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  #141  
Old 20.02.2009, 13:44
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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my point was that the scientific method can distinguish between truth and flasehood, not that science can answer all questions about reality. religion has no such method at its disposal - all it does is make assertions and then tell people to have faith: belief without evidence. what is the evidence that any religious claims are true?
Not everything in science is based on rock-soid evidence. A lot of psychology is on very wonky footing for example. But we believe it nevertheless. I'm not claiming to be an expert on psychology but my opinion on psychology is that there's probably something to it. If somebody came up and said it's all lies, I would be very sceptical of that person. If somebody put an advert on a bus saying "psychology is probably a load of balderash" I'd probably feel sorry for the person who felt it necessary to spend money on that. And if somebody like Dawkins (who has studied neither theology nor psychology) came out trying to make out that he knew more about it than those who had devoted their lives to studying it, I'd be wondering why this guy has such a problem.
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  #142  
Old 20.02.2009, 13:44
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Firstly, there is no conflict between religion and science and many great scientists were also religious.
Actually, there is (and has been) a great deal of conflict between religion and science.

Science just tends to ignore most of it, because the primary objective of science is answers, not indoctrination.

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However, the same science cannot apply to the spiritual world. Any scientist who says that his maths and logic is proving that there is no God is clearly talking out of his arse. Belief is not a physical thing that you can dissect into vectors and scientific effects etc. Where in differential calculus or quantum mechanics or any other branch of science do we have a point where we can say, this is the bit that God does? So how have they proven that he's not there?
You don't understand Science. The *correct* thing to be doing is saying "I think god does this bit here, for these reasons, and this is the experiment I will use to demonstrate that".

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But rather than learning from the mistake the other guys made, atheist scientists have gone on the counter attack into a domain in which their arguments clearly don't hold. People like Dawkins are just saying, "I don't want this to be true, I don't even like there to be a possibility that this is true, therefore I will twist all evidence to make it seem that it isn't true". The vickar who attacked Darwin was probably thinking exactly the same thing. Plus ca change ...
I'm pretty sure Dawkins is just arguing there is no scientific evidence for the existence of god. Therefore, belief in the existence of god (or gods) is based on an irrational belief.
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  #143  
Old 20.02.2009, 13:47
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Once they brought a woman before Jesus who had committed adultery and asked for permission to stone her, seeing the old testament said things like the above. But rather than saying, "go on and stone her", he replied "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Seeing nobody besides God is without sin, the first stone cannot be cast and the stoning cannot occur. If we stone her nevertheless we are fully guilty of her death. Therefore this passage teaches us that such a person may deserve that punishment but it is not for us humans to carry it out. It could well be that we made a mistake in our judgement and that we kill an innocent person, or there may be mitigating circumstances that we have not properly taken into account in our judgement. It is espcially interesting that although Jesus was present, who according to church dogma was without sin, and could therefore legitametely have cast the first stone, he preferred not to do so, but set the woman free and forgave her.
Note that at no point is the question of whether the woman deserved punishment in the first place, considered.
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  #144  
Old 20.02.2009, 13:50
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Something about full-on agnosticism rubs me the wrong way. It's useless. The assertion is that one keeps an open mind, but it's bogus because there is an almost automatic assumption that belief and nonbelief are on an equal footing and that it's best to simply remain neutral. But they're not on equal footing. Religioun asserts too many unreasonable and ridiculous things for this to be the case. Belief in no Gods doesn't claim to prove nonexistence of Gods. Rather that the truth can be arrived at empirically and anything that is not empirically acceptable remains unknown until it hopefully becomes known.
Having said this, I also think that most atheists have an slightly agnostic viewpoint on several things that they can't entirely present valid evidence of, like the universe's origins, for example. Personally, whenever faced with a stern apologist who presents me with a tired "intelligent design" argument for the universe, I admit to being sometimes reduced to proclaiming that we as humans will likely never know the answer, and hence, that statement alone puts me in the "agnostic" territory. Doesn't mean that I am an agnostic, although many theists love to grab onto that gap and immediately proclaim "aha, so you don't know!".
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  #145  
Old 20.02.2009, 13:56
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Firstly, there is no conflict between religion and science and many great scientists were also religious.
...
I am afraid there is.
If a religious can do science is simply due to the fact that at the moment of scientific resaearch he forgets about relig. approach and vice versa.
Otherwise to me you can't really have both simultanously!
You can't look a microscope and look for germs as searching for devil!
You can't look through telescope and look for heaven having angels on it
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  #146  
Old 20.02.2009, 14:44
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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I'm pretty sure Dawkins is just arguing there is no scientific evidence for the existence of god. Therefore, belief in the existence of god (or gods) is based on an irrational belief.
Isn't this like saying I cannot use vector algebra to prove Darwinian Evolution, or I cannot prove with differential calculus that Nelson won the battle of Trafalgar. Therefore it is balderash.

