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O'Reilley pwns Atheism


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Yes. But the people who do not believe in the existence of those things do not go around raising billboards and preaching about the easily manipulated Christians, or their lack of the cognizant capacity to think rationally. They disbelieve and that's it. They see no reason to go about attempting to change peoples' minds via ad hom arguments.

 

I don't know. Has no-one ever uttered "Are't you a little old to believe in Santa Claus?" The rest just puts us back to the question I raised in post #33.

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Tripolation,   So suppose nobody had yet figured out what caused the tides. Would atheism be unjustified for everyone i.e., is that a gap that only a god could fill? If not (I assume not), why not?

Does God need to exist for this to be the case. Or just the belief in God?     How about "I'm so sorry." Everybody grieves in their own way, and find comfort in their own way. "We sent Spot to

I suspect that the majority of the atheists you've talked to, didn't respond to your theism at all. It's not like being an atheist means that they automatically care what you believe enough to try to

This question?

That's the point, though. Why is it bad form for an atheist to "proselytize" (with or without disdain), but it's fine for any religious person or group to do so?

 

If so, I believe it is bad from for religious people to go around preaching or attempting to change anyone's mind. It's rude and annoying.

 

Ad hom arguments? Horrific suffering is an ad hom argument? Divine Hiddenness is an ad hom argument? The Anthropic Argument is an ad hom argument? Or are you once again grouping atheists together in an invalid manner? Despite what you might think, not all theists are Mormons.

 

Regardless, the whole billboard thing is entirely irrelevant to the thread.

 

Those arguments all treat the Judeo-Christian God as if he were bound by the morals and laws that humanity has. While they are all valid arguments, I really don't think they can apply to an omnipotent, omniscient entity. And by valid, I mean they are logically sound constructs.

Edited by A Tripolation
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Those arguments all treat the Judeo-Christian God as if he were bound by the morals and laws that humanity has.

No, they don't. They assume that God is not completely transcendent. That's a good assumption, because, if He were, we'd not be able to say ANYTHING about Him.

 

They even say as little as possible about God's moral perfection. They merely say that by being morally perfect, God would maximize moral good and minimize moral evil. That says nothing about humanity's morals. That humans are not morally perfect is an assumption(one backed quite well by reality and even the Bible).

 

While they are all valid arguments, I really don't think they can apply to an omnipotent, omniscient entity. And by valid, I mean they are logically sound constructs.

Validity refers to the logical structure; soundness refers to truth of the assumptions. The arguments are both valid and sound.

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As such, Silverman is in no place to tell me that my God does not exist. He can't explain tides. He's not someone whose opinion I would respect.

How do you know that Silverman can't explain tides? His explanation may well have been edited out. While I can explain the tides, had I been in Silverman's place debating O'Reilly my initial take would have been the same as Silverman's: "Tides go in, tides go out???" My second take might well have been the same, as well. It would have taken a while for it to sink in that O'Reilly was truly making the argument that science can't explain the tides.

 

 

Another possibility is of course that Silverman cannot explain the tides, that he was a liberal arts major. Are you saying that liberal arts majors are not qualified to be atheists?

 

 

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No. But it would make you stupid if you called a programmer who was trying to use an odd esoteric language to build AI or such a fool. They can't explain their computer. Their arguments have no merit.

As such, Silverman is in no place to tell me that my God does not exist. He can't explain tides. He's not someone whose opinion I would respect.

 

I don't follow your argument. If I didn't know anything about programming, I would be a fool to make an argument about programming. Ok. What do tides have to do with religion? Are you just saying that anyone who can't explain the tides is stupid across the board and shouldn't be listened to about anything?

 

How are you not making the argument that you said you were too smart to make in post #8?

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That's a good assumption, because, if He were, we'd not be able to say ANYTHING about Him.

 

I think it's ridiculous to say a transcendental being would not be allowed to interfere in a universe he exists outside of. They are not bound by any rules.

 

I don't follow your argument. If I didn't know anything about programming, I would be a fool to make an argument about programming. Ok. What do tides have to do with religion? Are you just saying that anyone who can't explain the tides is stupid across the board and shouldn't be listened to about anything?

 

How are you not making the argument that you said you were too smart to make in post #8?

