Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Proofs That Atheists Are Lying


[if he lies, his nose gets longer]

Proof #1: Atheists do not suggest replacing law enforcement with animal control.

According to atheism people are animals who are in no way exceptional in comparison to other animals. Therefore atheists should logically suggest that animal control officers be used to capture and destroy nuisance people in the same way they are used to control nuisance animals. People are not merely like animals, we are animals. Animal control is far more effective and less expensive than law enforcement. About thirty people per year in the US are killed by dogs; about 20,000 are murdered by other humans. Furthermore the cost of police, courts and prisons is astronomical; dog catchers and animals shelters, not so much. The elaborate and expensive criminal justice system is based on the superstitious, pre-Darwinian notion that people are different; we have souls and were created in the image of God.

However no atheist suggests this because no atheist sincerely believes that we are merely animals, not better or worse than a dog or a rat.

Proof #2: Atheists do not advocate global warming.

According to atheism, microbes developed into people through the process of evolution. Mass extinctions have accelerated evolution in the past. Global warming is now causing a mass extinction. Global warming should therefore be a positive thing in the long run which should be encouraged.

However no atheist suggests this because no atheist sincerely believes in evolution.

164 comments:

Brian Westley said...

Why not just admit you're a complete loon?

jewish philosopher said...

Now that's a very shrewd rebuttal, worthy of the typical alcohol and drug soaked atheist mind.

Brian Westley said...

No, it's not a rebuttal at all. You aren't worth arguing with because all you do is make up ridiculous assertions. By the way, I don't drink and the only drugs I take are for my medical conditions.

jewish philosopher said...

No, I'm not worth arguing with because I'm right and there's no rebuttal you can possibly come up with.

Brian Westley said...

I'll leave you to your delusions.

Avi Bitterman said...

LOL Fantastic post JP keep up the good work!

jewish philosopher said...

As I expected, no rebuttal because none is possible.

Anonymous said...

Typical reductio ad absurdum arguments.

jewish philosopher said...

There's nothing wrong with that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

Anonymous said...

Reductio ad absurdum is a fallacy when you set up a false dichotomy, which is what you did.

jewish philosopher said...

Nothing false here. Atheists simply choose to ignore the crazy implications of their own stated beliefs.

natschuster said...

In all fairness, some atheists and Darwinists, e.g. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Margaret Sanger, etc. etc. etc. did turn their belief systems into policy. They did have the courage of their convictions.

ksil said...

you should title this post "strawman"

thank you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

jewish philosopher said...

On the contrary, these are rock solid men!

Alex said...

Again with the atheism and law enforcement argument? How does the expression go? You know, the one that ends with "and expect different results"?

Alex said...

"According to atheism, microbes developed into people through the process of evolution. Mass extinctions have accelerated evolution in the past. Global warming is now causing a mass extinction. Global warming should therefore be a positive thing in the long run which should be encouraged."

This argument assumes two things.
A) that atheists think that more people in this world is a positive thing.)

B) that if atheists think evolution was a positive thing in the past, they /still/ think it's a positive thing now. (Isn't it true with most good things: "that's enough, you can stop now"?)

Anonymous said...

You expose yourself as a fool.

jewish philosopher said...

Why wouldn't more evolution be a good thing? In retrospect, wasn't an asteroid strike, although painful in the short term, greatly beneficial in the long term? Instead of huge pea brained reptiles and ferns, we now have rose bushes and Richard Dawkins.

No, I'm not foolish, however atheists clearly are fools.

Alex said...

"Why wouldn't more evolution be a good thing?"

Before, you made that a definite claim, and now you've settled on just asking the question? Come on, get confident!

Instead of putting that thought into their mouths, and instead of just asking it to the air, go ahead and actually ask some atheists if evolution is a good thing, as opposed to just neutral.

jewish philosopher said...

Who exactly should I ask? As a rule, atheists, like all religious fundamentalists, prefer to ignore tough questions. Better to silence criticism with a brief " because scientists say so, that's why".

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out what I believe. I've asked my atheist friends what they believe and I've never gotten an answer of "well, just because," or "because that's what I learned." I always get answers like "most studies show," or "I've done a lot of research into that topic," or "that's a really interesting question, and I don't have enough information to give you a succinct answer, but here are some suggestions of where you can go for more information. In my experience, atheists are the ones MOST adept at asking questions and not taking anything at any individual's word. When it comes down to it, any Jew I've ever asked the hard questions has had to end on the answer of "because God said so, that's why."

jewish philosopher said...

I have spent many years conversing, debating and corresponding with atheists and I find that they are no different than Christian missionaries. They have their beliefs, they have grasped a few bogus proofs to support their beliefs and beyond that they just don't want to discuss it. I'm supposed to "trust the scientists".

natschuster said...

For the really big questons about origins, the standard atheist answer is " we hope to have ananswr or yuo someday." When it coms to questions of morality, the answer ends up being, "its just the way I feel."

Alex said...

The record shows that you're just ASSUMING that atheists believe that evolution is a good thing as opposed to just a neutral thing.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that this post is just more conspiracy theory hogwash, claiming that not only is evolutionary theory false, but all of its proponents are lying about it and don't believe it themselves, but are managing not to actually let anybody in on a dirty little secret that the whole thing is a ruse.

Not a very persuasive claim, Jewish Philosopher. Certainly not "proof".

How about this as a "proof" that you are lying and don't actually believe in the afterlife: If you really believed in the soul, heaven and hell, you should pray every day to God that you (and your loved ones) get cancer, have a heart attack or get run over by a car, so that you can move on to heaven.

The fact that you don't say this shows you are lying and don't actually believe in afterlife.

Is that "proof"?

The reason it isn't. of course, is that the argument misrepresents your actual position, setting up straw men, flawed conclusions and false dichotomies, leading us to fallacious reductio ad absurdum arguments.

jewish philosopher said...

"you should pray every day to God that you (and your loved ones) get cancer, have a heart attack or get run over by a car, so that you can move on to heaven."

The answer to that is simple: judaism prohibits suicide. Praying for death would be a type of suicide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_suicide

However atheists have no answers to my questions because, deep down, they realize that their beliefs are absurd. No one however wants to admit that the emperor has no clothes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor's_New_Clothes

Except for some whistleblowers such as me.

jewish philosopher said...

"The record shows that you're just ASSUMING that atheists believe that evolution is a good thing as opposed to just a neutral thing."

I'm also assuming that atheists think crime is a bad thing. However I think these are reasonable assumptions.

According to atheists, there may well be right now some toad just waiting for a global holocaust so there will room for it to evolve into a species a thousand times more intelligent than humans.

Alex said...

"The answer to that is simple: judaism prohibits suicide. Praying for death would be a type of suicide."

Really now? I guess that praying for someone else to die would be a type of homicide?

The Talmud allows that, you know.

Anonymous said...

"The answer to that is simple: judaism prohibits suicide. Praying for death would be a type of suicide."

Yea, just as praying for someone else's death is murder.

Just saying the shemona esrei would be committing mass murder, praying for all of those heretics to die.

Are YOU wishing and waiting for death? I'll bet you aren't, which would mean that you don't REALLY believe in afterlife, right? You can't seem to wait for all of your heretic adversaries to burn in hell, but you don't seem so eager to be sent off the heaven ( if that's where you're going)

jewish philosopher said...

"The Talmud allows that, you know."

Where?

"Just saying the shemona esrei would be committing mass murder, praying for all of those heretics to die."

Murder means killing an innocent person; heretics are far from innocent.

I don't see any contradictions between Jews' stated beliefs. Regarding atheists, there clearly are.

Alex said...

You can Google it yourself. Note, I'm not implying you can pray for just anyone to die. I was thinking about sick people. But that shouldn't matter to you.
But you know what? I didn't even have to bring up homicide. I could've kept with your suicide comment. There's a prophet who prayed that he himself should die. Make that two. Maybe you should put blogging on hold so you can study your Bible.

"The record shows that you're just ASSUMING that atheists believe that evolution is a good thing as opposed to just a neutral thing." --- to which you responded "I think that's a reasonable assumption."

Not good enough. Ask some atheists if it's reasonable. You cannot impute your assumptions onto someone else.

Anonymous said...

"Murder means killing an innocent person; heretics are far from innocent."

Functionally, murder is the intentional causing the death of a person not sanctioned by a Beit Din. Just as you are not allowed to stab them, you should not be permitted to pray for their death.

"I don't see any contradictions between Jews' stated beliefs. Regarding atheists, there clearly are."

We're forgetting the point here.

On one hand, you are quick to show how we misrepresent your Orthodoxy and show contradictions, yet you are deaf to our claims that you do the same thing about atheism and evolution. We keep telling you "no, that is not what evolution or atheism says" and you keep insisting "yes, that is what evolution says" regardless of what its advocates say. What gives you the previlege of reconciling alleged contradictions in your beliefs, while denying this right to your opponents? As an advocate of my position, it is my prerogative to determine what my position actually is, not you.

Sounds to me like a selective deafness (something that I used to accuse my grandfather of)

jewish philosopher said...

I've clearly demonstrated the logical contradictions and clear deceptions of atheists. If they have answers, they are welcome to comment.

About prayer, I don't think you would be allowed to pray for someone's death except in a case where you would be allowed to kill him.

In regards to heretics, Maimonides writes in the Laws of Mammrim 3:1
מי שאינו מאמין בתורה שבעל פה, אינו זקן ממרא האמור בתורה, אלא הרי הוא בכלל המינים, ומיתתו ביד כל אדם
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/e303.htm

Regarding suicide, there may be a leniency in some cases of euthanasia

http://www.religionfacts.com/euthanasia/judaism.htm

although it is controversial.

Jeff said...

Pardon me for interrupting...

"If they have answers, they are welcome to comment."

Are they, really?

The evolutionists and atheists keep on telling you what they believe, and you keep on saying, "no, you don't believe x, you believe y"

They keep on telling you that evolutionary theory does not say that evolution is "good", any more than the speed of light or gravity is "good". And you keep on insisting "no, that is not what you believe".

Atheists also assert many alternatives to the basis of morality, which includes the 2500year old discipline of moral philosophy, and you continue to insist "no, never mind all that, you must think people are like dogs".

So are you really open to comments?

Alex said...

Sorry, but those prophets who prayed for their own deaths were not that close to death. Your "only in euthanasia cases" argument thus fails.

jewish philosopher said...

"They keep on telling you that evolutionary theory does not say that evolution is "good","

But why is stagnation good?

" you must think people are like dogs"

According to atheism, in what fundamental way are people not like dogs?

"Sorry, but those prophets who prayed for their own deaths were not that close to death."

Again, I don't believe that orthodox Judaism allows us to pray for the death of anyone who could not theoretically actually be killed. Therefore I don't believe that the Talmudic law is contradictory, unless you can cite specific sources.

Jeff said...

"But why is stagnation good?"

If by "stagnation" (which is a value laden term) you mean "slow evolution", well, why is that bad? Is a swamp or a cyclone "bad"? It just is. I could just as easily say that stability is "good", but it is meaningless to attribute value to laws of nature. Some organisms gain and others lose. Its not a value system.

"According to atheism, in what fundamental way are people not like dogs?"

By virtue of the rather obvious fact that we can have this conversation in the first place. Dogs can't; and they certainly don't think about morality.

jewish philosopher said...

" Is a swamp or a cyclone "bad"? It just is."

Global warming also just is. So what's the problem with it?
The problem of course is because it would mean humans would become extinct and nothing more advanced would evolve and everyone knows that but won't admit it.

" Dogs can't"

Other animals have other abilities. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, birds fly, fish swim, deer run. Humans are actually pathetic cripples.

Jeff said...

"Global warming also just is. So what's the problem with it?"

Why would anybody, regardless of their scientific beliefs, wish to inflict suffering upon the themselves? I don't understand the connection. Suppose something more advanced would evolve. Why would that make us feel better?

"Other animals have other abilities."

Yea, but they can't discuss morality, so they don't. We can, so we do. Morality isn't something derived from experiments or a formula. Its philosophy. Aren't you a philosopher?

jewish philosopher said...

I think I'm losing you a little bit.

According to atheists, a mass extinction event such as the one caused by global warming would lead to an acceleration of evolution. Therefore, why are atheists opposed to global warming?

My answer: They don't really believe in evolution, other than as a means to get rid of God.

Your answer as I understand it: Because they don't want to suffer.

However I find that implausible, since people should be willing to accept a few million years of extinction (which probably won't directly effect us anyway, but rather future generations) for the sake of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary advancement.

Additionally, since we are animals, why don't atheists advocate the abolition of traditional law enforcement and it's replacement with animal control officers?

My answer: No atheists really believe we are animals.

Your answer as I understand it: Because we can discuss morality.

I don't get that. So what? My dog can sniff explosives and my bird can fly. I can't. So?

Alex said...

Jeff: "They keep on telling you that evolutionary theory does not say that evolution is "good","

JP: But why is stagnation good?

Stop diverting the question!!!! That's the sign of either a poor debater or a shuyster lawyer.

And please, YOU take the time to google on "prophet who prayed to die."

jewish philosopher said...

I'm not the library reference desk.

Alex said...

You're supposed to look it up for YOU, not for anyone else!
What you're saying is, "Someone told me I'm wrong and gave me a way to verify it for myself. However, I'll refuse to look it up so that I can maintain my current belief."

Jeff said...

"However I find that implausible, since people should be willing to accept..."

You're joking, right?


"I don't get that."

