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Old 02-17-2013, 20:52   #721
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Originally Posted by ksg0245 View Post
Really? You want to go through this again?

As just one mundane example, it is common for cars with atheist stickers to be vandalized.

You must have missed these questions:

"Do you know whether or not you believe deities have existed or do exist?"

"Given that your premise is 'atheism is a religion because it's a belief system held to with ardor and faith,' and that your belief system of 'I believe I don't know' is held to with ardor and faith, do you concede that makes agnosticism a religion?"

I apologize for boring you by asking questions you have yet to answer.
It was common for cars with Romney and McCain stickers to be vandalized too. I don't have any stickers on my vehicles. Don't want any either, but that's another story.
Where is this stuff happening?

I've had vehicles broken into before, and did not have any stickers on it then either. Was the vandalism suggestive of disagreement with the sticker, or just dumb kid stuff.

Yes I know what I believe about deities. I believe that it is possible that one or more have existed, and it's possible that none have existed. We've been over this, and over this, and over this. I don't feel a need to pick sides in order to support other beliefs.....

If you want to think about agnosticism as a religion, I've no problem at all with that. It does me no harm at all. (another thing I have said often) See the difference?

Why does it bother you to admit that you do have a system of belief, one that you are comfortable with, and one that you will not easily abandon?
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Old 02-17-2013, 20:53   #722
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For things like the CRU controversy, I went and downloaded the leaked data and looked for myself, rather than merely trusting websites that claimed this-or-that was in what was leaked.
Interestingly enough, Cavalry Doc had the same opportunity, and after claiming that these emails showed evidence of fraud was asked to provide the supporting evidence. As we all know, he not only failed to do so, he then made the same allegations in this thread and again failed to substantiate them. I would propose this speaks volumes about both his actual willingness to examine the evidence before establishing a position and the veracity of his claims.
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Old 02-17-2013, 21:32   #723
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You've done a bit of research, I haven't been back to that thread in quite a while except to pull out some quotes. You'll have to forgive me if I have some of the less significant details incorrect.

Well, I promise you that my position is much more firm on atheism being a religion than it was when that thread started. Believe it or not, no big deal either way.

The biggest question left mostly unanswered is why it's so hard to admit, but again, that's a well beaten path that we don't need to go over any more. We just have some significant differences of opinion. I'm cool with that.
We've told you over and over and over. The answer is because it's not true.
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Old 02-17-2013, 21:33   #724
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It was common for cars with Romney and McCain stickers to be vandalized too. I don't have any stickers on my vehicles. Don't want any either, but that's another story.
Where is this stuff happening?

I've had vehicles broken into before, and did not have any stickers on it then either. Was the vandalism suggestive of disagreement with the sticker, or just dumb kid stuff.

Yes I know what I believe about deities. I believe that it is possible that one or more have existed, and it's possible that none have existed. We've been over this, and over this, and over this. I don't feel a need to pick sides in order to support other beliefs.....

If you want to think about agnosticism as a religion, I've no problem at all with that. It does me no harm at all. (another thing I have said often) See the difference?

Why does it bother you to admit that you do have a system of belief, one that you are comfortable with, and one that you will not easily abandon?
You dodged both questions again. Why do you refuse to answer?
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Old 02-17-2013, 22:07   #725
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It is reasonable to believe a lot of what we have been told, as it fits reasonably well with what we have observed to be true ourselves.
Exactly.

Now, if you *don't* believe something because it *doesn't* fit at all with what you have observed yourself (as well as not being supported by things that you likewise reasonably believe because it fits reasonably well with what you have observed yourself) - why do you consider that to be religious? Why can't it just be a natural extension of that, where, hey, if someone happens to find evidence, you'll change your mind, but until then, you see no reason to believe it?
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:09   #726
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Nope. You assert roughly equivalent probabilities between intelligent design and evolution. There is abundant evidence for evolution, and none at all for intelligent design. Evolution is a well-documented fact. Intelligent design is an unsupported assertion. There's a difference between facts and unsupported assertions.

......
ksg, I am not arguing against your general argument but evolution is not a well documented fact but a theory supported by a huge number of facts and refuted by none. The fact that the theory of evolution seems effectively unassailable does not make it a fact. Facts are just things like the variations of the beaks of finches from one island of the Galapagos to another.

If we are having these discussions we need to keep our terminology precise since there is more than enough confusion without terminological inexactitude.

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Old 02-18-2013, 07:55   #727
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You dodged both questions again. Why do you refuse to answer?
The 3rd and 4th section of my post (#721) were direct responses to your questions. What didn't you like about them?
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:07   #728
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Exactly.

