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Old 02-19-2013, 21:03   #801
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Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
This has been tried with FSM, IPU, Zeus, magic pixies (not pixels lol), leprechauns, and I'm sure several more. He will continue to pretend to not understand.
I will continue to point out that none of them have anything to do with the subject at hand. I this particular thread, it began about evolution, which had been separated from abiogenesis as a separate subject, and then devolved into Void's fascination with a duck on his shoulder that I'm supposed to do some sort of math homework on. I'm not all that impressed so far.

I'm sure it's a neat concept, as a game anyway.
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Old 02-19-2013, 21:04   #802
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Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
Hey Doc, here's a thought, why don't you actually answer a direct question for once in your miserable existence? I know you think you are being clever with this nonsense, but all you are actually doing is making a fool of yourself. Seriously, Void has you cornered, yet again. More importantly, everyone seems to know it but you. It's really kind of pathetic.
There's that emotion again.

Careful, it can get the best of you if you're not.
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Old 02-19-2013, 21:06   #803
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
If you would like to believe you have a duck on your shoulder, be my guest. I'm entirely unsure what you would want me to say about your duck.
Well, since I personally don't believe I have a duck on my shoulder, I don't quite get why you think I'd like to.

It's possible, though, given that a talking duck with the power to create the universe might well decide not to reveal itself to anyone - and the fact remains, you claimed it is ridiculously false, and you have not provided any evidence whatsoever that it is in fact ridiculously false. You've claimed it is of no import to how we got to be as we are, yet if there is such a duck, that created the universe, that fact would be quite important to how we got to be as we are. It also might well mean that we should go to the park once a week to give bread offerings to mortal ducks, in thanks, if we'd like to have a nice afterlife.

Given that you claim that rejection of a posit without proof makes it a religious belief, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you to prove your position that the duck is 'ridiculously false'. And it's quite enlightening that you continue to refuse to do so.
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Old 02-19-2013, 21:08   #804
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
Careful, it can get the best of you if you're not.
Huh? It can get the best of me if I'm not what? Maybe you've had enough to drink tonight.



I think your cheese has done slid off your quacker, Doc.
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Old 02-19-2013, 21:19   #805
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
I will continue to point out that none of them have anything to do with the subject at hand.
That you "point out that none of them have anything to do with the subject at hand" is evidence that you're ignoring that any of them could be the creator you are *so* adamant that other people not reject.

You hold them to be less important not because they actually are of less import - because *any* of them could be 'the creator' - but because they don't hold the same significance *to you* as the creator defined by the religious traditions that happens to be dominant in the U.S.

So, you ignore that they actually are of significance - you pretend they couldn't be the creator. This gets back to the cognitive dissonance I was talking about earlier. If you really, truly thought it was important to not reject the existence of a creator simply because there is no evidence for that creator, you wouldn't be claiming that something that could easily be that creator is 'ridiculously false' without being able to prove it. By rejecting the duck on my shoulder without being able to prove it did *not* create the universe, after it's been pointed out to you that it could have, you're doing exactly what you claim people should not.

Pretty much everyone, including you, I suspect, realizes that - but you're the guy stuck in the position of having to claim that potential creators have no importance, so that you can defend the fact that you've rejected them without being able to prove it, while simultaneously claiming that anybody who rejects the possibility of creator without proof is doing it wrong.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:46   #806
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Originally Posted by void * View Post
Well, since I personally don't believe I have a duck on my shoulder, I don't quite get why you think I'd like to.

It's possible, though, given that a talking duck with the power to create the universe might well decide not to reveal itself to anyone - and the fact remains, you claimed it is ridiculously false, and you have not provided any evidence whatsoever that it is in fact ridiculously false. You've claimed it is of no import to how we got to be as we are, yet if there is such a duck, that created the universe, that fact would be quite important to how we got to be as we are. It also might well mean that we should go to the park once a week to give bread offerings to mortal ducks, in thanks, if we'd like to have a nice afterlife.

Given that you claim that rejection of a posit without proof makes it a religious belief, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you to prove your position that the duck is 'ridiculously false'. And it's quite enlightening that you continue to refuse to do so.

It was your posit that you had a duck on your shoulder. Not playing your game is much different than rejecting whether or not the universe and life were made, or just happened.

A lack of willful participation in your game should not lead you to read more than that into it.

