JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

Reply
Old 23rd November 2012, 12:15 PM   #201
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by eight bits View Post
....[snipped a bunch of round the mulberry bush sidestepping of the issue]
Which god myths do you find uncertainty about regarding the myth aspect?


Originally Posted by eight bits View Post
....I believe you and I have already discussed at length our opinions about how much or little evidence bears on supernatural ontological questions. We didn't reach a satisfactory resolution. Fortunately, reopening that discussion wouldn't plausibly cast any light on qayak's remark about some supposed incompatibility of agnosticism in supernatural questions with a confident categorical disbelief in characters whose very point is that they are make-believe.

Best, then, to file this under "already asked and answered," since it has been.
What point are you even making here? Who cares about a debate over the supernatural being outside the realm of reality or whatever it is you are on about apologizing for faith based (i.e. evidence-less) beliefs.

The question remains: Name a single god belief that is not a myth. Define a single god that is not a myth.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 12:35 PM   #202
eight bits
Graduate Poster
 
eight bits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
Ginger, as I said, your question was asked and answered. Your not liking the answer you got doesn't entitle you to a different one.
eight bits is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 01:42 PM   #203
EdG
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
In truth, hand washing would have done wonders to decrease the spread of disease (nowhere to be found in JudeoChristian traditions though they care to wash feet) and all the pork needed was thorough cooking, not banning.
So your argument is that your superior knowledge from 2,000+ years later in time "proves" there is no value in Jewish dietary law. Must be nice to be so infallible.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
1 through 4 of the commandments are useless rules to worship a particular god myth. And I'm pretty sure the other six were the cultural norm without the list.
Useless to you, perhaps, but not to the founder of a monotheistic society, and it might be a requisite step on the "many gods to one god to no god" progression needed for an advanced society.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Are you under the false impression societies didn't already have structure including rules? One need merely look at primitive tribal societies that still exist today to see adding something like the 10 Commandments would just be superfluous.
If that's true, why not shut down the courts, fire the lawyers, and tear up the law books?
EdG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 01:45 PM   #204
EdG
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
The rules that work are usually found around the world in all cultures, because when the religious crap is discarded, there's some things that work everywhere for everyone, all the time. Nothing magical about this.
I would be very interested in learning how you made the gigantic leap from what I posted to what you responded, as I proposed no magic.
EdG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:11 PM   #205
kerikiwi
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bay of Islands NZ
Posts: 6,130
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
So your argument is that your superior knowledge from 2,000+ years later in time "proves" there is no value in Jewish dietary law. Must be nice to be so infallible.
It's nothing to do with being infallible. It's to do with being right.
Superior knowledge tells us that bleeding is a medical procedure which is not only of no value, it is positively harmful.
Superior knowledge tells us that Jewish dietary law has no value.
kerikiwi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:23 PM   #206
StankApe
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,643
I think it's silly to say that nothing good ever came from religion.

But , it's also silly to say nothing good came from the Nazi's (the autobahn for example is a good thing).

That doesn't mean we should ignore all the lousy bits though. "so they killed a few million people, look at these nice, wide, flat roads!!!"


Religion has done some good, but it's done a heapin' helpin' of bad too. To try and state that humans would have no morality without Jesus is silly. Amazonian tribes seem to function pretty well without Jesus. Well, until the missionaries came and give em all Cholera........
StankApe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:32 PM   #207
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Moderator
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 28,026
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
Useless to you, perhaps, but not to the founder of a monotheistic society, and it might be a requisite step on the "many gods to one god to no god" progression needed for an advanced society.
Did someone forget to tell the Japanese?
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:33 PM   #208
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by eight bits View Post
Ginger, as I said, your question was asked and answered. Your not liking the answer you got doesn't entitle you to a different one.
That gobbledygook did not answer my very straight forward questions so I'll take this as you can neither define a god that isn't a myth nor do you know of any gods described by believers through history that there is any evidence are not myths.

Your answer is no more than another version of NOMa, claiming we should consider some reality outside of real reality.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:40 PM   #209
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
So your argument is that your superior knowledge from 2,000+ years later in time "proves" there is no value in Jewish dietary law. Must be nice to be so infallible.
I'm not sure what your position is here. Are you claiming there was some health benefit in the Jewish dietary restrictions? Because avoiding trichinosis was a pretty minor benefit consider all one needed was to ban undercooked pork. And, yes, the apology of some benefit bestowed by a god on its people has pretty much been debunked by the science 2,000 years later.

