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Comments by Moosebite

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 274 by Moosebite

There is not such a thing as "current" reality. Reality is reality, irrespective of how much of it we have currently discovered.

That was indeed a bad choice of words. I just meant if it is consistent with our up-to-date knowledge.

So to me, Jesus, as he was portrayed in the bible, would not live up to the standards of the moral zeitgeist in today's world. There are more relevant role models to look up to today.
Such as?

Well that is a question with a more personal answer, because for me I look up to role models around me in my life. I guess that everybody has all sorts of different role models that they look up to. In terms of global role models, I don't really find too many people inspiring that I haven't actually met, but I think Stephen Fry would probably be at the top of the list. But I guess figures like Mary MacKillop and Ghandi could inspire people on a global scale. But people I know and interact with are much more relevant exemplars of moral behaviour than someone who may or may not have lived 200 years ago, may or may not have done the things he is purported to have done, and may or may not be the son of god/god himself. And it's not just the good people too. Some of the most important lessons can be learned from the more despicable people, global and local, historic or current.

For Catholics the Bible is not the source of moral authority. The Church is. The teaching of the Church is derived both through its interpretation of scripture and through tradition handed down across the centuries by apostolic succession.

Indeed, as is outlined in the catechism. And as is also subject to change at the will of the church, which makes changes according to pressure from the zeitgeist. Which indicates that moral guidance comes (in this day and age) more from secular progression than Catholic introspection.

That's why I have freedom of choice.

Although, earlier in the discussion you did say:

We believe that the Creator exists outside of space and time, and that all points in the time of the universe are the same to him. The act of creation itself, therefore, was not simply a one-off act to get the universe going, but simultaneous with that act was the actualisation of all future events in the history of the universe. Since the act of creation was the simultaneous creation of every single event in the life of the universe, we regard the unfolding of the universe as a continuous creation in which every moment of the life of the universe is dependent on the creative act of the Creator. We depend , therefore, for every moment of our existence, on the Creator.

So no, you don't have freedom of choice. Every event in time, as you describe it, was created simultaneously. Which means that we just get to experience it unfolding in terms relative to us (incidentally at 60 frames a second, I believe - I wonder why god chose that frame rate??), like a movie :). This means that every event, every moment, every choice, experience, action, reaction; it's all predetermined. This means no free will. Which means that when you fail to live up to Jesus' teachings (as laid down by the church, of course) it is because god created all those moments in which it is happening.

And this is why it is important to lay out one's hypothesis for god before leaping into debate. If you do not have a valid hypothesis for god, not only can you not provide evidence for him, but you also have no way of explaining why it is you must act in the ways which he hopes for you to act (other than, because there's no reason to believe there isn't a god or that he doesn't want me to act in this way).

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 13:05:01 UTC | #533932

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 271 by Moosebite

How is anyone who was not there able to judge whether we put too much credence in our predessessor's judgements?

Well, as I said, it just depends on how consistent it is with our current reality. If it defies everything we know, we tend not to jump to the conclusion that it is immediately true just because it was 'recorded' as such. Also it depends on how much effect it has on our lives. If an event in history potentially changes the way we live our lives, or behave towards others, then the truth of it needs to be verified and scrutinised at a more critical level.

I (sic) what respect was Jesus "not the most upstanding of guys"? How do your examples illustrate that?

Well some accounts of him show that he was quite an extraordinary man, but he was also a product of his times. My morality is derived from reason, and I come to conclusions about how to act through my own thought and experience. In this way, I challenge myself to exhibit the best behaviour I can, while leaving my choices subject to criticism from others, and from new information that I obtain throughout my life. Jesus' morality is stagnant, never-changing. It is clear that he could not escape some moral teachings that in this day and age are at best irrelevant, and at worst immoral.

So to me, Jesus, as he was portrayed in the bible, would not live up to the standards of the moral zeitgeist in today's world. There are more relevant role models to look up to today.

