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  1. #121
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Without wanting to delve into my personal history and conversion story too much, let me say that my studies in molecular and microbiology were faith-building and helped me to accept the notion of God and a creation.I very much believe in evolution, but I also believe that the history of our world could have been influenced, guided, and planned for by deity to meet certain purposes.

    At this time in my life I ascribe to the Mormon faith. The creation story is a little different for us. We believe that God, with other spirits, planned the mortal world and its inhabitants and the shape they would take. All things were created in the spirit before being created physically. The story of creation thus becomes a tale of design and execution. And, I believe, evolution is the mechanism by which the design is being executed.

    As an aside, I am very friendly and respectful to agnostics. I find them generally intelligent and open-minded. I've been an agnostic, myself. But I am beginning to despise these brash, elitist, sneering sorts of Atheists that worship Dawkins.

  2. #122
    Network Hub tomeoftom's Avatar
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    I'd like to work through the reasoning of any religious person here as to why they believe in god(s), just for curiosity's sake - but after they watch this incredibly well-thought-out video:

  3. #123
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomeoftom View Post
    I'd like to work through the reasoning of any religious person here as to why they believe in god(s), just for curiosity's sake - but after they watch this incredibly well-thought-out video:
    It's not a bad video in that it's a correct thought experiment... but the problem is that it can apply to pretty much anything not based on hard science. You can replace "faith/god" with "morality" and get a similar answer because there is no definitive, objectively-verifiable answer.

    This video is a variation of Russell's Teapot, except instead of the hypothetical teapot it's a hypothetical container. Namely the point being that the answer can't be verified, thus the burden on proof should be on who makes the claim or asserts their answer to be correct.

    Which isn't necessarily illogical from their perspective. For example, a person against homosexuality can label it immoral and see it being perfectly logical from their side of the fence, while you can claim it is moral and arrive at an equally logical answer. But who is correct? You can't determine who is correct because there's no way to verify what is correct.

    Point being these videos and claims are fun but ultimately mean nothing. The faithful need no proof, the faithless need it, and there's no middle ground between the two. You don't need a thought experiment to prove that, nor does the absence of a universal verifiable fact suddenly render something entirely invalid. Which is just as well because a world run entirely on scientific objectivity without subjective morality wouldn't be much fun at all.

  4. #124
    Network Hub tomeoftom's Avatar
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    "You can replace "faith/god" with "morality" and get a similar answer because there is no definitive, objectively-verifiable answer."

    Exactly. Which is why the morality system /we design/ would likely be inherently better in the long run for humanity.

    "
    The faithful need no proof, the faithless need it, and there's no middle ground between the two."

    I disagree. Society and real-life interactions are the middle ground - to selectively disregard reason (ie. not require proof) when it comes to issues as important as "what are the fundamental rules of the universe", "how should we stand on X scientific/moral challenge", "how should we run our society", or even "how should I spend a great deal of my only life" (in the case of the devout), is really, really dangerous. Which would be fine, but it's not dangerous /just to the believer/. To act rationally is a social obligation.

  5. #125
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomeoftom View Post
    Exactly. Which is why the morality system /we design/ would likely be inherently better in the long run for humanity.

    Um... humanity did design religion. We created it, it didn't create itself. I don't understand your point here. Are you just using the term "we" to mean "everyone who agrees with my morality" because if so that's a dangerous path to tread...

    Quote Originally Posted by tomeoftom View Post
    I disagree. Society and real-life interactions are the middle ground - to selectively disregard reason (ie. not require proof) when it comes to issues as important as "what are the fundamental rules of the universe", "how should we stand on X scientific/moral challenge", "how should we run our society", or even "how should I spend a great deal of my only life" (in the case of the devout), is really, really dangerous. Which would be fine, but it's not dangerous /just to the believer/. To act rationally is a social obligation.
    But as I said, and as you agreed, things like morality do not have scientific explanations. Science doesn't provide a justification for why I shouldn't just kill someone and take their stuff, nor why I should act honestly, or really do anything that morality compels us to do. As we agreed, there's no absolutes in this realm. It isn't governed by scientific law like electromagnetism, or thermodynamics, or whatever. Under science something can be definitively wrong; for example I can prove to you that there are no surface-dwelling moonbeast cities on the Moon, and you can't deny it. It's an objective fact, it only has one correct answer.

