Atheists will bargain with the unknown for a better outcome

Aug 21, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Atheists and believers alike will repeatedly sacrifice large portions of their income to unresponsive entities in the hope of a better outcome, a new study suggests.

at The University of Queensland (UQ) and the World Bank in Washington found a pervading and persistent “default belief” among believers and non-believers that expenditure and might somehow reap rewards, even when there was no effect on outcomes.

UQ Professor Paul Frijters, who conducted the research alongside economist Juan Baron, said there was an across-the-board tendency to bargain with the unknown, that was greater in times of uncertainty. Their findings were recently published in the July online edition of the Economic Record.

“There seems to be a default belief that people can bargain with the unknown, and they need a lot of evidence to the contrary before it fades away,” Professor Frijters said.

“Much like some cultures dance for their gods in order to get rain, Western will spend money on problems even when that expenditure has no demonstrable effect.

“Even when witnessing hundreds of occasions where it made no difference, they keep sacrificing large portions of their income to the perceived source of the problem. Only if they personally experience dozens of disappointments will they slowly stop sacrificing.”

In the experiment, 500 participants played a game in which the price for the goods they “produced” was determined by a source of uncertainty called Theoi. Although the price was set completely at random for each of 20 rounds, the participants had the option of contributing some of their produced goods to Theoi.

At the start, the average participant donated half of all production towards Theoi, even when there was no relationship between the level of sacrifice and the market price.

“Even after 20 rounds, the average participant still donated a quarter of all production,” Professor Frijters said.

“There were no participants who didn't donate anything for all 20 rounds, and there were very few who didn't donate anything the last 10 rounds.”

“The wish to sacrifice was very strong. In an experiment where the level of sacrifice was set initially at 10 per cent, nearly all participants changed the level to much higher,” Professor Frijters said.

“Aggregate sacrifices were over 30 per cent of all takings in the main experiments, and only slightly lower if we didn't use a human name for the uncertainty in price (like Theoi) or if we allowed participants to see what others experienced. Sacrifices only really dropped when the level of uncertainty was lower.”

The authors thus conclude that “any important source of uncertainty” will witness the development of a religion around it in which people sacrifice towards its perceived source.

As well as these findings, the study also found there was no relationship between the level of sacrificial behaviour and whether participants belonged to a recognised religion; that engineering students donated more than economics students; and that participants who were selfish towards others were also less likely to sacrifice to Theoi.

Professor Frijters said the study was an important stepping stone towards a general theory of human behaviour that will be revealed in a book due later this year called An Economic Theory of Greed, Love, Groups, and Networks. It will be published by Cambridge University Press.

Explore further: US hotels don't understand Chinese tourists, study says

More information: The freely available early working paper version of the study can be found at: ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp4902.html and the complete published paper is available from: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… 012.00802.x/abstract

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Doug_Huffman
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 21, 2012
Yes, see in decision theory 'Pascal's Wager' for the relevant valuations.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Aug 21, 2012
that engineering students donated more than economics students;

Not surprising. Guess which group is more greedy/self centered.

Atheists and believers alike will repeatedly sacrifice large portions of their income to unresponsive entities

Given a known system doing something is always better than doing nothing.
While the system may be completely random and not influenced by your own contributions (and you may lose out in the short run by donating to an unresponsive entity) you DO gain in the long run by acquiring knowledge about the system (i.e. whether it IS dependent on your contributions or not). If you do nothing you never find out.

see in decision theory 'Pascal's Wager'

Pascal's wager only works if there is one potential deity. As soon as there are two or more it's a bad course of action (praying to the WRONG god is a fast track to hell)...And today there are literally thousands to choose one.

freethinking
1.5 / 5 (24) Aug 21, 2012
Many people find religion, few people find God. When one truly understands God, you realize God does not want sacrifice, and it's not about us getting God to do our will, but for us to know Him at a personal level. Michael Card is excellent in his description of this though his series of videos on Lamenting the first one is linked below. Basically, Christian belief is that God does not want your sacrifice, or to do your will, but He wants you. People who follow Religion, and from this article even Atheists, want God to their will. I can say, I've felt closer to God, when He has NOT done what I wanted Him to do. If you are a Christian, I would highly recommend you listen to the whole series of Michael Cards Lamenting lecture.

http://www.youtub...=related
antialias_physorg
4.8 / 5 (6) Aug 21, 2012
When one truly understands God, you realize God does not want sacrifice

So you do know the mind of god? That would be a first...

If you say that you do not know the mind of god (or that no one can know the mind of god) then you cannot make such a statement of what he wants or doesn't want with any kind of authority.
Ionian
4.8 / 5 (5) Aug 21, 2012
Christians want you to "give your life to Jesus". They want you to give the most valuable "thing" you have away. Other religions want similar conformity. I call that sacrifice.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (13) Aug 21, 2012
Did you hear that fellas? Freethinking truly understands God! We have a modern day saint among us! How lucky for us.

I have SO many questions for you, I've been asking people these questions for years I haven't found anyone who truly understands God as you do. Could you please take some time out of your surely busy schedule to answer some of them?

First question: Is God truly benevolent and if so why does God allow the suffering of innocents, such as the children born into poverty who are starving their entire short life until they die of a disease that was eradicated in developed parts of the world decades ago? Wouldn't a truly benevolent and kind God prevent this type of thing from happening?
animah
5 / 5 (4) Aug 21, 2012
Pascal's wager: "Lie to yourself. What have you got to lose?". What, other than myself you mean?

More seriously, I read the paper and recommend it. The cunning is in telling participants Theoi is a market maker (i.e. a money god).

It strikes me this is exactly what the individual trader faces and hence the practice of "reading the tea leaves" in the Bloomberg/Reuters market data.

It profoundly undermines the rational markets hypothesis. In particular, if "invisible hand"-driven behaviours have a larger money cult component than the fundamentals economists live by, then perhaps markets are more out of anyone's control than we like to think.
Modernmystic
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 21, 2012
Pascal's wager only works if there is one potential deity.


It doesn't even "work" then. I became a MUCH happier person when I stopped believing someone was going to come and hold my hand or save me. Your concept of a God, or lack thereof has far more psychological ramifications beyond your conceptions of death/afterlife.

IOW even if there was only one "God" to pray to I'd still reject the wager because that whole concept of "God" makes to sense, and is detrimental to emotional health simply on its own terms....
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (16) Aug 21, 2012
I agree with you MM, but I'd like to point out that this isn't true for everyone. You don't choose what you believe, you believe what you do for reasons largely beyond your control. I can no sooner choose to believe in God than a Christian can simply choose to not believe in God. Both would present internal conflicts. What we believe is based on the experiences we have had during our lives, and trying to change any of those beliefs to the exact opposite through force or coercion simply does not work, change in beliefs must happen organically, based on new experiences, or it won't happen at all.
Modernmystic
4 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2012
When one truly understands God, you realize God does not want sacrifice, and it's not about us getting God to do our will, but for us to know Him at a personal level.


First of all which god?

Secondly, if the answer to your first question is the "trinity" of Christ, yahweh, and the holy ghost; then he absolutely does want sacrifice from you. "He" wants you to sacrifice you. He wants you to rely totally on "him" for all your emotional difficulties or problems in life. He wants an emotionally crippled completely dependent "child" to "relate" to.

The truth is that anyone who knows themselves doesn't need any of that. It becomes completely irrelevant.

What we believe is based on the experiences we have had during our lives, and trying to change any of those beliefs to the exact opposite through force or coercion simply does not work, change in beliefs must happen organically, based on new experiences, or it won't happen at all.


^This. Well said indeed.
antialias_physorg
4.9 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2012
It doesn't even "work" then. I became a MUCH happier person when I stopped believing

I didn't mean 'work' from a happiness point of view. I meant work from a game theory/mathematical point of view.
If there is just the choice between "god X" and "no god" then you have nothing to lose by believing in "god X".

But in the immortal words of Homer Simpson (on why he doesn't want to go to church):
"But Marge, what if we chose the wrong religion? Each week we just make God madder and madder."

If you take Pascal's wager: With around 4000 gods on record chances are 3999 to 1 against you for praying to the right one.
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (23) Aug 21, 2012
MM, ant, DC you show how little you know about Christianity. If you have time, I would really suggest you listen to Michael Cards series. You don't need to believe it, however it'll enlighten you to what Christian believe. Otherwise you are just talking in ignornace.
Didymus
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 21, 2012
Otherwise you are just talking in ignorance.

And here in a nutshell is the problem. Deathclock is correct though, the majority of theists and atheists have completely different worldviews and often the movement from rebellion to relationship with God requires a massive paradigm shift.

But until most atheists are prepared to stop and think (and I mean this seriously) then ignorance will hold sway, and dismissive comments will be regarded as sufficient rebuttal.

Therefore Freethinking, I would suggest you refrain from talking about such subjects as sacrifice - you are simply wasting your time. It truly is a case of throwing pearls before swine (as a topical analogy not a pejorative!)
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (19) Aug 21, 2012
But until most atheists are prepared to stop and think (and I mean this seriously) then ignorance will hold sway,

You may consider that most atheists weren't always atheists. We were born in a world where belief was the norm (and as a child you tend to believe what your parents tell you).
Stopping to think is EXACTLY what turns people into atheists.

because the simple truth is: Believers act in a way they think their god wants to act (so they profess to know what he wants) - while AT THE SAME TIME stating that no one can know gods mind (i.e. saying that no one knows what his plan is or what he wants)

You can't get more glaringly schizoid than that.
Deathclock
4 / 5 (20) Aug 21, 2012
That is rich! Most of my family are southern baptist "born again" christians and young earth creationists. I've read the bible cover to cover several times. I considered myself to have a "personal relationship" with Jesus Christ as a teenager.

You guys have no idea what you are talking about. You are the ones who are brainwashed. With education comes a lack of belief in fairy tales, and this has been proven over and over again in numerous studies. Religiosity declines with increased education, this is an established fact.
Modernmystic
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 21, 2012
I was a christian for 37 years. How about you tell me where you think my ideas are wrong about your brand of christianity and we can go from there.
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (19) Aug 21, 2012
Suffering, sacrifice, I have had them all. I even grew up in a very liberal church. MM and DC I see your hate, and yes I will say you do not understand Christianity. I will even say most christians, even your southern baptist friends and family, don't understand what God wants. Christianity is so simple a child understands it, yet also so difficult most adults don't.

For me at least, I did not choose God, God chose me, and He still hasn't rejected me, yet I've been rejected by more people than you can shake a stick at, and have had more difficulties and trials than most people. You two chose God, then chose to reject him because He didn't give you what you wanted or someone hurt your feelings or let you down.
antialias_physorg
4.9 / 5 (11) Aug 21, 2012
I will even say most christians, even your southern baptist friends and family, don't understand what God wants.

No true Scotsman, eh? And you are the only enlightened human on this planet. God, it must be great to be as humble as you are.

yet I've been rejected by more people than you can shake a stick at

Take a hint, then. Maybe god didn't chose you. Maybe you are just crazy? Ever considered that?

You two chose God, then chose to reject him because He didn't give you what you wanted

No - god was rejected because a world with him in it is not consistent. It is, on a very simple and fundamental level wrong.
Scyfurion
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 21, 2012
And yet I'd bet if life really came down on you, like your son, daughter, or spouse becoming deathly ill, every one of you would take that chance and pray, I'd put money on it. This study pretty much proves it.

In reality it is ignorant for any of you to declare there is or is not a god. Neither side has any facts to support either claim (bible does not count). You are all practicing a faith (that's right I dropped the F bomb). So get your noses out of each other's bum and accept your own short comings that you DON'T KNOW! And that is why when times are truly desperate people begin to hope for something bigger.

What is funny is that there is a lot of evidence that even computer based random number generators can be influenced by people being around them and concentrating for a specific outcome, always found that intriguing.
rubberman
2.7 / 5 (6) Aug 21, 2012
So, the point of the study is to shed light on the fact that although Atheists claim they don't believe in God, they do believe in other mythical entities, or "fate"? Is the point then that the atheists are stupid because although they refuse to believe in god they still to try to hedge their bets with gifts for some other unseen guy? I would tend to agree....

Free, our world in it's current condition, isn't being watched over by any god. ( I wouln't have gotten paid for doing this bad of a babysitting job!) It's not that I rejected him or "lost faith", the flaws in the concept of god have been evident to me since they were first presented to me as a child. However, if what you believe makes you a better person than you would otherwise be, glory halleluja!
Deathclock
3.9 / 5 (15) Aug 21, 2012
And yet I'd bet if life really came down on you, like your son, daughter, or spouse becoming deathly ill, every one of you would take that chance and pray, I'd put money on it.


You'd be wrong, I've been in these situations and never even considered "prayer" because it is a ridiculous waste of time.

