The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Great Debates

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 04-29-2012, 04:03 PM
shy guy shy guy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
My reading of GEEPERS' posts isn't that he (or she) will accept an apology or an admission of mistake on the part of an atheist on any subject as sufficient to engage in good faith conversation with one; rather, the apologies and admissions of mistake have to be on the subject of the existence of his specific deity. "I thought Adam and Eve lived the lifespan of a typical human being" is clearly insufficient; "You're right, I was a fool to not believe as you do" is the only thing it seems he will accept.

It's kind of like the thread with the ridiculous criticisms of evolutionary theory; even when it was a Christian pointing out that evidence of evolution is obvious, GEEPERS said they were putting forth "atheist" arguments.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #102  
Old 04-29-2012, 04:04 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 14,933
Mmm, I'll play:
Why are you an atheist?
Because the very concept of deity is worse than wrong - it's incoherent.
People across all kinds of cultures and throughout histories have religions, and many of them are pretty similar. Doesn't that suggest they're on to something?
I deny the premise that that many (unrelated) religions were all that similar, but even so, they're human creations, so that's not surprising, we tend not to be stunningly original thinkers in our other creative endeavours, why should mythmaking be any different?
Did something happen to you to make you an atheist?
No
Are you angry at god?
No. I'd oppose him with all my might if he existed as depicted in the Bible, but since that's a fairy tale, no, I'm no angrier at god than I am at Lex Luthor.
Do you hate religion?Do you think religion is evil?
Not as such. I think some organized religious groups are, and some other sects are at least bad or naughty, but religion per se? Naah. It'd make it hard to be a semi-Buddhist if I thought that.
Do you think religious people are stupid?
This is the tough one. Yes, I think they're stupid when it comes to their religion, but it's not a reflection of overall intelligence. Perhaps "have a mental blind spot" is a better phrase than "stupid"
Do you think religion should be stamped out or banned?
No. I think it should be critically examined and not accorded special treatment, though.

Last edited by MrDibble; 04-29-2012 at 04:04 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Old 04-29-2012, 04:31 PM
Euphonious Polemic Euphonious Polemic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by shy guy View Post

It's kind of like the thread with the ridiculous criticisms of evolutionary theory; even when it was a Christian pointing out that evidence of evolution is obvious, GEEPERS said they were putting forth "atheist" arguments.
Well, when a Christian does that, then GEEPERS says they are not a "real" Christian. Which is a logical fallacy, as has been pointed out.

Oh, sorry there GEEPERS. Looks like I have insulted you by pointing out that your argument there consists of a classic case of "No True Scotsman". So sorry to have drawn this to your attention. How rude of me.
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Old 04-29-2012, 05:55 PM
cosmosdan cosmosdan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Do you think religion should be stamped out or banned?
No. I think it should be critically examined and not accorded special treatment, though.
This. Sam Harris' book "The End of Faith" made an impression on me specifcally in this area. Religious beliefs have no special place or protected status in the arena of competeing ideas about life and society.

I completely support people's right to choose thier own path when it comes to beliefs and give consideration to the unique makeup of individuals intellectually and emotionally. That said, when you come to the table or policy decisions in a shared and diverse society you have to bring something more than "My God has decreed according to my reading or the Holy Book"

It's an idea that holds no weight and adds nothing to decisions and choices that we must make.

Why shouldn't gays be allowed to marry? Well because the Bible says on page X ..... That's nothing , it has no weight. Well the Koran says, The Gita says, The Book of Mormon says , all equally empty.

Anyone can say, well In my opinion, and then the obvious question is "OKay, what do you base that opinion on, what is the foundation of facts and reasoning that gives that opinion some substance?

"Because I think God said so" is devoid of substance as an argument.
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:09 PM
cosmosdan cosmosdan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Ahh and the arrogance continues! And for the record, I have never once seen an -atheist admit to being wrong, or even apologize (ex. OP). End result = you're not worth my time.
I like to see a Christian admit {and some do} that they really have no way of knowing and that their beliefs are based on faith and personal opinion, and because of that , are no more valid than anyone elses. In fact in some cases , because of hard evidence contradiciting traditional beliefs , far less valid.

It's fine if you choose to believe certain things, but IMO believers , whatever thier chosen religious pursuit, should understand and accept that their beliefs are no more valid than other religions or non believers.

What stands out to me is that the phrase "I'm a Christian" tells me nothing about the character of the individual. Believers have no advantage in thier character as human beings over non believers.

The Bible has no authority to millions of people and varying authority and interpretation even among believers. Life, and being a part of a diverse society will continue to challenge beliefs , as it should. IMO that's part of the process of sifting the truth from superstition and myth, and discerning our priorities. Believers have to understand that there is no reason that your beliefs should recieve any deference because they are "religious" beliefs.
Reply With Quote
  #106  
Old 04-29-2012, 06:16 PM
sisu sisu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
This might surprise you but I was once an atheist. Why? Well I got sick of all the literal bible freaks portraying Christians as believers in Bronze Age stories. I rejected everything to do with god and the supernatural because I was embarrassed to be put in the same camp as them. I think these people have done more for atheism than Richard Dawkings!