    Morality does not. You can have an entirely different set of morals to me and still be a moral person by your own and somebody else's definition, as can I. Nobody can definitively say "This is the correct moral to adopt" because there's no universal definition, and little universal consensus (if any). You haven't really disagreed with what I've said - the faithful don't need proof, they just hold their truth to be self-evident, it doesn't need proof for them to believe in it, or they'll find 'proof' in whatever they see (as a ridiculous example, that stupid God's Banana video on YouTube). Someone who does not believe will require proof which they won't find. That statement doesn't mean that what the faithful believe isn't wrong (so far we've found zero evidence for any god/s or space monsters), just that they don't require scientific proof to believe.

    There isn't any middle ground; you either believe or you don't. Meeting to decide on issues isn't a middle ground; both come forward either as believers or skeptics. And it isn't just the devout that bring forth 'dangerous' ideas; you can pick a political extremist and get the same result. Hell, even some of the best moves scientifically would be unpalatable for many people.

  6. #126
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Um... humanity did design religion.
    Dude, if you actually manage to get a religious person to agree to that - no matter how obviously true - then no further discussion is necessary because you've just won.
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  7. #127
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Dude, if you actually manage to get a religious person to agree to that - no matter how obviously true - then no further discussion is necessary because you've just won.
    If I get them to admit that humans designed a religion, will you give me something? :D

    But yeah, I realise how that sounds now reading it back. But still it's true, we did construct the systems of belief. Hell Jesus Christ could have been the L Ron Hubbard of their time. I guess Judas might have even been Tom Cruise.

  8. #128
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Let's just all get COEXIST bumper stickers.

    Utopia here we come!
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  9. #129
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But yeah, I realise how that sounds now reading it back. But still it's true, we did construct the systems of belief. Hell Jesus Christ could have been the L Ron Hubbard of their time. I guess Judas might have even been Tom Cruise.
    I know we did, you know we did, but fat lotta good that does us here. :P

    I'm still laughing at the idea of the second coming. If some random dude named Jesus (likely surnamed Gonzalez) started preaching about the evils of bankers and for universal welfare and health care, we'd call him a lib'rul commie jew bastard and likely kill him again. Hell, that was basically the plot of the grand inquisitor in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  10. #130
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    likely kill him again
    Would it help, do you suppose, if this time his clothes were dripping with blood and he had Sword Breath? It's like Fire Breath, but: Sword.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  11. #131
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    It's not a bad video in that it's a correct thought experiment... but the problem is that it can apply to pretty much anything not based on hard science. You can replace "faith/god" with "morality" and get a similar answer because there is no definitive, objectively-verifiable answer.
    Indeed. There's a bunch of concepts we believe in that can't actually be demonstrated, yet we subscribe to their existence as a matter of course. Most people buy into the notion of 'love' (even the Dawkins), but it's kind of arbitrary. Multiplication is a weird one as well. We all understand the concept, but you can't take 4 apples and 3 apples and physically make 12 apples out of them.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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  12. #132
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Multiplication is a weird one as well. We all understand the concept, but you can't take 4 apples and 3 apples and physically make 12 apples out of them.
    But you can take four bushels of apples, and with the knowledge of how much a bushel usually carries, extrapolate that for the total number of apples. Abstraction isn't the same as pulling numbers outta your ass.
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  13. #133
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    But you can take four bushels of apples, and with the knowledge of how much a bushel usually carries, extrapolate that for the total number of apples. Abstraction isn't the same as pulling numbers outta your ass.
    The point is it's purely on the mind.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
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    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  14. #134
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    The point is it's purely on the mind.
    So is addition - after all, multiplication is just repeated addition. Whether you have two small sets of apples or one large set of apples is a mental contruct: The apples are still there or not there regardless of how you categorize them. But both mathematical concepts are entirely, 100% verifiable in the real world.
    Last edited by Nalano; 22-05-2012 at 08:18 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  15. #135
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    So is addition - after all, multiplication is just repeated addition. Whether you have two small sets of apples or one large set of apples is a mental contruct: The apples are still there or not there regardless of how you categorize them. But both mathematical concepts are entirely, 100% verifiable in the real world.
    No. I can have 2 apples put them with 3 apples and 'lo' I have 5 apples. Addition is physically demonstrable, multiplication not so much. After all if we reduce multiplication simply to repeated addition, then why have multiplication? Think like a Martian.

