Don't dictate beliefs

Don't dictate beliefs

There are 11178 comments on the The Star Press story from Sep 5, 2012, titled Don't dictate beliefs. In it, The Star Press reports that:

No one else can say otherwise? That is basically saying those who do "believe in God" are better? Hardly.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Star Press.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8351 Dec 13, 2012
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
Well I'm backing out of this because I do not wish to invest the time to find out if Dawkins said those words or not. I do see the article and that Mathias was the one that appeared to make those statements.
You don't need to get involved. I thought that you were asking about what happened. Dim misrepresented Dawkins, was told several times,and repeated the lie several more times, and now seems to be denying that it happened.

Then he fetches a criticism of somebody doing that with an apocryphal Jefferson quote. We had little choice but to review Dim's calumny and emphasize his subsequent hypocrisy and indifference. The point is that he couldn't care less how inaccurate his allegations are. He's agenda driven, and his agenda has no use for academic integrity.
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#8353 Dec 13, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
<quoted text>
For a long period of the time truths in the Bible were considered liberating and many well educated men sacrificed their lives trying to give the general population access to it.
Truths in the Bible like the barbaric laws of the old testament, and the cannibalism/vampirism of the new testament? I think these reformers should have left it in latin.
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#8354 Dec 13, 2012
Sambrotherofnephi wrote:
<quoted text>
With out the printing press the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints probably wouldn't have been able to get off the ground.
Agree with this point. All of the protestant denominations, all 40,000 of them, are relatively recent inventions. Due mainly to each church leaders private interpretation of scripture. And they all think they have the holy spirit and the rest and catholics and other theisms are delusional and misguided.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8355 Dec 13, 2012
derek4 wrote:
ad Arguments for Atheism: Philosophy is Useless
The Depraved Effect of Empiricism:“Philosophy, in the academic sense, is the art of asking questions that cannot be answered. Any idiot can ask that kind of question. The awesome power of rational thought is that we can ask questions to which we CAN find the answer. Only a total moron turns their back on that.”
Typical dishonest Christian straw man crap: first frame secular philosophy is sterile questions that any idiot can ask and from which nothing useful can come

Next, introduce the idea that there is a better philosophy unknown to academics with real answers.I wonder what that's going to be.
derek4 wrote:
Should philosophy be utterly forgotten ”since all we need is science”? It’s actually kind of ironic due to that fact that they employ a philosophy to say that “philosophy is stupid”. They are using philosophy to form their argument against philosophy! These people never seem to let me down.
Another straw man. The philosophy of science is philosophy. Empiricism and rational skepticism are philosophies. Philosophical naturalism is a philosophy. And secular humanism is also a philosophy.

Of the two of us, we rationalists alone employ philosophy. You Christians employ faith- the fervent belief that your wish has come true - supported by any specious argumentation that might sound plausible to somebody.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8356 Dec 13, 2012
derek4 wrote:
All humans orient their lives around ideas of the nature of reality;
Not Christians. They base their lives around the idea of a supernatural realm populated by supernatural spirits.
derek4 wrote:
how they explain their experiences of reality; and how they explain their ideas about what reality ought to be like. We formed all of these through the help of philosophy – no empirical evidence necessary and yet they are necessary for empirical evidence.
Nonsense. We form our view of reality from a combination of enculturation and exploration, which is empiricism.
derek4 wrote:
To declare all philosophical concepts useless, trifling, or impossible is little better than a refusal to do any serious philosophical reasoning.
Hello! No kidding.
derek4 wrote:
Socrates believed that in the absence of philosophy, we would not be able to question or disagree with our thinking or ideas – we simply go with the flow
Which side are you on? Questioning is fundamental to skepticism and critical thought. Simply going with the flow is faith.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8357 Dec 13, 2012
derek4 wrote:
I thought atheists didn’t like that. I thought they always cry out saying that we “religious folks” ought not to have a “blind faith” mentality — something that is produced when philosophy is absent from the mind.
That is correct.
derek4 wrote:
So whenever a non-believer pulls this bluff as an argument, just give him the basic reasons why we need philosophy and how it’s actively used in everyday life; even in his own argument he’s forming against philosophy.”
Can you produce even a single example of a rational skeptic with this opinion? This is a description of the mindlessness of faith, which only philosophy is to pick something to believe and believe it.
derek4 wrote:
http://studentsforchristianity . wordpress.com /2011/11/12/bad-arguments-for- atheism -philosophy-is-useless/
Students for Christianity, huh? That's pure apologetics drivel.

