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This is why I don't like debating religion

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GameOver22 said:
Rath said:


Then I suggest you look up academic works and find what definition they use. You will find it is the same as the definition in the Oxford dictionary. As I said, I'm not going to debate on this issue as there aren't any shades of grey - you've simply got the wrong definition of the word.

Actually, it isn't. Granted, I'm not an expert. I've read two books. Atheism and Theism and The God Dialogues, and both define agnosticism as a lack of belief and atheism as the belief that God does not exist. You can also just peruse The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you'll find the same thing.

 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01215c.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-huxley.html

In all of these (including in the last one from the person who coined the word) agnosticism is the belief that the existence of God is unknowable. This will be my last post though, there isn't much more for me to say.



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Rath said:
GameOver22 said:
Rath said:


Then I suggest you look up academic works and find what definition they use. You will find it is the same as the definition in the Oxford dictionary. As I said, I'm not going to debate on this issue as there aren't any shades of grey - you've simply got the wrong definition of the word.

Actually, it isn't. Granted, I'm not an expert. I've read two books. Atheism and Theism and The God Dialogues, and both define agnosticism as a lack of belief and atheism as the belief that God does not exist. You can also just peruse The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you'll find the same thing.

 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01215c.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-huxley.html

In all of these (including in the last one from the person who coined the word) agnosticism is the belief that the existence of God is unknowable. This will be my last post though, there isn't much more for me to say.

No, all those references don't really show anything to prove your point. The second link does not support your claim.

"‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God." This is not a lack of belief.

"Agnostic’ is more contextual than is ‘atheist’, as it can be used in a non-theological way, as when a cosmologist might say that she is agnostic about string theory, neither believing nor disbelieving it." This is the way I have always seen the term used.

Actually, the first link doesn't really support your claim either. They provide seven different definiitons, among them....

"Agnosticism, as a general term in philosophy, is frequently employed to express any conscious attitude of doubt, denial, or disbelief, towards some, or even all, of man's powers of knowing or objects of knowledge."

The problem is, people use the term differently. Its not really right or wrong as you say. It seems there are shades of grey, and philosophers (who are the academics debating these issues) use one definition so they can actually communicate with each other.



GameOver22 said:
Rath said:
GameOver22 said:
Rath said:


Then I suggest you look up academic works and find what definition they use. You will find it is the same as the definition in the Oxford dictionary. As I said, I'm not going to debate on this issue as there aren't any shades of grey - you've simply got the wrong definition of the word.

Actually, it isn't. Granted, I'm not an expert. I've read two books. Atheism and Theism and The God Dialogues, and both define agnosticism as a lack of belief and atheism as the belief that God does not exist. You can also just peruse The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and you'll find the same thing.

 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01215c.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-huxley.html

In all of these (including in the last one from the person who coined the word) agnosticism is the belief that the existence of God is unknowable. This will be my last post though, there isn't much more for me to say.

No, all those references don't really show anything to prove your point. The second link does not support your claim.

"‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God." This is not a lack of belief.

"Agnostic’ is more contextual than is ‘atheist’, as it can be used in a non-theological way, as when a cosmologist might say that she is agnostic about string theory, neither believing nor disbelieving it." This is the way I have always seen the term used.

Actually, the first link doesn't really support your claim either. They provide seven different definiitons, among them....

"Agnosticism, as a general term in philosophy, is frequently employed to express any conscious attitude of doubt, denial, or disbelief, towards some, or even all, of man's powers of knowing or objects of knowledge."

The problem is, people use the term differently. Its not really right or wrong as you say. It seems there are shades of grey, and philosophers (who are the academics debating these issues) use one definition so they can actually communicate with each other.

Argh, said I wouldn't reply but really wanted to address this quote:

"Agnostic’ is more contextual than is ‘atheist’, as it can be used in a non-theological way, as when a cosmologist might say that she is agnostic about string theory, neither believing nor disbelieving it."

This is the meaning in non-philosophical terms. The term, confusingly, means something different in that context (which is what the quote is pointing out). In the context of religion however, it means the belief that man cannot know whether or not God exists.



The problem you face in debating religion is that you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. You can't use science to prove anything about God and you can't use science to disprove anything about God. Science and God are two opposite ends of the same coin. If God does exist he is 100% percent compatible with accurate science. God is a nessisary belief when Science fails to provide the answers and in some cases is utterly incapable of providing anwers.



