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Author Topic: Religion...and SCIENCE! (Nee - Re: Oh..those people at westboro baptist are at it again! o3o)  (Read 13317 times)

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Online HairyHeretic

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But you still don't consider the belief itself to be a choice?

Apologies if I'm rehashing this somewhat, I'm just trying to ensure I understand your perspective on it.

Offline Brandon

Depends on the belief but belief when applied to religion/faith is not a choice. I pointed that out quite clearly

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Yeah, I'm just trying to wrap my head around that, as I see things somewhat differently.

Offline Jude

Brandon, you can't dismiss the fact that free will is not a given.  If you believe in it with no evidence, then your insistence there is another layer of religion ontop of what you're already arguing for.  There's actually a great deal of research on the subject that suggests that free may be an illusion and that the brain does calculations using part pure randomness, part environment factors, and the relevant data to arrive at an answer which is determined by a mechanic, not some sort of process of choice.  When you consider the subconscious and its influences, you can't simply analyze your conscious state as a basis for what's going on in your mind; it'll lead to error.

Also it makes no sense to say that belief in religion falls into a special category where choice is not employed but belief in other things is different.  You're carefully setting up a view that justifies what you want to believe without going through the rigor of considering the implications.  As I've already stated you can use the same arguments you came up with on religion not being a choice for any belief.  Why wouldn't political philosophy be the exact same as religious beliefs?  Morals would as well.  The more deterministic you get on the fundamental building blocks, the more deterministic even simple things are.

You still failed to respond to the notion that if we are to respect other people's religion, how we would handle a religion that innately disrespects other religions (by my given anti-theist example), and this is especially important because nearly every religion does.  For example, the Christian Bible is full of references to false idols and philosophies which relate to real beliefs that other cultures and tribes practiced.  Any monotheistic religion holds that it is the one, and only, exclusive truth, thus indirectly claiming that all other religions are lies (or at the very least, manipulations of the truth).  Anti-theism is not alone here.

It's probably best to remember that no matter what I say of your religion, unless I support a course of action that would strip you (or anyone else) of their ability to practice it, I am doing no harm.  Words, unless inciting action, lack the power to cause real damage.  That isn't to say you don't feel some measure of dissonance at seeing your personal truth disrespected, but it's no different than what a militant atheist feels when you mention your belief; no one likes to confront the fact that other people have different opinions than they do about the world.

Offline Brandon

Brandon, you can't dismiss the fact that free will is not a given.  If you believe in it with no evidence, then your insistence there is another layer of religion ontop of what you're already arguing for.  There's actually a great deal of research on the subject that suggests that free may be an illusion and that the brain does calculations using part pure randomness, part environment factors, and the relevant data to arrive at an answer which is determined by a mechanic, not some sort of process of choice.  When you consider the subconscious and its influences, you can't simply analyze your conscious state as a basis for what's going on in your mind; it'll lead to error.

The proof is all around us. Its in me, you, everyone on earth. Its true that we dont understand everything about the human mind but anyone with two working eyes can see humanitys free will. I cant believe you wont recognize something so rudementally easy to see and that makes it impossible to prove you wrong. Ill have to read the fallacy thread again but I think your treading close to one Jude.

Also it makes no sense to say that belief in religion falls into a special category where choice is not employed but belief in other things is different.  You're carefully setting up a view that justifies what you want to believe without going through the rigor of considering the implications.  As I've already stated you can use the same arguments you came up with on religion not being a choice for any belief.  Why wouldn't political philosophy be the exact same as religious beliefs?  Morals would as well.  The more deterministic you get on the fundamental building blocks, the more deterministic even simple things are.