You're a philosopher, right? Read some modern moral philosophy, like Mill, Bentham, Peirce or Kant.

jewish philosopher said...

"You're joking, right?"

No.

"Read some modern moral philosophy, like Mill, Bentham, Peirce or Kant"
"Someone told me I'm wrong and gave me a way to verify it for myself."

Fine, but I've got homework assignments for you. How about you two guys attend some Gateways retreats.

http://www.gatewaysonline.com/retreats.asp#intro

natschuster said...

Hitler discussed morality at grwat length. His books and speahed were all about morality. I guess that means Hitler was a moral person. I can talk about science all day. Am I a scientist? I can talk about Christianity, too. I guess that measn I'm a Christian.

Hugo said...

Hi,

I started to address your comments on AE's blog but I think it would make more sense to comment on yours.

Even though you say things like this...
I'm right and there's no rebuttal you can possibly come up with.
...which makes me wonder if you are interested in discussing at all, you also said that...
If they have answers, they are welcome to comment.
... so I will start with a positive attitude and assume that you are willing to discuss different point of views.

Others have already commented here and pointed out that what you claim are atheists' beliefs are actually strawmen that you created: They do not reflect the beliefs of all atheists, for sure, and perhaps not even of a single self-proclaimed atheist.

Therefore, my first question to you would be: are you willing to correct misunderstandings you might have concerning atheists?

My second question would be concerning what I pointed out on AE's blog: are you willing to correct invalid arguments you might make?

We all do mistakes and I gladly correct my own when someone points it out, or if I notice it myself. It's actually much more satisfying to be corrected than to remain in error because it got unnoticed. I appreciate to discuss with people who have completely different points of view, but they have to share at least this principle of self-correction...

Cheers!

jewish philosopher said...

You mean atheists don't believe in evolution and do believe people have a soul??

natschuster said...

If the fact that people can discuss morality means that morality exists, then it follows that the faxct that people cab discuss G-d means that G-d exists.

Hugo said...

You mean atheists don't believe in evolution and do believe people have a soul??

I think you are correct that most atheists believe the theory of evolution, but it's not directly related, one way or the other. Why confuse religious beliefs with scientific knowledge?

Atheists do not necessarily reject the idea of a soul that will survive the death of the body however. Buddhists are sometimes labelled as atheists since they don't believe in a god, but they definitely believe in a soul.

For someone who proclaims himself to be a 'philosopher', you don't seem very interesting in philosophy; can you explain that?

Plus, are you interested in answering my previous questions?

Thanks!

Hugo said...

If the fact that people can discuss morality means that morality exists, then it follows that the faxct that people cab discuss G-d means that G-d exists.

You are correct natschuster, the initial premise is false. It's not because we can discuss something that it means this thing exists.

I think you misunderstood the point of the person who mentioned that. I don't want to put words in their mouth but I think it meant that the fact that atheists can make moral judgement, form a moral framework, be it absolute or not, indicates that any humans can discuss morality and have a sense of morality, without invoking a god.

You oversimplified the issue...

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution is the basis for atheism, as I point out here

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/06/atheism-myth_13.html

and I don't think Buddhists are usually considered to be atheists; it's a different religion and they don't call themselves that.

Hugo said...

Evolution is the basis for atheism, as I point out here

I concede that for me, the understanding of evolution did play a role in my rejection of the belief in God. However, it is not directly related. You cannot say that it is, and reading your article will not change anything about that (I am still interested in reading it though...).

Again, do you want to use logic or not?

and I don't think Buddhists are usually considered to be atheists; it's a different religion and they don't call themselves that.

I agree, it can be misleading to call Buddhists Atheists if you consider Atheism as being a religion. I was merely talking about the qualitative description of someone being atheist, or perhaps, being atheistic, if you see what I mean? Atheism on face value only means the disbelief in gods. It is, for some people like me, more than that however, but I don't see how it can be labelled as a religion in all cases.

If you were to ask me what my religion is, I would answer 'none'. If you were to ask me if I believe in God, I would say 'non', but that would not make me an atheist, since I could believe in other gods. It's only if you ask me, do you believe in any gods, and then when I answer 'no', that you can conclude that I am an Atheist.

Plus, I consider myself to be a strong atheist. I believe that God, under certain general definitions, does not, and cannot exist. It has nothing to do with evolution and it has all to do with philosophy.

But again... you did not answer my previous questions. Will you?

jewish philosopher said...

"Atheism on face value only means the disbelief in gods."

How do you define "god"? Anything superhuman?

Hugo said...

How do you define "god"? Anything superhuman?

Not anything superhuman but that could be one type of God. The ancient Roman and Greek gods surely were some superhuman beings.

The modern monotheist religions usually talk about an omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe.

Hinduism talks about an essence, genderless, from which flows other divine entities.

Pantheists claim the Universe is God, etc...

Atheists simply reject these claims until presented with evidence to believe.

What's your point?

... and will you answer my other questions?

jewish philosopher said...

How do you know that no being exists which is superhuman?

Hugo said...

How do you know that no being exists which is superhuman?

What do you mean by superhuman? I have no evidence of superhumans existing. Do you have some reasons to believe they exist?

To me, it's like asking... how do you know unicorns don't exist?

... will you answer my other questions?

jewish philosopher said...

"I have no evidence of superhumans existing."

So that's what atheism means? Then Richard Dawkins isn't an atheist; I don't think he denies the possibility of space aliens.

"will you answer my other questions?"

What?

Hugo said...

"I have no evidence of superhumans existing."

So that's what atheism means? Then Richard Dawkins isn't an atheist; I don't think he denies the possibility of space aliens.


No, that's not what atheism mean. I wrote that it's the rejection of 'God claims'. It means that one disbelief the claims of type 'God X exists'.

I don't care what Dawkins think.
Why do you?

"will you answer my other questions?"

What?


Are you just messing around with me? I would appreciate you letting me know if you are joking or something like that. It's fun to have philosophical discussions, but only when it's 2-way.

So, here's a copy/paste of my very first post here.

[...] Therefore, my first question to you would be: are you willing to correct misunderstandings you might have concerning atheists?

My second question would be concerning what I pointed out on AE's blog: are you willing to correct invalid arguments you might make?

We all do mistakes and I gladly correct my own when someone points it out, or if I notice it myself. It's actually much more satisfying to be corrected than to remain in error because it got unnoticed. I appreciate to discuss with people who have completely different points of view, but they have to share at least this principle of self-correction...

Cheers!

jewish philosopher said...

About your questions: Sure.

About atheism: so how do you define "god"?

Hugo said...

About your questions: Sure.

Thanks!

About atheism: so how do you define "god"?

I don't.

The only things I could tell you are some definitions of gods that I've heard before, and that I don't think exists, that I don't believe in.

Some are possible, but I still reject them. Some are impossible and I obviously still reject them.

None have been proven to be true, proven to exist, in reality.

But I don't see the point. I don't believe in any gods, so even if I am to tell you that I don't believe in a certain God, you would most likely tell me that you don't believe in that God either.

So why don't you tell me what the definition of the God you believe in is?

jewish philosopher said...

Atheism means "no gods". So what's a god? Anything called a god?

Hugo said...

Atheism means "no gods". So what's a god? Anything called a god?

I already told you what I think gods are so I don't understand why you ask again. What part of my last comment don't you understand?

In any case, I will answer again to clarify.

So what's a god?

Something non-existent, purely conceptual, imagined by humans, usually in the form of a mind that may or may not have a physical manifestation in reality.

I cannot say more than that because, in the sets of things that I believe exists, there is no such thing as a God. In other words, I don't label any of the things I believe exists with the word God.

That's why I say that I don't see the relevance of the question.
What would be your definition?
Why are you trying to make me give a definition?

jewish philosopher said...

I have described God here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/12/higher-power-as-i-understand-him.html

Since He is not non-existent, then I assume you believe in Him.

Hugo said...

I have described God here.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/12/higher-power-as-i-understand-him.html


I will go check that out and come back to comment here. However, your next sentence can be answered right away.

Since He is not non-existent, then I assume you believe in Him.

Mistake #1 : You are using 'He' in this sentence but the question was 'What is a god'. You are now changing the subject, or are finally letting me know directly what one of the attributes of your God is. If you say 'He' it means that, for you, God has a gender, male.

Mistake #2: Your assumption is incorrect. I do not believe in a god; and I don't believe in a 'male God' either.

The attribute of gender falls under what I had labelled as 'physical manifestation in reality' in my description of God.

Now, I can make assumptions too!

From what you have now told me, I assume that the God you believe in manifested himself using some features found only in males. Perhaps his voices sounded like a grown up male man, or perhaps he even took a form that looked like a human. If you were a Christian, you would believe the two, but since you are a Jew, I assume you believe only the first.

Correct?

Hugo said...

Your article states:
His nature is entirely beyond our comprehension.

Yet, you use the pronoun 'His' in that same sentence, and you wrote a blog post dedicated to explain His nature.

I refuse this premise, it renders the whole definition absurd. Is it essential for your God to exist to be beyond our comprehension?

If yes, we cannot even discuss it and you cannot event know something about it neither can any human being. It becomes absurd and I don't even see how such a God can possibly exist. I don't understand why someone would believe that a God exists, but that this God is entirely beyond our comprehension.

natschuster said...

Hugo:

But why have a sense of morality? And where did it come from?

No one doubts that atheists can act morally. The problem is that there is no basis in logic or science.

What annoys me is when atheists make moral arguements against religion. There is no basis in logic for their attacks.

jewish philosopher said...

"I don't understand why someone would believe that a God exists, but that this God is entirely beyond our comprehension."

I would say that computer programming is entirely beyond the comprehension of an earthworm. This doesn't prove that computer programs don't exist.

Hugo said...

@natschuster

But why have a sense of morality? And where did it come from?

Your 2 questions are equivalent to this: Is there an alternative to God as a basis for a morality system?
My answer is 'yes' and I will answer both the 'why' and the 'where' questions you wrote by giving details.

My system of morality has a few principles and everything is context dependant, but if I need to start with one, and only one, empathy will be the base. Don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you, unless they ask you to do it. The simple 'golden rule' as it is often called.

From there flow a lot more principles that we probably agree on, actually we probably agree on empathy too, at least for several situations, since you said that'No one doubts that atheists can act morally.'

Since you now have a quick example of a basis for a morality system not dependent on God, please accept the fact that someone can have morality without invoking God.

It does not prove God does not exist (or even try to), it only corrects a misunderstanding you have, and so many others, concerning non-religious morality. You already agree on the most important part, both theists and atheists can act morally, so why not agree that the basis can be different?

The problem is that there is no basis in logic or science.

I consider it to be based in logic as I just explained. Science is not directly related to morality. It only provides us with tools to learn which can in turn influence us, but I don't consider science to be a morality tool per se.

What annoys me is when atheists make moral [arguments] against religion. There is no basis in logic for their attacks.

I don't intend to make any moral arguments against religion so that's irrelevant here.

Let me clarify this though: I think you confuse 'immoral actions done in the name of religion' (1) with 'religion is immoral' (2).
(1) I can certainly think of cases for the first that we would agree on. It is immoral for a Muslim terrorist to go kill innocents in the name of Allah.
(2) I consider 'Religion is immoral' to be an invalid statement. Only actions can be labelled as immoral. Tastes, thought or even words, in a strict sense, cannot be considered immoral. So if an atheist makes a case for why 'Religion is immoral', I would agree with you natschuster!

Hugo said...

I would say that computer programming is entirely beyond the comprehension of an earthworm. This doesn't prove that computer programs don't exist.

What you said is correct. Something more comes after that however: it also means that an earthworm cannot prove that computer programs exist.

So... I need to repeat... is it essential for your God to exist to be beyond our comprehension?

If yes, we cannot even discuss God and you cannot event know something about God, neither can any human being. It becomes absurd and I don't even see how such a God can possibly exist. I don't understand why someone would believe that a God exists, but that this God is entirely beyond our comprehension.

I would add one more thing. The mere fact that one can believe in God is enough to show that this particular concept of God is not entirely beyond our comprehension. At best, is can has SOME aspects that are beyond our comprehension, but for humans to be able to believe in God, have good reasons to believe in God and be able to explain to others why their beliefs are true, some aspects of God have to be comprehensible. You could not write a blog post about God otherwise as I said...

jewish philosopher said...

His nature is beyond our comprehension, however not His wishes or behavior.

Hugo said...

His nature is beyond our comprehension, however not His wishes or behavior.

This seems different from the original that I rejected and asked you to correct:
''His nature is entirely beyond our comprehension"

- This quote means that literally all of his nature is beyond our comprehension.
- Now you say that we can understand the wishes and behavior but not the rest of his nature.

The only way your logic can be consistent here is if 'anything we understand about God' is not part of his nature.

Can that be correct?

I don't think so... Can you correct the error or explain what I got wrong?

Jeff said...

JP, wouldn't you say that even his behavior is also beyond our comprehension, given that we cannot understand why he does certain things- tsunamis, etc.? And regarding his wishes- do you know what his will is regarding this blog? Does anybody?

Hugo- I was hoping that you would return to demonstrating that this post is a straw man argument. We have all been saying this but JP insists on telling us what our position is.

jewish philosopher said...

We know what God is doing and what He wants us to do. We don't know what He is or what His motives are. 

And atheists have no trouble telling me what I believe in, including genocide and genital mutilation and having sex through a hole in a sheet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Is_Not_Great

natschuster said...

Hugo:

Empathy is an emotion, not a logical position. Why is empathy a better source for morality than apathy or cruelty, or selfishness?

