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Broncho
12-10-2010, 03:00 PM
In post #45, I demonstrated that your contributions, prior to my response, were not "reasonable arguments". Despite several pleas to address the points I made, you sidestepped the issue and continued to employ ignorance as a method of argumentation.

In post #97, you asked semisimple to cite a time "when [you] have ever avoided an argument." In the following post, I referenced our dispute about the nature of your first two comments; I even identified the exact post which contained my argument (#45).

In post #100, you declared that you "haven't taken a stance because [you] don't see the need to do so."

In post #101, I featured the nature of our dispute. While I maintained the contrary, you held that your comments were "reasonable arguments". By highlighting the essence of our conflict, I demonstrated that you had "taken a stance" on a matter of dispute; that is to say, your position was such that your comments should be regarded as "reasonable arguments".

In post #104, you unwittingly conceded the points I had previously made. To further complicate your own position, or lack thereof, you demanded I account for the "arguments [you] have made thus far." From your own indiscretion, you demonstrated that you had indeed "taken a stance" during litigation. Moreover, your challenge was moot because you have failed to even present an argument in the first place; furthermore, you still have yet to show the capacity for honest discussion, which I require before proceeding to subsequent topics.

In the same post (#104), you later implied that your argument was a "reasonably asked question". In response to this, I explicitly made clear that a question is not an argument.

From all of the above, allow me to deduce your position (or lack thereof):

You have not avoided an argument on OKCTalk (with the obvious exception of post #45).
You have adopted the stance that your first two comments were "reasonable arguments", despite the reality that neither were arguments or reasonable.
You maintain that you have not taken a stance during deliberation (with the obvious exception of your position on the matter of what is considered a "reasonable argument").
You contend that your question, which does not constitute an argument, was indeed your "argument".


Provided you have failed to defend this junkyard of confused rhetoric, how can you possibly demand that I account for the proposition of morality? Why should I believe that my efforts will be acknowledge? Articulating a case for righteousness, as it pertains to a secular worldview, is much more intensive than highlighting your failed rebuttals. From the beginning, I made clear that I will not discuss complex issues unless my opposition is willing to deliberate honestly. Our exchange has evidenced why I am forced to propose such conditions for dialogue.

From this point forward, I will not respond to any more of your comments until you demonstrate a willingness to correspond fairly. When the semester is behind me, I will gladly discuss topics of atheism and morality with someone else.

Lord Helmet
12-10-2010, 03:01 PM
Neanderthal just showed up. What scientists
have had to do is extrapolate what they believe to have
happened. Unfortunately, they have to do this with every single
species.

Isn't this exactly what creationists do? They extrapolate what they believe to have happened based on what is written in the Bible (which can hardly be taken on its face as truth).

Prunepicker
12-10-2010, 04:32 PM
In post #45, I demonstrated that your... contributions, prior to
my response, were not "reasonable arguments". Despite several
pleas to address the...
Okay, I got it. You have no desire whatsoever to discuss the
topic. If you did then you wouldn't spend so much time blathering,
and that's what it is, about how you want everything your way
or the highway.

Fine. I'm going to wait for someone who's interested in a
genuine discussion to a genuinely reasonable question to join in.
You're welcome to join in, just try to say something pertinent
about the topic and not about how you want everything your
way.

You beat everything, you know that?

Good grief.

Joe Daddy
12-10-2010, 05:52 PM
is the easiest religion to Troll.

5 pages of posts from this one line.......I do believe the OP made his point. His trolling line...or, more of a net, has caught theists and anti-theists alike.

And everybody(except Broncho) missed the real issue. The OP stated "Atheism is the easiest religion to troll."

Lol...Nice one MightyHorse. :LolLolLol

Prunepicker
12-10-2010, 06:01 PM
5 pages of posts from this one line... I do believe the OP made
his point. His trolling line...or, more of a net, has caught theists
and anti-theists alike.
Who is OP and what is the point? I know that a couple of
posters have done everything possible to not address a
question, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Joe Daddy
12-10-2010, 06:11 PM
Who is OP and what is the point? I know that a couple of
posters have done everything possible to not address a
question, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Wow.....just...wow..........:doh:


Gosh...what can you say after that? :LolLolLol

Prunepicker
12-10-2010, 06:17 PM
Wow... just... wow...doh:

Gosh... what can you say after that? :LolLolLol
If you don't know just say so. Why do people think that being
enigmatic is a brilliant move, especially when they show no
signs of brilliance?

bandnerd
12-11-2010, 08:29 PM
Wow, so much about this thread makes me really want to participate.

mugofbeer
12-11-2010, 08:48 PM
Being an atheist myself, I feel I have a right to criticize atheists. I find that atheists are too often like vegans or marathon runners - - So full and proud of themselves for what they are, yet hypercritical of those who don't follow the same lifestyle. Too many atheists are very willing to demean and belittle those who choose to have religion.....however, not all religion, mainly Christianity.

At the same time, too many Christians judge and dismiss the atheist point of view as irrelevant. Too bad people simply can't simply accept that people believe different things and live their lives. Both sides feel the need to push and force their beliefs on others instead of being quiet role models for others to just observe.

PennyQuilts
12-11-2010, 08:51 PM
Being an atheist myself, I feel I have a right to criticize atheists. I find that atheists are too often like vegans or marathon runners - - So full and proud of themselves for what they are, yet hypercritical of those who don't follow the same lifestyle. Too many atheists are very willing to demean and belittle those who choose to have religion.....however, not all religion, mainly Christianity.

At the same time, too many Christians judge and dismiss the atheist point of view as irrelevant. Too bad people simply can't simply accept that people believe different things and live their lives. Both sides feel the need to push and force their beliefs on others instead of being quiet role models for others to just observe.

Thanks, Mugs. That's the way it seems to me, too.

bandnerd
12-12-2010, 07:13 AM
Being an atheist myself, I feel I have a right to criticize atheists. I find that atheists are too often like vegans or marathon runners - - So full and proud of themselves for what they are, yet hypercritical of those who don't follow the same lifestyle. Too many atheists are very willing to demean and belittle those who choose to have religion.....however, not all religion, mainly Christianity.

At the same time, too many Christians judge and dismiss the atheist point of view as irrelevant. Too bad people simply can't simply accept that people believe different things and live their lives. Both sides feel the need to push and force their beliefs on others instead of being quiet role models for others to just observe.

I'd like to add Linux users to the list of vegans and marathon runners.

I can at least say that for myself, I don't push my lack of beliefs on anyone. But, I don't let others push their beliefs on me, either. I don't see why people get all riled up about whether or not someone has faith in a higher being. Why should it matter to anyone? People have their beliefs for a reason, and those reasons are often very personal. I don't pretend to understand the relationship a person with faith has with their god, and I don't pretend to think that they will understand my lack of one.

Joe Daddy
12-12-2010, 09:25 AM
I don't see why people get all riled up about whether or not someone has faith in a higher being. Why should it matter to anyone? People have their beliefs for a reason, and those reasons are often very personal.
Emphasis added.

If indeed ones religious beliefs are personal and private, there is no problem. But once those beliefs get injected into society and politics, then problems begin to arise. That is why it matters to many, and should matter to all.

