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MTS Speed-Building Challenge - posted on 17th Oct 2018 at 7:25 PM
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Scholar
#51 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 9:36 AM
@Purity - "Nekowolf, I'd say someone like that is a fanatic, and I wouldn't consider that the norm." - wasn't my intention to make claim it was the norm. Rather, it's easier to perceive as the norm when the group is, for the most part, singular rather than divided into smaller subgroups.

@kiwi - "plain irrational and sometimes dangerous" - well that's hardly something exclusive to religion.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Field Researcher
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28th Sep 2010 at 9:41 AM
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#52 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 10:23 AM
Quote:
"plain irrational and sometimes dangerous" - well that's hardly something exclusive to religion.


No, it's not, you're right and I agree. But should we encourage a socially-accepted irrationality? Should we encourage people to claim that the earth was seeded by alien souls, or a dead man rose back to life, or lovers are bound together at the beginnings of their lives by invisible red string, or white people are preferred by God due to the story of Ham? We should certainly tolerate it, but criticise it too, shouldn't we? Should we allow people to enjoy their prejudice - their prejudging of the universe's current unknowns - totally unchallenged?

What does religion provide that people can't get elsewhere? Not only is religion fake science... ...it's fake ethics... ...fake morality... ...fake knowledge... ...faked belief.

What part of it isn't fake-something-useful?

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Mad Poster
#53 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 10:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_tea
You can understand why he's fanatical, though, can't you? Wouldn't you be, if you spent your life doing amazingly complicated scientific work - discovering and researching wonderful things - and a bunch of spooks started chanting "We have a deep inner experience that proves you wrong" over and over for decades? This is the problem. Religion is just fake science. It's science for the lazy and arrogant. It's pretending to know something without doing any work towards knowing it, and often it involves pretending to know things that, eventually, science comes to understand totally differently.

Religion tends to be wrong. Because it's made up. And if you care about people and learning, you're sort of duty-bound to be critical of that religious attitude.
There are millions of other scientists out there who feel the same way but they don't have his attitude. It's not what he stands for that I dislike, it's the way he goes about it. IMO attacking people's beliefs and belitting them for it isn't a good way to try and get people to understand your point of view. It's just going to piss them off and make them even more opposed to whatever you're preaching (general 'you', not aimed at anyone specifically).
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#54 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 10:49 AM Last edited by kiwi_tea : 28th Sep 2010 at 11:12 AM.
I understand your point el_flel and to a degree I agree with you. But it does take all folks. Certainly, I've heard from so many people who have been convinced by Dawkins I'm sometimes quite surprised. He is a very good science populariser and communicator, and in terms of offering solid scientific arguments he's quite capable. A lot of Dawkin's "attitude" is constructed by the media misreporting him and selectively quoting him, too. For example, he never even said "I will arrest the Pope", but newspapers all over the world ran that fake quote.

I don't think he mocks as often as many people think. Usually he makes very good points in quite a dry, matter-of-fact manner. Such as:

Quote:
'Consider this. If a paranormalist could really give an unequivocal demonstration of telepathy (precognition, psychokinesis, reincarnation, whatever it is), he would be the discoverer of a totally new principle unknown to physical science. The discoverer of the new energy field that links mind to mind in telepathy, or of the new fundamental force that moves objects around a table top, deserves a Nobel prize and would probably get one. If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it and be hailed as the new Newton? Of course, we know the answer. You can't do it. You are a fake.'

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Mad Poster
#55 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 11:14 AM
I think many of the people he's likely to convert are those who are on the fence anyway or people who have never really given the topic much thought. I also think that you're going to get people who accept his argument without really considering the other side because, in a way, there's a lack of opposing argument. I don't mean that the religious don't have a leg to stand on, what I mean is there doesn't seem to be a figure similar to him who is arguing the other side. He gets his point out there. He's on TV and radio talking about it. There doesn't seem to be anyone doing that for religion. What I wonder is, how much of his success (by success I mean managing to convert people to his 'side') is a product of the way he argues his point? People are, for lack of a better phrase, easily led or persuaded by confident, strong people. I just wonder how much the psychology of leadership comes into play here. Do you know what I mean?

As for his attitude I got my opinion of that from his documentary, The God Delusion. He's a very clever man, no doubt about it, but I think he doesn't have to be quite so militant about his dislike of religion.

There actually are real scientists doing work on some aspects of parapsychology, telepathy in particular. I suscribe to New Scientist and they did a feature on unusual aspects of science and this was one of the things they covered, albeit briefly. So don't entirely rule it out!
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#56 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 11:26 AM
I do know what you mean about leadership and psychology. But still, I'm not sure. Dawkins, as a scientist, is very good. Like Patricia Churchland. Both put their cases forward really strongly in evidence, and with logic.