There you go, falling into the same old literalism that Bible Christian fall into, the only difference being that they do so to worship, while you do so to condemn.

I don't do anything to condemn. I call it like I see it. The bible condemns itself. There is more stuff in the bible that horrifies me than there is that inspires me. That you and other christians choose to ignore the bad stuff, or interpret it in ways that inspires you to act as good forces in the world is relieving to me. It also shows me that it is not an external source of authority that dictates your behaviour, but that it is you. If interpretation of the bible is subjective, and you choose to see the positive in the bible teachings, that leads me to believe that you are a good person because of yourself, not because of god.

I still concur with Jim Callum in that you already had your belief before you examined the evidence. And as long as the evidence didn't contradict your beliefs you held on to them. I don't think there's a problem with that. But it always helps to be honest with yourself :)

No need to feel guilty for letting down a spaceless-timeless eternal being. And take credit for your own achievements - if you're a good person, you're a good person because you want to be, not because someone else wants you to be :D

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 03:02:21 UTC | #533739

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 269 by Moosebite

Hey Tony, Nice, succinct answers. I appreciate it :)

I believe I exist, because if I didn't exist, I'd have no opinion on the matter - a la Descartes. This is evidence for my existence, as opposed to a 'lack of evidence against'.

The whole perception of history by the entire population of planet earth is based upon putting complete credence in the judgement of others who went before us.

Well we don't put "complete" credence in our predecessors judgement. We compare it with what we know and observe in our lifetimes, and if it is consistent, we can safely assume it is a reliable account of history. If it defies what we know about our world (ie laws of physics) then we don't readily assume it's all true, or at least not the way it was recorded. We also tend to give more credence to the accounts taken more recently in our history as literacy became more common and multiple accounts were recorded during the time of the events.

Yes, of course. We cannot agree with Christ only when it suits and turn our backs on him when it does not.

Well that's a little scary, because Jesus was not the most upstanding of guys, and society is a little different these days. I hope you don't think it's ok to hit your slaves. And I hope you don't have slaves. I hope you don't think it's ok to kill children that disrespect their fathers. I hope you don't... get angry and curse at fig trees that don't produce in their off-season (that's not really that bad, but it's always amusing). :P

Because Christ preached that "we must be perfect as our Father is perfect".

The father from the old testament? That guy's the worst fictional monster I've ever heard of.

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 13:08:42 UTC | #533397

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 266 by Moosebite

Hey Tony, that is the question I was asking, yes. Thank you for answering it. I believe it's very relevant to this forum, because I'm trying to understand why people think they should act in certain ways that are intended by our creator if the creator is, by definition, incomprehensible.

However, as Christians we believe as historical fact that Christ rose from the dead and that he was therefore who he said he was, the son of God. We also believe as historical fact that he performed miracles and preached.

If you "believe" it because there's no evidence to suggest otherwise, that is not a good reason to think of it as a "historical fact". By calling it a fact, you are overindulging in grandiose assumptions and putting too much credence in your own, and others', judgement; ie "faith."

We therefore seek to model our lives as best we can to his preaching.

All of his preachings??

Being only human, of course, we fail miserably but the important thing is to try.

Seems convenient, but for the sake or argument, why is it important to try?

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 02:54:37 UTC | #533226

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 255 by Moosebite

Tony123, I didn't suggest that the idea of the creator was absurd. (As Steve has said to exist in timelessness and spacelessness means that one cannot interact with our universe in space-time. A creator would have to adopt an existence in space time before being able to interact with it. But this is neither here nor there). I was merely saying that your theory about how the universe was created was absurd.

