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 25th November 2012, 06:37 PM   #241
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 44,664
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
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?
Thou shalt not eat pork unless it is cooked until it is white throughout.

Even if it wasn't perfect, it would have been more than sufficient most of the time.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make so help me out.

Do you think humans connected trichinosis with eating pork and therefore banned it as a religious restriction? AFAIK, no one at the time, as far as any literature goes, recognized the connection.

Do you think avoiding trichinosis was an accidental benefit? If so then what the point as far as the food restriction goes?

Do you think a god gave Jews special knowledge so that they could avoid trichinosis? Because if so, why not tell people to wash their hands, something we know today is the most useful simple measure one can do to lower infectious disease risks.

Or do you think something else altogether? Because I'm not seeing your point.


Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
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.
When the sea is red, thou shalt not eat shell fish from the sea.

__________________
(*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.)

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 25th November 2012 at 06:42 PM.
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, 06:39 PM   #242
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,445
Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
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.
Evidence?
tsig is online now   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, 06:42 PM   #243
zeggman
Graduate Poster
 
zeggman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,911
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I have no time for nonsense which just postulates such knowledge among ancient people that just somehow never wrote anything about it.
I'm not postulating any knowledge among ancient people, I'm saying the dietary laws had health benefits.

Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
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.
Smoking doesn't kill trichinosis.

If you (or your host) cut it up with vegetables and made soup, you'd have to examine each little piece before you ate it.

Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
As far as clams and oysters and the like - I don't eat them, but cultures have thrived on them.
They can still be poison from time to time and not kill a whole culture.
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, 06:51 PM   #244
John Jones
Philosopher
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa, USA
Posts: 6,518
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
[...]


Smoking doesn't kill trichinosis.[...]

.
Oh really? It's good I never claimed otherwise. Slow cooking over a smoky fire does wonders to kill all manners of invisible agents of illness.
__________________
NOTE: Spelling errors are left intact for the benifit of those having no other rejoinder.

Last edited by John Jones; 25th November 2012 at 06:52 PM.
John Jones is online now   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, 06:57 PM   #245
John Jones
Philosopher
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa, USA
Posts: 6,518
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
[...]
They [clams and such] can still be poison from time to time and not kill a whole culture.
Icicles can fall off the roof and put your eye out. There's nothing in Leviticus proscribing us from living in snow-prone areas.
__________________
NOTE: Spelling errors are left intact for the benifit of those having no other rejoinder.
John Jones is online now   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, 08:25 PM   #246
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 44,664
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
I'm not postulating any knowledge among ancient people, I'm saying the dietary laws had health benefits.....
Only because in retrospect one can say about lots of things, you avoided the illness associated with that food..

There are illnesses one can get from eating a lot of things, beef, spinach, pork, seafood, whatever. Heck, in a particular region in China people get esophageal cancer and the local vegetables are suspected.

Now say that food is restricted in a culture.

Great, technically one avoided the illness risk associated with that food.

You need to show that overall disease risk was lessened by said food restriction.
__________________
(*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, 08:27 PM   #247
JihadJane
Penultimate Satisfaction
 
JihadJane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 47,098
I believe in miracles, you sexy thing!
JihadJane 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 26th November 2012, 02:40 AM   #248
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,354
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
I'm not postulating any knowledge among ancient people, I'm saying the dietary laws had health benefits.
Unless they actually have some knowledge on which to base it, they didn't know it had any health benefits, and it's still just an arbitrary rule.
__________________
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 26th November 2012, 03:14 AM   #249
Soapy Sam
NLH
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 27,923
I once heard a "Jewish spokesman" of some sort- I don't recall his "qualifications"- argue that it's the very silliness and difficulty of religious rules that makes them worth following.

He sounded a bright, articulate chap, which made me despair all the more.
How does stupidity of this degree survive?