I didnt want to give a blanket statment about all beliefs being choice because some clearly are, like when you have to decide if someone is telling the truth or not. This is clearly an instance when you have to analyze and make a concieus selection from options, that is the essence of choice but upon considering it again, in that case the act of choosing may seperate the belief of a persons words. Ill have to think about that more

I am not prepared to say all beliefs are not choice as Im sure there are beliefs Im not thinking of that are choices. Some of what you mention, would seem to fall within the parameters of not falling under choice

You still failed to respond to the notion that if we are to respect other people's religion, how we would handle a religion that innately disrespects other religions (by my given anti-theist example), and this is especially important because nearly every religion does.  For example, the Christian Bible is full of references to false idols and philosophies which relate to real beliefs that other cultures and tribes practiced.  Any monotheistic religion holds that it is the one, and only, exclusive truth, thus indirectly claiming that all other religions are lies (or at the very least, manipulations of the truth).  Anti-theism is not alone here.

Belief that a person, organziation, government, etc is not a choice. Acting on that choice is, I think Ive been pretty clear about that so far

It's probably best to remember that no matter what I say of your religion, unless I support a course of action that would strip you (or anyone else) of their ability to practice it, I am doing no harm.  Words, unless inciting action, lack the power to cause real damage.  That isn't to say you don't feel some measure of dissonance at seeing your personal truth disrespected, but it's no different than what a militant atheist feels when you mention your belief; no one likes to confront the fact that other people have different opinions than they do about the world.

This is incorrect. Words can do a ireprible damage to a person. Obviously this damage is not physical but it can be more damaging as mental scars dont heal easily, sometimes they never heal.

Offline Trieste

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Would be good if this didn't turn into a dogpile on Brandon. :/

If there's more to be said about the subject, so be it, but this seems like it has gone on a little too long on Brandon's posts. ^^

Offline Valerian

Yes.  Also, free will, or the lack therof, is another thread entirely.  While it could be a very interesting discussion, it doesn't really belong here.

Offline Vekseid

I think the completely open discussion format rather promotes this sort of thing. Too many discussions going on at once in the same thread.

If it's alright with the community, I think I'm going to make a couple of subforums for actual dialogues and commentary on those dialogues. I enjoy the open discussion but there needs to be something between "free for all" and "private messages".

Offline Trieste

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I know I would personally prefer if there were a more distinct point at which people are encouraged to take something to PM, or take their discussion to their own thread. Watching people slinging WALLS of text back and forth is only mildly interesting at best, and annoying/intimidating at worst. Take a look at the Arizona thread. I don't want to get in the middle of that. From the looks of it, not many others do, either.

Offline Oniya

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It sounds like shes not looking for spiritual guidance but intellectual pursuit regarding cultures. If thats the case then I would argue she is an exception to the rule

As an eclectic Pagan/Otherkin, I can assure you there are far more of these 'exceptions' out there.

Offline Jude

The proof is all around us. Its in me, you, everyone on earth. Its true that we dont understand everything about the human mind but anyone with two working eyes can see humanitys free will. I cant believe you wont recognize something so rudementally easy to see and that makes it impossible to prove you wrong. Ill have to read the fallacy thread again but I think your treading close to one Jude.
That's actually a negative proof fallacy/argument from ignorance in claiming that it's impossible to prove me wrong simply because I don't take for granted free will.  You'll find I'm not the only person who doesn't in the realm of philosophy and science.  The whole "look around you it's obvious" argument hasn't worked in formal logic since the time of Euclid.
I didnt want to give a blanket statment about all beliefs being choice because some clearly are, like when you have to decide if someone is telling the truth or not. This is clearly an instance when you have to analyze and make a concieus selection from options, that is the essence of choice but upon considering it again, in that case the act of choosing may seperate the belief of a persons words. Ill have to think about that more
Isn't choosing to believe in a religion deciding if someone is telling the truth or not?  You're contradicting yourself here.
I am not prepared to say all beliefs are not choice as Im sure there are beliefs Im not thinking of that are choices. Some of what you mention, would seem to fall within the parameters of not falling under choice

Belief that a person, organziation, government, etc is not a choice. Acting on that choice is, I think Ive been pretty clear about that so far

This is incorrect. Words can do a ireprible damage to a person. Obviously this damage is not physical but it can be more damaging as mental scars dont heal easily, sometimes they never heal.
I agree you have to take into account the effect your words will have on other people and choose your battles, and there are some people whose religious viewpoints I think it would be immoral to criticize (the dying for example).  It's all situational and I'm not saying that someone who walks around screaming "God doesn't exist" is going to be particularly well-received by me, for example I dislike Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins intensely for their antagonistic style of atheism.