It was not until I studied the real messages of Christianity and understood that my scientific thoughts are compatible with the message that I returned to the flock as a non literal theist.
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old 04-29-2012, 09:42 PM
Cumberdale Cumberdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu View Post
This might surprise you but I was once an atheist. Why? Well I got sick of all the literal bible freaks portraying Christians as believers in Bronze Age stories. I rejected everything to do with god and the supernatural because I was embarrassed to be put in the same camp as them. I think these people have done more for atheism than Richard Dawkings!

It was not until I studied the real messages of Christianity and understood that my scientific thoughts are compatible with the message that I returned to the flock as a non literal theist.
I think reading the Bible has done more for atheism than Richard Dawkins and literalists.

So what is the "real" message of Christianity?
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old 04-29-2012, 10:54 PM
sisu sisu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumberdale View Post
I think reading the Bible has done more for atheism than Richard Dawkins and literalists.

So what is the "real" message of Christianity?
Another thread mate.
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old 04-30-2012, 12:33 AM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 9,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
So far I've found nothing amusing about engaging in discussion with you, so I didn't expect to be amused here. What I would like is for you to learn something about atheists because everything I have ever seen you post about them has been spectacularly wrong. So I thought you might be interested in learning something that might lead to a better starting point for future discussions. It's disappointing that you're not interested in making an effort, but I admit I'm not totally surprised. It's also disappointing that you've heard atheists make these points before - that they don't hate religion, don't hate religious people, and so forth - and it's made no impression and hasn't stopped you from saying the kinds of derogatory things you say. I might be interested to hear how you reconcile your comments about atheists with the opinions they've expressed here.
Perhaps you might reflect on GEEPERS' responses the next time you engage with a Fundamentalist Christian. (I say Fundamentalist Christian, to distinguish them from other self-avowed Christians. Basically, if you think that a great many who follow Jesus are not Christian, you are probably a fundamentalist. There are bad Christians of course, those with weak faith. Saying that an avid church-goer isn't Christian though is something entirely different.)

Somehow, claims atheists make about their own beliefs are not accepted. As this agnostic sees it, only somebody with weak faith would feel threatened by another's expression of disbelief. Add to this the martyrdom complex peculiar to a subset of Christians and we some pretty substantial cognitive blockage.

That GEEPERS presumes to call other believers semi-Christian, while simultaneously accusing others of arrogance reminds me of scripture: "...first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Plenty of Christians believe in evolution for example: Here are the participants in 2012's evolution weekend, attended by 567 Congregations from all 50 states.

At any rate there are some concerns that might have been pre-empted in the OP. They include the following.
  • Fighting ignorance is not a popularity contest. It's a matter of weighing evidence, point by point.
  • Some feel uncomfortable doing this in a religious context. They feel that careful and skeptical inquiry is somehow sacrilegious. Such folks may be a bad fit for this board, but I would appeal to their better natures not to seek to impose your beliefs on them, at least the ones that you refuse to defend.
  • Oppression of Christians: there's a lot of that in North Korea actually. Thousands of families are in prison because of their professed belief. But in the US, saying you find the evidence of a Supreme deity wanting really isn't a form of repression. Right? Bearing false witness on this matter distracts us from the genuine suffering of Christians in truly oppressive states.
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old 04-30-2012, 01:44 AM
Mosier Mosier is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
I thought for a long time about replying to this thread. I don't know if the right combination of words exists to convince GEEPERS that I'm not just lying or baiting him, but I'll try anyway.

I am an atheist. I do not hate religion. At first, I was fascinated that people who could cling to such silly ideas can actually lead productive and healthy lives. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it's not silly to have faith in something, and believe it to be true. In fact, every single human on the planet sees the world from a unique perspective, that doesn't accurately reflect reality. We are more likely to accept arguments that agree with that perspective, and reject evidence against it. It's a phenomenon that happens so frequently it has a freakin' name.

So why should I hold it against religious people, that they have chosen to take an optimistic perspective, and are convinced that a glorious and loving God will welcome them to a perfect eternity when they die? And furthermore, why should I waste time trying to destroy that idyllic perspective? Just because I personally don't believe it, doesn't mean I have any obligation to convince other people to agree with me.

Anyway, I do sometimes resent religious people who are hypocrites about their professed beliefs. The religion of love, humility, peace, acceptance, charity, and sacrifice sure seems to produce a lot of egocentric, selfish, spiteful, angry, violent, intolerant people. To me, that just proves that people are pretty much the same regardless of their religious belief. Most of us can function pretty well in society, and some of us are a complete psychotic disaster that the world would be better off without. But you can't use someone's religious belief as a predictor of whether they're a valuable member of the species.

Anyway, that's my take on religious people. In general, they're just regular people. To be honest, I can't stand having a discussion with anyone so condescendingly smug in their self righteous opinion that they resort to demonizing the other side of the argument. You can be sure of yourself and full of confidence without being a complete asshole about it.
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Old 04-30-2012, 04:31 AM
HumanBear HumanBear is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
"Why are you an atheist?"
The real reason is probably because I was born in the UK, and therefore not really immersed in religious teachings from an early age. On top of that the Church of England's religious teachings seems so wishy-washy that it's hard to believe the vicars believe in God themselves. I'd like to think I'd be an atheist no matter what my background was, but I can't say for sure, which makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

However I have remained an atheist even though I have discussed religion with numerous believers, listened to many debates, and read many books about religious belief, because there is quite simply nothing that has been said that can't be explained by non-supernatural things.