Now, if you *don't* believe something because it *doesn't* fit at all with what you have observed yourself (as well as not being supported by things that you likewise reasonably believe because it fits reasonably well with what you have observed yourself) - why do you consider that to be religious? Why can't it just be a natural extension of that, where, hey, if someone happens to find evidence, you'll change your mind, but until then, you see no reason to believe it?
Well, because some belief is based on faith. We simply don't know whether or not a deity has ever existed. For atheism to be the correct belief system, abiogenesis through natural processes MUST be true. If life were made by a deity, atheism falls apart as a system of belief. For Christians, life MUST have been made by god. Otherwise their belief in a personally interested single omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent deity as described in the bible falls apart. For an uncommitted agnostic, whether life was made or not is a very interesting question, that I don't think we have the answer too. If it were made by an intelligence, we would need to know more about that intelligence. If it occurred through abiogenesis, maybe a deity created the universe knowing that on some planets life would occur, but had to take no other action than lighting the fuse on the Big Bang. Abiogenesis vs. ID is a wedge issue between many religions, and many have strong belief one way or the other, because it fits very well with their other beliefs.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:18   #729
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Well, because some belief is based on faith.
Yes, and so what? That has *zero* to do with the people who in fact reject the posit without basing the rejection on faith.

Why is your criteria for determining the character of a person's belief dependent on what some other random people believe?

If there happened to be a cult that worshiped otters, would you claim that anyone who believed in otters was religious because some people had religious beliefs in otters?

Or would you reasonably admit that someone saying 'Hey, otters exist, I know this because I've seen them, or I've seen reasonable evidence of them' was not, in fact, an otter-cultist?

Does your belief that cows exist suddenly become a religion because some people hold cows to be sacred?

I happen to believe that the Easter island statues were carved and placed by people, based on evidence that this is actually true and the fact that I have seen no evidence that it was otherwise, and people actually exist, making the "people did it" explanation currently the most probable (at least, in my evaluation). Is that belief suddenly a religion because some people believe they were put there by aliens?

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For atheism to be the correct belief system, abiogenesis through natural processes MUST be true.
Sure. That doesn't mean that saying 'I've seen a lot of natural processes, I've never seen a deity, I'm going to provisionally believe it was natural processes, based on natural processes having a far higher probability (as evaluated right now) due to the fact that we've actually observed various natural processes, unless and until there's evidence otherwise' is faith based. Sure, i may not know what the natural process was with specificity - but I've actually seen natural processes in other contexts. Probability assessments can change with new data. So what's the problem?

When nobody knew the physical processes behind lightning, would you have considered someone's rejection of a belief in Thor as a religion?
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:37   #730
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ksg, I am not arguing against your general argument but evolution is not a well documented fact but a theory supported by a huge number of facts and refuted by none. The fact that the theory of evolution seems effectively unassailable does not make it a fact. Facts are just things like the variations of the beaks of finches from one island of the Galapagos to another.

If we are having these discussions we need to keep our terminology precise since there is more than enough confusion without terminological inexactitude.

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Speciation has been repeatedly observed. It is a fact, and the theory explains the fact. As far as I can tell, the controversy arises from not having observed every single speciation event, particularly the event giving rise to homo sapiens.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:43   #731
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The 3rd and 4th section of my post (#721) were direct responses to your questions. What didn't you like about them?
The 3rd section, you didn't say whether you believed deities exist; you said you believe it's possible, which doesn't answer my question. You never will, so I wasn't surprised.

The 4th section, you didn't say whether you concede agnosticism is a religion, you said you've no problem at all if I want to think that. Again, not an answer to the question I asked, but not unexpected.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:53   #732
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The 3rd section, you didn't say whether you believed deities exist; you said you believe it's possible, which doesn't answer my question. You never will, so I wasn't surprised.
I said: Yes I know what I believe about deities. I believe that it is possible that one or more have existed, and it's possible that none have existed. It's possible, I haven't made up my mind yet either way. That's an honest answer. What don't you like about it?


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The 4th section, you didn't say whether you concede agnosticism is a religion, you said you've no problem at all if I want to think that. Again, not an answer to the question I asked, but not unexpected.
I'll concede that I did not answer that question, let me fix that. No, I don't think about agnosticism as a religion. I'm not sure how it would fit into the definition of religion. But it's perfectly alright if you would like to think of it as a religion, or for that matter, if everyone on the planet did. It's just not a big deal.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:32   #733
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Well, because some belief is based on faith. We simply don't know whether or not a deity has ever existed. For atheism to be the correct belief system, abiogenesis through natural processes MUST be true. If life were made by a deity, atheism falls apart as a system of belief. For Christians, life MUST have been made by god. Otherwise their belief in a personally interested single omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent deity as described in the bible falls apart. For an uncommitted agnostic, whether life was made or not is a very interesting question, that I don't think we have the answer too. If it were made by an intelligence, we would need to know more about that intelligence. If it occurred through abiogenesis, maybe a deity created the universe knowing that on some planets life would occur, but had to take no other action than lighting the fuse on the Big Bang. Abiogenesis vs. ID is a wedge issue between many religions, and many have strong belief one way or the other, because it fits very well with their other beliefs.
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Yes, and so what? That has *zero* to do with the people who in fact reject the posit without basing the rejection on faith.