And what would your basis for criticizing immoral acts done in the name of religion be?

natschuster said...

Hugo:

Empathy is an emotion, not a logical system. Why is it any better than cruelty, apathy selfishness, or any oher emotion. And a person who lacks empathy, then has no reason to be moral. Or what about a person who only feels empathy for some people, and not others? He doesn't have to be moral to ther others.

Jeff said...

Natschuster:

you are confusing the topics here. This is not a discussion about the source of morality. In any case you seem to be unaware of the entire discipline of moral philosophy. Atheists don't claim that morality can be proven by science (with the exception, perhaps of Sam Harris)

the subject is JP's straw man argument, and my answer as to why we atheists think that humans are different than animals. And the answer is because we can think about morality. As hugo said, it doesn't prove anything about morality, but it explains how humans are unique.

Hugo said...

Jeff:
Hugo- I was hoping that you would return to demonstrating that this post is a straw man argument. We have all been saying this but JP insists on telling us what our position is.

I agree that this post is a straw man argument. There is just too much to cover at the same time... Look at my posts and how little I get to address, and how JP replies with so little explanations, and even links to one of his own post instead of trying to tell me, in his own words, what basic attributes God has, in his belief system.

I am glad that JP and I both agree to correct our mistakes if we are shown to have made one, so I decided to have a fresh start. I don't know anything about his background or the way he writes usually so I just go with that for now!

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I don't think this will last long since, and correct me if I am wrong JP, he does not really want to have a philosophical discussion about the existence of God and what various positions people can have after accepting versus rejecting God's existence. He seems to be a man who asserts things, and then defend them by asserting more things, instead of building from small points that ALL contributors can agree on first and foremost.

Hugo said...

Natschuster:
Empathy is an emotion, not a logical position. Why is empathy a better source for morality than apathy or cruelty, or selfishness?

No I am not talking about Empathy the emotion, I am talking about the aptitude that most humans have to understand what others think and feel, even when they are not felling it themselves.

Perhaps 'empathy' is not the best word then, if you think it's only an emotion. Please let me know if you understand what I mean and have a better word!

To get more technical, we know that in the brain there are what we call mirror neurons. Experiments show that when we look at someone doing something, our mirror neurons iniate the replication of the action in our mind, activating the exact same neurons that would be activated if we were the ones doing the action or feeling the same thing as the object of our observation. That's the 'empathy' I am talking about, which is more than just an emotion as you can see.

I consider empathy to be a good basis for morality because it yields the so-called 'golden rule' as I mentioned before. Because I can understand how others feel in certain situations, I can understand the consequences of my actions that will affect them, and in return hope that they will do the same.

Obviously, there are tons of other reasons, like the fact that empathy yields general principles such as 'don't kill', 'don't steal', 'dont' lie', since I don't want anybody doing that to me... I don't see how any of the other things you mention can yield such principles.

But, there is a BIG 'but', that you did not include in your response, so let me specify it. I said that my morality system is CONTEXT dependant. This means that to make a moral choice, or a moral judgement of someone else, we need to look at the context, and then use reason and logic, along with pre-accepted principles of morality, to come up with an ultimate answer. This also yields another important point, sometimes the answer is not clear or almost impossible to give, if not completely impossible...

what about a person who only feels empathy for some people, and not others? He doesn't have to be moral to ther others.

I don't care how others feel about my morality system or how they build their own and I don't want my morality system be imposed to others. I hope most people will agree with me as often as possible of course, but who doesn't? Note one importing thing though: if someone does not feel empathy at all, he cannot possible be moral according to me. That's why I said 'most' human beings have empathy for others. Psychopaths don't, and, well, we know what they can do... and I don't think either of us find it moral!

In other words, the questions you asked are irrelevant. There is no 'he doesn't have to be moral' in my view. Your questions come from the fact that your personal belief system is very different. As a God believer, your morality system is absolute and imposed to all human beings. It is thus normal for you to find my system odd and perhaps even absurd. I just hope you can see how it yields ideas that are not so different in the end.

Anyway, I could go on forever and as Jeff pointed out, that was just a side tract...

jewish philosopher said...

Hugo, we don't know the nature of gravity

http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question30.html

or magnetism

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/may/02-three-words-that-could-overthrow-physics

however we see their effects and therefore no one denies their existence.

Same thing with God.

Also, empathy is a poor basis for morality. First of all, many people empathize with only a small number of close relatives or friends or at most their own religion, race or nationality. Secondly, a person may choose to ignore his feelings of empathy if there is some other conflicting emotion, for example greed (I want what you have so I'll kill you and take it) or anger (you made me mad, so you deserve to be hurt in revenge).

Hugo said...

First, where is my post ?

Hugo, we don't know the nature of gravity or magnetism however we see their effects and therefore no one denies their existence. Same thing with God.

You are just trying to play with words. I am not sure if it's dishonest or wilful ignorance honestly... Let me clarify and show you where I agree and disagree. Actually I don't think I disagree with you at all, I just don't see how you fit God into that picture.

You say that we see the effect of gravity (or magnetism but I'll stick to one for simplicity) but we don't know its nature. It means that it's the effect that we call 'gravity', not the thing that produces gravity. The thing that causes gravity remains unknown. You can say that there is something that causes the effect 'gravity', but since you say we have no idea what it's nature is, you are not describing that thing at all, you have not proven that it exists.

Then, you say that it's the same with God bt it cannot be! Your God, at least from what I understand, is not just an effect, God is an actual mind, you know at least that about God's nature, and you claim that God causes things, has some manifestation that we can observe, just like we observe gravity as being the effect of something. So, my question to you is this: what are these effects that God causes that proves God exists but are not telling us anything about the nature of God?

The only examples I can think of would be all the things that people do because they 'believe in God'. However, the fact that people do things in the name of God does not prove the truth of their belief in any way... Correct me if you have a way to show that.

Also, empathy is a poor basis for morality. First of all, many people empathize with only a small number of close relatives or friends or at most their own religion, race or nationality.

Who cares? I never said it was good for everyone, in my response to natschuster I specified that! Why would that make empathy a bad basis? And, most importantly, you ignore what I said about empathy. I don't see it just as a simple emotion that we have towards other we know. I used the term empathy but explained that it might not be the best word as I am talking about the process of being able to know how others would feel, shall I decide to do something that influences their life. THAT is what I mean by empathy. You oversimplified my idea...

Secondly, a person may choose to ignore his feelings of empathy if there is some other conflicting emotion, for example greed (I want what you have so I'll kill you and take it) or anger (you made me mad, so you deserve to be hurt in revenge).

Yes, of course, a person may choose to ignore his feelings, but the action remains immoral... People can ignore what God wants, so that system of morality is bad too I guess! What's your point?

Side note: As Jeff mentioned, the title of this post was 'Two Proofs That Atheists Are Lying' and I have not lied to you once since I started the communication and don't intend to. Can you acknowledge that and/or point out to me things that you think I lie about?

Thanks!

natshuster said...

I'm not sure what neurological reactions have to do with morality. Empathy means feeling what others are feeling, to my undertanding. It's an emotion. And if neurological reactions are a basis for morality, when people see violence and cruelty, they react neurologically, also. So that means that cruelty and violence are moral. And people react to pornography. So that would be your sexual morality. And some people don't feel empathy for people who are different. So morality only extends to those close to them.

And why is the Golden Rule better than the law of the jungle? Survival of the fittest? Natural Selection? It works for apes.

Jeff said...

"And why is the Golden Rule better than the law of the jungle? "

Because we decided so.

Just like you decide on Torah morality. Or you might decide not.

No difference. Except that we openly admit that its a human decision and you don't.

jewish philosopher said...

"It means that it's the effect that we call 'gravity', not the thing that produces gravity."

No, gravity is a thing, falling is the effect. God is a thing, our existence is an effect.

"People can ignore what God wants"

The more someone fears God the less likely that is.

Jeff said...

"The more someone fears God the less likely that is."

And that is a choice, too. You decide to fear god. Or you decide not.

Just like somebody decides to fear the law, or not, or to listen to his conscience, or not.

A human choice either way. What makes you fear god?

jewish philosopher said...

"A human choice either way."

Absolutely, and we are held accountable for our choices, unlike atheists who imagine we have no free will.

"What makes you fear god?"

Reading inspirational literature helps.

Jeff said...

"unlike atheists who imagine we have no free will."

No. We don't. There are 2 concepts within free will:

1. Ability to choose-- due to our brain chemicals and synapses-- note that this does not exist when we are brain damaged.

2. Accountability-- by societal convention and agreement (and by social pressure)

None of these are contradicted by atheism.

natschuster said...

Jeff:

The Golden Rule allows a suicidal person to commit murder. Thatmight be the "thinking" some of the school shooters and spree killers who kill themsleves when they get tiredof killing others. They don't want to go on living, so why should anyone else?

And If I find a co-worker attractive, and I want her to sexually harrase me, I should be allowed to sexually harrass her, according to the Golden Rule.

Hugo said...

natshuster said...
I'm not sure what neurological reactions have to do with morality.

Nothing, I explained to you where I think empathy comes from, in part. It's the fact that we have these mirror neurons that makes us capable of imagining what others think and feel. If we cannot imagine what others think and feel, how could we possibly come up with moral judgement that respect them?

Empathy means feeling what others are feeling, to my undertanding. It's an emotion.

I specified that I am not talking about 'just' the emotion, as I just explained, again.

And if neurological reactions are a basis for morality, when people see violence and cruelty, they react neurologically, also. So that means that cruelty and violence are moral.

By what sort of twisted logic do you come up with that? I don't consider cruelty and violence to be moral because I don't want that to happen to me. That's the basis of my morality. What part don't you understand?

Again, it's a BASIS, a starting point. From there I form complex and context-dependant moral judgement that vary for almost every situations... What part don't you understand?

And people react to pornography. So that would be your sexual morality.

How can a reaction be consider moral or not? It's a REACTION, not a CHOICE.

And some people don't feel empathy for people who are different. So morality only extends to those close to them.

For them perhaps, but I would disagree and find that completely absurd and terrible! Actually, that's how racist, homophobic, xenophobic, athisemic and a bunch of other people think. They extend their morality only for themselves and close ones, so any person which is an 'other' is worthless. I am NOT like that. I consider that all rational person has value.

That's another basis for my morality by the way, but I never got to that since you cannot understand the very first simple principle I explained ;)

And why is the Golden Rule better than the law of the jungle? Survival of the fittest? Natural Selection? It works for apes

Natural selection is not using reason and logic to choose. It's a blind natural process that makes certain individuals of a certain population survive best because of their environment. I don't see the link with morality at all. There's no moral choice involve, no conscious decision. So no, it's not a good way to determine what's moral or not, it's not even applicable. And no, it does not 'work' for apes, it does not even make sense to say that. You are comparing oranges and bananas...

Hugo said...

***
"It means that it's the effect that we call 'gravity', not the thing that produces gravity."
No, gravity is a thing, falling is the effect. God is a thing, our existence is an effect.
***

Gravity does not cause falling...

If God causes our existence, then surely you have a way to explain how and why you think that's the case. That's the part I don't get, since I don't even believe God is real in the first place. Saying that God is the cause does not prove God is the cause. You just equate words.

***
"People can ignore what God wants"
The more someone fears God the less likely that is.
***

So what? Your answer has nothing to do with the reason why I wrote ' People can ignore what God wants'. Go read the context please...

Perhaps then you can concede that your argument against my morality system was wrong, because THAT is what you pretended. You said that people can ignore their empathy as a mean to say that my morality system is invalid. Now you jumped to something else.

You are not even trying to have a philosophical discussion I am afraid. I don't think there is much more to discuss in that case. You lied when you said you were going to correct your errors... I don't find that very moral ;)

natschuster said...

Hugo:

Let me see if I get this straight. Neurological reactions mean that the feeling of empathy is real. I never said it wasn't. But it is still a feeling. Yoru feelings are the source of your choices. And why are choices beased on yoru feelings of empathy better than chocies beased on feelings of cruelty? hy are you better than all those xenophobes a bigots?

And naturakl selecion is not a choice, ture. But it can be he basis for morl choices. Hitler made moral choices based on natural selection. So did Margaret Sanger. Why is natural selection a worse choice for a moral philosophy and moral choices than epathy?

jewish philosopher said...

"No. We don't."

Yes, you do. According to atheism, a personal, Biblical does not exist and evolution created us. Evolution could not create a soul, meaning that we are soulless bags of chemicals. Chemicals behave according to prior causes and the laws of nature.

These articles are interesting.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/04/0915161107.full.pdf+html

http://www.naturalism.org/atheism.htm#littlegod

"Gravity does not cause falling..."

It does. Remember Newton, the apple.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/01/newtons-apple-the-real-story.html

"If God causes our existence, then surely you have a way to explain how and why you think that's the case."

Sure. Because a design needs a designer.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/did-life-form-by-accident/

"Perhaps then you can concede that your argument against my morality system was wrong,"

What I am saying is that Orthodox Jews are more likely to be nice people and less like to be criminals than atheists because Orthodox Jews fear God.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/god-save-king-why-we-need-both.html

Hugo said...

According to atheism, a personal, Biblical does not exist and evolution created us.

I guess this means that according to atheism a God does not exist and evolution created us.

First, there is no 'according to atheism'. I agree that most atheists accept the FACT that humans evolved, but it has nothing to do with a rejection of God, it has all to do with biology.