But if you're not prepared to be challenged, to face opposing viewpoints, and to be open about the potential that you are wrong about your preconceived beliefs, then you shouldn't be debating or discussing issues in the first place.  If hearing people who vehemently disagree with your worldview causes you great cognitive dissonance then you can't have a rational debate without interjecting emotion, which is the enemy of civil discourse.

If that person follows you with the viewpoint and refuses to respect your desire not to hear it by invading your personal space after you've withdrawn from the conversation, that's harassment and it's wrong, but if you proudly proclaim your beliefs and they counter that's just the nature of the free exchange of ideas.

***

As far as the branching nature of discussion goes, this happens because one proposition depends on another, and you end up with a "Turtles All The Way Down" situation when two people with very opposing worldviews start to encounter major conflicts.  I'm not entirely sure what to do about it myself.

EDIT:  I just want to state that I am so happy that I got to use the Turtles All The Way Down phrase, that I've decided to add color to this post.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 10:58:55 AM by Jude »

Offline Valerian

*ahem*

Would be good if this didn't turn into a dogpile on Brandon. :/

If there's more to be said about the subject, so be it, but this seems like it has gone on a little too long on Brandon's posts. ^^

Offline Noelle

So anyway, how about that Westboro Baptist bunch?






(sorry, this might be completely inappropriate, in which case i'll delete 8D just thought i'd break the tension)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 11:40:58 AM by Noelle »

Offline Zakharra

So anyway, how about that Westboro Baptist bunch?


(sorry, this might be completely inappropriate, in which case i'll delete 8D just thought i'd break the tension)

 They are nuts.

Offline Trieste

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(sorry, this might be completely inappropriate, in which case i'll delete 8D just thought i'd break the tension)

(I laughed. :P)

Offline Will

As did I. XD  Though, I suppose it's actually off-topic for this thread?  I'm not even sure anymore.

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Offline Noelle

I would like to propose a new discussion of if Jake Gyllenhaal is actually half-man, half-shark with all those teeth in his mouth. Seriously impressive.

Offline Acinonyx

On Westboro Baptist Church: "I can has moolticolorz sain wit angree baibul kwohtz?!"

Of course I mean quotes from "The LOLcat bible - In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez an da Erfs n stuffs".

I think it would be awesome if someone stood next to them with a sign saying "Oh hai! I can has moar moo-cows an otah aminalz?"

Offline Will

I have to admit, their little gatherings are ripe for sum lulz.

Also - someone should photoshop some gills onto that neck of his.  And change his eyebrows to make him look angry.

Offline RubySlippers

When the statement is made that a ball is picked up, then dropped and there is gravity then the person is not referencing a theory.  They are making a description of the force of gravity.  The attraction between two bodies which has a measurement and a formula.  Were the statement say that a theory about the origin and nature of gravity relates to particles traveling from parallel dimensions and mention of the experiment to find those particles which involves a super collider, then there would be reference to a theory.  That theory by the way is not taught in elementary school physics and probably not in high school either.

The point of her statement being phrased in such a way was to make my contention that a theory is not fact seem all the more absurd.  I even made mention that there are many theories regarding these forces and that they are changing frequently.  Already I had acknowledged that there are theories surrounding the force of gravity, but people seem reluctant to abandon this tactic.  Sorry to disappoint, but the trick of making the religious girl look dumb by denying gravity is an old one.  I know enough about physics to tell the difference between a force and a theory.  Of those people that would not claim gravity is a theory, but a force is the dictionary.  In particular their definition concerning the definition of gravity as described by the study of physics. 