In reality it is ignorant for any of you to declare there is or is not a god.


I'm not claiming either.

You are all practicing a faith


I am not.

you DON'T KNOW!


I don't know, I've said this 100 times on here, but knowledge and belief are two different things.

What is funny is that there is a lot of evidence that even computer based random number generators can be influenced by people being around them and concentrating for a specific outcome, always found that intriguing.


What? I'm a software engineer with an M.S. in computer science, please provide a reference for this nonsense.
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (15) Aug 21, 2012
MM and DC I see your hate


I don't hate anyone, in fact if you knew anything about me or my beliefs regarding free will you'd understand that "hate" would be inconsistent with my worldview.

and yes I will say you do not understand Christianity


I understand it better than you do, I understand the entire picture, every form that it takes. I understand that your belief takes one particular form of many, and you think this is the "correct" one... well get a fucking clue, so does everyone else.

I will even say most christians, even your southern baptist friends and family, don't understand what God wants.


No true Scotsman, as stated. I'm sure you don't even know what that means.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (11) Aug 21, 2012
every one of you would take that chance and pray, I'd put money on it.

Then pay up. You have already lost that bet.
In reality it is ignorant for any of you to declare there is or is not a god.

Hmm..does that also apply to your claim that there IS a god? You just called yourself ignorant. Interesting.

To me, gods aren't an issue (just like unicorns aren't an issue to me - and for the exact same reason).

ccept your own short comings that you DON'T KNOW!

"Not knowing" is not the same as "if two alternatives exist then they are equally valid". I don't know if the sun is going to come up tomorrow. But I know which of the two claims "it will come up" and "it won't come up" I'd call BS in a heartbeat.

I don't know if you really have the title to the Eiffel tower and are willing to sell at a low price - but I can sure as hell smell a con when I hear one. And religion is the biggest con of all.
Scyfurion
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 21, 2012
You'd be wrong, I've been in these situations and never even considered "prayer" because it is a ridiculous waste of time.


Then i say you have not truly been in such a situation. Granted such a situation is, subjective to the individual.
You are all practicing a faith


I am not.


Yes you are. In this situation, choosing not to believe in god is as much of a faith as choosing to do so. You have faith, not facts or knowledge, that god does not exist.

What is funny is that there is a lot of evidence that even computer based random number generators can be influenced by people being around them and concentrating for a specific outcome, always found that intriguing.


What? I'm a software engineer with an M.S. in computer science, please provide a reference for this nonsense.


And being a Computer Scientists/Software Engineer myself I know you are more than capable of looking up on Google :) It is not conclusive, only intriguing.
Modernmystic
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2012
MM and DC I see your hate,


Where is it? It's only when I quit being a christian that I really stopped to hate in point of fact. Actually more accurately when I stopped being a theist...which were coincidentally convergent.

and yes I will say you do not understand Christianity.


That's a statement/opinion, not an argument or an actual point.

For me at least, I did not choose God, God chose me,


Then there was no love or morality involved in the transaction...

and He still hasn't rejected me,


Any proof?

yet I've been rejected by more people than you can shake a stick at, and have had more difficulties and trials than most people.


No one suffers like you? I'm sorry you've met a lot of rejection in your life, but most of us (even those unwilling to admit it publicly) do. It's just part of being human and honest.

(cont)
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (7) Aug 21, 2012
Scyfurion -- You are creating a straw man argument with your caricature of atheists. Being able to admit that you "DONT KNOW" is one of the strengths of atheism. Religion, by its very nature, abhors admitting any weakness of faith that might be indicated by not knowing. In fact, many religious people that I know would regard any form of doubt as a sinful distraction of Satan.
Scyfurion
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2012
Then pay up. You have already lost that bet.


Sure no problem.

Hmm..does that also apply to your claim that there IS a god? You just called yourself ignorant. Interesting.


yep, you got me, I called you ignorant.

"Not knowing" is not the same as "if two alternatives exist then they are equally valid".


That is it Exactly, Your welcome.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (12) Aug 21, 2012
Then i say you have not truly been in such a situation

So only christians lose loved ones? And us 'heathens' don't love or grieve or have near death situations? A compassionate man you are, I must say. What do you know what other people have been through to judge that "it just wasn't bad enough".

Yes you are. In this situation, choosing not to believe in god is as much of a faith as choosing to do so

Which one of the 4000 or so gods in historical records? To paraphrase some famous words:
"You don't believe in all the other gods, either. When you finally realize why that is so, then you will simply realize that I merely believe in one less god than you do - for the exact same reason"
Scyfurion
1.8 / 5 (16) Aug 21, 2012
Scyfurion -- You are creating a straw man argument with your caricature of atheists. Being able to admit that you "DONT KNOW" is one of the strengths of atheism. Religion, by its very nature, abhors admitting any weakness of faith that might be indicated by not knowing. In fact, many religious people that I know would regard any form of doubt as a sinful distraction of Satan.


And Zaxxon I wholly agree with you. My problem with these "Atheist" is they are militant. Much like the religious, they attack anyone who DOES believe in god. And when provoked by an entity who makes them "think" they attack it. What is most fascinating is their behavior is almost completely in line with how they preceptive religious people to behave... it is rather fascinating.
Deathclock
3.8 / 5 (13) Aug 21, 2012
Then i say you have not truly been in such a situation. Granted such a situation is, subjective to the individual.


No true Scotsman again, eh?

Yes you are. In this situation, choosing not to believe in god is as much of a faith as choosing to do so.


I don't think you know what the word faith means... I don't have faith that god does not exist, I simply do not believe that he/she/it does.

And being a Computer Scientists/Software Engineer myself I know you are more than capable of looking up on Google :) It is not conclusive, only intriguing.


It's ancient and long since refuted...
Scyfurion
1.7 / 5 (18) Aug 21, 2012
So only christians lose loved ones? And us 'heathens' don't love or grieve or have near death situations? A compassionate man you are, I must say. What do you know what other people have been through to judge that "it just wasn't bad enough


I never said I WAS compassionate. Your notions about how I should behave because you think me to believe in your idea of god are quite interesting. I did insinuate, however, you are behaving like children...

Which one of the 4000 or so gods in historical records?


I don't care and it doesn't matter. Until you give me evidence of the existence or non-existence of a god you are practicing a faith.

Deathclock--
I don't think you know what the word faith means...

I don't think YOU do

http://dictionary...se/faith

definition 2:
belief that is not based on proof

you BELIEVE that there is no god, with out proof or evidence.

It's ancient and long since refuted...

Nope
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (15) Aug 21, 2012
Until you give me evidence of the existence or non-existence of a god you are practicing a faith.

No. You do not understand the most basic ideas about rationality. Do froodelfums exist? I just made them up. Now show me evidence for or against them. You can't. Why then are you not a believer in froodelfums? See how insane that line of reasoning would be?

If you can, honestly, say you believe in froodelfums then I'll accept your belief in a god (and also think you're quite insane).
If you can, honestly, say that you do not believe in froodelfums then you are a hypocrit - because you judge things one way and then judge it another by EXACT the same standard.

If, however, yo say: "you made them up - so the onus of evidence FOR them is on you" then you are sane. And then you will understand why the onus of evidence for gods is on you.

Not beliving in gods is as much a faith as not beliving in froddelfums. It's not an active belief. It's the ABSENCE of a blief. Big difference.
Scyfurion
1.9 / 5 (17) Aug 21, 2012
No. You do not understand the most basic ideas about rationality. Do froodelfums exist? I just made them up. Now show me evidence for or against them. You can't. Why then are you not a believer in froodelfums? See how insane that line of reasoning would be?


Not true at all. You just gave me evidence that Froodelfums do not exist, you just said you made them up. Now if 1000 people told me Froodelfums exist, dispite me not ever seeing one I would have to believe that Froodelfums exist. If 1000 people then told me Froodelfums do not exist then I simply have to say until I actually see the evidence of the existence or non-existence of such a creature then I myself can not say if Froodelfums do or do not exist. This answer is quite obvious really
EverythingsJustATheory
4.5 / 5 (11) Aug 21, 2012
No, Scyfurion. He believes that there is no god specifically because of the evidence, or should I say lack of.

There is no such thing as evidence for non-existence of a god, other than to say the absence of evidence for one. You cannot disprove a negative. However, evidence of a god is extremely lacking and that is what we base our opinion on. However, produce one repeatable experiment that demonstrates the existence of a god, and I'll change my tune as would most others on this board.
EverythingsJustATheory
4.9 / 5 (11) Aug 21, 2012
Which is why we do not have faith. Faith would imply that we would not change our views regardless of the evidence. We think and believe based on current observations.
Scyfurion
1.6 / 5 (14) Aug 21, 2012
No, Scyfurion. He believes that there is no god specifically because of the evidence, or should I say lack of.


That I agree on that.

Faith would imply that we would not change our views regardless of the evidence.


I only disagree with this due to the very nature and definition of the word Faith. I understand what you are trying to say. However I also suggest that in these situations, no party would ever budge in their beliefs or lack there of, even if god appeared in the sky and declared "I do not exist". (yes... that is a joke)
Modernmystic
3.8 / 5 (10) Aug 21, 2012
(cont)

You two chose God, then chose to reject him because He didn't give you what you wanted or someone hurt your feelings or let you down.


More accurately I chose to believe in a human concept. Who threatens to place me in a pit of fire for all eternity unless I think and believe thus and so. Moreover this human concept says that to have a proper relationship with it I should also act like a child for the rest of my life and voluntarily abdicate my maturity as a human being and be dependent on it for all things.

I did this (stopped believing) for a whole host of reasons, but the most gentle way for me to put it is that I outgrew it.
Modernmystic
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 21, 2012
Since we're now actually talking about definitions, here is an attempt to be constructive...

Faith:

2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

The most pertinent definition to this philosophical discussion. Notice it says BELIEF, it does not say non-belief...

I never said I WAS compassionate. Your notions about how I should behave because you think me to believe in your idea of god are quite interesting. I did insinuate, however, you are behaving like children...


In what way are "we" behaving like children?
rwinners
1 / 5 (13) Aug 21, 2012
Atheism is another religion. Atheists believe in their position, which is the equivalent of a religous person devotion to his/her religion.
Agnostics are the true questioners. Don't be confused about this.
Modernmystic
3.4 / 5 (8) Aug 21, 2012
Atheism is another religion. Atheists believe in their position, which is the equivalent of a religous (sic) person devotion to his/her religion.


Everyone believes in their position, not everyone is religious. Are putting yourself in the position that everyone who has a belief or disbelief is religious? Really?

Agnostics are the true questioners. Don't be confused about this.


So in order to be a "true questioner" you can never have an answer?

Is the sky blue?

I'm sure it comforts you to believe this way. I'm sure it lessens your fear of something. Is it the truth though? Are you just telling yourself what you want to hear? Telling yourself what makes you feel better?
Deathclock
3.9 / 5 (18) Aug 21, 2012
I don't think you know what the word faith means...

I don't think YOU do

http://dictionary...se/faith

definition 2:
belief that is not based on proof

you BELIEVE that there is no god, with out proof or evidence.


Wow... you looked up the definition and you STILL got it wrong.

I DON'T believe that God exists. The definition of faith that you yourself provided only deals with actual beliefs... I have no belief in God... a lack of belief is not a belief, it is a LACK of belief... faith does not apply.

Why do I (and other Atheists) have to explain things like this? Is it because most religious people have piss poor logical faculties?
Deathclock
4.1 / 5 (17) Aug 21, 2012
Atheism is another religion. Atheists believe in their position, which is the equivalent of a religous person devotion to his/her religion.
Agnostics are the true questioners. Don't be confused about this.


Atheism is NOT, by ANY definition, a religion. People who claim this have no idea what a religion is, or no idea what it means to be an Atheist.

Most atheists are also agnostic. I am an Agnostic Atheist in that I don't claim to know God and I also do not believe in God.

Gnostics claim to KNOW God, Theists BELIEVE in God, Agnostics do not claim to KNOW God, and Atheists do not BELIEVE in God.

Do you understand the difference between knowledge and belief?

I know this has been explained to you before, but you don't WANT to learn anything, you WANT to remain ignorant so that you can keep making stupid comments that make no sense.
Deathclock
4 / 5 (16) Aug 21, 2012
Now if 1000 people told me Froodelfums exist, dispite me not ever seeing one I would have to believe that Froodelfums exist.


Wow... you just stated, for all to see, that you willfully subscribe to the ad populum logical fallacy... You're a winner!

If 1000 people then told me Froodelfums do not exist then I simply have to say until I actually see the evidence of the existence or non-existence of such a creature then I myself can not say if Froodelfums do or do not exist.


How can you show evidence for the non-existence of something?