I also find the 'You're almost an atheist, you've just thrown out one less god than I have' meme very compelling. After all who believes in Zeus nowadays? Yet he was deemed just as real as the Judeo-Christian God is now.


"Did something happen to you to make you an atheist?"
I think I've always been, I've never believed in God or thought Jesus was the son of God, but I remember reading a Science Fiction book when I was about 8 or 9 (and I wish I could remember the title or even the story) and that was the first time I really thought about religion, and I decided then that it was all a load of rubbish designed to control people.


"Are you angry at god?"
There aren't any gods so I can't be angry at them. However I am slightly angry at people who can believe such rubbish and who manage to switch off their brains when it comes to religion.


"Do you hate religion?"
Yes I think I do. I know many good things have been done in the name of religion, but many bad things too. And the whole bigotry against homosexuals and women is getting pretty tiresome. I find it impossible to understand why someone like Rick Santorum is liked by anyone, and am amazed that people will vote for the xurrent American Republican Party because it's a vote for God, when as far as I can see it's a vote for mentally ill people. Things like that leads to me to detest religion.


"Do you think religion is evil?"
I'm not sure I believe in evil as such, of course there are terrible people and we can call them evil. If we say doing terrible things is evil then yes I do think religion is evil, because it stops people from thinking and society from changing. Some of the evil things that are currently done in the name of religion are only being done because ignorant people made up some rules thousands of years ago.

"Do you think religious people are stupid?"
I do, I know it's not nice of me, and I don't really want to think this way, but all the evidence points to people not thinking straight when it comes to religion. I listen to debates hoping that the famed religious debater will put up a good fight and say something meaningful, but it has never happened the same trite meaningless arguments are trotted out, that anyone with half a brain can see are just not helpful or true, and yet millions believe. I can't explain it except as some form of stupidity.

I've met well educated people who work in jots that require logical thinking, and the ability to be sceptical and critical, yes they can turn off those skills as soon as it comes to religion. I try, but I just can't understand it and it makes me think there must be something wrong with their brains.


"Do you think religion should be stamped out or banned?"
No because that never works, and banning ideas is stupid. But I do think we need to work had to keep government and society secular, to find ways to teach critical thinking from an early age, and to keep religion out of schools.

People are free to believe and think whatever they want. The problem is belief in religion by enough people will inevitably lead to them wanting to put their beliefs on everyone else, and force them into government policy and the education system. That's why I think we need militant atheists to stay alert and to ridicule and belittle religion whenever it oversteps its bounds.
Reply With Quote
  #112  
Old 04-30-2012, 04:44 AM
HumanBear HumanBear is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosier View Post
Anyway, I do sometimes resent religious people who are hypocrites about their professed beliefs. The religion of love, humility, peace, acceptance, charity, and sacrifice sure seems to produce a lot of egocentric, selfish, spiteful, angry, violent, intolerant people. To me, that just proves that people are pretty much the same regardless of their religious belief. Most of us can function pretty well in society, and some of us are a complete psychotic disaster that the world would be better off without. But you can't use someone's religious belief as a predictor of whether they're a valuable member of the species.
I can't really agree. The problem is that religion gives people a set of ideas and rules that they shouldn't really ignore. After all they were passed down by God himself (I'm talking about the Judeo-Christian religions here as that's what I know best). This often leads to even the most sensible person believing something bad, such as being gay is a lifestyle choice, evolution isn't a fact, people who speak up against religion are blasphemers or disrespectful, abortion should be banned and life begins art conception. The vast majority of people who believe is these ideas do so because of their religion not because it's logical or sensible.

I've met many very nice, kind, intelligent, useful people who when I've questioned them a bit further than most would about their religion have suddenly spouted something homophobic or anti-science that was quite shocking.

Of course there are plenty of non-religious homophobes etc., but at least they don't think they have the power of God behind them, and it's harder for them to find others like them that it is for someone who follows a religion that has million of believers.

From my point of view if you follow a religion you are slightly (and it may be very, very slightly) less of a useful person to society. After all I think scientists are some of the most useful people we have (and no I'm not one ) and the vast majority of them are agnostic or atheist.
Reply With Quote
  #113  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:25 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 7,653
I'm an atheist because the notion of a god-like entity looking over and/or controlling the world is just inconceivable. Over the years I have actually 'tried' to renounce my brain and take on the idea of a god, but it hasn't worked: my head doesn't do god/s.

Nothing happened to 'make' me an atheist. I grew up in a family that took religiosity with a grain of salt but the option was always there to adopt a more secular life (extended family who believed in God and all of that....Evangelical Pentecostals etc). None of my immediate family chose the religious lifestyle.

I'm only angry at God for not having chosen me to be a lottery winner.

I don't hate religion, but I'm pissed-off at some members of religious orders who want to thrust their religious penises down my throat (metaphorically speaking of course).

Do I think religion is evil? No....the notion of 'evil' is a religious construct in itself, so I can't use that word to describe religion!

But I do question the intellectual capacity of those who adhere to religious beliefs: I wouldn't call them 'stupid', but I might call them 'less-than-curious' about the world we live in!

Should religion be banned? You can't 'ban' religion. What you CAN do is give people in your community the best possible tools and information to let them make their own decisions about how to live their lives.

The best way to dump religion by the wayside is to get your babies vaccinated, give 'em wonderful health care in their infancy, chock them up with contraceptives when they hit the menarche (and maybe a year before!!), provide good pre and ante natal care for the new mums, and cancer-screening programs for the other grandmums and dads.

