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  •  "equally plausible". (13+ / 0-)


    except here is the problem: there are an infinite number of God concepts, of which the average person of faith believes in exactly one, despite having absolutely no plausible excuse for preferring one over another. i could invent a new one every day, and if you dared to dismiss any one of them, i could level back at you your own arguments from "plausibility".

    whereas, the average person without faith, having no plausible excuse for preferring the MSF over the FSM, draws the obvious conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that either holds any truth -- they are not equally plausible, rather, they are equally, infinitely implausible. in other words, contrary to your assertion, atheism is the only "plausible" cosmological view, exactly because there is one, and only one, atheism.

    and for heavens sake, spare us the empty, "yeah, but science doesn't explain the origin of the universe" argument. faith doesn't explain the origin of whatever it was that was the origin of whatever it was that was the origin of the ... etc. etc. ... origin of the universe. that "argument" is a non-starter.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:49:48 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  predictable response--practically word for word. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the hyper-rationalists are always a fun bunch, indeed.

      I don't believe I said that faith explains the origin of anything.

      Although some faith is, of course, required to live.  Not religious faith necessarily--but faith that your reality exists the way you perceive it.  What do you have to go on but your own experience?  Zilch.

      The fact that faith is so impossibly pervasive in our lives but that you choose to deride the sheer concept of faith at every turn reflects a pretty substantial disconnect.

      (also, your idea that you need one specific God concept is ridiculous, but whatever)

      •  You've flung more insults here.... (7+ / 0-)

        ....than everyone else put together. I take it as a sign of hope, that somewhere in your mind you do realize how shaky your assertions are.

        And if you assume "something" is there, you then have to account for why it is there and what put it there, and why you stubbornly assume it has some sort of consciousness and cares about human beings.

        A deity of any sort would be an enormously complex entity, and a completely unnecessary one. Now, who was it who said "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity"? I find it deliciously ironic that Occam's Razor seems to be cutting the throat of Occam's god.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:59:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's an insult? ok--whatever. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti

          you can't take the term 'hyper-rationalist'?  

          or that I said that a notion is ridiculous?

          It is.

          I think you're the one who's a bit shaky with your foundations--

          considering my very foundation IS the fact that we cannot be sure.

        •  Please. Benvero is not being insulting (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti, mahakali overdrive

          And certainly not more than everyone else put together.

          And if you assume "something" is there, you then have to account for why it is there and what put it there, and why you stubbornly assume it has some sort of consciousness and cares about human beings.
          Why? Why does uttering or writing the statement "there may be 'gods' somewhere in the cosmos" compel me to explain who or what gave birth to these gods? If am I not also compelled to explain what they eat for Sunday brunch or their golf handicap?

          And why does a god have to be interested in humanity in order for it to be a god?

          That a god would be self-conscious is, one would think, a pre-req for being a god. But heck, maybe that's just a logical flaw in and of itself.

          (Since when did Occam post here on in this discussion thread?)

          •  thanks. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, mahakali overdrive

            this diary is depressing me....  why is it that I can have a serious discussion about theism vs. atheism w/all of my friends but people here go haywire?

            Atheists saying how one HAS to think drive me crazy...

            And for the record, I certainly DON'T believe that Alexander's story is 'proof of heaven'....

            •  because it's the internet. n/t (4+ / 0-)

              "I have more than two prablems" - The Coach Z

              by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:43:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hrm, some context from my life (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, 84thProblem, corvo, AaronInSanDiego

              Well, let's put this into context of the larger culture.

              At least once a week, during the months of January through mid-November, I get about two or three different articles a week, probably more if I count my social-media dash, claiming that I as an atheist am closed-minded, lacking in emotion, lacking in negative events in my life, intolerant of religion, and incivil in my multi-faith community.

              During the months of November and December when everyone and their uncles decide to criticize my participation in family observance of Thanksgiving and Christmas, that jacks up to once a day. Post-Huckabee it seems to be particularly intense.

              These stereotypes are obstacles to the kind of interfaith work I do as an atheist. It's harder to talk about my (very) emotional or spiritual life when people are implying I don't have one or to build mutual trust when people are implying I'm hostile to their views.

              When you drop a phrase like "hyper-rationalism," what I see is a phrase that's a two-fold problem. First, you're using an intensifier that raises a reasonable critique to the level of pejorative hyperbole. Second, you're echoing stereotypes that are used to justify mistrust and exclusion of people like me from interfaith conversations.