It's not a 'God and creation' versus 'Atheism and evolution'. That is simply a lie and an oversimplified version of reality. We were not created anyway... each human was born from their parent so creation in the sense you are using it is misleading.

If you think biology is a scientific field we cannot trust, then I have to ask if there are other natural science that you reject? You mentioned gravity several time, so it means you don't reject physics... I guess?

Evolution could not create a soul,

Again, evolution does not create, so you're sentence does not even make sense
In any case, I still get what you mean, and you are right. Evolution did not yield natural beings with supernatural eternal non-dying souls that will survive the death of their body. That concept was created by humans, in their mind. It's a belief you have but I don't believe it to be true. I wish it were true though! Why wouldn't I want to live on after the death of my body? Reality tells me otherwise...

meaning that we are soulless bags of chemicals. Chemicals behave according to prior causes and the laws of nature.

Oversimplified again. Yes we are made of atoms, chemicals; mostly proteins, but so what? We are able to know that because we have minds, because we are intelligent and becauser we are able to acquire knowledge. We also know that we are able to make choices, predict the outcome of certain events and go through life assuming that others do. We have free will and others have it. No need to argue over that or even try to prove it. It's a futile exercise. Let me show you a quick parallel:

How many molecules of water does it take for something to be wet?

The point of this question is that each water molecule has certain properties and act a certain way. You can predict their movement and reaction. Put enough together though and you get, not just molecules of water, but actually water, with very different properties. So now, can you tell me exactly after how many water molecules you get water?

Same thing with the brain. Each neuron, and each little set of connection of neurons, can represent a certain circuit, and analogies with computers can be made. However, it's just an analogy as we don't have programs and our cells react in very different ways. But in the end, it's very similar. It's a bunch of parts put together. Some living things have more complex brains, others have simpler forms. But now tell me, exactly how many neurons do we need to be self-aware? Or exactly after what time does our neurons make us aware of ourself? At what age exactly?

Do you see the relation? The two examples can be compared, they are not the same, and show how things are not as black or white as we think they are on a superficial level.

Hugo said...

According to atheism, a personal, Biblical does not exist and evolution created us.

I guess this means that according to atheism a God does not exist and evolution created us.

First, there is no 'according to atheism'. I agree that most atheists accept the FACT that humans evolved, but it has nothing to do with a rejection of God, it has all to do with biology.

It's not a 'God and creation' versus 'Atheism and evolution'. That is simply a lie and an oversimplified version of reality. We were not created anyway... each human was born from their parent so creation in the sense you are using it is misleading.

If you think biology is a scientific field we cannot trust, then I have to ask if there are other natural science that you reject? You mentioned gravity several time, so it means you don't reject physics... I guess?

Evolution could not create a soul,

Again, evolution does not create, so you're sentence does not even make sense
In any case, I still get what you mean, and you are right. Evolution did not yield natural beings with supernatural eternal non-dying souls that will survive the death of their body. That concept was created by humans, in their mind. It's a belief you have but I don't believe it to be true. I wish it were true though! Why wouldn't I want to live on after the death of my body? Reality tells me otherwise...

meaning that we are soulless bags of chemicals. Chemicals behave according to prior causes and the laws of nature.

Oversimplified again. Yes we are made of atoms, chemicals; mostly proteins, but so what? We are able to know that because we have minds, because we are intelligent and becauser we are able to acquire knowledge. We also know that we are able to make choices, predict the outcome of certain events and go through life assuming that others do. We have free will and others have it. No need to argue over that or even try to prove it. It's a futile exercise. Let me show you a quick parallel:

How many molecules of water does it take for something to be wet?

The point of this question is that each water molecule has certain properties and act a certain way. You can predict their movement and reaction. Put enough together though and you get, not just molecules of water, but actually water, with very different properties. So now, can you tell me exactly after how many water molecules you get water?

Same thing with the brain. Each neuron, and each little set of connection of neurons, can represent a certain circuit, and analogies with computers can be made. However, it's just an analogy as we don't have programs and our cells react in very different ways. But in the end, it's very similar. It's a bunch of parts put together. Some living things have more complex brains, others have simpler forms. But now tell me, exactly how many neurons do we need to be self-aware? Or exactly after what time does our neurons make us aware of ourself? At what age exactly?

Do you see the relation? The two examples can be compared, they are not the same, and show how things are not as black or white as we think they are on a superficial level.

Hugo said...

"Gravity does not cause falling..."
It does. Remember Newton, the apple.
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/01/newtons-apple-the-real-story.html


That is very ironic, you quoted a NewScientist article, THE magazine I love the most, the one and only one I am subscribe to and read "religiously" every week. What about you extend your visit on their website and learn bout other fields, like biology?

Concerning the apple falling, you are correct. The point I was trying to make is that gravity does not cause 'only' falling, I missed a few words, my mistake!

In any case, gravity is a force created by two bodies that have mass. In that sense, we know what the nature of gravity is, it's mass. Mass causes gravity. What we don't know is what gives objects their mass. That is the 'gravity' we don't know about. It does not cause anything to fall, it causes things that have a mass to attract each other, but don't know how exactly.

"If God causes our existence, then surely you have a way to explain how and why you think that's the case."
Sure. Because a design needs a designer.


Yes, but nature is not designed. If nature was designed, you could not distinguish what is designed from nature. The ' design needs a designer' argument fails without even addressing it. It's a shame that you labelled yourself a philosopher and cannot see that...

Let me restate that... A lot of things appear designed, granted, but the reason why you notice a watch on a beach, or a painter in a forest, is because it contrasts with what is NOT designed: nature. By saying that nature is designed, you essentially claim that there is no way to differentiate between what is designed and what is not, as what is designed is supposed to contrast with what is natural.

In other words, you have two types of design, human design and natural design. You decided that the 'natural design' was God's design. Ok fine, but you just labelled nature with other words. I don't see the use for that, and I don't see why a mind would have designed that, because nature does not appear designed at all. It looks natural, ever changing, and natural living beings adapted to it through long and slow processes, guided not by chance alone, but by a complex combination of conditions.

Anyway, I read a bunch of other things on your web site now it's been a few days and it made me very sad. You are not someone who is interested in discussion from what I have understood, and you are unable to correct even the simplest lies you tell concerning others of other religion or non-religion. I will thus leave you to your business sir.

You seem to be a lovely father and a good family man who wants to share good positive values, so I can only hope for the best for you, and hope you will do the best for others, and hope you'll stop misrepresenting others you don't really understand.

Have a nice day!

Hugo said...

@natschuster
Let me see if I get this straight.
Well, I don't think you get it frankly so that will be a quick last chance to try to explain to you. As I mentionned to JP in my previous comment, I am done commenting here already. It's not a place for discussion and you guys misunderstand my position too much and misrepresent too much. Perhaps in person it would work better but online it's a pain. I just write like that for the fun of it sometimes, but it gets frustrating very quickly because of the misunderstandings... so I just stop.

Neurological reactions mean that the feeling of empathy is real. I never said it wasn't. But it is still a feeling. Yoru feelings are the source of your choices. And why are choices beased on yoru feelings of empathy better than chocies beased on feelings of cruelty? hy are you better than all those xenophobes a bigots?

I don't claim to be better, but I have good reasons to think that I am since my morality system values equity, freedom, tolerance, no violence, no harm to others, etc... Xenophobes bigots don't care about such things, by definition.

Moreover, I don't even understand why you ask such questions. Surely your answer to why your morality system is good is not just 'God says so'. That would be silly. JP for example mentioned that Jews commit less crimes. That's a valid reason. It shows that his morality system has at least good outcomes! So it does not even have anything to do with my atheism, which is the reason why you thought my morality system did not work in the first place. It's odd really.

Remember the original point. I was just trying to explain to you why God is not essential to form a morality system. We have been discussing mine, without invoking God, for several comments now. I think I made my case.

And naturakl selecion is not a choice, ture. But it can be he basis for morl choices. Hitler made moral choices based on natural selection. So did Margaret Sanger. Why is natural selection a worse choice for a moral philosophy and moral choices than epathy?

Again, I am not even sure why you ask such question. You are asking me to tell you why Hitler's choices were bad? He ordered the killing of millions of people for goodness sake!? What do you want me to tell you!?

Seriously, think for a second... my morality principles say that killing is bad, violence is bad, that all rational humans have a right to live, that human life is a standard to judge actions on, etc... Why on Earth would I consider anything Hitler did to be ok? Why would I support him?

Have a nice day too sir, take care!

Jeff said...

JP,

Your dichotomy appears only because of your rigid concept of free will. As I defined it in my comment, we have free will. Once again, you are "telling" me what I believe, even after informing you that you are incorrectly attributing to me views that I do not hold.

I could define free will in such a way to claim that you don't believe in it, either. For example, I could require that free will give everybody equal choices. And, since god made people born to different parents with different genes, in fact, they do not have the same choices. So, YOU don't believe in free will.

But if I said that, I would be guilty, as you are, of a straw man argument.

jewish philosopher said...

"If you think biology is a scientific field we cannot trust"

Evolution is not biology any more than the resurrection of Christ is history. I've proven that here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

"Why wouldn't I want to live on after the death of my body?"

Because then you could be held accountable in the afterlife for the evil things you've done.

"We have free will"

Not according to atheism. See these articles for example

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/04/0915161107.full.pdf+html

http://www.naturalism.org/atheism.htm#littlegod

"nature is not designed"

Anything complex, having many moving parts all working together to accomplish a specific purpose, demonstrates intelligent design and must have had an intelligent designer. Therefore, things such as the eye or heart prove that God exists.

"As I defined it in my comment, we have free will."

Free will means the ability to make choices that are not determined by prior causes.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free%20will

Atheism denies this exists. See these articles for example.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/04/0915161107.full.pdf+html

http://www.naturalism.org/atheism.htm#littlegod

Hugo said...

I am a bit surprised by your answer. I did not think you would agree with me, but I did not know you were denying reality so much.

I am done, as I said, and I will not bother you anymore, but since you quoted NewScientist, I want to share with you this article:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128221.500-existence-why-is-the-universe-just-right-for-us.htm

Nothing extraordinary; I don't pretend to have such powers, but this article was posted 2 days ago, and I randomly rant into it right after reading what you wrote here. I was not going to reply, I forced myself not to, but then found this article...

Oh, and, by the way... read the biology/life sections at NewScientist.com, you might learn a thing or two.

Enjoy!

Jeff said...

"Free will means the ability to make choices that are not determined by prior causes."

"Atheism denies this exists."

You don't believe in it either.

A child born to 2 poor drunk drug abusing parents does not have the same choices as does someone born to Steve Jobs.

Not only that, god's plan is mapped out so he doesn't really have a choice anyway.

So you don't believe in free will, we are just pawns of god and have no responsibility.

How do you like it when I decide what your opinion is?

jewish philosopher said...

According to Judaism, we can, to some degree, make choices which are not entirely predetermined by our brain chemistry, the laws of physics, etc.

http://www.beingjewish.com/soul/freewill.html

According to atheism, we cannot and we are really zombies.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/06/zombies-and-atheism.html

Jeff said...

According to atheism, we can, to some degree, make choices which are not entirely predetermined by our brain chemistry, the laws of physics, etc.

That is my view, which entails free will. Or do you insist on telling me that I believe otherwise?

The PNAS article is but one opinion on the matter, and is not an authority for all atheists/agnostics. We are not a monolithic group, just as Jews are not monolithic.

jewish philosopher said...

"According to atheism, we can, to some degree, make choices which are not entirely predetermined by our brain chemistry, the laws of physics, etc."

In which case you believe in something outside the laws of nature.

You can believe anything you like, however you aren't an atheist.

natschuster said...

Jeff:

I still don't see any basis in logic in your answer for why your morality is better than Hitler's.
I happen to agree with you that yur morality is better. But unless I come on to G-d commanding morality, I have no basis other than my own moral sense for saying so.

natschuster said...

The articel that addresses cosmic fine tuning lies on the fact that changing one variabel while leaving the others intact is what cause the problem. BUt, IMHO, that isn't the case. For example, even if you tinker with the stong nuclear force, but add a touch more mass, the universe woudl have recollapsed rigth after the Big Bang. A little bit less mass, and we would have had runaway expansion.

Jeff said...

"I still don't see any basis in logic in your answer for why your morality is better than Hitler's. "

The basis is that we decide as such. Nothing else. Read moral philosophers.

"But unless I come on to G-d commanding morality,"

You decide on that, too. You decide on which god, on how to interpret, etc. No better than human morality.

Humans have weaknesses, unfortunately.

You're making the same straw man claim, I never said I can scientifically prove that humanistic morality is better or worse than anything else.

Josh said...

Didn't feel like reading the miles of posting here so this may have been mentioned, but your argument fails in attacking atheists about evolution. You do not have to believe in evolution to be an atheist. Atheism is just a lack of belief in god/gods. Nothing more. So your questions are technically invalid as a means to disprove atheism.

Now onto the evolution. The first question makes a false distinction that animals with conscious thought should be treated the same as animals without it. A pack of wolves have social order, but don't have the same social sense of right and wrong as humans. This has nothing to do with a creator because societies are subjective in their social beliefs. By Jewish and Christian standards suicide is immoral, but in Japan it has been a valid form of preserving honor and protesting for centuries. A person's belief in it being right or wrong is subjective to where they live and not based on a world wide group mind. Your further statement in the comments section that excessive population growth is a good thing and equal to evolution is also false. Population growth of any group to excess is not good for the group. While yes in the sense of evolution it gives you plenty of genetic material to work with, in a group survival sense it is a bad thing.

