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religious debate


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#691 tawanna

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 08:31 PM

(tawanna @ Aug 10 2008, 09:43 PM) *
So far the insults, ridicule, and sheer smugness of some of the people that post on this thread hasn't done much to bolster the atheist view point of this quasi-theist.

adparker
<shrug> Can't speak for anyone else.
There is no "Atheist view point" Atheism is simply not-theism. To call one an atheist is simply ti say that they are not a theist - not a god believer. It is not that I as an Atheist have any particular beliefs or viewpoints, but simply that I do not absribe, accept as true, one particlaur type of belief - God-belief.

I agree. My only point was that being a jack a** doesn't help win an arguement and that it tends to be counter productive. I know atheism is a general term but it still categorizes a common point of veiw. Its not much different than the term theist. Theists fall into half a billion different categories but are still labeled under one banner.

1. The Burden of proof is on the one with the positive claim.
2. You are asking the wrong guy - I make no claim that god does not exist, merely that there is no reason to believe this ridiculous God-hypothesis is at all true. There is simply no evidence of Reason to believe it.
3. There is a saying, a cliché: You can't prove a negative. Perhaps not strictly true, but it has real truth value. Proving God exists should be relatively easy - produce him. But proving he doesn't exist would be much more difficult - how could one do it? Show he is not to be found in every single corner of the entire universe? (We know even that, which is pretty much impossible anyway, wouldn't suffice)

I tend to use the word proof and evidence interchangeably. My mistake. I have never tried to prove there is a god because it pointless same as proving theres not. I'm all about logic but one mans logic is another mans fallacy.
I find it ironic that alot of people that don't believe in God don't hesitate to have their chakras aligned, will move chairs because the feng shuei is off or plan their day around the movement of stars.
For many people science is their religion and too many aspects of it are based on feelings and speculation and not on facts. Y2K for example was based on a plausible theory and then taken over by psuedo science and turn into a mokery. The majority of experts agreed that the sky was falling and beat the same drum day after day. They were wrong. Any remotely intelligent person should have known it was a fraud but the"experts" said it was true and therefor no amount of proof or logic would change their mind. There are countless examples of science leading people astray every bit as much as religion has.
I know two wrongs don't make a right but thats my basis for being as skeptical about science as I am about religion. Too much has to be accepted with out independant verification and hence blind faith.
I will go to each and every link you posted and look at the info provided. Chances are I'll learn something new.
My prpose of being on this thread is to find points to ponder and you've given me a few.
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#692 unreality

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 08:32 PM

I agree that some of the atheists that post here are real jack@sses and it doesn't help the atheist image. But don't judge us by that, please- you've probably met 1% of the world's atheists, and most are awesome people :P

Edited by unreality, 10 August 2008 - 08:33 PM.

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#693 crazypainter

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:28 PM

OK this is probably going to screw with some of your heads but I am an atheist that goes to a United Church of Christ. I am an active member.
This is the same group that Oprah and Obama are members of. Each church is its own entity and makes its own decisions. The congregation rules
and runs everything. We are Open and affirming which means we have many out lgbtq members, staff, leaders. We are very liberal and take a strong stance on social justice as well.
Our pastor questions that there is a god but knows there was a man named Jesus. We are a group of seekers that include christians, buddists, recovering catholics, jews, and zoroastrians.
How bout them apples?
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#694 ADParker

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

I agree. My only point was that being a jack a** doesn't help win an arguement and that it tends to be counter productive. I know atheism is a general term but it still categorizes a common point of veiw. Its not much different than the term theist. Theists fall into half a billion different categories but are still labeled under one banner.

Well atheists are people like anyone else - Charming intelligent people, jackasses and so on, this of course is because ones nature has little to do with their position on this one topic - unless of course it is the fundamental aspect of their being - (Total Faith-heads usually) and they are almost all jackasses. ;)

I tend to use the word proof and evidence interchangeably. My mistake. I have never tried to prove there is a god because it pointless same as proving theres not. I'm all about logic but one mans logic is another mans fallacy.