Evolution is indeed based upon observations.  Were evolution not based upon observations then this would not be a scientific theory.  Observations about evolution can be made all around us.  Anytime you see an animal that was breed for a certain trait, such as pure breed dogs or horses, that is evolution at work.  Bacteria that adapt to antibiotics is certainly an example and so are fish that adapt to eat certain prey.  Certain moths developed color schemes over generations to adapt to soot on trees and anytime a mate is chosen for a certain trait evolution is displayed.  In order for a population to not be under the influence of evolution, they have to lack seven traits (I believe its seven).  There has been no population found in nature that does not have one of these traits.

I am well aware of the case for evolution.  I am a firm believer in evolution and apply practices derived from the theory of evolution in work and study.  What I do not believe is that the statement, “evolution is a theory, not a fact” is some how a danger to overthrow science.  I do not believe that the term is misleading unless someone explains it so.  The statement is true.  If someone links the scientific definition of theory to the layman one, then they are misleading.  People that are uneducated and not familiar with the word might draw incorrect conclusions.  At the same time people unfamiliar with a topic often draw incorrect conclusions that does not mean someone is trying to mislead them or overthrow their world.  I don’t think anyone has stated that creationism or even intelligent design should be taught in science class or even that it currently is taught.

As for the refusal of a creationist to say “God didn’t do this.” I respond with a similar query of would a scientist ever say, “Science can’t explain this.”

I'm a Creationist and simply state I agree evolutionary mechanisms are part of Natural Lawas much as gravity is. But there is one thing that science cannot explain and have a clear proof to counter Creationism that is how life began. Everytime I bring this up biogenesis is considered apart from evolution. But simple common sense to me is that without a proof of how life began at a level you call scientific certainty evolution alone is not enough for me. So I would make the case that ID has at least one place that when one cannot say THIS is how life began with reasonable scientific certainty then one possible explanation is lifestarted by designby some outside agency to this universe. Face it science is just as unreliable at this they assume it was naturally occuring, assumption is not science. So what is wrong with saying ina science class one theory for how life began is some agency designed life at the minimal level and started the process and then there are these other ideas people are placing as ideas.

Its not religious it could be little ET like aliens with test tubes from a parallel dimension, just some sort of designer. Its just as practical and saying it was one of the other reasons and for those you have no wayto prove it either.

Offline Will

But there is absolutely no evidence for that whatsoever.  That sort of precludes it from being taught anywhere, at least hopefully.

Offline Brandon

That's actually a negative proof fallacy/argument from ignorance in claiming that it's impossible to prove me wrong simply because I don't take for granted free will.  You'll find I'm not the only person who doesn't in the realm of philosophy and science.  The whole "look around you it's obvious" argument hasn't worked in formal logic since the time of Euclid.

The entire free will argument is a Distraction fallacy, Im not sure which one but attempts to move the conversation to another direction rather then keeping with the same idea. By saying I have to prove free will your throwing up a smoke screen to get away from the points I had already listed and proven for what we do know of the human mind and how it deals with spirituality (or lack there of).

Finally if you take a look around you you will see free will in action all it takes is some rudementory observation

Isn't choosing to believe in a religion deciding if someone is telling the truth or not?  You're contradicting yourself here.I agree you have to take into account the effect your words will have on other people and choose your battles, and there are some people whose religious viewpoints I think it would be immoral to criticize (the dying for example).  It's all situational and I'm not saying that someone who walks around screaming "God doesn't exist" is going to be particularly well-received by me, for example I dislike Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins intensely for their antagonistic style of atheism.

