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 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 65
Disproving the existence of a godPage 5 of 7    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 81
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/10/2011 9:38:00 PM
Give to the less fortunate. Always. Organized religion is also subject to a final and poignant analysis. Were you kind? Were you part of a problem or a solution? Well??Anyways...if God can be proven to not exist, so can atheism. Cheers. It all comes down to plain common sense. Human beings are so friggen fallible and less than worthy of worship. God is a very good reason to escape. And please..no b.s. about no need for a meaning. Beyond the good times are some very stern and serious questions.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 82
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/10/2011 11:16:13 PM
Surely, Alan, you are not serious and you are pulling my...chain? leg? finger?? What? Here...just for you.
"I fold my hands
and softly say
thank-you
for my snack, lunch, supper, everything.
today.

And meaning and serious questions are NOT covered by facts.
Facts only are a cover for a lack of commitment and hard caring.
Stern and serious questions...why is there such a lack of justice?
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 83
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/11/2011 11:16:03 PM
Alan...commitment to a common good and please do not think I waste my time in futile prayer. But....how does one crack the hard nut of political and economic ill will? How to deal with the power and money mongerers? And please...if I choose to pray, do not be so unkind as to say that this is a nothing. Prayer is a good language. It is beyond greed, ego, pride and all of the rest of human conundrums. And as you pray...you offer your services and best will to making a sorry earth just a little bit better. Frankly...if the word prayer offends you, substitute meditation.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 84
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/11/2011 11:56:51 PM
alan..which question? You picked my point of view apart pretty well. At any rate..its late and goodnite. Actually as a last point...prayers have been answered time and time again. Do not suggest so forcefully that prayers are not answered. In my own life....what transpired was exactly and profoundly what mattered. This then is a mercy. Ah. Yawn.
 ArghStopItYouStupidDuck
Joined: 4/2/2011
Msg: 85
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/13/2011 4:36:28 PM
As a random aside,

Though generally used to specifically refer to the Church of England, antidisestablishmentarianism actually refers to those opposed to the separation of church and state.. See, it has more uses than just being a convenient example of a really long word! =P


And back to your regularly scheduled debate,
Jack
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 86
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/13/2011 9:40:48 PM

Yet you've somehow managed to extract the senseless conclusion that "atheists have no desire for proof"?


Senseless to you , I am quite sure, just as I am convinced that you have some circuit break that prevents you from seeing outside your own "box"; no different than the religious zealots you seem to suggest are the norm among theists. You have no desire for proof, you are merely looking for an excuse to cut others down simply by refusing to acknowledge that belief in God is a personal issue unrelated to one's ability to apply logic and/or rational thought. Neither a lesser nor a greater life, simple a different perspective; so long as it works for whomever it is applicable to, what's the difference? For many their atheism rests on unhappiness, a sense of being unfulfilled, an emotion. No logic comes in to play. Hypocrisy is not confined to religion, not all theists are extremists, and not all atheists are pompous azzes trying to show the world that they are superior in intellect due to their choice not to believe in God. I am quite sure that the number of nonbelievers turned believers due to one event or another is about equal to the number of those who went the opposite way due to a life changing event or experience. Simply, a personal experience, a personal journey, a personal belief, whether one is a scholar or an illiterate.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 87
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/15/2011 6:02:41 PM
RE Msg: 132 by CheshireCatalyst:
Ignoring your theatrical and inflammatory posturing, I’ll respond by stating that if some religious people understood the logic behind atheism, a great many of them would be atheists as well. Since most people inherit their religion by virtue of their birth or their parentage, and atheists often arrive at the conclusion that there are no god(s) as a result of logical review, then yes, atheism is parsimonious and logical. Atheism is logical because there is no natural evidence for god(s) and philosophers, scientists, and many theologists generally agree on this point.
I've been on the receiving end of this philosophy. Too many times in my life, I have trusted those who claimed to have known the truth, because of reason and evidence, and then found that when I put their views into practice, they came to cause me problems, to my cost. I would rather not put myself or anyone else through that.