Why is your criteria for determining the character of a person's belief dependent on what some other random people believe?

If there happened to be a cult that worshiped otters, would you claim that anyone who believed in otters was religious because some people had religious beliefs in otters?

Or would you reasonably admit that someone saying 'Hey, otters exist, I know this because I've seen them, or I've seen reasonable evidence of them' was not, in fact, an otter-cultist?

Does your belief that cows exist suddenly become a religion because some people hold cows to be sacred?

I happen to believe that the Easter island statues were carved and placed by people, based on evidence that this is actually true and the fact that I have seen no evidence that it was otherwise, and people actually exist, making the "people did it" explanation currently the most probable (at least, in my evaluation). Is that belief suddenly a religion because some people believe they were put there by aliens?



Sure. That doesn't mean that saying 'I've seen a lot of natural processes, I've never seen a deity, I'm going to provisionally believe it was natural processes, based on natural processes having a far higher probability (as evaluated right now) due to the fact that we've actually observed various natural processes, unless and until there's evidence otherwise' is faith based. Sure, i may not know what the natural process was with specificity - but I've actually seen natural processes in other contexts. Probability assessments can change with new data. So what's the problem?

When nobody knew the physical processes behind lightning, would you have considered someone's rejection of a belief in Thor as a religion?
I think you are missing the points of demarcation. Cows and otters aside, there are some passive non-believers, and some true believers. I believe that those that believe no deity exists or has existed, beyond a reasonable doubt, have crossed the line of demarcation from passive non-belief to a belief based on faith, a religious belief if held to with ardor. Even within that group, you have gradients, some really believe there is no deity, and largely ignore the subject, and some others seemed consumed by it.

Evangelical Atheism exists, I didn't create it. What would you have me do about it?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:45   #734
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I believe that those that believe no deity exists or has existed, beyond a reasonable doubt, have crossed the line of demarcation from passive non-belief to a belief based on faith, a religious belief if held to with ardor.
Sure. How does that justify applying the label 'religion' to an entire group when that entire group has not crossed that line of demarcation, and in fact (in my experience, at least) *most* of the group has not?

What you are doing is quite a bit like saying "Retired Majors are crazy" just because there happen to be a few crazy retired Majors here and there.

Or claiming that because some people who are religious are Catholic, religion is catholicism.
Or claiming that because some dogs are white, dogs are white.

I didn't make ups the existence of crazy people who happen to be retired majors.
I didn't make up the existence of religious people who are Catholic.
I didn't make up the existence of white dogs.

That doesn't justify stating "Retired majors are crazy", "Religion is catholic", or "dogs are white", either, so why do you think it is valid to say that the mere existence of some atheists who believe that no god exists "with ardor or faith" means that you get to say "atheism is a religion", in the face of the existence of atheists who believe that no god exists without ardor or faith?

Look up the fallacy of composition and the fallacy of hasty generalization. Read them. Understand them. Realize you've committed at least one of them.
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Old 02-18-2013, 13:01   #735
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ksg, I am not arguing against your general argument but evolution is not a well documented fact but a theory supported by a huge number of facts and refuted by none. The fact that the theory of evolution seems effectively unassailable does not make it a fact. Facts are just things like the variations of the beaks of finches from one island of the Galapagos to another.

If we are having these discussions we need to keep our terminology precise since there is more than enough confusion without terminological inexactitude.

English
Given that at their core, facts are observations -- e.g. an apple when released from a tree falls to the earth is a fact.

In the same manner I believe that at the most basic level "live evolved" (simple organisms to more complex) is a fact. Evolution by natural selection remains a falsifiable theory explaining how "life evolved", and it is supported by a metric arse load of facts from fossils to DNA to embryology.

I like Stephen J. Gould's quote regarding facts, "In science, fact can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."

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Old 02-18-2013, 15:32   #736
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Sure. How does that justify applying the label 'religion' to an entire group when that entire group has not crossed that line of demarcation, and in fact (in my experience, at least) *most* of the group has not?

What you are doing is quite a bit like saying "Retired Majors are crazy" just because there happen to be a few crazy retired Majors here and there.

