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Thread: Am I becoming a complete asshole?

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrconeman View Post
    Okay seriously my final thought before going to bed...

    the word Theory, has two meanings, and people need to understand that when we say theory, about Evolution, or anything in the field of Science it does not mean it is just a farfetched idea, like the theory that there is a God.
    This coming from a guy raised by hippies w/out much Christian background.

    So when we call the Big Bang Theory, a theory, it does not downplay the fact that all of the evidence, literally everything in existence, points to the fact that it happened.
    Agree w/ big bang theory. But, there had to be an initial 'mover'. The presence who 'pushed the first domino', if you will....

    Whereas when we refer to Religious theory, we are refering to the first meaning of the word theory, which is an idea with some semblence of possibility, but *absolutely no proof, and absolutely unprovable*.
    Why do I get the feeling I've beat my head against a brick wall with your talk/language on this topic before. Of COURSE there is no way to 'prove' God, because it requires FAITH.

    It is usually the Religious people who bend the meaning of the word theory, when refering to Evolution, or the Big Bang, to downplay them from facts.
    laughs. *thinks* laughs some more.

    Let's see

    1. Big Bang = yes, a theory, and probable fact
    2. Evolution = yes, for many species, but not for humans
    3. you & me on this board getting along? = not a chance

    Goodnight.
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by PilZ-E View Post
    I posted it, I'm glad you liked it. I wasn't sure if anyone would watch it because it's actually pretty long. You probably can't find it because of the way the forum colors links you've already clicked. It makes them a gray color that is hardly distinguishable from the regular text.
    Yeah, thanks! It was really good. I couldn't stand that one cunt on the "for" argument. She's everything I hate about old British ladies. Very telling how people were convinced that the Church is not a force for good. Honestly, I expected people's minds to remain unchanged due to the "I think what I think and I don't care what evidence you show me" phenomenon.

    Quote Originally Posted by T-6005 View Post
    The same goes for scientific arguments. We easily dismiss religious people's explanations of "we don't know that it doesn't exist" as irrational misunderstandings of the scientific method. Yet we often treat theories as facts - we accept the existence of the atom because it appears to explain the phenomena we observe, and we continue to build our scale model of the universe by tacking on new discoveries and observations to what is essentially an intellectual rather than a physical construct. Richard mentioned the tentative application of thermodynamics to explain the theory of gravity rather than what we simply accepted as mass attraction. Dark energy has been postulated to explain the expanding rate of the universe.

    Damn, guys - the last people to expand their model of the universe so much while keeping its constants were the geocentrists - they added smaller and smaller circular variations to the observable orbits of stars and planets (what they called the Celestial Spheres) to account for retrograde motion. That's when the Earth cuts inside other planets' orbits and they appear to be moving backwards for a short time.

    So I guess we can't be sure that it is atoms and not tiny strings that make up matter. We can't be sure that it isn't, either. That seems to parallel another argument pretty strongly, to my mind.

    As for the argument that science moves forward - that's a non-argument. Religion moves forward and develops too. The Catholic Church of today is (thankfully) not the Catholic Church of the 1200s. More importantly - it shows religious organization willing to change over time. Even the fundamentalists of today have very little in common with the classical Church's doctrine as we know it.
    First let me say I get what you're saying overall and I appreciate the thought and effort you put into what you wrote. I agree with a lot of the sentiments carried in what you wrote. But I think in trying to make your argument stronger you have done some bad things. I have a lot of problems with the way you're treating science here. At its core, science is about the scientific method, and being able to reliably and reproducibly show something. It is also fundamentally about re-evaluating our understanding of certain things as our abilities permit us to do so with time. I am not an expert on all of the religions of the world. But the Catholic religion, under which I was raised, is about the permanence of the scripture and the teachings of the church. Where the Pope says "I am infallible. This is how things are," the scientific community openly admits that in the future our current understanding of things may be turned on its head.

    Let me take issue with your specific examples. Atoms. A somewhat accurate picture of atoms has been around for well over 100 years. Over the last century, our picture of the atom has been fine tuned twofold. On the one hand, progress in quantum mechanics allowed certain theoretical predictions to be made. Then, as technology improved, we have been able to make far more accurate physical observations of atoms. We can now image atoms and literally see individual atoms. The predictions we have made due to quantum mechanics have been verified by such direct observations. You say we stick to the atom because it explains the phenomena that we observe. To me this is not right. I would say, rather, that the fact that no phenomenon has conflicted with our understanding of the atom reinforces that they exist and are characterized in the way that we understand them right now. This difference in wording is incredibly important. You later say we can't know if atoms are actually just made of strings. I personally don't subscribe an awful lot to string theory. But in any case, the existence of a more fundamental framework does not invalidate our current understanding of something. Just like the discovery of quarks didn't shatter our model of protons and neutrons, the presence of strings another level below that doesn't harm our model of the atom.