I would rather take into account that I am human, and no matter how intelligent, or educated I am, no matter how much I have reasoned things out, and no matter how much evidence I have found that supports my view, I can still be wrong.

So I would rather put my reasoning for my views in my posts, even if it makes it wordy, so that others can see WHY I have said what I have said, so that they can make up their own minds on the matter.

There are times when I need to act, and times when I am required, by nature of my profession, to speak, to decide and to act with confidence and sureness of my views.

But for the reasons I stated, I feel that I need to cover all eventualities, even the minuscule possibility that I am wrong, and that such coverage is reflected in my speaking, in my decisions, and in actions, so that even if I am, by a 1 in a trillion chance that I am wrong, that others will not come to harm.

For the same reasons, I would rather you do not take my word for it. You can experiment with this and other attitudes to life, and make your own mind up, as I did. You can also observe just how often people who sound sure of themselves, are right or wrong, and people who sound unsure of themselves, are right or wrong. I suspect that you will find it surprising. I know I did.

Religionists share commonalities that atheists do not. That's probably why prebyterians aren't bothered by the views of anglicans or lutherans, for example.
Actually, from speaking to many religious people of different religious denominations, I have found that religious groups are bothered by the views of other religious groups all the time. Presbyterians and Anglicans in particular, differ on who should take priority in conflicts between one's religious duties and the edicts of the state. Presbyterians followed 'King Jesus'. Anglicans followed the state, even when the state in the form of government, opposed the king as the head of the Anglican church.

But the UK had its religious wars, its state-mandated oppression against Protestants by Mary I and Charles I and James II, and against Catholics by Edward VI and Elizabeth I. The results have been a realisation that what you do to your neighbour, will come back and happen to you. People in the UK now generally espouse a public belief in religious tolerance, 'live and let live'.

There was even a discussion on British Islam today. The consensus view, from Muslims and non-Muslims, was that there are issues that Islam presents in Britain today, and they need to be addressed, but that nevertheless, British people are a people who believe in tolerance, and Islamophobia is something to avoid. This was a unanimous consensus.

They’re welcome to it. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that "it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg," and elsewhere that "religion is a matter which lies solely between a man and his god."

As long as practitioners of religion don’t use a viewpoint steeped in religion to try to create or enforce laws that control my behaviour, pretend that religion can pass as science under any circumstances, make dogmatic assertions that I am a substandard human being, or participate in any of the popular forms of anti-intellectualism or science-denialism, I have no problem with their views. I’ll still think religion is a mistake of logic, but it won’t bother me.
I fully support the needs of atheists, so long as ALL branches of humanity are equally protected.

I fully support that theists should not be allowed to restrict the freedoms of atheists, so long as atheists are not allowed to restrict the freedoms of theists, such as the call for atheists to dictate who should attend schools that are specifically designed to cater for the specific needs of theists, that are called 'faith schools' in the UK, and what types of food that theists should be allowed to eat, such as the call for the ban on kosher meat.

I fully support that religious views should not dictate to science, so long as scientists do not try to use science to prove a religion false or theism false, because scientists can only use science to falsify scientific hypotheses, and to do so, would raise theistic views and religions to scientific hypotheses in their own right, which then gives them right to falsify other scientific hypotheses, like any part of science.

I fully support that atheists should not be denigrated as less intelligent or less moral than religious people, so long as religious people are not denigrated as less intelligent or less moral than atheists.

I fully support that science and intellectual ideas are not denied, so long as they are based on solid evidence and solid reason, and that they take into account how those elements of science and intellectualism will impact on all branches of humanity, and to ensure their science and intellectualism is presented in ways that are not going to cause major problems for millions.

All things that atheists want support on, that, IMHO, would be supportive of all branches of humanity, I would happily support.

RE Msg: 131 by _alan:
No, it's the essence of free speech. Free speech means you have the freedom to say ( or in the case of television display) things that others may be offended by. It doesn't mean you're free to say what you like provided it offends no one. Naturlly there are sensible limitations of free speech, as in what hours you can show certain things on television, not being allowed to yell fire in a crowded theater, not being allowed to libel or slander someone.
I was quite surprised to read something about not being allowed to yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre, as I've never heard anything suggested in the UK. So I looked it up. Turns out it's a ruling on American law. I did not find any such ruling in either British or Canadian law.