              And while I'm not a fan of New Atheist arguments about god, I don't think the use of that kind of intensifier is fair to the arguments they've made. I'm also not terribly interested in playing the game of good-atheist/bad-atheist where hyperbolic derision is used against some atheists. I'm not especially fond of the use of "fundamentalist" as an insult either.  

              •  it's not hyperbole. (0+ / 0-)

                I'm fine with atheism.  But there are some who take their version of logic and reason to extremes and discount--derisively--everything they can't prove out of hand.  I think it's detrimental to any sort of discourse.

                •  I could say... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  "wait a minute.  This is an extremely narrow view based on a subset of wacky atheist nuts. (Likely not ones participating in this discussion.)"

                  I wouldn't because I really dislike the equivocation of mental illness with philosophical disagreement.

                  •  the 'nuts'/mental illness game is pretty weak. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm sure there are better cards to play that don't involve ridiculous contortions of intent.  Can we not say 'wacky' now?  Moron is certainly out of the question.

                •  what "they" discount -- derisively -- is (0+ / 0-)

                  "everything that" [you wishfully believe in, but you] "can't prove" [at all, ever]. diminishing your epistemological dilemma with the throwaway qualifier "out of hand" reveals that your contempt for those who do not succumb to fantasy is at least as intense as their contempt for those who do.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:27:37 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  learn to distinguish between spirituality and (0+ / 0-)

                    'succumbing to fantasy' and perhaps we can have a discussion.

                    I have seen nothing from you that indicates your ability to make this distinction.

                    My contempt is towards people who close their minds completely from the realm of possibility.  Not those who don't happen to believe in things.  

                    •  So you are open to the "possibility" that (0+ / 0-)

                      there is an FSM? That Zeus et al live up on Olympus and idle away their days in jealous squabbling and meddling in the lives of humans for sport? That it is turtles all the way down? That the more 10-fold dilutions you perform on a homeopathic remedy, the more potent it becomes?

                      Because I'm not open to any of those possibilities, and I don't think that makes me close-minded, I think it makes me sensible.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 08:28:31 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  no, dude..and you demonstrate impeccably the (0+ / 0-)

                        fallacy of people like Dawkins and others.

                        •  no, sir, i don't. (0+ / 0-)

                          or more to the point, said non-existent fallacy is itself simply another of your irrational delusions -- and, given your self-stated hostility to the "rational", i don't suppose you'll take any offense at that characterization.

                          you don't even see the arbitrary lines you're drawing through the space of idle imaginings -- you scarcely fathom that these lines exist. indeed, you deliberately cast them as great blurry smears across an itself-smeared vista of abstractions, in order to persuade yourself that there is some sort of qualitative distinction to be made between your vague and ill-defined conception of "the spiritual" and the rather more concrete illusions of ordinary mythologies. fantasy piled on delusion piled on desperation, all in the name of "open-mindedness".


                          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:57:17 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  complete mischaracterization. (0+ / 0-)

                            Read some Bradbury.  He beautifully articulates the point in one of the chapters in The Martian Chronicles...the one about 'Spender'.

                            Anwyay, Dawkins obvious fallacy is in his reduction of what are often broad, vague and ill-defined concepts into x or y specific entity.  Yes, you can refute an artibrarily defined monster--but it's harder to counter a vague concept of guidance--which is how many people envision a 'Creator' or "god' or whatever.

                            You fall into the exact same trip by assuming that a willingness to consider things beyond the purview of strict scientific enquiry 'irrational delusions'.

                          •  if you make the concept vague enough, it (0+ / 0-)

                            is impossible to counter, because it doesn't actually mean anything. that's not sophistication, that's epistemological sleight-of-hand.

                            the problem for you -- and it is for you, not for those of us trapped out here in the world of the sensible -- is this: you cannot draw coherent lines around what ought to lie within one's consideration, and what ought not. it irritates you because i throw concepts like "Zeus" at you -- "No, of course I don't take Zeus seriously," --- but you cannot offer any sort of criteria for what I should treat with some sort of intellectual respect, other than the criteria you have implicitly offered: It must be so vague and ephemeral that it is not subject to sensible consideration.

