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Old 12-15-2006, 01:23 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Surely you've heard of Richard Dawkins of Flying-Spaghetti-Monster fame.
Dawkins is famous for several things, the FSM isn't one of them.


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Old 12-15-2006, 01:42 PM   #82
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I must have been led astray by that article. "For instance, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a variant of the tiny orbiting teapot used by Bertrand Russell for similar rhetorical duty back in 1952." I read as: "For instance, [his] Flying Spaghetti Monster is a variant..." since that came right after a quote where he used that analogy. Seemed original enough to me at the time I read it ... but reading arguments for atheism is something new to me (obviously).
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:46 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Spider Al,
. But regardless of whether Nancy or Jae are convinced by your arguments, there will always be those that lurk and never post who are truly undecided, and it might be your words that convince them one way or the other.
And, believe it or not, I'm willing to entertain the idea that I could be wrong and there's nothing out there. (Humor mode on: don't have a heart attack at that. I can't do electronic CPR. ). At this point, though, if I'm wrong, then I die, then pffft, that's it, and I had a few delusions during life. It's not going to alter my decision to try to make my life and the lives of those around me better. Christ's example of love for humanity is going to continue to be inspirational and relevent whether or not I believe, and some of the practical life tips in Proverbs will still be practical, and prayer/meditation/time of contemplation will still have the benefits that come with sitting down and tuning out our over-busy society for a short time to think of other things besides ourselves. So the underpinnings of those actions, be it humanism or faith, aren't as important at that point. If I'm right, then Heaven awaits at some point, but that doesn't negate the need to treasure life here as if there was no afterlife. Life is too precious to be squandered, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof.

You know, the idea of reverse proselytizing just weirds my brain out, but at this point I also badly need a nap, fwiw.


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Old 12-15-2006, 01:46 PM   #84
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:03 PM   #85
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There's something called 'freedom of religion', if Atheists seek to abolish the faith people who follow religion have then that's a direct violation of that right.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:30 PM   #86
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If Atheists were seeking to abolish religion directly, say by burning churches or murdering clergy, then yes, that would be a violation. Saying that religion is irrational is no more a violation of the freedom of religion than saying that 2+2=4 is a violation of your right to free speech if you say that 2+2=5. As Spider has pointed out, it's a matter of rationality.

There is a great difference between violating a person's right and choosing to point out falsities in their thinking. Certainly you have a right to believe whatever you want. That is an unalienable right that all humans possess. Every single person, however, also has an unalienable right to search for logic, rationality, and truth. It is only natural to discuss these things in a debate format and to attempt to persuade others to your side of belief.
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:33 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
There's something called 'freedom of religion', if Atheists seek to abolish the faith people who follow religion have then that's a direct violation of that right.
Some religions involve human sacrifice, should those be allowed?

I don't think anyone has suggested the abolishment of religions that don't involve dangerous/deadly/murderous activities, they've just discouraged the practice.



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Old 12-19-2006, 01:16 AM   #88
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Arn't those more cults than actual religions? I know there are people who use their belief to justify their actions and this could well be the case here, but I could be wrong. Someone who knows a lot more about religion than I do would be better to cover it.

What pisses me off about Atheism is that there are some, like SkinWalker, who are able to accept that others follow religion (that bit I have no problem with, in fact I'm exactly the same) where as some believe they have the right to monster people who follow religion out of their beliefs. They have no such rights, not only is such an idea morally wrong you do not want to see the day that such practices are accepted, because that's where problems begin and they end with Nazi Stormtroopers and death squads. People follow religion, those who cannot accept that have problems far greater than any number of people Atheists can convert from religion can solve.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:14 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What pisses me off about Atheism is that there are some, like SkinWalker, who are able to accept that others follow religion (that bit I have no problem with, in fact I'm exactly the same) where as some believe they have the right to monster people who follow religion out of their beliefs. They have no such rights, not only is such an idea morally wrong you do not want to see the day that such practices are accepted, because that's where problems begin and they end with Nazi Stormtroopers and death squads. People follow religion, those who cannot accept that have problems far greater than any number of people Atheists can convert from religion can solve.
That's not just a quality of Atheism though - there are countless examples of followers within every possible belief trying to convert others through platitudes of arguments or by violent coercion. To suggest that it is only a quality of Atheism and a point of derision that cannot be applied to any other religion, is quite a bit foolish.



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Old 12-19-2006, 02:21 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What pisses me off about Atheism is that there are some, like SkinWalker, who are able to accept that others follow religion (that bit I have no problem with, in fact I'm exactly the same) where as some believe they have the right to monster people who follow religion out of their beliefs.
This goes for all groups of people - some people can accept different things, others cannot. The only major difference is the power each group holds, take, for example, Christians (wasps in particular), the amount of power this group holds is tremendous - which is why I find your post a bit... odd. You seem to be focused on Atheists offending your beliefs, and ignore the fact that religious people offend the beliefs (or lack thereof) or Atheists. Personally, I'd rather not have anyone tell me I'm going to burn for all eternity because I don't go to church or believe in a god, or legislate what I can and cannot do because they think they know what's best for me.