In the UK, we have rules about fines for setting off fire alarms when there isn't a fire. Places like theatres, cinemas, and all public places, have to fire alarms by law. So if you want to warn people that there is a fire, you start the fire alarm, and that is what people respond to. Yelling 'fire' without a fire alarm, would mean there is no fire, and no need to escape, because if there was a fire, you'd have started the fire alarm.

I don't understand why you would cite American law rulings, when you are a Canadian.

From what I have found out, Canadian law is like British law. In defamatory law, in the UK and Canada, the burden of proof is on the speaker. If you said it, then you have the onus to prove it. If you can't, then you just slagged off someone without proof.

In the USA, the burden of proof is on the one being spoken about. You can slag off anyone you want. It's up to them to prove that you cannot possibly be telling the truth, unless they are obviously false.

The difference, is if some Xian said to you, that if you don't believe in Jesus, that you will burn in hell for eternity. In the UK, and Canada, that would be libel, because it is up to the Xian to prove it, and he can't.

In the USA, it would not be libel, because it would be up to you, to prove that it's false, and you can't. So in the USA, anyone can tell you that you are going to burn in hell for eternity for not believing in Jesus.

I've read some people write online that they want Canadian law to be changed like the USA, which would mean that Xians could tell you that you are going to burn in hell for an eternity, for not believing in Jesus, all day long, and you couldn't do a thing about it.

Irrelevant to the discussion. It doesn't matter who's complaining about it, what matters is that the content what was presented is within the allowable guidelines. If it offends someone then that person ( or people) can stop watching, boycott the station or it's advertisers etc.
The guidelines, in the UK, ARE if someone is offended by it.
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadcasting/guidance/complaints-sanctions/standards/

Obviously, if one person in the entire UK is offended by it, on, say, grounds that it offends Islam, and Ofcom consults other Muslims, and cannot find any other Muslims who believe that the broadcast was offensive to Muslims, then the person is simply wrong. But if there are a large number of Muslims who feel that the broadcast was offensive to Muslims, then Ofcom will often require a retraction from the broadcaster. In some cases, offensive material has led to sackings of the presenters.

Again, when it comes to giving offence that is illegal, in the UK and in Canada, the onus of burden of proof is on the speaker to broadcaster, to ensure that his broadcasts, speech and posts, are not offensive, or are proved beyond reasonable doubt, and that such claims can stand up in a British/Canadian court of law, under cross-examination. In the USA, it is up to the viewer to prove that the broadcast was definitely false and definitely offensive.

Again, I am confused, why you seem to take a viewpoint, that is neither representative of your country, my country, or the site's country.

Actually, I want you to address what you posted... how are science programmes forcing atheism down theists throats?
For one thing, I have witnessed several broadcasts by scientists, who have included asides that have been quite disparaging about a number of subjects: astrology, homoeopathy, acupuncture, and religion, to name a few, but without demonstrating proof on the matter.

During a science program, is the simple act of not mentioning a creator forcing atheism down a theist's throat?
It has the same effect as a vegan presenting a science programme, and saying that by eating meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, you can get tapeworms, salmonella, CJD, and raised cholesterol, fattening of the arteries, heart disease, and a whole host of other health problems and diseases, many of which are fatal, so the best thing for good health is to avoid eating all meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, and then you'll have great health.

Many vegans are in great health, with no issues of malnutrition. Cases of malnutrition in vegans often comes from poorly planned diets. But then, poorly planned diets will kill anyone, and when eating meat, that can kill you much quicker.

If a programme said that, they would be not be saying anything completely untruthful. They just wouldn't be presenting how meat eaters would see things. That would not be a problem if you know the ins and outs of dealing with meat. But if you don't, then it could scare a lot of people into veganism, because they only hear one side.