PennyQuilts
12-12-2010, 09:29 AM
I don't think it is any of our business what people around us believe. None, whatsoever. Now, certain actions are something different. But the thing I see is that benign actions are offensive to people who really aren't aggrieved by the actions - they are actually offended by the thoughts behind the actions. Ever seen a mom who thinks her grown child's thoughts, beliefs, career choices and mates are her business? We all know she has boundary problems and most of us think she needs to get a life. I see the same dynamic by people who think they have the "correct" world view who have the audacity to believe they should correct the world around them, condemn them, diminish them, etc. They aren't better people. They are childish and intolerant people. And they are the last people who should be trying to order the world around them because of those boundary problems.

bandnerd
12-12-2010, 09:41 AM
Emphasis added.

If indeed ones religious beliefs are personal and private, there is no problem. But once those beliefs get injected into society and politics, then problems begin to arise. That is why it matters to many, and should matter to all.

Duly noted. I think that's why Mary Fallin and Sally Kern scare me so, so much.

semisimple
12-12-2010, 12:17 PM
Appearance and similarities don't equate to a link. Neanderthal
is a complete species of it's own, i.e. nothing showing movement
toward the species. Where are the micro-evolution evidences?
There aren't any. Neanderthal just showed up. What scientists
have had to do is extrapolate what they believe to have
happened. Unfortunately, they have to do this with every single
species.

Though I have little more than a layman's knowledge--from which I know that micro- and macro-evolution is a false dichotomy--I can agree there is not absolute proof of evolution.

That being said, there is lots of evidence which is consistent with the theory of evolution, and there is no evidence that suggests that the theory of evolution is wrong.

In the context of atheism, it seems much more reasonable to me to explain the origin of man by, in your words, "extrapolating" a theory with a significant observational underpinning rather than to (frankly) make the wild conjecture--without a shred of evidence--that man was simply created by a deity.

semisimple
12-12-2010, 12:24 PM
Duly noted. I think that's why Mary Fallin and Sally Kern scare me so, so much.

What's really scary, and also deeply upsetting, is that their "personal" viewpoints are being injected into the public school curriculum. By re-writing history and omitting scientific theories, young minds can be shaped at will--and the architects of these curriculum overhauls have been happy to divulge their true intentions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/magazine/14texbooks-t.html

PennyQuilts
12-12-2010, 01:03 PM
Trust me - when it comes to creationism, the attitude of the parents/family is going to trump what they hear in school. By the time this course is taught, most kids are at a rebellious stage and are only too willing to throw off traditional teachings unless it is well grounded in the home. I think you guys worry way too much.

Prunepicker
12-12-2010, 09:27 PM
In the context of atheism, it seems much more reasonable to me
to explain the origin of man by, in your words, "extrapolating" a
theory with a significant observational underpinning rather than
to (frankly) make the wild conjecture--without a shred of
evidence--that man was simply created by a deity.
All the above, including the deleted, are good points. Still,
having all of these species show up with no real evidence that
they came from another species takes a lot of non scientific
acceptance and that portion gives credence to a creator.
As science has shown every species is after it's own kind.
When it tries to breed out of it a mule is born, i.e. a varmint
that can't breed.

Until evolutionists can find those missing links from species to
species I can't believe it as viable. Just saying it happened
isn't enough for me to accept.

mugofbeer
12-12-2010, 10:10 PM
Can't say much for Mary Fallin but Sally Kern is dust in the wind. Just a speck in the eye of life that will do absolutely nothing but give the left wing haters something to hang their hats on

Prunepicker
12-12-2010, 11:03 PM
We're not supposed to talk politics anywhere except on the
political threads.

Lord Helmet
12-13-2010, 08:12 AM
Just saying it happened
isn't enough for me to accept.

Do you feel the same way about the way the Bible describes the creation of the Earth?

Edmond_Outsider
12-13-2010, 09:49 AM
All the above, including the deleted, are good points. Still,
having all of these species show up with no real evidence that
they came from another species takes a lot of non scientific
acceptance and that portion gives credence to a creator.
As science has shown every species is after it's own kind.
When it tries to breed out of it a mule is born, i.e. a varmint
that can't breed.

Until evolutionists can find those missing links from species to
species I can't believe it as viable. Just saying it happened
isn't enough for me to accept.

Oh PP, you need to bone up on your biology.

Mules can reproduce. It is rare, but it happens. Lots of interesting stuff happens with living things like mutations, hybrids, mutant hybrids, and eventually, new species.

God is so great, he designed everything to evolove. That's amazing to me and sad that other's insist on creating a tiny little box for god to live in then never letting god out long enough to see how awesome God really is.

My God don't fit in your box, dude which is way more a problem for you than it is to me.

Perhaps this is why you have such an issue with the "concept" of evolution--it's too big an idea for your tiny little God Box to explain.

Evolution, after all, isn't one theory but is a collection of theories. Evolution can't be proved because there's isn't "a" theory to prove but endless numbers of theories, postulates, and hypotheses under the general umbrella of "evolution."

However, some folks need to simplify everything down to "god created it, I beleive it, that settles it."

If that works for you, go with it. But why the need to limit the rest of us?

Stew
12-13-2010, 09:52 AM
We as the human race are so smart that if we can't prove/explain/understand something then the only possible explanation is a creator or god. I mean that only makes sense.

Prunepicker
12-13-2010, 03:16 PM
Mules can reproduce. It is rare, but it happens. Lots of
interesting stuff happens with living things like mutations, hybrids,
mutant hybrids, and eventually, new species.
Can you provide an example of a sterile animal reproducing
with another sterile animal? That'd be very interesting to see.
There's one thing for certain that can't be denied, there is no
evidence of one species becoming another species. Lot's of
extrapolation, but no evidence. That's the point I'm making.
If such evidence existed then we wouldn't be having this
discussion.

onthestrip
12-13-2010, 06:15 PM
Can you provide an example of a sterile animal reproducing
with another sterile animal? That'd be very interesting to see.
There's one thing for certain that can't be denied, there is no
evidence of one species becoming another species. Lot's of
extrapolation, but no evidence. That's the point I'm making.
If such evidence existed then we wouldn't be having this
discussion.

So if you are all about evidence, where is the evidence that makes you believe otherwise? A book written 2000 years ago from secondhand accounts?

bandnerd
12-13-2010, 06:42 PM
Don't we already have a thread discussing evolution? There has to be one...there are many reasons a person would be an atheist, not just the evolution theory.

Edmond_Outsider
12-14-2010, 07:23 AM
Can you provide an example of a sterile animal reproducing
with another sterile animal? That'd be very interesting to see.
There's one thing for certain that can't be denied, there is no
evidence of one species becoming another species. Lot's of
extrapolation, but no evidence. That's the point I'm making.
If such evidence existed then we wouldn't be having this
discussion.
Whoa know big'un, you've just changed the argument.

You said mules can't reproduce and you are clearly ignorant the scientific record.

I didn't say a "sterile" animal can reproduce. This would be silly and contridictory since "sterile" means "can't reproduce." Show me evidence that a pregnant animal can be sterile....show me where a fish can orbit the moon or a tomato can drive a car!

Now that we've covered the absurd, how about some more science?

Many animals are "sterile" for many reasons which have nothing to do with hybridization or mutation or anything which might advance an evolutionary change.

I said many unusual things happen. Many things which "shouldn't happen" do. Now, the burden of proof is on you to prove unusual and improbable things don't happen in nature.