I might as well say I've never been to Kenya, therefore there is no such place.
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  #147  
Old 20.02.2009, 14:47
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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fine - so why then is the old testament in every church on the planet? jesus said to follow the old testament - which includes this bit about stoning people to death. the fact is the bible is full of contadictions like this.

here is a hitler quote from one of his speeches: "my feeling as a christian points to my lord and saviour as a fighter". perhaps jesus told him to invade poland, just like he told bush to invade iraq.
okay, "one of his speeches" is great. Now please tell us which one of his speeches and where and when he held it and why.
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  #148  
Old 20.02.2009, 15:49
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Isn't this like saying I cannot use vector algebra to prove Darwinian Evolution, or I cannot prove with differential calculus that Nelson won the battle of Trafalgar.
No.

For starters, science doesn't do "proof". Science does "evidence".
Secondly, there is ample evidence to suggest both Evolution, and that Nelson won at Trafalgar. So it's not just a matter of wrong tool for the job.

It's more like saying you can't use a mousetrap under your pillow to "prove" the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.

Dawkins' argument is that there is zero evidence for the existence of god and, therefore, that for anyone claiming to be a practitioner of Science, the only rational conclusion is that god does not exist.

I seem to recall he also highlights the point that, given God's (in the Christian/Muslim/etc sense) supposed attributes, there isn't even a decent Intellectual argument supporting his existence.

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Therefore it is balderash.
It's "balderdash".

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I might as well say I've never been to Kenya, therefore there is no such place.
No, it's not the same thing at all. Primarily because you can just jump on a plane any time you want and see if Kenya exists. Moreoever, you can do that any time your doubt that Kenya exists falls into question. Finally, you can show other people how to get to Kenya and they can see it for themselves.

The same is not true of god, religion, or any other alleged supernatural force.
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  #149  
Old 20.02.2009, 16:05
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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okay, "one of his speeches" is great. Now please tell us which one of his speeches and where and when he held it and why.
how is that relevant to the discussion?
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  #150  
Old 20.02.2009, 16:07
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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No.
It's more like saying you can't use a mousetrap under your pillow to "prove" the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.
I think you can. If your parents are pretending to be the tooth fairy but really doing its job themselves, the mousetrap is likely to catch your parent's fingers, thereby demonstarting that they are involved.

There is no comparable God trap, therefore the analogy doesn't hold.
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  #151  
Old 20.02.2009, 16:10
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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how is that relevant to the discussion?
Because you are backpedalling. Your initial statement was that he frequently used it throught his speeches. Now we are down to one speech and you can't even say which one. Next you'll be saying we have no evidence that he didn't say it.
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  #152  
Old 20.02.2009, 16:14
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Dawkins' argument is that there is zero evidence for the existence of god and, therefore, that for anyone claiming to be a practitioner of Science, the only rational conclusion is that god does not exist.
This is still the same man that said Tolkien's books are stories about Unicorns and UFOs. I don't think that really suggests he did any serious research in the subject. He accuses others of making statements they cannot substantiate but does worse himself.
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  #153  
Old 20.02.2009, 16:36
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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This is still the same man that said Tolkien's books are stories about Unicorns and UFOs. I don't think that really suggests he did any serious research in the subject. He accuses others of making statements they cannot substantiate but does worse himself.
Why are you putting the boot into this man just because he has a different view to you ? I thought you were not into imposing your views onto people ?

Could you tell what research the bloke (or lady) who wrote the bible did please ? Its a bit of a best seller really, so it should be pretty evident.
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  #154  
Old 20.02.2009, 16:44
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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I think you can. If your parents are pretending to be the tooth fairy but really doing its job themselves, the mousetrap is likely to catch your parent's fingers, thereby demonstarting that they are involved.
No, that simply demonstrates they were doing it that one time. It does nothing to prove the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.

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There is no comparable God trap, therefore the analogy doesn't hold.
Yes, there is, it's called Science.

