Discussion in 'Non Sci-fi Debates' started by Arch Stanton, Jun 11, 2012.
Ah, okay then. Sorry about that.
Only two have a direct religious connotation. Definition four is inevitably tied in with religious belief while certain religions express definition two ("blessed is he who has not seen, but believes" and all that).
Yes, the second definition could go that way, but more to the point, faith in something does not mean that it's directly connected to religion as Firefossil thinks.
Its all good.
Well when people talk about faith in relation to religion, which kind of faith do you think they are talking about?
More accurately, other posters used faith in the religious sense of definition.
By this time, I imagine everything has screwed up.
That is correct. The definitions I use for atheism and agnosticism I chose for two reasons:
1. They are the most inclusive definitions possible.
2. They are based off the modular constructions of "a- prefix"+theism and "a- prefix"+gnosticism.
I use definition 2.
Neither of those definitions are one I use. As I have noted implicitly or explicitly around a dozen times in this thread so far, there are many faith-based ideologies. Religion, however, is the only ideology that is used as a basis for faith. That distinction is absolutely critical.
I have not. There are many definitions for things like faith, atheism, and agnosticism. I tend to go by the philosophical definitions, which are the actual definitions. What you call "common" definitions are just people misapplying philosophical terms to things that don't match. For example, if I say "it literally blew his socks off" and it did not blow his socks off, I'd simply be misapplying the term literally.
People are conflating atheism with anti-theism are no different than people conflating amorality with immorality. They are different terms which mean different things from a philosophical standpoint, even if people commonly conflate them, and even if many people who are one are also the other.
For clarification, let me offer you an example. Behold Tom:
Tom holds no stances on morality. Tom is thus amoral.
Tom holds no stances on theism. Tom is thus an atheist.
Tom holds no stances on gnosticism. Tom is thus agnostic.
I do not think it is likely that Tom is going to implement a repressive totalitarian dictatorship. This is because while Tom is amoral, he is not immoral. While Tom is an atheist, he is not anti-theistic. Given that Tom is not gnostic, even if he did hold amoral or anti-theistic positions, he would not hold them with certainty, and could be made to see reason.
Why do you people have such fear and hatred of Tom? Why do you speak such ill of him?
I have never claimed such. Religion, by indoctrinating people from an early age to believe the 2nd definition of faith, has created a social environment favorable to other faith-based ideologies, even ones which are ostensibly opposed to religion like communism.
The 2nd definition has no intrinsic religious association. It just so happens that religion is the only ideology that actually makes a philosophical argument for it beyond "it just is" or "accept it or die".
Anyways, let me try another summary. FYI, do realize my use of summaries is done in the hopes that if I keep trying different angles, eventually it will clear up the misunderstandings that people seem to be making about my arguments. To review:
Why I oppose religion
1: I oppose gnosticism, which is defined as the stance that things are knowable and known with certainty. It is a fundamentally dogmatic stance that is hostile to the consideration of alternatives, and is thus incapable of self-improvement.
2: More specifically, I oppose gnosticism when used in objective, rather than subjective circumstances. Dogmatic stances on subjective philosophy are both understandable and inevitable.
3: Faith is defined as certainty of belief in a stance even in the absence of evidence or in spite of evidence. This is a fundamentally gnostic attitude.
4: Faith is applied to objective as well as subjective circumstances.
5: Therefore I oppose faith.
6: Religion is the primary and perhaps only proponent of the gnostic philosophy that is used as the basis for faith.
7: Therefore I oppose religion. I oppose not the religious belief of theism, but the philosophical arguments that are used to justify that belief.
The elimination of a faith-based ideology does not threaten faith. The elimination of an ideology that is the basis for faith does threaten faith. Religion is both based on faith, and used as a basis for faith, and it is the latter which I view as a problem. That religion and faith have a relationship that is both a circular argument and a positive feedback loop merely exacerbates the matter.
Examples of -isms
A: "I believe in god. That is my stance"=Theist who is Gnostic
B: "I believe in god. This is because I believe evidence for god is uncertain, but in favor of his existence."=Theist who is Agnostic
C: "I believe proof for god is unknowable. I thus take no stance on god’s existence"= “hard” Agnostic
D: "I lack belief in god. This is because I believe evidence for god is uncertain, and not in favor of his existence"=Atheist who is Agnostic.
