Jump to content

How Religion Hijacks Neurocortical Mechanisms, and Why So Many Believe in a Deity


iNow
 Share

Recommended Posts

iNow,

 

Listened to the Nicholas Wade interview.

 

Struck a lot of chords that I have been mulling over in the last several months.

 

Left the forum alone for a while, basically because of the view held by many here that religion is silly, untrue stuff, that gets in the way of human progress...

 

I think it is much, much more than that.

 

The interview with Dr. Wade (I assume he has a doctrate, he seems very learned) he points out the survival value of commonly held beliefs and rituals. This is not to be underrated, and non-believers, no matter what they think, have found commonly held beliefs and rituals to take the place of beliefs they know are scientifically unfounded.

 

No matter what, we are all faced with the same existential crisis. The resolutions to our existential questions, are usually not found by an individual. We look to others, for common understanding of our situation.

 

That we make stuff up, is, in my estimation, taken for granted. As long as we agree to act as if a certain thing is true, it becomes true, for us.

 

For instance, there is no physical border that runs from the great lakes to the Pacific, that separates Canada and the U.S.. Some fences some places, but not all. Birds ignore it, fish ignore it, ants and beavers have no way of knowing its there. Its humans that accept its reality. Canadians and U.S. citizens both.

 

Such it is with religion. The universe and reality are huge and longlived, beyond our comprehension. We can build a model, but none that do reality any kind of justice. And any god we construct can easily be disproved and outdone. Reality is just too immense to be contained in any one construct of human making.

 

So your and my vision of the God that can not be is not the God that people worship.

 

It is the "all of it" that people most likely are referring to. And the "all of it" is anything but dead. Anything but understandable, and anything but silly.

 

We as humans have the right to envision the purposes of our lives, anyway we agree on.

 

If Dawkins wishes to call the rituals and values that humans have developed unscientific, then perhaps he can suggest a replacement construct. I do believe there is some value however in that which we have, together, managed to construct.

 

I personally tend to a Humanistic viewpoint, but it has its limitations, and is somewhat brazen in its attitude. I do think that reality is somewhat more overpowering than an individual, or even a billion humans for a million years, can get the upper hand on.

 

We are of and in reality. It belongs to us, and us to it. I have no objections to somebody putting themselves in its hands. There is no way to do otherwise.

 

Regards, TAR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest,there are more unseen than d seeable.Modern religions had possed more problems to d world than xpected.Lets go back and form a quorum to withold d witheld from d modern religion leaders as they are the genesis to world problem

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listened to the Nicholas Wade interview.

 

Struck a lot of chords that I have been mulling over in the last several months.

 

Left the forum alone for a while, basically because of the view held by many here that religion is silly, untrue stuff, that gets in the way of human progress...

 

I think it is much, much more than that.

 

The interview with Dr. Wade (I assume he has a doctrate, he seems very learned) he points out the survival value of commonly held beliefs and rituals. This is not to be underrated, and non-believers, no matter what they think, have found commonly held beliefs and rituals to take the place of beliefs they know are scientifically unfounded.

Hi Tar,

 

It's nice to see you. I hope you and your family had a very happy and safe holiday season. As for the points above, the survival value offered by religion and common beliefs has been one of the central themes of this thread. In more ancient times, the common understandings and rituals brought by religion most certainly helped to assist in survival and led to greater cohesion of the pack. That cohesion was a strength when our packs and family units were relatively small.

 

However, in modern times, we really no longer need it, and these beliefs are (IMO) rather maladaptive and causing more harm than good. With the connectivity of information around the globe, our packs are no longer small little troops comprised of 10-12 individuals, but humanity as a whole. It is in modern times that these ancient practices are becoming harmful... Much like our predisposition for salt and fat... It helped us to survive in past environments, but is having detrimental effects in the present where the environment is vastly different.

 

Either way, the religion and belief in deities was also secondary to the traits actually being selected (such as listening to group elders, looking for mechanisms of cause, attachment to like minded individuals, etc.). That is also a core theme being addressed by this thread.

