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 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 56
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Disproving the existence of a godPage 3 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
RE Msg: 95 by _alan:

If you believe that free speech allows you to say anything you want, irrespective of how offensive it is to others who do not share your viewpoint, then surely the same applies to them, that free speech allows theists to say anything they want to you, irrespective of how offenisve it is to you who does not share their viewpoint.
Yes, and the right to free speech doesn't carry with it the right to be able to force others to listen to your speech.
You have the right to walk away. If you are walking in any place they are also permitted to walk in, they also have the right to follow you, and keep talking. The only time they are required to shut up, because you want them to, is if you are required to shut up, when others want you to.


If you believe that those theists who hound you, are in the wrong, because they do not show respect for your wishes, then surely, the same applies to you, that you don't have the right to keep trying to prove things that others do not, particularly when it comes across in a way that theists would find disrespectful.
I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything. I'm an atheist & have no wish to prove my belief is right and ( in my opinion) the view of the theists is mistaken. In fact, it would be impossible to disprove the existence of ANYTHING, god/gods included. If theists want to go around spreading their beliefs that's their right, just as it's my right to close my door in their faces or ignore them if they approach me in a public venue.
Your have that right.

If they approach you in a public venue, you have the right to ignore them. However, assuming they have the right to say what they want, they have the right to keep talking, even if you are ignoring them. But you still have the right to ignore them, and keep ignoring them, and you still have the right to walk away, and keep walking away.

If you close your door, and they keep shouting at you, then AFAIK, they are committing a public nuisance and harrassment. I am not sure. But I believe you have the right to call the police, and have them arrested for both. If they are very loud, I believe you can have them done for noise pollution as well. Their voices are really no different than a loud stereo.

Again, it is impossible to disprove god/gods exists.
I am glad that we can agree on this. But please, let some other posters know, because they keep seeming to claim they can disprove this.

Again, it is impossible to disprove god/gods exists.

The onus lies on the people claiming god/gods exist to prove their claim.

If a theist wants to tell us atheists they can prove their claim for god's existence then I'm sure most atheists would bey to hear their evidence to support their belief ( I know I would). .. but they better be prepared to have their "evidence" challenged and also be prepared to be told that quotes from whatever book of worship they follow are not evidence.
The onus of proving that G-d DEFINITELY exists, rests on those making that claim. But I don't know anyone who is claiming that that statement is true, and that they have a clear proof of it, and is willing to provide said proof. So I don't see how any such onus even applies. From what I have found, people are not sure that the statement is true, or do not claim to have a clear proof of it (claim it is based on faith alone), or they refuse to provide said proof, or clearly don't have said proof.

So I don't see that there is any basis for such an onus, or such a consideration at all.

This is only one reason why I personally believe that those who might make such claims to you or other atheists, are not doing so because they intend to prove to you that G-d exists, but actually have entirely different reasons why they make such arguments. Often, people do not explain their full reasons for their views, because they fear they will be treated badly for them, even if that they hold such views, does make sense, from an impartial viewpoint.

Perhaps it might help you to consider that when theists try to persuade atheists of the existence of their god, that there is a lot more going on than you might realise. You might even end up sympathising with them, but just feeling they are going about things the wrong way. Or, you might just end up realising that they are far more idiotic than you ever dreamed.

RE Msg: 96 by _alan:

If you believe that those theists who hound you, are in the wrong, because they do not show respect for your wishes
Actually, what I implied was that they are in the wrong if after hearing from me that I'm not interested in listening to them they continue trying to speak to me. They aren't in the wrong for approaching me & asking if I'd like to listen.
Intuitively, and sympathetically, I can actually see what you mean.

But that is NOT what many atheists on these sites claim to be their understanding of free speech.

If that was true, then if I requested of you to stop speaking about atheism to me on this site, it would be the same as if I asked you to stop speaking about atheism to me in a public place. You would require yourself to cease and desist in both cases. Likewise, if you would feel that those people cannot continue to spout their claims in your presence in a public place, then if I asked you to cease and desist from your comments, you would need to require yourself to cease and desist from making your claims in my presence in this public place. But unlike IRL, here, you can only tell when I am 'speaking' here, when I post. So, you would have to accept that I could be there any time, and it would only make sense to cease and desist, until it is clear that I am not longer around, just like IRL. That would only be when I haven't made any posts for a few weeks. Long as I am posting, you'd have to require yourself to remain silent on these matters.

So I think that your rationale is not as clear cut as it could be, and as clear cut as it needs to be. If you might excuse my impertinence at interpretation:

I think that you want others to cease and desist when you ask them to, because there has to be a 'give and take' in any conversation. If I refuse to respect your wishes, then you will end up refusing to talk to me at all. The same must be true for me. So there has to be a given social contract in any conversation.

As a result, conversations are rarely about rights, but about fulfilling our responsibilities in the social contract. My responsibility is to talk to you in a way that makes you feel like you are being respected. If I break that responsibility, then I have violated our implicit contract underlying the ground rules of our conversation. You no longer feel any reason to put up with me, and frankly, I'd be making you feel like you don't want to anyway.

Now, sometimes, I might fulfil my responsibilities. My conversation might be completely non-offensive. But I still might say something that makes you feel uncomfortable, for your own personal reasons. Then I have done nothing wrong. You then have the freedom to request that we change the topic, and then my responsibility is to agree. You can decide that since I have done nothing wrong, you should just get on with life, and continue the conversation. But if you say nothing, but still feel upset, and hold me accountable, when I have not said anything offensive, then you are holding me to account for what is only in your mind. Hardly fair.

Also, the responsibilities of each social contract would change according to who I am speaking to, and the context. For example, it would be rude of me to call a woman a 'b*tch', but not a man. But it would not be rude to do so, with a good female friend, who likes to swap such insults with me, as part of our banter. The rules change according to the circumstances and the people involved.

So, IMHO, a large part of free speech, is about the responsibilities one has vis-a-vis the social contracts that one has with others in conversations.

Thus, I think the problem is about one's responsibilities. If someone tries to persuade you IRL to believe in Jesus, if you request a change of subject, they have the responsibility to respect your wish. But they also cannot be offensive. In a forum, people's posts stay, and people come and go, as and when, and you cannot know when people are there. So you cannot expect to gag people there for eternity. So what becomes most important, is that what you post, is posted in an inoffensive fashion.

I am just trying to figure this all out, same as you. This is about as far as much as I've figured out so far.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 57
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History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/1/2011 3:32:10 PM
RE Msg: 98 by Kardinal Offishall:
So having Islamist lunatics blow up trains, bomb subways, and fly planes into buildings is only a little bit more problematic than having atheists raise awareness?
Of course, an objective atheist is only bringing truth and information to the world. But a misrepresentation can cause damage. You'd be surprised just how damage a word can do. As the saying goes: "The pen is mightier than the sword".

How much more "problematic," in your distorted view of the world, do you suppose atheists would need to be to reach the threshold, such that they would be on par with religious terrorists on the problematic scale? You seem to embrace a most perverse form of implicit though all-encompassing form of religious apologetics.
I was watching a few programmes about the history of Berlin several months ago. In the last several years of the Weimar Republic, secular atheists got the upper hand, and started published inflammatory anti-religious leaflets, and encouraged much of what happens today in secular Western countries. The Nazis didn't like this. Eventually, these 2 groups ended up fighting in the streets on several occasions, the atheists giving as good as they got. But when the economy collapsed, the German people decided that they would be better off with a party that had traditional values, were committed to the success of their country as a Western super-power, and who claimed that G-d was on their side, and would ensure that they would win. We know how the rest went.

