Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:12 am

Passionario wrote:
Paxen wrote:Nothing happens when you're offended.


I strongly disagree with this point of view.


Look, all that happens when you offend somebody is that they post angry rants about how you're wrong about what an agnostic is.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:23 am

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is a scientific tenet - its not a formal law, no, but if you practice science and ignore that tnet, then your science is unsound and you draw unsound conclusions.

That there is no evidence of the precense of one or more G/god(s) does not mean that there are no G/god(s), it just means there is no evidence. Now the defined nature of G/god(s) usually precludes incontrovertible evidence, and after all, if there was evidence, then there would be no reason to talk about faith, then it would be fact.
This is why the fanaticaly atheist annoy me so much - they conveniently ignore anything that contradics or doesn't support their view of the world (just like fanatic theists).

On agnosticism, it cannot be a form of atheism, as theism is the belief in something divine - a-theism menas you believe there is nothing divine, while agnostics believe there is something divine, they just canøt know what it is, by its very nature.

This is getting rather close to some of the discussions I've seen on vegetarianism/veganism, where one "belief" group says others are not vegetarians for example because they consume dairy and eggs (animal products, while not consuming animals).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:10 am

You could say that the absence of proof makes the absence more plausible. But yeah, it's extra 'evidence'.

Maybe we'll find something behind the last theorem. In the meanwhile, it seems the Boss is nowhere to be found.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:26 am

for me, i dont believe there is a god(s) but i have been through, and seen/felt too much to not believe in something more
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:02 pm

Nooska wrote:This is why the fanaticaly atheist annoy me so much - they conveniently ignore anything that contradics or doesn't support their view of the world (just like fanatic theists).

If evidence truly is absent, then there is nothing to contradict their worldview that they would have to ignore. (Or anything that "doesn't support" it, since the only thing that "doesn't support" atheism would be proof of god's existence; anything that doesn't prove things either way is irrelevant to the argument.)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:14 pm

Nooska wrote:On agnosticism, it cannot be a form of atheism, as theism is the belief in something divine - a-theism menas you believe there is nothing divine, while agnostics believe there is something divine, they just canøt know what it is, by its very nature.


But that's not what those who say they are atheists but you think are agnostics believe. If they had believed there is something divine, but they can't know what it is, then they wouldn't have called themselves atheists. (Well, most of them wouldn't. Some people are weird.)

This is getting rather close to some of the discussions I've seen on vegetarianism/veganism, where one "belief" group says others are not vegetarians for example because they consume dairy and eggs (animal products, while not consuming animals).


But it's not. You're saying that agnosticism is on a different spot on the believer-nonbeliever axis. I say that atheist-theist and agnostic-whatever (absolutist?) are different concepts. You can be an agnostic atheist as well as an agnostic theist.

It's just that a lot of people feel uncomfortable if they're lumped in with the more vocal atheists, and so they call themselves "agnostic, not atheist", and thereby attempt to give new meaning to the phrase "agnostic".
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:12 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:33 pm

Nooska wrote:"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is a scientific tenet - its not a formal law, no, but if you practice science and ignore that tnet, then your science is unsound and you draw unsound conclusions.

But nor is it evidence of presence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The statement that the universe and everything in it was created by intelligent design rather than natural processes is an extraordinary claim, which therefore requires extraordinary proof. There is no proof whatsoever to back up this extraordinary claim.

If scientists had to chase down the possibility that the variance in their experiment was due to residue from an unseen flying spaghetti monster, the hand of an unseen deity, the influence of orgone energy, or myriad other mythical entities and forces, scientific advancement would screech to a halt.

In order to operate effectively, scientists must adopt an agreed-upon set of physical laws, such that they can safely operate within the constraints thereof without having to spend all of their time chasing wild geese. If one scientist wants to expand the set of rules to include God, or orgone enrgy, or pasta-based lifeforms, then that scientist needs to provide conclusive proof to the community at large that such a thing not only exists, but influences the physical or theoretical world.

