The "creator hypothesis"

Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby IanKennedy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:39 pm

Mikey wrote:
GrahamKennedy wrote:It's not that he doesn't see the difference because he's an atheist, it's that he's an atheist because he doesn't see the difference.


Indeed, exactly as I just said.


No, it's the exact opposite of what you said.

Mikey wrote:
GrahamKennedy wrote:The problem with faith is that it is not a path to truth.


Certainly I wouldn't imagine you'd say anything else. As above, if you didn't think this way you wouldn't have ended up as an atheist either. If you mean that it is not a path to fact, then I'd agree with you. I've never expected historical or scientific fact from my faith, anymore than I'd expect my dog to graze like a ruminant. However, personal truths - self-realization, a core of belief with which to center oneself, etc. - are not only provided by faith, they are its raison d'etre. If you find such things provided by your own choice of belief, or imagine that you don't need such things, or have them fulfilled by other aspects of your life, then great.


He means truth as in "the state of being in accord with a fact or reality", not the more loose variations.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:41 pm

Mikey wrote:Certainly I wouldn't imagine you'd say anything else. As above, if you didn't think this way you wouldn't have ended up as an atheist either. If you mean that it is not a path to fact, then I'd agree with you.

I mean it's not a path to truth, as defined by the dictionary : in accord with the actual state or conditions, conforming to reality or fact, etc.

I've never expected historical or scientific fact from my faith, anymore than I'd expect my dog to graze like a ruminant. However, personal truths - self-realization, a core of belief with which to center oneself, etc. - are not only provided by faith, they are its raison d'etre. If you find such things provided by your own choice of belief, or imagine that you don't need such things, or have them fulfilled by other aspects of your life, then great.

The existence or not of god is not a personal truth. God either exists, or he does not exist. There is no such thing as "god exists for me but not for you". You can certainly have a core belief with which to center yourself, and of course it is then true that you actually do have that belief, but the fact remains that that belief either reflects reality or it does not, and the fact that you have faith in it doesn't clarify that question one way or the other.

GrahamKennedy wrote:Yet by the faith standard, all he has to do is say that he has faith that Santa and god are identical, and suddenly this becomes a reasonable and respected view.


Sure, and it would also be incredibly ridiculous.

It would be ridiculous only in the sense that santa and god really are identical or not identical, and that he would be rejecting a rational comparison in favour of going with whatever he felt the truth was. But in the worldview that talks of truth as though it's a personal thing and assumes that something is true only because you believe it, then the statement is every bit as justified as any other.

Ian doesn't have faith in such a tenet,

You don't know that. You assume it.

GrahamKennedy wrote:I care about my beliefs, and I care about whether they are true or not. I want to believe things that are true and not believe things that are not true. Faith does absolutely nothing to help me in this respect, but rationality, evidence, logic and such do.


Er... OK, I'm glad for you. I'm not sure what bearing this has on anything, but I'm glad you found something that works for you. I honestly don't recall where anyone said that you shouldn't believe the way you do, or that your current paradigm doesn't work for you. Certainly I haven't said any such thing.

Perhaps I should be clearer : faith isn't a path to truth for me, or you, or anybody else.

Of course, if you are saying that you don't care whether your beliefs are true or not, that's fine, you're certainly well within your rights to do that, and that's no skin off my nose.

The difference between us, seemingly, is that the way you think doesn't bother me.

Really? Because it does sometimes seem that it does.

Yeah, that was a hypothetical example which I'd already shown doesn't really work toward the point Ian was making.

No, actually you hadn't. It's an excellent example of people who believe things on faith, and then find those beliefs running up against the hard reality that that's really not a good way to judge truth.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:27 pm

IanKennedy wrote:No, it's the exact opposite of what you said.


No, my point seemed to be pretty explicit: you are an atheist because you believe the things you do. It would be pretty ridiculous to assume that you woke up one day, decided that you liked the nomenclature "atheist," adopted it, then adopted the tenets that go along with it.

IanKennedy wrote:I mean equal in the degree of respect that should be granted to people who belief it. We are told that faith is something that has to be respected, Voyager was very big on this, to bring in Star Trek, for example. It's a view that seems to be quite prevalent in American society, at least from it's portrayal on television. As I said there are people who have an unshakable belief in the 'fact' that the moon landing where faked, others that people are being abducted by aliens and having experiments performed on them. American society seems to treat these people as if they are insane because of what they have faith in. At the same time chistians get very upset if you challenge their faith, take Deeps as an example. I'm being openly accused of insulting him because I challenge the concept of religion and faith. Clearly some faiths are treated better than others. That is also reflected in the fact that 'religious' faiths are given tax breaks. If all faiths are equal then are all to be given tax breaks. (irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the politics giving anyone tax breaks).

The alien abduction people are constantly shown as idiots in American television and movies, take for example "Independence Day" or "Conspiracy Theory" (with Mel Gibson). This goes way beyond disagreeing with them they are truly treated as nuts.


