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Squawk

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Err, hi ;-)

 

This welcome/hello post is likely to be something a little longer than standard, and I'd be perfectly happy if it initiates discussion and is subsequently moved to a appropriate section of the forum.

 

So, where to start. First up I suppose is a point of clarification. I listed my world view as "agnostic", and I suspect that position could be misleading. I'd be more comfortable listed as a skeptic, possibly an empiricist (though that would not be strictly accurate), maybe a rationalist. I am an atheist, where I define atheism as the lack of belief in a deity. Should you wish to define atheism any other way I won't quibble, but the term will likely no longer apply to me. Atheism is most certainly not my world view but rather a consequence of it. Actually that's not strictly speaking true. My lack of theism is the result of my world view, not the world view itself. Agnostic, then, because my personal epistemology does not allow 100% truth, or rather asserts that we cannot know anything with 100% certainty. I am not a solopcist, for reasons which I could go into but won't for the sake of brevity.

 

But I digress, so lets move things along.

 

Why am I here? Well, a number of reasons really. The most obvious is that the place was pointed out to me on another forum I frequent and I tootled on over for a peak and decided to register. I learned, not a huge time ago, of something called the one true mind fallacy and I find that the more I consider it the more truth it holds. In short it's the projection of ones own mindset onto others, the presumption that people process information the same way but somehow reach different conclusions. Instead I consider that the information given is the same, but people process it differently and so form differing conclusions. This is a quest to understand those who process information differently.

 

I have no doubt that many of you hear consider me to be completely irrational to have no belief in a deity. Further, you will consider me insane to accept evolutionary theory. This I can reciprocate, I find it impossible to understand how people can see the evidence in favour of evolution and still reject it. However, they do. If we can't agree, we might as well figure out why. At the very least it should be interesting to pick apart one anothers brains and see if we can understand the other side.

 

I would like to propose something. I'd quite like to start something along the lines of "ask the atheist". You may completely disagree with me, but it might be a useful exercise to figure out why I believe the things that I do, why I reject the beliefs that I do, and possibly more importantly, how I come to make such decisions. What factors I consider etc.

 

I'll make one thing clear from the start. You will not convince me that a God exists. One central part of my epistemology is that the evidence in support of a claim must outweigh the consequences of the claim being made (this refers to a positive claim, ie an existence postulate). I consider the notion of God, as defined by an "average" Christian (I was raised Catholic by the way), to be a being of unlimited power and intelligence (the whole omnipotence omniscience stuff). As such, evidence in support of such a being, to the standards I demand, would have to be infinite.

 

To balance this, I won't try and convince you that a God does not exist. Another idea I subscribe to is that it is not possible to prove the negative of an existence postulate (ie, you cannot provide evidence that something does not exist). Ergo, evidence against an existence postulate is something I again consider to be impossible.

 

I've been through the forum rules and I'm concerned that I may be deemed an evolution troll if I continue much longer, and so I shall sign off now.

 

But this is me, a 29 year old male, atheist, agnostic, and happy to answer any and all questions with a view to us better understanding each other. We may ultimately agree to disagree, but I'd rather we disagree with all the information on the table rather than relying on supposition for what others believe.

 

Squawk

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Um, hi. :huh:

 

You may find that there are ways of understanding God that are different from the Catholic view. In addition, I have found that a large percentage of people do not believe in God because of all of the suffering that they see in the world. If God exists, wouldn't He do something about it? Do you think this is right?

 

Another reason people give for being agnostic is that if God is how they have heard him described, they wouldn't care to acknowledge Him anyway. What do you think about this conclusion?

 

Err, hi ;-)

 

This welcome/hello post is likely to be something a little longer than standard, and I'd be perfectly happy if it initiates discussion and is subsequently moved to a appropriate section of the forum.

 

So, where to start. First up I suppose is a point of clarification. I listed my world view as "agnostic", and I suspect that position could be misleading. I'd be more comfortable listed as a skeptic, possibly an empiricist (though that would not be strictly accurate), maybe a rationalist. I am an atheist, where I define atheism as the lack of belief in a deity. Should you wish to define atheism any other way I won't quibble, but the term will likely no longer apply to me. Atheism is most certainly not my world view but rather a consequence of it. Actually that's not strictly speaking true. My lack of theism is the result of my world view, not the world view itself. Agnostic, then, because my personal epistemology does not allow 100% truth, or rather asserts that we cannot know anything with 100% certainty. I am not a solopcist, for reasons which I could go into but won't for the sake of brevity.

 

But I digress, so lets move things along.

 

Why am I here? Well, a number of reasons really. The most obvious is that the place was pointed out to me on another forum I frequent and I tootled on over for a peak and decided to register. I learned, not a huge time ago, of something called the one true mind fallacy and I find that the more I consider it the more truth it holds. In short it's the projection of ones own mindset onto others, the presumption that people process information the same way but somehow reach different conclusions. Instead I consider that the information given is the same, but people process it differently and so form differing conclusions. This is a quest to understand those who process information differently.