Im not contradicting myself at all. As I said beliefs are already in place and as a person becomes an adult and gains their freedom if they dont believe what the church says they stop practicing/worshiping if they do believe they continue. That core belief is not a choice, it never was a choice, it can never be a choice. You are purposly trying to mix words into saying a person has to choose their beliefs and by extension religion but thats not the case. The belief was never a choice which means in the case of people looking for new spiritual guidance they watch for it (it being a religious culture that matches the persons beliefs) till they find it or it finds them. At that time they are already "one of them"

Determining whether a person, group, or organization is lying or telling the truth isnt the same thing is fundemental beliefs in the human soul. This is not that hard to understand

But if you're not prepared to be challenged, to face opposing viewpoints, and to be open about the potential that you are wrong about your preconceived beliefs, then you shouldn't be debating or discussing issues in the first place.  If hearing people who vehemently disagree with your worldview causes you great cognitive dissonance then you can't have a rational debate without interjecting emotion, which is the enemy of civil discourse.

From my point of view, you are the one whos adding emotional attachment in your vehement inability to accept anything that has not been "proven" by the scientific community. Even with simple things like free will that just take some rudimentory observation to recognize. You want to point out flaws in logic but you dont seem to want to use logic yourself. You seem to have to be told, by science, that its alright to believe in something and thats just as dangerous as believing everything that a religion has to say. Thats what I see from where Im sitting

Now Im not going to lie, I do have some emotional attatchment. Being catholic is part of who I am, I was never given a choice in that just like I was never given a choice in being caucasian, being male, or being heterosexual. So yes, I think to critisize ones faith is akin to critisizing ones gender. Now dont get me wrong, to critisize an individual religious order and the things they do is fine but around here critisism tends to quickly turns from critisism to bashing and then bashing to Theocism. I can point out several threads where this has happened and I began to stand up against the Theocism because of emotion. I was frustrated, angry, hurt at all the unfairness but I also wanted to make Elliquiy a better place. I think Veks said it far better then I ever could

Quote from: Veksied
"If you truly want to see those organizations you support thrive, you will support healthy processes within them, and discourage bad ones. "

I wholeheartedly agree with that statment and in part, its why Ive been doing this as I see bashing of anything or anyone, as well as Theocism as bad (actually I see those things as evil but those words are pretty much synonomous with each other). Yes I have emotional attachment to the fight but humans are nothing if not emotional creatures. I try so seperate emotion from debate although Im not always successful but even then it doesnt stop me from considering the other side.

If that person follows you with the viewpoint and refuses to respect your desire not to hear it by invading your personal space after you've withdrawn from the conversation, that's harassment and it's wrong, but if you proudly proclaim your beliefs and they counter that's just the nature of the free exchange of ideas.

I dont know how to respond to this without being a smartass so I can only say: Well duh

Problem is though, free speech on Elliquiy doesnt allow me to say something like (I dont believe this what so ever so dont send your hate PMs to me) "All gay men are just trying to infect people with HIV/AIDS". So why do we allow the same to be said of religion, another aspect of a persons life that is not a choice? I think its because, despite conclusive proof Ive given, people are unable or unwilling to recognize it as such. I think its another hate fueled response that I can never convince a person to, just like I cant convince a KKK member that African americans are no different then I am. That doesnt stop me from trying, just like the threat of excommunication didnt stop me from trying to get the catholic church to accept or at least tolerate homosexuals

As a somewhat different, but important topic I think I need to point out that there tends to be this dogpile/attack dog mechanic around here and especially in these religion threads and I dont appreciate it. Ive never given into peer pressure in my entire life and Im not going to start now.

Offline Will

I don't know how fair it is to call it dogpiling, honestly.  It's an open topic, and if there are more people posting who lean towards one end of the discussion, I don't see how that's a good or bad thing.  It just is.

Does saying "no dogpiling" mean that there has to be a roughly equal number of people on both sides of a debate?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Would mean that the people arguing with that person should show some courtesy and let them respond to other people’s comments before making their response.  Just because the forum is open does not absolve someone of being courteous and considerate of another person’s ability to respond.