Originally Posted by EdG View Post
Useless to you, perhaps, but not to the founder of a monotheistic society, and it might be a requisite step on the "many gods to one god to no god" progression needed for an advanced society.
Who cares that someone pretends the 'single god' myth is superior to a 'multiple gods' myth? It doesn't make either belief less of a myth.

Originally Posted by EdG View Post
If that's true, why not shut down the courts, fire the lawyers, and tear up the law books?


I think you totally missed the point. Let me restate it. You don't need a god to have laws neither is there any evidence the 10 Commandments provided laws to a previously lawless society.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:41 PM   #210
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
I would be very interested in learning how you made the gigantic leap from what I posted to what you responded, as I proposed no magic.
Gods = magic.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2012, 02:49 PM   #211
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18,590
And the single god has proved to be very lethal to those with a belief in many, or none. Or even the wrong view of the single guy.
We can't get shed of that superstition soon enough!
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 01:32 PM   #212
EdG
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Gods = magic.
I said religion, not gods. As an atheist, I believe in no gods. As a pragmatist, I recognize some good has come from religion. Has the good been outweighed by the bad? Possibly. But I am not conceited enough to think that I know everything there is to know. And I have not converted from the religion of catholicism to the religion of skepticism. I view both cults with equal suspicion.

Last edited by EdG; 24th November 2012 at 01:34 PM.
EdG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 02:04 PM   #213
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
I said religion, not gods. As an atheist, ...And I have not converted from the religion of catholicism to the religion of skepticism. I view both cults with equal suspicion.
There's your problem right there, at least as far as understanding people's comments about magic. Skepticism is not a cult or religion and scientific evidence based beliefs are not the same as magical thinking.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 02:15 PM   #214
EdG
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Skepticism is not a cult or religion
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
EdG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 02:23 PM   #215
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,102
So, presumably you just need to be ignorant of both what is a religion, and what's this newfangled burden of proof, for them to look alike? In the same way as if you have no clue what either medicine and homeopathy are, you can conclude that they're the same because some guy in a white robe tells you to take some pills?
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 02:23 PM   #216
Last of the Fraggles
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,646
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
Who are the high priests of the discussion on this forum?

That's just nonsense.

I've had arguments with people here that I agree with on a thousand other things and agreed with people I have never exchanged words with.

Your arguments will generally stand or fall on their own strengths here.
Last of the Fraggles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 02:25 PM   #217
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,102
Aye, that's a good point. I'd like to know what church he went to, if they went by any other criterion -- sane or woo, doesn't matter -- of who's right and who's wrong, than that the priest is right.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 03:04 PM   #218
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18,590
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
.
Thinking is painful.
When first exposed to the need to think, the usual response is "You're a buncha booger-snots".... QED.
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 03:24 PM   #219
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Moderator
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 28,026
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions.
Sometimes people are tired of providing the evidence (or, more often, pointing out the lack of evidence) the tenth time someone arrives and makes a claim that's been comprehensively dealt with many times before.
Quote:
One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
Can you give an example? That doesn't sound like this place at all; I've certainly never been 'controlled' as far as I can recall. More likely, on any particular topic one or two people have specific knowledge or an interest, and tend to be the ones following most closely and posting replies first. If they're covering the main points, there's not much left for others to do except to agree.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 03:28 PM   #220
Irony
Muse
 
Irony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 893
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
Pigs flying through the air. Poodles larger than elephants. Square circles.

It helps if you do more than state random things to support your contention, like for instance actually show evidence for those things.
Irony is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 03:39 PM   #221
kerikiwi
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bay of Islands NZ
Posts: 6,130
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
I am skeptical of your claim.
Please provide evidence
kerikiwi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 05:41 PM   #222
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 32,920
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
Reality leads to a convergence of opinion.
tsig is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 05:54 PM   #223
Irony
Muse
 
Irony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 893
Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Reality leads to a convergence of opinion.
Indeed. If one were to go to an aviation forum and proclaim that airplanes move by pushing against the ground I would imagine one would get a lot of very similar responses, no doubt complete with dismissal of your "opposing opinion" by these so-called "high-priests".
Irony is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2012, 06:24 PM   #224
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
(the autobahn for example is a good thing).