Prunepicker
12-14-2010, 09:51 AM
Whoa know big'un, you've just changed the argument.
You said mules can't reproduce and you are clearly ignorant the
scientific record.
Not true. They are called mules because they are sterile. That's
something that's taught in biology and zoology. Nothing ignorant
about science there. But I gather from your answer that you
may not have an example, or you would have given one.
That's not very scientific. Can you provide an example of a mule
successfully reproducing? That'd be really cool if you could.

bandnerd
12-14-2010, 10:00 AM
Granted, this is from Wiki but I'm just taking a quick break from work:
Fertility

Mules and Hinnies have 63 chromosomes, a mixture of the horse's 64 and the donkey's 62. The different structure and number usually prevents the chromosomes from pairing up properly and creating successful embryos, rendering most mules infertile.

There are no recorded cases of fertile mule stallions.[citation needed] A few female mules have produced offspring when mated with a purebred horse or donkey.[9][10] Since 1527 there have been more than 60 documented cases of foals born to female mules around the world.[9] There are reports that a mule in China produced a foal in 1984.[11][12] In Morocco, in early 2002, a mare mule produced a rare foal.[9] In 2007 a mule named Kate gave birth to a mule son in Colorado.[13][14] Blood and hair samples were tested verifying that the mother was a mule and the colt was indeed her offspring.

PennyQuilts
12-14-2010, 10:08 AM
There have been some exceptions when the mule is bred to a purebred horse but doesn't look like a mule can produce a mule sired by a mule.

bandnerd
12-14-2010, 10:16 AM
No, they can't. They have 63 chromosomes, so it is impossible. However, I believe people bred the two together for their needs.

Now, a liger on the other hand. That is a true evolutionary miracle ;)

Lord Helmet
12-14-2010, 11:37 AM
So if you are all about evidence, where is the evidence that makes you believe otherwise? A book written 2000 years ago from secondhand accounts?

I asked a similar question earlier...which got ignored. Typical.

Broncho
12-14-2010, 12:00 PM
As soon as I am finished with the semester, I will return to dispel some common misconceptions about evolutionary biology. If no one objects, I would like to initiate a new thread so that the discussion can be focused on the topic alone. Moreover, I intend to do the same with a discussion for morality, as it pertains to a secular worldview.

Prunepicker
12-14-2010, 01:03 PM
Granted, this is from Wiki but I'm just taking a quick break from
work: Fertility

Mules and Hinnies have 63 chromosomes, a mixture of the
horse's 64 and the donkey's 62. The different structure and
number usually prevents the chromosomes from pairing up properly
and creating successful embryos, rendering most mules infertile.

There are no recorded cases of fertile mule stallions.[citation
needed] A few female mules have produced offspring when
mated with a purebred horse or donkey.[9][10] Since 1527
there have been more than 60 documented cases of foals born
to female mules around the world.[9] There are reports that
a mule in China produced a foal in 1984.[11][12] In Morocco, in
early 2002, a mare mule produced a rare foal.[9] In 2007 a
mule named Kate gave birth to a mule son in Colorado.[13][14]
Blood and hair samples were tested verifying that the mother
was a mule and the colt was indeed her offspring.
That's very interesting, not to mention really cool. Was there
anything saying whether or that the offspring could reproduce.

What was the offspring called?

bandnerd
12-14-2010, 01:40 PM
That's very interesting, not to mention really cool. Was there
anything saying whether or that the offspring could reproduce.

What was the offspring called?

I didn't read anything else beyond that which talked about the outcome of the resulting offspring. but yes, definitely interesting. What's that quote from Jurassic Park? "Life will find a way." Something like that.

FritterGirl
12-14-2010, 02:13 PM
So if you are all about evidence, where is the evidence that makes you believe otherwise? A book written 2000 years ago from secondhand accounts?

That reminds me of comeidan David Cross' take on things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWOqHHE4upY

bombermwc
12-15-2010, 07:12 AM
Well just like I said before, you can hit each side over the head with a dead fish, but they will never see each other's side.

How about instead of just getting pissed off, we just accept that someone else has a different point of view and we move on? It's called tolerance....

Stew
12-15-2010, 07:17 AM
If there is one thing that I can't tolerate it's tolerance.

Broncho
12-15-2010, 11:09 AM
Well just like I said before, you can hit each side over the head with a dead fish, but they will never see each other's side.

While some people choose to ignore anything that might conflict with their predetermined worldviews, many individuals can be persuaded by valid argumentation. The reality that some can "see each others side" falsifies your analogy.


How about instead of just getting pissed off, we just accept that someone else has a different point of view and we move on? It's called tolerance....

In your response, you seem to have conflated two distinct themes: acceptance and ignorance. An individual can tolerate the reality that his opponent may have endorsed a particular position, but he is not prohibited from observing that such a stance is flawed.

For instance, I can accept that some deny the theory of evolution; however, I can still discuss the issue and attempt to establish its credibility. Moreover, a reasonable individual can be persuaded by reasonable argumentation; if the person is capable of accepting a specific proposition, one cannot logically infer that he was intolerant of the viewpoint to any degree.

That someone embarks on litigation to establish fact from fiction does not suggest that he is intolerant of his opponent's worldview. I accept that you maintain such an outlook on the matter, but I can demonstrate that your perspective is flawed.

bombermwc
12-16-2010, 07:27 AM
Well see now that's entire point. Someone that has that outlook there Broncho, that's the reason why people get so pissed. You're making an arguement for the sake of it. Why do you feel that you NEED to make someone see you're side? That's another reason why people get so angry about things like this....and I believe I made that point previously. An aethist thumper is just as annoying as a bible thumper. And making the argument about a logical point of view.....it's just something to make you feel more "right" than the next person. Faith is something based on....wait for it....faith. It doesn't always have to be logical. I accept the fact that it's a lot more "logical" to infer that there isn't a being out there like God. That doesn't mean that whatever you say is going to make me change my faith, but why would you try to force to do so? Just because it's easier to say there isn't a God, why does that make it so? And how does proving evolution (which I do believe in), make it mutually exclusive to having a belief in God?

You're arguing with me now for the sake of it. Like I said before, I'm a person of science and faith. I don't live in conflict between the two. I'm willing to listen to other ideas on either side, but that doesn't make me an idiot if I don't agree. Call it free-will or opinion....whichever view you want to take.

Joe Daddy
12-16-2010, 06:22 PM
You're making an arguement for the sake of it. Why do you feel that you NEED to make someone see you're side?

And you are arguing for the sake of what, exactly?

Broncho
12-16-2010, 11:13 PM
I would like to preface my rebuttal by highlighting your failure to substantiate your previous comments. In post #159, I fully discredited your remarks, but you have not even attempted to justify their introduction into discourse. Having mentioned that, I request you acknowledge my conditions for argumentation (see post #32) and respond directly to my criticisms if you wish to sustain our discussion.


Well see now that's entire point. Someone that has that outlook there Broncho, that's the reason why people get so pissed.

There is no need to "get so pissed." You advanced a flawed argument and I dismissed it accordingly. I have not attacked you; instead, I have limited my rebuttals to addressing specifically what you have offered. Moreover, your response was flawed, irrespective of my counter. If someone is expected to become upset over the disclosure of error, his outrage is the merely result of his acknowledgment of reality.


Why do you feel that you NEED to make someone see you're side?

I do not feel that I need to make someone see my side, nor do I attempt to make anyone see my side. You seem to have made an assumption based on a prejudicial outlook on debate. If you would like to know why I argue, I will allow you to rephrase your question in such a way that it does not presuppose erroneous conjecture.