Matter can't exist in all states at once, so a 'creator' can't create them all at once. It may be that he pops in at every infinitesimal moment to affect the change that all matter goes through. Seems ridiculous, though, for a few reasons. Firstly because that means he's responsible for everything that happens, including what we do and think and feel etc. And also because, like I said before (credit to Steve) he can't think and process and have consciousness outside of space-time. Lastly, it's a very convoluted idea of a being that we probably will never have a way of comprehending, so whether or not it exists is irrelevant to us in our daily lives other than when we stop and think "I wonder if a creator exists".

Therefore the Creator, being immaterial, is not affected by time.

Uhhh... How the cluck can it interact with our world if it is "immaterial"???

As I said on an earlier comment, my faith is a delicate thing, always on the verge of being lost. It needs to be constantly bolstered by reason, constantly fed by science. If I can be reasonably sure that it is more likely than not that a spaceless and timeless Creator of the universe does exist, then my faith will live on. If, on the other hand, there is strong evidence that there is no Creator, my faith will wither. So far I have seen nothing to convince me of this.

That, right there, is a contradiction. On one hand you are saying your faith must be "bolstered" by reason and "fed" by science. But then you go on to say that as long as science doesn't disprove your beliefs you will still hold them. So what I'm getting from you is that you'll believe anything that hasn't been disproved. Or is it just selective things? I completely agree with Jim Callum here; it is quite clear that you decided what you believe before you looked at the evidence and then as long as the evidence leaves room for you to believe something you will continue to believe it. Otherwise it's tantamount to saying "science has not disproved that a being outside of our space-time wants me to kill as many people as I can, so I believe it". Not the same belief, but the same method.

Your theory is, "I can conceive of it, and it hasn't been disproved, therefore it is true".

It's a terrible theory. One of the smarter god hypotheses I've heard, but still a rational 'car crash'.

So, moving on from that,

Again, I have discovered nothing in Church teaching which can be experimentally contradicted by science. For example, the central tenet of the Church - the Resurrection of Christ - has been recorded as a historical fact, just as diligently as all facts are recorded in history

First of all, what church is that?!? And secondly, how diligently is that exactly? You mean records written in the 400 years that followed the alleged event? The destruction of a number of those records is to be considered diligent? Is that how "diligently" we record history these days?

I'm guessing that in another two thousand years time, when somebody asks "why did people 4000 years ago say that all this supernatural stuff happened and there were magic people and people could rise from the dead, but people 2000 years ago say that none of this stuff happened in their time?" the answer will be "because they had computers 2000 years ago that kept perfect records".

and yet bodily resurrection has not been scientifically disproved.

In a case like this, I think it's pretty safe to say that it can't be disproved because it will never happen. Doesn't mean it can't. But it wont. And it probably never did. Not without science giving a massive helping hand.

Anyway I'm willing to ignore all of that for now. I just want you to answer this question:

How do you act differently in believing that there is a creator, and how do you know to act in these ways?

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 15:17:22 UTC | #532990

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 236 by Moosebite

With the whole iGod/uGod thing...

It would be cool to set up a quick reference thing (like a wiki page or something) to send people to when you mention it, and they don't know about it. Just to help spread it.

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 05:16:33 UTC | #532812

Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 234 by Moosebite

Bang on, peoples!

  • iGod = interacts with the physical world. Possible to prove/disprove. So far can be considered redundant (all phenomenon attributed to god can also be explained by other mechanisms proven through science). Claims of this god should be observable and subject to the methods of science.

  • uGod = Creator of the universe. Exists outside of space-time. Does not interact with the physical world. Not observable. Not disprovable by science. Therefore may or may not exist, but is irrelevant to our daily lives.

  • Make sure to be aware of when a theist is switching between the two, and to call them on it!!!

    Wed, 13 Oct 2010 01:52:27 UTC | #532767

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 229 by Moosebite

    @ jon_the_d

    Very much agree, although I think rather than more elaboration, it just needs simplifying. At the risk of casting a bad light on theists, I think the more you simplify this idea, the easier it will be to present to the masses.

    I hereby dub the 21st century "interventional god" as the iGod.

