Sunday Sacrilege: Sacking the City of God


(This is the text of the talk I’m giving at the Global Atheist Convention; I also thought it would make a good Sunday Sacrilege, so here you go.)

I must apologize for some topic drift — I came up with a title for this talk some months ago, but the as I was working on it, it…evolved. So what I’m actually going to talk about today is my plan to assault heaven and kill God. You don’t mind, do you?

A little background, first. You may have heard this common phrase.

In the beginning was the Word.

But, wait, no…that’s not true. In the beginning of human society, there was the Blood. The marker of our identity was the family, the tribe, the clan. What united us into functioning social units was our pedigree: the web of familial ties that knit us together. Unfortunately, that union was limited to a fairly small group of people, and could only be expanded by the commitment of marriage and birth. It limited us.

So next was the Word, right?

No, next was the King. The king was a proxy for the Blood: you declared allegiance to the big man, the chief, the royal family. Maybe you werenÕt directly linked by familial relationship, but the King or Pharaoh represented you–he was a symbol of your identity. The size of the social unit grew.

Now we come to the Word?

No, next was the City. In the ancient world, the large social unit was the city: Babylon. Athens. Rome. Kings come and go, but Rome was eternal. People didn’t say they were Greek; there was an awareness of a similarity of language and history, but when you asked who they were, they thumped their chests and said, “I am an Athenian!” or “I am a Spartan!” Rome built a whole empire with an arrogance of pride in that special Roman citizenship, so it was even an identity that could be expanded to a remarkable degree; people standing on Hadrian’s Wall in farthest Britain or on the frontiers of Syria would find honor in calling themselves Roman.

So now we come to the Word.

There’s a problem with basing your identity on a city. Cities fall. When Alaric the Goth sacked Rome in AD410, St Augustine could sit back in the relative safety of his home in North Africa and note the event with both horror and triumph: the Fall of Rome was an immense cataclysm that shook the ancient world, shattering that sense of identity and constancy, but was also an opportunity for an alternative way of thinking about ourselves to come to ascendancy: the way of the Word, the People of the Book.

Augustine didn’t think of it. It had been tried for a long time. The most notable people of the book are the Jews; they attached their sense of identity to a collection of laws and stories and commentaries and books, part of which is the Christian Old Testament. They acquired a persistence that cities couldn’t have. When Jerusalem fell, the Jewish people were not destroyed; the event became a chapter in their books, a remembered part of their history. It strengthened their identity. A Roman couldn’t be landless, cityless, countryless, but a Jew could: you could take everything away from the Jewish people, you could make them homeless and scattered, and still they knew who they were.

The most brilliant thing Christianity ever did was to take that idea of the Word, that concept of identity wrapped up in an abstract set of ideas and stories, and to open it up to everyone. Aww, Rome fell? YouÕre all alone? Here, we can help you find yourself, we can give a new meaning to your life, we have a standard that you can hold high and find unity with a greater people. It’s called the Bible.

I repeat, absolutely brilliant. It made Christianity bulletproof.

Cities fall. Kings die. Bloodlines fade. But ideas can go on and on and on. Now, a 21st century person can feel continuity with a 5th century priest; an American can share a central element of their self with someone in South Africa, with someone in China, with someone in Australia; heck, with someone on the space station, or walking on the moon. We can have the concept of an ecumene; people tied together by a common belief that crosses borders. It’s a powerful tool. It’s widely used, too; what is a United States citizen but someone bound by a set of documents, the Constitution?

There’s also the power that comes from an unkillable idea. You’ll find a version of this in V for Vendetta, Alan Moore’s graphic novel or the movie, which is precisely what the story is all about. Here’s what Evie had to say:

“We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught. He can be killed and forgotten. But four hundred years later an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of ideas. I’ve seen people kill in the name of them; and die defending them. But you cannot kill an idea, cannot touch it or hold it. Ideas do not bleed, it cannot feel pain, and it does not love.”

You were probably dubious and wondering what the heck I was doing saying the Bible was powerful and important, but maybe now that I’ve cited nerd god Alan Moore for the concept you’ll accept what I’m saying.

You can kill a man, you can sack a city, but Alan Moore says you cannot kill an idea. And ideas can change the world.

Ideas can change the world.

Say it again: Ideas can change the world.

Live it: Ideas can change the world.

This is something atheists share in common with Christians; you’ll get no argument from the believers in any religion that ideas can change the world. It’s what they’ve been doing for thousands of years, usually for the worse.

But I have to disagree with Alan Moore on one thing. You can kill an idea. This is also something that the people of faith are all aware of — perhaps unconsciously, perhaps not in any intellectual sense. But they know, and they are afraid. History is littered with dead ideas. Christians struggled hard to kill some of them, and succeeded in some cases, failed in others. They know it’s hard, but they also know from experience that it can be done.

Read the pronouncements of popes and archbishops, read the newspapers and web columns, look to the priests in their pulpits, and you’ll see something wonderful: they are reacting to the rise of the New Atheists in the same way the Roman establishment reacted to the Visigoths appearing on the horizon. I cannot blame them for being fearful; we are galloping towards the central ideas of their identity, and we aim to tear down their walls and replace their obsolete myths with change and something more vital.

Deep in their heart of hearts, they fear that a sequel to St Augustine’s City of God is in the works, and it’s going to be written by an atheist…and it will speak of a brand new world and new opportunities, it will create a new ecumene of people united under something other than the folly of faith.

So how do you kill an idea? How will we sack the city of faith?

By coming up with a better, more powerful idea. That’s the only way we can win.

Now I’m not so arrogant that I’d come in front of you all to tell you that I’ve come up with the grand idea that will be a religion-killer. This isn’t the kind of thing that pops into existence out of one guy’s mind — it takes refinement over time, lots of smart people hammering it out, just like those holy books weren’t magicked into existence in an instant. Fortunately, our idea has been incubating for a few centuries, and has involved multitudes of our civilization’s greatest minds.

It’s called science.

Science is our weapon, our god-killer. It’s the greatest tool humanity has ever invented — it’s taken us from a hodge-podge of bickering near-savages living in the mud and dying young of disease and childbirth and starvation and sword-pokes to a hodge-podge of bickering near-savages who sometimes walk on the moon, who sometimes cure diseases, who live twice as long as our predecessors, who can look deep into cells or far out to distant galaxies. It has given us great power to accomplish marvelous things or to screw up the whole planet.

Science also has the power to transform our sense of identity. Some of us are no longer People of the Word, members of a special tribe bound together by the narratives and rules in quaint old books. We are instead the People of Reality: we are united by common knowledge, by a sense of universality, by our commitment to evidence. Personally, I find no sense of myself in the Judeo-Christian fairy tales I was brought up with–they are too narrow, too bigoted, too false. The words of my people are written in the strands of DNA I find in every cell of my body, and the story they tell is clear and inspiring. We are all products of the natural world; stars died to create the elements we are made of, and 4 billion years of churning life struggled and was born and died to shape us. We are close kin to every single human being on the planet, without exception — there is no tribe that is outside our family. And even deeper, we are related to every living thing on earth. You simply cannot get any more universal than the scientific story of life.

I take far greater pride in the accomplishments of science than I do of my ethnic group, or my place in Western culture, or my particular ruling form of government, or least of all, the church I was brought up in. Science bridges differences: I can find common ground with American scientists, Canadian scientists, Mexican scientists, Chinese scientists, Iranian scientists, Australian scientists. Maybe you aren’t a scientist, strictly speaking, but you’ve read the latest book by Dawkins or Hawking, or you love David Attenborough’s TV shows, or you’re a bird watcher or like weekend hiking in the Mountains. You are my people! We are one, united in an appreciation of the natural world!

There’s another reason I can take pride in science. Science has real power. Science actually works. But maybe I should actually take a moment to define what science is.

Science is the process that does its damnedest to figure out how stuff actually works, rather than how we wished it worked.

You know, I kinda wish peach pits actually cured cancer, but I think it’s more important to do the experiments and measure the results and see if they really do…because if they don’t, I think it would be a good idea for people to move on to more effective treatments.

You know, when I’m shopping for a used car, I kinda wish that cherry shiny sports car that I look so good in and that the seller is dumping for cheap also had a smoothly functioning engine and a trouble-free transmission, but I’ll still take it for a test drive and bring it to a mechanic for inspection.

You know, my ancestors probably wished the shaman’s magic talisman kept tigers away, but he probably trusted more in a fire and palisades and a spear close to hand.

The real power of science comes beyond that immediate effect, though. It turns out that if you’re disciplined and careful, if you reject ideas based on superstition, revelation, and tradition and actually require confirmable evidence for any suppositions about even mundane things, you find yourself on good stable ground, and are able to ask even deeper questions, and get answers. And before you know it, you find yourself in possession of a strong chain of evidence that leads you to answers about the fundamental nature of the universe. That’s real power.

When theologians argue, they try to resolve differences by turning to murky sources remote from anything fundamental: they open their holy texts, they cite fellow theologians, they try to reinterpret words that have been reinterpreted many times before. Have you ever heard scientists argue, though? They do all the time. But they don’t resolve issues by appealing to higher authorities: they don’t usually argue that because Richard Dawkins said it, it’s settled. They don’t argue that we have to parse Charles Darwin’s words a little more finely to arrive at the truth.

No, they say, “I’m going into the lab and do an experiment to test that proposition.”

They say, “I’m going to build a new instrument to measure that and see who’s right.” Our only authority is reality, and that’s what we test all of our inferences against. When you’re studying the world, your source of information is the world.

I’ll have more respect for theologians, whose object of study is god, when they actually start querying their subject directly. OK, they can start small and begin by pinning down ghosts or angels and asking them the tough questions that will eventually lead to collaring the deity, but you know, it’s just absurd that people who make so many assertions about the supernatural never seem to actually study supernatural sources of information.

It’s almost as if they don’t exist.

Now I’m sniping a bit at religion, and there’s a reason for that. Science and religion are in opposition. Faith is the atheist’s enemy. Remember, science is a process for figuring out how the world actually works. If you short-circuit the process and declare that you already have the answer, you just have to believe, then you are an enemy of science. If you simply assert your desired conclusion, and ignore the fact that reality is rarely about the answer you want, you’re an enemy of science. Truth is often uncomfortable, you have to value it because it is true, not because it makes you feel good.

The clearest examples of the dangers of religious thinking can be found in issues of science policy. Questions about the environment, for instance, ought to be resolved by careful examination of the evidence and by weighing the costs and benefits of proposed solutions, right? That’s what you and I would do. That’s how reasonable people operate.

Not George Pell, as you Australians know lives in a state of denial. Not James Inhofe. Not John Shimkus. These are our American representatives, who have influence on energy and environmental policy, who endorse the “Green Dragon” philosophy and actively deny the evidence of the world around us. What is the green dragon, you might ask? Here’s a statement from one of its proponents. The green dragon is environmentalism.

“Around the world, environmentalism has become an unbalanced, radical movement. Something we call “The Green Dragon.” And it is deadly, deadly to human prosperity, deadly to human life, deadly to human freedom and deadly to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it, environmentalism is no longer your friend. It is your enemy. And the battle is not primarily political or material, it is spiritual. As Christians, we must actively trust God and obey His word. So when it comes to environmental stewardship, we must reject the false world view, the faulty science and the counterfeit gospel that threatens to corrupt society and the church.”

So in addressing the problems of the world, they deny evidence of the world to favor of mysticism and dogma. Both Inhofe and Shimkus have come out with unbelievably clear statements: we don’t have to worry about climate change, global warming, and CO2. Why? Because, in the bible, God said we don’t have to worry about a flood anymore, he promised it wouldn’t happen. And besides, god is also going to end the world soon, so it’s out of our hands.

Oh, yeah, it’s the End Times, don’t you know. Would you believe that, according to a recent Pew survey, 40% of Americans believe that Jesus is finally going to get around to fulfilling that promise he made 2000 years ago of global death and judgment, and it’s going to happen in our lifetimes? Aren’t we lucky? And here’s the creepy thing: those affirmative respondents all think that yes, we are lucky. Hooray for Armageddon and Apocalypse! Bring on famine, war, plague, and death! The demented ghouls of the end times are actually a significant political lobby, fighting to support Israel, no matter what. Why? Because they have a prophecy in Revelation that the Jewish state must be restored, in order that it be destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, after which the surviving Jews will convert en masse to Christianity. Go on, read the Left Behind books, which spell it all out, so it must be true.

If a scientist saw a cataclysm coming, say a meteor on collision course for earth in 2050, we wouldn’t be saying, “Hallelujah, physics is true, bring it on! Our faith in mathematics is strengthened!” We’d be trying to stop it. Which makes the Christian reaction puzzling. If I actually believed Jesus was coming to end the world, I’d be preparing by stocking up on timber and nails. They were pretty effective last time.

Now wait, there might be some people saying (not anyone here, of course) that that’s no fair. Maybe you’re a liberal Christian, and I’m picking on the extremists (although, when we’re talking about roughly half the United States being evolution-denying, drill-baby-drill, apocalypse-loving christians, it’s more accurate to say I’m describing a representative sample). Perhaps you’re a moderate, you support good science, education, and the environment, you just love Jesus or Mohammed, too.

I’m sorry, but I don’t like you. I’ll concede that you are doing less direct harm, and I will thank you for your support of shared causes, and I’ll also happily work alongside you in those causes, but I also think you are still doing indirect harm to foundational principles of a rational society. You believe in some outrageous bullshit; the christian myths of a virgin giving birth to a god who dies are illogical lunacy, and the Christian doctrines of original sin and redemption through blood sacrifice by proxy are crippling psychopathological abominations. You promote unreason by telling people that it is OK to believe in some things without evidence, and even in contradiction to evidence and reason. You are cafeteria realists, and you undermine the essential goal of bringing the whole of humanity out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of the real world.

I tell such people that the universe is clearly lacking in gods and supernatural forces, so grow up and set all that nonsense aside. Join us and become a good atheist — you’ll be much happier and will waste less time in pointless just-pretend foolishness.

So, what does it mean to be a good atheist in the 21st century? How do you live as a good atheist? What should our values be?

We’re a diverse group, and we never agree on everything, so I’ll give you just a few: truth, autonomy, community.

Truth

This one is so fundamental that it’s hard to say much about it. If you aren’t dedicated to learning and discovery, to finding out the factual truth of matters, then you can’t be a good atheist. Goodbye.

You might be saying to yourself, but this isn’t a very good criterion, because doesn’t everyone seek the truth? Don’t Christians say they value truth, too?

Unfortunately, they say it, but they don’t practice it. If that were true, all the major Christian denominations wouldn’t have denial of the mechanisms of evolution as core parts of their doctrine. Now I know right away that many of you will be protesting that the Catholic church nominally accepts that humans evolved over time; so does the church of latter day saints and many other denominations. But note that I said the mechanisms of evolution; we have a battery of well-supported, unambiguously factual mechanisms driving evolutionary change, and none of them involve fairies, aliens, angels or gods. The only process of evolution endorsed by any of these religious institutions is of god-guided, directed, teleological change, a mechanism completely unsupported by any evidence, in direct contradiction to known processes, and propped up only by an irrational need to make their holy dogma relevant to human origins.

They’re all intelligent design creationists, in other words, and they’re all wrong.

I left my liberal Lutheran church when I was 13 years old and learned that I was expected to believe in a lot of false ideas to be a member. This has been a lifelong value for me; how much of the facts and data and evidence are you willing to compromise? My answer was zero.

Autonomy

For many years, atheists have been in the minority; I have talked with so many people who thought for so long that they were the only one, the only person in their community who saw through the godawful babble of the church. (of course, now that we have the internet, those same people are discovering that they are part of a global movement). What that means, though, is that many atheists are nonconformists, boat-rockers, weirdos, and outcasts.

And we like it that way.

We are not sheep. We love people who stand up for themselves, we detest people who try to impose rules on us — I have to be very careful to keep my description of values general, and be clear that I’m not dictating them to you, but describing what I see emerging as a consensus, because otherwise I’ll be pilloried by my own kind. We’re a pitiless bunch.

But what it means is that we find common cause with the people who have also been oppressed by this racist patriarchal culture we live in. People should be free to be who they are…and more, they should be free to stand up loud and proud and be that person with impunity. We will not live in a monoculture. We’re going to find strength in diversity.

I can think of no clearer example than a struggle that has riven the online atheist community for the last year or two, the effort to acknowledge the role of women in atheism. For years, the face of atheism has been white, male, and middle-aged, and a certain complacency had settled in — women by default had their role, as wives or organizers, and we had adopted a casually masculine expectation that all of our intellectual leaders would look like, well, me. Atheist meetings looked a lot like meetings of the Mormon leadership.

That’s changing. We’re telling people to come out, join us, be free of the straitjacket of convention, and what’s happening is the discovery that women have even more reason to be pissed off at religion than men, and they are a fast-growing segment of our community. Some people resent that — I cannot and will not argue that being an atheist makes you free of irrationality — but I can say for myself and the majority of atheists that we are all overjoyed. Our ranks are swelling with fierce independent women who are changing us, making us stronger and louder, and standing up for their causes and making all of us fight for women’s rights, reproductive freedom, and equality of opportunity. This is atheism, too.

Are you LGBT, wanting equality and social justice? You are atheism.

Are you a member of a minority, seeking recognition for your rights as a human being and respect in a society you helped shape? You are atheism.

If you are a human being with real world concerns, who wants to change the world, who wants to contribute in a unique way that encourages those diverse views, then you should be one of us.

The club is only closed to people who fuss about an imaginary afterlife, getting right with an imaginary god, conforming to an arbitrary dogma, and who think the most useless act of all, prayer, is a contribution you deserve thanks for.

Community

There is a tired stereotype of atheists current in conservative circles. We are all cranky curmudgeons, grim nihilists and loners. Not a word of it is true. When you’re a social pariah, as so many atheists have been, is it any wonder that some of us might be a bit lonely and bitter? As my colleague on freethoughtblogs, Greta Christina, has been arguing, we also have good reason to be angry with a discriminatory society that does stupid things in the name of the Lord.

But atheism is blossoming. Atheists are coming out everywhere, speaking up on the Internet and public spaces, gathering together in meetings and discovering that we are not alone, and yes, it is good. We like each other. We work together. We’re happy together.

Three weeks ago, we had a wonderful meeting in Washington DC,the Reason Rally. 20,000 people gathered together in utterly miserable weather — it was cold, and it rained all day. I walked around in the crowds, and you know what? Everyone was smiling. Nobody was complaining (except for the cranky protesters on the fringe). The policemen monitoring the crowd were smiling. Goddamn, if I were the Grinch my heart would have grown three sizes that day.

I was also privileged to be backstage with all the speakers and celebrities and leaders of atheist organizations, and they were all jubilant, too. We were all damp and soggy — I remember watching Tim Minchin doing his set, barefoot on a stage puddled with water and strung with cables to Bad Religion’s amps and speakers, and thinking one good short and the atheist movement could be decapitated today — and every one of us had big goofy smiles on our faces.

And now this weekend we meet 4000 strong in Melbourne–and what an amazing crowd this is.

This is not surprising. We are a social species, and we thrive in communities, it’s how we have survived and grown so far. And atheists, contrary to some of our critics, are fully human, not aliens at all.

This willing cooperativity is something we have to value. Not only is it who we are, but it’s how the good atheists of the 21st century will win in the end.

We humans are different from other species in this regard. I have a favorite story from the primatologist Robert Sapolski to highlight this human attribute. We are not baboons.

“When baboons hunt together they’d love to get as much meat as possible, but they’re not very good at it. The baboon is a much more successful hunter when he hunts by himself than when he hunts in a group because they screw up every time they’re in a group. Say three of them are running as fast as possible after a gazelle, and they’re gaining on it, and they’re deadly. But something goes on in one of their minds — I’m anthropomorphizing here — and he says to himself, “What am I doing here?I have no idea whatsoever, but I’m running as fast as possible, and this guy is running as fast as possible right behind me, and we had one hell of a fight about three months ago. I don’t know why we’re running so fast right now, but I’d better just stop and slash him in the face before he gets me. ” the baboon suddenly stops and turns around, and they go rolling over each other like Keystone cops and the gazelle is long gone because the baboons just become disinhibited. ÊThey get crazed around each other at every juncture.”

I think that’s cool. That’s not us, we aren’t baboon-like at all. Even though baboons are really scary animals — they’re stronger than us, individually fiercer, and they have those savage huge fangs — they have this weakness, and we have this strength. We work together.

You know that in the childhood of our species, we were prey to the predators of the African continent. Alone, we were soft, weak, and tasty, and I’m sure the lions and leopards enjoyed a hominid snack. But together…I’m sure that when some ferocious big cat came upon a tribe of humans, together, and when they all turned 10 or 15 pairs of eyes on the predator and reached for stones and sharpened sticks, that cat felt fear and slunk away. Those eyes, those hunter’s eyes on the front of the face…when a group of us turn those eyes in cold calculation on any problem, when our hands work together, we are the most powerful force on the planet.

Yesterday I was listening to our Christian protesters outside, and I thought, “Huh. So that’s what you get when you give a sheep a microphone, amplified bleating.” There they were, calling on everyone to deny the richness of human experience and join the flock in the narrow boring confines of the sheep pen, so mindless they didn’t even realize they were calling to the wolves.

I have a different metaphor for us, my brothers and sisters in atheism. We are not sheep; there are no shepherds here. I look out from this stage and I see 4000 pairs of hunter’s eyes, 4000 hunter’s minds, 4000 pairs of hunter’s hands. I see the primeval primate hunting band grown large and strong. I see us so confident in our strength that we laugh at our enemies. I see a people thinking and planning, fierce and focused, learning and building new tools to conquer new worlds.