 

Now, the reason we "science types" tend to dismiss these beliefs is because there is not a lick of evidence in their favor. It's all based on little more than social custom, indoctrination, and faith. It is dismissed because it is unreasonable and irrational to hold such beliefs. Worse still, you would agree with me if we were talking about something like astrology, belief in Thor, or alien anal probe abductions, yet you expect an exception to be made for your particular set of beliefs. That's both illogical and inconsistent, and your beliefs really deserve no more respect or deference than do the beliefs of people who think the tooth fairy or unicorns are real. It's truly that simple. I mean no disrespect, only to put things in perspective for you and help you understand how people like myself tend to perceive the situation.

 

Please note very carefully though that the credibility and plausibility of the beliefs themselves is NOT the subject of this thread. The fact that I find people who hold these beliefs to be acting irrational and unreasonable is not what we are talking about here, and it is critical that you (and others) recall that fact.

 

This thread is about offering evolutionary explanations for why religion and beliefs in deities is so common among humans, and why such things have been so strongly selected. We can discuss that and do so without causing defensiveness in others. However, if you'd like to challenge my assertions above that these beliefs were helpful in our historical past, but maladaptive now, I ask that you please create a new thread to explore that alternate avenue. Thanks, and take care.

Edited by iNow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, the reason we "science types" tend to dismiss these beliefs is because there is not a lick of evidence in their favor.

 

Now, am I or am I not mistaken that you would reject as evidence a claim to have personally seen or been spoken to by God, as evidence for God? Especially, for example, if there were no other witnesses?

 

Am I, or am I not mistaken, that you would base such rejection on the fact that it does not comply to your premises of a repeatable, objective fact? Would you not demand that the interaction with a claimed God be repeatable and objective before it would count as evidence? Nevertheless, the God in the Bible is invisible and only shows himself when he wishes to whom he wishes, ie, inconsistent with your premises. You are asking them to reject their premises, and accept yours, and from there prove the existence of their God, at risk of you accusing them of being delusional, irrational, etc.

 

Can I assume that you would not reject your premises that the universe is repeatable, consistent, and objective, accept the existence of a God, and from there prove whatever it is you wish to prove to them?

 

Now, I am not saying that it is wrong to ask that people must accept and work from your premises in order to convince you of something, but when you berate them for failing, and meanwhile do not hold yourself to the same standard for convincing them, that is quite hypocritical and out of line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, am I or am I not mistaken that you would reject as evidence a claim to have personally seen or been spoken to by God, as evidence for God? Especially, for example, if there were no other witnesses?

 

Am I, or am I not mistaken, that you would base such rejection on the fact that it does not comply to your premises of a repeatable, objective fact? Would you not demand that the interaction with a claimed God be repeatable and objective before it would count as evidence? Nevertheless, the God in the Bible is invisible and only shows himself when he wishes to whom he wishes, ie, inconsistent with your premises. You are asking them to reject their premises, and accept yours, and from there prove the existence of their God, at risk of you accusing them of being delusional, irrational, etc.

 

Can I assume that you would not reject your premises that the universe is repeatable, consistent, and objective, accept the existence of a God, and from there prove whatever it is you wish to prove to them?

 

Now, I am not saying that it is wrong to ask that people must accept and work from your premises in order to convince you of something, but when you berate them for failing, and meanwhile do not hold yourself to the same standard for convincing them, that is quite hypocritical and out of line.

 

How would their claim be different than someone who claimed there was an invisible dragon in their garage, or that leprechauns get erections when they see purple unicorns?

 

Since you seem content to be an ignorant fool, then the least you can do is watch this:

 

 

CLsanX4ZMxQ

 

 

 

I will also at this point remind you how none of this has any relevance whatsoever to the discussion taking place, and how you are obviously doing nothing other than expressing your personal distaste with me. If you have an on-topic point to make, then please make it, but stop with the nonsense.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

REQUEST TO STAFF:

 

Please split posts #155 forward into their own thread. Maybe with a title: "Mr.Skeptics criticisms of iNow" or whatever. This hijacking of the original thread topic really needs to stop, and the number of posts which have already been made during such a short period of time suggest to me that that won't happen anytime soon.

Edited by iNow
Consecutive posts merged.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How would their claim be different than someone who claimed there was a dragon in their garage, or that leprechauns get erections when they see purple unicorns?

