Open thread for episode 22.21: Russell and Katilyn Pulcher


Russell chats with author Katilyn Pulcher, discussing her book “Status Quon’t”.

Comments

  1. Atheist Mathematician says

    Actually, in mathematics a conjecture is unproven result. It is not a theorem nor a lemma, it does not hold water unless a proof is found. Difference to a hypothesis is that a conjecture as has some evidence suggesting that it MIGHT be true.

    Basing one’s argument on a conjecture is like balancing on a house of cards. Until a proof for the conjecture is found, the derived argument is merely anecdotal.

    Simple reading material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjecture.

  2. Chromaveric says

    I’m a fan of the show, been watching for a few months. I’m glad you had some well thought questions for the guest. My only criticism would be to let a guest finish their sentences a bit more. Although I do understand the need to keep things brief, save the most cutoffs for trolls and time wasting callers. Thanks!

  3. Killian Jones says

    And we are back to off topic time wasting. The hosts spent more time talking to themselves rather than engaging with the public. I thought phone in shows were about taking calls. Sadly the most interesting call was the hoaxer at the beginning, but that was cut short. How about renaming the show the Atheist Book Review? Boring is an understatement. For god’s sake employ a manger to give direction to the hosts. Simple things like staying on topic and basic time management. If nobody is on the phone lines then ask the audience for questions. (Facepalm).

  4. ladyunicornejg says

    I had to pause the video at the part about the toxic interactions on YouTube. I guess since that was at great risk, I should unsubscribe and quit watching now! 😛

    Nah, I actually agree to an extent. I’ve absolutely seen the problem mentioned. I have a tiny channel myself, and I comment on several other (generally also smaller) channels. The conversation doesn’t have to be “toxic” or in any way bad – in fact, I have some great interactions at times and can find extremely insightful responses as well as the more typical nonsense. Even within a big place like YouTube (or Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.) it very much depends on the environment of the smaller sub-culture or however you’d like to put it. If you’re going on little channels (or sometimes even bigger channels that are dedicated to it) of creators who want a genuine conversation (or something completely non-controversial), the atmosphere of the comments will be entirely different from going to a large channel that regularly insults or mocks people and has nobody monitoring the comments section at all.

  5. Monocle Smile says

    @Killian Jones
    Yes, the all-volunteer production should hire a manager because you’re butthurt. All you’ve done on the blog is bitch about the show. Troll elsewhere.

  6. Daniel Engblom says

    If Katilyn would have been a regular caller, calling in, telling the hosts that she used to be a christian, saw a movie, lost her faith, and now thinks that christianity was created to control people.
    The reception would have been different.
    The hosts of AXP have gotten hundreds of those kinds of simple pat answers, black and white “theories” to explain massive phenomena, and the hosts would almost always object, say that it probably was a part of religion and still is, but hardly the only part, and religion arose for multiple messy reasons.
    Atheists have called in for years with their simplistic theories explaining religion, and the hosts have mostly tried to push back, because simple answers do not help our cause, to understand and to corrode away religion; religious people can always easily dismiss them, because it’s us eagerly giving half baked straw men for them to knock down without much effort, allowing theists to feel more convinced in their foundations.

    But Katilyn was a guest, sitting right there in person, was probably nice and they most likely had a pleasant time together, so not much was said about her theories on the show, giving a bad impression for anyone tuning in.
    Maybe the superficial overview given in mere 10 minutes didn’t do justice to the erudition and depth of the book, but then that should be anticipated and addressed before moving on.
    If the lines wouldn’t have gone down then Russell would never have gotten the chance to slightly more expand and complicate the picture for the benefit of the audience.

    Isaiah got objections with his convoluted conjectures.
    (Side note, I just love these crackpots who have massive explanations dealing with cosmology, physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics– And you just know immediately that they’ve never even gotten close to scribbling an equation at the back of an envelope, confidently thinking that they understand everything just from their layman interpretation of the written word with no rigid math worked out. And they call an atheist show. With their esoteric models, that, if genuine and serious, should be hashed out in journals with feedback from a lot of experts who understand math, the models and the relevant evidence.)

  7. Mobius says

    I want to comment on Karilyn’s story of being told about Hell when she was 5 and the terror it instilled in her. I had a similar experience. My grandfather sat me down when I was 4 or 5 and explained Hell to me. He literally had me crying he scared me so bad. I am sure there are plenty of theists that think this is a good thing, but I find it traumatizing and abusive.

    Re: Militant Atheism. The word “militant” comes from the same root as military and originally meant the willingness to take up arms to make your point. That is not at all what is meant by militant atheism, and I think the word is intentionally used to poison the well. What they really mean is strident atheism, atheism that is willing to speak out.

  8. dalrath says

    In answer to Russles question about why do people from less oppressive countries watch the show. Well I can only talk about my own reasons from the UK, we are told and understand from a young age that the 3 things you don’t talk about are politics, money and religion. So because we don’t realy talk about religion, we just asume that the person we are talking to is religious (all though that is now changing), because we are led to believe that most people are, so we watch this show because it’s people that think the same way that we do and say a lot of what we agree with. It was not until lately that I found out that over 50% of the UK were classed as non’s and 1/2 of that being athiest, not that the UK government agrees with that figure. So most watch the show just so we know we are not alone.

  9. Jimdandy says

    Isaiah is clearly a Deist with no religion attached. He should refrain from trying to explain validity or proof to support his beliefs. There isn’t any and that’s just the way it is. Deists are the proverbial turd in the atheist punch bowl. No matter how well or awful they articulate an argument they will receive harsh backlash more stemming from atheist frustration than from anything else.

  10. Monocle Smile says

    @Jimdandy
    You seem to be defending a position that is by definition untenable. Care to share why?
    All I ever hear from deists is double-talk and word salad. They are almost always former christians who are too emotionally tied up in their god belief to fully let go, but they almost never admit this openly.

  11. Murat says

    Am I the only one to imagine some kind of bizarre holy masturbation when Isaiah mentioned God to have “certain special relations with itself”?

  12. Jimdandy says

    @Moncle
    Standard bullshit answer from atheists. “Deists are afraid to let go” and now we are almost always former christians. It must be nice to know much about a person based on a sentence or two they utter. Marvelous talent you’re demonstrating there. I’m impressed.

  13. Monocle Smile says

    @Jimdandy
    It’s not bullshit, it’s the entirety of my experience with deists.
    At least I know why you’re defending the deist caller now…you’re one yourself. Get over it and stop whining about people questioning your indefensible position.

  14. uglygeek says

    Nice episode. Do you all agree with Russell’s assertion that atheism is winning, slowly but surely, in the US? Young generations are less religious, and even if atheists are still hugely outnumbered, this will cause even religious people to became less extremist over time. I think the Internet is partially responsible for this.
    Probably in the next elections having openly atheist candidates could not be so impossible as it was in the past. But on the other hand, a fundamentalist like Mike Pence is just one heartbeat away from being president, which is scary.

    Is it me, or there are less and less theist calling the show? And the theist callers sound much less “incredulous” that somebody might be atheist, in 2018? Or maybe this was always the case and I have been misled by the fact that old episodes that survived on YouTube are those with the craziest religious callers.

    About Europe and your Swiss guest, yes, people are much less religious but this could radically change quite soon purely for demographic reasons. London (not some conservative rural area) is already the city in the UK where the greater percentage of the population would make homosexuality a crime.

  15. uglygeek says

    By the way, Ireland just voted to modify their Constitution and partially allow abortion. The Catholic Church is finally losing its grip on this country. Things are getting better.

  16. Jimdandy says

    @Monocle
    I don’t whine about atheists or anyone else questioning my position. I don’t care what they think. In fact, I was an atheist for a long time. I don’t care if my belief is indefensible. It is what I believe and in my experience, most atheists hate that more than the arguments from theists who base their beliefs on ancient writings which have been debunked by modern science. This is because atheism in my opinion, has devolved over time. 300 or so years ago, it was a purely philosophical construct. Although most claim it still is, over the last 3 decades it has become more of a political stance. You want religion and theological ideals out of our schools, our government, indeed out of our society. The atheist has no such purchase with a true Deist who shares not any ideals, religious rules, or sacred writings from the past. There is nothing to get on the soap box about and protest, other than my beliefs differ from yours.

  17. Murat says

    I’ve always found it weird for atheists to not be able to feel close to deists at all. Had we been living in a world where there was no religion, then yes, it would probably make sense for the sides to be alienated from each other based on their opposing takes on one certain issue.

    But given that both sides are freed from religion, which is the main problem here and now -unless the discussion is in a closeted society that has overcome dogma of all sorts generations ago- then I do not see much of a point to argue over.

  18. Jimdandy says

    @ Murat
    My point exactly, but as stated in my post #15, there has been a move away from the philosophical towards the political. At least here in America. I have tuned in to AXP live for over a year now, and have watched shows recorded. Often the AXP host when asked about the harmful effects to society from deists will respond with the “slippery slope” or similar argument. Hence thought crime. It is a sorry state of affairs that says little to bolster the humanistic side of atheism.

  19. Monocle Smile says

    @Jimdandy

    I don’t whine about atheists or anyone else questioning my position. I don’t care what they think

    That’s quite an obnoxious rant. It’s interesting that you came to an atheist space about skepticism and challenging beliefs in order to complain that atheists are challenging your beliefs. Despite the quoted bit, deists tend to carry the same kind of chip on their shoulders that’s evident in that screed, and that bothers me as much as the boring nature of your beliefs.

    Here’s what got to me:

    No matter how well or awful they articulate an argument they will receive harsh backlash more stemming from atheist frustration than from anything else.

    Are you expecting deist callers to go unchallenged? Do you want the hosts to just shut up, let a deist caller drone on and then move on without saying a word? I can’t understand your thought process here. Are you just trying to poison the well in order to excuse your own lack of skepticism?

    There is nothing to get on the soap box about and protest, other than my beliefs differ from yours.

    And that’s a bad reason to challenge your beliefs? You can’t be serious.

    @Murat
    I’m not of the mind that beliefs are isolated and benign. Believing one ridiculous thing makes it easier to believe other ridiculous things. And I simply don’t believe that deists are truly freed from religion; their thinking is often tainted in the same way.

  20. Murat says

    @Jimdandy
    I found Isaiah’s call meaningless not because he was a deist, but because he did not seem to be thinking straight. “Word salad” seemed to be the outcome of “irrelevant thoughts salad” in his case.
    Some weeks ago, there was someone else on the line, not a deist but a Christian he was, as I recall, and he had talked about math in a way to try and define the supernatural. I had enjoyed that call.
    I really don’t care much about people’s way of labeling themselves if they can engage in fruitful conversations. There are those with bad reasons to be whatever they are, and there are those who have something original to put on the table.
    What I like about AXP hosts is that, they sincerely seem to be open to changing their position on issues, or even “the” issue, based on what kind of reasoning and arguments they will be presented.
    The same goes for me.

  21. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @uglygeek #13:

    Do you all agree with Russell’s assertion that atheism is winning, slowly but surely, in the US? […] Probably in the next elections having openly atheist candidates could not be so impossible as it was in the past.

     
    Article: Pew – America’s Changing Religious Identity (2017)

    In 1976, roughly eight in ten (81%) Americans identified as white and identified with a Christian denomination. At that time, a majority (55%) of Americans were white Protestants.
     
    Much of the decline has occurred in the last few decades. As recently as 1996, white Christians still made up nearly two-thirds (65%) of the public. By 2006, that number dropped to 54%, but white Christians still constituted a majority. But over the last decade, the proportion of white Christians in the U.S. has slipped below majority. Today, only 43% of Americans identify as white and Christian – and only 30% as white and Protestant.
    […]
    In total, fewer than half (23) of all 50 states have majority white Christian populations. This represents a significant drop from 2007, when 39 states had majority white Christian populations.

     

    The religiously unaffiliated – those who identify as “atheist,” “agnostic,” or “nothing in particular” – now account for nearly one-quarter (24%) of Americans. Since the early 1990s, this group has roughly tripled in size.
    […]
    Only about one-quarter of the unaffiliated identify as atheist (14%) or agnostic (13%), while fewer than one in five (16%) identifies as a “religious person.” The majority (58%) of Americans who are not religiously affiliated [identify as not religious, secular].

     

    No religious group is larger than those who are unaffiliated from religion.
     
    The religious landscape in the U.S. is highly stratified by generation. Nearly two-thirds of seniors (age 65 or older) identify as white and Christian: White evangelical Protestant (26%), white mainline Protestant (19%), or white Catholic (16%). Conversely, only about one-quarter of young adults (age 18-29) belong to a white Christian tradition, including white evangelical Protestant (8%), white mainline Protestant (8%), or white Catholic (6%).

     

    White Christians have become a minority in the Democratic Party. Fewer than one in three (29%) Democrats today are white Christian, compared to half (50%) one decade earlier.
    […]
    White evangelical Protestants remain the dominant religious force in the GOP. More than one-third (35%) of all Republicans identify as white evangelical Protestant, a proportion that has remained roughly stable over the past decade. Roughly three-quarters (73%) of Republicans belong to a white Christian religious group.

     
    The last section has interesting political breakdowns within denominations, including non-white Christians, other religions, and the unaffiliated.

  22. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * Oops, not Pew. Public Religion Research Institute.

  23. StonedRanger says

    Shakin my head again. Atheism is the non belief in the existence of gods. That’s for jimdandy. Anti theists want religion gone from society. Not all atheists are anti theists. Youre damn right I, as an atheist want to see religion out of our schools and the government. This country is not a theocracry. The freaking constitution PROHIBITS the government from supporting or promoting any one religion over any other one.

    Would you now like to discuss the harm religion causes? How about people who fly jets into buildings? Priests raping children and the church moving pedophile priests around to avoid prosecution in order to not look bad to the world? That’s only been going on in this country for over 200 years. We can go to Africa and see people killing their children because they think their children are witches? Not allowing information about birth control to be disseminated or information about abortions because god? Any of this ringing a bell yet jimdandy? Its just part of the harm that religion causes right now. How about religion not wanting people who are lgbt have the same rights as EVERYONE ELSE? You really sound stupid when you say that atheists cannot articulate the harm caused by religion. Im probably one of the least educated people who inhabit this site, but those are things that come off the top of my head.

    Frankly, if you want to believe in a god who is indistinguishable from a god that doesn’t actually exist, have at er. I don’t care. But when you come to a site full of atheists and say dumb things, you get what you deserve.

  24. Jimdandy says

    @Monocle
    Wow, sounds like you have a sour stomach. You may want to consider a good game of chance to relieve your mind. Obnoxious rant? Because I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks of my belief? How obnoxious of me. It is apparent with my conversations with self professed atheists, they get frustrated from my lack of ‘documentation’ on my belief. I always am amused by that. On the one hand they slam practitioners of religions based on the horrors of their respective texts and writings. In the same breath they slam a deist for not having any mainstream texts and writings. I do not expect deist claims to remain unchallenged during an atheist call in show. I expect them to be challenged and it is the impotent argument atheists present that is my muse so to speak. I never knew I would need an excuse for not seeing things your way. Again, you must be a being high above my simple order. Lastly, are you suggesting that protesting my simple beliefs, for only that they differ from your own is a good thing? Namaste

  25. Monocle Smile says

    @Jimdandy
    Half of that is trollish nonsense.

    Obnoxious rant? Because I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks of my belief? How obnoxious of me

    YOU came HERE and whined about atheists.

    I never knew I would need an excuse for not seeing things your way

    If you have admittedly ridiculous beliefs and act both smug and butthurt when I challenge you on that, I have no choice but to employ ridicule. What conversation could we possibly have when ending discussions is the only tool in your box?

    Lastly, are you suggesting that protesting my simple beliefs, for only that they differ from your own is a good thing?

    “Protesting” is a slur, but I still don’t understand. Being challenged by people who don’t agree with us is how we grow. Beliefs are important and it’s best that we at least understand how we reason. You don’t seem interested in reasoning at all.

  26. Jimdandy says

    @ Stoned ranger
    And what does all of the pedophile priests and jets into buildings and the constitution, and Africans killing their children, and the lbgt rights, and other things you mention have to do with my belief?

  27. Jimdandy says

    @Monocle
    Oh yea, mine was such a “trollish” post. I will say for the 2nd time, I never whined. (I don’t have to use caps) Nor am I butthurt to use your own vernacular. I’ve clearly stated that I don’t care what you or others think of my belief. I don’t have a ‘tool box’ I have a belief that I have made quite clear. What do I have to reason with you? Do you expect me to engage you in conversation until I see things your way? I think not.

  28. Jimdandy says

    @stoned ranger
    Never mind, I read the latter part of your post and I understand.

