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Thread: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Such as?
    Personal experience, experiences shared with other believers and religious texts.

    The senses of color and sound are consistent, reliable, and verifiable by others. Even the colorblind or deaf because we can devise a simple test to PROVE that a color or sound exists.

    Get a whole bunch of cards that look identical to whatever the colorblind see green as and 1 card that is actually green. On the green card we will right "green" and put it face down. Now mix all the cards up and I'll pick out the one card that has "green" written on the back without actually looking at it. I've just proven that green exists or that I'm magical.

    Similar experiments can be done for other senses.
    You said verifiable by ANYONE - my point was that that is a poor measurement of anything. Now you've changed it to verifiable by OTHERS. Thank you for recognizing your mistake.

    There is no evidence against unicorns because a unicorn-believer's beliefs can be unfalsifiable. Similar unfalsifiable beliefs (such as certain Christian beliefs) show this same pattern.
    What does this have to do with you telling me "you can now understand why people don't believe in your god"? I already understand why people don't believe in God; you should stop making assumptions.

    And how do you know that god is creator of the universe and exists?
    Strawman. I don't know - never said or implied I did. I said I believe.

    Could not unicorns or leprechauns and all manner of others things be claimed to exist using the exact same standard of evidence you used to determine that god exist and created the universe? E.G., god exists and created the universe because my holy book says so; unicorns exist and are invisible because a holybook says so.
    Strawman: I don't believe in God because of a "holy book" - the same applies to many many others.

    Also, sure, unicorns and the like could be posited to exist from "personal experience" and "religious texts". However, most people don't believe in things like that anymore because they are contradicted by science and our near complete discovery of all physical things on the planet. When things are disproved, educated people stop believing in them and things like unicorns fall into that category. The only thing that could have the power to "trick" us and break the laws of nature is the one who created them - this ability goes to one idea - God.

    And if unicorns are born with magic hair that makes them undetectable then it makes sense that so few people find them. Are you starting to see that when there is no basis for falsifying a claim then ANYTHING can be presented to prop up that claim?
    You seem to to think you're teaching me a lot of things in this post, but you're not. I actually made this exact same argument in the previous post:
    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive
    sure, anything can answer any question, but why would i believe in a unicorn when we've scoured the earth for all animals?
    The point is that a unicorn has no practical ability to break the laws of nature - God does. You should be able to understand that.

    God is just the name given to something that may have created the universe. Can you understand that a thing that would have created the laws of nature could break them just like human beings can break the laws of society?

    There are no REASONS. They are only unsubstantiated ASSERTIONS and CLAIMS that are fundamentally indistinguishable from any other supernatural claim whether it be unicorns, leprechauns, gods, spirits, ghosts, auras, chakras, etc. Unicorns are presented as an example of a belief that is not contingent on the "evidence" because all data can be interpreted by the unicorn narrative. Likewise, Christians interpret all evidence in relation to their narrative. Muslims in relation to theirs, Hindu's in relation to theirs , Native Americans in relation to theirs, and so on and so forth.
    Reason: there is a cause for everything else in the universe, maybe the universe itself has a cause to.

    And neither are unicorns or leprechauns..... and hence you are left with the following "arguments:
    1) My holy-book says so.
    2) I really honestly believe unicorns exist so you should too!
    3) My grandmother saw one when she was about to die from cancer and it saved her. Her cancer is gone! Are you calling my grandmother a liar?
    4) ..... etc.
    Three strawmans. Logic is absent from this quote considering: 1)I don't believe in a holy book. 2)I could CARE LESS if you believe in God. 3)Who do you think you're talking to?

    You can believe whatever you like. All i can do is point out that you believe unfalsifiable ideas based predominately on unverifiable holy book tales and personal testimony. I would stress the importance of establishing beliefs on better standards and criteria.
    Strawman. I don't believe in a holy book and the idea of God exists independently from any holy book or religion.

