I’ll meet you halfway, I am right you’re wrong, guess which half you get?
Fabulous. It’s always good to work with somebody who understands and is always man enough to admit he is wrong.
(Edit to ask: Anybody confused yet?)
The world’s pure mathematicians alone are laughing at you.
Plus, the world’s physical scientists have established the validity of several tens of thousands of postulates, and while doing so, enabled the development of the technology that facilitated your presenting your nonsense to a global public audience.
First of all, entities such as the Oklo natural nuclear reactor and distant supernovae, have allowed scientists to establish that the laws of physics have remained constant not only across several billion years of elapsed time, but across distances measured in billions of light years. Indeed, I have several interesting scientific papers in my collection that establish these results.
I’ll let you have fun wondering what is to be unleashed here if you question this.
I’ll introduce you to a basic law of proper discourse. Namely, whoever presents an assertion, and seeks for the rest of us to treat that assertion as true, is required to support that assertion with proper evidential support.
I’ll let you sweat for a while as you learn how this applies to your assertions.
We have a vast wealth of observational data, informing us that basing such decisions upon incorrect postulates leads not merely to dismal failure, but to much suffering and misery.
Er, no. If “what feels best” is demonstrably wrong, this course leads inevitably to catastrophe. We have data informing us of this.
Ahem, you’ll find that several here have contributed much to the matter of applying rigour to this question, and by doing so, facilitate the elimination of tedious (and frequently elementary) canards.
In a world where manifestly bad decisions are made on the basis of treating unsupported mythological assertions uncritically as fact, seeking to remedy this situation is anything but pointless.
Er, no. Once again, read all of my statements above about the folly of bad decision making.
Indeed, a concept you appear not to have learned, is that progress is made through testing the soundness of our ideas. Without such test, erroneous or plain bad ideas will persist, sometimes to the point where said persistence results in the destruction of good people. We have enough historical precedents for this, to insipre us to be diligent when contemplating ideas. An essential part of said diligence, being the matter of devising reliable methods for testing ideas, and applying said methods vigorously. You will find that all human progress can, ultimately, be traced to this process, and as a corollary, that your assertion about argumentation being “pointless” is refuted wholesaly by the relevant vast body of data.
No, this is a duplicitous strawman caricature of your devising.
When we have reliable means of determining the validity and soundness of postulates, using those means doesn’t require us to be “omniscient” (it also helps if you use the correct concepts in your posts, by the way), it merely requires us to be competent and diligent.
You never mentioned this in your initial post.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about this, there’s a little matter of rigour that you’ve obviously forgotten here, and which flies past every mythology fanboy who comes here pounding the drum for his favourite species of cartoon magic man.
Namely, that no one here who treats this issue seriously, asserts that a god type entity in the most general sense does not exist. Instead, I and other people who paid attention in class, recognise that this is an unanswered question. Not least because if agenuine, rigorous answer ever had been found, that answer would now be part of our mainstream body of knowledge, and no one would be arguing about the issue.
However, what we can do with certainty, is dismiss fatuous cartoon magic men from pre-scientific mythologies, that are asserted to possess contradictory or absurd properties. We can do so on that ground alone, though other cogent reasons spring to mind at this juncture. But then, one of the issues that plague “the god question”, is that mythology fanboys never entertain any other candidate for the “god role”, other than their favourite species of cartoon magic man from their favourite pre-scientific mythology. Indeed, I’ve presented some interesting alternative ideas on this matter myself here, in part to illustrate the paucity of mythology fanboy “thinking” on the matter, and in part to illustrate some of the possibilities we need to consider if we’re to examine this question properly.
Oh, and even in the absence of contradiction or absurdity, we can dismiss assertions about cartoon magic men, on the grounds that they are totally bereft of proper evidence, and as a corollary, the requisite assertions remain in the limbo of “truth value unknown”, whereupon the assertions in question are useless as a purported “source of knowledge”.
In short, as anyone who has paid attention in basic logic classes understands very well, if someone presents an assertion, we don’t have to present its negation in order to dismiss it. We simply have to sit back and wait for whoever presented the assertion to fail to support it. I’ll also refer to Aristotle’s dictum that it is the mark of an educated man, to be able to contemplate a proposition without considering it to be true.