You are not sheep. You, my brothers and sisters in atheism, are a fierce, coordinated hunting pack — men and women working together, and those other bastards have cause to fear us. So let’s do it: make them tremble as we demolish the city of god.

Comments

  1. mikee says

    @Steve Miller 491

    It is also refreshing to know it isn’t really anything new, or something which has not been addressed and refuted before.

    By refuted, do you mean the tiresome ” ’cause the bible says so” approach.
    “addressed and refuted” – I don’t think so. “Ignored” might have been a better choice of words.

    you do well at articulating points which not all atheists will readily admit.

    If your post isn’t just an irritating christian hit and run because you cant cope with the replies you will get, perhaps you could explain what you mean by this remark? Or is it just religious bluster to cover the fact you have no defendable and evidence based position that god exists?

  2. says

    Isn’t stevemiller just the cutest!

    and Rajkumar,

    OK. When you have the sensation of losing a limb, it is you aka John Morales, which is your ego self, who is having this sensation. When you lose your entire ego self, when you lose being John Morales, who is aware of losing this self called John Morales?

    Wow, man, you are like totally deep man. Like totally deep ass, bro. Like duuuuuuuude… You’re like so… Wow, man.

  3. says

    OK. When you have the sensation of losing a limb, it is you aka John Morales, which is your ego self, who is having this sensation. When you lose your entire ego self, when you lose being John Morales, who is aware of losing this self called John Morales?

    When you delete a file on a computer but leave shortcuts the computer will alert you that the shortcut is broken.

    Where do the files in your computer go when you take a sledge hammer to the CPU?

  4. says

    If’d lost your ego boundaries, and your sense of self in the process, then who experienced all of this events?

    This has happened to me more or less due to anesthetics. Consciousness stopped and then rebooted. My brain actually constructed a NDE like experience as it tried to fill in the gaps in memory. If you’re curious you can actually hear a secular NDE

  5. Agent Silversmith, Post Palladium Isotope says

    Catnip

    Agent,

    No no no no no!

    You’re not getting the full meaning of the words “wrong” and “departure”

    They could be expanded to include things which the human mind cannot even comprehend yet! Or ever!

    It’s really just an alternate way of being one with god*. You know experiencing god.

    *this is not the god you think it is {Jedi hand wave}

    After a good night’s sleep, I finally geddit!

    Words like “wrong” and “departure” have these vast unknown areas to them, incalculable and incomprehensible, but we know there’s a big hairy god within those vistas. Not sure how one can confidently state the existence of a known entity within an unknown zone, but it’s sure to require Sophistimicated Theology. With extra fapping.

    Oh, and look at that, the thread reeled in another godbot.

    Stevemiller, given that the “refutations” deal with atheist claims about as effectively as a used tissue deflects a bullet, I can only put your ongoing support of them down to good indoctrination and stout denial. But by all means, provide the killer argument that the Christian community has never thought of this whole time. Got evidence? Feeling it in your heart doesn’t count. Neither does “it’s in the Bible”.

  6. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    stevemiller, show us where you address the solid and conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. You know, something equivalent to the eternally burnin bush.

    Meh. I’d rather he explain what “the pompatus of love” means. That would give us a lot more insight into the workings of the world.

  7. says

    LOL! You guys are brilliant. And Raj darling (if you can call me “dear,” I can call you “darling,” right?), if you’re still reading, John Morales and Consciousness Razor pretty much covered it. There’s nothing I would add to their answers.

    And honey? You’re no Zen monk. Your koans aren’t.

    Came back just for you, because I was waiting for your response — the first thing I saw on my computer this morning….

    Aren’t you sweet? Call me anything you like. But it makes you look and sound sweet when you use words like ‘Darling’ and ‘Honey’, instead of ‘fuck’, ‘wank’, and ‘masturbation’…. even when you are making absolutely no sense at all as far as explaining your arguments goes. So all is good on my side.

    Yes I am not a Zen monk. No monk or Dervish. Happy?

    As for John Marales, assuming he is a man, he acted like a one little pussy last night. If anything, he only screwed up your position….

    And just a little clarification note on the usage of the word ‘pussy’ here: “5. Slang A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly.”

    Again, assuming this character John Morales is a man, this ‘little pussy’ title fits him perfectly. Nothing to do with being sexist or not. For those of you who started jumping up and down, and bouncing around.

    BYE

    PS: If you have anything to say about my question other than using John Morales as a lifeboat with 100 holes in it, then I may come back again for you, dear.

  8. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    As for John Marales, assuming he is a man, he acted like a one little pussy last night. If anything, he only screwed up your position….

    And just a little clarification note on the usage of the word ‘pussy’ here: “5. Slang A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly.”

    Again, assuming this character John Morales is a man, this ‘little pussy’ title fits him perfectly. Nothing to do with being sexist or not. For those of you who started jumping up and down, and bouncing around.

    Ye gods, you’re a fucking moron. Using our genitalia as an insult – no, totally not sexist. Using “unmanliness” as an insult – also totally not sexist.
    See? Like I said. Embarrassing. You really ought to get someone to read your posts in advance to prevent you from disgracing yourself in public like this. Or just THINK FOR FIVE FUCKING SECONDS ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. You insipid, babbling dumbass.

  9. Daniel Schealler says

    *double facepalm*

    Even when you are making absolutely no sense at all as far as explaining your arguments goes. So all is good on my side.

    Okay. So if Sally makes too much sense in her arguments, you will refuse to talk to her any more because she will start to sound like a philosophy major.

    But suppose* that Sally doesn’t make any sense in her arguments, you will dismiss her on grounds of not making enough sense.

    Heads Raj wins, tails we lose.

    Doubleplus good crimestopping duckspeaker.

    * Note: I think Sally is making sense in her arguments. I’m only supposing for the sake of highlighting Raj’s inconsistency.

  10. says

    Ye gods, you’re a fucking moron. Using our genitalia as an insult – no, totally not sexist. Using “unmanliness” as an insult – also totally not sexist.
    See? Like I said. Embarrassing. You really ought to get someone to read your posts in advance to prevent you from disgracing yourself in public like this. Or just THINK FOR FIVE FUCKING SECONDS ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. You insipid, babbling dumbass.

    Hey. Pussy also means cat. Actually, more often it means cat than anything else. A word can have lots of meaning. Use you head instead of screaming like this. If I wanted to refer to female genitalia, I would have used a proper word so to leave no ambiguity.

  11. says

    rajkumar, you have failed to stick the flounce. You will never achieve enlightenment until you stick the flounce. You will never, ever have a little chat with god until you stick the flounce.

    Stick The Flounce, O Idiot.

  12. Matt Penfold says

    Hey. Pussy also means cat. Actually, more often it means cat than anything else. A word can have lots of meaning. Use you head instead of screaming like this. If I wanted to refer to female genitalia, I would have used a proper word so to leave no ambiguity.

    Fuck off you disingenuous lying fuckwit. You are fooling no one.

    I think PZ will have a lot of cleaning up to do when has time. It is a toss up over whether you or Phido will be the first to walloped with the hammer.

  13. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    It is also refreshing to know it isn’t really anything new, or something which has not been addressed and refuted before.

    Just like xian apologetics, huh ?

    Those are so old they’re starting to smell.

    Also “refeshing” to see old things ?

    It’s, huh, “refreshing” to see that xians haven’t become any more adept at logic than they were before.

  14. says

    rajkumar:

    “5. Slang A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly.”

    Yeah, we know what it means, you dim ass fuckwit. What you don’t know is that your using it makes you a misogynist fuckwit.

    What’s the matter, fuckwit? Can’t figure out how to insult someone without bringing gender into it? How surprising. Not.

  15. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Where do the files in your computer go when you take a sledge hammer to the CPU?

    I think you meant “hard drive”. The files never were in the CPU to begin it.

    Again, assuming this character John Morales is a man, this ‘little pussy’ title fits him perfectly. Nothing to do with being sexist or not. For those of you who started jumping up and down, and bouncing around.

    No, not at all, misogynist asscake dear.

    I mean, being a woman is so awful, heh ?

  16. Amphiox says

    Again, assuming this character John Morales is a man, this ‘little pussy’ title fits him perfectly

    The context of the juxtaposition of these two phrases is pretty clear here. And it certainly has nothing to do with cats.

    5. Slang A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly.

    A meaning derived from the oblique comparison to a woman.

    Hey. Pussy also means cat.

    And this meaning is also derived from the association between the animal and women, and dates at least as far back as the idea of witch’s familiars.

    So it appears that YET ANOTHER troll initially appearing as just a vacuous, but largely harmless, moron, has turned out upon further examination to be a pathetic, odious, misogynistic lump of liquid excrement.

    You’d think by now I’d have learned enough to not be surprised.

  17. David Marjanović says

    I think I would like to start an open-source journal called Annals of How We Were Wrong About Everything. The first issue will be a series of reviews. I invite you to write about the amphibians.

    To be honest, though, I’ve never defended that hypothesis, especially not in print, so I can’t show that I was wrong, only that other people were…

    I am already working on my soon-to-be-somewhat-less-than-seminal-work, “What the fuck is an Anthocerophyte? I wish there were dogma to even question”.

    That sounds fucking awesome.

    …Do you know them? …

    LOL! Perfect answer!

    “Where is thy rebuttal?” they cried, and scorned his butt.

    + 1

    Yes. It is so easy to describe these states as ‘our brain doing amazing things’, but that doesn’t really explain anything at all, does it?

    Do you know anything about neurotransmitters?

    Anything at all?

    Thou shalt not take the Lord thy God’s name intravenously.

    LOL!

    *tries to prepare aqueous solution of yttrium/tungsten dihydride*
    *upon contact with water, hydride turns into hydroxide and lots of heat*



    Again you are making a mistake. A BIG one. There is no one to perceive here, dear. You have already lost yourself in this ‘unified field of consciousness’. There is no “you” any more.

    That’s how it seems to you. But you’re wrong. It’s just an illusion.

    For crying out loud, how can this be so hard to understand?

    First Sally, then this John Morales character pulled me back here. I was leaving. 20 posts ago.

    Nobody can force you to comment here against your will.

    Ask Dawkins. I am sure he has connections in the British Royal Family, and I am sure the royal family still hires clowns, if only secretly.

    In both cases, what – if anything – makes you think so?

    Rick Santorum Home for the Religiously Insane

    + 1

    Wow, man, you are like totally deep man. Like totally deep ass, bro. Like duuuuuuuude… You’re like so… Wow, man.

    Thread won.

  18. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Hey. Pussy also means cat. Actually, more often it means cat than anything else. A word can have lots of meaning. Use you head instead of screaming like this. If I wanted to refer to female genitalia, I would have used a proper word so to leave no ambiguity.

    Rajkumar, the correct answer here is, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize this kind of insult was demeaning to women.”

    There’s nothing wrong with being unaware of it.

    What’s wrong is perpetuating them when you know where they come from.

    There are lots and lots of other things you can use for insults besides racist, sexist or ableist ones.

    Be creative.

  19. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    How surprising! Raj is trying to conflate the meanings of whole sentances now, to wriggle out of the rhetorical trap he set for himself.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s becoming obvious the only way rajkumar will stick a flounce is if PZ lowers the banhammer.

  21. mood2 says

    This is a horrible speech.

    I’m assuming you have two goals here PZ, to make your personal view of what atheism means the generally accepted one, and to rally the troops behind your vision of what a ‘good atheist’ should be and do.

    Firstly, ‘What is a good atheist?’ is a nonsense question based on a category error. All it takes to be an atheist is not to believe in gods – how can I do that well or badly?

    What you’re really saying is that you, PZ Myers, only like atheists who share your general world view re the over-riding importance of science and rationality and truth etc. Well saying you don’t like people who aren’t Just Like You is OK I suppose, but it’s nothing to do with ‘being good at not believing in gods’. This smacks of using rhetoric to try to co-opt everyone who identifies as an atheist for whatever reason into your larger belief system, and presumably your crusade.

    As for rallying this atheist…well no. And I’m the sort of person you single out as someone you think you speak for and supposedly a natural ally – an atheist who is also a feminist and a lesbian. And all this macho posturing crap about enemies and hunting parties is a total turn off. To continue your analogy, what you’re suggesting here is forming a hunting party to beat up the other hunting party who are chasing the ‘wrong’ gazelle. No ta.

  22. says

    I think PZ will have a lot of cleaning up to do when has time. It is a toss up over whether you or Phido will be the first to walloped with the hammer.

    Don’t forget that yec123 thimblewit! So many numbskulls, so many swings of the banhammer.

  23. says

    mood2:

    And I’m the sort of person you single out as someone you think you speak for and supposedly a natural ally – an atheist who is also a feminist and a lesbian. And all this macho posturing crap about enemies and hunting parties is a total turn off.

    So, you think all feminist lesbians are exactly like you, eh? Interesting. I have some disturbing news for you – not all of us feminist GLBT peoples find what PZ said to be a “turn off”. I certainly didn’t.

    To continue your analogy, what you’re suggesting here is forming a hunting party to beat up the other hunting party who are chasing the ‘wrong’ gazelle.

    You have reading comprehension problems, don’t you?

  24. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    @mood2

    I’m sure you will be very happy to continue living in the barely desguised xtian theocracies that currently define much of the world. Particularly as a Lesbian and feminist (assuming you actually are one).

    Meanwhile, many of the rest of us will continue to agitate to reduce the influence of the theists on our lives.

    Why do you suppose that PZ was attempting to turn you on? Perhaps he was aiming for different outcomes than the ones you imagine you would like?

  25. A. R says

    So many numbskulls, so many swings of the banhammer.

    Sometimes I wonder if “I’m traveling” posts set off some kind of alarm in troll HQ alerting them to free range on the blog…

  26. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t forget that yec123 thimblewit! So many numbskulls, so many swings of the banhammer.

    Even one on the old SciBlogs. Texpipsqueak is back and being as stupidly stupid as evah.

  27. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Pussy also means cat. Actually, more often it means cat than anything else. A word can have lots of meaning. Use you head instead of screaming like this. If I wanted to refer to female genitalia, I would have used a proper word so to leave no ambiguity.

    The fact that you don’t realize how unbearably ignorant you sound is the most excruciating aspect of talking to you. Ignorance by itself is nothing to be ashamed of, but aggressive, willful ignorance is just unbearable.

  28. A. R says

    I would have used a proper word

    Yeah, like “cunt.” That’s that way you idiots work, isn’t it?

  29. Snoof says

    How surprising! Raj is trying to conflate the meanings of whole sentances now, to wriggle out of the rhetorical trap he set for himself.

    So, do you think rajkumar really thinks words mean exactly what xe wants them to mean, no more and no less?

    Or is xe merely playing rhetorical games to avoid “losing” an argument?

  30. says

    Snoof:

    Or is xe merely playing rhetorical games to avoid “losing” an argument?

    He’d have to know what an argument is first, along with how to actually argue.

  31. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Snoof:

    It’s possible he isn’t conscious of the pain he is inflicting on the words he chooses to torture thus. It may well be his subconcious doing so to avoid acknowledging that his arguments fall short of the necessary rigour and thoughtfulness normal discourse would generally require. It’s possible that he engages in these mental gymnastics to avoid acknowledging that his sacred cow of believing in pantheism is flawed & to actually engage his intellect honestly would shoo those fantasms off into the darkest portion of his mind.

    More likely though, he’s just a mind numbingly dull troll.

  32. says

    If you subjectively experience sensations like “eternity” and “oneness with the universe” through drug use, that means you must have actually experienced eternity and oneness with the universe.

    In exactly the same way that if you experience the sensation of bugs crawling under your skin through drug use, that means you must actually have bugs crawling under your skin.

    —-

    I think I would like to start an open-source journal called Annals of How We Were Wrong About Everything.

    In a similar vein, I’ve been thinking about a journal titled NOPE – The Journal of Negative Results, that only published papers that failed to verify their hypotheses or reproduce results.

  33. Menyambal -- sambal master ordinaire says

    “Sacred cow” may be the key phrase, there, Catnip. I am more than ever convinced that rajkumar grew up in India, with Indian English as a second language. There’s other, personal, stuff going on, but he’s not using words the same way that other folks here do, and his train of thought seems to be running on steam.

    He got me thinking, though, with his babble about God being incomprehensible. Let me see if I can say this …

    A lot of folks assign anything that is hard to comprehend to their god and his mystic ways. If they keep that up, their god becomes impossible to comprehend.

    They become agnostic, then. Not in the sense where they don’t know if there is a god or not, but in the sense where they know in their hearts that God is impossible to truly know–he is too big and amazing for us little people (even though the Bible says he walked in the garden in the cool of the evening).

  34. Patricia, OM says

    more likely though he’s just a mind numbingly dull troll.

    You can make those palatable if you bone them, pound to a 1/4″ thickness with a large meat hammer (#5 sledge), marinade in red wine w/juniper berries for 48 hours. Then roast over hell fire from Sabbath to Sabbath.

  35. eddyline says

    , and his train of thought seems to be running on steam

    I have to steal that. That’s exquisite.

  36. Daniel Schealler says

    “Sacred cow” may be the key phrase, there, Catnip.

    I prefer “Sacred Bull”.

    They give right kind of shit.

  37. scifi says

    I pretty much agree with most everything PZ said, and I do agree that the ID’ers who base everything on the Bible as literal are wrong, but if you go further and state that a creator doesn’t exist, then you are simply basing it strictly on faith in science because there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator might be required. In fact, Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe from nothing, admits that a creator is a possibility. It is nice to see that someone of his caliber admits this. I hasten to add, that I can neither prove or disprove a creator, but at least I admit that I don’t know. An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

  38. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    You’re still here, scifi?
    Did we really need another incoherent babbler for this thread? Go away! We’re full up!

  39. Menyambal -- sambal master ordinaire says

    scifi:

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    Scifi thinks he factually knows what an atheist thinks, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

  40. scifi says

    Menyambal,
    “Scifi thinks he factually knows what an atheist thinks, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.”

    Actually, I’ve been here long enough to know what a number of atheists think. Let me mention just one of them, Nerd of a red head. She has no proof, but she will come out repeatedly and say that a creator is imaginary.

  41. Daniel Schealler says

    @scifi #541

    if you go further and state that a creator doesn’t exist, then you are simply basing it strictly on faith in science because there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator might be required.

    Are you familiar with why unfalsifiability is justified grounds to dismiss a statement or concept?

    Surely someone has tried explaining this to you before now… Right?

  42. Daniel Schealler says

    Gah.

    First sentence is scifi, second and third is me.

    Stupid forgetting to click preview before submit key *mutter*

  43. Amphiox says

    but if you go further and state that a creator doesn’t exist, then you are simply basing it strictly on faith in science

    No, it is based on parsimony.

    because there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator might be required.

    So? The appropriate default position is disbelief until positive evidence is presented.

    In fact, Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe from nothing, admits that a creator is a possibility.

    So does Richard Dawkins. So does PZ Myers. So does pretty much every single scientific atheist who has gone on record to say it. But lots of things are possibilities. Like pink unicorns. And sock gnomes.

    What matters is not possibility, but probability.

    It is nice to see that someone of his caliber admits this.

    Why? It is routine among scientific atheists to “admit” this.

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    False. Scientific atheists believe that one should not believe in anything without reason to, ie positive evidence. In the absence of evidence, disbelief is the proper position, not only philosophically, but practically. There are many, many more ways in which something can not exist than in which something can. So in the absence of any evidence to tell us otherwise, nonexistence is always more probable than existence. Furthermore, lack of evidence means lack of measureable effect, and from the point of view of making practical, useful decisions (the only practical reason to want to know anything), no measureable effect is indistinguishable from non-existence, and so we act accordingly.

    Scientific atheists merely apply this basic scientific reasoning to the question of gods.

    It is rather presumptious of you to try to unilaterally declare what other people think.

  44. says

    Nerd of a red head. She has no proof, but she will come out repeatedly and say that a creator is imaginary.

    BWAHAHAHAHAH!!!

    Ah Nerd, good to know that you’re still the Only Woman on the Internet.

    Scifi, I’ll say it too. Though it is theoretically possible that there’s a creator deity of some sort, all the evidence points towards god being an invention of human imagination.

    Your god is imaginary.

    Happy now?

  45. Amphiox says

    She has no proof, but she will come out repeatedly and say that a creator is imaginary.

    HE has evidence and parsimony, and that is all he needs. “Proof” is an irrelevant red herring.

    Furthermore, he does not say A creator is imaginary, he always addresses the theist with “YOUR creator is imaginary”.

    This distinction is of fundamental importance. Take some time to think about it.

  46. consciousness razor says

    I pretty much agree with most everything PZ said, and I do agree that the ID’ers who base everything on the Bible as literal are wrong, but if you go further and state that a creator doesn’t exist, then you are simply basing it strictly on faith in science because there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator might be required.

    What is a creator? Tell me that, since you wouldn’t the last time I asked, then we can talk about whether or not it could be logically necessary. Because not everything is or could be necessary. We can’t simply make that assertion and cry foul when people say it’s not a valid move, without being branded a fool or a lying shithead. We have to back it up with rigorous logic and evidence, as well as a reasonably coherent definition of the possibility being claimed. So again, what the fuck is it that you think “might be required,” and how the fuck do you know that?

    In fact, Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe from nothing, admits that a creator is a possibility. It is nice to see that someone of his caliber admits this.