    It can also be pointed out that thousands of gods, spirits, demons, auras, and other supernatural claims are EQUALLY supported in the same respect as your god. It just so happens that you were born/raised into a family/country/society with a particular bias to one supernatural narrative over others.
    1. I don't care if you "respect" my God, so another strawman for you.
    2. I don't believe "my God" is anymore worthy of respect than others, so another strawman for you.

    [playing unicorn advocate] Because they are undetectable unless they want you to see them. Its all right here in the unicorn-holy-book! Don't you want to know the truth? Don't you want to obtain everlasting life?
    Unicorns don't have any rational basis for breaking the laws of nature. The only one who can break those laws is the one who created them. That said, you can believe what you want. No harm, no foul.

    Argument from incredulity/Lack of imagination

    Arguments from incredulity take the form:

    P is too incredible (or I cannot imagine how P could possibly be true); therefore P must be false.
    It is obvious that P (or I cannot imagine how P could possibly be false) therefore P must be true.

    These arguments are similar to arguments from ignorance in that they too ignore and do not properly eliminate the possibility that something can be both incredible and still be true, or appear to be obvious and yet still be false.
    Right.

    correct. It doesn't have any effect on the possibility that God, unicorns, leprechauns, spirits, ghosts, chakras, auras, etc exist. The reasonable thing to do is to withhold belief until reason and/or evidence presents itself. And we've already covered the unreliability or holy book tales and unverifiable testimony.
    The reasonable thing is do believe what you believe and not tell others what to do.

    Never said otherwise. The unicorn analogy is only to demonstrate that by putting the god concept beyond evidence and falsification provides the ultimate paradigm of how not to think about stuff. When God is so abstracted, what is left is zero evidence, no falsification criteria, and just the narrative in which the God concept is wielded; a point which means belief in the God concept acts out just like belief in unicorns. Yet not many theists accept unicorns as anything other than fantasy.
    Until unicorns become the name of an idea for the potential creator of the universe, then theists will not accept the analogy because it does not acknowledge at all the reasons people believe in God.

    The big bang is a description of what happened after some point in time. it does not describe how everything came into existence or whether it was always there or not. That is a common misunderstanding.
    right. it describes how our universe came to be how it is and it is one step in answering the question everybody wants to know - how did everything come to be?

    You claim that everything has a cause. Causality requires time (A causes B which causes C ...which causes Z) If there was no time before or right at the moment of the big bang then causality breaks down making your question nonsense.
    Uh. Not so much. What does this have to do with the fact that everything in the universe has a cause?

    Question #1: Why do you think that 4-5 billion people believe in God but not unicorns?
    Question #2: Why do you think that people still believe in God but let go of literal interpretations of the Bible (the latter is more applicable to the unicorn theory)?

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you this time. Maybe you're different, but I've found most atheists I've met online to be assholes when discussing or debating religion. They usually turn into mouthfoaming rabid animals, shortly after the debate begins. Don't believe me, just hang around. They're not just non-believers, they hate religion with a passion. Words like "Flat-earthers" usually pops up at least once in every debate with them. Then they'll start talking about how the founders were deists or atheists and hated God with all their souls, especially Thomas Jefferson.
    I've actually had a conversation with a few staunchly religious people on this board and we came to the conclusion that, most often, it isn't a matter of atheists being rabid and aggressive assholes, so much as it's a matter of two fundamentally opposed ideologies crashing into one another. Atheists believe the bible is an allegorical tale written by man and, as such, is just a really, really well-selling fiction book. Because of this, many religious practices and beliefs are just ridiculous. There is a fine line between pointing out a personal opinion regarding how ridiculous some religious practices are, and not offending somebody who is religious. Sometimes, people cannot remove themselves from the argument and take things personally. For example, I asked in a rapture thread if any Christian felt that the text of the rapture, or the premise for it, seemed even slightly illogical or impractical to them. In posing that question, I offended several Christians in the thread. It was not my intent to ridicule their entire belief system, but they certainly took it that way. Is it my fault for not posing a question that wouldn't have derived the answer I was looking for, or generated the train of thought I was seeking to take part in? Is it their fault for having trouble understanding that my perspective is diametrically opposed to theirs?