 

Strawman. I never said it was different than that, but if you must know it would indeed be different if said people claimed these were repeatable and objective observations.

 

Shall I take your strawmanning as to mean that you concede that I am right? Or will you, as you asked me to and I complied, be specific?

 

I will also at this point remind you how none of this has any relevance whatsoever to the discussion taking place, and how you are obviously doing nothing other than expressing your personal distaste with me. If you have an on-topic point to make, then please make it, but stop with the nonsense.

 

Its relevance is twofold:

1) That you are asking for special privilege in discussions involving religion, namely that the religious reject their premises in favor of your premises but that you need not do likewise

2) Attitude is always important to discussions; civility is after all part of our rules. Especially so for unfounded attitudes.

 

REQUEST TO STAFF:

 

Please split posts #155 forward into their own thread. Maybe with a title: "Mr.Skeptics criticisms of iNow" or whatever. This hijacking of the original thread topic really needs to stop, and the number of posts which have already been made during such a short period of time suggest to me that that won't happen anytime soon.

 

Not a bad idea. Could you also move iNow's hypocritical and offensive posts there too, so they don't distract and detract from the original thread?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strawman. <...> Shall I take your strawmanning as to mean that you concede that I am right? Or will you, as you asked me to and I complied, be specific?

It was not a strawman. It was a question to you. HUGE difference, Mr.Skeptic.

 

 

Its relevance is twofold:

1) That you are asking for special privilege in discussions involving religion, namely that the religious reject their premises in favor of your premises but that you need not do likewise

2) Attitude is always important to discussions; civility is after all part of our rules. Especially so for unfounded attitudes.

And despite that, you still have yet to quote anywhere in this thread which supports your claims, or shows me being uncivil.

 

I will ask you now for like the fourth time to use the quote feature and be specific where your problem resides.

 

 

Not a bad idea. Could you also move iNow's hypocritical and offensive posts there too, so they don't distract and detract from the original thread?

You have yet to cite anything specific in this thread, so your rant serves only as further evidence that you do not wish to contribute to the topic, but instead wish to attack me.

I repeat my request to the staff to split posts #155 and forward into their own thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and your self-righteous attitude scares people away.

 

I note that iNow has avoided answering this question. It is unfortunately true.

 

I would like to request that this thread have less self-righteousness, less self-important, less anger and insulting, and more reasonable discussion.

 

Or I'll have God smite you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I note that iNow has avoided answering this question. It is unfortunately true.

 

I would like to request that this thread have less self-righteousness, less self-important, less anger and insulting, and more reasonable discussion.

 

Or I'll have God smite you.

 

I would be glad to respond to any specific examples offered by Mr.Skeptic. However, despite more than 6 posts on this crusade of his, he has failed to offer a single one. Further, I would like to remind you how I have with every post in this thread about neocortical mechanisms leading to belief and our evolutionary predisposition toward religion completely avoided insult, self-righteousness, self-importance, and been incredibly reasonable. For you to suggest otherwise means that a) you are completely biased, or b) have not bothered reading the thread. Things were proceeding rather well as a discussion until Mr.Skeptic decided to come in and start throwing turds.

 

 

Please, staff. I again ask you to split this off-topic nonsense into it's own thread.

Edited by iNow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Further, I would like to remind you how I have with every post in this thread about neocortical mechanisms leading to belief and our evolutionary predisposition toward religion completely avoided insult, self-righteousness, self-importance, and been incredibly reasonable.

What about your other posts in this thread?

 

Since you seem content to be an ignorant fool, then the least you can do is watch this:
If you're not going to share a quote, or offer anything productive, then go away.
If you're content to keep throwing feces
Did you have a point, or were you just posting so you could lob a turd my way?
For you to suggest otherwise means that a) you are completely biased, or b) have not bothered reading the thread.

 

On the same note, however, Mr Skeptic has not been entirely helpful either. He is using some of the same tactics against you and is trying to make things personal, which only makes people angry and defensive.

 

I would much appreciate it if we could end this meta-argument ("you're not answering the question!" "you're not being specific!") and get on with a real discussion. One that does not involve personal grudges.