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Old 12-19-2006, 02:21 AM   #91
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Of course it is, and I'm equally pissed off that people from any type of religion try and force others to their will. The same as Christians bomb abortion clinics to impose their views should have God's wrath brought onto them when they're deader than Elvis, the same as Islamic extremists commit terrorist acts to force the world to their blasphemus to the Quran ways should be confronted by the full might of the world's counterterrorist forces, so too should Atheists who seek to convert others should learn to sit down, shut up and see whether or not people who follow religion want the help Atheists say they give and have their eyes opened to the evils of believing in something that is not real.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:53 AM   #92
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What? There's not much to believe about atheism (heh), and no one has ever said that there are no gods. They've only said that since there is no objective evidence for them they shouldn't be believed in. That doesn't completely rule gods out, and it's silly to think so. There are limits to how far incredulity can be stretched, and if you're already past that point then I see no real argument as to why you cannot still hold your beliefs legitimately. However, that's obviously a subjective measurement, so don't expect to get far in an argument with it...


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Old 12-19-2006, 04:36 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod:

Now, here's the problem I have with that. It's the supposition that god or gods being unproven relegating them to effective nonexistence. It doesn't leave open the possibility ...
I'm going to unceremoniously halt the quote there, because of course it leaves open the "possibility" of error. In theory, even the existence of the sentient slices of cheese is a possibility. In rational terms.

But because something (that has no evidence to suggest that it exists) may possibly exist, does one say "it exists"? No, one doesn't. One says that it doesn't exist. One says that it doesn't exist, until such time as some small shred of evidence is put forward that suggests that it DOES exist.

I could say "there's an invisible elephant sitting on your head" and sure enough, there's a remote possibility that my statement is correct. But until I put forward some evidence to support my ludicrous assertion, the elephant does not exist. The cheese-slices do not exist. And gods do not exist.

This isn't just a question of terminology, either. It's a question of rational use of language.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones:

I wonder if the cheese monster is ever afraid of getting possibly eaten by a starving worshipper.
Why, you heretic! There is more than one cheese-monster, as I've previously stated.

Looks like the new religion has undergone its first schism. Perhaps we can organise a small holy war at some point to settle the issue.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102:

Surely you've heard of Richard Dawkins of Flying-Spaghetti-Monster fame. (Not really fair perhaps to Dawkins, he's not in a position to restrict free speech, though he would happily support atheism in Congress.)
Dawkins is not an opponent of free speech. Quite the reverse.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Actually, it has everything to do with my intent. How can you possibly separate my intent from my message? You are making incorrect assumptions and reading something into my statements that I never said or meant. Or are you doing this just to make fun of me?
How can I separate your intent from your message? I would ask, how can I possibly LINK the two? I don't know what's going through your head when you type what you type. I just READ what you type. The text. Not your mindset when typing. That's not something I can read.

And frankly, you yourself have admitted to typing things you did not mean (As I'm sure we all have done at some time or another.) in past threads. The (quite understandable) reason you cited at the time was fatigue. But I am not psychic. I cannot know what you MEAN to type, only what you ACTUALLY type.

Intent is an irrelevance. I do not care about your intent. I do not expect others to care about MY intent. I care about the text of others. I expect others to care about MY text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Your assumption that I find logic somehow 'unattractive'.
First, I give you credit for finally addressing specific points in this paragraph. I never said this specifically, but nonetheless it is essentially true. Let me explain why:

1. Part of your original question amounted to "why do atheists find atheism attractive?"
2. Atheism is pure rationality. It's a rational, logical position.
3. Therefore your question could be legitimately interpreted as: "why do you logical people find logic attractive in this area?"
4. Since you are by your own admission a religious person, this means that your thought is illogical in this respect. (The theistic respect.)
5. You quite literally wished to KNOW why these logical people find their logical "worldview" attractive, AND you are religious, therefore you necessarily do not find logic as attractive as atheists find it.
6. If you were "attracted" to logic to the same degree as atheists are, you would BE an atheist.

QED.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Your assumption that because I, in your view, lack logic on this matter, I must therefore lack logic on all matters.
I never said this, or anything close to this.

I stated once that if someone is capable of ignoring rationality in one area of their life, their lack of rationality is unlikely to be limited to that one area. Which is a statement that would seem axiomatic to me, and which I stand by.

That is however a far cry from "religious folk lack logic in ALL MATTERS".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Your assumption that I must be unable to grasp truth simply because I ask why atheists/agnostics choose individually to believe in this worldview.
I never said you were "unable" to grasp any truth.

I DID point out the obvious, that if you have to ask:

"What I don't get to see from that is why atheists/agnostics like to believe in atheism/agnosticism (for lack of better phrasing at the moment). What is it that is attractive about this particular worldview?"

Then you clearly haven't grasped the basic truth that atheism is simply rationality, and that religion is irrational and ludicrous. Otherwise you would be an atheist. I didn't say you were incapable of grasping this truth, however. For all I know you might be an atheist in five years' time for this very reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Your assumption that all atheists choose to embrace this worldview based solely on logic when there may be other factors--hatred of the Church from a very bad experience with it and thus turning away from God, embracing atheism/agnosticism because parents were atheist/agnostic, disliking religious hypocrisy, embracing the philosophy because they admired someone influential who was agnostic/atheist, and a host of other reasons that are not necessarily logic based.

Logic may be the reason for you to be atheist, but it is not necessarily everyone else's reason.
It is the only valid reason. In fact, logical reasons are the only valid reasons for doing ANYTHING.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Did you really have to make that last statement? That sort of dig is meant solely to cause pain.
I stated:

"Sure I would. [Want to be on the receiving end of the attitude I myself take] I have no problem with logical debate and utilitarian attitudes to debate. It would make something of a change, in fact."

And I stand by every single word. There are no "digs", only plain, verifiable statements. Do you know how long it is since I have debated in the Senate with someone who opposes my views with logical arguments? The last time was in October. I was debating the nature of morality with Edlib in the thread on Moral Relativism.