Quote:
I don't mean that the religious don't have a leg to stand on, what I mean is there doesn't seem to be a figure similar to him who is arguing the other side.


Deepak Chopra. Joseph Farrah. Rush Limbaugh. Every Muslim cleric in existence. Every priest of every church in existence. Everyone who ever preaches a gospel is engaging in religious activism. Everyone who ever claims to know something about the universe that they don't know.

Quote:
I think he doesn't have to be quite so militant


To me 'militant' means bombing people, not criticising their ideas. And don't get me wrong, I hated The God Delusion myself. Couldn't finish it. But that book was a primal scream against decades of religious opposition to his much more scientific titles. In light of that fact, he comes across as pretty composed in it.

Quote:
There actually are real scientists doing work on some aspects of parapsychology, telepathy in particular. I suscribe to New Scientist and they did a feature on unusual aspects of science and this was one of the things they covered, albeit briefly. So don't entirely rule it out!


Yes. But it's also VERY important that we don't rule it in, either. Especially when the data supporting parapsychology is, thus far, incredibly poor. There's better data for most cryptids than there is for telepathy.

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Mad Poster
#57 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 11:35 AM
I meant more in popular media. In the UK, at least, religious proponents aren't vocal in the same way he is. If you look at it scientifically, you can only accept his success rates as accurate if you've got a religious spokesman who preaches in a similar way to him to compare the data to. People often hear one side of an argument and accept it without considering the other side.

Yeah, militant was probably a bad word (it's 11:30am and I've not eaten yet lol), but you get my drift.
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#58 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 11:48 AM
Quote:
I meant more in popular media. In the UK, at least, religious proponents aren't vocal in the same way he is. If you look at it scientifically, you can only accept his success rates as accurate if you've got a religious spokesman who preaches in a similar way to him to compare the data to. People often hear one side of an argument and accept it without considering the other side.


Hmmmmm. But one of the reasons religious proponents don't criticise so vigorously as Dawkins is because they don't really have any platform to criticise from except vague social complaints. They can't attack science and learning, because they have to pretend to be compatible with science and learning.

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Mad Poster
#59 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 12:05 PM
That is true.

I shall come back to this later because it's very interesting, but right now I have to go off and be educated on cultural criminology
Scholar
#60 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 1:11 PM
I have to agree with el_flel on those convinced into atheism. Someone who truly believes in something, regardless if it's a metaphysical deity of monotheism, or the representations of nature and man that is in polytheism, or the transcendence beyond humanity, into a higher state of existence, like in Buddhism or Taoism, they cannot simply be convinced to let go of that. They likely were, as she said, already on the fence about it, or weren't really practitioners anyway.

Not saying it doesn't happen, but in those cases, it's usually something really huge and life-altering.

And kiwi, you just had to mention Rush Limbaugh. My brain suffers a hemorrhaging every time at the mere mention of his name.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
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#61 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 1:28 PM
But then, what are they letting go of, except a story? Sure, they imagine the story is real. It's "real" to them, in a terrifying sense. They believe they know something that they don't. They believe nature and gods are prescribing them ethics. It's horrific. And it's still just a story, isn't it?

I was a dedicated believer, myself, up until about 15. Christian, specifically. It didn't take something huge and life-altering. It took the sudden realisation that... ...well... ...I didn't know. Not really. Nor did anyone else. They were lying to themselves really, really hard, just like I was. So hard you don't realise you're even doing it. Until you realise. It really only takes honesty. Nothing life-changing, just honesty.

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Mad Poster
#62 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 2:43 PM Last edited by RoseCity : 28th Sep 2010 at 11:50 PM. Reason: messed up quotes
Quote:
No, it's not, you're right and I agree. But should we encourage a socially-accepted irrationality? Should we encourage people to claim that the earth was seeded by alien souls, or a dead man rose back to life, or lovers are bound together at the beginnings of their lives by invisible red string, or white people are preferred by God due to the story of Ham? We should certainly tolerate it, but criticise it too, shouldn't we?


What do you mean when you say 'we' - i.e. are you the spokesperson of some larger group?

Quote:
Should we allow people to enjoy their prejudice - their prejudging of the universe's current unknowns - totally unchallenged?


Now I'm wondering - is that larger group People United Against Enjoyment of Unverified Things?

Quote:
What does religion provide that people can't get elsewhere? Not only is religion fake science... ...it's fake ethics... ...fake morality... ...fake knowledge... ...faked belief. What part of it isn't fake-something-useful?


