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Old 01-19-2013, 10:29   #176
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Originally Posted by ksg0245 View Post
Follow the conversation. I was responding to your comment "I don't believe I've ever had anyone tell me was going to hell in a religious context. And if one was really sure hell didn't exist, why worry about it?" The reason atheists worry about theists who tell them they're going to hell as a result of their atheism is because of the disdain, distrust, and fear held by people making such a statement, which leads, for example, to atheists being the most distrusted minority.

To clarify, atheists aren't worried about going to hell; they're concerned about the attitude of people telling them they're going to hell because they're atheists, because that attitude affects their behavior towards atheists. It can affect atheists' employment or relationships.

It's great that you don't distrust people based on religious affiliation. Were you unaware that such a position isn't held by the majority? It's been mentioned a few times before; there's even been a study.
I've been in areas where I wasn't as popular as atheists in America. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think in real life. I don't ask people not to say "bless you" if I sneeze. I don't confront someone about praying before they eat when sitting down to lunch. I just ignore it.

I'm also very much against generalizations. All these people are this, all those people are that. I've found too many exceptions.

Is it sad that people cannot realize that one trait should never be used when assigning trust to someone. You have to get to know someone a bit before you can really know if they are worthy of trust. We've all been fooled once or twice. There's a long list of television evangelists that turned out to be crooks. A president or two also.

Guess it all depends on how obvious it is that you are an atheist. One guy around here says that he posts on a few religious forums to help him in his frequent IRL confrontations with anything religious he encounters. I guess if you interupt people that are praying, or yell at ones that say "bless you" when you sneeze, kick over nativity scenes, and put crosses in jars of urine, you're going to get some push back. Try burning a quran or writing a mohammed comic strip for the sunday paper. If you asked everyone at work what my religious beliefs are, I'd be surprised if three out of 2800 had a clue what I believe.

In short, yes, there is discrimination. A lot of people do it for a lot of bad reasons. I've not experienced religious discrimination in the USA, but I have been discriminated against because of my nationality, gender and race. I overcame it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:39   #177
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Originally Posted by ArtificialGrape View Post
Here you go...
http://www.gallup.com/poll/148100/he...rmon-2012.aspx

Would you vote for your party's candidate if:
Baptist -- 7% no
Jewish -- 9% no
Mormon -- 22% no
atheist -- 49% no

-ArtificialGrape
So, is stamping out all other religions going to fix that? Or would a tolerant first amendment kind of approach work better?

To be honest, I'm not sure if there is a good answer for that. I've had people tell me that without their religion, they would be lost. I guess a rule book is helpful to some. Some of those guys think that atheists and agnostics don't have a rule book.

I think a few people get upset and just think that IF everyone could be made to agree with them, then they would be accepted more. When one approaches other beliefs as a scourge on the human race that must be eliminated if we are ever to be truly free, there's going to be a lot of opportunity for friction.

Active efforts to achieve that unachievable goal just breeds resentment. I stay out of other people's way, they usually stay out of mine on religion IRL.
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Old 01-19-2013, 21:31   #178
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:00   #179
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In the hopes that some useful discussion can actually come out of this thread (unlikely), I do have a question/problem with the graph. I like the idea overall, but there is a coordinate on this chart that doesn't make sense. Imagine an individual that is 100% on the y-axis (completely gnostic), but also located at exactly zero on the x-axis (midway between theist and atheist). What would that person be 100% certain of exactly?
I don't see it as a Cartesian plane with coordinates. It's two independent true/false variables with a square in the chart for every possible combination of the two values. Viewed that way there is no x or y axis, there are no axes at all - what you are calling axes are just lines separating the boxes.