  29. Monocle Smile says

    @Jimdandy
    So you waltzed into an atheist space to loudly proclaim that you don’t care what we think. Bold strategy.

    I don’t have a ‘tool box’ I have a belief that I have made quite clear

    Clear as mud. My primary frustration with deists is their failure to specify exactly what it is they believe in coherent, understandable terms.

    What do I have to reason with you? Do you expect me to engage you in conversation until I see things your way? I think not.

    Cool, then piss off. This blog is about skepticism and discussion and no beliefs are off-limits. It’s not the place for you, apparently.

  30. Jimdandy says

    @Monocle
    What is it that you don’t understand. I don’t care what you think. It’s not a strategy, it’s a fact.
    Your frustration with deists is quite apparent. Specification of what I believe was stated. If you would like a synopsis for your own edification provide me an email addy and I will gladly send it to you.
    You tell me to piss off, because I don’t agree with your thinking?
    No beliefs are off limits. What does that mean? Does it mean any beliefs can be freely discussed here or certain beliefs are not permitted to be discussed here? Which do you mean?
    Sounds like frustration to me. Pity, the lead words here are ‘Freethoughtblog’.
    Free thoughts welcome, as long as they agree with mine.
    Charming. Apparently.

  31. StonedRanger says

    Jimdandy Those things have fuck all to do with your beliefs. They directly address your assertion that the only argument atheists have when it comes to the harm religion causes that all we have is some vague ‘slippery slope’ argument, whatever the hell that is. Care to address what I said instead of just glossing over it?

  32. uglygeek says

    @29 Jimdandy
    You DO care about what atheists think otherwise you would not be here trying to provoke a reaction. You probably don’t care about what Buddhists think and that’s why you are not trolling a Buddhist website instead.

  33. says

    I enjoy your shows. I was born into a cult and escaped. Listening to your show I’ve come to the conclusion that all religions are cults. Brainwashing and blinding believers. Even if the evidence is before them, they hold to the faith.

  34. Mobius says

    Isiah definitely came across as word salad. He was using sciency terms to sound impressive, such as attaching “quantum” to his vague ideas, but was failing miserably to impart any understanding of his point.

  35. AtheistAllTheWay says

    Watching this show over the years has given me a lot of ideas and ways of thinking I would struggle to get to on my own. Tremendously grateful for that as well as what other contribution the show has. I am thoroughly convinced, however, that the long-term hosts are tired of seeking a productive conversation with their callers. I cringed through the Isaiah caller as Russell incessantly interrupted every quarter of a sentence. It got so bad that he himself even claimed “I’m lost”.

    What did the caller believe? Why did he believe it and how he came to that belief? What convinced him? How could we productively refute those arguments in a way that the caller might re-think his position and perhaps see the error in his ways? Or otherwise he may have had a good argument and you didn’t give him a fraction of a chance to explain himself. We never got anywhere and I feel sorry for the caller not because of his beliefs but because he was never given the chance to look at his views from a non-theist angle productively.

    Word salad shouldn’t be allowed but the counter is not question salad. Preaching shouldn’t be allowed but a conversation should still be two-sided. Repeating things must be stopped but not at the cost of never saying a single thing in the first place.

    Yes it is their show. But I truly feel that the show has over the years done great things and is losing its way. It is a great pity and is the only reason I voice my concerns. I love all the hosts and they are capable of doing a great job but they need to reconsider their current approach, revisit the past and rekindle the passion they had for it not so long ago. I, indeed, do not wish to single out Russell here, as I’ve been, as of late, getting this feeling from the show’s approach in general.

    I’m not asking for an apology, just to stop and think and remember why the show is there in the first place: to free peoples’ minds and, dare I say, bring them back to reality. This should never be taken lightly.

    Cheers

  36. Serge Rubinstein says

    This episode proves there is a god who silences all those devilish atheists… 😉

  37. Jimdandy says

    @stoned ranger
    You’re in over your head here. When I was referring to the latter part of your post #22, more specifically the last sentence in the 2nd paragraph. Sums it up.

  38. Jimdandy says

    @uglygeek
    Sorry, but I don’t care. What I do care about are the reactions from the atheist community that re-enforce my theory that atheism has devolved into some quasi-political movement therefore spawning the danger of interfering with another’s well being. I would be lying if I said I don’t at least marginally enjoy the rabid frustrations exhibited here by some on this subject, but that is secondary. There are no valid reasons other than within the personal realm of oneself, that Deism as I hold it to be is detrimental to a person or society as a whole.

  39. says

    Why don’t you guys put the studio audience on camera? It would be relatively easy to do, and would seem to add to the experience… showing real people with a real interest?

  40. Paul Money says

    Can a belief in god be damaging? It certainly can be if it is pumped into a child as fact. The fear of hell, the concept that god reads your thoughts, the prohibition against even thinking about sex, one can write one’s own list of the psychological damage done, but perhaps not the least serious for children is instilling in them that what they are told by an adult is correct and must not be questioned. What sort of human does that create? One that cannot recognise a logical fallacy for a start. Dawkins is correct. Teaching children religion is a form of child abuse. Teaching them about religion is of course another matter.

  41. Theisntist says

    Peter, I asked the same question a week or two ago and Tracie said that they don’t show the audience because atheism is still too controversial.

    Jimdandy, as an atheist I have no problem with your deism, but as a skeptic who believes the time to believe in something is when there is good evidence to do so, I find deism even more troubling than theism, since deism by definition is unfalsifiable. The only reasonable thing we can say about what caused the big bang is ‘we don’t know’. Choosing to believe you know it was caused by a being of some sort without any evidence is irrational. It may not cause you to fly a plane into a building but it’s still irrational, and willfully irrational beliefs eventually beget more irrational beliefs in yourself and others. Therefore it is justified to challenge them, especially in a forum such as this.

  42. Jimdandy says

    Willfully irrational beliefs eventually beget more irrational beliefs in yourself and others. So you have evidence I imagine that my belief which you consider irrational will eventually lead to even more irrational belief and perhaps then I will decide to fly a plane into a building. That is the slippery slope argument that atheists use against deism. It is also baseless and weak. Why couldn’t I say that your lack of belief which I consider irrational will eventually lead to even more irrational lack of belief and then become a danger to society?

  43. says

    #35 Jimdandy said: “Sorry, but I don’t care [what atheists think of my beliefs]. What I do care about are the reactions from the atheist community…”

    This, by definition, is trolling. You guys are getting trolled, by his own admission.

  44. Jimdandy says

    @somnus
    Everybody who disagrees with atheism is a troll. Here, at the call-in show, at the call-in show chat board. Free thought blog if you don’t agree with us you’re trolling

  45. Jimdandy says

    BTW Som nus. If you are going to quote me you should quote my entire sentence. Which demonstrates my reason for being here which is not trolling.

  46. Raoul of Bayonne says

    jimdandy back up a bit and tell us 1) what do you believe?, and 2) what evidence do you have that your belief is true?

  47. says

    Why is everyone dog piling on Jimdandy? A basic tenet of secularism is that each person is entitled to their beliefs as long as they don’t affect others. While deism isn’t defensible by evidence, unless it affects others, let the man be.

    I was probably a weak deist for years. Its fairly easy. I don’t know what’s out there but I think something is is a common sentiment, especially in Australia.

  48. Jimdandy says

    @raoul
    As to the second part of your question you cannot be serious can you? If you are not aware that no evidence of God exists then you need to go back to atheist School. I realize that is a question that is used to bait theists who refer to their respective scriptures as evidence. The truth is if there was hard evidence of God there wouldn’t be atheists. Unless they were very stupid. As to the first part of your question, I believe the universe our planet and life on our planet was created by a creator being. Call it God, Source, or whatever. Are you happy with that answer?

  49. says

    @Shaun: I imagine there are several reasons why people have reacted to Jimdandy as they have. Just off the top of my head…

    1) I may be wrong, but I think it’s generally understood that the purpose of this show is to debate beliefs from a generally atheist perspective. Therefore, coming here to express a non-atheist viewpoint is, in effect, inviting the participants to debate against it.

    2) People like to participate. Right now, arguing with Jimdandy is the only somewhat interactive game going in this thread. There’s only so much to be gained from commenting on calls into the show when the callers aren’t present to be active participants.

    3) Smug condescension tends to annoy people, which motivates them to respond. Jimdandy’s posts has that going in spades.

    4) Trolling works. That’s why people do it. His stated intention is not to hear the content of our arguments on his beliefs, but to get reactions that confirm in his mind some content-free theory about the “devolution” of atheism, and to derive pleasure from frustrating us. That’s trolling.

    5) It is not a tenet of secularism that you can’t, or even shouldn’t, express vocal disagreement with someone else’s belief. Even if they seem harmless enough (though many would disagree that deism is entirely harmless, even if it seems much less so than more dogmatic forms of theism), the beliefs are still open for debate.

    6) Some people just like to go on the attack.

    But, y’know, I can’t speak for everyone. Those are just some (I think) plausible reasons for what we’re seeing here.

  50. Jimdandy says

    @shaun
    The real reason is the difference between atheism in Europe and Australia versus Atheism in America. Like almost everything else in America it becomes more political. When the show is live the crowd is always calling out for theist callers but on the website this one anyway they don’t want anyone to argue against their point. Now they tried to pass his block off as atheist Viewpoint only. Watch the live broadcast sometime and open the chat page and look at the vitriol some of these people spout just for someone having a different belief than they do.

  51. paxoll says

    @Jimdandy
    Saying your beliefs are rational doesn’t make them so. Why do you believe our planet and life were created? You say you think not believing is irrational, but I assume you don’t believe in pixies and spaghetti monsters, so there is obviously some universally known evidence that atheists have access to that makes continuing to not believe irrational in your opinion. What is this evidence?

    As for the “weak” atheist arguments. Slippery slope arguments are based not on possible outcomes, but the most reasonable outcome. To claim one is wrong you have to actually point out why it is not reasonable. The actual argument against deists is not that deists are going to fly planes into building because of their god, but simply that holding one irrational belief makes one likely to hold other irrational beliefs. I would say this is very reasonable. I think it is still a weak argument, and so do most atheists. Most atheists don’t care about your belief in some undefined creator, what they care about is what other irrational beliefs are you likely to hold? Are you an antivaxxer? Are you stock piling weapons because the government is going to try and take them away from you? Do you believe your creator god is going to suddenly end life on this planet and only you know when that will be?

  52. Murat says

    If this was a forum on veganism… And if, even people who eat red meat, chicken and / or fish were also welcome (by the admins!) to debate on certain issues relating to diets and ethics… Would it be normal to be extra sensitive against the presence of a vegetarian?

  53. says

    “5) It is not a tenet of secularism that you can’t, or even shouldn’t, express vocal disagreement with someone else’s belief. ”

    You are right. It is not. however, one cannot argue that religious people need to respect the right of the non religious to be non religious, while not respecting the right of the religious to believe. Just as atheists believe religion is nonsense, so to do the religious believe that atheists have got it wrong. Best to just let people believe what they want to believe as long as they aren’t pushing dogma on you.

  54. says

    @Murat: If there aren’t any red meat enthusiasts presently engaged in the conversation, I imagine the vegans would be focused on the vegetarian. Actually, I could see some choosing to focus on him even in the presence of the carnivores, the thinking being along the lines of “You’re *so close.* Why can’t you take that last step?”

    @Shaun: I don’t think anything here is “not letting,” Jimdandy believe what he chooses to believe. After all, none of us have the power to force him to change (and I hope none of us would seek to), and no one has expressed the sentiment that he ought to be banned or anything (unless I missed it). We just disagree with his conclusion, and his tone and methods of expressing it.

    Bear in mind, too, that I expect most people don’t see themselves as dog-piling. The tendency, often, is to read a conversation and think “Well, I have something to say about that, which I don’t think anyone else has said. So I’ll say it” It just so happens that the majority of the respondents have disagreed with one person, so it looks like dog-piling.

  55. Murat says

    @somnus
    This is pretty close to how I evaluate the situation 🙂
    Remember those white frontiersmen who married the native women of North America… Their children, the “metis”, were hated the most by both sides. Not a real indian… Not a white… Puah!

  56. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Shaun #51:

    Best to just let people believe what they want to believe as long as they aren’t pushing dogma on you.

     
    Video: Wolpe vs Harris Debate on God’s Existence (a clip from 56:55-1:01:38)

    David Wolpe: I don’t have proof because it’s not a scientific claim. […] When I’m looking at you right now, you may assume that what I see is material. That’s not what I see. And it’s not what I believe. There’s something in you that is more than you believe. I really think so.
    […]
    Sam Harris: This is constrained by our common sense in every other domain of discourse. […] We have not passed laws against believing Elvis is still alive. Whenever somebody seriously believes that Elvis is still alive – on a first date, in a lecture, in a job interview – he immediately pays a price. He pays a price in ill-concealed laughter. That is a good thing. Then he can rattle on about how, “It’s not a scientific claim. This is a matter of faith. When I look at you, I see you might be Elvis…” He can do this.

  57. Raoul of Bayonne says

    jimdandy thanks for answering my questions. Atheist School sounds boring.

  58. Murat says

    @jimdandy

    As to the first part of your question, I believe the universe our planet and life on our planet was created by a creator being. Call it God, Source, or whatever.

    Do you believe the creator being to have intelligence?
    May the creator be gone, or you think being eternal is a major feature for being defined a god?
    Which one is more likely to you: There never was any communication from the creator to the created (including us) OR there have been examples to such contact, even though not necessarily in the way religions claim that to happen.

  59. Jimdandy says

    Interesting thread. So by me believing admittedly with no irrefutable evidence, that a Higher Being was the cause of creation of our wonderful universe, by the standards of many here I am likely to go from this simple belief to flying planes into buildings,stockpiling weapons,waging war against vaccinations,killing African children,and denying human rights to lgbt people.

    No one here besides me and Shaun sees a huge problem with this type of thinking?
    I’m a black man, therefore I am prone to commit violent crimes
    I’m a gay man, therefore I am more likely to be a pedophile
    I’m from the middle east, and more likely to be a terrorist
    I’m a woman who likes to wear sexy clothes, so I must be a slut.
    I believe that the universe was created by a Being, so this dangerous thinking will eventually lead me to do terrible things.

    You Fucking Hypocrites.The very prejudices that you all rail against on the AXP show are just re-manifested towards anyone with beliefs different than yours. You are no better than the fundamentalist religious groups. Perhaps you are even worse. At least we have an occasional christian lunatic like Steve Anderson or the Westboro folks, the isolated radical Imams. But it is clear to me that that the atheist community is by far more united in intolerance of thought then even these groups are. Fucking scary. I would much rather have the religious groups as they are today in some semblance of power than the atheist community. I shudder to think of the harm to others well being that would unfold if a simple Deist belief can cause so much vitriol.

    All science points to with reasonable probability that our universe had a beginning. And whether you like it or not, atheism has no more credibility at that beginning than any other concept. You say “we don’t know” People like myself say “we don’t know but other observations lead us to believe in a creator. This form of belief has no impact on our society one way or the other. But according to most of you, It will cause great harm down the road because if we believe that, who knows what kind of evil we will cause in the future. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

  60. Monocle Smile says

    @jimdandy
    It’s extremely obvious that how you feel in that pathetic, dishonest rant is how you felt before you ever posted here, so I think your entire existence at this blog has been in bad faith. I’m just going to write you off as a troll and stop engaging.

  61. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ jimdandy: I think the problem can be summed up as follows: you’ve come into an atheist board to complain about how atheists ridicule you for your belief that doesn’t seem to be particularly harmful to anyone but which lacks evidence. The problem is that the atheists here tend also to be skeptics, empiricists, rationalists, etc and don’t have any particular sympathy for beliefs that fall into the category of “wishful thinking,” whether they cause tangible harm or not. Your only defenses for your position seem to be that a) everyone has the right to believe what they want as long as it doesn’t harm people and b) you aren’t flying planes into buildings on behalf of your beliefs. Okay, we don’t really care. At the end of the day, most of the regular commenters here care about believing things that are true, not about entertaining Person X’s pet idea about the supernatural. I strongly suspect that *anybody* with such similarly unsupported beliefs – about souls, or ghosts, or parallel universes, or whatever – would get the same dismissive treatment. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

  62. Murat says

    @Jimdandy
    Maybe there are a few people who, when engaging with a deist, get to face with their own buried-deep-down fractions of some kind of faith in a god. And maybe that is why you become more annoying to them than to others. Subconscious mirror reflections. Who knows.
    An issue worthy of a study, perhaps.
    Don’t focus on that too much and answer the questions please.