Your second statement is that mass extinction is a good thing so why shouldn't we die out. Just because we got to where we are through evolution does not mean that we are sprinting toward death. This isn't even a reasonable belief. It is the same as saying you believe in an afterlife so why haven't you figured out how to get there sooner.

You also made a false point in saying that Hitler was an atheist. He claimed himself to be a catholic, and since I can't prove his personal convictions beyond what he wrote I have to assume he believed what he said he did.

I was very surprised by this particular line "Now that's a very shrewd rebuttal, worthy of the typical alcohol and drug soaked atheist mind."

While I thought your 2 proofs were not very well thought out, as I laid out above, this is just sophomoric and sad for a man of your age and moral learning to say. It is hard to make your point of religion when you make such personal attacks right from the start. You are also using ridiculous stereotypes of atheists, believing we are all 18-21 years old, drug addicts, drunks, and living in our parents basements. We are a group as varied as their are groups in society and cultures around the world. There are atheists of every age, poliitcal leaning, culture, economic standing, and morality.

I checked out your about page and Mr. Stein you seem like a very nice man, who has a lovely family. I do not expect you to suddenly believe what I say or ever change your religious views. And it would be wrong of me to say you have to believe my point of view. I do hope you can see though that the questions you raise, and the demeanor in which you carry your conversations is not helping to promote your religion. I think your cause to help people understand the world and the unknown is a good one, just be a little more respectful.

I have always felt it is important to be respectful no matter how someone else treats me. People think more highly of you and your opinion if you are not disturbed by others angry or hateful attacks.

jewish philosopher said...

"You do not have to believe in evolution to be an atheist."

Which atheist is a creationist?

"Atheism is just a lack of belief in god/gods."

How do you define "god"?

"It is the same as saying you believe in an afterlife so why haven't you figured out how to get there sooner."

Because Judaism prohibits suicide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_suicide

"You also made a false point in saying that Hitler was an atheist."

I think that's accurate, as I explain.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/03/were-nazis-atheists.html

Nico said...

I had to read this thread to the end.

It is evident that Hugo and others have tried their hardest to have a logical debate with others who it seems have closed the discussion on this debate and possibly towards any other opposing ideas because it seems they've decided they understand the scope of the universe from their religious perspective.

I think the prevailing general trend of the past hundred years has been in the direction of a more open and tolerant society. We've at least started to give equal rights to all people regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. And we've done this despite our various moral upbringings- evidence perhaps for a shared collective morality that transcends religious affiliation?

On this line there have been numerous great studies published that show that humans from diverse cultural and religious or non religious backgrounds all chose similar moral solutions based on natural human empathy.

I believe that we need to start thinking of this world as a collective unit of people that belong to our earthly family. I also believe that any division or excuse to call attention to "others" is a needless rift that only causes tension. I think it's very important to keep our cultures and heritage alive, but only as far as we are still able to respect the views and beliefs of others.

I respect the religions of the book, as I respect all other faiths and non- faiths. I just wish they weren't so violently exclusive! I've learned in my travels of many good people who take positive practices from multiple faiths or non faiths, and have still turned out to be wonderful people!

Why attack atheists or any other religion? Is it really mature of us? On that line, atheist also need to cool down the religion-hating. I, myself am a very spiritual individual yet I personally see no need for religion in this modern age of multiculturalism, internet and technology, and i fear it is very often used as a tool to separate us, but that doesn't mean that I am any more correct than my brothers and sisters who celebrate their faiths.


The real challenge is learning to take this violence and mistrust and turn it into a mutual respect and maybe even mutual learning. Let's not be so arrogant as to assume we have all the answers already, if we did, why would we be here in the first place, with the ability and desire to share thoughts? :)

In the end you may not be right, they may not be right and I may not be right- and im ok with that because unless I'm mistaken, every great prophet and inspirational atheist believes in love and compassion as the bottom line. Let's not let those most important of lessons get lost in the smaller details which may unfortunately still divide us.

My best regards to you all!

jewish philosopher said...

What you are suggesting is something called indifferentism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indifferentism

I think that this is an intermediary stage between monotheism and atheism. I don't think it's a stable, serious ideology and I would assume that there are few third generation indifferentists. People will go to one side or another: traditional monotheism or full blown atheism.

zipperback said...

1) Because how would that work? How would that even work? Shall we chase murderers with unskilled employees brandishing nets and collar hooks? Should animal control put out murderer traps with a bit of murderer food in them so when murderers step inside the trap snaps shut? Then shall we take the murderers to largely unsupervised holding facilities with flimsy wire cages? How do we find there murderers anyway and how do we know we got the right one? With a dog you can usually find it at it's owner's place or in a very small territory. Does that work with murderers?

We could replace the penal system with animal control but we'd have to upgrade animal control into an almost identical copy of the penal system.

Hey you know what else is an animal? Head lice. Would you call animal control if you had head lice? I mean they're animals and they bite people.

So the reason atheists don't want to replace the penal system with animal control is because it would be stupid, inefficient and ineffective against armed criminals with human intelligence.

It makes about as much sense as saying "Humans are animals, dogs are animals, criminals are humans, lice are animals. Why don't atheists control crime and rabid dogs with medicated shampoo."

Your line of reasoning is as logical and well considered as the above non-sequitur. Why don't you just admit you're a complete loon?

jewish philosopher said...

What happens if a chimp escapes from the zoo and kills somebody? Or what happens if pack of wild dogs is running around biting people?

So do the same thing with humans. Humans are animals too.

Simon. said...

It does not matter if we are animals ourselves.

It is only natural and logical that we treat our species better than other species, thats why we wont just kill a man who has killed someone else.
Now add the facts that we are conscious and have morals, it should be clear why we don't use animal control on people

It should be clear by now that atheists actually believe we are animals ourselves, but we still believe that we are better than a dog or a rat, because we set our own species before other species!


You ask why we don't encourage global warming?
WHY should we do that? We do not care for how evolution will continue after we are gone. Again, we put our own species before others and we don't want our own race to be extinct.
Not all atheists are a bunch of hippies running around, caring for nature and other species before our own kind. I believe that our primary goal in life, just like other animals', is the furthering of our own species, Which is why we would try to prevent global warming (the possible extinction of our race).

As you can see, a lot of atheists (including myself), really, actually, sincerely believes in Evolution
I'm on the side of REAL evidence and science!

Anonymous said...

1) Because, as a species, we obviously value truth and justice. That is the purpose of our system, to ensure the truth is ascertained, and that appropriate justice is delivered for the offense. This should be obvious. It has nothing to do with whether we consider ourselves animals or not.

Obviously, we are animals. We share all of the characteristics of an animal. Many animals share our sense of right and wrong, grieve, and consider others. This is not uniquely human, and it is a silly assumption.

Furthermore, we share over 90% of our DNA with many animals all over the planet.

But - if you want to think you're not just a bipedal ape, then more power to you.

2) Evolution is neutral. Nature is neutral. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that a mass extinction would cause "more" or "better" evolution. This is simply idiotic (to put it as bluntly as possible)

What exactly is the point for any of this article, really? Do you really sit around all day thinking about this stuff, and then deliberately decide "This is a great idea, I need to share it with the world". Is that literally what happens?

If so - let me make a suggestion - you are doing a disservice to your cause. By speaking like this, and by making these ridiculous arguments.

This is so completely obviously, I just have to wonder if you're not trolling on your very own website.

jewish philosopher said...

"It is only natural and logical that we treat our species better than other species,"

Who says?

"Now add the facts that we are conscious and have morals,"

Other animals don't? My dog is more loving and loyal than a lot of people and I think she's conscious.

"because we set our own species before other species!"

Why not set your race or religion before other races and religions. Or your hair color or eye color. Or gender.

"We do not care for how evolution will continue after we are gone."

Why not?

"Again, we put our own species before others and we don't want our own race to be extinct."

Why not my country or my neighborhood before others?

"we obviously value truth and justice."

So how about truth and justice for packs of runaway dogs?

"Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that a mass extinction would cause "more" or "better" evolution."

Sure there is.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/06/070620-mammals-dinos.html

Mr. Shiny and New said...

Even if atheists believed that "more evolution" was a desirable goal, which I'm not sure why they would, there is actually quite a bit of evidence to suggest that a mass extinction would be detrimental overall. There have been several mass extinctions. Each one more-or-less reboots the evolutionary system. Each one is, essentially, a trial in the "let's start with 'nothing' and evolve Intelligent Life". Only the latest trial worked. If we reset now, who says we would get intelligent life next time?

Besides: evolution doesn't just involve biological changes. We can evolve by changing our behaviour. And we're pretty good at that. And soon we will directly be enhancing our bodies using our own skills. At some point we will be post-human. Like a slug who builds a shell, and is now a snail, humans with enhancements will be something other than human. (Whether they're better is up for debate and irrelevant). If we were to reboot now, we wouldn't be heading for super-human utopia, we'd be erasing all our progress.

As for your first point: equating people with animals is silly. Nobody denies that humans are different from the other animals.That is an important point. Just as we can tell that dogs are different from wolves, we can tell that humans are different from apes (despite many, many similarities). The key is in the differences. You handle different animals differently. And humans are pretty damn smart, so when we need to, for example, catch murderous psychopathic humans, we use specially trained people to track, capture, judge, and hold those humans. Catching irritating parking offenders actually requires differently trained people. It's asinine to suggest that those two roles are the same, so why would you make the suggestion that catching stray cats is the same as policing?

jewish philosopher said...

"If we were to reboot now, we wouldn't be heading for super-human utopia, we'd be erasing all our progress."

Which is why evolution is obviously false. Each mass extinction would not have created superior life, but rather would have erased all progress.

"when we need to, for example, catch murderous psychopathic humans, we use specially trained people to track, capture, judge, and hold those humans"

I don't think that's why the criminal justice system is so expensive and ineffective. It's because we bestow upon people natural and legal rights which we do not bestow upon animals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights

This is irrational from an atheist point of view. Those rights should apply to everything (as animal rights advocates might claim
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights) or to no one (as possibly some some extreme Nazis or Communists might claim).

Anonymous said...

Alright lemme clear this up for you easily.

I do think evolution is a good thing. Stagnation IS bad. However. You have to acount for evolution on many levels. Humans have stopped evolving in the conventional sense. We now make up for this in intelligence and the power of teaching. We adapt mentally rather than biologically as a collective. That is the kind of animal we are. And i DO think we are animals.

Back to the question at hand. You say why dont we accept global warming as a way to kill us all? Simple. Evolution DOESNT work if the animals dont fight their fate of death. The rabbit wont evolve if it doesnt run away. The birds eyes dont evolve if it keeps them shut and starves to death. We need to survive. And try our hardest to survive for the SAKE of evolution. For the sake of evolving our species (mentally) we need to fight global warming and all other threats to mankind to successfully let evolution take its course. To not fight would be for the rabbit to stop running. Thats not evolution.

Humans operate in complex larger packs (far larger than anything our animal minds are designed to deal with) thus logically we need a policeforce to govern this system without causing harm to ourselves. Animal control is for single animals who have commited "offences". Not the regulation of a sizable population all working and living dependant on one another.

Please come back with a rebuttle. Im curious.

jewish philosopher said...

I suppose trilobites also thought that they were just fine and had evolved enough.

"logically we need a policeforce to govern this system without causing harm to ourselves"

But dispense with the human rights nonsense; humans have no more rights than animals because we are animals.

Mr. Shiny and New said...

Which is why evolution is obviously false. Each mass extinction would not have created superior life, but rather would have erased all progress.

This statement of yours doesn't make sense. The mass extinctions don't create life; nobody believes that. What they do is open the door for new life forms to flourish because the competition has been eliminated. However evolution doesn't have a goal and so "superior life" is not a real concept in evolutionary terms. There is no such thing as "superior" or "inferior" in absolute terms.

My point was that the various mass extinctions did clean the slate and allow new life to flourish, and in one instance the result was humanity. But if we cleaned the slate again the result would not be humanity and it might not be intelligent. There is nothing in evolutionary theory which suggests that each time you clean the slate, a few million years later you get something even better than before.

As for your point about the legal system: honestly I don't understand what you're trying to say. Are you claiming that a dog-catcher would be effective as a serial-killer-catcher, even if serial-killers were afforded only the same legal rights that dogs are? I think we both agree that humans are way smarter than dogs. But it's false to think that just because Atheists (and anyone who's studied biology) consider humans to be biologically animals that this means humans shouldn't have "human rights". Human rights exist because we have the capacity to think and empathize and that raises us above most of the other animals.

But let's be completely frank here: your blog post accuses all atheists of lying. That means deliberately telling something meant to deceive. Yet when we try to inform you about some misconceptions you have you just plug your ears and shout us down. If someone states a fact that isn't true, but they believe it to be true, they're not lying. But if they refuse to listen to anyone who tries to correct them, don't they cross the line?

jewish philosopher said...

Mass extinctions have produced more complex life; most people would think of that as superior.

Regarding animals, what is done, and the reason so few people are killed by them, is that any animal who show aggressiveness is put to sleep. it's not csi and rocket science.

Mr. Shiny and New said...

Mass extinctions have produced more complex life; most people would think of that as superior.