It is a mistake when talking science, it has a clear meaning. I agree that the existence of god is probably pretty much improvable, but the point I was trying to drive home is that proving a negative (gods do not exist for instance) is by its very nature of being a negative, far harder. And this is one reason the burden rests squarely on the shoulders of the holder of the positive claim. For me it it enough to show the lack of evidence FOR. Given that; there is no need for evidence AGAINST.

That quote comes to mind once again:
"If an entity X is postulated to exist, and no substantive evidence capable of withstanding intense critical scrutiny is present to support the postulated existence of entity X, then the default position is to regard entity X as not existing until said substantive supporting evidence becomes present." - Calilasseia (RichardDawkins.net forum)

I'm all about logic (even studied in uni) - And most emphatically NO! Logic is Logic; that's the whole point - it transcends personal opinion. If something is a Logical Fallacy; it is a fundamental error in reasoning. It is not a matter of personal opinion - If something is seen by one man as Logic and another as a Logical Fallacy, then one of them is quite simply factually wrong.

I find it ironic that alot of people that don't believe in God don't hesitate to have their chakras aligned, will move chairs because the feng shuei is off or plan their day around the movement of stars.

I once used to as well, but came to realise that it represents a replacement of one crutch for another. Both religion and all that "new Age" stuff (to put it all under one banner) are not really focused on truth and the search thereof, but on comfort and wishful thinking; the desire to feel in control, to have purpose (generally the kind of external given purpose as from a father figure, rather than facing the reality of having to forge ones one.) As such when one looses one comforter (for whatever reason) they may well seek a replacement, or in their vulnerable state be susceptible to be sucked in by any one that comes along. Sad but true :(
It is not as if all atheists (non-theists) get there in the same way, many of us did come here through a valuing of Reason, and as such tend to be less susceptible to such things, but not everyone is so fortunate.

For many people science is their religion and too many aspects of it are based on feelings and speculation and not on facts.

Science as a Religion - That is called Sciencism (well it should be ;) ) - and it is as irrational as any emotion and feeling based belief system. The problem being that it is not based on reason, as science itself is. People who treat Science as if it were a religion are:
1. Seeking the same crutch as I just mentioned.
2. Engaging in the same kind of fallacious thinking as those who espouse Social Darwinism. <_<

I hope you were saying that Sciencism is based on "feelings and speculation and not on facts" and not science itself. I really do.
Because yes Sciencism is, no Science is not - Feelings and "not facts", absolutely not, speculation - of course it is there (speculation is what progressive thinking is all about) but the science is all about what one does with those speculations.

Y2K for example was based on a plausible theory and then taken over by psuedo science and turn into a mokery.

Well you would have top be more specific:
Y2K was just a date (Well a catchy moniker for a date, of course.)
There was very real concern borne out of the fact that Computers when first developed (1940s-50s) were very short of memory space, so software generally shortened dates to a two digit number (1963 was just "63") saving two whole digits! As hard as it might be to imagine it now (we now can get home PCs with a Terabyte of memory or more!!) that was a big deal back then. The problem was that the computer software designers just assumed that by 2000 CE their software woul dbe entirely replaced by new ones that (due to the increased capacity) would be using the full dates. Unfortunately there were two problems with this:
1. Conventions - for some it was just traditional, they way it was done, to use the 2 digit system. Others simply didn’t think about it and just copied the old methods - and copied the program facets wholesale (common practice; why write a date function when you can just copy an old one?)
2. Many programs are not so much replaced entirely, as repeatedly updated. perhaps such "trivial" changes as the date function would just be ignored.

The second problem led to a lot of speculation and doubt - people simply did not know if their software (and hardware- in some machines this stuff is hardwired in physically) had been updated in this manner or not.