When I look at countries like America, and see their battles over religion, homosexuality, and other such issues, and see that these types of conflicts look incredibly like the early conflcts in the Weimar Republic. I see that all it took to get to WW2, was a few more years of that conflict, and a massive economic collapse. I see that Western countries seem to have increasingly bigger and bigger depressions, that are likely to result in a massive economic collapse. Quite frankly, it scares me, just how easily history could repeat itself.

You're as funny as always.
Glad to know that some still think I can make them laugh. Apparently, ladies love a man who can make them laugh.


It also p*sses off all the theists who do not go around missionising, when they see you trying to missionise your beliefs online.
It's a public forum; this is the sort of place where ideas are exchanged freely and debate is encouraged.

If you don't like it, take off.

There isn't exactly a nice way to say "your beliefs are crazy, here's why."
When I was in Yeshivah, we used to argue all the time, about everything, with huge passion. We'd argue to the hilt. But I NEVER got the impression that anyone felt personally about these arguments, not towards me, and not from me, either, and not towards or from anyone else either. We were each just putting our views across, often with vigour, but only to explain our points to others, and to ourselves.

I remember one time, when a colleague of mine told me about how a friend of his said that something in Jewish Law was 'crazy', and the Rabbi replied that it's fine to say that you don't understand what it said, but not to say that it is 'crazy', as that is disrespectful to someone else's views, and probably that person spent a lot of time thinking about their views, and there was a lot to it.

Maybe I just have been exposed to an environment where people do argue passionately about things, and yet still managed to show respect for each other, and for each others' views.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 58
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/1/2011 3:53:43 PM

Maybe I just have been exposed to an environment where people do argue passionately about things, and yet still managed to show respect for each other, and for each others' views.

It's the medium, not the individuals.

Frankly the discussions here are a whole lot more respectful than those on most other sites. Go to The Daily Beast or even the CBC sites and you'll see a lot more vitriol than here.

The internet would be one of McLuhan's "hot" media.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 59
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Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/1/2011 4:24:03 PM
RE Msg: 103 by HalftimeDad:

Maybe I just have been exposed to an environment where people do argue passionately about things, and yet still managed to show respect for each other, and for each others' views.
It's the medium, not the individuals.

Frankly the discussions here are a whole lot more respectful than those on most other sites. Go to The Daily Beast or even the CBC sites and you'll see a lot more vitriol than here.
Wow! I've never seen anything so personal as on here.

I guess that I should consider myself very fortunate to have experienced what I have.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 60
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/3/2011 6:58:00 AM
You have the right to walk away.

I also have the right to stand there and ridicule them.

I remember one time, when a colleague of mine told me about how a friend of his said that something in Jewish Law was 'crazy', and the Rabbi replied that it's fine to say that you don't understand what it said, but not to say that it is 'crazy', as that is disrespectful to someone else's views, and probably that person spent a lot of time thinking about their views, and there was a lot to it.

If I understand something and think it's crazy, it's fine for me to say it's crazy.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 61
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Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/3/2011 11:08:43 AM
RE Msg: 105 by _alan:

You have the right to walk away. If you are walking in any place they are also permitted to walk in, they also have the right to follow you, and keep talking.
They could, and at that point ( assuming it's the Bible they're trying to spread) I'd no longer feel obliged to remain silent & respect their belief or allow them to spread their ( in my opinion) ludicrous mythology and would at that point cease being silent & start pointing out the myriad errors, contradictions, and tenets they ignore. If they become offended or hurt or get llaughed at by me or toheres, they have no right to complain because I'd merely be exercising my freedom of speech.
Fair enough.

I said "assuming it's the Bible they're trying to spread" not because I think the non Biblical faiths are any better, but because I know enough about what's in the Bible to point out the many errors, contradictions, and ignored tenets. As to other faiths, I don't know enough about their books to be able to point out such flaws.
I'm glad to see that we can agree that it is not fair to criticise what we know little about.

it is impossible to disprove god/gods exists.
I am glad that we can agree on this. But please, let some other posters know, because they keep seeming to claim they can disprove this.

They may feel they can. However, the major mistake they're making is in even wanting or trying to disprove god exists. They are not the ones making the claim for god's existence, so there is no need to disprove the claims of theists; it's up to the theists to prove THEIR claim.
As I said before, it is not up to me to prove to you, about my beliefs or what I do. It is only up to me, to prove to you, about anything that I wish to demand of you. So, theists have no need or reason to prove anything to you, unless they are trying to get you to convert to their way of thinking.

Not sure what IRL means, can you enlighten me?
In Real Life.

In any event, I am perfectly willing to concede that yes, perhap, Jesus may have existed; but I would not accept Jesus was the son of god unless they provided proof of that claim.
I am a Jew. I feel the same.

RE Msg: 106 by _alan:
If that was true, then if I requested of you to stop speaking about atheism to me on this site, it would be the same as if I asked you to stop speaking about atheism to me in a public place. You would require yourself to cease and desist in both cases
No, because unlike a public place such as a shopping mall these forums are for open discussion on a vast range of topics, and anyone entering PoF can generally tell by the thread title if it's something they wish to discuss or if it's something which may offend them. Just as someone can choose which channels on TV to watch or not watch depending on their tastes, people entering PoF can, from the thread topic, choose to enter the thread discussion or not. If someone feels the topic may offend them, they can opt to stay out of the thread or they can enter it and risk being offended.

Saying a public place such as a shopping mall is the same as public online discussion forum with the topic of discussion known to you before entering is a false comparison. One doesn't enter a shopping mall with the expectation of being confronted by someone who wishes to force them to discuss a topic they have no interest in.
Sadly, one does. One doesn't go to a shopping mall to obtain a credit card application. Yet shoppers are routinely accosted by salespeople trying to get them to take up a new credit card or those who want to sell them a new mobile phone contract.

When people get approached by these credit card salespeople or mobile phone contract salespeople, they are explained the terms in a good light. Many people sign up for credit cards and mobile phones all the time, only to end up with really high bills, that they wouldn't have got, had the terms been completely explained, in ways that left the consumers fully informed. In many cases, these consumers end up in serious debt, which can seriously affect their mental health and their economic wealth, and thus seriously damage their life in this physical world. However, this would decrease profits for the company, and commissions for the salespeople.

If a theist goes to a mall, and is accosted by a missionary, then he could be persuaded. But this is rare. However, if he is, then one could suppose that he might risk his hereafter. If a theist goes to a mall, and is accosted by a salesperson, then he could be persuaded. This is common. However, if he is, then he is seriously threatening his economic stability, and his life in this world. However, to a theist, the hereafter is supposed to be worth much more than the pleasures of this world. So the missionary is much more of a threat than the salespeople. So it would make sense if a theist would complain about a missionary being in a mall, and not the salespeople in mall.

However, atheists seem to believe there is nothing after death. They don't even lose the opportunity to date, because religions are fine with finding yourself a wife/husband. So they do not lose much by being converted, other than a few hours of their time each week in church/synagogue/etc, probably a lot less than they spend whittling away, watching TV, or getting drunk, or on internet forums. So if they are accosted by a missionary, and they are persuaded, there is not much to lose, and that is a rare occurrence anyway. But, if they are accosted by a salesperson, the chances are high that they will be persuaded, and the chances are high that they will lose a lot of money in the process, and the chances are still quite high that they will suffer for it in this world, which is the only world they believe they have.

