• Rank Amateur
    922
    no worries - I read your point, in light of the topic and discussion as a dismissal of theist arguments as fallacious due to them being " hasty generalization is a fallacy in which a conclusion is not logically justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence." Not wanting to make a "hasty generalization" is why I asked you about your opinion of those specific arguments.

    I find this response -

    I find other flaws in the first two arguments mentioned. I haven't really bother to check them for hasty generalizations, as the other things caught my eye; thus why pile on?Mayor of Simpleton

    decidedly unsatisfying - I have no issue with all of the sited arguments having flaws, or maybe better said - valid arguments against ( as I noted in my aside) - that however would seem a second step. If such argument were patently fallacious simply due to lack of vigor - why would anyone bother with looking for flaws or counter arguments. You position on this seem to support your point.

    On a side note, if one reaches a conclusion the tendency for further critical investigation slows, if not stops outright.Mayor of Simpleton

    If I am missing your point, or if i am suffering from some hyper sensitivity to anti theist posts and read something into this point that was not intended - mea culpa.

    Always look forward to your thoughtful replies.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    The way I see it, you can believe that the universe just exists, that part of it is necessary and there’s no explanation why.

    Or...

    You can believe that the cosmos derives its existence from a sustaining reality beyond it, and, being beyond space and time, is necessarily immaterial, necessarily timeless, and since it has creative powers, necessarily conscious.

    I choose the latter, because it better fits my experience of the world.
    AJJ

    Well... if you had stopped there I'd simply say "OK... it's your life, it's your perception and it's your choice.", but you continued...

    As fashionable as it is to think the opposite, I think atheism should be counter-intuitive to anyone who hasn’t been misled by the overreaching claims of some scientists, and the gratuitous application of science’s materialism to a broader metaphysical perspective.AJJ

    In short...

    Got evidence or is this simply what is evident to you individually (aka: anecdotal perception)?

    Beyond that question I'm not touching this one.

    As for religion and society, moral evils have been committed within religious societies, and moral goods have been too. Our evils are committed by us, not by “religion”, as are our goods. Perhaps you can point us to a society that isn’t guided by beliefs, where we do neither?AJJ

    Given the two sentence prior to the final question I have really no idea what context sets up this question; thus I have no idea what you are meaning here as it seems to be addressing many topics at once.

    Meow!

    G
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    On a side note, if one reaches a conclusion the tendency for further critical investigation slows, if not stops outright.
    — Mayor of Simpleton

    If I am missing your point, or if i am suffering from some hyper sensitivity to anti theist posts and read something into this point that was not intended - mea culpa.
    Rank Amateur

    In a simple example... if one has been searching to purchase a single car, one will probably make short lists of preferences, look at various makes and models, consider driving needs and habits additionally thinking about finances as well as aesthetic preferences. In other words, one would make an investigation into what which car to choose.

    Once one makes the decision and has reached a conclusion upon which car to purchase the investigation stops.

    Why would one continue to investigate into buying a car once a car has been bought?

    One buys the car and the process moving forward is to drive it.

    -------------------------------------------

    I find the same goes (in a manner of speaking) for a conclusion on the existence of a god.

    If one concludes that god does exist, one begins to center their life and worldview according to this conclusion. Much like the car analogy, one begins to simply "drive the belief in god forward"; thus why would one go back to the original question of does a god exist or not exist.

    Now buying a car is a big decision for most, but "buying into" the existence of a god is a far greater decision. This forms one's worldview and influences the everyday life of an individual.

    If one moves from the initial belief in a god to a theistic ideology (religion) this worldview expands beyond the personal boundries of the individual and begins to set up ideals for others... both those who believe and those who do not.

    An odd feature of many (not all) theistic ideologies is to add believers to the ideology. It would be exceedingly difficuölt to add others t o the ideology if one continued to go back to the "dealership" and investigate about "buying into a yes or no" regarding the existence of god.

    --------------------------------------------

    I don't know if that helps, but if not... I can add more words.