  63. Jimdandy says

    @murat
    Do you believe the creator being to have intelligence? Yes very much so, much more than our own.
    May the creator be gone, or you think being eternal is a major feature for being defined a god? Absolutely eternal
    Which one is more likely to you: There never was any communication from the creator to the created (including us) OR there have been examples to such contact, even though not necessarily in the way religions claim that to happen. No communication at all in the physical sense. But I believe man is physical and spiritual. We live our lives as we choose. Some are comfortable with the dense physical world. Some nurture the spiritual aspect of their own being. Communication is not from Source to us but the other direction. All of us are a part of the same Source, God, Creator, what have you. All of us return. An endless cycle that continues long after this earth is gone.

    Does this answer your questions satisfactorily? As a side note in case you missed it I was an agnostic atheist for several decades from about the age of 10.

  64. Jimdandy says

    @Monocle Smiley
    Good bye indeed. You are still full of shit with your assertions about me but you are doing the right thing. You seem frustrated and angry enough without me adding to it. I feel sorry for the folks in your life.

  65. Jimdandy says

    @Wiggle Puppy
    Perhaps you should get the volunteers who run this AXP to inform the public that only atheist participation is desired. No one was asked to entertain my ideas. My OP was about the caller Isaiah and his rambling. I did say deists are a turd in the atheist punch bowl and now I’m quite sure of it. True colors have been demonstrated. Next go round I’ll keep my comments limited to the atheist world view. Peace

  66. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ jimdandy: Look, I don’t know why this is so hard. Nobody said that only the atheist position is desired, but if anybody from any religion, faith tradition, or whatever came in here and said, “hey, I believe this thing, and I have no specific reason, but I’m not hurting people,” then okay, you’re practically inviting people not to take you seriously. If you think that deism is the “turd in the punch bowl,” then you should look through past threads to see that all religions get lambasted here, but I think what irks many atheists in particular about deism is exactly the attitude you’re displaying of “hey, my beliefs are just as unsupported as those of organized religion, but I’m not hurting anyone, so you should go easy on me.” I would so much rather talk to someone who identifies with a religion and thinks they have good reason for their belief, because we could at least then hopefully have a productive discussion about reason, epistemology, and other salient topics. But by admitting you have no coherent reason for your beliefs, you’ve already admitted that we have no reason to take you seriously. Let me put it this way: if I told you that I believed that we all contain the reincarnated spirits of dinosaurs who died 65 million years ago, and that I had no evidence for this belief, and kept spamming a message board insisting that I should be taken seriously because this belief isn’t directly harming anyone and that people who dismiss me are being closed-minded, what would your reaction be? Would it be: hey, this person kind of has an interesting point? Or would it be: hey, this person is kind of annoying?

  67. Jimdandy says

    @Wiggle Puppy
    But by admitting you have no coherent reason for your beliefs, you’ve already admitted that we have no reason to take you seriously.

    When did I ever say I have no reason for my beliefs? When did some one ask for my reason(s)? I say I have no evidence or proof of my claim, but you either didn’t pay attention to this thread, or your just making things up. I couldn’t care less about a web board full of people I don’t even know ‘going easy on me’. Nor do I care about being dismissed. What is worrisome however is the discovery that the participants here in this thread, most of them, made it clear they hold that any belief outside of atheism is dangerous. Fear precedes prejudice and prejudice precedes hate and we are painfully aware of what does happen next. When visiting close friends who are atheist in Sweden last summer this very topic came up in our discourse. My friends had just completed a 7 month work assignment in California and it was they who told me there is a measurable difference between atheists in Europe and atheists in the states. They were surprised over the anger towards the religious they witnessed here They were uncomfortable and quite glad to be back home. I sent Folke an email and told him to read this thread. I’m interested in what he has to say. I’ve heard it stated on the show that atheism is growing in the U.S. I doubt that. You see this isn’t a question of proof or evidence or the like. It is a question of personal beliefs. Sure any and all religious ideals should be kept separate from our laws and public education. But that’s about it. Let me ask you something. Why does the show give “priority” to theist callers? Why does the peanut gallery on the chat complain when an atheist caller is on the line? It seems to me that when it’s the theists who call, many of them not very bright to begin with, there is an air of anticipation not unlike watching the Christians get mauled by lions and dogs in the Colosseum. These people have been indoctrinated and duped by their respective religions. As evidence they hold up a book that tells among other things,our universe is 6300 years old. That makes the theist an easy argument to take on. But as I stated before it is different with the deist. Perhaps that is why you prefer banter with the religious rather than people like me. In any event, I’m content that atheism in America will never take hold at least not in my lifetime or yours or anyone around today. Hopefully in a hundred years or so, attitudes and hearts will change.

  68. Daniel Stapleton says

    Really disappointed with the handling of the second caller in this episode. From this viewer’s perspective, it was frustrating to hear Russell continually cut the caller off with questions that he would have known the answer to if he had been genuinely listening to the caller in the first place.
    It’s more than likely that the caller had nothing of value and that their “theory” and its “predictions” were utter nonsense, but I have no way of knowing that because I don’t feel like the hosts even gave him a chance. What I do know is that he seemed to generally know what he was talking about re: basic scientific principles. Russell’s eye-rolling and sighing and and “What are you even talking about?” comments seemed to speak more to his ability to follow the thread than anything else.
    A good example was when Russell interrupted with something along the lines of, “And what is this based on, the Bible or something?” It was just a total miss, and I sympathized with the caller, who seemed stunned for a moment by that question. Anyone paying attention knew that the caller was not basing their theory on the Bible, but rather thought that the Bible (and other religious texts) may have been written by people who were also vaguely aware of the theory.
    Seriously, I was interested in hearing what he had to say. At least he was coherent, which is more than I can say for a lot of other callers.
    But I feel like Russell got in the way of that and made it impossible.
    I get that there’s a time limit, and I get that you can’t get guests go on and on. I also have no idea what it must be like to talk to callers every week — most of who have the same arguments or no arguments at all…but maybe consider listening back to that call. I think it could have been interesting, and I submit that it was handled badly.

  69. Jimdandy says

    @murat
    “Maybe there are a few people who, when engaging with a deist, get to face with their own buried-deep-down fractions of some kind of faith in a god.”

    That may be so. I have always felt that there is a good percentage of atheists who profess to be more out of the motivation that their lifestyle conflicts with the religion they were once immersed in than a total lack of belief in a god entity. By identifying as atheists it eliminates internal conflict.

  70. Theisntist says

    I made the original comment about flying planes into buildings, which has been turned into something that I never said. My actual words were (in reference to deism, ” …it may not cause you to fly planes into buildings but it’s still irrational.” That somehow was interpreted to mean eventually it might cause you to fly planes into buildings. My only point was that any irrational beliefs that I see here I will call out, and hope others do the same to me. Thats not because of my atheism, but my skepticism, which is the foundation of my atheism.

  71. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ jimdandy #65

    In comment #15, you stated that you didn’t care if your beliefs are indefensible, and you would believe them anyway? Are you saying that there’s a difference between having an indefensible belief and one held for no reason? Aren’t beliefs defended by giving reasons for them?

    Atheism is growing in the US. There’s a difference between “growing” and “dominant.” A couple generations ago it was unacceptable in public discourse to admit to being an atheist, but in large sections of the country it’s not only now accepted but normalized. And something like a fifth of Americans under 35 have no belief in a god. It’s growing, by several different objective measures. You don’t even know what you’re talking about.

    As the hosts of the show have readily admitted multiple times, they prefer theist callers because they know that there are a lot of people “on the fence” about the god question, and if these people see a discussion in which the atheist is being reasonable and convincing and the theist isn’t, than that might away their opinion.

    Deism, contra your assertions, is an easy argument to take on. You have admitted you have no evidence for your claim but believe it anyway. I could come up with a million examples of unfalsifiable claims (we are living in a computer simulation, we are living in the dream of a hyper advanced alien, I am the only mind that exists and everything in this world is a product of my imagination), and without evidence, there’s no way to tell the difference among them, which means they are all equally irrational to believe. Take a basic course in logic, because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Your narrow-mindedness is apparent when you insist that theism (Christianity in particular) is easy to take on because its holy book claims the Earth is a few thousand years old. Why, it’s obvious that Satan has tempted you away from the narrow path of following Christ and ignoring the things of this fallen, wretched world. Or, God made the Earth a few thousand years ago, but with age “baked in” to the recipe. Or, you’re taking it too literally, because it’s just metaphor, you should focus on the redeeming love of Christ and stop nitpicking the details. The fact that you scoff at the unjustified beliefs of others while lauding your own tells me everything I need to know.

  72. says

    People are talking past each other on the thread, although some folks have made a good effort to correct the confusion.

    As many have pointed out, it’s not the atheism, but the skepticism that creates a problem with people hearing me say my beliefs are “indefensible.” By definition, I’m communicating to others that “I don’t care if I don’t have evidence or good reasons or any justification for things I hold to be true about the world and others around me.”

    When I can assert *that*, and then try and preach to anyone else about the dangers of prejudice, that’s simply laughable. Prejudice is unjustified belief–literally, indefensible belief. It is what I say I subscribe to as the non-method underlying how I come to believe the things I do.

    “Willfully irrational beliefs eventually beget more irrational beliefs in yourself and others. So you have evidence I imagine that my belief which you consider irrational will eventually lead to even more irrational belief…”

    If reason is evidence, then yes, there is evidence. If I say outright that I don’t care if my beliefs are justified, there should be no serious argument that I am more inclined to believe unjustified things. I’ve just asserted it proudly. It would be the same if I were to assert that I close my eyes before crossing intersections, because I don’t care if it’s safe or not when I cross. When I get to the other side unscathed, and say “See? No harm. So where’s the harm in crossing the street with my eyes closed? You all just hate me because I don’t cross the street the same way you do.” When other people merely point out that living my life crossing the street with my eyes closed may not kill me or someone else, but at some point it has the capacity to harm me or others, they’re correct. Letting evidence drive my beliefs–looking both ways, looking at the walk sign on the corner–would be expected to result in less injury over a lifetime than closing my eyes and running across, relying on blind luck to keep me safe–instead of taking actual steps to conform to evidence and reason about more safe/less safe times to cross the street. In fact, if I don’t care if my beliefs are “indefensible”–what reason does anyone have to think I will conform to evidence or reason in any circumstance?

    If I don’t care if my beliefs can be demonstrated to align to reality–that they are indefensible, and I don’t care–then, of course, I’m opening the door to all manner of beliefs that nobody can predict–including me–because my beliefs about the world around me, and others, aren’t predicated on reality–on evidence and good reasons.

    What makes that philosophy unnerving is that it’s unpredictable. While I ask “so you think I’ll fly a plane into a building just because I believe things for no good reason?” My question should be: “If reality doesn’t guide my beliefs–if evidence and reason aren’t important to me, then how can I feel confident I won’t hurt people based on some willy nilly belief I pick up one day that makes me like the idea of hurting people?” How can I predict my own beliefs and how they will impact me or others when nothing consistent, reliable or even real, guides my beliefs?

    More untenable beliefs are already being expressed above. It’s already more than just “a god”–there are now attributes to that being pulled from thin air. So, it’s clearly not at all confined, and does bleed out further than the original unfounded belief. It’s already demonstrated on this very thread.

  73. Murat says

    @Daniel Stapleton

    A good example was when Russell interrupted with something along the lines of, “And what is this based on, the Bible or something?” It was just a total miss, and I sympathized with the caller, who seemed stunned for a moment by that question. Anyone paying attention knew that the caller was not basing their theory on the Bible, but rather thought that the Bible (and other religious texts) may have been written by people who were also vaguely aware of the theory.

    How do these two differ at all?
    Russell’s interruption was right on the money.
    If I have a text in hand which I believe to be written by people vaguely aware of a “theory” (?!) then I should be able to demonstrate in what part of the text there was even a suggestion of a link to that “theory”, right?

  74. Murat says

    @Theisntist

    I made the original comment about flying planes into buildings, which has been turned into something that I never said. My actual words were (in reference to deism, ” …it may not cause you to fly planes into buildings but it’s still irrational.” That somehow was interpreted to mean eventually it might cause you to fly planes into buildings. My only point was that any irrational beliefs that I see here I will call out, and hope others do the same to me. Thats not because of my atheism, but my skepticism, which is the foundation of my atheism.

    What I find amazing in how people embrace this example is that, even on such a platform chock full of skeptics, everyone seems to be okay with assuming it was “irrational beliefs” that made some people they didn’t know fly planes into buildings almost two decades ago.

  75. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

     
    Podcast Bug Report
     
    The RSS feed is pointing to an unusual url for “22.21 Status Quon’t”.
     
    Most episodes look like this.
    http://www.atheist-experience.com/archive/AtheistExp-2018-05-20.mp3
     
    But this episode is strange and randomizes every time the feed is reloaded.
    http://btr-sea-grass-1.blogtalkradio.com/10798121-705472433.mp3?cId=74a1a907-df51-4d2c-990a-efc43fd04b04
     
    Background: RSS feeds have a “guid” tag, which is expected to be a stable unique way to identify any given episode. Podcatcher apps rely on that to recognize new releases. Axp happens to be copy-pasting the mp3 url as a guid. (Each episode has a distinct filename, which would make the url unique. Sure, why not?)
     
    PROBLEM: This particular episode’s location is NOT stable, so apps keep thinking it is a new show and re-announce it as such to users.
     
    The easiest solution would be to move that mp3 into the archive with the rest of the shows.

  76. Robink says

    @Daniel Stapleton

    “At least he was coherent”

    Except he wasn’t. He was saying lots of coherent words but together they were meaningless. The caller was given a good ten minutes or so and didn’t arrive at a single salient thought that clearly identified what his position was and what his evidence for it was. Imo my frustration with the show is that the hosts aren’t MORE assertive with nailing down people and cutting off rants. If you’ve made the choice to call in to a show like this you’ve clearly done it for a purpose and thought through what you’re going to say so no amount of the hosts “interrupting” you should be an excuse for clearly identifying within the first two minutes what your point is.

    My first response to anyone who comes up with these mumbo-jumbo pseudo-scientific theories would always be “have you actually presented all this ‘evidence’ to someone who is an expert in the fields of mathematics/physics/cosmology? etc…”, which of course they never have because their arguments would then disintegrate like a sand castle at high tide. These arguments always start from a desired conclusion and work backwards shaping logic in whatever convoluted way possible to fit it. By the end of this particular rant I had no idea how it was even tangentially related to religion anymore?

    Even more frustrating are the callers who call up waiting to springs gotcha! trap like that 7 day week guy (Isaiah?). Like, make your goddamn point and let people respond to it.

  77. indianajones says

    What do you believe and why?

    Anyone who turns up here with an answer to that question as laughably contemptible ‘I’m a deist for reasons that are unjustifible’ is going to be treated with laughter and contempt. That’s just an example by the way, there have been many others here over the years equally as laughable and contemptible. What did you expect?

    And to then complain about it, insult us about it, and to defend it by going on the attack in effect saying ‘Well, atheists are just as blah blah blah as I am!’? Come now. Also, explicitly saying you came here to provoke a reaction but you aren’t a troll? Well, perhaps we have different definitions, but that behavior sure fits mine.

    If I turn up to a ‘x’ rally with the pre-baked idea that ‘xists’ are all shouty and insulting wearing a ‘x sucks!’ t-shirt? That I get insults shouted at me would in no way support my pre-baked position. It would merely make me good at crafting self fulfilling prophecy.

    And even if I agreed with you (I don’t this time btw) I would wish you would get off my side as an embarrassment. Your argumentation as displayed above is only worthy of being contemptuously laughed at by even anyone who might agree with you anywhere. Let alone this particular lion’s den you have decided to wander into.

    .Ya know what? So much so that here comes my fully adequate rebuttal to every point you have what I am going to word definitionally stretching call ‘made’ so far: ‘I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!.’

  78. Murat says

    @Jimdandy

    No communication at all in the physical sense. But I believe man is physical and spiritual. We live our lives as we choose. Some are comfortable with the dense physical world. Some nurture the spiritual aspect of their own being. Communication is not from Source to us but the other direction. All of us are a part of the same Source, God, Creator, what have you. All of us return. An endless cycle that continues long after this earth is gone.

    Living our lives as we choose, meaning that spirituality (sorry, Tracie) is something we can choose to develop or obtain from our existence, as opposed to having it as an inevitable component of ourselves?
    Communication being from the other end, meaning that it is human will that “creates” God?
    What is it that makes you believe there is no communication from God to its creations? You not having experienced that does not mean no one ever has.
    Source and creator are quite different from each other: Creation means there is intent. But accidents may well have sources, too. In fact, that is the key point about the Kalam cosmological argument that many miss: It asserts that there just has to be a source. But that source may well be without conscience, intent, plan, etc.
    And, if the source is God with regards to creation, then what makes you think the source for the communication may not be God?