Some people do NOT believe that is free speech at all.
That's their problem. Do these hypothetical people you mention feel that free speech only applies to speech which offends no one?
The classical case of defamation law, is dealing with statements in speech and print, that defame one and only one person, and where that person, and only that person is offended by such statements.

Again, that's their problem. The right to free speech carrie with it the right to say things that others may be offended by, it doesn't carry with it the obligation of anyone to listen to what is being said.
Again, what you posted, makes much more sense if we were talking about American law, but not British law or Canadian law, and I am in the UK, and your profile says that you reside in Canada.

_alan: 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".

scorpiomover: That answer only works in a monolithic society.

_alan: No, that answer is the only one that works in a society that has true freedom of speech. What is said may be found offensive by some, but that's the risk that is taken by having free speech.
In the UK and in Canada, the risk is that you break the law.

In the USA, it's so hard to prove defamation, that it becomes impractical for the average Joe to do that. But they can act with the one power they do have, solidarity of boycotts.

Again, your statements make a lot of sense if you lived in America. But your profile says that you don't.

And at no point did I say "that others should hold their tongue, because you want them to". What I have said is that someone's freedom of speech ends when they try to force their speech/views onto me at my door when I've told them I'm not interested and that if it's a public area & I've told them I'm not interested and then they continue trying to make me listen to them. At this stage, they can keep talking to me and I can exercise my freedom of speech and mock them, ridicule them, point out logical fallacies in their speech...
Again, this whole idea of free speech being restricted by things such as yelling fire in a public theatre, or by when you say you are not interested, but not otherwise, makes a lot of sense in American law. But your profile says that you don't live in America.

No, the issue is that you made the claim "Jews get it much more than atheists" and I asked for any evidence you have to support your claim. No one here has said atheists get accosted more than Jews so no one needs to produve evidence to support such a claim.

If you'd like to rephrase your statement from "Jews get it much more than atheists" to "In my experience, it sure seems like Jews get it much more than atheists" then I doubt anyone would ask for evidence to support such a claim since it's a completely subjective personal observation.
In my experience, which is very copious in the matter, both from my experiences, of having had many missionaries come to my door, and from speaking to many Jews on the matter, the situation is so common for Jews, that for Jews, it is a normal event of life, and would be seriously abnormal for a Jew to say that he hasn't had those experiences. I have come across plenty of atheists and heard their views on the matter. It is clear to me, from their statements, that they do not consider it to be that frequent that they would have to accept it as a normal part of life.

But if it is really a problem for you, you can always approach the courts for an injunction against the organisations that send these people to approach you, as long as you can show unreasonable levels of harassment, which you can show by keeping an accurate diary of names, dates and places where you have been approached.

An injunction would require members of such a missionising organisation to keep away from your person, and your home, to a reasonable distance, which can be as much as 100 yards from either. Failure to comply with injunctions can often result in immediate arrest and a prison sentence.

So if you really are unreasonably harassed, it's in your interest to purse such an injunction.

The law is there to protect you.


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.
And now you trot out the old "argument from age" card...
Argument From Age (Wisdom of the Ancients):
snobbery that very old (or very young) arguments are superior. This is a variation of the Genetic Fallacy, but has the psychological appeal of seniority and tradition (or innovation).
http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html#age
The fallacy of Argument from Age, relies on the idea that just because something is old, doesn't mean it is automatically right. However, British attitudes have evolved. They developed over time, and are not static, which means they are not old.

I pointed out how British history is rich with examples of how things have resulted from attitudes of people who thought their rights entitled them to act however they pleased, and how it caused problems. I also pointed out how you have access to this information as much as I do.

It is a fallacy to think that just because a country's history is much more extensive on a topic than yours is, that you can 'poison the well' of that source of evidence.


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.
It wasn't a complaint, it was a pointing out of the hypocrisy of those theists, to feel that freedom of speech means they can say what they like on billboards & buses but people who don't agree with them can't post opposing views.
It's hypocrisy to post that you can say whatever you like, even when they don't want to hear it, but they cannot say whatever they want to you, when you don't want to hear it.