    Don't worry if what I write doesn't make sense. I usually don't value my writing as much as the dialog one can have with others to exchange ideas. If anything seeing that what I write is unclear makes me have to work harder to be clearer. ;)

    Meow!

    G
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    If one concludes that god does exist,Mayor of Simpleton

    I have no issue at all with all you posted. and agree for the most part.

    However my main concern in both your posts is this. They leave me feeling as you believe that the theist conclusion is either "hasty" or not as thoughtfully investigated as buying a new car. Before I charge into attack on that position - all I have been trying to establish is, is that what your position actually is ?

    We suffer from a conflict of style - i attempt to be succinct and as direct as I can be - you seem the opposite - I am not saying one is right and one is wrong - but i feel it is hampering my understanding of what your position is.
  • AJJ
    102


    Well... if you had stopped there I'd simply say "OK... it's your life, it's your perception and it's your choice.", but you continued...Mayor of Simpleton

    Thanks, that’s very patronising of you.

    I was thinking in particular of Stephen Hawking’s claim that philosophy is dead, and Peter Atkin’s declamations that everything can be explained by science; things many people it seems will take as given. I was speaking also of science’s methodology of examining and explaining the world in material terms, which, given its success, has lead to a widespread assumption, without serious justification, that everything is in fact material.

    I find it difficult to decipher the precise points you make, so I was replying generally to the “religion causes badness” sentiment that seemed apparent in your post.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    However my main concern in both your posts is this. They leave me feeling as you believe that the theist conclusion is either "hasty" or not as thoughtfully investigated as buying a new car. Before I charge into attack on that position - all I have been trying to establish is, is that what your position actually is ?Rank Amateur

    That not really my point here.

    I some cases the belief one has in the existence of a god is hasty. I could really say the very same for the rejection of the belief in god.

    I have many friends who are proper theologians. Indeed I do not reach the same conclusion as they do, but I cannot say that their investigations have been without thought or of a hasty nature. We have quality dialogs over many topics including existence of god and in spite of me rejecting their arguments, I can certainly respect them for their investigations.

    Now that was concerning theologians... believe me they are not all too common.

    As for mainstream beliefs ot rejections of the existence of god, unfortunately many of these are indeed hasty and without too much investigation outside of investigation held firmly within the borders of the given ideology they hold near and dear or perhaps was the only option persented to them from childhood moving forward.

    I do not fault them, as until something different is presented how would one know there is another option?

    In addition to this I find that the vast majority of folks either don't make or more likely do have the time to go into such a critical analysis. In short they simply have other things to do.

    To be fair to them critical debate over the existence of god is not really a common topic in everyday life.

    As a side note...

    I encounter quite a few "atheists" who are really going through a process of being angered with religion or religious folks. This seems rather odd to me, as if one rejects the existence of god then one is an atheist, but simply rejecting religion makes one irreligious. It's as if they never addressed the issue of god existing and simply threw the baby out with the bath water.

    Anyway... I find it to be mostly hasty generalizations and sloppy reasoning (as well as having to listen to them misquote some science documentary the saw narrated by Morgan Freeman as the drink a crafted beer, but that's only my most recent experiences and not a rule ;) ).

    Then again... how common is critical thought over the existence of god in everyday life?

    ---------------------------------

    so...

    Can one be thoughtful and avoid a hasty generalized view and be theistic?

    Certainly.

    Do I believe every argument that is thoughtful and avoids hasty generalizations?

    No.

    Meow!

    G
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    Thanks, that’s very patronising of you.AJJ

    The beginning sounded like a statement of faith based religious belief that I cannot fault.

    The way I see it, you can believe that the universe just exists, that part of it is necessary and there’s no explanation why.

    Or...

    You can believe that the cosmos derives its existence from a sustaining reality beyond it, and, being beyond space and time, is necessarily immaterial, necessarily timeless, and since it has creative powers, necessarily conscious.