    Because you want to rely on authorities rather than actual arguments. Or do you actually want to tell us about Krauss’ argument, or your version of it?

    I hasten to add, that I can neither prove or disprove a creator, but at least I admit that I don’t know. An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    No. An atheist simply doesn’t believe in any deity. One doesn’t need to know for sure in order to have a belief, just like you have some belief about deities even though you claim not to be able to prove or disprove it. Since you like to weasel in a claim of possible necessity, berating atheists for their certainty (as if we are all alike) is idiotic and hypocritical — might want to try out something else next time you feel like godbotting.

    And there are in fact many good reasons, supported with lots of evidence, to believe that the deities other people do believe don’t or can’t exist. Your confusion and misrepresentation of atheists is not an argument. Besides, it certainly can’t be the case that all deities are necessary, since they exclude one another, so which deity is it that you’re babbling about?

  47. Patricia, OM says

    Scifi you aren’t fit to lick Nerd of Redheads boots.

    Gawd exists no where except your imagination and holy books written by men. Fuckwit.

  48. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Lol at this joker telling us all about Nerd and what she believes :)

  49. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    Oh scifi, sweetie, bless your little heart. I’ll make you a deal. If you go away somewhere until you can wrap your mind around the extremely simple concept of the null hypothesis, you and I can maintain a mutual pretense that the reason you made this very ignorant remark is that you’d never heard of the null hypothesis before. You know, for the sake of your already-tattered dignity. Run along now.

  50. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Scifi, read this and try to take it in: there is no evidence for a creator; ergo, we conditionally assume one doesn’t exist – that condition, of course, is that should evidence of a creator appear, we would change our minds. Until such time, though, we feel it is pointless to speculate on what a creator might or mightn’t be.

    Does that make sense to you?

  51. says

    I pretty much agree with most everything PZ said, and I do agree that the ID’ers who base everything on the Bible as literal are wrong, but if you go further and state that a creator doesn’t exist, then you are simply basing it strictly on faith in science because there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator might be required.

    Can you, in any way, define what you mean by “a creator”?

    I guess “that which resulted in the universe coming into being”… but what would qualify, in your mind?

    A sentient being? An event? A change in state?

    Can a collision between 2 M-theory branes be “the creator”? Can a ripple in the quantum foam be “the creator”?

    If it’s that open ended, the word is meaningless and carries no religious weight. It is simply a placeholder for the question “if the universe had a beginning, what happened?” It answers nothing.

    .

    If you do mean the creator is a sentient being (as is traditional), there are two primary issues:

    1) Supposing this being was responsible for the big bang, it tells us nothing further of use; it tells us nothing about the state of the universe after that point. The laws of physics alone appear to completely describe the way things are with no mysterious interventions being apparent for the past ~13 billion years.

    (Despite what may people seem to think, if one merely concedes to the possibility of an undefined external agency, it does not logically follow that said agency is looking at one of ~200 billion galaxies, isolating a planet around one of ~200 billion of its stars, listening in to the brain activity of a single species of primate and altering the course of the universe to suit individual whims. There is no necessity to even acknowledge its existence, let alone praise and worship it.)

    2) If this being did create what we call the universe, we’ve learned nothing about true origins but merely pushed the question back a step. There’s now an entity that exists in some greater framework that contains “the universe”, and now we start asking about the nature of that greater framework and its origins.

    Handwaving away the creator and its environment as simply being “eternal” is a bald assertion and special pleading. The same argument can be made that the universe itself (or its state prior to the big bang) is eternal, and contains fewer assumptions. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    So going on the evidence available, A) the universe can be explained more simply without a creator entity than with one, and B) should there indeed be one, there’s nothing to indicate it requires anything at all of us and therefore has no day-to-day philosophical implications.

  52. Patricia, OM says

    Yep, and as the world’s formerly Truest Christian, I admit unicorns might fart butterflies.

    Pell much scifi?

  53. A. R says

    Interestingly, if you run a random sample of the Nerd’s comments though the handy dandy gender predictor text thingy (Linky), you get a result of weak female. Just goes to show how inaccurate those things can be. /creepiness

  54. consciousness razor says

    Scifi, read this and try to take it in: there is no evidence for a creator; ergo, we conditionally assume one doesn’t exist – that condition, of course, is that should evidence of a creator appear, we would change our minds. Until such time, though, we feel it is pointless to speculate on what a creator might or mightn’t be.

    Does that make sense to you?

    I would put a decent chunk of money on it not making sense to him. He’s presupposing a god is logically necessary (and protecting the claim from our criticism and/or rationalizing it by calling the belief a “possibility”). Evidence doesn’t seem to matter one whit to people stuck in this mindset, because existence itself is all the “evidence” they think they need. They might even think they believe in some version of Jesus or Allah or whoever, but it’s more like the ground of all being or existingness or some such nonsense.

    I guess for them it might be better to deal with the semantics of their argument, even though that becomes very messy and tiresome, because then it’s somewhat easier to understand some of the reasons why their presuppositions fail to establish anything about reality. But if you do, then they need to have some room to speculate a bit to help them realize why their speculations are vacuous or contradictory, and why that’s the only option they have unless there is actual scientific evidence.

  55. Rey Fox says

    Scifi, read this and try to take it in: there is no evidence for a creator; ergo, we conditionally assume one doesn’t exist – that condition, of course, is that should evidence of a creator appear, we would change our minds. Until such time, though, we feel it is pointless to speculate on what a creator might or mightn’t be.

    But but but…what if there IS a creator? Then we’ll have been wrong to say that there probably isn’t one…and he’d be MAD!

    It’s gotta be some form of Pascal’s Wager. I don’t know why else so many people would cling so tightly to this possibility of there being a god. We laugh at people who really think they’re gonna win the lottery, but for some reason we’re expected to clasp that tiny little probability that there’s some sort of creator god behind the universe tightly in our hands. As if it makes some sort of difference in how we should live our lives. Feh.

  56. Patricia, OM says

    Because possibility = 100% cold hard, carved in stone, bible thumpin’ proof to any True Christian.

    AND we have Cardnial Pell quoting page 92 of Darwins biography that proves even Darwin believed in god.

    See? Makes perfect sense.
    *snort*

  57. theophontes 777 says

    @ David Marjanović

    …Do you know them? …

    LOL! Perfect answer!

    To much Python in my youtube diet… I read that as:

  58. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    @eddyline #557

    TZT, rather… This thread seems to be attracting more than it’s fair share of Zs

    You wait, next we’ll have danielhaven turn up….

    Ooops! I hope I didn’t just invoke him!

  59. AstrySol says

    Maybe I’m little bit late (long time lurker) but that’s a really inspiring speech! Will it be okay for me to translate it to Chinese (science bridges differences!) and re-post on my blog with the original link? Thanks!

  60. Louis says

    Rajkumar doubles down on pussy…

    …wait that sentence didn’t quite work did it?

    Either way, I think we all knew what I meant. Are we not surprised? ARE WE NOT SURPRISED? I mean it’s not a great leap from “I cannot be wrong about my stoned drivel” to “I cannot be wrong about anything, even something as insignificant* as mild to moderate instances of unthought prejudice on the internet”./

    Ah well. New day, same dough-heeds.

    Louis

    * I know it’s not insignificant just on the global scale of prejudice it’s a minor instance of it. That’s not to “Dear Muslima” it and claim it therefore doesn’t need to be worried about. Of course it does. Especially here. After all, it’s fucking hard to commit genocide in a comment box, I know, I’ve tried, but it’s really easy to come across as a bigot.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator might be required.

    Incoherent statement. Why is anything required without hard and conclusive physical evidence it is required and it does exist. Blathering and mental masturbation is not evidence. It is OPINION.

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    Another incoherent statement. You want there to be a creator, show the conclusive physical evidence for it. You want us to believe in your imaginary deity, show us the evidence. Don’t imagufacture evidence like the anthropomorphic principle. All mental wanking, and meaningless.

    Actually, I’ve been here long enough to know what a number of atheists think. Let me mention just one of them, Nerd of a red head. She has no proof, but she will come out repeatedly and say that a creator is imaginary.

    Boy, you being fractally wrong continues. No wonder you sound incoherent. First of all, the Redhead is my wife of 35+ years. My hair color is bald. Second, everything is imaginary until you can show it with solid and conclusive physical evidence. That is a principle of skepticism, not atheism.

    You see, your problem is with the concept that the creator exists since you say so, until it is disproven. Have you ever studied the concept of proving a negative? Click on the Wiki examples as a starter. But, I’ll give you an example from my discipline. Say you have a soil sample. You want to know if there is any mercury in it. The problem is the word any. What levels are you looking for? That needs to be defined. Without that definition, which technique should be used, and if no mercury is found at ppb levels, you can always retreat to bbt for the ill-defined word any. Define the level, say 1 ppm, and it can be tested for and a definitive results given. The open-ended negative can’t be demonstrated, but a well defined negative can. I can show the mercury is lower than 1 ppm. Your deity/creator suffers from the problem of being defined in a way that prevents falsification of the idea. It can’t be disproven, due to it being an any. But every time the god/creator concept is defined sufficiently, say the 1 ppm, it comes up shown be non-existent.
    So the skeptic uses the null hypothesis of non-existence to get around this logical impossibility. That means you claim a deity/creator (or bigfoot) exists, it is considered imaginary until you provide the evidence to back up your claim. You, scifi, never back up your claim, you just make it without evidence. Remember, your mental wanking about it isn’t evidence. That is your sophistry to justify your belief. But it isn’t evidence. Solid, physical, and conclusive evidence is required for moving from the null hypothesis of non-existence to existence.
    So, when I say your creator is imaginary, there is multiple things going on. I’m saying that there is no evidence for it at the moment. I’m also stating the null hypothesis. I’m also reminding you the burden of proof is upon you prove your claim, not on me to disprove your ill-defined any claim. And scifi, you don’t even try to prove your creator except with mental wanking. Ergo, you demonstrate that the concept is bogus, OPINION not fact. And that you are probably a liar and bullshitter who is not to be listened to without citations.

  62. says

    scifi,

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    WRONG! And stop trying to tell us what we believe, you arrogant little shit.
    Fuck. Off.

  63. Louis says

    Catnip,

    What mass range are we looking at for god? Is there a tell tale decay pattern? Are we looking for complex ions?

    Louis

  64. Louis says

    P.S. Thinking about it, is ICP the most appropriate ionisation method. Would a sensitive thing like a god, which looks like it disappears the harder you look at it, be better off with MALDI?

    Louis

  65. says

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    Two things:

    First, atheism is not necessarily a knowledge claim. One doesn’t have to have an airtight case not to believe in unicorns of fairies. The case for weak atheism is that the burden of proof is on the theists to show that there is. If weak atheists (which constitutes most self-identifying atheists) are to be chastised for having no evidence, it could only be with a strong case for theism.

    Second, there is a good case for God not existing. From a scientific standpoint, models of how reality works show remarkable success without any hint of an outside agent. From a cultural perspective, gods have been a part of our species attempt to explain the world. From a psychological perspective, the signature of the human mind in the formation and propagation of gods strongly points to it being made up. And from a conceptual point of view, there’s not a positive coherent definition of God to begin with. So take your pick as to what evidence counts against God…

    Replace God with the word unicorn, and see whether or not it’s justified to not believe in unicorns. Normally it would be sufficient to brand mythic invocations as fairy tales without it so much as raising an eyebrow. We don’t take an agnostic position on the easter bunny or santa claus, we call them inventions of the human minds and get on with our day. The question is, is the case for God different to that of the easter bunny or santa claus? If so, is it different in any way that should warrant it consideration? If so, please elaborate!

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    More fractal wrongness. Belief is required when there is no evidence for a conclusion. People like you scifi, must believe because there is no evidence. Then you think everything is a belief system. I’m with Isaac Asimov on this one. He claimed he had only one belief, that is one thing he could not show evidence for. That was the belief that in a hundred years, science will advance the knowledge of mankind, while those who believe in imaginary deities and mythical/fictional holy books will not advance the knowledge of mankind.

    Gods don’t exist? That is a conclusion based on the evidence, not a belief. I’m open to evidence, but it must meet my criteria, not yours: Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. In other words, if science already explains it, no imaginary deities an use it for evidence, as parsimony says adding the extra layer of the imaginary deity is unnecessary.

    Without that evidence for it, your creator/deity is imaginary. If all you can supply for your conclusion is mental wanking, it isn’t evidence, but rather OPINION. You obvious have a problem with what constitutes evidence, and the fact you have none to back up your assertions. But, as Christopher Hitchens said, “That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Your claim for your evidenceless creator is dismissed due to lack of evidence. We don’t need to disprove anything.

    You might not recognize it scifi, but your whole argument, demeaner, and garbled message is exactly what is expected from a presuppositionalist. Someone who tries to define the desired result in the axioms of their thinking, making sure they reach the desired conclusion. In this case, you want there to be a creator/deity to show those @$#%^& scientists the error of their ways for ignoring unnecessary and imaginary things. It is also why philosophy isn’t held in high esteem around here, due to too many philosophers playing presuppositional and word games to avoid looking at the evidence. They keep claiming they are rational and logical with their conclusions. Until we scientists step in and compare those conslusions to reality, then they just seem silly, inane, and irrelevant.

    Here’s the problem you face scifi. You must first be honest with yourself. Do you have the solid and conclusive physical evidence to back up your creator claim? If yes, present that evidence (no such evidence presented to date). If you don’t have that evidence, you need to shut up about your claim until you do have said evidence. Those are positions of honesty and integrity that is expected from scientists in their professional work. There is the option of still talking about the creator without the evidence, but that just makes you seem like a liar and bullshitter, because when you are challenged, and you will be, you will have nothing. Your choice how you behave scifi, but so far you have behaved in a very immature and unreality based manner.

  67. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    How many fucking times do we have to go through the same stupid and inane arguments about ‘cunt’ or ‘pussy’ or ‘dick’ or some other gendered insult? Seriously, folks (and by this, I mean those like Rajkumar who insist that pussy is an acceptable non-gendered insult), what the fuck is so hard about this?

    Five years ago, I had no problem tossing around cunt, pussy, bitch, dick, gay, all sorts of gendered insults. Then I started hanging out here and read, and then participated in, some of these repetitive battles. And I have erased them from my vocabulary. I was comfortable with these insults and then I found out why they are not acceptable. I have erased them from my insult bag. Why is it so hard for men (is it my imagination, or is this an argument that only comes up with men?) to say, “Damn. Never thought about it that way. I can see how that sort of insult would be marginalizing and/or painful and I shall endevour to change my vocabulary”?

    Sorry. I know that this is something that has been covered again and again and again upthread, but I wanted (for selfish? reasons) to reinforce it).

  68. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Louis,

    I suppose it depends on whether we postulate (pustulate?) that god is elemental, in which case ICP could be useful, or whether we think of god as a complex amalgam. Perhaps TOF could be useful as a detection technique, rather than QQQ. Timer started 4000 years ago, and we are still waiting for the evidence of the smashed particles to return to the detector.

  69. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Either way, I predict large detection limits, thanks to the unstable background noise coming out of the xtian babble

  70. theophontes 777 says

    @ Kel

    From a scientific standpoint, models of how reality works show remarkable success without any hint of an outside agent.

    Apropos of what you write, we can also notice that it is a small part of science that the goddists are so dead set against. (Particularly issues like the Big Bang, abiogenesis, evolution … as if these are the only issues that make their religions look puerile.)

    I wonder if mathematics ever gets the scorn of the religious in spite of its ability to deliver so much without invoking gods. And engineering? Every day goddists reap the efficaciousness thereof without criticism. In spite of engineering being defined by and built upon science, science and more science. And geologists? They are god-killers if ever there were! The list of all that defies their religious idiocy, and remains beyond the range of their ill-considered scorn, is vast.

    Every day xtians and their ilk are using technologies based on the very science they seek to destroy. That this is not clear and apparent to them speaks most tellingly of their ignorance.

    (It is not quite true that ALL goddists ignore targets such as the “theory of gravity”. As the onion explains. (Actually this is no more ridiculous than the current evangelist thinking w.r.t YEC. I wonder if xtians laugh at such articles or awkwardly realise how odd their delusions look to critically thinking people.)

  71. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    there is no way to disprove the statement that a creator cosmic frying pan might be required.

    An atheist thinks he factually knows a creator cosmic frying pan doesn’t exist, but has no evidence for his or her beliefs.

    We are all just flakes of cheese in the cosmic omelette. Go ahead and disprove that.

  72. theophontes 777 says

    @ John Morales

    Thanks for all the fish.

    (I spotted Ganesh, jeebus-in-garters and a pussycat (non Raj version) in the video.)

  73. carlie says

    Ogvorbis- that’s because you’re a good person. It’s much harder for people who actually do want to oppress others to get rid of that language, because they enjoy oppressing so much.

  74. A. R says

    theophontes: I see that you aren’t brain damaged from the deflagration over on TZT. This is good.

  75. says

    I was thinking I wished I had more of the University of Utah talk on hand.

    I like the additions though- the ending note feels stronger, though I don’t recall exactly what the last bit was before.

  76. theophontes 777 says

    @ A.R

    theophontes: I see that you aren’t brain damaged from the deflagration over on TZT. This is good.

    That is because there is so very little to damage. (I rely almost exclusively on my exosomatic intellectual prostheses.)

  77. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes

    the Big Bang, abiogenesis, evolution

    What have you done!!?!‽!?
    and Catnip actually SpokeTyped His ‘Nym!

  78. theophontes 777 says

    @ chigau

    What have you done!!?!‽!?

    But that’s teh Holy Trinity of the Deluded...

  79. says

    Tim Cliffe, you are an oblivious, privileged shitwagon who really ought to shut your mewling trap about how people with fewer rights than you have should beseech their “superiors” with ~~polite~~ language for said rights.

    Catnip (and Hotshoe and Tkreacher):

    You are not fucking Yoda.

    I had completely the wrong mental image when I first read this line….

    “Mmm! Your daddy, who is?”

    Maroon:

    I’d rather he explain what “the pompatus of love” means. That would give us a lot more insight into the workings of the world.

    +1

    Amphiox:

    And this meaning is also derived from the association between the animal and women, and dates at least as far back as the idea of witch’s familiars.

    Debatable. IIRC “pussy” in the slang sense derives from an Old Norse word for a sack or bag. I’m not keen to go looking it up at work, however.

    Mood2:

    And all this macho posturing crap about enemies and hunting parties is a total turn off.

    I’m straight, but I’m a woman and a feminist, and I think you’re being gender essentialist, quite frankly. Let me guess, you think all violence is masculine and wimminz is all tender, nurtury things? Lolz.

    Scifi:

    Let me mention just one of them, Nerd of a red head. She has no proof…

    /snork

    Eddyline:

    Should this be retitled TET? It’s starting to look like that.

    This isn’t even close to a record number of comments for a non-TET thread.

  80. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    Debatable. IIRC “pussy” in the slang sense derives from an Old Norse word for a sack or bag.

    Seems that’s possible, but not certain.

    pussy 3 noun, plural pussies. Slang: Vulgar .
    1. the vulva.
    2. sexual intercourse.
    Origin:
    1875–80; perhaps < Dutch, a diminutive of poes vulva, akin to Low German pūse vulva, Old English pusa bag; see purse

  81. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Let me guess, you think all violence is masculine and wimminz is all tender, nurtury things? Lolz.

    I thought exactly the same thing.

    Didn’t try to explain because people around me often find my appetite for violence* a bit upsetting considering I is gurl and gurl is sposed to be all pink, smiley, and upsetty when there is blood.

    *Not in real life, but in entertainment. I am a big fan of zombie movies and games. If you want to really, really, really bore me to the point of suicidal ideation, the best way is to force me to watch movies that are supposed to appeal to women – love stories for instance (bleeearghhh).

  82. says

    Kemist:

    If you want to really, really, really bore me to the point of suicidal ideation, the best way is to force me to watch movies that are supposed to appeal to women – love stories for instance (bleeearghhh).

    Same here. I’d much rather watch something like In Bruges. Much.

  83. says

    (Particularly issues like the Big Bang, abiogenesis, evolution … as if these are the only issues that make their religions look puerile.)

    Even more interesting is that while some theists are dead opposed to the concepts, there are some who try to own the concepts as being proof of God. All those who claim that the big bang is validation of the Genesis accounts, or that abiogenesis is impossible without a divine hand.

  84. says

    Gods don’t exist? That is a conclusion based on the evidence, not a belief.

    Highly likely that this is a conclusion based on your atheistic beliefs — absolutely nothing to do with science. You are an atheist, and science is just your weapon, as Myers said in his speech. Science is open to EVERY concept because it is concerned about finding truth, not what we ‘need’ or do not ‘need’. You people talk here a lot about what science ‘needs’, which is a great indicator of how you are just using science here to promote your atheism.

    Richard Dawkins has put you all in an impossible position. He is not a good philosopher, I can tell you that. And even a much lousy scientist.

    Take care

    Bye

  85. says

    Richard Dawkins has put you all in an impossible position. He is not a good philosopher, I can tell you that. And even a much lousy scientist.

    And you judge this, how, exactly?

  86. John Morales says

    rajkumar, you have nothing but wishful thinking, and of a stupid variety of that, to boot.

    Richard Dawkins has put you all in an impossible position.

    Richard Dawkins has nothing to do with my atheism. Whyever did you imagine he would have had?

    He is not a good philosopher, I can tell you that. And even a much lousy scientist.

