Author Topic: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists  (Read 9502 times)

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Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2015, 07:10:18 pm »
@mojo, what ironchew did was throw a punch below the belt after i posted this. my... bad blood with jw's and a case of me being off my rocker.

besides, what i wrote was a joke. a poor one, true, but a joke nonetheless.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 07:13:20 pm by guizonde »
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Offline Canadian Mojo

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2015, 07:58:35 pm »
Well that would explain it.

My apologies.

Offline pyro

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2015, 10:19:11 pm »
How does that work out in the long run? Ask Thor and Zeus what they're doing these days now that we've figured out how thunder and lightning really work.

(A) The discovery of electromagnetism isn't what tore apart the old pagan belief systems. Convert-or-die Christianity did they.

(B) God of the gaps doesn't end with people refusing to install lightning rods because "Zeus will protect me." Protecting your house from lightning is clearly an improvement over not doing so; the fact that you technically still think Zeus exists doesn't change the fact that the resulting actions aren't irrational.
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Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2015, 06:58:12 am »
We've sent rovers and the like to Mars, and have thus far found zero evidence that the Martian environment can support any life above the microscopic level.
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Is it really so irrational?  There are some reasons to believe there's actual evidence in favor of God's existence.
Go on then. This'll be good for a laugh.
*Smiles evilly*  You just painted a giant target on your back, and you probably don't even realize it.  To quote your own source:

Quote from: Wikipedia
An argument from ignorance occurs when either a proposition is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proved false or a proposition is assumed to be false because it has not yet been proved true.

You're assuming God doesn't exist simply because nobody's proven He exists.  Your own citation is undermining your point, arguing at cross purposes with you.
Well poopypants, I kind of ballsed that one up. Let me quote the full paragraph.
Quote from: Wikipeds
When two parties are in a discussion and one affirms a claim that the other disputes, the one who affirms has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim.[1] An argument from ignorance occurs when either a proposition is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proved false or a proposition is assumed to be false because it has not yet been proved true.[2][3] This has the effect of shifting the burden of proof to the person criticizing the proposition, but is not valid reasoning.[4]
Pay close attention to the first sentence. The one who affirms has to make with the evidence. If the affirmative side can't prove it, then due to Occam's Razor (the simplest possible solution takes precedence over more complex yet equally unproven alternatives), their proposition is assumed false until proven otherwise, as the side with fewer unproven assumptions can be assumed more probable than the alternative. If Occam's Razor didn't apply, then yes, assuming either one is true would be fallacious, but in the case of God exists vs. God doesn't exist, this is simply not the case.

My apologies for screwing up the quote. I should've been more clear about it in the first place.
And as for your other one:

Quote from: Wikipedia
A negative claim may exist as a counter point to a previous claim. A proof of impossibility or an evidence of absence argument are typical methods to fulfil the burden of proof for a negative claim.

You have yet to use either of these methods.  Instead, you're taking absence of evidence to be the same as evidence of absence, which is a massive fallacy.  Maybe you should have read these sources more thoroughly before using them to back you up.
In the case of deities, the aforementioned Occam's Razor (which you seem to be confusing for "absence of evidence=evidence of absence" reasoning). That alone is enough to discount gods of any flavour until some serious hard evidence of their existence comes to light. Then if you want to consider the Christian god specifically, there's the plethora of objectively false claims in the Bible, as well as it's history. You know, that book whose entire purpose is to convince people of Christianity. Though of course, that's merely the cherry on top.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 07:03:37 am by Art Vandelay »

Offline mellenORL

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2015, 10:33:59 am »
If there is a god, he sure seems to enjoy punking his followers by never arriving on scene or even calling in to back them up in an argument over his existence.  Srsly, is a sky writing Tweet or a toot on Gabriel's horn so much to ask? Immortal dickhead, if you ask me...
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Offline Ghoti

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2015, 10:57:52 am »

Don't mind me.
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Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2015, 12:08:00 pm »
You've got it backwards, Art.  See, you're the one who started the argument in favor of God's nonexistence, therefore, you're taking the affirmative side. 

Given the social expectation we have to validate (or "respect") nonsensical beliefs just because they're religious, I for one wholeheartedly support ripping into it. It's a stupid double standard, really. If someone believes in ghosts or bigfoot, you're not expected to "respect their beliefs". Quite the opposite, really. But if they believe in God, suddenly we're expected to walk on eggshells. I more than approve of bucking that nonsensical trend.

If it were the other way around, you'd be completely right.  But you're the one making the claim, and I'm the one disputing it.

And citing Occam's Razor, eh?  Heh heh heh.



It's completely useless in theology.  If anything, it's a shot in the foot.  "God did it" is a far simpler explanation for the creation of the universe than just about anything else.

