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  1. #91
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    @Blackmail! It really cannot be cowardly because you didn't really make a point to address alone. You are sort of turning it into a complete personal attack on a guy. You literally came out guns blazing saying, "I've done all these Mother Teresa acts in Africa and no one can deny that I've done great things in my time and I don't think you have and you've probably not done shit with your crappy little life so anything you say will be invalid here because you've never really lived man." That's kinda a bad way to start a debate with someone. It's just personal attacks moreso than actual discussion of the point you quoted him on..
    Not at all.

    Our dear Lark asked:

    "Although discussions like this are all academic to me unless anyone can evidence that they are not simply intellectual exercises, if either doctrine is a lived reality and can be shown to have benefits both to the individual professing it and their neighbours, over generations, then I'm willing to hear it out."

    And all I did was answering him, in all honesty.

    And if you read his message, Lark was the one who "literally came out guns blazing saying" that atheists can only be "amoral" and all they could do can only "remain negative, a purely intellectualised exercise or game".

    I'm sorry if my answer wasn't exactly what he probably expected. I'm sorry if the fact that I've seen hundreds of people dying of AIDS because of the moronic advice of the local Catholic priests, yes, if having witnessed this can make me angry and bring bad memories back. I have to admit that these priests were amongst the very few people that I would have genuinely enjoyed to see dead.

    I'm sorry, I'm not a robot, I'm not indifferent to the fate of my fellow men, and once again, it was my job.

    You have to put my reaction into its proper context. All I did here was giving you a personal testimony.

    I have nothing against Lark per se - I don't know him-. It's rather what he wrote, the kind of ideas he wrote, that drove me out the wood.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #92
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    And if you read his message, Lark was the one who "literally came out guns blazing saying" that atheists can only be "amoral" and all they could do can only "remain negative, a purely intellectualised exercise or game".
    And not once did he personally attack you or any of your merits. He made blanket statements. It is no different from the hundreds of blanket statements made on this forum, it just happens to be one you fall under in this case.

    I'm sorry if my answer wasn't exactly what he probably expected. I'm sorry if the fact that I've seen hundreds of people dying of AIDS because of the moronic advice of the local Catholic priests, yes, if having witnessed this can make me angry and bring bad memories back. I have to admit that these priests were amongst the very few people that I would have genuinely enjoyed to see dead.
    I've been to Africa too, I know how much it sucks there. But your anger is creating *personal attacks*. You are not just saying, "Ive seen the horror Christian churches do today, so I know that morality is not limited to religion." You said "Wtf are you doing with your life?! Nothing!" It's very, very different.

    I have nothing against Lark per se - I don't know him-. It's rather what he wrote, the kind of ideas he wrote, that drove me out the wood.
    It's provocative, and vastly different from what you've experienced. But like I said. It is *the way you said it* that sort of put you off track. You can be passionate about a subject without attacking the dude.
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  3. #93
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    I have never heard of Hovind, although I've heard a little of his father, someone who evidently is a charlatan and currently in prison for tax evasion. I would want nothing to do with either the father or the son. Kent Hovind has been in several debates with Dr. Hugh Ross, a Christian astronomer who argues for old earth creationism. I used to watch his show "Reasons to Believe" every Saturday until the young earth creationists who ran the network cancelled it. Most TV is such crap, so it was really refreshing to watch something like Ross's show. He had a guy on there with a Ph.D. in political science who helped balance things out by bringing it down to a more practical, comprehensible level.

  4. #94
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post

    I've been to Africa too, I know how much it sucks there. But your anger is creating *personal attacks*. You are not just saying, "Ive seen the horror Christian churches do today, so I know that morality is not limited to religion." You said "Wtf are you doing with your life?! Nothing!" It's very, very different.



    It's provocative, and vastly different from what you've experienced. But like I said. It is *the way you said it* that sort of put you off track. You can be passionate about a subject without attacking the dude.
    My dear kyuuei,


    I fear you're making a mistake. You seem to assume I'm stuck into some kind of Ego trip, you seem to assume that most of my answers are here to speak about myself only. The truth is that who I really am is not important.

    Yes, I've worked in Africa and *tried* to save lives. It's my job, I work in urbanism, in sustainable development in the context of emerging countries, I even teach it. But if it makes you feel bad, that's not my fault, and I don't think you should put the blame on me.

    If I make a testimony here, it's not because I want to be admired or revered like a saint or a kind of mother Theresa. It would be indecent.