I find it incredibly ironic, that theists, who have a reason to worry about missionaries far more than salespeople, are not that bothered about missionaries, and yet atheists, who have little to fear from missionaries and a lot to fear from salespeople, are bothered very much by missionaries, but aren't that bothered about salespeople.

I find this whole conversation funny.

RE Msg: 107 by abelian:

You have the right to walk away.
I also have the right to stand there and ridicule them.
True. They too have the right to stand there and keep ridiculing you.


I remember one time, when a colleague of mine told me about how a friend of his said that something in Jewish Law was 'crazy', and the Rabbi replied that it's fine to say that you don't understand what it said, but not to say that it is 'crazy', as that is disrespectful to someone else's views, and probably that person spent a lot of time thinking about their views, and there was a lot to it.
If I understand something and think it's crazy, it's fine for me to say it's crazy.
True. Then the same must work for you. If someone believes they understand physics, and think all the things in physics that you believe in are crazy, then they have the same right to say that that is all crazy.

Of course, you have the right to point out that your work is supported by many scientists. But they are just people, at the end of the day. So your actual claim would be empathy, that others do not have the right to criticise the theories you value, unless they understand why some people think they are right, to the point where they would probably believe them right, had they been in their shoes.

If they require empathy before saying something is crazy, then you do too, in which case, you would not have the right to say something is crazy, until you understand why they believe what they believe, until you believe that had you been born in their shoes, you would have been as convinced of their views, as they are.

From what I have seen, when people do use empathy, and try to understand someone else's POV, until they believe they would have felt their way, had they been brought up in their shoes, then they tend to consider that the other person's view is a lot more reasonable than they believed at first, and they stop calling what they believe, 'crazy'.
 FrankNStein902
Joined: 12/26/2009
Msg: 62
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/3/2011 2:05:58 PM
RE: Msg: 108

I find it incredibly ironic, that theists, who have a reason to worry about missionaries far more than salespeople, are not that bothered about missionaries, and yet atheists, who have little to fear from missionaries and a lot to fear from salespeople, are bothered very much by missionaries, but aren't that bothered about salespeople.

I find it equally ironic that you would attempt to describe something as ironic when it is only based on speculation about what people may or may not believe or perceive.

IMO
The use of the "irony" statement was more or less an attempt just to validate your claim.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 63
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History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/3/2011 3:34:21 PM
RE Msg: 109 by _alan:
Which does not mean I can't ridicule their beliefs if I consider them ridiculous, it merely means that (if I don't have knowledge of their actual tenets and/or gospel, teachings etc) I can't quote specific errors, logical fallacies and contrdictions in their beliefs.
Then the same would be true the other way, that there is nothing wrong with creationists ridiculing the opinions of atheists, without having to know the information on which atheists base their beliefs, in any depth, or just plain knowing them at all.

FYI, I'm not a creationist. I just think turnaround is fair play.

Of course, if they leave me alone once informed I'm not interested then they won't face ridcule from me.
Many theists feel the same way. They just want to be able to watch science programmes and learn about new scientific discoveries in peace, without having atheism forced down their throats at the same time.

A shopping mall is a place of business where people try to sell you goods and services, so you can expect to encounter salespeople trying to convince you to buy from them.
A shopping mall is a hall with lots of shops. Inside each shop will be salespeople. You expect to encounter salespeople in those shops. If you are not interested, you will not go in that shop.

However, you don't go to a shopping mall to be accosted by a salesperson who is on a stand in the middle of the hall, and who comes up to you as you are walking by.

In many malls, there are shop areas that aren't being used. Those sales companies that set up stands, COULD have hired shops for the same period instead. They choose not to. Also, in the shops, you'll find a mix of young and old people, some more attractive and some less. But the stands are almost always manned by young, attractive people, the majority being women.

Why the difference? Because the shops are relying on selling goods that are worth buying, or at least appear to be worth buying. The stands are not. They are trying to ALSO nab the people who aren't interested, and who would normally walk on by such a shop. They hire attractive people, who approach you, because it appeals to the reproductive instinct, to at least give a chance to possible 'gift horses'. Once they've got you talking, the salespeople flirt with you, keeping the reproductive instinct high, until you buy something you never wanted in the first place. It's the Trojan Horse, all over again.

Telesales people do a similar thing, only there, they try to use persistence, instead of sex appeal, because sex appeal works mostly on seeing someone's face and body, and they don't have that. But when everyone gets videophones, you can be sure that all the telesales jobs will suddenly only be hiring attractive people under 30.

FYI, I have never seen anyone proselytising in a shopping centre. I've had someone hand me a flyer about Jesus on a shopping street. But that's about it. You're more likely to bump into a HK in the UK.

But neither has the right to keep trying to convince you to listen, and in fact a salesperson wouldn't waste their time trying to sell to you once they know you are not interested; it would be a waste of time that would be better spent by them trying to sell to those that may be interested or may be undecided.
Nope. Salespeople keep trying. But mostly, they hire young, attractive people, usually young women, so they can use the reproductive instinct. Telesales people act like they really don't know the meaning of the word 'no'.

This would be better expressed as: since there is no actual evidence to show there is anything after death, the atheist ( and others) see no reason to assume or expect there is anything after death.
That would only be true, if the atheist's position can be assumed to be true, first, which means it's an essence-based and subjective statement, not an objective statement. It helps you to talk from your perspective. But it makes conversations between theists and atheists untenable. If an atheist only talks as if his beliefs are already accepted as true, and the theist is not of the same views, then everything the atheist says has no application to the theist's POV. If is like a vegan talking about how eggs are disgusting, to a meat-eater.

If they are persuaded, it probably means they were an agnostic, not an atheist.
The only people who cannot be persuaded are people who are 100% convinced. But to be sanely 100% convinced, you need 100% proof. You already agreed that no-one has that kind of definitive proof. The only type of conviction that is 100% but doesn't have proof that justifies such conviction, is psychosis, like that found in schizophrenics. So the only type of atheist or theist who couldn't be convinced, are those whose mental state is so impaired, that it should not be considered reasonable conviction.

You just don't like the idea that you have the potential to be convinced to change your views. It's an existential reality, that everyone needs to face up to. You either face up to the uncomfortable truth of it, or you remain in denial, end up building a wall around yourself to keep existential truths out, and keep out a lot of the benefits that facing reality gives you. It's your choice.


In either case, until the person they are trying to convince tells them they are not interested, the missionary has the right to try to convince them.
Under my vision of free speech, where everyone only has free speech to talk in ways that are respectful to everyone else, that is true. But in a world where everyone can say what they like, the missionary can keep on, even after he is told that he is not welcome.

You keep leaving out a very important part of your conclusion. Athesists generally are not bothered at all by missionaries UNTIL these missionaries keep harping on with their spiel after being informed the listener isn't interested.
Do you wear an 'I'm an atheist' sticker on your chest? No? Do you have one on your door? No? Then you do realise that Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, are just as likely to be approached by a missionary, either at a mall, or at their home, don't you? In reality, Jews DO have a 'I'm a Jew' sign on their door, called a Mezuzah, and a sign on their heads, called a cipah, at least for males. So Jews have much more reason to get targeted.

I've known loads of Jews who got approached by missionaries. I've had several come to my door. One came to the door of a friend, when we were all eating together during Passover, the other week.

