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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Sagan brilliance in Fun Stuff; Originally Posted by mavhc Explain how/why. The Evolution of Religion In the beginning any religion worked out, if you predicted ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    Explain how/why.

    The Evolution of Religion

    In the beginning any religion worked out, if you predicted anything right you were worshiped. Then we began to record things, keep track of predictions. The religions that got more things right won out, survival of the fittest. Religions merged, mutated, created new offshoots.

    Over time we learned more science, now the religion that predicted that not paying the sarcrifice to the god to make the sun rise ended up with no followers, gradually religions predicted less and less, signs that god existed were explained away as natural phenomena.

    Today the only religions that haven't been abandoned are ones that predict nothing, have no proof that god exists, in fact make a point that no proof is needed. The only god left is the one that isn't falsifiable

    A statistical proof that god doesn't exist:
    There's a book you should read. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. It provides a much better basis for religion than simple superstition, and is a fascination read as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok I think where I'm getting confused is when you use the word 'evidence' and then say it is different to empirical evidence. Evidence, by its very nature is either proof for or against something. Please stop trying to use 'evidence' as something which can be used in anything other than its traditional meaning - ie. proof.
    Please learn the difference then. Evidence or proof that is personal to you and convinces you would be evidence would it not? Evidence which could be reproduced independently is empirical evidence. when considering faith personal non repeatable evidence is what you're dealing with. If you want to say all evidence has to be independently verifiable then you deny the truth of the matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    Explain how/why.

    The Evolution of Religion

    In the beginning any religion worked out, if you predicted anything right you were worshiped. Then we began to record things, keep track of predictions. The religions that got more things right won out, survival of the fittest. Religions merged, mutated, created new offshoots.

    Over time we learned more science, now the religion that predicted that not paying the sarcrifice to the god to make the sun rise ended up with no followers, gradually religions predicted less and less, signs that god existed were explained away as natural phenomena.

    Today the only religions that haven't been abandoned are ones that predict nothing, have no proof that god exists, in fact make a point that no proof is needed. The only god left is the one that isn't falsifiable

    A statistical proof that god doesn't exist:
    You make the common mistake of thinking that religion has anything to do with factual knowledge. If you considered religion as the subject it is rather than the subject it isn't, you'd be able to appreciate both rather than dismiss one on the premise of the other.

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    @ jamesb :
    You've deliberately misrepresented what I've said many times now. I understand your world view completely. I have not attempted to convince you of my beliefs, that's not what I want to do here. I've simply defended my world view against illogical opposition. Your attempt to goad me into preaching falls on deaf ears I'm afraid.

    Thanks for your opinion that I haven't rationalised my world view. Your claim of mind reading powers hasn't gone unnoticed.

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    It still comes down to the thing I stated originally - religious believers don't follow a world view which anyone with a scientific mind could call rational or logical. To me, I just can't contemplate the religious world - it makes no sense, as it always turns to wordy circular arguments without any possible conclusion or actual physical proof.

    The way I lead my life is via a utilitarian philosophy as much as possible. It allows a moral existence to be had, whilst also following a scientifically or mathematically provable set of outcomes. ie. If I went around killing people, there would be an end result of massive unhappiness, whereas if I go around doing good things and helping people, I get the opposite. Kind of like a giant mathematical equation.

    I have yet to come across a single argument for religion that makes sense to me.
    Last edited by localzuk; 3rd August 2010 at 08:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Please learn the difference then. Evidence or proof that is personal to you and convinces you would be evidence would it not? Evidence which could be reproduced independently is empirical evidence. when considering faith personal non repeatable evidence is what you're dealing with. If you want to say all evidence has to be independently verifiable then you deny the truth of the matter.
    So because some require that all evidence must be demonstrable to a third party, they are denying the truth of the matter?

    I really, really hope you never end up doing jury service.

    You make the common mistake of thinking that religion has anything to do with factual knowledge. If you considered religion as the subject it is rather than the subject it isn't, you'd be able to appreciate both rather than dismiss one on the premise of the other.
    But the point I and others have been trying to make is that it is not factual, no religion is, and therefore there is no difference in the suppositions on which any religion is based. Hence they are all equally valid.

    You've deliberately misrepresented what I've said many times now. I understand your world view completely. I have not attempted to convince you of my beliefs, that's not what I want to do here. I've simply defended my world view against illogical opposition. Your attempt to goad me into preaching falls on deaf ears I'm afraid.
    You don't understand my world view in the slightest, seeing as you hold to a conflicting perspective where evidence is not required to draw a conclusion.

    As for defending against illogical supposition, and not trying to convince anyone of your beliefs, you have repeatedly stated that your faith is more developed. As an example:

    Christianity is more logically coherent and complete.
    Implying therefore that any system which is not Christianity is less logically coherent and complete. A somewhat ridiculous statement.

    Thanks for your opinion that I haven't rationalised my world view. Your claim of mind reading powers hasn't gone unnoticed.
    - I believe through faith, therefore $deity 'is' for me
    - I've rationalised my world view
    Faith has no place in a rational world view. These two statements cannot both be true if you are using rationalised in it's philosophical sense. If on the other hand you are using it as one dictionary definition has, that to rationalise is to "defend, explain away or make excuses by reasoning" then yes.

