say it's bad for your health and you ultimately have a choice to partake in them or not. Sexual arousal is something we all go through, we can't control it.

So to lump a natural body reaction in with heavy sins like envy or, more pertinently, lust is immoral. ESPECIALLY to a kid or teen going through it! You think they need THAT lumped on their shoulders along with all the crazy brain rewiring that's going on?!

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Yeah, whenever I'd see folks

Yeah, whenever I'd see folks say sex is immoral, I always had to roll my eyes. I doubt God would make it feel good and vital for continuing the species, then say "Ok, don't do that." I like to believe that in spite of the evils in the world, God is not a colossal dick.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Yahtzee

One of my favorite critics cites the exact ridiculousness of that in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ujx2JnjkA

I absolutely believe in spite of the world's problems that God is not a colossal dick. If He was, we would not be here to begin with. Certainly an all powerful and malevolent deity can think of worse things to do to us then whatever evils we inflict on each other. Just ask anyone who's played the Sims who also happens to be a misanthrope. Or a sadly large potion of the populace who play GTA with the cheats on, which is the closest anyone's ever gotten to recreating the experience of Hercules.

Coincidentally the above video was certainly NOT an attempt to promote my own in-progress re-write of the Divine Comedy!

*ding* ;)

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Erulastant Erulastant's picture
Steel Accord wrote:

Steel Accord wrote:

Sexual arousal is something we all go through, we can't control it.

Nope! Asexual people exist, and many of them do not experience arousal.

OK, back to the discussion at hand:
I'm not really sure how much more specific my questions can get. I guess: You've mentioned that you trust in His Holiness' word, with the implication that you feel he speaks with at least some degree more authority on catholic religious matters than your average person on the street. Could you explain to me the source of this trust? To me it seems that, whatever the origins of the position, it has since passed through enough soiled hands (Who, in turn, have had some influence in choosing their successors) that the authority of the Pope is no more trustworthy than the authority of anyone else. (Perhaps less?) But you seem to be a fairly clearheaded person, and not one to blindly trust in any authority, so I assume you might have some other reasoning which I have not reached, which I would like to understand, if possible.

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Attempt to answer

My apologies for not understanding your question to begin with.

I will attempt to answer your question to the best of my ability, however, because you are inquiring as to my personal feelings on the matter rather than organizational detail of the Pontiff; it's going to come off as a might less objective. Which I make no false claims to being so in the first place.

So, why do I trust the Pope? Well, I trust the office. I trust the position, and I trust people until they prove me otherwise. The College of Cardinals is the highest echelon of the Catholic Church. Since the early modern era, and even in the past but with much less consistency, the hierarchy of our religious leaders is a meritocratic one. Rising through the ranks takes years of dedicated service, study, and meditation. (Again, YES I know priesthoods have been bought in the early to mid years of the Church's existence. Precedence does not determine reality.)

Out of all the Priests of the world, out of the highest order of theologians we recognize, amongst them, one is chosen as our moral director. Even if I don't always agree with the Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome's words, at the very least should be worth consideration on the matters of the soul.

Even though I know of corrupt, vile, and evil men have bribed or bullied their way to the top for one twisted motive or another. The Popes that have been alive in my lifetime, in MY experience, have been saints of men.

Literally in the case of Pope John Paul II, the first non-italian Pope in hundreds of years. ("white" is not a monolithic culture, I trust you know) The man smuggled Jews away from the Nazis during WWII, took a bullet and met personally with his would be assassin to consul the man on his problems, and made it the goal of his papacy to "place his Church at the heart of a new religious alliance that would bring together Jews, Muslims and Christians."

So yeah, I like the new guy too, but the most recent addition to the Litany of Saints is a tough act to follow in my book. That is why I have Faith in the Pope, as far as my experience tells me, I'll trust the Cardinal's (and God's) decision until that individual person fails to live up to the charge.

Then I say boot his less than holy-ass!

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Steel Accord wrote:Namely,

Steel Accord wrote:
Namely, why atheists don't seem to have as much of a problem with religions that aren't Judeo-Chrsitian based.

I think it has a lot to do with that the problems of Judeo-Chrsitian religions are more strongly felt in the west, than other religions. Other religions are in other far away countries, so their presence are less strongly felt and are harder to reach. It is also possible to openly criticize religion in the west than other eastern countries where openly being an Atheist, doubter or unbeliever can be dangerous or even a death sentence.

Steel Accord wrote:
Should I even bother? You preface your statement by saying you respect my beliefs then insult the leader of my faith.