 

That goes for everyone involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right. None of those comments were thread specific. ALL of them were in response to Mr.Skeptic's off-topic personal attack; an attack where he has made abstract claims and failed to support them with any evidence whatsoever; an attack which has nothing to do with the thread topic... the thread where he chose to initiate his attack.

 

I will ask again... Please, split the off-topic posts into their own thread. If you are not going to do it, Cap'n, then please stop responding and let someone else on the staff take care of the required clean-up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comments were made that pertained to this subject. If either of you have a problem with the attitude used, you should report it. If you have a problem with any of the content, use your words to articulate a counter-argument. I know you can, all of you.

 

If we start arguing about "who did it first" and "who was worse" we will lose the valid points on either side to petty claims that will - very likely - end up in the trashcan anyways.

 

Here's a suggestion, guys: Instead of answering one another like we're in the second grade, resulting in multitudes of ad-hominem and personal attack "examples" on both sides, how about you stop arguing about the nitty-gritty silly stuff, get your attitudes together, stop pulling at each other's hair, and answer the points made.

 

I think that would be a great way to continue the discussion. Don't you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, let me be clear here: When moderators act in a thread, they do not do so on their own accord, they do so with the support and according to moderation rules the rest of the staff abide by.

 

That is, if daddy said no, mommy ain't gonna say yes, iNow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That said, the moderators are going to take a look at what just happened in the past 2 pages and make a decision of what to do with all the posts that have no points to them other than a comparison of whose panties are tighter.

 

iNow, Mr Skeptic has made some valid points you are in need of answering. Start with post #161, while the moderators ponder the fate of the other poop-tossing posts.

 

~moo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, NONE of this is relevant to the discussion we were having. As I have explicitly stated... on more than one occasion... this thread was not created (by me) to discuss the existence of god, the evidence for said existence, or how I feel about peoples beliefs in that deity.

 

But, since I'm always painted as the bad guy, I now have to respond... to all of those off topic points... which came after your random baseless attack which has no relevance to this thread... So, let me respond now to your irrelevant questions...

 

 

 

Now, am I or am I not mistaken that you would reject as evidence a claim to have personally seen or been spoken to by God, as evidence for God? Especially, for example, if there were no other witnesses?

Correct. That is not evidence, that is only personal experience. That can be explained via neurological mechanisms, perception, and anecdote. Anecdote is not valid evidence in support of ones claims... not in science, and not in a court of law.

 

Further, I would not accept that unicorns existed because someone says they have personally seen or spoken with them.

 

Further, I would not accept that leprechauns existed because people claim to have personally seen or spoken with them.

 

Further, I would not accept that Thor, Zeus, Apollo, Baal, Poseidon, or any of the other countless deities laying dead in the graveyard of human mythology existed just because someone claimed to have "seen or spoken" with them... and nor should you. There are too many flaws in human perception, and also in human honesty, for any persons claims regarding such extraordinary beings to be taken at face value.

 

For comparison, people used to think that heavier objects would fall to the ground faster than lighter ones. Their thinking this was not enough to make it true, and empiricism by Galileo showed that all objects fall to the ground at equal velocity, despite different weights (given no difference in air resistance). Human perceptions are flawed, so yes... I demand empiricism in support of claims. That's what we do in science.

 

If your claimed deities exist, then there must be objective, repeatable, empirical evidence supporting your claim, otherwise, it's trash.

 

However, I'll say again... This thread was not intended to discuss the existence of deities, and I've made that clear to all readers throughout.

 

 

 

Am I, or am I not mistaken, that you would base such rejection on the fact that it does not comply to your premises of a repeatable, objective fact?

That is not just my premise, but the premise of those who live in an objective reality, and who wish to understand nature for what it really is... not what we want it to be.

 

Again though... I was not asking anyone in this thread to prove their deity. I was not rejecting their beliefs for lack of proof, nor was I chastising anyone for an inability to support their belief in a repeatable objective way. I have been discussing why religion and belief are so prevalent, and the mechanisms which have evolved to make these beliefs so common.

 

 

 

Would you not demand that the interaction with a claimed God be repeatable and objective before it would count as evidence?