There was, of course a lot of scare mongering, which is all too typical. Getting people into a frenzy that was quite frankly way over the top - national power failures, planes falling out of the sky, the apocalypse....
And not surprisingly numerous religious nutters (some seen as mild mannered moderate theologians included - before and since) jumped on that bandwagon. The amount of Y2K is the end times rubbish was crazy (Of course the same was true in Y1K as well, typical numerology crap)

There were some real concerns however. And a hel of a lot of work was done, especially on major, old, computer systems (and other machinery that use dates) and a fair number of such problems were found and corrected. So some real catastrophes were averted. So it is a mistake to look back and say "See it was never anything to worry about anyway." That's like seeing a major fire (shipwreck, road accident...), watching the rescue workers valiantly spend hours to rescue every body, and saying at the end of it "well that was lucky, there was no real danger after all."

Hey what can I say, I know a bit, and had reason to be interested in that one; I was studying for a BSc in Information Systems at the time. :lol:

Yes there was much panic borne out of Pseudo-Science. BUT real science made every effort to remain calm and stick to the real facts, and ensure everyone of this fact. I heard it, but also noted how it was being drowned out by all the claptrap from New agers, and religious inane insanity. I'm afraid too many people prefer the more spectacular and far fetched, the "fantastic" and sensational, to listening to common sense (that's just boring.)
But have you really thought about where all that pseudo-Science was coming from? Not real science or dedicated scientists, that’s for sure.

By the way the only thing I heard coming of Y2K here in New Zealand was that one guy got a nasty overdue charge when he returned his rented video on New Years Day - "Sorry this is 36,524 days over due, you owe us $$$$ in late fees" :lol: (Actually the cause was immediately recognised, he owed nothing, and they all had a good laugh about it.)

The majority of experts agreed that the sky was falling and beat the same drum day after day. They were wrong.

No, what you were being subjected to was the Media spin on things - of course the sensationalists (the end is Nigh the end is Nigh) got the most air time. Including every damn pseudo-intellectual who always crawl out of the wood work at times like this ("trust me I'm a Scientist" :rolleyes: ) - they are like bloody cockroaches, only not as likable. The real experts (I as one studying that particular field at the time, heard them) where that faint buzz you might have heard in the background now and then - the ones trying to spoil everyone’s fun.
"They" were not at all the majority, but they were most certainly the LOUDEST, perhaps that is why you thought them as "legion."

Any remotely intelligent person should have known it was a fraud but the"experts" said it was true and therefor no amount of proof or logic would change their mind.

I think you summed up my response to this by putting Experts in scare quotes ;) It was not a fraud, they were.

There are countless examples of science leading people astray every bit as much as religion has.

This was not one of them. Science does not lead people astray, but people certainly can. Religion on the other hand is leading people astray, by its very nature - even if any of them did happen to be ultimately correct, that would be just dumb luck. And in my opinion coming to the right conclusion via the wrong reasons, isn't much better than coming to a bullsh*t conclusion (it's like adding 3x2 and thinking well 2x2 is 5, add one and that equals 6 - right answer - really bad working)

<Sigh> Two posts needed again...
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#695 ADParker

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

Continuing on...

I know two wrongs don't make a right but thats my basis for being as skeptical about science as I am about religion.

If that is your basis, then you have a problem, because it is so very flawed indeed. You seem to a large extent, be confusing dishonest individuals (often agenda or dogma driven) misusing real science, abusing and misrepresenting it, for the real thing - Don't. The real problem is not the science (just look what it has brought us - the wealth of information and level of understanding we now enjoy!) butpeoples failure to pay it any heed, or the offer it the respect it deserves. Plus the willingness to listen and accept blindly the words of any old fool who shouts loud enough (which real scientists are generally loathed to do - they aren't preachers and proselytisers, they don't make bold claims of ultimate Truth and wisdom from on high) as the real authority.

Too much has to be accepted with out independant verification and hence blind faith.

Yes it has - it's called religion (It had to be said, but of course it is not just in what we recognise as religion ) - But this is not the case in science. People unfortunately make such claims as you mention (unverified, blind Faith derived) and try to dress it up, to impress the masses, as science, when it is the very opposite of science - it flies directly in the face of the Scientific Method.

I will go to each and every link you posted and look at the info provided. Chances are I'll learn something new.
My prpose of being on this thread is to find points to ponder and you've given me a few.