And that makes perfect sense, imho, as either you hold the position that there can be 100% certainty, or you don't - and you either believe, or you don't. It doesn't really make sense to say that someone '0.25 believes in God' or that someone holds the position that there can be 0.75% certainty but no more. (Someone might make such a claim, but how do you really quantify that in a way that actually makes sense? And really, if they claim there can be 0.75% certainty, but no more, they do *not* hold the position that there can be 100% certainty)
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:42   #180
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So, is stamping out all other religions going to fix that? Or would a tolerant first amendment kind of approach work better?
A tolerant first amendment approach would be great - but I think it's largely infeasible unless people actually become tolerant and respect each other's first amendment rights.

The kind of people that claim stores saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is some sort of religious persecution don't strike me as the kind of people who will be likely to implement, or agree with, a tolerant, first amendment approach. The previous statement should not be construed as a claim that the nonbeliever side is necessarily bereft of like intolerance, we're talking about human nature here. Nobody is going to change that merely by claiming that a tolerant, first amendment approach would be ideal.

You can't stamp out religion without implementing some sort of dystopian thoughtcrime-esque pile of junk - which is precisely the situation we'd be in if all but one religion were stamped out. It'd be like lancing a boil using a tool that's guaranteed to give you a boil somewhere else.

The real answer is to teach people to think, based on data, rather than telling them that something is true and they should just accept and believe in it. You can view the litigation history of various pro-religion groups and see that's not going to fly. (again, the previous statement should not be construed to indicate that I agree with any particular lawsuit brought by atheists).
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:31   #181
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A tolerant first amendment approach would be great - but I think it's largely infeasible unless people actually become tolerant and respect each other's first amendment rights.

The kind of people that claim stores saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is some sort of religious persecution don't strike me as the kind of people who will be likely to implement, or agree with, a tolerant, first amendment approach. The previous statement should not be construed as a claim that the nonbeliever side is necessarily bereft of like intolerance, we're talking about human nature here. Nobody is going to change that merely by claiming that a tolerant, first amendment approach would be ideal.

You can't stamp out religion without implementing some sort of dystopian thoughtcrime-esque pile of junk - which is precisely the situation we'd be in if all but one religion were stamped out. It'd be like lancing a boil using a tool that's guaranteed to give you a boil somewhere else.

The real answer is to teach people to think, based on data, rather than telling them that something is true and they should just accept and believe in it. You can view the litigation history of various pro-religion groups and see that's not going to fly. (again, the previous statement should not be construed to indicate that I agree with any particular lawsuit brought by atheists).
I've been in a lot of places. All in all, the religious views are very diverse here, and largely, there is a lot of hypersensitivity, and very little real persecution. Yes, there are going to be outlying examples. There will never be a day when all of us will agree on everything. I think people do think, and the expectation that everyone will reach the same conclusion if they would only consider your position is a pipe dream. On something that should be very simply, how life on earth began, you will never be able to convince everyone of any single story, not unless there is a cosmic shift in the data we have. I guess if the FSM came down, disintegrated you, sent your soul to heaven and hell, pulled a lump of clay from the ground and reconstructed you bit by bit in front of a million witnesses, allowed the body to be examined and confirm that it is dead, and then brought you back to life, there are still going to be some that claim it was all Computer generated and faked. You might even question what you experienced. I really don't think it's possible to convince everyone of anything. I really don't think it's necessary to seek consensus on a matter that we don't have a lot of data on.


I think it's better when people don't agree on everything. Discovery is a journey, not a destination. Each answer we find brings new questions.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:53   #182
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I think people do think, and the expectation that everyone will reach the same conclusion if they would only consider your position is a pipe dream.
This statement is an entirely untrue presumption on your part, as I am not alleging that getting people to think and/or considering my position would result in everyone reaching the same conclusion.

The problem isn't that people reach different conclusions. The problem is that too many people do so without actually thinking.

That's all I'm going to say about your response, as I'm not going to get into another argument with you. Have a nice day.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:43   #183
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The problem isn't that people reach different conclusions. The problem is that too many people do so without actually thinking.
Quote of the day.

