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Author Topic: Atheism does not exist or atheism redefined  (Read 44871 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #375: October 21, 2009, 11:13:13 pm »

I'm afraid I cannot miss the irony and slight humor in this. Several of you have asserted or implied that I am exhibiting bigotism. Yet, it is you who are leaving due to the fact that you cannot help but direct bigoted statements about me.

If you read it that way, I don't think you understand this board's culture very well. They are leaving because debating this issue with you is like debating with a brick wall. You insist on using your own selected definitions for words, often out of the normal contexts those selected definitions would be used in and ignore/handwave-away all objections to this usage. You argue that only deities are worthy of worship while simultaneously claiming that that all sorts of everyday feelings toward (and activities with) non-deities are evidence of "worship."  Etc. The taunts and name-calling were evidence of total frustration at your discussion style in this thread combined with the fact that you started the nastiness by basically claiming that you knew what others were actually don't better than they did.
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« Reply #376: October 21, 2009, 11:24:20 pm »

If you are 'assigning' meaning and point to others, then you are demonstrably NOT understanding them - you are simply understanding the reflection of what you have assigned to them in your own mind.  You may, if you delve, come to a deeper understanding of YOURSELF by this method, provided you are clear that it is only your own assignment of meaning you are studying, but you will never understand others at all if you continually rewrite their scripts for them.

Absent
That's fair to say. Maybe I am learning more of myself. I am, beyond that, learning how others will oppose me and why they do. It is helping me, whether you can see this or not, to understand the culture of this discussion board.
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« Reply #377: October 21, 2009, 11:35:12 pm »

If you read it that way, I don't think you understand this board's culture very well. They are leaving because debating this issue with you is like debating with a brick wall. You insist on using your own selected definitions for words, often out of the normal contexts those selected definitions would be used in and ignore/handwave-away all objections to this usage. You argue that only deities are worthy of worship while simultaneously claiming that that all sorts of everyday feelings toward (and activities with) non-deities are evidence of "worship."  Etc. The taunts and name-calling were evidence of total frustration at your discussion style in this thread combined with the fact that you started the nastiness by basically claiming that you knew what others were actually don't better than they did.
I have since rescinded the use of those unconventional defitions. I have also presented my arguments in defense of my proposed premises. I am not unbending and unwilling to accept alternate views. I have, several times in this thread, conceded my initial assertions and admitted the truth of others' points. That also indicates my willingness to accept the opinions of others when duly backed up. I also stated, many times, that I may in fact be incorrect and my conclusions false.
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« Reply #378: October 21, 2009, 11:41:23 pm »

No, though I disagree and feel their assertions are false I cannot deny their right to their own opinion. Just as I expect respect for my opinion I must respect theirs.
"People have a right to their own opinions; they do not have a right to their own facts."

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« Reply #379: October 21, 2009, 11:57:11 pm »

"People have a right to their own opinions; they do not have a right to their own facts."

Sunflower
I have to agree with this statement.
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« Reply #380: October 22, 2009, 12:17:02 am »

The title was mainly to attract people to the debate (which worked brilliantly)

The point of that argument is to bring in the question of agnosticism and get everyone to concede that in reality there may be gods.

Yet, it is you who are leaving due to the fact that you cannot help but direct bigoted statements about me. Oh, well, leave if that is the best course of action. Your slightly veiled attempts to insult me have ultimately failed. Thank you for sharing your opinions!

I am, beyond that, learning how others will oppose me and why they do. It is helping me, whether you can see this or not, to understand the culture of this discussion board.
Still can't get away from that Combat Debate mindset, can you?  For you, it's an intellectual exercise and a competition, with opponents, that is to be won - either by getting one's opponents to concede points, or victory-by-default when they leave the playing field.

And, no, inserting statements to the effect that you may be in error, and/or that others may be correct, does not constitute considering the merits of others' positions or the demerits of your own.  The key word here is considering.

Since the culture of this board has nothing whatsoever to do with its members knowing how other members will oppose them, the understanding you think you're gaining about board culture is almost certainly a false one.

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« Reply #381: October 22, 2009, 01:03:23 am »

That's fair to say. Maybe I am learning more of myself. I am, beyond that, learning how others will oppose me and why they do. It is helping me, whether you can see this or not, to understand the culture of this discussion board.

So, you are not using the opinions and arguments of others as a means of examining and improving your premises.  You are using them to attempt to chart predictable debate methods so that, regardless of subject, you will (you think) know how to preempt effective opposition? 