You keep saying "in America" but I'm not sure I believe that things are so different in the UK. Be that as it may, you are unfortunately correct; there is a difference which I already demonstrated, though - conspiracy theories, et. al., are patently not religions. However that may be, you seem to be conflating how many people act with an institutionalized or absolute paradigm of "right and wrong." Many people feel that persons of races other than their own are inferior; we wouldn't say that such a belief is correct or appropriate just because there are a lot of people who think so, would we?

As far as your concern with tax breaks: yes, all faiths are treated equally in that regard so long as it is (as I said) reasonably demonstrated that the faith is at least seemingly genuine, and not a simple tax dodge; AND that said faith has need or use of a structure or other asset which would otherwise be taxable.

GrahamKennedy wrote:I mean it's not a path to truth, as defined by the dictionary : in accord with the actual state or conditions, conforming to reality or fact, etc.


Yes, and I spoke to that condition.

GrahamKennedy wrote:The existence or not of god is not a personal truth.


Good. Now read the passage of mine which you quoted. I never said it was.

GrahamKennedy wrote:There is no such thing as "god exists for me but not for you".
(sic)

No, rather there is "G-d exist in my belief, and I don't much care either way whether you believe or not."

GrahamKennedy wrote:the fact that you have faith in it doesn't clarify that question one way or the other.


Nor is it meant to. I need no such clarification; you seem pretty sure in your own beliefs, so you don't seem to need any clarification either. For whom, then, are we clarifying this?

GrahamKennedy wrote:It would be ridiculous only in the sense that santa and god really are identical or not identical, and that he would be rejecting a rational comparison in favour of going with whatever he felt the truth was. But in the worldview that talks of truth as though it's a personal thing and assumes that something is true only because you believe it, then the statement is every bit as justified as any other.


You are completely missing the whole context and meaning behind that statement. What is being referred to as "ridiculous" is the idea of asking such a question or putting forth such a position, because it is in effect asking for an answer based on faith, which we can already take as a given is something which the asker rejects. I might as well ask you to explain the meteorite theory of dinosaur extinction... but without any reference whatsoever to meteors, the iridium stratum, dinosaurs, or the sky.

GrahamKennedy wrote:Really? Because it does sometimes seem that it does.


I meant your system of beliefs (or non-beliefs, as you may choose to call them.) It certainly does bother me when I am treated as substandard because my beliefs are at variance with yours; what was being referenced above is the fact that I have no intention of convincing you to adopt religion, while your arguments at times seem to go beyond an explanation of your position to an attempt to convince me to abandon my faith a/o an expression of personal offense that I might not be an atheist.

GrahamKennedy wrote:No, actually you hadn't. It's an excellent example of people who believe things on faith, and then find those beliefs running up against the hard reality that that's really not a good way to judge truth.


Yes, actually I had - it wasn't meant to be an example of what you just mentioned; rather, Ian used it as a (skewed) example of how a non-religious group can adopt a tenet based on faith and therefore should be treated as a church.

Anyway, since this horse is long dead but still being beaten so mercilessly, may I sum up in brief and hyperbolic manner?
Atheist: "There's no evidence for what you believe."
Believer: "Yes, I know. I admit that freely."
A: "It's stupid to believe something for which there's no evidence."
B: "Did you just call me stupid? I think you just called me stupid. Well, you're an ass for calling me stupid."
A: "... Hm. Well, where's your evidence?"
B: "I thought we both just agreed that there's no evidence."
A: "Aha!"
B: "WTF..."
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby IanKennedy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:36 pm

As I'm at work at the moment one brief question:

As far as your concern with tax breaks: yes, all faiths are treated equally in that regard so long as it is (as I said) reasonably demonstrated that the faith is at least seemingly genuine, and not a simple tax dodge; AND that said faith has need or use of a structure or other asset which would otherwise be taxable.

So you are saying that people who truly believe that they are being abducted by aliens can get tax breaks to make their house more alien proof? As you have already agreed you can have faith in anything.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:39 pm

IanKennedy wrote:As I'm at work at the moment one brief question:

As far as your concern with tax breaks: yes, all faiths are treated equally in that regard so long as it is (as I said) reasonably demonstrated that the faith is at least seemingly genuine, and not a simple tax dodge; AND that said faith has need or use of a structure or other asset which would otherwise be taxable.

So you are saying that people who truly believe that they are being abducted by aliens can get tax breaks to make their house more alien proof? As you have already agreed you can have faith in anything.


No, I apologize - I took it as understood, as we had already discussed the distinction, that we were referring to religions (as in common usage of the plural term "faiths.") The point was that non-mainstream churches ARE afforded the same tax loopholes leniencies as the larger, more mainstream religions.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:37 pm

Mikey wrote:I meant your system of beliefs (or non-beliefs, as you may choose to call them.) It certainly does bother me when I am treated as substandard because my beliefs are at variance with yours;

Since that's never happened, I'd rather say that it bothers you when you think you are. And that you occasionally seem to jump to that conclusion.

what was being referenced above is the fact that I have no intention of convincing you to adopt religion, while your arguments at times seem to go beyond an explanation of your position to an attempt to convince me to abandon my faith a/o an expression of personal offense that I might not be an atheist.