                            So you get together with your friends and smoke a little weed and get very deep and thoughtful about "a vague concept of guidance", as if something so fuzzy and misty and foggy could possibly have any meaning. And then someone in the room mentions that he sees ghosts, and everyone nods credulously and the very deep and thoughtful conversation turns to a consideration of exactly how such ghosts manifest themselves, how they come to emerge from the ether as agents of the guiding force, and yak yak yak, and hilariously you think you are all being "open-minded", when in fact you are all being ridiculous.

                            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:39:56 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  if the problem is with me, why are you so angry?nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  you can have a serious discussion with all of your (0+ / 0-)

              friends because they're too polite to tell you that they think your belief in Zeus is ludicrous.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:21:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  you're not even an atheist. you're just a troll.nt (0+ / 0-)
                •  if there is one thing that i am not, ever, (0+ / 0-)

                  it is a troll.

                  i never say anything merely to provoke.

                  my comment there seems trollish to you because of its dismissive conflation of whatever-it-is-you-think-you-believe with the silly superstitions and mythologies of ancient greece. yet, to those of us outside the compass of comfortable "spirituality", those silly superstitions carry exactly as much intellectual force and sophistication as whatever-it-is-you-think-you-believe; and yes, we are compelled by affection and social convention to nod agreeably in the company of those who believe their bellies are warm with the physical blood of christ, or that an elephant-headed god smiles benevolently upon them, or that their long-dead sibling speaks to them in their dreams, or that they've just felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if a million souls all cried out at once, or that their cat really, really understands them, or that their own old soul once lived the life of a bavarian countess (how come nobody ever recalls a past life as a miserable peasant living in squalid horror, given that 98% of all human lives lived prior to 1800 were lives of miserable peasantry), or that blah blah blah de fucking blah blah blah.

                  in fact, as it happens, most of "us" are so accustomed to nodding agreeably that it takes a bit of a come-to-jesus epiphany to realize just how bizarre it is that as a group we treat modern superstition with so much social deference. but then, as a group it is only quite recently that we could confess our unfaith in polite, sophisticated company without inviting scandal and ostracism.

                  To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                  by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:26:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no--my comment was in response to your personal (0+ / 0-)


                    I can't get through to you--maybe you'll understand this reasoning down the road.  Maybe not.  Believe it or not--i DO understand your reference frames here--but you consistently describe religion--as does Dawkins--as a finite collection of individual, and false, mythologies--each of which can be summarily discounted as being made up by a single person or group of people.

                    I counter that this is only ONE aspect of religion and belief--not applicable to everybody--and has been used to develop a caricature of religion based in part on the co-opting of these religions by fundamentalists (many of whom do not actually even believe).  In other manifestations, religion is often a passive rather than active embrace of an undefined broader entity--not necessarily interventionist, not necessarily benevolent.  There is nothing inherently insane, or stupid, or foolish about this.  WE as humans are not THAT bright.  We do not know all THAT much.  We occupy an infinitesimally small space in an infintesmially small span of time, by universe standards.

                    This is what what I'm calling 'spirituality' touches on.  Ther eis nothing inherently mock-able about it--although i find a lot of atheists are happy to mock it anyway.

                    As for me, I'm not religious--I don't believe the bible, or in an interventionst God, or any of that stuff.  But I don't reject possibilty out of hand because I haven't experienced it--or make fun of people who have.

                    •  "Maybe you'll understand this reasoning down the (0+ / 0-)


                      Your condescension is heart-warming.

                      I hate to break it to you, but I have "understood" your "reasoning" inside and out, long ago and many times over.

                      What you are calling "spirituality" emerges exactly from what I have identified as "desperation": a compelling desire for there to be something to bail one out of one's existential dilemma, when one is too sophisticated to fall for ordinary superstition and mythology. Your "undefined broader entity" is exactly as arbitrary, individual, and implausible as any of the more concretely defined particular entities to be found in formalized mythologies. Just as I could invent a new concrete mythology every day, I could invent a new "undefined broader entity" every day ... or perhaps, only every month, since the inherent abstraction makes it more difficult to come up with definitive distinctions in quality from one invention to the next. Each such UBE would be exactly as implausible as every other such one, whether of my invention or of yours.

                      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:51:00 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  It's predictable because it's correct. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wayoutinthestix, 84thProblem


        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:14:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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