Do you dispute this statement? You certainly don't have a leg to stand on in the matter, because you yourself are quite literally REFUSING to debate with me in a rational, logical manner... until I am arbitrarily "nice" enough for your liking.

So yes, some logical debate WOULD make something of a change. I stand by that, it is literally true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

It is not the facts that bother me, nor your message of your interpretation of facts that lead you to the atheist worldview. I treasure all my atheist and agnostic friends and respect their beliefs, and they respect mine. They may consider my thoughts on religion misguided, but they still treat _me_ with respect.
Yes, they treat YOU with respect, because they're your friends. But if they were really atheists, I find it hard to believe that they would "respect your beliefs". They might respect your right to hold such beliefs... as I do.

But I certainly don't "respect your beliefs". I think they're irrational and invalid. I don't see how any rational atheist could feel differently if they were thinking logically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

I didn't ask you to gloss over the truth. However, there are ways to present 'truth' that are better/more effective than others. Your message is getting lost in your style of delivery, and your sarcastic and belittling style is what I find so upsetting. In fact, your style of delivery is detracting tremendously from your message.

...
I'm actually somewhat flattered by this statement, because many many great rational thinkers have this same criticism thrown at them all the time. Richard Dawkins for instance is almost constantly accused of "losing his message in his delivery" by people of various types. Chomsky is accused of this regularly. (Not that I am REMOTELY putting myself on the same intellectual level as these giants, these brilliantly shining lights of intelligence and reason, by the way.)

But of course, the criticism is an irrelevance when it's levelled at them, and it's an irrelevance now that you're levelling it at me. Because in virtually all cases, this criticism is a REPLACEMENT for a valid counter-argument. You're not making any secret that you're unwilling to even address my arguments. And regardless of the subjective emotional reasons you cite for your failure to address the arguments, in a debate the important things are the arguments.

And you're just avoiding them. Which is telling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Rules of debate also include respect for your opponent, even if you disagree completely.
No they don't. I don't know where you get this from. A valid debate is a debate in which two or more people work through a series of logical arguments, and challenge each other's assertions with logical and tangible evidence.

They don't have to respect each other. They don't have to like each other, they don't even have to be "nice" to each other.

They DO have to conform to the- rather universal- rules of rational debate: That is, no personal attacks, no logical fallacies and no irrelevant non-sequiturs. And then they'll have a valid debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

You've got the logic down pat, but you lack the respect
Thanks for the compliment. But as for lacking respect... I don't HAVE any respect for irrational beliefs, be they conventionally political, dogmatic, theistic or amoral. So of course I lack "the respect". And that's not a problem for me or my arguments.

Do you want me to lie to you, Jae? Do you want me to tell you it's "okay that you believe what you do"? Do you want me to tell you "I respect your beliefs"?

1. I won't, 2. It isn't and 3. I don't.

If my honesty in this respect offends, that's unfortunate. But this honesty is morally necessary, so if it offends... That also is necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Just because you have the right to do that doesn't mean you should. Just because I think something uncharitable doesn't mean I have to say it.
Actually having the right to do something means that- morally speaking- you can morally do it. This idea that "just because you have a right doesn't mean you should exercise it" is a classic fallacy- curiously enough often employed by governments who are trying to institute a totalitarian regime. (No, before you say it, I'm not comparing you to any totalitarian figure, merely making a (true) observation.)

Once you start putting subjective restrictions onto a right, it is no longer a "right".

And if whatever uncharitable thing that you're thinking is rationally true, then YES, of COURSE you have to say it, morally speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a classic. If you've read it, review it. You may not want to win friends here, but I can tell that you do want very badly to influence people.
If you seriously believe that I'm remotely concerned with influencing anyone else with my arguments, you haven't been reading what I've been posting. I've stated on many many occasions that debates are NOT about convincing ANYONE of ANYTHING. Debates are about truth and searching for the truth. I debate to search for the truth for myself, and to speak the truth because it's moral to do so.

I don't debate to convince you of the truth. It's up to you to convince yourself of truths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

It would be irrational if I had said that, but I have not, and this is an assumption on your part.
No it isn't, I never said you "said" it. I stated that it was a recurring theme in your posts, and I stand by that. It was the same thing in the previous Iraq-related threads, no doubt it'll be the same thing in future threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

The topic is why people choose to embrace atheism on a personal level. You stated it's logic for you. That's the answer I was looking for, not a discussion of my level of intelligence/sanity/etc. for not embracing that philosophy.
No, it's a discussion topic and that topic is: "Why Atheism?" Just because one starts a thread, doesn't mean one gets to dictate what course a debate takes, provided it remains pertinent to the stated topic.

And I've never questioned your intelligence or your sanity, you're just grossly misrepresenting now. I have and DO question your rationality when it comes to the topic of theism vs. atheism. But that's nothing personal, I question the rationality of ALL religious folk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

I would if I had the emotional resources to deal with the highly probable likelihood that I'll get flamed/semantic of your choice because I have a couple questions and points.
Hey, then don't post in the thing. Just read through it. It's fascinating stuff, it was a very enjoyable and instructive debate for me. I particularly enjoyed the exchange with Edlib.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker:

Spider Al,

I agree with all of your points. But Jae's criticism of your delivery is spot on. We'll be more effective at conveying reason if more care is taken to avoid condescension, though I'm probably guilty of it too. I admit, it is very hard *not* to sound condescending to believers when you argue with them that their beliefs are deluded, however, there are some choice words here and there in your posts that could have been omitted or re-worded that would have made your point in such a way as to not bait your opposition.
You've been saying this for some time, Skin. And I'll respond in the same way that I always respond:

There is nothing condescending about my posts. If I appear condescending, it is because I always choose to debate with people I consider to be touting irrational arguments / holding irrational beliefs. And pointing out their irrationality (as you noted in the above paragraph) is hard to do WITHOUT sounding condescending to some people. (Mainly them.)