_alan: I'm curious to hear why the atheist messsages would be "more encroaching on people than the theist ones".

scorpiomover: You seem to not be grasping that free speech doesn't have to a monolithic simplistic concept.

_alan: Another change of subject... you made a simple statement that atheist messages on buses would be more encroaching on people than theist ones and I asked four you to elaborate on your statement & explain how this would be so.
I worked in the ad industry for a while. Every single aspect of a billboard is analysed using the latest psychology, to make your own mind work against you, to get you to buy things your reason would tell you not to. Every word, even the order of the words, is pored over again and again.

The English language is particularly rich with several ways of saying the same thing, some being very offensive to many, and some being inoffensive to anyone.

Just because you have the opportunity to speak freely, does not mean that you cannot get your message across without being offensive. So if you are being offensive, that is very often nothing to do with what you are trying to say.

Anyone who would go through the channels of putting up a billboard up, would have encountered the advertising industry at some point, and would have become very aware of those nuances of language and how some would have seen those messages as offensive, not in their content, but in the way it was expressed.

But if you lack an appreciation of that, then you lack the awareness of just how rich and versatile language is, particularly the English language, and then you are unlikely to understand that a particular billboard's message can be said in many ways, and that the way chosen on some billboards, could have been said in other ways, which weren't felt to be offensive, and weren't.


If you cannot grasp that, then how do you expect to tell the difference between one billboard message and another?
Personally, I expect to tell the difference between one billboard message and another by reading them.... how do YOU tell the difference?
Even an illiterate person can tell that 2 billboard messages are different, just by looking at the words. It doesn't mean that he even knows what they are advertising, or how.

For instance, news stories about cancer are often paid to be put on the news, by insurance companies, because they know that when such stories are broadcasted, more life insurance polices are sold. The next time you are reading a billboard about cancer, know that it's probably a message about life insurance, even though the billboard doesn't mention a word about life insurance.

So bear in mind, these billboards are not about what they say. It's about what they imply.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 88
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/16/2011 11:41:17 AM
RE Msg: 160 by _alan:
I used the theater scenario as an example since it's well known as an allowable reining in of free speech., just as freedom of speech doesn't allow slander or libel. Or in Canda the spreading of hate speech; a Canadian is allowed to make racist, sexist, homophobic etc statements ( and face the consequences of his/her actions, such as being fired from their place of employment , not being hired, etc) but isn't allowed to make statements inciting violence against others. So assuming we had Martians living in Canada, someone here could say they don't like Martians & think those little green skinned Martians don't deserve the same rights as us humans BUT they can't say we should go out & kill those Martians. I could just as easily have said we have freedom of speech but that doesn't entitle us to phone 911 and make false reports of fires, accidents, robberies etc.
It is true that all those things are true in America. The American right of free speech comes from the American Bill of Rights:
Article the third [Amendment I]

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
http://www.constitution.org/billofr_.htm

The right of free speech, in America, refers to the right of any American to say whatever he or she feels like, to any other American.

Now look at the right of free speech that comes out from the British Bill of Rights:
That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

In the UK, we already had freedom of speech, thousands of years ago. It's called a mouth.

Why would you even NEED to say that people can speak freely?

The only legislation that ever needed to take place, was to prevent you harming others, so that others would similarly not harm you. So, you need legislation to say that you cannot say anything that would harm others.

However, if you were making a claim about someone, say, that they cheated on their wife, but what you were saying was true, then you didn't do anything to them. They did it to themselves, by cheating on their wife. So, in that case, you have no need to limit your speech.

Thus, if you were to make a defamatory claim about someone, where it is clear that it would be harmful to them to have it said, but where there is a doubt if what you are saying is true, then there is definite grounds for you to remain silent, but doubt over whether or not you have the right to speak. So the onus must be on you to prove that your statement is correct, and that the other person harmed himself, and you did nothing to him.

The right of free speech as stipulated in the British Bill of Rights, refers to cases where it is in the public interest to ensure that speakers are able to think and debate freely on any topic, such as when MPs debate what laws are best for the British people. This is known as Parliamentary privilege.