Are you aware that that stuff is manufactured for your consumption, not ours? The people who write this stuff know that we will know how easily refuted these straw men are. I don't think they want you showing this stuff to mixed audiences where skeptics can rebut it. It kind of works against you when we do.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8358 Dec 13, 2012
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
"most atheists simply reject these claims without making any positive assertion about gods being impossible or nonexistent"
This wrong.

Merriam - Webster. athe·ist\ˈā-thē-ist\ noun : one who believes that there is no deity

One who believes is a positive assertion
How is that a rebuttal? That's an inadequate and outdated definition.

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8359 Dec 13, 2012
Thinking wrote:
Wrong.
<quoted text>
Yes, you are wrong, but thank you for re-posting KJV's material for him when you hit your reply button. He made a good post, and it was great seeing it again.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8360 Dec 13, 2012
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
God exist in a dimension you can't imagine. So it would be impossible to guess how God who is outside of time always existed. You can't even grasp what outside of time would be like even though we pretty much know it exist.
You don't seem to be able to grasp that the word "exists" requires the passage of time. Whatever exists has persistence - before moments followed by after moments. It might have always existed or have had a first moment, and it might be eternal or have a last moment. Either way, to exist is to persist in time.

Your god has to exist in time to do things and think things, such as decide to create a universe, to do it, then to look at it, and finally to say that it was good. Those words all imply time - before, during and after moments experienced sequentially.

It not hard to dissect Christian doctrine and reveal its inconsistencies and contradictions with a little analysis.

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8361 Dec 13, 2012
re-posting

From ncbi nlm nih gov:

Evolution of eyes and photoreceptor cell types.
Arendt D.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Developmental Biology Programme, Heidelberg, Germany.
“The evolution of the eye is a matter of debate ever since Darwin's Origin of Species.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14756332

[Even though there are sources that make it appear settled and neatly resolved, it remains a matter of debate.]

There is still debate about the eye evolving and debate about irreducible complexity. There has been no final resolution with sustainable evidence for evolution on the topic.

Never will be resolved.

Debate shows tie:
http://www.debate.org/debates/Irreducible-com...

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8362 Dec 13, 2012
What exactly are atheists so scared about?

“As I was leaving church yesterday, a nice chap called Andy called to see if I would go on Radio 2 to talk about a new billboard campaign enjoining us not to "label" our children with religious tags such as "Catholic child" or "Muslim child". Beside pictures of bonny toddlers (all white, as it happens), runs the tagline: "Let me grow up and decide for myself."

Andy said that the idea was that we shouldn't indoctrinate our young. I've no idea whether the word "indoctrinate" was his own, or whether he'd picked it up from talking to the British Humanist Association, which is behind the campaign. Anyway, my first reaction was this: chance would be a fine thing. I don't know if you've actually tried to indoctrinate a child, but outside of an Afghan madrassa or a Moonie temple I'd say you've got your work cut out.

Sure, a six-year-old will believe anything Daddy says. I could have told my children that the sea was made of wee-wee or that Tony Blair had a legal justification for invading Iraq and they'd have believed me. But by the time they've "grown up", or at least hit their teens, forget it. The most positive response you're likely to get from labelling them Christian, or atheist, or Communist, is "whatever". More likely are shrugs, or giggles.

And, anyway, who are these grown-ups who are meant to be doing the labelling? I've never introduced my children as "my pagan daughter" or "my atheist son". It's like that old joke about the Jewish mother: "Help! Help! My son, the doctor, is drowning!"

In the end, these humanists aren't worried about "labels" at all. What they want to abolish is children being brought up in any kind of faith tradition.

continued:
They might pretend that they're fighting political and ethnic labelling, but the giveaway is that they're using the same typeface, and indeed the same money, as for the literally hopeless bendy-bus campaign last January. You may remember its genius: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." The best that can be said for it is that it got people talking about God.

