Atheists on the march in America

Atheists on the march in America

There are 70634 comments on the TurkishPress.com story from Aug 26, 2009, titled Atheists on the march in America. In it, TurkishPress.com reports that:

When South Florida atheists held their first meeting, they were just five friends, having a beer at a bar.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TurkishPress.com.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#65985 Dec 15, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
'Subjective evidence' is self-contradictory and 'subjective knowledge' is usually called *opinion*.
<quoted text>
Yes, exactly. Figments of the imagination. Now, such figments are very important as the source of ideas to be tested, but they are not, in themselves reliable.
<quoted text>
Why do you say that? I like literature, art, and music. I admire those who can create these things out of thin air. But I also don't consider fiction to be fact. Being able to make up fun ideas is a gift, but it is different than attempting to understand reality.
<quoted text>
Why would you think the psyche cannot be tested? Ever hear of a PET scan?
So emotion is not a fact in your world? There is nothing fictional about a song or painting or a poem that can move a person emotionally unless he is a psychopath and can't feel anything.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#65986 Dec 15, 2012
I'm insisting that you have yet to identify any method to distinguish between what is imaginary and what is evidence.
When can you identify that method?
postscriptt wrote:
When you stop being as dumb as a box of rocks. Think you can manage that?
Translation: You're unable to answer the question, so you resort to childish insult.

No surprise.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#65987 Dec 15, 2012
Wrathbone wrote:
<quoted text>
So emotion is not a fact in your world? There is nothing fictional about a song or painting or a poem that can move a person emotionally unless he is a psychopath and can't feel anything.
I don't think the pilgrim is psychopathic, but I do know based on his comments that he's totally clueless about the creative process. I'm not sure if he's being deliberately obtuse, or if his pedestrian ideas render him incapable of perceiving anything beyond his five senses.

As an artist I can tell you that we are naturally philosophical. We spend a lot of time thinking about, delving into, trying to understand the very things that people like the pilgrim ignore. We are assailed by emotions that come from all over the place - from the sky, the earth, a scrap of paper in the street, a passing shadow, transient images. We have a heightened awareness of life that is never complacent - never content. We sense the raw truths of reality. I call it divine discontent - a state that is the source of artistic energy. Intuitively, we artists know that true creativity involves letting go of old concepts, opening oneself to new impressions, thus allowing inspiration to flow freely.

Since: Mar 11

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

#65988 Dec 15, 2012
I was touched when Mufasa died, but that doesn't mean I buy that he will speak to me from the clouds and if someone said Mufasa spoke to them from the clouds I would seriously question their judgement.
Wrathbone wrote:
<quoted text>
So emotion is not a fact in your world? There is nothing fictional about a song or painting or a poem that can move a person emotionally unless he is a psychopath and can't feel anything.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#65989 Dec 16, 2012
Wrathbone wrote:
<quoted text>
So emotion is not a fact in your world? There is nothing fictional about a song or painting or a poem that can move a person emotionally unless he is a psychopath and can't feel anything.
Yes, emotions are facts and we could study how various emotions are caused by various physical things/processes like music, art, etc. But feeling that something is true does not make it true. Finding something moving doesn't make it important to anyone else.

There is a difference between fact and opinion. Facts are publicly verifiable; opinions are internal.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#65990 Dec 16, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, emotions are facts and we could study how various emotions are caused by various physical things/processes like music, art, etc. But feeling that something is true does not make it true. Finding something moving doesn't make it important to anyone else.
There is a difference between fact and opinion. Facts are publicly verifiable; opinions are internal.
When a scientific theory cannot be substantiated with publicly verifiable evidence than it's only an opinion i.e. the notion that dead matter produces life.

