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Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Even without science, the supernatural is still out way before Occam's razor comes in, because there isn't even a decent definition of "supernatural"

We were referring to a pretty specific class of things and used "supernatural" for the sake of convenience.

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You need Occam's Razor to decide between two competing hypotheses, neither of which can be directly proven wrong.

Exactly. "God" is a competing hypothesis for the origin of the universe that can't be proven wrong in its general form. To avoid the fallacy of special pleading, you can't reject it automatically on the basis that it's unscientific on the one hand, but you can't choose not to apply Occam's razor on the other hand. If you do so anyway, you act irrationally. That's the point I'm trying to make.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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Stas B. said:

You made a logical fallacy and now you're just talking pure crap. You fail to address any of the actual points I made, specifically that:- It is entirely possible that 80% of the population shares an irrational belief.

I didn't say it was impossible. I said it was unlikely, and sounds more like an excuse than anything.

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- Failing to apply Occam's razor leads to beliefs that can only be classified as irrational.

They can and they can't. Going with your example, I actually have come home to an unlocked door because people broke into my apartment.

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- Theists fail to apply Occam's razor when dealing with the question of the origin of the universe.

Again, I don't know every theist. You also mention much later that you can't apply Ocam's Razor here, so I don't know why you keep trying to ...

gnolam said:

I don't think anyone disputes that there's plenty of evidence for the existence of religion. ;)

We seem to be reading different threads ...

Quote:

As for "evidence of $religion having a basis in fact", then... no, not really.

This is up for debate, but it's a different debate. I'm saying that evidence exists, accept it or not, and some people do. That they accept evidence Stas doesn't like doesn't make them irrational.

SiegeLord said:

If you used this ridiculous "lack of evidence is not evidence" statement in the scientific world you'd be laughed at.

And if I were doing formal science in a lab setting I wouldn't use it, either.

Quote:

People make judgments from limited evidence all the time

Of course they do. I'm not following what that has to do with a lack of evidence being evidence for something. For all you wrote, I'm basically in agreement ...

Evert said:

How does one "practice atheism"?

How does one practice any religion? Adhere to its tenants.

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

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

How does one practice any religion? Adhere to its tenants.

That assertion has no bounds. I don't believe there's a teapot orbiting Saturn, I don't believe there's a monster under my bed, I don't believe there's a CIA microphone in my house...

“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

That assertion has no bounds.

And the fact it has no bounds is going to impact your behavior, is it not?

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

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

I couldn't possibly adhere to all those tenants, even if I did nothing else all day.

“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

I couldn't possibly adhere to all those tenants, even if I did nothing else all day.

Doing nothing all day would actually be a good way to adhere ...

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

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

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Give it up.

“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
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You're done trolling?

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

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

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“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

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

I didn't say it was impossible. I said it was unlikely, and sounds more like an excuse than anything.

If you can't disprove my claim, it still stands. It doesn't matter what seems likely to you.

Quote:

They can and they can't. Going with your example, I actually have come home to an unlocked door because people broke into my apartment.

You can't just assert that. I based this point on a logical premise. You must prove it to be flawed.

Quote:

Again, I don't know every theist.

You don't need to know every theist to see the logical contradiction in the idea of a theist that applies Occam's razor to the question of origin of the universe (which leads to the rejection of the god hypothesis) and remains a theist.

Quote:

This is up for debate, but it's a different debate. I'm saying that evidence exists, accept it or not, and some people do. That they accept evidence Stas doesn't like doesn't make them irrational.

It's not up for debate. Evidence exists but it's unscientific. They accept it because they are all, without exception, extremely biased to do so. Atheists don't accept it even though they are not all biased in such extreme levels.

Quote:

How does one practice any religion? Adhere to its tenants.

There are no authorities to adhere to.

In any case, you are incapable of having an intelligent discussion and I'm getting really tired of it. Don't bother making any more posts in my address if you're not going to discuss directly the logical premises upon which my points are based. I will simply ignore you. :-/

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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Stas B. said:

If you can't disprove my claim, it still stands. It doesn't matter what seems likely to you.

I'll allow that's it's possible but improbable if you like ...

Quote:

You can't just assert that.

... of course I can. It was my apartment. In this case it wasn't flawed, it was wrong.

Quote:

You don't need to know every theist to see the logical contradiction in the idea of a theist that applies Occam's razor to the question of origin of the universe (which leads to the rejection of the god hypothesis) and remains a theist.

I guess I just can't stretch myself to make that kind of generalization. People think something different than me, they must have their reasons. For someone complaining that he thought I was telling him what he thought earlier in the thread, I assert that I'm not real big on that. There has been a lot of educated discussions on all forms of religion and its validity by people far more educated than you or I. For me to dismiss it out of hand seems, well, arrogant. I don not have enough information to make that kind of determination.

Quote:

It's not up for debate. Evidence exists but it's unscientific.

I didn't dispute this either. Not all evidence or valid modes of inquiry are scientific, though. I have a lot of respect for science but it's a tool like any other.

Quote:

There are no authorities to adhere to.

Does a religion require authorities?

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

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

Evert said:

How does one "practice atheism"?

By ridiculing everything that any religious texts ever said about anything related to explaining the outer world. By totally denying that being religious can be anything else than having a mythical viewpoint on how the world was created and believing that science is wrong on this point. By believing that one can achieve happiness or one can be a better person (or achieve any goal similar to what religious people aim for[1]) by accepting the truth that science has revealed. It's the "knowing the truth leads to happiness" thing, no matter whether you are practicing theism or atheism.