    I choose the latter, because it better fits my experience of the world.
    — AJJ

    -------------------------------------------

    Please read what you wrote here below once more and explain to me how this is not full of (unsupported) accusations of an aggressive nature; thus making exceedingly difficult to want to deal with much less make a response.

    As fashionable as it is to think the opposite, I think atheism should be counter-intuitive to anyone who hasn’t been misled by the overreaching claims of some scientists, and the gratuitous application of science’s materialism to a broader metaphysical perspective.
    — AJJ

    -------------------------------------------

    I find it difficult to decipher the precise points you make,AJJ

    I can understand that. I'm not always a clear as I'd like to be, but perhaps simply asking "what do you mean" without listing off an (unsupported) attack on science would have been a better means to and end?

    Meow!

    G
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    I some cases the belief one has in the existence of a god is hasty. I could really say the very same for the rejection of the belief in god.Mayor of Simpleton

    agree

    I have many friends who are proper theologians. Indeed I do not reach the same conclusion as they do, but I cannot say that their investigations have been without thought or of a hasty nature. We have quality dialogs over many topics including existence of god and in spite of me rejecting their arguments, I can certainly respect them for their investigations.Mayor of Simpleton

    Agree - with the caveat - One has no need to be a proper theologian to have made a considered decision to be theistic.

    In addition to this I find that the vast majority of folks either don't make or more likely do have the time to go into such a critical analysis. In short they simply have other things to do.

    To be fair to them critical debate over the existence of god is not really a common topic in everyday life.
    Mayor of Simpleton

    agree - but not relevant to our discussion - same could be said of thousands of other issues many happily ignorant of.

    I encounter quite a few "atheists" who are really going through a process of being angered with religion or religious folks. This seems rather odd to me, as if one rejects the existence of god then one is an atheist, but simply rejecting religion makes one irreligious. It's as if they never addressed the issue of god existing and simply threw the baby out with the bath water.Mayor of Simpleton

    agree - and with no basis at all I would add many's atheism is not much deeper than " smart people are atheists, I'm smart - so I'm and atheist too"

    Can one be thoughtful and avoid a hasty generalized view and be theistic?

    Certainly.

    Do I believe every argument that is thoughtful and avoids hasty generalizations?

    No.
    Mayor of Simpleton

    agree - thanks think we have an understanding
  • AJJ
    102


    My intention was to get across that there’s nothing “hasty” about being a theist, which is what I thought your opinion to be. I gave more detail to the remarks you describe as “aggressive” in my last post. I was rhetorically turning the tables on those who consider atheism to be the default, sensible option, of which I thought you were one; my mistake if you aren’t.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    Agree - with the caveat - One has no need to be a proper theologian to have made a considered decision to be theistic.Rank Amateur

    I wouldn't think that is a requirement.

    Truth is this is my first venture back into an open forum with the risk of discussing matter in this particular field of debate. My reasons tend to have less to do with religious folks or theists or atheist, but more to do with recent developments of what is the current social convention regarding open internet dialogs... that being whoever yells the loudest or can present themselves as the most offended;thus granting them licence to be even more offensive wins the golden pineapple.

    Personally I feel this is a topic that deserves more critical review, but in the light to thin skins and over reactions to toptic criticism as if it were personal criticism resulting in me holding dialogs with theologian.

    I suppose I'm testing the waters once more.

    agree - and with no basis at all I would add many's atheism is not much deeper than " smart people are atheists, I'm smart - so I'm and atheist too"Rank Amateur

    I believe I understand what you mean. It kind of reminds me of the "brights" movement. If an appeal to elitism were a fallacy I suppose that would be a valid critique.

    agree - thanks think we have an understandingRank Amateur

    I believe so as well.

    I'm not really into winning arguments (seriously what the hell is the prize anyway?), but rather collecting information from other perspective more in the hope to refine the questions being asked to become better questions.

    In short... all's good here.

    Meow!