It doesn't matter what "most people think of as superior". The point is that a Tyrannosaurus is not more complex than an elephant and is not superior to a cheetah (nor is the cheetah superior to the Tyrannosaurus). You can't order the animals in terms of superiority or inferiority. Is a bat superior to an eagle? Is a bat superior to a mole or a mouse? The whole notion of superiority is flawed. Mass extinctions simply got rid of competition so that new things could arise. The reason new things arose is that evolution is unguided and random, so the odds are that you won't see the same old things the second time.

Regarding animals, what is done, and the reason so few people are killed by them, is that any animal who show aggressiveness is put to sleep. it's not csi and rocket science.

Let's put aside all discussion of religion for a second and consider this approach in terms of game theory. Let's say two groups, A and B, of humans live near each other. One day an individual from A gets mad because an individual from B stole his lunch. A decides to punch B in the nose. But now group B decides to retaliate and kill the guy from A. So then group A retaliates and kills the killer from B. this goes on and on until everyone is dead except the last killer.

You can see that this sort of behaviour is detrimental to the individuals in both groups. Most of them end up dead. And yet, there are actually humans that live this way. But overall humanity has realized that cooperation and law and order lead to better results for everyone.

What does this have to do with dogs? Well, if a dog seems aggressive, many people (but not all) will decide it's just easier to shoot the dog and be done with it. This is because dogs are relatively worthless in many cases. There is no shortage of dogs and dogs are often interchangeable. But we realize that people are not interchangeable and people are also way more complicated than dogs. When A and B get into an argument about whose lunch it is, they can actually work it out that it was A's lunch all along and B was mistaken, and leave without bloodshed. This leaves them able to cooperate later, to mutual benefit.

In short: there are many, many ways in which humans are different than the other animals. All of these differences can be explained. It is simply incredibly bad reasoning to say that because they are biologically similar, we should always use the same approach when dealing with a human as with a dog or a flea or a snake.

jewish philosopher said...

"Mass extinctions simply got rid of competition so that new things could arise."

However past experience has shown that in fact more intelligent life always arises. Prosperity brings stagnation; catastrophe brings progress. So why not welcome catastrophe? No pain, no gain.

Well, the reason why is because no really believes that evolution works. Evolution is merely an excuse to replace with God with a mindless natural process which cannot demand anything.

"This leaves them able to cooperate later, to mutual benefit."

It leaves the person with a tendency toward aggression alive and well to eventual go on to cause more mayhem and to sire children who will be similar to himself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/arts/genetics-and-crime-at-institute-of-justice-conference.html

So why don't we just get rid of the bad boys in second grade, as we do with bad dogs? Because of "human and legal rights" which dogs don't have? But according to atheism, what's the difference. We are not fundamentally different than dogs, cats, trees or rocks. We have no special God given soul.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the thing previously about letting global warming kill us is the evolutionary equivilent of the rabbit not trying to run from the predator. It undermines evolution entirely.

You responded by misreading what i wrote. We are NOT done evolving. We just dont do so biologically anymore, we do so intellectually. The trillobite couldnt escape predation by inventing guns since it lacked thumbs.

Simpley because humans are animals doesnt mean we shouldnt offer different animals different rights. We are all animals. And animals are unequal. There. I said it. The dustmite on my bed gets less rights than a cat that gets less rights than me because rights are distributed based on sentience and reasoning ability of the animal in question. It would be unreasonable to treat all animals the same since the poor protazoa your immune system are killing count as "living things". We draw a line. Many lines. Because we have to. The lines are based on how intelligent the creature is in comparison to us. We pick the laws for us based on what is beneficial for society. Then we remove rights as beings become less sentient based on how usefull those rights are to both us and them. Its alright to be selfish. After all isnt that what evolution is about?

Anonymous said...

In response to your rebuttle:

I claimed that we evolve intellectually, not biologically like the trillobite. Not that we are done evolving.

Secondly simpley because we are all animals that doesnt say we have the same rights. Youve listed one similarity over MANY differences. The differences in rights are due to those differences: Sentience, intellect, ability to emote.

jewish philosopher said...

Inventing new things isn't evolution.

And I'm not asking why atheists feel more important than animals. I'm asking what logical reason they have for thinking so. Logically, any atheist should realize that a person is not fundamentally different than a 200 pound garbage bag of manure.

Mr. Shiny and New said...

Logically, any atheist should realize that a person is not fundamentally different than a 200 pound garbage bag of manure.

That statement makes no sense. Have you not been reading what any of the atheists here have been trying to say? We value humans more than garbage because we value intelligence and empathy. How is that so hard for you to understand? Until you can acknowledge that, further conversation is futile.

jewish philosopher said...

Empathy is an emotion not logic or reason. I love my kids. I think they should never go to jail for anything. But that's not logic.

Anonymous said...

I think youll find that the changing of behaviour and the group culture most certainly is evolution. Chimps evolved to tolerate a pack of eachother to survive. We evolved to reason and invent. To change the sociatal view of an issue, to get the pack to work on it and resolve it is an evolution of the intellectual variety. Evolution gains many more dimensions with humans since we can teach, any discovery is a permenant change to our society since the good is kept and passed on. The drive to keep humans working and thinking to survive (see: behaviour change) is evolution in its own right. The way we cant solve a problem is the day we rightfully die. But to not solve it at all on purpose would be fruitless and undermine evolution. You are no longer disputing the points really. Ive utterly destroyed one of your "proofs" about letting ourselves die.

Empathy is logical. You seem to think emotion is ALWAYS irrational. Not so. It CAN be. But it isnt always. Human societies and social groups in animals function based on empathy and other emotions. Like fairness. Its a usefull survival tool. To value traits that work well in sociatal groups is very normal. We value intelligence and empathy because it resonates with ourselves. Animals that show traits like ours recieve our empathy. You will find the more human like behaviour an animal shows the more rights it gets. Dogs display loyalty and affection and we respect them since these are desirable traits. Thus we naturally empathise with them. We dont wish them harm. Its a natural instinct to care for the self, and in pack animals, to care for others like you. Its beneficial. Its logical. It helps survival. And i like the feeling when i help someone (yay endorphins!). Thus i value people.

jewish philosopher said...

"one of your "proofs" about letting ourselves die."

We're going to die anyway. But why not be willing to make some temporary sacrifice for the advancement of all living things?

Of course, because we all know evolution doesn't work.

"Its a natural instinct to care for the self, and in pack animals, to care for others like you."

I'm tall, have blue eyes and fair skin. How about if people like me just take care of ourselves? That's not an original idea by the way.

You still fail to explain how a human is fundamentally, intrinsically distinguished from a dog, a rat or a sack of manure.

Anonymous said...

I keep telling you sacks of manure dont have human traits like empathy or sentience. Traits of an advanced social group. Traits we share. And the HUMAN rights we offer become smaller the less HUMAN an animal seems. Sacks of manure cannot feel or think. I keep telling you this. Thats a reason.

And no, we dont "all know evolution doesnt work". A reason for your arguement cant be "Because its wrong". Thats a "self proving statement". And holds no water.

Also evolution doesnt say the death of all life would be for the advancement of all living things. I keep pointing out that to fight death is to follow the path of evolution, which is more beneficial to life than killing us all off. Which would simply start evolution off again from scratch with a different set of parameters for what can survive and what cant. Notice different set. Like temperature and conditions. Not neccessarily better. If we cause conditions in the world to be unable to harbor anything but the most basic life thats all that will evolve again. NOWHERE in evolutionary theory does it state that the death of ALL life will cause a "better" evolution the next time around. Its "different". Different to match different parameters.

Ive made a very clear point that to let ourselves die wont benefit all life. It wont be adhereing to evolution. And it would be wastefull. Ive clearly pointed out that sacks of manure show NO human traits and thus get 0 rights (like empathy and sentient) while rats show a tiny few (thus torturing them is frowned apon). I keep telling you its sentience and empathy. Intrinsically we can think and feel. Other animals do so in lesser degrees. Sacks of manure dont do it at all. I keep repeating this. Cmon. At least respond to what im saying.

jewish philosopher said...

If an asteroid strike allegedly turned mice into humans, we should assume that global warming will turn frogs into super-intelligent amphibians with an IQ hundreds of times that of humans who would go on to conquer the galaxy. We should be willing to accept temporary suffering and some personal sacrifice for the sake of the ultimate betterment of all life. At least this is something which should be considered. Instead, no scientists or government leaders are even questioning the importance of preserving the present climate.

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

"I keep telling you sacks of manure dont have human traits like empathy or sentience."

And humans don't have a wonderful pungent aroma. At least most don't. But so what?

Different animals and different objects and different people are by definition different. However why does this difference confer unique human and legal rights upon us, unless only humans have a divine soul conferred on them by God?

Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre criticises the concept of human rights and he asserts that “there are no such rights, and belief in them is one with belief in witches and in unicorns.”

MacIntyre argues that every attempt at justifying the existence of human rights has failed. The assertions by 18th century philosophers that natural rights are self-evident truths, he argues, are necessarily false as there are no such things as self-evident truths.

MacIntyre made this critique of human rights in the context of a wider argument about the failure of the Enlightenment to produce a coherent moral system. Philosophers of the enlightenment sought to cast aside the discredited notions of hierarchy and theology as justifications for morality. Instead, MacIntyre argues, the enlightenment placed the individual as the sovereign authority to dictate what is right and wrong. However allegiances to historical notions of morality remained and philosophers sought to find a secular and rational justification for existing beliefs.

Human rights are an example of a moral belief, founded in previous theological beliefs, which make the false claim of being grounded in rationality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_human_rights#Alasdair_MacIntyre_on_Human_Rights

Anonymous said...

If an asteroid strike allegedly turned mice into humans, we should assume that global warming will turn frogs into super-intelligent amphibians with an IQ hundreds of times that of humans who would go on to conquer the galaxy.

This isnt even remotely anything to do with evolution and isnt what happened at all. I was working on the basis you understoof evolutionary theory. Apparently you dont. The Asteroid changed the CONDITIONS for evolution, dinosaurs were best for the pre asteroid conditions, and humans are "best" for the post asteroid conditions. Who says a new climate and set of conditions is better? It could be "less intelligent" or dinosaurs again. Honestly this is a very basic facet of evolutionary theory. If youre going to say such hilarious things as "evolution is an asteroid turning mice into humans" there isnt much point trying to convince you. You and I are not discussing the same theory.

The sentience and empathy are traits we look for and understand best in our peers. Maybe its arbitrary but for the sake of a less complicated and random existance we apply those two traits to be of most important. Possibly because the have a lot to do with potential and ability, as well as social workings. A pile of manure wont react if you punch another pile of manure, nor can it solve a rubix cube. There.

Human rights are not an inherent thing anyway. Morality stems from "percieved" benefit to the social group and eachother. Witch burnings were "morally correct" at the time because people "percieved" them as good for the community. They thought they were saving countless lives. However with a better educated stand point we apply morality more accurately to only encompass things that truly hurt social order and standing.

Morality stems from the construction and preservation of social order and harmony within a group. Apes have a concept of morality. They can get jealous of other apes. They understand that stealing is wrong. Its important to keep up a social group because its neccessary for human survival. We are a social creature. To allow things that "infringe" on others rights is to undermine the efficiency of a social group. I can and will justify every human right you give to me with a logical reason why removing it would undermine the efficiency and productivity of society.

Morality > Social group kept together > Survival.

Simple.

jewish philosopher said...

"Who says a new climate and set of conditions is better?"

Past experience with every previous mass extinction event.

"I can and will justify every human right you give to me with a logical reason why removing it would undermine the efficiency and productivity of society."

That seems incredible, considering how much more effective and inexpensive animal control is compared to Western law enforcement. 

And China by the way isn't so big on human rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

but seems to be doing well on efficiency and productivity

Anonymous said...

The previous mass extinctions have zero to do with any hypothetical future mass exitinctions. Everything dying with the conditions staying the same is basically impossible. If we killed everything and made conditions so that it was warmer (like it was whin dinosaurs were around) you would find cold blooded creatures would be more energy efficient than warm blooded creatures, thus you will find dominant species to be reptiles. However the asteroid (or other catastrophic event) made everything colder with ashe clouds that shielded the earths surface from warmth from the sun. The worlds temperature declined. And suddenly warm mice did better. Its all about conditions. What youre saying is nothing to do with evolution and you should just drop it. Starting over with new conditions doesnt make it smarter. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE quote and explain evolutionary theory that indicates this to be true. What it does indicate is any new organism that is successfull will be better adapted to those conditions. It might be by size rather than by intelligence. Or by ability to generate heat. There is no reason to assume that because any previous mass extinctions (ONE :D) caused an intelligent species to arise that it will do so always. There is no evidence to suggest this is true based on what we observe. Killing almost every microbe with anti biotics doesnt make the other microbes smarter. It makes them resist antibiotics. Cmon this is observable basic theory. You can SEE this. Mass extinction DOESNT mean smarter. Microbes dont get smarter with an extinction. They adapt to the change that killed them to avoid it. Doesnt mean smarts are the change at all by any means.

I think you will find China has a very high suicide rate, not to mention:
Are they leading the way in science and invention? How about research? Medical breakthroughs? Hardly. Are their governments fair? Do the social groups THRIVE? No. They dont.

Let me justify a few basic rights:

Speech: Any pack where people can dissent will get a larger amount of ideas to choose from in solving any given problem. A larger number of unique ideas increases the chances of a better one. Freedom of speech allows better ideas to arise and be more effectively critiqued and discarded for fault.

Equal opertunities for work:
Jimmy is poor. But might be a genius at remembering things, and he loves biology. Sound like a good future doctor? Damn straight he does. Equal opertunities makes it easier for natural talent and ability to find its way into its optimal roles for societies benefit. The best people doing what they are best at is better for everyone. This is why monarchies tend to fail. Idiot children take the throne when more qualified peasants could do it more effectively.

