Allegro.cc - Online Community

Allegro.cc Forums » Off-Topic Ordeals » Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study

This thread is locked; no one can reply to it. rss feed Print
Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

At the very same time, according to the Bible, god is omnipotent. That makes it all the more hillarious. :P

That's irrelevant. I'll take your word for it that not all Christians believe in the omnipotence of god, though I've met quite a few who do. Don't you think those were delusional?

No, because the word "omnipotence" has caveats built into it that anybody can understand and brush over for the sake of basic understanding, ie: the rock thing. So unless I feel like being some insufferable Grammer Nazi in everyday conversation, if someone wants to tell me their God or whatever is omniopotent, I know they mean "as much as is practically possible", on account of I am not delusional. ::)

EDIT: Let's remove the religion again to break this down. I'm picturing a teenager telling their mom about Google Glasses or something, and their mom says "Wow, computers can do anything nowadays" in a somewhat awed voice. Do you leap from your chair, point at her Phoenix Wright-style and say "OBJECTION! Computers cannot create a rock so big they cannot lift it! Foolish, delusional old woman!", followed by their mom spontaneously compusting by the sheer force of how hard they just got owned? Do people actually do that in normal conversation or does this mode only trigger when someone mentions religion or the G-word?

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

No, because the word "omnipotence" has caveats built into it that anybody can understand and brush over for the sake of basic understanding, ie: the rock thing. So unless I feel like being some insufferable Grammer Nazi in everyday conversation, if someone wants to tell me their God or whatever is omniopotent, I know they mean "as much as is practically possible", on account of I am not delusional.

The Bible doesn't use the word "omnipotence" or say something vague that's open for interpretation. It basically says "God can do absolutely anything".

"For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. – Luke 1:37"

"But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God. – Matt. 19:26"

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Again, it's not a legal document, and pointing out these things just makes it look like you personally have no sense of embellishment, or are a small child trying to look clever to adults. I know neither of these are true, partly because that's common sense, but also because you say it yourself:

Stas B. said:

It basically says "God can do absolutely anything".

Yeah. Basically. Not literally, since that's a logical impossibility. The writers of the Bible understand, the people being spoken/written to understand, people nowadays understand, I understand, I'm pretty sure you understand and are trying to fool me into thinking you don't but I'm not sure why.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Again, it's not a legal document, and pointing out these things just makes it look like you personally have no sense of embellishment, or are a small child trying to look clever to adults. I know neither of these are true, partly because that's common sense,

Yeah, well, I guess I'm just trolling at this point because I'm tired of this discussion. If your strongest argument is "yeah, Christians do that but so do you and everybody else", what else is there to discuss? Why would you even assume such a thing? That's kind of delusional in itself.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

Yeah, well, I guess I'm just trolling at this point because I'm tired of this discussion. If your strongest argument is "yeah, Christians do that but so you and everybody else", what else there is to discuss? Why would you even assume such a thing? That's kind of delusional in itself.

Therapy training and research into how the mind works in general. For all everyone thinks they're some kind of special flower in their opinions and thoughts, like Matthew said, we're all surprisingly shallow (and good at fooling ourselves into thinking we aren't and everyone not like us is). But that's a whole other rabbit hole.

{"name":"sheeple.png","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/7\/5\/75d5173ae2ef56fa4b16d1367c572332.png","w":376,"h":401,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/7\/5\/75d5173ae2ef56fa4b16d1367c572332"}sheeple.png

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Therapy training and research into how the mind works in general.

Says what? That everybody is delusional? Oh, please.
Everybody has some irrational beliefs, but not everybody fiercly holds on to irrational beliefs that have huge impact on their life, against all evidence.

Quote:

For all everyone thinks they're some kind of special flower in their opinions and thoughts, like Matthew said, we're all surprisingly shallow

And you make that assumption based on what? I don't have such conscious thoughts and more importantly, I don't feel that way. Moreover, I know that I'm shallow. I don't expect people to accept what I say based on my deep insight or my uniqueness. I merely expect people to actually consider what I say. I even try to keep it simple and concise enough for them to do so instead of offering some vague, "deep" insight. If they find a logical flaw in it, I would love them to inform me about it. If they don't, maybe they should consider the possibility of it being true regardless of my shallowness.

