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  1. #121
    Junior Member Mallow's Avatar
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    debate (noun) The art of dangling an argument in front of someone's nose and hoping they will take de bate.

  2. #122
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well what you call "objective fact" shows a distanct lack of "critical thinking". Should I conclude that, like you, all science atheists have extreme difficulty with "critical thinking"?
    Worry not. I'm working up to addressing this precise point shortly, although it will likely be in the NT thread.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  3. #123
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Agnosticism and Atheism are not mutually exclusive; Agnosticism, in fact, is almost always accompanied by either Atheism or some form of theism.

    Agnosticism simply means uncertainty. Anyone, theist or not, who claims absolute knowledge of the universe (gnosticism), is being a goofball.
    ag?nos?tic
    –noun
    1.a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience

    a?the?ist?

    –noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

  4. #124
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well what you call "objective fact" shows a distanct lack of "critical thinking". Should I conclude that, like you, all science atheists have extreme difficulty with "critical thinking"?
    I'm a scientific atheist as well. Do you think I have an extreme difficulty with "critical thinking"?

    Somehow, I can only agree with Mycroft. "What is claimed without proof, can be negated without proof" (Euclide): That's called assertoric atheism.

    And as somebody already said, the idea of God doesn't improve my life, I simply don't need this hypothesis to explain the phenomenas around me. But I won't judge you if you think it does. That's why this discussion can only lead to nowhere if either of us try to convince the other he's right.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #125
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Let t be a theory and e be some evidence.

    Under what conditions does e support t? Sometimes consistency is considered sufficient, that is, if e is consistent with t then e supports t. However, some oddities arise under such an assumption. For example, suppose that e constitutes the discovery of a red sock in your underwear draw and t represents the theory of evolution. Does the discovery of a red sock in your underwear draw support the theory of evolution? Surely not.

    The problem here seems to be that the discovery of a red sock does not test the theory of evolution. It would only constitute a test if the absence of a red sock would contradict the theory in question. We can, therefore, amend our assumption so that e need not only be consistent with t but not-e must contradict t for e to support t.

    Suppose that t represents the theory that the Christian god exists. Among the many consequences of t is that everything which exists does so because of God. Also suppose that e again constitutes the discovery of a red sock in your underwear draw. Since the red sock in your underwear draw is something which exists, its nonexistence would contradict the theory that the Christian god exists. Therefore, e supports t, and in fact, any e whatever supports t.

    The theory that the Christian god exists is, therefore, is at least as supported (or probable) as any scientific theory, since anything which supports the latter must also support the former.

    Food for thought.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #126
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    I'm a scientific atheist as well. Do you think I have an extreme difficulty with "critical thinking"?
    Heh, no. Notice my sentence is a question and not a statement. This is more of a small dig at Mycroft since his posts often lump groups of people together.

    Somehow, I can only agree with Mycroft. "What is claimed without proof, can be negated without proof" (Euclide): That's called assertoric atheism.
    Well you may agree with Mycroft's conclusion, but your post actually agrees with me in method. If you've been following our discussion in this thread Mycroft has been arguing that science can answer any question, and that reason cannot be separated from data. On the other hand I have been saying that the method of proof depends on the context of what you are trying to answer.

    Euclide is actually a great example of my argument, because he is known for proving a lot of things and none of the proofs relied on data. All of his proofs were constructed with logic alone.

    And as somebody already said, the idea of God doesn't improve my life, I simply don't need this hypothesis to explain the phenomenas around me. But I won't judge you if you think it does. That's why this discussion can only lead to nowhere if either of us try to convince the other he's right.
    This is certainly a fair argument. The reason I believe in God is because that does improve my life. If it doesn't improve your life, then I can definitely understand why you wouldn't have much use for any type of faith or religion.
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  7. #127
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Well you may agree with Mycroft's conclusion, but your post actually agrees with me in method. If you've been following our discussion in this thread Mycroft has been arguing that science can answer any question, and that reason cannot be separated from data. On the other hand I have been saying that the method of proof depends on the context of what you are trying to answer.
    As my final take on this matter at our present juncture, I offer this blog entry. (i.e. my response won't be in the NT thread after all.)
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  8. #128
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    My view:

    Atheists bother arguing because they believe that they are "right", and that logic/empiricism = truth. Therefore anyone who believes otherwise is being illogical and delusional.

    Theists bother arguing because it has been such an intrinsic, meaning-providing source in their life. To hear it thusly denigrated and written off is very offensive.

    There is no real resolution to this question for either side (in that neither side will convince the other), but the debate will go on anyway. I have no interest in this topic whatsoever because it has no impact on how I live my life.
    Almost--I believe that I'm probably right. There's a difference.

    Many philosophical issues can be of great interest even when they have no impact on the debate participants' personal lives at all. Problem-solving can be fun as an end unto itself, even if solving that problem produces no useful results in real life. Flex that P muscle

  9. #129
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is certainly a fair argument. The reason I believe in God is because that does improve my life. If it doesn't improve your life, then I can definitely understand why you wouldn't have much use for any type of faith or religion.
    You can make these belief choices voluntarily? HOW? Please share with me. I would love to be able to convince myself that my boring responsibilities (like work, etc.) are LOTS OF FUN, but somehow I just can't seem to really believe it no matter how many times I tell myself.

    How do you get around the problem of involuntary beliefs/lack thereof?

  10. #130
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInNerSpace View Post
    ag?nos?tic
    –noun
    1.a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience

    a?the?ist?

    –noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
    Sounds good. I definitely subscribe to both in equal parts. What's the problem?

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