I reject utterly the notion that my arguments and the delivery of my arguments are two separate, easily delineated things. If you give me an example of an argument of mine which has been re-worded to make it "inoffensive", I will show you how the argument has effectively been neutered by the attempt to make it more "palatable". Every single word in my posts I deem necessary to make the points that I'm trying to make.

And you know, often I feel as though I should be harsher in my criticisms than I currently am. But I gladly sacrifice purity of argument to abide by the forum rules. But to ask one to sacrifice MORE of that purity than is absolutely necessary... I don't think that's a useful request.

Furthermore if the worst anyone can say about my posts is: "All your arguments are correct and logical... but I don't like your presentation", then frankly I'm doing a pretty good job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker:

I say this not just as a moderator (perhaps not as a moderator at all), but rather, as one who agrees with your points and would like to see them understood and even mulled over. I've known many who have been swayed over time by reason and logic. I've even witnessed a hard-core theist become an atheist in another forum I moderate. But regardless of whether Nancy or Jae are convinced by your arguments, there will always be those that lurk and never post who are truly undecided, and it might be your words that convince them one way or the other.
And I'd agree with you, if I believed that my arguments would influence anyone one way or another.

I've been debating on these and similar topics for years and years now. Much longer than merely in the Senate. Much longer than I've been on teh internets. And not once have I convinced any irrational person of anything rational. And not once have I SEEN an irrational person convinced of the rational.

Your personal anecdote notwithstanding, it's clear to me from personal experience that any such occurances are aberrations, hardly worth worrying over. Call me cynical, but I believe- from active observation- that people are either-or. Either you're rational, or irrational. Moral, or amoral. Right, or wrong. Sad, but true. People gravitate towards the truth if they're going to gravitate towards it, WHATEVER I say. But if they're not going to gravitate towards it... they won't. Whatever I say.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142:

Yeah, but you mentioned moral responsibility before - I wouldn't call it morally responsible to just allow someone to go about thinking that three and five are seven when everyone else thinks they're equal to eight and will think he/she is an invalid for thinking otherwise.
Let's invert your assertion for a moment: If everyone else thought three and five was SEVEN, i.e: If the general consensus was incorrect but socially acceptable, would it be moral for a teacher to go along with this, and teach inaccurate things to a child to make them more socially well-adjusted?

Of course it wouldn't be moral. Because it's the moral duty of a teacher to teach what is rationally correct. And it's doing a disservice to one's pupils to teach anything but what is right. The social implications are negligible by comparison, morally speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142:

By the way, and this has been kind of bugging me for a while, instead of quoting people by adding italicized letters inside the quote tag, you can simply use
Yeah J, I'm fully aware of that. I've created my own quote tags because my own quote tags save space on my screen when the post is sent, and are- in my personal opinion- better suited to the task of organising my (often unusually large) posts.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

There's something called 'freedom of religion', if Atheists seek to abolish the faith people who follow religion have then that's a direct violation of that right.
As Razaki has said, atheists point out logical flaws in religious belief. To say that because of this they are "seeking to abolish faiths" is inaccurate. It's arguable that the reverse is true, however: That various religions are actively seeking to "abolish" atheism through legislation and active campaigning.

As stated before, if logic causes someone to lose their religious belief... that's not the atheist's problem. And it wouldn't be a bad thing, either.

You persistently use the term "convert people to atheism". But this is strictly speaking an inappropriate term. People are "converted" from one religion to another. But atheism is an absence of delusion. So to say one can be "converted to atheism" is somewhat redundant.

And also... Answer the cheese question.


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Old 12-19-2006, 08:28 AM   #94
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I answered your ****ing cheese question several times. If you're not happy with it find some other damned patsy who'll say what you want to hear, preferably one with more knowledge of religion and less of what you're trying to do.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:44 AM   #95
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*pokes head out of ground* Whoa..we're back.

To add a bit more to my original post, one of the reasons I can't accept any religion in particular is that there's a tendency some religious people have to think only in the most literal terms. "I believe in X. As I know that my particular bit of religious dogma was beamed down directly from God's own fax machine, X is unquestionably true, therefore everything else is by definition wrong. Contradicting X or saying it's wrong is offensive to me, and should never be done." Then there's the ones who take that a step further and say, "As X is the one sole spiritual path to Heaven/Nirvana/Paradise/anything other that fiery damnation, I have a duty to make sure everyone follows this one path. I also have a permission slip written on God's own stationary to do whatever I have to to carry this out." These have often turned out to be the most dangerous people on the planet.

And for the religious people who are terrified that Atheism is going to wipe out the Church or religion in general, if logic and reason really were enough to do that, they would have done so centuries ago. Besides, if someone's faith is really so weak and tissue-thin that it can be shredded by an online message board, they're probably better off without it.


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Old 12-19-2006, 08:55 AM   #96
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You have a point there, that people would be better off if their grasp on religion is so teneous that it'd be destroyed through a message board then they're probably better off. My issue however is Atheists who believe they have a right to force others to Atheism, especially when they condemn religions trying to get people to join them.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:01 AM   #97
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And, believe it or not, I'm willing to entertain the idea that I could be wrong and there's nothing out there. (Humor mode on: don't have a heart attack at that. I can't do electronic CPR. ). At this point, though, if I'm wrong, then I die, then pffft, that's it, and I had a few delusions during life. It's not going to alter my decision to try to make my life and the lives of those around me better.
None of us can be sure of what the hell is out there, until one of us or our society get off their ass and explore the universe.
We can't figure out all the answers of the infinite existence of reality by remaining static in one perspective of existence.
So, don't believe that bullsh*t that your belief in God is a delusion, Jae.
Spider AL and Skinwalker isn't being fair to you.
They don't know completely what the hell is out there until they at least, explore the universe and existence.