Ahem, not all of us live in the USA. I’m fortunate enough to live in the UK, where religion is very definitely on the decline among the majority of the populace, to the extent that the 2021 Census revealed that no less than 22½ million UK citizens describe themselves as either atheist or possessing no religious affiliation. Where I live, strident and toxic fundamentalist religion is the purview of a very limited number of people, and usually elicits deep suspicion.
Indeed, the only time I even bother with the issue, is when visiting here, or other sites devoted to the requisite discourse. As for being on the “defensive”, er, no, that’s another fantasy of yours. My response to the usual presentation of canards is head on attack. A process I engage in, because, in case you haven’t already worked this out from the preceding paragraphs, my interest lies in ensuring ideas are determined to be valid and sound in a rigorous manner.
I’ll have fun waiting for a response to the above.
I come from a strict religious background (which I’ve thoroughly renounced) but which insists that there is one god who’s wisdom is partially revealed in the Bible but who’s intellect is so far beyond that of humans as to be incomprehensible to mere mortals.
Thus, your supposedly rigorous responses, as well as all of those before it, are as “filthy rags”, in their opinion.
I DO NOT AGREE WITH THEM AND UNDERSTAND ALL OF THE VALID POINTS MADE PREVIOUSLY.
But that said, they may be right and cannot be proved wrong, scientifically or mathematically.
IOW, their god’s science and math may be light years beyond ours.
(Similar claims can be made about The Flying Spaghetti Monster; i.e., it can be asserted that his, her or its reasoning powers are infinitely beyond those of Yahweh, and so on, but that claim is also and at once unfalsifiable but ultimately irrefutable.)
So in answer to my own question, and while I’m not absolutely certain of anything, it seems best to me that one gets to the point with religious people, and probably most theists, where he realizes that trying to debate them on a level playing field is pointless as they’re convinced they have a “ringer” on their side, or a universal trump card in their hands, whose play will-at least as far are they’re concerned-beat your best effort at every turn.
Maybe they won’t be validated today, nor an eternity from now, but hope is infuriating thing as it constantly rears it’s head, particularly in the more credulous.
People believing the bible is full of wisdom from some cosmic mage, believing they have science and/or mathes to back their claims… do you not see why it is of the upmost importance to argue with them?!
Because there is no level playing field!
We are a product of evolution via natural selection and this is demonstrably proven.
The earth was formed from an accretion disc, again proven.
Nothing requires some invisible sky wizard that has absolutely no evidence to support the notion that they even exist, let alone have inspired some ridiculous book.
It makes it all the more important, especially when theists cannot keep it within the wall of their home.
Yet here you are, arguing.
BINGO! Very well said, Random. Imagine where society would be right now if nobody had ever bothered to question or challenge the laughably ignorant “scientific” claims of the various “holy books” and/or religious dogmas of the world. For starters, we sure as shit wouldn’t be having this current exchange courtesy of our high-tech electronic devices. Hell, for that matter, it’s very unlikely we would even have electricity at all. Oh, and “doctors” would likely still be using blood-letting to treat infections and other such medical conditions.
So, yeah, we may never change the minds of those who are deeply embedded in their chosen faith. However, thanks to those brave folks who dared to start questioning and disagreeing with religious doctrines, we can all drive cars, fly in planes, watch television, explore the ocean depths, journey into space, and have these wonderful conversations over the internet. Hmmmm… … On second thought, maybe NY is right. Arguing with religious folks is pointless.
(Edit for the sake of Inquisition.)
It’s either revealed wisdom or it’s incomprehensible, it can’t be both.
Which they’re entitled to, but which is also demonstrably unsupported by any objective evidence, and is irrational, please see example of the violation of the law of non contradiction above.
How do you know this? In order to assert this you would need to demonstrate sufficient objective evidence that a deity or anything supernatural is even possible. A bare assertion is meaningless.
Not true, many claims about, and concepts of deities are falsifiable, however as has been explained, it is irrational to assert something has any credence just because it can’t be disproved, this is called an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.
If something is unfalsifiable that means we can’t know anything about the claim, so asserting it is irrefutable is utterly meaningless, invisible mermaids are irrefutable, so what?
This is a bare claim, demonstrate some objective evidence that this science and mathematics exists, and the for the existence of any deity (as a cause for it), otherwise claiming what it might or might not be is again meaningless.