    I also hereby dub the "unquantifiable god" as the uGod.

    Never the twain shall meet.

    Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:10:49 UTC | #532727

    Go to: Atheists and Anger

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 104 by Moosebite

    Comment 102 by thyme stupidity wont save us from intelligent people

    Bam! If you don't me saying. That right there sums up a lot of things superbly. There will always be intelligent people trying to take advantage of stupid people. The only defence against that is to become intelligent enough to avoid it. Religious people would have us all be stupid in order that no one can take advantage of anyone else, or that we at least all agree on everything.

    What a ridiculous notion.

    Awesome, Thyme, might use it later.

    Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:04:03 UTC | #532724

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 227 by Moosebite

    @ John Geeshu

    You are right, of course :)

    I guess the point is that, for me, there has never been a valid god hypothesis, so the argument:

    If an observation does not support a valid hypothesis, then it cannot be considered as evidence,

    There is no valid hypothesis for god;

    Therefore there is no evidence for god.

    -is enough. I guess it may not be news, but it just sums up the point that before you can debate the existence of god with someone, you need to agree on a valid hypothesis for god that you can debate. This is something which never happens, but I also fail to address it most times, because once the conversation is under way I forget to establish a definition/hypothesis for god with which to debate. I just get roped into discussion with a theist and their definition for god gradually and subtly changes throughout the conversation so the theist can avoid good arguments being applied to the right hypothesis.

    If I remember to establish a definition before the conversation gets too deep, I can easily point out when the theist starts changing the definition, tearing all credence out of their side of the argument. :D

    Tue, 12 Oct 2010 23:57:30 UTC | #532720

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 225 by Moosebite

    Belief in the Creator is an admission that without him we would not exist. We believe that the Creator exists outside of space and time, and that all points in the time of the universe are the same to him. The act of creation itself, therefore, was not simply a one-off act to get the universe going, but simultaneous with that act was the actualisation of all future events in the history of the universe. Since the act of creation was the simultaneous creation of every single event in the life of the universe, we regard the unfolding of the universe as a continuous creation in which every moment of the life of the universe is dependent on the creative act of the Creator. We depend , therefore, for every moment of our existence, on the Creator. The answer to your question is yes because he is responsible for my creation and continuous existence.

    Forgive me, but it seems absurd that the "creator" that you hypothesise created all moments in time at once. It's an absolutely ridiculous notion. Time is an illusion my friend. It is the name we give the phenomenon of us witnessing matter change from state to state. All states of matter cannot exist at the same time. For matter to exist in one state, it has to pass through all previous states first. There's a reason, when we put water in the freezer, why it doesn't just freeze instantly without passing through previous states. No matter how fast it happens the matter changes in stages. It doesn't just change instantly from liquid to solid.

    I think you've been watching too many time-travelling movies. ;)

    But disregarding all that, you're answer is very poetic and sounds good in theory. So putting aside the absurdity of your description of the creation of the universe, how do you act differently in believing that there is a creator, and how do you know to act in these ways?

    :)

    Tue, 12 Oct 2010 23:43:01 UTC | #532715

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 206 by Moosebite

    Tony123, may I ask if you actually adjust/base any of your behaviour because of your belief in a deity?

    I am interested because, basically you have just expressed the most convoluted example I have EVER seen of the argument "you can't prove there's no god", and I'd like to know what further evidence you have that informs your belief that your behaviour must be adjusted due to circumstances relating to this deity.

    You've argued that there are conceivable circumstances in which a deity could exist that can't be disproved at this point in time. You could also argue that any supposed intentions or interactions for/with our lives by this deity similarly cannot be disproved at this time. But every suggestion put forth in this form is purely guesswork. It is not based on anything more than not being able to disprove the circumstance in which it could be possible.

    You may as well say "anything is possible if we can't disprove it (for now), therefore god is possible". In which case, god is only possible if we can't disprove it. Which leaves two possible options; either you have evidence which we can observe, but that you haven't shared with us, or; if god exists, it does so in currently unobservable ways.