Or claiming that because some people who are religious are Catholic, religion is catholicism.
Or claiming that because some dogs are white, dogs are white.

I didn't make ups the existence of crazy people who happen to be retired majors.
I didn't make up the existence of religious people who are Catholic.
I didn't make up the existence of white dogs.

That doesn't justify stating "Retired majors are crazy", "Religion is catholic", or "dogs are white", either, so why do you think it is valid to say that the mere existence of some atheists who believe that no god exists "with ardor or faith" means that you get to say "atheism is a religion", in the face of the existence of atheists who believe that no god exists without ardor or faith?

Look up the fallacy of composition and the fallacy of hasty generalization. Read them. Understand them. Realize you've committed at least one of them.
And it's that emotional level of response that leads me to believe that some may not have realized just how deeply they believe. It's an example of lashing out when something important to you is threatened.

Do you believe there is at least a reasonable possibility that a deity has ever existed?
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Old 02-18-2013, 15:51   #737
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And it's that emotional level of response that leads me to believe that leads me to believe that some may not have realized just how deeply they believe. It's an example of lashing out when something important to you is threatened.

Do you believe there is at least a reasonable possibility that a deity has ever existed?
I don't see any bold text or exclamation points, why do you assume there is emotion there? Maybe there is, but I read it without any emotion at all.
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Old 02-18-2013, 16:38   #738
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And it's that emotional level of response that leads me to believe that some may not have realized just how deeply they believe. It's an example of lashing out when something important to you is threatened.
To who's "emotional level of response" are you referring? Certainly not Void's as I see no emotional plea there, just a rational explanation as to where your logic has failed.

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Old 02-18-2013, 16:57   #739
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Given that at their core, facts are observations -- e.g. an apple when released from a tree falls to the earth is a fact.

In the same manner I believe that at the most basic level "live evolved" (simple organisms to more complex) is a fact. Evolution by natural selection remains a falsifiable theory explaining how "life evolved", and it is supported by a metric arse load of facts from fossils to DNA to embryology.

I like Stephen J. Gould's quote regarding facts, "In science, fact can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."

-ArtificialGrape
Although I believe "life evolved" is true beyond all reasonable doubt, I find it hard to accept that it is a fact since the connection between similar species is theoretical. We can observe and count apples falling from trees and observe that none fall other than down. We can't do the same with life evolving because the process is too slow.

"Life evolved" is an entirely believable hypothesis and I cannot think of any other believable idea that explains the facts of the observable relationships of organisms within the taxonomic system and of components of organisms such as mammalian inner ear bones and fish and reptile jaw bones and the observable intermediate forms. But that does not make "life evolved" fact. We can say that taxonomy demonstrates the fact that many species are closely similar and can sensibly be put into related groups. We can go on and say that such groups can also be seen to be related to other groups which allows us to create supper group and so on. These things we can claim as facts, but making the step from that to the idea that one species can give rise to distinct "daughter" species is strictly theory. It is an explanation of how taxonomic relatedness comes about and hence how all life is probably related. Natural selection is the icing on that particular cake and genetic analysis removes the "probably".

The problem is that the language is not well adapted to this particular task. People want truth, proof and certainty when those concepts are inapplicable. They neglect the fact that even within a court of law the jury is asked only to find whether the charge is true beyond all reasonable doubt and to declare the case not proven, in one terminology or another, otherwise. People want theories they approve of or believe in to be facts, but theories (or hypotheses, explanations or ideas) and facts are two distinct logical entities.

Within this conceptual framework, falsifiable theories, hypotheses, and explanations are logically indistinguishable. I am, how ever, unsure of the nature of laws as in the case of the gas laws. The gas laws explain the relationship of the pressure, volume and temperature of gases in simple mathematical terms and so have the characteristics of theory. At the same time that behaviour can be demonstrated as simple observable fact given suitable equipment with very minor theoretical allowance for the impossibility of maintaining a completely closed system. Of course, we cannot be certain that someday an experiment will show the gas laws to be false, but that is virtually inconceivable. Here is the interesting thing! We could make the same argument about evolution. Its principles are so simple and its evidence so completely consistent that it is inconceivable that it is false and therefore it becomes as close to fact as the gas laws.

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Old 02-18-2013, 17:10   #740
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......

Do you believe there is at least a reasonable possibility that a deity has ever existed?
You keep asking this question as though it has great meaning. You have asked it of me, you now ask it of void and you have asked it of others. All of us have the same answer. There is an unreasonable possibility that a deity has existed. That is, all ideas are possible until proven false and this particular idea is non falsifiable so can never be proven false. It is an idea outside the realm of truth and falsehood! Hence there is some room for an ever so small possibility that there has been a deity.

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Aug 11, 2014 at 2:31