 

I'm saying that someone who can't explain tides isn't good at maths or physics. Since both physics and deities are an attempt at explaining the observable phenomena of the universe, someone who cannot grasp basic physics is in no position to state that religion is a scam.

 

And I'm not making that argument because I'm not saying, "You haven't found a complete theory of everything? The answer is Goddidit."

Another possibility is of course that Silverman cannot explain the tides, that he was a liberal arts major. Are you saying that liberal arts majors are not qualified to be atheists?

 

IMO, no. They can be atheists. I just would never take their arguments seriously.

Edited by A Tripolation
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As compared to a typical Christian, an atheist only believes in one fewer gods. [/Quote]

 

swansont; That's the point, of all the thousands of different religions today (wasn't always true), most do believe in a single God, but to sometimes major differences on the basics, including Messiah's, messages and expectations, based on some society of the day. It's that God that gives unity and comfort in an international connective manner.

 

For whatever reason, would like to see a list, those that for any reason suggest the vast majority are delusional in their belief's, seems a vast intrusion into common decency.

 

I don't know. Has no-one ever uttered "Aren't you a little old to believe in Santa Claus?" [/Quote]

 

Good point and since Christmas is based on Religious belief's, would you say signs popping up all around the World, denouncing that Child's Birth Event, or the Christmas Spirit are also delusional. People believe in all kinds of things, not always religion in nature, some good, some not, but for any number of reasons can help them in troubled times.

 

Your going to say antidotal, but it happens countless times every day; The little nine year old killed in Arizona (Christina Green), born on 9-11 and died in another National event, certainly seems to be a very strange coincident or maybe an Oman, but her parents simply have openly stated "she has joined her family in Heaven". How do or what do atheist say, to console their own....?

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swansont; That's the point, of all the thousands of different religions today (wasn't always true), most do believe in a single God, but to sometimes major differences on the basics, including Messiah's, messages and expectations, based on some society of the day. It's that God that gives unity and comfort in an international connective manner.

 

Does God need to exist for this to be the case. Or just the belief in God?

 

The little nine year old killed in Arizona (Christina Green), born on 9-11 and died in another National event, certainly seems to be a very strange coincident or maybe an Oman, but her parents simply have openly stated "she has joined her family in Heaven". How do or what do atheist say, to console their own....?

 

How about "I'm so sorry." Everybody grieves in their own way, and find comfort in their own way. "We sent Spot to live on a farm" is more comforting to kids than "Spot had an inelastic collision with a Buick," but it doesn't make it true.

 

I have found no comfort at all in religious platitudes heard at funerals I have attended. To me, "God has a plan" is even less satisfying emotionally than "God did it" is scientifically.

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Does God need to exist for this to be the case. Or just the belief in God?[/Quote]

 

I suppose you can have faith in something or the results credited to that thing, yet not believe in total or understand that thing. Seems pretty common for many issues said science, where a good many ideas are based on others or the faith in those evaluations. No I'd guess most believe in some kind of package, which includes both a God and an afterlife of some kind.

 

 

How about "I'm so sorry." Everybody grieves in their own way, and find comfort in their own way. "We sent Spot to live on a farm" is more comforting to kids than "Spot had an inelastic collision with a Buick," but it doesn't make it true.[/Quote]

 

No swansont, people only find comfort in their own personal beliefs. While I can't believe in Religion as preached or practiced, I'm not going to deny the possibility I could be wrong, desirably wrong in fact. As most all do grieve their own parents, children's, relatives or friends deaths, only the emotionally coldest of humans (IMO) can settle on or advise, well that's it, they will turn to dust and it's over.

 

Extending hope, that something or someone has a possibility of returning (from the farm) is not a good analogy to a child or any person who has lost something and if another person, diminishes the value of life itself. True???, what's the truth anyway, to what may be known (knowledge) 1000 or more years from now. I'm not going to argue this out, but what was 1000 years ago and today, would seem like different worlds to an observer and will be no less different a thousand years from now.

 

I have found no comfort at all in religious platitudes heard at funerals I have attended. To me, "God has a plan" is even less satisfying emotionally than "God did it" is scientifically.[/Quote]

 

This is hard for me to argue, since I believe for the most part good things or bad, are a result of an individual and all that person has experienced. For those that are religious however, it seems different and I'll respect those feelings.