 

I have no doubt that many of you hear consider me to be completely irrational to have no belief in a deity. Further, you will consider me insane to accept evolutionary theory. This I can reciprocate, I find it impossible to understand how people can see the evidence in favour of evolution and still reject it. However, they do. If we can't agree, we might as well figure out why. At the very least it should be interesting to pick apart one anothers brains and see if we can understand the other side.

 

I would like to propose something. I'd quite like to start something along the lines of "ask the atheist". You may completely disagree with me, but it might be a useful exercise to figure out why I believe the things that I do, why I reject the beliefs that I do, and possibly more importantly, how I come to make such decisions. What factors I consider etc.

 

I'll make one thing clear from the start. You will not convince me that a God exists. One central part of my epistemology is that the evidence in support of a claim must outweigh the consequences of the claim being made (this refers to a positive claim, ie an existence postulate). I consider the notion of God, as defined by an "average" Christian (I was raised Catholic by the way), to be a being of unlimited power and intelligence (the whole omnipotence omniscience stuff). As such, evidence in support of such a being, to the standards I demand, would have to be infinite.

 

To balance this, I won't try and convince you that a God does not exist. Another idea I subscribe to is that it is not possible to prove the negative of an existence postulate (ie, you cannot provide evidence that something does not exist). Ergo, evidence against an existence postulate is something I again consider to be impossible.

 

I've been through the forum rules and I'm concerned that I may be deemed an evolution troll if I continue much longer, and so I shall sign off now.

 

But this is me, a 29 year old male, atheist, agnostic, and happy to answer any and all questions with a view to us better understanding each other. We may ultimately agree to disagree, but I'd rather we disagree with all the information on the table rather than relying on supposition for what others believe. 

 

Squawk

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You may find that there are ways of understanding God that are different from the Catholic view.

 

Couldn't agree more, I'd actually expand and suggest that there are many people who would identify as Catholic who would hold differing views.

 

In addition, I have found that a large percentage of people do not believe in God because of all of the suffering that they see in the world. If God exists, wouldn't He do something about it? Do you think this is right?

 

Whilst I'd agree with the statement that a large number of people would hold that view, I'm not one of them. I don't consider it to be a reasoned position for a number of reasons, but lets start with the big stuff.

 

Such a position purports to understand the mind of God. Rather than restrict things to a single deity, I'd expand this to consider that a deity could have any of an infinite number of mindsets and characteristics. The only deity that the existence suffering precludes is a deity that actively prevents suffering. The existence of suffering in the world has no bearing on the existence of a supernatural being save to limit the set of possible gods to those that allow suffering.

 

If a God were shown to exist, the existence of suffering in the world would be a factor in determining how one would feel about that God, but that's irrelevant when attempting to establish if a God does indeed exist.

 

Another reason people give for being agnostic is that if God is how they have heard him described, they wouldn't care to acknowledge Him anyway. What do you think about this conclusion?

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Same response as above really. I'd note that it presumes a God to exist in order to be a valid logical construct, but we can ignore that for now. Second, the existence or otherwise of a deity is not affected by a persons willingness to worship or even acknowledge that existence.

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Well, you can beat around the bush with definitional gymnastics, but it all boils down to: "Do you believe in God or Not"?

 

If you believe there is no God, you are an atheist.

 

If you believe we cannot know God, or we cannot know if there is a God, you are an agnostic.

 

We are all skeptics, especially Christian Theists. We are called (as Christian Theists) to be skeptical and check the validity of claims. So I can digress in that area, but I choose not to, as calling myself a "Christian Theist" lets you know that I am not misrepresenting my self.

 

Now, you may want to think I am purposefully being offensive with my above post. To which I assure you that I am not. I am just pointing out that you should list yourself as what your are. If you are an atheist, say it loud and say it proud. Same with agnosticism. It'll keep you from getting yourself tied in knots. :huh:

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Definitional gymnastics? I stated catagorically that I have no belief in a God. I stated that position rather than simply labeling myself as an atheist because my experience is that people will make the claim that atheism is a positive statement, a positive belief, and I don't wish to make that claim.

 

Since I do not hold a positive belief that there is no deity I choose instead to define exactly what I am. You can call that position whatever you wish to call it.

 

Atheism is not and cannot be my world view, but rather is a consequence of my world view. I consider myself agnostic on all things, and by that I mean that 100% certainty on any subject is not possible. I normally refrain from using the term since it is often reserved for positions related to a deity, hence preferring skeptic.

 

I'm an agnostic atheist, where agnostic would be a part of my world view and atheism an emergent property. Given your description of yourself I'd have gone, in a strict sense, for agnostic theist, but then I would suggest that's probably inappropriate as doing so would imply (to most, not to me) a level of doubt which I suspect you do not have (by which I mean you have faith, I can see how this could be read wrongly, it's not meant that way)

 

This is why I prefer to define what I am rather than simply naming the position. No offense taken at all, healthy discussion necessitates dissection of posts.