Everyone has been ill at one time or another and everyone will attest to the fact that illness is very real. Yet illness is often the result of dissociated and inhibited emotions. The psyche attempts to get rid of them by projecting them into a specific area of the body. In the case of ulcers for instance, the diverted energy goes into the production of the ulcer itself. The psyche knows that often several minor illnesses can prevent a major one by readjusting the biochemical environment within the body. The reason modern medicine is often ineffective when dealing with illness is because science focuses on the "outside" of the inside. It doesn't deal with the "psychological" cause of illness, but the "physical" manisfestations.

What we THINK can literally make us sick and can also make us well. What we think can have a greater influence on the outcome of an illness then the medication we take. Our ideas about our bodies, health, and illness determines how food is used and how our chemistry handles fats, carbohydrates, etc. A belief in health can allow a person to utilize an inadequate diet to an amazing degree. A belief in ill health can make you sick no matter how much health food you eat or how many push-ups you do.

Illness involves natural hypnosis. A person with ulcers "believes" implicitly that certain foods irritate his stomach. There is medication that will stop his pain. As long as it is effective, the medication further convinces him that his ulcers can only be relieved by taking this medicine. It becomes a counter suggestion, yet it is all part of the same hypnotic process, based upon his belief in his original illness.

Western doctors with great superiority are quick to scorn the primitive voodoo practioner not realizing that they themselves engage in the same practices. When a doctor informs a cancer patient that he is about to die, he is effectively putting a curse on that individual. When he tells you that you must have a physical exam every six months or you WILL become ill, he is practicing voodooism - planting suggestions. The only difference is we don't sacrifice chickens, we sacrifice portions of our anatomy. Doctors follow their own ideas, of course, and in their system of beliefs they see themselves as completely justified - as humane.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#65991 Dec 16, 2012
postscriptt wrote:
When a scientific theory cannot be substantiated with publicly verifiable evidence than it's only an opinion i.e. the notion that dead matter produces life.
Abiogenesis isn't a scientific theory.

Guess you missed that.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#65992 Dec 16, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Finding something moving doesn't make it important to anyone else.
A religious hymn can move many to sense a connectedness with divinity.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#65993 Dec 16, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
Abiogenesis isn't a scientific theory.
Guess you missed that.
It is when science can't explain what caused the big bang.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#65994 Dec 16, 2012
Abiogenesis isn't a scientific theory.

Guess you missed that.
postscriptt wrote:
It is when science can't explain what caused the big bang.
Abiogenesis, which is not a scientific theory, is an idea about the origin of life on Earth.

The Big Bang Theory, which *is* a scientific theory, explains the history of the Universe back to a certain point. Ideas that push that history prior to the Big Bang are not part of the Theory itself.

The two ideas aren't related.

You might want to learn some science.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#65995 Dec 16, 2012
Drew Smith wrote:
Abiogenesis isn't a scientific theory.
Guess you missed that.
<quoted text>
Abiogenesis, which is not a scientific theory, is an idea about the origin of life on Earth.
The Big Bang Theory, which *is* a scientific theory, explains the history of the Universe back to a certain point. Ideas that push that history prior to the Big Bang are not part of the Theory itself.
The two ideas aren't related.
You might want to learn some science.
Without a "cause"the big bang theory lacks meaning. It's a bicycle without a rider.

Since: Feb 08

Tampa, FL

#65996 Dec 16, 2012
The Big Bang Theory, which *is* a scientific theory, explains the history of the Universe back to a certain point. Ideas that push that history prior to the Big Bang are not part of the Theory itself.
postscriptt wrote:
Without a "cause"the big bang theory lacks meaning.
Why? The purpose of the Big Bang Theory is to explain why we observe what we do today. It accomplishes that by providing a timeline for the Universe going back to a particular point.

That we don't know yet what (if anything) "preceded" the scenario described by the Big Bang Theory does not somehow invalidate the Big Bang Theory.