EdHieron said:
Bong Lover said:
EdHieron said:
Bong Lover said:
EdHieron said:
Bong Lover said:
JoeTheBro said:
Your problem is that you're arguing for science as a way to argue against religion. Even if you succeed in "proving" science, you've done nothing against religion.

I hope the OP reads this post and understands what it means. Trying to apply the scientific method to matters of faith is folly. It's like trying to solve a math problem with a fish. 

Sounds like some people just don't want to acknowledge the Law of Parsimony or Occam's Razor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor )  which posits that if you have simple, rational explanations for things, then there's no need to attach a faith-based / supernatural explanation to them.

In effect since every claim that has ever been put forth as correct by Fundamentalist Bible believers has been found to be in error since Gallileo demonstrated that the earth isn't the center of the universe, Darwin and his successors demonstrated that all the animals didn't pop up fully formed in seven days but only reached their present state after millions of years of evolution, and geologists and astronomers demonstrated that the earth is far older than 6,000 years of age;

Or were found to have never happened eg. no archaeological evidence for Hebrew slaves in Egypt, no real mention in the earliest written Christian accounts that Jesus ever resurrected and its being demonstrated since the time of Julius Welhausen ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis) that The Bible was not literally handed down from God to Moses as believers long believed but  "The Bible"took over 1,000 years to write with much scribal editing being put into the mix to remove or insert whatever parts various groups of priests wanted stressed over the 1,000 year time period;

And all of the miracles of the book like those in Egypt being found to have perfectly rational scientific explanations or can be explained by inferring that various prophets were on drugs or never even existed or were greatly expanded upon by different authors eg. "Isisah" actually having been written by 3 or more authors over a lengthy time period;

Then if Occam's Razor holds true as it is generally accepted that it should, it's illogical for anyone to have faith. 

Sounds to me like someone can't think about the concepts of religion without assuming that the stories in the Bible should be interprented as literal truth.

Let me try to cut through many layers of retoric and emotion to try to make my point very simple:

At the core, the question of religion to me boils down to thoughts like: Where does an emotion come from? Is an emotion 'real'? Does it exsist and can be measured? Is is simply a certain configuration of electrons in a brain, and that's it? Or is there something in the world that can not be quantified and measured that lends quality to our minds? This question is (so far at least) impossible to solve using science and the experimental method bacause it deals with issues that are potentionaly unobservable. It becomes a question of faith. The way I see it, reducing the world to a purely mechanical system is just as much a leap of faith as putting some sort of spiritual properties into the metaphysics.


I'll admit that I don't think certain things like ghosts or maybe esp have been fully explained (away) yet.  However, the bolded is the position of 70% of American Christians and the line of reasoning that they base their political decisions upon in a country that is supposed to be founded upon the Principles of Separation of Church and State thus having an undue influence in such a nation.  Ftom your post, it seems that you're not in agreement with that position, so why shouldn't their erroneous position be argued against?

Any position should be argued against, I am only trying to bring into the discussion what I feel is a more accurate understanding of religious questions. Sure, some people take the bible at face value, and they are easy to attack on that stance with verifiable scientific proof. However, the true nature of religion is not discussed in those terms. Religion comes into play when you ask yourself: If the universe is mechanical, do I really have free will? The consequences of that question are far reaching of course, and again, not verifiable by science.

If you feeel better proving that there is no giant magic man physically living in the sky behind the clouds, then sure, go ahead, disprove this all day long. It doesn't do anything to prove or disprove religion however. That is my only point. At the core of it, when someone argues that God is real, they are really arguing that morals are dictated by a universal law that we can't know and observe, and not just some arbitary combination of atoms. That some people claim to think they know that being gay is wrong or that wearing a condom is a sin is another matter all together, and I must admit, not very interesting to me personally.

Well, do you support their imposition of their will on others or not?

No I don't



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Rath said:
GameOver22 said:

No, all those references don't really show anything to prove your point. The second link does not support your claim.

"‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God." This is not a lack of belief.

"Agnostic’ is more contextual than is ‘atheist’, as it can be used in a non-theological way, as when a cosmologist might say that she is agnostic about string theory, neither believing nor disbelieving it." This is the way I have always seen the term used.

Actually, the first link doesn't really support your claim either. They provide seven different definiitons, among them....