As a result, members speaking in the House are not liable for defamation. Members of the Canadian House of Commons and the Canadian legislative assemblies also have Parliamentary privileges.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_privilege

The American system seems to me to work on an entirely different set of premises, because it actually required to legislate the right of freedom of speech, for normal speech, even when all reason would never require such a right to ever be stipulated.

Here is Alexander Hamilton's explanation of the British concept of human rights:
Bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was "Magna Charta", obtained by the Barons, swords in hand, from King John.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights

Here is Hamilton's explanation for why it would be downright dangerous to stipulate implicit human rights, such as free speech with no overriding need of public interest to overrule restrictions on defamation:
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?
Ibid.

Hamilton was uncannily prophetic. In American, religious fundamentalists can, by virtue of enshrinement of implicit human rights, say anything about atheists that cannot be proved false, such as if atheists are going to hell.


makes a lot of sense in American law. But your profile says that you don't live in America.
No, it doesn't "make sense" in American law. It "makes sense" if it "makes sense", no matter which country the law is from. Whether I'm Canadian, American, australian or Dutch, if a law makes sense it makes sense... if it doesn't make sense it doesn't make sense. So my being Canadian has no bearing on where a law I may quote comes from.

Different people see things differently. For instance, in the UK, we drive on the left. This makes very good sense, because most people are righties, and so the vision where they are strongest, on the right side, sees all the cars coming towards them. For me, this is a pain, because I am a leftie, and so I expect that I find it much easier to drive on the right. But most people are righties. So it makes sense.

Yet, for some reason, Canadians and Americans drive on the right. Boggles me.

Just as it is a fallacy to think that just because a country's history is much more extensive on a topic than yours is, that that country automatically has the right idea. Many countries in the middle east have an ancient rich history & culture, but their customs (regarding the rights of women for example) are wrong.
If you mean Afghanistan, they had a very liberal attitude to women all the way to the 1970s.

But then the West armed the Mujahadeen, and convinced them to fight the Russian Commies. What sort of tiny group would take on the U.S.S.R.? Only one that believed wholly in their cause, and would fight and never give up, right down to the very last man. Realistically, extremists would have been highly amongst them.

Then the U.S.S.R. fell, Americans ignored the Mujahadeen, and the Mujahadeen fought amongst themselves for who would take over power in Afghanistan. Out of the ashes, came the Taleban, cut from the same stock as the Mujahadeen, and using the same arms as the Mujahadeen, to take over power, and start enforcing an extreme version of Islam. No-one cared, until the same people that the Americans backed, and then ignored, bombed them.

What history of the Middle East shows us, is to not give extremists arms, and if you really have to, then at least make sure, that when they have done what you wanted them to, to take those weapons back, and get them out of the power you gave them, BEFORE you decide to forget about them. Otherwise, you might find they turn on you.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 89
view profile
History
Disproving the existence of a god
Posted: 5/16/2011 3:58:21 PM
RE Msg: 162 by _alan:
Perhaps, but I was stating Canadian law. Our freedom of speech laws allow a person to make racist, sexist etc remarks. There are restrictions in this regard, such as with broadcasters that have to follow CRTC regulations, and with organizations getting any tax breaks but there is no law in place preventing (for example) an individual standing on a corner making racist, homophobic or whatever comments.

But "hate speech" isn't allowed; it's described as being meant to incite violence against others. So a person can say they don't like those filthy "fill in the blanks" but can't say "I don't like those filthy "fill in the blanks", let's kill them".
I'd agree with you that Canadian law forbids making any comments about inciting violence against others. But it seemed to me, IME, that in every political or legal discussion I've ever come across, gave me the impression that these days, every Western country had banned racist comments. So I wasn't sure if your statement was true. So I decided to look it up:

From the Criminal Code of Canada:
Hate Propaganda

Advocating genocide

318. (1) Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Definition of “genocide”

(2) In this section, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, namely,

(a) killing members of the group; or

(b) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.

Consent

(3) No proceeding for an offence under this section shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.