You might as well claim that a criminal case that explains how the defendant committed the crime "lacks meaning" because it doesn't identify what the defendant was doing *prior* to the relevant aspects of the crime.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#65997 Dec 16, 2012
postscriptt wrote:
<quoted text>
Without a "cause"the big bang theory lacks meaning. It's a bicycle without a rider.
Wrong yet again. The Big Bang describes how the universe has changed over the past 13.7 billion years. It has gone from a very hot, dense, almost uniform state to the one we see today. It has meaning in its description of the events over that period of time. That it doesn't include quantum gravity and hence cannot describe the process (if any) that lead to the current expansion is irrelevant to the basic fact that the universe is and has been expanding for the last 13.7 billion years. THAT is the Big Bang theory.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#65998 Dec 16, 2012
postscriptt wrote:
<quoted text>
A religious hymn can move many to sense a connectedness with divinity.
Or at least what they belive is a connection to divinity. Atheists are moved by the music of Bach also. They just don't confuse those feelings with any *real* connection to an imaginary supernatural.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#65999 Dec 16, 2012
postscriptt wrote:
"Nothing is so dangerous to the progress of the human mind than to assume that our views of science are ultimate, that there are no mysteries in nature, that our triumphs are complete and that there are no new worlds to conquer." - Humphry Davy
Then it is good that science doesn't do that.
Ideas about waht is or isn't possible is reflected in both your private realities and the reality at large. The ideas that there is only one isolated universe, one self at the mercy of its past and one time sequence are examples of obstacles that prevent an expanded comprehension of what actually is. Not only does science suffer as a result of this sort of myopia, but your daily experience as a human being is far less than it could be.
Well, science does NOT assume such things. In fact, there are several theories that have multiple universes, multiple time sequences, etc. But again, the standard for a scientific theory is testability.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#66000 Dec 16, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong yet again. The Big Bang describes how the universe has changed over the past 13.7 billion years. It has gone from a very hot, dense, almost uniform state to the one we see today. It has meaning in its description of the events over that period of time. That it doesn't include quantum gravity and hence cannot describe the process (if any) that lead to the current expansion is irrelevant to the basic fact that the universe is and has been expanding for the last 13.7 billion years. THAT is the Big Bang theory.
You put a lot of stock in the value of observation and testable evidence and yet there have been no definitive physical confirmations to support the big bang theory.

"BIG BANG theory relies on a growing number of hypothetical entitiesĀ—things that we have never observed. Inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent. Without them, there would be fatal contradictions between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory. The big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation." - Eric J. Lerner, president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#66001 Dec 16, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Or at least what they belive is a connection to divinity. Atheists are moved by the music of Bach also. They just don't confuse those feelings with any *real* connection to an imaginary supernatural.
That's because Bach was not a supernatural being.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#66002 Dec 16, 2012
postscriptt wrote:
<quoted text>
You put a lot of stock in the value of observation and testable evidence and yet there have been no definitive physical confirmations to support the big bang theory.
On the contrary, the evidence from the cosmic background radiation is confirmation that the universe was once much hotter, denser, and more uniform than it is now.
"BIG BANG theory relies on a growing number of hypothetical entitiesĀ—things that we have never observed. Inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent. Without them, there would be fatal contradictions between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory. The big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation." - Eric J. Lerner, president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics
This is out of date. The spectrum of variance in the background radiation was predicted before it was observed and matches the observations. The situation of cosmology has changed drastically in the last 15 years since we have been able to study the background radiation in detail.

Furthermore, alternatives *have* been proposed: modified gravity theories, for example. I was personally hopeful that one of these alternatives would be sufficient to explain observations without the use of dark matter. However, this has proved not to be the case. In particular, the situation of colliding galaxy clusters and the details of how the gravitational field (as measured by lensing) and the matter vary, has shown that the modified gravity theories are wrong.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#66003 Dec 16, 2012
postscriptt wrote:
<quoted text>
That's because Bach was not a supernatural being.
Irrelevant to the point at issue.
postscriptt

Albuquerque, NM

#66004 Dec 16, 2012
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Irrelevant to the point at issue.
In what way?

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