A firm belief (there is no deity) without proof is faith.
The ardor is evident by the nature in which it is discussed by many.

The fact is that we are here. How we came to be here is a mystery, many have filled in the blanks with firm beliefs of their own as opposed to simply waiting for an answer to be revealed. Whether Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism can be proven inaccurate or even impossible doesn't change the fact that the first living cell on Earth was made, or just happened.

Do you firmly believe in abiogenesis?

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:16   #807
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
The game you are playing is amusing, but it gets us nowhere.

If you would like to believe you have a duck on your shoulder, be my guest. I'm entirely unsure what you would want me to say about your duck.

You can do as you would like with it by yourself.
I suspect this could be a paradigm for an act of futility, but....

void is not claiming that he believes he has a duck on his shoulder but saying that if he believed there was such a duck and if he further claimed that it had created the universe and everything in it, you would no more be able to "prove" that it did not exist than you can prove that God or any other super natural creator of the universe did not exist. All such concepts are untestable and so not open to proof or disproof.

He is saying that choosing to believe that any such creator might have existed is equally silly and therefore cannot be given some faint probability which is equal to the belief that no such being has existed. Where there are an infinitude of equally silly untestable ideas, no one of them can be put on a par to the belief that they are all silly. Therefore, your arguments about why it is sensible to be agnostic and why atheism is really a religion are false.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:29   #808
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Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
Huh? It can get the best of me if I'm not what? Maybe you've had enough to drink tonight.



I think your cheese has done slid off your quacker, Doc.
Subtlety is not your strong point I see. Stone cold sober, but thanks for asking.

Allow me to be more clear for you.


There's that emotion again.

BE Careful. It (that emotion) can get the best of you if you're not.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:35   #809
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I suspect this could be a paradigm for an act of futility, but....

void is not claiming that he believes he has a duck on his shoulder but saying that if he believed there was such a duck and if he further claimed that it had created the universe and everything in it, you would no more be able to "prove" that it did not exist than you can prove that God or any other super natural creator of the universe did not exist. All such concepts are untestable and so not open to proof or disproof.

He is saying that choosing to believe that any such creator might have existed is equally silly and therefore cannot be given some faint probability which is equal to the belief that no such being has existed. Where there are an infinitude of equally silly untestable ideas, no one of them can be put on a par to the belief that they are all silly. Therefore, your arguments about why it is sensible to be agnostic and why atheism is really a religion are false.

English
I saw the game quite clearly. It's just been done, over and over and over and over. FSM, Fairies, Unicorns etc etc etc etc.

Disproving any or even all of the man described deities still leaves us with the exact same question, was the first living cell on earth made, or did it just happen. Many, if not most people have a firm belief one way or the other, even though there is no proof.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:52   #810
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
I saw the game quite clearly. It's just been done, over and over and over and over. FSM, Fairies, Unicorns etc etc etc etc.

Disproving any or even all of the man described deities still leaves us with the exact same question, was the first living cell on earth made, or did it just happen. Many, if not most people have a firm belief one way or the other, even though there is no proof.
I think we have established that deities, man described or otherwise, can neither be proved not disproved and as such are meaningless or silly concepts. Since the only possible source of the first living cell, whether on earth or elsewhere, being made rather than just happening would be some kind of acellular god, any such suggestion of a made origin would be based on a silly premise and so is equally or perhaps doubly silly.

The strength of an individual's belief in one idea or its negation has no bearing on either its truth or its silliness.

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:00   #811
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
BE Careful. It (that emotion) can get the best of you if you're not.
Nevermind, you missed it again.

Hint: I wasn't asking you to restate the obvious.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:49   #812
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Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
Nevermind, you missed it again.

Hint: I wasn't asking you to restate the obvious.
You claimed not to understand. Were you wrong then or now??! Or was it just another drive by insult opportunity for you? Is there a deeper issue you would like to discuss? Like why you are so uncomfortable with my having a few different opinions than you do?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:54   #813
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I guess higher order reasoning skills like analogies are too sophisticated for some people. Along with dictionaries.

That or trolls can't admit when they've been bested.

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:26   #814
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
I saw the game quite clearly. It's just been done, over and over and over and over. FSM, Fairies, Unicorns etc etc etc etc.
It's not a game, CD, in the sense that even though I made up that description as part of trying to make a point, there's no way that you or I or anyone can prove it is not in fact correct. The fact that you're dismissing it with all the ardor, fervor and lack of proof you accuse atheists of having is certainly amusing, but it doesn't make the point less valid.