    Rather, I would prefer to put the emphasis on:


    1/ How hypocritical many conservative preachers behave here, and Lark is one of these, if not the most painful to read sometimes. Lark seems to think he's a kind of holy crusader whose mission is to save the world. Fine. Perhaps I tried to mimick his condescending tone and posture in return, but believe me: that is a joke. Lark seems to have an opinion about everything, and spend most of his time here judging people. That's why I asked him what he has really done, since he said here that "doctrines should be a lived reality". I agree both with him and Hegel on this, I'm interested in reality too, and that's why I posted here.
    All I did was trying to show a contradiction between what he says, and what he's doing. And it's the same contradiction I see between what the majority of Christians say, and what they really do. And this contradiction is interesting.
    So the paradox is here: yes, I am a totally amoral, materialistic atheist. But, according to the Christian definition of morality (or the Nietzschean moraline, if you prefer), are my acts less moral than those of the common believer? What do you think? What do Kyuuei think?
    I am not here to preach about the so-called superiority of my absence of faith. I'm just asking questions, and I have no immediate answers.
    Sometimes, as Blaise Pascal once remarked: True morality makes light of morality.



    2/ The current fate of the majority of mankind. Sometimes, I'm fed up to read discussions here about insignificant, shallow events that nobody but only Americans would care about. Sometimes, I'm fed up to hear Byzantine discussions about the sex of angels while in the same time, the Ottoman army (figuratively speaking) is at our gates.
    I'm wondering if people here are aware of what is going on outside of the confines of their televisions, their cars and the (rich) Western world, if they understand what it means to be human in 2013.
    I'm not a preacher of doom: all I can do is testify, is sharing occasional stories with you.
    You can do whatever you want with these testimonies: they do not belong to me and, once again, who I am is not important. Because yes, I think that in many contexts, the acts are more important than the person.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    If all vocal Christians believed as Coyne does, I would have no problem with them. But most do not. I doubt @Beorn does. Do you even, @Peguy?
    For the most part I do, what of it?

  6. #96
    redundant descriptor netzealot's Avatar
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    One of the most common fallacies of the atheist religion is that rhetoric begets truth.

  7. #97
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Jeezus is everyone going to pick on my way with words... I do not mean that STEM fields argue for atheism. I mean these are the fields people turn to when they are atheists. Atheists want to credit science all the time as being an absolute truth and I was saying there are experts in STEM fields that are not even convinced.. so to take science with a grain of salt. Most science that once was has changed, and it will continue to change.
    Some people do think that it is a tenet of scientifc thought that there is no God. You seem too enlightened and rational than to believe that, but I prefer not to make assumptions. Science more often expands on what it can explain rather than reversing the explanations. The better advice, then, is not to take science with a grain of salt - it's predictive success is to significant for that - but rather to understand the limitations of what it can do, what questions it can answer. Science does not and should not make pronouncements on spiritual matters, like is there a god, why was the universe created, what is our purpose in life. Similarly, religion should not make pronouncements on matters in the material world, like how old is the earth, or how have humans and other species developed.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    They both have positions based on faith. That is why I feel they are in the same position. The boy has a blind-faith approach to this the same way he feels the Christian man does about his faith. Refusing to 'see the truth' as it were. They are no different to me.. except one was in a really bad social position and clearly is not used to debate, and the other was well scripted.
    To the extent that the boy is actually an atheist, then yes, his position is based on faith as much as the Christian's is. The part that stood out to me was when the boy took the Christian's claim, "you can't know anything with certainty unless you know everything with certainty", and pointed out that, by implication, to know with certainty God exists, one must then know everything. This is the internal inconsistency that really made the man look foolish, and he could not explain, and is completely independent of the boy's beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    It is still a construct of humanity, and thus it will be subjective in nature. Logic changes as humanity changes, it grows, shrinks, gets focus, or gets scoffed at as culture changes. Logic is different for everyone. What is logical to one group of people is not for another. Even if something is logical to all of us in the whole world, it does not mean it will stay logical for all of time. It isn't an algorithm of thought process. It is very relative and full of subjectivity.. it's not as calculated and precise as people give it credit for being.
    The highlighted is not a change in logic, just a change in how people perceive and value it. What is logical to two different groups, or at two different times, will be different, because in each case there will be different inputs to the process. This is no more subjective than the fact that my SO and I take different sized shoes. That is the beauty and utility of logic, that it enables each person to find the right solution in their specific circumstances, while being applicable in all circumstances. (Just as I can use a ruler to measure any linear measurement within its range.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I tend to think that what's most important isnt really what you believe but is what you do, they have an important reciprocal relationship though and toxic thinking leads to toxic action and, I believe, vice versa.
    I agree, and this reciprocal relationship is critical, and often overlooked. It is often easier to start doing the "right thing", even if you don't really feel the motivation, or understand how/why it works. Doing is experiencing, which can lead to understanding, and an entire change of perspective. It's a bit like "faking it until you make it". Of course it can work the other way as well. Changing attitudes first seems much harder, but can happen much faster. Note, however, that nowhere here did I mention faith, god, or religion. See more below.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    @Blackmail! It really cannot be cowardly because you didn't really make a point to address alone. You are sort of turning it into a complete personal attack on a guy. You literally came out guns blazing saying, "I've done all these Mother Teresa acts in Africa and no one can deny that I've done great things in my time and I don't think you have and you've probably not done shit with your crappy little life so anything you say will be invalid here because you've never really lived man." That's kinda a bad way to start a debate with someone. It's just personal attacks moreso than actual discussion of the point you quoted him on..
    The point Blackmail quoted began with what I quoted from Lark just above, and ended with:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Although discussions like this are all academic to me unless anyone can evidence that they are not simply intellectual exercises, if either doctrine is a lived reality and can be shown to have benefits both to the individual professing it and their neighbours, over generations, then I'm willing to hear it out. Otherwise its like a serious argument over which character from Pokemon or Yu Gi Ho is the "best", probably important enough to the people who like to engage with those kinds of things but not really to myself.