The better the health and education facilities you have for your citizens, the less they will need to pray to god for salvation from ill health and poverty. SIMPLE!!
Reply With Quote
  #114  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:19 AM
beanieboy beanieboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
war time

What about the old saying there are no atheists in a fox hole at a time when yoour but is depending on religion why do atheists call out to god
Reply With Quote
  #115  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:21 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
They figure that someone out there must be able to inculcate basic grammatical awareness.
Reply With Quote
  #116  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:24 AM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 10,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanieboy View Post
What about the old saying there are no atheists in a fox hole at a time when yoour but is depending on religion why do atheists call out to god
Cultural conditioning and a "what could it hurt" attitude. But before we ask "why" they happen we need to establish that foxhole conversions really do happen.

Anecdotally, I understand that many more wounded soldiers call out for their mothers than any other exclamation.
Reply With Quote
  #117  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:30 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
People atheist and otherwise don't accept what you say because it's wrong. And atheists demand evidence because otherwise there's no reason to consider your god to be any more plausible or real than Santa Claus. And because they know you never will provide evidence, because you can't. Your religion like every other religion is just a baseless fantasy; there's no evidence for you to produce.
Only problem is that you can't demonstrate that it is wrong. Santa Claus has been well established as a fictional character. No one is claiming divine healing from Santa Claus. Yet, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of stories of divine healing through faith in Jesus Christ. In order to claim 100% that I'm wrong, you must personally debunk every story.

Hey, I'll make it a bit easy for ya. Why don't you head down to Kenya and attend this conference?

http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12040072.htm

http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12040050.htm

According to the article, scientific evidence will be presented proving divine healing.
Also from the article:

"According to a Newsweek poll, 84% of Americans said that ‘praying for others’ can have a positive effect on their recovery.”

How do you explain that one if I'm so wrong? Can I just heal myself by thinking good thoughts?

I am so thankful that there is a merciful God and patients can have hope of healing even when the doctors say there is none. Atheists can offer no hope. Just a strug of the shoulder and "sorry, sucks to be you, dude".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post

Claiming demonic attack isn't evidence; there's no more evidence for demons than there is for gods. And the totally unsupported claims of some random guy on the internet aren't evidence either. And that's not just my own opinion, it's yours; you'd never accept the claims of an Odin worshiper that they met a Valkyrie as evidence of Odin.
Perhaps not evidence for you, but it's plenty of evidence for me because it's a real experience that happened to me. I wouldn't necessarily immediately discount the experiences of an Odin worshiper if numerous people were reporting the same experience. In the same vein, I don't discount the spiritual experiences of native Americans. It's very possible that their religions are a portal to the supernatural.
Reply With Quote
  #118  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:35 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Yet, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of stories of divine healing through faith in Jesus Christ. In order to claim 100% that I'm wrong, you must personally debunk every story.
No, that's not how epistemology works. You have to falsify the null hypothesis, not support it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
How do you explain that one if I'm so wrong?
How do we explain it? We explain it by the fact that you remain willfully ignorant of the bandwagon fallacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
I wouldn't necessarily immediately discount the experiences of an Odin worshiper if numerous people were reporting the same experience.
Islam has a mass of just such testimony.
When will you begin investigating conversion?
Why?
Reply With Quote
  #119  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:54 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Only problem is that you can't demonstrate that it is wrong. Santa Claus has been well established as a fictional character. No one is claiming divine healing from Santa Claus. Yet, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of stories of divine healing through faith in Jesus Christ. In order to claim 100% that I'm wrong, you must personally debunk every story.
No I don't; you have to provide evidence that they are true. Strong evidence, since fraud is so rampant in such cases. It's not my responsibility to try to prove billions of negatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
According to the article, scientific evidence will be presented proving divine healing.
Suuuure it will. And they'll teleport to and from the conference by prayer, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
"According to a Newsweek poll, 84% of Americans said that ‘praying for others’ can have a positive effect on their recovery.”

How do you explain that one if I'm so wrong?
Simple; they are wrong too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Can I just heal myself by thinking good thoughts?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
I am so thankful that there is a merciful God and patients can have hope of healing even when the doctors say there is none. Atheists can offer no hope. Just a strug of the shoulder and "sorry, sucks to be you, dude".
No, atheists* can offer actual medical treatments that work, instead of tricking people into relying on faith and dying.

* And non-murderous believers, for that matter

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Perhaps not evidence for you, but it's plenty of evidence for me because it's a real experience that happened to me.
No, it didn't. Neither you nor anyone else has ever been attacked by demons, because they don't exist.

Last edited by Der Trihs; 04-30-2012 at 08:56 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #120  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:54 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
No, that's not how epistemology works. You have to falsify the null hypothesis, not support it.
Typical atheist copout. How come Christians have to do all the work? lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post

How do we explain it? We explain it by the fact that you remain willfully ignorant of the bandwagon fallacy.

Translation - umm no we can't explain it , but we still want to creat the illusion that we are intellectually superior to Christians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post


Islam has a mass of just such testimony.
When will you begin investigating conversion?
Why?