Possibly no person on this planet know for sure if there is a God or a afterlife.
The dead ones might know but I'm not sure you can interview them yet.
It is apparent all of our individual beliefs, concerning the afterlife, God or Gods on this planet is, bias.
I believe these beliefs will remain bias until further answers and evidence is obtain from the future exploration of our universe and probably some of the infinite universes of existence.
But if that fail, then death will provide the final answer.
Well, final from our perspective; it maybe infinite levels of the afterlife.
Now if that still don't work, then the hell with it.



Also the condescending behavior of Spider you have notice, seem to be a constant behavior of his.
So, I think you are wasting your time trying to ask him to be less condescending.
His arrogance is very apparent in most of his posts.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:09 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
My issue however is Atheists who believe they have a right to force others to Atheism, especially when they condemn religions trying to get people to join them.
Who's trying to do that? Where are these mysterious Atheists who force others to drop their religious beliefs that you keep talking about?


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Old 12-19-2006, 09:26 AM   #99
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Who's trying to do that? Where are these mysterious Atheists who force others to drop their religious beliefs that you keep talking about?
I think Nancy is talking about Atheists who use logic to try to manipulate religious people that their God or Gods don't exist, because of apparent contradictions in the evidence for their specific religious beliefs, that Atheists observe.
So, they should conclude that their religion is flawed, as Atheists would argue.
And join them by accepting the most reasonable explanation.
If they don't accept the Atheists reasoning, then they are open to ridicule and will be looked as ignorant fools.
So, it's in religious people interest to accept that God or Gods don't exist, as some Atheists would be making the point as.

Is that what you are arguing, Nancy?

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Old 12-19-2006, 10:28 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I answered your ****ing cheese question several times. If you're not happy with it find some other damned patsy who'll say what you want to hear, preferably one with more knowledge of religion and less of what you're trying to do.
Once again you claim to have answered several times... But I haven't seen you answer it once. I've just read back over the thread too, and I still can't see a single answer.

Listen, if I really HAVE missed your answer, please just repeat the answer, and then we can examine it.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
My issue however is Atheists who believe they have a right to force others to Atheism, especially when they condemn religions trying to get people to join them.
As Mace asked, where are these nefarious people, these atheists that FORCE others to hold rational, logical beliefs? Where are they? Where have you seen them?

As regards Windu, I'm not responding to his assertions for the same reasons as usual.


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Old 12-19-2006, 11:32 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I answered your ****ing cheese question several times. If you're not happy with it find some other damned patsy who'll say what you want to hear, preferably one with more knowledge of religion and less of what you're trying to do.
Let's tone it down a notch, please.

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Old 12-19-2006, 01:05 PM   #102
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Why, you heretic! There is more than one cheese-monster, as I've previously stated.
Looks like the new religion has undergone its first schism. Perhaps we can organise a small holy war at some point to settle the issue.

But, but, the Holy Flaming Napalm of Cheddar will melt the Holy Swiss (pun fully intended) of Gastronomic Delight, and then it'll be all one big melty mess, and it'll never get resolved. Kind of like the Middle East but that's another thread topic entirely.

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Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
"I believe in X. As I know that my particular bit of religious dogma was beamed down directly from God's own fax machine"

I needed some humor today....

I've only little bits of breaks here and there at work today so I'll address other things later.


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Old 12-19-2006, 01:42 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
And for the religious people who are terrified that Atheism is going to wipe out the Church or religion in general, if logic and reason really were enough to do that, they would have done so centuries ago.
I don't know about this. The rise of the Information Age has allowed people to express their opinions over distances and to audiences in ways that did not exist before. Look at this thread as an example.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:41 PM   #104
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I don't know about this. The rise of the Information Age has allowed people to express their opinions over distances and to audiences in ways that did not exist before. Look at this thread as an example.
Modern technology might allow for the vastly more rapid dissemination of ideas and information than previously, but IMHO logic and reason are never going to drive religion out of the common mindset simply because religion fulfills some human curiosities and needs that logic and reason can't until scientific inquiry manages to produce a comprehensive inventory of the entire universe. What happens after we die? Do we really have souls? What started the creation of the universe? Is God real, and are he and Allah pissed off at their followers who still have wars over silly things like, "Who's got the bigger God?", or are they just having a laugh and concentrating on their much more interesting civilizations in the Andromeda galaxy? Until science can definitively answer those questions, people will always turn to religion, especially when it offers hope that your body rotting and decaying isn't the only thing to look forward to after you've been killed by a pack of wild boars or something.


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Old 12-19-2006, 03:47 PM   #105
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I'll give you these quotes and then the truth on Atheism.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
not one person follows that type of religion and yet hundreds of millions are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, ect.
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Originally Posted by Spider AL
And as I said before, would it be such a bad thing if because of atheist logic, some religious person lost their delusion? A rational life is a moral life, it's a life that makes sense, it's a life with rational goals and purposes and the search for truth and right. It's a good life. And best of all, it's not a delusional life.
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Originally Posted by Spider AL
What gives me the moral right to speak rational truths? Why, that would be... the inviolable moral right (and responsibility) to speak rational truths.