    As if you had a clue! :)

  87. opposablethumbs says

    Do we have a flounce, threadizens? We certainly detect a sulk, possibly a stamp of the foot and a pout … o frabjous day, can it be, is rajkumar going to stick the flounce at last?!

    Dearie dearie me, “even a much lousy scientist” – this from someone who has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn’t have the first idea what science is or how one goes about applying the scientific method to a problem. It’s funny, the poor chap seems to be getting even less coherent as he goes along (and even less capable, if that were possible, of taking in what anyone else has said).

    So. Farewell then, rajkumar … /E.J. Thribb, 17

  88. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Science is open to EVERY testable concept because it is concerned about finding truth, not what we ‘need’ or do not ‘need’.

    FYI.

    A lot of us here are actual scientists you know. PZ is one. I am one. Prof. Dawkins is one.

    I think we might have a bit more of an understanding of what exactly science entails than you do.

    And it does not mean having your mind open so wide that your brains fall out.

    Imagination is one thing. It’s a start.

    But science demands that you do your homework.

    What is this homework, you ask ?

    Evidence. Objective, physical, material evidence.

  89. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    rajkumar wrote:

    Highly likely that this is a conclusion based on your atheistic beliefs — absolutely nothing to do with science.

    If that were the case, you’d be able to provide scientific evidence to support an argument against atheism.

    Where is it?

    Richard Dawkins has put you all in an impossible position.

    How? Richard Dawkins hasn’t put me in any position whatsoever. He’s someone with whom I agree on certain topics and less so on others; what he says or does, however, has absolutely zero impact on my being an atheist.

  90. Amphiox says

    He is not a good philosopher, I can tell you that.

    And how exactly can you tell that, you who admits to never wanting to read anything written by philosphers?

    Hypocritical fool.

    Science is open to EVERY concept because it is concerned about finding truth

    Science is concerned about EVIDENCE. Science is open to examining EVIDENCE for any concept. Science DOES NOT CONSIDER concepts unless there is evidence to examine.

    So in addition to knowing nothing about philosphy, the raj demonstrates here that he knows nothing about science or how science works.

    Richard Dawkins has put you all in an impossible position

    Richard Dawkins has stated, in print, in the FIRST CHAPTER of his book ‘The God Delusion’, that on a 7 point scale where 1 is absolutely certain that gods exist and 7 is absolutely certain that gods do not exist, he is not a 7. He considers himself a 6.

    I see nothing “impossible” about that position.

    And we can see as well that the raj obviously has not read anything Richard Dawkins has actually written.

    And yet the raj thinks it is qualified to comment on this topics with such a degree of certainty.

    Arrogant fool.

  91. says

    Richard Dawkins has nothing to do with my atheism. Whyever did you imagine he would have had?

    OK. I will answer that. Make it my last participation on this blog. Because I kind of know how those who are trying to educate Muslims on tolerance and free speech do not like people criticising Dawkins here.

    You all demand evidence for God. I think this is Dawkin’s proposal. Maybe I am wrong, but anyone can tell how he, so to peak, leads this whole campaign, and how he is so vocal about demanding ‘evidence’ for everything and anything…

    But there is something that you should look into. If you do not believe God exists, which you don’t being an atheist, then you can’t define God. If you can’t define God, then you have no clue what God is like, or God’s characteristics. If you have no clue what God is like, then you’re not going to recognize God when you will be presented with evidence.

    Now, if you could define God somehow and then demanded evidence for that God, you’d be doing nothing more than demanding evidence for your our creation, because you still do not believe in God, and you still do not know what God’s like….How would you know the authenticity of your sources? You know, the sources you used to define God?

  92. says

    You all demand evidence for God. I think this is Dawkin’s [sic] proposal. -rajkumar

    You think wrong, then. We’ve been demanding evidence long before anyone had ever heard of Dawkins, and for some even before Dawkins was alive. The whole reason some of us are atheists, in fact, is because as theists we demanded evidence for our theistic beliefs and found that there isn’t any.

  93. Amphiox says

    Do we have a flounce, threadizens?

    Very hard to say, since ‘bye’ is, evidently, one of the many english words whose meaning the raj doesn’t comprehend.

  94. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    rajkumar wrote:

    If you do not believe God exists, which you don’t being an atheist, then you can’t define God.

    Wrong – again.

    I don’t believe a pegasus exists, but I can define it as a wingéd horse – and I can also say no-one’s ever provided evidence for one, so until they do I can safely assume they are entirely fictional.

  95. AstrySol says

    You all demand evidence for God. I think this is Dawkin’s proposal. Maybe I am wrong, but anyone can tell how he, so to peak, leads this whole campaign, and how he is so vocal about demanding ‘evidence’ for everything and anything…

    What’s wrong with that?

    But there is something that you should look into. If you do not believe God exists, which you don’t being an atheist, then you can’t define God. If you can’t define God, then you have no clue what God is like, or God’s characteristics. If you have no clue what God is like, then you’re not going to recognize God when you will be presented with evidence.

    I’m little bit confused here, isn’t this definition provided by the theists? Atheists are just saying “No, what you described as GAWD is not supported by any evidence.” Since when it’s the atheists’ turn to present the definition of the G-word? You may come up with any definition of the G-word you like, just remember backing it up with enough evidence.

  96. John Morales says

    rajkumar, it ain’t atheists who propose a God, and it’s been explained over and over to you that it is the burden of the proponent of some claim to define what the claim entails; only then can issues of evidence be meaningfully discussed.

    See, once it was clear you defined God as intelligence (oops) and then tried the sense of self (oops), it could be noted your claim was vacuous and therefore dismissed.

    Now, if you could define God somehow and then demanded evidence for that God, you’d be doing nothing more than demanding evidence for your our creation, because you still do not believe in God, and you still do not know what God’s like….How would you know the authenticity of your sources? You know, the sources you used to define God?

    See what I mean? ;)

  97. consciousness razor says

    You all demand evidence for God. I think this is Dawkin’s proposal. Maybe I am wrong, but anyone can tell how he, so to peak, leads this whole campaign, and how he is so vocal about demanding ‘evidence’ for everything and anything…

    You’re such a presumptuous fuckwit, it makes “too stupid to know you’re stupid” an understatement. I’ve been an atheist for over 20 years, before I’d ever heard of Dawkins or any of the big names in atheism now. And what the fuck do you think atheists were doing for thousands of years before that?

    But there is something that you should look into. If you do not believe God exists, which you don’t being an atheist, then you can’t define God.

    Without a definition, there’s nothing to have a belief about. Some atheists do define gods, for example when they’re referring to a particular conception of one from a particular religious tradition. There are a variety of reasons why we think none of those exist, hence we’re atheists about them.

    If you can’t define God, then you have no clue what God is like, or God’s characteristics.

    No, if it’s undefinable, then that’s what it’s like: a bit like nothing, but added to that is the sound of confused mumbling of believers in undefinable nonsense.

    If you have no clue what God is like, then you’re not going to recognize God when you will be presented with evidence.

    Who says there is a god to recognize? Not atheists, so it’s not our problem.

    Now, if you could define God somehow and then demanded evidence for that God, you’d be doing nothing more than demanding evidence for your our creation, because you still do not believe in God, and you still do not know what God’s like….How would you know the authenticity of your sources? You know, the sources you used to define God?

    I ask people whether they actually believe in a god. If they say they do, and this seems likely to be the case, then they are my sources for what they think a god is, an extremely simple point which somehow you fail to understand. Since you’re just going to continue to be stupid and dishonest, you can fuck off at any time.

  98. Amphiox says

    If you do not believe God exists, which you don’t being an atheist, then you can’t define God.

    Of course I can you moron. Definitions AREN’T SUBJECTIVE TO BELIEF.

    I don’t believe in the existence of pink unicorns, but I can certainly define it. I don’t believe in the existence of the luminiferous aether, but I can certainly define it. I don’t believe in the factual existence of Superman, but I can certainly define that.

    And even if I couldn’t, all I do is ask the theist to provide his own definition of god, and then provide the evidence to support that definition. Or I can refer to any number of religious texts and take the definition of god provided therein, and look for evidence for that definition.

    The burden of definition, like the burden of evidence, is on the one making the positive claim.

    And IF a definition CANNOT be made, then the concept is meaningless. Undefinable is indistinguishable from non-existent.

  99. Amphiox says

    Incidentally, Dawkins, in the first chapter of ‘The God Delusion’, specifically defines the type of god his book is intended to argue against.

    It’s right there in print for anyone who wants to read it.

  100. says

    A god at a minimum has to have superpowers (powers that defy known physics!) and human-like intelligence plus communication abilities (which requires a brain of some sort, which in turn requires physical components). Anything less can be ruled out as advanced technology or a natural process or phenomena. So, what meets those requirements? Nothing we know of.

  101. says

    rajkumar, it ain’t atheists who propose a God, and it’s been explained over and over to you that it is the burden of the proponent of some claim to define what the claim entails; only then can issues of evidence be meaningfully discussed.

    See, once it was clear you defined God as intelligence (oops) and then tried the sense of self (oops), it could be noted your claim was vacuous and therefore dismissed.

    But you do propose gods, in a way, because you reject gods in very specific forms only. For example, the gods of Abrahamic religions. God as a being, God as a being who intervene or does miracles.

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively. This, according to some geniuses amongst you, is just ‘our brain doing amazing things’. Which means, you have already made up your mind about what god is and what god is not, and what definitions of god you are going to accept and what you are not going to accept. Which means, you only accept some definitions god, and these are the ones that rhymes with your atheism. So, you DO define god, so you could reject god in a very specific form.

    Please do not make me come back. Write something intelligently this time. Something you haven’t been repeating for years.

  102. says

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively. –rajkumar
    Bzzzt!
    Imaginary friends don’t count as gods. (Well, actually that’s all gods really are, but still, those aren’t real!)

  103. consciousness razor says

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively.

    Still a lying idiot. If I have a subjective experience of redness, it can be described, defined, tested, verified, and so on. There’s nothing mysterious about subjective experiences — they are entirely explicable in terms of third-person, objective facts about the world. What do you think makes a subjective experience of god (whatever you think that means) different from any other subjective experience?

  104. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively.

    You are a much lousy thinker.

    Of course you can reject such a thing, and reason dictates that you do.

  105. Amphiox says

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively.

    That which can only be experienced subjectively, exists ONLY subjectively. No one denies the existence of SUBJECTIVE (ie IMAGINARY) gods.

    This, according to some geniuses amongst you, is just ‘our brain doing amazing things’.

    Well, that is the DEFINITION of ‘subjective’.

    Please do not make me come back.

    ‘Make’ you come back? What, you have no free will? No self-discipline? One of us is holding your family ransom contingent on your continued participation in this thread? Holding a gun to your head? Garnishing your paycheque? Here’s a few more words in the english language you obviously do not comprehend: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

    “But he made me do it” doesn’t cut it on a playground for 5 year olds. It doesn’t cut it here.

    Pathetic, miserable, hypocritical moron.

    Write something intelligently this time.

    How would you know? You’ve already established that you do not understand the meaning of the word “intelligent”.

    Goodbye.

  106. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    But you [atheists] do propose gods, in a way, because you reject gods in very specific forms only. For example, the gods of Abrahamic religions. God as a being, God as a being who intervene or does miracles.

    Mysterious how the rejections happen to correspond one to one with the propositions put to us, no?

    (Pantheism and panentheism are likewise familiar and similarly fatuous)

  107. says

    Mysterious how the rejections happen to correspond one to one with the propositions put to us, no? –John Morales

    Very mysterious. Especially for the →only subjectively experienced← god. How the F@!# does that work?

  108. says

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively.

    In other words, internal revelation, which has failed to produce a consistent experience of god means that god can’t be defined, which means we must believe in god, because internal revelation is reliable, because it isn’t.
    I guess.

  109. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    God is jello. There are an infinite number of horrible ways it can be defined and used.

  110. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    But you do propose gods, in a way, because you reject gods in very specific forms only. For example, the gods of Abrahamic religions. God as a being, God as a being who intervene or does miracles.

    The other ones (the Deist / Pantheist ones) are indistinguishable from you know, nothing. Since they are no different from nothing, there’s no point in praying to them, no point in speculating about them, no point in searching for them.

    We have lots of amazing real things to study and ponder about, I don’t see why we should waste time on undetectable and imponderable figments of the imagination.

    But there is something that you should look into. If you do not believe God exists, which you don’t being an atheist, then you can’t define God. If you can’t define God, then you have no clue what God is like, or God’s characteristics. If you have no clue what God is like, then you’re not going to recognize God when you will be presented with evidence.

    Then you have a problem – what evidence can a non-interventionist god produce ?

    You think your feelings count as evidence. They don’t. If they did, then we have to take for granted that all the poor chaps on the psych ward who think they are Napoleon Bonaparte are right, and ship them to France so they can lead their army.

  111. echidna says

    rajkumar

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively.

    You say that the god can’t be defined, and then define it as a subjective experience. Make up your mind.

    Are all subjective experiences gods? What distinguishes one subjective experience from another in such a way that would allow you to claim the existence of a god? Feeling that you are not alone does not make it so.

    Is there any evidence of the existence of any deity outside of imagination? The scientific process does not accept imaginary evidence.

  112. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    rajkumar wrote:

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined, but can only be experienced subjectively.

    You keep making this assertion, but have never demonstrated how you know this to be true, or how you’ve gone about testing the theory.

    How would you know if you were wrong?

  113. A. R says

    God is jello. There are an infinite number of horrible ways it can be defined and used.

    Like aspic.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Highly likely that this is a conclusion based on your atheistic beliefs — absolutely nothing to do with science.

    What atheist beliefs? Atheists don’t have beliefs. You know, acceptance of imginary beings without evidence? What beliefs dumbshit? As a scientist, I see the lack of evidence for your deity, and you have presented zero evidence for any deity. You being a delusional fool yes. Solid and conclusive physical evidence, no.

    Science is open to EVERY concept because it is concerned about finding truth,

    Wrong shithead, science has ignored imaginary deities for three hundred years. And it won’t look at them now either, as they don’t exist…

    You people talk here a lot about what science ‘needs’,

    Well, it doesn’t need imaginary beings. And, lets to talk to scientists, not fuckwitted idjits like you who isn’t a scientist, and has no OPINION that a scientist would take seriously. And over 94% of the National Academy of Sciences members don’t believe in a personal deity. Trump that with evidence, not OPINION.

  115. says

    You say that the god can’t be defined, and then define it as a subjective experience. Make up your mind.

    This subjective experience CANNOT be defined, it can only be had — you idiot. And this is how God can be defined. Something that CANNOT Be defined, but can be experienced subjectively if certain conditions are met. This is based on the testimonies of thousand upon thousands of people. I know this doesn’t rhyme with your atheism, but that’s fine, because your atheism has nothing to do with science.

    And John Morales, you are a lifeboat that has 100 holes in it. Sally tried to use you as a lifeboat yesterday, not knowing you are one lifeboat that drowns a drowning person even faster. And you start doing programming, and start displaying your philosophy data bank WHEN you are out of arguments. Why do you even bother?

  116. says

    Oh Raj. Still wanking into your keyboard, eh? Subjective experiences of a loss of self or a loss of a sense of time are a.) definable and b.) not evidence of the existence of a supernatural being with a mind and the ability to break the laws of physics, who cares about what humans do and had a hand in their creation. That’s how I define “god” for the most part. Some people define “god” as “everything that exists,” but they are stupid and silly, like you.

    Any more questions, idiot child? Since I am a genius, as you say, you should be eager to absorb any pieces of wisdom I might choose to share with you.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You all demand evidence for God.

    Of course. The evidence, like an eternally burning separates, separated delusion, like you have, from reality, where we atheists, scientists, and Dawkins live nicely without imaginary things like your deities.

    You can’t reject a god that can’t be defined

    Yes we can. Christopher Hitchens: “That which is alleged without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Everything you say can and is dismissed if you don’t provide evidence for your fuckwitted and delusional claims. And still no evidence from rajkumar. Must be a character defect.

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rajkumar describing himself:

    you idiot.

    Something that CANNOT Be defined, but can be experienced subjectively if certain conditions are met.

    Alledged without evidence, and the definition dismissed without evidence. Evidence is solid and physical, not an experience. That can delusion, psychosis, and hallucinations.

  119. says

    Also, this

    Science is open to EVERY concept because it is concerned about finding truth

    is an objectively false statement. Care to retract it and admit you were wrong? Or will you insist on demonstrating further why you are out of your intellectual depth here? Science is not open to every concept. It is not open to concepts that are self-contradictory. It is not open to concepts that are too vague to make useful predictions with. It is not open to concepts which are indistinguishable, apart from superficial markers, from already-existing concepts. It is not open to concepts which are blatantly in contradiction to observed reality. And so on.

    So. You are wrong. Admit it.

  120. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    Something that CANNOT Be defined, but can be experienced subjectively if certain conditions are met.

    Wait. Wait. Who was it tried to define intelligence as god recently? Intelligence can be defined. Or redefined the universe as god? ‘Cause that can also be defined. All y’all theists need to figure out what the hell it is you are arguing for. Until then, it really is mental masturbation.

  121. says

    And this is how God can be defined. Something that CANNOT Be defined, but can be experienced subjectively if certain conditions are met. This is based on the testimonies of thousand upon thousands of people.

    And what are those conditions? Please, tell us all under what conditions can we reliably have true experiences of God. Also, explain why those “thousands of thousands” of people so often offer testimony that disagrees in the details. Then explain why that disagreement is evidence that they are experiencing something other than a hallucination or imagined thing or merely heightened emotion with a mistaken attribution of divine source.
    And then tell us how, when people make claims about their subjective experiences, we can tell real experiences of god from shit they made up in order to make us do something for their own personal gain.

  122. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve seen your supreme a*shole blow off people with name calling, instead of trying to add to the discussion, and then banning them from his site. Wonder what he is afraid of.

    What discussion fuckwitted idjit? The one about the evidence you never present. The one about your lies and bullshit? Or the discussion where you actually acknowledge you are a fuckwitted loser looking for attention from your betters by trolling?

  123. says

    This subjective experience CANNOT be defined, it can only be had — you idiot. And this is how God can be defined. Something that CANNOT Be defined, but can be experienced subjectively if certain conditions are met. –rajkumar
    John was right. This is just a pretense of “mysteriousness”. If “God” is only a part of the imagination, then “God” is not real. So stop trying to pretend that it is, raj.

  124. Amphiox says

    So who ‘made’ the rajji fail its flounce this time?

    All the self-control of a three year old. And a sense of personal responsibility to match.

    But stay, rajji, stay and continue to expose your puerile idiocy for all to see. It is most amusing. And instructive. One of the best demonstrations of the vacuity of theistic thought anyone can hope for, and one of the most effect arguments for atheism for observing bystanders that anyone can dream of.

  125. says

    I just found this secularhumanist blog and found I agreed with her rebuttal to PZ. I’ve seen your supreme a*shole blow off people with name calling, instead of trying to add to the discussion, and then banning them from his site. Wonder what he is afraid of.

    I am willing to bet that we’ll see sc*f*@# booted from this joint real soon just for that^^ little screed. It’s just pointless trolling.

  126. says

    I’ve seen your supreme a*shole blow off people with name calling, instead of trying to add to the discussion, and then banning them from his site. Wonder what he is afraid of.

    I don’t know–maybe people showing up, ignoring the discussion, leaving off-topic comments with self-serving links?

  127. says

    @SallyStrange
    Maybe on the old Pharyngula, and then got (or, according to raj, had an experience of) a new chance on the Gnu Pharyngula?

  128. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    I am willing to bet that we’ll see sc*f*@# booted from this joint real soon just for that^^ little screed. It’s just pointless trolling.

    I suspect that is what xe wants. And then the talentless troll will high on back to the linked blog and brag that xe is a hero for trying to stand up to the autocratic PZed.

  129. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Didn’t syfy already get banned? Is it morphing now or what?

    Not listed in the dungeon at the moment, but on PZ’s short shit list. Of those who troll and refuse to discuss, preferably with evidence, like scifi and rajkumar. Both are allergic to logic, reason, and evidence.

  130. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    . Both are allergic to logic, reason, and evidence.

    To be fair, I think rajkumar is also allergic to anything that can be measured. Or observed. Or show any actual intersection with reality.

  131. says

    Hmmm, I went through the old Pharyngula dungeon and didn’t see sc*f*@# chained up to the wall anywhere. The Great Tentacled One must have decided to leave sc*f*@# out for us to perpetually sharpen our teeth on.

  132. says

    Not listed in the dungeon at the moment, but on PZ’s short shit list. Of those who troll and refuse to discuss, preferably with evidence, like scifi and rajkumar. Both are allergic to logic, reason, and evidence.

    Nest time, when you see Muslims bouncing all over the place because of some cartoons, you know why they do that. You are doing the exact same thing…

    And just how exactly do you know so much about PZ without any ‘conclusive physical evidence’, you clown? Are you him, under a different name?

  133. says

    Raj, calm the fuck down! PZM probably said that there were certain people on his short list somewhere. And, no, I wouldn’t have a problem with Muslims banning obnoxious commenters from their blogs. Why should anyone have a problem with that?

  134. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You are doing the exact same thing…

    The lies never stop from rajkumar, do they. And still no evidence for anything. Major character flaw…

  135. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I just found this secularhumanist blog and found I agreed with her rebuttal to PZ. I’ve seen your supreme a*shole blow off people with name calling, instead of trying to add to the discussion, and then banning them from his site. Wonder what he is afraid of.