Dizzy Egg
Member #10,824
March 2009
avatar

I'm an Atheist thank God.

----------------------------------------------------
Please check out my songs:
https://soundcloud.com/dont-rob-the-machina

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

Says what? That everybody is delusional? Oh, please.

There you go with that word again ... if it's the label you want to apply in lieu of what I actually said, go nuts, but you're just trolling again.

Quote:

Everybody has some irrational beliefs, but not everybody fiercly holds on to irrational beliefs that have huge impact on their life, against all evidence.

I would actually wager that almost everyone does. In fact, your subconscious is hardwired to do it.

Quote:

And you make that assumption based on what? I don't have such conscious thoughts and more importantly, I don't feel that way.

You don't feel like you're special in your thoughts and opinions? I think I've made this comment to you in a past thread, but assuming at least 90% of your posts aren't trolls, your arrogance in your own opinion comes across as pretty phenomenal. Maybe that's not conscious on your part either. Maybe it's just the text medium and I shouldn't pick on it. Maybe I should pick on it the same way you pick on people who say "omnipotent" or think everyone who doesn't think like you is "delusional" (or however you're applying that word). But whatever; we can agree to disagree. I was pretty sure we were done here anyway.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

There you go with that word again ... if it's the label you want to apply in lieu of what I actually said, go nuts, but you're just trolling again.

Holding on to an irrational belief despite strong evidence to the contrary is what delusion is defined to mean. I don't understand what we're disagreeing about.

Quote:

I would actually wager that almost everyone does. In fact, your subconscious is hardwired to do it.

I'm not trying to say that the discussed behaviour is unique to religion. People act very "religiously" about many things, mostly ideological in nature, and those people are delusional. The people I bother to keep associating with simply don't act that way. You can wager on anything you like but where's your evidence?

Quote:

your arrogance in your own opinion comes across as pretty phenomenal. Maybe that's not conscious on your part either.

Don't you think that you are yourself rather arrogant to make general statements about what everybody THINKS? Or to think that your interpretation of what I say is more representative of what I actually think than my explicit statement? Or to think that the incomprehensibly intelligent being that planned the whole universe could love you personally and care about what you do in your tiny, insignificant life? Do you have the slightest idea what kind of arrogance and self-importance that requires?

I don't call people who disagree with me "delusional". If the question at hand is objective, I simply call them "wrong", until they prove me wrong. I only call you delusional because you fit the definition perfectly.

People tell me that I'm arrogant a lot. I don't understand what that means in the context of a logical discussion. What's the difference between a logical statement and an arrogant logical statement? I don't believe that my logic is infalliable. How could I, when people prove me wrong all the time? That would make me delusional like you. If you can't prove that my statement is false, it's either because it's true or because you reject it without positively spotting the logical flaw in it.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

Stas B. said:

People tell me that I'm arrogant a lot.

You're always right ... so of course those people are all wrong.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

The people I bother to keep associating with simply don't act that way.

Now imagine religious people saying the same thing about the people they associate with.

Quote:

You can wager on anything you like but where's your evidence?

In several books on my shelf and about a bazillion case studies and research papers. But I assume this question was rhetorical ...

Quote:

Don't you think that you are yourself rather arrogant to make general statements about what everybody THINKS?

I didn't. I made a general statement about HOW everyone thinks, which isn't exactly a new scientific discovery ...

Quote:

Or to think that your interpretation of what I say is more representative of what I actually think than my explicit statement?

Not sure what you're saying or refering to here. If this is about your arrogance, it is explicit.

Quote:

Or to think that the incomprehensibly intelligent being that planned the whole universe could love you personally and care about what you do in your tiny, insignificant life?

No one said this anywhere. EDIT: I take that back; maybe someone else did. It's a big thread.

Quote:

Do you have the slightest idea what kind of arrogance and self-importance that requires?

As it turns out, I don't. Maybe we can find someone here who thinks this and ask them?

Quote:

I only call you delusional because you fit the definition perfectly.