    G
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    I'm not really into winning arguments (seriously what the hell is the prize anyway?), but rather collecting information from other perspective more in the hope to refine the questions being asked to become better questions.Mayor of Simpleton

    same - have a good day
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    My intention was to get across that there’s nothing “hasty” about being a theist, which is what I thought your opinion to be. I gave more detail to the remarks you describe as “aggressive” in my last post. I was rhetorically turning the tables on those who consider atheism to be the default, sensible option, of which I thought you were one; my mistake if you aren’t.AJJ

    My only reason for mentioning the fallacy of a hasty generalization is that if one simply concludes without justified and sufficient investigation that is the definition of a hasty generalization.

    I find there are strong negative consequences from making hasty generalizations, especially in things that matter to the point of forming a worldview. I find it to be a fair point.

    Indeed there are cases in which one reaches a conclusion upon little or no evidence. Decisions as such can include concluding god exists or that god does not exist. In no way am I suggesting that all such decisions pro-theism or contra-theism are hasty, but I feel safe enough to say some such decisions are indeed hasty. Hold the decision that god does exist does not make one immune from hasty generalizations and yes... the same goes for those who hold the decision that god does not exist.

    I do realize that in this day and age there is a tendency for both side of this issue to be vitriolic as well as to take offense at the slightest interpreted possible hint of a transgression. This is not exclusive to this debate, but honestly it seems to be the standard modus operandi in all internet based forms of social contact.

    I see no point in attacking someone in an exchange of ideas, but I have no reservations in call it when I see it. My intentions are not to intentionally offend and not to view any of these exchanges of ideas as a competition. At the same moment I do not see the virtue in living my life via the filter of someone else's comfort. Basically I try to avoid something called the Courtesy bias:

    "The tendency to give an opinion that is more socially correct than one's true opinion, so as to avoid offending anyone."

    I hope that makes some sort of sense. I might be difficult to follow, so I never really know if the points come across well.

    Anyway...

    That's it.

    As to my considerations of atheism.

    If one means a person who is an atheist; one who would answer no to the question "does god exist", that's where I am and where I've been since 1990. I have over 35 years of study and debate to back this position. To this day I still review it.

    If you mean a person who has developed an ideology founded upon what one does not believe in... that being god... such an ideology is ridiculious. Why would anyone hold an ideology founded upon what they do not believe in? Personally I hold ideals that are subject to revision and as more information/critical review accumulates a subsequent adaption of these ideals should occur, but I cannot say I hold to any ideology.

    In short...

    To the question does god exist?
    My answer is no.

    To the question does this not beliving in a god result in an ideology called "atheism" that I adhere to?
    My answer is heck no.

    Does that help in terms of placing me into context?

    I do hope this ends any and all potential misunderstanding of some sort of intellectual wars games going on and we can simply proceed more toward an exchange of ideas with the knowledge that a critical review is indeed potentially in the card.

    Meow!

    G
  • AJJ
    102


    Yeah, nothing I feel compelled to argue with there.

    In debates between atheists and theists each side almost always condescends the other, I just assume it and take it as a game. My mistake if you truly weren’t doing that and I played back at you without call.
  • Mayor of Simpleton
    425
    My mistake if you truly weren’t doing that and I played back at you without call.AJJ

    No problem.

    As you mentioned it is the common modus operandi in such debates, actually if not in all debates. I rarely suffer from nostalgia, but when it comes to discussions and debates I do miss mutual respect, civility and thicker skins.

    Perhaps I simply fail to understand why calling someone else's ideas stupid on first sight or taking every little minutiae (both real and imagined) of a response that differs from one's current preferences as being a direct assualt on one's personal character is at all useful in an exchange of ideas. The pending result is an endless set of self-justified rants in terms of attack or be attacked

    My hope is that places like this would be better than Facebook or Reddit. Maybe social networking has been infected too much with this "antisocial disease" of attack or be attacked. That seems to be an intriguing topic for a new thread?

    hmm...

    Anyway...

    If anyone cares to discuss the question does god exist without taking things personally or making attacks of person, using tu quoque or employing constant psychological deflection, I'd find this to be an interesting topic.