  79. Jimdandy says

    Man talk about not seeing the forest because of the trees! What does a person who embraces a deistic philosophy have to do to communicate their point? Deism is a philosophical belief based on reason rather than revelation or dogma. You all keep asking for “evidence” of God or deity and I keep telling you I don’t have any….no one does. That does not mean I don’t have reasons for my beliefs. All of you who are combining reasons and evidence into the same criteria are just wrong. The fact is all of us choose our paths based on our own reasons. The atheists state their reason is there is no proof that god exists. People who practice religions or hold religious beliefs will state their reasons for believing the way they do. I do not expect anyone here to agree with my reason(s) for my beliefs but to keep regurgitating over and over again that I claim I have no reason to believe the way I do is just false. If I say my beliefs are indefensible as some of you say, that is said in the context of demonstrating proof to a skeptic that I am correct. No one can provide proof of anything. Atheists cannot prove god doesn’t exist, theists cannot prove the existence of a dogmatic very involved with our lives god, and I cannot prove the existence of the god I believe exists. Why the proof question is even asked at every turn is beyond me .Keep beating the dead horse.

  80. Jimdandy says

    ps Murat
    my response not directed to your last post, we both posted at almost the same time. If you like I’ll be happy to address your questions.

  81. says

    “I cannot prove the existence of the god I believe exists. Why the proof question is even asked at every turn is beyond me”

    So again: Why would you believe in something you cannot prove?

  82. Theisntist says

    @murat #77
    In not sure what your point is, but it appears you missed mine. I was only saying that deism won’t make someone do something like fly a plane into a building, for that you’d probably need a religious doctrine. Do you disagree? And if so why?

  83. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Jimdandy #82

    “What does a person who embraces a deistic philosophy have to do to communicate their point?”

    You’ve communicated your point. It’s terribly unconvincing. It seems to boil down to “I believe this because it makes me feel good,” which isn’t going to get much sympathy on a skeptics’ message board.

    “Atheists cannot prove god doesn’t exist”

    Depending on your definition of god, this isn’t accurate, but it’s also irrelevant.

    “Why the proof question is asked at every turn is beyond me.”

    Because, as I noted before, without evidence, there are a practically infinite number of unfalsifiable claims one could believe, and you’ve wandered into a skeptics’ message board to extol your particular favored one. If someone came on here ranting and raving that we are all living inside of a computer simulation, and claimed that skeptics are a persecutory bunch because they mock people who fervently believe that we are all living inside a computer simulation, and claimed that those who believe we are living inside of a computer simulation are just as dogmatic as those who do not believe we are living inside a computer simulation, then I suspect that the discussion would play out much as it has here. You’ve made your way onto a message board populated with people who generally care about differentiating reality from fantasy. If you don’t like it, tough. I will applaud you all day for not being a religious zealot who is trying to take away peoples’ rights based on your particular interpretation of your holy book, but that doesn’t mean your particular unfalsifiable belief then gets to be shielded from scrutiny and evaluation.

    “Keep beating the dead horse”

    Okay.

  84. indianajones says

    I had a dog once who bit lemons. He would get annoyed at the taste and bite ’em again. And again. And, well this is getting monotonous. I couldn’t ask him in a way he was able to understand, but I’ll ask you in the dim hope that you might: Why do you keep biting this lemon? Cos with the vast majority of posts here on this thread coming from you Jimbo, I only see one person beating a dead horse. For mine at least, though i suspect it might be fairly widely held, you are merely a vaguely amusing chew toy at this point.

  85. Jimdandy says

    What are the atheist views on Humanity with respect to the vast differences between us and any other species on this planet?

  86. Theisntist says

    Jimdandy, you say you have reasons for your belief but they aren’t evidence based. Could you maybe get around to telling us what those reasons are? That might have been a good thing to open with.

    Also, you appear to not know what atheist means, it doesn’t mean “one who without evidence has asserted there is no God”, it means “one who sees no evidence to believe there is a God.”

    Therefore there is no equivalence between theists, deists and atheists; of the three, only atheists make no claims about God and thus have no burden of proof.

    In other words, in the absence of evidence either way, which you appear to agree is the case, the atheist position is the only one that is logically defensible.

  87. says

    @Jimdandy
    In posts #44 and #62, you stated that other people are accusing you of likely flying a plane into a building. Given that the record very clearly shows that nothing of the sort actually happened, would you like to retract your claim?

    For one who is clearly concerned about tone, it should be very easy for you to arrive at the honest answer.

  88. says

    @Jimdandy #88

    There is no single “Atheist view on Humanity” since atheism is only about one question, belief in a god. After that, we are each on our own to work out our views on humanity, so there are probably as many different views as there are atheists.

    I personally don’t actually see the differences between us and other species as being that vast. We are not the only animal that makes and uses tools, we are not the only ones who farm, and, given that dolphins are better at understanding our language than we are at understanding theirs, I’m not convinced that we have the most complex communication systems, either. We’re biased in favor of thinking we’re so much superior, but if you were able to ask a dolphin, they might give you the same answer about “Dolphinity.” So my view is that we shouldn’t get too full of ourselves about this.

  89. Jimdandy says

    @Ubi
    Interesting take. I must say that I do strongly disagree. I don’t look at it from a pride thing thinking that we are necessarily better than everything else. But I do see vast differences between the human species and any other species on the planet. And it has been this way for a long time.

  90. Murat says

    @Theisntist
    No, I was not referring to your “point” in that post, but just to that particular example used when making and opposing to that point. Both when listening to the show (not just this time) and when reading some comments (not just on this thread), I came across that popular example on several instances, and can’t help but be surprised that “skeptics” do not differ from certain fundamentalists in accepting the “reason” behind those people’s act to be what it is commonly narrated as.

  91. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    can’t help but be surprised that “skeptics” do not differ from certain fundamentalists in accepting the “reason” behind those people’s act to be what it is commonly narrated as.

    Is this some weird conspiracy nonsense? What on earth are you talking about?

  92. Murat says

    @Jeanette

    So again: Why would you believe in something you cannot prove?

    Though the question is addressed at the visiting deist, I find it simple enough to give a shot:
    For various reasons, I guess… Wishful thinking, hope, instinct… Human beings are not Vulcans. Also atheists believe in things they cannot prove, right? Not believing in a god simply because we can’t prove its existence does not mean we all are on auto-pilot about every single issue with regards to coherence of proof and belief.
    What I find a bit weird is that, when we corner a deist the same way we corner a Christian, it looks like we do not understand that there already is an uncertainty, much more of a doubt, and a confessed agnosticism that comes along with the term “deist”.
    Had he been able to face the kind of scrutiny he is kind of being put under, he would already have declared himself a prophet and open up his perception on the issue in detail as a religion.
    Jimdandy ain’t no Joseph Smith.
    And he seems to know it.

  93. Murat says

    @MS
    Wow! Is it considered a “conspiracy” to state that we can not read people’s minds and determine their exact motivations?
    Nice!

  94. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    For various reasons, I guess… Wishful thinking, hope, instinct… Human beings are not Vulcans. Also atheists believe in things they cannot prove, right? Not believing in a god simply because we can’t prove its existence does not mean we all are on auto-pilot about every single issue with regards to coherence of proof and belief.

    Speak for yourself. I know you’re weird about this, but stop excusing poor skepticism and bad critical thinking skills.

    Wow! Is it considered a “conspiracy” to state that we can not read people’s minds and determine their exact motivations?
    Nice!

    Are we playing “avoid the question?” You referenced the 9/11 terrorists and whined about atheist “assumptions” twice now, I thought you might have a reason, but it seems that undeserved smugness is all you have to offer.

  95. Jimdandy says

    @ secular strategy
    This from # 54: Most atheists don’t care about your belief in some undefined creator, what they care about is what other irrational beliefs are you likely to hold? Are you an antivaxxer? Are you stock piling weapons because the government is going to try and take them away from you? Do you believe your creator god is going to suddenly end life on this planet and only you know when that will be?

    From #43: It may not cause you to fly a plane into a building but it’s still irrational, and willfully irrational beliefs eventually beget more irrational beliefs in yourself and others.

    From #25: Would you now like to discuss the harm religion causes? How about people who fly jets into buildings? Priests raping children and the church moving pedophile priests around to avoid prosecution in order to not look bad to the world? That’s only been going on in this country for over 200 years. We can go to Africa and see people killing their children because they think their children are witches? Not allowing information about birth control to be disseminated or information about abortions because god? Any of this ringing a bell yet jimdandy?

    From#75: “If reality doesn’t guide my beliefs–if evidence and reason aren’t important to me, then how can I feel confident I won’t hurt people based on some willy nilly belief I pick up one day that makes me like the idea of hurting people?”

    Hmmm. Atheists don’t believe in god, therefore don’t believe in sin,therefore have no fear of hell or karma……How do I know that one day they won’t decide to become mass murderers??????

    Sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it? I’m not ‘retracting’ anything, but fret not. I assure you I’m not losing any sleep over it.

  96. Murat says

    @Jimdandy
    I advise you to format your replies better. I can’t understand anything from your latest post. You seem to have some valid (or plausible) points of argument but the articulation needs to mature. And my questions are not answered yet.

  97. StonedRanger says

    Jimdandy My post #25 was not an assertion of anything you would be likely to do. You made the claim that atheists can only come up with a slippery slope argument as to the harm religion causes. For you to claim that I used that as some kind of an example of something you might be capable of or doing is just a lie. There was no such claim made by me about you. Not surprising that you would be so dishonest as to imply that’s what it meant.

  98. Jimdandy says

    @murat

    I was simply responding to Secular Strategy who suggested I retract my statement criticizing some here that are telling me that my belief is likely to lead to further “irrational” beliefs, which may lead me to cause harm to others. Please refer to post #90. I just consolidated the posts that make such a claim for the edification of SS, and also included a juxtapose that one can make a similar and very stupid assumption about atheists as well. As irrational as beliefs are to atheists they would serve society better by understanding it is not irrational to the person holding those beliefs. To make a jump that one feels a persons beliefs (not actions mind you, but thoughts about esoteric topics) are irrational and will therefore likely lead to more irrational and ultimately dangerous thoughts followed by dangerous actions is ludicrous. I have religious friends that do not see my views as rational. None of them would see an atheist view as rational. I don’t see my friends belief in the bible rational, but I love them (they pray for me every day! 🙂 ) and really doubt they would one day become killers. I’m aware that few people here know each other but that is no excuse for behavior that one would expect in a Mississippi backwater bayou town in 1950, not an internet blog of 2018 populated by supposedly educated people. Get real. I’m not upset in the least but quite surprised. So, hopefully that clears up my formatting issue. I answered some of your questions in #66….I assume you wish for my responses from #81 of yours? I’ll take care of it.

  99. Jimdandy says

    @Mr Stoned Ranger.

    Sir, I’m not religious. the slippery slope was a reason presented by a host during a conversation with another deist just about a month ago. This deist asked something to the effect of what was problematic to society with his belief and the host replied its a slippery slope that can lead to further “bad” beliefs which I can only assume would negatively impact society….kind of what was said to me here asking the same question. Let the record show you have said you did not mean I would resort to such atrocities.

  100. geneva says

    I just wanted to say that the initial caller has smoked too much pot and listened to too much Terrence McKenna.

  101. Jimdandy says

    @ Murat
    If you don’t mind, your #81 has 4-5 questions that are not one word answers I’ll take these in parts for brevity.

    1.Living our lives as we choose, meaning that spirituality is something we can choose to develop or obtain from our existence, as opposed to having it as an inevitable component of ourselves?

    Spirit is a component of ourselves. Some believe we are mere piles of flesh, bone and blood a functioning brain and hence a consciousness. I believe each of us has a spiritual component. It is part of us, what we are. When I say we live our lives as we choose, I refer to preferences we all develop over time. Food, clothing,occupation, hobbies, sex, whatever. The physical world in which we exist is just not conductive to our spiritual part. So many different things compete for our attention. It is our choosing whether to develop spiritually or not. As I said before, some prefer the density of the physical world or are just not aware of the part of G~d that exists within us. We don’t take our spirituality from somewhere outside of us, we instead nurture what is already there.

  102. indianajones says

    Whether a thing is rational or not does not depend on personal viewpoint or belief.

  103. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jimdandy #102:

    it is not irrational to the person holding those beliefs

    Recklessness and callousness frequently exist in the absence of self-awareness. No one thinks they’re a sucker or a bad guy.
     
    Podcast: PretendRadio – The Snake Oil Salesman 1, Miracle Mineral Solution (24:34)
     

    Host: [Salesman] has no medical background. No chemistry degree. But what he does have, is a huge following around the world. As you can imagine, if you discover the cure for everything, the next thing to do start your own religion.
    […]
    Host: If taken properly, MMS probably won’t kill you, at least not right away.

     

    Patient: You hear, “Oh, it’s bleach! It’s gonna kill you.” Y’know…
     
    Host: About 4 months ago, she decided to give it a try.
    […]
    Host: I had to ask: what does [patient] think of this [salesman] character?
     
    Patient: I know I’ve heard that he believes in aliens and… but he is such a… gentile soul…
     
    Host: What about his church. Isn’t that a little weird?
     
    Patient: Why he made it a church was: because you could take MMS as a sacrament and present it that way, and not get persecuted, because churches have an exemption.
     
    Host: What do you say to people that are like, “Ugh, this guy, he’s a snake oil salesman”?
     
    Patient: What does he have to gain from it? He’s not becoming a multi-billionaire. I think he discovered something amazing, and I think he wanted to share it with humanity.

     

    Toxicologist: This chemical, sodium chorite, has the same safety rating as nail polish remover. So if you wouldn’t drink nail polish remover then you shouldn’t drink this stuff. It’s not gonna cure your cancer. It’s not gonna cure your HIV/AIDS. It’s not gonna cure multiple sclerosis or any number of things. All it can possibly do is harm you. There really is no benefit here, I’d say.

  104. paxoll says

    @Jimdandy
    Jim you seem to have a lot of misconceptions and poor reading comprehension, and english seems to maybe not be your first language.

    Deism is a philosophical belief based on reason rather than revelation or dogma.

    In this context reason is synonymous with a rational thought process, a rational though process can be organized into a valid argument, and a valid argument is considered evidence.

    That does not mean I don’t have reasons for my beliefs.

    In this context, reason simply means cause. Either way I specifically asked you in the same post you quoted and misunderstood…

    Why do you believe our planet and life were created? You say you think not believing is irrational, but I assume you don’t believe in pixies and spaghetti monsters, so there is obviously some universally known evidence that atheists have access to that makes continuing to not believe irrational in your opinion. What is this evidence?

    This effectively covers both of your usages of the term “reason”. From this information it is very much possible to evaluate whether your “reason” is rational or irrational because the fundamental nature of our universe has led us to laws of logic and in turn arguments that can be evaluated for soundness and validity. For instance, if you say you believe god exists because the universe had a beginning of time, then your argument is irrational unless you can give a necessary reason for one being contingent on the other.

    Now lets look at this

    To make a jump that one feels a persons beliefs (not actions mind you, but thoughts about esoteric topics) are irrational and will therefore likely lead to more irrational and ultimately dangerous thoughts followed by dangerous actions is ludicrous.

    First no one here EVER claimed an irrational belief will LIKELY lead to more irrational and ultimately dangerous thoughts and actions, to claim they have you are either being very dishonest or honestly stupid. Heicart gave a very good explanation of why we believe it CAN lead to those things. Secondly, ALL actions taken by people are based on beliefs. The problem with irrational beliefs, is that actions based on them are less likely to have the desired effect. If you believe drinking ‘alkaline’ water is going to cure your cancer, then you are likely to drink bicarb water and not do treatment that actually works. If you believe god answers prayers and your child gets sick, you are likely to pray for them instead of getting them medical treatment. As to your ridiculous claim of

    Atheists don’t believe in god, therefore don’t believe in sin,therefore have no fear of hell or karma……How do I know that one day they won’t decide to become mass murderers

    Well, they may not fear hell, but they can fear prison. The ACTUAL answer is that rational thinking leads to a moral guideline that not killing people is the best way to have a safe and happy society. Whereas irrational belief in a god leads to belief in sin and hell and you get to spend a lifetime afraid of some imaginary punishment.

  105. Murat says

    @indianajones @skycaptain

    Whether a thing is rational or not does not depend on personal viewpoint or belief.

    Very true.
    But the arguments against Jimdandy’s deism have so far been constructed in such a way that, the truth of this remark loses its point in the discussion.

    Well, they may not fear hell, but they can fear prison. The ACTUAL answer is that rational thinking leads to a moral guideline that not killing people is the best way to have a safe and happy society. Whereas irrational belief in a god leads to belief in sin and hell and you get to spend a lifetime afraid of some imaginary punishment.