This answer is quite obvious really


The only thing that is obvious here is that you make no sense and that you have a childish understanding (if that) of epistemology and inductive/deductive reasoning.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (5) Aug 21, 2012
@freeOfThinking you show how little you know about Christianity.
LOL 'christian' literally means 'wax worshiper!' You should tour wax museums all day to be a true xtian. You're off to a good start with the candles.
djr
4.4 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2012
"My problem with these "Atheist" is they are militant" Why would militancy be a problem for you? We are supposed to be polite - and offend no one? Mean time - religions are holding our world hostage to ignorance and cruelty. The young girl in Kurdistan who was stoned to death because she dared date a boy from a different sect - etc. etc. Look at Pussy Riot - in jail for daring to criticize the establishment - their improsonment supported by the Russian Orthodox Church. You see religion protects itself - and will do terrible things to hold on to power - and it is good to be militant - and to say "stop".
Scyfurion
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 22, 2012
Atheism is NOT, by ANY definition, a religion. People who claim this have no idea what a religion is, or no idea what it means to be an Atheist.


yeah... never said it was. I said it is a faith, not a religion, you have faith that god does not exist. But no evidence to the contrary.

How can you show evidence for the non-existence of something?

Yes may have been bad wording.

I DON'T believe that God exists

then say it with out that keyword or any other word for "belief" it is still a belief no matter how you phrase it.

I believe faeries do not exist, I believe dragons do not exist, and all the titans and gods of mythology do not exist. Until I get some evidence to the contrary it is still a belief. period.

Wow... you just stated, for all to see, that you willfully subscribe to the ad populum logical fallacy


Nope I'm just not going to put in the energy to do the research when I have more important things to do.
Scyfurion
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
"My problem with these "Atheist" is they are militant" Why would militancy be a problem for you? We are supposed to be polite - and offend no one? Mean time - religions are holding our world hostage to ignorance and cruelty. The young girl in Kurdistan who was stoned to death because she dared date a boy from a different sect - etc. etc. Look at Pussy Riot - in jail for daring to criticize the establishment - their improsonment supported by the Russian Orthodox Church. You see religion protects itself - and will do terrible things to hold on to power - and it is good to be militant - and to say "stop".


And these are all excellent things to get mad about. But attacking people just because they believe in god is no better then they attacking you because you do not. It only escalates the problem, turning people who are on the side line into enemies instead of bystanders for your own selfish crusade.
kochevnik
2.8 / 5 (6) Aug 22, 2012
This article anthropomorphizes a basic signal discrimination task into religion, which is a human property. Far from it: This tactic may be a near-optimal filter itself for discriminating the profitability of dealing with an unknown entity. No belief is incurred. It's just a cold maths formula. The authors might as well claim that all maths formulas are a form of superstition and belief, and all computers operate on a desire to worship an imaginary skyfairy.
EverythingsJustATheory
5 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012

I believe faeries do not exist, I believe dragons do not exist, and all the titans and gods of mythology do not exist. Until I get some evidence to the contrary it is still a belief.

But there is no such thing as showing evidence for dragons not existing. There is only a lack of evidence of showing that they do exist.

Your definition of faith missed the important part. That it is a belief not based on proof OR MATERIAL EVIDENCE. Yes, there is no way to prove that god does not exist, as proving a negative is a logically impossibility, but there is no scientific evidence to support that a god exists, so why would I think that.

I'm fully willing to admit the possibility of the existence of god, however, I attribute an extremely small probability to this given the lack of evidence supporting it. I think that there is no god. If evidence arises that would support belief, then I would change my position. In other words, following the scientific method.
Scyfurion
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 22, 2012
Your definition of faith missed the important part. That it is a belief not based on proof OR MATERIAL EVIDENCE. Yes, there is no way to prove that god does not exist, as proving a negative is a logically impossibility, but there is no scientific evidence to support that a god exists, so why would I think that.

I'm fully willing to admit the possibility of the existence of god, however, I attribute an extremely small probability to this given the lack of evidence supporting it.


EAJT - I'm not here to convince people that god exists. Things get tangled up in strange tangent arguments and the overall point is missed. My frustration arises from people attacking others for believing in something or not believing in something when they themselves simply do not know. I believe in everything djr said, we should be mad at such examples of religious extremes, but we shouldn't attack people because they think differently than us, people should draw their own conclusions in life
kochevnik
3.1 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
we shouldn't attack people because they think differently than us, people should draw their own conclusions in life
Religion is institutionalized retardation. Just as Charles Mansion left the path of reality and believed the Beetle's album track Helter Skelter was the truth, it all ends badly. Being retarded ends badly. So no, religion is not something that belongs in mixed society. It's a fetish and should be kept private like pornography.
Deathclock
3.9 / 5 (16) Aug 22, 2012
BELIEVING in something or not BELIEVING in something when they themselves simply do not KNOW


Why do you conflate knowledge with belief? Belief and knowledge are two ontologically different things.

No one KNOWS... so why are you talking about it? of course no one knows, I don't claim to know, the only people who claim to "know" are the theists...

You are confused about what Atheists think. Atheists do not claim to know that there is no God, they do not claim to be able to prove that there is no God, and they do not claim that there is evidence that there is no God...

Atheists simply do not believe in God, you do not need faith to NOT believe in something. You don't know what the word faith means STILL despite quoting the definition of it. Faith pertains to a belief, NOT having a belief in something is NOT a belief, obviously... faith pertains to a belief, it does NOT pertain to a non-belief.
kochevnik
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2012
Indeed the authors of this study invoked belief in a random signal, anthropomorphizing human qualities where perhaps a half-dozen hard-wired neural circuits would suffice. Belief is not necessary for science and, as this study demonstrates, actually hinders the merit of the conclusions. The participants may indeed be following an optimal strategy, accessing the signal to noise ratio of their virtualized marketmaker. There is no means of knowing they are contending with "unresponsive entities" a-priori.
Deathclock
3.8 / 5 (13) Aug 22, 2012
Atheism is NOT, by ANY definition, a religion.

yeah... never said it was.


I was responding to someone else...

How can you show evidence for the non-existence of something
Yes may have been bad wording.


Not bad wording, bad reasoning.

I DON'T believe that God exists
then say it with out that keyword or any other word for "belief" it is still a belief no matter how you phrase it.


No, it's a NON-belief. It is the OPPOSITE of a belief. Why is this so difficult?

I believe faeries do not exist, I believe dragons do not exist...


No, you DON'T believe in faeries and you DON'T believe in dragons... this is the ABSENCE OF BELIEF in these things. You can only believe in the existence of something or NOT.

Holding a positive belief in the non-existence of something is logically untenable because beliefs are based on evidence and you cannot have evidence for the non-existence of something, which I just explained to you. Get it?
Scyfurion
2.5 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
we shouldn't attack people because they think differently than us, people should draw their own conclusions in life
Religion is institutionalized retardation. Just as Charles Mansion left the path of reality and believed the Beetle's album track Helter Skelter was the truth, it all ends badly. Being retarded ends badly. So no, religion is not something that belongs in mixed society. It's a fetish and should be kept private like pornography.


thank you for proving the point I was trying to make the entire time
Modernmystic
4.4 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
I had a lot of difficulty with this prior to being an atheist too...not that everyone does but that's my story anyway.

For me at least it was more about trying to put myself on equal footing with atheists...sort of "oneupmanship" debating rather than actually listening to what was being said and attempting to understand.

Unfortunately I only began to really understand that belief and non-belief are, epistemologically, two quite different things AFTER the fact. It didn't seem to matter how many times the point was repeated, or different ways it was parsed. I wasn't interested in understanding. I was interested in making the other side look wrong, or at least of equal position.

It would have been extremely difficult for me to concede this point because then I'd actually have had to think about my position and I was afraid to do that for a lot of reasons. However, if I had, I'd have eventually gotten to where I am now....

The chicken or the egg....
Scyfurion
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2012
should be kept private like pornography.

Actually must make one amendment, I do agree with that... But everything else, thank you for proving your no better than any other religious person.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
Scyfurion is confusing the absence of belief with the belief of absence. Many people make this mistake, but it is clearly a mistake and I'll explain why.

We've already established that it is impossible to present evidence for the non-existence of something, particularly when that thing could conceivably exist anywhere in the universe. Beliefs are based on evidence, we believe something to be true based on the evidence that we have in favor of it, and the strength of that believe scales with the actual or perceived strength of the evidence. Since beliefs are based on evidence and it is impossible to have evidence for the non-existence of something then it makes no sense to claim to have a positive belief in the non-existence of something.

However, since belief is based on evidence, if we have no evidence for the existence of something then it makes perfect sense to have no belief in that thing. When I say I don't believe in God what I am saying is that I don't have a belief in God...
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
For me at least it was more about trying to put myself on equal footing with atheists...sort of "oneupmanship" debating rather than actually listening to what was being said and attempting to understand.

Unfortunately I only began to really understand that belief and non-belief are, epistemologically, two quite different things AFTER the fact. It didn't seem to matter how many times the point was repeated, or different ways it was parsed. I wasn't interested in understanding. I was interested in making the other side look wrong, or at least of equal position.

It would have been extremely difficult for me to concede this point because then I'd actually have had to think about my position and I was afraid to do that for a lot of reasons. However, if I had, I'd have eventually gotten to where I am now....


This is very well said and I believe it explains why so many people seem to struggle with this understanding.
kochevnik
3 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2012
should be kept private like pornography.

@Scyfurion Actually must make one amendment, I do agree with that... But everything else, thank you for proving your no better than any other religious person.
Monotheism is institutionalized intolerance. As a believer I am the right hand of my god. All the populations are subjects that must bow down in symbolic fellatio to my god, as my right hand delivers the river of life onto them via my right hand of god masturbating, just as Atun created the world in masturbation. All those who choose not to receive the body and blood of wax must be smitten.

There, did I put it in terms you can better understand? Monotheism is institutionalized pornography, retardation and child abuse.
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
However, I can see the point of confusion... most people simply don't think about epistemology or ontology in this way, and are unfamiliar with these concepts.

For example, consider the following:
"I have no evidence for the existence of x"
"I have evidence for the non-existence of x"

These two statements are worded very similarly, but mean very different things. The first statement is logically sound, the second statement is not. Having no evidence for something is NOT the same as having evidence against that thing.

The first statement leads to the lack of belief in x... the second statement leads to the belief in the lack of x. Again, these statements are worded very similarly, but they mean completely different things, and the second one makes no sense at all.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (21) Aug 22, 2012
"Atheists and believers alike will repeatedly sacrifice large portions of their income to unresponsive entities in the hope of a better outcome, a new study suggests."

-We do know that rep Todd Akin, staunch religionist and MEMBER OF THE HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE, believes that a womans body does respond to her wishes to terminate a pregnancy caused by rape.

Or is it god who knows the difference? Im confused.
it is impossible to present evidence for the non-existence of something
We have overwhelming evidence that the gods described in holy books, the gods which created floods and great kingdoms and prophets which did not exist and events which could not have possibly taken place, are thus non-existent.

These books are the ONLY SOURCE of knowledge of these gods. Physiological phenomena such as the epiphany and hallucination are NOT evidence.

Religionists know that arguments about non-existant entities are obfuscation. They have had a few millenia to hone this particular tack.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
In summation (scyfurion):

Correct:
"I have no evidence for the existence of god, therefore I do not believe god exists"

Incorrect:
"I have evidence that god does not exist, therefore I believe that god does not exist."

Incorrect:
"I have no evidence for the existence of god, therefore I believe that god does not exist."

The two labelled "Incorrect" do not make sense, they are illogical statements. The first statement is logically sound, in that evidence leads to belief and LACK of evidence can only lead to LACK of belief.

So, again, you were/are wrong. It requires NO FAITH to NOT believe in god. Do you understand now?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (22) Aug 22, 2012
"I have no evidence for the existence of x"
"I have evidence for the non-existence of x"
We have overwhelming evidence that things described in the bible did not happen and did not exist. Therefore we can conclude with a high degree of confidence that the god which is supposedly responsible for them, does not exist. Period.
kochevnik
2.9 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
Indeed this schism probably arises in that cognition allocates an object, or meme, for the nonexistant object for modeling purposes. The mind then deems this as an object in sensory space, confusing it as "real" instead of virtual. In fact this is the one distinguishing feature between religious and atheists. Atheists know that "nothing" is merely a conceptual model: a scaffolding that admits the incorporation of possibilities into a discussion of current realities. However atheists also understand that having zero of something does not mean they have some of that very thing.

Religious people fail to understand zero, or what Budda described as "emptiness". The Budda was a wise man.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
it is impossible to present evidence for the non-existence of something
We have overwhelming evidence that the gods described in holy books, the gods which created floods and great kingdoms and prophets which did not exist and events which could not have possibly taken place, are thus non-existent.