Yes, and on top of that, I'd also demand a clear and agreed upon definition of "god." Right now, it is little more than an ambiguously defined three letter word... Hardly subject to the types of tests which would satisfy a request for proof of existence. If you can offer a clear definition which is testable, then we can move forward... but your definition varies from pretty much every other person on this planet, so we cannot do any such thing.

 

Finally, even if you could put forth a clear and agreed upon definition... If the deity exists, then there must be objective, repeatable, empirical evidence confirming that existence.

 

However, I'll say again... This thread was not intended to discuss the existence of deities, and I've made that clear to all readers throughout.

 

 

Nevertheless, the God in the Bible is invisible and only shows himself when he wishes to whom he wishes,

So says you. This is little more than a hollow and vacuous assertion which you are using (and other believers like you use) to skirt the burden of proof when asked for evidence. You have no evidence that this god does any such thing, and your claim that it only "shows himself to whom he wishes" suffers from the exact same flaws as do your central claims of existence. In my estimation, it's little more than a rationalization to avoid having to support your belief.

 

Again though... I was not asking anyone in this thread to prove their deity. I was not rejecting their beliefs for lack of proof, nor was I chastising anyone for an inability to support their belief in a repeatable objective way. I have been discussing why religion and belief are so prevalent, and the mechanisms which have evolved to make these beliefs so common.

 

 

You are asking them to reject their premises, and accept yours, and from there prove the existence of their God, at risk of you accusing them of being delusional, irrational, etc.

No. I absolutely am not, and I've asked you at least six times already to use the quote feature to quote me in this thread where I have done any such thing. If you cannot quote where I have done this, then I am left to dismiss this as a misunderstanding, misrepresentation, or fantasy in your head.

 

 

Can I assume that you would not reject your premises

If I put forth premises which were demonstrated to be flawed or false, I would gladly reject them, and even thank the person who had brought the error to my attention. This has not happened, nor is it relevant to our discussion here in this thread.

 

I'll say again... This thread was not intended to discuss the existence of deities, and I've made that clear to all readers throughout.

 

 

Now, I am not saying that it is wrong to ask that people must accept and work from your premises in order to convince you of something, but when you berate them for failing, and meanwhile do not hold yourself to the same standard for convincing them, that is quite hypocritical and out of line.

I am still waiting for you to share even one single quote from this thread where I have "berated people for failing to convince me" or where I have been "out of line."

 

If you cannot support your claims, then I will request... yet again... that you stop making them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
iNow, Mr Skeptic has made some valid points you are in need of answering. Start with post #161, while the moderators ponder the fate of the other poop-tossing posts.

 

~moo

Done.

 

Now, will you please split posts #155 forward to their own thread, as they have zero relevance to the topic under discussion and are little more than baseless childish rants about me and my style?

Edited by iNow
Consecutive posts merged.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

iNow,

 

I really didn't think I was too far off topic. After all, we all have neurocortical mechanisms that predepose us to relegious beliefs. Whether an atheist as you and me are, or a reglious zealate, a human has these mechanisms. That they can vary widely in their content, is obviously evident from the wide and varied nature of religious beliefs around the world and for that matter, throughout our history. Rather odd to think that one person has been able to hone in exactly on the right set of beliefs and everybody else has missed the mark.

 

So what is it, in general that our neurocortical mechanisms are pointing us toward?

 

Truth? Objective Reality? Belonging? Being and reality greater than our individual selves?

 

That atheists and scientists in general, hold great value and assess great importance in objective truth, suggests to me, that the same set of neurocortical mechanisms is being hijacked for this belief, as is being employed in the belief in God.

 

One cannot imagine the universe, without taking a "God's eye" view. Unconstrained by the speed of light, which would cause each piece of the universe to arrive at a subjective viewer at a different time.

 

Our brains allow us to imagine this unrealistic god like view.

 

Is this mechanism not valuable?

 

And then the question becomes, to me, from a scientific point of view, why some people, yourself (iNow) included, hold such value in objective truth, but decry any suggestion that there is an objective reality greater than a human's individual ability to concieve of it.