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I'm saying that someone who can't explain tides isn't good at maths or physics. Since both physics and deities are an attempt at explaining the observable phenomena of the universe, someone who cannot grasp basic physics is in no position to state that religion is a scam.

 

You haven't really explained why you think that's the case, though. So both theology and physics are, in a very broad sense, "attempts at explaining observable phenomenon." So you don't think someone can have a valid opinion in one realm without extensive knowledge of both? As well as, presumably, any other such "attempts," like philosophy? Do I need to show that I can refute Pascal's Wager before you'll take my answer to an orbital mechanics problem seriously?

 

Or are you, like Bill, implying a dichotomy, with physics on one side, and the existence of deities on the other, as somehow being two alternative hypotheses? "Either theism or physics is right?" Or is it that you think the existence of a god or gods is itself an open physics question, and that, as with the hairier open physics question, the only sensible answer for anyone who isn't a physicist of that subspeciality is "I don't know," thus making the religious convictions of all but perhaps a few hundred people invalid?

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Do I need to show that I can refute Pascal's Wager before you'll take my answer to an orbital mechanics problem seriously?
That made me chuckle a bit.

 

And I'm not making that argument because I'm not saying, "You haven't found a complete theory of everything? The answer is Goddidit."

....

I just would never take their arguments seriously.

The second bit seems to imply a modified version of the negation of the first. You appear to be implying that a person's atheism is unjustified based on lack of knowledge in a random bit of physics. Assuming you hold similar feelings to all people(otherwise you'd need to explain the special pleading to hold this man to a different standard), we can say that you seem to imply that atheism as a whole is unjustified if there is an unknown bit in modern science. In other words, "You haven't found a complete theory of everything? The answer is Goddidit."

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You haven't really explained why you think that's the case, though. So both theology and physics are, in a very broad sense, "attempts at explaining observable phenomenon." So you don't think someone can have a valid opinion in one realm without extensive knowledge of both? As well as, presumably, any other such "attempts," like philosophy? Do I need to show that I can refute Pascal's Wager before you'll take my answer to an orbital mechanics problem seriously?

 

Or are you, like Bill, implying a dichotomy, with physics on one side, and the existence of deities on the other, as somehow being two alternative hypotheses? "Either theism or physics is right?" Or is it that you think the existence of a god or gods is itself an open physics question, and that, as with the hairier open physics question, the only sensible answer for anyone who isn't a physicist of that subspeciality is "I don't know," thus making the religious convictions of all but perhaps a few hundred people invalid?

 

No. I actually think one needs to have an extensive background in physics and math before I'll take there refutation of Christianity to have any merit. And I think a theist needs to have an extensive background in evolutionary biology before they even start to talk about getting ID in schools.

I do not believe it's a dichotomy. God may not exist. God may exist. I can't answer that. But unlike some atheists/theists, I'm not going around calling either side a scam.

 

That's what bothered me about Silverman. He bashes religion without even understanding what makes the world work. It seems hypocritical to me.

 

The second bit seems to imply a modified version of the negation of the first. You appear to be implying that a person's atheism is unjustified based on lack of knowledge in a random bit of physics. Assuming you hold similar feelings to all people(otherwise you'd need to explain the special pleading to hold this man to a different standard), we can say that you seem to imply that atheism as a whole is unjustified if there is an unknown bit in modern science. In other words, "You haven't found a complete theory of everything? The answer is Goddidit."

 

That's the point though. It's NOT a random bit of physics. It's one of the most basic concepts we have. And he doesn't understand it. Atheism is justified in my opinion. But it does not make you more rational, or more intelligent, or anything of that sort.

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That's the point though. It's NOT a random bit of physics. It's one of the most basic concepts we have. And he doesn't understand it. Atheism is justified in my opinion. But it does not make you more rational, or more intelligent, or anything of that sort.

It actually IS an effectively random bit of science. Sure it's something we all learn in school, but no one remembers everything. History as taught in school was dreadfully boring to me. Do I remember the date of George Washington's death? No. Does that make me a, or lack of a better phrase, bad atheist? Of course not. Maybe earth science bored this guy to death.

