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Comments by YXalr

Go to: God and logic: help with theist conversations

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by YXalr

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 08 May 2012 09:03:09 UTC | #940503

Go to: God and logic: help with theist conversations

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by YXalr

I try to make them see when they are using double standards. For example: if something as wonderful as God doesn't need any explanation, why do the less wonderful things theists explain with God do need an explanation.

A hypothetical discussion:

Theist: A friend of a friend was paralyzed. He prayed from God he would be healed. The next morning he woke up and was able to move again. It must have been God.

Me: You're explaining something wonderful with something even more wonderful. What is the explanation for God?

Theist: God doesn't need an explanation. God just is the way he is.

Me: So if by your admission there are truly wonderful and baffling things that don't need explanation, why doesn't this apply to the miraculous event that happened to the friend of your friend? Why can't we say "it just happened" and doesn't need any explanation?

If they see the double standard here, their argument will have been destroyed.

Tue, 08 May 2012 09:02:44 UTC | #940502

Go to: In Defense of Dawkins’s Reason Rally Speech

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by YXalr

The turning point in my life, the point where I began my journey into atheism, was precisely when my girlfriend asked me "Do you really, literally, believe that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven?" At that moment I realized I couldn't say yes without lying.

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 15:42:26 UTC | #931921

Go to: Translations of my books

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by YXalr

Comment 50 by Richard Dawkins :

Comment 34 by YXalr :

We have both the original and the Finnish translation of the God Delusion in our house. I read it in English, and out of curiosity checked how the translation fared. I read a few chapters in Finnish and am happy to state in my opinion the translation seems superb. You get a good sense of the original style, and there's a great flow to the text, so nothing seems to be lost in translation.

I also read Dennet's "Breaking the Spell" with the same person translating, and I swear I could hear Dennet's voice speaking Finnish.

What a wonderful recommendation. Thank you for this most helpful comment. If not too late, I'll ask that TMOR should go to the same translator. Do you recall her/his name?

Richard

Hi, Richard.

As someone already stated, his name is Kimmo Pietiläinen. He's a theoretical physicist and an author who owns the publishing company Terra Cognita. The company focuses mainly on scientific literature.

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 06:48:42 UTC | #887249

Go to: Translations of my books

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by YXalr

We have both the original and the Finnish translation of the God Delusion in our house. I read it in English, and out of curiosity checked how the translation fared. I read a few chapters in Finnish and am happy to state in my opinion the translation seems superb. You get a good sense of the original style, and there's a great flow to the text, so nothing seems to be lost in translation.

I also read Dennet's "Breaking the Spell" with the same person translating, and I swear I could hear Dennet's voice speaking Finnish.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 07:22:24 UTC | #886331

Go to: Comedy as a legitimate way to spread the theory of evolution?

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by YXalr

I loved the song at the end. I'll probably be humming it for the rest of the day.

Fri, 14 Oct 2011 11:48:54 UTC | #880803

Go to: Anecdote vs. fact

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by YXalr

Some years ago I remember seeing a very convincing documentary (can't remember the subject). I found it convincing because I couldn't really find significant flaws from the arguments presented. I was, however, soon introduced to some actual facts about the subject matter, and suddenly the arguments of the documentary seemed to crumble. This got me thinking about WTC -conspiracy theorists, Zeitgeist-believers, those who believe the moon landing was faked, etc. All these people have been presented with two things:

1) Facts

2) Arguments based on the facts

It seems to me, that most people put all their attention on #2, questioning whether the arguments based on the facts seem valid. If they do, they tend to accept the arguments. The problem is that most people take it for granted that the facts presented are true. As if we're just too focused on the actual arguments to remember to question the actual facts.

Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:16:15 UTC | #873432

Go to: Do orchids have eyes?

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by YXalr

In a few words: Those orchids that look more like bees have survived and reproduced better than those that look less like bees.

Tue, 10 May 2011 19:14:09 UTC | #625493

Go to: Yes, we do have free will, and here's why

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by YXalr

Very often people think that not having a free will means not being able to do what you want. I think the truth is in a way the exact opposite: Not only we CAN do what we want, but we are also OBLIGED to do what we want. More to the point, we must do that which at any given moment motivates us the most. The trick is that we can't choose what it is we want. Of course we can try to change our way of thinking so that we want something different, but in order to do that, we have to want to do that in the first place.

Of the people, who have told me that they could jump off a bridge if they wanted to, none actually have. That is because they really can't do it. As they said, they COULD do that IF THEY WANTED TO. But they never want to do that, so it is impossible for them.

