May 8, 2007
Do you think that conversion to Christianity would change any of that? (Yesterday | post #14)
I challenged you to substantiate that assertion during the first pages of this thread and you failed to do so. Since you have not, the rest of us can safely reject it as nonsense. And I do. (Yesterday | post #520)
Agreed. Besides that, we have five senses, not just one. Air is the medium that conveys light and sound as well as aroma. We can feel it as it passes over our skins and tousles our hair. We can hear it as it rustles leaves. We also use it to move boats over the water and compress it to support our cars and power air tools. We capture its motion to create electricity. If any deity were as evident as air, there would be no reason for doubt. (Yesterday | post #1623)
KJV, your Mary Magdalena sock puppet was busted weeks ago. Why are you posting under that name again? Why can't you post under a single ID like an honest person? (Sunday | post #505)
More to the point, folks, religion, which should prevent people from inflicting cruelty and death on those whose cultures or ethnicities differ, consistently fails to do so. No one ever seems to stop and think, "Why on earth am I shooting at a fellow Catholic?" Or Muslim. Or whatever. Atheists are often lambasted over the death and suffering in the Soviet Union, China, and North Vietnam, and, while I think we are correct in pointing out that atheism was not the cause of that suffering, it's also true that no set of secular values helped to prevent or obviate them either. That wouldn't be expected, though, because there are no universal values connected with nonbelief. Religions, on the other hand, do make such claims, and yet the pages of history are thoroughly stained with blood shed by believers at the hands of other believers. It is enough cause for doubt about the transformative power that religions claim to possess. (Sunday | post #1599)
I think this could be a useful tool for demographers if they would use it. The current scale seems to be equivalent to 1-2.4 (believer), 2.5-4.4 (agnostic), and 4.5-7 (atheist). Not only is it imprecise, but it mixes people together whose attitudes differ too much, which puts a strain on the validity of any correlations that may be inferred. Using the Dawkins scale would fix that at the cost of making calculations more complicated. Since my interest in classification has more to do with statistics than with philosophy, I find that useful. (Saturday May 18 | post #128)
This fits with the definitions that I prefer. You write more from a philosophical place, I from a practical, but we are essentially in agreement. (Saturday May 18 | post #127)
No, it's not a waste of time. We can no more leave defining the word we use to define our religious identity to dictionaries and religionists that Jews could have in Nazi Germany or Muslims could in current day Israel. As recently as in 1987, Websters defined "atheism, " among other things, as "wickedness. " That same edition defined "wicked" ass "1. morally very bad, EVIL 2 a" FIERCE, VICIOUS (a wicked dog) b: disposed to mischeif : Roguish 3 A: disgustingly unpleasant : VILE (a wicked odor) b: causing or likely to cause harm, distress, or trouble 4: going beyond reasonable or predictable limits : of exceptional quality or degree syn see bad No we cannot leave defining "atheist " or "atheism " to others if we are ever to be seen as normal members of society. (Saturday May 18 | post #11)
Ooh, cool. we could make some nifty graphs based on those axes, couldn't we now? (Friday May 17 | post #9)
I didn't think you were that new here. It's been explained many times in this forum. Atheism and agnosticism result from negative answers to two very different questions and are thus not incompatible with each other. Anyone who answers "No" when asked "Do you believe in deities of any sort?" is an atheist. Anyone who answers "No" when asked "Do you think it's possible to know whether any deities exist?" is an agnostic. A person can be either, both, or neither. Other responses to both questions are, "No," "I haven't decided" "I don't really care," or "Yes." There are probably others I haven't thought of. The theist/agnostic/at heist trichotomy that many base their ideas about classification on and that demographers and statisticians use to keep analysis down to a manageable scale are too simplistic to match reality. At any rate, within the ranks of atheists--those who answer "No" about belief--there are some who are certain that no deities exist and some who are less certain. The latter are agnostics, yes, but they are also atheists. The former are just atheists or, in some classification systems, gnostic atheists. On the flip side, some theists are gnostic and some agnostic as well. The latter acknowledge uncertainty, bit choose to believe anyway, while the former are certain, so for them, belief is not really a choice. In previous posts, I've broken this down in outline form, but I'm sure you get the gist. Most of the nonbelievers who post here are agnostic atheists, at least 6 on the Dawkins scale, but not 7, but there are a few 7s as well. (Friday May 17 | post #8)
Right. So other isotopes, when present, are used to date objects that are older than that, the range for each one being determined by the length of its half life, right? (Friday May 17 | post #468)
Yes. The two attitudes in the quoted sentence are variations of atheism and have nothing to do with agnosticism. (Friday May 17 | post #4)
Try this: http://moses.creig hton.edu/jrs/2005/ 2005-11.pdf or this: http://www.skeptic .com/reading_room/ religious-belief-a nd-societal-health / (Friday May 17 | post #96)
Agreed. I, too, am certain that the Abrahamic god does not exist, that the life of Jesus as depicted in the New Testament never occurred (although there may have been a real man whose life was ridiculously exaggerated), and that the beginning of the Universe involved no spiritual impetus. But I am open to the possibility that some life forms may have evolved to become independent of biology, however infinitesimally tiny that possibility may be, and that such beings may be able to affect the minds of especially sensitive humans. It's kind of a cool idea, and if I were a novelist, it would be a tempting subject. (Friday May 17 | post #719)
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