Most people follow Islam as their cultural heritage, or a belief in the teachings of the Koran. I really don't hear much if anything of supernatural or divine healings within that faith.
Reply With Quote
  #121  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:59 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Typical atheist copout. How come Christians have to do all the work? lol
Because the Christians are the ones making the assertion that something exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Translation - umm no we can't explain it , but we still want to creat the illusion that we are intellectually superior to Christians.
No, we can explain it just fine, and just did. Millions of Americans believe in something false, because it is a popular false belief. But them believing it doesn't make it true; prayer never, ever makes anyone heal faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanieboy View Post
What about the old saying there are no atheists in a fox hole at a time when yoour but is depending on religion why do atheists call out to god
That's just a slander against unbelievers, and self delusion on the part of the believers. They love to claim that atheists convert on their deathbeds and so forth; probably in part because the dead atheist can't contradict them. And yelling "god" when hurt isn't any more meaningful than yelling "fuck"; cultural conditioning as said, that's the sort of thing people blurt out when hurt or startled.

Last edited by Der Trihs; 04-30-2012 at 09:02 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #122  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:10 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post


No I don't; you have to provide evidence that they are true. Strong evidence, since fraud is so rampant in such cases. It's not my responsibility to try to prove billions of negatives.
A testimony claim of healing supported by a doctor is EVIDENCE. I even posted a story with X-ray images showing the healing, but no that's not good enough. Medical records wouldn't be good enough. Nothing will satisfy you because you simply can't accept the possibility of divine healing. As I said before, there is always a way to deny that ANY event ever occured like the landing on the moon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post


Suuuure it will. And they'll teleport to and from the conference by prayer, too.
This is the kind of crap that I find infuriating about atheists. You haven't even been to the conference and already laugh it off. It proves just how intellectually dishonest atheists really are once you get past the smoke and mirrors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post


No, atheists* can offer actual medical treatments that work, instead of tricking people into relying on faith and dying.
From my personal experiences, I find most medical treatments not that effective. They certainly didn't fix my back pain. I was healed spiritually when I was able to let go of the fear of chronic pain. Most treatments involve drugs that can cause known and unknown side effects. Even ibuprofen can damage the liver. All surgeries carry a degree of risk. A person with nerve pain will quickly learn just how powerless neurologists are. They rely on EMG testing which can give false readings.

They certainly couldn't do jack for my cubital tunnel syndrome, and absolutely nothing for my tinnitus.

Exams and tests can be inffective. Doctors nowdays are not even sure if clogged arteries are a direct cause of a heart attack event. MRI's can give false readings, and doctors are just now even addressing the reality of chronic pain with few options to treat it.

Sorry, but atheists offer little hope for a patient.
Reply With Quote
  #123  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:14 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Also from the article:

"According to a Newsweek poll, 84% of Americans said that ‘praying for others’ can have a positive effect on their recovery.”

How do you explain that one if I'm so wrong?
Praying doesn't help sick people get better. The fact that people think it helps is a matter of opinion. I can understand why people find it comforting, but that doesn't mean it does anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Typical atheist copout. How come Christians have to do all the work? lol
Every time someone who is arguing with you posts a cite, you say it doesn't count because it's more bias from the nasty atheists. Why shouldn't you do the work? You're the one who has said your deity is real and heals people and that evolution can't explain complexity and so on.
Reply With Quote
  #124  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:15 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
Because the Christians are the ones making the assertion that something exists.
And atheists are boldly claiming that it is 100% wrong without even bothering to fully investigate the claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post

No, we can explain it just fine, and just did. Millions of Americans believe in something false, because it is a popular false belief. But them believing it doesn't make it true; prayer never, ever makes anyone heal faster.

See above. There are countless reports that demonstrate that prayer certainly aided in the healing. Simply stating that it's not true without any backing support for your claim is completely baseless and intellectually dishonest.
Reply With Quote
  #125  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:18 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Praying doesn't help sick people get better. The fact that people think it helps is a matter of opinion. I can understand why people find it comforting, but that doesn't mean it does anything.


Every time someone who is arguing with you posts a cite, you say it doesn't count because it's more bias from the nasty atheists. Why shouldn't you do the work? You're the one who has said your deity is real and heals people and that evolution can't explain complexity and so on.

Because you are in the minority. If you are going to convice the majority that we are all suffering from mental delusions including highly intelligent Christian doctors, the onus is on you to freaking support your assertion for once.
Reply With Quote
  #126  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:19 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
From my personal experiences, I find most medical treatments not that effective. They certainly didn't fix my back pain.
You hear that, medical science? It's time to give up. GEEPERS is not convinced you work. Sorry, people with cancer and kidney transplant patients! We're going to go in another direction. You might find it a little medieval, but you'll thank us later.

Medical science is not an atheist thing, of course. Most religious believers are smart enough to turn to medical science when they are sick, and so are most atheists. How does that play into the 'if enough people believe it it can't be wrong' argument? The fact that doctors can't cure every single illness in every person doesn't mean something else works better than medicine - in fact the evidence says prayer doesn't work as well as treatment. (No surprise there since prayer doesn't involve treating the actual illness.) The fact that some people get better after being prayed for doesn't mean prayer caused the healing, and you have to be careful about drawing conclusions based on individual cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Because you are in the minority.
That has no bearing on the strength of my argument, or yours. That's a copout.

Quote:
If you are going to convice the majority that we are all suffering from mental delusions including highly intelligent Christian doctors, the onus is on you to freaking support your assertion for once.
I didn't say anybody was delusional. On the other hand I did post a cite from a study demonstrating that prayer does not help sick people get better. I notice you didn't respond to that. Do you have a rebuttal?