    Meow!

    G
  • Christoffer
    121
    Why didn't humans stop at atheism? What went wrong?VoidDetector

    People invent explanations when they can't explain things. Science and logical reasoning is a rather modern method and falsifiability was included in the scientific method as late as the first part of 1900's.

    Humans have always been pattern-seeking animals who like to connect dots however possible to grasp what they don't know. If you don't have a method to exclude your own biases while trying to explain something you will most certainly include your own guesses and delusions into that explanation.
  • Jake
    1.1k
    To just simply admit, "I don't know" was not enough for the myth makers in our civilization.Josh Alfred

    To perhaps put it a bit more precisely, the myth making machinery out competed the "I don't know" perspective in the social environment.

    It continues to do so today, including on this forum. I write about exploration of the "I don't know" realm all the time on multiple forums for multiple years to an obsessive degree. Such discussion rarely goes anywhere interesting because there just isn't much of a market for it.

    Even on new age forums all about meditation and such, the desire for interpretations of experience are typically overwhelming.
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    in any discussion on knowing, the first issue is some understanding of what the other party's understanding is, and what their basis is for saying what they know. I think that is the major issue in these discussions. Party A stands on a foundation that one can only know things by either fact or reason. Party B believes that one can know something by fact, reason, or faith. And while they argue about knowing, what they are really arguing about is can one know anything by faith.

    So, assuming for the sake of this argument we can trust our senses, that we believe in time and space, in short, we avoid the drunken dorm room philosophy for now.

    If what one is discussing has a factual answer. 2+2 =4, than the one taking the I don't know position is either ignorant or a fool

    If what one is discussing has an overwhelming more reasonable answer than any other. Unicorns as defined as flying horses with a horn on their forehead do not exist on planet earth. We know something about horses, we know something about flying and we know about horns, and we know about the finite place where we say they do not exist. We can say based on reason alone that we have looked in a lot of places for a long time and no one has seen a unicorn. There for I say I know there are no unicorns. There may well be unicorns in some deep jungle, but based on overwhelming reasonable evidence I can say I know unicorns do not exist and act accordingly. The one who understands the argument and continues with I don't know solely based on it is not a fact. Is to limited to have any meaningful discussion with.

    What if there are competing reasonable ideas, neither overwhelms the other. Theism, atheism for example. The option to pick A, B, or I don't know is based on a personal judgment on the importance of the question, and ones opinion on the consequences of the answer. Think of Samuel Jackson in pulp fiction, "go ahead say what one more time". If one feel compelled to answer, than the issue is not the "I don't know" it is the "why are you compelled" that is the base of the disagreement. If one feels the question requires an answer, one is free to chose based on faith between those competing ideas, and say they know, and act accordingly.

    I feel what really is the issue is not "I don't know ". It is often I don't think you can say you know anything based on faith.

    It is the heart of many of these discussions, does faith exist, and if so, does it have any value, can it lead in any way to "knowing "
  • Jake
    1.1k
    Hi ya Rank,

    in any discussion on knowing, the first issue is some understanding of what the other party's understanding is, and what their basis is for saying what they know. I think that is the major issue in these discussions.Rank Amateur

    Yes, that's philosophy, of course entirely appropriate here. It's also philosophy to analyze the evidence and reasonably conclude that philosophy has failed to yield much but more of the same on the largest of questions. It's also philosophy to put down one tool which is arguably not working and reach for another tool.

    It's a step forward to understand that all these positions are built upon faith as you wisely remind us, and thus aren't actually philosophy after all, but rather the illusion of philosophy.

    If one feel compelled to answer, than the issue is not the "I don't know" it is the "why are you compelled" that is the base of the disagreement.Rank Amateur

    Imho, if one is compelled to answer, and is using reason instead of faith (theist or atheist), one arrives at the "I don't know" place, agnosticism.