Last edited by Soapy Sam; 26th November 2012 at 03:56 AM.
Soapy Sam 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 26th November 2012, 04:13 AM   #250
zeggman
Graduate Poster
 
zeggman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,911
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Unless they actually have some knowledge on which to base it, they didn't know it had any health benefits, and it's still just an arbitrary rule.
I believe most of the rules were arbitrary, meant to distinguish "God's chosen people" from "the rest of you rabble". The rule against mixed fibers even seemed to make a metaphor of it.
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 26th November 2012, 06:33 PM   #251
The Norseman
Meandering fecklessly
 
The Norseman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Valhalla, one day at a time
Posts: 4,841
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
I'm not postulating any knowledge among ancient people, I'm saying the dietary laws had health benefits.
Sure, this particular one had some health benefits. However, the issue is that many theists use this dietary law as evidence (or 'proof') of god's existence and it's loving care of humans. I, and many here it seems, think that if an all-loving god gave a certain commandment in the interests of health, then, as Skeptic Ginger keeps pointing out, this god could have commanded people to simply wash their hands.

I think this is much more persuasive in that people made these commandments and said they were from god rather than an actual god giving these commandments.
__________________
"It started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better, but apart from that, it was excellent."
- Blackadder
The Norseman is online now   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 26th November 2012, 10:22 PM   #252
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 44,664
Originally Posted by zeggman View Post
I'm not postulating any knowledge among ancient people, I'm saying the dietary laws had health benefits....
I think you need more evidence than a self selected coincidence.

What do we need to show to satisfy the claim, dietary laws had health benefits?

You'd need to show that the benefit outweighed the loss. Dietary protein is scarce in some areas of the world. Did they have plenty of protein where you believe there was a benefit?

You use the plural, "laws". So are there more examples besides the pork?

And, can you really say a coincidental benefit is relevant? Otherwise, is there evidence the benefit was more than a coincidence?


I think the health benefit may be grossly overrated, especially given some people claim a god was passing out special knowledge. Granted you say you don't make this claim.
__________________
(*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.)

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 26th November 2012 at 10:24 PM.
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 27th November 2012, 03:13 AM   #253
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,354
Actually, the claim that there was more than one law is quite trivial to support. The restrictions against for example mixed grain or boiling goat in specifically its mother's milk (how did that get taken as a restriction against cheeseburgers, is a different question) are different verses.

Now whether it was a health benefit to effectively condemn more than a million people to live on bread and water, and at that a single grain... THAT I doubt.

On a tangent, I think though what we're seeing is a question of tech level too in forbidding pork. Or for that matter shellfish.

In the case of pork, I think the biggest problem was that meat fermentation (i.e., making sausages or salami) was not invented yet, so there was no way to safely preserve the meat for later. So basically there was limited use in fattening a pig, when a family can't eat all that in a couple of days.

There's also a big problem with holding pigs in a fairly hot and arid region. Pigs need water (or mud) to even keep their internal temperature within the range where they can even live. So they'd be much more expensive to raise there than goats or sheep, and use up a very limited resource, unless you're right on the shore of a river.

So it seems like a relatively safe thing to forbid. "Safe" in the way that nobody will riot about forbidding something most people don't do anyway. If you want to have an us-vs-them difference, you can't get much easier than picking a difference that was largely in place anyway.

Of course, a God could have just told them how to ferment meat. (You can still fry it later before eating it anyway, if you're worried about trichinosis.) Or made better pigs for its chosen people. But, ah well, I guess that's the problem with a non-existent God. The things it could do are also non-existent.

At any rate, it's kinda funny that a god is depending on the tech level of his followers. Hardly a century passes before the Romans get there, and have that technology, and God sends his son to lift that restriction. One could almost think God is impotent to do things himself and needs people to do the relevant stuff
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 27th November 2012 at 03:19 AM.
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 27th November 2012, 07:17 AM   #254
zeggman
Graduate Poster
 
zeggman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,911
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You'd need to show that the benefit outweighed the loss. Dietary protein is scarce in some areas of the world. Did they have plenty of protein where you believe there was a benefit?
I've read references to plagues of locusts, so (while I'm not an expert) I'd say probably yes.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You use the plural, "laws". So are there more examples besides the pork?
I believe I've already mentioned "clams" a time or two.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And, can you really say a coincidental benefit is relevant? Otherwise, is there evidence the benefit was more than a coincidence?
I'm not sure it's more than a coincidence, or what evidence might be offered if it was. And relevant to what? A coincidental benefit is relevant to the claim that there were health benefits to some of these dietary laws, which is the only claim I made.