 

In other words, it seems to me that people are very solid in their impression, that they get it, and everybody else does not quite see it correctly. This predisposition is somehow tied up in the neurocortical mechanisms that we are talking about. I think it crucial that we give the others neurocortical mechanisms some respect. After all, they are most likely of a very similar nature to our own, and the beliefs we all hold are probably due to a very similar set of happenings in very similar physical structures within our very similar brains. This, put together with the history of thought, and philosophy and actual happenings in the world, that we all share rather closely, given the advances in communication in the last 100 years, tie us all together like we never have been before.

 

So, my current suggestion is that atheists and religious people, are both still people, with the same predispositions. And as clearly as some residue from inappropriate and ignorant thinking is detrimental to world peace and prosperity, a large amount of the feeling of a "common good" come from the actions of the same set of neurocortical mechanisms, and can not be discounted, willy nilly.

 

A great deal of the sharing and caring that goes on in this world, is done by religious groups. The common neurocortical mechanisms, being harnessed by mutual consent for the good of all. Nothing different from what a group of Humanists would do.

 

The language used, for God, for Nature, for the Earth, for Humanity, for life, for truth, makes little difference in the end. Same neurocortical mechanisms are being engaged.

 

That is my take.

 

Regards, TAR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, will you please split posts #155 forward to their own thread, as they have zero relevance to the topic under discussion and are little more than baseless childish rants about me and my style?

As I said, we are going to sift through them to pluck out the actual claims made in between the mutual insults and genital measurements.

You're a big boy, you can ignore them for now and answer the points that are valid.

 

And from now on, people, use the report button when you think a post is problematic instead of responding to them in kind, so we won't have to face such problems in the future.

 

Remember the golden rule: When you respond to a problem-post, consider if your response is advancing the debate or if it is just creating a bigger problem.

 

 

~moo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I pretty much agree with all that you've said there, TAR. I'm not as interested in the poetic and metaphysical side of things, but I absolutely agree that we all share these same mechanisms and just express them differently.

 

A larger point I was addressing here is how we humans had very specific problems to overcome in our evolutionary past, and that many of the mechanisms which got selected to do so led us to our predisposition of belief and religious practice.

 

The ability to look for cause... the tendency to listen to our elders... the desire to have clear explanations for what we saw... the strength which came from shared understandings in packs... the ability to pass on stories with deeper meanings to future generations and neighboring tribes... the ability to teach skills and convey social lessons... and the ability to understand those lessons...

 

Those were all things which got selected. Those who were good at those things tended to out survive and out reproduce those who were not good at those things. Interestingly though, when taken together, it was really all of those things which led us to our predilections for belief and religious practice. That's the point I find most interesting, and the point I was looking to explore when creating this thread.

 

That said, though, I don't disagree with what you've said, and I give you credit for being so much more closely tied to the poetry and metaphysical aspects of our existence. I'm sorry that those things are less appealing to me than the physical and repeatable, nor do I care a whole lot about subjective value propositions. Maybe that's a flaw in my being and character... I really don't know, that's just how I am.

 

Take care.

Edited by iNow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

iNow,

 

Thanks.

 

I said my peice. I'll let the thread get back to the hard reality.

 

Regards, TAR


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

P.S.

 

Hope you and yours had a nice holiday season, and will enjoy a good New Year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tar - Just because I'm personally less interested in something doesn't mean that everyone is. If you have something to contribute which you think might be enjoyable to readers, then please don't let me stop you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

iNow,

 

On the contrary, I respect your approach, and have too often taken this enjoyable and informative thread off topic. My muses are not the kind of investigation you are interested in, and I do think we are sufficiently of like mind, that I need not argue my points with you.

 

Regards, TAR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PS. You might want to read the bottom first.

 

Yes...

...

If your claimed deities exist, then there must be objective, repeatable, empirical evidence supporting your claim, otherwise, it's trash.

 

Really, my questions in post 161 were simple yes or no questions. For the record, I too start from the premises that the universe is observable, consistent, repeatable, and objective, and I too would reject as evidence anything that did not fit these. These are the things that make us scientists.

 

The point I was making is that you are demanding that they reject their premises and accept yours, if they are to provide evidence, but you will not reject your premises unless they disprove them first. Of course, you haven't disproved their premises (eg that there may be a subjective thing), so I think my claim of a double standard applies.

 

However, I'll say again... This thread was not intended to discuss the existence of deities, and I've made that clear to all readers throughout.