That's another reason why people get so angry about things like this....and I believe I made that point previously.

You certainly did not make a point; you made a frivolous assertion that was dismantled in post #159. If you contend that your response had merit, defend it. If you maintain that "people get so angry about things" for whatever reason, make your case.


And making the argument about a logical point of view.....it's just something to make you feel more "right" than the next person.

Do not attempt to turn our disagreement into a personal bout. I make arguments from a logical standpoint so that my position can withstand scrutiny. By contrast, your responses are demonstrably flawed because they are illogical; as a consequence, they cripple under the slightest of reasoning. Having expressed that, I challenge you to substantiate your assertions, starting with those made in post #157.


Faith is something based on....wait for it....faith. It doesn't always have to be logical. I accept the fact that it's a lot more "logical" to infer that there isn't a being out there like God.

If "faith is based on faith", what is to prevent someone from having faith in a magical hippopotamus that grants his every wish? Would his "faith" be any less justified than belief by one who worships Christ? If you assert that faith in a specific deity is more palatable than this arbitrary example, you must offer valid justification for doing so. If you are to contend that acceptance of a deity is warranted because of evidence, you must first present the evidence unambiguously and follow this action by forfeiting the term "faith".

Pursuant to your outline of the term, an individual can have faith in an infinite number of things. Your conviction might sustain you emotionally, but it has no practical relevance in the real world unless the article of your faith actually manifests. Reality is what it is; some people are more apt than others to accepting such an existence.


That doesn't mean that whatever you say is going to make me change my faith, but why would you try to force to do so?

I have never attempted to change someone's beliefs! Will you support your inquisition with a degree of rationalization?


Just because it's easier to say there isn't a God, why does that make it so?

Firstly, your inquiry presupposes that the rejection of a deity is easier than the alternative, but you have neglected to demonstrate the very nature of your premise. Secondly, your question is irrelevant because it fails to add anything of substance to our dispute. Finally, your question does not even make sense! Regroup your thoughts and try again.


And how does proving evolution (which I do believe in), make it mutually exclusive to having a belief in God?

Yet again, you have asked me to account for your assumption! I suspect that your question is rhetorical, but I will not accept the nature of your premise until you demonstrate it to be so. Once you have established that "proving" a scientific fact naturally excludes a belief in a deity, I will do my best to answer your question.


You're arguing with me now for the sake of it.

You are addressing the arguer rather than the argument. Moreover, as Joe Daddy previously illustrated, you seem to be guilty of your own imputation. While such an observation is a tu quoque fallacy, one cannot help but point out the hypocrisy of your charge.

Now, I most certainly am not arguing with you "for the sake of it", but I am willing to consider your points if you think you are capable of demonstrating my intent.


Like I said before, I'm a person of science and faith. I don't live in conflict between the two. I'm willing to listen to other ideas on either side, but that doesn't make me an idiot if I don't agree. Call it free-will or opinion....whichever view you want to take.

These statements have no pertinence to our discussion. You and I seem to be at odds with respect to whether or not people should debate the nature of reality. You may be a "person of science and faith", but your self-proclaimed traits have no bearing on the validity of your adopted stance.

Thus far, you have managed to hurl personal attacks, unsupported claims, and rhetorical questions in rapid-fire succession, but you have neglected to defend any of them from scrutiny. Having identified your questionable conduct and my conditions for dialogue, I invite you to address the points I have made. By observing your own behavior in our correspondence, you might better understand why some individuals become agitated during discourse into controversial matters.

bombermwc
12-17-2010, 06:54 AM
Get off the high horse broncho. If I said something, that's because I felt it was a response to something you said. You can discount it all you want, but that doesn't make it so. That's the entire point of my arguement. You thinkjust because after you explain your side of something, that if the person doesn't change their opinion, then they are stupid. That is hypocrital to what you are trying to make others think here. You can scroll back through the threads to find the responses you gave that say that...i'm not wasting 30 minutes gathering quotes up that are already there.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm open to hearing other's opinions on things. That doesn't mean that at the end of the day, I will agree with them. If i just folded my opinion every time someone had a good argument, what sort of scruples that mean I have?

Broncho - And I haven't seen anything I've pointed out to be a personal attack, but what I have seen is an attempt to try and dismiss a counter-arguement with lots of verbiage. You often say you "dismiss" or "that's irrelevant" in your statments. That type of thing, right there, that's what I'm pointing at. You think it's irrelevant....that doesn't mean someone else does. That's the whole ever loving poing of my discussion. You are discounting the other side because it doesn't think the same way you do. I don't personally care what the arguement is....Is there a God, Really the sky isn't blue, clouds are just the government....whatever you want to throw out there. You just can't start throwing things out because they don't fit into your side of the discussion. I'm at least open to listening to the whole thing, but your own words show you aren't.

PennyQuilts
12-17-2010, 06:57 AM
Broncho, with all due respect, this is a message board. It is a wide open, no holds barred exercise in free speech, much of it related to politicis, religion, civil issues, moral issues and just plain old shooting the breeze. I appreciate that you are attempting to impose logical and intellectual order and control and you strike me as sincere in your efforts. However, IMO, I think you would have better luck bailing out the ocean with a thimble. Respectfully, the type of debate and discussion of faith you propose is not suited for this type of board by virtue of the nature of the participants.

But I'll try.

I've been trained in a modified Socratic method and personally believe it is the best way to learn. That being said, I also learned that when you allow someone to frame the question, the rules for debate and the limits of discussion and consideration, you are playing a losing game and most people won't bother once they figure out the cards are stacked. You have adopted some basic premises on religious faith and are attempting to frame the discussion in a manner that supports your premises. What appears clear is that you have chosen these rules because they logical sense to you. It is a set of rules you've adopted and are attempting to impose based on something you figured out on your own, were taught or what have you. In a perfectly ordered world and in an ordered mind, that works. However, there are many ways to approach a problem and a discussion is one way to reach a solution. By coming to the message board, this is one you've chosen.

By its nature, a debate presupposes that the participants begin with opposing or dissimilar viewpoints. To "win" a debate, arguably, the participants ultimately adopt the reasoning of one or the other debaters. But that isn't how a message board conducts itself. It is generally a give and take and the optimum outcome is that opinions and beliefs may be changed. A message board has its own nature and customs the same way a class room, church service, military operation, engagement party, Thanksgiving Dinner, court room, etc., have theirs.

By its nature, you can't reasonably expect to have the sort of message board interaction if at the start of the discussion, one individual sets the rules for what will be considered and bans certain lines of questioning. Those lines of questioning may not seem relevant to you but they could well lead back to a different solution, even your solution. That is because not everyone arrives at "A" by going through "B." For that matter, I suspect Bunty is off in the math somewhere.

I applaud condemning personal attacks and agree with you that they take away from a civilized debate. However, I am inclined to discount the means you are approaching this because not everything can be approached or will be approached or SHOULD be approached within the guidelines you are insisting. And here is where I pick up on my earlier comments regarding your basic premises.

You are attempting to undermine the concept of religious faith by demanding that it be approached intellectually. The problem with your approach, IMO, is that you seem to have as a basic premise that religious faith is merely a belief system arrived at intellectually based on facts, observable and otherwise. That is not what religious faith is, as defined or experienced by most adherents. And that is what MWC was saying to you.