Religion told us the earth was flat. Religion told us that the earth was the center of the solar system and that sick people were possessed by demons. Brilliant men were imprisoned and killed because they dared to challenge religious doctrine. In the science-vs-religion debate over the centuries, religion has been wrong every single time. It has slowed the advance of scientific progress, killed scientists, and destroyed research.

So yes, extraordinary proof will be required before any scientist considers the existence of God in any of his very sound conclusions.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:27 pm

Koatanga wrote:Religion told us the earth was flat. Religion told us that the earth was the center of the solar system and that sick people were possessed by demons. Brilliant men were imprisoned and killed because they dared to challenge religious doctrine. In the science-vs-religion debate over the centuries, religion has been wrong every single time. It has slowed the advance of scientific progress, killed scientists, and destroyed research.


While I do agree completely with you point about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary proof, I do think the history of religion and science isn't quite as black and white as you put it here.

It's all true, about religious authority repressing knowledge and sticking to old ideas even in the face of old knowledge, but there's also quite a bit of overlap between religious institutions and scientists, especially in christian europe. Many of the most famous early scientists where monks or priests, for one thing. For one thing they were the ones with the time to dedicate to gathering knowledge about the world. A lot of the source of misinformation in medieval times have their roots in Aristotelian science. But that may also be connected to the reverence people had for scripture. Aristoteles held so much sway because he was regarded as the greatest scientist that had ever lived, and his writings were taken as literal truth without question. I'm not sure if Aristoteles is to blame for that. It was a failure of methodology - when observed events came into conflicts with written truths, the observed phenomen were discarded and people stuck to the old writings. That's not directly the fault of religion, but I do believe it may have been related.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:01 pm

Paxen wrote:While I do agree completely with you point about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary proof, I do think the history of religion and science isn't quite as black and white as you put it here.

It's all true, about religious authority repressing knowledge and sticking to old ideas even in the face of old knowledge, but there's also quite a bit of overlap between religious institutions and scientists, especially in christian europe. Many of the most famous early scientists where monks or priests, for one thing. For one thing they were the ones with the time to dedicate to gathering knowledge about the world. A lot of the source of misinformation in medieval times have their roots in Aristotelian science. But that may also be connected to the reverence people had for scripture. Aristoteles held so much sway because he was regarded as the greatest scientist that had ever lived, and his writings were taken as literal truth without question. I'm not sure if Aristoteles is to blame for that. It was a failure of methodology - when observed events came into conflicts with written truths, the observed phenomen were discarded and people stuck to the old writings. That's not directly the fault of religion, but I do believe it may have been related.

I don't deny that a lot of past and current scientists are men of faith of a variety of religions. I freely admit it. What I am saying is that where religion and science have had disagreements, religion has always been proven wrong. I am also saying that no scientist ever made an important discovery by rejecting physical laws in favor of Holy ones.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:47 pm

Why are the failures of religion, specifically of the catholic church relevant for the question if God exists? If he exists it seems rather obvious that he isn´t involved in the management of all these different churches claiming to speak in his name.

You can take that as a proof that he doesn´t exist, that he doesn´t care, that he has a hands off policy in human affairs or that he approves but well the last point is a bit difficult to reconcile with three different religion with all their sub branches.

But well if you want to put the blame on God for the bad treatment of scientists, well it was the medieval catholic church. IMO their deeds are theirs alone, not commandments from the maker.

So well why should the opinion and the past deeds of a religion enter into the debate? We don´t even know which religion if any is actually the most correct one.

I can understand if someone says, we have no proof and our scienctific models work perfectly without the existence of a supreme being. Yeah ok, that sounds logical.

I can also understand if someone says that the whole omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent stuff puts a deity so far beyond our capabilities that we will never get evidence, because we simply can´t understand it.

And well I recently met a guy who said he felt God very directly in his life. You can call that delusional and there is no physical evidence but in his mind he got proof. You won´t shake that with a statement that we got no scientific evidence. No idea if he´s delusional or right, never had such an experience. It fills some need for him and well AFAIK he won´t turn into a menace for society, so who cares.

