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Why Do Atheists Shift The Burden?


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#41 Guest_TeslaNick_*

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:43 PM

If I'm damaging the flow of conversation, what I'm doing is prevaricating, not equivocating. Prevaricating is affecting the conversational flow by addressing tertiary topics to avoid answering the question, and to this I admit. I've not attempted to discuss the central question of the original post because the premises are invalid. More specifically, the understanding of those premises is flawed; the broad and incorrect usage of the term "equivocate" is the most glaring.

The givens must be defined before the question can be answered. I am addressing the issues with the givens provided.

#42 Ron

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:14 AM

If I'm damaging the flow of conversation, what I'm doing is prevaricating, not equivocating. Prevaricating is affecting the conversational flow by addressing tertiary topics to avoid answering the question, and to this I admit. I've not attempted to discuss the central question of the original post because the premises are invalid. More specifically, the understanding of those premises is flawed; the broad and incorrect usage of the term "equivocate" is the most glaring.

The givens must be defined before the question can be answered. I am addressing the issues with the givens provided.

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Prevaricating:
pre•var•i•cate
To avoid giving a direct and honest answer or opinion, or a clear and truthful account of a situation, especially by quibbling or being deliberately ambiguous or misleading.

The rules were set out from the OP itself; and you were “equivocating” as per those OP rules. And your attempt to equivocate by redefining the word “equivocate” to “prevaricate” was itself an equivocation> But

1- No equivocations on the questions, or to the questions!
2- No time wasting or side tracking to divert from the questions (i.e. tangents, or rabbit trails).
3- If you don’t know, simply say “I don’t know”! But, understand, in saying so, you give up all right to say (for example) “there is no God”; because you said “I don’t know”. This includes making statements like (for example) “there is no evidence for God, therefore there is no God” because; you said “I don’t know”. If you do attempt such, you are equivocating.
4- If you are going to make a “Negative” assertion without factual evidence for said assertion, you are equivocating.
5- If you are going to make any assertions to support your argument, insure they are factual assertions, not simply opinion. Otherwise you are equivocating.
6- Any assertions that do not deal directly with the questions are either equivocating or time wasting.

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And your attempt to equivocate by redefining the word “equivocate” to “prevaricate” was itself an equivocation. But, it matters not, because either way you were being dishonest.

#43 Ron

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 04:22 AM

I think it's important to point out here that there's a difference between saying that "a god" might exist and saying "the god of Christianity" might exist.

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Actually, in general terms, there is no difference. If God, or a god, or gods might exist; the atheist and agnostic need to do a lot more thinking than simply relying on the denial trump card. This is where Pascal's wager comes in handy. Personally, I'm not a proponent of his proposal. But he was using it as a last resort for the denier.

#44 Ron

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:06 AM

Actually, in general terms, there is no difference. If God, or a god, or gods might exist; the atheist and agnostic need to do a lot more thinking than simply relying on the denial trump card. This is where Pascal's wager comes in handy. Personally, I'm not a proponent of his proposal. But he was using it as a last resort for the denier.

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Aside from this fact: theistic claims are far more practicable than those of atheists, agnostics, or other skeptics.

#45 Adam Nagy

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:27 AM

This is where Pascal's wager comes in handy. Personally, I'm not a proponent of his proposal. But he was using it as a last resort for the denier.

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I think Pascal's wager puts undeniable pressure on any atheist who deems their time spent converting people away from God as defensible or logical. The altruistic heathen is a fool.

To use Pascal's wager as a proof for God is misguided but to use it to strike a death blow to the altruistic heathen's proselytizing efforts, it's perfect. It logically dismantles the possibility that there is any useful outcome to pondering the non-existence of God in a paradigm that flows from agnostic uncertainties.

#46 Guest_Tommy_*

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:33 AM

I think Pascal's wager puts undeniable pressure on any atheist who deems their time spent converting people away from God as defensible or logical. The altruistic heathen is a fool.