"Agnosticism, as a general term in philosophy, is frequently employed to express any conscious attitude of doubt, denial, or disbelief, towards some, or even all, of man's powers of knowing or objects of knowledge."

The problem is, people use the term differently. Its not really right or wrong as you say. It seems there are shades of grey, and philosophers (who are the academics debating these issues) use one definition so they can actually communicate with each other.

Argh, said I wouldn't reply but really wanted to address this quote:

"Agnostic’ is more contextual than is ‘atheist’, as it can be used in a non-theological way, as when a cosmologist might say that she is agnostic about string theory, neither believing nor disbelieving it."

This is the meaning in non-philosophical terms. The term, confusingly, means something different in that context (which is what the quote is pointing out). In the context of religion however, it means the belief that man cannot know whether or not God exists.

That's not the case according to your other link. They clearly tie this conception of agnosticism to philosophy. My main point was that you're trying to provide evidence for a certain definition that is supposedly right, and then cite evidence that uses different definitions......which is kind of problematic.

"(2) Agnosticism, as a general term in philosophy, is frequently employed to express any conscious attitude of doubt, denial, or disbelief, towards some, or even all, of man's powers of knowing or objects of knowledge."

I don't know if you saw my edit to one of my previous posts, but my experience is that philosophers usually use agnostic in this sense.....probably to make discussion easier. Its also a definition you provided in your first post about the dictionary. I'll just leave it at that, and say, people (philosophers included) seem to use the word however they please.....probably out of laziness and inattention more than anything else.



Very well written but I will say others that read your debates will change views. Also to the others on this site claiming religion is not taking a hit. Well poll after poll shows young people leaving religions in droves. It is just a matter of time before we don't have to worry about religion trying to dictate our government.

Going to bed. I'm writing backwards. Good night.



spaceguy said:
Very well written but I will say others that read your debates will change views. Also to the to others on this site claiming religion is not taking a hit. Well poll after poll shows young people leaving religions in droves. It is just a matter of time before we don't have to worry about religion trying to dictate our government.

Not really....just because religious identification has declined in the recent past does not mean its going to continue to decline in the future....you see these types of trends with multiple survey questions and time-series analyses.



DaRev said:
Majora said:
DaRev said:
Majora said:
It's a sign of how powerful religion is and how warped peoples minds are in the religion that they feel quoting bible passages is the proof that they talk about that god exists.

And also, whether it's Christianity or Islam, what difference does it make? They are both elaborate myths so really whichever you want to 'debate' is fruitless. The 'enlightened' will tell us God said this, Allah said that. Did he now? How perfectly charming! It's all tosh.

What other form of PROOF other than quoting historical texts (like the Bible) can you provide to provide that something is true or not? For example, prove to me that Alexander the Great ever existed.

I don't think you understand what exactly it is that you are posing. Alexander the Great is an historical figure who apart from leaving behind many buildings has also left archaeologists with a wealth of artifacts as evidence to his existence.

The knowledge of the existence of Alexander the Great is different to the written "proof" of God in that (lack of archaeological evidence aside) Alexander the Great is now presented as an omnipotent being who's word is law over all men. The existence of Alexander the Great does not require you to suspend belief for it to appear perfectly reasonable that he did exist.

Another point you are missing in this debate is that whether God exists or not is really not important. As there is no evidence or any logical reason to believe he exists, why worry about whether he exists or not? Using your logic, there is no proof that unicorns, fairies and other pantheons of Gods and Goddesses do not exist, however the difference there is that most people these days aren't worrying, stressing or fighting over their potential existence. If they exist, that's wonderful but as they are not present or tangible it really isn't important. It is important however that we acknowledge what is real and what does exist.

FYI - I am not suggesting that Jesus didn't exist - I think it entirely reasonable to believe that he did. I just know that if he did exist, he was potentially mentally unstable as he claimed to be the son of an invisible deity. If I suggested to you that I was the son of god and truly believed it, would I be worthy of your time and adoration or would you dismiss me as crazy or mistaken? There is so much evidence to suggest that a god is not only unlikely but entirely unncessary that I don't see how anyone who believes in such a being isn't entirely ignorant to the world around them.