Last edited by Marley23; 04-30-2012 at 09:20 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #127  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:20 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Typical atheist copout. How come Christians have to do all the work?
It's ironic that you're calling basic logic a "copout" and claiming that inventing things that are unfalsifiable and unprovable is "doing all the work".

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Translation - umm no we can't explain it
Persecution complex aside and ignoring the customary vapid snark, of course we're not saying we "can't explain it". We're saying, yet again, that the null hypothesis holds sway and unless and until it is refuted, it stands. I also pointed out, and you seem not to understand, that the badwaggon fallacy is an error in logic, not success.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Most people follow Islam as their cultural heritage, or a belief in the teachings of the Koran. I really don't hear much if anything of supernatural or divine healings within that faith.
Typical goalpost shifting. Now all the mystical revelations and miracles attributed to Islam don't count because you don't hear much (are you listening?) about "divine healings"? Of course, the answer really is just that you're not listening and you're privileging your own religion above others, for obvious reasons.
So, when will you begin investigating Islam for conversion? Lots of stories about it...

Last edited by FinnAgain; 04-30-2012 at 09:21 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #128  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:23 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
A testimony claim of healing supported by a doctor is EVIDENCE. I even posted a story with X-ray images showing the healing, but no that's not good enough.
You posted an article from something called "Assist Ministries", which is about as plausible as me posting an anti-religion article from a website called Godmustbekilled.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Nothing will satisfy you because you simply can't accept the possibility of divine healing.
Because its never actually happened; whenever there's a serious investigation of such claims, they turn out to be fraud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
This is the kind of crap that I find infuriating about atheists. You haven't even been to the conference and already laugh it off. It proves just how intellectually dishonest atheists really are once you get past the smoke and mirrors.
Nonsense. Religion has thousands of years of history of being relentlessly wrong. It's a hallmark of religion that it's wrong. Why should I take seriously the idea that this out of all the millions of other false claims made by believers will actually be true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
From my personal experiences, I find most medical treatments not that effective. They certainly didn't fix my back pain. I was healed spiritually when I was able to let go of the fear of chronic pain.
In other words, you fooled yourself into thinking you are healed because it fits your religious fantasies. That doesn't mean that you are healed; it means that your religion it hurting you even more by driving you away from real medical treatment. Faith healing is an especially evil form of fraud.
Reply With Quote
  #129  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:25 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
In other words, you fooled yourself into thinking you are healed because it fits your religious fantasies.
It doesn't have to be that, of course. Chronic pain comes and goes spontaneously for lots of people, and that's one of the things that makes it hard to treat - we don't know when the pain just goes away and when it is responding to an effective therapy.
Reply With Quote
  #130  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:28 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 8,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Most people follow Islam as their cultural heritage, or a belief in the teachings of the Koran. I really don't hear much if anything of supernatural or divine healings within that faith.
What you hear about Islam is not correct (out of curiosity- where do you get your information about Islam?). Many Muslims believe in the efficacy of prayer for healing- as well as supernatural healing: here, here, here, and here.

Why should I take your information as more valid than Muslims? There are certainly many millions of Muslims that would tell me that their prayer is the most effective.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 04-30-2012 at 09:28 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #131  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:32 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 8,266
GEEPERS- many members of pretty much every religion believe that their religion is the true path, and have the same sorts of stories of the efficacy of prayer, divine revelation, even miracles that you claim for Christianity. They have the same sort of personal experiences- including of demonic influences and divine grace that you have had.

How am I supposed to sort them out? Why should I not just treat all these claims the same?
Reply With Quote
  #132  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:35 AM
shy guy shy guy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
I, for one, am curious why, if medical science is a sham and faith healing is obviously effective, why these highly intelligent Christian doctors bother going to medical school in the first place. Why don't they simply devote their time to creating the largest possible prayer group?

Also, the double standard from the evolution thread has again reared its head. The fact that we don't have 100% perfect knowledge of medical science means that the field is totally worthless, but claims of healing resulting from magic cannot be questioned.
Reply With Quote
  #133  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:36 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS
divine healing
Is this man a fraud?

What standard of evidence would you require if you saw a similar audience, without the audio recording?
Reply With Quote
  #134  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:38 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
What you hear about Islam is not correct (out of curiosity- where do you get your information about Islam?).
I get the sense GEEPERS doesn't have a lot of familiarity with any viewpoint on religious issues other than his particular version of Christianity, whatever denomination that is. To the extent he's familiar with other faiths or atheism or anything else, it's only from the standpoint of his own religion: other religions are just cultural, nobody makes the claims Christianity makes about healing and salvation and miracles, atheists are hopeless and want to attack religious people, the list goes on. I'm not saying this to be insulting, GEEPERS - your views reflect a lack of unbiased information on the subject. I can understand maybe you don't feel the need to look very far since you know what the truth is, but you really don't have any kind of understanding of what other people think about these issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
How am I supposed to sort them out? Why should I not just treat all these claims the same?
I think GEEPERS has been asked that before and I don't remember a solid answer.
Reply With Quote
  #135  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:41 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
You posted an article from something called "Assist Ministries", which is about as plausible as me posting an anti-religion article from a website called Godmustbekilled.com.
Typical atheist bias copout So it's not worth registering and going to a conference with well regarded doctors from around the world presenting scientific evidence for healing simply because the organization is Christian. Ok, put your head back in the sand then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post