I wasn't even aware you called me delusional personally, but cool.

Quote:

People tell me that I'm arrogant a lot. I don't understand what that means in the context of a logical discussion. What's the difference between a logical statement and an arrogant logical statement?

Well if you can't make the logical statement without the arrogance slipping through, maybe that's a sign that you know it's not logical and you're trying to front a bit to cover that up. I'm not saying that's fact, or even necessarily likely in your case, but as a fun experiment try not being arrogant in your statements and see if they are as logically compelling.

Quote:

I don't believe that my logic is infalliable.

I hope not, after this thread. ;D

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

You're always right ... so of course those people are all wrong.

You know, people keep telling me that too and I have no idea why. :o
I admitted you were right in this very thread and I admitted I was wrong in quite a few different occasions in this forum. Sometimes I am wrong. I could be wrong about everything I said in this thread. I don't deny this possibility. Anyone can go right ahead and prove it and I will admit that I'm wrong. I seriously think it's not fair to claim that I can't accept being wrong. ???

[EDIT]

Now imagine religious people saying the same thing about the people they associate with.

On its own, this can only imply one of two things:

A. Some people are incapable of recognizing delusion at all.
B. Some people are only capable of recognizing delusion when they don't share it.

If that's supposed to be an analogy, which of the two options is supposed to apply to me and my associates?

Quote:

In several books on my shelf and about a bazillion case studies and research papers. But I assume this question was rhetorical ...

Let's get this clear. Countless books and studies prove that everybody thinks they are "special"? Special in what way, exactly? What does it mean, to think that you are special?

Quote:

I didn't. I made a general statement about HOW everyone thinks, which isn't exactly a new scientific discovery ...

You basically said everybody thinks they're special. That could be interpreted both ways but it doesn't matter. I take any claim of knowing exactly HOW EVERYONE THINKS with a grain of salt. For all I know, you may be just misinterpreting actual scientific studies.

Quote:

Not sure what you're saying or refering to here. If this is about your arrogance, it is explicit.

I was referring to your implication that you can tell that I think I'm somehow "special" by my perceived arrogance even though I explicitly state that I do not actually think I'm special.

Quote:

No one said this anywhere. EDIT: I take that back; maybe someone else did. It's a big thread.

Alright. I take that back. I'm sorry. Christians think that and you gave the impression of a Christian.

Quote:

I wasn't even aware you called me delusional personally, but cool.

If you believe in god, I will call you delusional and I can back up that claim.

Quote:

Well if you can't make the logical statement without the arrogance slipping through, maybe that's a sign that you know it's not logical and you're trying to front a bit to cover that up. I'm not saying that's fact, or even necessarily likely in your case, but as a fun experiment try not being arrogant in your statements and see if they are as logically compelling.

No. I honestly believe that what I say is logical. I may be mistaken. Please, show me my mistake. You just keep discussing my personality instead.

Quote:

I hope not, after this thread

You're all pointless talk and no valid points whatsoever.
To demonstrate what I mean, clearly, you do not share my opinion that theists are delusional. The definition of "delusional" is "a person who holds on to irrational beliefs despite strong evidence against them". If you think that I'm wrong, you can do simply prove it by either of the following:

A. Proving that the definition is wrong
B. Proving that theists dont have an irrational belief
C. Proving that theists dont hold on to that belief
D. Proving that there is no strong evidence

Instead of doing that, you go on about how your book says everybody has what is defined to be delusions, how I call people who disagree with me delusional and how I'm an arrogant dumbass. You are an idiot. Period.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

Because they aren't scientists. (Even atheists don't generally apply scientific methodologies on anything unless they are the academic type.)

But why aren't they scientists? To me it's obvious that the reason is because religion has nothing to do with the real world... but what's their excuse? And I disagree about the scientific methodologies not being used by non-scientists. Your beliefs about the world must reflect the actual probabilities of the world, otherwise people wouldn't be able to drive cars, to talk, to be in relationships etc. Whether consciously or subconsciously you use beliefs that are adjusted by evidence in most things in life.