As for the Bible's historical accuracy, you have to consider the culture of the Ancient Near East.  Some details of the battles, for instance, can be explained by the fact that exaggeration, dramatization, and outright fabrication were routine in those days.  Even Herodotus, The Father of History, preferred an element of show to pure analysis.  And yet he's generally considered a reliable source by modern scholars, thanks to archeological discoveries showing strong evidence for his claims.  Moreover, huge chunks of Genesis are considered to be metaphorical by many, and have been since at least the Fourth Century CE.

Offline The_Queen

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2015, 02:04:12 pm »
You've got it backwards, Art.  See, you're the one who started the argument in favor of God's nonexistence, therefore, you're taking the affirmative side. 

Wrong. What you're getting into is reframing the issue in an attempt to shift the burden of proof. However, in formal logic, the burden of proof most often lies on the one that can most easily satisfy it. For example, if I say "all ravens are black" and you say "not all ravens are black," then the burden of proof lies on the claim that can be most easily proven. However, I can rephrase the statements to be "there are no ravens that are white," and you would retort "there are ravens that are white." For all intents and purposes, the two examples I just gave you are the exact same, one is just stated in the positive and the other in the negative (all ravens are black vs. there are no white ravens). However, for both of these examples, the burden of proof lies on the second person since that person is asserting the existence of ravens that are not black.

And the point of all of this is that it is easier for the second person to present the world one raven that is white than it is for the first to gather all ravens, across the entire world, across all time, to confirm that they are all black. Since you are asserting the presence of god in the universe, all you need to do is come up with some proof for its existence. The burden of proof is not on Art to prove that god does not exist, is not hiding, has not abandoned humanity, has not died, etc. It is far easier for you to prove one of these (god exists, god is hiding, god abandoned humanity, god died, etc) than it is for Art to disprove all of these, not to mention any other excuse that the mind could conjure up. This isn't rocket science: it's something you'd learn in philosophy 101 at just about any university.

And for clarity, I use black and white ravens as the only two possibilities. While there could theoretically be a red raven (or some other in between) this is a metaphor for the existence of God--God cannot half-exist.

EDIT: I know Ironchew is inflammatory, but Guizonode did take a potshot at him first. I think it's unfair that someone can call Ironchew out with zero repercussion, and then Ironchew gets a week ban for crossing a line with his retort.

EDIT 2: And until Paragon meets this burden of proof, then it is irrational to believe in the existence of God. And before Paragon jumps off the deep end crying intolerance or persecution, my stance on this issue is no different than devout Christians Soren Kierkegaard or Immanuel Kant. And further to clarify, cause Paragon will inevitably jump off the deep end, smart people can believe irrational things, and unintelligent people can believe rational things. Ben Carson is a decent example: he's a neurosurgeon and it is intuitive that that class of people will be smarter than most. He's also a homophobic asshat that believes homosexuality is a choice. Smart man, has stupid beliefs. See how the irrational belief can be separated from those people who believe them.

EDIT 3: And here we go,

Quote from: Paragon on Occam's Razor
It's completely useless in theology.  If anything, it's a shot in the foot.  "God did it" is a far simpler explanation for the creation of the universe than just about anything else.

Occam's razor is not purely about the simplest answer winning out, it is about the one that requires the least amount of outside complications. For example, let's say you're walking through a forest and you come across a charred tree stump in the middle of a field, and there was a thunderstorm recently. You could say, simply "god did it." Three words, can be applied to everything. However, the problem is that this simple answer has the most outside complications: you have to create the existence of a god in the universe, that acts upon our world, that destroys trees, wanted to destroy this tree, and did so. The far simpler answer is not to bring in this complication of the existence of god, but to simply observe what we know about the world and how that could create the condition we found. As such, the notion that the tree got struck by lightning is far simpler than the idea that god did it, because it does not require the creation of supernatural entities with pyromanical tendencies, but a deferral to what we already know true about the world. In essence, the fatal flaw in your reasoning is that you conflate short answers with simple answers.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 02:21:01 pm by The_Queen »
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Offline Sigmaleph

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2015, 02:55:45 pm »
EDIT: I know Ironchew is inflammatory, but Guizonode did take a potshot at him first. I think it's unfair that someone can call Ironchew out with zero repercussion, and then Ironchew gets a week ban for crossing a line with his retort.

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. Do you think I was overly harsh on Ironchew because he was provoked, or overly lenient on guizonde, or what?

I banned Ironchew because he crossed a pretty major line. I don't think what guizonde did was at all exceptional by forum standards.
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Offline The_Queen

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2015, 03:05:52 pm »
EDIT: I know Ironchew is inflammatory, but Guizonode did take a potshot at him first. I think it's unfair that someone can call Ironchew out with zero repercussion, and then Ironchew gets a week ban for crossing a line with his retort.