    I was listening to an interesting podcast today all about colour (http://www.radiolab.org/) and one of the more pertinent things that it talked about was how it was discovered that civilizations evolved their words for colours over time. The ancient Greeks for example didn't have a word for blue for instance. Green, red yellow all existed, but blue was outside their perception. In fact it's the colour that generally comes last in terms of realization (or visibility) to nearly all civilizations, principally because it's not found that much in nature, and to most early people the sky was just the sky. Now that's not to say that blue didn't exist, but people didn't distinguish it from green.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 22-05-2012 at 08:55 PM.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  16. #136
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    No. I can have 2 apples put them with 3 apples and 'lo' I have 5 apples. Addition is physically demonstrable, multiplication not so much.
    I have three bags of apples, each of which has four apples in them. 4+4+4 = 4x3 = 12. Lo! Physically verifiable. If I had another equally filled bag, I'd have 4+4+4+4 = 4x4 = 42. Huzzah!
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  17. #137
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I have three bags of apples, each of which has four apples in them. 4+4+4 = 4x3 = 12. Lo! Physically verifiable. If I had another equally filled bag, I'd have 4+4+4+4 = 4x4 = 42. Huzzah!
    4+4+4 = addition

    4+4+4+4 = addition

    making the leap from the + to the x is a conceptual act.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
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    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  18. #138
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    4+4+4 = addition

    4+4+4+4 = addition

    making the leap from the + to the x is a conceptual act.
    Repeat after me: Repeat after me: Repeat after me: Multiplication is repeated addition. They're both concepts. A level of abstraction doesn't stop the concept from being directly verifiable.

    2x3 = 2+2+2. 23 = 2x2x2. 32 = 2^2^2 = ((2+2)+(2+2))+((2+2)+(2+2)).

    I mean, dude, if you can't think this deep, no wonder religion is so prevalent.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  19. #139
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    They're both concepts. A level of abstraction doesn't stop the concept from being directly verifiable
    *chortles*

    You can physically demonstrate addition. Multiplication requires a person to engage with the abstract, and make a jump beyond the perceivable. Addition and multiplication are distinct concepts.

    Your relentless desire to argue for the sake of it never fails to amuse tbh Nalano.

    The original point was to highlight the fact that much of what is, exists within the mind and by cultural agreement. Like the thing about colour and the absence of blue.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 23-05-2012 at 12:09 AM.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

    Tradition is the tyranny of dead men

    Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi

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    *blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me


    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    The original point was to highlight the fact that much of what is, exists within the mind and by cultural agreement. Like the thing about colour and the absence of blue.
    Agreed, but you've gone about proving it all wrong. 4*3 is 12 in any culture or lack thereof, just like 3 is a prime even if no one is around to point out the fact. The ideas of love and morality, however, are essentially only narrative devices, which exist because we have to communicate with one another. That being said, and going back to what Soldant said, they can be addressed in a scientifically verifiable manner, unlike gods, by determining the relative well-being of conscious animals. Morality is not the same thing as a system of beliefs. This is something I've tried to explain to theists a few times, but I've yet to come up with a decent, short-winded explanation.

    Also, your relentless desire to be subtly belligerent is somewhat offset by your use of the word "chortle", Kadayi.
    Last edited by outoffeelinsobad; 23-05-2012 at 12:33 AM.

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