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#1 jason78

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 02:36 PM

Adam has asked me to list the things that I believe in.

Would you mind starting a thread defining your beliefs? I won't force the issue but consider it.

(snipped for brevity)

So what say you? Are you a willing victim to really be scrutinized for your actual beliefs beyond your disbelief?

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It sounds like fun, and I'd like to share some things with you. This is going to be a long list by the way :D I can't possibly list everything, but if you want to ask me a question, feel free. ( I reserve the right to not answer questions that are overly personal, or contravene good taste or forum rules.)

Disclaimer: The following things are things that I personally believe in and should not be taken to be the beliefs of atheists as a whole.

I believe that the current standard model of physics is a good description of how reality works.

I believe that dogs are better than cats.

I believe that while modern medicine is good, it needs a lot more funding.

I believe a lot more money should be made available to the NHS, I think the government should sack managers and increase NI contributions to achieve this.

I voted Conservative in the last election. I'm considering voting Lib Dem this time around though, I haven't totally made up my mind yet.

I believe that children should get the best education that is possible. I think that teachers are a big part of that and should be paid as professionals.

I believe that the theory of evolution is a good model that explains the diversity of life we see on this planet.

I believe that I might get fitter if I make the effort to get up earlier and jog into work rather than catch the train, then I might get a little fitter.

Feel free to pick something else, and I'll let you know about my beliefs on the matter.

#2 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 03:03 PM

I believe that the theory of evolution is a good model that explains the diversity of life we see on this planet.

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For obvious reasons, I'd like to start with this one. Here is a 'what if' to consider.

What if naturalistic evolution was sufficiently shown to be a poor contender to explain the diversity of life we see on this planet what would you consider to be the next most logical contender?

#3 jason78

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 04:45 PM

For obvious reasons, I'd like to start with this one. Here is a 'what if' to consider.

What if naturalistic evolution was sufficiently shown to be a poor contender to explain the diversity of life we see on this planet what would you consider to be the next most logical contender?

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I'd put it down to some kind of genetic thing most likely.

#4 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 05:01 PM

I'd put it down to some kind of genetic thing most likely.

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Can you expound on this? Do you mean Panspermia? Isn't that just punting?

#5 jason78

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 11:07 AM

Can you expound on this? Do you mean Panspermia? Isn't that just punting?

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Panspermia is more of an origin of life on Earth theory than a theory about the diversity of the life that already exists.

If it wasn't something genetic or related to anything like that then I'd just have to concede that I didn't know.

#6 Adam Nagy

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 12:27 PM

Panspermia is more of an origin of life on Earth theory than a theory about the diversity of the life that already exists.

If it wasn't something genetic or related to anything like that then I'd just have to concede that I didn't know.

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Don't you find it odd that evolutionary scientists and theoretical physicists prescribe to themselves the ability to detect evidence for origins and historical causation through observations and interpretations of the present but quickly denounce the capacity to detect the work of God while all of their theories speak volumes of metaphysical matters even if this entails denying metaphysics wholesale?

Even a Roman Catholic scientist like Ken Miller scoffs at the idea of validating supernatural intelligent causation through science but himself, prescribes to science the capacity to detect natural causation ad infinitum ad nauseum.

I wonder why he feels compelled to go to mass when he has an obvious partition in his head separating science from it's maker?

Do you remember Don Carson talking about his conversation with Barnabas Lindar? I think his testimony of that experience where he questioned Barnabas' epistemology and how he maintained his views in a compartmentalized fashion is interesting.

#7 jason78

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 05:10 PM

Don't you find it odd that evolutionary scientists and theoretical physicists prescribe to themselves the ability to detect evidence for origins and historical causation through observations and interpretations of the present

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No, not really. Either reality is consistent and predictable, in which case it's possible. Or reality isn't, in which case it doesn't matter. I would subscribe to the first belief.

but quickly denounce the capacity to detect the work of God while all of their theories speak volumes of metaphysical matters even if this entails denying metaphysics wholesale?

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No, I don't think that they do. There are plenty of physicists that are quite happy to leave room for God.

Even a Roman Catholic scientist like Ken Miller scoffs at the idea of validating supernatural intelligent causation through science but himself, prescribes to science the capacity to detect natural causation ad infinitum ad nauseum.

