Senate Atheism 4.0 - Now Discussing: Religiosity and intelligence

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lowbacca_1977, May 18, 2010.

  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    No free will. No soul. No afterlife. I don't think there are many people who can deal with that.
    Last edited by SuperWatto, Oct 9, 2013
  2. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Yes, I do have proof that God does not exist. It is perfect and irrefutable. I'm not going to show it to you, however. You cannot see it or detect it in any way. You cannot deduce it from the laws of logic either. You might claim that I do in fact have no such proof. But you have no proof that I don't. You just have to take my word for it.

    Sound familiar?
  3. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    It sounds familiar, but only because you have written the same post about 300 times now.
    TOSCHESTATION likes this.
  4. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    Aren't atheists and individuals of faith effectively doing the same thing?

    We don't know if there's a God or Gods. In almost all fields of science, new discoveries continue to be made that sometimes confirm theories, and other times prove everything we suspected was completely wrong.

    Are not many of both sides closing their minds off to the possibility that they could be wrong. The religious cannot understand how one could live without faith. The atheists cannot understand how one could blindly just believe something without evidence.

    Maybe there is a God(s). Maybe there's not. Does it make me more or less intelligent to admit that I don't know the truth of it?
  5. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Admitting you don't know is a strong indicator of intelligence, yes. Another sign is being willing to be wrong when there is sufficient evidence.

    But there is still no reason to believe in something as extraordinary as a god without a copious amount of evidence. And when theists refuse to provide such evidence, it is easy to conclude that the evidence does not exist.
  6. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I think you'll find that most of the issues that atheists (or at least some of them) have with those of religious faith transcend the question of whether there is or is not a god or gods. Atheists, by definition, don't believe there is a god. Others do believe there is a god. But that's not really the problem. The problem is that many of the people who believe there is a god also believe the bible or torah or quran (let's just call this stuff "scripture") is the actual word of god and so they live their lives according to certain rules which they believe their scripture requires them to adhere to in order to make god happy and to get them into heaven. It is these rules which invariably cause the problem because these rules may in fact conflict with other non scripture based legal, social or moral norms or just common sense.

    So the conflict arises when religious people insist on the unfettered freedom to live their lives according to scripture based rules and other people insist on the unfettered freedom to live their lives free of scripture based rules. So when you look at common issues such as same sex marriage, homosexuality, sexual relationships, medical treatment, education, discrimination etc etc, you can see that the real issue is not whether god exists per se but rather how is it that a belief in god can justify certain behaviour or justify the denial certain rights of others who do not share those beliefs.

    Personally I don't care if you are man or woman enough to admit that you don't know the truth - it's what you believe and how that belief manifests in social action which concerns me. If you want to believe there is a god then more power to you. But please don't discriminate against me or deny me equality because of that belief. That is the issue my friend.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Oct 16, 2013
  7. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    I have no problem with religion as long as:

    1) You don't use your beliefs as an excuse to commit violence, hatred, bigotry or misogyny.
    2) You don't use fear or threats to coerce others into joining your beliefs.
    3) You don't try to claim your beliefs as being the absolute truth without actually having evidence.
    4) You don't teach your beliefs to children as an "alternative" to science.
    5) You let folks with other beliefs go about their daily lives.
    EvilQ, 07jonesj and Summer Dreamer like this.
  8. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    "I" and "Don't" and "Know" are probably the three sanest words one could muster on this subject.

    "Fence-sitter" may not usually be a laudable descriptive, but with the exception of Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I see no comprehensible reason why every man and woman shouldn't be shrugging their shoulders.
  9. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Why would Dave Bowman even be an exception?
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    This question was raised at the Q&A/film premiere session of "The Unbelievers" that I just attended. Lawrence Krauss was the presenter.

    In short;
    1) Are people who are putting science forward as the answer to all things actually understanding the points they advocate?
    2) Is the kind of hero worship and sense of communion around figures like Dawkins, Krauss, Harris et al forming a structure similar to religion, and
    3) Is it a bad thing if it does?

    My answers would be:

    1) Undoubtedly. I would wager most people who believe the theory of evolution to be true cannot, accurately, describe natural selection or any other tenets of evolution. Same as those who think Krauss has the answers probably don't get the physics behind "Something from nothing". It boils down, in essence to faith. Now, pure scientists like, say, @Lord Vivec probably do get the concept and therefore will argue that because science is based on forming a conclusion from reviewing available evidence (and therefore not conforming to beliefs and bias) that people having faith scientists are right aren't misplacing that faith because of the purity of science. I get that, and I agree. However if we accept that religion is a man-made construct that serves a bunch of psychological needs, and people get those needs by believing in a science they can't understand or replicate (and therefore, verify) versus believing priests and the tortured son of a capricious and jealous God etc... it's not that dissimilar.

    One just has radically less propensity to incite you to fly into buildings or shoot doctors in abortion clinics than the other.

    2) Really what's being asked here is if the community formed by the religious is also being formed by the irreligious. The answer is yes, but it has a caveat - don't assume that the dominant purpose of religion is to provide that sense of community. It's a secondary service religion provides, like wi-fi in a Starbucks.

    3) No, it's not a bad thing.

    Having seen Krauss talk twice, I confidently predict his attempts to educate people on the wonder of the universe, influenced as it is by Darwin's approach, is destined to failure. Sadly.
    07jonesj likes this.
  11. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I've been summoned...

    Ender is mostly right. Except I would prefer if people didn't take scientists' words on faith and instead studied and understood why correct science is correct. Otherwise we get VLM and the warp drive nonsense. Or anti-GMO hysteria. After all, there is plenty of nonreligious woo.

    Nitpicking time.