First paragraph, ha what AtheG left behind pales in comparison to what Jesus (God in flesh) left behind, ie so much TEACHINGS, PRINCIPLES, IDEOLOGY (not just a bunch of rocks) have transformed the known world. You got rocks to prove AtheG lived well, I have teachings that transformed the whole world that proves God through Jesus existed. Oh and Historically, we know where Jesus lived, was born, died, his geneology and where he taught, so History has no problem proving Jesus or AtheG.

Second paragraph, the existance God doesn't require you to suspend anything, but only that you open your mind. For it is only logical to believe that only miraculous events, i.e. God on Earth, could have transformed the world into what we know it today. For all the great men that ever were great in this world, all their exploits pale in comparison to what Jesus did, so much so that you are here stuck in a debate about him. Let's debate AtheG and see if anyone cares.

Third paragraph, its is important because one day, you will die, as set by God, and on that day you will have to answer the question whether you knew God or not - not whether you knew unicorns or faries. Again, Jesus came here to prove Gods existance by performing signs and miracles and teaching, no fairy or unicorn ever did that for you or you would be here debating unicorns not Jesus.

Final paragraph, well joing the club, for people in Jesus' day didn't believve him either, so they killed him for saying he was the son of God (hopefully you're not that extreme). But the difference between you and Jesus would be in your teaching. Meaning can you, or anyone else, that might also claim to be the son God, put forward teaching that will transform the world? If you can I will gladly follow you to   For example, give me your world change teaching on Marriage, if that is too difficult, try teaching us How the best way to treat other People, if you still find any of those a bit challenging, try teaching on Humility.

By the way the bible does say we all can be sons of God, in the same way Jesus is, but that I suspect might be a bit too deep for you

 

The problem with that line of reasoning is that today there is significant scholarly debate about just what Jesus himself actually left behind.  There is even abundant evidence that the earliest written works about Jesus didn't even mention key details in Jesus' life including the Resurrection as well as the fact that the Gospels themselves might not be trustworthy as they were written long after the time of Jesus by people that didn't even know him and seem to add bits and pieces from the stories of several earlier gods or gurus to make Jesus appear to be more appealing than he does in earlier works like the original version of the "Gospel of Mark" ( which  wasn't written until several decades after Jesus' death by someone that most scholarls at the most prestigious universities tend to agree wasn't an eyewitness to the life of Jesus) while some books that have been long suppressed like "The Gospel of Thomas" are beginning to appear as if they were written as early as any of the other Gospels yet paint an entirely different picture of Jesus.  And then there's the general lack of any corroborating evidence to support anything in the Gospels from any highly regarded non-Biblical Historian that would have been near Jerusalem duing Jesus' time.

Sources:  "The Restored New Testament:  A New Translation With Commentary, Including The Gnostic Gospels of Thomas, Mary, and Judas" By    Willis Barnstone Ph. D ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Restored-New-Testament-Translation/dp/039306493X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355820375&sr=8-1&keywords=the+restored+new+testament )

                 "The Case Against the Case for Christ:  A New Testament Scholar Refutes the Reverend Lee Strobel" by Robert M. Price Ph. D. ( http://www.amazon.com/Case-Against-Christ-Testament-Reverend/dp/1578840058/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355820647&sr=1-1&keywords=the+case+against+the+case+for+christ )

                  "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagels Ph. D (  http://www.amazon.com/Gnostic-Gospels-Elaine-Pagels/dp/0679724532/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355820821&sr=1-1&keywords=the+gnostic+gospels+elaine+pagels )

                  "The Historical Jesus:  The Life of a Meditterranean Jewish Peasant" ( http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Jesus-Mediterranean-Jewish-Peasant/dp/0060616296/ref=la_B000AP7O2C_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355821052&sr=1-2) and "The Power of Parable:  How Fiction By Jesus Became Fiction About Jesus" ( http://www.amazon.com/Power-Parable-Fiction-Jesus-Became/dp/0061875694/ref=la_B000AP7O2C_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355821052&sr=1-1 ) by John Dominic Crossan Ph. D.

                And several books by Bart Ehrman Ph. D The James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill including "Forged:  Writing in the Name of God  Why The Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are" (  http://www.amazon.com/Forged-Writing-God--Why-Bibles-Authors/dp/B006QS02F8/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355821387&sr=1-5&keywords=ehrman ) and "Misquoting Jesus:  The Story Behind Who Changed The Bible and Why" ( http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Jesus-Story-Behind-Changed/dp/0060859512/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355821511&sr=1-4&keywords=ehrman )



DaRev said:
Majora said:
DaRev said:
Majora said:
It's a sign of how powerful religion is and how warped peoples minds are in the religion that they feel quoting bible passages is the proof that they talk about that god exists.