Religion is an exception that, and it is an exception because it's presumed effects are tiny (falling into placebo effect territory or mis-interpreted random noise). Any religion which predicts obviously measurable events (e.g. apocalypse) will be discredited immediately because it just wouldn't work and it'll be obvious that it doesn't work. Religion is perhaps the world's first pseudo-science in this sense.

Quote:

But exactly what is supposed to be tested?

By construction there's nothing in enduring religions that can be tested, because if there were, they'd be immediately discredited. Religion has "evolved" to predict very little in order to survive. The stuff in the bible is irrelevant for the most part, it's happened (if it happened at all) conveniently too long ago and at a time with limited means of video/sound recording for science to do anything useful at it.

Seriously... if we ever invent a time machine and examine what happened during the ministry of Jesus and find nothing like that in the Bible the religion will adapt by claiming the Jesus stories to be allegorical too.

Quote:

Even Jesus often qualified prayer as something that must be both believed and God's will in order to be effective.

But surely people should be able to observe the effects of prayer on a believer. The true believer would pray, truly believe and should receive blessings that others would look at and become believers if it actually worked. The fact that this doesn't happen on a grand scale supports my point. You don't need to involve science in this at all... if prayer had an observable impact, everybody would believe and pray.

To reiterate... sure, people might be irrational about some things... but they are approximately rational about things that actually matter (things that actually have a large effect on their life). If they are not rational about things that actually matter they become criminals, insane, or die.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
avatar

Evert said:

At a stretch, Atheism is a blief system (it's more the lack of one, but ok). It is in no way or form a religion. The first clue should be that there is no single common set of beliefs that atheists share.

A religion is a shared belief system, and Atheists do have one. It is vague, and decentralized, but it is what it is. Not all atheists believe there is no god, and not all atheists do not believe in god. Sorry for the double negative, but it's a difficult topic of course.

I don't believe in god, but I'm not convinced that makes me an atheist. I don't even know what god is, aside from a concept... but it is a concept I have little personal affiliation with, either for or against (anymore).

Stas B. said:

As I'm sure you know, "supernatural" literally means "above nature", as in, something that is not constrained by the natural laws.

Sadly, you don't get to define what terms actually mean. As I'm sure you know, "natural" literally means "Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.", as in, something that is not constrained by human laws.

My implication was that supernatural is to natural as fiction is to factual.

I'd say that some people want to take some things too far, even atheism, resulting in a lot of silly rules. Fundies do it too, with their hatred and protests based on the slimmest of reasons from the bible.

This is how I feel as well, and I feel like you almost can't even discuss atheism or theism in public without fundamentalists from both sides slinging mud at one another and their brother... but we all know that from past experience ;)

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
avatar

Supernatural is defined as:

adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
2.
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
3.
of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.
4.
of, pertaining to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.

noun
5.
a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
6.
behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
7.
direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
8.
the supernatural,
a.
supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
b.
supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.

If you don't believe in God(s) then you are atheist. If you believe in God, then you get to decide which God you believe in (Jew, Muslim, Christian, Greek, Roman, etc.). Or just worship Joe Pesci like George Carlin says.

Religion is Bullsh!t

video

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

On its own, this can only imply one of two things:

A. Some people are incapable of recognizing delusion at all.
B. Some people are only capable of recognizing delusion when they don't share it.

If that's supposed to be an analogy, which of the two options is supposed to apply to me and my associates?

No, the implication is that the statement is meaningless because it's not delusion. You hang out with people who mirror you in certain respects. Like attracts like. So when you say the people you associate aren't like that, guess what? No one associates with people like that. But everyone likes to think their group is the non-delusional one, and strictly speaking, they are not incorrect ...

Quote:

Let's get this clear. Countless books and studies prove that everybody thinks they are "special"? Special in what way, exactly?

You tell me. This was in response to your comment "If your strongest argument is "yeah, Christians do that but so you and everybody else", what else there is to discuss? Why would you even assume such a thing?" Simple; last I checked, your brain worked the same as mine, unless you've had surgery or something.

Quote:

You basically said everybody thinks they're special. That could be interpreted both ways but it doesn't matter. I take any claim of knowing exactly HOW EVERYONE THINKS with a grain of salt. For all I know, you may be just misinterpreting actual scientific studies.