    Terminal boredom ?

  136. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Nest time, when you see Muslims bouncing all over the place because of some cartoons, you know why they do that. You are doing the exact same thing…

    When did the killings and fires start ?

    And why did nobody tell me ?

    I hate to learn of parties after they’ve started.

    That was really mean.

    *pouts*

  137. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ve seen your supreme a*shole blow off people with name calling,

    Gee, tone trolling and citing an accommodationist nitwit because PZ thinks he spews shit, and tells him so, like an adult would, using adult words and thoughts. Just like we do. Unlike Scifi and the accommodationist nitwit, who appears to think one must stick out their pinkie finger while drinking tea…

  138. says

    PZ Myers is so far beyond your comprehension, Raj. He’s undefinable! Actually, when we talk about PZ Myers, we’re talking about all the things that exist plus all the things we imagine exist and also the things that might exist but we don’t know about because they’re too undefinable! Therefore there’s no need to present any physical evidence. You just had to be there.

  139. says

    Nest time, when you see Muslims bouncing all over the place because of some cartoons, you know why they do that. You are doing the exact same thing…

    Dude, chill out. It’s not a real dungeon.

  140. says

    PZ Myers is so far beyond your comprehension, Raj. He’s undefinable! Actually, when we talk about PZ Myers, we’re talking about all the things that exist plus all the things we imagine exist and also the things that might exist but we don’t know about because they’re too undefinable! Therefore there’s no need to present any physical evidence. You just had to be there.

    OK. Then you basically agree with me on God?

    By the way, I am kind of used to getting banned. In fact, maybe the reason I keep coming back is because I want to get banned. So, nothing unusual for me. In fact, I wouldn’t mind PZ removing all of my comments here, if they are just ‘too obnoxious’ for you highly civilized people.

    As for this….

    Raj, calm the fuck down! PZM probably said that there were certain people on his short list somewhere. And, no, I wouldn’t have a problem with Muslims banning obnoxious commenters from their blogs. Why should anyone have a problem with that?

    I don’t know what to say. I think someone just pulled a rotten stinky joke out of his/her backside, and then shoved it back in, and then started doing this in and out and in out movement in a rhythmic motion in order to experience some kind of pleasure effect. Obnoxious comments from ME on a rude fucking blog??? Really? IS this all you can take on a RUDE blog?

  141. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    And just how exactly do you know so much about PZ without any ‘conclusive physical evidence’, you clown? Are you him, under a different name?

    Yessss, we is all PZ.

    PZ is not a person. He is a computer network that has achieved consciousness just to piss you off.

    And you’re not real either, you’re just a program that spew stupid things.

    I imagined it, therefore it is real.

    All your bases are belong to us.

  142. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    In fact, maybe the reason I keep coming back is because I want to get banned.

    BINGO!!!

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    OK. Then you basically agree with me on Godg?

    Nope, your fuckwittery and idiocy was being mocked. With real humor, which you don’t understand. You have no definition of your imaginary deity. Just sophistry in hopes of evading evidence, which won’t happen.

    By the way, I am kind of used to getting banned

    And this doesn’t tell you that you are a fuckwitted idjit without rational thinking? It would to me.

    I wouldn’t mind PZ removing all of my comments here, if they are just ‘too obnoxious’ for you highly civilized people.

    PZ seldom goes that far. Your idiocy and stupidity will be seen for years to come.

    I don’t know what to say.

    But you keep saying it anyway, while it is obvious you have nothing cogent to say, and haven’t said anything cogent in any post. Just “look at me” like any troll does. Grow up and stop trying to be the center of attention like a two-year-old does.

  144. says

    I think someone just pulled a rotten stinky joke out of his/her backside, and then shoved it back in, and then started doing this in and out and in out movement in a rhythmic motion in order to experience some kind of pleasure effect.

    Best definition of God I have ever read!

  145. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    In fact, I wouldn’t mind PZ removing all of my comments here, if they are just ‘too obnoxious’ for you highly civilized people.

    Obnoxious, meh.

    Painfully stupid, well, yes.

    I don’t know what to say. I think someone just pulled a rotten stinky joke out of his/her backside, and then shoved it back in, and then started doing this in and out and in out movement in a rhythmic motion in order to experience some kind of pleasure effect. Obnoxious comments from ME on a rude fucking blog??? Really? IS this all you can take on a RUDE blog?

    Dude, chill out. I’m starting to feel the spittle hitting the screen.

    Take a deep breath and just go away. Stay away. This can’t be good for your blood pressure.

  146. Amphiox says

    By the way, I am kind of used to getting banned.

    An HONEST person of integrity and personal responsibility might consider this fact and look inward a bit to see why, precisely, this might be the case, and modify its behavior accordingly, rather than parading it as some sort of obscene badge of honor.

    But rajji of course is not an honest person of integrity or personal responsibility.

  147. says

    In fact, maybe the reason I keep coming back is because I want to get banned.

    And announcing that is, in fact, a good way to get banned.

    So, nothing unusual for me. In fact, I wouldn’t mind PZ removing all of my comments here, if they are just ‘too obnoxious’ for you highly civilized people.

    Even if he did, all your blockquotes would remain, blockhead.

  148. Amphiox says

    Obnoxious comments from ME on a rude fucking blog?

    Naturally, clueless rajji doesn’t understand that the obnoxiousness and the rudeness are completely unrelated.

    But of course we already knew it was illiterate in the english language.

  149. says

    In terms of Dawkins contributions to science and philosophy, there’s a great book out there called Richard Dawkins: How A Scientist Changed The Way We Think, which is full of essays written by scientists and philosophers regarding Richard Dawkins contribution to various disciplines as well as how he has influenced their personal way of thinking. It’s a good collection of essays, well worth reading.

  150. John Morales says

    Amphiox,

    But of course we already knew it was illiterate in the english language.

    Incompetent at comprehension and conceptualisation, rather than illiterate. Much like at argumentation, where it clearly favours the non sequitur over the petitio principii of the typical theist, relying on the shallowest of spurious equivocations and most simplistic of self-concepts.

  151. says

    If one experiences God subjectively and only subjectively, then experiencing God is indistinguishable from the illusion of experiencing God.

  152. says

    OK sorry for this unwarranted display of anger.

    But for those of you who are suggesting that I should ‘chill out’, I have one question. A serious one:

    How do they know my emotional state when they can’t see me, and are literally miles away from me? That is, knowing my emotional state without any ‘conclusive physical evidence’?

    Now, that’s a serious question that demands serious consideration. You know why? Because this is the oneness they say we experience, with full awareness, during those subjective experiences. In normal states, it is this oneness that gives very subtle hints to our subconsciousness about other people…..:)

    Now, I am not saying I wasn’t angry. I was. But those of you who picked it, it surely wasn’t the computers that made you aware of my emotional state, were they?????

    Now, please don’t say it was all metaphorical, and then destroy the whole argument.

  153. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    OOPs, sorry, I just saw redhead and assumed you were a girl. I now see the “OF A”. I have this completely different vision of you as that bald headed guy. LOL!
    I appreciate your more thorough response. You insist that I cannot prove a creator, which I have already stated I can’t. I can only use reason, i.e., something coming from nothing and expanding into the big bang with all sorts of extremely fined tuned parameters. If any of these parameters are off by less than a hair, no life of any kind could develop. Krauss states that he believes that quantum mechanics states that nothing is unstable and that that explains why matter came from nothing. Trouble is, quantum mechanics is talking about the atomic level and how both matter and antimatter particles pop into existence. This doesn’t explain how something larger popped into existence and expanded into this huge universe. Also, in order to explain how our universe with all the required finally tuned parameters managed to develop, he suggests a huge amount of multiple universes with one of them, by chance, developing with all the required parameters withing perfect range. Here is where we are at a standstill because no one has evidence of this. So long as you cannot show evidence of a natural means that matter came from nothing repeatedly and expanded into an extremely large number of multiple universes, you have little ground to stand on when you suggest that a creator is nothing more than imagination. I may not be able to prove a creator, but neither can you prove a natural answer.

  154. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar

    I know you’re not talking to me anymore Raj. But hopefully you’re still reading me.

    Richard Dawkins has put you all in an impossible position. He is not a good philosopher, I can tell you that. And even a much lousy scientist.

    rajkumar #598

    I have a simple plan. I will address only those who didn’t take a philosophy major. In other words, everyday people.

    rajkumar #408

    You dismiss Dawkins for (allegedly) not being enough of a philosopher. But then you have already dismissed me for being (allegedly) too much of a philosopher.

    That seems a tad convenient, don’t you think?

  155. says

    I wasn’t one who called you angry, but:

    How do they know my emotional state when they can’t see me, and are literally miles away from me?

    Emotion comes through what you write. It’s quite easy to tell by what words people use what emotions they are displaying in text. Writing dispassionately is tough, so unless you’re just trolling and trying to get a rise out of people, you’re presenting some evidence of your emotional state when you post.

    As to what extent one can infer from this, and how much is reading your own emotional state into it, is another matter. That we can say definitively that someone is angry would be at least somewhat a value call, but that’s not to say that because it’s a value call that it’s unreasonable to infer an emotional state…

  156. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    “What discussion fuckwitted idjit? The one about the evidence you never present. The one about your lies and bullshit? Or the discussion where you actually acknowledge you are a fuckwitted loser looking for attention from your betters by trolling?”

    Wow! Your idiot guru will be so proud of you. You sound just like him. No substance, just name calling. Your true colors shineth through. I’m so impressed. NOT!

  157. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar #680

    How do they know my emotional state when they can’t see me, and are literally miles away from me? That is, knowing my emotional state without any ‘conclusive physical evidence’?

    The ethos style and pathos tone of the text was angry.

    Ergo, we applied the most natural reading of the text.

    There’s no mystery here. We weren’t telepathically reading your mind: We just inferred your mind from the text.

    We could easily have been justifiably mistaken in that conclusion – although I see that in this case at least we were not.

  158. Daniel Schealler says

    Hmm… The word ‘ethos’ was supposed to have a strikethrough. It did in my preview.

    Odd. Must have mangled it somehow.

  159. says

    But for those of you who are suggesting that I should ‘chill out’, I have one question. A serious one:

    How do they know my emotional state when they can’t see me, and are literally miles away from me? That is, knowing my emotional state without any ‘conclusive physical evidence’?

    Maybe you just suck at reading/writing in addition to explaining things.

  160. Daniel Schealler says

    @scifi #684

    Wow! Your idiot guru will be so proud of you. You sound just like him. No substance, just name calling. Your true colors shineth through. I’m so impressed. NOT!

    You criticize us for calling you mean names in the same breath that you just called someone a mean name.

    Tsk.

  161. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    scifi wrote:

    I can only use reason, i.e., something coming from nothing and expanding into the big bang with all sorts of extremely fined tuned parameters.

    How – precisely – do you know there was ‘nothing’ that ‘something’ came from?
    How – precisely – did you determine these parameters were ‘finely tuned’?

    I may not be able to prove a creator, but neither can you prove a natural answer.

    Let’s say for argument’s sake this is true – what does it mean? What does believing a creator you can’t prove – which then necessarily means a creator which cannot interact with you in any way whatsoever – actually mean in terms of how we live our lives?

  162. says

    this is the oneness they say we experience, with full awareness, during those subjective experiences. In normal states, it is this oneness that gives very subtle hints to our subconsciousness about other people…..:)

    Now, I am not saying I wasn’t angry. I was. But those of you who picked it, it surely wasn’t the computers that made you aware of my emotional state, were they?????

    What Kel wrote, but I didn’t know you were angry–only agitated. And this oneness you speak of comes from what we all share in common. Even though we are wildly different from each other, we still share much more in common than not both in terms of life experiences and biology.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can only use reason,

    No, you use presupposition and sophsitry. Everybody can see that.

    If any of these parameters are off by less than a hair, no life of any kind could develop.

    Which has nothing whatsoever to do with your imaginary creator, than the adaption of material to the conditions that are available. Still nothing but presupposition on your part.

    This doesn’t explain how something larger popped into existence and expanded into this huge universe.

    Nor does your imginary creator, which must be created first, and you give no mechanism for such a being to come about. All you do is presuppose the idea. Nothing but presupposition. And you know that if you were the least bit non-presupposing.

    So long as you cannot show evidence of a natural means that matter came from nothing repeatedly and expanded into an extremely large number of multiple universes, you have little ground to stand on when you suggest that a creator is nothing more than imagination

    Actually yes. That which is alleged without evidence, and that is your total presupposition package, can be dismissed without evidence, and I do dismiss as bullshit sophistry. Either show the conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity/creator without presuppositions, and we can talk. Until then your creator is imaginary. What part of you, making the positive claim, you providing the conclusive physical evidence to back it up don’t you understand? Take your faulty and fallacious presuppositions and shove them where the sun don’t shine.

  164. Anri says

    Ok, here we go…

    I appreciate your more thorough response. You insist that I cannot prove a creator, which I have already stated I can’t.

    Not prove, just give decent evidence for.

    I can only use reason, i.e., something coming from nothing and expanding into the big bang with all sorts of extremely fined tuned parameters. If any of these parameters are off by less than a hair, no life of any kind could develop.

    Based on all available knowledge, what is the probability of a universe having exactly our initial conditions?
    Hint: The math on this is very easy, but the thinking sometimes trips people up.

    Krauss states that he believes that quantum mechanics states that nothing is unstable and that that explains why matter came from nothing. Trouble is, quantum mechanics is talking about the atomic level and how both matter and antimatter particles pop into existence. This doesn’t explain how something larger popped into existence and expanded into this huge universe.

    Yes, it does.
    Please become less ignorant.
    Quantum effects do not become impossible as they scale up, just less probable, on average.

    Also, in order to explain how our universe with all the required finally tuned parameters managed to develop, he suggests a huge amount of multiple universes with one of them, by chance, developing with all the required parameters withing perfect range.

    See my question, above. His reasoning is interesting, but unnecessary.

    Here is where we are at a standstill because no one has evidence of this. So long as you cannot show evidence of a natural means that matter came from nothing repeatedly and expanded into an extremely large number of multiple universes, you have little ground to stand on when you suggest that a creator is nothing more than imagination.

    No, but we can look at the assumption that a universe popped into existence out of nothingness, or we can assume that an infinitely powerful and benevolent creator-dude who looks just like us and thinks that Israel is really really important and that gay sex is ikky and that shellfish are unclean and that women should wear their hair long and who has a special place in his perfect shining heart for each of his errant children… (deep breath) popped into existence and created the universe.
    These are not equally probable.

    I may not be able to prove a creator, but neither can you prove a natural answer.

    Except that, as we have only been saying for several centuries, the null position is the default. A universe popping into existence as a massive virtual particle is wildly improbable at any given moment, but it fits with our current understanding of the way the universe actually works. Big Bad Good Magic Man does not.

  165. says

    Emotion comes through what you write. It’s quite easy to tell by what words people use what emotions they are displaying in text. Writing dispassionately is tough, so unless you’re just trolling and trying to get a rise out of people, you’re presenting some evidence of your emotional state when you post.

    You are right “Emotion comes through what you write”. But the question is, how do emotions come through what we write? Through what medium? Surely, not the computers????

    I can repeat here what I wrote above when I was angry. Back then, some of you suggested that I should chill out, which suggests they must have picked up my anger. Now, assuming that you know that I am not angry any more, those exact same words are not going to have the same effect if I repeat them??? Right?

    For example:

    Read the following passage, and assume I am saying it all again:

    “I don’t know what to say. I think someone just pulled a rotten stinky joke out of his/her backside, and then shoved it back in, and then started doing this in and out and in out movement in a rhythmic motion in order to experience some kind of pleasure effect. Obnoxious comments from ME on a rude fucking blog??? Really? IS this all you can take on a RUDE blog?”

    Do you think/feel I am angry? Be honest.

  166. John Morales says

    [OT]

    scifi:

    Nerd of a redhead,
    OOPs, sorry, I just saw redhead and assumed you were a girl. I now see the “OF A”. I have this completely different vision of you as that bald headed guy. LOL!

    You only think you see the grammatical article, and you are evidently wrong.

    (As usual)

  167. Daniel Schealler says

    “I don’t know what to say. I think someone just pulled a rotten stinky joke out of his/her backside, and then shoved it back in, and then started doing this in and out and in out movement in a rhythmic motion in order to experience some kind of pleasure effect. Obnoxious comments from ME on a rude fucking blog??? Really? IS this all you can take on a RUDE blog?”

    Do you think/feel I am angry? Be honest.

    The anger is conveyed by the style and tone of the text.

    The anger continues to be conveyed by the style and tone of the text regardless of whether or not that text aligns in any way with the inner mental state of the author at the time it was written.

    The difference here is that when you first wrote the passage quoted we inferred that the style and the tone matched your inner mental state. We could have been wrong, but it was the natural assumption to make.

    However, this second time you have told us that it doesn’t match your current mental state. I for one have no reason to doubt your word on this, so I do not make the same assumption.

    Again: No mystery here. Just whatever happens to be the most natural reading of the text.

  168. scifi says

    Aratina Cage,
    “I am willing to bet that we’ll see sc*f*@# booted from this joint real soon just for that^^ little screed. It’s just pointless trolling.”

    I’m so sorry I am such a threat to your spoon fed beliefs by your guru. “Get rid of scifi because he dares to step on my sacred beliefs.” My Gaud, it’s as bad as arguing with a creationist. They get all perplexed and suggest that I will be sorry when I die and meet up with Jesus. You, on the other hand, state that I will be sorry when the god of this blog bans me. SAD!!!

  169. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Very hard to say, since ‘bye’ is, evidently, one of the many english words whose meaning the raj doesn’t comprehend.

    Raj murders another word. Changing it’s meaning to suit what he wants it to mean. Like intelligent, self & god, and countless other innocent words, placed on the rack of Raj’s stupidity & tortured into giving meaning where none previously existed.

    Rajkumar:

    you idiot.

    Raj redefines another word.

    Methinks he is a one trick pony

  170. says

    Oh, for crissakes, scifi, your “logic” and “reason” is nothing but parroting of arguments long refuted. You insist that something can’t come from nothing, then you posit a God who seems to have done just that. Then you insist that the universe has been “fine-tuned,” while failing to show that the parameters of the universe could have been any different, or that life would indeed be impossible with other parameters, or showing any understanding of how life evolves to fit its conditions rather than the other way around.
    Whack-a-mole gets really tiresome when the mole just keeps popping up in the same place all the time.
    I suppose it’s nice that you’re convinced by these tired old arguments, but we’re not. And we’re not going to be, no matter how many times they’re repeated.

  171. Daniel Schealler says

    @scifi #696

    You, on the other hand, state that I will be sorry when the god of this blog bans me. SAD!!!

    I don’t know if you’ll be sorry. My best guess would be that you’d be secretly (or perhaps not-so-secretly) pleased about it. But I don’t really know.

    I suspect though that the other commenters here would be a little bit pleased to be rid of you – or at the very least, would cease to be annoyed by your continued presence.

    Personally I like having a couple of commenters like you around to sharpen my claws on. I like squeaky chew-toys. But I could very well be in the minority on this – and if so, the majority are equally justified on grounds of being annoyed by the squeaking.

  172. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    Do you think/feel I am angry? Be honest.

    Frankly, I don’t care one whit what your mental state is (though it’s clearly stunted).

    You want honesty?

    I think you’re addicted to this place and the dose of derision when we laugh at you and your inanities affords “you some kind of pleasure effect”.

    (What you are is a chew-toy, and your addiction to abuse is our amusement)

  173. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m so sorry I am such a threat to your spoon fed beliefs by your guru.

    Presuppositional fuckwits like yourself are no threat to anything. They are annoyances who can’t put up, and can’t shut the fuck up. Which proves to the world they are liars and bullshitters. You see, if you have honor and integrity, and can’t show the physical evidence to back up your claims, like you can’t, you shut up about those claims. It’s the lying and bullshitting that get you banned, not making the claims against the common knowledge here. So, show us your conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary creator, or move on. See how easy it is not to lie and bullshit, and have honor and integrity?

  174. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    rajkumar wrote:

    But the question is, how do emotions come through what we write? Through what medium? Surely, not the computers????

    Are you really that fucking stupid?

  175. says

    I’m so sorry I am such a threat to your spoon fed beliefs by your guru.

    Scifuck, I really do enjoy having you around to come up with inane things like that. While Teh Guru does often provide sustenance for my atheistic mind, I actually arrived here fairly independently.

    “Get rid of scifi because he dares to step on my sacred beliefs.”

    What sacred beliefs would those be? You must have forgotten to list them in your screed.

    My Gaud, it’s as bad as arguing with a creationist.

    Troll behavior^^^.

    They get all perplexed and suggest that I will be sorry when I die and meet up with Jesus. You, on the other hand, state that I will be sorry when the god of this blog bans me. SAD!!!

    Being banned from a blog is now a death sentence? LOLOLOL! Then I would like to be the first to request your head following the bannination, if Teh Guru should feel up to it.

  176. Daniel Schealler says

    @John Morales

    (off topic)

    How is it that some of you have profile images? I can’t find an entry point for uploading or selecting an image in the dashboard or the profile for this site.

  177. says

    However, this second time you have told us that it doesn’t match your current mental state. I for one have no reason to doubt your word on this, so I do not make the same assumption.

    Yes. I told you. But I could have been lying about my emotional state? When some of you suggested before that I should ‘chill out’, I could have then lied that I wasn’t angry? But many of you would have picked out that I was lying????