Anyone anywhere could make up a non-falsifiable creator, for a game or for fun or because they needed it for a fictional book they were writing, or whatever, and no matter what that description is, if it's something that's not falsifiable, they might have just randomly hit on something describing what is actually true.

If there is a talking duck with the power to create the universe, sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear ... the fact that I made up that description as part of trying to make a point would not change the fact that the duck actually exists.

Yet, you want to ignore that, because you reasonably reject the posit that such a duck actually exists in exactly the same way that you claim atheists are wrong for rejecting deities that some people actually happen to believe in.

If your objection is that nobody believes it, well, I'm sure I could find somebody with the charisma to lead a duck-cult, and here in Austin I'm sure there's at least a few people who would buy into it, but that would be a pretty extreme path just to prove a point.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:33   #815
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Yet, you want to ignore that, because you reasonably reject the posit that such a duck actually exists in exactly the same way that you claim atheists are wrong for rejecting deities that some people actually happen to believe in.
Well said... This is the core point which CavDoc will never acknowledge.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:23   #816
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I think we have established that deities, man described or otherwise, can neither be proved not disproved and as such are meaningless or silly concepts. Since the only possible source of the first living cell, whether on earth or elsewhere, being made rather than just happening would be some kind of acellular god, any such suggestion of a made origin would be based on a silly premise and so is equally or perhaps doubly silly.

The strength of an individual's belief in one idea or its negation has no bearing on either its truth or its silliness.

English
That depends on who "we" are. You may have been a little over-inclusive. I think it's improbable that man, beginning thousands of years ago was able to accurately describe the wants and desires of a deity in a way that would be able to be perfectly accurate in modern times, IF that contact even occurred. There are issues with variations of the stories, translations at various times by various people for different reasons. Many of the stories are contradictory, so it's doubtful that all of them are true.

It is possible that a deity, if one has ever existed did, or did not reveal itself to humans. If one did, it's safe to say that humans probably got some stuff wrong. So completely negating the possibility of a Devine contact is not all that reasonable either.

Forgetting all the man describe deities, all the stories and inaccuracies, we are still at the same place. Life on this planet started as either a natural process, or it was designed. Any firm belief one way or the other is a matter of faith.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:29   #817
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It's not a game, CD, in the sense that even though I made up that description as part of trying to make a point, there's no way that you or I or anyone can prove it is not in fact correct. The fact that you're dismissing it with all the ardor, fervor and lack of proof you accuse atheists of having is certainly amusing, but it doesn't make the point less valid.

Anyone anywhere could make up a non-falsifiable creator, for a game or for fun or because they needed it for a fictional book they were writing, or whatever, and no matter what that description is, if it's something that's not falsifiable, they might have just randomly hit on something describing what is actually true.

If there is a talking duck with the power to create the universe, sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear ... the fact that I made up that description as part of trying to make a point would not change the fact that the duck actually exists.

Yet, you want to ignore that, because you reasonably reject the posit that such a duck actually exists in exactly the same way that you claim atheists are wrong for rejecting deities that some people actually happen to believe in.

If your objection is that nobody believes it, well, I'm sure I could find somebody with the charisma to lead a duck-cult, and here in Austin I'm sure there's at least a few people who would buy into it, but that would be a pretty extreme path just to prove a point.
The point you are missing is that even if every man described religion could be proven false, you still have a question of whether life on this planet began as a natural process of abiogenesis or intelligent design.

We could spend an eternity making up and then dismissing more deities, and it still does not answer the question.

A lot of people have chosen what to believe, and because it fits well with their other beliefs, have also chosen to believe in either abiogenesis or intelligent design.

It's a leap of faith.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:08   #818
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The point you are missing is that even if every man described religion could be proven false, you still have a question of whether life on this planet began as a natural process of abiogenesis or intelligent design.
I'm not missing that point. I fully understand that point, in fact, I agree with it. You're trying to redirect the conversation away from the point you are avoiding. The fact that you are not claiming "A creator exists" is false does not change the fact that you claimed a particular possible creator exists is 'ridiculously false', when you can't actually prove it.