    Geocentrism. This is an incredibly poor example for an almost painfully ironic reason. The stubbornness of the scientific community to accept a heliocentric model was because the church said the geocentric model was correct and anything else was heresy. That's all I'll say about that.

    Now allow me to do what I do best: make some awful analogies. Let's go back 100 years before we could get to space. Now suppose there is a religion, let's call them, Lacthans, who believe firmly that the moon is made of cheese. All of their followers subscribe to this belief. It is a popular belief all throughout the world. Now, no one can go to the moon and rip a piece off and say for certain, "no this is not cheese." A scientist may say, "The moon could be made of cheese but there is no evidence to support this. In fact, there is a great amount of evidence to refute this." To me this is a huge difference. Religions say, "I believe X; it cannot be proven but you can't disprove it." Science says, "I cannot believe X for certain; there is no definitive proof for it. However, Y and Z, which support the validity of X, seem very likely as evidenced by A, B and C."

    The purpose of this response was not so much to disagree with your thoughts on religions, but moreso to shed a more legitimate light on science which I thought you presented in a distorting manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by PilZ-E View Post
    The only way the church changes their view on something, this has been shown time and time again, is under pressure from other people. In the video I posted Stephen Fry is talking about the church and how they always defend themselves by making claims like 'well, we didn't know any better, because nobody else did' and he shouts 'we'll than, what are you for!?' It seems to me, that without the influence of non-religious people or people who do not believe 100% of what the church tells them, the Catholic Church would be exactly the same as it was 1000 years ago. The Catholic Church only changes it's opinion on something under great pressure and even then only when they can't make excuses or deny something any longer. They still find ways to fuck up their apologies, did anyone see the Pope's most recent apology? Basically, when a church changes it's ways, it rarely has anything to do with them, and more to do with the rest of the world not dealing with their shit anymore. Concerning their core beliefs, no change at all. I was going to mention that, but couldn't figure out how. I guess I was over thinking it.

    Oh yeah, religious or not, I highly recommend the video series I posted.
    Dude yes. Fry's point was amazing. That whole construct was one of the final important thoughts to cross my mind to really solidify my personal rejection of the Catholic church. What really got me, and I had never heard of it before, was the whole bit about the guy being tortured for having a copy of the bible in English and then getting canonized as a saint. Precious.
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    That's funny, I never met a creationist before... Even the incredibly catholic people I know believe in the evolution even for human. They still believe in Adam and Eve but more in a metaphorical way. It's interesting.

    Pilz-E> yes I guess it's a matter of chicken and egg but for some of the things you quoted, especially misoginy, I'm not too sure that people need religion. Women being inferior to men is a thing that you find into several (most ? all ?) different societies with very different religion. I believe it's more of a society thing, unfortunately. But I guess religion helps keeping this as it is. I give you that society would probably be a lot easier to change if some people would let their religion on the side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sKratch View Post
    First let me say I get what you're saying overall and I appreciate the thought and effort you put into what you wrote. I agree with a lot of the sentiments carried in what you wrote. But I think in trying to make your argument stronger you have done some bad things. I have a lot of problems with the way you're treating science here. At its core, science is about the scientific method, and being able to reliably and reproducibly show something. It is also fundamentally about re-evaluating our understanding of certain things as our abilities permit us to do so with time. I am not an expert on all of the religions of the world. But the Catholic religion, under which I was raised, is about the permanence of the scripture and the teachings of the church. Where the Pope says "I am infallible. This is how things are," the scientific community openly admits that in the future our current understanding of things may be turned on its head.
    Admittedly my analogy was not the best it could have been. I'd plead time constraints but the truth is that I just couldn't come up with anything better on the moment. Also I'm a big fan of the work people are doing over there in Science.

    I'm also not used to defending religion. In fact, quite often I'd say that religion has no need to be defended. I do, however, draw the line at the assumption - because that is what it is - that religion is indefensible.

    Having said that I'd like to just specify that what I mean by religion is very particularly spirituality. The possibility of metaphysics, if you will. I am an atheist. I don't particularly enjoy it, but I do take a Voltaire-ian approach to others' rights to embrace this sort of path. This is completely different from a defense of Catholic doctrine, and I just want to make that clear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by For Real View Post
    2. Evolution = yes, for many species, but not for humans
    Ehm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor88 View Post
    I don't. There are countless proofs for the evolution theory, but i have yet to see a proof of this new theory about gravity, or at least an explanation which more people would be able to understand. I'm not saying it's not possible.