There were also laws against eating baby animals boiled in their mother's milk, and as far as I know there's no health benefit to following such a practice.
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 27th November 2012, 08:21 AM   #255
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,354
Err, no. Actually spectacularly no.

1. There's a reason locust invasions are called PLAGUES, not happy times. I don't think there ever was any time when eating the locusts even offset the crops destroyed, much less made up for extra animal protein too.

2. The thing that makes it an epic fail as a defense of Jewish dietary laws is that... leviticus 11 puts restrictions on that too. You may only eat 4 species of locust. If your crops got razed by another, just starve and die.
__________________
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 27th November 2012, 10:45 AM   #256
Halfcentaur
Philosopher
 
Halfcentaur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 6,644
Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Evidence?
Here's a recent example right here. I'm not going to spend an hour searching through this forum, the topic has come up before and I've even pointed it out to you before. If you want to deny it, deny it. I have no vested interest in slandering people I usually agree with if you feel this is me slandering anyone.

From No "Right" and "Wrong" Without A Higher Authority

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=247223&page=11

In reponse to:

Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
I am not at all saying that there is no objective morality without God. Quite the contrary; what I am saying from the Christian perspective is that there is objective morality, fundamental to the way the universe and particularly humans operate and not dependent on God any more than the rules of basketball are dependent on the referee.

However, just as the player's rule-abiding conduct will depend on the instructions of the referee because the rules give the referee authority over the player, so a human's mortal conduct will depend on the instructions given by God because it is objectively moral to obey God and immoral to disobey God.


Originally Posted by dafydd View Post
That would be fine and dandy if any god actually existed.
There is no point for a theist to even attempt to discuss theism with us here if we're just going to randomly assert there is no God anyways in the middle of a discussion. It's nothing but self assertion and offers nothing to the value of the conversation. It smacks of dogma to me.
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 27th November 2012, 11:04 AM   #257
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
It smacks of dogma to me.
It smacks of the truth to me.
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 27th November 2012, 11:54 AM   #258
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,445
Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
Here's a recent example right here. I'm not going to spend an hour searching through this forum, the topic has come up before and I've even pointed it out to you before. If you want to deny it, deny it. I have no vested interest in slandering people I usually agree with if you feel this is me slandering anyone.

From No "Right" and "Wrong" Without A Higher Authority

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=247223&page=11

In reponse to:







There is no point for a theist to even attempt to discuss theism with us here if we're just going to randomly assert there is no God anyways in the middle of a discussion. It's nothing but self assertion and offers nothing to the value of the conversation. It smacks of dogma to me.
dafydd =/= tsig
tsig is online now   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 27th November 2012, 12:20 PM   #259
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 44,664
Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
....
There is no point for a theist to even attempt to discuss theism with us here if we're just going to randomly assert there is no God anyways in the middle of a discussion. It's nothing but self assertion and offers nothing to the value of the conversation. It smacks of dogma to me.
So if one doesn't preface the no-god-exists assertion with, the evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion no-god-exists, then it is a self-assertion smacking of dogma?

Do you preface evolution, plate tectonics, and the Earth isn't flat assertions with, 'the evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion'?
__________________
(*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 27th November 2012, 12:42 PM   #260
zeggman
Graduate Poster
 
zeggman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,911
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
2. The thing that makes it an epic fail as a defense of Jewish dietary laws is that... leviticus 11 puts restrictions on that too. You may only eat 4 species of locust. If your crops got razed by another, just starve and die.
Not true, you're allowed to eat any insect which has jointed legs for hopping on the ground, which includes all species of locust, grasshopper, katydid, and cricket. That's four species of insect (well, properly, only three, since grasshoppers and locusts belong to the same species), not four species of locust.
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 27th November 2012, 12:43 PM   #261
Myriad
Hyperthetical
Moderator
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,584
I believe that God is an aspect of personal experience.

Which is not saying that God does not exist, or is a delusion.

The evidence for the existence of God is comparable to the evidence for the existence of, say, fun. Many people claim to have personal experience of God or being close to God, just as most people claim to have personal experience of having fun. Those experiences of God are associated with certain activities, behaviors, and measurable mental states, as are experiences of fun. Vast industries exist that claim (with varying success rates) to help provide experiences of God, just as in the present day even vaster industries claim (with varying success rates) to help provide experiences of fun. People who have experiences of God believe that those experiences improve the quality of their lives, as do people who have experiences of fun.