Sat, 16 Apr 2011 11:19:31 UTC | #616083

Go to: Glenn Beck: Japan's earthquake might be a "message" from God

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by YXalr

What I've always wondered is do these people think there's any natural disaster in the history of Earth that's happened for a natural reason.

Wed, 16 Mar 2011 12:26:51 UTC | #603453

Go to: There should be no atheists

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by YXalr

I agree, although to me it seems we keep calling ourselves atheists because we are still a minority when it comes to the question of religion. Maybe one day it will not be so. Even though I don't believe in Santa Claus, I don't call myself "asantaclausist".

Fri, 07 Jan 2011 23:49:21 UTC | #574879

Go to: How to teach evolution in middle school

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by YXalr

It seriously angers me how these parents abuse their children by not allowing them to learn facts about the universe and to think for themselves.

When these parents ask why one would teach that the Earth is billions of years old, I think the answer is simple: Because that happens to be the case.

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 20:01:51 UTC | #564288

Go to: Sky News: woman whipped for wearing trousers

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by YXalr

I'm seeing a pattern here:

  1. Something absolutely inhumane and horrible happens, very often in Islamic countries.

  2. Everyone outside Islamic countries is shocked and outraged.

  3. Nothing happens.

  4. Repeat steps 1-3.

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 21:33:37 UTC | #563339

Go to: Unsung quotes

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by YXalr

Comment 18 by lilalindy :

Here's another one, one that I find helpful virtually every day.

Expect nothing and you wont be disappointed.

I strongly disagree with this one. Those who expect nothing, gain nothing. Those who are disappointed once in a while are those who succeed in life.

Sat, 11 Dec 2010 15:13:41 UTC | #561707

Go to: When nothing created everything (sort of)

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by YXalr

It is interesting that every single satire I've read/seen about atheism is based on the false initial assumption that atheism is a belief system. I think is okay to make fun about pretty much anything. Just be familiar with the subject you are making fun of first.

Thu, 09 Dec 2010 14:50:32 UTC | #560736

Go to: Teacher sued for comments about Christianity

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by YXalr

Sorry, what story? It doesn't become evident from your post.

Mon, 06 Dec 2010 16:51:50 UTC | #559294

Go to: Life on earth started not once but twice?

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by YXalr

Regarding the announcement, the rational part of my mind is expecting something that might have significance on studying the possibility of extra-terrestial life in the long run.

The rest of my mind is screaming: "UFOs! UFOs! UFOs! WOOO!"

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 16:19:33 UTC | #556681

Go to: Christopher Hitchens: my hero of 2010

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by YXalr

I don't think there is a single word I disagree with.

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 16:09:28 UTC | #556674

Go to: Bill Donohue's Billboard Blues

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by YXalr

"They believe in nothing, they stand for nothing, they think they came from nothing..."

Who are "they"? And what do "they" have to do with the subject at hand? I thought this was about Atheists and people of religion. Not some mysterious "they".

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 15:47:39 UTC | #556647

Go to: Massive Galaxies Formed When Universe Was Young, New Findings Suggest

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by YXalr

Comment 11 by katt33 :

My question will always be who or what gave us all the raw material to have the big bang ect.... To say it was just there, still leaves a big question mark and maybe some day science will answer that to my satisfaction.

I do love when it discovers more about the galaxy etc..

Not my expertise, but if I'm not incorrect, particles and anti-particles are constantly being formed in space from nothing. They exist for a moment until they collide again and are annihilated.

Sun, 28 Nov 2010 18:24:04 UTC | #554863

Go to: Occam's Razor and postulated explanations

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 223 by YXalr

Comment 222 by biame :

Hi YXair, you are entitled to disagree, and you are entitled to the power of suggestions (not evidence), you added pertaining to a space jockey, unnecessarily trying to complicate things. Fortunately, Occam's razor took care of all your personal innuendo, power of suggestions and associative assumptions. To reveal the same evidence in each.

Science leads us to knowledge. Knowledge leads us to understanding.

Eh...? Do you even know what the Occam's razor is? Or did you even read my original post?

Fri, 26 Nov 2010 22:11:08 UTC | #553925

Go to: Occam's Razor and postulated explanations

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 222 by YXalr

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Fri, 26 Nov 2010 22:09:48 UTC | #553923

Go to: "...That's why it's called faith" responses

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by YXalr

I once had a bit of a debate of sort with a person who had a strong opinion about something she actually wasn't too familiar with (it was not a religious subject. I can't remember what it was about). I told her that it is stupid for her to argue about a matter she does not know about. She openly admitted that she really didn't have insight on the matter but then said that it is her right to form opinions, no matter how unjustified. That pretty much ended the conversation. Not many minutes later I wished I had said to her something along the lines:

"It is your right, but that makes your arguments completely worthless."