You don't have to respect him, but such terms really don't help me discern if you are sincere in asking how the upper echelons of the Catholic Church work, or if you are just making fun of it.

Respect does not mean immunity from criticism. At least it shouldn't.

Pyrite Pyrite's picture
I'm suddenly curious about

I'm suddenly curious about your opinion on Francis' predecessor, who seemed to be JPII's opposite in many ways.

Here's the thing you're noticing, I think:

The New Atheism you've seen crop up recently and seem to feel most threatened by is mostly a reaction against american evangelicanism, which you've correctly identified as neo-puritanism. Catholicism often gets lumped in with that because of people assuming that all the flavors of christianity are essentially the same as what they've experienced, as well as the catholic church taking a decidedly more conservative turn in recent years and making certain political alliances.

Have you heard of Bill Donohue, of the Catholic League? He's the go to Catholic voice that news channels reach for, and he marches in lockstep with conservative evangelicals almost to the point of criticizing the pope for being too liberal.

Contemporarily, the catholic church has two big eggs on its face, each of which it has steadfastly refused to properly clean off.

The child sex scandal has been swept under the rug and blamed on the victims, to the point of moving money around to keep those victims from accessing the damages they've been awarded. Pope Francis has made some comments on this front, but no serious plan seems to have been put in place about it.

The demonization of the use of contraceptives in Africa is the primary reason why HIV has continued to spread so disastrously, and the church refuses to acknowledge this or provide a real alternative solution.

'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Respect

It wasn't his criticism I took issue with, it was I felt the way he said it did not warrant my response because it felt more like a jab than an intelligent address.

We sorted it out though, and I gave him the response he asked for.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Address

In all honesty, I did not have much of an opinion on Benedict. I did not follow his papacy as closely and the reason John Paul was big for me was I was in High School when he was dying, so it just seemed more relevant.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I did not mean to connect "new atheism" to "neo-puritanism" in the sense of why I started this thread. That connection is largely why conservatives morals are very family and community oriented. That's the connection.

I'm somewhat trying to actually address a disconnect in atheism today. In that, again, the Big Three are not just the big ones, but they seem to be the only actual wrongful parties because their Earthly practitioners have committed highly infamous crimes.

I have received many answers on this thread and I thank the posters for their input.

I'm trying to deduce now, how much of those who call themselves atheists are motivated mainly by politics rather than personal belief in the absence of the Divine; and how that effects their thoughts on non-Abrahamic faithfuls vs. Abrahamic ones.

~~~~~~~~~

To address those eggs.

Yes, the Church is wrong on both of those accounts. The monsters should be excommunicated and left to the dogs (metaphorical or literal!)

"And thus I clothe my naked villainy in old odd ends, stolen from holy writ and seem a saint, when most I play the Devil"

~King Richard III by the Bard

There's nothing wrong PREVENTING conception! I say that according to all but the most exacting Catholic doctrine as well as my personal beliefs.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Erulastant Erulastant's picture
Steel Accord wrote:It wasn't

Steel Accord wrote:
It wasn't his criticism I took issue with, it was I felt the way he said it did not warrant my response because it felt more like a jab than an intelligent address.

We sorted it out though, and I gave him the response he asked for.

She/her, please.

Steel Accord wrote:

There's nothing wrong PREVENTING conception! I say that according to all but the most exacting Catholic doctrine as well as my personal beliefs.

IIRC, Francis has reversed the church's stance on that one. (Actually I think he said something about contraceptives being acceptable iff used to prevent disease.)

Anyways, I have a better understanding of your faith in the Papacy now, thank you for that. I'm still kind of dubious, but I can see where you're coming from. (I don't quite agree with your reasoning, especially as the church refuses to budge on a number of rather important matters, but I can see how you've reached those views.)

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Apology

Sincerest apologies my lady! I beg your pardon.

~~~~~~~~~~

I've given you a very slanted emotional account, not a true rundown of how the system works. I would be happy to go into detail about that should you need it.

In the meantime I appreciate your open mindedness.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
I'm not sure if it was

I'm not sure if it was mentioned before but to answer

Erulastant's question about the "white-dudes-with-funny-hats" club I think the theory goes like this:

The original "Pope" was actually an apostle of Christ and filled by the Holy Spirit. As such, he could recognise true Faith, Purity and Holy Spirit in other people more easily and thus bring them into the position of what would become the Cardinals. Since those were then the people most filled with the Holy Spirit they could thus see who among them were the ones where it (she?) was working the strongest and select that person to be the next Pope.