IMO I probably find out when I die. Either there is nothing and I simply cease to exist and won´t care about that or there is an aferlife, ok fine, surprise. Let´s see what´s the real deal.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:14 pm

Dantriges wrote:Why are the failures of religion, specifically of the catholic church relevant for the question if God exists? If he exists it seems rather obvious that he isn´t involved in the management of all these different churches claiming to speak in his name.

You can take that as a proof that he doesn´t exist, that he doesn´t care, that he has a hands off policy in human affairs or that he approves but well the last point is a bit difficult to reconcile with three different religion with all their sub branches.

But well if you want to put the blame on God for the bad treatment of scientists, well it was the medieval catholic church. IMO their deeds are theirs alone, not commandments from the maker.

So well why should the opinion and the past deeds of a religion enter into the debate? We don´t even know which religion if any is actually the most correct one.

I can understand if someone says, we have no proof and our scienctific models work perfectly without the existence of a supreme being. Yeah ok, that sounds logical.

I can also understand if someone says that the whole omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent stuff puts a deity so far beyond our capabilities that we will never get evidence, because we simply can´t understand it.

And well I recently met a guy who said he felt God very directly in his life. You can call that delusional and there is no physical evidence but in his mind he got proof. You won´t shake that with a statement that we got no scientific evidence. No idea if he´s delusional or right, never had such an experience. It fills some need for him and well AFAIK he won´t turn into a menace for society, so who cares.

IMO I probably find out when I die. Either there is nothing and I simply cease to exist and won´t care about that or there is an aferlife, ok fine, surprise. Let´s see what´s the real deal.


Religions provide the claims by which god is said to have taken part, such as the creation of the universe and all it contains.

If you toss out religion, then you have nothing to either prove or disprove, because you have nobody saying what an alleged god has or has not done.

It also becomes irrelevant whether or not god exists, because it is unknown if we are to worship him or not, or what form such worship should take.

If god exists but has never done anything to influence anything in this or any other universe, then what is the difference between god existing and god not existing? Nothing. He might as well not exist at all.

There must be people telling us of what god did or didn't do, how to serve him, etc. in order for him to have a relevant existence. Religions serve that purpose. They have books and stories and beliefs and practices that reflect their god's wishes.

For the purpose of the discussion of whether an absence of proof of existence is sufficient to reasonably deny existence, religion is therefore quite relevant.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:23 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:51 pm

Koatanga wrote:Religions provide the claims by which god is said to have taken part, such as the creation of the universe and all it contains.


I think we can be pretty sure that they are wrong or only metaphors

If god exists but has never done anything to influence anything in this or any other universe, then what is the difference between god existing and god not existing? Nothing. He might as well not exist at all.


I think most belief systems in that direction mean some kind of architect, not a non involved guy. So more or less, everything is a miracle but don´t wait for an angel to save you.

For the purpose of the discussion of whether an absence of proof of existence is sufficient to reasonably deny existence, religion is therefore quite relevant.


AFAIK there is still a relevant portion of the populace in my country who believes in a god but doesn´t follow a particular religion. So perhaps it´s not relevant in your country but seems some people can live quite fine with that.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:05 am

Koatanga wrote:Religion told us the earth was flat.

No, it didn't, that's 19th century anti-clerical propaganda.

Koatanga wrote:Religion told us that the earth was the center of the solar system and that sick people were possessed by demons. Brilliant men were imprisoned and killed because they dared to challenge religious doctrine. In the science-vs-religion debate over the centuries, religion has been wrong every single time. It has slowed the advance of scientific progress, killed scientists, and destroyed research.


To be fair, science once told us that earth was the center of the universe and that sick people had an imbalance of four principal humours. And brilliant men were imprisoned and killed for challenging the dominant paradigms of all kind, not just religious ones. When Ignaz Semmelweiss invented antiseptic procedures, it was not the priesthood that hounded him into depression, illness and death, but his fellow doctors. When Soviet geneticists were arrested and executed for supporting Mendelian theories of inheritance, it was not the Orthodox Church that ordered the purges, but the Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

My point is that it's not religion that is the problem, it's stupidity. A stupid person in a position of authority is a danger to everyone, regardless of whether said authority is religious, governmental, corporate, academic or otherwise.

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I did, it was great. :)
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