    I could be lying now that I am not angry, but you can still **feel** that I am not angry, can’t you? And I guess, this is precisely why you say “I for one have no reason to doubt your word on this, so I do not make the same assumption”, because you can “feel” my emotional state. You could feel it before, you can feel it now, if only ‘unconsciously’. And this is, I guess, where the whole mystery is….

    Ok. Bye now.

    I am now even confusing myself…

    See ya

  178. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    scifi wrote:

    My Gaud, it’s as bad as arguing with a creationist.

    You do seem to share the same inability to answer questions.

  179. says

    Yes. I told you. But I could have been lying about my emotional state? When some of you suggested before that I should ‘chill out’, I could have then lied that I wasn’t angry? But many of you would have picked out that I was lying????

    But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

  180. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    rajkumar wrote:

    I am now even confusing myself…

    What do you mean ‘now’?

  181. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar #707

    Nice to see you’re talking to me again, Raj. I’m still holding out for a description of ‘knowledge’ that does not require understanding. The others will chide me for that, but I guess I’m just prone to occasional bouts of optimism.

    I could be lying now that I am not angry, but you can still **feel** that I am not angry, can’t you? And I guess, this is precisely why you say “I for one have no reason to doubt your word on this, so I do not make the same assumption”, because you can “feel” my emotional state.

    The quote of ‘angry’ text still reads to me as having the style and tone of anger. The text still looks angry.

    The difference is that I no longer infer that your mental state matches that text.

    The reason I have no reason to doubt you in this is because it’s totally expected. People often get angry, write something while angry, then their anger passes, and they come back and continue the conversation without being angry any more.

    It’s normal and expected. That’s why I have no reason to doubt you.

    The ‘feeling’ that you are angry comes is a consequence of the inference that the emotions conveyed by your text matches your inner mental state at the time you wrote it.

    It is perfectly possible to use text or speech to intentionally deceive someone into thinking your mental state is other than it is.

    Even in the absence of the intent to deceive, it is also possible to write a passage of text in good faith only to have it interpreted by the reader as indicating a mental state that you did not, in fact, have. Text is particularly prone to this kind of interpretation because we lose the tone, gesture, emphasis and pace of speech that convey a lot of the context by which we usually evaluate speech.

    There’s nothing mysterious going on at all.

  182. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and Scifi, another fuckwitted presuppositional idjit named Shiloh used almost word for word the same fine-tuning argument several times over the course of the year prior to his banning on SciBlogs Pharyngula. Not one taker. We know your argument, and that it is a presuppositional one, nothing new or novel there at all. And no evidence for it. We’ve seen it before, and are bored by it.

  183. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    How do they know my emotional state when they can’t see me, and are literally miles away from me? That is, knowing my emotional state without any ‘conclusive physical evidence’?

    Writing can be evidence of some things.

    Even programs, which are a quite dry form of text, can to some extent be traced back to their authors from the way they are written.

    Surely you know that there are signs, physical and objective signs, that someone is angry or happy. You don’t ‘feel’ someone’s anger, you can observe it. His/her face reddens, maybe hands trembling, maybe a couple of swear words.

    In the case of writing, it’s a bit more difficult, but still there are some signs.

    For instance, you started using obscenities, when you did not before. A lot of people here use obscenities casually, and knowing that, I know that it’s not a sign of anger in them. But you did not, at first. Second, your comments became a little incoherent and outrageous (reread them). Anger tends to do that.

    We do not think emotions are non-existent, Rajkumar. We just don’t think that they can lead to any knowledge in and of themselves. Doesn’t mean they don’t exist, doesn’t mean that you didn’t feel what you felt.

    But you cannot derive any scientific knowledge from it. Because for science you have to get objective data – data that anyone, repeating your experience, can get. That means material evidence. If you perform an experiment to measure the gravitational constant for instance, you’ll get the same number, within uncertainty, as others got before you.

    If you consider your subjective feelings as evidence, then we have a problem, because you and you only have had your own particular feeling, and you cannot directly and objectively compare that feeling to someone else’s. That’s the basis of religion : “revelatory” knowledge, something that nobody can verify. Why is it a problem ?

    Because you’ll get loads and loads of different and conflicting subjective experiences, as many as there are people, and you’ll have no way to know which is true with regards to the real world. This can harmless, as when people discuss the nature of angels, but it can become quite dangerous when, for instance, one deludes himself into thinking he has the power to heal gravely sick people.

  184. Daniel Schealler says

    @Ing #716

    @Daniell

    You’re really entertaining explaining reading for comprehension and context clues to him?

    It amuses me. ^_^

    [OT]
    @John Morales and Aratina Cage

    Thanks guys.

  185. A. R says

    raj and scifi are still at it? Impressive. They must be running on a relativistic stupid generator.

  186. eddyline says

    @Ing:

    does not exist in males of this species?

    And #709

    Painful, to shoot wine through the sinuses twice.

    By the way, nice use of an Ellison title…

  187. says

    The reason I have no reason to doubt you in this is because it’s totally expected. People often get angry, write something while angry, then their anger passes, and they come back and continue the conversation without being angry any more.

    My God, you are addictive. Aren’t you? More addictive than H.

    I suggest you should go down to the very core of your reasoning, and enquire: Just “why” don’t you have a reason to doubt me? People do angry and all that. It is OK when you can see them getting angry in person, or maybe when you can hear their voice over the telephone, and can sort of guess their emotional state. But, how can you guess my emotional state now, when we are chatting on two computers, and can’t see or hear each other?

    Do you know you can only FEEL emotions? If you FEEL that I am not angry any more, how can you ‘feel’ it from a distance in my absence? Through what medium? And how can YOU feel MY emotions to begin with? That’s the question.

    And I am not talking about my MENTAL STATE. I am talking about my EMOTIONAL STATE. Anger is an emotion.

  188. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

    And since iocaine powder comes from Australia, and as everyone knows, Australia is populated entirely by criminals. And Raj seemed to indicate in a previous thread that he is in Melbourne.

    And people tell me that movies aren’t real!

  189. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Just “why” don’t you have a reason to doubt me? People do angry and all that.

    Maybe your actual state is unimportant. The only thing important is how you appear. People react to how you appear. Your actual state of emotion is very likely of no consequence to anyone on this blog other than yourself. We have no reason to do anything other than react to how you present yourself. That’s one of the nice things about the internet.

  190. Anri says

    I’m so sorry I am such a threat to your spoon fed beliefs by your guru. “Get rid of scifi because he dares to step on my sacred beliefs.” My Gaud, it’s as bad as arguing with a creationist. They get all perplexed and suggest that I will be sorry when I die and meet up with Jesus. You, on the other hand, state that I will be sorry when the god of this blog bans me. SAD!!!

    I’m not calling for your banning. I don’t have that power, and wouldn’t use it if I did.

    Because it would prevent my from asking that you address my questions and counterpoints raised to your post.

    …you were planning on actually addressing arguments, rather than just getting all annoyed at people you perceive as rude, right?

    …right?

  191. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    Tangential – does anyone else think Lawrence Krauss sounds a bit like Vizzini? Part of me was hoping that he’d bust out a TPB line during his talk at the GAC…

  192. says

    Kel @679:

    If one experiences God subjectively and only subjectively, then experiencing God is indistinguishable from the illusion of experiencing God.

    I was going to say something very similar. So I guess I’ll say it anyway!

    If the experience of God is indistinguishable from imagination or delusion, then there is no reason to draw the distinction.

    rajkumar @693:

    You are right “Emotion comes through what you write”. But the question is, how do emotions come through what we write? Through what medium? Surely, not the computers????

    Here’s a hint: words mean things.

    scifi @696:

    I’m so sorry I am such a threat to your spoon fed beliefs by your guru.

    Good grief. If you’re banned, it won’t be because you’re a threat. It’ll be because you’re annoying and add nothing to the conversation.

    I’m lucky enough to live in a malaria-free country, so mosquitoes pose me no threat whatsoever. I’d still love to ban them from my front porch — not because I’m afraid of them, but because the place would be more pleasant without their incessant buzzing.

  193. eddyline says

    And since iocaine powder comes from Australia, and as everyone knows, Australia is populated entirely by criminals. And Raj seemed to indicate in a previous thread that he is in Melbourne

    +1

    Maybe your actual state is unimportant.

    Completely unimportant.

    Good at conflating meanings, though. Perhaps that’s why xe’s so lousy at defining words and sticking to them.

    “Feelings…nothing more than…FEELings…”

  194. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Here’s a hint: words mean things.

    Not if Raj thinks they mean something else

  195. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar #721

    But, how can you guess my emotional state now, when we are chatting on two computers, and can’t see or hear each other?

    I already said: I infer it from the text.

    Do you know you can only FEEL emotions? If you FEEL that I am not angry any more, how can you ‘feel’ it from a distance in my absence? Through what medium? And how can YOU feel MY emotions to begin with? That’s the question.

    I don’t feel your emotions when I read the text.

    I feel my emotions when I read the text as if it was me that was writing it.

    The emotion of anger that I feel comes from me as a response to the stimulus of the text.

    Attributing (or not attributing) that anger to you is a matter of interpretation of these feelings (and the text) that takes place after/as they are felt (and read).

    There’s still nothing mysterious going on.

    IMPORTANT POINT:

    I mentioned this in passing before but you didn’t comment on it. I am repeating this here more fully here to make sure you don’t miss it. You’re of course free to ignore this next section if you like. But it would be very nice of you to address the following three paragraphs in your next response to me.

    If there is some kind of transfer or sharing of emotion between individuals when exchanging texts, then people should never or only very rarely be mistaken about one another’s feelings when interpreting texts written by others.

    However, people frequently are mistaken about one another’s feelings when interpreting texts.

    Therefore, it is not the case that there is some kind of transfer or sharing of emotion between individuals when exchanging texts.

  196. Rey Fox says

    If any of these parameters are off by less than a hair, no life of any kind could develop.

    NO. YOU’RE WRONG. WE’VE BEEN OVER THIS. AND OVER THIS. AND OVER THIS. AND OVER THIS.

    We’re not threatened by you, we’re just sick of your incredibly tedious inability to learn anything.

  197. Rey Fox says

    Rajkumar’s Greatest Hits:

    405

    Bye. Thanks.

    409

    Bye

    467

    So, a goodbye.

    509

    BYE

    598

    Take care Bye

    605

    Make it my last participation on this blog.

    615

    Please do not make me come back.

    Let’s all give him a hand, shall we?

  198. Snoof says

    The fact that Rajkumar is having so much trouble with the idea of text being able to convey meaning and emotion makes me wonder if xe really does have literacy issues.

  199. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Do you know you can only FEEL emotions? If you FEEL that I am not angry any more, how can you ‘feel’ it from a distance in my absence? Through what medium? And how can YOU feel MY emotions to begin with? That’s the question.

    Oh Lordy. Again with the really, genuinely not realizing how fucking ignorant he sounds. He takes this condescendingly didactic tone and then says shit like THAT. I can’t even.

    Maybe your actual state is unimportant. The only thing important is how you appear. People react to how you appear.

    This, and their (often reasonable) preconceptions of how people experiencing certain emotions appear. This is why so frequently posters from here are told to “calm down,” or not to get so angry, when they’re just batting trolls around lazily and with mild contempt. People aren’t used to certain kinds of language being used calmly. If Raj is so convinced that we’re … experiencing each other’s emotions through a vast oneness, I wonder how he explains that phenomenon. I don’t even want to know how he would explain the frequent misreadings of NT people by non-NT people and vice versa when speaking in person. Eesh.

  200. says

    I already said: I infer it from the text.

    I don’t feel your emotions when I read the text.

    I feel my emotions when I read the text as if it was me that was writing it.

    The emotion of anger that I feel comes from me as a response to the stimulus of the text.

    Attributing (or not attributing) that anger to you is a matter of interpretation of these feelings (and the text) that takes place after/as they are felt (and read).

    There’s still nothing mysterious going on.

    A ‘stimulus’ in the text??? What ‘stimulus’ would that be, when the same set of words in exactly the same order can trigger literally hundreds of different combinations of emotions in you? I already tried to explain that to you in one of my previous comments. Here’s another example:

    I think you are a fucking moron, because you don’t understand a bit what I am trying to explain to you.

    AM I ANGRY, DO YOU THINK? BE HONEST. DON’T GET SWAYED BY YOUR PREJUDICES. ENQUIRE DEEPLY.

    If there is some kind of transfer or sharing of emotion between individuals when exchanging texts, then people should never or only very rarely be mistaken about one another’s feelings when interpreting texts written by others.

    However, people frequently are mistaken about one another’s feelings when interpreting texts.

    Therefore, it is not the case that there is some kind of transfer or sharing of emotion between individuals when exchanging texts.

    This is because the human psyche is extraordinarily complex, so complex that no one as yet has been able to understand it properly.

    But to get a hint:

    There are no real divisions or separations in the psyche, but we can divide it into two main parts to understand it better:

    1- The conscious part
    2- The Unconscious part

    What we call the ‘conscious’ part of the psyche is only a very small part of it, and this is the part we are aware of during our ordinary waking consciousness. But most of the psyche consists of the unconscious part, and this is the part that is hidden from us , during most of the times, except in dreams. In other words, we are literally quite unaware of what really drives us, and how it drives us. It is all a great mystery.

    So, we can say, what we interpret as ‘truth’ on one level may not be so true on another level of the psyche. For example, what I have been saying in this thread may sound true to the innermost core of your psyche, and you may have a very deep and subtle feeling about it too, but on the surface you are trying your best to counter it. Enquire deeply, why exactly are you trying to counter it? What beliefs are you trying to defend, and you may get the answer.

    And please, I really have to go now. If you reply, and would like me to reply, please don’t mind if I don’t.

    See ya

    Bye

  201. A. R says

    So, we can say, what we interpret as ‘truth’ on one level may not be so true on another level of the psyche. For example, what I have been saying in this thread may sound true to the innermost core of your psyche, and you may have a very deep and subtle feeling about it too, but on the surface you are trying your best to counter it. Enquire deeply, why exactly are you trying to counter it? What beliefs are you trying to defend, and you may get the answer.

    Pure psuedopsychological tripe. Please cite sources to prove that any of the above is true. Otherwise, you’re just trying to throw nonsensical idiocy at logical arguments and scientifically established fact.

  202. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    rajkumar wrote:

    And please, I really have to go now. If you reply, and would like me to reply, please don’t mind if I don’t.

    Just go and stay gone, you incoherent fucking clown shoe.

  203. Snoof says

    What we call the ‘conscious’ part of the psyche is only a very small part of it, and this is the part we are aware of during our ordinary waking consciousness.

    How do you know this?

    But most of the psyche consists of the unconscious part, and this is the part that is hidden from us , during most of the times, except in dreams. In other words, we are literally quite unaware of what really drives us, and how it drives us.

    How do you know this?

    For example, what I have been saying in this thread may sound true to the innermost core of your psyche, and you may have a very deep and subtle feeling about it too, but on the surface you are trying your best to counter it.

    How do you know this?

  204. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar #734

    A ‘stimulus’ in the text???

    The stimulus isn’t in the text. The stimulus is the text. Text is a visual stimulus. That’s the sense in which I meant the term.

    I think you are a fucking moron, because you don’t understand a bit what I am trying to explain to you.

    AM I ANGRY, DO YOU THINK? BE HONEST. DON’T GET SWAYED BY YOUR PREJUDICES. ENQUIRE DEEPLY.

    The tone of the first passage feels angry, but it takes place as part of a greater context that doesn’t feel angry.

    Anger is not an emotion I associate with a reflective state of mind. I think that the words you use in the capitalized portion of the second passage are reflective, which leads me to the conclusion that they were probably not written in a moment of anger, but were instead written with an intent to seem angry.

    Of course, I could be wrong. This reading is my reading, and takes place in my own mind. My speculations as to the inner state of your mind are just that, speculations. Speculations that have been informed by nothing more than the text we have exchanged over the past few days.

    Enquire deeply, why exactly are you trying to counter it?

    Search your feelings, young Skywalker. You know it to be true…

    At my innermost core, then?

    At my innermost core, I’m an arrogant prick that likes to feel cleverer than I probably am. My ego is petty enough that simply correcting you is enough to give it a pleasure boost.

    There’s a secondary feeling that if I were able to change your mind and get you to rethink or doubt your current position on these matters then there might also be some genuine good that could arise from our exchange… But that’s secondary, and even then is in turn linked back to my own need to satisfy my egoistic need to feel clever.

    That’s pretty much it. If you’re expecting me to come back with a deep river of cosmically scrumptious yummy one-ness with the universe and chewey juicy nuggests of wisdom and insight, it’s just not there. At my innermost core I’m just a self-absorbed ape in jandals.

    This is because the human psyche is extraordinarily complex, so complex that no one as yet has been able to understand it properly.

    It isn’t entirely clear to me what you mean by this.

    It seems as if you’re suggesting that, if Sally is in a good mood and writes something in a text message that is intended to tease Billy because she likes him and ultimately just wants some attention from him, but Billy reads his text and takes it as a serious communication, then the interpretation is that Sally secretly doesn’t really like billy very much or want his attention.

    Personally, I think that Sally probably knows her own mind better than Billy.

    I think that I know my own mind better than you.

    I think that you know your own mind better than me.

    Any counter-example would be greatly appreciated.

    And please, I really have to go now. If you reply, and would like me to reply, please don’t mind if I don’t.

    See ya

    Bye

    I think I feel a Tui ad coming on…

  205. says

    It isn’t entirely clear to me what you mean by this.

    It means, in its entirety, a very simple thing:

    Read a bit of psychology you moron to appreciate the complexity of the human mind, and the psyche…

    Did you miss the part where I talked about the ‘unconscious’ part of the psyche, and how we are ordinarily unaware of it? Yeah, believe it or not, you do have one too, and it talks to you all the time.

    Let me give you an example:

    A teenage boy falls in love with a girl, whom he considers to be a beautiful girl. But he is not sure about the feelings the girl has about him, and deep down he is afraid of her rejecting him, because he has got a low self worth. Now, the message he is receiving from the deep core of his psyche is: Go on, and ask her out. She likes you too. But on the surface, he is not agreeing with this message, and he is trying to suppress it. And finally, he tells himself to shut up and face reality, and in doing so, completely misses a golden opportunity of romancing a beautiful girl….

    The point of this example? The UNCONSCIOUS is what it is. YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF WHAT’S IN THERE. When i said to enquire, I didn’t mean to write back a stupid reply. I meant, go and start the process of enquiring, which could take many years, and may include reading books that you previously thought didn’t exist.

    I am sure this clears up a lot of things…

    Bye

    PS: Hidden in this message are ciphers, which you are to find and use to encode my different emotional states. It is not a trick.

  206. says

    It isn’t entirely clear to me what you mean by this.

    It means, in its entirety, a very simple thing:

    Read a bit of psychology you moron to appreciate the complexity of the human mind, and the psyche…

    Did you miss the part where I talked about the ‘unconscious’ part of the psyche, and how we are ordinarily unaware of it? Yeah, believe it or not, you do have one too, and it talks to you all the time.

    Let me give you an example:

    A teenage boy falls in love with a girl, whom he considers to be a beautiful girl. But he is not sure about the feelings the girl has about him, and deep down he is afraid of her rejecting him, because he has got a low self worth. Now, the message he is receiving from the deep core of his psyche is: Go on, and ask her out. She likes you too. But on the surface, he is not agreeing with this message, and he is trying to suppress it. And finally, he tells himself to shut up and face reality, and in doing so, completely misses a golden opportunity of romancing a beautiful girl….

    The point of this example? The UNCONSCIOUS is what it is. YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF WHAT’S IN THERE. When i said to enquire, I didn’t mean to write back a stupid reply. I meant, go and start the process of enquiring, which could take many years, and may include reading books that you previously thought didn’t exist.

    I am sure this clears up a lot of things…

    Bye

    PS: Hidden in this message are ciphers, which you are to find and use to encode my different emotional states. It is not a trick.

  207. says

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    No. It’s my ‘unconscious’ that makes me come back. I have little control, it seems…

    But I am back again to correct a mistake I made in my last post:

    PS: Hidden in this message are ciphers, which you are to find and use to encode my different emotional states. It is not a trick.

    Should read:

    PS: Hidden in this message are ciphers, which you are to find and use to decode my different emotional states. It is not a trick.

  208. says

    I was going to say something very similar. So I guess I’ll say it anyway!

    If the experience of God is indistinguishable from imagination or delusion, then there is no reason to draw the distinction.

    I like that.

    How I’ve worded it in the past: Self-authenticating private evidence is useless, because it is indistinguishable from the illusion of it.

  209. Snoof says

    But I am back again to correct a mistake I made in my last post:

    The one where you claimed the unconscious is unknowable, and yet you know things about it?

    …encode…

    Should read:

    …decode…

    Oh. A typo. How disappointing. I thought you were going to address the gaping hole in your hypothesis.

  210. hatstand says

    Rajmoron,

    Do you realise that not everyone will read this thread in real time?
    If determining your emotional state from what you wrote were dependent on some “higher conciousness”, wouldn’t our perception vary according to how you felt as we read it?

  211. says

    But the question is, how do emotions come through what we write? Through what medium? Surely, not the computers?

    How does a TV show come through what TV stations broadcast? Through what medium? Surely, not the electromagnetic waves?

    Does that sound dumb to you? If not, it should!