Jews get it much more than atheists. Jews aren't bothered. It's just part of life, having missionaries come around every so often.

Strange that. Jews have far more reason to be bothered than atheists. Yet Jews aren't bothered about it, and yet, atheists are.

Nobody is denying people the right to say whatever they want ( with the possible exception of hate crimes)... what people want to deny is allowing people the right to force their beliefs onto others. The fact that what they want to have you believe may be from some writing they consider sacred is irrelevant. The fact the theist believes the writngs are sacred grants the writings or the theist no special status to allow their beliefs to be forced onto others.
No-one has any complaint about that.

When atheists say it's unfair for them to be insulted and harassed, and atheists want religious people not to have special treatment, they have every sympathy for the abuse of equal rights, because they've been insulted and harassed by atheists over and over, and other atheists have been glad to see it happen. But they don't have sympathy for the atheists who are being insulted and harassed, because 5 minutes ago, those same atheists were saying worse about the very people they want to defend them, and see no problem with that.

You simply cannot treat someone else badly again and again, and then expect them to come to your defence, when you are being treated badly. All they see is that you are getting a dose of your own medicine.

The only empathy required is the belief that someone has the right to express their beliefs. That right doesn't carry with it the obligation of anyone to listen to their beliefs or give them the right to force their beliefs on others.
I've been in groups with atheist psychotherapists on discussions of what is empathy. I gave over only half of what they say is empathy. They said that it's not enough to see things from the other person's viewpoint. You have to FEEL their emotions as well. To have empathy for another, you have to feel as they do, and perceive as they do, just as much as they do, from their way of feeling and perceiving.

That WAS from psychotherapists with 30 years of experience in the subject of empathy, who couldn't have been more clear that they were atheists.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 64
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/3/2011 7:46:42 PM
If someone believes they understand physics, and think all the things in physics that you believe in are crazy, then they have the same right to say that that is all crazy.

And kooks often do. How long that goes back and forth depends on how much fun I have pointing out logical inconsistencies or how long it takes for them to decide they need a better angle than attempting to argue in favor of a kooky idea that disagrees with well known experimental data. Once I've made my point, they've served their purpose.

Of course, you have the right to point out that your work is supported by many scientists.

I could, but since I understand the physics and the experimental data that supports it, I don't bother except to reference some article or textbook that will help fill in details if someone is interested in doing so. Arguing by appeal to authority is fallacious reasoning, regardless of who does it, so I just nip that objection in the bud by knowing what I'm what I'm talking about well enough to rigorously derive anything myself. I expect anyone who thinks I'm wrong to be equally well versed in the subject and point out exactly where I've made a mistake. Science is not an equal opportunity endeavor. Either what you are arguing is supported by data or it's wrong.

So your actual claim would be empathy,

WTF? No, my actual claim is exactly what I said it was. Freedom to speak is what it is, so I don't really care if kooks exercise their freedom to speak. They just get stuck putting up with mine if I feel like ridiculing them. Don't you think you could save a lot of wasted typing by thinking before you start?

From what I have seen, when people do use empathy, and try to understand someone else's POV, until they believe they would have felt their way, had they been brought up in their shoes,

I can empathize with a poor inner city kid who winds up committing crimes because the alternatives are mostly to struggle and get no where. I can empathize with people who would like to understand science but didn't study it or didn't have the opportunity to study it. I can empathize with lots of people for lots of reasons, but I can't empathize with nor have any sympathy for a poseur who is full of shit but for whatever reason seems to think his/her opinion ought to be taken seriously despite being completely unsupportable by anything but posturing. Sorry, but understanding the willfully ineducable is a job for people who study abnormal psychology which is outside my area of expertise.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 65
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/3/2011 11:05:11 PM
You cannot and will not disprove the existence of god. Ever. You can go on forever and spurn the religion you were raised in filled with your disenchantment and you can go on forever beginning as an atheist and you will prove absolutely nothing regarding the non existence of god. Ever. Nor will you ever prove the existence of God. Ever.
God is nothing more than the lilac that blooms in May and God is nothing more than your best effort to overcome ignorance. So both theists and atheists ultimately believe in .....taaaaaaa .....daaaah.....God.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 66
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/4/2011 1:44:57 PM
"have to prove their claim if they want to be believed by others."

This is the key. Specifically, if the believer WANTS to be believed by a NON believer, they will have to offer proof sufficient to change their mind. If the believer wants to tell the rest of us how to live, they will have to prove their authority to do so. HOWEVER: if the believer doesn't CARE what the rest of us think, they have no responsibility or obligation whatsoever to waste even a glance in the non-believer's direction. The same rule applies to the NON believers: neither group owes the other any explanation, UNLESS it is required for other reasons as suggested.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 67
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/4/2011 5:40:06 PM

....God is nothing more than your best effort to overcome ignorance.


Given the various polls that have been undertaken over time of the members of various science related professional bodies, and given the correlation between higher levels of education with decreasing belief in 'higher powers', and given the general decline in religious belief in educated parts of the world....
All while bearing in mind that 'ignorance' literally means 'lack of knowledge' -

Then your statement, quoted above, is actually the exact opposite of the observed reality.

As effort is applied to overcome 'ignorance', belief in deities invariably declines.
The correlation is no coincidence.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 68
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/4/2011 11:09:16 PM
"As effort is applied to overcome "ignorance" belief in deities invariably declines." Only in your own mind, sir. Correlations and coincidence are easily debatable. Those who are highly educated can also believe in the existence of God. And it ain't some cheap neurotic taint on their character. Ever. Disproving the existence of God is not solely the property of the so called highly educated. I, myself, would never take some ivory towered highly educated out of their common senses as my map for the world. Ever. Nor would I accept the utterings of the lowly educated as evidence of God existing. But...somewhere in the middle....where I reside....I accept neither here or there and I challenge you again to disprove the existence of God. Actually...to be honest...I would accept the poor and challenged as more of an authority regarding wisdom than any moneyed anybody. So there. They are more of a reflection of life's imperfections and agonies than any idealistic blah de blah from those who were born fortunate. Its that precise.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 69
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/5/2011 2:53:26 AM

....God is nothing more than your best effort to overcome ignorance.


Given the various polls that have been undertaken over time of the members of various science related professional bodies, and given the correlation between higher levels of education with decreasing belief in 'higher powers', and given the general decline in religious belief in educated parts of the world....
All while bearing in mind that 'ignorance' literally means 'lack of knowledge' -

Then your statement, quoted above, is actually the exact opposite of the observed reality.

As effort is applied to overcome 'ignorance', belief in deities invariably declines.
The correlation is no coincidence.

Only in your own mind, sir. Correlations and coincidence are easily debatable.

Denying reality is a habit with you?

Debate it if you like.

Most religious groups in USA have lost ground, survey finds...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-03-09-american-religion-ARIS_N.htm



Is religion declining worldwide?
Religion has always been a major part of human existence. Whether it was citizens in Ancient Greece praying to the head God Zeus or Christians now celebrating the Lenten season, people have always affiliated themselves with different belief systems. However, the existence of religion in the modern world is in danger.

A recent study done by the American Physical Society predicts that religion will be near extinction in nine different Western nations in the next century.
While the idea of the decline of religion has been a part of modern culture for years, this study’s results give quantitative data that backs up what people have been predicting. The nations in question include Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

While there are many other nations worldwide that have been experiencing declines in religious participation and affiliation, these nine countries are some of the few that take census data pertaining to religious affiliation. Some have been compiling this information for more than 100 years.