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Definitional gymnastics? I stated catagorically that I have no belief in a God. I stated that position rather than simply labeling myself as an atheist because my experience is that people will make the claim that atheism is a positive statement, a positive belief, and I don't wish to make that claim.

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Atheism is a belief that there is no God, regardless of any attempt on the prevarication of positivism or negativism concerning your stance on the matter. Atheistic = NO THEISM

 

As I said, agnosticism is (as defined) the belief that you cannot know if there IS a God, OR that you cannot KNOW God. Hint... Agnostic = NO KNOWLEDGE

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We are all skeptics, especially Christian Theists. We are called (as Christian Theists) to be skeptical and check the validity of claims.

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I completely agree and really appreciate the sentiment. I called myself a skeptic on this forum in the past and it wasn't accepted very well.

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Atheism is a belief that there is no God, regardless of any attempt on the prevarication of positivism or negativism concerning your stance on the matter. Atheistic = NO THEISM

 

As I said, agnosticism is (as defined) the belief that you cannot know if there IS a God, OR that you cannot KNOW God. Hint... Agnostic = NO KNOWLEDGE

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Surely you're now the one playing linguistic gymnastics? As you state, agnostic means no knowledge, so why would agnosticism necessarily purport to a deity? Surely it applies in all areas concerned with knowledge claims. Can I be agnostic on the existence of Thor? Can I bet agnostic on the existence of a giant chess set on mars? I contend I can, on both counts. If you wish to say that the position I describe is not agnosticism that's fine, I am not an agnostic by your definition, so no need to consider it further.

 

I also agree that an atheist has no theism. That's clear of course. So, can atheism exist without theism? I'd argue that a person who has never considered the existence of a deity (ie, never heard the concept) is an atheist but cannot possibly be termed as such since they are not aware of theism. If atheism were a positive claim that is. The old addage of not stamp collecting being a hobby seems apt. Could not collecting stamps be a hobby if you had never heard of a stamp? If you wish to define atheism as a positive belief that there is no God then I am not an atheist.

 

Arguing over definitions will likely get us nowhere and serves to illustrate why I chose to define my position rather than name it. By your definitions it would seem I am not an atheist and I am not agnostic. I have no problem with that, I have no belief in a deity, I have no theism, and I make no 100% knowledge claims on any postulate. That's my position established, lets move on.

 

##edited a few times for grammar

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Surely you're now the one playing linguistic gymnastics? As you state, agnostic means no knowledge, so why would agnosticism necessarily purport to a deity? Surely it applies in all areas concerned with knowledge claims. Can I be agnostic on the existence of Thor? Can I bet agnostic on the existence of a giant chess set on mars? I contend I can, on both counts.  If you wish to say that the position I describe is not agnosticism that's fine, I am not an agnostic by your definition, so no need to consider it further.

 

I also agree that an atheist has no theism. That's clear of course. So, can atheism exist without theism?  I'd argue that a person who has never considered the existence of a deity (ie, never heard the concept) is an atheist but cannot possibly be termed as such since they are not aware of theism. If atheism were a positive claim that is. The old addage of not stamp collecting being a hobby seems apt. Could not collecting stamps be a hobby if you had never heard of a stamp?  If you wish to define atheism as a positive belief that there is no God then I am not an atheist.

 

Arguing over definitions will likely get us nowhere and serves to illustrate why I chose to define my position rather than name it. By your definitions it would seem I am not an atheist and I am not agnostic. I have no problem with that, I have no belief in a deity, I have no theism, and I make no 100% knowledge claims on any postulate. That's my position established, lets move on.

 

##edited a few times for grammar

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Welcome and good by

 

In a sense there is nothing left to say. What the rest of us mortals do is create ideas and then try to sell them to others. In so many words, you say you are not in the market to buy or sell. I don’t really believe that’s possible. I have noticed a number of in congruencies in your logic that is to say if you believe in logic and that you could make errors. I sense rigidity, unbridled, moralistic excursion into unwarranted defense of evolution and other salient dispensations of sacrosanct thinking. With no flavor you fade into oblivion amomgst the other 6.7 billion on the planet who have been relegated to be expendable metabolic units by evolutionary ideology. I certainly hope I am wrong. :)

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Welcome and good by

 

In a sense there is nothing left to say.  What the rest of us mortals do is create ideas and then try to sell them to others. In so many words, you say you are not in the market to buy or sell. I don’t really believe that’s possible.  I have noticed a number of in congruencies in your logic that is to say if you believe in logic and that you could make errors. I sense rigidity, unbridled, moralistic excursion into unwarranted  defense of evolution and other salient dispensations of sacrosanct thinking.   With no flavor you fade into  oblivion amomgst the  other 6.7 billion on the planet who have been relegated to be expendable metabolic units by evolutionary ideology.  I certainly hope I am wrong. :)

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I confess you completely lost me, but I'll write a response based on my interpretation of what you say anyway.