Although It might as well read:

The problem isn't that people reach the same conclusions. The problem is that too many people do so without actually thinking.


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Old 01-22-2013, 10:10   #184
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Originally Posted by void * View Post
This statement is an entirely untrue presumption on your part, as I am not alleging that getting people to think and/or considering my position would result in everyone reaching the same conclusion.

The problem isn't that people reach different conclusions. The problem is that too many people do so without actually thinking.

That's all I'm going to say about your response, as I'm not going to get into another argument with you. Have a nice day.

I'd love to hear how you think people reach different conclusions without actually thinking. A small amount of thought would be needed for even the simplest conclusion.

It seems to be a way of devaluing some conclusions.

If that's not what you meant, then what did you mean by this??

Quote:
The real answer is to teach people to think, based on data, rather than telling them that something is true and they should just accept and believe in it. You can view the litigation history of various pro-religion groups and see that's not going to fly. (again, the previous statement should not be construed to indicate that I agree with any particular lawsuit brought by atheists).
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:55   #185
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I'd love to hear how you think people reach different conclusions without actually thinking. A small amount of thought would be needed for even the simplest conclusion.

It seems to be a way of devaluing some conclusions.

If that's not what you meant, then what did you mean by this??
Evidence from studies on how people reach conclusions from simple statements or evidence shows conclusively that there are two types of process involved. The first is very rapid and is effectively jumping to a conclusion based on prior concepts and a superficial examination of the evidence given. The second is a step by step logical process which involves checking that the question or problem is understood and checking to make sure that the answer makes sense. The first is undoubtedly a mental process but hardly qualifies as thinking in the sense of problem solving where different possibilities are explored and the conclusion is checked.

The first form takes very little effort. The second form actually raises the heart rate. The two forms take place in different parts of the brain. Unless they are forced to it, most people will go via the first form. Some of the people who say that thinking makes their head hurts might be talking literally!

The result is that people commonly reach a conclusion without anything that qualifies as real thought. They depend on pre-established paradigms of understanding which they have accepted from various sources without understanding or real thought. Those sources might be the opinion of the guy at the local gun shop or any one else who spins a convincing idea about something. The principle criterion is what appeals most and is congruent with the framework of existing ideas and prejudices rather than what is most likely to be a good explanation for the issue at hand.

If you give this a little thought you will see that it explains why many people vote Democrat and why many people believe that the solution to criminal violence is removing legal guns from the ownership of individuals.

Although I believe that people should be taught to think above the level of solving simple maths problems, I am less optimistic than void that this will do much to improve the general situation. Being able to see the similarity between a seed and an egg is, or perhaps was, something with a borderline close to average IQ. Below that borderline an egg is perceived as a fragile roundish thing with a thin hard shell and full of slimy transparent liquid and separate yellow liquid. A seed is a small quite hard dark brown thing which does not break easily and when you bite into it it is still dry and quite tough inside. There is just no comparison! More than half the population manage to get through life without noticing too much of a problem by using little more than the first type of mental process and almost do no thinking of the second type. Expecting or hoping that they can be taught to think is a fundamental error.

It is very easy to see how so many people reach the same wrong conclusion and why different people can reach different conclusions from the same higher level of information on a basis of different mental paradigms.

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Old 01-22-2013, 11:10   #186
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Evidence from studies on how people reach conclusions from simple statements or evidence shows conclusively that there are two types of process involved. The first is very rapid and is effectively jumping to a conclusion based on prior concepts and a superficial examination of the evidence given. The second is a step by step logical process which involves checking that the question or problem is understood and checking to make sure that the answer makes sense. The first is undoubtedly a mental process but hardly qualifies as thinking in the sense of problem solving where different possibilities are explored and the conclusion is checked.

The first form takes very little effort. The second form actually raises the heart rate. The two forms take place in different parts of the brain. Unless they are forced to it, most people will go via the first form. Some of the people who say that thinking makes their head hurts might be talking literally!