Definition of “identifiable group”

(4) In this section, “identifiable group” means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

Public incitement of hatred

319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Defences

(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)

(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;

(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;

(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or

(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-212.html
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-213.html

From the Canadian Human Rights Act:
Publication of discriminatory notices, etc.

12. It is a discriminatory practice to publish or display before the public or to cause to be published or displayed before the public any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that

(a) expresses or implies discrimination or an intention to discriminate, or

(b) incites or is calculated to incite others to discriminate

if the discrimination expressed or implied, intended to be expressed or implied or incited or calculated to be incited would otherwise, if engaged in, be a discriminatory practice described in any of sections 5 to 11 or in section 14.

1976-77, c. 33, s. 12; 1980-81-82-83, c. 143, s. 6.

Hate messages

13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Interpretation

(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) applies in respect of a matter that is communicated by means of a computer or a group of interconnected or related computers, including the Internet, or any similar means of communication, but does not apply in respect of a matter that is communicated in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a broadcasting undertaking.

Interpretation

(3) For the purposes of this section, no owner or operator of a telecommunication undertaking communicates or causes to be communicated any matter described in subsection (1) by reason only that the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking owned or operated by that person are used by other persons for the transmission of that matter.

R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 13; 2001, c. 41, s. 88.
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/H-6/page-5.html

Defining what types of things constitute illegal discrimination:
PART I

PROSCRIBED DISCRIMINATION

General

Prohibited grounds of discrimination

3. (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.

Idem

(2) Where the ground of discrimination is pregnancy or child-birth, the discrimination shall be deemed to be on the ground of sex.

R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 3; 1996, c. 14, s. 2.

Multiple grounds of discrimination

3.1 For greater certainty, a discriminatory practice includes a practice based on one or more prohibited grounds of discrimination or on the effect of a combination of prohibited grounds.

1998, c. 9, s. 11.
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/h-6/page-1.html

The Criminal Code seems to ban ANY form of hateful speech, that calls for genocide, or that is likely to lead to a breach of the peace, such as fights, or that is just plain offensive, and is also false, and does not represent an argument on a religious subject, or a religious text, whoever it is against, even without any discrimination.

The Canadian Human Rights Act seems to go further than this. It seems to ban anything that would cause hatred or contempt, to anyone on the basis of race, nation, ethnic group, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, or pardoned conviction.

Section 13(2) makes it clear that the internet is also included in this ban.

I THINK that Section 13(3) absolves the site owner from responsibility for what others post on the site.

A definition of contempt:
Contempt is an intensely negative emotion regarding a person or group of people as inferior, base, or worthless—it is similar to scorn. It is also used when people are being sarcastic. Contempt is also defined as the state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace, and an open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body. One example of contempt could be seen in the character Ebenezer Scrooge from the Charles****ns' book A Christmas Carol, who was cold-hearted, hating Christmas and poor people. The word originated in 1393, from the Latin word contemptus meaning "scorn." It is the past participle of contemnere and from com- intens. prefix + temnere "to slight, scorn." The origin is uncertain. Contemptuous appeared in 1529.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt

Another definition of contempt:
Dictionary
Search Results

con·tempt

noun /kənˈtem(p)t/ 
contempts, plural
1. The feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn
* - he showed his contempt for his job by doing it very badly

2. Disregard for something that should be taken into account
* - this action displays an arrogant contempt for the wishes of the majority

3. The offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers
* - several unions were held to be in contempt and were fined

4. The offense of being similarly disobedient to or disrespectful of the lawful operation of a legislative body (e.g., its investigations)


Web definitions
* lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike; "he was held in contempt"; "the despite in which outsiders were held is legendary"

* a manner that is generally disrespectful and contemptuous

* open disrespect for a person or thing

* a willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

* Contempt is an intense feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless—it is similar to scorn. It is also used when people are being sarcastic. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt

* Contempt (Le Mépris) is a 1963 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the Italian novel Il disprezzo (1954) by Alberto Moravia. It stars Brigitte Bardot.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_(film)