 

Contrary to your feelings above, you don't actually need a detailed math or physics background to do battle with Christianity. Maybe this guy is a huge history and theology buff. You don't know. All you know is that he got flustered by an idiotic sidewinder of random physics. You don't even know if he doesn't actually know the answer; the segment of the 'debate' wasn't long enough to tell if he knew it but was just in shock from the sheer randomness and the idiocy of this example of God of the Gaps.

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It actually IS an effectively random bit of science. Sure it's something we all learn in school, but no one remembers everything. History as taught in school was dreadfully boring to me. Do I remember the date of George Washington's death? No. Does that make me a, or lack of a better phrase, bad atheist? Of course not. Maybe earth science bored this guy to death.

 

Contrary to your feelings above, you don't actually need a detailed math or physics background to do battle with Christianity. Maybe this guy is a huge history and theology buff. You don't know. All you know is that he got flustered by an idiotic sidewinder of random physics. You don't even know if he doesn't actually know the answer; the segment of the 'debate' wasn't long enough to tell if he knew it but was just in shock from the sheer randomness and the idiocy of this example of God of the Gaps.

 

Sure. We can posit that that might be true. All I know is what was in the video. And in the video, he showed a dreadful lapse of basic science. Which is most atheists' bread-and-butter.

All I know is that when someone tells me my God is a scam, yet they do not understand a simple ramification of gravitational attraction, I write them off as idiots. Silverman is an idiot, if the video is true.

Edited by A Tripolation
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Sure. We can posit that that might be true. All I know is what was in the video. And in the video, he showed a dreadful lapse of basic science. Which is most atheists' bread-and-butter.

All I know is that when someone tells me my God is a scam, yet they do not understand a simple ramification of gravitational attraction, I write them off as idiots. Silverman is an idiot, if the video is true.

I actually don't get that impression from the video. I just watched it again, and his facial expression and demeanor seem to indicate that he was just put off by the absurdity of the objection. And he was right; it doesn't matter if he can explain it. Given the short time alloted, it was probably a smart move not to take time to try to teach an idiot like Bill about gravity even if he did know.

 

And, as I've said before, you don't need to know physics to be able to argue whether or not religions are scams. For example, we can suddenly buy our way into heaven again according to the Catholic church. The tides are irrelevant to arguing that indulgences and their sudden reappearance are a sign of a scam.

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No. I actually think one needs to have an extensive background in physics and math before I'll take there refutation of Christianity to have any merit. And I think a theist needs to have an extensive background in evolutionary biology before they even start to talk about getting ID in schools.

 

So, to be clear, you're saying the existence of god is a physics question. Right?

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So, to be clear, you're saying the existence of god is a physics question. Right?

 

No. God isn't testable, AFAIK. I'm saying one needs to have a solid handle on what we know about this world before they start slinging ideas out about the metaphysical realm.

 

I actually don't get that impression from the video. I just watched it again, and his facial expression and demeanor seem to indicate that he was just put off by the absurdity of the objection. And he was right; it doesn't matter if he can explain it. Given the short time alloted, it was probably a smart move not to take time to try to teach an idiot like Bill about gravity even if he did know.

 

And, as I've said before, you don't need to know physics to be able to argue whether or not religions are scams. For example, we can suddenly buy our way into heaven again according to the Catholic church. The tides are irrelevant to arguing that indulgences and their sudden reappearance are a sign of a scam.

 

That is a scam. That is so terrible that they are bringing those back...

 

And it doesn't matter if he can't explain it. I'm not disputing that. I'm saying that if he doesn't understand basic physics, I'm not going to listen to his ideas about theology and the metaphysical realm.

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Sure. We can posit that that might be true. All I know is what was in the video. And in the video, he showed a dreadful lapse of basic science. Which is most atheists' bread-and-butter.

All I know is that when someone tells me my God is a scam, yet they do not understand a simple ramification of gravitational attraction, I write them off as idiots. Silverman is an idiot, if the video is true.

 

Maybe he holds himself to a different standard. Tell me, you who makes judgments about people knowing basic science, how the tides work? You don't know either, do you?

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Sure. We can posit that that might be true. All I know is what was in the video. And in the video, he showed a dreadful lapse of basic science. Which is most atheists' bread-and-butter.