    How about an atheist who lives in such a society that he / she can know for a fact that he / she CAN actually avoid prison? Start thinking about this with the image of whatever is a third world country to you. But don’t stop there and make a leap to the USA, where a poor person of color could well have spent YEARS in jail for the very same thing that a rich Hollywood producer is likely to spend less than a week, thanks to the usage of BAIL in the system? Now, is the current judiciary system and all applications linked to it quite rational or not? In my opinion, they are. But not every kind of rational outcome, maybe not even the best, can secure the notion of JUSTICE, which is the key issue at this point.

    First no one here EVER claimed an irrational belief will LIKELY lead to more irrational and ultimately dangerous thoughts and actions, to claim they have you are either being very dishonest or honestly stupid. Heicart gave a very good explanation of why we believe it CAN lead to those things. Secondly, ALL actions taken by people are based on beliefs. The problem with irrational beliefs, is that actions based on them are less likely to have the desired effect.

    How do we know the “desired effect” to be the one that is more beneficial for the society? We cannot speak for other individuals’ desires, be they atheist or not, can we?
    I understand what you guys are suggesting, and I ‘m on board with you on the general notion / deduction that it is always a safer bet to stick with secular morals which come along with reason rather than unsubstantiated belief.
    But when you address that to a deist, to someone who doesn’t even have a charter on whatever it is he has shaped up in his mind, it comes out somewhat uncalled for.
    If possible, I would like to be presented an example of the irrational belief that can be associated with / coming from deism and that would be less likely to have the kind of desired positive effect than it would if the person was reasonable enough to have declared himself an atheist.
    Not that I am certain there is no such example, just want to make sure via something solid that we are thinking along the same lines here.

  106. indianajones says

    Let’s go slightly more general. This is what happens on Red Dwarf when irrational belief/s is backed up by Ad Hoc motivated reasoning. It’s a powerful combination….

  107. indianajones says

    And no JimDandy, this does not imply that I think you believe in aliens. It implies that I think it likely you will wake up one day 3M light years from Earth in a decrepit mining ship with a hologram, a cleaning droid, a dotty computer and a descendant from your pregnant cat for company. But no aliens. Obviously.

  108. Murat says

    @indianajones
    It’s been a long time since I last watched anything from Red Dwarf 🙂
    Much as I agree and enjoy, I believe the point of the clip corresponds best to “religion”. And yes I think that belief of mine is rational.

  109. says

    In post #99, JimDandy has made his values abundantly clear. He has decided that he will hold atheists responsible for the things they do say, as well as the things they do not say. The character trait that he has illustrated, above all others, is his dedication to dissatisfaction. He just wants to be angry at his perceived enemies, no matter what they do.

    You guys can continue to converse with him if you’d like, but I would advise you to seriously question what you hope to gain from such an endeavor.

  110. Jimdandy says

    Oh come now SS do you really think I consider the people on this forum my enemies? Hardly. Nor am I angry at anybody or anything. I am truly sorry that you feel that way. The fact is as I have stated I have friends who are atheist. There are many prominent atheists that I have a great respect for. Mostly I’m grateful that some of the views they present have been far more effective then mine in getting people to drop they’re man-made tenants of religions and start thinking differently.

  111. indianajones says

    @SS I did say vaguely amusing chewtoy after all
    @Murat Well, yeah, noting that deism was the topic under discussion

  112. Murat says

    @SS
    Yeah, the preordered dissatisfaction is not nice, especially for someone who says he can have fine conversations with people from various colors of the belief spectrum.
    Maybe his posts on here are part of an inner monologue, aimed at finding the echoing voice of the atheist he is struggling not to become.
    (That’s just the vice versa of something I posted here earlier. Both are possible.)

  113. paxoll says

    @Murat

    How do we know the “desired effect” to be the one that is more beneficial for the society

    This is a whole different topic Murat. What is beneficial to society can be pretty much summed up with the word “wellness” and evaluating wellness is obvious on an extreme scale such as, parents praying for their child to get well vs taking to a doctor. It is more difficult but still possible to evaluate on are large scale such as, society/people are happier when their lifestyle is accepted as a normal natural variation instead of a “sin”. In general the move from a religious moral system to a secular is precisely because the secular one is found to be “more beneficial”.

    Since each deist belief is pretty much unstructured by religious dogma there is no telling what they believe without asking them, so trying to come up with a specific example of an irrational belief specific to them that is

    less likely to have the kind of desired positive effect

    is pretty pointless. Which is the whole reason why, other then pointing out that having one big irrational belief is likely to mean they have other irrational beliefs, the hosts don’t bother discussing deism. As I said previously

    Most atheists don’t care about your belief in some undefined creator, what they care about is what other irrational beliefs are you likely to hold?

  114. Jimdandy says

    Murat

    Just to clarify, I was an atheist for many years. I’m not struggling to not become one.

  115. Murat says

    @Paxoll

    This is a whole different topic…

    That’s why I thought the direction of the discussion was not ideal. It moves to thereabouts eventually.

    Which is the whole reason why, other than pointing out that having one big irrational belief is likely to mean they have other irrational beliefs, the hosts don’t bother discussing deism.

    That’t the key issue here: Is deism an “irrational belief”?
    If I say that I believe in one creation myth as opposed to accepting evolution as the means of how humans have come about, you can show me the evidence, studies and even certain cells evolving under a microscope. Rationality points to accepting evolution, and I will either embrace that, or find a way to embed it into my existing belief (like, yes that’s how we have become this but it’s god’s way of doing it) or I will insist on my myth the way it is, at the expense of remaining on the “irrational” grounds.
    If I say that I believe the Earth is flat, you can talk to me about the history of how people have discovered it to be a globe, show me photos taken from orbiting satellites, provide me eyewitness testimonies of those who have stepped on the Moon and looked at the blue marble from there.
    If I reject every single evidence and insist on the idea that the Earth is flat, then yes, I will deserve to be called “irrational”.
    However, in the case of deism, one would have to take the burden of proof on himself if he claimed that to be an “irrational” belief.
    Because there is no way of showing that there is no god.
    All you can do is to prove me that there is no good evidence to claim there to be a god.
    The discussion between an atheist and a deist just has to be much different than the one between an atheist and a Christian. Because in the latter, it is the theist who will have to carry all the burden of proof. Can he prove Jesus actually lived? That he rose from the dead? That the complicated history of a god trying to convey a message to people by sacrificing himself to himself can make sense?
    If you debate with the Christian all the way to his rejection of the burden, and if he sees that the belief system he advocates is indefensible and irrational, then he can end up as a deist.
    Now, based on him still holding the belief in a god (but not the Christian God, not the one that comes with all the baggage), can you keep calling him “irrational”?
    I say you can’t, because the only thing left here is the thing the absence of which can not be proven.
    So, what is the position of deism with regards to rationality?
    It’s void.
    The moment you tag deism as “irrational”, you find yourself in a position to be stating that there is an odd number of gumballs in the jar. Yes, he may have no good reason to say it’s an even number, but the train of thought taking him there is no longer marching on the tracks of religion. So, he is not really a passenger of irrational thought.
    Is his belief supported by evidence? No.
    Can he prove it? No.
    But for he is not referring to any other thing that can be disproved, like a resurrection or a flat earth of something to that effect, he cannot be labeled “irrational”.
    Doing so would eventually mean that, atheism, which is by definition “a lack of belief” on the issue, is the ONLY rational position to take, which would mean that rationality would NEVER harbor BELIEF on this issue, an that would make the term “rational belief” an oxymoron.

  116. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    I think you’re wrong. Beliefs are irrational unless demonstrated to be rational. That’s the part you’re missing.

    Also, as EnlightenmentLiberal will say, it is of course possible to falsify gods. The only gods that can’t be falsified are unfalsifiable gods, which are incoherent and thus irrational to believe in.

  117. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #118:

    Is his belief supported by evidence? No.
    […]
    that would make the term “rational belief” an oxymoron

  118. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Murat 118

    “Doing so would eventually mean that, atheism, which is by definition ‘a lack of belief’ on the issue, is the ONLY rational position to take…”

    Now you’re getting it. One cannot have a rational belief in an unfalsifiable concept. I’m sorry if this is inconvenient. The atheist doesn’t adopt a burden of proof by calling deism irrational – if someone claims that their belief is unjustified, the work has already been done.

    Also, I find it interesting that you think that resurrections are falsifiable while the deistic god isn’t. Tell me, how did you conclusively prove that no one, at any time, in any place, ever experienced a resurrection? The most we can say is that this violates all known laws of physics, so we have no reason to believe it could happen – gee, kind of like a mind that exists absent an evolved physical brain…

  119. paxoll says

    @Murat
    I already answered all of that.

    Deism is a philosophical belief based on reason rather than revelation or dogma.

    In this context reason is synonymous with a rational thought process, a rational though process can be organized into a valid argument, and a valid argument is considered evidence.

    That does not mean I don’t have reasons for my beliefs.

    In this context, reason simply means cause. Either way I specifically asked you in the same post you quoted and misunderstood…

    Why do you believe our planet and life were created? You say you think not believing is irrational, but I assume you don’t believe in pixies and spaghetti monsters, so there is obviously some universally known evidence that atheists have access to that makes continuing to not believe irrational in your opinion. What is this evidence?

    This effectively covers both of your usages of the term “reason”. From this information it is very much possible to evaluate whether your “reason” is rational or irrational because the fundamental nature of our universe has led us to laws of logic and in turn arguments that can be evaluated for soundness and validity. For instance, if you say you believe god exists because the universe had a beginning of time, then your argument is irrational unless you can give a necessary reason for one being contingent on the other.

    The answer is we do not know if deism is an irrational belief for someone until they tell us why they believe. When Jimdandy says he has no evidence, no rational argument for his belief…..that is the definition of irrational. The standard position is you do not believe something without a rational reason. I can literally make up an infinite number of concepts and if you reject the standard position then any kind of intellectual honesty will require you believe all of them. Everyone has as Jimdandy put it, a “reason” they believe, and that reason can be evaluated as being rational or irrational.

  120. Murat says

    I will reply one by one to those who have answered to my post.
    But first, I’d like to ask one thing:
    Do you guys agree that, by classifying every other position regarding god under “irrational beliefs” while defining atheism as “lack of a belief in god” rather than “belief in the absence of a god”, you are causing a turbulence either with the definitions, or more seriously, with the very concept of atheism?

    (To be considered also with regards to the difference between atheism and anti-theism / hard atheism, which has been talked about many times on the show)

  121. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    Do you guys agree that, by classifying every other position regarding god under “irrational beliefs” while defining atheism as “lack of a belief in god” rather than “belief in the absence of a god”, you are causing a turbulence either with the definitions, or more seriously, with the very concept of atheism?

    No.
    Easy question, easy answer.

  122. Murat says

    @Sky Captain
    What’s the point of editing two irrelevant parts of a post and creating an amalgam using glue?

  123. Murat says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    Also, I find it interesting that you think that resurrections are falsifiable while the deistic god isn’t. Tell me, how did you conclusively prove that no one, at any time, in any place, ever experienced a resurrection? The most we can say is that this violates all known laws of physics, so we have no reason to believe it could happen – gee, kind of like a mind that exists absent an evolved physical brain…

    You’ve missed the point on that one:
    “Resurrection” did not correspond to “a mind that exists absent of an evolved physical brain” – Resurrection was one of the so called pieces of evidence in an attempt to justify a complex system of belief.
    My argument was that, for the deist already was not using any such tracks, he could not be questioned for any inconsistencies or for “providing false evidence”.
    And I am not sure “a mind that exists absent of an evolved physical brain” is a common denominator for all deists.I wasn’t even aware Jimmy had narrowed it down to that. The more details, the closer it gets to religion…

  124. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #125:
    I saw no need to add new words when I expected your own would be sufficient.

  125. Murat says

    @MS
    What are the options for “rational beliefs on the issue of a god”, then?

  126. Murat says

    @Sky Captain
    You could say that if you had quoted a full sentence instead of cutting pieces from a newsletter to prepare a ransom note.

  127. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    Given that there is currently no genuine evidence (read: data that can only be explained by X) for anything that would typically be classified as a “god,” then clearly belief in anything typically classified as a “god” is irrational.

    Is this not obvious?

  128. Murat says

    @paxoll

    The answer is we do not know if deism is an irrational belief for someone until they tell us why they believe. When Jimdandy says he has no evidence, no rational argument for his belief…..that is the definition of irrational.

    Good.
    So, at least with you, we can agree that there IS the possibility of someone holding his deism as a “not irrational” belief, based on what he could provide us as his path to this point of view.
    We cannot claim his belief to be irrational just by observing how he labels himself.

  129. Murat says

    @MS
    Once that is granted obvious, the two definitions, “atheism is the lack of a belief in god” and “irrational belief” begin to kick each other out of whatever terminology they have so far co-existed in.

  130. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    That makes no sense at all.

    We cannot claim his belief to be irrational just by observing how he labels himself.

    Are you not following the thread?

  131. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Murat 126:

    Prove that the resurrection of Christ conclusively did not, in fact, happen.

    Oh, you can’t? But you just dont believe it? Now you know how I feel about the deistic god. It’s a useless concept.

    @ Murat 132:

    What? Those aren’t “two definitions.” Most of the atheists here would consider all beliefs in a god heretofore professed in human history to be irrational, based on insufficient evidence to demonstrate the existence of a god. Most of the atheists here are also skeptics who would consciously seek not to believe irrational things. Therefore, the skeptics here are atheists, based on their desire to avoid irrational beliefs, which we would hold beliefs in God to be. It’s, like, practically a tautology. I can’t believe I have to spell this out in this much detail…(?)

    Are you trolling? I find it hard to believe that anyone could be this dense. But I’ve been wrong before.

  132. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ 132 cont:

    Bill does not wish to eat foods that are sour. Bill thinks limes are sour. Therefore, Bill does not wish limes. Someone who does not eat limes is called a “non-lime-eater.” Therefore, Bill is a “non-lime-eater.”

    Same structure:

    Bill does not wish to hold beliefs that are irrational. Bill thinks that beliefs in a god or gods are irrational. Therefore, Bill does not believe in a god of gods. Someone who does not believe I’m any gods is called an “atheist.” Therefore, Bill is an “atheist.”

    Is that clear enough? Do you get it yet?

  133. Murat says

    @MS re: #133
    The question is aimed at paxoll based on his quoted remarks.
    Let him first tell if he agrees with what those remarks eventually mean.

  134. Murat says

    Bill thinks that beliefs in a god or gods are irrational.

    -wp #135 👎
    .
    .

    Whether a thing is rational or not does not depend on personal viewpoint or belief.

    – indianajones #105 👍

  135. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    Based on post #137, it’s clear that it is you who doesn’t understand.

  136. Jimdandy says

    It seems to me that there are arguments developing concerning rationality. Atheists think that beliefs in any god are irrational. They have their reasons the strongest of which is there is no evidence of such gods.

    Theists and Deists for that matter think that their beliefs are rational. They too have their reasons which could be many, but none of them based on evidence. And I would bet the majority of people in the latter group would think atheism is irrational.

    This is nothing new, it has been around for a very very long time. I doubt it will be solved anytime soon. The exchange could go on forever, unless a rationality referee steps in.

  137. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jimdandy #139:

    Theists and Deists for that matter think that their beliefs are rational.

    Oh, good. After all these centuries, what have the theologians finally come up with?
     

    none of them based on evidence.

    Uh… huh…

  138. Jimdandy says

    So Captain, evidence and only evidence is the key to a belief you would define as rational. Fine

    But more than 5 billion people on this planet will disagree with you, even in spite of all of the scientific advances we have made over time. They believe that faith is rational. Why is that?

  139. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jimdandy $141:

    They believe that faith is rational.

    That word, ‘faith’. What does that word mean, as it appears in your sentence?

  140. Jimdandy says

    Their particular belief. I could have said they think their beliefs are rational

  141. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Murat 137:

    Yes, there is a difference between whether or not someone *believes* something is rational, and whether or not it *actually* is. But if you’re an atheist because you believe that beliefs in god are irrational, then your post 132 makes no sense. You still haven’t explained what your “two definitions”” are or why they are in conflict. Thanks for avoiding this larger point at all costs, troll.

    @ Jim 141

    “Why is that?”

    Over-interpretations of agenticity in nature, embrace of arguments from ignorance, social pressures, political conquests tied to religion, malleability of belief systems that can adapt as conflicting evidence emerges, the lauding of “faith” as a virtue in order to discourage critical inquiry, and other various factors. Anticitizenx has a good series of YouTube videos on this very topic entitled “Psychology of Religion.”

  142. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Jim 141 continued:

    Earlier you dismissed the resurrection of Christ, but there are around 2.3 billion Christians who believe that their belief in the resurrection is rational. Why is that?