Please don't muddy the waters.

We have no evidence that these God's ever existed and we have no evidence that anything they are claimed to have done ever happened. I agree with you about that... but again, NOT having evidence for something is not the same thing as having evidence against that thing.

Further, even if you have evidence that a particular aspect of a particular God could not have existed or occurred that is not the same as having evidence that that God did not exist in the first place, only evidence that that particular aspect/trait/occurence did not exist/occur.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
We have overwhelming evidence that things described in the bible did not happen and did not exist. Therefore we can conclude with a high degree of confidence that the god which is supposedly responsible for them, does not exist. Period.


Otto do you have a mental problem? We're on the same team here, I am trying to make a fucking point and all you are doing is muddying the waters and confusing this guy.

Having evidence that an event did not happen that is attributed to God is not the same as having evidence against the EXISTENCE of that God.

People might say I robbed a bank, but if evidence is presented that I did not rob that bank it is not evidence against my EXISTENCE.

We have NO EVIDENCE for the existence of God... that's fucking good enough when I am trying to explain the ontological difference between lack of evidence and evidence of lack to this guy, so leave it alone for THIS discussion please.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
Evidence against the christian narrative is not the same as evidence against God. I believe we have evidence that much of the Christian narrative did not occur, but that is evidence against that story ONLY, not against some nebulous "God" entity.

I would state that I believe that the Christian story is not accurate, but concerning God I would only state that I do not believe in that entity. This is different than stating that I believe that there is no God.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
Otto do you have a mental problem? We're on the same team here, I am trying to make a fucking point and all you are doing is muddying the waters and confusing this guy.
Youre wrong no matter how many words you use. We have a great deal of evidence that holybook gods CAN NOT exist, and NEVER DID.

Your playful banter with philos and godders in this context is only reinforcing the idea that their arguments are somehow legitimate. They are not.

The exodus did not happen. THEREFORE the god responsible for it, does not exist. Period.
so leave it alone for THIS discussion please.
Sure just kiss my hairy butt and I will shut up.

Or I will continue to voice my opinions that DISCUSSING 'ontology' like such concepts have any relevance whatsoever, is only ENABLING religionists and philos to continue to sell it.
EverythingsJustATheory
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2012
"I have no evidence for the existence of x"
"I have evidence for the non-existence of x"
We have overwhelming evidence that things described in the bible did not happen and did not exist. Therefore we can conclude with a high degree of confidence that the god which is supposedly responsible for them, does not exist. Period.


I completely agree with you that there is enough contradictions to state that current organized religions dieties do not exist, at least as they are described. What I (and I think Scyfurion) was really talking about was the existence of any supernatural being, not a particular one. While I don't think that one exists, as a scientific person I cannot definitively say there is no chance.

I do agree that there is absolutely zero chance that any god that exists follows the exact descriptions laid out in the fairy tales wrote by man.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
Evidence against the christian narrative is not the same as evidence against God.
So what? The existance of god is a nonsense issue. But it is USED by philos and religionists to claim the right to ply their wares.

After 3 hours and 100 posts 'Well maybe heaven and the metaphysical exist.' In next sundays sermon kevin claims victory, and offering plates come back full. THIS IS WRONG.

The only philo worth listening to (and ONLY on this subject):
http://www.youtub...pp_video
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (22) Aug 22, 2012
What I (and I think Scyfurion) was really talking about was the existence of any supernatural being, not a particular one.
I am an antireligionist. I believe that entertaining these arguments enables religions to exist in whatever form they choose to take.

They and the philos have had centuries to refine these arguments. They lead NOWHERE, by Design.

If you believe that religions are an existential THREAT to our survival as I do, you should refuse to entertain them and instead continually remind people that the gods who divide us and threaten to destroy us, DO NOT EXIST.
http://www.youtub...TVUulGwc
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
Evidence against the christian narrative is not the same as evidence against God.
So what? The existance of god is a nonsense issue. But it is USED by philos and religionists to claim the right to ply their wares.


So what? Because I am trying to build bridges, not burn them.

It is true that you CANNOT provide evidence against the existence of "God" where "God" means any conceivable notion of one. All that you can do is provide evidence against a SPECIFIC notion of one, or of SPECIFIC attributes of one.

This is true whether you like it or not, there is no way to find evidence that something does not exist in general, only that it does not exist given specific attributes.

For this reason, it is illogical to say that you believe that "god" does not exist, only that you do not believe that "god" exists, and these are two completely different statements, which was the point I was trying to get across to scyfurion to show him that it takes no faith to not believe.
Scyfurion
2 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012

There, did I put it in terms you can better understand? Monotheism is institutionalized pornography, retardation and child abuse.


I'm sorry, I'll state it simply. Thank you for proving my point.

Otto do you have a mental problem? We're on the same team here, I am trying to make a fucking point and all you are doing is muddying the waters and confusing this guy.


DC- Seriously, I've been screwing with you the whole time dude. My point has been made.
Deathclock
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2012
The existance of god is a nonsense issue. But it is USED by philos and religionists to claim the right to ply their wares.


It is, yes, I agree... but it is a nonsense issue because there is no evidence in favor of the existence of "god"... not because there is evidence that "god" does not exist, because it is fundamentally impossible to find evidence that something does not exist in the general case.

I am trying to explain the difference between these two statements, and you are interrupting and confusing the people I am addressing.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (13) Aug 22, 2012
DC- Seriously, I've been screwing with you the whole time dude. My point has been made.


I've proven that you don't know what you are talking about, so you claim you were "trolling" me... That tricks as old as the internet, "dude".

You've made no point, and your attempt at making one regarding militant atheists has failed miserably because I am not being militant in the least, I am being logical and passionate in arguing against your incorrect assertions, such as the idea that having no belief in something requires faith, which is patently false.

Well done.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2012
One commenter here has been hitting the bong too much.
Scyfurion
2.1 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
You've made no point, and your attempt at making one regarding militant atheists has failed miserably because I am not being militant in the least, I am being logical and passionate in arguing against your incorrect assertions, such as the idea that having no belief in something requires faith, which is patently false.


really, that stubborn are we? We now have two militant atheist, one who is even arguing against you. And you do not think my point has failed? Reread our posts.

As far as our little conversation on "faith", It really doesn't matter what you think. In your opinion it does not take faith to not believe in god, in mine the distinction between believing and not believing is a very thin line and your attempts to define what faith is and isn't have in itself failed.
Scyfurion
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 22, 2012
And you do not think my point has failed?

should be "And you think my point has failed?"
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
So you don't understand that belief is based on evidence and if you don't have any evidence then you cannot form a belief and if you cannot form a belief and faith is based on belief then you cannot have faith?

This is simply a chain, faith is a subset of belief, and belief is based on evidence. Without evidence you cannot have belief, and without belief you cannot have faith.

It's so simple I didn't think anyone would find this difficult to understand, I guess I overestimated you.

It really doesn't matter what you think


But here we have evidence that you don't care about finding truth, only about asserting your dogma. All reasonable people know that the mindset you've expressed here is irrational and self-defeating.
Scyfurion
2 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
DC be a man and don't use the rating system, argue with me, but do not resort electronic version of childish wimpering.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (21) Aug 22, 2012
It is, yes, I agree... but it is a nonsense issue because there is no evidence in favor of the existence of "god"... not because there is evidence that "god" does not exist, because it is blahblah
Here are some experts debating the issue far more convincingly:
http://www.youtub...pp_video
http://www.youtub...pp_video
Scyfurion
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
So you don't understand that belief is based on evidence and if you don't have any evidence then you cannot form a belief and if you cannot form a belief and faith is based on belief then you cannot have faith?


What? That is not the definition of Belief. You you really just said "Belief is based on evidence" Look up the definition of "Belief". In the words of Inigo Montoya "I do not think it means what you think it means"

Try again.
rwinners
2 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
The existence of god or the non-existence of god is not scientifically provable. Therefore, any cult that takes either position is taking a position of faith.
We doubters admit that we just don't know and take no side on the issue.
We will all find out... or not... sooner or later.
Deathclock
3.1 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
It really is sad that some people cannot seem to grasp simple epistemological concepts... I don't know what to do for them after laying it out as plainly as possible, all I can do is attempt to rephrase the statements for them, but if they have no grounding in ontology or epistemology it seems like a giant hurdle for them to even begin to understand the basics.

I'll rephrase this one more time:
For faith to be anything but a synonym for belief it must be a subset of belief referring to what you hold to be true without regard to the evidence. Beliefs that are not faith are then necessarily what you hold to be true WITH regard to the evidence.

Without any evidence for something you CAN have faith in that thing, but you CANNOT have a non-faith based belief in it, because non-faith based belief is WITH REGARD TO THE EVIDENCE.

You cannot have a belief in the non-existence of something because you cannot have evidence for the non-existence of something.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
DC be a man and don't use the rating system, argue with me, but do not resort electronic version of childish wimpering.


Let's come up with WORKABLE definitions of the terms belief and faith then, shall we?

I'll start:

Belief simply refers to that which you hold to be true.

Faith is a subset of belief, referring to what you hold to be true regardless of any evidence.

Non-faith based belief is then that which you hold to be true with regard to the evidence.

Can we agree on this at least?
Scyfurion
2 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
Let's come up with WORKABLE definitions of the terms belief and faith then, shall we?


I did, from a DICTIONARY


I'll start:

Belief simply refers to that which you hold to be true.


Wrong.


Faith is a subset of belief, referring to what you hold to be true regardless of any evidence.


True

Non-faith based belief is then that which you hold to be true with regard to the evidence.


contradiction

You are trying to argue philosophy against someone who is arguing (to some degree) against the philosophy you are trying to use to argue for. To which we can do for all eternity.
Deathclock
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
Further, when we use the word "belief" it is understood that we are referring to non-faith based belief, and when we use the word "faith" we are referring to faith based belief.

Agreed?
kochevnik
3.2 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
@Scyfurion ...in mine the distinction between believing and not believing is a very thin line and your attempts to define what faith is and isn't have in itself failed.
No, you failed elementary arithmetic by not grasping the concept of "zero."
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
I did, from a DICTIONARY


Yes, and you didn't understand, as was pointed out by others, not just myself.

Belief simply refers to that which you hold to be true
Wrong.


How so?

Faith is a subset of belief, referring to what you hold to be true regardless of any evidence.
True


Non-faith based belief is then that which you hold to be true with regard to the evidence.
contradiction


Contradiction? Are you fucking for real? Either belief is with regard to the evidence or without regard to the evidence, there is no middle ground. If faith is belief without regard to the evidence than non-faith based belief is belief WITH regard to the evidence.

Who are you trying to fool?

You are trying to argue philosophy against someone who is arguing (to some degree) against the philosophy you are trying to use to argue for.


Trying to argue against ontology/epistemology... you must think highly of yourself.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (24) Aug 22, 2012
The existence of god or the non-existence of god is not scientifically provable. Therefore, any cult that takes either position is taking a position of faith.
Faith by definition is belief DESPITE evidence. Religionists believe in the gods of their holy books DESPITE overwhelming evidence that these gods never existed.
Faith is a subset of belief, referring to what you hold to be true regardless of any evidence.
Im sorry but you are SO full of shit. I know you WANT to say weighty things but all you end up doing is dropping loads...
epistemological concepts
-like this. This phrase has no meaning. Look it up. Look up how each generation, each school, each -ism has used words like this in completely different ways and you will see that they hold no intrinsic meaning WHATSOEVER. They only add weight to the loads you are dropping. Plop.

Here is hitchens showing us exactly how to discuss god and religion:
http://www.youtub...=related
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
Faith by definition is belief DESPITE evidence. Religionists believe in the gods of their holy books DESPITE overwhelming evidence that these gods never existed. Faith is a subset of belief, referring to what you hold to be true regardless of any evidence. Im sorry but you are SO full of shit.


Wow... we said the EXACT SAME THING and you told me I am full of shit.

You said, quote: "Faith by definition is belief DESPITE evidence"

I said, quote: "Faith is a subset of belief, referring to what you hold to be true regardless of any evidence."

THESE MEAN THE SAME THING OTTO YOU RETARD! You said I was full of shit for that statement, it's the same statement that you just made.

Sometimes I really hate trying to talk to you people...
rubberman
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
FAITH - was defined by you earlier in the thread (somewhat ironic that you would needle DC about not being able to). Usually dictionary meanings aren't open to interpretation....the way religions are. If all humans lost the ability to have faith, religion and god would die. Real things exist without humans having faith that they do, our ideals die with us. Science deals with the physical, tangible, verifiable reality.

What do god, santa, and honest politicians have in common? They are all equally easy to find.
Scyfurion
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2012
How so?


http://dictionary...e/belief

definition:
2: confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.

3: confidence; faith; trust

Contradiction? Are you fucking for real?

yes, very much for realz.