* Contempt is the first album by Assemblage 23. In 1998, the Canadian label, Gashed Records signed Assemblage 23 and released their first album, Contempt in 1999. Shortly after it was re-released by Metropolis Records.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_(album)

* a contemptuous word
www.oed.com/learning/a-level/lessons.html

* method of enforcing a judge's order. A person held in "contempt" of the court may be incarcerated.
www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/courts/meck/disk01/glossary.ht…

* A person may be found in contempt of court if the person fails to do something that the court ordered that person to do, or if that person does some thing in court that the court orders the person not to do. ...
www.childsupport.dhs.state.mn.us/Action/Links/Glossary

* The condition of refusing to honor and obey the court's rules and orders. Penalties for contempt range from a simple fine to continuous imprisonment until the contempt is cured. ...
www.jurisdictionary.com/dictionary/C.cfm

* The court determines that a youth disobeyed or did not follow the court's order. The youth can be placed in secure detention from five to fifteen days for each offense.
www.djj.state.fl.us/Parents/glossary.html

* a charge issued by the court for conduct that defies the authority of the court, usually failing to pay a fine or court costs. It is punishable by fine or jail time.
www.hampton.gov/oca/glossary.html

* A willful disregard, disobedience or any act which is calculated to embarrass, hinder or obstruct court in administration of justice.
www.drakescott.com/index.php

* A civil contempt of court generally arises from a willful failure to comply with an order of court such as a failure to pay child support as contrasted with criminal contempt which consists generally of unacceptable conduct in the presence of the court. ...
www.gailorwallis.com/glossary.html
http://www.google.com/search?q=contempt&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u=


contempt
- 5 dictionary results
.
con·tempt
   /kənˈtɛmpt/ Show Spelled[kuhn-tempt] Show IPA

–noun
1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
2. the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.
3. Law .
a. willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body.
b. an act showing such disrespect.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English ( — in contempt : in the state of having been found guilty of contempt in contempt —A. M. Dershowitz>

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contempt

I think it's fairly clear what is meant by contempt.

I gather than you can make non-hateful and non-contemptuous racist or sexist remarks, that won't lead to violence or genocide, such as "women are gorgeous and wonderful!"

But I gather than the contemptuous, degrading racist and sexist remarks are out, by the Canadian Human Rights Act, and with it, any contemptuous, degrading remarks about anyone on the basis of religion as well.

Of course, if it protects theists as a religious group, then I expect that it would protect atheists as well.

FYI, Wikipedia was immensely useful in helping me track this stuff down. Thank you Wiki!

RE Msg: 163 by _alan:

Different people see things differently.
A good thing too. it'd be a very boring world & existence if everyone thought the same way.
I think so too.



For instance, in the UK, we drive on the left. This makes very good sense, because most people are righties, and so the vision where they are strongest, on the right side, sees all the cars coming towards them.
I'd read that it goes back much further than that, back to the days when most people couldn't afford a horse & when travelling had to travel by foot. Being dangerous times for a traveller, they'd walk on the left so their sword/knife arm would be towards any oncoming travellers, and the custom was carried over when we had he automobile. This explanation might be an urban legend though.
I read something similar as well.

I read, though, that it still applied to riding a horse, to keep your right arm free to grab your sword if you were attacked.

I also read that American teamsters of wagons would drive on the right, so that they could sit on the left-most horse, and keep their right arm free to lash the horses.

What is clear to me, is that it's most important to keep your right arm free for the difficult jobs.

The hardest bit about using your hands when driving, is steering. Changing the gears is now really easy, especially with syncho-mesh. So it makes sense to me, that if you are going to change gear, you're probably much better off keeping your best hand on the wheel, and let your least dexterous hand change the gears. In the UK, that is the case for all righties. It might explain why in the UK, most cars are still manual drive, with almost all being stick shift. So I imagine that most Brits find that driving a stick is rather easy, since your right hand is still on the wheel. With us paying over twice what the Americans pay for petrol, and manuals being cheaper on the petrol, it only makes cash sense to do so.
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