 

His degree is in computer science, along with an MBA. Why should he be any better informed about physics than any other comp-sci major with an MBA? I would argue that tides aren't basic science, either, and that a lot of non-physics major scientists wouldn't do well explaining the basics, like why there are two high tides a day.

 

 

 

Anyway, "Tide goes in, tide goes out, no miscommunication" WTF does that even mean?

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Sisyphus; I'm sure you already know, but I take it as; If your going to question something, literally trying to change society, you best know the arguments. Around here, they call this providing proof. I have no idea how many posters over my years on these science forums, that have been banned, questioning science theory for no other reason than questioning it, some with hundreds of links providing proof as they understood some issue. Shouldn't Silverman be held to at least near the same standard or any Atheist/Person saying Science trumps Religion and speaking to maybe 4-5M people. Intellectually speaking then, yes to deny the existence of something based on science and IMO, should have some knowledge of physics (not sure about math)....Your stretching the point a bit, to insinuate believing in God could be a "Physics Question", however surely back in history someplace between Religion and Philosophy before science, it was.

 

Skeptic; I could give you fairly complete explanation, but the mention of the moon would have serviced and both parties should have known that much....

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Maybe he holds himself to a different standard. Tell me, you who makes judgments about people knowing basic science, how the tides work? You don't know either, do you?

 

...umm...Yes? Why wouldn't I? Do I need to write out an explanation?

 

His degree is in computer science, along with an MBA. Why should he be any better informed about physics than any other comp-sci major with an MBA? I would argue that tides aren't basic science, either, and that a lot of non-physics major scientists wouldn't do well explaining the basics, like why there are two high tides a day.

 

 

 

Anyway, "Tide goes in, tide goes out, no miscommunication" WTF does that even mean?

 

I just feel that if he's going to represent atheists, and go around calling christianity a scam, he needs to brush up on his facts and general knowledge.

 

And I think he meant that only God could make the tides function on such a rigorous schedule.

Edited by A Tripolation
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Well he never really says he doesn't know; he says it doesn't matter whether or not he knows. Which I think is a good point. He might well know how the tides work and refuses to get into how they do because Bill will keep throwing examples out there until he finds one that the guy doesn't know. If he does know I think he had a good strategy; if he doesn't why should he? Why should an atheist be expected to know more about science than the average person. Everyone is ramming him for not explaining it, but no one else is willing to do the same. It's not because you don't know, presumably, it's because it's a stupid question. If that is why you don't explain you could be taking the same stand as this man did.

 

This man's goal was not to say science trumps religion but to inform people about atheism and show they are not alone, as he put it. He may not have wanted to get into a science v. religion debate. If he is ignorant of the physics of the tides, who cares. I could only give a brief description on how the moon and Earth's gravity interact, most people probably can't even do that, and I'm fairly well versed in certain scientific areas. He never says he doesn't have faith because of his understanding of physics, so why would it be shameful for him not to have an answer to a physics problem to respond to the god did it.

 

Personally I think his answer of it doesn't matter was better than if he had answered the question.

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...umm...Yes? Why wouldn't I? Do I need to write out an explanation?

 

Nah, just the equations for the tides. If you give the equation for gravitation, show how you can derive the equations for the tides from that. Or do you just accept that we know how the tides work by faith, but don't actually know yourself, other than that it has something to do with the sun and moon and gravity?

 

Skeptic; I could give you fairly complete explanation, but the mention of the moon would have serviced and both parties should have known that much....

 

Thanks, but I'd rather A Tripolation's explanation than yours, since he knows so much about tides.

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Nah, just the equations for the tides. If you give the equation for gravitation, show how you can derive the equations for the tides from that. Or do you just accept that we know how the tides work by faith, but don't actually know yourself?

 

Here's a very thorough treatment of the tides, on a mathemtatical, yet readable, level.

 

 

And the math/physics isn't anything past General University Physics. I can most certainly derive them, but it would be very tedious.

As for the faith thing, for my physics course in my senior year in high school, we were required to give a presentation about physics in our everyday lives. Some chose cars, some chose buoyancy, some manufacturing. Guess who chose the tides?

 

So yes, I do understand them fairly well. And if you'll notice, I never required that Silverman be able to derive equations of any sort. I just wanted him to know that gravity affected water too.

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