Good for you :D
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#696 tawanna

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:55 AM

Well atheists are people like anyone else - Charming intelligent people, jackasses and so on, this of course is because ones nature has little to do with their position on this one topic - unless of course it is the fundamental aspect of their being - (Total Faith-heads usually) and they are almost all jackasses. ;)


Atheist aren't people their evolutionary monkey hybreds. Only Christians are people. People are created not morphed. :D I'm joking. Really I am. In my experience christians that have actually read the bible and practice what they preach tend to be very good people. The ones that become christian to further a cause or think it some how makes them better than everyone else are indeed assholes. The same goes for science. Most atheists I've met have been jerks but the only reason I knew they were atheists in the first place is because they were so militant about it.

It is a mistake when talking science, it has a clear meaning. I agree that the existence of god is probably pretty much improvable, but the point I was trying to drive home is that proving a negative (gods do not exist for instance) is by its very nature of being a negative, far harder. And this is one reason the burden rests squarely on the shoulders of the holder of the positive claim. For me it it enough to show the lack of evidence FOR. Given that; there is no need for evidence AGAINST.


and i agree, in principle but I'm on the other side of that fence. To me its kind of like trying to prove an emotion. You could tell me all day long that theres no such thing as,dare I say , Love but with out something to back your claim it would fall on deaf ears. I know it exists, I've experienced it but I can't in any way prove it. That doesn't mean its doesn't exist. I would assume its an emotion every one has felt and therefor it shouldn't have to be proven. Thats kind of were I'm at with the whole God thing. Logic and reason are the monkey wrenches in my quest for blissful ignorance.

I'm all about logic (even studied in uni) - And most emphatically NO! Logic is Logic; that's the whole point - it transcends personal opinion. If something is a Logical Fallacy; it is a fundamental error in reasoning. It is not a matter of personal opinion - If something is seen by one man as Logic and another as a Logical Fallacy, then one of them is quite simply factually wrong.

Thats kind of my point. For example, and I make it ridiculous on purpose, I know that 45% of traffic accidents involve alchohol. I know the other 55% are caused by sober drivers. Logically I can deduce that I am 5% safer riding with some one thats drunk over someone thats sober.

I once used to as well, but came to realise that it represents a replacement of one crutch for another. Both religion and all that "new Age" stuff (to put it all under one banner) are not really focused on truth and the search thereof, but on comfort and wishful thinking; the desire to feel in control, to have purpose (generally the kind of external given purpose as from a father figure, rather than facing the reality of having to forge ones one.) As such when one looses one comforter (for whatever reason) they may well seek a replacement, or in their vulnerable state be susceptible to be sucked in by any one that comes along. Sad but true :(

If you take away some ones crutch they fall down unless they never needed the crutch in the first place.

I hope you were saying that Sciencism is based on "feelings and speculation and not on facts" and not science itself. I really do.

Thats what I meant. Too much of what is accepted as science is sciencism. Kind of like the whale with legs thing.

There were some real concerns however. And a hel of a lot of work was done, especially on major, old, computer systems (and other machinery that use dates) and a fair number of such problems were found and corrected. So some real catastrophes were averted. So it is a mistake to look back and say "See it was never anything to worry about anyway." That's like seeing a major fire (shipwreck, road accident...), watching the rescue workers valiantly spend hours to rescue every body, and saying at the end of it "well that was lucky, there was no real danger after all."

Your whole Y2K disortation was going so well and then you ended it with that. No where on the planet was there any significant problems caused by the Y2K "bug". Whether the computers were "cured" or not. I'm not looking back and saying it wasn't a problem I said it from the 1st day the press got involved. I made a substantiall amount of money "immunizing"
peoples vehicles and computers from the Y2K virus by doing absolutely nothing. OK, I did update a program. I had a lot to lose if it turned out there was anything to the scare and guess what? No problems. I shouted from the highest roof tops that it was a scam and no one cared. The science was in and it was final. I even explained to the customers that they were throwing their money away but they felt it was worth it for there piece of mind. So its more like seeing a bunch of rescue workers standing around scratching there heads wondering were all the mayhem is and sayin" I tried to tell you".