According to the study, the fastest growing religious group is “unaffiliated,” meaning any person who either does not believe in any religious doctrine or does not wish to affiliate themselves with any specific religious doctrine. In Switzerland, the percentage of respondents saying they were unaffiliated went from near zero in 1950 to roughly 5.5 percent in 1990. The largest percentages of those responding as unaffiliated were in the Czech Republic with roughly 60 percent and the Netherlands, where 40 percent responded similarly.

The major religious overtone of the past century seems to be the questioning of the existence of a higher power. The unofficial beginning to many of these thoughts being popularized was in Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1882 book The Gay Science where he famously proclaimed that “God is dead.”
http://www.thea-blast.org/in-depth/2011/03/29/is-religion-declining-worldwide




Every major religion except Islam is declining in Western Europe, according to the Center for the Study on Global Christianity at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. The drop is most evident in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, where church attendance is less than 10% in some areas.

Last month, Pope Benedict XVI lamented the weakening of churches in Europe, Australia and the USA. "There's no longer evidence for a need of God, even less of Christ," he told Italian priests. "The so-called traditional churches look like they are dying."
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-08-10-europe-religion-cover_x.htm



According to a 1996 survey of United States scientists in the fields of biology, mathematics, and physics/astronomy, belief in a god that is "in intellectual and affective communication with humankind" was most popular among mathematicians (about 45%) and least popular among physicists (about 22%). In total, about 60% of United States scientists in these fields expressed disbelief or agnosticism toward a personal god who answers prayer and personal immortality. This compared with 58% in 1914 and 67% in 1933.

Among members of the National Academy of Sciences (sometimes considered to be the world's leading scientists) only 7.0% expressed personal belief, while 72.2% expressed disbelief and another 20.8% were agnostic concerning the existence of a personal god who answers prayer.

A survey conducted between 2005 and 2007 by Elaine Howard Ecklund of University at Buffalo, The State University of New York and funded by the Templeton Foundation found that over 60% of natural and social science professors at 21 elite US research universities are atheists or agnostics. When asked whether they believed in God, nearly 34% answered "I do not believe in God" and about 30% answering "I do not know if there is a God and there is no way to find out." According to the same survey, " many scientists see themselves as having a spirituality not attached to a particular religious tradition." In further analysis, published in 2007, Ecklund and Christopher Scheitle conclude that "the assumption that becoming a scientist necessarily leads to loss of religion is untenable" and that "it appears that those from non-religious backgrounds disproportionately self-select into scientific professions. This may reflect the fact that there is tension between the religious tenets of some groups and the theories and methods of particular sciences and it contributes to the large number of non-religious scientists."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_religion_and_science



Faculty Beliefs and the Role of Religion in Teaching

In 1916, as belief in scientific reasoning took hold across America, the psychologist James Leuba published a survey on whether scientists believed in God and immortality. His findings – that 60 percent of scientists surveyed did not – raised the specter among certain politicians and conservatives that the morality of the country was at risk. Leuba predicted that education in general – and scientific education in particular – would lead to a serious decline in organized religion.

In one sense, Leuba’s predictions were not far off. Scientists, as well as university professors at large, practice religion far less than the general population. This is due not only to the rational, universalistic thinking required in the scientific realm, but also to the institutionalization of academic freedom and the complex relationship of church and state on college campuses over the course of the twentieth century.
http://religion.ssrc.org/reguide/index7.html
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 70
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/5/2011 9:48:04 PM
Actually the he is a she and I know you probably know this. So....I have been doing reality for a very long time and reality is a very fine and very technical teacher. Even the fortunate and master atheists face a reality that did not absolve them from a final uncertainty. Whats it all about Alfie??? Back to the topic. Disproving the existence of God is just as futile and unproductive as proving that God exists. But....you have a longer run and greater chance of freedom and relief from your hard summations if you surrender. Give it up. hee-haw. lol.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 71
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/5/2011 9:55:26 PM
Frankly fighting against organized religion is not my piece of cake nor my strength.
But I value the fact that many find comfort in the aisles. At least they are not running wild and terror filled through the streets. lol ....c'est la vie. Organized religion serves its purpose for the very fearful. God is another matter. Back on topic. Disprove the existence of God. Won't ever happen. Ever. And, etc on the other side. What a fine drama.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 72
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/6/2011 9:48:25 PM
saharam

its natural for some of us to try to make sense of this screwed up present world.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 73
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/8/2011 8:54:10 AM
RE Msg: 112 by CheshireCatalyst:
But theists all have their own powerful moral and psychological reasons for theistic belief. Many people believe in god(s) because they want to give order and meaning to the universe and their own lives. Others want justice restored or they want to look forward to another life after the physical one.

What religious people have in common with each other that they do not have with atheists is that the idea of a god(s) will allow this to happen. Therefore, when someone canvasses an atheist house, the whole concept of religion is often completely foreign to them. Atheists, myself included, believe we’ve arrived at this viewpoint as the result of rational examination of the evidence (or lack of). Therefore proclamations about what god is like or what (s)he’s doing and what we ought to do, are often incompatible and unhelpful, even if they aren't totally lost on someone of a different religious persuasion.
I can understand this POV. You've reasoned everything out. So you must be right. So thinking differently cannot be the product of reason, and must be totally irrational. So all non-atheists must be just trying to make stuff up to themselves, to make themselves feel better. As a result, all non-atheists are loonies. If one loony tries to convince another loony that their delusion is real, well, they all see delusions, don't they? So surely, it doesn't matter to them which delusion they choose to believe in. But you're sane. You're rational. Your government ought to be keeping the sane safe from the rantings and mutterings of the insane.

Religious people have a slightly different viewpoint on the matter.

RE Msg: 113 by abelian:
I could, but since I understand the physics and the experimental data that supports it, I don't bother except to reference some article or textbook that will help fill in details if someone is interested in doing so. Arguing by appeal to authority is fallacious reasoning, regardless of who does it, so I just nip that objection in the bud by knowing what I'm what I'm talking about well enough to rigorously derive anything myself. I expect anyone who thinks I'm wrong to be equally well versed in the subject and point out exactly where I've made a mistake. Science is not an equal opportunity endeavor. Either what you are arguing is supported by data or it's wrong.
I can see where you are coming from. Either a scientific hypothesis is supported by data, or it's unsubstantiable.


So your actual claim would be empathy,
WTF? No, my actual claim is exactly what I said it was. Freedom to speak is what it is, so I don't really care if kooks exercise their freedom to speak. They just get stuck putting up with mine if I feel like ridiculing them. Don't you think you could save a lot of wasted typing by thinking before you start?
If you wish to say whatever you like, far be from me to stop you.


From what I have seen, when people do use empathy, and try to understand someone else's POV, until they believe they would have felt their way, had they been brought up in their shoes,
I can empathize with a poor inner city kid who winds up committing crimes because the alternatives are mostly to struggle and get no where. I can empathize with people who would like to understand science but didn't study it or didn't have the opportunity to study it. I can empathize with lots of people for lots of reasons, but I can't empathize with nor have any sympathy for a poseur who is full of shit but for whatever reason seems to think his/her opinion ought to be taken seriously despite being completely unsupportable by anything but posturing. Sorry, but understanding the willfully ineducable is a job for people who study abnormal psychology which is outside my area of expertise.
I can understand how you feel. I know teachers who would say the same, including a few religious scholars. I have also felt so at times.