The result is that people commonly reach a conclusion without anything that qualifies as real thought. They depend on pre-established paradigms of understanding which they have accepted from various sources without understanding or real thought. Those sources might be the opinion of the guy at the local gun shop or any one else who spins a convincing idea about something. The principle criterion is what appeals most and is congruent with the framework of existing ideas and prejudices rather than what is most likely to be a good explanation for the issue at hand.

If you give this a little thought you will see that it explains why many people vote Democrat and why many people believe that the solution to criminal violence is removing legal guns from the ownership of individuals.

Although I believe that people should be taught to think above the level of solving simple maths problems, I am less optimistic than void that this will do much to improve the general situation. Being able to see the similarity between a seed and an egg is, or perhaps was, something with a borderline close to average IQ. Below that borderline an egg is perceived as a fragile roundish thing with a thin hard shell and full of slimy transparent liquid and separate yellow liquid. A seed is a small quite hard dark brown thing which does not break easily and when you bite into it it is still dry and quite tough inside. There is just no comparison! More than half the population manage to get through life without noticing too much of a problem by using little more than the first type of mental process and almost do no thinking of the second type. Expecting or hoping that they can be taught to think is a fundamental error.

It is very easy to see how so many people reach the same wrong conclusion and why different people can reach different conclusions from the same higher level of information on a basis of different mental paradigms.

English
It seemed to be an implication that if someone REALLY thought about it, they would have reached the same conclusion he did.

I'm waiting to see if that is correct.
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Old 01-22-2013, 15:44   #187
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It seemed to be an implication that if someone REALLY thought about it, they would have reached the same conclusion he did.

I'm waiting to see if that is correct.
I've already said that was a presumption on your part, and that I am not alleging that anyone would necessarily come to the same conclusion that I would.

So what exactly are you waiting for? Do I have to say it three times before you consider the fact that I've said it "correct"?

As to how people come to conclusions without actually thinking, English stated it well. I would add that people also read things/see them on the news/etc and don't do any further verification.
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Old 01-22-2013, 15:50   #188
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Although I believe that people should be taught to think above the level of solving simple maths problems, I am less optimistic than void that this will do much to improve the general situation.
A lot of our education is rote repetition and memorization, or at least it was when I went to school. We shouldn't be surprised that people believe things just because it was in a book or a newspaper or on T.V., when a fair amount of our children's educational time is basically being taught to repeat what was in a book - and thinking about it doesn't matter as much.

If we actually approached things from a less rote memorization place, I think more people would get into the habit of doing it. I don't think it's a magical panacea that's going to solve all problems, but I think things would get better.
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Old 01-22-2013, 17:40   #189
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I've already said that was a presumption on your part, and that I am not alleging that anyone would necessarily come to the same conclusion that I would.

So what exactly are you waiting for? Do I have to say it three times before you consider the fact that I've said it "correct"?

As to how people come to conclusions without actually thinking, English stated it well. I would add that people also read things/see them on the news/etc and don't do any further verification.
I took the step to ask, don't get your panties all wadded up about it. Just state what you opinion is.


Is it possible that a very intelligent and thoughtful person, giving the matter much thought and consideration, might reasonably conclude that a deity has in fact existed, and did create life on this planet with a design?

One answer will be enough if it is clear enough. Do try.


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Old 01-22-2013, 17:45   #190
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If you lack the memory required to retain the fact that I've answered questions like this before, go reread your 'Atheism is a religion' threads and get back to me.

It's not my job to humor you when you want to ask the same question multiple times in slightly different ways. If you haven't gotten the point by now, asking again won't help you. Especially given that my comment has nothing whatever to do with your question, and is more about the fact that human nature won't let a 'balanced, first amendment approach' fly. But hey, who would have expected you'd attempt to change the subject, eh?
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Old 01-22-2013, 17:57   #191
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If you lack the memory required to retain the fact that I've answered questions like this before, go reread your 'Atheism is a religion' threads and get back to me.