So the theory is that it is in essence God choosing these people by working through the Cardinals and the Pope to ensure that only those most inspired by the divine are the ones leading the Church.

Does that make sense to you?

-----

As for the Tokugawa slaughtering of Japanese Christians, I seem to recall that I read that the whole thing was actually instigated by a Spanish nobleman and diplomat who showed the Shogun how large the Spanish empire was, that it spanned across the entire globe.

The Shogun then asked how that came to be, how the Spanish managed to conquer so much of the world. Stupidly enough the Spaniard proudly told him that first they send in missionaries to convert the local population to Christianity which then ties them to the Spanish Chruch and can then be used in rebellion against the local government.

Unsurprisingly that led to the brutal slaughter of all Japanese Christians.

Lorsa is a Forum moderator

Red text is for moderator stuff

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
THIS!

Yeah that's the actual basis for the selection and voting! Could not have said it better myself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'll have to go back and check, but you may very well be correct.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I'm going to have get

I'm going to have get involved one piece at a time. I don't have the time to keep up right now.

Pyrite wrote:
The New Atheism you've seen crop up recently and seem to feel most threatened by is mostly a reaction against american evangelicanism, which you've correctly identified as neo-puritanism. Catholicism often gets lumped in with that because of people assuming that all the flavors of christianity are essentially the same as what they've experienced, as well as the catholic church taking a decidedly more conservative turn in recent years and making certain political alliances.

Well, it was a political move to use the word "Christians", as opposed to Catholics or Protestants. As a bigger group it makes them seem bigger and louder than what they really are, hence why they did it. Individuals can act as though they represent a large group. It allows people to do stuff and say stuff that they would not dare to do or say if they were only Catholic or Protestant. In essence, it allows them to ignore the differences between these faiths, to push a unified front. Unfortunately, many of the faithful have become mere statistics for an agenda they would not support, so when counter movements fight back, these people get hit in the crossfire.

I have a video link talking about this re-branding of "Christian":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Svh8iiYMM

While I'm thinking about it, I suppose this hidden "Rosetta Stone" that Penn is looking for, this code book for understanding religion, why don't religious people in America accept religious claims in the court of law. I don't think there is a code book at all. I think that people in the west adhere to the standards of law and society based upon logic and reason. It has a lot to do with their success in the world. Even if westerners are religious, they still tend to do things that make sense, makes sense to logic and reason. If they are deeply religious, they might even think that these things are godsends from God himself. Both groups wouldn't want to discard these things as they are viewed as good and compatible with their faiths.

Unfortunately, there are other groups out there...

Edit: Made some tweaks.

Pyrite Pyrite's picture
Erulastant wrote:

Erulastant wrote:

IIRC, Francis has reversed the church's stance on that one. (Actually I think he said something about contraceptives being acceptable iff used to prevent disease.)

Has he? I would be glad to hear that, but I can't seem to find any source that conclusively states that, only that he might be willing to. It seems like certain parts of the Catholic world are waiting on such an announcement with bated breath.

'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Oh, yes, I know what I forgot

Oh, yes, I know what I forgot to mention. In contrast for modern western religious people to accept laws and a society based upon logic and reason, there are bad ways to make laws and there are some terrible ways to do so. Some of them can be done through religion, such as Sharia law (a type of law for Islam). For instance, they might kill someone for converting from Islam to another religion (or even atheism). I'm lacking information on this topic, so I might come back to it later.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Steel Accord wrote:I'm trying

Steel Accord wrote:
I'm trying to deduce now, how much of those who call themselves atheists are motivated mainly by politics rather than personal belief in the absence of the Divine; and how that effects their thoughts on non-Abrahamic faithfuls vs. Abrahamic ones.

I think that someone can be motivated by both.

There have been times where people have acted to deal with problems created by a religion. For instance, the Protestants broke away from the Catholics. They tried to reform the church, to remove false doctrines and deal with corruption, but that didn't work out well. The Protestants broke away and became a separate religion. Even religious people can real problems with their own religion.

Likewise, if God does not exist, what does that say about humanity and everything else? Clearly humanity, morals, religion, truth, and other stuff exist. However, if God is false do you still need religion? If religion is false, do you still need to base your morals on religion? Many notable Atheists have argued that you don't need religion, and you don't need to base anything else on religion. You can have a morality system that is independent of religion; you don't need religion to know that murder aught to be wrong. You can do philosophy and debate ethics without involving religion or God. You can do science on the things that happens to societies; such as government laws and policies, grass root movements, business practices, etc. You can measure them, to determine positive and negative impacts, as well as their magnitude of these impacts.