There is a very good reason that psychotherapists are so interested in empathy. It's a subtle concept. It's not necessarily about feeling compassion for others who are not as fortunate as you, either, even though empathy can be used for that. It's a tool that allows one to understand, and predict, counter-intuitive results. It's often used for understanding and predicting counter-intuitive behaviour in human interactions. But there is good reason to suggest that it's even more useful for explaining and predicting counter-intuitive results in physical phenomena, say particle interactions in physics. So it's of great benefit for everyone.

As it's a subtle concept, that many intelligent people seem to not even conceive of, those who use empathy, do not expect most people to understand it, not physicists, and not anyone else. But it's far more worthwhile for physicists to make the effort to understand it, and use it, than it would be for the ordinary man, and even for the ordinary man, it's still got the ability to solve a lot of his problems almost overnight.

RE Msg: 114 by _alan:
No one has said anything bout it being wrong for theists to ridicule atheist beliefs.... that's what free speech is all about, it means people may hear ideas and views they disgaree with and that may upset them.
I was recently informed that the UK's laws on libel, are the most stringent in the world, and America's laws on libel are on the other end of the spectrum. If you understand the idea of written or printed speech, in a similar vein to the American legal view, then it would make sense to make this statement.

However, the issue of what is a good idea to say, and what is not, has quite far-reaching ramifications, far beyond the conversation in which you are currently engaged. So it's not always so simple, as one might imagine it to be.

Meaning what? That everytime there's a science program that presents views that are in opposition to theist beliefs, the program should also include the beliefs of the theists? Are you saying NOT including a theist viewpoint in a science program is FORCING atheist beliefs down theist throats? If the theist feels that way about the program they have merely tto turn it off or change the channel.
I can understand that. Why should any TV programme have to consider the feelings or viewpoints of any person in society? Surely, if the presenter wants to put it on TV, then why should he/she be prevented at all?

I don't happen to feel this way. I can think of examples that most would not want to be shown on TV. I can also understand why such an attitude would lead to far greater misunderstandings about science in the populace of one's country, such as in America. But if someone else feels that such an attitude is not going to lead to any problems, then they are entitled to their viewpoint.

I don't recall seeing any science program that derides theist views.... the science programs present their scientific findings/speculation and don't mention theist views at all.
I can only say what I've seen on science programmes broadcast on UK TV channels. I cannot say what Canadians see on their science programmes. So for all I know, that might be the case in Canada.

If you want to know how things are done in science programmes on UK TV, then go ask someone who watches a lot of science programmes, who lives in the UK, and who you believe will give you an honest account in the matter.

Just as theists in churches or on religious programs on TV don't present opposing atheist views when they do their programs.
I can tell you what it is like in the UK. I can tell you what views are likely to be discussed in a talk in a Synagogue, or any other venue that is there to discuss issues that impact on Judaism. I can tell you what views are likely to be discussed in religious programs on different channels in the UK.

I don't attend church. I haven't been to Canada. I haven't been to a Canadian Synagogue. I haven't watched Canadian TV. You could be right about Canadian churches and religious programmes on Canadian TV.

If you want to know how things are done in religious sermons in the UK, or UK TV religious programmes, then go ask someone who watches a lot of religious programmes, who lives in the UK, or someone who has been to a lot of religious sermons in the UK, and who you believe will give you an honest account in the matter.

The difference is most if not all atheists would be ready to provisionally change their viewpoint if evidence was produced that convinced then they were wrong. Theists, on the other hand, invariabl state that their faith is strong & nom evidence anyone could present to them would make them change their minds.
I can understand why you might say that. If you were to say that atheists refuse to change their viewpoint, in spite of evidence, that would make atheists seem irrational. If you were to say that some theists would be willing to change their views, then you would be saying that many theists are hearing the views of atheists, and are rejecting them on rational reasons, which would mean their views are rational. Some people might see that as a conflict, that would mean that if theists' views are rational, then atheists' views must be irrational. Since you are an atheist, some people might interpret that as implying that they are being irrational. I think you probably consider yourself as rational. So from some perspectives, it might make sense to do all that.

I don't agree with you, for reasons that I believe are very valid ones.

It isn't a matter of the atheist stating their views are to be accepted as true by theists; it's a matter of theists wishing to change an atheist's view but being unable to present any evidence to support their viewpoint.
Some believe they must convert everyone to their POV. Some don't. Some are even expressly forbidden, by their own religion, to encourage others to convert.

That's why it's called faith.
Some religious denominations believe in "sole fide". Some don't.

Of course, since the theists are the ones making the claim for something ( a deity) then the theists are the ones that have to provide their evidence.
One understanding of Occam's razor, is that he was talking literally, that there is a logical principle, that if something doesn't have clear evidence of existence, that one must assume that it doesn't exist. So many would agree with you.

Others see the matter as a matter of a logical principle, about what can be considered logical to state.


You just don't like the idea that you have the potential to be convinced to change your views. It's an existential reality, that everyone needs to face up to. You either face up to the uncomfortable truth of it, or you remain in denial, end up building a wall around yourself to keep existential truths out, and keep out a lot of the benefits that facing reality gives you. It's your choice.
I'm perfectly willing to change my views, when presented with concrete evidence that my views are mistaken.
You might be.

I was putting across an existential concept, one that I was introduced to, by a psychotherapist, who really disagreed highly with religion. Existentialism is about accepting truth, in particular, those truths that everyone would agree is true, and would apply to everyone's life, but which most people really would rather was not true. It was developed by atheists. But, because of its universal nature, can benefit everyone.

One of those ideas, is that we don't get everything right. Humans aren't omniscient and aren't perfect. We don't know everything, and even when we do know lots on a subject, we still often make mistakes. So we are regularly finding that many of our views are wrong, and need to be updated.

However, we can only act, based on our decisions, and we can only make decisions, using the knowledge that we have at the moment. We don't want to screw ourselves over. So we don't want to act based on faulty knowledge. But our human nature means just that, that we always have some level of faulty knowledge, and we are going to make decisions on that knowledge, and so we are going to screw up, and often screw ourselves over. We could consider that some of our decisions will have little impact. But realistically, there is no reason to suppose our faulty knowledge is only going to be that which affects those types of decisions. Our human nature is going to mean that we are going to make bad decisions, about our important decisions, as much as our trivial decisions.

Accepting that we are not perfect in our intellect and our knowledge, requires us to accept that we have to keep updating our views, and this requires us to also accept that some of our decisions are wrong.

What is more, we learn as we get older. So our decision-making improves as we get older. But that also means that the older our decisions are, the less good our decision-making process was then, and the worse our earlier decisions were. But the older our decision is, the more we have spent thinking that way, and the more used to them we are, and the more we are likely to not want to change them.

So accepting that we are not perfect, in our intellect and our knowledge, also requires us to accept that the decisions we take for granted the most as being true, are the decisions most likely to be wrong, and most in need of being updated.

Of course, the trouble is, that the things that we need to change, are not the things others think. It's the stuff WE think is definitely true, that is probably full of errors and misunderstandings. So a religious person does need to question his beliefs, for himself. But equally, what an atheist benefits from, is questioning his values, his understanding of atheism, and his understanding of science, because if they are things that he has come to take for granted, they could be very, very, wrong, and he simply hasn't realised, because he simply took it for granted, when his decision processes were much less efficient than they are today, and even less efficient than they will be tomorrow.