E: "I lack belief in god. My stance is that god doesn’t exist"=Atheist who is Gnostic (also known as Anti-Theist)
F: "I lack belief in god. I do not take any other stance though"= Atheist who is Indifferent (or possibly inanimate, as in the above picture)
Note that these groups have differing attitudes towards evidence. Gnostic Theists and Anti-Theists hold stances independent of evidence, and thus will reject it out of hand. “hard” Agnostics are gnostically anti-gnostic, and thus act similarly. However, “soft” Agnostics, be they Theists or Atheists, acknowledge that evidence exists, that it can be for or against god’s existence, and that if evidence for proof/debunking is gathered, that they should change their positions accordingly. My stance is D, as should be clear by now.
By your definition I tend towards B.
Lots of people say that. However:
1. If you are certain in your uncertainty, then you are still gnostic.
2. If you have faith, then you are still gnostic.
Remember, my hostility towards religion is mainly because it promotes gnosticism.
On the flip side, a rigorous logical system will run into technical difficulties if you don't let it be gnostic about itself, and without a rigorous logical system you end up being swayed by biases (often under the guise of "self-improvement") without even realizing it.
What about agnostic religion? Agnostic theism can be used as a basis for religion just as gnostic theism can.
As for the OP: The problem isn't that they're teaching the story, it's that they're completely misinterpreting it. We are told the reason for the commandment to commit genocide against the Amalekites, and it wasn't just because they were one of the numerous groups that didn't believe in God.
That I don't consider such to be necessary is the crux of that long debate we had previously that I really ought to be getting back to one of these days.
This argument again. I made not of it in this thread:
Of course then religious people say:
Which leads into:
Religious people are fine with the "what works" system as a way of navigating objective reality to achieve subjective goals. However, when it contradicts subjectively based claims about objective reality, they suddenly fall back to "objective observations are really seen through the same subjective lens as overtly subjective observations are, and are thus no better".
This is the "pass" that I was talking about in the titular thread. The "what works" system is recognized as as taking precedence over subjective opinion for day-to-day activity, but on religious matters the "what works" system is suddenly declared to be a different flavor of subjective opinion. However, if that were the case, why such support for it for day-to-day activity?
Faith is by definition a gnostic concept, and religion is by definition faith-based. Uncertainty about certainty is still fundamentally uncertain. Certainty about uncertainty is still fundamentally certain.
That is your opinion. Why should I believe that you came up with the correct interpretation, despite being a fallible human being with personal biases and limited perceptions like everyone else?
The answer to your questions is that Christians claim to be guided by an unseen preternatural/supernatural force that imbues religious practitioners and observers of religious customs with uncanny foresight and abilities above the standards of a human being of similar physical, mental, and socioeconomic positionally. The range of abilities is unsubstantiated by science, and ranges from the literal ability to fly through the air unaided by machines, to foreseeing the future, to curing sickness and death with out medical science.
The connection defies the five(5) human faculties, by claiming 'divine' connection, a two-way communications link by which the 'divine' preternatural force communicates its will by signs, omens, dreams, and inhuman visitors know as angels. The devotee(religious practitioner), in attempt to implore intervention from the 'divine' preternatural force, commits to several sessions of ritual prayer, eschewing whatever sins and supposedly unholy deeds.
Try not to laugh.
I dare you.
You seem to be confusing the batshit crazy religious zealots with the more moderate religious people. My issue is with the gnostic attitudes that pervade even the moderates, seeing as the gnostic attitude is the defining aspect of religion anyways.
It amuses me to see Atheists try to exempt themselves from having to justify their worldview by equating themselves with animals or inanimate objects.
Firefossil, its nice that you have a pet rock, and call it Tom. But Tom doesn't post on these forums attacking everyone else's beliefs. Its you who does that.
Meanwhile, if anyone wants to know what we should really be blaming the atrocities of Communist regimes on, here it is:
On the drive, inherent in that ideology, to create a "perfect society" here on Earth, and to destroy anything that gets in the way of that.