Seriously give me a human right. Any. I challenge you. Name one you think i cannot justify.

jewish philosopher said...

"There is no reason to assume that because any previous mass extinctions (ONE :D) "

Actually, seven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event

"Mass extinction DOESNT mean smarter."

Of course not. What we are seeing in the fossils is a series of destructions and special creations, not merely mass extinctions as atheists claim.

"I think you will find China has a very high suicide rate, not to mention:
Are they leading the way in science and invention? How about research? Medical breakthroughs? Hardly. Are their governments fair? Do the social groups THRIVE? No. They dont."

Well, we nevertheless see that societies with few human rights can be very productive and successful. The liberal western democracies are all in drastic decline.

The point is that atheists who believe in human and legal rights do so because they cannot accept the full the consequences of their religion. It's not because of any practical or logical reason.

Anonymous said...

I explained practically why human rights helped a society be progressive and helped the survival of the species.

Need citation on that "destructions and special creations" there. When parameters change the creatures evolve to best fill them. The square shape fits in the square hole. But when a meteor turns that square into a circle a circle peg evolves from randomly mutating square pegs to fill that hole. The square isnt "superior" to the circle by any means. Its just a different shape for a different hole. This current hole is for intelligent species and life. Why gamble with so many unknowns that the "next" hole will allow for intelligent life too? Its rediculous. Why dont we focus on advancing the species scientifically and medically like i previously mentioned. Oh yeah that ties wonderfully back into the human rights point i made previously doesnt it? Benefits the species.

Your point is completely null since it can prove it wrong by EXISTING.

1. I am an atheist.

2. I think human rights are usefull if not vital for society.

3. I do this for practical reasons like i described above - for survival and progress

jewish philosopher said...

"Why gamble with so many unknowns that the "next" hole will allow for intelligent life too? "

Because the last seven times catastrophe was followed by more intelligence. In fact, evolution is slow to non-existent during stable periods and disasters are invariably followed by great leaps forward.

"2. I think human rights are usefull if not vital for society."

Which seems to be disproven by the decline of the west and the rise of china.

I believe in human rights not for any highly debatable and seemingly unprovable practical reasons, but rather because man possesses a God given soul and animals don't.

Anonymous said...

You keep assuming "forward" is "better" objectively as creatures. That creatures after any such events are "better" than those before the event. Do you have any significant evidence that life was more intelligent AFTER EVERY event than before? Isnt it more logical to assume that of 7 events only ONE (the LAST one) resulted in life becoming as intelligent as it is today? I mean after the first 6 we hardly saw any space ships. You talk about evolution as if it is liniar and has only a single direction. There is a single "goal" and we should try and hurry toward it. Thats a misrepresentation of the theory. Evolution is selected change in a direction. The direction neednt be the same through a billion or so years. The reason evolution tends to be more rapid during these times is because the direction changes drastically and newer organisms are needed to fill the new gaps. I can imagine you seeing evolution like a train heading from start to end. With every mass extinction making it go faster. This isnt true. Evolution has no goal other than to fill the gaps created for it. Nuclear war wont create a lot thats for sure.

Also from a logical standpoint a MASS extinction would be longer than waiting for human progress. I doubt it would take us a hypothetical million years or so to develop better "ideal" technology and intelligence. Remember human intelligence "stacks" between generation due to teaching. So we can wait millions of years for "better" life to "maybe" evolve, (there is no reason to assume it would do so faster than we did) or we can try and advance the species over the course of a few 100?

We also desputed this "rise". As a social group china is failing. Its members dont wish to be part of the group, the group exists merely to benefit the leaders economically and not the whole group socially and scientifically. Weve seen arab spring. Social groups based on suffering and oppression fall apart. When the young wolves of a wolf pack begin to detest the alpha male it always ends badly for the alpha. He either dies or loses a few members. Countries like the US and UK benefit greatly from a system where the worker is motivated to take part for their own gain rather than someone elses. Im sure youre an avid capitolist. Surely you can see the basic human right of opportunity is usefull because its a better motivator to increase standing in the social group and the use of mutually benefitting others. Slave wages dont make people discontent with a system. Votes make people happy with the system. Living in a social system where you are happy is going to be a far smoother social system. I could point out how china is a periah in gobal social standings. I could point at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nXT8lSnPQ

China has many obvious failings as a nation. Economic growth is not the only indication of "success". Id say a chinese revolution is becoming more likely as global climate changes to be more encouraging of democracy.

Id say the existance of a soul is a debatable reason. The existance of a soul isnt self evident or obvious to many of our species. It fails every test i apply in every other part of my life for a things existance (santa, a prank about my car being an ocotpus, a space teacup ect) and i dont see why i should give it a free pass in this regard.

jewish philosopher said...

I believe that every mass extinction event has been followed by a major leap in intelligence. There is surely every reason to believe that the current mass extinction event of global warming would do the same. If evolution was actually more than a fairy tale, which obviously it isn't.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

As far as liberal democracy being a good thing because it ultimately makes things better for most people, in comparison to a state which treats citizens like animals (which according to atheism we actually are) and imposes draconian laws and eugenics on people, I think that's very debatable. 

The Roman Empire may have been the most successful state in human history, however not too liberal. Russia tried to liberalize in the 1990s and has now pulled back. I don't think you can generalize about the perfect political system. 

Therefore, I think atheists don't advocate treating people like animals because they can't REALLY accept that as true.

Anonymous said...

Can you link we some evidence to imply this fact? We have some evidence that ONE extinction lead to more intelligence. Not all 7. And seriously. Stop doing that.

"If evolution was actually more than a fairy tale, which obviously it isn't."

I could end every arguement with "If god was more than a fairy tale for frightened children, which it obviously isnt" but that would be passive aggressive and terribly annoying. If you want people to listen to your arguements and respect you dont make the same mistakes many atheists do and be condescending. Cmon. Anyone with even the smallest idea of social skills can see talking down to people isnt a way to get them to think what you want them to think.

You keep falling back on the fallacy that:

People are animals, ergo we all deserve the same treatment. Which i tell you time and time again isnt true and i keep refuting this with practical explanations of rights and why they are adhered to. You seem to be covering your ears :/

I wouldnt say its debatable really. A country where people dont want to be part of that country falls apart eventually. It always does. A social group where everyone is desperate to leave is a complete failure.

The Roman empire was very liberal with homosexuality and embraced new technology and tactics easily. I agree though to generalise about the perfect political system is silly. However id say its a very important balence between:

Efficiency of the state in doing things.

Happiness of its members.

With anarchy and despotism on both sides of the spectrum. In anarchy all people would (theoritically) be happy because anyone can do whatever they want. In despotism the state can put funds anywhere and achieve anything it wants no matter how bizare. Both eventually fail because both systems fail fundamentally at one of the two goals.

I think youve come to the wrong conclusions. Where in nature to animals treat other animals under draconian laws and eugenics? If anything an atheist would want to model our socety on apes since we are "all animals". Be LIKE animals. You know, a social group where dissent is allowed but a clear leadership role is present, said leadership role is usually very easily overthrown when a new member shows the right skills and has support of the population... wait a minute... thats a DEMOCRACY :O

Also for the love of Zombie Jegus please please please accept these few things.

1. We DO think we are animals.
2. All animals are NOT the same.
3. We have practical reasons for rights.
4. We are not lying when we state evolutionary theory is accurate.

jewish philosopher said...

"We have some evidence that ONE extinction lead to more intelligence. Not all 7."

I don't think I should have to look this up for you, after all there is Google, but here it goes for the five main extinction events:

The Ordovician–Silurian extinction event saw the transition from trilobites to the appearance of jawed and bony fish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordovician%E2%80%93Silurian_extinction_event

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordovician#Fauna

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silurian

The late Devonian extinction saw a transition from early cartilaginous (Chondrichthyes) and bony fishes (Osteichthyes) to the first true amphibians, who sometimes reached several meters in length, preying on the large insects on land and many types of fish in the water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Devonian_extinction#Biological_impact

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devonian#Biota

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carboniferous#Tetrapods

Prior to the Permian–Triassic extinction event, both complex and simple marine ecosystems were equally common; after the recovery from the mass extinction, the complex communities outnumbered the simple communities by nearly three to one.

On land, reptiles and primitive mammals replaced giant amphibians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event#Changes_in_marine_ecosystems

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event#Land_vertebrates

The Triassic–Jurassic extinction event saw smaller reptiles replaced by giant dinosaurs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triassic%E2%80%93Jurassic_extinction_event

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triassic#Terrestrial_fauna

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic#Terrestrial

The Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event saw dinosaurs replaced by mammals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous%E2%80%93Paleogene_extinction_event

Regarding the virtues of liberal democracy, I think it's fair to say that in every time and place, past and present, most people have believed that their political system, whatever it is, is the ideal one. It's not surprising that you do too.

The fact remains that if atheists would sincerely believe in their own stated beliefs they should logically advocate martial law, draconian punishments, eugenics and global warming. However few if any modern Western atheists do.

Anonymous said...

Ive refuted these over and over again. There is no reason to logically advocate any of these things and youve mostly ignored my points when ive made them. This is getting tiresome. Ive pointed out draconion punishments undermine society and weaken it, as do eugenics and global warming. Ive explained these. Stop making the same point when i keep refuting it. Why is it logical to live in misery? No other animals do it? Why should we?

The existance of jawed fish and mammels doesnt imply a "better" species than before nor on any level can you say that they are "smarter". How do you compare the intelligence of a rat to a dinosaur. Its rediculous to draw parallels like this. Despite my attempts to explain evolutionary theory to you on the basis of different shape different hole you are drawing a causal relationship between extinction and intelligence where there is none. The extinction events opened the way for DIFFERENT creatures. The intelligence factor is a coincidence. Seriously. There is NO reason to believe increasing global temperature will allow a smarter organism to evolve. Why couldnt the organism evolve now? Why does increasing temperature allow the organisn to thrive where before it didnt? Why does it neccessarily have to be smart? If we let global warming happen the creatures best adapted to heat will survive. They may be stupid. Its about utlity to the change not overall intelligence. This is getting dull.

And BAH id hardly say what we have no is "ideal" by a long way. What im saying is its become obvious through trial and error governments that a government with total control or total freedom fails miserably. You need a combination of the two. You keep ignoring my points. Ive explained my logical reasons and you have yet to explain why living in an inefficient misery society is BETTER than living in a more efficient happy society. Chinas economy is a single factor ive refuted by explaining the many facets of a societies "rise" or "fall". Cmon. At least change the first "proof". I went over that perfectly.

To allow ourselves to die is to defy evolution. The rabbit cannot stop running. Thats the direct disproof of your first point. You cannot refute this and you havnt even tried. Youve ignored the main bulk of all my arguements and respond to nit picky points based on a few things ive said, i always address everything you say and you always make the same arguements. This is very dull. No amount of evidence or explaination can convince you since youre very talented at dodging or avoiding it. You add random uneccesary condesending insults into your posts (evolution is OBVIOUSLY a lie) and youre generally being a Evolutionary theory matches all data, makes accurate predictions and assists greatly in medical biology (for which i am studying for a degree). I see no reason to drop the model.

When you present a model that is more accurate, more helpfull and generally predicts the outcome of real life test data ill accept it. Any work ive done on the behaviour of bacterial colonies tends to be MUCH more usefull when used with evolutonary theory. Maybe evolution is wrong or innaccurate in some small way. But its working. And until we can refine or replace it properly with something better using REAL data and not just "god did it" im going to keep using it.

Sure maybe gravity is wrong. But its usefull, predicts reality and gives us a lovely working model of what we find to be true with testing. Its a good theory. Its worth sticking too. Even if there are some things about it we dont yet know. I think im done now. Thank you for an interesting dicussion at any rate.

Id like to sign off with:

The fact remains that if judo christians would sincerely believe in their own stated beliefs they should logically advocate the stoning of gays, draconian punishments, the beating of women and the reward of rapists (50 sheckels if i remember rightly). However few if any modern Western Literal judo-christians do.

jewish philosopher said...

"Ive pointed out draconion punishments undermine society and weaken it, as do eugenics and global warming"

In your opinion.

"Why is it logical to live in misery?"

Why is it logical to spend countless billions on law enforcement and still watch our children and belongings like hawks to make sure no one takes them?

"The existance of jawed fish and mammels doesnt imply a "better" species than before nor on any level can you say that they are "smarter"."

It's no longer possible to perform IQ tests on dinosaurs and trilobites, however the trend (trilobites to fish to amphibians to small reptiles to dinosaurs to wooly mammoths) seems to be generally to higher intelligence. According to evolution, mass extinctions made that happen.

"Any work ive done on the behaviour of bacterial colonies tends to be MUCH more usefull when used with evolutonary theory. "

Work with bacterial colonies seems to show that only one organism in trillions is born with a de novo genetic mutation which increases fertility. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

In animals visible to the naked eye, which reproduce far more slowly than bacteria, how long should it take for a useful new organ or limb to be produced from de novo genetic mutations which increase  fertility piling up one on top of the next? How many times would the universe have burnt out?

"assists greatly in medical biology"

There is no new treatment or technology which could not have been developed by a creationist as easily as by an evolutionist.

"When you present a model that is more accurate, more helpfull and generally predicts the outcome of real life test data ill accept it."

God did it.