----

I have read some attempts to show, using science, that God doesn't exist. Some are more effective than others. Let me mention some that I know off hand.

1. No evidence found for God where evidence should be. God is supposed to be a perfect all powerful being that created all life on planet Earth. However, if God is a perfect creator of life, then why does life contain many imperfections? If a perfect creator created life, then no imperfections should exist.

For instance, the nerve that connects the brain to the jaw muscles don't directly connect to the jaw, but instead goes down and wraps around the heart before going back up to the jaw. In fish, it used to be the most direct link to the gills, but for life that evolved from fish and evolved a neck, its simpler to extend the length of this nerve instead of evolving a new connection.

Another example is the "perfection of the eye", perfect in how the photoreceptors (I don't know their proper names) are found behind the nerve connections and the blood vessels (instead of in front of them to get a clearer image), and the photoreceptors are pointed backwards... Likewise, this organ has different designs for many different species, like flies, octopuses, etc. I think there is over 25 different designs for eyes. Some are crude light sensory organ while others are better than what humans get. Why would a perfect creator make so many different designs? Shouldn't 1 or a few be enough?

For those examples, they lack any sign that any designer made them. There are problems and defects that a designer who could design complex organisms would have had them fixed (if you are all power and perfect). A human wouldn't leave those errors there. However, a natural process capable of making random changes and is able to favor changes that improve the odds that a creature survives, would be capable of creating such errors. Generally, some ability to see is better than no ability to see at all, and an eye with many defects is still better than no eye at all.

2. God isn't needed to make scientific theories work anymore. There were scientific theories that at one time needed God to make them work. If I recall correctly, Newton couldn't quite make the orbit of planets work without God. He was close to making things work, but he needed something a little extra to model work (it was acceptable at the time). However, a person latter came along and managed to model that worked. Neopolean was a man that tried to read everything he could, and had once wrote this man about how interesting the theory was, but wondered why God wasn't mentioned anywhere in it. The man replied "Sir, I don't need the God hypothesis.".

Likewise, it was once thought that God actively created new life, and that life would naturally become more complex over time. For such theories, single celled organisms were examples of recent life, not yet complex enough to have multiple cells. Big animals like deer, bears, and humans were examples of complex life that have been becoming more complex over time. However evolution, doesn't require God to create life. Evolution only needs a single creature, capable of self-replication and random change over time, and the ability to survive. God could have provided this single celled organism, but scientists continue to try to figure out how to create life (even if that will only work in the petri dish). Those creatures that could out compete other creatures would become dominate, while those that could not compete would dwindle and eventually die off. If groups of a species remained separate for long enough, they might become different species because those groups would not share changes.

----

So when someone argues that science has proven God doesn't exist, they might be arguing that no evidence for God has been found, and that no scientific theory requires him. They have no reason, from a scientific point of view, to believe that God exists. Why go looking for a wrench in your garage when you don't have one and don't need one? Some joke that God doesn't come up enough in science for most scientists to even know where they stand on religion.

otohime1978 otohime1978's picture
This can be seen as a symptom

This can be seen as a symptom of western philosophy in general. Occam's Razor declares that unless it has a need to exist, it won't. So, as a lot of atheists point out, there is little need for god in a classical sense, so why should they exist in the first place? Western philosophy needs a reason for everything, and if they can't find one, unless its existence is plainly obvious, they won't entertain the potential of it existing outside of hypotheses. A lot of other philosophies state that one cannot know everything, and there isn't necessarily a "reason" for everything.

[=6][i]...your vision / a homunculus on borrowed time

Katya Bio: http://eclipsephase.com/comment/46253#comment-46253

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
hey, my comment is applicable again!

You're right, we do dismiss things that have no evidence. Russle's Teapot is the classic example of why we do so;

If I told you that there was a teapot orbiting Jupiter, you'd tell me I was insane. If I insisted, you might ask for some kind d of telescopic photo as proof. Oh, I say, it's much to small to be seen by our best telescopes.

Now, clearly we dismiss the claim. Why? Because science demands falsibility criteria. Because otherwise you are flooded with an infinite variety of nonsense ideas. And as I have mentioned before, science works. It is the only system we have ever divised that reliably produces anything that might be considered 'true.'

Leng Plateau Leng Plateau's picture
Matthew 10:34

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. - Matthew 10:34

The message of the gospels is... inconsistent.