That is an urban myth.

http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth08.htm

http://www.dw.de/the-myth-of-hitlers...ahn/a-16144981
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 10:38 AM   #225
Beth
Philosopher
 
Beth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Flatland
Posts: 5,403
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Most skeptics do not accept "I feel God exists" as evidence of gods existing.
Most skeptics are willing to accept testimonials such as "I did action A and result B followed" as evidence, especially when the experience is repeated by many different people in many different circumstances. When the results are inconsistent or other explanations exist, they won't usually accept such evidence as proof. I agree with that assessment. What I'm objecting to is your characterization of all testimonials and experiences over many centuries and civilizations as being "no evidence". I think that's inappropriate. Particularly because it's an assessment that seems to be applied only to 'spiritual' or 'religious' experiences.

So sure, you can claim there is no evidence to support the other side by redefining 'evidence' to exclude everything the other side presents. But that doesn't come across as particularly rational or scientific. Much better, IMO, to accept that evidence exists and to explain that it isn't sufficient to prove the hypothesis.

But we've had this discussion before. We agree that such evidence it isn't sufficient for belief in the hypothesis that god exists. We just disagree whether or not it deserves the appellation of 'evidence' in support of that hypothesis.

[quote] You're missing the crucial point of my analogy which is that the conclusion does not logically follow from the evidence cited in either case.
__________________
Beth
"You are not the stuff of which you are made."
Richard Dawkins, July 2005, 10:45

http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_daw..._universe.html
Beth is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 11:19 AM   #226
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
Most skeptics are willing to accept testimonials such as "I did action A and result B followed" as evidence, especially when the experience is repeated by many different people in many different circumstances. When the results are inconsistent or other explanations exist, they won't usually accept such evidence as proof. I agree with that assessment. What I'm objecting to is your characterization of all testimonials and experiences over many centuries and civilizations as being "no evidence". I think that's inappropriate. Particularly because it's an assessment that seems to be applied only to 'spiritual' or 'religious' experiences.

So sure, you can claim there is no evidence to support the other side by redefining 'evidence' to exclude everything the other side presents. But that doesn't come across as particularly rational or scientific. Much better, IMO, to accept that evidence exists and to explain that it isn't sufficient to prove the hypothesis.

But we've had this discussion before. We agree that such evidence it isn't sufficient for belief in the hypothesis that god exists. We just disagree whether or not it deserves the appellation of 'evidence' in support of that hypothesis.
You know where this is going, we've been here many times.

There is evidence of an experience. Believing the experience is due to a god is a conclusion. Just as myth best explains god beliefs, something other than a real interaction with a god best explains said experiences.

We are back to zero evidence gods exist, only conclusions that they do. Conclusions are beliefs, not evidence.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 11:25 AM   #227
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 13,678
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
Most skeptics are willing to accept testimonials such as "I did action A and result B followed" as evidence, especially when the experience is repeated by many different people in many different circumstances. When the results are inconsistent or other explanations exist, they won't usually accept such evidence as proof. I agree with that assessment. What I'm objecting to is your characterization of all testimonials and experiences over many centuries and civilizations as being "no evidence". I think that's inappropriate. Particularly because it's an assessment that seems to be applied only to 'spiritual' or 'religious' experiences.

So sure, you can claim there is no evidence to support the other side by redefining 'evidence' to exclude everything the other side presents. But that doesn't come across as particularly rational or scientific. Much better, IMO, to accept that evidence exists and to explain that it isn't sufficient to prove the hypothesis. ....{internal quote snipped because of bad formatting}

You're missing the crucial point of my analogy which is that the conclusion does not logically follow from the evidence cited in either case.
Not so necessarily or so simply. I surmise that few skeptics at least since Hume pointed out the causality problem inherent in pure epistemology have believed that hounds chasing a rabbit constitute cause. Some of us are just a tiny bit smarter than that even if we didn't get any Hume in school.

