May 8, 2007
The idea of an something being too big to move applies only to earthbound objects, and, even then, not valid because the weight of an object on earth is limited by the mass of the planet so it cannot approach infinity. If there were an all-powerful god, it would inhabit/control the entire universe, which is in constant motion, motion that would be generate by said god. Whether the object is a singularity, a star, a planet, or a moon, it is in motion. The whole immovable object/irresistibl e force argument is just wordplay intended to trip up an opponent with an unrecognized false premise. In short, the argument ignores basic Newtonian physics. Fun, but ultimately meaningless. (12 hrs ago | post #136)
This is a false dilemma--great fodder for irony and humor, but not for solid logical debate. Don't get me wrong: I agree with your basic conclusion, but defending it with poor logic is not effective. (Yesterday | post #124)
I usually skip your posts because I am uninterested in Islam and haven't the patience for long posts with little content, but in this one you make good points except for the bit about atheists being parasites. It seems that most believers claim that nonbelief is a faith, and it's good to see one negating that claim for us. It's even true that there is noting positive (or negative) about nonbelief. It's an absolute neutral in terms of faith. Nonbelievers tend to live peacefully in the civilizations of their environs. We don't tend to band or bond together enough to make more than occasional contributions to civilization as a whole, partly because our numbers have been small until this period of history, partly because we've almost always had to keep our heads down to avoid deadly persecution, but mostly because we're too busy pursuing the stuff of life--work, play, family, art... stuff like that. As for codes, the ones that really matter tend to be written into civil law along with a few gratuitous ones held over from periods of religious domination that is beginning to fade at last. Nonbelievers tend to make positive contributions to the general economy, obey civil law, contribute to the advancement or arts and sciences, and to be positive influences in their communities. What is parasitic about that? (Yesterday | post #21686)
That is actually rather old data. More recently, Harris Polls released a study that showed that only 74% of the American public believes in God. 12% don't believe and 14% aren't sure. Harris has been conducting this poll every two years since 2005, and ther are other very interesting trends. I encourage everyone to follow the link and look at the whole study. http://www.harrisi nteractive.com/New sRoom/HarrisPolls/ tabid/447/ctl/Read Custom%20Default/m id/1508/ArticleId/ 1353/Default.aspx If the proportions from past Pew studies hold true, though, 6% at most self-identify as atheists when asked, and another 7% or 8% as agnostics. Of the rest, about two thirds are nondenominational and a third still identify with one church or another. Nonbelievers, whether we look just at the 12% who don't believe or include the 14% who are not sure, are much larger than a fringe group category. y that measure, Black citizens are also a fringe group, as re Hispanics. Even using the 4% cutt-off for fringe groups, we'd have to list everyone over the age of 80. Also native Americans and those who self-identify as multiracial. Same with Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and other Non-Mexican Hispanics. Ditto with single parents. All this is according to the most recent U.S. census data. You should rethink your point of view on this. (Wednesday | post #5879)
Scaritual hit the nail on the head. I've avoided joining in on the "word salad" criticism, not because it was invalid, but because it was a distraction from the main issues. But this kind of scattergun approach to writing that injects inflated vocabulary only works when the recipients' can be inundated with words they don't understand. That's not the case here. One of the principles of good writing is to avoid wordiness--unneces sary verbiage. A good writer uses the simplest language that the ideas being expressed necessitate. He does not show off or try to bamboozle his audience with excessive complexity. You do, and now that I am discontinuing my conversations with you, I feel compelled to call you on it. Your style looks like an attempt to dominate the reader. The excess verbiage is a part of the lack of organization that it is, ironically, attempting to mask. In good writing flows smoothly from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph. Yours does not, which is why I described it a scattergun approach. If you don't see that when you read your text over before posting (you do, don't you?), then you need to think more about what constitutes good writing. I highly recommend On Writing Well by William Zinsser or Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Or both. Good writing is not about grammar and spelling, important as they are. It's about clarity. A piece that, for all of its minor errors, is easily understood by its readers is far superior to one with impeccable grammar and spelling that presents a much greater challenge to readers than the idea in it necessitate. In some cases, text that would have been subjected to the red ink of your high school English teacher is more expressive that the "corrected " version would be. When that happens, it is still good writing. With that bit of gratuitous advice, I conclude my conversation with you, wishing you the best of luck in all of your endeavors. (Wednesday | post #257)
You have had every opportunity to make your case, and I have gone so far as to help you understand what you would need to provide to even begin to make your case. I didn't have to do that--you began by asserting that you could substantiate your claims unequivocally on your own. With each attempt to do so, I explained exactly how your argument was incomplete and insufficient and tried to point you in a more constructive direction. After continuing with the same failed approaches, you then tried to place responsibility for validating your assertions on those who disagreed with it. Now you insist that I tell you what evidence is required, but it is up to you to find and present your evidence. If you can't find that evidence, it is your failure, not mine. Omnipotence? overriding power? More unsupported statements of faith. I am done. I'll continue to read this thread, but unless I see something that hasn't already been presented and refuted, i.e. evidence and logic, I see no reason to continue this conversation. I wish you well. (Wednesday | post #119)