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Fair enough. So he believes that it can't be done.

I wonder why he feels compelled to go to mass when he has an obvious partition in his head separating science from it's maker?

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I wonder that too. Maybe he feels he has to? That is going to be another thing that I may never know the answer to.

Do you remember Don Carson talking about his conversation with Barnabas Lindar? I think his testimony of that experience where he questioned Barnabas' epistemology and how he maintained his views in a compartmentalized fashion is interesting.

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Refresh my memory here, was that the guy that was so uncertain that he didn't even think you could prove the speed of light was constant?

#8 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 10:52 AM

Refresh my memory here, was that the guy that was so uncertain that he didn't even think you could prove the speed of light was constant?

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It was the fourth part in that audio seminar I linked to you...

http://www.evolution...indpost&p=21959

At the beginning of "Part 4 - Tough Talk" Don Carson shared an exchange that he had with Barnabas Lindars that had an interesting result.

I like engaging people for two reasons. These reasons are the same reasons that many people remain quiet and unwilling to share their beliefs.

The first thing it does is it lays out your friends position for examination. Second and more uncomfortable you're put in a position to examine yourself.

I would say Ken Miller lives an inconsistent and contradictory life, by his own confession, believing in his capability to scoff at the detectability of design and simultaneously thinking that he must worship the designer.

Would you agree with my position?

#9 the totton linnet

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:34 PM

Adam has asked me to list the things that I believe in.
It sounds like fun, and I'd like to share some things with you.  This is going to be a long list by the way :)  I can't possibly list everything, but if you want to ask me a question, feel free.  ( I reserve the right to not answer questions that are overly personal, or contravene good taste or forum rules.)

Disclaimer:  The following things are things that I personally believe in and should not be taken to be the beliefs of atheists as a whole.

I believe that the current standard model of physics is a good description of how reality works.

I believe that dogs are better than cats.

I believe that while modern medicine is good,  it needs a lot more funding.

I believe a lot more money should be made available to the NHS, I think the government should sack managers and increase NI contributions to achieve this.

I voted Conservative in the last election.  I'm considering voting Lib Dem this time around though, I haven't totally made up my mind yet.

I believe that children should get the best education that is possible.  I think that teachers are a big part of that and should be paid as professionals.

I believe that the theory of evolution is a good model that explains the diversity of life we see on this planet.

I believe that I might get fitter if I make the effort to get up earlier and jog into work rather than catch the train, then I might get a little fitter.

Feel free to pick something else, and I'll let you know about my beliefs on the matter.

View Post

*
It always seems strange to me that people fully accept the high cost of medical and welfare care [notwithstanding that pharmaceuticals is a huge money raker] and are quite satisfied that this money should be exacted by law through taxes, but let a preacher ask for money, freewill donations, from christians who long to see the gospel preached and souls saved. then both the preacher and the people who give are held up to the highest contempt. That does not mean that I endorse everything that is going on in the "faith movement" But people used to attack Billy Graham on the same grounds.

#10 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:45 PM

That was well said, the totton linnet. I think your point about dishonest 'evangelists' produces a stereotype that defines all preachers.

It's like how all religions are often viewed the same regardless of what they teach or embrace.

#11 the totton linnet

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 04:31 PM

That was well said, the totton linnet. I think your point about dishonest 'evangelists' produces a stereotype that defines all preachers.

It's like how all religions are often viewed the same regardless of what they teach or embrace.

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*
Howdy hi, Well I don't know too much about dishonest preachers, I've only heard Benny Hinn once on a vid and he preached a thoroughly evangelical message about the cross, the resurrection and new life through Christ. Now taking St. Paul for my example he said all kinds of people are preaching the gospel for all manner of reasons but I rejoice that Christ is being preached. It does seem to me that many of the ministries being mostly attacked over the prosperity doctrines are the ministries having the greatest affect in Africa and now India. Africa was locked to the gospel until 50 or so years ago now whole nations have been swept into the kingdom. And those nations are beginning to prosper they are no longer asking for 2nd hand clothes. I don't say they are wealthy [yet] but they are coming out of poverty. Kenya, Uganda, Ghana etc. The nations just to the north which remain locked to the gospel like Ethiopia are still languishing in dire poverty. We are getting streams of beautiful shiny faced born again christians from Africa coming to Britain as missionaries [isn't that wonderful?]
I never have yet heard a balanced teaching from the detractors of prosperity preachers. Does God provide or not? if yes well is His provision abundant or niggardly? what's the difference between abundant provision and prosperity? Is it blessed to be poor? look at people languishing in poverty, of course poverty is a curse, it started the day Adam and Eve were chucked out of the garden of abundance. Well if prosperity follows everywhere the gospel has ever been recieved then it ought to be testified to.