People since the Indians and Samuel de Champlain have claimed to see "Champ," the Champlain lake monster. Is that proof that there is a Champ, or is it proof that people have always made the same kind of mistakes and hoped the same kind of vain hopes? There's a bit of evidence for the latter conclusion, but no body, bones, fur or good photographs for the former. Indeed, one cannot say for sure, 100 percent, that there is no Champ, but a person who proceeds expecting not to find one will lead a much much less disappointing life than the one who hopes to find one.
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)

Last edited by bruto; 25th November 2012 at 11:28 AM.
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 11:44 AM   #228
George152
Master Poster
 
George152's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hamilton New Zealand
Posts: 2,374
I believe I'll have another beer
__________________
Unemployment isn't working
George152 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 01:03 PM   #229
Halfcentaur
Philosopher
 
Halfcentaur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 6,642
Originally Posted by EdG View Post
As practiced on this forum it often is. Bold pronouncements with little or no supporting data. Dismissal of opposing opinions. One or two "high priests" controlling discussion. I could go on, but I think that is enough to support my contention.
You are conflating skepticism with human behavior. We all are victims of confirmation bias in our thinking and must strive to overcome that confirmation bias to see reality. No group is free of this, but a few of schools of thought happen to be founded on the very idea of overcoming that fault in human thinking, despite some who subscribe to these ideas falling victim to bias.

There seems to be a reward for some people in pointing out the instances they see bias happening in skeptical thinking groups, because it's ironic I suppose, but to say you regard "skepticism" as just another religion because you've seen examples of dogmatic thinking in skeptics is just ham-fisted blanket disregard seemingly for self aggrandizement.

Last edited by Halfcentaur; 25th November 2012 at 01:05 PM.
Halfcentaur is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 01:18 PM   #230
Halfcentaur
Philosopher
 
Halfcentaur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 6,642
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post

Can you give an example? That doesn't sound like this place at all; I've certainly never been 'controlled' as far as I can recall. More likely, on any particular topic one or two people have specific knowledge or an interest, and tend to be the ones following most closely and posting replies first. If they're covering the main points, there's not much left for others to do except to agree.
I do see people on this forum at times giving atheism quite a dogmatic quality I find distasteful.

People who enter a religious discussion with no regard for what is being discussed just to announce for the thousandth time "there is no god so it doesn't matter", as if that has any bearing at all on the context of the discussion where atheists are engaged in discussing theism with theists which takes a degree of hypothetical acknowledgment for the sake of argument alone.

Off the top of my head Tsig and Daffyd regularly seem to do this on this forum, where for the sake of argument non theists are discussing gods and religions with theists when they enter the thread and pick some isolated statement to quote simply to reply with something which is basically the equivalent of "but there's no such as god". As if such a statement was news to the people on this forum.

There is no good reason for that kind of behavior here, other than for someone to reassert their own convictions for the thousandth time. It offers nothing to the discussion, and renders the efforts non theists go to here in order to discuss theism with theists as meaningless.

I wish they'd stop doing it as it seems like dogma to me, but it's not against the rules to my knowledge.
Halfcentaur is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 01:34 PM   #231
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
I'm not being dogmatic. I merely ask theists for some proof of the existence of their god.
dafydd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 01:48 PM   #232
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,102
@Halfcentaur
While that is so, nevertheless, I don't see how that justifies the statement that it's like a religion with dogmas and high priests. I've had people do that in my threads, and I'm sure at various times I've done something close enough in other people's threads, but still, nobody has to agree with them. There is no high priest of Athe to excommunicate you if you disagree with them.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 01:52 PM   #233
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 43,719
Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
I'm not being dogmatic. I merely ask theists for some proof of the existence of their god.
I was sure I'd be on the list.

I am also not dogmatic, just insistent that the evidence of mythical origin not be swept under the rug all the time.

Dogmatic refers to assertion with lack of evidence, not just firmly convinced by overwhelming evidence.

dogmatic (dg-mtk, dg-)
Quote:
adj.
1. Relating to, characteristic of, or resulting from dogma.
2. Characterized by an authoritative, arrogant assertion of unproved or unprovable principles. See Synonyms at dictatorial.
While there are skeptics who argue, no amount of evidence that gods are fiction is enough, that to me is the dogmatic position, not the position that the evidence is overwhelming gods are fiction.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 03:22 PM   #234
Beth
Philosopher
 
Beth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Flatland
Posts: 5,403
Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Not so necessarily or so simply. I surmise that few skeptics at least since Hume pointed out the causality problem inherent in pure epistemology have believed that hounds chasing a rabbit constitute cause. Some of us are just a tiny bit smarter than that even if we didn't get any Hume in school.