IMO, you are confusing theology with religious faith. Atheism is arrived at logically, for the most part. For the most part, it is a belief system based on logic and facts known to the adherent. In contrast, faith does not lend itself to an intellectual debate because it isn't based on logic or fact. You might just as well attempt to rebut the existence of hunger or love or fury of loyalty through logic. It is far more complex and subjective than that. And I would argue that, like love, loyalty, hunger, etc., there are independent reasons and explainable reasons (social, personal, physicial, cultural) for their existence but you don't arrive at them intellectually (other than arguing they have physiological roots but I would argue faith does, also). And yet they are real and have meaning in our lives and in our community.

In short, I think you can debate, intellectually, whether atheism makes sense or is logical. However, I don't believe religious faith can be approached in the same manner because it is based on something more complex. And yet, people have faith. It is real. Faith is not equivalent to theology. And I think that is why people have such a difficult time debating it. To claim that atheism is logical and faith is not, ergo, faith is defeated is irrational. You might just as well be arguing that apples are logically superior to oranges, therefore, oranges don't exist or shouldn't exist, When you make intellectual arguments, you are not even touching on faith - you are arguing as if it were an intellectual belief system and that is not the defining characteristic of faith, for most.

It is a common error because the word "faith" in the venacular has a certain meaning (roughly that you believe certain facts without proof). Religious faith is more an attitude or world view for most adherents. Other than using the same word, they aren't really describing the same thing. It is an old word/concept that has evolved over time to the point where someone without a religious background, training or experience wouldn't realize the difference. Granted, a religious fundamentalist is more concrete in their faith because their theology is often more fact based. Accordingly, they are easier to refute because their "faith" is often more akin to their theology. But for most, faith and theology are defined differently.

MWC and you could argue whether evolution is real. That lends itself to intellectual debate. And if creationism is a big part of his particular theology (and I am just using him as an example), you could undermine his theology. But even if you did, that doesn't follow that his faith is less valid, even logically, because we lack untimate facts one way or the other on so many religious questions. Focusing on the easy ones to knock the legs out from under isn't persuasive for most.

bombermwc
12-17-2010, 08:18 AM
And that is exactlly what I was trying to say...just in a shorter way. Sometimes it helps to get it all out there in the long-winded version. I appreicate Penny's comments here. The predisposition I saw in the discussion was that belief in God was something that needed to be corrected. Obviously that's an opinion...and one i don't/won't agree with. As you say, faith is not logic...it's faith.

Stew
12-17-2010, 09:11 AM
I don't believe in a god which by definition makes me an atheists. I however am not so arrogant as to proclaim there is no god in the universe because that would be a silly proclamation. All I can logically say is that I haven't found god yet but I'm open to the possibility. I do believe there atheists in this world who not only believe there is no god but hope upon hope as well that there is no god. Like rooting your favorite football team to win.

Now as far religion all I can say in my life I've seen far greater good come from it than bad. People in my life have derived a great deal of serenity, community and fellowship from the practice of their religion. I don't look down on them or think them silly. If anything at time I'm envious of their faith.

When it comes to arguing the existence of god well the only possible winners of that argument are those who believe. You can never prove there is NO god. One can only prove that god exists. If somebody wants to believe in god I say more power to them.

Roadhawg
12-17-2010, 11:05 AM
Well said Stew

MadMonk
12-17-2010, 01:07 PM
Well said Stew
:yeahthat:

Prunepicker
12-17-2010, 09:25 PM
... But I'll try.
And you did so eloquently.
Good job, PQ!

Joe Daddy
12-18-2010, 10:51 AM
I found this in the comments section of a blog on religion, Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism, etc...Very insightful observation on this fellows part:


I'm all about people believing or not believing what they want, as long as they don't force it on other people, and as long as it harms no one. I understand how important it is to point out the flaws and fallacies in religion for people who accept their religion as right not just for themselves but for everyone. But when you try to point out these things to someone who wants to mind their own business with their religion, it feels like you're out to take their religion away from them by proving them wrong. It feels like you want to dissolve that which gives them joy and hope by proving it illogical and irrelevant.

As someone who recognizes the fallacies of religion, but still has extremely powerful emotional response via spirituality, which can be triggered by the trappings of religion, it feels like, when people argue with what works for us, you're out to take that away from people who feel it. I believe some people are wired to want religion, to need it, to crave it, and others aren't. Of course, I have no formal data to back this up, but I'd love to see a study done on it. As long as those people don't force their views on other people, what's wrong with having religion or faith?

Personally, I enjoy the debate of religion V. Atheism. Both sides get carried away and angry at times, and then the debate or discussion ends, which is sad. Whatever one believes, when someone casts doubt upon those beliefs, it's natural to want to defend those beliefs, even when a rational argument against those beliefs is presented.

One of the best questions anyone can ask themselves, at least I think so, is "Are my beliefs really true?.... and What if my beliefs really are wrong, or based upon flawed information?" A great question to follow wherever it may lead.

PennyQuilts
12-18-2010, 05:29 PM
One of the best questions anyone can ask themselves, at least I think so, is "Are my beliefs really true?.... and What if my beliefs really are wrong, or based upon flawed information?" A great question to follow wherever it may lead.

I appreciate and respect the above comment so please consider this response to be a respectful one.

I'm one of those people who is, by nature, a thinker. Not bragging, just describing. Some of us are predominately thinkers, some creators, some doers, some lovers, some helpers, etc. But because I was/am a thinker, it has always been essential to me to understand, analyse, take apart, (intellectually) and put back together. I don't like things that are illogical or that have holes in the reasoning. By nature and training, the existence of those holes or gaps cause me to be skeptical of a theory or a story. We value "intellect" in our culture but when you get right down to it, it can be as annoying as it is helpful.

I did not come from a religious family and their strategy was to allow me to figure out for myself what I believed. When I was an adult, they confided they, personally, did not believe. My folks weren't churchgoers but I went with neighbors who were predominately Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist. I even checked out the Mormon church. As a child, I worried because I wasn't baptized for fear that I would die and not go to heaven. My ideas, like most children, were very concrete.

As I got older, as someone stated, above, I sometimes envied my friends who were raised in a faith and accepted it. I was, I will admit, a bit put off by the times they took it for granted or acted hypcritically because it struck me as disrespectful to their faith and also thoughtless. IMO, they didn't know how good they had it to have the answers laid out for them and be surrounded by people who believed. What a gift.

For a time, I went to a Baptist church and tried to understand the theology. The longer I went, the more questions I had and the preacher, who was a well educated man, couldn't answer them. Most of my "important" questions were answered with,"you just have to have faith." I found that to be very insufficient and unsatisfying.

In my undergrad, I took a number of pre-seminary classes (even got a Christianity award!) and these were the toughest classes I ever took, including anything I ever took in law school. I assume my professors were Christian but you wouldn't have known it from the content of their classes or the way they challenged us. As one professor said, "You will get all kinds of questions as a leader in a church by smart people. You need to be ready for them or at least be familiar with them." And those professors laid an excellent foundation of knowledge of the content of the bible, scriptural interpretation, etc. (as an aside, I would recommend these type of classes for anyone who is intellectually inclined and willing to do the work). I would leave those classes wondering how in the world Christianity got from where it began to what I saw around me in churches I'd attended.