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Pascal's Wager is the equivalent of those bits at the end of chain letters that tell you good things will happen if you pass it on and misfortune will befall you if you don't. Many people harbour superstition and so fear of "what if the letter is right" outweighs recognition of the con.

#47 Ron

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:39 AM

Pascal's Wager is the equivalent of those bits at the end of chain letters that tell you good things will happen if you pass it on and misfortune will befall you if you don't.  Many people harbour superstition and so fear of "what if the letter is right" outweighs recognition of the con.

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Or, you're totally wrong, and Pascal was correct. :mellow:

Besides, Pascal's wager is nothing like "those bits at the end of chain letters". It's more like the atheist who places his faith in the nothingness that they hope we came from and go to. Then, they find out, too late, that they were wrong.

#48 Adam Nagy

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:44 AM

Pascal's Wager is the equivalent of those bits at the end of chain letters that tell you good things will happen if you pass it on and misfortune will befall you if you don't.  Many people harbour superstition and so fear of "what if the letter is right" outweighs recognition of the con.

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I don't think you truly appreciate what I said but your point is well taken. Again, Pascal's Wager is not a proof for anything but it does put a perspective on what we may think about our own efforts, especially from a location of uncertainty.

Let's be clear that unlike a threat at the end of a chain letter the logic in Pascal's proposal is undeniable. It proves that whether a creator exists or not that the only beneficial stance is to believe in God, when faced with the choice of either belief or unbelief, if you please.

It's actually quite an interesting paradox for you, Tommy. If you disbelieve in God and reject Him and discover upon your death you were wrong how unthinkable the outcome of your denial to believe in the one who designed you. On the other hand, if I ignorantly find my life fulfilled in believing a god which does not exist then upon my death there are no regrets because no afterlife means no chance of pondering my misguided existence since nothingness does not concern itself with the decisions it made when it was something.

#49 Guest_Tommy_*

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:01 PM

It's actually quite an interesting paradox for you, Tommy. If you disbelieve in God and reject Him and discover upon your death you were wrong how unthinkable the outcome of your denial to believe in the one who designed you. On the other hand, if I ignorantly find my life fulfilled in believing a god which does not exist then upon my death there are no regrets because no afterlife means no chance of pondering my misguided existence since nothingness does not concern itself with the decisions it made when it was something.

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I have thought about what I might say if I do end up facing my creator. Obviously, one must be honest because said creator would know what was in my mind. I guess I would say that I genuinely did not know whether there was a creator and did not make a leap of faith because I felt it was unlikely that such a creator would plant hints of purely naturalistic origins such as species falling into patterns of nested hierarchies and images of planets forming within nebulae.

What would you say if the creator turns out to be the one described in the Koran? He might not be pleased that your worship stopped one prophet short. Or if the Bible is the key suppose Calvin's interpretation is correct and our fates are already decided? I am reminded of a line from Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues: "watched our friends grow up together, and we saw 'em where they fell, well some of them fell into heaven, and some of them fell into hell".

#50 ikester7579

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:35 PM

I have thought about what I might say if I do end up facing my creator.  Obviously, one must be honest because said creator would know what was in my mind.  I guess I would say that I genuinely did not know whether there was a creator and did not make a leap of faith because I felt it was unlikely that such a creator would plant hints of purely naturalistic origins such as species falling into patterns of nested hierarchies and images of planets forming within nebulae.

What would you say if the creator turns out to be the one described in the Koran?  He might not be pleased that your worship stopped one prophet short.  Or if the Bible is the key suppose Calvin's interpretation is correct and our fates are already decided?  I am reminded of a line from Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues: "watched our friends grow up together, and we saw 'em where they fell, well some of them fell into heaven, and some of them fell into hell".

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Yeah, you could not be dishonest to a all knowing Creator. He would know. And this ministry is very much against Calvin's teaching of osas (eternal security) and predestination (your whole life is decided before you are born). Fred is well versed in Calvinism and could debate about this or answer any questions you have. That is if he can find the time. He's very busy with a business he runs and owns. I hope he finds some free time soon. I'm thinking about taking a vacation and visiting some family.