#12 jason78

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:29 PM

It was the fourth part in that audio seminar I linked to you...

http://www.evolution...indpost&p=21959

At the beginning of "Part 4 - Tough Talk" Don Carson shared an exchange that he had with Barnabas Lindars that had an interesting result.

I like engaging people for two reasons. These reasons are the same reasons that many people remain quiet and unwilling to share their beliefs.

The first thing it does is it lays out your friends position for examination. Second and more uncomfortable you're put in a position to examine yourself.

I would say Ken Miller lives an inconsistent and contradictory life, by his own confession, believing in his capability to scoff at the detectability of design and simultaneously thinking that he must worship the designer.

Would you agree with my position?

View Post


With you now. I've still got that on my computer and I'll have to listen to it again and let it all sink in.

I'd agree with you about Ken. It is inconsistent. If you can't detect the design, how do you know which designer (if any) to worship (assuming you have to or that the designer wants you to).

#13 jason78

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:31 PM

*
It always seems strange to me that people fully accept the high cost of medical and welfare care [notwithstanding that pharmaceuticals is a huge money raker] and are quite satisfied that this money should be exacted by law through taxes, but let a preacher ask for money, freewill donations, from christians who long to see the gospel preached and souls saved. then both the preacher and the people who give are held up to the highest contempt. That does not mean that I endorse everything that is going on in the "faith movement" But people used to attack Billy Graham on the same grounds.

View Post


I think that everyone, no matter who they are should be able to receive life saving treatment, no questions asked, as soon as possible. And you're right, I think that money should come from taxes and I'd be happy if that's what the money was spent on.

The difference between giving money to a preacher and giving money to a hospital is that the hospital produces tangible results.

I also believe that churches should not be tax exempt organisations.

#14 Mirrordin

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 06:56 PM

I think that everyone, no matter who they are should be able to receive life saving treatment, no questions asked, as soon as possible.  And you're right, I think that money should come from taxes and I'd be happy if that's what the money was spent on.

The difference between giving money to a preacher and giving money to a hospital is that the hospital produces tangible results.

I also believe that churches should not be tax exempt organisations.

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Huh? Churches bring plenty of tangible results.
Bringing communities together is one.
Turning homeless peoples lives around, helping feed homeless teens or housing teen mothers, starting programs to help the poor, sending aid to third world countries. The list goes on.

Now you said preachers but I'm assuming you mean that churches shouldn't be tax exempt because they dont bring tangible results aswell right?

#15 Adam Nagy

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 07:29 PM

We're starting to get into a lot of gray areas. Before we start slinging opinions around about minor particulars that I could even argue with my like minded wife over, I was hoping we could reel this back.

I know all these issues are important but this is about getting to know Jason better. Since He started this thread about his beliefs, I think we should be more interested in asking him questions than simply telling him what we disagree with.

If I could make a suggestion I would like to know more about Jason's worldview, how he approaches these particulars. When someone says they're an atheist it says nothing about their beliefs except a claim to non-belief.

Beyond atheism, you have a mixture of humanism, utilitarianism, communism, socialism, nihilism or other worldviews.

Jason, which one or mixture of these worldviews or one that I haven't mentioned best fits your perspective?

#16 the totton linnet

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 04:47 AM

We're starting to get into a lot of gray areas. Before we start slinging opinions around about minor particulars that I could even argue with my like minded wife over, I was hoping we could reel this back.

I know all these issues are important but this is about getting to know Jason better. Since He started this thread about his beliefs, I think we should be more interested in asking him questions than simply telling him what we disagree with.