    If one continues to reason, one can travel beyond a failure to know, to an embrace of not knowing. As I see it, the bottom line goals of both theism and atheism can be reached by this process. Reason is respected, and reality becomes rather more miraculous when the focus is on reality itself instead of our interpretations of reality.

    But anyway, like I said, not a huge market for this approach.
  • DingoJones
    403
    It is the heart of many of these discussions, does faith exist, and if so, does it have any value, can it lead in any way to "knowing "Rank Amateur

    Ok, lets have that discussion then. Yes faith exists, yes it can of some value to people who have it. Its not value that we need to look at, it is its value in knowing if something is true thats important here.
    Is faith a good way to know if some is true? No, it isnt.
  • DingoJones
    403


    ...becuase it has none of the traits that we use to determine what is true and the traits that it does possess can just as easily lead to erroneous conclusions as correct ones. It has zero explanatory power. Its not even an actual reason to believe something, it is precisely the answer people give when they DO NOT have a reason. If they actually had a reason then they would answer with that reason instead of with “faith”.
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    .becuase it has none of the traits that we use to determine what is true aDingoJones

    Depends how one defines true. How I would define it is a belief that underscores what one does. One acts in accordance with what one believes to be true. Often these actions require a choice between competing reasonable alternatives.

    As we go through the green light in our car, we have faith that other drivers will stop at the red. It is not a matter of fact they will stop, it is reasonable to believe they will stop, it is reasonable to believe many will not. Going through the light is an act of faith.
  • S
    6.9k
    To perhaps put it a bit more precisely, the myth making machinery out competed the "I don't know" perspective in the social environment.Jake

    Yes. What now seems like a curious phenomenon might have helped us outcompete other species in the past. Theism and other such beliefs might be a quirk of nature - an anomaly. There's a similar kind of explanation for why there are now so many overweight people.
  • S
    6.9k
    Party B believes that one can know something by fact, reason, or faith.Rank Amateur

    Party B is wrong. You can't know anything by faith. Faith is a means of achieving peace of mind, not a means of obtaining knowledge. If you want truth, you have to search for it.
  • DingoJones
    403
    Depends how one defines true. How I would define it is a belief that underscores what one does.Rank Amateur

    This is a very poor way of defining “true”. What you are suggesting is “true” is what people accept as true. Not the same thing Im afraid, and you only define truth that way to service your defense of faith. You seem a sensible enough fellow, i doubt you would define truth that way in any other context. If I went jumping off of buildings (“what one does”) becuase I think I can fly (“a belief that underscores”), would you say its true that I can fly?
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    Party B is wrong. You can't know anything by faith. Faith is a means of achieving peace of mind, not a means of obtaining knowledge. If you want truth, you have to search for it.S

    John 18:38 - Seems to me not to be a point, a singularly- but an almost limitless idea requiring a personal definition. Quite akin to faith actually.

    If what you mean by truth is fact. Than I agree faith has little to add in the findings of fact.
  • S
    6.9k
    Indeed. It's beyond belief that some people actually think of faith in that way. The lengths that some people will go to in order to rationalise the irrational is quite remarkable.
  • Rank Amateur
    922
    I have never made a case that faith can be in conflict with fact or reason. That is not faith, that is a fool.
  • DingoJones
    403
    As we go through the green light in our car, we have faith that other drivers will stop at the red. It is not a matter of fact they will stop, it is reasonable to believe they will stop, it is reasonable to believe many will not. Going through the light is an act of faith.Rank Amateur

    No offense, but this example of faith shows that you did not understand what I have said sbout faith.
    This is not an example of faith, faith is not the reason for going through the green light. You have actual reasons for that. You know that if your light is green for go, the other cars have red lights for stop. You know other people are trying to avoid car accidents, etc
    You have good reasons for going through. It requires no faith.
  • DingoJones
    403
    I have never made a case that faith can be in conflict with fact or reason. That is not faith, that is a fool.Rank Amateur

    This is a non-sequitor. This is a sidestep so you do not have to address your poor definition of true.
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