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This is still the same man that said Tolkien's books are stories about Unicorns and UFOs.
What ?

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I don't think that really suggests he did any serious research in the subject.
That doesn't mean he didn't.

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He accuses others of making statements they cannot substantiate but does worse himself.
For example ?
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  #155  
Old 20.02.2009, 17:11
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

Now that would be one worth complaining about to the ASA - on the gounds that there is no factual evidence and therefore the message is misleading :-)


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Meanwhile, back in blighty the religious movement has shown itself not to be a force to be outdone, and certainly not one to be petty and childish, by funding their own "There definitiely IS a god bus slogans:"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7875457.stm

So given that no buses come along then three come at once, a 6 year old watching the world go by with his mummy will be told there 'Probably isnt a god', then 'There Definitely IS a god' and then that women will throw themselves at you if you wear Lynx.

It's hardly putting across a stable message now is it ? But then, as the Christians Im sure would says "but he started it...."
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  #156  
Old 20.02.2009, 17:15
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Why are you putting the boot into this man just because he has a different view to you ? I thought you were not into imposing your views onto people ?
Having read most of Tolkien's works and never coming across the passage in question I must conclude that Dawkins was reading a different edition to me. Maybe you could tell me which edition it was and show me the passage that Dawkins was referring to, seeing the guy doesn't make stuff up. I'm also still waiting for the Hitler quote by the way.
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  #157  
Old 20.02.2009, 17:24
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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Having read most of Tolkien's works and never coming across the passage in question I must conclude that Dawkins was reading a different edition to me. Maybe you could tell me which edition it was and show me the passage that Dawkins was referring to, seeing the guy doesn't make stuff up. I'm also still waiting for the Hitler quote by the way.
I haven't read it. Haven't read his comments on it either, so I can't highlight it at all. Could you show me where I have said Dawkins writes that this book contains references to UFO's please ?

What Hitler quote are you waiting for ? I must have missed part of the discussion I haven't been quoting Hitler ?
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  #158  
Old 20.02.2009, 17:31
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

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I haven't read it. Haven't read his comments on it either, so I can't highlight it at all. Could you show me where I have said Dawkins writes that this book contains references to UFO's please ?
I haven't got it to hand but can check over the weekend. I believe it was in "Unweaving the rainbow", towards the end. I shouldn't have difficulties finding it though if you leave me some time. At the time this book first appeared Dawkins hadn't yet started his big anti-religion crusade and I thought (and still think) a lot of his more scientific stuff is quite well written and makes some interesting points. However that quote made me wonder what was going on and I actually wrote him a letter (his publisher actually) asking him to clarify but never got a response.

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What Hitler quote are you waiting for ? I must have missed part of the discussion I haven't been quoting Hitler ?
My mistake, I was responding to too many things at the same time. It was another poster on this forum who owed me that one. Sorry.
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  #159  
Old 20.02.2009, 17:39
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

Hitler quotes a-plenty. I say nothing about the accompanying text, but the quotes are there.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/speeches.htm

Last edited by Colonelboris; 20.02.2009 at 17:42. Reason: missing hypen
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Old 20.02.2009, 17:50
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Re: Atheist bus campaign in CH

you know I've just trawled through the 6 pages or so of responses to the initial OP entry which was quite interesting. I was considering joining the debate but I really can't be arsed. Religion is about believing something for which science sees no factual evidence whatsoever. Atheism is about not believing something for which there is no evidence. It is not about simply denying the existence of god. As you put it, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. From some of your comments in this thread so far I would hazard a guess that you possess a little knowledge of religion, theology, philosophy, atheism, science, pschology and you seem to be on dodgy ground with some more modest topics such as horse common sense and logic. As I said I was considering joining in but I can't be arsed. Tada and good luck



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They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Being able to quote from the bible doesn't make you a theologian any more than being able to quote randomly from the lawbook makes you a lawyer or being able to quote Einstein makes qualifies you to discuss quantum physics.

I'm not here to teach you theology. There are proper explanations for these things but I feel that trying to explain them to you would be a waste of my time as you are not prepared to try and understand. However, if you would only take a look at the world around you, you'll have difficulty finding one single Christian community that practices this form of punishment. Have you ever wondered why? Has it ever occurred to you there may be a reason? However, ignoring evidence seems to be your style of reasoning so I won't go into that further.
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