 

I stated in my first post that I was neither here to convince, or to be convinced, because I read a large number of posts in this forum before I registered and came to the conclusion that it was likely impossible to do so. I make no secret of the fact that I have spent a not inconsiderable time elsewhere engaging in just such a task, in debate with theists and non-theists. I've entertained Jehovah’s Witnesses in my home and exchanged dozens of lengthy emails. I've partaken in formal debates. I'd be more than happy to link you to other forums where such activity has taken place.

 

My perception of this forum was that such an exchange was unlikely to be productive. Instead, my goal here is to educate myself and others by better understanding the positions we hold. The second post in this thread was indicative of the sort of post I hoped would result, a theistic poster attempting to discover my reasons for lack of belief. I perceive no possibility (or very little possibility) that such a poster will renounce their faith based on the things I say, but that poster has already gained a better understanding of my position from my reply. I'm hopeful of follow up questions.

 

I too learned something from that post: It seems a reasonable conclusion that MamaElephant considers the typical atheist to be someone who rejects the notion of God due to perceived injustice in the world. That tells me something, I learn a little about the mindset of the theist. Of course it's a small titbit which could turn out to be wrong, but it's something.

 

I have no idea what a moralistic defense of evolution would entail, I consider evolution to be the most barbaric process in existence (or more precisely, natural selection).

 

I'm intrigued by the notion that the validity or otherwise of evolution would have any bearing on the significance or importance of a person and life. I can conceive that the notion of a relationship with a God would make one feel special, and that such a relationship actually would make one special, but the validity or not of evolution would have no bearing on that.

 

I've already stated I'm an atheist, I'm doing so again here as it's important for the next bit. From my point of view, if a God exists, the mechanism by which that God chose to make humanity (evolution or special creation) would have no impact on the "specialness" of a person, or their relationship with a God. Such a God has an endless list of mechanisms available to create life. Why does it matter which one is chosen? If we accept for the sake of argument that there is a God, why not a third option that we are as yet unaware of? Would it matter?

 

My perception is that the only reason it would matter is the validity of the Bible, genesis in particular. Would that be correct? If not, what difference does the mechanism of creation chosen by God (known or unknown) actually make?

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I confess you completely lost me, but I'll write a response based on my interpretation of what you say anyway.

 

I stated in my first post that I was neither here to convince, or to be convinced, because I read a large number of posts in this forum before I registered and came to the conclusion that it was likely impossible to do so. I make no secret of the fact that I have spent a not inconsiderable time elsewhere engaging in just such a task, in debate with theists and non-theists. I've entertained Jehovah’s Witnesses in my home and exchanged dozens of lengthy emails. I've partaken in formal debates. I'd be more than happy to link you to other forums where such activity has taken place.

 

My perception of this forum was that such an exchange was unlikely to be productive. Instead, my goal here is to educate myself and others by better understanding the positions we hold. The second post in this thread was indicative of the sort of post I hoped would result, a theistic poster attempting to discover my reasons for lack of belief. I perceive no possibility (or very little possibility) that such a poster will renounce their faith based on the things I say, but that poster has already gained a better understanding of my position from my reply. I'm hopeful of follow up questions.

 

I too learned something from that post: It seems a reasonable conclusion that MamaElephant considers the typical atheist to be someone who rejects the notion of God due to perceived injustice in the world. That tells me something, I learn a little about the mindset of the theist. Of course it's a small titbit which could turn out to be wrong, but it's something.

 

I have no idea what a moralistic defense of evolution would entail, I consider evolution to be the most barbaric process in existence (or more precisely, natural selection).

 

I'm intrigued by the notion that the validity or otherwise of evolution would have any bearing on the significance or importance of a person and life. I can conceive that the notion of a relationship with a God would make one feel special, and that such a relationship actually would make one special, but the validity or not of evolution would have no bearing on that.

 

I've already stated I'm an atheist, I'm doing so again here as it's important for the next bit. From my point of view, if a God exists, the mechanism by which that God chose to make humanity (evolution or special creation) would have no impact on the "specialness" of a person, or their relationship with a God. Such a God has an endless list of mechanisms available to create life. Why does it matter which one is chosen? If we accept for the sake of argument that there is a God, why not a third option that we are as yet unaware of? Would it matter?

 

My perception is that the only reason it would matter is the validity of the Bible, genesis in particular. Would that be correct? If not, what difference does the mechanism of creation chosen by God (known or unknown) actually make?

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If you care to address this in a thread, I will address some of your issues.

I do not feel comfortable persuing lengthy posts in a thread that is used to welcome you and tell us a little about yourself.

 

All the best

Mike.

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If you care to address this in a thread, I will address some of your issues.

I do not feel comfortable persuing lengthy posts in a thread that is used to welcome you and tell us a little about yourself.

 

All the best

Mike.

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Sounds good to me, happy to address any issue raised and since I raised quite a few it might be a good idea if you pick one you'd like to discuss and start the thread. Post a link here or send me a pm and we can hopefully have a constructive discussion.