Not having a strong christian family, I was open to admitting to being agnostic in my twenties (even in Oklahoma) but was willing to consider converting to protestant christianity. After a few years of study, as described above, coupled with independent study, I found I just couldn't accept the theology. I didn't buy much of the history and was put off by the traditional treatment/attitude towards women by the faith. What I was told, repeatedly, was that Christianity was a religion of love and women were honored, blah, blah, blah. Instead of being reassured, it just made me irritated that the modern day christians were cherry picking their theology to fit in with the times. That just cheapened the faith, to me. I mean, if it is "real," you don't go the cafeteria route. And lord knows the Catholics (who I love) used birthcontrol right and left and very few of them go to confession. You can't tell me they are worried they'll go to pergutory if they die in sin. I didn't see the point of being Jewish, although I admire their intellectual discipline and integrity. As for Islam, I admired the passion but they made the Christians look like pikers when it came to treating women like dirt.

From my childhood, I felt a profoundly deep connection with god/the creator/the big cupcake in the sky. However, after a great deal of consideration, I just decided to hell with it. I'll be pagan, primative, love nature, honor the earth mother. The less theology, the better. If that means god is nothing more than an energy source, fine with me. IMO, the more we try to define god in terms man understands, the more we diminish him. IMO, we don't even know the questions to ask to determine if he is "real."

But beyond that, as I get older, my faith in a god/gods who is aware of our presence and cares has only become more solidified. I have come to believe that you cannot find god that way. Primative people could explain things they saw in nature and their questions about god through myth, theory or story that others weren't in a position to challenge. We have carried to modern times those stories and now that they can be easily defeated, it leaves many people with "proof" that there is no god. It is easy to knock down the theories of primative or uneducated people. Their stories and theories will be full of holes and illogical. But IMO, to ask the kinds of quesions suggested by Jersey, you aren't really questioning whether there IS a god. You are merely adopting the definition/limits of god as decided by primative people from thousands of years ago.

I know from my own life and from speaking of this with many, many people of faith that they don't believe in god because of what they were taught or their theology. The believe in god because he speaks to them, he rests in their cells and in their soul. He is as real to them as any experience they've ever had, any love they've ever felt. Some people don't have that experience. I personally can't imagine not having it - to me, it is akin to my other senses - sight, hearing, touch, etc. Some people might equate it to like a sixth or seventh sense - sort of a supernatural connection. Describing that is just about as easy as describing what it is like to see to a blind man, what it is like to hear to a deaf person. Perhaps some people have a spiritual "sense" and others don't. I don't know and since it is so hard to describe, I am not sure there is any way for someone who lacks it to truly understand what I am talking about. Those who have a religious faith, however, will understand. In fact, they will likely experience a "duh" because, to them, well, it is just "duh." It is THAT obvious. But not to others.

But there you go - that is a long winded response to why I think an intellectual inquiry isn't the road to god.

Joe Daddy
12-18-2010, 06:16 PM
Thanks for sharing that story Penny. I was brought up by what a friend of mine calls the Baptist Taliban, lol. I say that truly with humor. I was scared to admit I was Agnostic until probably 5 years ago. Like you, too many unanswered questions...


Instead of being reassured, it just made me irritated that the modern day christians were cherry picking their theology to fit in with the times. That just cheapened the faith, to me. I mean, if it is "real," you don't go the cafeteria route


Cherry picking is the natural evolution of modern religion, and I don't see that as a bad thing. If the bible was taken literally, as it was in ancient times, it would be quite similar to radical Islam today. Hopefully Islam will speed up its cherry picking evolution and catch up with modern Christianity and Judiasim.

kevinpate
12-19-2010, 12:18 PM
> Baptist Taliban

Known a few.
8^)

PennyQuilts
12-19-2010, 05:40 PM
> Baptist Taliban

Known a few.
8^)

What a great line.

Wacokid
12-21-2010, 03:30 PM
There is no doubt that the woes of the world can be summed up in a single word: OVERSIMPLIFICATION

PennyQuilts
12-21-2010, 04:40 PM
There is no doubt that the woes of the world can be summed up in a single word: OVERSIMPLIFICATION

Er... no.

Broncho
12-21-2010, 11:53 PM
I apologize for the length of this rebuttal. Unfortunately, what takes someone only minutes to assert, requires tenfold the time and effort to debunk. While the entire response is quite extended, it can be divided roughly into halves for ease of analysis. The first-half of my rebuttal consists mostly of challenges for substantiation, while the second-half houses the bulk of philosophical exploration.

So that the context may be transparent for all, I have responded directly to specific themes that are referenced in quotations. On many occasions, PennyQuilts bluntly crafted false positions on my behalf and attempted to discredit the straw men she created. Rather than responding directly to what I have written previously, she attacked pseudo-arguments of her own projection. With this in mind, I ask the readers of OKCTalk to note the numerous instances of misrepresentations, misdirection, and baseless assertions offered by PennyQuilts.


I've been trained in a modified Socratic method and personally believe it is the best way to learn.

In my response, I have exposed your failed reasoning and I ask that you either retract your flawed arguments or defend them from censure. That having been expressed, I predict you will sidestep the points I have made in this rebuttal. In this isolated case, I fervently welcome the opportunity of being disproved.


Broncho, with all due respect, this is a message board. It is a wide open, no holds barred exercise in free speech, much of it related to politicis, religion, civil issues, moral issues and just plain old shooting the breeze.

I have never disputed the nature of this forum, so I question why you are attempting to lecture me on this issue. That the setting for correspondence happens to be an online message board does not suggest that its users cannot substantiate their claims, address legitimate issues, or refrain from ad hominem attacks. Indeed, I am capable of honest dialogue, despite the venue. In this particular case, the medium by which we communicate is not an obstacle to straightforward discourse.


I appreciate that you are attempting to impose logical and intellectual order and control and you strike me as sincere in your efforts. However, IMO, I think you would have better luck bailing out the ocean with a thimble.

I am not "attempting to impose logical and intellectual order!" I am trying to honestly discuss issues of spirited contention. Asking an opponent to support his assertion and forgo personal attacks is not comparable to an effort to "impose logical and intellectual order." On that note, I request that you substantiate your claim. What have I done to "impose logical and intellectual order" in discussion? Please reference specific quotes that may support your implication.


Respectfully, the type of debate and discussion of faith you propose is not suited for this type of board by virtue of the nature of the participants.

Are you suggesting that the following requests are unreasonable?

I ask that my opponents support their assertions.
I request that my detractors abstain from issuing personal attacks, in lieu of addressing my position.
I ask that my points are acknowledged, rather than avoided entirely.
I plead that responses actually pertain to discussion and do not further complicate the issue(s) by introducing new and unnecessary agents into contention.
If reasonable dialogue is not suited for this forum, what form of debate is acceptable? Specifically, which components of my requests are not appropriate for this venue? Finally, what authorizes you to make such an assessment? Please answer my questions!


That being said, I also learned that when you allow someone to frame the question, the rules for debate and the limits of discussion and consideration, you are playing a losing game and most people won't bother once they figure out the cards are stacked.

Limiting discussion to themes that actually pertain to dispute is not comparable to stacking the deck with the intent of gaining an unfair advantage. In any case, if you intend to argue that I have "framed the question" or "stacked the deck", I request that you support your contention with relevant citations. Please do not avoid this request for substantiation.


You have adopted some basic premises on religious faith and are attempting to frame the discussion in a manner that supports your premises.