Trying to argue against ontology/epistemology... you must think highly of yourself


I won't lie... yes. But as I said only to some degree am I arguing against these philosophies. They are useful tools but still a philosophy, which in my opinion philosophy is meant to be argued.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
The SIMPLEST FUCKING THINGS become so convoluted when some of you guys get involved.

Belief is what you hold to be true, this is what the word means.

Faith is what you hold to be true regardless of the evidence, this is what this word means.

THEREFORE (are you listening Otto?) faith is CLEARLY a subset of belief... which is what I said, which you somehow thought was justification to tell me I am full of shit.

We can't even agree on two simple fucking definitions around here, even when they have been provided from the dictionary, because the person providing them from the dictionary can't even figure out what the goddamn dictionary definition means.

I gotta tell you, I'm pretty tired of this nonsense.
Scyfurion
2 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
The SIMPLEST FUCKING THINGS become so convoluted when some of you guys get involved.


lmao welcome to hell!
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
ontology/epistemology...
What IS that smell? Smells like... pretense...

Dan Dennett DID have worhtwhile things to say about other philos:

"[Others] note that my "avoidance of the standard philosophical terminology for discussing such matters" often creates problems for me; philosophers have a hard time figuring out what I am saying and what I am denying. My refusal to play ball with my colleagues is deliberate, of course, since I view the standard philosophical terminology as worse than useless--a major obstacle to progress since it consists of so many errors trapped in the seductively lucid amber of tradition: "obvious truths" that are simply false, broken-backed distinctions, and other cognitive illusions."

-But then all philos will say similar things about what members of conflicting -isms have to say. Because how else would we know they were making progress?
Deathclock
3 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
How so?
definition 1-4:
confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof


How exactly do you think that is different than what I said?

yes, very much for realz.


It was not in any way a contradiction...

Trying to argue against ontology/epistemology... you must think highly of yourself


I won't lie... yes. But as I said only to some degree am I arguing against these philosophies. They are useful tools but still a philosophy, which in my opinion philosophy is meant to be argued.


This is established... these concepts are the most basic of the basic.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (12) Aug 22, 2012
The SIMPLEST FUCKING THINGS become so convoluted when some of you guys get involved.


lmao welcome to hell!


Great, but here you are arguing about my definition of belief by posting a dictionary definition that says the exact same thing I did... the extra details it contained are irrelevant, belief is what you hold to be true... SIMPLE. That's what I stated, that's what you said "false" to.

If we can't agree on what the word belief means then we are simply speaking two different languages.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
FUCKING THINGS
-Also very plop-worthy.
THEREFORE (are you listening Otto?) faith is CLEARLY a subset of belief...
Sorry words do not lend themselves to math. Try translating your words into numbers and try again, and you will see that this is so. For instance, 'belief' has a number of different meanings, and is defined differently in different references, and is certainly used with equal validity to refer to different things in different contexts.

And so your attempts to assign it absolute values to be used in word math is... worthless. AND your attempts to make valid points by doing so is clearly... worthless.

These are the typical traps and eddies we encounter in philo arguments about 'knowledge' and 'reality' and 'metaphysics' and 'god'. Meanwhile IEDs are going off in afghanistan and babies are being born in islamabad.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
I hate having to take baby steps with people, but what's worse is having to drag them along kicking and screaming.

If you believe something you think it is true while acknowledging that it may not be. Belief is that which you hold to be true. Belief is that which you have confidence in the truth or existence of.

These all mean the same thing, scyfurion, can you stop digging in your heels and resisting now?
Scyfurion
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 22, 2012
How exactly do you think that is different than what I said?

okay DC- after rereading your second definition you are correct, there is no difference between what I said, and what you said on your second post. However your initial definition was incorrect and that was what was trapped in my head upon that post, that belief requires evidence. I do apologize.

This is established... these concepts are the most basic of the basic.


yes, I am sure they are.
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
okay DC- after rereading your second definition you are correct, there is no difference between what I said, and what you said on your second post. However your initial definition was incorrect, that belief requires evidence. I do apologize.


Thank you...

But, while belief in general does not have to be based on evidence, there are two sub-categories of belief, one of them is called faith. Faith is belief without regard to the evidence, you've already agreed with this definition. The second sub-category of belief is then belief WITH regard to the evidence. We will refer to this as non-faith based belief, since if faith is belief without regard to the evidence, anything else is belief WITH regard to the evidence.

Do you accept this distinction between Faith-based belief and non-faith-based belief?
Scyfurion
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2012
I'd say if you have evidence to the truth of a belief it is no longer a belief... It would be at the very least a theory if not a law... would it not?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
DC says
belief is what you hold to be true...
-while scy quotes a reference: "...confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof"

Question: why would the professional reference use more and different words, if what DC says would have been perfectly sufficient? Perhaps the word 'hold' is not sufficient...

As we can see the word 'hold' has dozens of meanings.
http://www.thefre...com/hold

-But perhaps one of these would suit DCs 'exact' same meaning:

8.
a. To keep in the mind or convey as a judgment, conviction, or point of view: holds that this economic program is the only answer to high prices.
b. To assert or affirm, especially formally: This doctrine holds that people are inherently good.
c. To regard in a certain way: I hold you in high esteem.

-But which one? I fear we would need much word calculating to decide for sure. Im sorry, 'decide' for 'sure'.

I suspect that the scys reference is in fact more 'exact'.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (22) Aug 22, 2012
-and thus 'different' in substantial and important ways.
Deathclock
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
I'll assume you do since I have to go soon and won't be around until later tonight...

Now, regarding somethings existence, you can either believe it exists or you can believe that it does not exist.

But, you can ALSO not have a belief in regard to the things existence.

These THREE possibilities are distinct from each other. The first two are beliefs, you either believe it exists or you believe that it does not exist... the third is NOT a belief, you do NOT belief that it exists AND you do NOT believe that it does not exist.

In the third case you simply abstain from forming a believe regarding the existence of that entity. The reason for this is that there exists no evidence to support a non-faith-based belief in the existence of that entity and you reject all faith-based beliefs as being irrational. (This is my position).

Do you agree with this?
Deathclock
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
I'd say if you have evidence to the truth of a belief it is no longer a belief... It would be at the very least a theory if not a law... would it not?


A theory or a law (I assume you mean in the context of the scientific method) are not mutually exclusive with a belief... a theory is also a belief... these things are subsets of each other, in fact a theory would be a subset of a non-faith-based belief.

And Otto is just being a wanker for the sake of being a wanker so now I am ignoring him...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (24) Aug 22, 2012
I'll assume you do since I have to go soon and won't be around until later tonight...

Now, regarding somethings existence, you can either believe it exists or you can believe that it does not exist.

But, you can ALSO not have a belief in regard to the things existence.

These THREE possibilities are distinct from each other. The first two are beliefs, you either believe it exists or you believe that it does not exist... the third is NOT a belief, you do NOT belief that it exists AND you do NOT believe that it does not exist.

In the third case you simply abstain from forming a believe regarding the existence of that entity. The reason for this is that there exists no evidence to support a non-faith-based belief in the existence of that entity and you reject all faith-based beliefs as being irrational. (This is my position).

Do you agree with this?
I believe that hitchens would quickly rip you a new asshole if you were debating him in this manner. But sadly he is DEAD.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
-Poisoned no doubt by religionists because he posed a direct threat to their way of life. AS SHOULD WE ALL.
Scyfurion
3.8 / 5 (6) Aug 22, 2012
These THREE possibilities are distinct from each other. The first two are beliefs, you either believe it exists or you believe that it does not exist... the third is NOT a belief, you do NOT belief that it exists AND you do NOT believe that it does not exist.


I have to give you credit DC, you have articulated how it should be. Your persistence had paid off and at last we agree.

But we still have those who indeed have formed a belief that god does not exist. I have no issue with any 3 of these ideas, but my personal issue comes when our closed minds result in someone being attacked for believing (any side). I am much inclined to come to the defend someone who does believe as much as someone who does not.

We are supposed to be higher evolved beings, but even the best of us resort to shunning and belittle those who propose a different opinion.
rwinners
1 / 5 (6) Aug 22, 2012
"You cannot have a belief in the non-existence of something because you cannot have evidence for the non-existence of something."

Garbage. If you wish to argue semantics, I'll leave now.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (25) Aug 22, 2012
1. The gods of the holy books DO NOT EXIST. Unequivocal evidence tells us this.

2. Belief in these non-existent gods causes all manner of injustice, suffering, and horror in the world.

3. Therefore, belief in these non-existent gods MUST BE RESISTED with the hope that they END, if we are to continue to consider ourselves as civilized creatures with any sort of future to look forward to.

Watch the vids.
http://www.youtub...McTeLbes
http://www.youtub...brGcpyzQ
Scientist_Steve
5 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2012
@ otto
You've made your point. Let it go.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (24) Aug 22, 2012
@ otto
You've made your point. Let it go.
If you dont want to disagree or dont have anything relevant to say I would have to ask you to mind your own business. Ok?
http://www.usatod...216350/1
Scientist_Steve
5 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
@Otto
No, not ok. I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say that we are tired of hearing about the complete collapse of life as we know it due to your views on religion. Hell, I even agree with some of your observations about religion, but your machine gun posts on threads like this get fucking old. I was trying to mind my own business and casually read the entertaining posts by others, but was constantly having to wade through the shit you just keep peddling. YOU are almost worse now than the religious nuts.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (26) Aug 22, 2012
Interesting... I was looking thru scys history and found this
Dog... Otto is a certified troll. He sniffs out anyone who mentions religion and then proceeds to send an entire thread down the toilet. We must treat him as we treat any want-to-be megalomaniac hell bend on subjugating anyone he believes to be lesser beings (in his case anyone who believes in god because god didn't give him what he prayed for one Christmas). We ignore him, and simply keep an eye on them to insure others do not fall into their trap of eternal yapping. In the end we really don't care what he is talking about anyway. If we all recognize not to respond to these people eventually there will be no place for them, and we can finally get back to talking about the damn Chimeric Monkeys!
-from when this person first showed up. Seems we have had words before.

Hard to tell who is who in these threads. I have since read identical sentiment from the late pussycat_sicko sockpuppet.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (25) Aug 22, 2012
@Otto
No, not ok. I think I can speak for just about everyone
-Except for all those who generously uprate me.
when I say that we are tired of hearing about the complete collapse of life as we know it due to your views on religion...I was trying to mind my own business
Try a little harder.
and casually read the entertaining posts by others
And as I say, bite me. I see 5 pages of posts here from numerous people. And I will have my turn.
but was constantly having to wade through the shit you just keep peddling. YOU are almost worse now than the religious nuts.
So sorry you dont know how to skip over posts you dont like. As I say its just TOO BAD isnt it? Steve? The SCIENTIST?
Hell, I even agree with some of your observations about religion, but your machine gun posts on threads like this get fucking old.
I think you are being disingenuous. Anyway who cares?
Estevan57
2.5 / 5 (19) Aug 22, 2012
@Otto
No, not ok. I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say that we are tired of hearing about the complete collapse of life as we know it due to your views on religion. Hell, I even agree with some of your observations about religion, but your machine gun posts on threads like this get fucking old. I was trying to mind my own business and casually read the entertaining posts by others, but was constantly having to wade through the shit you just keep peddling. YOU are almost worse now than the religious nuts.

I am in total and absolute agreement with this statement, begin the abusive wordplay.
Estevan57
2.7 / 5 (21) Aug 22, 2012
Hard to tell who is who in these threads. I have since read identical sentiment from the late pussycat_sicko sockpuppet.
- Otto
When a lot of people think you're a jerk, maybe it's not just them.
Thrasymachus
3.1 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
Otto's off his meds again, apparently. And those of you who consider yourselves rational atheists shouldn't count Otto as an ally. He's as religionist any any Southern Baptist Evangelical, his god's just a trans-historical, global, Illuminati-type conspiracy group.

What is it about Physorg that attracts the wackiest wackos conceivable? The guys living under the bridge nearby who are always high on paint thinner and smoke the butts of cigarettes people throw out of their cars are more reasonable.

And as much as I appreciate keeping things simple, you can have evidence that something doesn't exist, in a general sense. It's just damn hard to check it. You'd have to check everything in the universe to be sure, but as you proceeded, you'd be more and more sure. That's the thing about evidence, it never tells us anything absolutely. It just updates our prior probabilities that we estimate that something is true.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
And as much as I appreciate keeping things simple, you can have evidence that something doesn't exist, in a general sense.


If you tell me that a cat exists at these GPS coordinates and between this time and this time I can go to those coordinates between those two times and determine if the cat exists or not, that is not evidence, that is proof.

If you tell me that a being exists who can make a square circle I can state with confidence that that being does not exist because it defies basic logic.