    If it is the former. please put forth this evidence now. If it is the latter, it may be time to forget about god for now and live your life as if it's existence has no meaning for us.

    Tue, 12 Oct 2010 13:15:46 UTC | #532422

    Go to: Questions for my Los Angeles talk

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 238 by Moosebite

    Now I'll humbly drop-kick myself into the East River

    If that's a feat that you manage to achieve, I don't think it's something to be humble about! You could make a (depressing) career out of that skill. Or at least use it as a party trick.

    ;)

    p.s. I wonder if we'll never hear how the speech went...

    Tue, 12 Oct 2010 12:44:36 UTC | #532409

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 175 by Moosebite

    You're welcome BanJolvie. Actually I'm glad I helped, because I got out of bed to post that comment, so it's nice to know it was worth it ;)

    I think your problem was only that the argument was unfinished. As John_Geeshu was pointing out, the premises did not guarantee the conclusion, which is the necessary condition for an argument to be valid. So by inserting the new premise, I hope the argument is now valid. The conclusion cannot be true while one or more of the premises are false. The question is whether or not it is also "sound".

    So to contest this argument (short of pointing out invalidity again, which I'm sure I've taken care of), one must prove that one or more of the premises are not true.

    Tue, 12 Oct 2010 04:44:23 UTC | #532259

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 172 by Moosebite

    I believe the solution to this problem is to insert an extra premise.

    "To be considered as evidence, an observation must support a valid hypothesis",

    "There is no valid god hypothesis;"

    "Therefore there can be no observation that can be considered as evidence for god".

    Does that solve your problems?

    If someone more adept at using the language of logic is willing I'd love to see that translated. :D

    Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:51:37 UTC | #532244

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 163 by Moosebite

    At this point in the discussion I think it's impossible for anybody to be defending a logical, rational, reasoned out belief in a deity, who is still stupid enough to believe it should have any bearing on their life.

    If someone is defending the logical existence of a god this far, this person would have to be supremely, monumentally stupid to overcome such cognitive dissonance as to argue that they are basing their lives on the will of such a being.

    It is utter nonsense. Just get on with your lives, ffs, and let other people do the same.

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:57:08 UTC | #532144

    Go to: Atheists and Anger

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Moosebite

    There are more worrying issues at stake. Personally I am wondering if I am Agnostic, Ignostic or Athiest. I have been a lapsed Catholic since I was about fourteen, I am nearly sixty now. My family all still practise and we have debates from time to time, I don't bash their belief but expect them to respect by disbelief and that should be that.

    Ok, I can understand how that situation might be more personally immediate and worrying, for you.

    But seriously? That sentiment follows soon after:

    Who cares if they choose to have blind faith? and fly planes into buildings, hold your Government accountable for not protecting you.

    Like I said... I understand that it's personally more distressing, but in your (nearly) 46 years of being an atheist, did you never stop to ask why your family's faith wasn't a little rattled? And why the world is full of fundamentalist oppression?

    Personally I don't care if my family are willing idiots, but if people are being killed/raped/tortured/ostracised etc. because of other idiots, and I'm the only one who can be arsed giving those people the help they need, I feel damn well obliged to do my part. You don't have to change your life; but don't get in my way or you'll wish there was a merciful omnipotent being who cared about you. I think that's the general sentiment. It also follows that enabling the criminals I would like to stop (by validating their faith and their motives) is getting in my way.

    Also I get the distinct impression that you didn't read the full post. If you have not, I recommend you go back and do so before you post further. If you have I apologise and am further perplexed by your comment.

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:22:35 UTC | #532129

    Go to: What should we have in an atheist/humanist novel?

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Moosebite

    Nice, does sound a bit like a Ben Elton novel, hehe.