Yes, that was totally black & white. As it has been said before, most atheists probably don't practice atheism.

References

  1. Well, not the after-death stuff

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Years of thorough research have revealed that the red "x" that closes a window, really isn't red, but white on red background.

Years of thorough research have revealed that what people find beautiful about the Mandelbrot set is not the set itself, but all the rest.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

I'll allow that's it's possible but improbable if you like ...

Okaaaaay. Dude, look, we could keep this up all day. This type of arguing is simply fruitless. If I make a claim, I base it on a logical premise that can be demonstrated to be either true or false. If you want to dispute that claim, you must not simply assert that it's wrong. You must demonstrate the falsity of the relevant logical premise using your own logical premise. I, in turn, may attempt to disprove your counter-argument in the same manner. We must keep doing that untill we reach an agreement and move on to some other claim made by either one of us. That's how civilized discussion works. Do you understand? You're just not doing that and I'm tired of asking you to. :-/

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
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Stas B. said:

If I make a claim, I base it on a logical premise that can be demonstrated to be either true or false.

You claimed that something is possible. I agreed, on the basis that anything is possible, though I don't think it's probable. Maybe I'm just not cut out for formal debate (this is NOT "civilized discussion" unless you're incredibly anal) ... am I not playing your game correctly?

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

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
avatar

Evert said:

How does one "practice atheism"?

You keep trying until you get it right.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Maybe I'm just not cut out for formal debate (this is NOT "civilized discussion" unless you're incredibly anal)

You're right. That is formal debate rather than civilized discussion. Do you want to have a formal debate? Civilized discussion does not appear to work in our case.

23yrold3yrold
Member #1,134
March 2001
avatar

Stas B. said:

Do you want to have a formal debate?

I could think of nothing more utterly pointless.

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

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

OK, if it's pointless, drop it.

“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

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

I could think of nothing more utterly pointless.

Great, then we have no reason to continue talking to eachother.

Elias
Member #358
May 2000

By believing that one can achieve happiness or one can be a better person (or achieve any goal similar to what religious people aim for[1]) by accepting the truth that science has revealed.

I don't think for atheists it has anything to do with happiness. However on the other side if someone can only achieve happiness by building a phantasy world and believing in lies - that sounds troublesome to me.

--
"Either help out or stop whining" - Evert

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Elias said:

I don't think for atheists it has anything to do with happiness.

Pascal's Wager supposedly doesn't have any drawbacks to believing in ghod, but OTOH, you're constantly worried about breaking some obscure rule or other that'll keep you from heaven instead of enjoying life now, which is all we really have.

“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

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Pascal's Wager supposedly doesn't have any drawbacks to believing in ghod, but OTOH, you're constantly worried about breaking some obscure rule or other that'll keep you from heaven instead of enjoying life now, which is all we really have.

The problem with Pascal's Wager is that it doesn't take into account the large number of other gods who have different rules and might get mad at you, so you're not really on the safe side by wagering on any particular god. I really think he was just being a smartass when he proposed it. ::)

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
avatar

Elias said:

However on the other side if someone can only achieve happiness by building a phantasy world and believing in lies - that sounds troublesome to me.

Synthetic happiness is more betterer than real happiness anyway.

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Burn one for me!

“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

Stas B. said:

If I make a claim, I base it on a logical premise that can be demonstrated to be either true or false. If you want to dispute that claim, you must not simply assert that it's wrong. You must demonstrate the falsity of the relevant logical premise using your own logical premise.

It seems like what you really do is make simple logical statements that are either a) so basic that nobody would actually disagree with what they say at surface value or b) based on some opinion that is impossible to verify. Then you inject your own meaning and jump to a wild conclusion (e.g., all religious people are insane).

When asked to defend your conclusions, you just rant about how illogical people are and dare them to poke holes at your logic. You don't allow people to reject your conclusions, because after all, you based them on logic.

For example, "Failing to apply Occam's razor leads to beliefs that can only be classified as irrational."

Perhaps true. I surely cannot conclusively reject it, especially because you can supply definitions to suit yourself, yet keeping your conclusions intact.

In retrospect, people have looked back at data and realized that by applying Occam's razor, they went down the wrong path. So I guess those people were rational at the time but at the expense of being right. Had those people went down the more complex path, they would have been irrational (per your logic and terminology), yet correct.

Now that we agree that it is irrational using a very mild meaning of the word, you want to then in your conclusions use a very strong meaning of the word. So let's say the concept god is irrational. So what? That doesn't imply that religion must be dismissed. I think love is irrational. That doesn't mean I think everybody who says they are in love should be sent to the loony bin.

And I wouldn't grant you: "Theists fail to apply Occam's razor when dealing with the question of the origin of the universe."

They do apply it. Perhaps you disagree with their interpretation (you definitely do), but then you would have to prove that you are right. But in the context of this discussion, we're essentially back where we started in a circular fashion.

I don't expect you to accept my rejection of your claims. I'm not trying to be thorough, as I do not care enough to be. My greater point is simply that you present these claims with hardly any proof, but yet demand they be disqualified only by the surest of axioms. With such rules, there's really no way you would ever have to admit being wrong even if you are entirely incorrect.



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