Please identify these premises and articulate how you have come to learn of my supposed thoughts on religious faith. Moreover, I request that you annotate exactly how I have attempted to "frame the discussion" in such a way that "supports [my] premises." I invite you to examine my contributions in this thread and ask that you reference specific statements that support your assertion.


What appears clear is that you have chosen these rules because they logical sense to you.

That which "appears clear" must actually manifest in discussion, so I request that you follow this claim with applicable references. Please cite specifically my statements in which these rules clearly appear or retract your statement.


It is a set of rules you've adopted and are attempting to impose based on something you figured out on your own, were taught or what have you.

Please outline these rules [regarding religion] that I am attempting to impose. Since this set of rules "appears clear", you may copy and paste my statements in order to substantiate your claim.


By its nature, you can't reasonably expect to have the sort of message board interaction if at the start of the discussion, one individual sets the rules for what will be considered and bans certain lines of questioning. Those lines of questioning may not seem relevant to you but they could well lead back to a different solution, even your solution. That is because not everyone arrives at "A" by going through "B."

The dispute between bombermwc and me hinged on whether or not individuals should debate issues of faith and certain aspects of reality. In post #157, bombermwc argued that people "will never see each others side" and implied that skepticism of a particular position amounted to intolerance of that position. Within hours of his contribution, I obliterated his stance on the matter by addressing specifically the themes he actually advanced (see post #159). In response, he failed to acknowledge the points I had made; instead, he simply restated his already debunked thesis and attempted to narrate his worldview in such a way that it reconciles faith and science (see post #160).

Provided the nature of our dispute, which centered on whether or not individuals should debate issues of faith and reality, his response was irrelevant. Even if I accept that bombermwc is capable of integrating faith with science, his response did not make a case for why people should not discuss such issues in the first place!

Do you contend that bombermwc was on to something with his rambling?


You are attempting to undermine the concept of religious faith by demanding that it be approached intellectually.

(...)

The problem with your approach, IMO, is that you seem to have as a basic premise that religious faith is merely a belief system arrived at intellectually based on facts, observable and otherwise. That is not what religious faith is, as defined or experienced by most adherents. And that is what MWC was saying to you.

Please enlighten me on how you have come to know of my intentions. You have, at your disposal, an entire thread from which to obtain quotes. Proclaiming one's position without justification is a fallacious and dishonest tactic. Please support your declaration.


Atheism is arrived at logically, for the most part. For the most part, it is a belief system based on logic and facts known to the adherent.

Nothing about atheism requires logic or reason and it is no more of a "belief system" than not collecting stamps is a hobby. Atheism denotes a lack of belief in a deity. It does not imply what someone does accept; it can only imply what someone does not accept. To establish this point, I will construct a Venn diagram if you so desire.


In contrast, faith does not lend itself to an intellectual debate because it isn't based on logic or fact.

That faith does not derive from logic or fact does not suggest it cannot be intelligently discussed at all. Indeed, nothing in existence is "based on logic" except perhaps logic itself. For example, the existence of the earth is not contingent upon logical procedure to describe it. Thus, it is not "based on logic" and would exist even if no minds were around to contemplate its presence. If society were to adopt your "reasoning", we would not be able to intelligently discuss the nature of the earth because it is not "based on logic". To expand upon this principle, you may replace the term "earth" with any variable of your choosing and you will arrive at the same conclusion. That humans can utilize logical processes and critical thinking in order to investigate the world around us falsifies your unsupported assertion.

In order to contemplate the nature of the world around us, philosophers observe four fundamental pillars of logic:

law of identity
law of excluded middle
law of non-contradiction
law of sufficient reason
The concept of faith, however one defines it, is subject to the nature of existence upon which these laws of logic are based. By utilizing procedures of logic, one can construct valid inferences for the concept and attempt to explain it to others. Ironically, in attempt to outline the nature of faith, you must resort to using logical processes in order to demonstrate its illogical qualities, thus refuting your own implication. If a concept exists, it can be discussed intelligently, even if the concept itself is illogical. Please defend or retract your assertion.


You might just as well attempt to rebut the existence of hunger or love or fury of loyalty through logic. It is far more complex and subjective than that. And I would argue that, like love, loyalty, hunger, etc., there are independent reasons and explainable reasons (social, personal, physicial, cultural) for their existence but you don't arrive at them intellectually (other than arguing they have physiological roots but I would argue faith does, also). And yet they are real and have meaning in our lives and in our community.

(...)

You might just as well be arguing that apples are logically superior to oranges, therefore, oranges don't exist or shouldn't exist, When you make intellectual arguments, you are not even touching on faith - you are arguing as if it were an intellectual belief system and that is not the defining characteristic of faith, for most.

(...)

And yet, people have faith. It is real.

I have never argued that a concept such as faith cannot exist! What I question is the existence of the thing upon which the faith is based. I previously pointed out that an individual can have faith in an infinite number of things, regardless of whether or not those things actually manifest in reality. Undoubtedly, one may have faith in the existence of X, but the presence of such faith does not suggest that X exists accordingly. Do not misrepresent my position on the matter!

In my previous post, I asked bombermwc if faith in a magical hippopotamus would be any less justified than belief in a particular deity. That question remains to be addressed or even referenced. Rather than perverting my stance on faith, why do you not tackle the position I have already made known?


In short, I think you can debate, intellectually, whether atheism makes sense or is logical. However, I don't believe religious faith can be approached in the same manner because it is based on something more complex.

Your response is a complete non sequitur! Even if I grant your bare assertion that religious faith is "more complex" than atheism, such a circumstance does not suggest that it cannot be discussed intellectually. Are you prepared to give an account for why something "more complex" cannot be approached with reason? Are you even capable of demonstrating that religious faith is indeed "more complex" than atheism, as you have posited in you premise?

You have proposed something that does not logically follow from an unsupported set of premises; a response could hardly be more void of substance. Please demonstrate your claim!


IMO, you are confusing theology with religious faith.

(...)

Faith is not equivalent to theology.

Please define "faith" and "theology". When you have established your terms, we can then discuss whether or not they are equivalent.


To claim that atheism is logical and faith is not, ergo, faith is defeated is irrational.

I have never claimed that "faith is defeated" because of its illogical nature. You seem to be proposing a straw man argument on my behalf. Quite simply, I have asked whether or not faith in a magical hippopotamus is less justified than faith in a particular deity. You may replace the magical hippopotamus with any variable of your choosing; the point of the exercise is to illustrate that an individual can possess a faith of an infinite number of things. If someone asserts that faith in one thing is more justified in faith in another thing, he must articulate a case for his stance. Please do not misrepresent my argument. If you wish to refute my posture on the matter, you may quote my statements and respond directly to them one-by-one, just as I have done with your response.


It is a common error because the word "faith" in the venacular has a certain meaning (roughly that you believe certain facts without proof). Religious faith is more an attitude or world view for most adherents. Other than using the same word, they aren't really describing the same thing. It is an old word/concept that has evolved over time to the point where someone without a religious background, training or experience wouldn't realize the difference.

Do not attempt to complicate the issue! In the context of belief, religious faith is a subset of conventional faith, which comprises "belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." In religious circles, uncompromising acceptance of a particular deity is often considered to be a virtue. When an individual finds himself in doubt over theistic propositions, he is often told to "just believe". As previously defined, faith encompasses the subcategory of religious faith.

Not all faith is religious in nature, but all religious faith is faith by definition.