But that's not for others to tell him to do. That is something he must choose to do for himself, or not.

The only problem rises when the missionary doesn't move on after being informed by their potential convert that they are not interested.
As I wrote to CheshireCatalyst, I can see why that might bother some atheists, if they believe that religious people are delusional loonies, and believe it is the state's job to keep loonies from harming others.

I have reason to believe that secular governments sees the matter very differently.


Jews get it much more than atheists.
Could you provide actual evidence to support this claim, and not mere supposition?
I am only going on my experiences, and of many discussions with Jews, as when the subject came up with other Jews, it has seemed to be that every Jew in the discussion had experienced it, enough that they saw it as a normal part of life, that you can expect to encounter every so often.

But I could be wrong.

I am willing to consider that you might have been assaulted by missionaries many times more than Jews. How many times in your life would you say that people have come to you and asked you to convert to Xianity?

Oh? You can speak for ALL Jews & say that? No Jews are bothered by it?
I can only speak of my interactions with other Jews. The Jews that I have discussed it with, talked as if they didn't feel a particular annoyance about it. Salespeople and tele-sales people seem to be considered much more of a hassle, and do seem to get people very bothered.

When atheists say it's unfair for them to be insulted and harassed, and atheists want religious people not to have special treatment, they have every sympathy for the abuse of equal rights, because they've been insulted and harassed by atheists over and over, and other atheists have been glad to see it happen. But they don't have sympathy for the atheists who are being insulted and harassed, because 5 minutes ago, those same atheists were saying worse about the very people they want to defend them, and see no problem with that.

I haven't heard any atheists say religious people shouldn't be allowed to have their freedom of speech. What they don't want the theists to do is insert prayer in public schools or theist beliefs into science classes. I'd be all for having optional religious studies in public classrooms, provided the studies examined as many faiths as they could, and didn't imply that any one faith is the only true or correct one.
I can understand how you wouldn't have a problem with that. You seem to be very much not a theist. I would suspect that you don't pray either. If you were at such a school, then I can see how it would be heaven for you. I can also see that since you would find that a heaven, you would appreciate that others would feel the same, were they introduced to all religions equally, and to see that they all have issues.

However, there are several reasons one for banning prayer in public schools, and several reasons for keeping theistic considerations out of science classes. Each is not simple. Each reason actually has multiple issues with it. Each issue interacts with the others in real life. So in real life, things are not nice and straight-forward. Plus, there are a variety of ways that different groups have implemented those reasons. Several different ways work. I could write a dozen pages on these 2 points, quite easily, and still not cover all the things that need to be considered.

What I would say, is that in the UK, religion is kept in public schools, but that it is treated as an optional elective. There are publicly-funded religious schools, where you learn about your religion a lot, in preference to other schools. But you have to apply to them to get in. If you just let the government pick for you, they'll normally put people into secular schools. If you do go to secular schools, I would expect that you can still take the time to pray. But you have to ask for the time, as part of your religious needs. In the USA, there doesn't seem to be all that much provision.

What I find interesting about this, is that in the UK, there is no campaign to get abortion banned, there is no campaign to get homosexuality banned, and those practising policies that discriminate against homosexuals often find themselves in quite a lot of hot water, and most people believe in evolution, and believe that religions and evolution are very compatible, and so religion is not a reason to not believe in evolution.

Yet all the reverse attitudes seem to be in the USA.

It strikes me that the attitude of the American government should make people much more likely to believe in evolution and liberal rights than Brits, and yet the reverse seems to happen.

I have seen theists put up billboards and ads on buses (perfectly fine as we have freedom of speech) and then get upset when atheists put up billboards and bus ads, because the theists think this is evil and shouldn't be allowed bcause the ads go against their religious .
I've seen the same billboards here in the UK. I don't see why either are allowed.

I have an understanding of why the atheist ones are seen as more encroaching on people, than the Xian ones. But we can leave that for another time.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 74
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/8/2011 11:03:20 AM
RE Msg: 128 by _alan:

Why should any TV programme have to consider the feelings or viewpoints of any person in society?
They shouldn't have to, they should only have to make sure what they wish to broadcast is within their country's allowed material. Religious broadcasters have to follow the same guidelines.
At least in the UK, one and the other are the same. There are guidelines, not lists of allowed material.

In Canada, you might say you can have nudity, or you can't.

In the UK, allowed material generally depends on what time of the day it's shown, and on how the matter is handled in the programme. But other issues can come into it. So it's different for each programme. There is no magic rule. The broadcaster has to weigh up each one.

And the solution is to either not watch the programs if they offened you OR complain to the station/network running the program to attempt to get them to change their policies. The proper solution is never "prevent them from showing their program because some people may or are offended by it".
That's a knee-jerk reaction, and it's a knee-jerk reaction to suggest it. It's usually non-religious mothers on mumsnet who are suggesting to ban a program completely because some will be offended by it. Most people's complaints are not about the whole programme, but just about specific parts, such as phoning an elderly gentleman and telling him that you 'banged' his grand-daughter, for a joke, or how a specific issue is handled, that it could have been handled with more consideration.


If you want to know how things are done in religious sermons in the UK, or UK TV religious programmes, then go ask someone who watches a lot of religious programmes, who lives in the UK, or someone who has been to a lot of religious sermons in the UK, and who you believe will give you an honest account in the matter.
And the solution is to either not watch the programs if they offened you OR complain to the station/network running the program to attempt to get them to change their policies. The proper solution is never "prevent them from showing their program because some people may or are offended by it".
That has nothing to do with whether atheist views are discussed on religious programmes, or whether atheist views are discussed in religious sermons.

As you frequently do, you raise what you consider an issue ( as in Msg 111):
Many theists feel the same way. They just want to be able to watch science programmes and learn about new scientific discoveries in peace, without having atheism forced down their throats at the same time.
And when a response to your comment is presented, you ignore your original issue, ignore the presented response, and change the issue to something else'
I can understand that you might want me to address only the things you want me to address, in the ways you want me to address them. But if I did that, then I couldn't address the issue properly, because there are more points in these issues than you seem willing to consider.

We have free speech. Free speech means people may on occasion be confronted with ideas and issues that may make them uncomfortable.
Some people do NOT believe that is free speech at all. Free speech is about what you say, but not necessarily how you say it. It's very often HOW you said something that offended someone else, and not the point you were trying to make.


Your complaint was "Many theists feel the same way. They just want to be able to watch science programmes and learn about new scientific discoveries in peace, without having atheism forced down their throats at the same time."
The answer is: "The solution is to either not watch the programs if they offend you OR complain to the station/network running the program to attempt to get them to change their policies. The proper solution is never "prevent them from showing their program because some people may or are offended by it".
That answer only works in a monolithic society. We in the UK live in a multi-cultural society, where there are many viewpoints, and where each person's view is just as important as anyone else's. It's a good thing too, because if we were to go back to a monolithic society, then it could easily be a Xian one, one where atheists' views would never be respected.

