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  1. #61
    Sniffles
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    Looks like I have quite a bit to respond to here, and I'll try to get to as much as possible.

    I'll start by further elaborating on a point I made earlier:
    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Faith is the first step, but one must ultimately seek to understand that faith better through reason. As St. Anslem of Canteburry famously remarked, "Credo ut intelligam"(I believe so that I may understand).

    Pope Benedict XVI addresses this issue very well in Introduction to Christianity, that belief in the mystery of the supernatural does not mean one can embrace any nonsense made in the name of that mystery. If you do that, then faith and religion look like utter nonsense. Faith is the foundation from which a rational understanding of things must precede from.
    Allow me to cite the Pope to an considerable extent:
    "If theology arrives at all kinds of absurdities and tries, not only to excuse them, but even when possible to canonize them by pointing to the mystery, then we are confronted with a misuse of the true idea of "mystery", the purpose of which is not to destroy reason but rather to render belief possible as understanding. In other words, it is certainly true that belief or faith is not knowledge in the sense of pratical knowledge and its particular kind of calculability. It can never become that, and in the last analysis it can only make itself ridiculous if it tries to establish itself in those forms. But the reverse is also true: practical knowledge is limited by its very nature to the apparent, to what functions, and does not represent the way in which to find truth itself, which by its very method it has renounced. The tool in with which man is equipped to deal with truth of being is not knowledge but understanding: understanding of the meaning of to which he has entrusted himself. And we must certainly add that "understanding" only reveals itself in "standing", not apart from it. One cannot occur without the other, for understanding means seizing and grasping as meaning the meaning that man has received as ground. I think this is the precise significance of what we mean by understanding: that we learn to grasp the ground on which we have taken our stand as meaning and truth; that we learn to perceive that ground represents meaning. If this is so, understanding not only implies no contradiction with belief but represents its most intrisnsic property."
    --Introduction to Christianity pg. 77

  2. #62
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by V Profane View Post
    From the article:

    From Baylor University:

    p
    Seems you're operating on a genetic fallacy.

    She makes a valid point of sorts, but seems to be knocking down a strawman. She even admits the accuracy of the study, and how it collaborates with a Gallup poll in 2001. Then makes a vague knee-jerk remark about people dying trying to escape demonic posession. Then she tries to lump Creationism, transubstantiation to Bigfoot - a classic tactic of many "skeptics" and whatnot.

    The basic argument still stands; atheism does not mean one is immune to superstition. This Rebecca claims Hemingway has created a strawman. I doubt that, since the New Atheists are constantly knee-jerking religion as irrational by its very nature, and needs to be eradicated in order for humanity to advance. Enough blood has been spilled in the past 200 years in order to make that notion a reality.

  3. #63
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    No, real atheists/rationalists are not superstitious at all.
    No true scotsman fallacy.

    Really rational people are not superstitious
    And what is a really rational person in your view? Do I have to list the numerous examples of highly intelligent people throughout history who believed in astrology for example? I believe Plato was afraid of the full moon even.

    Then again, we could make it more interesting and note Chesterton's remark:
    "The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason."

  4. #64
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Ideas aren't rational or irrational, people are. It's how people relate to an idea which makes them rational or irrational, not the idea itself.

    Supersitious, paranormal, or religious ideas can be held rationally. The danger with some religious ideas is that they encourage a commitment, suppress criticism, and enslave adherents to destructive paths. The same can rarely be said of superstitious or paranormal ideas, which are rarely held with such fevour.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #65
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post

    And what is a really rational person in your view? Do I have to list the numerous examples of highly intelligent people throughout history who believed in astrology for example? I believe Plato was afraid of the full moon even.

    Then again, we could make it more interesting and note Chesterton's remark:
    "The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason."
    Rational and intelligent and two different things.

    Actually I am quite close to your definition of "Madman".

  6. #66
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I should of put the 'normal' qualifiers before 'being human', it would appear.

    I should also of added that atheist <> rational, especially in terms of beliefs. People can be atheists for all sorts of bad reasons, when the "rational" reason is simply to use the best information possible to make your decision, therefore excluding superstition (religion) when it is not. In that sense, agnostics probably would end up being more rational, since atheists tend to take the approach of absolutism, while agnostics should assign probability, even extremely low probabilities, to such things. (Those low probabilities make it 'rational' to exclude superstition from daily events in the same way strong atheists would.)
    To tell you the truth I think that your way of thinking I too conventional.

    For example everybody are asking "Does god exist?" because that is the simplest question. But almost no one ask "What will we get If God exists? Why is that good for us?"

    If you do that kind of a analysis you will probably realise that on the long run you will not get anything special.
    I don't want to write an essay on how did I come to this but I will if that is what it takes.

    This does not mean that God does not exists but shows that there is nothing important about that.

    What is actally much harder hit for religion then probability that God maybe doesn't exist.

  7. #67
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    For example everybody are asking "Does god exist?" because that is the simplest question. But almost no one ask "What will we get If God exists? Why is that good for us?"
    I want to reply, but I have no idea how this relates to what I said, or the OP...

    I think you are saying that we should assume God exists, then deduce what would be... but then you conclude that there would be nothing special about what does exist, therefore God might not exist. The argument hasn't advanced at.

    Additionally, I'd say reality is special enough, as is intelligence, to justify that God is possible. In fact, I'd say that anything existing at all is enough to justify that God is possible. But nothing special? That's subjective - if we only exist because of God, then it's rather special.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Allow me to cite the Pope to an considerable extent:
    1. I cant believe you are quoting the Pope ... another imperfect human being...the popes have changed their minds many many many times...yet they claim to be infallible. its laughable.