Only a small proportion of the scientists who promote the Big Bang and the Theory of Evolution are actually atheists. Many more adhere to one of the major religions or believe in a universal spirit. Because they ARE scientists, though, they engage in study and research with their minds free from the fetters of ancient texts written by men who knew little or nothing of science and therefore satisfied their need to understand their lives and environs by other means. Your insistence that everything must be replicated in the lab shows how little you know about how science works--less even than I do. You would do well to learn more about science before spouting off about it, much less trying to refute it. Your current approach makes you look like an idiot. (Wednesday | post #5862)
Aha! You had a Revelation! You envision yourself as a Prophet for the New Day! You are going to lead humanity out of the darkness and into the Light! Woopee!!! Woopie doo. Woopie doo-doo. As I wrote right at the beginning, we've seen this many times before. Whether it's another atheist or someone like you, you are doomed to failure. True skeptics give up the need to lead or be led intellectually or spiritually along with the reliance on faith or belief as a means or understanding or discovery. Tou are like all other would-be prophets--delusion al. (Wednesday | post #242)
To attain any of these goals, your universal religion must first win adherents. To win over adherents from existing religions and sects, you have only to show that your set of beliefs is compatible with and/or superior to the ones that they already hold. Here your task is different. You must instead convince a group of skeptics who have rejected religion altogether that your religion is valid by their standards and holds up to their standards of evidence and logic. Instead, you expect them to accept your ideas without having met that burden--you have even made a failed attempt to shift that burden onto them. Even you should know better, that such an approach will lead to challenge from those who are courteous enough to continue the discussion and ridicule from any others who don't ignore you altogether. The rationales that you use to convince yourself simply won't work here. You may think of yourself as a skeptic, but you are not. You are a believer. No arguments based on belief will work here. Those who gravitate to this forum and who stay do so because they appreciate the company of peers who have also given up faith and belief as a means of understanding the world around them, but instead search for evidence and employ logic. If you cannot do the same--and you have thus far shown no sign that you can--you can never communicate with them on the level on which they communicate with each other, and you would do better to scuttle back to forums that are filled with other believers. (Wednesday | post #116)
With all due respect, this argument is utterly laughable. You begin a discussion on the atheist forum about a universal religion. When challenged, you state that the universal religion is supported and substantiated by the existence and operation of natural laws. When challenged to list these laws and provide evidence that they do, in fact, exist and operate, you list them without even describing their properties or how they operate. On further challenge, you describe them only briefly. Challenged a few more times, you begin to describe how they operate, but still fail to provide evidence that the actually do exist or operate. After many rounds of this tangled tango, you now say that it is up to your challengers to substantiate your assertions and allegations--to do your work for you. Even Tom Sawyer could not have gotten away with such a shim-sham in this company of skeptics. What makes you think you can? "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." You may fool a few in less skeptical, less analytical assemblages, but most here can untangle your little fantasies. You are over-matched. You are accomplishing nothing. Nothing at all. (Wednesday | post #115)
jide oni, it occurs to me that I may have mistaken your purpose in initiating and perpetuating the two discussions that center on your assertions that atheism is dead that that a new universal religion is now appearing. I assumed that you wanted to win the core Topix atheists over to that religion, and, based on that, I've tried to help you understand the nature of that undertaking. Now I wonder whether you are pursuing another agenda altogether. I could speculate on what that might be, but it would be simpler if you could be honest and straightforward enough to tell us so that none of us waste time chasing phantoms. Exactly what do you hope to accomplish on the Atheist forum? (Tuesday Mar 4 | post #238)
Still trying to sell the same old articles of faith to the skeptics who consistently reject them as unsupported opinion? When will you learn. I've written time and time again that statements of faith are insufficient to win skeptics over to anything. As long as you preach instead of making a case based on evidence and logic, you will continue to fail. (Tuesday Mar 4 | post #237)
I hope none of my friends here find this light chastisement offensive, but personally, I see the inability to say anything favorable about those with whom one is in fundamental disagreement as a weakness and the compulsion to insult them as a basic character flaw. I agree with almost nothing that Buck says, but the photos he posts of himself are far from ugly. I, for instance, am definitely losing any good looks that I had as a young man, and on another forum, I've been characterized as an "ugly old woman." I find that hilarious, though, and find myself admiring Lincoln's responses to barbs about his homeliness. Gives me hope now that I have to rely more on my personality to attract women... (Monday Mar 3 | post #10)
Q & A with NightSerf
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