Pointing out that you're not being consistent is not a rebuttal to the proposition that you're not being consistent. Saying 'Hey, I do it right over here' doesn't change the fact that you're doing it wrong over there. Both of the posits 'A creator exists' and 'There is a talking duck on void *'s shoulder, who created the universe and everything in it' are not falsifiable posits. Pointing out that you don't say that one of those posits is false because it's not falsifiable doesn't change the fact that you claimed the other was 'ridiculously false' despite the fact that it is not falsifiable.

Personally, I don't know if there's a creator duck on my shoulder. I don't believe it, because I've seen no evidence for it, but I'm not going to claim it's 'ridiculously false', because I know I can't prove that.

Yet, there you are, trying to claim that because you admit you don't know whether or not there's a creator, that excuses the fact that you didn't admit you don't know whether or not there's a creator-duck on my shoulder.

Me: 'A creator exists' => I don't know, can't prove it's false, don't believe it because I haven't seen evidence that indicates it's probable.

Me: 'A creator duck is sitting on my shoulder' => I don't know, can't prove it's false, don't believe it because I haven't seen evidence that indicates it's probable.
Me: Consistent application of my position to posits that aren't falsifiable

You: 'A creator exists' => Don't know.
You: 'A creator duck is sitting on void *'s shoulder' => 'Ridiculously false'. When asked to prove it, you come up with nothing.
You: Inconsistent application of your stated position to different posits that are both not falsifiable.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:43   #819
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And, I'll note again, if there is a talking duck on my shoulder, that created the universe and everything in it, then there is a creator, and life originated via intelligent design. Lest you yet again claim the posit is irrelevant.
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Old 02-20-2013, 13:00   #820
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That depends on who "we" are. You may have been a little over-inclusive. ....

....

.... Life on this planet started as either a natural process, or it was designed. Any firm belief one way or the other is a matter of faith.
Since the impossibility of proving the existence or non existence of any god has been discussed in many posts and even in many threads and since you had never disputed it, I included you and me in the we, but I would think that few here would dispute it.

We all have firm beliefs about many things. I refer you to the people who think their is not an inherent feeding problem in some G36s. Because we can never gain certainty of positive knowledge in theory and are even less able to do so in practice, we all function on belief. For what ever reason people tend to fight for their beliefs, even when it is as trivial as Ford being better than GM. It is hardly surprising that thy then fight for their religion but the fact of fighting and the fervour or passion that is put into that fight does not make it a religion any more than being committed to Ford is a religion. Faith is just another word for belief. It means acting on the basis that something is true even when you can't know that it is true.

Within that framework there are rational beliefs and irrational beliefs. Rational beliefs are based on some evidence in their favour and a complete absence of evidence against them combined with a test of reasonableness. That is, rational people will be very wary of believing evidence in favour of something which is unreasonable, such as an invisible weightless duck which created the universe. What is left ar irrational beliefs and unfortunately, many people can believe in irrational ideas with as much strength as in rational ideas.

It seems that no amount of education or healthy upbringing can cure this tendency of the majority to believe the irrational or impossible if it offers and answer to some psychological need. We have to live with it, but that is no reason to accept it as an equally valuable mode of life and thought. This is what you are doing when you equate the uncertainty of how the first living cell came into existence by natural means with the completely unreasonable idea that it was created intelligently by some super being which would have to have been created by some even more super being and so on ad infinitum or would have to have been created by some natural process of the universe in a way which would be far harder to believe than anything involving black smokers and so on.

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Old 02-20-2013, 16:33   #821
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Since the impossibility of proving the existence or non existence of any god has been discussed in many posts and even in many threads and since you had never disputed it, I included you and me in the we, but I would think that few here would dispute it.
I think he might be hedging a disagreement on the "meaningless or silly concepts" bit. Just on the basis of, he appears to treat some such concepts as vitally important but undecidable, while dismissing others outright.
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Old 02-20-2013, 16:41   #822
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Since the impossibility of proving the existence or non existence of any god has been discussed in many posts and even in many threads and since you had never disputed it, I included you and me in the we, but I would think that few here would dispute it.

We all have firm beliefs about many things. I refer you to the people who think their is not an inherent feeding problem in some G36s. Because we can never gain certainty of positive knowledge in theory and are even less able to do so in practice, we all function on belief. For what ever reason people tend to fight for their beliefs, even when it is as trivial as Ford being better than GM. It is hardly surprising that thy then fight for their religion but the fact of fighting and the fervour or passion that is put into that fight does not make it a religion any more than being committed to Ford is a religion. Faith is just another word for belief. It means acting on the basis that something is true even when you can't know that it is true.

