May 8, 2007
I see a flaw in your reasoning: if there is a constant amount of energy received from the sun, all that is required to increase the surface temperatures is to slow the rate at which energy escapes back into space. If CO2 acts as an insulator, then, an increase in CO2 levels could result in a rise even as good insulation in a house increases the internal temperature without the furnace putting out any more heat. I don't claim to understand climate science. Perhaps you can explain why this is not a flaw after all. (5 hrs ago | post #20184)
Ultimately, the meaning of the English word, "meek," makes no difference. To understand the passage, one must look at the language in which it was originally written, Greek, I think. Has anyone here done that? Care to post? (Saturday | post #20098)
The complete quote is more illuminating: I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. - Albert Einstein to Guy H. Raner Jr., Sept. 28, 1949, quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2. Note that the phrase "I am not an atheist" does not occur. Einstein implied elsewhere that it was a matter of context: I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist. - Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism; quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2 At any rate, relying on Einstein's personal opinions to bolster arguments one way or the other constitutes a classic fallacy--appeal to authority. For all of his brilliance, Einstein was not a religious scholar, nor did he support his views about religion with arguments of any sort or resort to apologetics of any kind. If we want to rely on a genius of science to support the promotion of atheism, Carl Sagan is a much better candidate. (Tuesday Aug 23 | post #19979)
In a less biased study--one NOT commissioned by the CoE and asking questions that actually pertain to the subjects at hand--the results for the UK are markedly different. Only 17.6% report that they pray every day, 6.9% more than once a week, 7.0% only once a week, 5.3% only once a month, 1.9% only on special holy days, 14.5% not even that often, and 46.8% not at all. http://www.brin.ac .uk/2013/prayer-an d-other-news/ (Tuesday Aug 23 | post #19978)
...and 23% report that they seldom or never pray. In a country as ostensibly religious as the U.S, that's a huge number that may reflect the real number of nonbelievers among the adult population--nonact ion speaks louder than words? (Tuesday Aug 23 | post #4072)
All that prayer with no tangible results. Proves that prayer is ineffectual. Evidence that the one being prayed to does not exist. (Tuesday Aug 16 | post #432)
It all depends on what you care about. I want to know what is true more than I am willing to believe in even the most beneficial falsehoods. Logic is sometimes applicable when science is not. I've never seen an argument for the existence of any deity that does not rely on one of the classic fallacies, but there are persuasive arguments against that are sound. Consider the four statements of Epicurus: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? Thus, the existence of evil is inconsistent with the existence of a god that is both omnipotent and compassionate. Richard Dawkins is quite justified in writing: The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. I am not convinced that religion has much effect on ethics at all. Those who are naturally inclined to treat others well will do so with or without it, while those inclined to treat others shabbily will use it to justify their abuses. The only reason that most people believe in deities is that people who they hold in high esteem--usually parents--insist that they are real. The pressure to believe with no solid evidence--to have faith--is too great for most to resist, and the consequences of nonconformity can be vicious. In this forum, we find a community that can be hard to come by in the outside world, which is why we stay even in the face of antagonists who also flock here to preach at us. I don't remember seeing your posts here before. I hope that you are not here to preach. (Tuesday Aug 16 | post #267376)
You can show that such a god had, in fact, performed no verifiable miracles. (Friday Aug 5 | post #18438)
No. any god that can be named can be falsified by testing the claims of its believers. All fail. It is only the general idea of gods that is unfalsifiable because the idea is too vague to be tested. The most logical conclusion is that none exist. (Friday Aug 5 | post #18437)
Agreed. I also dismiss as intellectually weak anyone who responds, "Look it up for yourself" when challenged to provide support for questionable assertions. Anyone who knows what they're talking about, who has reached conclusions through study and deep reflection, should be able to support those conclusions with ease. (Friday Aug 5 | post #18428)
Gods in general are unfalsifiable, that is true, because they are vague and ill defined. Not so with individual gods. Their believers assert properties and characteristics that can be tested with logic. They fail those tests with predictable consistency. (Friday Aug 5 | post #18426)
Modern wisdom, though, is more advanced. Much ancient "wisdom" has fallen out of practice because it was, quite frankly, ridiculous in the extreme. The ideas that have survived the ravages of time are wise, yes, but also so painfully obvious that they arose independently in every human culture. But modern innovations such as the concept of universal human rights advance human wisdom far beyond the imaginations of the ancients. In wisdom, as in science, we advance with time. The idea that ancient wisdom reigns supreme is ludicrous. (Friday Aug 5 | post #18425)
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