 

Agreed. I also am not talking about the existence of deities, but of premises held by scientists and religious people, and of attitudes toward religious people.

 

So says you. This is little more than a hollow and vacuous assertion which you are using (and other believers like you use) to skirt the burden of proof when asked for evidence. You have no evidence that this god does any such thing, and your claim that it only "shows himself to whom he wishes" suffers from the exact same flaws as do your central claims of existence. In my estimation, it's little more than a rationalization to avoid having to support your belief.

 

I don't believe in any gods, but from what I read of the Bible, the god described therein is indeed invisible, and occasionally manifests himself at a time of his choosing to a person of his choice... ie, belief in this god implies that there is at least one thing in the universe that is not observable directly, not observable objectively, not observable consistently nor repeatedly. In other words, this god as described will, should he exists, result in the scientific method claiming he does not exist.

 

If I put forth premises which were demonstrated to be flawed or false, I would gladly reject them, and even thank the person who had brought the error to my attention. This has not happened, nor is it relevant to our discussion here in this thread.

 

I have never said that your premises are flawed. I have just said that you are being hypocritical, holding religious people to a higher standard than yourself. For the record, I too hold the premises you do.

 

Now, in the previous bit I quoted from you, you say that the premise of a god that is not properly observable (repeatably, objectively, consistently) is an excuse to skirt the burden of proof when asked for evidence. And in this bit, you say you would gladly reject your premises if they were demonstrated to be false. As I said, there is nothing wrong with this, as we are scientists. But, the bit of hypocrisy is that you are demanding they play by your rules but you will not play by theirs.

 

Now, we have two sides making opposite claims, neither side can prove their premises to the other. To disprove objectivity, one would have to show a subjective occurrence, which you (and I, and every other scientist) would reject as not objective therefore invalid. To prove everything is objective you would have to show, in addition to everything else, that the god I described either does not exist, or is in fact objectively observable -- which anyone holding the other premise would reject.

 

Anyhow, premises are not meant to be proven. They are simply accepted ... but if different people accept different premises, they need to take that into account if they want to convince each other of anything.

 

Again though... I was not asking anyone in this thread to prove their deity. I was not rejecting their beliefs for lack of proof, nor was I chastising anyone for an inability to support their belief in a repeatable objective way.

 

I am still waiting for you to share even one single quote from this thread where I have "berated people for failing to convince me" or where I have been "out of line."

 

Well, I'll see what I can find... sticking to this thread only, of course. First, let me say that you did admirably well in the beginning of this thread, in most of it really, in keeping offensive opinions (which of course are also claims) to yourself.

 

Some of these are quoted due to being slightly offensive, some so you don't accuse me of playing "gotcha" with your answers to post 161 (ie, showing that you do in fact require evidence to conform to your premises, reject religious people's conclusions, and seem unlikely to temporarily reject your premises and accept theirs).

 

I've just heard from believers that same tripe about "god exists outside of time and space" rubbish far too many times, and I've become a bit hypervigilant to such arguments, to the point of sometimes landing on false positives.

 

Challenge or dispute anything you want, but let's please use facts and established lines of evidence. I don't find this "I believe in my heart" and "this is how I feel" crap to be all too compelling, especially in the face of the robust evidence I've shared in support of my own position. ;)

 

Souls and peoples feelings are hogwash.

 

Now, the reason we "science types" tend to dismiss these beliefs is because there is not a lick of evidence in their favor. It's all based on little more than social custom, indoctrination, and faith. It is dismissed because it is unreasonable and irrational to hold such beliefs.

 

Upon reviewing the thread, I also conclude that I look like a big fat jerk, and in particular I mis-remembered berating of religious people in this thread. I know you have berated religious people in other threads, but that is no excuse to drag that here.

 

Anyhow, tar mentioned that he "Left the forum alone for a while, basically because of the view held by many here that religion is silly, untrue stuff, that gets in the way of human progress..." which I stupidly assumed meant both you and in this thread, and you followed it up with the last quote here, to which I responded both off topic and more aggressively than warranted.

 

Anyhow, I'll agree with iNow that this is off-topic, and apologize for causing a mess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.