But have you really thought about where all that pseudo-Science was coming from? Not real science or dedicated scientists, that’s for sure.

How do I tell the difference?
I've read some of the sites you referenced and noticed several magical fairies peeking out from behind some of the alleged facts. I'd be more specific but this is probably already getting too far off thread. It was a catatonic thread and shouldn't matter but who knows.
Is there an old Zealand?
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#697 ADParker

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:14 AM

Atheist aren't people their evolutionary monkey hybreds. Only Christians are people. People are created not morphed. :D I'm joking. Really I am.

:lol: Careful though, there is a thing called Poe's Law you know.
I for one am an African Ape and quite happy to accept that fact! ;)

In my experience christians that have actually read the bible and practice what they preach tend to be very good people.

Many are, but in my experience the niceness or otherwise tends to come from the nature of the person to begin with (Nature and/or Nurture - separate issue). People can interpret the bible (like anything else - good example; people read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and interpreted it such a way that he reacted by declaring "I am not a Marxist" based on the way they were acting as a result) and be the nicest people, although if too serious about it (in my opinion) rather deluded with the feeling they need to "save" the rest of us - Nice can still be annoying and insulting. Or they can be right wankers. It all depends.

The ones that become christian to further a cause or think it some how makes them better than everyone else are indeed assholes. The same goes for science. Most atheists I've met have been jerks but the only reason I knew they were atheists in the first place is because they were so militant about it.

Not all of us though, eh? ;)
There's militant and there's militant, and it depends what you are militant, or passionate, about, and why. Me; I am passionate about Reason, and thus feel the need to stand up to abuses of, and attempts (realised or not) to undermine its value and proper usage. Religion comes directly under fire because it tends to commit this attack against Reason far too much. That religious people can be perfectly nice and wonderful people is beside the point, but not ignored entirely or forgotten. Some theists I have talked to, even though they are making many of the same outrageous claims as the worst zealots, I tend to feel sorry for rather than at all "militant" again personally; I see that they are victims of indoctrination, and do not, can not, see the harm they are doing.
That sounded harsh, so a few nice words: Not all theists and religious folks do this though, most probably do not, they simply believe what they believe and try to live their lives, letting everyone else do the same. I may disagree with the reasons they believe as they do, and will gladly say so if (and only if) the conversation comes up, but will only become "militant" if they "fire the first shot."
AS it happens; mine and my wife's best friends just happen to be Catholics. And yes, they know my position on the matter, even had the odd conversation on it (and I never pretend to be any less emphatic than I truly feel) and friends we remain.
One more word on this: I frequent the Richard Dawkins forum (Just became a "Veteran Member" actually,) in fact it is from there that I was "poached" to engage you lot here. And they are by in large the nicest group of people I have had the pleasure to meet and get to know - almost all of them atheists. And sadly it is the theists (not all, but I would say a slight majority) are the ones who tend to be the most abusive and insulting, at least when their Faith gets pushed too far - Its an emotional response, not a rational one; Cognitive Dissonance responses are all too common. Most often you find them accusing us atheists of being mean, insulting etc. when we argue against their claims and arguments. But that is what the forum is for; Rigorous rational debate. That can get uncomfortable for some people at times, especially when they are not used to their cherished belief coming under such uncensored critical scrutiny. Their belief has been protected by Faith, and been protected from reason, not subjected to it, it has gotten far too much of a free ride. A few theists love it though, they to relish the cut and thrust of heated, but rational and fair, debate.

and i agree, in principle but I'm on the other side of that fence. To me its kind of like trying to prove an emotion. You could tell me all day long that theres no such thing as,dare I say , Love but with out something to back your claim it would fall on deaf ears. I know it exists, I've experienced it but I can't in any way prove it. That doesn't mean its doesn't exist. I would assume its an emotion every one has felt and therefor it shouldn't have to be proven. Thats kind of were I'm at with the whole God thing.