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Sounds good to me, happy to address any issue raised and since I raised quite a few it might be a good idea if you pick one you'd like to discuss and start the thread. Post a link here or send me a pm and we can hopefully have a constructive discussion.

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Am I imagining things? I'm sure I read a post here from Mike saying he was going to start a new thread in the misc section, but that post now appears to be gone. Did I dream that or was it removed?

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Am I imagining things? I'm sure I read a post here from Mike saying he was going to start a new thread in the misc section, but that post now appears to be gone. Did I dream that or was it removed?

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Actally I had to modify it and will resubmit it at a later time, In the mean time you can always chime in on some of my posts already up. I know you want to understand why someone would choose creationism above evolution with all the evidence that allegedly supports evolution.

All the best

Mike

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Actally I had to modify it and will resubmit it at a later time, In the mean time you can always chime in on some of my posts already up. I know you want to understand why someone would choose creationism above evolution with all the evidence that  allegedly supports  evolution.

All the best

Mike

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Ahh ok. Thought I was having a senior moment. Am I too young for one of those at 29? I've made one post in another thread, one on burden of proof. I've had a bit of a read around and will no doubt post elsewhere shortly.

 

I'm not inclined to view evolution and creation as an either-or proposition. The non-acceptance of evolution would not imply belief in creation, and vice versa. I've not met many (actually any) people who reject evolution without a religious point of view, but thats by the by, there is nothing to prevent that from happening. To be honest I've met very few people that do accept evolution who have the faintest notion what it is either, not exactly a ringing endorsement for the education system regardless of which camp you fall into.

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Ahh ok. Thought I was having a senior moment. Am I too young for one of those at 29? I've made one post in another thread, one on burden of proof. I've had a bit of a read around and will no doubt post elsewhere shortly.

 

I'm not inclined to view evolution and creation as an either-or proposition. The non-acceptance of evolution would not imply belief in creation, and vice versa. I've not met many (actually any) people who reject evolution without a religious point of view, but thats by the by, there is nothing to prevent that from happening. To be honest I've met very few people that do accept evolution who have the faintest notion what it is either, not exactly a ringing endorsement for the education system regardless of which camp you fall into.

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Just wanted to let you know the post is up in Misc. Rules of the game.

As far as "what it is" I concur but, it's hard to understand what something that does not exist is. :lol:

Actually I would reject evo if I weren't a Christian for very specific reasons (about 30 years of reasons). Another thing is true also, I don;t know of any atheists that don't embrace evo.

 

Given a choice between evo and creationism, creationism is much more efficient. Besides we can create things but we really don't have the ability to evolve anything let alone anything specific we might want. So if we want it and it does not exist, its got to be created right? Falsify the previous statement with just one example Bet you can't do that. Intelligence & Creationism rules!

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Atheism is most certainly not my world view but rather a consequence of it.

 

 

I have had a quite a bit to do with hardline atheists (selling to them) and I have always felt their atheism is a default position. In fact it is interesting to sell to both atheist and non atheist where occupations are similar.

 

As a side note, I have myself as agnostic and for me that means I don't know. I believe "there is something out there" but whether that relates to the Bible I simply don't know. In some ways I could have put theist but on this forum that might indicate I am 100% on the Bible.

 

But moving on, what I have found is atheists don't "gut feel" etc. While lots of people on forums like this can round up all sorts of proof to bakc the existence of God I would bet even if they could not get that information they would still believe.

 

In fact I think one of the reasons that so may people who achieve great heights are "believers' is because their very nature is not needing proof before acting. In addition the climb of the big mountain against all odds seems to regularly produce evidence of a helping hand, just at the right time.

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Just wanted to let you know the post is up in Misc. Rules of the game.

As far as "what it is" I concur but, it's hard  to understand what something that does not exist is.  :lol:

 

Interesting. My definition of evolution is descent with inherent modification in a reproducing population and it demonstrably exists. The question is whether or not it is sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth. On the latter we can have an interesting discussion, clearly we fall on opposite sides and it might be fun to find out why.

 

Actually I would reject evo if I weren't a Christian for very specific reasons (about 30 years of reasons).  Another thing is true also, I don;t know of any atheists that don't embrace evo.

 

One has sort of sprung to mind, David Berlinski (Dover Trial) claimed to be atheist. I did hear a rumour that he had come out as creationist (pardon the turn of phrase), but I haven't been able to verify it. I'd argue that the "average" atheist (and I use that term loosely) has pretty much no interest in evolutionary theory, but they accept it knowing it is a part of science due to the obvious success science has had in every other area of their life, much in the same way that most accept quantum mechanics or relativity but likely couldn't even tell you what it is.

 

I'd suggest that Joe Average atheist would probably think humans are descended from chimps.

 

Given a choice between evo and creationism, creationism is much more efficient.