It's faulty logic to say that because something can't be scientifically verified, it's 'fake'. I had a paranormal experience - you may think I'm lying about it, but there is no way I can prove it happened. There is also no way you can prove that it didn't.
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#63 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 3:20 PM
(a) These are questions for "us" as human beings. Note that they are questions, not statements.

(b) You, yourself, also have no way of verifying you didn't dream or hallucinate your paranormal experience, or that it's even paranormal at all. But there is a very large body of repeatable data discounting the reliability of (1) eyewitness testimony (2) paranormal claims. The chips are stacked pretty damn heavily against your perceived paranormal experience being real.

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Scholar
#64 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 3:57 PM
RoseCity, your quotes are broken. Anyway, if I may provide my own example of what you are trying to say.

The Coelacanth. They were thought to be extinct; you would have to be a crazy person to believe they were still alive. But lo-and-behold, here they were, all this time.

And really, paranormal isn't the best way to go in reference. No, religion really doesn't have a reference. It is something unobservable and unknowable and to expect observable, let alone physical, evidence of something that is both, like I said, A. unobservable, and B. unknowable, it is asking the impossible.

Perhaps they are mere stories, yes. But it doesn't matter. The Odyssey and the Iliad, they merely a stories, but look how much influence they have even when they are known to be stories. EDIT: Of course people don't believe in them. But what about Atlantis? People certainly believe in that, even when it was just made up by Plato (I think as a hypothetical scenario).

However, I do strongly disagree with literalists. And those who claim to know what cannot be known, who say their ideas are "real," to put it in, unfortunately, what I think is improper context (but I cannot think of how else to express it).

And I would like to make a clarification. Lying to yourself to believe in something, I do not see that as being a true believer in something. But also, I never was raised Heathen. Many neopagans were not raised in the faith they are now. They learn about it for themselves, and while it may take a few tries to find your belief, yes, once you settle into something, it's not something you really remove yourself from. Again, this is from a perspective of neopaganism. Probably because we generally give ourselves much more freedom than the Abrahamic faiths when it comes to such matters.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Site Helper
#65 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 6:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktree
In that case, if each person claims that light is one but not the other, both are wrong. Light has objective characteristics. A subjective view that is based on evidence, but not enough evidence, is still wrong.


Exactly.

But when you're arguing for a materialistic world view, you seem to be claiming that you do have enough evidence. There's no way to know for sure whether you do or not. Your views are still subjective, whether you like it or not.
Lab Assistant
#66 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 6:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojtek
What's the point of having a religion if you don't believe in God (unless you believe in a kind of a force/spirit). Again, one believes in God but has no religion? It doesn't make sense.



Religion itself is a belief in God. The fact that you believe in God/force/spirit means religion. Religion and belief in God are inseparable.


I see your point, because from what I heard buddhists generally believe in spirits, which none are most supreme.

Everyone lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.
Theorist
#67 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 6:45 PM
Field Researcher
#68 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 8:02 PM
To be quite honest I've really been agnostic. "Why?" you may ask, well the matter at hand is very simple. When you look at every religion it walways has a core value or moral, (Like a story) that is supposed to make you into a better person. I am most intimate with Christianity so I'll use it to demonstrate my point.

Christianity is a lot like Santa Claus. You do good things, and you get rewarded, not immediatly, but at a certain time and place, and your reward is determined by someone with greater power in you. That in a nutshell is Christianity. And you know what? It's done some damn good things, but it's also done some bad things. It's lead to some people to "See the light" and stop something potentialy harmful or hurtful, but then there are the "Bible thumpers" that litteraly correct everyone who doesn't see religion the same way. But I believe that religion is supposed to just make you feel good, and it sure as hell doesn't work for me. kthanxbai.

American Rocker Bomb, similar to an Irish car bomb, take a shot glass and fill it with five hour energy, then take a pint glass and fill it with your choice of energy drink. Drop in the shot glass and chug, then wait for SVT to set in.
Theorist
#69 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 8:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undercovers_Agent
I believe that religion is supposed to just make you feel good, and it sure as hell doesn't work for me. kthanxbai.

If that were the only thing that were going on with religion I don't think I would have a problem with it either. I mean, I can be horribly fanboy about my works of fiction too, and as a work of literature the Bible kind of needs some heavy editing but there's enough gems of poetry and interesting stories that even I can enjoy it for all of that. And as insight into Bronze age mysticism and perceptions of the world around them? Spot on!

But that's not how people use religion. It's not enough that they get something meaningful out of religion, it's got to be some sort of "truth" that they use to bludgeon the science or a weapon to wield in their political gains. What should be an afterthought, like the someone who occasionally dresses up in a Star Trek uniform or fixes up vintage cars, becomes some sort of dominant and oppressive force not just in their own lives but in the way they want other people to live theirs.
Scholar
#70 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 8:41 PM
"But that's not how people use religion."