At least with Lovecraft, nobody pretends the gods are nice. And wherever you end up, there is guaranteed to be tentacles.

otohime1978 otohime1978's picture
Things just got hotter

The same could be said the female orgasm or squirting. The first wasn't recognized as possible in the medical community until the mid '90s, and they still refuse to believe the second bit because of Occam's Razor and the like. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I understand the reasoning behind writing off things that have lack of evidence, but that doesn't mean you should stop looking for it... even if they call you crazy for it. That is, unless there is contradictory evidence.

[=6][i]...your vision / a homunculus on borrowed time

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Undocking Undocking's picture
Steel Accord wrote:

Steel Accord wrote:

I'm trying to deduce now, how much of those who call themselves atheists are motivated mainly by politics rather than personal belief in the absence of the Divine

I have an issue with the phrase "absence of the divine" being used in that way. Absence—when used in a Christian context—is theologically charged with two thousand years of study about the lack of god's explicit manifestation in the middle age (the age between the death of Christ and End Times), and the complicated feeling of a believer that god is not present in their life or has abandoned them.

I would put forth, in addition, that human ideology and language—romantic/germanic especially—views this conversation from a theocentric viewpoint. Atheists are a counterculture named in the spirit of rejection, however, I argue that being atheistic is not an absence, deficiency or denial of religious deities but the unaffected and uninfluenced "natural" state.

Since atheism is a discriminated minority in North America, perhaps "atheists are motivated mainly by politics rather than personal non-belief in the divine" would be less loaded.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
and yet...

Science gets it right eventually. That is the -point.- Even if our preconceptions are wrong, eventually the truth wins out. If 'squirting' is a real thing it will eventually be shown and studied.

As for the tired "absence of evidence" line, I am going to be quite blunt and impolite. It is stupid and demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of science and reality itself. If I see a black crow, I cannot say "all crows are black." But if I see a hundred million crows from all over the world and every single one is black, I am justified in saying that all crows are black with low uncertainty. I of course must revisit this opinion if shown a white crow, but until then absence of evidence for colourful crows is indeed evidence of absence!

Erulastant Erulastant's picture
Monochromatic birds are

Monochromatic birds are usually used to demonstrate that inductive reasoning can fail, not to make a point for induction. Black swans and all.

Science deals with observables. Religion deals with unobservables. That means you can't really make scientific claims about religious matters. (And religion should not make claims about scientific matters.)

Lack of evidence for Q does not imply !Q. If that were the case, we would get this logical situation: (EV(Q) is Evidence for Q)
!EV(Q)->!Q
Define Q<->!W
!EV(!W)->!!W<->W
!EV(!W)->W

So if we define W as the statement "God exists", then lack of evidence which disproves that God exists implies that God does in fact exist, and so your argument is turned on its head.

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.

sysop sysop's picture
On this particular point -

On this particular point - applying science/logic to non-evidence situations, I suggest replacing "god" with the slightly less burdened by historical baggage: "aliens".

We have a similar lack of evidence in favor of alien life. But many may view that lack of evidence as a neither negative nor positive data point.

It's also really worth noting that there's a wider range of atheistic / non-theist points of view than a hard "nope. doesn't exist". At that point you're talking the difference between hard and soft atheism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism

... and cause I'm really feeling my INTJ today:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooded_crow and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azure_Jay - Corvids, man. Always throwing you for a loop.

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Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Occam's Razor

Not saying you are wrong but here's a funny thing to consider about Ockham. Here's a picture of the guy: http://pics.livejournal.com/earth_wizard/pic/0007r2b0

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Your body is a tool. Hone it.
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MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Formal logic doesn't work

Formal logic doesn't work well when you cannot have absolute certainty in your premises. But evidence based reasoning DOES work. Look at my argument again. Tell me where the flaw is.

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Point

Often I like the point of "absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence."

In the atheists defense, alien life can almost be statistically proven if one does not consider the Fermi Paradox, and even then there's work arounds to that.

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
We have evidence for alien

We have evidence for alien life, though. There's, us, there is life at the bottom of the oceans that doesn't bare much resemblance to us, there is our knowledge of how we appeared. God has no such evidence.

Erulastant Erulastant's picture
Evidence of life with a

Evidence of life with a terrestrial origin is not evidence of life with extraterrestrial origin.

Anyhow, proving a negative (There are no aliens) is pretty much impossible. It is not more rational to believe that there are or that there aren't... nevermind, this works so much better talking about god than aliens, because statistics enter into discussions of aliens.