It's strange, though, that it isn't us, the faithful, who seem to be doing the worrying: it's all these neurotic atheists, humanists and secularists. Anyone would think they were trapped in 18th-century France or Tsarist Russia. When it's not our old friend, the celebrity atheist Professor Richard Dawkins, fund-raising for an uncertain and feeble proposition that serves largely to make Transport for London a bit better off, it's some other self-regarding personage thinking they're being frightfully daring by taking a pop at the Christian story, like an over-excited child shouting a rude word at the Christmas table.

continued:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists...

[Atheist's lives revolove around their fear of God.]

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8363 Dec 13, 2012
Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

On November 30, 2006, executives at Pfizer—the largest pharmaceutical company in the world—held a meeting with investors at the firm’s research center in Groton, Connecticut. Jeff Kindler, then CEO of Pfizer, began the presentation with an upbeat assessment of the company’s efforts to bring new drugs to market. He cited “exciting approaches” to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. But that news was just a warm-up. Kindler was most excited about a new drug called torcetrapib, which had recently entered Phase III clinical trials, the last step before filing for FDA approval. He confidently declared that torcetrapib would be “one of the most important compounds of our generation.”

Kindler’s enthusiasm was understandable: The potential market for the drug was enormous. Like Pfizer’s blockbuster medication, Lipitor—the most widely prescribed branded pharmaceutical in America—torcetrapib was designed to tweak the cholesterol pathway. Although cholesterol is an essential component of cellular membranes, high levels of the compound have been consistently associated with heart disease. The accumulation of the pale yellow substance in arterial walls leads to inflammation. Clusters of white blood cells then gather around these “plaques,” which leads to even more inflammation. The end result is a blood vessel clogged with clumps of fat.

Lipitor works by inhibiting an enzyme that plays a key role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. In particular, the drug lowers the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or so-called bad cholesterol. In recent years, however, scientists have begun to focus on a separate part of the cholesterol pathway, the one that produces high-density lipoproteins. One function of HDL is to transport excess LDL back to the liver, where it is broken down. In essence, HDL is a janitor of fat, cleaning up the greasy mess of the modern diet, which is why it’s often referred to as “good cholesterol.”

And this returns us to torcetrapib. It was designed to block a protein that converts HDL cholesterol into its more sinister sibling, LDL. In theory, this would cure our cholesterol problems, creating a surplus of the good stuff and a shortage of the bad. In his presentation, Kindler noted that torcetrapib had the potential to “redefine cardiovascular treatment.”

There was a vast amount of research behind Kindler’s bold proclamations. The cholesterol pathway is one of the best-understood biological feedback systems in the human body. Since 1913, when Russian pathologist Nikolai Anichkov first experimentally linked cholesterol to the buildup of plaque in arteries, scientists have mapped out the metabolism and transport of these compounds in exquisite detail. They’ve documented the interactions of nearly every molecule, the way hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase catalyzes the production of mevalonate, which gets phosphorylated and condensed before undergoing a sequence of electron shifts until it becomes lanosterol and then, after another 19 chemical reactions, finally morphs into cholesterol. Furthermore, torcetrapib had already undergone a small clinical trial, which showed that the drug could increase HDL and decrease LDL. Kindler told his investors that, by the second half of 2007, Pfizer would begin applying for approval from the FDA. The success of the drug seemed like a sure thing.

And then, just two days later, on December 2, 2006, Pfizer issued a stunning announcement: The torcetrapib Phase III clinical trial was being terminated. Although the compound was supposed to prevent heart disease, it was actually triggering higher rates of chest pain and heart failure and a 60 percent increase in overall mortality. The drug appeared to be killing people.

That week, Pfizer’s value plummeted by $21 billion.”
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/12/ff_caus...

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8364 Dec 13, 2012
Flaws in the “THEORY” of evolution:

http://www.gotquestions.org/flaws-theory-evol...

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8365 Dec 13, 2012
You DARE to Criticize SCIENCE?!
1998 William Beaty
Here is an attitude which I've encountered repeatedly:
Science is extremely important. Also, it is a very fragile structure, and mankind always remains a few steps away from another dark age. Science is so fragile and easily destroyed that we must expend enormous and valiant efforts to defend it from the many attacks being launched by the hoards of ignorant and superstitious people who surround us on all sides. Anti-science sentiments are at an all-time high in modern society, and therefore we must fight fiercely against all who criticize science. We are engaged in a sort of war. In war, the propaganda of the enemy must be suppressed. In war, critical examination about 'our side' must be controlled, lest we give our enemies an opportunity to damage us in the eyes of the public.