Yet you can sift through every molecule of the earth and every atom of the universe, and not find a single particle of fun. (Unless you really enjoy sifting...) While you're at it, you can look for God too, but I don't think you'll find that either. So does fun exist? Is it a delusion?

Big surprise: it turns out God isn't really a guy with a beard and a crown on a throne in the sky. Just as pain isn't really invisible demons poking your body with invisible pointy sticks (causing, recursively, pain), and dreams aren't really astral journeys into a spirit world, and creativity isn't really an invisible flying woman whispering ideas into your ear. Pain, dreams, creativity, and God exist nonetheless.

Believing as I do, why do I call myself a Christian? For the same reason I call myself an English speaker. In both cases, it's a language I'm reasonably proficient in and is effective at getting the ideas across. The reason I'm proficient in it is that I learned it (its narratives, practices, and experiences) an an early age. I'm fully aware that had I been raised a Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist I would describe my religious practices and experiences in those terms instead, just as I could easily imagine myself describing those experiences in Arabic, Hebrew, or Chinese instead of English. My use of English does not, therefore, constitute proselytizing English as the One True Language. That is exactly why, in past discussions where I've discussed my experiences in Christianity, I have refrained from proselytizing Christianity.

Many will be unsatisfied with that. "Do you or do you not believe that Jesus lived on Earth as an incarnation of God and gave us all access to eternal life by dying on the cross?" you will want to know.

That is a narrative. I know the narrative. I understand the narrative. The narrative relates to my experiences in a deep though abstract way (not literally; I've never been tortured to death for my beliefs, though many others have), so in a comparably deep way, I accept the narrative. That, in my view, is more important than literally believing. But to answer directly: I do not believe that particular narrative is literally true in all respects, especially those respects that appear physically impossible. I am agnostic about other aspects of it.

On that basis you can go ahead and call me a Universalist, or a mystic, or an agnostic, or an atheist in denial, if you must. I won't argue because the label is irrelevant. In the balance, I consider myself and call myself a Christian, because for me, practices and experiences outweigh narratives.

Experiences and practices, by the way, are what ruin the analogy between God and Harry Potter. Both are entities with well-known narratives written about them. On that basis, focusing only on narrative, atheists claim that they are equivalent. But do people who meditate deeply, or are near death, or whose brains are affected by fasting or drugs or injury or Persinger's electromagnetic stimulation, tend to experience Harry Potter, as often as they experience the presence of a universal "all" or a comforting divine presence? Do many people experience a feeling of being "called" in life to aid house elves or support persecuted half-breed wizards or oppose Lord Voldemort or any of Harry Potter's other causes? I would say not, despite isolated examples.

The big question, the question I care about, is, "do experiences of God mean anything, beyond their possible (good and bad) effects on the perceived quality of people's lives?" Experiences of fun, for example, do seem to have a meaning beyond the subjective: they are associated with, and apparently help motivate, certain kinds of learning which during recent evolutionary epochs (those that involved mammalian brains) have been valuable to survival.

There are possibilities that experiences of God serve a similar function (promoting social cohesion, or acceptance of mortality, or some comparable advantage). But given the kinds of circumstances in which experiences of God tend to occur, it also seems plausible that experiences of God are directly associated with subjective experience itself. Either as some kind of inevitable side effect, or as a contributing cause. Awareness remains a deep mystery to me, despite being able to visualize every functional component of a system that would act as self-aware. (The ability to generate a narrative from memory appears to be the key; self-awareness is then simply the presence of the self in that narrative.) I can't see how that would create a subjective experience of awareness. so I wonder if that property might actually, in a sense, be inherited from an unknown property of the universe.

That is of course a "god of the gaps" argument. But it is a very large gap, much larger than those filled in by meteorology or evolution. Without awareness, the entire universe becomes a gigantic Russell's Teapot, undetectable (because there is no one to detect it), and therefore not only useless, but more reasonably assumed not to exist at all.

Respectfully,
Myriad
__________________
Actually, most of my friends are pretty smart. So if they all jumped off a bridge I'd at least try to find out if they had a good reason.