Actually Love is quite testable and open to investigation. Just because it is not a physical thing does not change that. Although there is a nature to it that many miss; they call it "love," and interpret this as it sounds, a Noun - and actual thing. Which it is not; it’s an experience, a function of things. You can not "experience" love as such (although we use that very term) instead we experience things (other people, things...) in a particular way, the way of love.
We could go on all day about this, big subject.
But the evidence for love can be discovered - that's how we know (or think we know, because evidence doesn't equal proof) that someone loves us for instance. How? Magic? A mystical connection? Sounds poetic, but hardly. We can tell by the evidence of our senses; the way the talk to us, their body behaviour, their scent even (if we weren’t so busy disguising that with spays and perfumes) things like that. With out such evidence we would never know. Something I heard recently:
There is a term for Knowing someone loves us without any evidence (like that above): Its called Stalking :lol:
By the same token, if someone told you that they loved you, would you just believe them? I wouldn't; not without some sign - Evidence, to confirm it.

This is a common analogy for theists defending their belief in god(s) sans evidence - sometimes this is clearly a dishonest tactic (seen a few of those) at other times they truly believe it, as you no doubt do. But is simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Now I am happy to admit that perhaps there is no evidence for god(s), no way to get evidence for him - Yes, even if he/she/it does truly exist - but the burden of proof (or evidence or reasoning) is still on the one making the positive claim. Especially when in my case, and that of most (but not all) atheists, my position and claim is not "there are no gods" but rather "I do not accept your claim that there are gods." the latter is an entirely different ballgame than the former.
Since we are at this point I might as well add this: Those who make the claim that there are no gods, do take on (effectively accepting it with the claim) a certain burden of proof. Basically in saying that they are claiming that there is some positive reason to believe as they do and they have it. They are claiming to have a reason to believe as they do, thus have the duty to present this reasoning (evidence or whatever it might entail) before anyone can be expected to accept their claim. This, of course, is the exact same burden as the one on the theist who claims there is a god or gods.
You will however find that many such atheists (who are in something of a minority in my experience) when pushed, reveal that their real claim is that there is no reason to believe in gods, so they reject that claim. They are making a mistake in making claims beyond their actual belief/view/opinions in my opinion.

This quote (again):
"If an entity X is postulated to exist, and no substantive evidence capable of withstanding intense critical scrutiny is present to support the postulated existence of entity X, then the default position is to regard entity X as not existing until said substantive supporting evidence becomes present." - Calilasseia (RichardDawkins.net forum)
Sums up my view on the matter, at least to a certain degree. For me; I see no evidence or reason to believe in any gods, nothing that points to the plausibility of any such thing. As such I see it as irrational to believe in such things. For me, most definitely, most irrational for me to believe in them, as I have in my possession no Reason (no supportive reasoning or evidence) to do so. And as far as I can tell, no one else has either - many have claimed that they do of course. But if so, then why have they failed to provide it? Or worse, provided claims and arguments that fall apart under the most cursory rational examination?

Logic and reason are the monkey wrenches in my quest for blissful ignorance.

I know what you are saying. And that I have found is an all too common thread in religion through the ages - "Ignorance is bliss, reason and logic are hard."
I'm afraid that that is why so many people fall for religious rhetoric and New Age type fantasies as well - the desire for easy answers, or an excuse to avoid facing them. Fine by me, to a degree, exept when they try to force or push it on others: especially their children - children are natural scientists, eager to learn, religious indoctrination can stifle that curiosity - even turn the naturally inquisitive (the next Darwin or Newton perhaps?) into lovers of Blissful Ignorance.
I am glad that I for one abhor wilful ignorance and love Reason and Logic with a passion :D To me Ignorance is not bliss - It is an opportunity to learn and dispel that ignorance. And I find no discomfort in being ignorant and wholly perplexed about anything. I love it as a matter of fact – not the perplexity, but the potential opportunity it promises; to learn something new!
For some Ignorance is a blessing, something to enjoy, for me (and many others, scientists especially) it is a challenge to try to over come. And for many of us that challenge is not a thing to fear and dread, some something to savour and enjoy.