How many of us are Good Scientists? How many really take the above sentiments to heart? There are words for this sort of thing:

SUPPRESSION OF CRITICAL THINKING

STIFLING OF INTELLECTUAL DISSENT

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF CORRECTIVE SELF-EXAMINATION

SELF-AGGRANDIZING PROPAGANDA

XENOPHOBIC PARANOIA

It has been my experience that if any person or group suppresses outside criticism, they provide a safe haven where unexamined error can take root and blossom. If people suppress self-criticism as well as group-criticism, then they open themselves to all sorts of pathological conceits and self-congratulatory narcissism. Humility goes out the window, and soon, without our even noticing it, an attitude of arrogance and unexamined superiority can take hold and become the norm within our group. Along with insecurity and denial will come our subconsciously-motivated attacks made upon anyone who dares to puncture our self-importance and to expose our genuine flaws. It's a kind of evil mental illness. Any group, even Science, can become its victim.

I see that the cure for this illness is simple. Science should always maintain a cycle of brutally honest self-examination and constructive self-criticism, then follow this up with major efforts at self-improvement. We must pursue the truth about ourselves, even if it's something we prefer not to know.”
http://amasci.com/freenrg/dares.html

[But most scientists and their adherents feel they are above scrutiny.]

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8366 Dec 13, 2012
KJV wrote:
The CIA World Factbook
non-religious 9.42%,
atheists 2.04%.

Please note that Non-religions is a separate category then atheist. Why? Because they are not interchangeable!
They are for my purposes.

As I said, what do I care what people call themselves as long as they don't support the Christian church's agenda and its commitment to scapegoating atheists, undermining science, giving churches tax breaks without adequate oversight, underwriting the church with tithes, voting for candidates that thump bibles, and the like?

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8367 Dec 13, 2012
Just a reminder to everyone – if you have objections to the content of web pages I've posted, contact the publishers at the links I provided.

Remember, only you can squash the truth by working together as a team, and dictate your false beliefs.

SO: Don't waste your time sitting on your fat rumps picking boogers and posting endless comments on topix.

You have a big job ahead of you trying to rid the internet of truth and getting out your lies where the masses can read them.

LMAO

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8368 Dec 13, 2012
It aint necessarily so wrote:
Actually, your argument is easily debunked with a reductio ad absurdum argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is ... false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance.

In this case, you are arguing for the existence of a god based on the unlikeliness of a 747 (or a cell) existing undesigned, and offering this as evidence that an infinitely more complex entity must exist to account for it.

This is usually rebutted by some form of special pleading that basically says, "You can't use my argument because [insert irrelevant reason and unsupported claim here]"
KJV wrote:
I'm arguing that all there is.
That's not a complete thought.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8369 Dec 13, 2012
KJV wrote:
Look out into space as far as man can and look at life on earth all of it. How could it all have been created by a roll of the dice billions and billions of times. I don't think so and you do.
You really need to pare the argument down to that to believe it, don't you? The full argument contrasts that thought with an analogous one regarding your god. Imagine your god, with sentience, will, infinite knowledge, infinite power, immortality, and perfect morality - far more complex than what is essentially empty space with occasional chunks of matter orbiting and bumping into one another mindlessly - and explain how it can possibly exist uncreated.

If you find your argument against the universe strong, you will find that the same argument applied to your god - something infinitely more complex and less likely - makes the first hypothesis the preferred one.

If you prefer to cling to faith rather than impartially evaluate a compelling argument, then you should either continue to do what you just did - disregard the god half of the argument like it's not even there - or try special pleading. Say that your argument applies but mine doesn't because [insert any irrelevant and unsupported claim about your god here].

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#8370 Dec 13, 2012
re-posting some favorites:

“Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words:'Ye must have faith.'“
Max Planck

“Belief in evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if that religious view is indistinguishable from atheism." -William Provine, Professor at Cornell University

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#8371 Dec 13, 2012
Thinking wrote:
And? You won't get a cigarette paper between my logic and IANS'
Well thank you - I think.
:)

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