I think you are underestimating both normal intellectual honesty and the intelligence of the board members.  You are definitely misreading board culture.

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« Reply #382: October 22, 2009, 01:22:52 am »

Still can't get away from that Combat Debate mindset, can you?  For you, it's an intellectual exercise and a competition, with opponents, that is to be won - either by getting one's opponents to concede points, or victory-by-default when they leave the playing field.

And, no, inserting statements to the effect that you may be in error, and/or that others may be correct, does not constitute considering the merits of others' positions or the demerits of your own.  The key word here is considering.

Since the culture of this board has nothing whatsoever to do with its members knowing how other members will oppose them, the understanding you think you're gaining about board culture is almost certainly a false one.

Sunflower
I can consider the merits of other opinions. Simply because I have not done such considering in my posts doean't mean that I have not done so internally.

Let me go ahead and examine that right now.

Supposing that I am wrong, I will examine the merits of that. If my statements are fundamentally falsd we must throw out both of my premises and my conclusion based from those premises.
Pros:
-Humans are the highest authority currently known and identified to us in the universe.
-We do not all worship something and are not tied to religious concepts or morals.
-We as humans do not have to follow any moral code unless mandated by objective logic and need.
-As the highest intellects we can claim eminent dominion over all other species on Earth.
-We are the only reasons behind our own actions and the helmsmen of our own fates.
-We are the sole persons responsible for our own actions.

Cons:
-We are at the mercy of our own intellect and cannot gain knowledge through anything but subjective observation.
-With our great intellect and logic we are endowed with the responsibility of overseeing the survival or death of the other species on Earth.
-We are not bound by moral codes and though this gives us freedom it also imposes upon us the burden of determining what is and is not acceptable.
-We cannot defer to the help of any but ourselves on any issue.
-We are the sole deciders of our fates.
-We are solely responsible for our actions and thoughts.
-As we do not all worship we do not neccessarily value things and people in a positive way.

If my argument is true then let me examine that as well.

Pros:
-We all worship something as deity and show our value for things in the world.
-We can, depending on our specific beliefs, choose to defer to a higher power for guidance.
-We have, at least to some degree, a moral code to serve as guidelines for our behavior.
-We can, dependent upon our individual beliefs, appeal to deity/ies for aid or advanced knowledge.
-We are not 100% responsible for 100% of our actions 100% of the time as they may be inspired by deity but this does not excuse wrong-doing.

Cons:
-We are not the highest intellectually, spiritually, or even physically powerfull beings.
-We are not in complete control of our own fates.
-We are not in complete control of the fates of other species or our planet.
-We cannot claim sole dominion over any other species.
-We are tied to certain moral codes the specifics of which depend upon our personal beliefs.
-We are not neccesarily bound by logic as mystical arguments have validity.
-We are not 100% in control of 100% of our actions 100% of the time, depending on individual beliefs.
-The gods may or may not have a benevolent purpose for us.
-We are all subject to our reverence for divinity.

If anyone has more to add to any of these lists, please add them.
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« Reply #383: October 22, 2009, 02:14:52 am »

If anyone has more to add to any of these lists, please add them.

The problem is that nothing on any of these lists proceeds from your premises, whether your premises are right or wrong.  You have simply listed a bunch of things you think look pretty together.

Perhaps you should try going through your lists point by point and explaining how you think each connects to your original statements.  The less tenuous and bias-driven the connections the better, of course.

Btw, I posted a page on common fallacies in debate.  It is first-year material.  Did you read it?

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« Reply #384: October 22, 2009, 02:41:50 am »

The problem is that nothing on any of these lists proceeds from your premises, whether your premises are right or wrong.  You have simply listed a bunch of things you think look pretty together.

Perhaps you should try going through your lists point by point and explaining how you think each connects to your original statements.  The less tenuous and bias-driven the connections the better, of course.

Btw, I posted a page on common fallacies in debate.  It is first-year material.  Did you read it?

Absent
Alright, I can do that.