Think of all the things, which are inherent in human nature, which the followers of International Socialism seek to "abolish":
1) Religious faith
2) Private property, and the basic motive of self-interest in economic matters
3) Loyalty to kin - tribalism, patriotism, nationalism, whatever you call it. Its why your parents care more about you than about some random child down the street.
4) Marriage and the traditional family
5) Curiosity, inquiry, exploration and questioning
Think about it.
The commie ideology is, on so many fundamental levels, literally incompatible with life. With all that we consider human.
That is why its exponents can truthfully claim that there has never really been a truly Communist country in the world. And there never will be. There can't be. Not with human beings.
Deny people belief in God, and they'll replace Him with something else. They'll even worship an idiot with a silly hairstyle, if they can do no better. But worship something they will.
Deny people any benefit from their economic activities, and watch their motivation to engage in such dwindle.
When the Germans came tanking in, Stalin appealed to Russian patriotism. And brought back the Orthodox clergy. Because he was an evil man, but not a fool.
Destroy the family, and watch your population die out, fewer people with each generation.
And so on.
When discussing what is and is not necessary for a rigorous logical system, perhaps it makes more sense to listen to someone who actually has a rigorous logical system?
The system works pretty well in day-to-day life because most of the time biases are not severe enough to totally wreck things in day-to-day life. In areas where a higher level of accuracy is needed, such as the sciences and (above all) mathematics, you do need more rigor and your "system" ends up being completely useless (at least by itself; it remains a component of useful systems).
In this particular matter, I don't really care what most religious people say; religious people are often even worse in the matter than nonreligious people. Look at what the mathematicians say; they're the people to pay attention to here.
False. Many religious people (including myself) rely on faith because they don't like agnosticism about important things and aren't willing to make their religion dependent on rationality, but religion can be based on agnostic theism or even not be based on theism at all (e.g. Confucianism).
Because I can quote the exact verses that support my position:
"Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget." (Deuteronomy 25:17-19, the core commandment).
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts: I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek..." (I Samuel 15:2-3, the actual incident with Saul.)
The reason for the command is clearly stated to be Amalek's attack on Israel on the way up from Egypt. Not that they didn't believe in God.
The Phoenicians didn't believe the same as the Israelites either. Nor the Moabites, Ammonites, Arameans, etc etc. But there was no command given to go kill them.
I stated that I was D. Tom, like all inanimate objects, is F. I clearly stated this. There are human atheists that are F, ranging from infants to young to understand to people who haven't been informed of it to people who simply don't give a fuck.
Tom isn't my rock and I didn't name him...
I have not attacked anyone's beliefs, unless you define things such as "please justify your views with evidence", then concluding that your views are false if such is not provided as an "attack".
Communism seeks to subvert, convert, or destroy all rival power structures and things that support those power structures. In that respect it is identical to religion, albeit a bit broader in scope.
Not inherent. Millions of people are atheistic and tens of millions are religiously disinterested. They do fine.
True. However, it is in the self-interest of people to share a fraction of their resources with the government in order to promote positive externalities (public education) and curtail negative externalities (law enforcement). The only dispute you have with the likes of me is how much.
While definitely inherent, its rather malleable.
Family is inherent, but "traditional" family I'm not so sure about. "traditional family" seems to be on the way out and we need a replacement that has its benefits without the disadvantages that led to its diminishing in the first place.
Modern GOPers seem to be very hostile to these ideas.
Correct. Also correct for Libertarianism.
I do not wish to deny people belief in God, because you are 100% right. They will replace it with something else. I wish to deny people the gnostic philosophy that is used as the basis for belief in the first place. It just so happens to be that religion is the only faith-based ideology that provides such, while all the other faith-based ideologies basically mooch off of religion's hard work.
There seems to be a misunderstanding that people keep seem to have about my position, so I'm going to clarify it. I thought it was already clear by this point but apparently it was not:
1. People have a need to believe in things. This is an inherent part of human nature.
2. People have a need to justify their beliefs. This is an inherent part of human nature.
3. Many people hold the belief that subjective opinion trumps empirical evidence when it comes to claims about objective reality. This belief is not an inherent part of human nature.