    But theory of evolution is pretty damn provable, considering it's just a theory. Transition fossils, which give us a pretty good sign of how whales evolved. Yes, there are transitional fossils, despite creationists trying to convince us otherwise. Viruses evolve literaly before scientists' eyes, they adapt and become resistant to vaccines. Flies that lost their wings due to windy environment, and instead adapted for living on the ground. Human evolution from first humanoids to homo sapiens. It's all well documented. Many different humanoid species are in fact transitional fossils. These different species were artificially named by humans, but by nature they're just transitional species, evidences of evolution. It's a pretty damn good theory if you ask me.
    I could go more into details, but i don't think i really need to, since you can do research by yourself. Human EVOLUTION is so well documented, and it's one of easiest cases where you can see transitional fossils. Sorry to inform you, but you are terribly wrong here.

    Edit: here, i'll even help you: http://darwiniana.org/hominid.htm. I also think that the page provides enough sources. Of course, there are other pages, just google transitional human species

    Edit 2: Your assumption that mrconeman was rased by hippies without Christian background is also completely wrong, and a very moronic way to back up your argument:

    Quote Originally Posted by mrconeman View Post
    Obviously like every other child in my country (Ireland) I was brought up in a Christian (in my case Catholic) school system, and naturally as a child took these beliefs as un-questionably as I did language or maths
    Last edited by Rooster; 08-04-2010 at 05:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrconeman View Post
    On this issue, the Science is transforming and changing all the time, every day really. Religion may change their conduct, or idiotic views on homosexuality and meat, but they have never changed any real core belief, I think you give them too much credit in that respect.
    There's little to no point in trying to change the core beliefs of Christianity. It's not always religion that should change for people, they also should change because of religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrconeman View Post
    Also your Turin Shroud argument comes about 1000 years too late after a Catholic Pope himself said it wasn't the Turin Shroud, merely a representation of what it would look like, also as it was Carbon dated some time in the 80's and proven to be about a thousand years younger than when Christ was reputed to be on the Earth it is physically impossible for it to have been on this planet, while Jesus was. And it was debunked again in another form more recently:

    http://www.physorg.com/news4652.html
    As for the original one, that carbon-14 analysis from the late 80s was proven wrong. And I guess the fact of it being innacurate was at first pointed out by ordinary people who themselves were not scientists. And even if the Italian scientists managed to create a fake one, it doesn't necessarily have to disprove anything. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone came along with a new theory pointing to possible mistakes in the experiment. And I'm not even trying to question the archbishop/Pope admitting it was fake but as long as Science is evolving, we'll have more and more ideas concerning its origin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrconeman View Post
    On alien life forms though - absolutely. Though I agree it's a discussion for another time, with the billions of galaxies out there it would be foolish to think we had the only planet to spawn any life form, unless you're Religious..although yeah, that ties in with foolish.
    I am religious myself and I don't see why religious people should exclude the possibility of life existing on other planets.
    Last edited by disclaimer_07; 08-04-2010 at 02:35 AM.
    And if this post offends you, just don't read it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilZ-E View Post
    Free?, the way I assumed you interpreted the comic as saying 'all atheists are dogmatic in their beliefs, just as bad as fundamentalist Christians'. Your post seemed to be in complete agreement with that.
    Okay, now I got it where your wrong assumption came from. It seems weird to me that you took it as if I was focusing on one part of the comic's idea (all atheists are as annoying as Christians), almost like as if I was ignoring the second, concluding part (good that you've found a way to feel superior). People usually perceive things like that as a whole, not just partially. I was agreeing with the whole idea (the way I understood it), but for most part it was just a tongue-in-cheek response to nieh.

    I said it would be the same as me saying all Christians are like Fred Phelps, because I can't very well say something like that about agnostics or apatheists.
    okay.
    It had crossed my mind that you may be religious...
    You see now? First you're coming off as if I was criticizing this thread because I am religious and feel offended, then after my reply where I distinctly stated that I am not, you're saying that you didn't really think I'm religious and only now I have pretty much forced you to admit that you used a simple guess as a base for your assumptions. Why sidestepping if you know you're going to get cornered? A hope that I'd calm down and leave it as it is?

    but I assume you were the type of person that just wanted nothing to do with it and didn't really care either way.
    You are correct. That's what I said in my first post, that what I had to explain to you in my second post... Took quite a bit to accept that, huh?
    Yes, For Real and Budzy
    But they haven't said anything that could be interpreted as if they were offended by this thread unless you have a strong urge to look them like they were. Want me to quote them? Scratch the latter For Real's posts because they weren't there back then.
    I can't really tell if you think that your intuition is a reliable enough source for throwing assumptions in internet with such confidence, without any sign of doubt, or was it just another attempt to sidestep my question.
    Anyway Free?, feel free to reply and talk about how stagnant and repetitive the conversation is, repeating yourself for the 4th time. I think it has more to do with you being offended by the thread than really caring about repetition.