Last edited by Myriad; 27th November 2012 at 12:48 PM.
Myriad 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 27th November 2012, 01:12 PM   #262
Last of the Fraggles
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,826
Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
Here's a recent example right here. I'm not going to spend an hour searching through this forum, the topic has come up before and I've even pointed it out to you before. If you want to deny it, deny it. I have no vested interest in slandering people I usually agree with if you feel this is me slandering anyone.

From No "Right" and "Wrong" Without A Higher Authority

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=247223&page=11

In reponse to:







There is no point for a theist to even attempt to discuss theism with us here if we're just going to randomly assert there is no God anyways in the middle of a discussion. It's nothing but self assertion and offers nothing to the value of the conversation. It smacks of dogma to me.
Well no...it's kinda VERY relevant when someone claims we can derive an objective morality from what God tells us.

The lack of an objective basis to presume any God renders that argument invalid.
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 27th November 2012, 02:21 PM   #263
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,354
Well, I certainly won't argue with that. But sometimes there's more piss to be taken by pointing out that even if there was a God or a divinely-dictated Bible, most of that stuff still doesn't follow. Mind you, it depends on the actual argument.
__________________
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 29th November 2012, 04:39 AM   #264
MarkCorrigan
Winter is Coming
 
MarkCorrigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Middle of nowhere, UK.
Posts: 8,022
Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I do have the consolation that you will burn in hellfire for eternity.
I have to chime in and say that I think Westprog is dead wrong in this thread, but I found this and laughed. A lot.

I got the joke even if other people didn't.
__________________
Naturalism adjusts it's principles to fit with the observed data.
It's a god of the facts world view. -joobz

Now I lay me down to sleep, a bag of peanuts at my feet.
If I die before I wake, give them to my brother Jake.
MarkCorrigan 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 29th November 2012, 03:04 PM   #265
Soapy Sam
NLH
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 27,923
People do eat locusts in the middle east. They are considered a delicacy in Saudi Arabia for instance. (Except the pink ones, which apparently means the WHO has sprayed them with some hormone or other.)
Soapy Sam 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 29th November 2012, 05:54 PM   #266
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,445
Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
People do eat locusts in the middle east. They are considered a delicacy in Saudi Arabia for instance. (Except the pink ones, which apparently means the WHO has sprayed them with some hormone or other.)
That would be the gay hormone. A man eats one of those pink locusts and he will start experiencing anal anxiety and oral obsession leading to complete societal breakdown.
tsig is online now   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 29th November 2012, 06:18 PM   #267
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by tsig View Post
dafydd =/= tsig
Great minds think alike.
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 3rd December 2012, 08:27 PM   #268
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 13,936
I must say I find the arguments about dietary laws amusing in an odd sort of way. I think the original point was that they did, at times, prevent some illnesses. As far as I can see that's true even if the laws were 90 percent crap, no matter who decreed them, no matter how much better they could have been done, no matter if there was or wasn't a god, no matter if they also forbid things they shouldn't have. Did observant Jews get trichinosis or die from red tide? If the answer is no, it is not yes even if there were a million better ways to get there.

The argument here comes across like this:

a: Well, at least Christians who go to church stay out of the rain for an hour a week.

b. Nonsense, there is no god.
__________________
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 4th December 2012, 07:58 AM   #269
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,445
Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I must say I find the arguments about dietary laws amusing in an odd sort of way. I think the original point was that they did, at times, prevent some illnesses. As far as I can see that's true even if the laws were 90 percent crap, no matter who decreed them, no matter how much better they could have been done, no matter if there was or wasn't a god, no matter if they also forbid things they shouldn't have. Did observant Jews get trichinosis or die from red tide? If the answer is no, it is not yes even if there were a million better ways to get there.