4. There is only one kind of philosophy that bundles up subjective opinion as faith to make it sound more appealing, then uses a gnostic argument to make the case for faith and fact being the same thing. That kind of philosophy is known as religion, and it is also not an inherent part of human nature.
1 is inherent, and it creates a desire for people to do 3. However, 2 is also inherent, and it creates a desire to not do 3. Its 4 that tips the edge over to 1 and makes 3 socially normative. However, 1 by no means obligates 4 to happen.
People will still want to believe in the absence of religion, they will simply be less inclined to hold and act upon beliefs purely on faith, because without religion, there won't be a socially normative justification for doing so.
I follow a rigorous logical system that is not gnostic about itself, and uses the resultant logic to concludes that gnostic systems are probably invalid.
You follow a rigorous logical system that is gnostic about itself, and uses the resultant logic to conclude that non-gnostic systems are definitely invalid.
Honestly, further argument is kind of pointless given that. Your logic is literally incapable of considering whether or not the basis for the logic is wrong, while mine has been unable to find or even conceive an alternative basis, and finds it likely that even if there were some I'd be unable to reach them anyways...
The system is used as a basis for science, where it works, without ever adding gnostic elements.
Mathematicians are questionable sources of wisdom given that they are insane.
I don't consider things like Confucianism and Agnostic Buddhism to be religion. I suppose the better term would be religion is by my definition faith-based. And to be frank, the vast majority of people meet either definition.
Also, a lot of people are gnostically agnostic. They are ensure what to believe, but that uncertainty is itself taken on faith.
Given that these people explicitly hold the position that opinion trumps fact, why would such little things as what the Bible actually says matter? Just look at the discussion in the TCB thread about how a lunatic has decided to make My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic into their bible, declared the 2nd season(ie New Testament) to be invalid, and then started excising, interpreting, and otherwise warping the 1st season to match their demented fantasies. This is what zealots do... the issue is that you acknowledge opinion to trump fact and I see no compelling reason as to why I should take your interpretation over the genocidal interpretation, or go with Chatoyance and declare My Little Pony to be the real Bible.
So describe it. Every time you have made this claim and I have asked you to describe your rigorous logical system, either the discussion got sidetracked in some manner or else you gave a woefully nonrigorous system. So if you follow a rigorous logical system that is not gnostic about yourself, describe it, and we'll see if it is truly rigorous.
No; the system you described is horrible as a basis for science, because while it declares the need to test statements about empirical, measurable, objective reality (which is definitely essential for science); it says absolutely nothing about how this testing is to be accomplished or how the results are to be evaluated. Taking only your system gives a description of what science needs, but does not actually fulfill that need.
Says who? And if you're going to ignore mathematicians, then you're not going to be able to use mathematics effectively, and without mathematics you end up without proper science.
So by "religion" you mean "faith-based religion". So in that case, you wouldn't apply these statements to someone who, say, believes in Judaism because they think the evidence tilts that way, but is not gnostic about it?
You'll have to support the claim that I bolded. While their willingness to warp the Bible does indicate that they hold that position, it's not explicit. (And their explicit "faith" doesn't prove it either, as by "faith" they might just mean "what the Bible says trumps the simplest explanation of the observable evidence".)
Nah, you can have zealots who are honest in their interpretation of their holy book; "zealot" is a measure of how someone acts, not what they believe.
Me? Definitely not. I weight certain types of evidence infinitely higher than rationality would indicate, but when such are not in play (other than as the thing to be interpreted) I follow rationality.
Just look at what the text actually says. The people discussed in the OP might put opinion over fact, but that doesn't mean you have to.
I am litteraly sitting down with a bible to the relevant verse open in front of me, and it says exactly that Firefossil.
I'm looking at this from a practical standpoint. As in, the purpose religion serves in a human society.
Because an important difference between religion and reason in terms of enforcement mechanisms is that religious institutions can in at least some cases outsource the punishment functions to the sky wizard, rather than having to do it all themselves. This means that religion is less immediately damaged by failure to enforce punishments for any and all anti-social behavior; if you really believe that a sky wizard will judge everyone after they die, then it's not quite as big a deal if the perpetrator of a crime escapes justice in the here and now.