And that would be a very reasonable and logical opinion. :)

Quote:

I was referring to your implication that you can tell that I think I'm somehow "special" by my perceived arrogance even though I explicitly state that I do not actually think I'm special.

I think the "special" comment was your constant tossing around of the word "delusional" to describe people who arrived at the idea of God or some other supernatural concept existing, and the pie chart posted earlier. If you think 80% of the world is delusional and you think you fall in the 20%, I believe I can safely assume that you think you're somehow special in how you think, even if you do not agree. :)

Quote:

The definition of "delusional" is "a person who holds on to irrational beliefs despite strong evidence against them". If you think that I'm wrong, you can do simply prove it by either of the following:

A. Proving that the definition is wrong
B. Proving that theists dont have an irrational belief
C. Proving that theists dont hold on to that belief
D. Proving that there is no strong evidence

I would say that the definition is correct, but highly subjective. What constitutes irrational? By what measure do we call evidence strong?

B I'm willing to take at face value as true because if it was irrational, 80% of the world wouldn't be a theist in some form or another. If you want to go with Derezo's idea of atheism as a religion in as much as it is a belief system (and I agree with him), that number climbs to 100%. In any case, there are strong logical arguments for a lot of religions, and I would say yes, most people have rational reasons for believing in religious things, even if I personally think what they believe in is nuttier than squirrel poop. That doesn't mean they're irrational or delusional, that just means they have their own opinion that differs from mine.

C is obviously false since if they didn't hold these beliefs, they wouldn't be theists, and D is unprovable since you can't prove a negative.

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.

weapon_S
Member #7,859
October 2006
avatar

I like it how other people write in one sentence that for which I need a wall of text. I keep hoping my rantings give somebody some insight.

SiegeLord said:

Dunno if that helps, I spent like an hour crafting this terrible explanation

Yes, it does. Thank you. Especially the "key info".

Stas B. said:

not everybody fiercly holds on to irrational beliefs that have huge impact on their life

The actual impacts of religion on peoples life is quite small, if you ask me.

23yrold3yrold made a nice observation about (perhaps) being punished by the atheist community. All religions seem to do harm once a majority forms. Perhaps "Atheism" will do too. Spelled with a capital to signify these beliefs: there is no god; the development of mankind comes by a search for a more logical truth, governed by empiricism; people who believe in any deity or supernatural are to are large extent unwilling to do develop that way; those people live in a mental state that prevents them from reaching their full potential, and to a large extent thinking rationally(you can help them by converting them).
I wonder whether these Atheists are a majority. If this truly consists a religion, it would raise a lot more questions; the first being: do we/most of us need a religion? An other being: is this the 'religion'[1] that is taught at secular schools?
One of the core beliefs of Atheism, keeping your perspective flexible, is also one of the core beliefs of some forms of Buddhism.

Stas B. said:

Christians think that and you gave the impression of a Christian.

That certainly suggests some prejudice.

References

  1. A set of unquestionable beliefs(?)
Evert
Member #794
November 2000
avatar

weapon_S said:

For a farmer to overthink a unified field theory or a widow to wonder what has happened to their spouse; it is a futile effort. In the same way your understanding of how crops grow might end with cell division, photo-synthesis and basic plant anatomy, while a primitive[1] farmer's "hands on" knowledge makes him better at growing crops, even if at some point he believes God does something. The 'biological knowledge' is a way to understand crops that grow. Most people will not question the matter any further, and it would be unproductive if they did.

Yes. Which is irrelevant to what I said. That the question is not relevant to a certain group of people doesn't mean that the question doesn't exist, just that it's not relevant for them.

My take is that Jesus might actually have gotten quite a few things right, but then the Bible authors did a horrible job in writing it down.

Yup, I tend to think so too. I'm sure Jesus would be spinning in his grave if he hadn't risen from it. :P

That in itself makes no sense.

Don't ask me how people do it, but they do.

Quote:

If you are Christian, you believe in God but you can't believe in the Big Bang Theory as the creation of everything is accredited to God.