    People assume that an atheist's approach is hostile and offensive because it can't be perceived any other way by the staunchly religious. We aren't mocking the person, we're challenging the system. If that differentiation can't be made then the debate won't move forward. Religious adherents will think we're hateful, mocking bastards, and we'll think that religious adherents are close-minded and incapable of questioning themselves.
    Last edited by tessaesque; 06-22-11 at 10:17 AM.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you this time. Maybe you're different, but I've found most atheists I've met online to be assholes when discussing or debating religion. They usually turn into mouthfoaming rabid animals, shortly after the debate begins. Don't believe me, just hang around. They're not just non-believers, they hate religion with a passion. Words like "Flat-earthers" usually pops up at least once in every debate with them. Then they'll start talking about how the founders were deists or atheists and hated God with all their souls, especially Thomas Jefferson.
    That's not an assessment of atheists, but of atheists that debate religion. The vast majority of atheists don't debate religion in the first place.
    So follow me into the desert
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    And all the little pigs have God

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    That's not an assessment of atheists, but of atheists that debate religion. The vast majority of atheists don't debate religion in the first place.
    And if we do, it isn't to "debate" it, so much as to understand it. When I asked about the rapture I was looking for somebody to explain it from a religious point of view, in a thoughtful, well conceived manner. I wasn't looking for a chance to tear apart their beliefs.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by tessaesque View Post
    And if we do, it isn't to "debate" it, so much as to understand it. When I asked about the rapture I was looking for somebody to explain it from a religious point of view, in a thoughtful, well conceived manner. I wasn't looking for a chance to tear apart their beliefs.
    Indeed, and at least a third (give or take a few) of all my posts in the Religion forum are defending against attacks on religion, but American has a point if he limits his assessment to those who argue religion, a lot of them are bastards, but that doesn't apply to all atheists on teh interwebz.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Indeed, and at least a third (give or take a few) of all my posts in the Religion forum are defending against attacks on religion, but American has a point if he limits his assessment to those who argue religion, a lot of them are bastards, but that doesn't apply to all atheists on teh interwebz.
    I don't even think that's true. I think the "rabid" sort of folk he's talking about are the anti-theists, and those are a very small percentage of the overall atheist population. The anti-theists just happen to also be the loudest.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    That's not an assessment of atheists, but of atheists that debate religion. The vast majority of atheists don't debate religion in the first place.
    Of course not. Why would they? It would be like debating Santa Clause to an atheist.

    Just so we're clear here (reading over this thread makes me believe that we may not be, not all of us anyway)

    A theist or deist is someone who believes that there is a god. A Christian is a theist, and so is a Muslim. Both believe that there is a god, even if their concept of god is different.

    An atheist is someone who believes that there is no god. Atheism is different from agnosticism, which holds that we don't know whether there is a god or not. Atheism is a positive belief, not simple disbelief.

    I think there is a little bit of agnosticism in everyone, however religious or atheistic they may think they are. Little niggling doubts are going to be in the back of everyone's minds. What if my deeply held belief is wrong? What if there really is (isn't) a god? There is, after all, no empirical proof one way or the other.
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Just another special interest group who thinks their special and want what they want when they want it...all these groups think they are supposed to get whatever they want just because....pfffffffffft

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    I think there is a little bit of agnosticism in everyone, however religious or atheistic they may think they are. Little niggling doubts are going to be in the back of everyone's minds. What if my deeply held belief is wrong? What if there really is (isn't) a god? There is, after all, no empirical proof one way or the other.
    I have to disagree with you there.