Everyone has this right (and responsibility). And I've stated this already.
Now the truth of Atheism the way Spider AL sees it is that Atheism is fananticism. Fananticism is mindless, fananticism is dangerous, fananticism is stupid: Imagine damning another human being simply on the grounds that he didn't think like you. Because fanantics are mindless, they are guided by others and the others of course have ulterior motives. The others simply put the thought into the minds of the fanantics - which is like putting a gun into the hands of a murderer. If our aim in life is to seek peace, it is impossible to achieve it by fananticism. Peace and fananticism are incompatible.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:21 PM   #106
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*sigh*

Spider AL's quotes do not show anything like fanaticism. He's shown he's a lot of things (not all of them absolutely wonderful), but mindless is certainly not one of them. How you manage to read fanaticism in those quotes is really beyond me.

BTW, you really didn't answer the cheeze question, you just responded by asking Al to disprove that God exists. And who exactly are the Atheists who are forcing people to abandon their religions again? You didn't answer that either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
I think Nancy is talking about Atheists who use logic to try to manipulate religious people that their God or Gods don't exist, because of apparent contradictions in the evidence for their specific religious beliefs, that Atheists observe.
So, they should conclude that their religion is flawed, as Atheists would argue.
And join them by accepting the most reasonable explanation.
If they don't accept the Atheists reasoning, then they are open to ridicule and will be looked as ignorant fools.
So, it's in religious people interest to accept that God or Gods don't exist, as some Atheists would be making the point as.
I really can't think of too many occurances where someone with faith has said to themselves, "Whoa, I don't want to look stupid or ignorant to these intelligent, cool, educated Atheists, so I'd better renounce my religion!" Atheism is a politically invisible movement in western society these days; far more often it's the religious folks who demand conformity and observance than the Atheists.


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Old 12-19-2006, 05:42 PM   #107
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He's said right there that Atheists have the right to do so and if he's unwilling to accept that people follow religion then he is a fanantic. As for the cheese question you're obviously blind because for the last time I have said that no one follows such a religion, so any creditbility it might have is basically null and void. Christianity, Judism, Islam, Buddism ect have a following of hundreds of millions making it something a lot of people believe in. Does it make it any more of a truth? For all I know when you die all that happens is you become worm food in the ground. What a horrible thought for so many people, if they want to believe in there being something more is that so bad? But is there any truth in such beliefs or are they insane ramblings that Atheists must wipe out? I cannot judge how valid any one religion might be but the fact so much has been written on all of them and how much is believed to be true. Have any of you tried looking at religious scripts and seeing what they have to say?
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:12 PM   #108
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Oh, what the hell. I've got some time on my hands tonight, I'll take this one apart. Of course, I'm looking forward to Spider AL ripping this apart far more ruthlessly than I can be bothered to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
He's said right there that Atheists have the right to do so and if he's unwilling to accept that people follow religion then he is a fanantic.
Those quotes don't say that he's unwilling to accept that people follow religion, only that he has the right to state logical and rational truths. And that the logical and rational truth he has arrived at is that religion is false.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As for the cheese question you're obviously blind because for the last time I have said that no one follows such a religion, so any creditbility it might have is basically null and void.
So no one follows such a religion. So what? It was a metaphysical question, and no, you didn't answer it. This isn't about whether those malicious cheddar cheese slices are presently being worshipped, it was whether or not you can prove they're not really out there. But then, I don't have to tell you that. You've read this whole thread, including Skinwalker's and Spider AL's comments, so you already know that, right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Christianity, Judism, Islam, Buddism ect have a following of hundreds of millions making it something a lot of people believe in. Does it make it any more of a truth?
BTW, it's "Judaism" and "etc". Moving on, they can't all be right, now can they? That means millions of people are going to be wrong no matter what, so the fact that a religion has mass appeal or sheer numbers behind it doesn't mean too much, especially considering the number or religions that have come and gone on this little planet over the millenia.
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Have any of you tried looking at religious scripts and seeing what they have to say?
Yes I have actually. Quite a few, from a variety of cultures and historical periods. I'm still agnostic.
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
For all I know when you die all that happens is you become worm food in the ground. What a horrible thought for so many people, if they want to believe in there being something more is that so bad? But is there any truth in such beliefs or are they insane ramblings that Atheists must wipe out?
Okay, just one more time for the record, who are these Atheists who are presently trying to force people into apostasy? Is that AL? Or Skinwalker? Those telepathic chunks of Brie orbiting Jupiter...?


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Old 12-19-2006, 06:33 PM   #109
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Well let's have a look at his two quotes just above and have a look shall we?

"And as I said before, would it be such a bad thing if because of atheist logic, some religious person lost their delusion?"

Here not only is he supporting Atheists forcing others to give up religion he's saying people who believe in religion are deluded.

"A rational life is a moral life"

So people who follow religion cannot be moral?

"it's a life with rational goals and purposes and the search for truth and right."

About five billion people follow religion of one form or another. I highly doubt all of them don't seek these things.

"And best of all, it's not a delusional life."

Again he says that a religious life is a deluded life, inferring that people who follow religion are deluded.

"What gives me the moral right to speak rational truths? Why, that would be... the inviolable moral right (and responsibility) to speak rational truths."

And here he once again supports Atheists forcing people who follow religion out of their beliefs.

That's five points where he's either said Atheists should persecute those who follow religion or otherwise say they're deluded. And by the way he's of the opinion that he isn't arrogant, condescending and trollish. Well with the mods permission would he be willing to have a poll where people can say whether or not he is these things?
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:48 PM   #110
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*double sigh*

He doesn't once mention forcing anyone to do anything, or forcing anyone to believe anything. As for the deluded part, he can defend himself well enough without my help.

