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Thrasher86
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 9:45 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:20 pm 
 

Does he offer any substantial evidence that our way of thinking is wrong and there must be a Theistic being out there, or is it just another angry Christian rant against Atheism and different stream of thoughts like most of these books are?
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Kruel
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:56 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:29 pm 
 

ksbluesfan wrote:
I'm an atheist, and I am also a man of faith. I have faith that it will be dark here in 12 hours. I have faith that I will not run out of air today. I don't have faith in god, ghosts or visitors from outer space. People who can't see the difference do not understand reason.

That's not faith. That's belief with evidence. Faith is belief in something that has no proof. I have no faith whatsoever, and I am proud to say so.
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yeah, it's ironic, they are so pretentious, yet one can say that at least they don't pretend. They don't release some techno-rap-whatever album and say "on this record we tried to sound like in our old days"

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ksbluesfan
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:08 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:36 pm 
 

Kruel wrote:
ksbluesfan wrote:
I'm an atheist, and I am also a man of faith. I have faith that it will be dark here in 12 hours. I have faith that I will not run out of air today. I don't have faith in god, ghosts or visitors from outer space. People who can't see the difference do not understand reason.

That's not faith. That's belief with evidence. Faith is belief in something that has no proof. I have no faith whatsoever, and I am proud to say so.


It all depends on the definition of "faith". The loosest definition is "firm belief in something for which there is no proof".

A star could go supernova on the dark side of the Earth that would make both sides equally bright. A massive meteor could hit the Earth, destroying the atmosphere and eliminating all of the air. Neither is probable, but not entirely impossible.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:13 pm 
 

Thrasher86 wrote:
Does he offer any substantial evidence that our way of thinking is wrong and there must be a Theistic being out there, or is it just another angry Christian rant against Atheism and different stream of thoughts like most of these books are?


They have their arguments, look out for irreducible complexity
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Kruel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:43 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Thrasher86 wrote:
Does he offer any substantial evidence that our way of thinking is wrong and there must be a Theistic being out there, or is it just another angry Christian rant against Atheism and different stream of thoughts like most of these books are?


They have their arguments, look out for irreducible complexity

Except that irreducibly complex things are not likely to exist. What are some irreducibly complex things that hasn't been disproved by science yet(though they are likely to be disproved in due time, anyway)?
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So, Manes > Samael?
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yeah, it's ironic, they are so pretentious, yet one can say that at least they don't pretend. They don't release some techno-rap-whatever album and say "on this record we tried to sound like in our old days"

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:16 pm 
 

Kruel wrote:
Nahsil wrote:
Thrasher86 wrote:
Does he offer any substantial evidence that our way of thinking is wrong and there must be a Theistic being out there, or is it just another angry Christian rant against Atheism and different stream of thoughts like most of these books are?


They have their arguments, look out for irreducible complexity

Except that irreducibly complex things are not likely to exist. What are some irreducibly complex things that hasn't been disproved by science yet(though they are likely to be disproved in due time, anyway)?


why are you asking me?
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Kruel
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:56 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:54 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Kruel wrote:
Nahsil wrote:
Thrasher86 wrote:
Does he offer any substantial evidence that our way of thinking is wrong and there must be a Theistic being out there, or is it just another angry Christian rant against Atheism and different stream of thoughts like most of these books are?


They have their arguments, look out for irreducible complexity

Except that irreducibly complex things are not likely to exist. What are some irreducibly complex things that hasn't been disproved by science yet(though they are likely to be disproved in due time, anyway)?


why are you asking me?

Yes, but anybody can answer it. I'm just curious about what are the things that some theologist claim to be irreducibly complex.
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So, Manes > Samael?
Quote:
yeah, it's ironic, they are so pretentious, yet one can say that at least they don't pretend. They don't release some techno-rap-whatever album and say "on this record we tried to sound like in our old days"

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:20 pm 
 

I have no idea :D
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blackmage
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:12 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:35 pm 
 

I love the irreducibly complex argument
"we don't completely understand how this evolved so the invisible sky daddy did it"
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megalowho
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:33 am
Posts: 479
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:12 pm 
 

Thrasher86 wrote:
Does he offer any substantial evidence that our way of thinking is wrong and there must be a Theistic being out there, or is it just another angry Christian rant against Atheism and different stream of thoughts like most of these books are?


I skimmed a good chunk of it while I was working at Borders. As I recall, he doesn't presume to demonstrate that God exists or even probably exists, which is a little refreshing. (Dinesh D'Souza, on the other hand, in "What's So Great About Christianity," tries to pull some nonsense like, "The Big Bang had a cause, so I'll just go ahead and refer to it as a 'creation,' so of course it probably has a creator, and besides, we don't really have any solid evidence for the Multiverse theory, so there. Oh, and Kant said something about an unknowable transcendent reality, which seems to be rather indicative of God/Heaven, wouldn't you say?")

Instead he spends a lot of time calling out Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens on some of their more shaky arguments, and he sometimes seems to do a pretty good job, e.g. on Dawkins's "Why There Almost Certainly is no God," in which Dawkins makes the leap from, "All complex organisms evolved by simple and non-miraculous means," to, "The Universe itself almost certainly evolved by simple and non-miraculous means." He also insists that an intelligent creator would have to be more complex than whatever it creates. He calls this argument "irrefutable," which is only true in the sense that the contrary apparently can't be proved. I do find his premises and conclusion exceedingly difficult to doubt, but that can rarely be the case with theists, and it's all too easy to say that arguments based on inductive reasoning are never conclusive.

I think the author also says some stuff about how atheists have faith in science and lack an ultimate rational foundation for their moral behavior, which isn't totally nonsensical. I mean, I have only a cursory understanding of the naturalistic theories of our origins, and I couldn't begin to defend them in terms of my own observations and inferences about nature; my confidence in the validity of evolution, for instance, rests on multiple appeals to authority: Almost every scientist accepts evolution (which I haven't personally confirmed, but have seen attested to by multiple sources whose credibility I don't recall being questioned), and scientists often make the assurance that scientists are generally faithful to the endlessly self-critical ideals of science.

And as for morality, I wouldn't hesitate to admit that my reluctance to harm a sentient being is apparently just a very strong feeling; as far as I can tell, nobody's rationally obligated to disapprove of murder, unless they happen to feel like maximizing the feelings we commonly recognize as happiness and peace, which they again aren't rationally obligated to feel like maximizing.

He also points out some historical instances in which scientific knowledge has been (partially) responsible for great destruction, e.g. the atom bomb. I didn't bother to remember the exact point he was trying to make, probably an attack on the secularist's perceived position that scientific knowledge is generally for the best and should be freely pursued. Whatever, I don't feel like getting into that. Like D'Souza, he spends a lot of time looking at the social and historical aspects of the theism/atheism debate, which have never really concerned me a whole lot, since they're basically irrelevant to the question of whether god-belief is intellectually warranted.

If there's anything to take from the book, it's that we don't have an airtight philosophical defense for everything we do and believe (but you'd have to be extremely pedantic for that to really affect your actions and beliefs).

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RickJames
Future Drone Librarian

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:59 am
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:29 am 
 

I don't understand why religion continues to try to explain origins of things that supposedly cannot be "comprehended". Many proponents of Buddhism, especially Japanese Zen interpretations, do not find logical explanations (even of Buddhism) conducive. From what I have read about Buddhism, in its origins, can be somewhat logical. Basically, Siddartha Gautama cut out all of these explanations and followed something we all obviously know about.

So now when it comes to origins of many a thing, "I don't know" is a simple, yet reducible attempt to answer a question of significant metaphysical importance.
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