Actually, it isn't a theist/atheist issue. The issue is that it's wrong for anyone to try to force their views onto anyone after being informed that you're not interested. The view could be theist, political, PETA, vegan, some upcoming election issue such as abortion or capitol punishment etc.
Trouble is, you wrote this:
Free speech means people may on occasion be confronted with ideas and issues that may make them uncomfortable.
You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say that you can say whatever you want, and they cannot object, and then say that others should hold their tongue, because you want them to, and expect the rest of the world to not see that as a gross inequality, and a denial of the human right to equal treatment, and when they do, they will come to conclude that if you see no problem in treating them unfairly, they might see that there is no reason to treat you fairly. It would be a great shame, if atheists find that billions treat them badly, only because of their own earlier choices.

RE Msg: 129 by _alan:
No no, don't change the subject. The issue isn't who gets accosted more by the missionaries, the Jews or the atheists?

You stated "Jews get it much more than atheists."

I'd like to see the actual evidence you have to support your claim.
I believe that since you are asking for evidence of "Jews get it much more than atheists.", then the issue IS "who gets accosted more by the missionaries, the Jews or the atheists?"


I've seen the same billboards here in the UK. I don't see why either are allowed.
I do, it's called free speech.
We have different views of free speech in the UK. But then, the UK is an area that has a history of thousands of years, is at least 2000 years old, and that has dealt with a number of conflicts between different groups, on matters of culture, religion, ethnicity, and much more. We may have a little bit more experience and knowledge in the matter of how different groups have communicated, and the results, to draw on. You can draw on the rich history of the UK as well, if you like.

I can only speak for myself but even tho I'm an atheist I have no problem with the theist messages being presented in these ways, and would actively campaign against any person or group that tried to rein in the theist's right to free speech in these ways. And the atheists have the same rights as the theists so their messages can also be presented in these ways.
Then why do you have a problem with when theists complain about these billboards? They are just expressing what you consider to be free speech.

No no, I'm curious to hear why the atheist messsages would be "more encroaching on people than the theist ones".
You seem to not be grasping that free speech doesn't have to a monolithic simplistic concept. If you cannot grasp that, then how do you expect to tell the difference between one billboard message and another?
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 75
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/8/2011 10:07:55 PM
So..religion only supports itself. So? So does all of the rest. All of it..including atheism.
The Bible is filled with more lessons for good living than Mr. Bertrand Russell ever provided. Intelligence is debatable. Wisdom is NOT. The Bible has some pretty good wisdom. Mr Bertrand Russell should have swallowed some hard facts regarding Wisdom. He needed the wisdom. lol.
When was the last time that you know of when an atheist refused to protect hallowed and precious ground. When? Please...atheists are not exempt from hallowed and precious ground. All comes from a very powerful source. Prove me wrong. Prove yourself right to argue unchallenged.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 76
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/8/2011 11:57:29 PM
To every season there is a reason...
all of the rest is just dialogue
the bible is no different or exempt
from prying, suspicious eyes.
Actually, I do not have a real bible
but I remember... to every season
there is a reason. Amen.
And a time to weep.

Oh yes, thats how it works. Prove to me that god doesn't exist. smile
Actually, as a child I was enthralled by the hints of fornication. As I
got older and more experienced things such as...."to every season,
there is a reason" were wisdom. Prove me wrong.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 77
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/9/2011 3:22:31 AM

The Bible has some pretty good wisdom.
All comes from a very powerful source. Prove me wrong. Prove yourself right to argue unchallenged.
/snip/
Oh yes, thats how it works. Prove to me that god doesn't exist. smile
Actually, as a child I was enthralled by the hints of fornication. As I got older and more experienced things such as...."to every season, there is a reason" were wisdom. Prove me wrong.

For one who speaks so fondly of the value of wisdom your grasp of the concept is incredibly flimsy.

For instance, that the burden of proof is on those who make the claim is a cornerstone of western jurisprudence. The familiar term 'innocent until proven guilty' rests on the concept. Otherwise one would have to prove ones innocence of any charges or accusations (claims) of guilt made against one.

You seem to think the process should be reversed? Is that wise?

Burden Of Proof.
Burden of Proof is the legal obligation on a party to prove the allegation made by him against another party.
http://www.legal-explanations.com/definitions/burden-of-proof.htm


burden of proof n. in a lawsuit the plaintiff, that is the party filing suit, (or making the claim) has the burden of proof to produce enough evidence to prove his/her/its prima facie case.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Burden+of+Proof

This ^^^ legal principle is based on solid logic rooted in philosophy.


The philosophic burden of proof is the obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.
Holder of the burden.
When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim. (1)
(1)Michalos, Alex. 1969. Principles of Logic. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. p 370 - “usually one who makes an assertion must assume the responsibility of defending it. If this responsibility or burden of proof is shifted to a critic, the fallacy of appealing to ignorance is committed.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof


Description of Burden of Proof
Burden of Proof is a fallacy in which the burden of proof is placed on the wrong side. Another version occurs when a lack of evidence for side A is taken to be evidence for side B in cases in which the burden of proof actually rests on side B. A common name for this is an Appeal to Ignorance.

In many situations, one side has the burden of proof resting on it. This side is obligated to provide evidence for its position. The claim of the other side, the one that does not bear the burden of proof, is assumed to be true unless proven otherwise. The difficulty in such cases is determining which side, if any, the burden of proof rests on. In many cases, settling this issue can be a matter of significant debate. In some cases the burden of proof is set by the situation. For example, in American law a person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty (hence the burden of proof is on the prosecution). As another example, in debate the burden of proof is placed on the affirmative team. As a final example, in most cases the burden of proof rests on those who claim something exists (such as Bigfoot, psychic powers, universals, and sense data).
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/burden-of-proof.html

Here is a recent, fairly mundane, though real-world example.

L'Oréal told to prove anti-wrinkle claims -
A Swedish court has ordered the country's division of cosmetic company, L'Oréal prove anti-wrinkle claims made about two of its products. The consumer and competition court found that two ads for L'Oreal Sweden's Vichy Liftactiv Pro and Lancome High Resolution creams made misleading claims.
http://www.choice.com.au/media-and-news/consumer-news/news/loreal%20told%20to%20prove%20claims.aspx

In that ^^^ example do you think the burden of proof should be on all those who used the product but achieved no de-wrinkle effect? All those who made no claim, but simply believed one?
That logic, of course, opens the door to charlatans peddling fake medicines, snake oil hucksters, and miracle cures.

Or, in other words... Religion.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 78
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/9/2011 5:18:02 PM
There is no other to describe many of these recent posts but silly. Methinks it may be time to put this argument to rest, and simply acknowledge that God exists for those who believe, and does not exist for those who don't. True believers have no need to provide proof & true atheists have no desire for proof.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 79
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/10/2011 12:16:27 AM

True believers have no need to provide proof & true atheists have no desire for proof.

Strange that you should think that ^^^ when half the posts in the thread are from atheists saying the lack of proof (or evidence for that matter), is an insurmountable obstacle standing in the way of belief.
Not only is it a misreading of the thread, it's contrary to the fact that atheism rests on rationality, the basis of which is logic and proof.

Yet you've somehow managed to extract the senseless conclusion that "atheists have no desire for proof"?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 80
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/10/2011 5:45:22 AM
The "tax break" given to churches isn't a government support of, or subsidy of religion, it's a necessity to having NO government-sponsored religion. If the churches were taxed, every single change in the tax law could be said to be based on government support or opposition to one or more churches.

On the other hand, the tricky thing about it has always been, how does the government decide what constitutes a real, tax-exempt church? Since TONS of folks want to pay no taxes (me too!) , the government has to define churches somehow, in order to prevent every single person from declaring that they are a church unto themselves.
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