People since the Indians and Samuel de Champlain have claimed to see "Champ," the Champlain lake monster. Is that proof that there is a Champ, or is it proof that people have always made the same kind of mistakes and hoped the same kind of vain hopes? There's a bit of evidence for the latter conclusion, but no body, bones, fur or good photographs for the former. Indeed, one cannot say for sure, 100 percent, that there is no Champ, but a person who proceeds expecting not to find one will lead a much much less disappointing life than the one who hopes to find one.
I think you misread my calling something 'evidence' with 'proof'. Yes, it's evidence for a Champ. No, it is not proof of a Champ. To say that the evidence is not sufficient seems justified to me. To say that there is no evidence for a Champ is to completely discount the testimonial evidence people have provided. I think that's incorrect.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You know where this is going, we've been here many times.
Yes indeed.
Quote:
There is evidence of an experience. Believing the experience is due to a god is a conclusion. Just as myth best explains god beliefs, something other than a real interaction with a god best explains said experiences.

We are back to zero evidence gods exist, only conclusions that they do. Conclusions are beliefs, not evidence.
You are playing word games to justify your sweeping dismissal of all testimonial evidence. Why are you so reluctant to call that evidence? Why the insistence of such a complete dismissal of all the evidence that does exist?
__________________
Beth
"You are not the stuff of which you are made."
Richard Dawkins, July 2005, 10:45

http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_daw..._universe.html
Beth is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 03:35 PM   #235
qayak
Penultimate Amazing
 
qayak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,219
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
You are playing word games to justify your sweeping dismissal of all testimonial evidence. Why are you so reluctant to call that evidence? Why the insistence of such a complete dismissal of all the evidence that does exist?
I disagree. You have to admit that anecdotal evidence is the weakest of all. You also have to admit that the anecdotal evidence for god has been around for a long time. Finally, that anecdotal evidence has been examined, the fallacies pointed out, the science discovered, to the point that anecdotal evidence for the existence of god is pretty much no evidence at all.

As examples:

When someone employs Pascal's Wager it isn't unfair, or a word game, to dismiss this "new evidence" out of hand. The fallacy debunks the claim.

When someone uses the Blind Watchmaker argument, it isn't evidence. The argument has been debunked to death.

When someone uses the "I dies and saw a white light" argument, it's been debunked to death.

None of that crap is evidence. Someone has to come up with something new before we could ever call it testimonial/anecdotal evidence. Regurgitating debunked anecdotes doesn't fit the definition of evidence.
__________________
"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."

(Mark Twain)
qayak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 03:47 PM   #236
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 13,678
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
I think you misread my calling something 'evidence' with 'proof'. Yes, it's evidence for a Champ. No, it is not proof of a Champ. To say that the evidence is not sufficient seems justified to me. To say that there is no evidence for a Champ is to completely discount the testimonial evidence people have provided. I think that's incorrect.
No, not really. I am suggesting that what some people count as "evidence" is not really evidence at all. It's something less and always will be. If someone dreamed of Champ and later a body turned up, the dream would not suddenly become evidence. If someone sees what looks to him like a Champ but cannot distinguish his sighting from an otter or a sturgeon or a log, then it's not evidence even if it's right. An anecdote that can never get beyond an observer's account is not evidence no matter how wonderful it is. A bad photograph is nothing more, even if it's later found to have been a bad photograph of something exciting and new. The proof will be found elsewhere from actual evidence, and an anecdote will continue to be of no use at all in making the determination, even if the thing it's about is real.
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 04:39 PM   #237
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,102
@Beth:
That seems to be a common confusion, possibly stemming from the different meaning that "evidence" has in justice.

In justice, anything that was presented by one side or the other, and was admitted in court, is evidence. It may be inconclusive evidence, or false evidence, but it is nevertheless called evidence.

In logic on the other hand, evidence is something that actually supports or refutes a claim. I.e., you have to have some logically sound way of connecting it to the conclusion. If it doesn't do that, it's not evidence at all.

It's a VERY different meaning of the same word.