    Might be cool to get the atheist to come up with a solution to a problem that surpasses the religious people's and is based on the truth. And then have the religious folk surrender to his wisdom or something like that.

    I make it sound so indelicate, but you could do it more subtly...

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:09:37 UTC | #532122

    Go to: Atheists and Anger

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Moosebite

    If you've scrolled down this far into the comments, and you haven't read the whole thing yet, go scroll back up and do it. Do it now.

    And prepared to get fired up :D

    I think I will sleep well tonight. Tomorrow I get my game face on.

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 16:19:58 UTC | #532098

    Go to: Atheists and Anger

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Moosebite

    Rawr!!

    :D

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 14:59:39 UTC | #532068

    Go to: What should we have in an atheist/humanist novel?

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Moosebite

    Comment 7 by Roedy

    I just wish they'd get rid of the posts all together. It's like when my girlfriend says something under her breath so I can't hear, and then refuses to repeat it. Flipping annoying.

    re. the OP.

    Whatever you do, don't make them angry. Atheist characters in tv shows and movies are always the heroes that everybody hates to love. "House" leaps to mind; he's got vices coming out of his earholes, he's angry, socially indifferent, riddled with psychological issues and seems to take pleasure out of making people hate him. People get where he's coming from, but I don't doubt things like that help to build people's stigmas about atheists.

    At the same time, don't demonise the religious folk. Or at least not all of them (assuming you include some). Don't do a James Cameron-style 2d villain characateur of religious people. Religious people will start learning how to use the term "strawman", and that would be an epidemic.

    Just make atheists look normal. Or at least moral upstanding citizens as much as the next guy. Do a Ben Elton and make your main character an atheist and kill him off halfway through in some noble sacrifice to save other people, or something. :)

    Or... make an atheist parent, and compare the two different parenting styles (indoctrination vs freethinking) :)

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 13:09:48 UTC | #532034

    Go to: Science and religion aren't friends

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Moosebite

    For each book by a "New Atheist," there are many others attacking the "movement" and demonizing atheists as arrogant, theologically ignorant, and strident.

    This is almost the case. Except that instead of books, the apologists and theists publish journal articles. The big difference is that people have to actually go out and get a book. That's probably too much effort for a lot of fundies. The newspaper is on their lawn when they get up in the morning, and the articles only take a few minutes to read. It's much less effort to just eat up what the media gives them.

    :(

    Mon, 11 Oct 2010 05:15:43 UTC | #531857

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Moosebite

    a-6   var. of an-1 before a consonant, meaning “not,” “without”: amoral; atonal; achromatic.

    From a web dictionary.

    Atheism = "Not" a belief, or "without" a belief, in god.

    Not a claim to know or believe in anything!!

    The very opposite actually.

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 19:17:26 UTC | #531722

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Moosebite

    For pragmatic reasons public policy should maintain an agnosticism, because it is the absolutely defensible position. As Kenny says a claim to knowledge needs to be substantiated; ignorance need only be confessed.

    Ok let me clear something up, if i can...

    Gnostic: possessing knowledge

    A-gnostic: Not possessing knowledge

    Theism: Belief in a deity

    A-theism: Not belief in a deity (note that this is different to "belief in not a deity")

    So of course a government has to take a stance of agnosticism, because nobody "knows" if there is a god or not. But they must also take a position of atheism, because they have to assume that they don't believe in anything in particular.

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 19:08:29 UTC | #531721

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Moosebite

    You could just as easily argue that we cannot conclusively KNOW anything, and that agnosticism is the only defensible position for any given assertion. It is technically true but if I went about applying it to every question of epistemology to which it technically applies, I'd get nowhere, and do nothing.

    I believe there are certain things that we can claim to know as fact. I tried to explain it a while ago here. Obviously there's not much original thought there, but I think I got the basics down. Feel free to criticise my reasoning though :).