Some people. Or whatever; point being, not everyone.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
Mad Poster
#71 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 9:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi_tea
(a) These are questions for "us" as human beings. Note that they are questions, not statements.

(b) You, yourself, also have no way of verifying you didn't dream or hallucinate your paranormal experience, or that it's even paranormal at all. But there is a very large body of repeatable data discounting the reliability of (1) eyewitness testimony (2) paranormal claims. The chips are stacked pretty damn heavily against your perceived paranormal experience being real.


If you remember, I already said I had no way to prove it, so wow, score a point for you. And nor would I ever argue that it happened for that very reason. But I also would not logically be able to say to someone that their experience didn't happen or that their religion was fake - because I can't pretend to know what is in another person's head and heart.
Scholar
#72 Old 28th Sep 2010 at 11:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekowolf
The Coelacanth. They were thought to be extinct; you would have to be a crazy person to believe they were still alive. But lo-and-behold, here they were, all this time.


Even if something is true, it is useless to the rest of humanity without justification. Without evidence and/or reasoning, there is nothing to distinguish you from a crazy person. If I came up to you and told you that Cthulhu sleeps at the bottom of the ocean, you would have no reason to believe me unless I showed you evidence, whether it was true or not. Copernicus's ideas (which aren't completely correct, but close enough that I'll use the example) weren't initially accepted because we didn't have the physical proof that the Earth revolves around the sun. He had mathematical calculations, but so did the popular Ptolemaic astronomy. People needed something beyond just that it was a possible reality. They needed real evidence/reasoning that it was more likely that the earth orbits around the sun as opposed to the sun rotating around the earth.

Would you prefer to live in a world where people accept what they are told without question? I will once again quote Aristotle: "it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." If you don't ask for rigid evidence before accepting an idea, you will be unable to avoid believing in falsehoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakepeeps7
Exactly.

But when you're arguing for a materialistic world view, you seem to be claiming that you do have enough evidence. There's no way to know for sure whether you do or not. Your views are still subjective, whether you like it or not.


What I just said about the nature of light and evidence is based in a materialistic view. You can't have evidence of a non-materialistic type, so a materialist view is the only thing that we can find logical evidence for. Materialism is essentially a base assumption, but one that we can't really dismiss because we can't logically believe anything if we throw out our only frame of reference.
Scholar
#73 Old 29th Sep 2010 at 12:32 AM
"Even if something is true, it is useless to the rest of humanity without justification." - that is not true though. Though I guess that depends at how you look at "justification." Many stories are not real, are known to not be real, but nonetheless are far from useless.

"there is nothing to distinguish you from a crazy person." Then let me be insane and throw me into the stockades! I'd rather be crazy than be anything but myself!

"Would you prefer to live in a world where people accept what they are told without question?" No. But we do not live in such a world. Only partially is the world, and every person out there, like this. No one ever completely like this lest they have mental problems. And in that case, they're not really good as a standard.

"I will once again quote Aristotle: "it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." If you don't ask for rigid evidence before accepting an idea, you will be unable to avoid believing in falsehoods." - that is not what that quote means. It does not mean "do not accept an idea without evidence for it."

What it means is to tolerate another point of view, with respect, even if you do not accepting the opposing idea.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
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#74 Old 29th Sep 2010 at 12:49 AM
Quote:
The Coelacanth. They were thought to be extinct; you would have to be a crazy person to believe they were still alive. But lo-and-behold, here they were, all this time.


Are you saying people who don't suspect T-Rexes are still roaming the earth are silly? There was no evidence that the Coelacanth was still alive. Then evidence was found. We revise our views according to evidence, not according to our own personal arrogance.

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GON OUT, BACKSON, BISY BACKSON
Scholar
#75 Old 29th Sep 2010 at 1:35 AM
Not at all. My intention was to say: just because you cannot physically observe something does not necessarily equate it not existing. Although, the biggest problem from my perspective with that analogy is the idea of physical existence. As that is something I hold no argument for or against.

However, deities, religion, these are things not observable. Nor knowable. So the idea that there needs to be evidence is, as I said, asking for the impossible. Although I do agree on holding such to those who claim physical manifestation of religious beliefs. Such as "miracles." If you want to make claims of a physical, material nature, then yes, there should be some evidence of it.

And "personal arrogance?" That seems like an odd choice of wording. Hm. Maybe not, thinking about it. Just a bit awkward at first reading.

Is that a shillelagh in your pocket, or are you just sinning against God?
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