But, if you tell me that some being with nebulous properties exists somewhere in the universe, and that being is not contingent on a logical contradiction then I cannot provide evidence otherwise, no one can.

You were right about PROVING that that being does not exist, you would have to inspect all corners of the universe, with all possible means of detection (might be invisible, might be non-corporeal, etc)... but I am not talking about proof, I am talking about evidence.
Thrasymachus
3.1 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
The problem with a belief in god is that god is supposed to be able to leave no evidence for himself, while at the same time, everything is supposed to be evidence for him. Or them, if you believe in more than one god. The problem with this is that the truth of such a belief can't be updated, no matter what new data presents itself.

So you're left with the prior probability you assign to the truth of the claim that god exists. The most charitable would be to assign a 50% chance that there is no god, and a 50% chance that there is some kind of god, and since that probability never gets updated, those guys are what we commonly call agnostics, technical semantic philology notwithstanding.

However, the most charitable position is not the most rational position in this case, because if the data is incapable of updating the prior probability, then it doesn't make any sense to assign a prior probability at all. The refusal to assign any probability to the existence of god is atheism.
Thrasymachus
4.1 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
Actually, regarding your cat example, DC, that's not proof, it's just really strong evidence. You could be hallucinating when you think you're visiting that spot, or the cat could be really well camouflaged. Lots of possible, checkable, alternatives. When it comes to the real world, there is no such thing as proof. Proof is only for math, geometry and logic. Which is why you can prove that a guy who can make a square circle doesn't exist, because you're not proving that some guy doesn't exist, you're proving that that geometric form can't exist. The real world, that thing that gives us all our data, only gets evidence. And we are talking about the existence of god in the real world, right? Evidence never proves anything. It only makes propositions more likely to be true.
Deathclock
2.8 / 5 (9) Aug 22, 2012
Right... I agree... I just didn't want to get into it that deeply.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
The problem with this is that the truth of such a belief can't be updated, no matter what new data presents itself.


That's why its called faith.

Why is faith important for human survival and success?

If every human waited until he was 100% certain of everything in life, there would soon be no life.

As Planck noted, even scientists have faith in an ordered universe and the 'laws' they identify.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (24) Aug 22, 2012
Otto's off his meds again...just a trans-historical, global, Illuminati-type conspiracy group.
Hello philo wannabe. Got any big fat juicy words for the audience?
The problem with a belief in god is that god is supposed to be able to leave no evidence for himself
I suppose this will do. Where does it say that god is not supposed to leave evidence?? Did not god give moses evidence in the form of tablets?

But we can look at the evidence and conclude that 2M jews never left goshen to roam the sinai, and that sinai and palestine were at the time well-staffed with garrisoned egyptian soldiers. Heck they cant even find a mount sinai that moses would have climbed, to receive gods word. Twice.

We should be able to find evidence for the exodus, for the joshuan rampage, for solomons kingdom, and for the flood. But there is only convincing evidence that these things COULD NOT have occurred. And so the god who described them in his book, cannot exist.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (24) Aug 22, 2012
When a lot of people think you're a jerk, maybe it's not just them.
Im sorry am I addressing estivan or the little girl he pays to rate people for him? I wouldnt want to say the wrong thing you know.
If every human waited until he was 100% certain of everything in life, there would soon be no life.
I suppose this works equally well for the animals who need to consult oracles before they mate or eat grass. If humans needed what you call faith to make decisions, that being belief DESPITE evidence, then humanity would have died out long ago. Humans have ALWAYS relied on evidence to inform them. Faith is a very recent and wholly artificial cultural artifact and some would say, anti-life; pathological.

But dogs do make out well by doing tricks on the faith that they will get biscuits for the effort. Even though this makes no sense. Biscuits are worth a little embarrassment, as is immortality I suppose.
Calenur
3 / 5 (2) Aug 22, 2012
What a remarkably misleading title.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (13) Aug 22, 2012
Why is faith important for human survival and success?

If every human waited until he was 100% certain of everything in life, there would soon be no life.


Bullshit.

Have you ignored the entire conversation thus far? Faith is belief WITHOUT REGARD FOR THE EVIDENCE. You can believe in something without being 100% certain of it and not having faith in it, it's called rational evidence-based belief.

In fact, if anything "faith" would be described as being 100% sure of something, otherwise why would you ignore contradictory evidence?

As Planck noted, even scientists have faith in an ordered universe and the 'laws' they identify.


Planck was wrong, this is not faith, it is epistemology. The null hypothesis is to assume that what we observe currently is how things were in the past if we have no evidence to the contrary.
Thrasymachus
3.4 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2012
Hello, conspiracy nut. Long time, eh? Anyway, you still haven't learned to read more than two words at a time, or follow a train of thought, so not much has changed.

The phrase you're trying to quibble with (unsuccessfully, I might add) is "god is supposed to be able to." Not that he does, or should. This means that any evidence you wish to claim is evidence supporting the belief that god exists is just as likely to not be any sort of evidence whatsoever.

And regarding the question asked earlier of whether one would proclaim a belief in god if some dude appeared in the sky appeared and proclaimed himself such, personally, I would answer "no." I would marvel at the fantastic technology of whatever alien or person could pull off such a feat, but it's not evidence for the existence of a god. There can be no evidence for or against the existence of god. That's why assigning a prior probability for gods existence = 0%, i.e., the null assignment, is the only rational choice.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (23) Aug 22, 2012
The phrase you're trying to quibble with (unsuccessfully, I might add)
Naw I just dont like to wrestle with clumsey philospeak like
Not that he does, or should. This means that any evidence you wish to claim is evidence supporting the belief that god exists is just as likely to not be any sort of evidence whatsoever
Perhaps you are just out of practice?

Gods minions can be expected to leave PLENTY of evidence. And the book describing what they did and who they were, also claims to be direct evidence of gods existance. GOD SAYS SO in this book. Shekinah.

And yet, minions left no evidence, and apparently uninformed inhabitants at the time left PLENTY of contrary evidence.

Ergo, the bible god never existed and the book originated in some other fashion. Perhaps satan or the demiurge wrote it. Or perhaps it was only people. Very clever Leaders, who needed such brilliant Artifice in Their Quest for world domination, is my guess.

I think They succeeded. How about you?
Thrasymachus
3.7 / 5 (10) Aug 22, 2012
Well, now I know what to get Otto for Christmas. A straw man he can repeatedly knock down. And maybe a few red herrings he can have for lunch.

And just because I like teasing the religious of all stripes, but the crazy, immoderate religious like Otto here most of all, I think I feel a prophecy coming on.

"And lo, in the time of reckoning, the Moderators shall appear forth on the Physorg comments, and they shall smite the Trolls, the religious zealots, the conspiracy theorists, and pseudo-scientific wackos, and rend all their works to dust. And there shall be great rejoicing among the true People of Physorg, who read its articles for news and intelligent commentary on scientific matters. And pigs will grow wings and fly."

Now, what prior probability shall we set for this messiah prophecy? I'm inclined to think it's about as likely as Christianity's or Otto's.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 22, 2012
rational evidence-based belief.

This is why many believe in God. God has provided evidence to them reinforcing their faith.
In the movie Contact, atheist astronomer Jodi Foster somehow traveled to Vega and conversed with an alien but according to the video data, nothing happened to her.
Reminds me a little of how so many people refuse to read and heed the centuries of literature describing what happens when people, like Oedepus, do stupid things.
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (13) Aug 22, 2012
Why doesn't God heal amputees? I've seen SO SO SO many christians praise god for answering their prayers for anything from the dumbest most trivial bullshit to the most significant. My stepfather in fact had cancerous tumors in his nose and ears and all I see my mom and sisters post on facebook is asking people to pray for him and then praising jesus when his doctor visits go well... (and of course not saying anything against god when they don't go well...)

So why doesn't God heal amputees? Does God hate amputees? Do amputees not deserve to be healed but Tebow deserves to score touchdowns?

Why do SO many people think god answers their prayers when god NEVER answers the prayers of amputees?

Stop being a fucking idiot.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (24) Aug 23, 2012
"And lo, in the time of reckoning, the Moderators shall appear forth on the Physorg comments, and they shall smite the Trolls, the religious zealots, the conspiracy theorists, and pseudo-scientific wackos, and rend all their works to dust.
You forgot the philos whose mantras are no longer relevant. But they never were were they?
Physorg, who read its articles for news and intelligent commentary on scientific matters. And pigs will grow wings and fly."
Let's see... You're the one who liked to make up his own philospeak definition of morality rather than cite at least one genuine philo, who has already done this. As I remember frajo loved it.
Well, now I know what to get Otto for Christmas. A straw man he can repeatedly knock down. And maybe a few red herrings he can have for lunch.
Philo concepts of god are red herrings. All concepts we have of god originate in the books. The holybook gods are the only ones worth discussing as there ARE no others.
djr
4.6 / 5 (8) Aug 23, 2012
scyfurion - "we shouldn't attack people because they think differently than us" It depends on what you mean by attack, and also in what way their thought differs. If attack means to verbally challenge - then I believe anything is fair game. I am an advocate for rationalism - and have no problem in expressing my disdain for superstition. If your belief system encourages you to hurt others - and engage in violence (see what different religious sects are doing to each other across the globe) - then that ratchets up the issue - and it is OK to physically intervene to protect a person from being stoned to death by some religious zealot.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (21) Aug 23, 2012
In the movie Contact, atheist astronomer Jodi Foster somehow traveled to Vega and conversed with an alien but according to the video data, nothing happened to her.
Reminds me a little of how so many people refuse to read and heed the centuries of literature describing what happens when people, like Oedepus, do stupid things.
As I reminded ryggy a long time ago, the video data recorded 17 minutes of nothing, which would have been central to any investigation in the real world from the beginning.

This sort of foible is on a par with the last 11 verses of mark which objective investigators have shown are adulterations. But you religionists are quite willing to ignore that as well. I bet Jodi foster wouldn't.
CapitalismPrevails
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 24, 2012
Much like some cultures dance for their gods in order to get rain, Western participants will spend money on problems even when that expenditure has no demonstrable effect. Even when witnessing hundreds of occasions where it made no difference, they keep sacrificing large portions of their income to the perceived source of the problem. Only if they personally experience dozens of disappointments will they slowly stop sacrificing.



LOL, this is just like how athiests worship AGW theory.
djr
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 24, 2012
"LOL, this is just like how athiests worship AGW theory."

Yep - we all go to atheist church every Sunday morning - and sing hymns from our 'Origin of the Species' hymnals - and say prayers to a statue of Al Gore (sarcasm). Perhaps what you view as 'worship' is a little more along these lines - atheists tend to respect a rational, and scientific approach to thinking. A rationalist will of course understand that current science indicates that our globe is warming, and the prime candidate for a cause of that warming is greenhouse gases being pumped into our atmosphere. Understanding a construct like rationalism is difficult when you have spent your life believing in superstition.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (23) Aug 25, 2012
When a lot of people think you're a jerk, maybe it's not just them.
But perhaps all of them are you. Ever think of that? Except for trashy that is. He is all of himself.
Estevan57
2.4 / 5 (17) Aug 25, 2012
Since I don't use sockpuppts or enlist others, logically, I would not think of that.

Go back on your meds, the world begs you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (21) Aug 25, 2012
Since I don't use sockpuppts or enlist others, logically, I would not think of that.

Well lets see...
socialists_fail (pussy)
Ghost_Busters1/2/6 (pussy?)
TheOtherGhost_ofOtto (pussy?)
KissOttosHairyButt_orBeDownvoted (pussy)
Make_A_Hole (pussy)
Troll_MountainHigh (pussy)
Judge_Fudge (pussy)
Minstrel_Cycle (pussy)
-and others.

-All new, all without comments, all sockpuppets, all upvoting you, most have downvoted me...but not lately. They all seem to be concentrated on restoring your tarnished rating, as they tried with pussy.

Funny - they all seem to appear about the same time YOU DID.

Conclusion - youre a liar little man. Or woman.
Estevan57
2.2 / 5 (18) Aug 25, 2012
They are all free to do as they wish. I have No connection with them except for being in the same forum at times. I do like the Minstral Cycle name though, clever.

Sockpuppets are YOUR game, Otto.

Conclusion : Make up anything you want, it's your game, not mine. Give me lists of people and aliases I have never heard of and have a ball. Draw conclusions, cast doubts, assign intents and purposes.
Make me a true devil. Then we can be "The Devil and the Troll". :)
Caliban
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 25, 2012
This is clearly a puff piece, intended to stir some interest for the book release.

And, judging from the comments, most of you puffed way too much.

I read over the paper itself, and nowhere did it make any specific distinction between religious, agnostic, or atheist among the participants. It would appear that the headline is a mere attention-grabbing, pot-stirring strategy to generate interest and comment.