And in the end, every single society is based on force, because the immediate benefits of cheating the system in the absence of enforcement mechanisms are large enough that everyone will eventually be forced to cheat just to survive. That the broad long-term consequences of this are horrible doesn't have much of an impact, because humans are terrible at recognizing them. At best, you can get people to recognize the long-term personal consequences of their decisions, and even then you run into the above issue that a good choice for society is a bad choice for the individual making it.
A rationalist might also choose to push you in to test whether there is cake or a painful death at the bottom of the pit, regardless of what you think is down there. A religious person might also choose to prevent you from jumping into the pit because they're sure that the only thing at the bottom is a painful death. To give just two examples.
It's nowhere near as clear-cut as you portray, from the standpoint of the results. And your decision to only focus on the ends that support your thesis and castigate the means when the ends disagree with you is very much like the behavior of the worst followers of a religion.
Yes, and one of those systems is the concept of faith-based organizations, religious or otherwise.
I think part of your problem here, firefossil, is that you haven't bothered to think about what religions actually do beyond "RELIGIONS ARE BAD HURR". If your thesis that they are an unmitigated evil is correct, then presumably they should have been competed out of existence by your preferred system, seeing as how your system would invariably produce better outcomes. And yet, they haven't been. It would behoove you to look at why this might be so, beyond just "because people are stupid".
I already have, repeatedly. It just so happens that your rigorous logical system does not recognize my system as rigorous, and vice versa for that matter.
The basis of science is the basis of science. Things like "how this testing is to be accomplished" is not.
Mathematicians are not automatically superior philosophers, and there are reasons to believe them to be inferior philosophers.
That is correct. If you believe in god based on empirical evidence, that belief is not religious in nature.
Let's take an example from a trusted source:
More specifically, you contend that empirical observations are contaminated with same subjective biases and thus just as subjective in nature as observations taken on faith, then hold the latter observations to trump the former observations whenever it suits you.
Different definitions then. Dogmatic would be a better term I suppose.
Following rationality when you feel like it and not otherwise is not rationality.
Its what you do, so I fail to see why I should hold myself to a higher standard.
You are not sitting down with the Bible. You are sitting down with a Bible. There are many many versions of the Bible that exist, both due to variable translations as well as due to things like the council of Nicea. Why precisely am I supposed to believe that your Bible happens to be the one true version that is most faithful to God's actual intent?
Also, even if there was only one version of the Bible, religious people already hold the position that faith trumps fact. Given that, why would facts like "what the bible actually fucking says" matter any more than things like "what empirical evidence indicates"?
That would imply we have different definitions of rigor. How would you define rigor?
If you don't have a description of how the testing is to be accomplished, you don't actually have anything usable, just a bunch of platitudes.
For philosophy in general, that may be true. But when the issue is designing a rigorous, useful, and self-consistent system, mathematicians are the experts, as all of mathematics is itself designed to be such a system.
Debatable. But even if your belief isn't religious in nature, you can still have religious service to the deity in question.
Not at all. Empirical observations are not particularly contaminated by bias; the interpretation of those observations is where you get a huge amount of bias if you're not careful.
Again, not at all. The whole point of my system is that "whenever it suits me" has nothing to do with it; if faith applies by its own rules, then it applies whether it suits me or not, and if it doesn't apply by its own rules, then it fails to apply whether that suits me or not.
Yes it would.
Absolutely true. I never claimed to actually be rational, merely that I follow rationality under certain objectively determined conditions.
Not at all. I put religious dogma over empiricism, but I don't (or at least try not to) put my own opinions over either. If you subscribe to some dogma that has something to say on the matter, I'd be interested to know what it is, but otherwise you should listen to the empirical evidence, just as I do in the absence of relevant dogma.
It wouldn't; in both cases, you follow the empirical evidence (what the Bible says is a type of empirical evidence as to what it means) when the dogma in question (the subject of the faith) has nothing to say, and you follow faith when it does take a position. I am not aware of any established dogma that supports the "because they didn't believe in God" position; if you are aware of some, feel free to reference it.
Separate names with a comma.