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Religion in today's society

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by Clone™, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Aegiscalibur

    Aegiscalibur Add Witty Title Here

    What point of view do I favor? I'm not calling religious people ignorant because they believe in a certain god or the contents of a certain holy book per se, I call them ignorant because they use different empirical criteria for their religion and all other things.

    In other words, I object to the idea that belief precedes empirical considerations. This becomes apparent in their description of their mental processes, e.g. "I don't need evidence to justify my beliefs when it comes to spiritual matters because they are special."
  2. The Federation

    The Federation Why Not?

    I wouldn't say I claim they do not exist, but I will say I personally believe they don't. There's reason to believe religion is a group of fabrications, and no reason to accept it. That's enough for me to accept the idea that religion is a fabrication, along with the mythology religion implies. That's not faith, it's interpreting an idea, a phenomena, to be a story cobbled together by man and accepting it as such. Religious faith takes nothing into account and accepts whatever agrees with their dogma; that's the difference.

    I think the epistemological definitions of "knowledge" and "belief" play into this. I may believe there are no Gods, but when pressed I will admit I know no such thing. Faith would press on and assert their belief as fact, as knowledge. I don't claim absolute knowledge of almost anything, to put it into perspective.

    The proof is simply that religion is most likely a fabrication, as are gods. This has been backed up throughout history, with dozens of religions sharing similarities with Christianity alone. Again, this isn't certainty, it's belief.

    If you want to press it there are arguments against the existence of God (or gods)... most Gods already have been proven not to exist. The only thing that makes your God different is because you were socially allowed to move the goalposts as science advanced.
  3. Brutaka

    Brutaka Ignition

    This is 100% true.

    But this isn't what we're doing. This is what Gnostic Atheists and Theists are doing, and most of us are neither. (well, actually, most theists are gnostic, now that I think about it.)

    Dismissing ANY claim that doesn't have evidence isn't faith - it's skepticism. In a way, skepticism isn't unbiased - it is biased towards any idea that has evidence to support it.

    Such evidence is impossible, thus I need not continue to entertain the idea. The proposition of a god is unfalsifiable, and so science, and skeptics, wash their hands of it.

    As if the idea had never been proposed, since without evidence, to a skeptic and a scientist, the idea wasn't proposed legitimately.

    Positive claims require evidence, negative claims do not. Simple as that.

    Those would agnostic atheists, btw.

    Being skeptical of something does not require evidence since it would be a negative claim.

    Actually, this is incorrect. Completely.

    Say someone comes up with a hypothesis. They have no way to test this hypothesis.

    Is this hypothesis immediately regarded as it might be possible? No. Though scientists can't say whether it's true or not, they continue their science as if they've never seen the hypothesis in the first place.
  4. The Federation

    The Federation Why Not?

    What do you mean, "negative claims require no evidence"? Of course they do. Most scientific hypothesis revolve around disproving assumptions which claim a negative. If you make a claim you should have evidence to back it up.

    I would add that "not taking an opinion on (either side)" is not at all a requirement for agnostic atheism. He's trying to frame anyone who has an opinion on religion as someone who necessarily has faith.

    I think the word you're looking for is neutral... or maybe not even that. Taking no position is the opposite of a claim to knowledge, it's a neutral position.
  5. BigLutz

    BigLutz Banned

    Is that not the same thing atheists do? I do not need evidence to justify my beliefs

    Which is what we are seemingly dealing with right here, something cobbled together with no evidence but taken for face value.

    There is a problem here, when pressed on it saying you do not know, then the question is begged: Without evidence why take a negative view on something of which you cannot be certain of?

    And without evidence to disprove of a God, no matter what religion it is, then that belief turns into faith.

    You argue that "most Gods already have been proven not to exist" how so? If someone were to say there is a Wind God or Water God, can you scientifically prove there is not a invisible deity that identifies itself with those elements? If we are to accept that a God can be any supernatural being that exists outside of our sight and understanding, then it is pretty hard to disprove the existence of anything that we cannot even identify or understand.

    Except with out evidence for a positive or negative outcome, skepticism that slants one way or the other is not only prejudice but faith that your skepticism will be born out. If not then there would be no reason to be skeptical toward a outcome and thus take a neutral position that there may or may not be a God.