And also, whether it's Christianity or Islam, what difference does it make? They are both elaborate myths so really whichever you want to 'debate' is fruitless. The 'enlightened' will tell us God said this, Allah said that. Did he now? How perfectly charming! It's all tosh.

What other form of PROOF other than quoting historical texts (like the Bible) can you provide to provide that something is true or not? For example, prove to me that Alexander the Great ever existed.

I don't think you understand what exactly it is that you are posing. Alexander the Great is an historical figure who apart from leaving behind many buildings has also left archaeologists with a wealth of artifacts as evidence to his existence.

The knowledge of the existence of Alexander the Great is different to the written "proof" of God in that (lack of archaeological evidence aside) Alexander the Great is now presented as an omnipotent being who's word is law over all men. The existence of Alexander the Great does not require you to suspend belief for it to appear perfectly reasonable that he did exist.

Another point you are missing in this debate is that whether God exists or not is really not important. As there is no evidence or any logical reason to believe he exists, why worry about whether he exists or not? Using your logic, there is no proof that unicorns, fairies and other pantheons of Gods and Goddesses do not exist, however the difference there is that most people these days aren't worrying, stressing or fighting over their potential existence. If they exist, that's wonderful but as they are not present or tangible it really isn't important. It is important however that we acknowledge what is real and what does exist.

FYI - I am not suggesting that Jesus didn't exist - I think it entirely reasonable to believe that he did. I just know that if he did exist, he was potentially mentally unstable as he claimed to be the son of an invisible deity. If I suggested to you that I was the son of god and truly believed it, would I be worthy of your time and adoration or would you dismiss me as crazy or mistaken? There is so much evidence to suggest that a god is not only unlikely but entirely unncessary that I don't see how anyone who believes in such a being isn't entirely ignorant to the world around them.

First paragraph, ha what AtheG left behind pales in comparison to what Jesus (God in flesh) left behind, ie so much TEACHINGS, PRINCIPLES, IDEOLOGY (not just a bunch of rocks) have transformed the known world. You got rocks to prove AtheG lived well, I have teachings that transformed the whole world that proves God through Jesus existed. Oh and Historically, we know where Jesus lived, was born, died, his geneology and where he taught, so History has no problem proving Jesus or AtheG.

Second paragraph, the existance God doesn't require you to suspend anything, but only that you open your mind. For it is only logical to believe that only miraculous events, i.e. God on Earth, could have transformed the world into what we know it today. For all the great men that ever were great in this world, all their exploits pale in comparison to what Jesus did, so much so that you are here stuck in a debate about him. Let's debate AtheG and see if anyone cares.

Third paragraph, its is important because one day, you will die, as set by God, and on that day you will have to answer the question whether you knew God or not - not whether you knew unicorns or faries. Again, Jesus came here to prove Gods existance by performing signs and miracles and teaching, no fairy or unicorn ever did that for you or you would be here debating unicorns not Jesus.

Final paragraph, well joing the club, for people in Jesus' day didn't believve him either, so they killed him for saying he was the son of God (hopefully you're not that extreme). But the difference between you and Jesus would be in your teaching. Meaning can you, or anyone else, that might also claim to be the son God, put forward teaching that will transform the world? If you can I will gladly follow you to   For example, give me your world change teaching on Marriage, if that is too difficult, try teaching us How the best way to treat other People, if you still find any of those a bit challenging, try teaching on Humility.

By the way the bible does say we all can be sons of God, in the same way Jesus is, but that I suspect might be a bit too deep for you

 


My dear, the bolded - after that very pitiful, lenghty reply, I can see that either you are very dense or so warped in your strange belief that no words can describe the lunacy of all that you said. A bit too deep? One does not require religious belief to think things deeply.

Again, you are only proving what the OP describes when you genuinely believe that what you say is a satisfactory answer. It is an epidemic of the Christian mind to think that (once again) a book of philosophy is your proof for the existence of your god. You, sir, are ignorant.

But, as they say, ignorance is bliss. And indeed, you seem entirely blissful.