The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

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dave esmond
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby dave esmond » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:40 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:I agree with that. Religion is delusional, and man-made just like your theories.

nutria wrote:By "your theories," do you mean scientific theories like gravitation, QED, evolution, etc.? If not, please let me know. If so, then the statement above is false. Theories like gravitation and QED are not man-made: they are discovered by man.


Nutria I know you know this but it's one of those things that bug me to no end.

A scientific theory is not a guess. It's been proven.

So no....religious ideas are not the same as a scientific theory.

Carry on.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:44 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:The fact that you're alive is evidence of a life force.
How so? It's evidence of nature's capacity for self-organization. Beyond that, you're just speculating without evidence. I'm gonna venture a guess at this juncture that you've never read a single article or book about how the human brain works.
jonnygothispen wrote: All living creatures have souls.

That is a completely unfounded assumption. What's your evidence?
jonnygothispen wrote: Standard physical processes do not exhibit intellectual properties.
Evolution is a standard physical process. And here we are. Ta-daaah!
Question for you: What "intellectual properties" are exhibited by bacteria, paramecia, sponges, or jellyfish? Because they're definitely alive (which according to you, means they have souls), and they're definitely part of the same physical process of evolution which resulted in human beings.
jonnygothispen wrote:Religion is delusional, and man-made just like your theories.
Evolution is not man-made. It happened and then we discovered it. And if you believe in souls -- a completely religious belief -- I guess that makes you delusional. Good to know.
jonnygothispen wrote:Would you consider those who have been taken up into heaven as proof?
Sure. Got somebody in particular you'd like to introduce me to?

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:06 pm

dave esmond wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:I agree with that. Religion is delusional, and man-made just like your theories.

nutria wrote:By "your theories," do you mean scientific theories like gravitation, QED, evolution, etc.? If not, please let me know. If so, then the statement above is false. Theories like gravitation and QED are not man-made: they are discovered by man.


Nutria I know you know this but it's one of those things that bug me to no end.

A scientific theory is not a guess. It's been proven.

So no....religious ideas are not the same as a scientific theory.

Carry on.


Simply put: wrong. By definition scientific theories are not "proven." The better theories will have ways of being tested, and evidence may or may not support the theory. If it's a good theory the evidence will support it. But anything that is technically a theory is unproven.

Religious ideas are similar to scientific theories, insofar as they offer a possible explanation for something. The difference is that religion doesn't lend itself to "testing" for confirmation. In fact religion really doesn't want to be tested, it wants to be believed without scrutiny.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:15 pm

Detritus wrote:Now it's all gone to your head. Maybe it's time you tried rebooting your mind.


Oh trust me, after reading all that gobbledygook, several reboots were needed.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:26 pm

Dangerousman wrote:By definition scientific theories are not "proven." The better theories will have ways of being tested, and evidence may or may not support the theory. If it's a good theory the evidence will support it. But anything that is technically a theory is unproven.

Everything in science is conditional -- it can all be falsified. That's a distinguishing characteristic of a scientific theory.

Einstein developed the theory of relativity based on known facts. Had any of those facts later turned out to be untrue, the theory would have been abandoned (and the history of physics is littered with examples of scientists being wrong and having to come up with new ideas to explain why.)
Just as important as explaining what we already know, theories make predictions. Special relativity predicted that light waves would be affected by gravitational fields. This was unprovable when the prediction was made. Years later when it became possible to test it, the results were exactly as Einstein's equations predicted. Had they not been, Einstein would have been wrong and the theory would have been abandoned.

So when people triumphantly proclaim that the existence of God, for example, cannot be disproved, they're really just demonstrating what a weak theory they have.

Remember_Me wrote:Oh trust me, after reading all that gobbledygook, several reboots were needed.
Reasonable question: Why read stuff which you're obviously disinterested in, let alone comment about it? I don't give a shit about Tupac, so I didn't bother clicking on your thread. I'm sure it's very interesting to people who do care, but I certainly wouldn't go there just to let you know I don't care about the topic or what you wrote. What's your motive here?

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:39 pm

dave esmond wrote: Well my real name is David if that helps. And you did respond.

I'd love to see you go ahead and prove the existence of heaven to the Professor if that makes you more comfortable.
Oooooh, I'll rephrase "I only respond to "inquiries" from real people who use phony names, not vice versa." Better? :)

If I put you and the Professor on my ignore list, does that mean you don't exist? This is what atheists do since the proof that something greater than mankind (something that can do things that man cannot do) is all around us. Call it whatever you want; nature, god, whatever. Something greater than us exists. I agree that religion is often completely delusional, and add that mentally disturbed people often wrote religious texts (tho likely not quite disturbed enough to write a feature headline article about BeezowDoDo Zoppitybop-Bop-Bop, but equally delusional nonetheless).

If you've never been to heaven, you wouldn't know what it's like, therefore any explanation or proof, other than your own experience, wouldn't satisfy you anyway.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:54 pm

nutria wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:It is unreasonable for you to think you created yourself. It is unreasonable for you to believe that your parents specifically ordered you as you are. The evidence that something greater than you exists in that reasoning.