This is going to be one of those "Nancy" things, isn't it? Like when I criticised the US invasion of Iraq, and you decided I hated the US and thought Bush was Hitler, right?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And by the way he's of the opinion that he isn't arrogant, condescending and trollish. Well with the mods permission would he be willing to have a poll where people can say whether or not he is these things?
Yeah, that would be a really constructive debate that wouldn't get locked or deleted or anything.


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Old 12-19-2006, 07:23 PM   #111
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If it looks like a fanantic, sounds like a fanantic, talks like a fanantic, walks like a fanantic, I interpret that as being...a GOAT!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:59 PM   #112
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There is no need for name calling simply because somebody does not agree with your position on this matter. Everyone ease up a bit please.

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Well with the mods permission would he be willing to have a poll where people can say whether or not he is these things?
Such a thread will not be allowed.

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Old 12-19-2006, 08:02 PM   #113
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Play nice everyone! I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to post your point of view and discuss others' opinions without keeping a respectful tone towards the other members even if their opinions differ far from yours...


...and no, Nancy, that thread is out of question. If you have a problem with a thread or post, use the report post button. If you still have issues with how it's been dealt with, feel free to contact a mod, smod or admin to discuss it...there are a lot if interesting threads around here and it would be annoying to have to lock them because people can't maintain a civilized discussion or can't leave any arguments behind.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:48 PM   #114
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If it looks like a fanantic, sounds like a fanantic, talks like a fanantic, walks like a fanantic, I interpret that as being...a GOAT!
Right. Getting back on topic, maybe you'd like to answer some of the questions I raised. Y'know, just on the remote chance that this thread won't wind up locked, it might be a lark to respond to the substance of the debate itself. Atheists...forcing people...well, been there, done that...still waiting...

@Darth333: Rgr.


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Old 12-19-2006, 09:11 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leemu Taos
*words*
*blink* Leemu Taos? I haven't seen you around these parts going on 23 years! Goodness man! I rejoice!


On topic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"A rational life is a moral life"

So people who follow religion cannot be moral?
That's not a logical inference from the quote. It would be similar to me saying "I am wearing pants, and therefore am not completely naked", and you deducing that I'm saying that anytime that I am not wearing pants I am completely naked.
The logic of the statement goes something to the effect of "If A then B". However, negating A does not inherently negate B unless it has been stated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And here he once again supports Atheists forcing people who follow religion out of their beliefs.
I'm not sure if this is just an argument over semantics, or if there is a deep misunderstanding going on. I don't see how stating that I am an atheist, and telling religious people why I think that my world-view is right and theirs is wrong, is in any way forcing anyone out of anything. I'd genuinely like to know why you think it is. You keep quoting Al but none of us seem to understand why you think he means what I don't think he means.

I've seen no advocacy for persecution of religious people anywhere in this thread, nor advocacy for persecution of non-religious people, and really see no need for hostile attitudes on either side.

edit - off-topic - @mace: I like the word lark. It's neat.



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Old 12-19-2006, 10:19 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Of course it wouldn't be moral. Because it's the moral duty of a teacher to teach what is rationally correct. And it's doing a disservice to one's pupils to teach anything but what is right. The social implications are negligible by comparison, morally speaking.
The bad part about debating morality is that morality doesn't have a set definition, personally, I'd rather make their lives a bit easier by teaching them what is and is not socially acceptable.



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Old 12-20-2006, 01:29 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"And as I said before, would it be such a bad thing if because of atheist logic, some religious person lost their delusion?"

Here not only is he supporting Atheists forcing others to give up religion he's saying people who believe in religion are deluded.
I think you've gone too far in your characterization of Spider here. There is not even the slightest hint of "forcing" someone to abandon their delusions. Unless, of course, you admit that by revealing logical and empirical truth -providing rational discourse over irrational- is "forcing" someone to change their beliefs. Finally, Spider is saying religion is a delusion because... it is. Unless it can be empirically demonstrated that "religious knowledge" has some evidenciary basis in reality, there is only delusion left. The problem is, you're taking delusion to be a derogatory term when it is but a logical and parsimonious one that most succinctly defines the effect religion has upon the human psyche.

Delusion is, very succinctly, a misguided belief. I can give countless examples of how this is true in various world religions. To draw upon an example from Christianity, I'll point out the myth of Exodus. Not only is there no evidence to support this biblical myth, there is actually archaeological evidence that says it was completely made up during the Iron Age. The myth is about figures and events that are alleged to have occurred in the Late Bronze Age. That this event really took place is a delusion. Another Christian delusion is transubstantiation: that a little cracker and grape juice becomes actual flesh and blood of Jesus after consumed. This is actually believed by many people. The delusion of prayer is another, and one that has been discussed at length in this very forum, with the only result being that there was no empirical evidence to support prayer and only a few anecdotes that could not be tested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"A rational life is a moral life"

So people who follow religion cannot be moral?
This is what's known as a non sequitur, a statement made that doesn't follow the original statement. Very clearly, Spider did not say that the religious cannot be moral. To make such a statement is fallacious and deserves no further discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"it's a life with rational goals and purposes and the search for truth and right."

About five billion people follow religion of one form or another. I highly doubt all of them don't seek these things.
This is yet another fallacy known as an appeal to popularity. Its actually a form of the non sequitur since, again, it doesn't follow that because there are a lot of adherents that a given cult's doctrine is fact. Lot's of people believe space aliens are abducting them (no offense to Windu), this doesn't mean they are correct. Lot's of people believe the Earth is only 10,000 years old, but in spite of their delusion, the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"And best of all, it's not a delusional life."