    See, I can play this game too.

  143. Monocle Smile says

    Looks like we’ve gotten to the argumentum ad a million flies can’t be wrong stage of apologetics. It’s simply depressing to see people think so poorly.

  144. Murat says

    @Jimdandy
    You have some valid points in the discussion but you resort to cheap fallacies so often that the better of you can’t surface.
    Mentioning billions of people for defending a position of belief in the light of rationality is absurd. Each of those believers may well be irrational on the issue.
    Even though your way of defending where you stand is far from ideal, I don’t think you are as implausible as some here scream out loud.
    My take on the issue of rationality is as follows:
    Not every “unsubstantiated” claim has to be “irrational”.
    I get out of my home in midnight, then I find myself laying on the grass in a distant city. Now, what might have happened?
    I may have had a blackout as a result of some medication.
    Or perhaps, something hit me on the head and then I lost my conscience, did things like taking a bus to here for no good reason.
    Let’s say I am kind of a MAGA guy, and the first thing to pop in my mind is a Mexican cartel building a conspiracy around me.
    As long as I have no video footage or reliable eyewitness accounts, countless examples of such probabilities will remain “unsubstantiated”.
    However, if I tend to believe that a moon dragon hypnotized me, carried me with his fangs while flying to its cave on the dark side of the moon, fed my brain waves to its telepathic, hungry baby dragons, and then dropped me off in that distant place, well, I’d call that “irrational”…
    Because this in no way connects to my daily life, to how I know or believe the world to work, or to what I can find examples of.
    Even though some of the “unsubstantiated” explanations -such as the one that seems to be related to whatever toxic effect that MAGA hat might have had on me- seem to be far fetched, they can still have slight chances of being actually true.
    But the moon dragon story, well, that’s the “irrational” one.
    I don’t have evidence for any of the probabilities. Still, that particular one requires evidence of a much different kind: First, I have to prove that the moon dragon exists. For the other options, we already have what to start with: There ARE drugs that can affect people in weird ways. There ARE Mexicans, even if they are not really whom I think them to be. There ARE unexplained kinds of behavior seen in the case of blunt force trauma.
    Now, at this point, many atheists would claim that the moon dragon would be similar to the god of a deist as it lacks evidence the same way, hence, deism should be tagged “irrational” as well.
    I disagree.
    Because the deist is taking a position on a question that is valid, by using deductions that are not tailored to fit into a pattern (such as religion) and his statement on the issue is too vague to cross the border from “unsubstantiated” to “irrational”.
    The way I see it, anyone who says “I do not believe in the existence of a god” instead of saying “No god exists” is already admitting to having taken the very same path of deductions till the final exit.
    Every irrational belief is unsubstantiated, but not every unsubstantiated belief is irrational.
    Paxoll’s post, the way I read it in #131, comes closest to how I feel on the issue.
    So, based on what you have to say about justifying your deistic belief, it can be found simply “unsubstantiated”, or “irrational”, or even “dumb as fuck”.
    But no, I do not agree that it just HAS to be labeled “irrational” solely because it is (and it really IS) “unsubstantiated”.

  145. Jimdandy says

    @ Murat
    I agree. Articulating arguments like this is not my best skill. I’m a mechanical guy. What I am trying to illustrate with rationality is this:

    A woman says a Rosary in the morning, some guy gets on a mat and prays 5x/day. They then go about the business of their lives.
    On the other side of town is a young man, who believes we exist in a Matrix like reality. He believes the Archons have sent agents here to spy and screw up our lives here. He believes people with black hair and blue eyes are those agents, and they must be eliminated to free mankind from the matrix. And he stalks and kills his targets until he is caught. From what I have gleaned during this conversation, is that most here would take the beliefs of the first 2 people in my illustration as irrational. I’m confident they would also take the 3rd person as irrational. So doesn’t irrational have degrees like so many other things? Can anyone say the Rosary woman and the Muslim man are as equally irrational as the serial killer? In my opinion, that thought itself is irrational. It reminds me of some of the religious dialogue particularly the christian one, on the topic of sin. I’ve heard it said that willfully neglecting to return a pencil you were loaned (cuz you needed one) is the same level of sin (in gods eye) as raping and killing children. According to these types…sin is sin. I sincerely hope that no logical person, atheist or not, can put the examples I just made in the same boat. So ya, my beliefs may be irrational to some. The beliefs of religious observers are irrational to me .I’ll take the unsubstantiated label, because it is. I’m totally ok with that. But I’ve been around for a while. I am living in a peace the last 12 yrs or so of my life that I’ve never experienced before. And this is in spite of tragic,personal events that have taken place the last couple of years. I never was a religious believer. When I was an atheist which was most of my life, I struggled with certain issues, questions that I would ask myself and contemplate. I lived a good life, but I had an undercurrent of uneasiness about me at times. Maybe I wasn’t a good atheist or…. maybe I wasn’t “really” an atheist. You know, the way you will here some say about folks who are now atheist but were once born again christians, “they weren’t “really” saved or whatever LOL. 🙂 The only thing I am certain of, that I have undeniable evidence and proof of, is that one day we close our eyes for good, and every one of us gets a shot at finding out.

  146. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #149:

    the deist is taking a position on a question that is valid, by using deductions […] and his statement on the issue is too vague to cross the border from “unsubstantiated” to “irrational”.

    Deductions from on what, leading to what?
     
    Please provide an example of what you consider a rational deistic deduction.
     
    An example that doesn’t amount to grammatically correct nonsense and doesn’t involve epistemically inaccessible attributes. If one wants to make a claim about reality, it needs to relate to (potentially) observable reality (as opposed to some fictional realm). Or are you saying bafflegab is rational because it can’t be refuted with contradictory evidence?
     
    One can have a structurally valid argument (in the abstract), but to take the added step of declaring its conclusion to be a claim about reality without soundness would be irrational. Didn’t get there from here.
     
     
    /To be clear, irrational (inadequate application of logic, justification, and fact verification) is not synonymous with delusional (strong conviction even when presented with superior evidence to the contrary).

  147. Theisntist says

    The rosary lady, the muslim and the murderer are equally irrational, since their belief systems are equally unjustifiable. Sure, some irrational beliefs are more harmful than others, but here’s the thing, living in a world where irrational beliefs are the accepted norm leads to the full spectrum of irrationality. Skeptics aren’t necessarily focused on the belief itself so much as the means by which the belief is arrived at, namely without proper evidence. Skepticism helps eliminate all forms of irrational beliefs, from the most benign to the most dangerous.

    I would use placebos as an example. Some are quite dangerous, expensive or lead to the extinction of rhinos, while others are relatively cheap with no side effects, such as homeopathy. Sure, I would definitely prefer being in a world where homeopathy is common instead of virgin sacrifices, but since they both come from human ignorance I am going to encourage people to use actual medicine.

  148. Murat says

    @SkyCaptain
    Before answering the primary question, I’d like to know something about your final remark:

    To be clear, irrational (inadequate application of logic, justification, and fact verification) is not synonymous with delusional (strong conviction even when presented with superior evidence to the contrary).

    So, are you saying that deists are not delusional but irrational, while religious people are both delusional are irrational?
    Is this where you draw the line and differentiate the two groups?

  149. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #154:

    are you saying that deists are not delusional but irrational, while religious people are both delusional and irrational?

    I wasn’t drawing a line. I was only pointing out, as an aside, a potential misapprehension on your part that might’ve been lurking behind your comments. Theists saturated in misinformation and sheltered from contradictory evidence by isolation or distracted incuriosity wouldn’t have the circumstance to expose even colloquial delusion. They would still be irrational on the subject and unaware of it.
     
    Please provide an example of what you consider a rational deistic deduction.
     
    From what, leading to what?

  150. GumB. says

     
    @Murat #149

     
    When you give your examples of what might have happened to the unconscious person, it’s not about the likeliness or unlikeliness of the content within any of the hypothetical possibilities that is the irrational thing or not … you’re focusing on the wrong thing here. What’s irrational is picking one of the scenarios and claiming, “yes, that’s definitely what happened during the unconscious period” … when you really don’t know at all what happened during the unconscious period. It’s about picking one of the myriad of possibilities, and deciding yes, this is the thing I am going to arbitrarily decide happened and be convinced that is the truth … when I really don’t know what happened at all (and maybe even can’t know.)

    Speculate, fine. But conclude when you really don’t know? That’s what’s irrational.

     
    Yes, some claims are more outlandish than others (such as the moon dragon claim,) but the issue isn’t really about how outlandish the scenario is or isn’t. The deeper issue is about when someone really doesn’t have any clue what happened to them at all ( like under your unconscious scenario) … but then goes on to pick one of those possibilities and then claims THAT is the thing that definitely happened to them, and says they’re sure enough to hang their hat on that conclusion. It’s irrational to claim to be certain about one of the scenarios when you know you really have no idea WHAT happened to you at all.

     
    You seem to be looking at the likelihood of the hypothesis being true as a determination of “rational or irrational” … I would say it’s about someone who has taken that further step and decided that something unsubstantiated has been substantiated … that is the thing that is irrational. It’s not so much about the outlandishness of the claim … it’s that the person has decided they “know” something that they really “don’t know” at all. That’s what’s irrational.

     
    In theist/deist debates … it’s not the outlandishness of the claim that’s being contested, it’s that the person has concluded certainty about something that they cannot in any way be certain about at all. It’s a big red flag. It’s about saying something unsubstantiated IS substantiated, which is irrational. That’s what’s irrational about it … not the details of the claim (even though the details of the claim may be pretty unlikely as well … or even not.) It’s about saying you’re there … when you really aren’t yet. That’s what’s irrational about it … not so much about where you say you’re going.

     
    To hypothesize that an unsubstantiated thing may be possible … hey, let’s go find out = not irrational.
    To conclude that a completely unsubstantiated thing has been substantiated = not rational.

     
    It’s about claiming to know something to be true when you really don’t know … that’s what’s irrational.

    Picking one of the causes for the unconscious episode and claiming that’s for certain what happened to you, when you really don’t know, is when things become irrational. That’s what (many? most?) theists/deists are doing. Claiming something to be true when they really don’t know.

  151. Theisntist says

    Thanks Daniel for the Dillahunty link. I was vaguely suspicious of how Katilyn described her book, but didn’t have enough information for an informed opinion. Matt’s critique rings true, you don’t need to invent a new religion to maintain the status quo.

    Sounds like it was a good choice for Matt to not host the show, although it’s been too long!

  152. Murat says

    @Sky Captain
    *
    The device I’m currently on is not too comfortable for detailed texts, so I may not be able to elaborate as well as I’d like to, but I will do my best to respect the momentum of an exchange to which I have participated willingly till now. Because this thread won’t remain hot for long, as the new episode will reign. Sorry in advance for more typos than usual.
    *

    Deductions from what, leading to what?

    From the very fact of the observable existence, to whatever precedes or lies behind it.
    ***
    Let’s imagine the deist, the atheist and the religious as they watch history unfold in a different pace, from outer space, with some anachronism here and there for the sake of the example:
    R: It’s Zeus who is throwing at us those lightning bolts! We gotta respect his will in order not to be punished!
    A: I don’t see no Zeus at all. Be reasonable. These seem to be the outcome of some very natural interactions. I wanna study on that for a while.
    D: I don’d see no Zeus either. “A” has a point there. Let’s try to understand what’s going on. But, be it Zeus or not, all this universe around us, those stars… Maybe not the way the “R” narrates it, not so directly involved in us, but something…
    A: Ssshh! STFU! You two go ponder about your imaginary forces as I study these fucking bolts!
    D: I’d be happy to assist, if I can be of any help…
    A: Hold this, then!
    ***
    R: Well okay, here we got the electricity, so the nights are less scary now! Thanks, “A”! had it not been for your efforts, we would’ve still been living in those caves, God forbid!
    A: What does not exist can not forbid! It was Zeus once, or Odin, or Jahweh, or Ra, and now… What time is it?
    D: Something past Christ… Ooops, look, there htey have already sent a rocket this way!
    R: All they will find will be what God already said in the holy texts!
    A: You said that before, back when you were claiming the earth did not exist, not even when you were a fan of Zeus! Stop trying to update yourself at the expense of denying reality in a pathetic way! Makes you look ridiculous!
    D: I agree with “A”. Your claims and prejudice have been blocking our studies. Why the early conviction?
    R: Are you not as convicted as I am that there is a God?
    D: I am, but what does that have anything to do with how we can try and understand our circumstances? “A” here has been proven right about how science works where prayer fails.
    R: So, you are with him? An infidel, then, according to my scripture! you gotta abide by the revelation word by word!
    D: I don’t believe in the scripture, you know that!
    ***
    R: The gates of Hell are open all the way! A man marrying another man! That’s travesty! An abomination!
    A: Move on, man. Nobody cares any more! Shove it!
    D: I see nothing wrong with such marriages, because I already do not have a scripture to follow. Dear “R”, had you been as open to things as I am, you would be able to digest such change over time much more easily.
    A: Stop pretending like your are any better than him! You have this unsubstantiated conviction of yours, too! The fact that you are being nice to facts does not mean that you are not irrational about that ages old issue!
    ***
    ***
    Deism does not indoctrinate people to challenge reason while practicing sciences. Wherever the evidence is leading the study, they go there without preconceptions of dogmatic nature. They do not have a reason to stick to pieces of already disproved information.
    I had asked Jimmy if the God he believed to exist had intelligence, and he said yes. I’m not sure every single deist agree on that kind of a god. The vagueness of the “starter force” they believe in (without necessarily “investing in”) has not been constructed in a way to derail scientific progress. Indeed, there were deists who have helped reason prevail in their times and societies. Such as Benjamin Franklin. I am well aware that, the fact that BF had a sharp mind and a reason to match with contemporary, atheist scientists does not in a way mean that his position on the issue of god had to be “correct”.
    What I’m saying is that, even if he was “wrong” about it, the faculties of his brain were in sync on all issues. He invented the lightning rod. He did not look up in the sky and said “The god I believe in must be throwing at us these lightning bolts!”
    No, he knew very well that the probable creator of all existence would not mind one single human solve a problem. The god in his mind may have been a side effect of the religious era he was part of, but he was also in circles in which rationality prevailed so well that, he also had the gates to atheism open in front of him.
    Debatable? Maybe. But a man who could come out as “not a Christian” had little to worry about rejecting the idea of god altogether.
    Before you do it, let me provide you also with the examples of Newton or Mendel, who were “Christian scientists”, the existence of whom you can rightfully use to make the point that, someone doing rational things in one field does not mean they would be “irrationality-free” on all fronts. And I’ll give it to you, yes, agreed! But the punchline is that, unlike those religion-bound names, BF had already unshackled himself from whatever would block his critical thinking. Had he been alive, maybe he would observe the current state of knowledge, understanding and evidence and switch to atheism. The man was good at working with what he got. And what else is “rationality”, other than working with what you got, instead of making up stuff and adding it to what you got, while not using some of what you got with the fear of whatever?
    *

    Please provide an example of what you consider a rational deistic deduction.

    An example that doesn’t amount to grammatically correct nonsense and doesn’t involve epistemically inaccessible attributes. If one wants to make a claim about reality, it needs to relate to (potentially) observable reality (as opposed to some fictional realm).

    That’s exactly the point I am making:
    Even though there may be differences in how deists perceive god to be (like, having or not having intent, being eternal or not, etc) they do not place this god in a “fictional realm”. Indeed, they are as okay with marching through this very realm and accept whatever scientific discoveries would come on the way.
    Irrational is:
    “I am a Christian from XYZ denomination, hence, I can not accept that the Earth is older than 10.000 years old!”
    Rational is:
    “I am a deist and I am okay with whatever age the related studies will determine for the universe, the Earth and whatever else to be. Because it does not affect at all my belief in a god. I have no scripture in hand to fuck my brain up.”
    *
    The way I understand you, you are stating that, the belief of god that he already has (which is an unsubstantiated belief) is likely to make him take a wrong step while studying whatever. And at this point, I think the burden of proof is on you to provide an example to what kind a step such a vague belief could cause. Only thing to pop in mind is that he would at one HUGE point be in a position to get a result that would “disprove” god, and he would rig it just in order not to depart from his belief.
    You know what? Till he actually DOES that, he is NOT irrational! The way some insist of labeling the deistic belief as “irrational” forces on the issue a “Minority Report” story. If the deist really marches so far into sciences that he can find himself in a position to be the very person to disprove his own belief, now THAT will be test for him/her to determine whether he is “rational” or “irrational” with regards to his belief.
    *
    Lawrence Krauss is one of my favorite scientist, favorite science communicators, favorite atheists. He chooses his words very well. And not for being “politically correct”, but I believe for being “scientifically correct”. For Neil DeGrasse Tyson, well, you can think of political correctness taking the wheel at times where scientific correctness would be too sharp. But Krauss, no.
    Just wanted to mention that, because I want to narrow it down to his remarks on the issue: He says a god is “not necessary” for the universe to exist. He doesn’t say a god would “contradict” with how the universe is we know it to be.
    From the start of this exchange on the issue of deism being irrational or not, THIS has been one of the points of argument for me: If we currently have nothing in hand to check with and claim for a fact that the universe and what engulfs it are “definitely godless”, then, still within the reaches of reason, there exists this possibility of a god.
    Don’t get me wrong: I really KNOW how remarkable a claim it is to say that a god is NOT NECESSARY, because I am aware on what “necessity” means both in the history of science and in the history of religions and their defense against fine questions from the skeptics.
    Scientific discoveries, at least as of today, do not OVERRULE the probability of the existence of a god. Simply because they can not. That very same vagueness is functional also on this part. What makes Matt Dillahunty define atheism as “Lack of belief in a god” and NOT as “Belief in the lack of a god” is the very same, careful, correct, and rational deduction.
    There is a further argument that I’d like to go from here, but you’ll have to excuse me as this was already too much of a struggle on this particular device, I’d be happy to get back to this thread later if the discussion is ongoing, just signal me on the hot thread.