    In any case, to doubt everything entirely is not very pragmatic, so we have to concede that some beliefs are more valid and sound than others. Obviously those that are more reliable are those that are based on facts (see the link); that are based on observed and observable, repeatable mechanisms. There are no observable mechanisms which can be attributed to "god" as a matter of fact. So, in my opinion, it is entirely stupid to suppose that such a thing exists. To be perfectly honest, I hardly believe that any two or more people agree about the conventions we use to describe "god".

    The only defensible way to describe god is to say "god is everything I don't know". Which sounds mightily stupid for someone whose entire life is centred around god. However, this is the most reliable description of god I can think of. After all, has anyone ever attributed anything to god which they completely understand?

    Even a theist wouldn't say that an apple falls because of god. He would say it falls because of gravity. He might then say god causes gravity; but only because he doesn't actually 'know' what causes gravity.

    So how much god is there in your life?

    Science and theology will at some point, converge.

    When science eats theology for breakfast and shits it out again that day :)

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 18:56:49 UTC | #531715

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Moosebite

    At what point is it reasonable to tell someone they don't "know" something, when they claim they do?

    ie. If someone came up and said "I know the sky is blue" and you say "no you don't"

    Or "I know I have three heads" - "no you don't"

    Or "I know if I went and bought a lottery ticket today I would have won the jackpot" - "no you don't"

    Or "I know there is a god" - "no you don't"

    Or "I know that I can adequately describe something and prove it's existence to you beyond doubt and call it god" - "No you don't, because I'm going to stab you in the face before that happens" :P

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 18:37:52 UTC | #531701

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Moosebite

    I still think agnosticism can be defended.Both atheism and theism claim to know something, agnosticism claims only ignorance. Therefore,,

    I'm pretty sure atheism isn't a claim to knowledge. Theism is belief in one or more deity(s). Atheism is "not theism". It is "not belief in one or more deity(s)".

    Take the theists proposition = "I believe in a god"

    If you slap the "a" in front of that, and get "a-theism", it negates the statement. To negate something does not imply the opposite of it. If I had a pea on my desk, and I wanted to negate the pea, I would remove the pea, not put a pea shaped vacuum in it's place. So "a-pea" doesn't equal the opposite of the pea, it equals the lack of the pea.

    A-theism = "Not 'I believe in a god'"

    No claims of knowledge in that one. That's how I see it anyway.

    In any case, to whether or not there is a god, I say: "Innocent until proven guilty!"

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 18:02:41 UTC | #531680

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Moosebite

    May I suggest that we do away with whole 'scale' idea altogether?

    If you explained the scale to a believer and told him/her where you were on the scale, it would give the believer the idea that you're giving credence to him/her taking a position further down the scale. By suggesting you are accepting that people can put themselves on a scale of belief, you are suggesting that they are justified in having a stronger belief in god than you.

    I think it's safe to assume that we all have the same amount of empirical evidence at hand that proves/disproves the existence of a god. So assuming that is none, on a belief scale, everybody on the planet sits at the same number. So it's a scale of 1-1 where 1 = "don't know".

    So if you're gonna put anything on a scale, make it something like - "how much evidence I need to believe that something exists" 1 = no evidence and 7 = I won't believe it until I experience with every one of my senses.

    At least that way you can put into perspective how gullible and stupid theists are.

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 17:37:35 UTC | #531661

    Go to: It's like he was reading my mind

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Moosebite

    I think the point is that on a scale of 1-7, my belief in god rates at "I don't care".

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 15:39:42 UTC | #531622

    Go to: Questions for my Los Angeles talk

    Moosebite's Avatar Jump to comment 235 by Moosebite

    P.S. Damn, I just made the connection that when a comment is removed, the person's name automatically gets changed to "Anonymous." That's... interesting.

    Ahh, InYourFaceNewYorker, now who's a bonehead? ;)

    But seriously, yes, everybody wants to know how it went.

    Sun, 10 Oct 2010 02:35:37 UTC | #531480