Because its never actually happened; whenever there's a serious investigation of such claims, they turn out to be fraud.
We are suppose to take your word that it never happened? What an insult to the people who experienced a miracle. Am I suppose to believe that the Titanic never sank simply because you say it never happened?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post

Nonsense. Religion has thousands of years of history of being relentlessly wrong. It's a hallmark of religion that it's wrong. Why should I take seriously the idea that this out of all the millions of other false claims made by believers will actually be true?
Wrong about what? Isn't that equivalent to Argumentum ad populum? If you are right that religion has been wrong for thousand of years, that does not automatically invalidate any present of future religious experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post


In other words, you fooled yourself into thinking you are healed because it fits your religious fantasies. That doesn't mean that you are healed; it means that your religion it hurting you even more by driving you away from real medical treatment. Faith healing is an especially evil form of fraud.
I see, so my thoughts in my mind created a physical change in my body. How does that happen again exactly? As for real medical treatment, it's hardly effective for back pain.
Reply With Quote
  #136  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:45 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
GEEPERS- many members of pretty much every religion believe that their religion is the true path, and have the same sorts of stories of the efficacy of prayer, divine revelation, even miracles that you claim for Christianity. They have the same sort of personal experiences- including of demonic influences and divine grace that you have had.

How am I supposed to sort them out? Why should I not just treat all these claims the same?
You would start by accepting that there is a real supernatural realm out there. There are countless stories of supernatural experiences. Everyone that has a seen a ghost, for example. I've had friends who witnessed things flying in a room and a radio turning on and off by itself. Science can't explain such things.



That alone debunks atheism.
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:47 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 39,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
That alone debunks atheism.
No-without corroboration it only debunks stories told by you and your friends.
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:51 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 17,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
A testimony claim of healing supported by a doctor is EVIDENCE.
No, it is NOT. Not any more than testimony from a spectator at a magic show who saw an egg extracted from your ear proves that your ear makes eggs.

Testimony is evidence of NOTHING, which is why science discounts it greatly. It's too subject to error.
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:53 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 11,477
I am agnostic, not atheistic, but people call me an atheist nevertheless.

For me, it started when I was around 13 and trying to get answers to some questions that I had about my Christian beliefs. In trying to find those answers, I discovered that all religions are nothing more than massive con games.
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:55 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by shy guy View Post
I, for one, am curious why, if medical science is a sham and faith healing is obviously effective, why these highly intelligent Christian doctors bother going to medical school in the first place. Why don't they simply devote their time to creating the largest possible prayer group?

Also, the double standard from the evolution thread has again reared its head. The fact that we don't have 100% perfect knowledge of medical science means that the field is totally worthless, but claims of healing resulting from magic cannot be questioned.
I never claimed it is a sham or totally worthless. I'm claming that complete faith in the knowledge of man really doesn't offer much hope. Most treatments carry a degree of risk so it's really just a gamble. They can't even guarantee a patient that he will be 100% back to normal after a broken bone. You could have limited mobility or develop chronic pain in the joints. And if the treatment fails, the patient has absolutely no hope from an atheist doctor.


I rather be treated by a Christian doctor who prays for wisdom and a steady hand in surgery!
Reply With Quote
  #141  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:55 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Typical atheist bias copout So it's not worth registering and going to a conference with well regarded doctors from around the world presenting scientific evidence for healing simply because the organization is Christian. Ok, put your head back in the sand then.
"Well respected doctors"? Yeah, right. Try "quacks" instead. No, I'm not willing to spend significant amounts of time and money and travel to another continent just to visit some conference of religious frauds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
We are suppose to take your word that it never happened? What an insult to the people who experienced a miracle. Am I suppose to believe that the Titanic never sank simply because you say it never happened?
No, because there's plenty of actual evidence that the Titanic sank. None at all for miracles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Wrong about what?
Everything, pretty much. Religious claims are overwhelmingly false; much worse than random guessing, even. As I said, it's a hallmark of religion that it's wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
Isn't that equivalent to Argumentum ad populum?
No, it's the equivalent of "let's take a look at the record". Religion has a history of being wrong about everything it claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
I see, so my thoughts in my mind created a physical change in my body.
No; pain is a subjective experience. It can go away on its own, too.
Reply With Quote
  #142  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:57 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
You would start by accepting that there is a real supernatural realm out there.
No, from a logical standpoint that's a complete nonstarter. If we can't even start evaluating religions without accepting other stuff that has never been proven, then you are simply unable to make your case. This is not stuff that can be taken for granted in an argument.

Quote:
There are countless stories of supernatural experiences.
Again, that's not a convincing argument. People sometimes see things they can't explain. Does that prove the events are supernatural and inexplicable, beyond the realm of science? No. It means the people who witnessed them didn't know what was happening at the time.

Quote:
I've had friends who witnessed things flying in a room and a radio turning on and off by itself. Science can't explain such things.
I assure you science can explain things falling off shelves and short circuits in radios.

Quote:
That alone debunks atheism.
Leaving aside the fact that it does not debunk atheism, he asked you about evaluating claims from different religions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
I'm claming that complete faith in the knowledge of man really doesn't offer much hope.
Atheists don't claim total faith in the knowledge of man.
Quote:
Most treatments carry a degree of risk so it's really just a gamble.
I don't think you understand gambling very well either. It is true that every medical procedure involves some risk. That doesn't mean it's "just a gamble." Probabilities and outcomes can be prepared for and handled in a rational way.