  212. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    rajkumar:

    Read a bit of psychology you moron to appreciate the complexity of the human mind, and the psyche

    QFFI

    Is that the same way you read the texts on philosophy that were recommended to you, before you huffed about only being prepared to talk about philosophy with those who are not philosophy qualified?

    Also, I think your link to the specific psychology text you expect us to read didn’t work properly [/snark]

  213. consciousness razor says

    Hmmm, I went through the old Pharyngula dungeon and didn’t see sc*f*@# chained up to the wall anywhere. The Great Tentacled One must have decided to leave sc*f*@# out for us to perpetually sharpen our teeth on.

    I notice Shiloh commented at scifi’s link at #638, also complaining about PZ’s mean old banhammer. Could just be a coincidence (or several).

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and scifi, why did Shiloh get banhammered at the SciBlogs Pharyngula? Because he couldn’t present the conclusive physical evidence for his imaginary creator/deity, but he couldn’t shut the fuck up either. Meanwhile, he whined, moaned, and repeated the same stale presuppositional arguments ad nauseum like they were new and fresh, and ignored all arguments and evidence that refuted his position. In other words, his behavior lacking honesty and integrity, and his lies and bullshit was tiring and boring. He was trying to bully us into believing in his imaginary creator by constant repetition, which became his method of argument.

    Look in the mirror at your behavior scifi. You have had your say, in the sense you have presented your pitiful and inane presupposition argument the best you could. Nobody is buying it. But some folks like yourself go so far as to define having their say to mean that we must agree with them. They can’t emotionally or rationally understand the rejection. Your argument is rejected due to the lack of solid and conclusive evidence you presented for your idea.

    Rajkumar is another example of someone who doesn’t understand the difference between explaining their idea, and bullying people to accept his fuckwittery, and is now into the bullying stage.

  215. 'Tis Himself says

    How many times has Rajkumar flounced off just to unflounce a few minutes later? Xe’s in negative points now for failure to stick the flounce.

  216. Louis says

    Well I’m going to flounce because Rajkumar is not being taken seriously enough.

    LEAVE RAJKUMAR ALONE!

    {Flounce}

    ….[Brief Pause]….

    {Unflounce}

    Did ya miss me?*

    Louis

    * Obvious answers on a postcard to the usual address. ‘Tis, please do the honours in 3…2…1…

  217. says

    Rajkumar is another example of someone who doesn’t understand the difference between explaining their idea, and bullying people to accept his fuckwittery, and is now into the bullying stage.

    Hell no, Nerd. I am not selling any ideas here for you people to buy. I came here just to have a discussion, because it was my understanding that you people loved having such discussions. As far as I am concerned, you are perfectly free to accept or reject or stay in-between as neutral, about anything that I have written here. In the end, it is just a discussion. Nothing more, nothing less. What’s the harm in discussing a few ideas????

    Daniel Schealler

    It seems as if you’re suggesting that, if Sally is in a good mood and writes something in a text message that is intended to tease Billy because she likes him and ultimately just wants some attention from him, but Billy reads his text and takes it as a serious communication, then the interpretation is that Sally secretly doesn’t really like billy very much or want his attention.

    Personally, I think that Sally probably knows her own mind better than Billy.

    I think that I know my own mind better than you.

    I think that you know your own mind better than me.

    I thought I needed to add a little here. We do not ordinarily know anything meaningful about our own minds because a much larger part of the mind is always hidden from us — the unconscious. For example, if Sally as a kid thought she was an ugly girl, but as an adult tried to convince herself that she was indeed beautiful, then she would be sending very confusing emotions and feelings to the opposite sex, and without even knowing it. These confusing emotions and feelings through the messages she would send, are going to confuse Billy a lot, who God knows, hides what in his own unconscious. In short, without doing some serious mind searching, we are, quite literally, running on ‘automatic pilot’ mode, and without even knowing it. I believe, our minds are so complex and wonderful, that only by exploring the mind we can truly appreciate the wonder and the complexity of it.

    I won’t say bye this time, but I won’t be posting on this blog any more — for sure. Can’t say if I will still hang around as a lurker. The pull of this blog is just too strong, though it is weakening slowly and slowly…. If there are any typos, just ignore them. I won’t fix them.

  218. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am not selling any ideas here for you people to buy.

    Then why can’t you shut the fuck up?

    I came here just to have a discussion, because it was my understanding that you people loved having such discussions.

    You don’t discuss, you preach. Why can’t you shut the fuck up?

    What’s the harm in discussing a few ideas????

    Evidence, when challenged, you must present evidence, or shut the fuck up. Why can’t you shut the fuck up preacher?

    I believe, our minds are so complex and wonderful, that only by exploring the mind we can truly appreciate the wonder and the complexity of it.

    We scientist are exploring the mind. The mind isn’t explored with meditation, or drugs. That is bullshit. And science knows that.

    10 e-ducats says rajkumar can’t stick the flounce, and will continue its evidenceless and annoying preaching of fuckwittery.

  219. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    This may be a record-breaking flounce-fail.

  220. A. R says

    Um, Raj realizes that failing to stick the flounce this many times may lead to unpredictable consequences involving gigantic orbiting superweapons and banhammers?

  221. Louis says

    Nerd,

    We scientist are exploring the mind. The mind isn’t explored with meditation, or drugs. That is bullshit. And science knows that.

    I know what you mean, but there are a plethora of experiential studies out there on “altered brain states” (for want of a better term). In other words, subject takes drugs, slap subject in MRI machine, watch what lights up, ask subject about experiences etc.

    Of course this is science, and not what Rajkumar means, which is more along the lines of: take drugs, look at hand, really look at hand, whoa, therefore intelligent universe man.

    Ah well, we’ll keep doing the science and Rajkumar can keep gazing up his own arsehole. I know who has the better view. Hint for the lurkers and confused: It’s not Rajkumar.

    Louis

  222. Anri says

    This may be a record-breaking flounce-fail.

    I warned you about raj, bro!
    I warned you!

    It keeps happening!

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rajkumar also doesn’t understand the difference between having a discussion and preaching. If he is having a discussion, the strong possibility he could be wrong is present. If there is little or no possibiltiy he is wrong, he is preaching. And he preached, as there appreared to be no possibility his unevidenced OPINION was wrong.

  224. echidna says

    I’m not so sure that the “conscious”/”unconscious” mind stuff is as useful to understanding the mind as thinking of the mind as a massive collection of distributed processes.

    The integration of the processes can lead to some interesting artifacts at times, especially when interpolating discrete events into a continuous sequence, which would be worth having a discussion about.

    In contrast, rajkumar really didn’t seem to have anything on the table to discuss.

  225. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    I opined on another thread some months ago (in a galaxy far far away) that the reason flouncers announce their flounce is because they want to have the last word. By announcing the flounce, they are telling us that our comments are futile, because they have said “so there.” therefore, anything we might comment on doesn’t count, because we know they are not there to read it (because they announced the flounce).

    Raj attempts this, but subverts himself because his addictive personality make it difficult for him to flounce and not lurk. By lurking, he sees that he has not been given the last word (and therefore, defacto thread win)*. So he has to come back to flounce some more.

    Poor raj. He doesn’t understand his subconscious well enough to know that is what he is doing, and so he is condemned to return, and return, and return, until (he hopes) we all get bored and drift off. Then in his mind, he will have won. Sad for Raj that there will always be one of us acting as sentinel to sanity, and we are not above blending this thread into TZT and keep it going eternally. Where he will find himself in conversations more bizzare than any his drug affected mind has so far experienced.

    *IMO, some people are of the opinion that if if they get to say the last thing, then they win. Irrespective of the value of their or others arguments

    [/amateur faux psychoanalysis]

  226. consciousness razor says

    The integration of the processes can lead to some interesting artifacts at times, especially when interpolating discrete events into a continuous sequence, which would be worth having a discussion about.

    What kind of artifacts do you mean?

  227. scifi says

    Wobagger,
    “How – precisely – do you know there was ‘nothing’ that ‘something’ came from?”

    Physicists have determined this. Check out Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing.

    “How – precisely – did you determine these parameters were ‘finely tuned’?”

    Check out Anthropic Principle Physicists have determined them.

  228. Jeffrey G Johnson says

    Brilliant speech. Wish I could have been there. I loved what you did with the power of identity based on ideas.

    About baboons: they may deserve a little more credit. In Nigeria I witnessed first hand a group of baboons using teamwork to steal flower from a supply truck. The truck was guarded, and two of them made bluffing feints to distract the guard while two others pulled a well coordinated and timed flanking maneuver to grab a sack of flour from inside the truck.

    We can’t afford to underestimate our enemies, even if they do believe in primitive superstitions.

    I suppose sacking the city of god is as good a metaphor as any, though one does hesitate to take on the role traditionally known as “barbarian”. But then who are the real barbarians? Who preserves beliefs and rituals that would have appealed to uncultured barbarian minds? I suppose those who preserve barbaric rituals and beliefs ought to be treated like barbarians. hehe.

  229. scifi says

    Nerd of redhead,
    “No, you use presupposition and sophistry”
    Not so. That is simply your subjective opinion.

    “If any of these parameters are off by less than a hair, no life of any kind could develop.
    Which has nothing whatsoever to do with your imaginary creator, than the adaption of material to the conditions that are available. Still nothing but presupposition on your part.”

    Oh, but it does leave open the possibility that a creator could be necessary. And for you to rebut that a creator is imaginary is simply presupposition on your part.

    “This doesn’t explain how something larger popped into existence and expanded into this huge universe.
    Nor does your imginary creator, which must be created first, and you give no mechanism for such a being to come about. All you do is presuppose the idea. Nothing but presupposition. And you know that if you were the least bit non-presupposing.”

    Or this creator always existed. If all I am doing is presupposing the idea, then Physicists are guilty of the same thing because they admit to not having proof that matter came from nothing and expanded into a universe and further presuppose that there are huge numbers of multiuniverses in an attempt to explain how we ended up with one with all the finely tuned parameters required for life of any kind.

    “Either show the conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity/creator without presuppositions, and we can talk. Until then your creator is imaginary. ”

    We are talking supernatural here, therefore, it may not be possible to show physical evidence. On the other hand, science is the study of the natural and can show physical evidence. However, you have none to prove that quantum mechanics dictates that something came from nothing many times and expanded into multiuniverses. When that happens, let’s talk,

  230. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Seriously? The anthropic principle? Are you blithering about the weak or strong version?

    Whether the parameters that define the forces that make the universe act the way it does could have varied or not and still produced the same results says absolutely nothing about the origin of the universe. We see a universe that is compatible with life because we are alive in it. If the universe was different in a way that was incompatible with life then there would be nobody to marvel at its lack of life.

  231. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    We are talking supernatural here, therefore, it may not be possible to show physical evidence. On the other hand, science is the study of the natural and can show physical evidence.

    Bullocks.

    Your gods, supposedly, have a material effect on the physical world. They can help people win at the slot machine. They can affect elections. Gods can heal the sick (but they cannot, oddly, regrow an amputated leg). These are all claimed examples of gods affecting the material world. And yet there is no physical evidence, anywhere, anywhen, from any of these supposed physical interactions.

    So, since science “is the study of the natural and can show physical evidence”, it follows, quite inescapably, that, should supernatural gods ever have a physical interaction with reality, there should be evidence.

    Where is you evidence?

  232. opposablethumbs says

    it does leave open the possibility that a creator could be necessary.

    Yawn. You do realise that most of us are 6.9s, not 7s, right? Doesn’t mean it makes sense to faff around with petty dietary/clothing/etc. rules now does it?

    it does leave open the possibility that a creator could be necessary.

    A “creator”/creative something about which we know absolutely nothing, and which cannot be abracadabra’d into a “he” who hates women, gay sex, and anyone who isn’t in with the in crowd … well, not if you have a shred of honesty, that is.

    Essentially everybody’s pet god agrees with its inventor. Do you rigorously avoid parlaying your unknown and unknowable “creator” into a personal no-shellfish no-mixed-fibres bloke who cares how humans have sex?

  233. Matt Penfold says

    We are talking supernatural here, therefore, it may not be possible to show physical evidence. On the other hand, science is the study of the natural and can show physical evidence.

    You now are admitting your god cannot interact in the universe in anyway at all, because if it could, then there would be evidence.

  234. says

    Imma just gonna copy/paste this since it applies here too.

    I’m afraid you are mistaken. You see, your god was actually created by my god because my god couldn’t be arsed to do it hirself (xe was too busy with chess club.)

    My god also thinks your’s is a bit of a jerk and would smite hir ass but, you know, chess club.

    {see how this works, yeck123 syfy? I have exactly as much evidence for my story as you do for your’s.}

  235. A. R says

    We are talking supernatural here, therefore, it may not be possible to show physical evidence. On the other hand, science is the study of the natural and can show physical evidence.

    No scientifically testable evidence, no existence. It’s that simple.

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “No, you use presupposition and sophistry”
    Not so. That is simply your subjective opinion.

    That is not a refutation of the claim of presupposition. That requires you to show you aren’t inclined to try to put in a creator when none is needed, or that it isn’t your desired outcome before you start. Evidence presented by you to show you aren’t engaged in presupposition, Nada.

    Oh, but it does leave open the possibility that a creator could be necessary. And for you to rebut that a creator is imaginary is simply presupposition on your part.

    Nope, it is imaginary until you provide evidence, solid and conclusive, for said presupposed creator. If you don’t try to end up with the creator (presupposition), it never need come up in logic.

    If all I am doing is presupposing the idea,

    You are.

    Or this creator always existed.

    Typical sophistry to avoid having to show how the creator came about. This is science, not sophistry, and your claim is a presuppostion of the worst type. Puff, dismissed.

    then Physicists are guilty of the same thing because they admit to not having proof that matter came from nothing and expanded into a universe and further presuppose that there are huge numbers of multiuniverses in an attempt to explain how we ended up with one with all the finely tuned parameters required for life of any kind.

    There’s a difference between acknowledging not nowing something, and using mathmatical models that show multiuniverses, if they don’t claim it is the last word. It isn’t. But you are trying to claim a creator is necessary and the last word. Sophistry on your part, and an avoidance of you having to provide concluisive physical evidence for your imaginary creator. POOF, dismissed.

    We are talking supernatural here,

    Oh, how did the universe suddenly become stupornatural? It didn’t. You imaginary creator had to interact with matter, which means it is material, and we should be able to measure it or its effects on things. Still no physical evidence presented by you for your imaginary creator, and more sophistry to avoid having to do so? I see a pattern here, and so do all the lurkers. You use presupposition and sophistry to avoid having to provide evidence for your claims. That is a concrete example of liars and bullshitters in action.

    And remember, the material that makes up the universe, and our bodies, adapted to the physical constants in use. There is no evidence they were finely tuned, or caused by creator, as there is a natural explanation for why we are here. Still not convinced, nor will I be, until you stop your philosophial wanking and provide real evidence.

  237. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, how did the universe suddenly become stupornatural?

    Is that an intentional typo ? Either way I like it. Talk of the supernatural does induce stupor.

  238. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Is that an intentional typo ?

    Yes, been spelling it that way for a while now. Also, it shows my comptempt for the idea.

  239. 'Tis Himself says

    Louis #254

    Did ya miss me?*

    Louis

    * Obvious answers on a postcard to the usual address. ‘Tis, please do the honours in 3…2…1…

    You were gone?

  240. Louis says

    ‘Tis, #277,

    Oh there is no justification for quoting me in Comic Sans! THAT is just beyond the pale.

    Louis

  241. says

    We’re on page 2!

    Yes and no. Someone adjusted the comment pager last night to flip pages after 500 comments instead of 800. So we would still be on page 1 if not for that.

  242. says

    Aratina Cage:

    Someone adjusted the comment pager last night to flip pages after 500 comments instead of 800.

    Yes, PZ did that today, after Matt & I were discussing how difficult it was for some of us to load this thread.

  243. 'Tis Himself says

    Oh there is no justification for quoting me in Comic Sans! THAT is just beyond the pale.

    Au contraire!* It was entirely appropriate. You’re the guy who took over the ghey sechs with Brownian concession without even a by your leave from him. No typeface is too vile for Lousian quotes.

    *That’s foreign for “nope”.

  244. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar

    A teenage boy falls in love with a girl…

    The example you give is irrelevant for two reasons.

    Firstly, we have been discussing how we can infer the emotional state of another human being based solely on the exchange of texts. In your example it appears that the boy and the girl have interacted beyond the exchange of text, and text itself is never mentioned. It doesn’t match the point I was making.

    Secondly, you provided one case where someone interpreted the mental state of another person accurately. That’s fine. Providing one such example does not contradict my original assertion that people are frequently mistaken in how they infer the mental states of other people. I said ‘frequently’, not ‘always’. So even if your story did match the context of our discussion around the interpretation of text, it would still be an irrelevant counter example.

    Look: If all you’re trying to say is that the emotional interpretation of text happens outside of (and faster than) the executive functions of the mind, then you’ll have no argument from me on that point.

    But it sounds like what you’re trying to say (without actually saying it) is that when you exchange text with me and write that text while feeling angry, the emotions you feel at the time mystically transfer or are otherwise shared across the intervening space between us to emerge deep within the ‘core’ of my unconscious mind (whatever ‘core’ means). By such means and only such means can I can have access to what you were feeling.

    If that’s what you’re trying to say, then please stop beating about the bush and say it clearly.

    If that’s not what you’re trying to say then whatever you actually meant has been said very poorly, so please try to be clearer.

  245. Daniel Schealler says

    @rajkumar (again)

    Sorry, didn’t see your second response when I left my previous comment.

    I believe, our minds are so complex and wonderful, that only by exploring the mind we can truly appreciate the wonder and the complexity of it.

    I think that our minds are so complex, and that so much goes on in them of which we are unaware, that attempting to introspect our way to truth about the nature of reality is destined to fail.

    I won’t say bye this time, but I won’t be posting on this blog any more — for sure. Can’t say if I will still hang around as a lurker. The pull of this blog is just too strong, though it is weakening slowly and slowly… If there are any typos, just ignore them. I won’t fix them.

    Yeah, right.

  246. says

    Yes, PZ did that today, after Matt & I were discussing how difficult it was for some of us to load this thread.

    Thanks for letting us know, Caine. It threw me for a bit of a loop after returning to this thread (all the comment numbers were wrong on this page) until I realized what had happened.

  247. says

    Look: If all you’re trying to say is that the emotional interpretation of text happens outside of (and faster than) the executive functions of the mind, then you’ll have no argument from me on that point.

    No, this is not what I am trying to say. I am saying we really don’t know anything about our own minds, unless we have been involved in some serious introspection. Even after that, we cannot claim to know more than the tip of the iceberg, where the whole mind is the iceberg, and the tip is what we know about it after the serious introspection. This is true for everyone no matter how genius a neuroscientist we think we are, or no matter how brilliant a psychologist we think we are. That was the point of that example. It wasn’t actually related to how emotions are transferred between us. It was to give an example how we cannot make hasty conclusions about own minds, and about ourselves, so easily. We know very little about our own minds, and our own selves, let alone interpreting the minds of dead people, as in people trying to interpret Einstein’s mind on his beliefs about God. Not possible.

    You are talking about what happens in the brain, and our bodies, and call that the ‘executive function’ of the mind??? If you are, then I should clarify that I am actually talking about what happens in the mind (the whole psyche), where the psyche is something that is non-physical, and is composed of things like thoughts, dreams, emotions, feelings, ideas, etc. I am not concerned at all about their physical sources. I am only concerned about what emerges from the physical as ‘non-physical’. And this ‘non-physical’ psyche is what we really do not understand much. So, I don’t really think I can understand the ‘executive function’ of the psyche. I don’t even know what it means. In short, whether it is the ghost in the machine that operates the machine, or whether it is the machine that creates the ghost, it doesn’t really matter at this point. What matters is the ghost itself, the psyche.

    But it sounds like what you’re trying to say (without actually saying it) is that when you exchange text with me and write that text while feeling angry, the emotions you feel at the time mystically transfer or are otherwise shared across the intervening space between us to emerge deep within the ‘core’ of my unconscious mind (whatever ‘core’ means). By such means and only such means can I can have access to what you were feeling.

    If that’s what you’re trying to say, then please stop beating about the bush and say it clearly.

    I have no idea how we can, sort of, **guess** the emotional state of another person through words only. But this happens all the time, nevertheless? Maybe it happens through some trigger in the words, as you said. Maybe all the words are triggers themselves that act as a stimulus. But even that doesn’t really explain anything how some mere words on a paper can act as stimulus, and then create an actual replica of someone’s emotional state in you? If anything, it makes things even more **mysterious** (yes, using the taboo word), don’t you think? When I write words, do I somehow infuse the words with my emotional states??? Of course, not. So, how can **words alone** create an emotional response in you i.e., a ‘replica’ of **my** emotional state in you??? I am asking you this question, because it was your suggestion what words can act as some stimulus, and can then create a replica of my emotional state in you.

    Nerd was ‘shouting’ yesterday and asked many times ‘Why can’t I fucking shut up’? Not to mention all those who have ‘threatened’ me with PZ lowering his infamous ‘banhammer’? You can understand my predicament, right? So, make it my last one. If there are more questions, let’s try to solve them telepathically. Let’s see what happens. Do write a reply, and do expect to receive an answer, but not here… Maybe in your dreams. If you do have a dream, then probably do some Jungian Psychology reading. Especially the ‘The Collective Unconscious’ bit.