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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Science as you say is always evolving, some things that were scientific fact 50 years ago, have proven to be nothing but fantasy, and 50 years from now, things that are deemed as scientific fact today will again be proven to be fantasy.
    Not really. Again, scientists tend to be very conservative in their asessments. Certainly, fundamental truths, like evolution, that consciousness exists in the brain, that gravity is a force exhibited by objects proportional to mass, these will never be disproven. Also, science, as I said before, becomes more accurate with time. Bogus theories like Phlogiston, or Phrenology could only exist because people had such a rudimentary understanding of biology and physics, at the time. This is no longer the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    To even suggest, as you seem to be doing, that we have reached the pinnacle of scientific fact is absurd . unless you believe yourself to be a seer into our future.
    We are running out of frontiers. Like I said, we're closing in on a unified theory of physics, after that point, physics will, essentially, cease to exist as a discipline. There will be nothing more to know. The human body, likewise, has very few secrets left. etc., etc. The expanse of virgin territory is rapidly dwindling.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    I'm sorry you took it that I was comparing science and religion to be on the same footing, I certainly was not doing any such thing. I even stated that one's belief in God could not be proven, it is ones belief .it's faith that God..... or a supreme being exists.
    No, no, no, no, no. To say that you believe god exists is a scientific claim. To make any assertion about how the world actually is is to make a scientific claim. No such thing can be said to be 'outside' of science.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    You're contention that love can be proven with a blood test or an MRI is just laughable, it might prove that you are related but nothing more, love is a feeling, nothing more if as you seem to think it can be proven, then perhaps that needs to be done before anyone can get married, or have children after all wouldn't that science solve the divorce rate and single parents raising kids ??
    By measuring increased bloodflow and activity in the brain, as well as measuring hormones and neurotransmitters in the blood, we can fairly accurately identify the phenomena we know as 'love.' This has been borne out by medical studies. So, yes, with a team of qualified doctors, an fMRI machine, and some blood tests, I could definitively prove to you that I was in love.

    I see no legal, or rational basis for comelling people to submit to said tests as a prerequisite for a marriage license.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    You seem to feel the need to put down anyone that doesn't conform to your way of thinking, maybe to make yourself feel important and better educated them others and that too is fine .. whatever you need to do to make yourself feel good.
    In no other sphere of conversation are we under any obligation to respect eachothers' views. People engage in raucous debate over everything from politics to sports. The idea that I should sit idly mute while some true believer makes extreme claims about the nature of the universe without any evidence, whatsoever, is ridiculous. To paraphrase Carl Sagan; extreme claims require extreme evidence. If you're going to assert that the scripture is, at least to a great extent literally true, you are going to have to be ready to meet the burden of proof for that assertion.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Unlike you I am not asking anyone to believe the way I do, even th unicorn guy if he wants to believe in unicorns that is his choice .most people believe in something that has yet to be proven a classic example is intelligent life ( above ours) on another planet.
    Yes, you have the right to believe anything you want, just as I have the right to say it's absurd.

    These claims are not comperable. First of all, we already know life exists on one planet, given the size of the universe, the number of earth-like planets out there, the fact that we have found evidence of the basic chemical precursors to life out there in space,... there's a big difference. Also, no-one claims to know with absolute certainty that extraterrestrial life exists, only that it's a likely possibility. Christians don't say god is a likely possibility, they're absolutely sure of it. they make all sorts of extreme, and unsubstantiated, claims in total confidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Barbarian View Post
    Then there is the simple way of looking at things .. if you are right and there is no supreme being, those of us that held that belief have lost nothing .. we certainly don't have to worry about someone like you coming to us after death and saying see I told you so.
    You have the right to believe whatever kind of nonsense you want to believe. However, I'm under no obligation, whatsoever, to respect that any more than I'm obligated to respect Young Earth Creationism, Holocaust Denialism, or Neo-Nazism. My biggest complaint is not simply the irrationality of religion, that's just irritating, but, rather, the horrible social problems that go along with it.
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