Again he says that a religious life is a deluded life, inferring that people who follow religion are deluded.
By now, if you read my post, it is readily apparent. Delusion is a misguided belief. There is no logical or empirical support for religious beliefs of the supernatural. I grant logical support for common sense tenants of religion: do unto others; give to charity; be good to your fellow human; don't kill each other; etc. But these aren't the tenants that are delusional. We're talking about transubstantiation, various claims of afterlife/reincarnation/karma, the necessity of human sacrifice, 21 virgins for martyrs, demon possession, and various supernatural agents called 'gods.' These things have no empirical evidence nor are they verifiable. To live one's life under the assumption that such superstitions are facts of reality is delusional because one allows one self to believe they are true in spite of the lack of evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
"What gives me the moral right to speak rational truths? Why, that would be... the inviolable moral right (and responsibility) to speak rational truths."

And here he once again supports Atheists forcing people who follow religion out of their beliefs.
And, again, there is no hint of 'forcing' anyone. Free speech is being exercised. If you don't want to hear it, don't listen. Change the channel. Log onto a different site. At the very least, don't read posts from that particular poster. Spider may feel as I that when in public forum (in the broad sense of the term, not Lucas forum), irrational claims need a rational voice that offers a sound and reasoned perspective. If this is offensive to those that are deluded into beliefs of Tarot cards, astrology, ESP, alien abductions, channeling, religion, Atlantis, an exaggerated antiquity of man, ancient astronauts, etc., then so be it. There are those for whom it is one's duty to offend. I'll not permit anyone to issue personal insults to other members in this or other forums I moderate, regardless of my general agreement with them, but I'll also not censor their right to free speech and to respond to irrational thought with rational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
That's five points where he's either said Atheists should persecute those who follow religion or otherwise say they're deluded.
Now, I looked back over them and even ran a word search on each page. I failed to see where Spider said "persecute." I think you've confused rational discourse and debate with persecute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And by the way he's of the opinion that he isn't arrogant, condescending and trollish. Well with the mods permission would he be willing to have a poll where people can say whether or not he is these things?
Permission denied.

My final word on the topic is this: if you're going to participate in debates on sensitive topics, be prepared to have your sensibilities challenged and even offended. I've participated in atheist vs. theist debates in many different forums (both internet and not). I've never seen the atheist position lose in a single one. And in nearly every single debate, the theists supporters appeared offended that their beliefs are challenged and questioned. Somehow it's appropriate to challenge the political beliefs of others; their academic beliefs; their economic beliefs; etc., but religion is expected to get a pass? I'm sorry, I don't subscribe to that.

If you don't like to debate theism vs. atheism, please don't participate in such threads. Certainly, don't start such threads. And if you do chose to participate, check your sensibilities at the door and do not -do not- allow being offended cause you to engage in a flame war.

That is all.


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Old 12-20-2006, 01:43 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior


That's not a logical inference from the quote. It would be similar to me saying "I am wearing pants, and therefore am not completely naked", and you deducing that I'm saying that anytime that I am not wearing pants I am completely naked.
The logic of the statement goes something to the effect of "If A then B". However, negating A does not inherently negate B unless it has been stated.
Heh, with his responses to this topic we are discussing, I will say with that circumstantial evidence of that quote he seem to be arguing that Atheists rational beliefs are superior and highly moral in comparison to religious people.

I highly doubt otherwise.
But I could be clouded by his arrogance and condescending behavior.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:44 AM   #119
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You want an end to the arguement? Just say that you can accept that others follow religion (I know you do SkinWalker). Because I look at the way some speak about it and the impression I get is they cannot accept people follow religion...feel free to defend this position if you feel it's wrong, but looking at some of the posts from Atheists they believe they have the right to go after religion, as opposed to simply believing there is no God, and that is my issue.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:15 AM   #120
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Quote:
There is no logical or empirical support for religious beliefs of the supernatural.
Yes thats why the faith I beleive in is blind faith. A believe
that somethings we as humans cannot explain,understand etc due to are minds
not being smart enough to understand. Thats what alot of religions have. things
we cannot explain but choose to do so because we believe that its true.
May it be delusional w/e you wanna call it.
Proof of things we cannot understand are stated above:
The exodus, Transubstanation etc.
Yes from a rational veiw they cant be proved in human minds but
thats why they are called mysteries or what you wanna call them delusions.
Mysteries or what you wanna call delusions that we choose to believe in.
There are alot of things we cant prove from theist or rational veiws most notable
when the earth was created,how it was ,why it was, whats it like when we are
dead etc. its all in what you believe in or what you think etc.

So I have a question of my own.
Why? Why do you want to what you think prove that what religions
believe in are delusions? It kinda sounds like the 'Im right your wrong type of
thing' or what windu stated ' Atheists rational beliefs are superior and highly moral in comparison to religious people.' .
And another question.
Does it really matter? There are so many things that are still questions to us
so why? So many things we cant prove etc.
I find it there is no problem for someone to go believe in something going in
blind (mysteries or what you wanna call delusions) due to im a believer myself
and there isnt really anything bad as what some of you are throwing at
religion as well.
I cant see whats wrong with people that believe in somethings we cant
explain or think is right or what rational people think they have already proven are
not true.
Religious people just choose to believe in somethings that may or may not
be true. We just dont know enough so whats the problem here?


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Last edited by MasterRoss08; 12-20-2006 at 03:19 AM. Reason: wanted to add a few things
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