But even if you did, that doesn't follow that his faith is less valid, even logically, because we lack untimate facts one way or the other on so many religious questions. Focusing on the easy ones to knock the legs out from under isn't persuasive for most.

By definition, faith is belief "that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." If someone has evidence or facts to support a position, he must forfeit his usage of the term "faith" when describing his belief.

When addressing bombermwc, I asked if belief in a magical hippopotamus was any less justified than belief in a particular deity. My question has yet to be answered.


As I near a conclusion, I ask that you acknowledge the points I have made, just as I have done with your rebuttal.
Will you concede that my conditions for debate are reasonable?
Will you acknowledge that atheism is not a belief?
Will you admit that one can intellectually discuss the concept of faith?
Will you recognize that I never questioned the existence of faith itself?
Will you acknowledge that you proposed an unsupported non sequitur when you argued that religious faith cannot be "approached in the same manner because it is based on something more complex?"
Will you concede that religious faith is a subset of the term faith, as it is conventionally understood?
Will you admit that bombermwc's response was irrelevant to discussion?

In addition to making concessions, I request that you substantiate the following assertions:
You claimed that I was attempting to "impose logical and intellectual order" in this forum.
You implied that I am attempting to "frame the questions" or stack the deck in such a way that affords me an unfair advantage in debate.
You asserted that I have adopted a set of premises on faith and have attempted to frame the discussion in the way you have described.
You suggested that I have chosen certain rules because they make logical sense to me and that I am attempting to impose them in discussion.
You claimed that I was attempting to "undermine the concept of religious faith by demanding that it be approached intellectually."

I would like to conclude this post by expressing gratitude for your patience and consideration. I wish you all the very best and I hope to receive a thoughtful response in the near future. Merry Christmas, members of OKCTalk!

bombermwc
12-22-2010, 06:51 AM
Super long post = not gonna read it all. Broncho - you've already shown that you refust to accept that somsone else has a different opinion from yourself, regardless of what the basis of that opinion.

I for one am chosing to walk away from this discussion. You are free to read into that whatever you want, but I'm tired of talking to a brick wall. I would love to have a nice philosophical discussion with you in person some time. As Penny said, forums just don't really serve as a good medium for this type of discussion. For one thing, it's incredibly frustrating having to jump around in a thread to pull out small sound bite quotes like you do and I don't have time to do that.

As I walk away from this, one thing I don't want you to do is think that I'm diminishing your opinion. You obviously have strong feelings, but they also don't really seem to be based on the aetheism/faith discussion....more on the form of debate. I just don't want to spend any more time saying the same thing over and over only to see you say that you just want to dismiss it (whether several others share my view of your statements or not). Should we meet one day, I would LOVE to have a nice civil discussion (not argument) about this. I actually rather enjoy discussion the two perspectives....AS LONG AS no one's goal is to convert. I'm not interested in being converted and you shouldn't be trying to force me to...I'm not trying to force you to believe....so show me the same respect I show you. And that statement right there, does not make me stupid....it makes me tolerant of others.

I bid you adieu on this thread.

bandnerd
12-22-2010, 07:13 AM
Hahahahahaha bullet points make my day.

Matt
12-22-2010, 07:14 AM
When I began writing this, I had the notion that I would write about something positive and optimistic instead of going on about how inimical Broncho is. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of anything particularly positive to write about. So, instead, I'll just tell you that what we need from Broncho is fewer monologues and more dialogue. For those of you who like to eat dessert before soup, my conclusion at the end of this letter is going to be that if we don't soon tell Broncho to stop what he's doing, he will proceed with his grumpy, infernal activities, considerably emboldened by our lack of resistance. We will have tacitly given Broncho our permission to do so. Sometimes I think that he is simply a willing pawn of those noisome, incorrigible knuckle-draggers who open the gates of Hell. I typically drop that willing-pawn notion, however, whenever I remember that contrary to my personal preferences, I'm thinking about what's best for all of us. My conclusion is that what's best for all of us is for me to tell Broncho where he can stick it.

Any meaningful analysis of the situation must allow for the fact that if I hear Broncho's disciples say, "Every word that leaves Broncho's mouth is teeming with useful information" one more time, I'm unequivocally going to throw up. We can all have daydreams about Happy Fuzzy Purple Bunny Land, where everyone is caring, loving, and nice. Not only will those daydreams not come true, but Broncho had promised us liberty, equality, and fraternity. Instead, he gave us mysticism, clericalism, and fanaticism. I suppose we should have seen that coming, especially since if you read between the lines of Broncho's inclinations, you'll truly find that Broncho's primary goal is to spit on sacred icons. All of his other objectives are secondary to this one supreme purpose. That's why you must always remember that some of the facts I'm about to present may seem shocking. This they certainly are. However, honest people will admit that Broncho's helpers ought to work with us in a calm, constructive way to arraign Broncho at the tribunal of public opinion. Concerned people are not afraid to push a consistent vision that responds to most people's growing fears about corrupt lamebrains. And sensible people know that I'll tell you what we need to do about all the craziness Broncho is mongering. We need to convince the government to clamp down hard on Broncho's expositions.

Whatever else may be the case, it is certain that Broncho has inadvertently provided us with an instructive example that I find useful in illustrating certain ideas. By mocking, ridiculing, deprecating, and objurgating people for their religious beliefs, Broncho makes it clear that I myself don't need to tell you that he should take a step back and look at everything from a different perspective. That should be self-evident. What is less evident is that there are some simple truths in this world. First, we need to educate others about the pranks and prevarications of impetuous, petulant knee-biters. Second, his screeds are a blatantly obvious and cleverly orchestrated script, carefully concocted to guarantee the destruction of anything that looks like a vital community. And finally, his arguments are full of hair-splitting, lawyer-like quibbling, and references to obscure authorities. That concept can be extended, mutatis mutandis, to the way that you may have noticed that Broncho assigns blame to everyone but himself. But you don't know the half of it. For starters, Broncho's drones like to say, "Broncho is as innocent as a newborn lamb." Such frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. If someone wants me to believe something pesky like that, that person will have to show me some concrete evidence. Meanwhile, I intend to show you that there's a chance that Broncho will retard the free and natural economic development of various countries' indigenous population any day now. Well, that's extremely speculative, but it is clear today that Broncho's orations are based on hate. Hate, sesquipedalianism, and an intolerance of another viewpoint, another way of life.

When Broncho made his puppy-dog helots wag their little tails by promising to let them inculcate self-righteous double standards, I realized for the first time that Broncho is firmly convinced that he is God's representative on Earth. His belief is controverted, however, by the weight of the evidence indicating that in this case, the obvious solution is also the correct one. The mere mention of that fact guarantees that this letter will never get published in any mass-circulation periodical that Broncho has any control over. But that's inconsequential because I shall not argue that Broncho's message board postings are an authentic map of his plan to divert our attention from serious issues. Read them and see for yourself. Mark my words: Broncho appears committed to the proposition that his views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while other people's positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological, and unworthy of serious consideration. If you were to get a second opinion from someone who's not a member of Broncho's separatism movement, however, he'd of course tell you that Broncho's vicegerents often reverse the normal process of interpretation. That is, they value the unsaid over the said, the obscure over the clear.

Do you, like Broncho, think that the moon is made of green cheese? If you do, you're very uppity. The fact is that I try never to argue with Broncho because it's clear he's not susceptible to reason. There is one final irony to my story. Broncho's slaphappy cock-and-bull stories are an evil without remedy.