    2. unless your a deist then I would have to argue that religion, including Chirstianity, is most certainly superstition.

    man says something and knocks on wood to protect himself
    man says something and then quickly prays aloud to God for forgiveness

    3. Its only different from superstition TO YOU, because you assume that God is real. So of course its not superstition TO YOU. Because TO YOU its real.

    its no different than a chinese medicine man claiming dragon bones is not superstition...because TO HIM, the dragon bones ARE REAL.

    4. Anything that occurs in the real world of perception, that is explained without a naturalistic explanation is inherently superstition or psudo-science. My money is on the fact someone will come down on me for using an absolute here so i will clarify: Just because an explanation of something isnt naturalistic doesn mean it isnt true (i cant disprove negatives), but it most certainly is still superstition. Superstition basically IS the belief in the supernatural (magic, etc). The idea of Gods and goblins are both inherently SUPERnatural. If God acts on the world through some mechanism other than light, gravity, electromagnetism and matter etc than its by definition not of naturalism and therefore SUPERnatural. Supernatural really isnt that different than superstition.

    5. You cant really claim anything on a study of atheists because atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF. There is no unifying world view apart from a lack of belief in God.

    there are naturalists atheists and non naturalists atheists.
    I would argue that your comment on the no true scottsman is invalid because if someone has rejected Magic enough to reject a belief in God, I cannot for the life of me see why they would still hold onto OTHER just as unfounded supernatural beliefs....but believe me, some actually DO.

  9. #69
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    One point is what's called the "God-shaped void" in humanity.
    The atheists and agnostics are trying hard now to stamp out religion (Just look at Why Won't God Heal Amputees?, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (which someone here even uses as their avatar). Yet, I have seen people throw off religion from their lives, and make all sorts of logical arguments against it, and then once that is cleaned out; they re-adopt "spirituality" (under the guise that it is the "true spirituality"; and it is usually some form of new agey stuff.
    Basically, they used science and logic to disprove "the supernatural", and the "invisible", just to eliminate theism, and yet then reaccept the world of the invisbile once that is done; but of course in a non-theistic way.
    Of course, you could just say, as someone suggested, that these people were going to be superstitious anyway, and simply traded one form for another.

    Yet, another point is that people are trying so hard to eraducate all religion, even from others' lives (hence, the "it's dangerous, and impedes progress"). They make much out of sneering at the "fear", "delusion", "superstition", and all sorts of other negative reasons people believe rligion. Of course; the biggest thing is the fear of death. So they try to rid us of that, yet they have nothing to replace it with. They act like the best solution is "well, the 'truth' is that there is probably nothing after this, so just make the most of your life now". This is what they want everyone to believe. Yet, deep down inside, they have to admit that they are not completely sure of it. Who can be?
    There have even been stories of hard nosed atheists crying out to God right before they die, or when they come close to death. Also, people like the WWGHA mentioned above, who come up with utopian visions, that religion supposedly impeded the progress of. Such as man one day using science to live forever, or at least grow new limbs and such. Or just the general hope of us makign the earth better, and then evolving to somethign better. Yet, if you teach people now that there is nothing after this, and they should just get the most of life now, most will do just that, and not think about building this utopia.

    So, it may be wrong to use religion infused with fear as this motivation to do good here and now, but the opponents are not seeing things clearly either in their approach.
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  10. #70
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    One point is what's called the "God-shaped void" in humanity.
    The atheists are trying hard now to stamp out religion (Just look at Why Won't God Heal Amputees?, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (which someone here even uses as their avatar). Yet, I have seen people throw off religion from their lives, and make all sorts of logical arguments against it, and then once that is cleaned out; they readopt "spirituality" (under the guise that it is the "true spirituality"; and it is usually some form of new agey stuff.
    Basically, they used science and logic to disprove "the supernatural", and the "invisible", just to eliminate theism, and yet then reaccept the world of the invisbile once that is done; but of course in a non-theistic way.
    Of course, you could just say, as someone suggested, that these people were going to be superstitious anyway, and simply traded one form for another.

    Yet, another point is that people are trying so hard to eraducate all religion, even from others' lives (hence, the "it's dangerous, and impedes progress"). They make much out of sneering at the "fear", "delusion", "uperstition", and all sorts of other negative reasons people believe rligion. Of course; the biggest thing is the fear of death. So they try to rid us of that, yet they have nothing to replace it with. They act like the best solution is "well, the 'truth' is that there is probably nothing after this, so just make the most of your life now". This is what they want everyone to believe. Yet, deep down inside, they have to admit that they are not completely sure of it. Who can be?
    There have even been stories of hard nosed atheists crying out to God right before they die, or when they come close to death. Also, people like the WWGHA mentioned above, who come up with utopian visions, that religion supposedly impeded the progress of. Such as man one day using science to live forever, or at least grow new limbs and such. Or just the general hope of us makign the earth better, and then evolving to somethign better. Yet, if you teach people now that there is nothing after this, and they should just get the most of life now, most will do just that, and not think about building this utopia.

    So, it may be wrong to use religion infused with fear as this motivation to do good here and now, but the opponents are not seeing things clearly either in their approach.
    i think much of what you are saying is an indictment against shitty atheists...not atheism itself.

    you're right that no one knows for sure. but if we clung to that tightly then everyone sane would have to be a theistic hopeful agnostic or a lack of belief agnostic...aka all agnostic. instead we have de facto theist and de facto atheist because the truth is that people are going to live their lives as if they believe one way or the other...so de facto simply becomes "95% is good enough for me" in describing who is theist and atheist.


    also, I have no personal reason for believing in spirits or ghosts. Therefore I dont believe in them. However, say i had an experience and chose to believe in them suddenly. It sill wouldnt change the lack of christian evidence IMO... So i think its possible to be an Atheist who has supernatural beliefs and yet still be atheistic about God.

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