"should logically advocate the stoning of gays, draconian punishments, the beating of women and the reward of rapists (50 sheckels if i remember rightly)"

Jews follow the Talmudic interpretation.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/05/eternal-torah.html

Connor Woodruff said...

1. Humans are intelligent animals, and can therefore be held responsible for our actions. To a large degree, this is impossible with animals. In addition, do you seriously not think that police forces are not simply a human form of animal control?

2. Mass extinction do not accelerate evolution, that is a basic factual error, so there would be no reason to want global warming. In addition, evolution only adapts animals to survive under the circumstances that they live in, not to become "better", because their is no way to measure how "good" an organism is. Atheists "advocate" evolution in the same way that we "advocate" gravity, recognizing it as inevitable and learning to deal with it.

jewish philosopher said...

"Humans are intelligent animals, and can therefore be held responsible for our actions."

But as bags of chemicals, we have obviously no free will, and therefore no more moral responsibility than an hurricane or a volcano.

"do you seriously not think that police forces are not simply a human form of animal control?"

But incredibly expensive and ineffective, thanks to the concept of mythical natural human rights.

"Mass extinction do not accelerate evolution"

Mass extinctions have sometimes accelerated the evolution of life on Earth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event#Evolutionary_importance

You see taken to it's logical conclusions, atheism actually supports martial law, draconian punishments, eugenics and global warming. Atheism logically leads to a profoundly right wing ideology, along the lines of Nazism.

zipperback said...

First, you seem to be making the assumption that I'm against the death penalty. Not really, so that's your first mistake. Well not so much first as 20th or 30th. You've made a lot of really weak and crazy arguments on this page alone.

Also you seem to have ceded the "far more effective and less expensive" part of your original argument. Didn't think that one through so well, yes?

Chimps and wild dogs don't hide their crimes or frame other people, nor do they plan murders with complexity.

They also don't do vendettas or blood feuds.

What's more we don't send other chimps out to kill killer chimps and we don't send wild dogs out to stop killer wild dogs. OTOH, with humans that's really the best we can do. The line gets a bit fuzzier and things need to be handled with increased precision.

Oddly you also seem to forget that back in the day, when atheism was a shadow of a rumor and had almost no support from science (due largely to there being almost no science) men would dance from the gallows for murder, largely unprovable by forensic evidence (that no science thing again) and for lesser crimes. Funny how when religion reigned supreme religious men acted like atheists were supposed to act (in your mind).

Here's the big problem. You seem to be using very broad stroked allegories but you don't seem to see the consequences or logical implications of treating things according to the broad stokes that you, yourself have delineated.

when you consider the implications and consequences of your broad stroke delineation you realize that
approaching the situation in that way is very stupid.

Then, somehow, you blame atheism for NOT supporting something that is very stupid.

You're calling atheists "not stupid" and in your mind this constitutes an insult against them.

jewish philosopher said...

"Funny how when religion reigned supreme religious men acted like atheists were supposed to act (in your mind)."

First of all, atheism is a religion.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/05/atheism-in-nutshell.html

Second of all, in Orthodox Judaism capital punishment was effectively abolished nearly 2,000 years ago; to my knowledge the first society to take this step.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_capital_punishment#Judaism

The rest of your comment doesn't seem to make sense.

zipperback said...

This was started, by you, as an argument against atheism.

Now you're trying to restage it as atheism vs. orthodox Judaism?

You sneaky little weasel, trying to move the goalposts on me, eh?

I looked at your link. "Founder: Charles Darwin". Is that supposed to be a joke? Are you defending yourself with absurdism now? You seem to have neglected Epicurian atheist concepts from 2100 years earlier. You seem to have forgotten the word atheism dates back to the 16th century in the English language. You arbitrarily assign names and places to religious concepts and think your gossamer thin connections make a real classification? You could do that with football: players =saints, stadiums=churches, games=ceremonies QED football is a religion.

Maybe you shouldn't point to yourself as a reference. You're not at very reliable, rational or well researched.

Now as to any other part of my comment doesn't make sense to you, just tell me specifically where you're having problems and I'll explain it slowly using small words.

The main premise is that your arguemnt is based on your attempt to think like an atheist. When you do you come up with something really, really stupid (like "let's use animal control in place of the police" or "global warming is good").

Then when atheists fail to think as stupidly as you can you call them hypocrites/false atheists/liars for not coming up with thoughts that are as stupid as your own.

jewish philosopher said...

That's exactly the problem. Atheism is so absurd, no sane person can really believe in it. It could well be that Nietzche tried and lost his mind as a result.

jenifa oadud Nitu said...

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zipperback said...

I think you're abusing the definition of "Sane".

"Sane" does not mean "thinks exactly like you". In fact I'd wager it means something very different than that.

Nietzsche is irrelevant and wildly speculative. Given the large number of religiously spawned manias and dementias (Jerusalem syndrome, messiah complex, ect.) you gain no leverage from the topic of mental health.

YOU do not understand atheism because you draw feeble minded conclusions when you try to understand it. I have already explained the depths of stupidity your mind wandered into in your first comical conclusion (Atheism should suggest replacing law enforcement with animal control.) and how incongruous it is with real life regarding crime and law. I can easily do so with your second conclusion, though at the risk of losing further focus in this exchange.

The core concepts of atheism remain stable, it is your conclusion that is insane. You start at atheism then take a detour through the sea of delusion, across the desert of non-sequitur, staying well and clear from reality.

This means nothing. A madman can take a rational body of information and arrive at insane conclusions, for example the myriad of conspiracies extracted from the solid information regarding the 9/11 attack.

Likewise a madman can take a rather bland and solid philosophical concept like atheism and end up in crazytown with it.

You know, like you did.

jewish philosopher said...

I wonder if all the millions of 20th century victims of atheist murderers found it to be so bland. I wonder if the hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children now rotting in North Korean concentration camps find atheism to be bland. I'm sure it's quite stimulating for them.

The fact is that you are just resorting to a barrage of insults rather than admitting the obvious truth about your perverse and evil cult.

zipperback said...

You actually raise a good point (against yourself).

When an atheist points out "religious genocide" they tend to go for specific examples where war/mass murder was used to further the cause of a religion and where this was one of the explicit goals for the start of that mass murder. For example IRA terrorism, the crusades, Sunni v Shiite violence, ect. is caused by opposing sides attempting to spread/enforce a religious doctrine.

When religious people point out "atheist genocide" they always
point to example where there was a violent consolidation of dictatorial power in an officially atheist government. The goal was not the spread atheism but a consolidation of political power.

If I judged religion by the same rules by which you judged atheism I could chalk up the horrible misdeeds of any dictator to the respective religion of that dictator or their country. If I used your scale the horrifically violent quashing of the Lushan rebellion in the 8th century is a horrific admonition of Confucianism and/or Taoism.

A saner thought would be that the quashing of the Lushan rebellion is violent and horrific consolidation of power into the hands of a supreme monarch.

North Korea was the violent and horrific consolidation of power into the hands of a supreme monarch in all but name.

So, do you really want me to play by the rules you play by? You can tally up the horrors of socialist absolutist governments which happened to be officially atheistic and I tally up the body count of governments/leaders which happen to be NOT atheistic.

Alternately you can solve this conundrum. If atheism is to blame for Kim-Il Sung's brutal rise to power why isn't Catholicism to blame for Francisco Franco or Ferdinand Marco's brutal rise to power? Alternately why didn't their religion prevent them from their history of horrible oppression and violence?

Better make it good or you'll just be railing against dictatorship, monarchy, or, at best, communism which I think we can both agree are all pretty nasty deals politics wise.

Now let's say you brought your a-game and pulled off a real comeback on the last of your constantly shifting, unfocused topics. Your next reply really blows me away and give a watertight argument that every dead person in North Korea is a direct result of atheism.

You still have a problem. The closest you can get is a logical argument called "argument from consequence". Argument from consequence boils down to "X can't be true because if X is true the implications are negative or harmful". "If there are no gods then dictators will kill people" is no more valid support for the existence of god than "If there are no gods I will feel sad".

In fact argument from consequence would support atheism because it means that the idea that a god exists has a practical application that works even if a god does not actually exist. Just like Santa doesn't have to be real, he just has to get the kids to behave by implication. It would mean that we might perpetuate the belief in gods not because gods are real but because this lie is in some way useful to society.

Or maybe you can just stick to the topic and stop dodging around. Can you actually defend your original post? Am I not valid in the instances where I pointed out that it's just a case of insane, illogical misdirection and straw man tactics.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course atheism is responsible for all the millions murdered by atheist fascists and communists during the 20th century. Atheism removes any moral barriers to murder, human nature takes over, tens of millions are murdered in Europe and east Asia between 1914 and 1979, and even today in North Korea.

If someone blows up a dam and the flood kills a million people he can hardly claim "I didn't hurt anyone. The water killed them."

jewish philosopher said...

And all the earlier posts above about atheists believing in human rights because humans are intelligent, moral, fair, just, etc and atheists oppose global warming because we care about our species primarily and there is no reason to think according to evolution that mass extinction would improve anything are just ridiculous drivel.

zipperback said...

Note: You did not address your fallacy to "argument by consequence".

Then where was the dam in the Lushan rebellion? Where was the dam in every other dictatorship that resulted in horrible cruelty in a religious country with a dictator that subscribed to a religion? Why are religion's "moral barrier" to murder so paper thin and impotent in the face of politics?

Religion sets up moral barriers, then human nature still takes over, tens of millions are murdered worldwide since the dawn of history.

The violent aggregation of power by dictators and emperors crosses religious, cultural and chronological barriers. Where did the "dam" go J.P.? Where did the dam go?

As for the earlier posts being ridiculous drivel, point out the point where they became ridiculous. I pointed out the logical flaws in your post where your ideas are simply not feasible and would be discarded by any sensible person (religious or atheist) within seconds of conceiving them. You can call any statement "ridiculous drivel" but them's fightin' words and I expect you to back them up with reasoning.

But I predict you're just going to get on the tangent train again. You already toured Nietzsche, Korea and the dams. Which not-related-to-the-original-subject direction shall we be heading toward next?

jewish philosopher said...

Of course it's got to be the right type of religion. I explain here.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/10/god-save-king-why-we-need-both.html

zipperback said...

You don't explain as much as you assert, then neglect the diverse political and economic conditions in the most atheistic countries.

*A list*

I agree with your assertion partially. Religion keeps people under control and it's an adequate substitute for a philosophically and practically based understanding of the necessity of law and ethics. Some people or societies just can't muster the understanding/education so you tell them there are invisible beings which hurt them is they do certain things.

Again, this work in atheism's favor, demonstating the practical application of an imaginary god. Like I said, Santa Claus can keep your kids in like despite failing to exist.

So tell me, what do you believe are the factors of the "right type of religion".

Also, what is the nature of the metaphorical dam? It's not just religion as religion contains a myriad of aspects. There's some specific factors that would constitute the dam.

jewish philosopher said...

I explain in the above post what the right type of religion is.

zipperback said...

Actually you implied that the religion must have "humanitarian God given laws". That's the only factor specific to the "right religion". The rest of the post is rephrasing "we need religion" in different forms.

"...humanitarian God given laws..." You really didn't get more specific than that.

Furthermore the word humanitarian means-

"1)adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a humanitarian.

2)n. One who is devoted to the promotion of human welfare and the advancement of social reforms"

So you're saying, in summary, that the "right religion"(s) to promote human welfare in a society are the religions which have the factor of having laws which promote human welfare and social reform.

I imagine if I asked you "What is the world's highest mountain?" you would answer with "The mountain which possesses the greatest measure of height."

This also fails the test that the same religion may exist in two countries, one will be have a relatively just government and the other will have a corrupt or oppressive government.

So I must reiterate.

Where does the dam go when religious men become dictators who aggregate political influence through violence and misdeeds?

What are the specific attributes of the "right religion"?

What is the nature of the metaphorical dam? It's not just religion as religion contains a myriad of aspects. There's some specific factors that would constitute the dam.

Don't expect me to forget any point that you've abandoned. If you're going to expand to scope of the argument into your other pages I'm just going to tear into the weaknesses on those pages. Then, I'm going to bring up all of the points you've abandoned in your tactic of infinite retreat into tangent.

jewish philosopher said...

It's simple. The belief that God exists, He will reward you in the afterlife if you are good to people, He will punish you if you're bad.

Sunday, July 15, 2012 10:46:00 AM

zipperback said...

I think you've lost track of your own line of reasoning.

"The belief that God exists, He will reward you in the afterlife if you are good to people, He will punish you if you're bad."

...can apply to several Latin American dictatorships, Franco's fascist regime and any other horrible government where the leadership or nation was primarily some iteration of Christian.

If you want to get technical, that definition also includes Nazi Germany and the most F'd up Muslim nations too.

Your answer is ill conceived and woefully insufficient.

Are you going to bring your rhetorical "A Game" or are you going to be serving up pathetic failure for the rest of your arguments too?

jewish philosopher said...

So you're saying that there are plenty of societies which have modern, effective law enforcement, where most people believe that God exists, He will reward you in the afterlife if you are good to people, He will punish you if you're bad, yet nevertheless are quite violent.

Are you sure about that?

For example, Saudi Arabia has one of the world's lowest crime rates. An analysis was done using INTERPOL data for Saudi Arabia. The rate for all index offenses combined was 157.12 for Saudi Arabia, compared with 1709.88 for Japan and 4123.97 for USA.

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/rwinslow/asia_pacific/saudi_arabia.html