    If the evidence is impossible to obtain then how can a legitimate view point be established by scientists either for or against something? That seems rather unscientific to have a viewpoint on something that cannot be gathered or tested

    Claims require evidence one way or another as there must be evidence to back up such a view. If a scientist writes a paper or speaks at a lecture saying something is false, he needs something more than "Its not true because I believe it so"

    Yet note, when questioned about the hypothesis they cannot claim if it was true or not, merely that they did not have the means to test it and determine one way or another. By automatically discounting the hypothesis as false based on their inability to properly test it, they are acting in a unscientific manner.
  6. Brutaka

    Brutaka Ignition

    A negative claim in this case isn't a claim that proposes a negative, but rather, the negation of a proposed positive claim. Dismissing a positive claim for lack of evidence in this case would be a negative claim.

    Of course, I was just saying that someone who didn't have an opinion would be one. not that all agnostic atheists have no opinion. Kinda like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, that kind of thing.


    Skepticism slants toward the side with evidence. In a case where neither side has definitive evidence over the other, it uses Occams Razor (whichever makes the least assumptions should be followed).

    Do you even know how science works? Science doesn't have a viewpoint on ideas that can't be tested. Instead, it ignores them entirely. Science works with what is testable and nothing more.
    And remember, not having a viewpoint isn't a viewpoint!
    This is how science carries itself, and whatever you say about, it works. That's all that matters.

    "The proposed hypothesis is unsupported because it lacks evidence and proper testing. With no means of testing, it cannot be verified and is unable to contribute to scientific endeavors." <- that's how a scientist would say it.

    They dont discount it as false, they discount it as useless, and move on.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  7. BigLutz

    BigLutz Banned

    Guys its been fun but holding three debates at one time, when I am trying to get a 3D Model done for portfolio work is a little too much, especially when its basically circling the same view points over and over and over again, so I am bowing out.
  8. The Federation

    The Federation Why Not?

    Make note that I am not claiming a truth but asserting a belief. Now, with that in mind, where exactly did I cobble something together with no evidence? Just quoting it would be fine. Maybe a "this" or a "here it is" would be fine.

    This is the real question, isn't it? I take this view for the same reason as any normal person takes it: because it is intuitive and reality supports the trend. Would you say that you believe Santa isn't real? How about anything that I make up off the top of my head and insist is real, would you honestly say that you simply "don't believe me", or would you say that you actively belief I am wrong or lying? Even things that cannot be proven to not exist are subject to belief, and the fact that everything points to nonexistence doesn't help religion, or God's, case.

    First, there are arguments against Gods existence. Second, reasonable nonbelief can exist even without evidence, while reasonable belief requires evidence.

    Nonbelief, or the belief that something doesn't have a specific property, can exist without evidence and it can be reasonable. Anecdotally I provided you with the idea of Santa. Now, there exist three options- believing Santa is real, believing he isn't real, and not formulating an opinion. The last of which is always reasonable, unless there is overwhelming evidence that is being ignored. The first and last are both positions taken without evidence, but only the first is faith. Why? Because only the first lacks any evidence at all. The second has reason not to believe: humans have never witnesses magic; the speed required to move around the earth would destroy homes and other infrastructure; toys cannot be spawned from nothing; we have not witnessed anything leaving or coming from the North Pole that we didn't expect. Much like religion, we cannot prove that it isn't magically hidden, even though there is no evidence for magic. This doesn't mean it is unreasonable or "faith based".

    Most deities existed within the parameters of our world... Gods of wind took credit for storms, and now we have meteorology. Mt. Olympus doesn't house Zeus. Water isn't turbulent because of a water God but because of currents and tides and weather systems. The only Gods that exist now in a scientifically enlightened world are those outside of science, unlike the dead gods of old.

    We need to remember TANG and the Argument from Nonbelief exist.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  9. Aegiscalibur

    Aegiscalibur Add Witty Title Here

    Only because you insist on defining the word "belief" so that it includes its negation, logic be damned.

    Anyone could argue the way you do and just redefine all the words to suit a convenient conclusion. I really don't care whether lack of belief is a belief in the sense that BigLutz uses the word or whether lack of faith is faith in the sense that BigLutz uses the word. I care about the sense in which normal people use those words.
  10. Ketaru

    Ketaru Well-Known Member

  11. Brutaka

    Brutaka Ignition

  12. Avenger Angel

    Avenger Angel Warrior of Heaven

    What kind of evidence? How much? Who should be providing that evidence and who would they need to be for you to regard them as a trustworthy source? Why would that be the case?

    Saint Nicholas was a real person.

    So where does this take your hypothesis now?

    In terms of TANG and the Argument from Nonbelief, how do they define logic, why are they making these assumptions, and what makes them so sure they're using it correctly in this case? What makes them sure they know and can comprehend all the attributes of God and how does that give them the power of declaration of existence?
  13. The Federation

    The Federation Why Not?