The argument here comes across like this:

a: Well, at least Christians who go to church stay out of the rain for an hour a week.

b. Nonsense, there is no god.
You seem to have missed this:

Believer: The bible says to not eat pork, pork can make you sick therefore the bible is true and the word of god.
tsig is online now   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 4th December 2012, 09:57 AM   #270
rcfieldz
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,194
belief

It's had an awesome effect on my career...
rcfieldz 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 4th December 2012, 09:59 AM   #271
Foster Zygote
Dental Floss Tycoon
 
Foster Zygote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge
Posts: 16,049
Originally Posted by rcfieldz View Post
It's had an awesome effect on my career...
Yeah, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, too.
__________________
Counterbalance in the little town of Ridgeview, Ohio. Two people permanently enslaved by the tyranny of fear and superstitution, facing the future with a kind of helpless dread. Two others facing the future with confidence - having escaped one of the darker places of the Twilight Zone.
Foster Zygote 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 4th December 2012, 10:23 AM   #272
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,354
@bruto:
Well, it's not just one thing. It's that if you do a shotgun approach and forbid a few dozen random things, even by sheer chance one or more will have some aspect which can be argued as worth avoiding.

Especially when

A) we're talking about ancient technology, where basically just about anything is a health hazard (E.g., if they had been forbidden to eat sheep instead, sure, then you can't get brain damage from scrapie sheep,) and

B) one doesn't have to do a balanced tallying up of the pros and cons, and weigh it against what is given up by having that restriction.

But really, there are ove six hundred 'don't's in the OT. I'm almost tempted to write a program that extracts 600 random words from a dictionary file just to make a point, and I'm betting that if you put appropriate 'do's and 'don't' next to them, you'll find a few which can be defended as good ideas. By sheer chance alone.
__________________
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 4th December 2012, 10:23 AM   #273
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,445
Originally Posted by rcfieldz View Post
It's had an awesome effect on my career...
So the creator of the universe has been waiting around for all of eternity just to give your career a boost because you decided to believe in him/her/it?
tsig is online now   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 4th December 2012, 10:32 AM   #274
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,354
Correction: the creator of the universe has been watching with indifference for about 197,000 years out of our 200,000 on this planet, and not intervened even for whole tribes massacred on accusations of sorcery, nor was moved by genocides that included stuff like impaling whole villages in Mesopotamian warfare or disemboweling pregant women in ancient midle eastern warfare. And in fact not only he wasn't moved by their dying screams, but he was planning to fry them in hell for eternity anyway, just because Jesus wasn't born yet to save them.

And going further back in time, we know that the Neanderthals had ceremonial burial, and included tools, weapons and supplies with their dead, or sometimes came and put flowers on the tombs. And therefore they quite likely had some kind of religion or at least a concept of some sort of afterlife. You don't go to such trouble if you don't think it will matter somehow. That's some 800,000 years of a sentient species looking up to the heavens for help and guidance, and God didn't give a screw about them. He didn't step in to save the last Neanderthal tribe, or anything.

And again, if I listen to the fundies, he couldn't save them because Jesus wasn't born yet. That's 800,000 years of people who asked heavens for help and guidance, and at best heavens never cared about them, while at worst heavens was just waiting to fry them for eternity for no more than being born too early.

But that God will totally leave all else and show up to help some Joe Random with a job interview
__________________
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 4th December 2012, 10:49 AM   #275
rcfieldz
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,194
uh not exactly

Originally Posted by tsig View Post
So the creator of the universe has been waiting around for all of eternity just to give your career a boost because you decided to believe in him/her/it?
The experience was different for me. And if I tried to explain, this post would end up in AAH like my others.
rcfieldz 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 4th December 2012, 10:50 AM   #276
Resume
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10,304
Originally Posted by rcfieldz View Post
The experience was different for me. And if I tried to explain, this post would end up in AAH like my others.
What's the dif? Explain away. Long as it's on topic.
Resume 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 4th December 2012, 10:53 AM   #277
rcfieldz
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,194
well..

Maybe he will appear to you someday.
rcfieldz 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 4th December 2012, 10:56 AM   #278
Resume
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10,304
Originally Posted by rcfieldz View Post
Maybe he will appear to you someday.
He who?
Resume 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 4th December 2012, 10:57 AM   #279
dafydd
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: On the Flanders/Nederland border.
Posts: 35,445
Originally Posted by rcfieldz View Post
Maybe he will appear to you someday.
Who?
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 4th December 2012, 11:56 AM   #280
kerikiwi
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bay of Islands NZ
Posts: 6,138
Originally Posted by rcfieldz View Post
Maybe he will appear to you someday.
Why doesn't the silly bugger just go ahead and appear?
After all, he seems to think it's important to our well being that we know he is there.
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
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 06:12 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.