#51 Ron

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:48 AM

I have thought about what I might say if I do end up facing my creator.  Obviously, one must be honest because said creator would know what was in my mind. 

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Honesty is always of utmost importance Tommy. But honesty with one’s self is different than honesty with others. In other words; I could be telling you one thing, and believe something totally different. And the only two who would know is me and God. That is accountability beyond comprehension. This is mainly because, although God does know all my thoughts, and attempts to assist me in making the right decisions at every turn; ultimately the decision is mine; and, the answerability/responsibility of said actions as well.

God’s Word said He provided all the evidence I would need, to see that He is here. And, I have tested all available information, and have yet to see where He is wrong on this account.

So, at the end of the day, honesty will win out. No matter what side of Pascal’s wager I took.


I guess I would say that I genuinely did not know whether there was a creator and did not make a leap of faith because I felt it was unlikely that such a creator would plant hints of purely naturalistic origins such as species falling into patterns of nested hierarchies and images of planets forming within nebulae.

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This is the same tact that David Hume (and other atheists) has taken. But, he (as well as the other skeptics) failed to take into account the
enormous ”leap of faith” they are taking in not believing. Because; an attempt to illogically believe on “purely naturalistic origins”, is scientifically, logically and rationally incomprehensible.

What caused the “purely naturalistic origins” to “Originate” in the first place? “Nature” and the skeptics have absolutely no scientific, logical, or rational answer to this question.

What would you say if the creator turns out to be the one described in the Koran?  He might not be pleased that your worship stopped one prophet short. 

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That would be odd, because all the evidence leads away from this presupposition. And, the Allah of the Koran, is basically a thievery of the God of the Bible, written hundreds of years after the life of Jesus, and the Books of the New Testament. Therefore, rendering that argument moot.




Or if the Bible is the key suppose Calvin's interpretation is correct and our fates are already decided? 

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It is easy to defeat this unsound and out of context argument. But, if you would like to, in your own words, with Biblical reference, posit a Calvinistic argument; I’m sure we can have a discussion on that in another thread.



I am reminded of a line from Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues: "watched our friends grow up together, and we saw 'em where they fell, well some of them fell into heaven, and some of them fell into hell".

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That’s all poetic and flowery, but it isn’t really all that Biblically sound a doctrine.

#52 PhilC

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:38 PM

I think Pascal's wager puts undeniable pressure on any atheist who deems their time spent converting people away from God as defensible or logical. The altruistic heathen is a fool.

To use Pascal's wager as a proof for God is misguided but to use it to strike a death blow to the altruistic heathen's proselytizing efforts, it's perfect. It logically dismantles the possibility that there is any useful outcome to pondering the non-existence of God in a paradigm that flows from agnostic uncertainties.


My reasons for being in this debate are:

1) I enjoy it (obviously)
2) To present the theory of evolution accurately and without misrepresentation.
3) To learn a different point of view.

This I've put here because I want you to be clear I am not trying to "de-convert" people.

Having said that, a couple of people have de-converted following conversations (or reading what I have written). Both of them have said their life is so much better for having done so.

This is not a claim that my viewpoint is better, and it is not a numbers game (I don't evangelise, so I'm sure you have converted many more) and I know that all the people you have converted also have a much better life.

The one pointy I want to make is that it shows Pascall's wager is incorrect.

#53 Ron

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 06:01 AM

[

My reasons for being in this debate are:

1) I enjoy it (obviously)
2) To present the theory of evolution accurately and without misrepresentation.
3) To learn a different point of view.

This I've put here because I want you to be clear I am not trying to "de-convert" people.

Having said that, a couple of people have de-converted following conversations  (or reading what I have written).  Both of them have said their life is so much better for having done so.

This is not a claim that my viewpoint is better, and it is not a numbers game (I don't evangelise, so I'm sure you have converted many more) and I know that all the people you have converted also have a much better life.

The one pointy I want to make is that it shows Pascall's wager is incorrect.