As far as the subject's atheism and the behavior of atheists in the study, it is a matter of assumption only, and, as kochevnic points out, the observed behavior was most likely an attempt by the participants to rationally delineate a decision rule in the game.

Unfortunately, these "researchers" clearly intend to make hay out of this apparently innate behavior, and position themselves as sources of expertise in the planning and deployment of the coming theocracy.

Wonder how many stops in D.C. will be made by the book tour?

TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (18) Aug 25, 2012
"Even when witnessing hundreds of occasions where it made no difference, they keep sacrificing large portions of their income to the perceived source of the problem. Only if they personally experience dozens of disappointments will they slowly stop sacrificing."

-Sounds familiar...

"For most people gambling is fun and entertaining, but for some it's a serious problem that continues even after the fun is gone.

Have you ever lied about how much  
   you gamble?
Have you ever felt the need to bet
   more and more money?"

-etc.

Call the helpline.
defactoseven
3.5 / 5 (8) Aug 26, 2012
Deathclock, Otto, Caliban, kochevnik, djr, you and a couple of others on this site are highly respected by me. You are all pretty great thinkers and non-theists like myself. This whole comment block has been very interesting to say the least and you make the points more succinctly than I ever could. I have been making most of your points to theists for years but I will fall short of saying it's futile because it is purposeful; someone has to do it and I encourage you to keep it up.

I just need to ask you one thing... You DO know you've been had, don't you? You have been trolled seriously by kiddie troll fundamentalists who practice these skills on a daily basis... probably over prayer. These guys surf around looking for this very combination of intelligence and non-belief doing their job of creating division and angst. It will be promulgated by their peers and put out of context to pump up their religious rhetoric. cont.
defactoseven
3.6 / 5 (9) Aug 26, 2012
I think you guys know this but it's sad to see the points get bashed because you've been used. I know that's nasty to say but I'm pretty sure that's what it is.

If you're having fun with it, great. Enjoy. Great exercise. If you're not, step back and figure out who your dealing with and what it's worth. Are you in charge or not. I would hope you wouldn't let them get away with it. When fundamentalists don't get the point the first or second time around, just drop them. Their stupidity comes from years of indoctrination not lack of intelligence, at least not in these surroundings. Otherwise, get ready for a ride either to be controlled or hopefully to stop them in their tracks. There are ways to turn the tables but it won't be found in the kind of intelligent banter you are capable of.

I appreciate the openness of this site but sometimes I wonder how much they have to get paid before letting in the religious BS.
kochevnik
3.2 / 5 (10) Aug 26, 2012
Deathclock, Otto, Caliban, kochevnik, djr, you and a couple of others on this site are highly respected by me.
Thnx. man. Every week I learn more about the depths and depravity. It doesn't seem to have an end. I have to make it a hobby so I can limit the time. As for fundies they are continually making war. As Otto ssays by reproduction, inducement and collusion with dictators, or by limiting family health planning. Rest assured that they sit upon foundations of quicksand. But no one person can stave the insidious abuse of reason and love of treachery for humanism. Only reason can bring man out of his primal darkness far enough to decide his own destiny. These soothsayers are simply primal atavists: Inchoates expending much willpower toward institutionalizing the animal belief system at the expense of reason. Man may go down, but not by willfull ignorance and dogma if we have any say in it

I have converted many xtians to reason and I never tire of this task. Amun Ra
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (24) Aug 26, 2012
You are all pretty great thinkers
Danke.
and non-theists
Otto is 'anti-religionist'. Big difference.
I appreciate the openness of this site but sometimes I wonder how much they have to get paid before letting in the religious BS.
Traffic über alles.

I am always amazed to realize how little religionists know about all the arguments against their superstitions. Fundys provide a valuable opportunity to present the evidence. Imbeciles like estevan and his sockpuppet menagerie provide entertainment which is also educational.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (22) Aug 26, 2012
I just need to ask you one thing... You DO know you've been had, don't you? You have been trolled seriously by kiddie troll fundamentalists
By the way I see you're new. The clever but stupid vermin currently infesting this site like estevan, Obama_socks, pussycat et al seem to enjoy trying to fool others by assuming contrary personalities.

And so all noobs are currently under suspicion. Including those offering praise.
defactoseven
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2012
otto wrote:
"And so all noobs are currently under suspicion. Including those offering praise."

Understood. I've been lurking around here for over a year and I have watched the ebb and flow of certain personalities which also seem to follow certain similarities on other sites. As far as credentials, I'll just have to live up to some standard that is unambiguous and if you think I'm out of character, say so. I have only just started posting here and I only do so if I am sure I'm adding something useful, never when it is truly over my head. But I've learned a great deal in lurk mode including but not limited to real vs. strange science, and I'm fairly good at knowing the difference between reasonable opinion/argument and blowing off steam. I don't think you'll find me difficult... /although/.. I have also started to make up and down marks based on my own assessments of arguments I understand... never on what I don't know and never if it is personal in nature.
defactoseven
4 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2012
for the record, I am also anti-religionist if I understand your definition. I am not in any way militant in that respect but I voice my opinion of the matter without hesitation. I don't disallow anyone's opinion if they are at least on a path toward a non-theist reality. But I have run the gamete of agnostic through strong atheist in the last 25 years and I fine no usefulness for religion in society whatsoever barring musical and visual art which aesthetically stands on it's own and philosophically can remind us of human degradation and depravity rather than mythical, nonsensical elation.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2012
I don't disallow anyone's opinion if they are at least on a path toward a non-theist reality.


How intolerant of you!

Paul had an interesting take in a letter to the Ephesaians:

" For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. "

We have a secular culture that worships death. Fertility rates are falling in the 'atheist' west and it won't be long before atheists no longer exist. 'Liberals' worship abortion, contraception, euthanasia.
Rand, an atheist herself, noted man is the only animal that can and does choose suicide for it self.
Ehrlich disciples and AGWites demand population control. Don't worry, they will soon all be gone and the only humans remaining will be those who embrace life and want to create more.
Today there are only Mormons, Catholics and Muslims that promote making more people.

ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2012
"Across the western world the fertility rate of religious conservatives far outstrips that of non-believers, so much so that modern liberal secularism is endangered."
"Many orthodox Catholics I know have 3 or 4 children – that's not a recklessly high number, but in a society where the atheist fertility rate is around 1 child per woman, that advantage will show over a few decades, especially since orthodox Catholics have a far smaller drop-off rate than their liberal brethren."
http://blogs.tele...-tablet/

Creating and raising children is one of the greatest acts of faith people can engage in.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2012
"Contrary to the doom-mongers' diatribes, the real problem today is not over-population but a 'birth-dearth'. The world's total fertility rate has declined to 2.9 children per woman, its lowest level ever. This is down from 4.2 in 1985. Bear in mind that 2.1 is necessary for a stable replacement rate. There are now around 80 countries—representing 40 per cent of the world's population—with fertility rates below replacement level. For example, Russia, Germany and Italy now fill more coffins than cradles. Italy's fertility rate is an amazing 1.24. In Australia the rate is 1.8."
http://creation.c...rminator
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 26, 2012
"Mary Eberstadt, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, California, has suggested several ways in which the experience of forming a family might stimulate religious feelings among parents, at least some of the time. She notes that pregnancy and birth, the business of caring for children, and the horror of contemplating their death, can stimulate an intensity of purpose that might make parents more open to religious sentiments."
"If family life does contribute to religiosity, then having larger families might backfire on unbelievers. It might make them more religious. And since faith is still largely a family affair, their children would then be more likely to be religious, too. "
http://moreintell...ertility

So atheists are screwed. If they have more children they risk become religious. If they don't, they die out.
Ain't it a bitch?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (23) Aug 26, 2012
We have a secular culture that worships death. Fertility rates are falling in the 'atheist' west and it won't be long before atheists no longer exist. 'Liberals' worship abortion, contraception, euthanasia.
Hey I can also make the bible say anything I want it to, yes? Reason demands sustainable population growth. Religionists demand overgrowth, conflict, war, and death. They have faith that their god will deliver them alone from evil. But evidence proves them wrong doesn't it?

Religionists uniformly worship death. They believe their suffering will end when they die, and the suffering of their enemies will begin. That is why they care little about making this world a better place and of providing it a future.

Religions are Designed to annihilate each other. When the dust finally clears only meek and scientifically-minded atheists will be left standing. Like Noah on Ararat he will look around him and say 'What the hell was THAT?'
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (25) Aug 26, 2012
Xianity is a deathcult of martyrs. You hang an effigy of the anglo jesus nailed to a cross on your walls to remind yourselves of how holy it is to suffer and die. Why don't you pick something a little more pleasant to remind yourselves of how precious LIFE is?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (23) Aug 26, 2012
"Mary Eberstadt, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, California, has suggested several ways in which the experience of forming a family might stimulate religious feelings among parents, at least some of the time. She notes that pregnancy and birth, the business of caring for children, and the horror of contemplating their death, can stimulate an intensity of purpose that might make parents more open to religious sentiments."
If you religionists weren't so busy SELFISHLY trying to overfill the world, then many more people could experience the joys of raising children. But even as western societies have achieved sustainable growth they are having to endure the economic burden of the hordes of religionist refugees, driven westward and northward by the misery CAUSED by religions in their own countries.

And the only solution ryggy can think of is more religion, more people, and more misery.

Are you serious?
Caliban
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 26, 2012

And the only solution ryggy can think of is more religion, more people, and more misery.


--which equals mo', mo', mo' MONEY to be vacuumed up by the minions of Mammon, the deity that riggy serves with such slavishness.

Unbridled reproduction is essential to support the "freimarket", and any interruption or reduction in the supply of new consumers is to be fought --savagely-- and at any cost. Therein lies the purpose behind The War On Women, Abortion, and Individual Rights GLOBALLY --and all the hypocritical pseudoreligious, chest-pounding, moralistic propaganda in support of this War. It's all about a filthy dollar...

Ain't that RIGHT, Swenson?

SatanLover
1 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2012
religion used to be the foundation of society that is now changing rapidly. i am wondering what the freemasons are thinking.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Aug 26, 2012
It's amusing to observe how atheists who claim to be rational 'scientists' dismiss the demographic data predicting their demise.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2012
"Austria is the only country which records the religious belief of parents but their figure, of 0.85 children per atheist woman, is far below replacement rate (2.1) and below even the most barren European country's average rate, which is about 1.2. And since most people inherit their parents' political and religious world views, this is bad news for Team Dawkins."
http://blogs.tele...g-breed/

If Europeans are not creating more wealth in numbers how do they expect to pay for their lavish retirement plans.
djr
5 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2012
"It's amusing to observe how atheists who claim to be rational 'scientists' dismiss the demographic data predicting their demise."

Not at all Rygg - I am glad to be a member of an extremely smart group - http://www.scribd...nn-et-al . Atheists are also members of a very fast growing group - and the future looks very bright in terms of our numbers. "The percentage of Americans 30 and younger who harbor some doubts about God's existence appears to be growing quickly" From - http://religion.b...ennials/
ryggesogn2
Aug 26, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2012
"Rates below two children indicate populations decreasing in size and growing older. Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years."
https://www.cia.g...ank.html
"The only exceptions seem to be some small religious communities. "
http://www.theatl...drop.htm
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2012

"Rapid aging followed by depopulation on a scale not seen since the collapse of the Roman Empire threatens the modern world, writes Phillip Longman, an American journalist. Buried inside his book is the startling forecast that America's evangelical Christians will breed themselves into a position of global dominance. That idea horrifies Longman, who spends most of his pages hatching schemes to prevent this from happening. "
"The reader must fall back on his argument that faith, not pecuniary calculation, will motivate today's prospective parents. The reproductive power of an increasingly Christian United States will enhance the strategic position of the US over the next two generations, leaving infertile Western Europe to sink slowly into insignificance. "
http://www.atimes...a01.html

The only alternative will be for atheists is to use the state to attack religion. Which is what they are now attempting to do.
djr
5 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2012
The only alternative will be for atheists is to use the state to attack religion. Which is what they are now attempting to do.

Atheists certainly do frequently attack religion. I have not seen any evidence of the state doing this - do you have any you could show us? I think the best alternative is to let the natural course of events move us forward. The day will surely come when superstitious belief as practiced by Christians, Moslems et al will be as extinct as belief in the the Greek Gods.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2012
I have not seen any evidence of the state doing this -

I am not surprised.