It's not my job to humor you when you want to ask the same question multiple times in slightly different ways. If you haven't gotten the point by now, asking again won't help you. Especially given that my comment has nothing whatever to do with your question, and is more about the fact that human nature won't let a 'balanced, first amendment approach' fly. But hey, who would have expected you'd attempt to change the subject, eh?
How inconsiderate of you. There are possibly many here that have not heard your sage observations and advice on this particular topic. Of course, running away might imply that you had none.

Religious Issues

Pull them down, take them completely off, then straighten them, remove any twists or bunches before placing each leg back in and pulling them up.

I'm guessing my point was on the mark since you are skedaddling behind cover now.

Answer or cede.....

Is it possible that a very intelligent and thoughtful person, giving the matter much thought and consideration, might reasonably conclude that a deity has in fact existed, and did create life on this planet with a design?

One answer will be enough if it is clear enough. Do try.
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Old 01-22-2013, 18:22   #192
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If you want to pretend to yourself that it's a matter of my being inconsiderate and having my panties in a bunch, go right ahead. You'll be wrong, but nobody can stop you. *shrug*.

If you want to pretend that you've "won" when your question has no relevance towards what I posted in this thread whatsoever, go ahead. You'll be wrong, but nobody can stop you.

If anyone wants to know what I wrote, they can go read it, the thread is still there. In the meantime, if you'd like to discuss something related to what I actually posted *in this thread* - let me know. Until then, there's really no point.
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Old 01-22-2013, 18:26   #193
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If you want to pretend to yourself that it's a matter of my being inconsiderate and having my panties in a bunch, go right ahead. You'll be wrong, but nobody can stop you. *shrug*.
Is it possible that a very intelligent and thoughtful person, giving the matter much thought and consideration, might reasonably conclude that a deity has in fact existed, and did create life on this planet with a design?

One answer will be enough if it is clear enough. Do try.


Smells like retreat to me. It's not that hard of a question to answer. But it would show whether you think an otherwise intelligent and thoughtful fellow might come to a different conclusion that you have.



Is it really so hard to admit that you don't know everything?
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Old 01-22-2013, 19:54   #194
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If you want to pretend to yourself that it's a matter of my being inconsiderate and having my panties in a bunch, go right ahead. You'll be wrong, but nobody can stop you. *shrug*.

If you want to pretend that you've "won" when your question has no relevance towards what I posted in this thread whatsoever, go ahead. You'll be wrong, but nobody can stop you.

If anyone wants to know what I wrote, they can go read it, the thread is still there. In the meantime, if you'd like to discuss something related to what I actually posted *in this thread* - let me know. Until then, there's really no point.
That's Docs MO.
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Old 01-22-2013, 20:01   #195
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That's Docs MO.
Only in response to the same MO. If you'll go back, and read his responses, he tends to begin with a dismissive claim of incorrectness, and divert to tangents that are not really pertinent.

Currently, he's simply avoiding a very simple question, one that he probably cannot answer without revealing something he wishes to remain hidden, so he feigns affront, and scurry's off.

Quote:
Is it possible that a very intelligent and thoughtful person, giving the matter much thought and consideration, might reasonably conclude that a deity has in fact existed, and did create life on this planet with a design?

One answer will be enough if it is clear enough. Do try.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:32   #196
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Currently, he's simply avoiding a very simple question, one that he probably cannot answer without revealing something he wishes to remain hidden, so he feigns affront, and scurry's off.
You *should* well know that I've stated before that I have friends who believe, and that think the universe was created. I don't tend to have friends that are not intelligent and thoughtful.

They generally easily admit that they don't have a proof, though, and that their conclusion is a matter of faith. Which I have no issue with. Some of them hold the position that it is provable, and that they're believing based on evidence - I think they're wrong about that, but they are nonetheless intelligent and thoughtful people who have come to a conclusion different than mine.