Quote:
They can't even guarantee a patient that he will be 100% back to normal after a broken bone.
Who can guarantee anything?

Quote:
You could have limited mobility or develop chronic pain in the joints.
Which is bad, but better than walking around on a broken leg.

Quote:
And if the treatment fails, the patient has absolutely no hope from an atheist doctor.
People go to doctors for medical treatment, not religious advice. Do you think atheist doctors are in the habit of telling people "You're fucked - sorry" while Christian doctors tell patients "Just pray and your broken leg will heal?" That doesn't sound like medicine to me.

Last edited by Marley23; 04-30-2012 at 10:01 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #143  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:58 AM
Grey Grey is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Ah GEEPERS. It isn't atheists you can't stand, it's empiricists.

Last edited by Grey; 04-30-2012 at 09:58 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #144  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:59 AM
GEEPERS GEEPERS is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
No, it is NOT. Not any more than testimony from a spectator at a magic show who saw an egg extracted from your ear proves that your ear makes eggs.

Testimony is evidence of NOTHING, which is why science discounts it greatly. It's too subject to error.
Wow, I hope I never have you for a lawyer. lol Testimony is certainly accepted as evidence in a court of law.

Historians accept many of the events of the Titanic sinking as fact going solely by the testimony of survivors. Why should I believe what the survivors reported?


BTW, your magician analogy fails because it is a well known art form using sleight of hand or props to create visual illusions. Yet I'm to believe a well respected doctor would put his career on the line to make up lies about a divine healing. Yea ok.

Last edited by GEEPERS; 04-30-2012 at 10:00 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #145  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:03 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
So... which other religion(s) are you now looking into converting to? Why or why not?
Reply With Quote
  #146  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:03 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Ah GEEPERS. It isn't atheists you can't stand, it's empiricists.
Yeah. Almost any use of "atheist" in this thread (and every one of GEEPERS' posts) could be changed to "person who doesn't take the Bible literally." I don't see any distinction drawn between those two very different groups of people.
Reply With Quote
  #147  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:12 AM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
I never claimed it is a sham or totally worthless. I'm claming that complete faith in the knowledge of man really doesn't offer much hope. Most treatments carry a degree of risk so it's really just a gamble. They can't even guarantee a patient that he will be 100% back to normal after a broken bone. You could have limited mobility or develop chronic pain in the joints. And if the treatment fails, the patient has absolutely no hope from an atheist doctor.
So, because modern medicine isn't absolutely perfect in everything it does, god is better? First, prayer doesn't work, and yes, I have a cite: Study shows that praying for heart patients is not more effective than not praying for them. The study also says that if you tell a heart patient that they are being prayed for, that thing actually get worse. Why don't you go ask some of these people how well prayer worked for them. Oh wait, you can't, they all died because they never received any actual treatment.

Quote:
I rather be treated by a Christian doctor who prays for wisdom and a steady hand in surgery!
Science vs Religion Good luck with that.

Last edited by hotflungwok; 04-30-2012 at 10:14 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #148  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:14 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GEEPERS View Post
BTW, your magician analogy fails because it is a well known art form using sleight of hand or props to create visual illusions. Yet I'm to believe a well respected doctor would put his career on the line to make up lies about a divine healing. Yea ok.
That's what faith healers do all the time. And "well respected doctors" don't claim to be using "divine healing" any more than they claim to be using orgone or witchcraft or the healing crystals of Atlantis.
Reply With Quote
  #149  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:14 AM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 10,053
Unfortunately, any measurable defintion of success in this world shows no difference in outcomes between "hard work, dedication, talent" and "hard work, dedication, talent and trust in God." So there should be no reason to be surprised that many people feel no reason to add an extraneous step.
Reply With Quote
  #150  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:52 AM
shy guy shy guy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Well, GEEPERS is right about one thing. The testimony of people who claim to have been healed by faith is evidence. It isn't good, persuasive, or noteworthy evidence, but it is evidence in some sense.

Quote:
Historians accept many of the events of the Titanic sinking as fact going solely by the testimony of survivors. Why should I believe what the survivors reported?
Firstly, because we have tons of empirical evidence that a ship called "Titanic" existed, crashed into an iceberg, and sank on its voyage to New York. For instance, we can and have looked at the actual wreckage of the ship.

Second, because so long as we can verify that a given person was in fact a Titanic survivor (say, by finding some record of that person's having been rescued from the site of the sinking, and that person having been on the ship to begin with), we can test that person's account of events against other things we know about the event and verify their story. If the survivor says, "We ran around trying to find a lifeboat, found one, got in it, and floated around shivering for several hours before the Carpathia showed up," we are more likely to accept that story than if the survivor says, "As soon as the ship crashed, I sprouted Pterodactyl wings and flew to sunny Bermuda." The latter person's extraordinary claims will be subject to some pretty close scrutiny.

In other words, the word of survivors is taken only insofar as it matches what we already know about the event; we don't just accept anyone's account of anything, no matter what it is.

"My cancer went into remission because the same magical being which created the universe communicates with me psychically and cares deeply about my health, although not deeply enough to spare me the cancer in the first place," is just as extraordinary a claim as my mutant pterodactyl hypothetical. Moreso, in fact.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.