If I could make a suggestion I would like to know more about Jason's worldview, how he approaches these particulars. When someone says they're an atheist it says nothing about their beliefs except a claim to non-belief.

Beyond atheism, you have a mixture of humanism, utilitarianism, communism, socialism, nihilism or other worldviews.

Jason, which one or mixture of these worldviews or one that I haven't mentioned best fits your perspective?

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*
Fair point sorry for the destraction, although we did draw Jason a little. :D



#17 jason78

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:39 AM

We're starting to get into a lot of gray areas. Before we start slinging opinions around about minor particulars that I could even argue with my like minded wife over, I was hoping we could reel this back.

I know all these issues are important but this is about getting to know Jason better. Since He started this thread about his beliefs, I think we should be more interested in asking him questions than simply telling him what we disagree with.

If I could make a suggestion I would like to know more about Jason's worldview, how he approaches these particulars. When someone says they're an atheist it says nothing about their beliefs except a claim to non-belief.

Beyond atheism, you have a mixture of humanism, utilitarianism, communism, socialism, nihilism or other worldviews.

Jason, which one or mixture of these worldviews or one that I haven't mentioned best fits your perspective?

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Are you looking for one word that will sum up Jason I don't think you'll find one. But I think you may be right when you say I have a mixture of world views.

#18 Adam Nagy

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:26 AM

Are you looking for one word that will sum up Jason I don't think you'll find one.  But I think you may be right when you say I have a mixture of world views.

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I gather that you're deeper than one word. :rolleyes:

If someone has a claim to knowledge, like in your case; the belief there is no god or gods. It's similar to a scientific claim. The conclusion may sound good all on its own but a truly interested person wants to know the method and after the method is revealed, then we don't stop there but then go on to see if it corresponds with reality.

I guess one of my major modus operandi is asking people to talk about their worldviews. For instance, Carl Sagan was 1981 'Humanist of the year'.

I know the concept of a formal worldview is ordinarily repugnant to an atheist but the concept of having truth claims without a worldview is the same as having scientific claims without a method. First, it never happens(Even if they're the sloppiest most unscientific methods...they're still methods). Second, the method alone usually reveals its own capability to be reliable.

How's that as a primer? Jason, do you think that what you believe is merely a product of what you know or is it more correctly a product of what you know plus the way you look at things?

Adam

#19 jason78

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 02:46 PM

I gather that you're deeper than one word. :)

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Glad you think so :)

If someone has a claim to knowledge, like in your case; the belief there is no god or gods. It's similar to a scientific claim. The conclusion may sound good all on its own but a truly interested person wants to know the method and after the method is revealed, then we don't stop there but then go on to see if it corresponds with reality.

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I don't have a claim to knowledge. I simply don't believe in gods. You are the one claiming the knowledge that your God exists.


I know the concept of a formal worldview is ordinarily repugnant to an atheist but the concept of having truth claims without a worldview is the same as having scientific claims without a method. First, it never happens(Even if they're the sloppiest most unscientific methods...they're still methods). Second, the method alone usually reveals its own capability to be reliable.

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I wouldn't say that it was repugnant. As you can see from my list above I have a wide range of world views.

How's that as a primer? Jason, do you think that what you believe is merely a product of what you know or is it more correctly a product of what you know plus the way you look at things?

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It's a good start. And an interesting follow up question. A world view is basically what you believe which is the way you look at things, so I think you are really asking the same question.

#20 Adam Nagy

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:11 PM

I wouldn't say that it was repugnant.  As you can see from my list above I have a wide range of world views.

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I have to admit that this is a tough barrier and I'm gonna give her another go with you because I like talking with you and this maybe the statement that allows us to cross a valuable bridge together.

I would love to learn some magical way to communicate this but I think it just takes mutual respect and a willingness to befriend and understand someone personally but I suppose even that isn't a guarantee.

Okay where am I going with this?

Your response above truly reveals where the communication can be healed even between two different people like us.

Your list above are not statements that state your worldview. They may reflect and even give hints as to what your worldview is but they are conclusions not methods. There is something in your thinking that promotes your conclusions.

Give her think and see if what I said makes sense.

Adam




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