The third statement does not follow from the first two. Depending on your meaning of "greater," it is likely false anyway. At best, it is imposing a moral judgement on a physical process. More likely, given the context, it is an assumption of the existence of a metaphysical being.
Although metaphysical is often used to describe existence, it's certainly not an abstract the people or souls exist. I'm certainly not passing a moral judgment by stating that your creation is something greater than what I can ever do. So I guess I'll hold with the reasoning that creation of these things is something greater than I'm capable of.

jonnygothispen wrote:The fact that you're alive is evidence of a life force. All living creatures have souls. Standard physical processes do not exhibit intellectual properties.
nutria wrote:You've used a lot of loaded words to make some statements of objective fact. I'll hold off on commenting until you can define:
"life force"
"soul"
"intellectual properties"
While you're at it, because of "alive," you should throw in "life" as well.
Interesting. But it just looks like contradiction. I'll hold off answering until you explain: Are you alive? How did that happen? What force gave you life? What is water? Is water wet?

Intellectual properties? Can trees play chess? Does a rug have an opinion?

jonnygothispen wrote:I agree with that. Religion is delusional, and man-made just like your theories.

nutria wrote:By "your theories," do you mean scientific theories like gravitation, QED, evolution, etc.? If not, please let me know. If so, then the statement above is false. Theories like gravitation and QED are not man-made: they are discovered by man.
The theory that there is no God/greater power because someone denies the proof all round them re: creation of living things.

jonnygothispen wrote:Would you consider those who have been taken up into heaven as proof?

nutria wrote:Actually, I really like this question, because it brings to the fore the difference between religious and rational worldviews. As a rational person, I can comfortably answer "yes" to this question. It's the same with everything else: show me proof if you want me to believe you. But the burden of proof is on you. Don't take offense if I'm not holding my breath.

On the other hand, can you honestly say a religious person would disavow the existence of Jesus, Allah, etc., if given concrete evidence to the contrary?
The problem with 'proving" heaven is that because it is a metaphysical experience, there is no proof that can be examined by any of the 5 human senses. In fact, you can't choose the experience of these senses and be in heaven at the same time. It is a choice, though.

I can't get into what traditional religious people think very much at all. Religion is adopting what other people think as your own w/o proof, and a denial of self-experience.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Dangerousman » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:25 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:This is what atheists do since the proof that something greater than mankind (something that can do things that man cannot do) is all around us. Call it whatever you want; nature, god, whatever. Something greater than us exists.


Hold on there jonny. What's with this "Call it whatever you want" stuff? Usually "god" is regarded as something outside of nature, i.e., "supernatural." Atheists don't deny the existence of nature-- nor that nature, as a whole, is something "greater" than man. Spinoza argued that the only sensible (and logically possible) meaning of the term "god" is to equate god with nature. But doing so denies the existence of a supernatural god. Not many people are willing to give up the concept of a supernatural god because doing so also entails giving up the essence of most Western religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are not compatible with the concept of equating god with nature. Hell, (pardon the irony) if all it takes for something to be a "god" is that it be greater in some sense, then my dog considers me god.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:58 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:Are you alive?
Yes.
I also have functioning intellectual properties, which based on your previous comment raises the question: Are you alive?
jonnygothispen wrote: How did that happen?
Well, first my mommy and daddy fell in love. Then they got married. Then... well, nobody wants to picture my parents having sex, so I'll stop there.
jonnygothispen wrote:What force gave you life?
There are four: Gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Note that the existence of all of them can be demonstrated experimentally.
jonnygothispen wrote:The theory that there is no God/greater power because someone denies the proof all round them re: creation of living things.
Lack of belief is not a theory.
And just saying something over and over ("there is a greater power") doesn't magically make it true. If it did, I'd be King of the Universe.
jonnygothispen wrote:The problem with 'proving" heaven is that because it is a metaphysical experience, there is no proof that can be examined by any of the 5 human senses.
Phrased another way, it's an unfounded assumption without any evidence.

I believe that when you die, you become mocha ice cream and are fed to an inter-dimensional snake named Irving. I know this is true because my deceased grandfather told me so in a dream and I could smell the greenness of his tie.
Now, prove me wrong.
jonnygothispen wrote: In fact, you can't choose the experience of these senses and be in heaven at the same time.
You have no concept of what the phrase "in fact" means whatsoever.
jonnygothispen wrote:"I only respond to "inquiries" from real people who use phony names, not vice versa." Better? :)
Nope. Now it makes absolutely no sense.
jonnygothispen wrote: Call it whatever you want; nature, god, whatever.
OK. I'll call it nature. In fact, I have. (See how what follows "in fact" there is something demonstrably true. That's how that works.)
jonnygothispen wrote:mentally disturbed people often wrote religious texts
This is too easy. I'll pass.

jonnygothispen wrote:If I put you and the Professor on my ignore list, does that mean you don't exist?
Why don't you try it and find out?