Thats kind of my point. For example, and I make it ridiculous on purpose, I know that 45% of traffic accidents involve alchohol. I know the other 55% are caused by sober drivers. Logically I can deduce that I am 5% safer riding with some one thats drunk over someone thats sober.

(By the way, I'm enjoying this pleasant conversation, so realise that when I come down hard on anything, it is not in anger or in attack, Just driving the point home and displaying how serious I take it. I am not one to pull my punches - even in the most pleasant of conversations.)
I get your point; people can misuse (abuse) the tools of reason. It is the duty of the Reasonist (lover of Reason) to stand up and let it be known when such transgressions occur. Otherwise this rubbish only spreads.
Your example send me back to my studying of Statistics (it was my minor before switching to Philosophy actually.) There is a saying in Statistics"
"You can Prove anything with Statistics!"
It is of course a Warning, not a boast; a warning that people can all too readily use the tools and various results of statistics and twist them to their own desired conclusions. A warning to be on the look out, and be prepared for it, and not to be to ready to just accept it at face value.
A life lesson for us all.

If you take away some ones crutch they fall down unless they never needed the crutch in the first place.

Right, so they scramble for the nearest available replacement. And there are so very many people ready and waiting to hand them a new crutch to lean on. What is needed is they need to be taught how to walk without one at all.
This is one of my real passions - Education: Children need to be taught, and as early as possible, the fundamentals of philosophy. This is the tools and techniques of argument, reasoning and critical thinking.
Not only will this give an unimaginable boost to their subsequent education (kids are simply not taught, at least not adequately, how to learn - then we get upset that they aren't learning anything in school?! Facts and figures aren’t much good if you haven't learned how to process and use them) but to their day to day lives. Including the "inoculation" against the woolly thinking to be found in all those cults, religions, and all that "new age" (although so much of it is very old indeed) woo like numerology, Crystal healing, astrology, and the list goes on....and on....
And the benefits to them, and society as a whole, would be simply astounding! Well, compared to the way things stand at present.
But sadly so many parents (and not just them of course) feel, and have been indoctrinated themselves to feel and pass on that feeling (viral meme), that they feel the must indoctrinate their children to believe just as they do. How does that achieve anything but the stifling of progress?!

It be hooves me here to point out that I most adamantly agree with Richard Dawkins stance against the Labelling as children by the religion of their parents. And how this is something that should get the same type of recognition as the similar efforts of The Women's Lib movement against the masculinisation of words in common language - referring to our "common man", or :one man one vote" - What about bloody women, don't they count?!
One should feel the same kind of twinge of guilt or discomfort when one hears of a 4 year old being referred to as a protestant child, as one does (or should ) in hearing such male biased language.

Thats what I meant. Too much of what is accepted as science is sciencism. Kind of like the whale with legs thing.

Good. Uh, but what about "the whale legs thing"?
They did use to have 'em you know - they were kind of little horse like land mammals ya know. No (rational scientific) doubt about it - The best evidence for this has only been uncovered in the last 15 years or so - cool stuff too.

Your whole Y2K disortation was going so well and then you ended it with that. No where on the planet was there any significant problems caused by the Y2K "bug". Whether the computers were "cured" or not.

That's the point, they were "cured" (metaphors are cool - like computer virus - cured. Random fact - they were initially called computer bugs - because the first computers were huge machines and real bugs (moths and stuff) got caught in the gates etc. and cause the machines to go haywire :lol: )If they hadn't been cured there would have been more problems. As I said, I was studying Information Science in university when this was going on (1999-2000) so we were kept abreast of the developments, and from the Information systems/technology side. Bill Gates and Microsoft (for all their other flaws) were really on top of the ball on this one (others as well of course) running around checking and fixing stuff, had teams of software and hardware engineers deducted to just this one issue. It was really a huge impressive effort. Sure there was over the top media hype, but these guys should be recognised for what they did. The problem is after the fact everyone just went "Oh it wasn't a big deal after all!" failing to notice the exhausted sweat dripping of the computer nerds (can ya picture it?) in the background, collapsing in exhaustion and relief its all over. Again its like my Rescue worker analogy (hey, I was a medic and my father was a fireman - I sue what I know) You see that no lives were lost, but fail to realise that this is only due to the dedicated efforts of a few good men. (We cheered them in our classes though ;) )