 

Efficient? If a god is shown to exist, then creationism becomes a plausible explanation for life on earth. Evolution is trivially shown to exist (by my definition above), and it can explain the diversity of life on earth. I have no idea why efficiency would have any role in this.

 

  Besides we can create things but we really don't have the ability to evolve anything let alone anything specific we might want. So if we want it and it does not exist, its got to be created right?  Falsify the previous statement with just one example

 

Easy enough, NASA antenna design. We can go into specifics if desired. Stick in a basic design and allow evolutionary algorithms to find an optimal solution.

Nasa Antenna

An actual paper rather than website on the matter can be found at

Springerlink

 

The only requirements are a base layout for the antenna and an evolutionary algorithm that mirrors natural selection. We can discuss how the first antenna arises of course, but then thats getting away from evolution and onto abiogenesis. In fact, to get around that objection why don't we just say, for the sake of argument, that the first reproducing molecule was created by God, so we can just focus on evolution for now

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Atheism is a belief that there is no God, regardless of any attempt on the prevarication of positivism or negativism concerning your stance on the matter. Atheistic = NO THEISM

As I said, agnosticism is (as defined) the belief that you cannot know if there IS a God, OR that you cannot KNOW God. Hint... Agnostic = NO KNOWLEDGE

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Surely you're now the one playing linguistic gymnastics?

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LOL

I’m the one playing linguistic gymnastics? In the face of your attempt to meld agnosticism with your atheism, I might suggest you look the two words up and soon you’ll see your failed attempt to reconcile the two.

As you state, agnostic means no knowledge, so why would agnosticism necessarily purport to a deity?

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Again, you’re misunderstanding rears its head. Agnosticism doesn’t “necessarily purport to a deityâ€ÂÂ, because Agnostics don’t know! Agnostic = NO KNOWLEDGE (as I provided). Atheistic = NO THEISM… Atheists say the IS NO GOD…

Therefore, as it comes to the assertion of GOD, the agnostic has nothing to say, because they don’t know! And; as it comes to the assertion of GOD, the atheist says there IS NO GOD, to which they are responsible to provide evidence to support their assertion!

 

 

Surely it applies in all areas concerned with knowledge claims. Can I be agnostic on the existence of Thor? Can I bet agnostic on the existence of a giant chess set on mars? I contend I can, on both counts.  If you wish to say that the position I describe is not agnosticism that's fine, I am not an agnostic by your definition, so no need to consider it further.

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I would contend, in order for you to entertain such an assertion, that you provide the evidence for said assertion. Otherwise, you contention has no merit! If you are going to “claim†agnosticism towards God, Thor, or a giant chess set on mars, then you have no grounds to speak to, or make any claims on the subjects, as you claim to be totally “IGNORANT†on the subjects (the general definition of agnosticism). Therefore, if you are an atheist, you can make a claim, but you are responsible to support your claim with facts. If you are an agnostic on the subject, you have no foundation to make any claim at all.

 

I also agree that an atheist has no theism. That's clear of course. So, can atheism exist without theism? 

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I never said the “atheist has no theismâ€ÂÂ, I contend that assertion is a morass and/or a conundrum. I would desire you to provide evidence for the foundation of atheism as it concerns our origins. A good place to start would be here:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/in...topic=3001&st=0

I contend that atheists are just as theological as theists. Further, atheists have even greater faith than theists, because they “believe†(in general) that ALL of what we know came from nothing, and that is an illogical paradox on their part.

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I'd argue that a person who has never considered the existence of a deity (ie, never heard the concept) is an atheist but cannot possibly be termed as such since they are not aware of theism.

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I would desire you to provide someone who has “never considered the existence of a deityâ€ÂÂ, or “never heard the conceptâ€ÂÂ.

If atheism were a positive claim that is. The old addage of not stamp collecting being a hobby seems apt. Could not collecting stamps be a hobby if you had never heard of a stamp?  If you wish to define atheism as a positive belief that there is no God then I am not an atheist.

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As adages go, the adage MUST have merit and relevance to make it worth considering. So, are you (via this analogy) attempting to assert that “stamp collecting†doesn’t exist? Because it would be easy to provide evidence that stamps and stamp collectors DO INDEED exist. And, of course you could still deny the existence of such, but that does nothing to diminish the existence of such.

Arguing over definitions will likely get us nowhere and serves to illustrate why I chose to define my position rather than name it. By your definitions it would seem I am not an atheist and I am not agnostic. I have no problem with that, I have no belief in a deity, I have no theism, and I make no 100% knowledge claims on any postulate. That's my position established, lets move on.

##edited a few times for grammar

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If you “have no belief in a deity†then you are an atheist “de factoâ€ÂÂ. That is a “100% knowledgeâ€ÂÂ! But then you are responsible to provide evidence for said doctrine.

If you are ignorant of knowledge of God, you are an agnostic. But then you are in absolutely NO position to make an argument one way or the other.

 

Again, you cannot claim to be one on your profile, and act like the other in your words and deeds. That is known as deception. Once you can reconcile the two, we can move on.