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby nutria » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:42 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:Although metaphysical is often used to describe existence, it's certainly not an abstract the people or souls exist. I'm certainly not passing a moral judgment by stating that your creation is something greater than what I can ever do. So I guess I'll hold with the reasoning that creation of these things is something greater than I'm capable of.

OK -- I think I see your position. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your point is that there is something we don't know (in particular, the origin of life), therefore there must be some metaphysical being? If so, your argument doesn't hold water. To put it explicitly, a few thousand years ago, the gods were responsible for the tides, rainbows, stars shining, the sun revolving around the earth, etc. In the intervening years, we've learned about about celestial mechanics, nuclear reactions, etc. I don't know who put it this way, but I've always admired the phrasing: you can define "god" this way, but you should know that a "god" defined this way is simply an ever-receding circle of scientific ignorance.

I'll actually take it a little farther. Let's say that we never answer the question of the origin of life (or any other question, for that matter). That still does not, in any way, offer evidence for a metaphysical deity.

jonnygothispen wrote:
nutria wrote:You've used a lot of loaded words to make some statements of objective fact. I'll hold off on commenting until you can define:
"life force"
"soul"
"intellectual properties"
While you're at it, because of "alive," you should throw in "life" as well.
Interesting. But it just looks like contradiction. I'll hold off answering until you explain: Are you alive? How did that happen? What force gave you life? What is water? Is water wet?

Intellectual properties? Can trees play chess? Does a rug have an opinion?

I'm actually really disappointed with this. I asked you in a straightforward way to clarify your position, and you respond with this inane bullshit. I'll take that as a tacit admission that your positions here are indefensible.

jonnygothispen wrote:
nutria wrote:By "your theories," do you mean scientific theories like gravitation, QED, evolution, etc.? If not, please let me know. If so, then the statement above is false. Theories like gravitation and QED are not man-made: they are discovered by man.
The theory that there is no God/greater power because someone denies the proof all round them re: creation of living things.

You're either misunderstanding or misrepresenting the argument. The argument is that an unknown (or even unknowable) bit of scientific data in no way implies the existence of a metaphysical deity.

jonnygothispen wrote:
nutria wrote:Actually, I really like this question, because it brings to the fore the difference between religious and rational worldviews. As a rational person, I can comfortably answer "yes" to this question. It's the same with everything else: show me proof if you want me to believe you. But the burden of proof is on you. Don't take offense if I'm not holding my breath.

On the other hand, can you honestly say a religious person would disavow the existence of Jesus, Allah, etc., if given concrete evidence to the contrary?
The problem with 'proving" heaven is that because it is a metaphysical experience, there is no proof that can be examined by any of the 5 human senses. In fact, you can't choose the experience of these senses and be in heaven at the same time. It is a choice, though.

So, no proof for heaven, right?


jonnygothispen wrote:I can't get into what traditional religious people think very much at all. Religion is adopting what other people think as your own w/o proof, and a denial of self-experience.

This actually rings quite true, and I'll probably steal it.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:53 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Reasonable question: Why read stuff which you're obviously disinterested in, let alone comment about it? I don't give a shit about Tupac, so I didn't bother clicking on your thread. I'm sure it's very interesting to people who do care, but I certainly wouldn't go there just to let you know I don't care about the topic or what you wrote. What's your motive here?


Uhhh... because I started the fucking thread if you care to notice!

At some point I was hoping the two of you would get to a point.

And if the point had to do with the actual topic, it'd a been even better. So I kept reading wondering what the fuck any of it really had to do with the topic. But I did stop eventually... so if you managed to get it back to the topic I apologize.

How's that for motive?
Last edited by Remember_Me on Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Galoot » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:01 pm

Soul: n. 1. The part of the brain capable of believing that it is not part of the brain.

Seriously, johnny, what is a "soul", and what is the scientific evidence for the existence of one?

And yes, I'm an atheist, because I see zero evidence that any gods exist, and I think the word isn't even coherently defined. It's a null concept.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Remember_Me wrote:Uhhh... because I started the fucking thread if you care to notice!

Well... you got me there. That's a point for you. Now we're tied.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:31 pm

nutria wrote:I'm actually really disappointed with this. I asked you in a straightforward way to clarify your position, and you respond with this inane bullshit.

Yeah, I started to answer all his questions, but somewhere during the explanation of whether water is wet, I realized he's not interested in answers -- he already knows everything he ever will.

Just to put how his brain works in perspective: The last time I had a knockdown-dragout with jonny, it was in response to his insistence that 9/11 Truthers had a pretty good case and we should take their evidence seriously. His understanding of science has clearly not improved since then.

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Remember_Me » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:12 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Remember_Me wrote:Uhhh... because I started the fucking thread if you care to notice!

Well... you got me there. That's a point for you. Now we're tied.


Oh good, a level playing field.

You really should check out the link in the Tupac thread though.

Especially if you're a fan of Elvis, departed Beatles (there's a band name for ya), Hendrix, Joplin, Marley, Pavarotti, MJ, Cobain, Cash, Dio, etc.. (tried to include a few genres for ya).

Seriously. It's pretty fuckin' cool.

(way cooler than CNN)
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