One of the people who used to post on this board, while not precisely a friend, was a presuppositionalist, and freely admitted it - my conversations with him actually changed my position on a few things, as a matter of fact. I still disagree that it's valid logic to take the Bible in whole as a set of presuppositions without having some data/logic/etc that indicates you should do so, but it is undeniable that he is thoughtful and intelligent, and that he disagrees with me. I in fact miss my conversations with him.

So yes, it is possible for intelligent and thoughtful people to come to a conclusion different than mine.

Thanks for revealing that your agenda is to basically make false claims about what I actually think, though, when available evidence that you should easily be able to remember indicates otherwise. Well, that and posting images and declaring that you've won, just because someone wants to talk about what they've actually posted about, and not an issue that's been beaten to death in multiple threads.
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"The human mind is seldom satisfied, and is not justifiable by any natural process whatsoever, as regards geometry, our universe differs only slightly from a long-term, bi-directional, single trait selection experiment." -- Maxwell/Einstein/Johansson

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Old 01-24-2013, 22:33   #197
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Originally Posted by NMG26 View Post
Although It might as well read:

The problem isn't that people reach the same conclusions. The problem is that too many people do so without actually thinking.
Oh, definitely.
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"The human mind is seldom satisfied, and is not justifiable by any natural process whatsoever, as regards geometry, our universe differs only slightly from a long-term, bi-directional, single trait selection experiment." -- Maxwell/Einstein/Johansson

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:27   #198
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
Only in response to the same MO. If you'll go back, and read his responses, he tends to begin with a dismissive claim of incorrectness, and divert to tangents that are not really pertinent.

Currently, he's simply avoiding a very simple question, one that he probably cannot answer without revealing something he wishes to remain hidden, so he feigns affront, and scurry's off.

So, is the lack of belief in dieties the default value? That's a question that you never answered for me in that other thread before it got locked.

In this country we start indoctrinating children with religious beliefs well before they are developed enough to wonder "Where did we come from?" or "What does it all mean?".

Do you *believe* that the default position of someone who DID reach that stage of life with no prior exposure to religion would innately believe that there was an intelligent "god" that created the universe and everything in it?

I do not. I hold that the lack of belief is the default stance prior to those questions and becoming uncomfortable with not having an answer, thus fabricating a creation story.
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Old 01-28-2013, 13:03   #199
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Originally Posted by hooligan74 View Post
So, is the lack of belief in dieties the default value? That's a question that you never answered for me in that other thread before it got locked.

In this country we start indoctrinating children with religious beliefs well before they are developed enough to wonder "Where did we come from?" or "What does it all mean?".

Do you *believe* that the default position of someone who DID reach that stage of life with no prior exposure to religion would innately believe that there was an intelligent "god" that created the universe and everything in it?

I do not. I hold that the lack of belief is the default stance prior to those questions and becoming uncomfortable with not having an answer, thus fabricating a creation story.
I think the moment after consciousness, we are blank slates on that question, there are some instincts. I really don't think there is a default on the deity as an origin question. If you ran the test a thousand times, and let it go 20 years or so, I think you'd have a lot of different answers from isolated people. It would be a little difficult to ask them. The human mind is inquisitive and imaginative.

I think you would find a range of endings. Of course doing that test for real would be inhumane.

Last edited by Cavalry Doc; 01-28-2013 at 13:05..
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Old 01-28-2013, 14:33   #200
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
I think the moment after consciousness, we are blank slates on that question, there are some instincts. I really don't think there is a default on the deity as an origin question. If you ran the test a thousand times, and let it go 20 years or so, I think you'd have a lot of different answers from isolated people. It would be a little difficult to ask them. The human mind is inquisitive and imaginative.

I think you would find a range of endings. Of course doing that test for real would be inhumane.

Inhumane to not expose a child to the idea of a sentient creator? Really?
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