Within that framework there are rational beliefs and irrational beliefs. Rational beliefs are based on some evidence in their favour and a complete absence of evidence against them combined with a test of reasonableness. That is, rational people will be very wary of believing evidence in favour of something which is unreasonable, such as an invisible weightless duck which created the universe. What is left ar irrational beliefs and unfortunately, many people can believe in irrational ideas with as much strength as in rational ideas.

It seems that no amount of education or healthy upbringing can cure this tendency of the majority to believe the irrational or impossible if it offers and answer to some psychological need. We have to live with it, but that is no reason to accept it as an equally valuable mode of life and thought. This is what you are doing when you equate the uncertainty of how the first living cell came into existence by natural means with the completely unreasonable idea that it was created intelligently by some super being which would have to have been created by some even more super being and so on ad infinitum or would have to have been created by some natural process of the universe in a way which would be far harder to believe than anything involving black smokers and so on.

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There are many different opinions on what is rational and irrational. Don't be too hasty in believing only your choice is the rational one. Many Not that I am trying to convince you to change your mind, but consider the possibility that some see the most rational course is complete opposition to a position they consider irrational. In a vacuum, without emotional consideration, when presented with the possibility that life was made, or naturally just happened on Earth, there are two possible affirmative positions, and one passive. The positive and negative are affirmative positions. Each requires assumption of a specific set of events that cannot be proven, yet at least. Atheism and Theism are examples. The passive route is simply admitting there is not enough evidence available to choose. Agnosticism.

I've been resistant to pointing it out, but many self described atheists seem to be anti-theists much more than what they describe as a lack of belief.

I'll have to think about that some more, maybe get some feedback. That might be worthy of its own thread.
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Old 02-20-2013, 17:01   #823
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TEach requires assumption of a specific set of events that cannot be proven, yet at least.
One requires the assumption that there is a natural process involved. Given the number of times we as humans have found natural causes and processes for unknown events, this is not an unreasonable assumption, despite there not being a proof for it in this specific situation.

The other requires the assumption of a deity, which is basically by definition not falsifiable.

I think we ought to look at the possibility that we'll yet again uncover a natural cause or process by looking for one, rather than sticking ourselves in an unproductive loop of 'don't know', don't you?
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Last edited by void *; 02-20-2013 at 17:02..
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Old 02-20-2013, 17:02   #824
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I think he might be hedging a disagreement on the "meaningless or silly concepts" bit. Just on the basis of, he appears to treat some such concepts as vitally important but undecidable, while dismissing others outright.
1. Come on, ducks on your shoulder? I'm supposed to take that seriously? I thought you were being intentionally ridiculous.

2. Either life on this planet was made or occurred without interference? True or false?

3. You believe beyond a reasonable doubt one way or the other? True or False?



If you have chosen to believe one way or the other, it's your right to do so. There is no reason to be afraid of admitting it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 17:15   #825
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1. Come on, ducks on your shoulder? I'm supposed to take that seriously? I thought you were being intentionally ridiculous.
Can you prove it's not true? No? Then why are you dismissing it outright as 'ridiculously false' when for other claims that are not falsifiable, you are absolutely adamant that anyone even not believing it (as opposed to making the affirmative claim that it is false, which you did) are religious simply because they don't believe, with no regard to *why* they don't believe?

I didn't expect you to take it seriously. I also didn't expect you to contradict your own position with your response, but you surprised me. If you're not happy with the fact that I pointed out that contradiction, perhaps you should do the reasonable thing and change your position so that you're not contradicting yourself.

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Either life on this planet was made or occurred without interference? True or false?
If by 'without interference' you mean natural processes, true. If you mean something else, define 'without interference'.

Quote:
You believe beyond a reasonable doubt one way or the other? True or False?
I am reasonably confident that it was natural processes, and I reserve the right to change my mind later should some evidence sufficiently support that it was made. There's *always* a chance that what looks like a reasonable explanation with one set of data turns out to be false with more data. And if it turns out I've provisionally accepted a posit that turns out to be wrong, no big deal, I'll just *change my mind*. This isn't a courtroom where the decision is basically final (excepting appeals, etc).
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Last edited by void *; 02-20-2013 at 17:23..
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