It is not more rational to believe that there is or is not a divine being, because such a claim exists outside of evidence-based reasoning. It is unscientific, meaning not that the belief in a god is opposed to science, but rather that science cannot make any meaningful claims about the existence of god, and any beliefs held about said existence are held outside of a scientific context.

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Of course terrestrial life is

Of course terrestrial life is evidence for aliens! Of life can evolve here, and the conditions here are not unique, the you have reason to think that life could evolve in similar conditions. It involves, as you said, statistics.

And you cannot remove your beliefs from analysis simply by declaring them impossible to analyse. Does god heal? We would notice that. Does he smite? We would see that too. If he does absolutely nothing at all, how could you tell the difference between that and no god?

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
MAD Crab wrote:there is our

MAD Crab wrote:
there is our knowledge of how we appeared.

I really don't want to get into the epistemology debate again (unless you want to but that's for another thread) but I really felt like I should point out that we don't actually have any knowledge of how we appeared. There's theories which haven't been disproven yet but there isn't nor can there ever be any true knowledge regarding that question for a very simple reason.

We weren't there to observe it.

Science works with repeatable experiments which means that so far we can't check if a pre-life Earth could randomly create life on it through normal chemistry. It's possible to say that "we currently don't have any evidence that says it couldn't happen" but we can't know for sure. We weren't there.

Personally I think that trying to discover how life happened on Earth scientifically to be a waste of everyone's time. Why is it even an important question? It seems to me the only reason why people are working so hard with it is because they want to falsify creationism and I simply don't think that's enough of a motivation. Let's worry about the things that we can know.

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Red text is for moderator stuff

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Lorsa, I strongly disagree

Lorsa, I strongly disagree with pretty much everything you just said. However, as you say this is moving fairly far from the original topic, and might be better served in a separate thread.

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
MAD Crab wrote:Lorsa, I

MAD Crab wrote:
Lorsa, I strongly disagree with pretty much everything you just said. However, as you say this is moving fairly far from the original topic, and might be better served in a separate thread.

Diagreement is good, because it facilitates discussion. Discussion in turn helps us reach better opinions and regardless of how it may seem my opinions can change (or at least so I hope). So feel free to approach me somewhere else, or we can just leave it as a disagreement which is fine too.

In a way I am somewhat uncertain why I made the comment in reply to what you said as my original intention was to mainly stay out of this thread. Perhaps it's because of my mood.

Lorsa is a Forum moderator

Red text is for moderator stuff

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Steel Accord wrote:Not saying

Steel Accord wrote:
Not saying you are wrong but here's a funny thing to consider about Ockham. Here's a picture of the guy: http://pics.livejournal.com/earth_wizard/pic/0007r2b0

Whether or not the guy was religious shouldn't matter. If his argument is good, it shouldn't matter what his personal beliefs are. If it was a good argument, it would be a good argument. Would things be different had a science guy made the argument?

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Lorsa wrote:I really don't

Lorsa wrote:
I really don't want to get into the epistemology debate again (unless you want to but that's for another thread) but I really felt like I should point out that we don't actually have any knowledge of how we appeared. There's theories which haven't been disproven yet but there isn't nor can there ever be any true knowledge regarding that question for a very simple reason.

I'm not interested in getting into that debate again. I'll make my points quickly and move on.

Lorsa wrote:
We weren't there to observe it.

A complication. It is not the end of the investigation. It is like arguing that you can't convict someone of murder because no one was there to see it...

Quote:
Personally I think that trying to discover how life happened on Earth scientifically to be a waste of everyone's time.

The guy who discovered radio waves said he had no idea of what it could be used for...

I think that a proof of concept would be useful. We could for instance start looking for planets with conditions similar to the lab experiments instead of just earth like...

----

I think I'll leave it at that unless someone *really* wants to debate it in the proper thread.

Trying to get back on topic now. I believe this thread moved in the epistemology directions after I tried answering how many didn't believe and how many were motivated by politics. This was back in reply #130 . So maybe we should try talking about motivations again?

Steel Accord Steel Accord's picture
Irrelevant

No that WAS my point. I was just remarking how it's funny one of the most used logical tools we used was first postulated by a Friar.

This thread doesn't have to be all serious. XD

Your passion is power. Focus it.
Your body is a tool. Hone it.
Transhummanity is a pantheon. Exalt it!

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Sorry. Sometimes humor doesn

Sorry. Sometimes humor doesn't translate well on the internet.

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