    Logical arguments require no higher agent to verify them. I already linked them in this thread, too. You reference them later in this post.

    Are you being dense on purpose? I'm talking about Santa Claus, not the saint he was based off of.

    Arg. from nonbelief defines a God and disproves the possibility of the defined traits. TANG does something similar. If you want to discuss these then be my guest, but it may not get very far bc I doubt you will be familiar with the terms.
  14. Avenger Angel

    Avenger Angel Warrior of Heaven

    The thing about the Bible is there is strong evidence in reality that correlates to what is in scripture:

    Noah's Ark


    Sodom and Gomorrah


    Red Sea Crossing


    Mt. Sinai


    Ark of the Covenant


    Given, there is some minor dispute regarding some of these (the exact location of Mt. Sinai being one of the more prevalent ones), but in general, a lot of the Middle Eastern environment supports the Bible's documentation, unlike Greek or Norse mythology that don't have the same caliber of evidence. Not everyone agrees with Ron Wyatt's findings, but they provide a strong case whether or not they are 100% correct.

    Do you feel Ron Wyatt has provided enough valid evidence here? And if not, why is that the case and who would be a more valid representative of Biblical proof? Percentage wise, how much of Ron Wyatt's findings do you believe is valid?

    No, just making sure you weren't disregarding the saint. The way you presented your statement sounded like you did.

    With regards to Santa Claus in terms of flying reindeer, workshop elves, and the like, that's folklore. That falls within the lines of general tall tales, ghost stories, and the like. Main difference between that and religion is there is more evidence to support religion (we know there's no workshop with elves at the North Pole, but the site of the Red Sea Crossing does exist, along with other sites like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and many other sites the Bible mentions).

    These nonbelief theories rely too much on definite parameters and human-perceived logic. With any one of those parameters, even the slightest kink breaks the whole thing completely, and we as humans cannot grasp all aspects of God or the exact nature of His plans or works. Also, applying human-perceived logic to God fails as well, as you're talking about a divine entity that can break human-perceived logic by parting the Red Sea or cause fire to fall from the sky, among other events that are beyond the scope of human-understood science and nature. Jesus Christ is also capable of defying human-perceived logic by walking on water, multiplying loaves and fishes, turning water into wine, healing blindness/sickness, and all the other miracles Jesus performed. If you try to apply mathematical logic to that, you're going to end up with an flawed and inconclusive result. You can only apply logical conditions to entities and components that adhere to such rules and have no power to manipulate them for their own use.

    I need to ask, why would you apply human-perceived logic to God when scriptures state God can easily manipulate scientific and natural occurrences? Why do you feel God would need to adhere to such rules?
  15. The Federation

    The Federation Why Not?

    Bats aren't birds, though. Man, I wonder how many things in the bible that I am going to point out that you will pretend don't exist?

    There are many flood narratives and many arcs. However, none have been "found".

    Can't you find a link to a veritable scientific journal? Oh wait, self-affirming Christian websites. That's where the real science is at.

    Same with this.

    I was under the impression that this was real, undeniably. That doesn't mean Jeebus struck morality into man during the bronze age.

    He is a pseudoarchaeologist. His discoveries aren't noted in actual journals. He hasn't published his discoveries anywhere but his own websites. He is not considered credible in any way to real archeologists.

    I'll finish this later, I don't have time now.
  16. Avenger Angel

    Avenger Angel Warrior of Heaven

    Some of these cases are because governments haven't been compliant with allowing further investigations to take place. These were apparent with Ron Wyatt's investigations as well, but even so, the basis of what Ron Wyatt found is still strong. Checks the sites again, plenty of evidence has been found and provided to the public.

    Why are scientific journals okay to cite but Christian sites are not? Why are you not analyzing the presented evidence and instead only looking at the site sources themselves?

    If you're not able to discredit this evidence, just be honest and say so. Dodging it only the basis of cite source only makes it appear that you're compensating for a lack of a response. You requested evidence on multiple occasions and have used that as the forefront of your reasoning for being atheist. You have been given evidence now, but dodge it solely on the basis of what sites they're from. Why? How come only certain sites are valid and others are not? What gives a scientific site more validity over a Christian one when the Christian ones have done plenty of research and photography work to show this evidence exists?

    Why should one have to publish their discoveries in scientific journals? Also, plenty of researchers, investigators, and people in general only publish their findings in websites, which is normal. It's perfectly understandable given the political nature of publications, but that is not grounds enough to discredit the evidence presented. Evidence is evidence, it does not matter who finds it first or to what publication they post it to.