  153. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #159:

    whatever precedes or lies behind it

    So the deduction is an unreachable… nondescript context… in the past (or something present but somehow just as inaccessible)… Is there a god in this “whatever” context? Is the “whatever” supposed to be the rational deist’s definition of “god”? Is “whatever” a plural or composite noun? If we were able to reach that context, how would we recognize “god” there as distinguished from something else? That’s not vague. That’s vacuous.
     

    If we currently have nothing in hand to check with and claim for a fact that the universe and what engulfs it are “definitely [whatever]less”, then, still within the reaches of reason, there exists this possibility of a god.

    There is no path to rationally justifying a belief if there is nothing to check. Possibility of discovering evidence for a [noun] is only a possibility of some day becoming a believer. Defining a deist’s god as forever beyond our reach precludes discovering it, and ever justifiably believing it exists.
     
    One needs to get there from here to justify it.
    Without content, there’s no there there to justify.

     

    you are stating that, the belief of god that he already has (which is an unsubstantiated belief) is likely to make him take a wrong step while studying whatever.

    No. Not the belief. The lax personal standards that allowed the belief. It’s not a cause. It’s a symptom.
     
    A sovereign citizen, a creationist, an anti-vaxxer, and a conspiracy theorist walk into a bar. He orders a drink.
     
     
    In a perverse meta way, I suppose you could try to argue that one rational means of reining in someone with an unshakable habit of [reckless disregard for truth] would be by staking out a persistent niche of ignorance to do that in… and to try to keep it compartmentalized and irrelevant. Perhaps explicitly writing fiction would be unsatisfying.
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Bullshit

    “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly.”

     
    Podcast: Archaeological Fantasies – 80 Mayan Hieroglyphics with Jeb Card (1:05:54)

    What y’all call the fringe […] on the one hand love hieroglyphs, and on the other hand they can’t stand them. […] If you look at the history of decipherment, there is a repeated history of people claiming they understand ancient writings – and especially what are called hieroglyphs of various places – but not really being able to understand them. And then once these things actually can be read, all the sudden, they lose their mysticism, and they lose a lot of value.

  154. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #159:

    What I’m saying is that, even if he was “wrong” about it, the faculties of his brain were in sync on all issues. He invented the lightning rod. He did not look up in the sky and said “The god I believe in must be throwing at us these lightning bolts!”

    He just didn’t think God was aiming the bolts, at least not reliably, against Christians as a group.
     
    Book: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

    here is my Creed: I believe in one God, creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we can render to him, is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever sect I meet with them.
     
    As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom Dr. Stiles particularly desired, I think the system of morals and his religion as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity: tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatise upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm however in its being believed, if that Belief has the good consequence as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed, especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme Being takes it amiss, by distinguishing the believers, in his government of the world, with any particular marks of his displeasure.
     
    I shall only add respecting myself, that having experienced the goodness of that Being, in conducting me prosperously thro’ a long life, I have no doubt of its continuance in the next, tho’ without the smallest conceit of meriting such goodness.

  155. Murat says

    There is no path to rationally justifying a belief if there is nothing to check. Possibility of discovering evidence for a [noun] is only a possibility of some day becoming a believer. Defining a deist’s god as forever beyond our reach precludes discovering it, and ever justifiably believing it exists.

    Okay.
    Based on that reasoning, putting the atheist position aside, would you also be okay with calling the belief in the hard atheist / anti-theist position that “there definitely are no gods” an irrational one?

  156. GumB. says

     
    @Murat #163

     
    “… would you also be okay with calling the belief in the hard atheist / anti-theist position that “there definitely are no gods” an irrational one?”

     
    Yes, Murat … it’s irrational to claim something as being definite when you haven’t definitively proven it. If I tell you there’s a goat tied up in your backyard, and you can’t get out of your house to verify my claim, then you don’t know there’s a goat out there till you can verify it. It’s also equally irrational to claim you now know there is definitely no goat out there for the very same reason … because you can’t get out of the house to check for yourself, so you simply don’t know. Claiming to definitely know something is there, when you really actually don’t know that it’s there at all … is the irrational thing about all of it.

     
    I’ve never understood why this is so hard for people to wrap their minds around. If someone says to you that you owe them fifty bucks, but you (honestly) don’t recall ever owing them fifty bucks, I would hope you’re going to ask them for some proof of their claim before you just hand fifty bucks over to them. Or, imagine they claim you owe them ten thousand dollars, or one hundred thousand dollars? If you honestly don’t recall owing them any money at all, and especially if their story behind why you owe them this money is really strange and sketchy sounding … aren’t you going to not believe them until they can provide you with some sort of solid proof that demonstrates why you owe them this money? Until they do, your default position is (hopefully) going to be that you aren’t going give them any money until they can prove their claim.

     
    People, even christians, can apply this sort of skeptical logic when buying a used car … so where does this logical ability to be discerning disappear to when they consider the veracity of god claims? It’s a pretty simple concept that people use everyday to evaluate advertising claims while they’re shopping. What changes when the claims are about the supernatural? Social pressure? A personal choice to shut off their critical thinking under special circumstances because they want it to be true?

     
    Believing something you can’t verify … especially when it has profound effects on people’s lives … is irrational.

     
    Buyer: Why is this house I’m considering purchasing so expensive?
    Seller: Oh, because you’re also paying for the undiscovered geological gold deposit underneath of it.
    Buyer: Can you prove to me that there’s gold under the property before I pay you this inflated price?
    Seller: No, you’ll have to pay the full price, and then you can go discover the gold for yourself after you’ve bought it.

     
    ?

     
    It’s not hard to understand, unless maybe someone doesn’t really want to see the logic of it.

  157. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    You have a rare talent for missing the point. I’m starting to think it’s intentional.
    Also, that’s quite an incomplete mangling of hard atheism. I feel like Matt Dillahunty in particular has made it very easy to avoid this kind of sloppiness.

  158. Murat says

    @MS
    Is your answer to that latest question “No”?
    (You can base the answer on the description there, regardless of it fitting into the correct definition of hard atheism – just think of those who carry this conviction as a “belief” and state it so.)

  159. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    I’d have to ask more questions, but tentatively, yes, that would be irrational.
    What does this distraction have to do with the rationality of deism?

  160. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Murat 162:

    Stop straw manning. Very few of the atheists here, even the hard atheists, would say that “definitely, no god exists.” The most we (certainly I) would likely say is that “I believe there are no gods,” based on an application of the null hypothesis.

    The fact that you’re spending all of this time and effort trying to find some way to consider deism to be “rational” under some definition of the word instead of, you know, just giving some straightforward, compelling reasons why anyone should be a deist, tells me everything I need to know. You’re fighting tooth and nail to figure out *some* way to draw an epistemological equivalence between deism and atheism. Please stop. If you believe in a deist god, then just freaking explain why.

  161. Murat says

    @MS
    Okay, we agree on one level.
    Now that you are making it clear you think it would be irrational to believe for certain that there are no gods, then it is coherent within the same terminology to say that it is also irrational to believe in a god of deism.
    *
    There’s another aspect of this issue, something that I believe derives from pushing the terminology, which I believe has negative effects on how atheism is perceived in society. If what I wrote above clears out my reason for focusing on the lingual technicality, then I can share further thoughts about that other aspect for those interested.

  162. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    No, I don’t really care to hear your boring-ass “thoughts” about atheism that probably amount to little more than concern trolling.

    I’d rather you just answer the fucking question that you’re desperately avoiding.

  163. sayamything says

    Katilyn seems nice and all, but her book sounds utterly cringe worthy. I mean, her attitude is a good one: women getting women out of religion sounds great. It’s just the part where the book that’s supposed to do it sounds like Zeitgeist, or other “documentaries” the hosts have pooh-poohed in the past.

  164. SamFromUK says

    @GumB,

    “Believing something you can’t verify … especially when it has profound effects on people’s lives … is irrational.”

    Some of us deists can verify it.
    I see where you’re coming from but as Matt Hunty says…he needs convincing not just evidence. The evidence is all around you, question is whether you will be convinced by it. Matt chooses not to be convinced and even if he was he doesn’t really care in the existence of God like many militant atheists now. So some deists are not irrational, we have good reasons to believe.

  165. Jimdandy says

    @Sam from UK
    I have good reasons to believe in intelligent design over random occurrence. The patterns I see repeated in nature, the macro and the micro. The exponentially higher development of the human species over all other life forms on the planet. As far as ‘profound impact on ones life’ if you can call a tranquil, unworried existence in a state of continued gratitude profound, then so be it. Most of these folks here will default to skepticism as their argument but as you can see in this thread, it soon turns into philosophical concepts and terminology ad nausea. The thought process is if one can believe this (Deist) than one can, may, or will believe anything, which is just an assertion on their part. Religion and Atheism as far as I see them are 2 sides of the same coin. Thanks for chiming in.

  166. GumB. says

     
    @Jimdandy and Sam from UK
     

    When I said “profound effects on people’s lives” (which you reworded into ‘profound impact on one’s life’) I wasn’t meaning, as you elaborated, “a tranquil, unworried existence in a state of continued gratitude.” I was meaning things like dictating other people’s choices to them, persecution of other’s, etc, etc. Ingroup/outgroup out group dysfunction and persecution of “the other.” I meant negative effects on the other’s whom you persecute and who’s lives you damage with your judgement and condemnation.
     

    Also, regarding you saying a default to skepticism “turns into philosophical concepts and terminology ad nausea” … nothing seems more disconnected, vague and reaching than defining god as, (paraphrase) “everything you see happening around you in reality because it’s just so darn cool.” You seem to be projecting about who is presenting the intangible and sweeping disconnected nonsense here.

     
    I’ve always been unimpressed with assertions that the beauty, or complexity, or wonder of nature, is evidence for a supernatural creator. All that demonstrates is that nature can, at times, be beautiful, or complex, or wondrous. You’ll have to do better than to just point to a tree and call that evidence of god. It’s not, it’s evidence of a tree.

     
    On another note,
     

    “The exponentially higher development of the human species over all other life forms on the planet.”

     
    That’s an opinion and debatable. It’s subjective, and also happens to be a position invented and passed down to us by the very same culture that created all these savior religions. Indigenous people’s never held such a view. The separation of man from nature may very well be one of the most self damaging beliefs religion ever came up with. Time will tell, and so far it doesn’t look so good. The wise ape hasn’t turned out to be all that wise in the long run, only maybe just cunning and clever as he wipes out the very biosphere that sustains his life. It’s a hierarchical disregard for other life that you just espoused, that it’s all beneath you and that your species is god’s golden child, created in his image even. Careful you don’t fall off that narcissistic pedestal.
     

    Sorry guys, pointing to a tree or a stream or a fuzzy feeling in your tummy … isn’t evidence of a god any more than it”s evidence of a unicorn. Again, as I put forth in my previous comment, why do you apply critical thinking when you’re shopping, and then compartmentalize it away and not use it in this one instance? I’d say you’re the one’s making an arbitrary choice here. Yes, I would agree you’ve both been convinced of something.

  167. Monocle Smile says

    @Sam
    Eat shit.

    @Jimdandy
    After watching a past call and browsing the associated thread, I found some past posts of yours babbling about Archons and shit. It’s pretty obvious that you’re just another troll. Fuck off.

  168. SamFromUK says

    @Jimdandy,

    You’re welcome. Excuse Monocles language, he has issues.

    You may already know this but randomness is just another created concept by God which we use to arrive to intelligent design.

  169. SamFromUK says

    @GumB,

    “When I said “profound effects on people’s lives” (which you reworded into ‘profound impact on one’s life’) I wasn’t meaning, as you elaborated, “a tranquil, unworried existence in a state of continued gratitude.” I was meaning things like dictating other people’s choices to them, persecution of other’s, etc, etc. Ingroup/outgroup out group dysfunction and persecution of “the other.” I meant negative effects on the other’s whom you persecute and who’s lives you damage with your judgement and condemnation.”

    Isn’t the above all subjective? Whatever your thoughts and opinions are are all subjective and have no meaning or effect on the universe. You’ll be dead soon and all those who you worried about will dead too and it will all have been meaningless so why the big fuss?

  170. SamFromUK says

    @GumB,

    “I’ve always been unimpressed with assertions that the beauty, or complexity, or wonder of nature, is evidence for a supernatural creator. All that demonstrates is that nature can, at times, be beautiful, or complex, or wondrous. You’ll have to do better than to just point to a tree and call that evidence of god. It’s not, it’s evidence of a tree.”

    It is what it is. If you’re not convinced by it then that’s just something you have to deal with and wonder why you can’t accept that as evidence of God. I’ll admit I wasn’t convinced at first but it took some time (years). It needs some deep thinking.

    There’s no such that as something “natural” and something created by God. Everything is a creation of God including nature. Question is how do you distinguish God if everything is a creation. It’s not possible to compare a Godless universe with one which has God. This is because if there is a Godless universe or something which God has not created then the definition of God is incorrect. What you really mean then is a powerful being who has control over the universe but some limitations. God does not have any limitations whatsoever. If he did, then he is not God and just a powerful and very knowledgable being.

    I and many deists have applied critical thinking. It’s just that you may not be aware of it.

  171. Jimdandy says

    Monocle is a very frustrated individual, as one can clearly see. Everyone is ‘butthurt” except him apparently. As far as GumB’s thoughts. Yes it’s true, every day I see Deists dictating other people’s choices and persecuting them. I think he has uncovered the secret Deist plan for global domination. You know we just say “look at the trees”. The fact is many atheists become bitter over the concept of intelligent creation without the religious dogma associated with it. As for humans and their place on this planet? Atheists seem to think we are not any different than any other species. Which is nonsense. I suggest GumB reads The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker. I lived much of my life in agnostic atheism. I’m happy I’m not there anymore.

  172. GumB. says

    @SamFromUk

     
    There’s nothing subjective about watching people legislate bans against, say for instance, same sex marriage. That’s an objective observation, not my subjective opinion. It actually happens. Same with watching a family disown a son or daughter for not blindly following the parents religion. Those are objective demonstrations of harm to those individuals, and not just my own subjective opinion that they are happening. See the difference?

     
    When I used the word subjective, I referred to the claim:

     
    “The exponentially higher development of the human species over all other life forms on the planet.”

     
    See why that is just a subjective opinion? Because there are demonstrations of other life forms on the planet that are just as developed as we are, or even more so, within their particular niche. Dolphin’s, for example, demonstrate understanding of our language better than even we ourselves do. Birds fly better. Monkeys jump around in trees better. Fish swim better. There are many other examples too, I’ll let you search for them yourself if you want to. That’s why I called that claim the subjective opinion of an individual, because it can be demonstrated to just be a person’s personal opinion, and not an actual fact … some people just feel that way about our species, but it’s not an actual “truth.” It’s like me saying I’m better than you. It’s really quite an arbitrary thing to say.

     
    On the other hand, direct objective observations of religious people persecuting others who are not of their faith, or persecuting and punishing those who don’t follow their religious edicts, is a demonstrable thing. It’s not just my personal opinion that these things are happening … it’s an objective reality that can be observed and demonstrated to be happening, independent of my subjective opinion about whether or not it’s happening. We can look and see it going on. That’s an objective observation.

     

    … …
    Moving on to another note …

     
    You: “God exists.”

     
    Me: Prove it, because that’s just an assertion. Demonstrate it.

     
    You: “Because I look around and it ‘seems’ to me to be so in everything I see.”