    .....

    ...the part about being offended was only partially addressed to you, and partially addressed to other people who have posted in this thread and said literally nothing.
    Yes, I think it's the latter, you just making best you can not to sound like anything you said might have been wrong.

    again what you said reminded me of something and I posted it in a way that seemed like a response to you, I should have clarified.
    Now I doubt that, scales aren't as balanced as they were.
    But from your first post or so, you came across pretty defensive.
    I'm not sure if I feel defensive, quite opposite tbh, but that doesn't matter much if I keep it constructive, right? The thing is: it took so much effort to make you accept what I was saying in my first two posts, that were so lucid and straightforward. You just couldn't accept that I was honest. Instead you assumed that I'm an offended theist and tried to pick on me. I may have missed the point of comic which I instantly admitted, but you assumed again that I was interpreting the pic like you wanted me to, again wrongly and again you didn't show any sign of doubt. Why? Because it fitted your first assumption nicely and would make a good argument against religious myself. And while I kept disproving nearly every your point against me, you kept holding on, slowly realizing that your intuition failed you this time, but still sidestepping back and forth just to avoid being proven wrong. If I'd let it all go, you wouldn't admit a thing, so while I very very likely look like ways too much obsessed with this, but that's the only way to dig through your evasiveness. Also, you're not letting any prey go away either.

    Now tell me, was there anything I said wrong? Or am I completely correct?


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    That's describes you quite neatly. Good poster or not, remember that you aren't flawless and that sometimes you might be wrong. And then, remember that it's better to re-evaluate your own points before judging your opponent's.
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  8. #88
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    Sup dudes. I just wanted to say that I rather agree with Thi
    Quote Originally Posted by Thi
    What I think I dislike the most about people who refute religion and sneer at the faithful is that, in their minds - that's pretty much most of the people in this thread - the argument has become one of rationality versus irrationality. That is, the argument has become "Because this is an irrational belief and I am a rational person, I do not believe it. Anyone who does believe it is therefore irrational." [...] As an offshoot it makes you think you're open-minded about something when you aren't.
    This was excellently described, as clearly taking this position is arrogant in and of itself. To assume that you are smarter because you don't understand the rationale behind faith.

    And yes Coneman, being consciously close-minded and prejudiced does make you an asshole. I don't know if I'd go as far as complete asshole though. Anyways I might as well talk about your response to my post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coneman
    The fact of the matter still boils down to them being good people, and their beliefs being that of a fucking nut job. That, and while not playing down Religions good effects, it in no way out-weights it's bad effects, and I think even any rational Religious person, handed a list of things Religion has to take responsibility for, good and bad, could not disagree.
    Religion has nothing to take responsibility for. Religion can't take actions, nor does it have a conscious mind. You are confusing the religious with the religion.

    People often blame religion for the evil that people do, without even wondering if it actually is. 'Oh well religion was involved, without it this tragedy would never have happened.'

    I would argue that religion is used as a catalyst to justify the actions of people already intent on committing these crimes. That it's used as an excuse, and that in a world without religion similar crimes would happen for different reasons. Now that's a lot of hypothetical if's, but it still makes more sense than religion as a conscious and active entity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coneman
    Personally, no, I can see little to no benefits Religion has had on my society, you spent some time here once, right? What is good about literal, physical segregation between communities based on Religion, and even though alot of the people here, don't believe in a God, they've just been raised in a hateful society, and can't let go of their bigotry and hatred of 'the other side' which has been caused by Religious (and spawned into Political) differences.
    Well as far as I know the Irish conflict was initially a non-religious one. Catholics and Protestants were on both sides. It became a religiously divided issue fairly recently, like 1870 or something. It looks to me like it was political differences that spawned the religious animosity, and not the other way around. It looks more to me like you work from your conclusion, backwards to draw the analysis you want. This is not critical thinking, and it is dogmatic.
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    Raptor88: Thanks dude, I appreciate the defense. But I urge you to just ignore that poster, it's obvious they are just out to provoke, and there is no point at all in trying to have a discussion with someone who blatantly ignores your posts. I appreciate what you're trying to do, dude, but you're only going to end up frustrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by disclaimer_07 View Post
    There's little to no point in trying to change the core beliefs of Christianity. It's not always religion that should change for people, they also should change because of religion.
    I understand what you're saying, and from a Religious point of view, of course the core beliefs of Religion shouldn't change. From a personal perspective other than admitting their complete innaccuracy, I also see no point in Religion changing it's core belief, because short of that it's just going to be a small change and further innaccuracy. With that post I was just discussing with T how Religion had not changed in any significant way, it's belief system.