"The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued a statement about the administration's contraception and sterilization mandate that captured exactly the danger that we face:

Most troubling, is the Administration's underlying rationale for its decision, which appears to be a view that if a religious entity is not insular, but engaged with broader society, it loses its "religious" character and liberties. Many faiths firmly believe in being open to and engaged with broader society and fellow citizens of other faiths. The Administration's ruling makes the price of such an outward approach the violation of an organization's religious principles. This is deeply disappointing.5"
http://www.usccb....rty.cfm/
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2012
"Five Christian men were threatened with arrest for sharing their faith on a public sidewalk in Virginia.
A Christian student at a university in Missouri was threatened with having her degree withheld because she refused to write a letter to the state legislature expressing her support for homosexual adoption."
http://www.allian...-liberty
"Government Attacking Religious Freedom in 'Nearly Half of the World's Countries'"
http://cnsnews.co...ountries
"Whether it's a leftist lunatic with a gun or the government with its laws and regulations, liberals are now using coercion in an attempt to drive faith out of the lives of citizens and business owners."
http://www.unionl...08239937
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2012
"Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Chick Fil-A

"Ald.Proco "Joe" Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A's effort to build its second Chicago store, which would be in the Logan Square neighborhood, following company President Dan Cathy's remarks last week that he was "guilty as charged" for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman."
http://hotair.com...-values/

"According to David French, president of The Fire (a public advocacy group), Christian groups are considered "religious" whereas Muslim or Hindu groups are considered "cultural." "
http://www.cru.or...cked.htm
SatanLover
1 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2012
I believe in nothing
Not the end and not the start
I believe in nothing
Not the earth and not the stars
I believe in nothing
Not the day or not the dark
I believe in nothing
But the beating of our hearts
I believe in nothing
100 suns until we part
I believe in nothing
Not in sin and not in God
I believe in nothing
Not in peace and not in war
I believe in nothing
But the truth in who we are
djr
5 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2012
"I am not surprised." Well Rygg - I looked at your links - and I agree that there are some areas of concern. I agree that a city banning a business from operating - because of the private beliefs of the owner - is very troublesome. However - there is also the other side to the issue. Here in Oklahoma - we pray to "our father in heaven" at the graduation ceremonies, and the football games, and the baccalaureate etc. They are pushing to have intelligent design taught in school districts across the country. So net net - I see there being a tension between freedom, and a government that has to serve a very diverse populace, and I see problems on both sides - and definitely not some conspiracy to persecute the Christians.
Maat
2.8 / 5 (11) Aug 27, 2012
Xianity is a deathcult of martyrs. You hang an effigy of the anglo jesus nailed to a cross on your walls to remind yourselves of how holy it is to suffer and die. Why don't you pick something a little more pleasant to remind yourselves of how precious LIFE is?


A lot of people downvoted this, but it is 100% true and an important point. Christianity is a death cult, it's primary focus is atonement via blood sacrifice... I'm not sure how so many people can misunderstand this or recoil in offense when it is brought to their attention... you worship a man nailed to a cross, who had to die in order for you to be granted salvation... the bible states, explicitly, that blood must be shed to pay for the sins of man... maybe you Christians need to learn some things about your own religion that are conveniently ignored in sunday school.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2012
maybe you Christians need to learn some things about your own religion that are conveniently ignored in sunday school.

To this I have to agree.
Because when I read things like this:
I agree that a city banning a business from operating - because of the private beliefs of the owner - is very troublesome.

...it strikes me as odd. A 'christian business' is a contradiction in terms (unless you are absolutely clueless about who Jesus Christ, according to the bible, was and what he stood for)
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (23) Aug 27, 2012
die in order for you to be granted salvation... the bible states, explicitly, that blood must be shed to pay for the sins of man... maybe you Christians need to learn some things about your own religion that are conveniently ignored in sunday school.
As the religions inevitably create the conditions of suffering and death through their selfish desire to outgrow their counterparts, they would of course have to find ways of making suffering and death honorable and desirable.

Religions were selected for as an evolutionary process. The ones which were better at outgrowing and overrunning their enemies, are the ones that survived. And so we at left with the most virulent, the most violent, and the most ruinous of all that have ever existed.

Ryggy fails to include war, revolution, and starvation in his growth figures. Growth beyond 2.1 kids/family will inevitably lead to these things. This is why their beliefs condition adherents to welcome them.

'Not peace but a sword.' -said Jesus
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 27, 2012
A 'christian business' is a contradiction in terms

Only in the mind of a socialist.

The Christians who colonized Massachusetts and founded Harvard were prosperous in business as are the Dutch Calvinists and Mormons.

There are even a few Catholics who support free markets.

"Creation of Wealth - Material impoverishment undermines the conditions that allow humans to flourish. The best means of reducing poverty is to protect private property rights through the rule of law. This allows people to enter into voluntary exchange circles in which to express their creative nature. "
http://www.acton....inciples

"7 Inspirational Christian Business Leaders"
http://christianb...leaders/

TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (23) Aug 27, 2012
It's amusing to observe how atheists who claim to be rational 'scientists' dismiss the demographic data predicting their demise.
I predict that the next round of religion-caused horrors - pogrom, engineered pandemic, nuclear war - will so disgust humanity that we may finally have the chance to be free of it. This happened with monarchism, fascism, communism. Religionism is just another -ism which can and will be thrown off as the species matures.

But first I think things have to get bad enough and obvious enough to generate the collective will to do so. Europeans had reached that point by the end of ww2.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2012
Here in Oklahoma - we pray to "our father in heaven" at the graduation ceremonies, and the football games, and the baccalaureate etc.


You are FORCED to pray? How do those evil Christians force you to pray?
I lived in Jeddah for three year and I was not Muslim. I respected their praying 5 times a day and following their rules during Ramadan.
Speaking of Muslims, where are the atheist attacks on monotheistic Islam? Maybe the Muslims killed them?
Those atheists are not very courageous in their non-belief in only attacking Christians who won't kill them.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (23) Aug 27, 2012
The Christians who colonized Massachusetts and founded Harvard were prosperous in business as are the Dutch Calvinists and Mormons.
Fair and open freemarket competition cannot operate as long as religionists who favor like-minded participants, continue to exist.

Religion abhors fair competition. It is at the core, tribalism. Why can't you see this rygg?
I lived in Jeddah for three year and I was not Muslim. I respected their praying 5 times a day and following their rules during Ramadan.
Ryggy thinks that religious tolerance is somehow a steady state. It's not. It will always end in cleansing and pogrom.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2012
Only in the mind of a socialist.

News flash: Jesus Christ was a socialist (much 'worse': he was a communist)

...and I always thought that being a christian is about striving to be like Jesus Christ (or at the very least hold the values dear that he taught). But I guess the only thing that remains nowadays is the name of the religion - and how it can be marketed to the masses.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (23) Aug 27, 2012
Speaking of Muslims, where are the atheist attacks on monotheistic Islam? Maybe the Muslims killed them?
-The religionists who show up here, like yourself, are xians who think their religion is the 'good' one. It's easy enough to demonstrate that it is only more of the same.
Those atheists are not very courageous in their non-belief in only attacking Christians who won't kill them.
You mean like they did in Serbia and Rwanda? And northern Ireland and in the Moslem refugee camps in Lebanon?
http://en.wikiped...massacre
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (23) Aug 27, 2012
Of course they weren't the 'good' xians were they? If they believed in jebus exactly the same way you do, they wouldn't have DONE those things, would they?

You're a hypocrite.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2012
Jesus Christ was a socialist

So maybe the real issue is definitions. Socialism is govt, which is force, control of private property. Socialism must degenerate to this because if even one person does not what to 'donate' his labor and wealth to the collective, he must be forced to do so.
The few voluntary socialist societies, like monasteries, are based upon religion and participate in free markets by selling the product of their labor.

So what is your definition of socialism, state coercion or 100% volunteers?

1 Samuel 8: 11-20 states quite clearly what God though of the coercive govt.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2012
Socialism is govt,

Would you please mind looking up the word socialism before spouting such nonsense - it makes you look very uneducated? Esepcialy since you want to talk definitions.
Socialism must degenerate to this because if even one person does not what to 'donate' his labor and wealth to the collective, he must be forced to do so.

How does that follow? A person who does not want to participate may also be simply excluded from sharing the benefits.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (22) Aug 27, 2012
Ryggy sermonizes...

11[Samuel] said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take... lots... 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."
1 Samuel 8

-You do realize ryggy that without religions we would have no enemies to fight, and so would not need kings to conscript soldiers and comandeer the resources necessary to support them?

This would go a long way toward restoring the sort of egalitarian environment where truly free markets could thrive, unencumbered by all the legislation necessary to restrict the sort of nepotism and cronyism and favoritism that religion engenders, BY DEFINITION?

Infidels WILL NOT EVER be allowed to outbid the Chosen People. God forbids it. Their products are all junk anyways. Everyone knows this.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 27, 2012
@ryggesogn2 Only in the mind of a socialist.
Your mythical 'jesus' was a socialist, you nimrod. And your Ayn Rand was a welfare recipient, just like most every Russian Jew in West Hollywood
The Christians who colonized Massachusetts and founded Harvard were prosperous in business
You mean Skull&Bones fresh from the coffers of the opium wars?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (22) Aug 27, 2012
The products of religion:

"The Gaza Strip will not be "a liveable place" by 2020 unless action is taken to improve basic services in the territory, according to a UN report.

Basic infrastructure in water, health, education and sanitation "is struggling to keep pace with a growing population", according to the report.

It estimates Gaza's population will rise from 1.6m to 2.1m by 2020."
http://www.bbc.co...19391809

-How religionism infects business:
http://dailycalle...im-ties/
defactoseven
5 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2012
I am enjoying the discussion as a mythical logic exercise. It's fun, I guess to talk about a Jesus character actually living as a man that was Christ that had a social order and that never existed in the present understanding until Eusebius Pamphili, a 3rd/4th century Roman historian states in his Book Evangelical Preparation: "It may be lawful and fitting to use fictions [falsehood] as a medicine, and for the benefit of those [Christians] who want to be deceived." and promptly translated/rewrote the infamous Testimonium Flavianum of Josephus to include the fictitious character... and about the Israelites that most archaeologists seem to agree were conquered Canaanites who gathered from Bronze age nomadic sheep herders and created a god that gave them a myth to give them a reason to exist and forget their humble origins.

The only criticism on my part is that it's a logical discussion about non-existing people and systems from fables and lies. On the other hand cont..
defactoseven
5 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2012
On the other hand and the more disturbing part is that it "is real" in that our world cultures have adopted these fables to the point that we actually have to argue as if they were real.

You do it, I do it. Don't we have have anything better to do than pretend it exists at all?

[deeply internalizing]
[/deeply internalizing]
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2012
The only criticism on my part is that it's a logical discussion about non-existing people and systems from fables and lies.


How well did you do in your literature classes that logically discussed stories of non-existing people, fables and lies?

"With 1960's Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein writes of a military equipped with strength-enhancing power suits. Today, electronic exoskeletons are being developed for the U.S. Army, to create the super soldiers of tomorrow."
http://science.di...bio.html
Fables and lies have no value?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2012
Would you please mind looking up the word socialism before spouting such nonsense -

Bastiat, von Mises, Hayek all agree, socialism is government control of private property.
Socialists like anti get upset because they believe it is important how the socialist state is created and organized.
In the end, it all socialist govts must end in tyranny regardless of how they are created because the principle of socialism is that the individual does not have a right to his life or his property.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2012
Was Socrates a fictional character?
"Although Socrates (470-399 BCE) is the central figure of these dialogues, little is actually known about him. He left no writings, and what is known is derived largely from Plato and Xenophon. "
http://socrates.c...0260.htm

"Socrates did have a loyal following. "
So did Jesus and there were many who wrote extensively of his life and death.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2012
Socialists like anti get upset because they believe it is important how the socialist state is created and organized

What makes you think I am a socialist? And actually I think the ideal world would be one where we didn't need a state (so you might say I am an anarchist).

But that would require people with empathy and a sense of responsibility for their own actions (as they relate to others and the environemt) which isn't strictly speaking part of being an anarchist. Taking responsibility for ones own actions would, funnily enough, make one a satanist (in opposition of being a theist, where no one has any ultimate responsibility)

Socialist governments are easier to subvert by egotists/tyrants than capitalist governments (which are tyrannical to begind with, but where people are trying to screw each other over so opnely that its unlikely anyone will succeed overall). This is not a problem of socialism - but of the masses of anti-social like yourself we still live with.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2012
What makes you think I am a socialist?

Your failure to comprehend capitalism.
Your words:
capitalist governments (which are tyrannical to begind with,


There is no such thing as a capitalist govt. Only a govt that has limited power to protect property rights. Capitalism, free trade, emerges from such such a govt.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2012
anti should appreciate Bastiat if he is the literal anarchist he claims to be:

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
defactoseven
5 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2012
"Socrates did have a loyal following."

No one I know of prays to Socrates, he can be disregarded as well if opinion so desires.

...So did Jesus and there were many who wrote extensively of his life and death.

incorrect...

logica ad absurdum