     
    Me: That’s not a demonstration, nothing indicates any of it was created by any god, not even the cool and complex parts.

     
    You: “Yes it is, because everything is a creation of god.”

     
    Me: But you’re just presupposing that, it’s a circular argument. It does not demonstrate your original claim to be true, because you haven’t demonstrated that god created everything either. You’ve just added another unsupported abstraction is all.
     

     

    That’s not critical thinking, it’s sloppy thinking. I’m sure you do much better when you’re shopping with your money.

    … …

     
    This is why religious people eventually admit they just believe it all on blind faith. So, I see no reason for the mental gymnastics of trying to make it sound reasonable or logical. Reality is, you have no reason to believe it, but yet you do … which is the definition of word irrational. Then, we can point to the damage those irrational beliefs do to others, and objectively see the problem with all of it. Why not just be honest and admit you don’t know? Why the games to make it sound like you do know when you know it’s based only on blind faith? Are you ashamed of admitting that, or are you maybe trying to fool yourself here? Because you’re not fooling me. The fact is … you don’t know. Why the word salad trying to sound like you have proof? Is that to ease your own cognitive dissonance, to make believe like you do know when you don’t? That’s why eventually people always fall back to the faith argument. So why the elusive (and illogical) word games?

  173. SamFromUK says

    @JimDandy,

    “As for humans and their place on this planet? Atheists seem to think we are not any different than any other species. ”

    It’s so obvious that humans are far and above any creature on the earth that we know of, which makes it irrational for anyone to argue against it. Granted in terms of physical attributes we are simliar to many animals but at the intellectual level there is no other animal that comes anywhere near humans.

  174. GumB. says

    @Jimdandy

     
    After encountering you in this thread, I would agree with those who say you’re just a troll.
    You appear to just come here to beak off your subjective emotions. Pretty goofy behavior, actually.

  175. GumB. says

    “at the intellectual level there is no other animal that comes anywhere near humans.”

    As we pollute ourselves into extinction and eradicate the wider web of life on the planet with our christian derived scorched earth policy of humans before any and all other creatures … you’re assertion is laughable and contradicts direct observations. Cunning, is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. That’s what we’re beginning to find out about ourselves.

    Religious people just like to make shit up.

  176. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Monocle Smile #176:

    I found some past posts of yours babbling about Archons and shit. It’s pretty obvious that you’re just another troll.

     
    Comment: Axp 22.16 – Jimdandy #62

    The Demiurge created this universe and it’s inhabitants. We are part of it, players in the game so to speak. Part of this creation are the principalities referred to as demons, jinn, and other names in religions. These are the Archons. Inorganic beings whose very fuel of existence is human emotions. The Archons cannot create like we are able to. They are responsible for getting and keeping us here in this dense physical plane. […] Most of us have been here many, many times over the expanse of time. These parasitic beings have one goal; keeping this planet supplied with souls to generate the energy they need.

     
     
    @SamFromUK #173:

    Some of us deists can verify it.
    […]
    The evidence is all around you, question is whether you will be convinced by it. Matt chooses not to be convinced

     
    Comment: Axp 21.38 – SamFromUK #180

    In the quran it says that had God wanted to he could have made everyone a believer. However he will only guide those he wants to

     
     
    @SamFromUK #179:

    It needs some deep thinking.
    […]
    I and many deists have applied critical thinking.

     
    Comment: Axp 21.39 – SamFromUK #158

    I don’t know […] I’ll never know that but […] I believe it’s true. Anything is possible in the universe

     
    Comment: Axp 21.39 – SamFromUK #162

    If you think about it MS’s mom ejected an ape from a hole where she pees from.

  177. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    See you are being irrational again. Whatever your feelings are they are meaningless to universe. The universe will carry on existing and not care one bit if life exists or not.

    Yes religious people make things, they lie, they cheat, they believe in all kinds of crazy things.

    There is tons of evidence that humans are the only animals on earth with the intellect they possess. If you disagree then please show me.

  178. GumB. says

    “There is tons of evidence that humans are the only animals on earth with the intellect they possess. If you disagree then please show me.”

     
    Other animals don’t concoct delusional religions.

  179. Jimdandy says

    Because other animals are not intellectually capable of concocting delusional religions. GB

  180. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb

    “Other animals don’t concoct delusional religions.”

    …and? What does that have to do with humans being the most intellectual animals on earth?

  181. indianajones says

    @GumB. Just a quick one on the meta discussion here, I think tangling with these 2 simultaneously is about the equivalent of suddenly appearing naked next to a volcanic vent in the Marianas Trench. I very much wish you the best of luck and hope that you don’t drown, burn, get crushed, eaten by a giant squid, or simply die of surprise. No one of these will get you by themselves, they are all at least in principle possible to get around. But in combination with the sheer amount of BS these 2 can come up with? That outcomes in general almost cannot help but be sub optimal from here is the point. No matter how well you try to combat whatever most pressing thing is going to get you first.

    Again, best of luck, you are a braver entity than I!

  182. Monocle Smile says

    @GumB
    Indianajones is right. These two are essentially entropy generators. Their sole purpose is to waste as much of everyone’s time as possible and nothing will get accomplished by engaging.

  183. GumB. says

    @indianajones

     
    Hahaha. Thanks for the heads up indianajones, I appreciate it. I think I already saw the way they weren’t going to directly address anything I took the time to type to them and instead just avoid the points by Gish Galloping all over the place. That’s certainly one tactic for BS. Doesn’t work for me though, so I’ll leave them to their self importance. The original comments that these two spoke up about were addressed to someone else anyway, someone who never did return a response.
     

    I’ll keep lurking to try and get a feel for the space. Thanks for your sage advice. 😉

  184. Jimdandy says

    The atheist argument disolves at the point of the big bang. I know it, and you all know it as well. Hence the frustration.

  185. GumB. says

    The atheist argument has nothing to do with the big bang. I know it, and you know it as well. Hence, the attempt to change the subject away from your foolish claim that you have evidence for a god.

     

    By trying to change the subject, your immoral dishonesty is showing. It probably demonstrates why people here ignore you. The atheist argument is nothing more than pointing out to you that there is no compelling evidence for the existence of a god. You’re the one making the claim, so you’re the one who has to sufficiently prove your claim. It’s a simple case of untrue until proven true. So easy the understand: the onus is on the one making the claim to prove that claim, usually through some demonstration of evidence. You … just tried to change the subject when you found yourself cornered.

     

    Debate over, and you just lost. Hahahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahahaaaaaa. Bye bye jim ‘not so’ dandy.

  186. SamFromUK says

    @Jimdandy,

    Just leave the atheists in their ignorance. They don’t need evidence. It’s just an excuse. They will harp on and on about needing to see evidence. Yet if you ask them the simple question, “OK, what would you do if you saw the evidence and were convinced, then what would you do?”. First they are stumped, then they’ll porbably say they just don’t care. They will never willingly accept God or bow to his will. They probably feel they are too good for that.

    So please don’t waste your time going through the evidence, they’re just not worth it. Instead dicuss with those who genuiningly do want to learn about God.

    2 things the atheists can’t deny is that they did not choose to exist and they can’t choose to live forever. They will die in a short amount of time then the truth will be apparent. No need to debate, argue or feel sorry for them. They will be humbled no matter how much they hate it.

  187. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    You win. Well done. Deists are just fools to argue with atheists. I will warn my fellow deists.

  188. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    I will warn my fellow deists.

    Oh hey, SamFromUK is back! Yer a deist now? I thought ye were a Muslim of some stripe.

  189. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @GumB #192:

    I’ll keep lurking to try and get a feel for the space.

    Context at #185 just got through moderation. (I forgot to count links.)

  190. GumB. says

    @Sky Captain #192 & #185

     
    Ha, that was some pretty funny stuff. Oh wait … he wasn’t kidding. 😀

     
    Thanks. 😉

  191. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    Sorry I didn’t look up “deist”. But I have no issue with them or even polytheists – each have their own understandings for whatever reasons. At least they have some fear or knowledge of a higher being.

  192. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    @Sam,
    Why is fear a good thing to have in relation to a god? Even when I was a good lil’ Christian boy I never really understood why the idea of being “God-fearing” was an admirable thing.

  193. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    It’s good because it will mean you avoid pain. You will learn to change your behaviour to what it should be and not go off onto the wrong path. It’s respect and you showing that you’re willing to listen to God. God wants you to listen to him. You have been given free will and God wants you to accept him for who he is and respect and honour him.

  194. SamFromUK says

    @Evil,

    There are some similitudes in our lives. For example our bosses, our parents or someone who is really strong physically. In these various situations we have fear of not upsetting or doing something that will cause us misery or pain.

  195. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @SamFromUK #206:

    our bosses, our parents or someone who is really strong physically. In these various situations we have fear of not upsetting or doing something that will cause us misery or pain.

    You just compared God to violently abusive people, then blamed victims for being someone an abuser chooses to hurt.

  196. GumB. says

    @SamFromUK

     
    But if you’re only “listening” out of fear of pain, or of having consequences inflicted upon you, then you aren’t really doing it because you understand any of the inherent value in the behavior, are you? It sort of bespeaks a selfish person who only does things based on how it affects them alone and not based on how it might impact the wider social group, almost like you’re describing a sociopath. You’re implying religious people will only follow a moral concept if they are threatened into following it. Are you saying religious people are sociopaths who will only follow some moral ethic if they are threatened, because they can’t really tell right from wrong for themselves, because they can’t make any sense out of a moral concept for themselves and need to be threatened into agreeing to it?

     
    I’m sure glad that atheists can think through their actions and analyze the consequences of those actions for themselves, and aren’t just blindly following commands out of a simplistic and arbitrary fear of retribution. That implies religious people can’t even think through a moral idea for themselves. I guess that makes religious people sort of dangerous. Much better to understand why a behavior is favorable or not favorable for the social group. Are you saying religious people are sociopaths who won’t be moral unless someone forces them to be? That they aren’t capable of thinking through why something may be good or bad for the social group themselves? Scary. [sarcasm] Ok … now I have fear. [/sarcasm]

  197. SamFromUK says

    @Sky,

    Sorry didn’t realise those peple were abusive to you.
    I haven’t blamed the “victims”. You’re a victim if you’re innocent. You’re not a victim if you choose to break the law.

  198. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    There are different kinds of people. Some people will do good won’t ever think about even bending the law. Others break it deliberately. Why do you think we have prisons? They’re not empty are they? Maybe you should ask those in prison why they are there. I’m sure there’ll a number of atheists in prison as well.

  199. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Gotta side with GumB on this one. Fear and respect are nae the same thing. There can be overlap to be sure, but a person acting out of fear is not someone who acknowledges the truth of a position.
    For instance, I train in a system of classical Japanese swordsmanship called Shinkage Ryu. Like most little boys I’d play swordfight with my friends, and was enamored of things like Star Wars, Conan and Highlander which often highlighted swordplay. My love of Knights and Samurai built in me a strong desire to learn how these things were actually used, and in my college years I tracked down a koryu school in my city and started training.
    Now, swords are dangerous and the techniques we train in were for the express purpose of opening people up and spilling their organs on the ground and such. We (by which I mean “I” in this case) learned very quickly to take what we were doing seriously and respect what the weapon could do.
    I’m very careful to use the term “respect” and not “fear.” I believe I stated in previous conversations that I’m a fan of manga and various other comics. One manga that I used to read regularly was this one called Bleach, where the characters often channeled their power through their swords. One character came from a philosophy that “anyone who’s not afraid of their sword has no business holding it.” Granted it was a comic, but this philosophy aggravated me since I knew from practical experience what a crock of shit that was. I’d seen countless people learn and develop fairly good technique with dulled or alloy swords only for it to fall apart when ye gave them a live blade and they were too scared to do their technique properly. I used to muse about how it would have been more expedient to start them off on a live sword so they could get this useless fear out of the way earlier, but alas that wasn’t always my call to make.
    In any event, to bring it back around, I don’t think “god-fearing” is anything admirable. God/Allah is supposed to love me right? Why would he simultaneously want me to live in a constant state of fear of him? Surely he’d be able to recognize that the sincerity of any adoration would always be suspect if I’m only expressing it to not be obliterated. Course, my study of the Abrahamic God has always led me to the opinion that he wouldn’t really give a shit.
    I suppose that’s also why I’ve always preferred the Æsir and the Olympians. Odin at least respects mortals enough to not pretend to give a shit about loving them.

  200. GumB. says

    @Sam

     
    The point was about being skeptical of a worldview that, as a basic ideology, encourages and outright trains people to not think for themselves, as opposed to one that does encourage people to at least make the attempt.

  201. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    What you need to in religion can only come from the holy books. Show me anywhere in the Bible (OT and Gospel) or Quran where it says the followers should be taught to blindly follow religion and not think for themselves.

    If religious people are doing that then that’s the peoples fault and not the religions. WIll those who are like sheep and blindly follow be punished, maybe they will and maybe they won’t I don’t know.

    I debate with Muslims and can clearly show them the errors of their understandings. Do they accept it? No they don’t because they have been taught from an early age to believe certain man made ideas. They find it hard to stop believing those things. We are clearly warned about this in the Quran but they won’t accept it. But it’s not my problem, or yours. It’s theirs. God knows what’s in the hearts of everyone and no injustice will be done to anyone regardless of what your beliefs are or lack of.

  202. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @SamFromUK #209:

    You’re a victim if you’re innocent.

    #213:

    no injustice will be done to anyone regardless of what your beliefs are or lack of.

     
    Comment: Axp 21.38 – SamFromUK #70:

    Sorry but there is no such thing as a natural process. Everything is done by God.

    See: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis.

  203. GumB. says

    @Sam

     
    Cause and effect Sam. It’s not about what it tells them outright to think like, as in a direct instruction, it’s about the effect it has on their underlying thought processes over time. About how it teaches them to think as a byproduct of habitual thinking patterns. And if that’s something you’re not even aware happens to people, then you truly are a danger to society. People involved in education understand full well that it’s not always about injecting the mind with direct factoids, but instead about forming certain mental habits indirectly, ones that then emerge in indirect and more general ways later on.

     
    Please tell me you’re not unaware of this concept, because it’s pretty common knowledge that the mind works this way, that it can be molded to approach thinking and problem solving in a variety of different ways, ways that just become new generalized thinking habits after a period of time. That’s what school is. That’s what I was talking about, not about direct factoids of literal textual instruction. Religion teaches people bad mental habits. Like not ever learning to think through moral issues for themselves, or about thinking it’s ok to swap in “then obviously god caused it” when the only logical observation was “we so far haven’t determined what caused it.” Etc, etc.

     
    Why do I have the feeling you’ll intentionally resist understanding this principle, which is something every school educator is aware of, about indirectly training the mind over time to approach thinking about things in a variety of different ways, different from how it thought or approached thinking before the education process started.

  204. SamFromUK says

    @Sky,

    “See: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis.”

    These are not natural. Whatever we observe is not natural. You are not natural.

    One of the fundamentals things that atheists (me included when I was an atheist) don’t understand is what is “natural”.

    How do you define what is natural?

  205. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    You didn’t answer this “Show me anywhere in the Bible (OT and Gospel) or Quran where it says the followers should be taught to blindly follow religion and not think for themselves.”.

    Now please show me.

  206. GumB. says

    @Sam

     
    You’re kidding, right? Go read my last post again. #215 It’s not an instruction, it’s an effect the practice has on them.

    You definitely are a troll. Out of respect for the space, I won’t encourage you anymore.

  207. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    “It’s not about what it tells them outright to think like, as in a direct instruction, it’s about the effect it has on their underlying thought processes over time. About how it teaches them to think as a byproduct of habitual thinking patterns.”

    So if the religion instructs the followers to think critically and not to blindly live their lives but the followers go on and do the reverse then it’s the fault of the religion?

    Sorry I don’t follow. You’re not making any sense.

  208. GumB. says

    @Sam

    You just made a strawman and, as I already indicated, aren’t worth talking to anymore. I now see what everyone here means about you, and agree you should probably be banned. Nobody is likely to be as dumb as you portray yourself to be, and I think it’s highly probable that you come here and intentionally toy with people just to be an asshole. Bye.

  209. SamFromUK says

    @Gumb,

    Bullshit, Just because you know where that will lead to ie, it’s not the fault of religion. You come up with a lame excuse about me creating a strawman. All you want to do is blame religion and religious people. Atheists like yourself should be ashamed at how you just want to take pride in making false accusations and then crying when you know you can’t back those accusations up.

    Ridiculous and pathetic. You guys deserve to be living in the dark and maybe that is why you guys will never believe. As I have said many times to other atheists, you will find out in a short while who was right and wrong. In the meantime while you are alive be honest and listen without being so hateful and rude and arrogant and pre-judging based on what you see in the world.

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