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Yes, you are the one playing linguistic gymnastics. You have equated ignorance with agnosticism. Agnosticism is not ignorance, it is the acknowledgement of forced ignorance on a particular position. They are not even synonyms.

 

You're also the one emplying hubris where it is not merited, accusing me of ignorance when it is demonstrable ignorance is not present on the matter.

 

I'm an agnostic atheist. The two positions are mutually exclusive, held simultaneously without contradiction. I have no belief in a deity, but I cannot assert that no deity exists because evidence of a negative existence postulate is impossible to acquire. I am necessarily ignorant on that matter, hence the description of myself as agnostic.

 

I have now stated on at least two occasions in this thread that I do not say there is no God, I say I have no belief in a God. I further stated that should you wish to define atheism as the positive assertion that there is no God then by that definition I am not an atheist. The continued shouting that an atheist says "THERE IS NO GOD" by you will not affect my position on the matter.

 

You keep asserting that I have no grounds to make a positive claim of non existence and you applied it to my examples of Thor and the giant Chess set. Well quite, that was the point I was making. The provision of facts for a negative existence postulate is impossible. That you insist I provide them in order to justify lack of belief in those existence postulates is of no consequence, it cannot be done.

 

In colloquial terms I'm quite happy to state that neither exists, just as I'm happy to state that God does not exist, but as stated that is a colloquail position. If I were being strict I would say that given the complete lack of evidence for any of those postulates I lack belief in them until such time as sufficient evidence is presented to support belief. I default to the null hypothesis of non belief. I have no belief in those things, but I cannot assert with 100% certainty that they do not exist, and therefore I am agnostic on the matter.

 

 

I have thus far declined to post in that thread of yours asking for a foundation for atheism because I felt the question itself demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of atheism. It is asking for evidence in support of a position which by definition can have no evidential support. I claim no foundation for atheism, never have. I claim no evidence in support of atheism. I make no claims at all for origins based on atheism, since atheism is not prescriptive. Continuing to ask for evidence in support of atheism is a simple waste of time.

 

I further contend that you wish to project faith onto the atheist because you accept, on some level at least, that faith is a weak concept. To illustrate that I ask you how one could differentiate between faith based claims. It's a question I have asked numerous theists, to date none have answered.

 

I challenge you to find me a single atheist who thinks everything came from nothing. I will point to any creationist and note that all think God made everything from nothing.

 

The person who has never considered the possibility of a deity would be any baby you care to look at.

 

Evidently you missed the point of my analogy. How could any part of my non-stamp collecting analogy be construed to suggest an assertion that stamp collecting doesn't exist?

 

The standard example is to ask if not collecting stamps is a hobby. Clearly it is not a hobby, but I chose to take it one step further. If we define not collecting stamps as a hobby (on a par with defining atheism as a type of theism, or atheism as being a positive claim), does a person who has never even heard of a stemp, or stamp collecting, engage in the hobby of not collecting stamps? The existence or not of a stamp in this analogy is irrelevant, as is the existence or not of a deity when considering if a person who has never considered the concept of a deity is actually an atheist or not.

 

It would seem that moving on is going to be impossible since you are keen to assert that I am making a knowledge claim where I am not. I contend that you must do this because the strongest defense you have for theism is predicated on the notion that an atheist must provide evidence in support of their position. Atheism can only exist as the null hypothesis to the claim that a deity exists, and as such cannot possibly be evidentially supported. Until and unless you realise this you will be ill equipped to understand my continued statements to this effect.

 

It is fallacious in the extreme to suggest I have engaged in deception. I have clearly stated, at all times, exactly what my position is. I defined my position, stating precisely why I was defining it (because common definitions don't apply universally).

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The standard example is to ask if not collecting stamps is a hobby. Clearly it is not a hobby, but I chose to take it one step further. If we define not collecting stamps as a hobby (on a par with defining atheism as a type of theism, or atheism as being a positive claim), does a person who has never even heard of a stemp, or stamp collecting, engage in the hobby of not collecting stamps? The existence or not of a stamp in this analogy is irrelevant, as is the existence or not of a deity when considering if a person who has never considered the concept of a deity is actually an atheist or not.

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A person could make a hobby out of harassing stamp collectors, spreading unflattering falsehoods about stamps, providing alternatives to stamps, or claiming that stamps do not exist... so in those cases not collecting stamps would be their hobby. :lol:

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A person could make a hobby out of harassing stamp collectors, spreading unflattering falsehoods about stamps, providing alternatives to stamps, or claiming that stamps do not exist... so in those cases not collecting stamps would be their hobby.  :lol:

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Ha, nice, thats pretty good, made me laugh :D

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Interesting. My definition of evolution is descent with inherent modification in a reproducing population and it demonstrably exists. The question is whether or not it is sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth. On the latter we can have an interesting discussion, clearly we fall on opposite sides and it might be fun to find out why.