Yes, I did indeed read it! I have learned about fallacies before, so the concept is not really new to me.
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« Reply #385: October 22, 2009, 03:10:42 am »

Merits if I am wrong:
-Humans are the highest authority currently known and identified to us in the universe. This pro connects to my premise in that I am asserting that all people worship deity and therefore believe in gods. If this is false then we can, based on our current knowledge of the world make the claim mentioned above.
-We do not all worship something and are not tied to religious concepts or morals. This was nentioned earlier: religion and belief in deity are closely correlated to moral codes. This is, based on that, applicable to my premise that we all worship.
-We as humans do not have to follow any moral code unless mandated by objective logic and need. If we do not all worship or believe in deity we are not compelled to follow a moral code of any kind unless other reasons are found.
-As the highest intellects we can claim eminent dominion over all other species on Earth. Intellect and prowess are indicators of reason and superiority. If we are the greatest minds based on the assumption that there are no divine beings.
-We are the only reasons behind our own actions and the helmsmen of our own fates. If my prises are wrong then there can be no reason given for our actions outside of our own justifications.
-We are the sole persons responsible for our own actions. If there are no deities worthy of worship we cannot say a more powerful being somehow inspire our thoughts and actions.
Demerits if I am wrong:
-We are at the mercy of our own intellect and cannot gain knowledge through anything but subjective observation. If there are no gods that we all worship then we have no higher authority or intellect to gain knowledge from.
-With our great intellect and logic we are endowed with the responsibility of overseeing the survival or death of the other species on Earth. If we are the highest beings on Earth we inherit the burden of our world's fate.
-We are not bound by moral codes and though this gives us freedom it also imposes upon us the burden of determining what is and is not acceptable. Of we do not allow for the existence of gods we have no moral code to guide us.
-We cannot defer to the help of any but ourselves on any issue. We are our soul benefactors if my premises, and therefore my conclusion, are incorrect.
-We are solely responsible for our actions and thoughts. With no deities to site as motivations, we alone must claim full responsibility of our actions and their effects.
-As we do not all worship we do not neccessarily value things and people in a positive way. Self-explanatory conclusion. It does sort of imply a ratger pessimistic outlook.

Merits if my argument is true:
-We all worship something as deity and show our value for things in the world. Connection to my premise is self-explanatory.
-We can, depending on our specific beliefs, choose to defer to a higher power for guidance. Assuming my premises and conclusion are correct, this is a distinctly related possibility.
-We have, at least to some degree, a moral code to serve as guidelines for our behavior. If a religious moral code is supplied by the naturebof our deities we no longerbhave to define our own guidelines.
-We can, dependent upon our individual beliefs, appeal to deity/ies for aid or advanced knowledge. Self-explainatory in it's ties to my argument.
-We are not 100% responsible for 100% of our actions 100% of the time as they may be inspired by deity but this does not excuse wrong-doing. If a diety can inspire or possess us then this is also true.
Demerits if I am right: all of these have self-explanatory connections to the premises I have supplied and the ultimate conclusion drawn from them. Never tge less, if clarifixation is needed, I woukd of course be happy to oblige.
-We are not the highest intellectually, spiritually, or even physically powerfull beings.
-We are not in complete control of our own fates.
-We are not in complete control of the fates of other species or our planet.
-We cannot claim sole dominion over any other species.
-We are tied to certain moral codes the specifics of which depend upon our personal beliefs.
-We are not neccesarily bound by logic as mystical arguments have validity.
-We are not 100% in control of 100% of our actions 100% of the time, depending on individual beliefs.
-The gods may or may not have a benevolent purpose for us.
-We are all subject to our reverence for divinity.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 03:13:43 am by Lykos » Logged

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« Reply #386: October 22, 2009, 03:20:11 am »

Yes, I did indeed read it! I have learned about fallacies before, so the concept is not really new to me.

"Having heard that logical fallacies exist" does not equal "learning" them.  Clearly, the concepts have not sunk in.  And oh, simply saying, "Nuh-uh!  I do too understand them!" does not make it so.  Resorting to such tactics indicates not just a failure to understand the concept of logical fallacies, but also, along with the nature of the arguments you're making, suggests a lack of intellectual honesty and a refusal to take responsibility for your own words.  Those are hallmarks of that "Combat Debate" thing that Sunflower was talking about -- which is why scholars don't take people who engage in those tactics seriously.  Scholarly debate is about advancing knowledge, not about "winning."  Your arguments have almost no merit to begin with, and the techniques you're using to defend them rob them of what little merit they had.  