    Instead of analyzing the websites themselves, examine the evidence. This is what you requested. Don't you think it seems odd you requested evidence, got it, and now you're not able to respond to presented evidence without targeting who presented it rather than the material itself?

    I trust you will be fair about this.
  17. Aegiscalibur

    Aegiscalibur Add Witty Title Here

    Have you done some kind of comparative study with other myths? There is any number of vague myths that you can shoehorn into real-life events if you try hard enough. You obviously missed it, but part of my Ragnarök snark (which got deleted during the server problems) was that some of the signs were suspiciously similar.

    Really, now? Care to elaborate?

    Mt. Olympus exists too, and that is why I am a devout believer in the Greek pantheon!

    For crying out loud, you practically defeat yourself here. The North Pole also exists, yet you also demand the workshop, unlike with Jerusalem. And I'm also pretty sure cities like Athens and Mecca exist as well.

    Did you actually read the links?

    TANG isn't meant to disprove God. It's meant to attack a certain argument in favor of God, called TAG.
    The argument from nonbelief defines God in a very specific way, so all you need to do is give up one of the premises.

    Err, you do realize that math itself is non-empirical, right?

    Finally, it may be a bit redundant, but I'll quote something from earlier:
    You practically defeated yourself again.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  18. Avenger Angel

    Avenger Angel Warrior of Heaven

    View and read the links before making commentary like this.

    See above.

    I don't see how you misinterpreting my earlier statements is me defeating myself.
  19. bobjr

    bobjr It's Fusion, I don't have to expalin it. Staff Member Moderator

    Just for the record scientific journals trump any other source when it comes to scientific evidence. If it's a brand new thing that's in testing or under review, you can use it, but hard evidence trumps all.
  20. The Federation

    The Federation Why Not?

    I have to be up in a couple hours and probably won't be up for much discussion tomorrow, so I guess it's now Aegis who'll be talking to you for the next couple days. I'll answer this before I count the sheepies.

    There is a fundamental difference in the caliber of evidence provided by a scientific journal and a Christian website. It would be akin to providing a Wikipedia article or a blog and insisting it is at a similar level to a paper presented and reviewed by professionals on a topic that's fundamentally scientific. Sure I'll read them (well, most of them, some of them are quite long and insist on age-old arguments that have been refuted time and again), but I won't accept the evidence prima facie because of the nature of the evidence provided. Give me a supreme court ruling to prove legality and a scientific journal to prove your deeply scientific claim is, in fact, scientifically accurate.


    The evidence isn't credible from the start, any more than this is credible evidence for a moon-based UFO mothership. I can say anything I want on the internet, but it doesn't make it credible and it certainly doesn't automatically make it true.

    Scientific journals aren't the only credible sources. That said, random Christian websites are NOT credible. News articles, gov't websites, and textbooks are all acceptable. Please note that news websites with headlines like "Arc REAL?!" probably use the word "allegedly" a bit more than websites with the headline "Possible Arc Discovered".

    Again, if you asked me to prove aliens existed and I linked you to several websites like "UFO SIGHTINGS DAILY" would you read them without the slightest doubt that they present the most legitimate, non-fabricated, non-partisan evidence for aliens? I would hope you would tell me what I'm telling you now in regards to the legitimacy of websites with a vested interest in reporting we found the arc telling us that we found the arc.

    Just for a second put yourself in my shoes, here. What if I did just what I described above in an attempt to prove aliens and you went to this site and looked at its contents. Seeing that it's all conjecture and isn't backed up or reinforced with accurate, scientific sources, you come back to me and tell me that the website isn't really evidence at all. Then I get inflamed and insist that you are simply dismissing the evidence. You could try to tell me that it never had any value as evidence, but I'm already of the belief that UFOs exist and will likely just gloat if you insist that the sites aren't really evidence at all. What do you do?

    When the most legitimate source you offer is "the blaze" and it only concedes that the arc isn't totally implausible according to Archimedes buoyancy principle, you might want to reevaluate your submissions.

    Just for funsies I did a bit of digging. Apparently Wyatt is so bad that even sites like "Answers in Genesis" and "Tentmaker" refute it.

    The former literally spells out all the claims made by Wyatt about the arc and rebuts them, then links to the rebuttal of Wyatt's wife's response. Couldn't be more through than that.

    This was ONE Google search away. A single search. What else are you willing to believe if I can prove your Arc story wrong with only a few key presses and a couple clicks? Such is the nature of accepting any website at all as evidence, on the basis of "seems legit".
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

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