Well I think you are cheating so that’s unfair. Oops that’s a right or a wrong. I have to create faith you are an atheist that believes in evolution while I have already believed you are a a creative human being that tells himself he is an atheist. That's different I guess. It’s going to be hard to convince myself you are dumb. Maybe I should have practiced what I preached and stopped at Hello Good by?

 

Intelligence, creativity and evolution do have some conflicting issues. Now how can I convince myself I am talking to a random evolutionary process and not a creative human being? What to do? Hmmmm this is going to be very very hard. Perhaps I should consider making failure my goal and quit now Not. I confess your creativity intrigues me. I don’t know what argument (creative event) you are going to make next? On with the paradoxes or charade...

 

One has sort of sprung to mind, David Berlinski (Dover Trial) claimed to be atheist. I did hear a rumour that he had come out as creationist (pardon the turn of phrase), but I haven't been able to verify it. I'd argue that the "average" atheist (and I use that term loosely) has pretty much no interest in evolutionary theory, but they accept it knowing it is a part of science due to the obvious success science has had in every other area of their life, much in the same way that most accept quantum mechanics or relativity but likely couldn't even tell you what it is.

 

I'd suggest that Joe Average atheist would probably think humans are descended from chimps.

That’s allowed in evolutionary ideology. There is no right or wrong according to the theory. Isn’t it whatever it takes to survive? Are you introducing morality into this discussion? If so, I would like to know what the rules are so I won’t cheat. Since you don’t believe there are any, I will expect you to “cheat†by my definition. Not! On second thought perhaps the act of asking you the rules might cause trauma to your fragile evolutionary psyche. Dear me, however shall I proceed? Tell me if I shoulf go on? I don’t want to do any harm.

 

Efficient? If a god is shown to exist, then creationism becomes a plausible explanation for life on earth. Evolution is trivially shown to exist (by my definition above), and it can explain the diversity of life on earth. I have no idea why efficiency would have any role in this.

Right. I would agree. But ,you introduced C into an A B conversation and while I choose not to speak for God, I assume. “I†can speak for myself as I believe I do exist, I (Mike Summers) am the reference for the originating source of the statement. I am the one that called creation more efficient. Tacitly, you would agree or you wouldn’t have a computer or drive a car. I would find it extremely amusing that you would ride a horse to work every day? See, according to evolution the horse evolved and…. unless you expect me to believe the car evolved also.

 

Easy enough, NASA antenna design. We can go into specifics if desired. Stick in a basic design and allow evolutionary algorithms to find an optimal solution.

Nasa Antenna

An actual paper rather than website on the matter can be found at

Springerlink

 

The only requirements are a base layout for the antenna and an evolutionary algorithm that mirrors natural selection. We can discuss how the first antenna arises of course, but then that’s getting away from evolution and onto abiogenesis. In fact, to get around that objection why don't we just say, for the sake of argument, that the first reproducing molecule was created by God, so we can just focus on evolution for now. 

 

 

You have a real problem believing in evolution and stupidity don’t you? Hey, so do I. There are no requirements for evo. Right away you introduce another C. NASA is an intelligent source of information and that is not in the evo premise. And who do you suppose created the algorithm? Also I have not conceded that evolution is not an extension of abiogenesis. I think it is. There I go again using intelligenceâ€â€Âoh but those rules are for you not for me.

 

Squak, you cannot use anything intelligent as a source (with the exception of your mind) Ok? The name NASA stimulates me to think of intelligence and not evo.

 

You have made your point about telling yourself that you are an atheist which I accept just like I accept you deciding to call yourself Squak. However, I don’t believe you are an atheist, so I stop thereâ€â€Âto much evidence against it. You can tell yourself that you are an atheist just like I could tell my self I am a tuba or an elephant.. However, me telling myself that I was a tuba or elephant would not for any time in the foreseeable future turn me into an elephant or a tuba as an evolutionist might argue. All you have done so far is convince me that you are a creative human being which I believed from the start--a totally unique individual even by comparison to 6.7 billion non duplicates of you. I would say that proves the point about creativity. All you have to do to falsify my statement is scour the earth to produce one example of two persons that are exact duplicates. May I suggest the Wrigley’s Double Mint Twins? Oh right they were actors. I thik that would be cheating.

 

I also share the specialness you have. I assume you are using your mind to decide which keys to press on your keyboard because the words and sentences that I view appear recognizable by me and are not mutations of words and sentence produced by typically some random events? Sigy rng;pjk,dk kkfkk dimgn. That was some random code. Evolution made me do it. :lol: Tell me what it means ‘cause I have no idea.

 

See, Squak, we have got to teach you to really think like an evolutionist which is kind of hard for a creationist like yourself to do. We both know we are a unique one of a kind creative being. So, would you at this time accept that you who thinks you evolved are not an exact duplicate of some other being who would have to be writing the posts you are writing to me at the same time you are writing them? Funny, I do not see any duplicate posts? Are you willing to concede your creative ability or expect me to think some random process is on the other side of my posts?

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