To further illustrate the fundamental difference, technically there is no such thing as false evidence in logic. If it's false, or really even not supported as true, you can't by definition have a sound argument (i.e., both valid and the premises are supportable as true) from it to any conclusion whatsoever, hence it's not evidence at all.

Also technically there is not such thing as having evidence but not a proof. If you showed that X => Y and X is true, then you have a proof. If you don't have a proof, you don't have an argument or evidence at all.

You probably mean that you don't have a formal logic kind of proof, where something is either true or false, and there is no room for probabilities somewhere in the middle.

That's ok though. You can just as well go informal logic on its rear, or do an inductive proof, or a bayesian proof if you want to be rigorous about induction. You can even go fuzzy logic (which has states like "very" or "somewhat" in addition to just true or false), if you can pull that off.

None of them is really easier than formal logic, though; they just go by different rules. You'd be surprised how much of what is a fallacy in formal logic, is still the same fallacy or has an obvious equivalent, in informal logic or statistics too. And actually on top of that, both of those have fallacies of their own. So, yeah, actually having a proof or argument but not by formal logic, is actually not much easier. Still, if one of them is the only thing that works on that data, you do what you have to do.

But, still, you need to have some sound argument between the premises and the conclusion, or those premises just aren't evidence at all. They're just irrelevant fluff.

Hope that helps.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 05:02 PM   #238
zeggman
Graduate Poster
 
zeggman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,911
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Are you claiming there was some health benefit in the Jewish dietary restrictions? Because avoiding trichinosis was a pretty minor benefit consider all one needed was to ban undercooked pork.
How do you propose the ancient Jews were to distinguish undercooked pork? Meat thermometers? In a culture in which both giving and receiving hospitality was important, if your host offered you pork would it be easier to refuse it outright or determine whether or not it was undercooked?

Also, toxins produced by clams are not destroyed by cooking, so banning their consumption would provide at least the health benefit of not being poisoned by them on occasion.
zeggman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 05:24 PM   #239
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,102
1. Are you serious that you can't distinguish well done meat from rare or even medium-rare? That if I put a rare steak in front of you, you'd actually be confused as to whether it is rare or not? That if a God told his people to only eat well done meat, they'd be totally lost as to what that means?

Or here's an idea: command them to only eat it boiled for an hour. Or in terms even the most uneducated and mentally retarded can understand, tell them to boil until it comes apart easily. It takes only 74C (165F) or so for 15 seconds to kill Trichinella larvae.

2. It seems to me like it still doesn't actually do much, since even of Trichinella there are species adapted to infecting birds, bears and other wild game. So a restriction strictly about pigs doesn't even really take care of that.

3. It's still taking care of the least threat. There are other pathogens that are far worse. E.g., incredible numbers of people died in the middle ages from beef from cattle dead of anthrax. E.g., consuming sheep brains can give you brain damage if they had that prion. And yet God doesn't find time to warn about those too. He has time to worry about mixed fiber clothes and other nonsense, or insane nonsense about how to purify and atone yourself after touching a menstruating woman, yet somehow he has no time to deal with ways to prevent actual problems.

4. You can know some apology is nonsense, when it ascribes to a group of ancient people knowledge that (A) took scientists with microscopes decades to figure out, because (B) the cause and effect are far enough apart in time to not be obvious, and (C) sure enough we don't find anyone else before modern times knowing that.

To wit, even after the discovery of trichinosis was discovered in 1835 (and, yes, it took a microscope) and the findings became well known enough, it took A DECADE until a scientist on another continent connected it to pork. And that's with relatively modern knowledge and all.

So, you know, I have no time for nonsense which just postulates such knowledge among ancient people that just somehow never wrote anything about it. It's up there with ancient astronauts on a ridiculous nonsense scale.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 25th November 2012 at 05:27 PM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2012, 05:28 PM   #240
John Jones
Philosopher
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa, USA
Posts: 6,372
Quote:
How do you propose the ancient Jews were to distinguish undercooked pork? Meat thermometers?
Cook it over a slow, smoky fire until it falls off the bone/can't pick it up with a fork. If it's pink on the inside, smoke it some more.

As far as clams and oysters and the like - I don't eat them, but cultures have thrived on them.
__________________
NOTE: Spelling errors are left intact for the benifit of those having no other rejoinder.
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:37 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.