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Then your point would be logically and rationally incorrect, because the basis of Pascal’s wager is not only mathematically sound, but there are no flaws in his premises as well. Therefore you haven't achieved your goal.

Pascal’s reasoning is quite succinct and flawless:

You have two things to lose: the true and the good; and two things to stake: your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to avoid: error and wretchedness. Since you must necessarily choose, your reason is no more affronted by choosing one rather than the other. That is one point cleared up. But your happiness? Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win, you win everything: if you lose, you lose nothing. Do not hesitate then: wager that he does exist.

The only problem is that some attempt to use this logical argument as “the” standard, when it is but only one thread in the tapestry.

Also, if your intent weren’t to de-convert, then you wouldn’t be wasting your energies in such a pursuit. But your second line of your premise “To present the theory of evolution accurately and without misrepresentation.” belies its self-defeating nature; and begs the questions:

Are you insinuating that your interpretation of evolution is accurate?
Is it the only accurate account then?
Are you speaking of only microevolution, or macroevolution as well?
Can there, then, be no inaccuracies and misrepresentations in your understanding of evolution (whichever version you’re are promulgating)?


P.S. -My reasons for being in this debate are:

1) I enjoy it (as well)
2) To present the model of macroevolution as nothing more than a philosophy that its followers adhere to. And some follow religiously.
3) To learn a different point of view, see if it has merit, see if my understandings of things have flaws that need correcting (and make those corrections), and point out the flaws that others are using to make proselytize

#54 PhilC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:23 AM

“To present the theory of evolution accurately and without misrepresentation.” belies its self-defeating nature; and begs the questions:

Are you insinuating that your interpretation of evolution is accurate?
Is it the only accurate account then?
Are you speaking of only microevolution, or macroevolution as well?
Can there, then, be no inaccuracies and misrepresentations in your understanding of evolution (whichever version you’re are promulgating)?


Most creationists have a misguided view of the theory of evolution, but think they understand it.

I may not understand evolution properly, but I know when people are saying things wrong about it.

#55 Ron

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:33 PM

Most creationists have a misguided view of the theory of evolution, but think they understand it. 

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That is basically a prejudicial statement that you have yet to substantiate; yet you have used the statement numerous times now. And since you have provided no foundation for the statement, it is rendered nothing more than a spurious accusation with zero merit.

I may not understand evolution properly, but I know when people are saying things wrong about it.

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That is a self refuting, self defeating statement. But, that aside, you should probably provide evidence for said statement instead of simply lashing out blindly with it. And answering the questions would be a good start.

#56 PhilC

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:44 PM

Firstly, Ron. Here I am not arguing whether one side is right or wrong, so the quote I have taken I am not arguing about if it is actually factually correct or not. You may think this is a strange statement, but I want to concentrate only on whether creationists discuss evolution as evolutionists see it. If they don't, then they are misrepresenting it.


If evolution were true, the fossil record should be littered with countless examples showing many different transitions leading up to the millions of species of these complex creatures. YET WE DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE EXAMPLE! NOT EVEN ONE!


http://www.evolution...il_illusion.htm

This is a strawman, and misrepresents what evolutionists say.

Before I add the rest, remember, I am not going to argue whether there are transitionals in this thread, I am only going to comapre what both sides say about them.

Evolutionists say that:
1) Transitionals will be rare, because speciation must happen in small populations, and the chance of finding them is vanishingly small because only a small percentage of organsims fossilise and only a small percentage of them are found.

2) Despite that, there are some great examples of transitionals.

You may argue with the above and say "there are no transitionals" and in another thread we might discuss that (if I get time!).

Here I am just showing that Fred has misrepresented the evolutionists paradigm.

#57 Geode

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 02:01 AM

http://www.evolution...il_illusion.htm

This is a strawman, and misrepresents what evolutionists say.

Before I add the rest, remember, I am not going to argue whether there are transitionals in this thread, I am only going to comapre what both sides say about them.