    As for the original one, that carbon-14 analysis from the late 80s was proven wrong. And I guess the fact of it being innacurate was at first pointed out by ordinary people who themselves were not scientists. And even if the Italian scientists managed to create a fake one, it doesn't necessarily have to disprove anything. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone came along with a new theory pointing to possible mistakes in the experiment. And I'm not even trying to question the archbishop/Pope admitting it was fake but as long as Science is evolving, we'll have more and more ideas concerning its origin.
    Totally, because as I say, Science will always have new ideas concerning it, but hey the Pope is infallable right? Shouldn't that be enough for Religious people to accept that this Turin Shroud just is not real?


    I am religious myself and I don't see why religious people should exclude the possibility of life existing on other planets.
    Because God, is supposed to be the creator of everything, and the Bible is full of...well lies, that our Planet, and us as a species are in some way special, when in reality we are simply animals, highly evolved animals, of the ape species, but Religious people don't accept this, because we were apparently created in God's image. Having life on other planets, would have huge Religious implications, especially in the extremely unlikely case that we found humanoid life forms.

    Of course Religion would try to bend and change when we do eventually find life on other planets, maybe to make us the one true God's planet, or solar system, and tell us to purge the other planets of all life or something. For me though, not that I really need any more proof, but life on other planets would completely destroy any semblence of legitimacy Religion has left.

    Just noticed WCM's response, must have posted at the same time, I'll get to that now.
    Last edited by mrconeman; 08-04-2010 at 06:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bighead384 View Post
    I don't think I'm like this anymore, though many on this forum might think otherwise.
    As I've grown up some. back in the day. I even use myself as an example. reflected on things that happened in the past. I have a better understanding of things now. At least I can admit it now. I have somehow caused this situation by mentioning how I used to act on here. how I've changed. I'm a relatively normal poster now

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairman View Post
    People often blame religion for the evil that people do, without even wondering if it actually is. 'Oh well religion was involved, without it this tragedy would never have happened.'

    I would argue that religion is used as a catalyst to justify the actions of people already intent on committing these crimes. That it's used as an excuse, and that in a world without religion similar crimes would happen for different reasons. Now that's a lot of hypothetical if's, but it still makes more sense than religion as a conscious and active entity.
    I disagree here. Religion is a powerfull tool for controlling masses. Much of evil has certainly happened because of religion, or at least religion had an extremely large influence over those events. For example, burning witches, inquisition and the crusades. The Church once had almost complete control over public opinion, and it used religion, specifically Christian faith, to indice fear upon people, so that they wouldn't question them, and obey what they called "God's will" without questioning. If not, well then they were in the risk of being tortured or/and brutally murdered. "Hell" was also created for this purpouse - if people were afraid that disobeying God's will would cause them to be tortured in an underground, fiery place for all eternity, they were more likely to do whatever they were told to. The crusades could possibly happen without religion too, but the so called God's Will again helped immensely. Religious fanatism is dangerous. It still happens today to an extent, only not so much in Christianity anymore.

    While religion itself doesn't have conscious mind (as you said), it can be used in the worst ways. And leading figures in religion(s) can use it for their own personal gain in the worst ways. Many bad things wouldn't happen if it weren't for such a powerfull mean to controll the masses.

    I wrote about religion in the worst possible way in the above paragraphs, maybe worse than i initially intended, but i was only trying to prove my point. Religion isn't the source of all evil. But it can help. And i do believe we'd be luckier without it. Call me close-minded, but this is my opinion.

    Edit: Don't mention it, Coneman. It's just that some of her (it's a she, right?) points were just plain ignorant. It would be one thing if creationists could back their arguments with actual facts, but most of what i've seen or read so far can either easilly be debunked (if they claim they are "scientific facts"), or are so ridiculous you can't even laugh anymore. I still refuse to believe that some people are actually so dumb that they try to convince others that fish fossils are an undisputable proof of the great flood, that all the fish drowned in it (so fish can drown?). I found some videos about it, and sadly, they aren't satirical... I wouldn't put For Real as an example for the worst kind of deluded creationist (like the one who sees fossil fish as a counter evidence to evolution), but she does need some more research.
    Last edited by Rooster; 08-04-2010 at 07:08 AM.

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