I'm not looking back and saying it wasn't a problem I said it from the 1st day the press got involved. I made a substantiall amount of money "immunizing"
peoples vehicles and computers from the Y2K virus by doing absolutely nothing. OK, I did update a program. I had a lot to lose if it turned out there was anything to the scare and guess what? No problems. I shouted from the highest roof tops that it was a scam and no one cared. The science was in and it was final. I even explained to the customers that they were throwing their money away but they felt it was worth it for there piece of mind. So its more like seeing a bunch of rescue workers standing around scratching there heads wondering were all the mayhem is and sayin" I tried to tell you".

Oh absolutely there was a load of crap flying around - personal computers and modern systems indeed! :rolleyes: Modern "1st world" built Planes falling out of the sky and all that ridiculous jazz. And sure, people got all freaked out, not just the silly End times crap, but the "No you gotta fix my computer, make it Y2K compliant". And Big business and capitalism being what it is; many unscrupulous people capitalised on it. That's typical, sad but typical.
Even those who were engaged in the big jobs (airlines, big financial firms, government and hospitals that had long histories, and thus possibly systems that relied on the old method) tried to assure people that the risks were relatively minor. No one listened, they never do - children the bloody lot of 'em.
There were things fixed that would have caused, what those involved would have called, major hassles. But they generally amounted to major headaches in records - not planes crashing or respirators shutting down or any of that rubbish. Major administrative hassles with figures (like bills and payments due etc.) getting all screwed up. That's largely due to the fact that everyone relies on whatever the computers spew out, to be honest. Remember the example I gave of the "overdue" video? - an example that the Y2K problem wasn't entirely fictitious; they weren't Y2K compliant, but luckily that was no big deal in their case - What's the bet that if that had been a major finance company or The U.S. Stock exchange or something big like that, that it would have caused chaos? And many of those big business clowns wouldn't have responded like the video store guy did (laugh it off and wipe it) - "I don't care the computer says you owe us 99 years in interest - pay up or we take your house!"

Again with the"too many quotes" - to be contiued.
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#698 ADParker

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:15 AM

Continuing on...

How do I tell the difference?
I've read some of the sites you referenced and noticed several magical fairies peeking out from behind some of the alleged facts. I'd be more specific but this is probably already getting too far off thread. It was a catatonic thread and shouldn't matter but who knows.

Really, magical fairies? There might be, people make mistakes. Point them out, sounds interesting - If you are right I might even, if I can, point them out to the site people themselves.
How do you tell the difference? It's not easy, don't just take the word of one guy - "Trust me I'm a scientist!" :rolleyes: Study, learn what you can, it wil make you better prepared to spot erroneous methodologies and work - even if you know little about the subject matter at times (I just totally rebutted an article on Snake species from a creation science thing, about some experiments and so forth, and I know squat about snakes. Because it was the reasoning that was flawed, and that I could spot.) Look for what the "scientific community" is saying, not the "scientist" on the teevee,or with the biggest voice. Basically it comes don to critical assessment of everything. You may not get it right every time. The prevailing theories and ideas may not even be the correct ones - that's science, but it should help weed the chaff from the wheat.
Hey, no one said it would be easy.

Is there an old Zealand?

Yup - Well it's called Zealand (just Like New York has its York, New England its England, and New Mexico its Mexico)
Here you go: Zealand
As it happens I live in the City of Palmerston North, New Zeland. Nad yes, there is, down in the South Island (I'm in the North Island) is a small town called Palmerston.
There ya go; more than you asked for. :D
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#699 Ploper

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:29 AM

whoah... someone posted in religious debate again..
huh
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#700 ADParker

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:41 AM

whoah... someone posted in religious debate again..
huh

I know!! Been a while eh?! (About a month gap.)
Join the party if you like, it's been just the two of us so far, which is kind of cool - one on one discussion and all that. But the more the merrier. :D
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