I doubt you could find an example of my being offended by anything, let alone that. I have no particular wish to convert you into an atheist. I do, always, think that it's wrong to claim that something is true when there is no reason to think that it is.

Anyway, since this horse is long dead but still being beaten so mercilessly, may I sum up in brief and hyperbolic manner?
Atheist: "There's no evidence for what you believe."
Believer: "Yes, I know. I admit that freely."
A: "It's stupid to believe something for which there's no evidence."
B: "Did you just call me stupid? I think you just called me stupid. Well, you're an ass for calling me stupid."
A: "... Hm. Well, where's your evidence?"
B: "I thought we both just agreed that there's no evidence."
A: "Aha!"
B: "WTF..."


I'd sum it up more as :

Believer : Here's what I think the truth is
Atheist : There's no evidence that that's true, is there?
B : No. But I'm sure that it's true for me. Maybe something else is true for you.
A : But that's not what 'true' means.
B : Well, most of the time sure. But for THIS, true just means 'what I think'.
A : Um, no it doesn't. Words have actual real meanings, you know.
B : Why do you care what I think! You think what you like, I'll think what I like!
A : Um, well if you like...
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:03 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:Since that's never happened, I'd rather say that it bothers you when you think you are. And that you occasionally seem to jump to that conclusion.


Except for when it's happened. In any event, this type of situation is the very quintessence of perception being reality, isn't it?

GrahamKennedy wrote:I doubt you could find an example of my being offended by anything, let alone that. I have no particular wish to convert you into an atheist. I do, always, think that it's wrong to claim that something is true when there is no reason to think that it is.


So then, we are left with this: you know that I'm not an atheist. Therefore, since it's wrong for me to espouse any viewpoint save that of an atheistic one, I suppose I shouldn't be allowed to comment whenever a discussion of this nature arises? If there is another solution that would satisfy the criterion you just mentioned, I'd be interested to hear it.

GrahamKennedy wrote:'d sum it up more as :

Believer : Here's what I think the truth is
Atheist : There's no evidence that that's true, is there?
B : No. But I'm sure that it's true for me. Maybe something else is true for you.
A : But that's not what 'true' means.
B : Well, most of the time sure. But for THIS, true just means 'what I think'.
A : Um, no it doesn't. Words have actual real meanings, you know.
B : Why do you care what I think! You think what you like, I'll think what I like!
A : Um, well if you like...


Of course you would. Much as you may not want to believe it, my original tongue-in-cheek "summation" wasn't an attack against you. If you feel better for having "retaliated," good on you. Would you like me to express my dismay?
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:11 pm

Wow.

You seem to take just about anything I say on this subject as a personal attack on you. Given that I don't want to attack you, I think perhaps I'd best stop posting responses.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:09 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:Wow.

You seem to take just about anything I say on this subject as a personal attack on you. Given that I don't want to attack you, I think perhaps I'd best stop posting responses.


That's certainly not my desire; though I guess it's telling that I see you taking everything I say the same way. Perhaps you're right.

So, what's new in the world of soccer?
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Captain Seafort » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:40 pm

England beat someone. Granted it was only the Welsh, but still...
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Mikey » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:22 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:England beat someone. Granted it was only the Welsh, but still...


Now, wait a damned minute. You're the one who keeps telling me that England isn't a country, the UKoGBaNI is. Now, England beat Wales? I guess you guys just like playing with yourselves?
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Captain Seafort » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:28 pm

Mikey wrote:Now, wait a damned minute. You're the one who keeps telling me that England isn't a country


It isn't - it's still got its own football team though. The Irish rugby team is even more complicated - it's drawn from the whole island.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Reliant121 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:25 pm

On the point that I read somewhere about America's attitude to religion compared the UK and all its additional bits and bobs attitude to religion. So far, I have spotted a very very strong difference. America seems to hold christianity in its various forms as a holy grail of religion and the rest in varying forms of poor view, apart from possibly Judaism although I haven't seen that much on what many Americans believe about it.


Most people in the UK take a cynical attitude toward ALL religion since we've become a heavily secular society. Not saying it's a good thing, but most people don't care or even acknowledge the importance of religion since its relatively uncommon to find someone who is a strong practitioner.
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Tsukiyumi » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:51 pm

Reliant121 wrote:...apart from possibly Judaism although I haven't seen that much on what many Americans believe about it..


Ever heard of Mel Gibson?
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Re: The "creator hypothesis"

Postby Sonic Glitch » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:54 pm

Tsukiyumi wrote:
Reliant121 wrote:...apart from possibly Judaism although I haven't seen that much on what many Americans believe about it..


Ever heard of Mel Gibson?

Now, now, he is only one American...
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