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 20:27:30 UTC | #552668

Go to: [UPDATE JAN 7] Live Webcast - Does a Good God Exist?

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by YXalr

Can anyone recommend good speeches by Hitchens? I thoroughly enjoyed watching the debate apart from the parts when Dembski was reading his "arguments" off a paper.

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 18:56:46 UTC | #552625

Go to: Occam's Razor and postulated explanations

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by YXalr

Comment 18 by biame :

Both are equally as complex or equally simple, for both are reaching for the same thing. Much of the evidence for one, is the evidence for the other, the only thing which changes, is the power of suggestions added.

I disagree, because when we are asking how the Universe began, we should only be looking for a mechanism that can create one. If we assume God as an explanation, there is too much "extra" that we don't need to assume. For example we have not found a reason that whatever created the Universe has to have a human-like personality, opinions and unlimited processing power and capabilites. Assuming God as a viable answer is like comparing the following two explanations.

1) The Universe began in a quantum fluctuation.

2) The Universe began in a quantum fluctuation while a space donkey named Robert was having a blast at an extra-universal tea-party with his associate John the silly goose, who had a bad case of gonorrhea, but was too ashamed to talk about it, especially because his extra-dimensional wife was present.

The first option contains a mechanism. The second option contains a mechanism AND a lot of stuff we don't need to assume.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 10:58:31 UTC | #548729

Go to: New Q&A site on Atheism

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by YXalr

My problem is that since we are atheists we are expected to have all the answers to all the questions about the universe.

If I tell someone I'm an atheist, and am then asked the question "Well, how did the universe begin then?" it only means the person asking the question has completely missed the point. Being an atheist means one thing: I do not believe in god. When it comes to big unsolved questions about the universe, I can admit quite simply that I don't know the answer.

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 00:30:26 UTC | #548578

Go to: Innate Religious Belief - Comparison to Sexuality

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by YXalr

Comment 18 by Reasonable_Doubt :

Concerning Comment 5, I see what you are saying. Perhaps it would have been better of me to say something akin to "innate spirituality".

I might say: "I need a same-sex relationship to be fulfilled."

Someone else might say: "I need spirituality to be fulfilled."

The "spiritual" person isn't born desiring to believe in a specific God, just with the desire to believe in some higher power.

On the same note, I was not born desiring a specific man, I just knew I needed one. ;)

There is still a difference. If you say you're sexually attracted to men, you're - once again - not making a statement about the outside world. If a person says "I need spirituality to be fulfilled", it is an honest statement that also makes no claims of objective truth. If he were to say "God exists", it would be entirely different. No one else can tell you how you feel. In the same sense I cannot tell a religious person that he doesn't believe in god, but I can give him reasons why it is unlikely that god exists, and I will probably do so because he does make objective claims. You're not making objective claims; you are not telling that someone or something made you gay. All you're saying is that you didn't make a choice regarding the matter.

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 11:49:54 UTC | #531577

Go to: Innate Religious Belief - Comparison to Sexuality

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by YXalr

There is a difference between "I know there is a god" and "I know I've always been gay." The first one mentioned makes claims about the surrounding reality, when the latter makes a personal and a subjective statement. For example when I say "I know I feel frustrated", it is absurd if someone tells me "No you don't." I feel what I feel, and subjectively that is an absolute truth. In the same way you know as a subjective absolute truth that you never made a decision regarding your sexuality.

So basically:

"I know god exists" - An absolute claim of objective truth,

"I know I never chose my sexual preference" - An absolute claim of subjective truth.

And subjective truths ARE be absolute truths... subjectively.

Sat, 09 Oct 2010 10:35:50 UTC | #531233

Go to: Why all the anonymity?

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by YXalr

I think you're right, and therefore decided to do exactly as you proposed.

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 20:24:08 UTC | #530424

Go to: [UPDATE]Family conflict: Catholic vs Atheist

YXalr's Avatar Jump to comment 106 by YXalr

As stated earlier, you have clearly made your point to your grandfather. You shouldn't feel the obligation to explain to anyone who you are and why you make the decisions you make. It may feel harsh, but if after those letters you sent, your grandfather still doesn't understand, you should not force the issue. Remind him that you are an independent adult and you make your own decisions. It is not up to anyone to approve or disapprove of your decisions. Your grandfather can choose to respect the choices you make or not to respect, but in the end only he can make that decision. The ball is in his court.

Wed, 22 Sep 2010 11:34:39 UTC | #523297