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    @ localzuk :
    Yes I hear that a lot. It seems a restrictive view to me. A refusal to compartmentalise science where science is compartmentalised. It's called the philosophy of science... science applied as a world view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    @ localzuk :
    Yes I hear that a lot. It seems a restrictive view to me. A refusal to compartmentalise science where science is compartmentalised. It's called the philosophy of science... science applied as a world view.
    There isn't such a thing as compartmentalising science to me - everything in the world is answerable via science. Give me an example of something which isn't? (Note, questions such as 'what's the meaning of life?' are non-questions to me also - they are there to try to justify things that need no justification.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    So because some require that all evidence must be demonstrable to a third party, they are denying the truth of the matter?
    For a subject that demands there be no evidence, clearly yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    But the point I and others have been trying to make is that it is not factual, no religion is, and therefore there is no difference in the suppositions on which any religion is based. Hence they are all equally valid.
    That would be to suspend judgement where you have the faculty to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    You don't understand my world view in the slightest, seeing as you hold to a conflicting perspective where evidence is not required to draw a conclusion.
    I don't hold a conflicting perspective. I can use both methods to consider a problem, where you limit yourself to only one.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    As for defending against illogical supposition, and not trying to convince anyone of your beliefs, you have repeatedly stated that your faith is more developed. As an example:
    I was responding to specific questioning.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Implying therefore that any system which is not Christianity is less logically coherent and complete. A somewhat ridiculous statement.
    Yet unrefuted.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Faith has no place in a rational world view. These two statements cannot both be true if you are using rationalised in it's philosophical sense. If on the other hand you are using it as one dictionary definition has, that to rationalise is to "defend, explain away or make excuses by reasoning" then yes.
    To draw that conclusion requires a confused view of the components involved, as you've demonstrated. So I'm not surprised that you've concluded it. This is where you chase your tail for quite some time. I suggest we leave it here. Or come where I can get at you on atheistforums.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Give me an example of something which isn't?
    A few examples (of things which aren't answerable via science) here localzuk

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    A few examples (of things which aren't answerable via science) here localzuk
    Well, interesting but lets take the first item in the list 'The government should provide day care'. Firstly, this can be dealt with using economics and therefore mathematics, based on statistical analysis of existing data and observed behaviour.

    'J.S. Bach is the greatest composer of the eighteenth century'

    Again, this can be approached mathematically. However, the only difficult issue would be the definition of 'greatest' - but this could be, again, approached via statistics - gather data of what people think 'greatest' to mean in context of music and use that as the basis of the term. I'd guess that most people would opt for a definition along the lines of 'the most popular' and you can easily work from there.

    'God is eternal and unchanging' - proof would be required to me, so could result in 'this is false, as there is no evidence of this'.

    So, I can see what you're trying to say, but I still stand where I was before - that everything in our lives can be dealt with via science and mathematics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    For a subject that demands there be no evidence, clearly yes.
    Your argument still seems to hinge around 'it's true because it doesn't require evidence - and in fact rejects evidence as being possible'.

    There is an invisible space teapot in orbit between us and the sun. There is no way to detect it. This is essentially the same as your argument. The difference is that if I believe in the invisible space teapot it will have no impact, and no authority over my life - I am still free willed and not bound by a higher authority.

    That would be to suspend judgement where you have the faculty to do so.
    Why would you willingly give up your rational judgment of a statement? Doing so is not healthy in any situation.

    I don't hold a conflicting perspective. I can use both methods to consider a problem, where you limit yourself to only one.
    No, you can't use both methods, as mine and yours are mutually exclusive. My method relies on evidence, analysis and preferably proof (where available, although evidence and judgment are fine in the short term for less important matters). Your method relies on faith. If you claim that you can use my method, which demands evidence, then you are making a false claim as you have already demonstrated your willingness to believe in something with no evidence.

    I was responding to specific questioning.
    Whether you were or not is irrelevant. You stated that your religion is more developed, more coherent. You even suggest it is more logically consistent than a rational worldview, despite it's fundamental basis requiring an absence of proof.

    Yet unrefuted.
    And here you are again, claiming that your religion is 'better'. The statement didn't really need to be refuted as it was somewhat laughable to begin with.

    To draw that conclusion requires a confused view of the components involved, as you've demonstrated. So I'm not surprised that you've concluded it. This is where you chase your tail for quite some time. I suggest we leave it here. Or come where I can get at you on atheistforums.org
    No. You've demonstrated quite effectively that you have confused beliefs in conflicting theories. You also do not understand rationalism, believe your worldview to be better than anyone else's, and demand that there be no proof for your view. I do not have a confused view of the components involved I'm afraid. I am going in circles, simply because your argument purely consists of the same statements repeated over and over, ignoring any suggestions that you should consider evidence or a rational, scientific approach.

    There really is no point arguing with you. You're a believer. What you believe in is pretty much irrelevant, as I have had similar conversations with people of many religions. So far you have said nothing new or interesting, and I very much doubt you're going to having seen your arguments to date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    But that's ridiculous! Are you seriously expecting me to believe in something for which there is no evidence? Moreover, the entire concept of this invisible entity is one that has been recently man-made. Pull the other one.
    How dare you question the teapot?

    Long has it watched over us, and in ritual ceremony do we partake of tea once a day, on special occasions eating it's sacred scones with jam and clotted cream. Woe betide any who place the jam upon the scone before the cream, for they shall be scalded by his steamy wrath!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    Fair enough. Tell me more about this ritual - I could get into that. I presume there's an afterlife with this package?
    Yes. The eternal teatime of the soul. Where the faithful are rewarded with scones and Earl Grey, and the blasphemers are cursed to decaff Tetley with those strange dry biscuits which crumble the moment you dunk them.

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