    To be honest I think most people feel this way too, perhaps unconsicously or unawares, do you want to rely upon an amoral athiest, if they are consistent with their beliefs, or a Christian, if they are consistent with their beliefs? There's a great, great deal about the new athiests, despite their movements towards naturalism, humanism and other positive positions, which remains negative, purely an intellectualised exercise or game.
    This last paragraph especially seems to be making the point that atheists can't be moral, that their claims to "naturalism, humanism, and other positive positions" are "purely an intellectualized exercise or game". The previous paragraph challenges someone to "evidence that they are not", and to show that either doctrine (presumably one is atheism), "is a lived reality and can be shown to have benefits both to the individual . . . and their neighbours".

    Blackmail's reply simply takes up this challenge, showing how his own world view, including atheism, is no intellectual exercise but is lived out in his life, and brings benefit to others. If Lark did not want such an answer, and was not prepared to provide his own answer, he should not have asked the question. Much good is certainly done in the world in the name of religion. Sometimes, though, religious doctrines stand in the way of what would alleviate the suffering and improve the earthly lot of others. This is simlar to when politicians make decisions based on ideology, rather than on what will most effectively accomplish their practical goals.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #98
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    For the most part I do, what of it?
    Where do you disagree with him?

    Quote Originally Posted by LevelZeroHero View Post
    One of the most common fallacies of the atheist religion is that rhetoric begets truth.
    The irony in strong in you.

  9. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    And not once did he personally attack you or any of your merits. He made blanket statements. It is no different from the hundreds of blanket statements made on this forum, it just happens to be one you fall under in this case.
    Those are the views of Daniel Dennett, who is one of the militant, new athiests which are the topic of the thread.

    They've be criticised by Mark Vernon, who tries to stand abreast both "camps" when it comes to discussions like this, in much the same way as I that its impossible to live according to those conclusions.

    Dennett might conclude that we're all akin to animals with marginally different instinctive triggers determining all our behaviour implusively, being possessed by memes etc. but if you live your life that way there will be real consequences, the courts dont decide to exhonorate anyone on the basis of sociological or evolutionary determinism.

    Now to miss that ENTIRELY and decide that it was an insulting personal attack says a lot more about the point at which someone entered the discussion and how much attention they've been paying to the topic, makes sense of the insuing emoting storm, given that emoting is then a characteristic of their response to things could it account for how they reacted their about these conclusions about these sorts of ultimate questions in the first place? That's to say nothing of the validity of those same conclusions.

    This is what I was meaning that the posts in threads like these allow for confirmation about the average sorts of individuals which hold particular views and opinions. A lot of the time I see emotionally charged youngsters or adults in a late/long adolescence chasing their own bogeys, a little bit of information or smattering of understanding furnishing the rudiments of argument, and its not like the internet and a google search isnt great for that kind of thing. This isnt any condescending ploy or attempt at trolling either, its what I find and I'm as willing to consider alternative opinions as they come.

  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    For the most part I do, what of it?
    I would say most vocal Christians do. Does Nicodemus know any vocal Christians or is this a bunch of hypothetical bullshit again?

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