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. Do you think I was overly harsh on Ironchew because he was provoked, or overly lenient on guizonde, or what?

I banned Ironchew because he crossed a pretty major line. I don't think what guizonde did was at all exceptional by forum standards.

Fair question, and I will concede that there is some gray area on which people may disagree. But my view is that there are certain members who can get away with certain behaviors and other members who cannot. For better or worse, Ironchew fits into the latter category. While Chew's dig at Guizonode was more personal than generic, Guizonode did provoke the insult by calling Ironchew an asshole with zero provocation. I feel it's one thing to call someone an asshole for making an asinine point, while arguing that point (e.g. "And you're being an asshole Sigma for saying that homeless people should be used as a cheap food substitute.") and another to sua sponte call someone an asshole (e.g., going into thread killer and saying "Sigma's an asshole.")

Note: Sigma is not an asshole, he just has thick enough skin that I can use him to help illustrate my point.

ETA: And thank you for asking the question. One thing about me is that, for better or worse, I will speak my mind even if it is unpopular. I think it shows maturity that you are willing to calmly address the issue without taking offense.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 03:10:06 pm by The_Queen »
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Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2015, 03:08:45 pm »
EDIT: I know Ironchew is inflammatory, but Guizonode did take a potshot at him first. I think it's unfair that someone can call Ironchew out with zero repercussion, and then Ironchew gets a week ban for crossing a line with his retort.

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. Do you think I was overly harsh on Ironchew because he was provoked, or overly lenient on guizonde, or what?

I banned Ironchew because he crossed a pretty major line. I don't think what guizonde did was at all exceptional by forum standards.

i'll apologize for my bad joke. it seemed like peanuts compared to the abuse some of you throw at each other, so that's why i wrote it in blue to make sure it was seen clearly as a joke. hell, have you seen what some of you write about him while he revels in his edgelordry? it was no reason for him to throw one of my darkest moments back at me like that.

anyway, i sincerely apologize for calling ironchew an asshole, even in jest. it was a bad call and won't happen again.
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Offline Ultimate Paragon

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2015, 03:20:12 pm »
I find it ironic that you're defending Ironchew, when his previous ban was for deliberately misgendering a transwoman.  Then again, politics makes strange bedfellows.

And I find it ironic that you accuse me of having a persecution complex, when you called me transphobic simply for questioning the demographics of Stonewall's clientele.

But we can argue semantics all we want.  There are scientific arguments for God's existence.

Offline Even Then

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2015, 03:33:51 pm »
Such as?
Quote from: The_Queen
However, intelligent people can see the same issues, evidence, and inferences, and reach different conclusions. That is the human experience.

If you see me posting something you perceive as a contradiction of things I said before, then you should probably only regard the thing I said most recently as relevant: past me is an idiot.

Offline The_Queen

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2015, 03:37:00 pm »
I find it ironic that you're defending Ironchew, when his previous ban was for deliberately misgendering a transwoman.  Then again, politics makes strange bedfellows.

Playa, I'mma give you some formal logic.

Non-sequitur. I support the ban for deliberate misgendering. I question this one. I've made this point before to Niam, but I like to look at each individual wrongful act in isolation. What you're advocating is essentially the same as saying "well, this guy committed a previous DUI 10 years ago, guilty of murder. Once guilty, always guilty" Ironchew isn't perfect, I'll be the first to say that. But, fact is, if you were given a week ban and I felt it uncalled for, I would like to think that I would speak in your defense too, even though I think you're a complete handjob of a person.

And I find it ironic that you accuse me of having a persecution complex, when you called me transphobic simply for questioning the demographics of Stonewall's clientele.

Red Herring. The points in this thread is about who possesses the burden of proof on the existence of god. Instead of attacking the argument I've made on the issue, you bring up Stonewall to avoid the subject. I repeat: THE TOPIC OF THIS CHAT IS WHO BEARS THE BURDEN OF PROOF ON THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.

I MADE A JOKE ABOUT THE NYPD, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO POINT THAT OUT? READING COMPREHENSION: DO YOU HAVE IT? I mean, sweet jesus fuck, I even tried to let that argument go because you're the one that kept dredging it up: my last attempt to do so involved giving out a boba tea recipe of mine instead of continuing the argument. Instead of letting that joke go, you dredge it up here instead of attacking the points I've made as they relate to formal logic.

And my caps should not be taken as anger or hostility. Instead, I used all caps in an attempt to bring attention to the subject matter of this discussion.

But we can argue semantics all we want.  There are scientific arguments for God's existence.

I demand you show me this scientific argument/proof for the existence of god.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 03:39:26 pm by The_Queen »
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Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2015, 03:46:59 pm »
is there any way to reduce ironchew's sentence? a week off is maybe a bit hardcore, perhaps just a stern reprimand would've been better?
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