Why would you assume anyone here thinks religious apologists who seek us out to peddle their superstitious wares, are doing so on a “level playing field”? Why would I care?
Why? I can’t say I find it infuriating at all, I simply don’t believe claims that are either wholly or insufficiently supported by objective evidence. They can have their toys by all means, they can play with their toys at home, but they can’t bring their toys to my house, or insist I play with their toys, that’s where I draw the line.
If someone wants to believe the moon is made of cheese that’s their problem, until they insist I respect the belief, which I don’t, or that the belief entitles them to something in the here and now beyond imaginary succour, which it does not.
To me, religion is just a placebo. Theists only believe it helps while it really does nothing for them. In their mind is does everything but in the real world it just makes some of them look nuts.
Both Mark Twain and King Solomon agree on one thing.
Samuel Clemons put it this way:
Proverbs says this:
Of course the good king goes on to argue with himself in the very next verse:
5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he become wise in his own eyes.…
But I’m more than happy to let the fans of biblical inerrancy argue about that….
Are you @NY_G_PA2, then, a fan of biblical accuracy?
Ya just can’t stop yourself, eh? You’re still here, arguing despite the topic title you chose.
Actually, I am (and I’d guess others as well) glad you’re still here. I find it fascinating to learn about others’ thoughts and thought processes. A good back and forth in an online environment is an excellent vehicle for that. So, I’d like you to stick around.
I just wish you’d be a bit more forthcoming and honest in that back and forth.
So you’re saying that you’re a fool and that @Sheldon shouldn’t be arguing with you? Gotcha!
I keep hoping you will address this opening sentence more. I mean if you are right, I should be able to get a 5 digit refund from university because of fraud.
Excellent point, and while we’re at it lets empty the prisons, and pay due compensation for all those wrongful convictions.
I actually agree with that 100%. Matter of fact, I’ve actually used that myself on here and in other places. However, there is a difference between arguing with a fool, as opposed to simply pointing out the fool’s foolishness for others to see.
In my opinion, to argue with somebody typically means you are trying to change the mind of the individual you are debating. In the case of facing a fool, it is indeed a foolish endeavor to believe that you will change that mind. Therefore, my personal methods of dealing with such folks are as follows, depending on the circumstances.
Simply don’t engage. Tell him/her, “Yep, you got me. You’re right,” and just walk away.
Allow the person to spew as much bullshit as he/she wants while pointing out to others the foolishness the person is spewing, so that those who might not know better can be “enlightened”. (Or, I admit, sometimes just for my own warped personal amusement.)
Naturally, there are a few subtle variations involved with both of those tactics depending on the situation. Bottom line, though, is that I have no intentions nor expectations of changing the fool’s mind.
By the way, when I stated, “On second thought, maybe NY is right. Arguing with religious folks is pointless,” you apparently missed the sarcasm. Guess I should have made that more obvious. Mia culpa.
I disagree. I don’t think it’s foolish at all. It has worked. I think it’s hopeful. Many folks who have been posters here have actually changed their minds based on arguments/debates.
I do agree there are those who are open enough and rational enough to accept logic and reasonable advice when presented to them. I’ve also seen it work. As usual, I guess I should have clarified…
What I was talking about as a “foolish endeavor” is meant specifically in regards to those subjects who are beyond adamant about their being right, regardless of how obviously wrong they are. Pretty sure most of us here easily recognize those types when we encounter them. Matter of fact, I have a sister and a stepdaughter who fit in that category. It is simply pointless to argue with them about anything.
Anyway, if I actually believed it is pointless to debate anybody/everybody about anything, I obviously wouldn’t be here at all. Hope that makes sense and clears things up a bit.
Will everyone change their minds based on argument/debate? No. But we cannot know who will and when it might happen.
Exactly. As we have said on here many times before, it is highly unlikely we have changed the minds of most of the theists that we have directly debated over the years. (Discounting the ones who were obvious trolls, of course.) But we will likely never know how many of our “non-participants” we have influenced as they follow the debates we have with others. Aside from the fun I have joking around with all my numbskull friends in this joint, one of the main reasons I’m here is to be available to help those who are genuinely having the same problems I had while adjusting and coming to terms with escaping my indoctrination.