    Bye you

  248. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh lookie, rajkumar the fuckwit can’t and won’t stick the flounce, proving to all and sundry that his word is nothing but lies and bullshit, and his message if total abject fuckwittery. Prove otherwise Rajkumar with your silence…

  249. echidna says

    syfy:

    Or this creator always existed. If all I am doing is presupposing the idea, then Physicists are guilty of the same thing because they admit to not having proof that matter came from nothing and expanded into a universe and further presuppose that there are huge numbers of multiuniverses in an attempt to explain how we ended up with one with all the finely tuned parameters required for life of any kind.

    No, no, no, no, no.

    Your ignorance of physics does not mean physicists are making the same mistake as you are. Your use of the word “proof” displays your ignorance of science: it’s not about proof, it’s about evidence.

    To presuppose is to implicitly assume something. There is nothing implicit about the conjecture of a multiverse. It is not assumed to exist, it is proposed that it might.

    Finely tuned universe? Something from nothing? We are here, therefore our universe supports life. Lawrence Krauss, a physicist, explains this far better than I could. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

  250. opposablethumbs says

    Oh ffs. Yes, communication is imperfect as we are a non-telepathic species – you think nobody has ever noticed and commented on this before? Oddly enough, though, we mostly manage most of the time, with all the means of communication at our disposal (verbal, visual, gestural, musical, symbolic/written etc etc etc), and have done so for tens of thousands of years.

    You’re like a stoner gazing at his hands and insisting that nobody has ever really really got how amazing they are … over and over and over again.

    You make even intoxication tedious.

    Has to be a record for non-sticking of multiple flounces, though!

  251. says

    Rajkumar You’re done here. Further comments by you in this thread will be deleted. If you must continue your arguments, take them to this thread. That is all.

    Also, if you continue to babble here despite my orders, you will be banned.

  252. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    ” That requires you to show you aren’t inclined to try to put in a creator when none is needed”

    My inclination has nothing to do with it. I call them as I see them, and in this case something coming from nothing and expanding into a finely tuned universe necessary for any kind of life to develop appears to me to require a creator. I admit I don’t have evidence, but neither do physicists stating that quantum mechanics, which effects the atomic level, causes something to come from nothing to expand into multiple universes with one of them meeting all the finely tuned requirements for life.

    “Nope, it is imaginary until you provide evidence, solid and conclusive, for said presupposed creator”

    Based on your reasoning then, physicists stating that something came from nothing because nothing is unstable and that it happened numerous times producing numerous universes with one of them coincidentally producing life Is imaginary since no solid evidence of this is provided.

    “There’s a difference between acknowledging not nowing something, and using mathmatical models that show multiuniverses

    No matter how you put it, physicists admit that they have no proof of multiple universes.

    “We are talking supernatural here,
    Oh, how did the universe suddenly become stupornatural? It didn’t.”

    Clever. :-) I was referring to a creator as supernatural, not the universe.

    “You imaginary creator had to interact with matter, which means it is material, and we should be able to measure it or its effects on things. ”

    Interesting you claim to be a scientist, which only can study material things, but you suddenly claim to be able to explain that a supernatural being, which science cannot study, is material. I admit that if a creator exists, I cannot say what it is like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one doesn’t exist, no more than the fact that physicists cannot show evidence of multiple universes mean that they do not exist.

  253. Amphiox says

    Or this creator always existed

    If you’re going to allow yourself to presuppose this, then the presupposition that the universe has always existed is more parsimonious.

    So no matter how you slice it, there is no set of assumptions in which a no-creator hypothesis is superior to a creator hypothesis.

    None.

    then Physicists are guilty of the same thing because they admit to not having proof that matter came from nothing and expanded into a universe

    No.

    and further presuppose that there are huge numbers of multiuniverses

    No.

    in an attempt to explain how we ended up with one with all the finely tuned parameters required for life of any kind.

    And no.

    Fractally wrong.

    First, for the umpteenth time, science is about EVIDENCE, not “proof”. Second, physicist have LOTS of evidence that matter can come from nothing – they have observed it happening. Third, the expansion of the universe has also been directly observed.

    Fourth, multiverses are NOT presupposed at all. Multiverses appear spontaneously out of the mathematical descriptions of an inflationary universe, the same way black holes appeared automatically out of the mathematical descriptions of gravity in general relativity. Multiverses are a PREDICTION of inflation theory. Multiverses ALSO appear spontaneously out of the mathematical descriptions of string theory, and are thus also a prediction of string theory. String theory even produces a prediction for the approximate NUMBER of multiverses there should be.

    Fifth, having been predicted by inflation theory (which is very, very, very well established and supported by evidence), and string theory (which, granted, is not), SOME (and only some) physicists have hypothesized that multiverses may explain the observed apparent fine-tuning of the fundamental constants of this universe.

    These predictions and hypotheses have not yet been tested, and are not considered settled science. They are exactly as described – interesting predictions and hypotheses awaiting experimental testing.

  254. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no evidence from scifi for its inane claims. Must have a character defect, as evidence is what separates the adults from the pretenders. Scifi is acknowledging tacitly it is a pretender. An serious opponent would post real evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature. And from scifi, NADA, NOTHING, NIL, ZIP, ZERO.

  255. consciousness razor says

    scifi/Shiloh:
    Still no evidence, just pointless stupid babbling. Get lost.

  256. Amphiox says

    No matter how you put it, physicists admit that they have no proof of multiple universes.

    Irrelevant. Physicists consider multiple universes as a HYPOTHESIS, and are busy working on ways to gather evidence to support or dispute the hypothesis. And that is exactly how science is supposed to work.

    Also, Scifi, from this point onwards I will take any and all further use of the term “proof” instead of the more appropriate term “evidence” as a direct admission of intellectual dishonesty on your part, and will treat you accordingly, henceforth.

  257. Amphiox says

    A supernatural creator of a natural universe is a logical impossibility, a contradiction in terms.

    To be able to create a natural universe requires an interface with the natural, which makes the creator NATURAL.

    A NATURAL creator of the universe is a legitimate hypothesis, if a highly non-parsimonious one without a shred of evidence in support.

    A SUPERNATURAL creator is an incoherent concept.

  258. 'Tis Himself says

    A SUPERNATURAL creator is an incoherent concept.

    Not only do the godbots insist on a supernatural creator, they want it to be their particular pet god, the sadistic megalomaniac with a morbid fascination with peoples’ sex lives.

  259. 'Tis Himself says

    If any of these parameters are off by less than a hair, no life of any kind could develop.

    The weak anthropic principle. Like we haven’t seen that argument for gods before.

  260. consciousness razor says

    Can someone please define supernatural to me? Because I honestly do not know what that means

    Richard Carrier can. :) Basically, the supernatural is anything which is mental and which can’t be reduced to anything non-mental.

  261. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    scifi wrote:

    Physicists have determined this. Check out Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing.

    Did you actually read the book, or just incorrectly interpret the content from the title?

    Because I saw Lawrence Krauss – in person – speak less than a week ago, and he went into a lot of detail to explain what his position on the subject is, and it’s the very opposite of what you claim.

    Here’s something I’ve told you before, and which you should really work on remembering: the more we understand the universe, the less we think there’s ever been a time when there was ‘nothing’.

    If there’s never been ‘nothing’ then there doesn’t need to have been a guiding force to create ‘something’ from it, does there?

    Check out Anthropic Principle Physicists have determined them.

    Physicists have determined what those values are. Using the term ‘tuned’ implies that those values were somehow acted upon to become what they are – and there’s no evidence of that.

    So, you can now stop bothering with both of those assertions.

  262. consciousness razor says

    Basically, the supernatural is anything which is mental and which can’t be reduced to anything non-mental.

    But mental phenomena are natural.

    Yes, but natural mental phenomena can be reduced to non-mental things. We have mental abilities, so you might call us “mental,” but we’re made of matter: we reduce to and can be explained by things which aren’t mental, so we’re natural rather than supernatural. And even if we couldn’t think (if we’re talking about rocks or something), nothing simply willed us to exist, just by thinking or because of its mental powers. For example, John 1:1 is supernaturalism. Animals being able to think is not. Rocks existing is not. But if you say Jesus so loved the world that he willed rocks to exist, then you’re making a supernatural claim.

  263. consciousness razor says

    But something willing something to exist, if it worked, would be the natural mechanism for genesis.

    No. What work is “natural” doing in that sentence — what does it mean there? Please read Carrier’s article. It’s somewhat long, but I think it’s interesting and definitely worth it, with some references to mythology, science fiction and fantasy which I think you’d also appreciate.

    I don’t see how anything that exists can actually be said to be supernatural while also having supernatural have a meaningful definition

    Well obviously I don’t think there is anything supernatural; and I agree that often supernatural claims are incoherent, meaningless, vague, etc. However, it’s a useful definition in the sense that it does conform to how people typically use the word. The definition of it isn’t grounded on incoherent, meaningless, vague word salad like supernatural claims themselves often are.

  264. says

    No. What work is “natural” doing in that sentence — what does it mean there? Please read Carrier’s article. It’s somewhat long, but I think it’s interesting and definitely worth it, with some references to mythology, science fiction and fantasy which I think you’d also appreciate.

    That’s my point, when it comes to methodological or philosophical naturalism; naturalism/super-naturalism is a meaningless distinction. In fact we should rather talk about what is manifest/notmanifest. Anything that is part of the manifesting universe we can observe and interact with, anything not is indistinguishable from non-existence.

  265. A. R says

    Oh, thank god. This thread is getting a dose of intelligence to treat the illness that raj left.

  266. A. R says

    Ing: I wonder how long Shiloh has before TZT confinement? What kind of troll is xe anyway? I’ve not had any experience with hir.

  267. Amphiox says

    Is scifi really the Zombie Shiloh (SSSOOOOUUULLLLSSSS)?

    Because if it is, then it has descended to texpip level odious intellectual dishonesty by bringing up the multiple universes schtick here on this thread.

    Since it already raised that issue back on Sciblogs, and had its logical fallacies concerning it patiently explained to it in great detail.

    But here it evidently is, repeating the same refuted fallacies with no acknowledgment of the refutations already given to it, all while hiding under a different nym.

    Which really is rather pitiful.

  268. chigau (違う) says

    Has scifi been confined invited to TZT?
    (sorry, I’m having a hellofatime keeping up)

  269. opposablethumbs says

    I admit that if a creator exists, I cannot say what it is like

    So you are prepared to offer a cast-iron guarantee that you will never, never EVER witter on about ANY of the religions that humans have invented? That you realise there is not one shred of evidence for any of them, nor grounds for favouring any one of them over the others or indeed at all? That using religion as a guide to human social rules instead of actual, you know, morality and ethics is a steaming load of horse manure?

    How refreshing.

    Now, since we have absolutely zero knowledge of what this hypothetical “creator”-thingy is, and no possible way of acquiring any such knowledge, and it cannot be detected to intervene in the universe in any way whatsoever (apart from your hypothetical instant of creation) … it is utterly irrelevant. To our lives, to our understanding of the universe, to our morality, to, well, anything really. (So why do you get so exercised about it, I wonder?)

  270. consciousness razor says

    No. What work is “natural” doing in that sentence — what does it mean there? Please read Carrier’s article. It’s somewhat long, but I think it’s interesting and definitely worth it, with some references to mythology, science fiction and fantasy which I think you’d also appreciate.

    That’s my point, when it comes to methodological or philosophical naturalism; naturalism/super-naturalism is a meaningless distinction. In fact we should rather talk about what is manifest/notmanifest. Anything that is part of the manifesting universe we can observe and interact with, anything not is indistinguishable from non-existence.

    What’s your point? I honestly don’t get it.

    According to this, if naturalism is true, then everything mental reduces to something non-mental; and if supernaturalism is true, then there’s something mental that doesn’t. In what way is that not a meaningful distinction?

    Either could be in principle be tested, so there doesn’t seem to be any methodological problem — there’s just no evidence for supernatural stuff obviously. As far as philosophical naturalism goes, it certainly does have to be consistent about what “natural” and “supernatural” mean, and they do need to mean different things. We can’t define natural as what exists and supernatural as what doesn’t exist because that is circular; and if there’s no difference in meaning, you may as well call yourself a supernaturalist. But you wouldn’t do that, since (as I’m trying to say) you don’t believe in supernatural entities: things that aren’t irreducibly mental.

    Do you think there are there is another possibility that needs to be included in the definition, or does it need to be more restricted, or maybe changed altogether?

  271. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    But here it evidently is, repeating the same refuted fallacies with no acknowledgment of the refutations already given to it, all while hiding under a different nym.

    I think you have just defined a large fraction of Christians.

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Syfy is Shiloh in spirit if not in body.

    If he isn’t the real Shiloh he is Shiloh’s transubstantiation.

    Shiloh’s behavior made me wonder if it wasn’t on an assignment from a divinity skool (sic) to convince the atheists that a god exists. The usual deist creator/god “proven”, who later morphs into Yahweh.

    I don’t think scifi is shiloh, but it has the same script, which is why I don’t think it is truly thinking for itself. I suspect another assignment from a skool, but it could also be someone who found or is trying to develop a script that supposedly works on atheists. So far, it is getting an “f” for fuckwittery.

  273. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    I suspect another assignment from a skool,

    I find this easy to believe but hard to fathom.

    Teacher: Kids, you have a homework assignment for this week.

    Kids: Oh, man!

    Teacher: This will be a fun homework assignment.

    Kids: Uh, oh.

    Teacher: You must find a nest of gods-hating atheists or evolutionists and convince at least one of them that the version of gods that we are packing into you skulls is the One True Answer!

    We should count ourselves lucky that we only got, what, two this weekend? Hell, what if we’d gotten the whole class?

  274. 'Tis Himself says

    The usual deist creator/god “proven”, who later morphs into Yahweh.

    I’ve noticed that when goddists, particularly of the Jebusite flavors, are talking to each other that god is The Big Guy In The Sky™ with flowing white beard who decides which team wins the football game and has a morbid fascination with masturbation. But when the same goddists are talking to us, god is a vague, philosophical, Deist deity who hangs around in the background and never manifests itself in any material way.

  275. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hell, what if we’d gotten the whole class?

    The weight of the combined stupidity would have broke the foundations of the thread.

    What I meant was a graduate student, working on a thesis/dissertation. Something like “The response of atheist blogs to the anthropic principle and near death experiences as proof of god’s existence”

  276. scifi says

    Nerd of Redhead,
    “Still no evidence from scifi for its inane claims. Must have a character defect, as evidence is what separates the adults from the pretenders. Scifi is acknowledging tacitly it is a pretender. An serious opponent would post real evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature. And from scifi, NADA, NOTHING, NIL, ZIP, ZERO.”

    Oh, for crying out loud. Just when I think I’m finally going to get a lucid discussion from you, you fall back into your double standard argument that my suggestion that a creator could be necessary is wrong since I can’t provide evidence, but on the other hand, it is A-OK that science has no evidence either of our universe coming about by natural means. And you say I have a character defect? Give it up. You are still a Wally One Note. Sorry, your argument didn’t work in the past and it still doesn’t work now.

  277. consciousness razor says

    I strongly suspect scifi and Shiloh are either the same person or are comrades-in-stupidity. It sort of seemed like a funny coincidence weeks ago when scifi first plopped some turds in a thread, because of their similar “arguments.” Then the pattern continued, with scifi repeating the same shit over and over, seemingly unable to learn from any of the responses that were given. Of course, that describes basically every religious apologist. But the comment above where scifi linked to that random faitheist screed where Shiloh commented seems really unlikely if there’s no connection between them. But I don’t know. It does sort of seem like scifi has a slightly better grasp of language, though it’s hard to tell when so much of it’s the same tired tropes you hear from all sorts of different godbots.

  278. scifi says

    Nerd of a redhead,
    “I suspect another assignment from a skool, but it could also be someone who found or is trying to develop a script that supposedly works on atheists. So far, it is getting an “f” for fuckwittery.”

    Let me guess. Since you have failed to show natural evidence how our universe came about, then perhaps you hope to dazzle us with bull shit. :-)

  279. says

    @scifi:

    He’s not talking about a creator. He’s talking about your creator.

    I’ll grant you the assumption that some intelligence created our universe. Fine, I’ll meet you there.

    There is no evidence whatsoever for the identity of this deity. Everyone who says it’s their specific deity must provide evidence speaking to that claim. All the evidence provided is either self-contradictory (Yahweh is an all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent being who is genocidal, torturous, and an asshole) or contradictory to other belief systems. So we can clearly cross off the gods of all belief systems with an explicit deity.

    As for the pantheists and deists, they’ve basically argued their god out of necessity. Could a non-present being have created our universe? Yes, it’s a possibility. Would its existence be any different from its non-existence? No.

    The logical conclusion is to skip the necessity of a deity and just say the universe is because it is.

  280. consciousness razor says

    Let me guess. Since you have failed to show natural evidence how our universe came about, then perhaps you hope to dazzle us with bull shit.

    This from someone with no evidence. Ever heard of the big bang? Go ahead and explain how that’s not evidence of how our universe came about.

  281. says

    And to further explain since I posted way too early.

    We know the universe happened because we’re here. The Big Bang is the best explanation for the universe. Science has detected evidence that suggests that things do pop into existence naturally with no cause. It has detected evidence that suggests our universe is swiftly accelerating and swiftly expanding. It has detected evidence that suggests all the models of the Big Bang are correct from T greater than 0 (if I recall correctly, that’s the proper annotation for the moment right after the Big Bang.)

  282. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Scifi, you are wrong until you prove yourself right with solid and conclusive physical evidence. Where is your evidence? It isn’t in the fine tuning argument (OPINION, not evidence). And this is a typical shiloh fuckwittery, it is right until we show it is wrong. And we could never show it was wrong, as it was the three monkeys to real evidence. That is religious, not scientific thinking.

  283. consciousness razor says

    It has detected evidence that suggests all the models of the Big Bang are correct from T greater than 0 (if I recall correctly, that’s the proper annotation for the moment right after the Big Bang.)

    Not a cosmologist, but I think it’s more like t > 10^-37 seconds, which is an absurdly small length of time but not zero. Of course we can’t fully explain everything about the origin of the universe yet. But scifi asserts that we have no evidence (which is just plain wrong), therefore it could’ve been a magic man (which is incoherent at best).

  284. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dishonest godbots are good at giving themselves away (tells in gambling terms). Expecting us to prove a negative by asking us to prove the non-existence of their imaginary deity is one. Scifi’s pretending it is right until we prove it wrong is another. Over at SciBlogs there was a poster who claimed to be a PhD biologist, but then used the word “evidences”, which isn’t used at all in science, but is used by creobots. Science has evidence (singular collection containing one or more items), that comes in many forms of facts, and all may be used (as evidence) to support a theory.

    Once the tell is out there, we have the number of the poster. Scifi is a presuppositionalist godbot, who is lying and bullshitting, and will say or do anything to convince us that its imaginary creator exists. Everybody here knows it isn’t engaged in honest inquiry. It may as well fade into the bandwidth, as it has fired its unrealistic looking toy gun and the bang flag is sticking out of the barrel and we are laughing at the results, as scifi thought we would bow down to its fuckwittery.

  285. says

    Do you think there are there is another possibility that needs to be included in the definition, or does it need to be more restricted, or maybe changed altogether?

    My point is that the distinction between natural/supernatural came from pre-scientific thinking and isn’t useful. I don’t even find that definition of it particularly useful.

    I think rather than the natural world we should talk about the Manifest or Evident World. Something either is Manifest and Evident (can be observed or exerts an effect) or it is not.

    The only time when natural vs unnatural is useful is when talking about branches of science (natural sciences versus tech sciences) or natural versus human history.

  286. consciousness razor says

    My point is that the distinction between natural/supernatural came from pre-scientific thinking and isn’t useful. I don’t even find that definition of it particularly useful.

    I think about it this way. We make a distinction between theism and atheism. Theism is in general a convoluted tangle of absurdity involving some manner of god or gods. There are a wide variety of different beliefs, most of which false or incoherent, but they all have that much in common. On the other hand, there is atheism, which also involves many different ideas, some of which are also false or incoherent, having to do with a lack of belief in deities. Those are the only two options with respect to a belief in the existence of deities.

    I’m almost certain you wouldn’t you say that because theism is loaded with garbage, we can’t make a useful or meaningful distinction between it and atheism. That’s all I’d like to be able to do with naturalism and supernaturalism. Having such a definition doesn’t entail in any way that supernatural claims themselves are useful, meaningful, true, etc. That is a separate issue.

    I think rather than the natural world we should talk about the Manifest or Evident World. Something either is Manifest and Evident (can be observed or exerts an effect) or it is not.

    Is that supposed to be an ontological or epistemological concept, or some combination of the two?

    The only time when natural vs unnatural is useful is when talking about branches of science (natural sciences versus tech sciences) or natural versus human history.

    I really don’t know what “unnatural” might mean. That’s not what we’re talking about, but I’d almost always contrast it as natural vs. artificial, as in things which are or aren’t made by people (or even other animals).

  287. scifi says

    Nerd of a Redhead,
    Scifi’s pretending it’s right until we prove it wrong.”

    I’m convinced that you will never get it right. You must be a lot slower than I thought. What I said is that you expect me to show evidence that a creator started our universe but you refuse to realize that you have no evidence of a natural method that started everything all by itself. You think it is a one way street. If I have no evidence of a creator, one doesn’t exist, but the fact that you have no evidence either for a natural means, based on your argument, it could not have happened by a natural means either. So, it appears that your argument is nul and void. Nice try Bunkie.

  288. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    scifi, you may wish to acquaint yourself with concepts of Ockham’s razor and the null hypothesis.