Evolutionists say that:
1) Transitionals will be rare, because speciation must happen in small populations, and the chance of finding them is vanishingly small because only a small percentage of organsims fossilise and only a small percentage of them are found.

2) Despite that, there are some great examples of transitionals.

You may argue with the above and say "there are no transitionals" and in another thread we might discuss that (if I get time!).

Here I am just showing that Fred has misrepresented the evolutionists paradigm.

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Fred touched on a point that I have noticed as well, he says "Whenever an evolutionist presents his line of evidence for evolution in the fossil record, he will without fail, virtually every time, present a vertebrate transitional fossil." I think this is true in debates on forums such as this one, but not in the scientific literature involving paleontology. I am assuming that he is using a definition that anyone who accepts evolution is an "evolutionist" while I think I would prefer to restrict the use of this term to people who actually make it a point to "sell" or "push" evolution on forums such as this sand not the actual scientists involved in research. Using my definition I agree with him. I think the public in general is intrigued only by vertebrate paleontology and that is all you really see reported in the popular media. But if Talkorigins is considered to be an "evolutionist" source I just went there and searched on "transitional fossils" to find an entry CC200 that listed marine invertebrates as 8 out of 11 examples showing "fossil transitions between species and genera"....

No offense to vertebrate paleontologists, but Fred is correct in stating that the vast majority of fossils are of marine invertebrates. It is also where the most dramatic evidence of transitional fossils is found in my opinion, such as in Tertiary foraminifera.

www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/orbulina_pic.html

The small horizontal bars in the picture are size scales. Each bar represents 100 microns (one tenth of a millimeter).

Globigerinoides trilobus has, as the name says, three lobes. Picture number one shows the "spiral" side, and picture number two shows the "umbilical" side.

Orbulina universa is number 15, the spherical fossil. It seems featureless and boring, until you break one open, and discover a three-lobed inner shell. In fact, the sphere surrounds what is essentially a Globigerinoides. The sphere is grown by an amazing and complicated process. A bulge emerges through the main aperture of the inner shell, and forms a huge number of rhizopodia. They collectively grow a membrane on their tips, and the outer shell is then secreted onto that membrane. The high price of this process may explain why Orbulina is today less numerous than Globigerinoides. It is not known if forams obtain any advantage from being spherical.

Number 3 is G. bisphericus: numbers 4, 5 and 6 are Praeorbulina sicana. When these existed, there were also intermediates between them and G. trilobus, so all three were variants of a single species.

Numbers 7 through 14 are transitional, and are shown in time order. The differences are mainly in the apertures, and in the size ratio of the inner and outer shells.


http://www.don-linds...n/orbulina.html

#58 PhilC

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 05:24 AM

No offense to vertebrate paleontologists, but Fred is correct in stating that the vast majority of fossils are of marine invertebrates.


But, Fred remarks on it like it is a secret that evo's don't want people to know.

I've got dozens of fossils that I've found myself. All but one are marine invertebrates, My crowning glory is a three sections of icthyosaur spine.

#59 Cassiterides

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 08:19 AM

Firstly, Ron.  Here I am not arguing whether one side is right or wrong, so the quote I have taken I am not arguing about if it is actually factually correct or not.


Er no....

Your a atheist who has no interest in creationism or 'another side' of the debate, your mind has already been made up. Why i know this is because you refuse any creationist link i give you, you ignore the evidence in my posts, and your posts also attack creationism.

These debates go nowhere...

#60 PhilC

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 09:11 AM

Read mypost Cass. In this thread I am trying to have a conversation only about how evolution is misreprented by creationists. Fred does this by making a statement which he says is what would happen if evolution ia true, but that is not what evolutionists say.

Whether or not evolutionists are right or wrong, Fred's comments misrepresent their position.

Also, having an opposing viewpoint and pointing out what look like me to be flaws in your theory and giving you the chance to respond isn't attacking creationism.

Which links have I ignored? Post the link to the thread here tell me which post it is in and I will remedy that on the thread you point me to (to stop this thread getting derailed).




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