So?
You can say it makes no sense, it does not alter the fact that there are people who believe both these things. God created everything and the Big Bang is how he did it? Creative reading and a sufficient dose of metaphore allows you to at least read Genesis 1 as a re-telling of Big-Bang cosmology complete with baryogenesis, nucleosynthesis, recombination and re-ionisation.

Quote:

I think if there is a God, He doesn't give a sh!t about what we do or don't do.

I can never get past the enormous arrogance inherent in the idea that the being that created the entire universe, with the almost uncountable number of galaxies within them and the enormous number of stars in those galaxies and the planets around them, some fraction of which may well support life of which the Earth is only one with a population in excess of 7 billion people, that that creature gives a shit about what you ate for breakfast.

Quote:

The Bible and every religion is governed by what man says God commands.

Religion is very clearly a human construct, as should be obvious by the fact that religion correlates with the geographic distribution of cultures. That in itself says nothing about whether a god or gods may exist or not.

According to this study, people are punished for leaving Atheism. But, we knew that. Right?

Not exactly. In a sufficiently large group of people, there are punishments (either direct or indirect) for having a belief that differs from the dominant one. In other words, there are punishments for not "fitting in" with the rest of society. Of course religion is not the only variable that determines that (does tend to be something that people tend to be very passionate about though).

Derezo said:

A religion is a shared belief system, and Atheists do have one. It is vague, and decentralized, but it is what it is.

A religion is a bit more than that, but even so: atheists don't have a common shared set of beliefs. There is no "church of atheism", no "holy book of atheist do's and don'ts". In fact...

Quote:

Not all atheists believe there is no god, and not all atheists do not believe in god.

That tells you right there that there is no single shared belief among all atheists.

weapon_S said:

All religions seem to do harm once a majority forms.

Nah.
I agree, it sometimes seems that way. I think religion is actually irrelevant to any perceived harm that may come from it. Take religious conflict: I don't think it tends to be about religion at all. It's usually "group A" vs "group B" over land, money or prestige. Religion is just a convenient way to establish group identity, but "Ajax" and "Feyenoord" work just as well. ;)

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

I would say that the definition is correct, but highly subjective. What constitutes irrational? By what measure do we call evidence strong?

You're trying to dodge the issue by forcing me to define extremely broad and complicated concepts. Let's just define them in the context of this discussion. Selective application of Occam's razor leads to irrational beliefs. If you deny it, consider this:

I come back home and find out the door isn't locked. Possible explanations include:

A. I forgot to lock it
B. Government agents broke into my house while I was away

I pick B, even though all the concrete evidence I have is the door not being locked. (Note that this is not meant as a direct analogy to theism.) Is that a rational belief? Don't say that this is a bad example because B is "more ridiculous" than the option of god. "Ridiculous" is a subjective matter that involves lots of bias. This example demonstrates nothing more than the irrationality of failing to apply Occam's razor. If it's irrational in this case, it's logical to assume that it's irrational in any other case, unless you can prove otherwise.

If X exists, X should have scientifically measurable effects on reality. Absence of any measurable effects, while not an indisputable proof, is strong evidence against the existence of X. Such evidence is strong in the sense that it is logically valid and any unbiased person will accept it without hesitation.

If you deny this, it logically follows that there exists no strong evidence that I don't have a supernatural, invisible pink pony sitting on my head right now and that there is no valid reason to reject this possibility. This is absurd.

Theists hold an irrational belief since they refuse to apply Occam's razor when discussing the origin of the universe. There is strong evidence against their belief, yet they refuse to let it go. They are delusional.

Quote:

B I'm willing to take at face value as true because if it was irrational, 80% of the world wouldn't be a theist in some form or another.

That's a blatant logical fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum
Why couldn't 80% of the world be irrational about something?

Quote:

C is obviously false since if they didn't hold these beliefs, they wouldn't be theists

Very good, then you can't use it to disprove my assertion.

Quote:

and D is unprovable since you can't prove a negative.

Excuse me for the bad wording. I meant, prove that the provided evidence is either invalid or not strong. You can see the provided evidence right above, in bold letters, along with an explanation of why it's strong. All you need to do is to demonstrate why it's flawed.