    Yes, everything in science is subject to change. But I sometimes feel this is generally being overstated. I can't speak for other fields, but at least in physics, the "everything was completely wrong" is not always really "completely wrong." Instead it's just discovering a theory's limitation. Yes, aether was completely wrong. Steady-state cosmology was completely wrong. But newtonian mechanics or classical electromagnistism? They aren't wrong. They're used by engineers to design technology, after all.

    So, don't expect established physics to be overturned. It's in the frontiers where we'll find things that we suspected to be correct to be incorrect.
    07jonesj and Ender Sai like this.
  12. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    What if it turns out that the bridge between quantum mechanics and relativity isn't so much string theory, as Jesus?

    It's good to hear you say that though, regarding people not taking it on faith (which they do). I was with friends who are all atheists too, and they seemed to want to not get my point that "most people in this room will not be able to understand and explain Krauss' "universe from nothing" proposition, so how is this not like faith?" The response was "but the science is tested, provable and peer reviewed", which leads to a natural response of "how is that different than someone claiming to have had contact with God directly?"

    "Because the science is real."
    "OK, so I want you to explain Dawkin's theory of the selfish gene to me, to illustrate you understand the biology. So you're not just taking it at face value."
    "WARP DRIVES!"

    I think actually, now I say this, it's probably why I enjoy Hitchens most. I'd like to read more Sam Harris, because I think the neuroscience argument is compelling; but Hitchens as a philosopher and journalist is more closely aligned to the sciences I'm schooled in - political science and economics, which are... not sciences. I get the biology of evolution, but the cosmology and the physics... it's going to take more effort than I can put in.
  13. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I understand that everyone can't learn all sciences. It'd be just too much. So at some level a little trust will have to be employed. And that's where my original field of engineering comes into play; after all, engineers take what scientists say on faith. :p

    All joking aside, a balance between trusting in a good process and understanding for yourself has to be made. However, a decent portion of atheists do put too much emphasis in trusting the process.
  14. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    I completely agree with this, though there are some atheists that I know that look down on my spirituality, and they consider themselves to be absolutely right about their viewpoints. I'm not trying to convince you if I'm right. I don't know that myself.
  15. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    @Lord Vivec That was more of a general statement referring to the fact that it has happened before, and I did not mean to imply that I suspected everything we currently use will be proven wrong. After all, much of physics can be proven with mathematical formula. Less theoretical matters can be reproduced, proving that a specific set of circumstances will lead to the same result.
  16. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Well, more nitpicking

    1) you're don't prove things in physics. You find evidence in support of things. There's a legitimate difference.
    2) math forumlae doesn't count as evidence in physics. Only empirical evidence matters.

    See, all I'm going to end up doing is making these corrections. :(
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Given how Sciencism seems to work, that might be a good thing.
  18. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I am a bit puzzled as to how we got on this topic. Our standard for being atheists doesn't require any particular scientific theories.
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    I think it's because terms like gnostic atheist, rationalist, and humanist are conflated into one broad church (lol, I made a pun) calle d"atheism" for the purposes of this thread.
  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Should we rename it "from agnostic on down 1.0"?
  21. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    "Down" has a negative connotation.
  22. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Vivec and Ender revealing their nonsense. "VLM and his warp drive". In the actual post I made long ago it states "slightly less implausable" and I repeated it many times all over the damn place. Yet these two constantly misquote me as if I am a climate change skeptic and ToE enemy. You two are doing nothing for the side of science and logic and fact and your only contribution is to your own trolling bull.

    Get over yourselves, really. You are not that important.
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Can you please point to a single example whereby I have, as you charge, made commentary on your scientific understanding? I am unable to recall an incident but if you say it is true, then you will be able to furnish me with an example/s.

    If you refer to the "warp drive" comment above, it was used in context of a discussion with Vivec about what is commonly called "sciencism" and was used to tie back to a point he made. Had a clearer example presented itself, I'd surely have used it but this seemed the most relevant for the intended audience. Which, for clarity, was Vivec as per above.

    To suggest, however, that your views on science occupy any of my time is conceit born of an arrogance that even I cannot fathom. In fact, this may be the most thought I've ever given it.

    Where does that leave your "get over it" comment? Besides alone, cold, destitute and forced to sell its body just to feed and clothe itself?
  24. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Ender is mostly right. Except I would prefer if people didn't take scientists' words on faith and instead studied and understood why correct science is correct. Otherwise we get VLM and the warp drive nonsense. Or anti-GMO hysteria. After all, there is plenty of nonreligious woo.
    "Because the science is real."
    "OK, so I want you to explain Dawkin's theory of the selfish gene to me, to illustrate you understand the biology. So you're not just taking it at face value."
    "WARP DRIVES!"

    Then act all innocent. Shove it. Right up your backside. I am not your example of bad science and every time your wrongly reference me you can kiss my ass. How many times must I call you out and show folks your nonsese? How many? I can do it all in a row if you like.
    Stick to your topic and leave me out of your BS. I clicked on this at random and here you and your lil buddy drag me into your crap.
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    But again, incorrect.

    In the context of a discussion about something that was trying to illustrate "Sciencism" I used an example Vivec had used for the purpose of relating something I said back to something he said. I've no idea the source of the comment nor your views on the matter so on what basis do you feel there's a broad conspiracy, of which I am - what, a shadowy puppet master? - a part?

    Take yourself out of the equation for the moment. If Vivec uses the "warp drive" comment as an example of Sciencism and doesn't include your name, and I respond - is it a VLM slur? Bearing in mind that in all honesty I didn't even pick up on your name until your post drew my attention to it, too.

    I'm not speaking on behalf of Vivec, he's a mostly grown man and can account for himself. But to make an allegation of widespread and persistent bias against me, a claim I feel is baseless, then I will reject the notion and I will ask for examples of it.