I'm an English professor, and have many years of teaching argumentation under my belt.  If you had pulled this crap in any of my classes -- or indeed, any other college-level courses -- you would have failed so fast your head would spin.  As should be blindingly obvious from the responses you're getting, there are a great many people on this board who are far more educated -- in religious studies, language use, formal logic, basic argumentation skills, and common sense -- than you are.  The single most valuable lesson you can take away from this would be that if you expect to interact in any kind of useful, productive way on this board, you are going to have to learn to deal with that.  
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« Reply #387: October 22, 2009, 03:31:08 am »


Ok-I just have a couple of quick points as I have just had to read through 8 pages of this thread since my last post. (Seriously, go to work, and all Hades breaks loose!) But as I have actually just read all of them, I feel strongly that I want to do this.

Firstly, as others have pointed out, there is nothing new in the last 8 pages, just a lot of running around in circles chasing the same damn points. However, the responses to the attempts at debate have concerned me somewhat. In my opinion (please note that, by the way, in my opinion-which means you can agree or not as that is your basic human right to choose either way), the points being raised are not being discussed as is the whole functionality of this forum, to debate and discuss, but rather chopped into as many pieces as possible with flawed logic, and jumped up and down on until it is hoped that they are gone for good and will not reappear again.

Secondly, resorting to name calling and insulting of other peoples beliefs is childish, petty, offensive and does not show the high levels of intelligence that I have come to associate with this forum.


Lastly, please do not resort to posting the exact same answer twice or more. Not only does it smack of desperation, but it also shows that you are not actually reading any of the replies that you are recieving which, for the most part, are people actually trying to get to grasps with what you are trying to say and join in an informed, intelligent and above all civilized debate.

Here endeth my post.
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« Reply #388: October 22, 2009, 03:57:36 am »

"Having heard that logical fallacies exist" does not equal "learning" them.  Clearly, the concepts have not sunk in.  And oh, simply saying, "Nuh-uh!  I do too understand them!" does not make it so.  Resorting to such tactics indicates not just a failure to understand the concept of logical fallacies, but also, along with the nature of the arguments you're making, suggests a lack of intellectual honesty and a refusal to take responsibility for your own words.  Those are hallmarks of that "Combat Debate" thing that Sunflower was talking about -- which is why scholars don't take people who engage in those tactics seriously.  Scholarly debate is about advancing knowledge, not about "winning."  Your arguments have almost no merit to begin with, and the techniques you're using to defend them rob them of what little merit they had.  

I'm an English professor, and have many years of teaching argumentation under my belt.  If you had pulled this crap in any of my classes -- or indeed, any other college-level courses -- you would have failed so fast your head would spin.  As should be blindingly obvious from the responses you're getting, there are a great many people on this board who are far more educated -- in religious studies, language use, formal logic, basic argumentation skills, and common sense -- than you are.  The single most valuable lesson you can take away from this would be that if you expect to interact in any kind of useful, productive way on this board, you are going to have to learn to deal with that.  

I did understand the information presented to me regarding fallacies. I fail to see how I have fallen into one of the fallacies I have thus far presented. Logic is not subjective and is a tool to be used. Whether an argument is logical or not has nothing to do with the subjective truth of prises and conclusions being made. You might say my logic has presented an unsound or unsubtantial claim, but I fail to see how this is a fallacy. Unless you have another type of fallacy that was not presented to me, I do not see it.

I bow to your superior intellect (No sarcasm intended.). Look, I am not here clauming to be smarter than anyone else.

I am going to walk away from this topic at this point. Not because I am relinquishing my conclusion but because I feel that I have learned all that I possibly can from the debate. It is a waste of my time and yours if you all obviously feel intellectually superior to me and yet several of you cannot refrain from making personal attacks upon my intelligence and character. It isn't that people are saying negative things about me, I've handled that before and have in this thread, it is the fact that they insist I am logically wrong and still resort to armchair diagnoses and the like.

Thank you all for your teachings and insight. It was nice debating with you all.
-Lykos- 
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« Reply #389: October 22, 2009, 04:08:10 am »

-We do not all worship something and are not tied to religious concepts or morals. This was nentioned earlier: religion and belief in deity are closely correlated to moral codes. This is, based on that, applicable to my premise that we all worship.

You realize I brought the link between religion and morality up because the whole reasoning that morality depends upon religion is generally considered wrong, and, frankly, rather offensive, right? Moral codes are quite capable of existing independently on religion. Mine, in fact, mostly predates my finding of "my" religion. The religion I found merely made explicit the moral code I already adhered to. And I adhere to it not because of religion, but because it's the right thing to do.

--Chabas
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