As it stands now, I have provided evidence to back up my claim that theist are delusional and you have not provided valid counter-arguments.

gnolam
Member #2,030
March 2002
avatar

The point that I think escapes you is that these core beliefs of religions have already stood the test of time. They have already gone through rigorous scientific examination in the minds of the believers. So when somebody comes by and says "I have scientific proof that praying doesn't work," it's something that has already been heard before and already refuted.

"Scientific"? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

According to the Bible, there are specific things God is listed as unable to do (like deny himself, for example). Therefore, God's omnipotence is not a core belief of Christianity. It does seem to be a core belief of athiests about Christianity for some reason though. Maybe you could explain that first.

Each denomination of Christianity has its own interpretation of what is and what is not "according to the Bible", and quite a few of them believe in God's omnipotence.

--
Move to the Democratic People's Republic of Vivendi Universal (formerly known as Sweden) - officially democracy- and privacy-free since 2008-06-18!

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

gnolam said:

and quite a few of them believe in God's omnipotence.

Can you name one major denomination that believes God can do contradictory things against His nature (particularly under the concept of omnipotence)? Source pleases.

You are not allowed to provide your own definition of the word omnipotence or provide your own interpretation of some text (scripture).

I'll start you off with what Catholics believes about omnipotence:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11251c.htm

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

God can do pretty much anything we can imagine.

I checked a few of these with a text file I have of kjv12.zip.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
avatar

Those quotes are irrelevant to the discussion. I'm asking for applied theology, not your personal interpretation of what those verses mean. We're all intelligent here; let's not play stupid with out of context quotes.

Gnolam specifically said quite a few denominations "believe in God's omnipotence" as if it meant being able to do contradictory things (using Chris' definition, who is just using the definition that the atheists are keen to use). So he should be able to supply "quite a few" confessions of faith that define omnipotence as God being able to lie, square a circle, perform logical inconsistent tasks, and cause the Cubs to win a World Series.

Denominations are very open about what they believe ... after all, that's what makes them a denomination. So it should be trivial to find the ones that believe that those verses you quoted mean God can literally do any contradictory task. And maybe those denominations are out there. I don't know; I'm not the one making that claim.

A separate argument is that Christians abuse the term "omnipotence," but a linguistic error is nothing compared to a theological contradiction.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

I'm asking for applied theology, not your personal interpretation of what those verses mean. We're all intelligent here; let's not play stupid with out of context quotes.

I don't know any theologists, and I'd imagine that they disagree at least as much as economists. Why not take the words at face value? Otherwise you can twist them around to mean whatever you want, like so many do. Are the words not clear? Are you going to be like Bill Gates, who argued over the definition of words such as "compete", "concerned", "ask", and " we".

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

You're trying to dodge the issue by forcing me to define extremely broad and complicated concepts.

That the concept is extremely broad and complicated is the issue. It leaves enough leeway to basically declare an unfair discussion, which is why I'm not taking it seriously.

Quote:

That's a blatant logical fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum
Why couldn't 80% of the world be irrational about something?

Argumentum ad populum isn't about being rational, it's about being right. Clearly the majority can't be right in the pie chart because no one group holds anything close to a majority. Again, if you want to call 80% to 100% of the world delusional based on your own belief system, go nuts.

Quote:

I meant, prove that the provided evidence is either invalid or not strong. You can see the provided evidence right above, in bold letters, along with an explanation of why it's strong.

What evidence? You've said "strong evidence" about 50 times and all you've mentioned is the heavy rock bit, which got taken apart in half a second. Anything else you post will probably get similar treatment, since as mentioned, these arguments aren't exactly fresh, which is why I haven't bothered calling you on it.

Evert said:

Not exactly. In a sufficiently large group of people, there are punishments (either direct or indirect) for having a belief that differs from the dominant one. In other words, there are punishments for not "fitting in" with the rest of society. Of course religion is not the only variable that determines that (does tend to be something that people tend to be very passionate about though).

Essentially what I was saying, yes ...

--
Software Development == Church Development
Step 1. Build it.
Step 2. Pray.



Go to: