Saturday, August 09, 2008

Do Atheists deserve respect?

I am not going to turn this blog into Atheist Watch. I will go back to my announced schedule of themes of Civilization soon. When that happens I will not post negatives anymore. But I want everyone to look at this.


This was from William Lane Craig's board

I put up this post about a week ago. No one responded for several days. So I didn't check for a while. This is the first and only thing I had said to this point. I had no been insulting people I said nothing more than this to them.


[Online!] Metacrock

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 27


Old post 08/02/08 at 03:24 PM Reply #1
God arguments make prmia facie cases. Mine do at any rate. Thus atheists must now show that the case is not prmia facie. For all practical purposes atheits have the burden of proof.

Atheism has no presumption. No reason why it should. Belief is normative for human beahvior.

(1) Vast majority of humans that ever lived beileve in some form of God.

(2) Belief is much better for us than non belief

(a) Physical health
(b) mental health
(c) happiness
(d) sucess in life.

vast body of emprical data proves this.

http://www.doxa.ws/experience/mystical.html

(3) it appears that the brain is hard wired to respond to God talk, indicating that we have an innate concept of God.

all of this indicates that we are fit to be religious. It's normative for humanity. Belief is the human condition. Atheist must demonstrate the validity of their doubt.



I looked tonight and there are several replies and they are all like this:
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Snakeystew

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 421


Old post 08/03/08 at 08:22 PM Reply #2
Quote:
God arguments make prmia facie cases. Mine do at any rate. Thus atheists must now show that the case is not prmia facie. For all practical purposes atheits have the burden of proof.


You would have to show that "god arguments", (please define 'god'), make prima facie cases. Your case as it stands follows:

Quote:
(1) Vast majority of humans that ever lived beileve in some form of God.


At one stage the vast majority of humans believed that the earth was flat. One cannot claim prima facie on argumentum ad populum.

Quote:
(2) Belief is much better for us than non belief
(a) Physical health
(b) mental health
(c) happiness
(d) sucess in life.


1) Stats please

2) That something might produce such things is not an indication that such things are true. At the very least one could say they will believe in Thor and if they get A, B, C and D then does that mean Thor exists?

Quote:
vast body of emprical data proves this.
http://www.doxa.ws/experience/mystical.html


You know, I mistakingly thought that the link was that "vast body of empirical data" but then I was clearly expecting too much from a theist. Instead I got faced with some idiot website - the author of which could barely even spell let alone put out decent arguments.

Quote:
(3) it appears that the brain is hard wired to respond to God talk, indicating that we have an innate concept of God.


"Appears" to whom? What is readily apparent is that ancient people through not knowing much about the planet and universe made gods as an answer. Now we know things, no new gods come forth. Where gods were once responsible for plagues, nowadays germs are etc.

The problem is of course that thousands upon thousands of years of forced teaching has left the more emotionally vulnerable amongst us to adopt these gods and 'pray' that they're true even though the more rational side of their brain tells them it's all nonsense. If only they would listen once in a while.

Come back when you have something of value.

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[Offline] rsmartin

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 245


Old post 08/05/08 at 04:19 PM Reply #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeystew
Quote:
God arguments make prmia facie cases. Mine do at any rate. Thus atheists must now show that the case is not prmia facie. For all practical purposes atheits have the burden of proof.


You would have to show that "god arguments", (please define 'god'), make prima facie cases. Your case as it stands follows:

Quote:
(1) Vast majority of humans that ever lived beileve in some form of God.


At one stage the vast majority of humans believed that the earth was flat. One cannot claim prima facie on argumentum ad populum.

Quote:
(2) Belief is much better for us than non belief
(a) Physical health
(b) mental health
(c) happiness
(d) sucess in life.


1) Stats please

2) That something might produce such things is not an indication that such things are true. At the very least one could say they will believe in Thor and if they get A, B, C and D then does that mean Thor exists?

Quote:
vast body of emprical data proves this.
http://www.doxa.ws/experience/mystical.html


You know, I mistakingly thought that the link was that "vast body of empirical data" but then I was clearly expecting too much from a theist. Instead I got faced with some idiot website - the author of which could barely even spell let alone put out decent arguments.

Quote:
(3) it appears that the brain is hard wired to respond to God talk, indicating that we have an innate concept of God.


"Appears" to whom? What is readily apparent is that ancient people through not knowing much about the planet and universe made gods as an answer. Now we know things, no new gods come forth. Where gods were once responsible for plagues, nowadays germs are etc.

The problem is of course that thousands upon thousands of years of forced teaching has left the more emotionally vulnerable amongst us to adopt these gods and 'pray' that they're true even though the more rational side of their brain tells them it's all nonsense. If only they would listen once in a while.

Come back when you have something of value.



Pretty thorough analysis. Seems Metacrock has not yet come up with anything of value. Re a person who believes in Thor. I have a good friend who believes in Asutra and Thor. This friend has evidence of their existence. He admits quite freely that he cannot prove beyond a doubt that it's more than his imagination but he is not concerned about thinking it through so deeply. Nor is he keen on getting others to share his beliefs. I had to really ask and make it very plain that I was interested to know what about his gods and why he believed as he did. When he knew that I wanted to know he was willing to tell me. He gave me a link to where he had posted his testimony. It was worth reading.

I did not change my mind about anything but it gave me insight on another person's feelings and beliefs. I find that meaningful and valuable.

BTW, I can prove that god doesn't exist but Christians wouldn't accept the argument. Nor would a lot of atheists. It's good enough for me, though. Atheists will say there is still .000000001% chance that god could be somewhere. I say that equals 0 and be done with it. If god actually existed, Christians wouldn't act so scared and threatened when we challenge their faith or ask for evidence. The final evidence came for me when my prof was threatened to the point of attacking me at the oral examination of my thesis. What got to him was my argument that this nineteenth century theologian based all his arguments on the voice of authority as opposed to Darwin who self-critiqued his own theory at every step of the way--that, and my announcement that I was atheist. That I was an atheist really bothered him.

If God was real, and if Christians were confident that God was real, then it wouldn't bother them who all didn't share their beliefs. If I couldn't stand being with people who believed differently from me then I would have to move to a different part of the world. We would have to create an atheist commune or something.

But that isn't the way it works. It works the other way around. Atheists spring up in the middle of a large community of Christians. They have to seek--and sometimes seek long and hard--to find other atheists. (Christians might not believe this but it's true all the same.) This proves that it is possible to be around people who have beliefs very different from one's own. If atheists can do it without God, why can't Christians do it if they have the almighty Ruler and Creator of the universe on their side?

Maybe because he doesn't exist???

Just some thoughts, since we atheists were asked to provide proof of God's nonexistence.

I predict (prophecy) that the Christians will get negative feelings (angry, frustrated, feel a need to rebuke me, perhaps indicate that they will not respond to such a blasphemous post, etc.) from this post. That, too, would be evidence to me that their god does not exist. What would I accept as evidence of God's existence? Hmmm.

There are several atheists on these forums. If the Christians engage one or two of us in this thread in an intellectually honest and satisfactory way, as judged by an atheist not engaged in the discussion, I might be interested in further investigation of the matter.

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Another Christian tries to confront him about this attitude and he says:

Indeed. You'll find it's typically only christians that are so insecure. You don't generally find common christian actions from hindus, jews or even muslims for that matter. This is why christians get and deserve very little respect, (as a group, not personally). They're all nice until they realise you don't want to be one of them and then the true colours show for all the world to see. I've seen it several times now on this very forum.



One cannot have a rational dialog or learn from interaction with others, or grow intellectually, if one is trapped in prejudice, refuses to listen and has no respect for the dialog partner.

We have to learn to respect each other or there is no point in dialog. If you just want a pissing contest go elswhere.

14 comments:

Kristen said...

You're right, Joe. The guys on that forum are arrogant jerks. I couldn't believe their lofty superiority.

But taking it out on Hermit isn't the answer, ok? I think your temper got the better of you that time.

J.L. Hinman said...

I agree that I did. but he takes it all so personally. I was speaking of that one woman's statements, Loren. He went off on me saying I had caused him to forgoe transformation, and the deals off we are enemies again.

That made me angry because it's like saying "you don't have the right to feel your feelings, you must always be mindful of my feelings and yours aren't worth protecting.


like I said, you can't have a rational dialog with someone who has no respect for you..

tinythinker said...

People benefit a great deal from charity (the Christian value not the popularized connotation) when they are being uncharitable themselves, from generosity when they are being ungenerous, from politeness when they are being impolite. If someone is just parroting what they hear from others, if they are unwittingly employing a double-standard, and/or if they are only giving lip-service to being fair and open-minded, then insulting them, yelling at them, and/or cursing them will only puff up their pride in defensiveness and bolster their own antagonism. Metacrock sometimes forgets this in his exasperation with the arrogance and disrespect that is so common in many online communities, particularly when that kind of atmosphere rubs up against his own often bruised ego. As a result he frequently ends up needing to offer apologies to those who end up being lumped together in his mind with his antagonists. Yes, he should know better and he should do better.

On the other hand, anyone who has spent any significant amount of time discussing or debating topics with Metacrock has to know he has an explosive temper and typing/spelling problems. If you bait him and then criticize him for losing his cool and calling you a @$#& spitting *&^# with a &%*@ up your $&%, you are yourself being uncharitable but moreover you are being disingenuous. If you know that you are going to occasionally run afoul of Metacrock's temper or his dyslexia, and if you really want a dialogue, then you can choose to make an effort to get past that to really appreciate what he is trying to say or you can refuse to participate until he calms down and offers you basic courtesy. You can also try to appreciate he may be upset at something else and even offer a friendly reply such as "Hey, why are you biting my head off? I don't deserve that. Is something bugging you?" You might learn he is having a major life crisis or that he perceived an (unintended) insult in something you wrote. This can lead to a quick resolution of any pending drama.

As for me, I did run afoul of this myself many years ago when I encountered Metacrock for the first time, but after politely and repeatedly insisting on courtesy, after offering the same, after overlooking the typos, and after showing a basic respectfulness, the situation changed. Rather than matching anger for anger or acting put out over the apparent unfairness and rudeness, I chose to try to forgive any misguided or misplaced outbursts and firmly keep to the game plan. It worked. I could critique every single sentence in a forum or blog post made by Metacrock and he isn't going to fly off the handle and call me names. He might get "animated", and want to debate or ask me to clarify or justify my position, but he won't say I am an idiot or an a-hole. I am not a saint, and I am not always so nice or forgiving, but like any relationship there is a certain investment involved. If you don't think it is worth the effort, that is your call. But taking the cheap shot and playing the martyr in the shadow of mean, unreasonable Metacrock is akin to the the competitor who tries to get a penalty call by taking a dive and putting on an Oscar-worthy performance for the referee and the crowd. To anyone who would use such a tactic - get up and play you big sissy! ;o)

J.L. Hinman said...

There you have it freinds. In the title I asked a Question. Tiny forces me to answer it: Yes, there's an example of one who deserves respect..

Kristen said...

Quite right, Tiny. I tend to be sensitive like Hermit myself, so I understand where he's coming from. But I also understand where Joe's coming from-- last night's comment was just my initial reaction. After thinking over what I read on that atheist message board, I am frankly appalled at the game of "blame the victim," they are playing. They belittle, taunt and misrepresent Christians, and then when Christians react badly to this, they blame the Christians. They are saying, "The reason Christians get so upset can't possibly be because of the way we treat them, oh, no. We are the souls of virtue and their bad reactions come entirely from the fact that they are everything we say they are."

Would they do this to any other group? Would they say Jews are all self-righteous ignoramuses and the fact that they get so upset when you tell them so, proves it?

Add to this the fact that this kind of blame-the-victim thing is something Joe has probably faced throughout his life because of his dyslexia-- and I can perfectly understand why he got so upset.

I'm probably being cowardly in not wanting to join that awful message board to tell them the above-- but if anyone else wants to quote my comments here to them, they are free to do so.

J.L. Hinman said...

I appreciate your post Kristine. I also appreciated the one from yesterday. I was unfair to Hermit. My anger doesn't excuse it, but it does explain it.

What makes matters worse. that was not on an atheist message board. that was on William Lane Craig's board!

you can't even assume you can have a good discussion on the major apologists own board.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Certainly, all human beings deserve initial respect, until they prove otherwise. ;-)

J.L. Hinman said...

I agree Mike. it's a teaser title. the answer is "yes." But so do Christians.

Those who say Christians don't deserve respect just their uncivilized nature.

A Hermit said...

"taking the cheap shot and playing the martyr in the shadow of mean, unreasonable Metacrock is akin to the the competitor who tries to get a penalty call by taking a dive and putting on an Oscar-worthy performance for the referee and the crowd. To anyone who would use such a tactic - get up and play you big sissy! ;o)"

Is that whatyou think I'm doing when I object to him calling people Nazis?

Sorry Tiny, I don't buy it. Jim's smart enough to step back, re-read his own posts and edit before he hits "send."

He's right about one thing though, you can't have a rational dialogue with someone who doesn't respect you, and when someone re[eatedly compares you to a Nazi and calls you a "piece of shit" it's pretty obvious they don't respect you.

If standing up for myself (and unlike your friend here I try do that without the profanity and the personal attacks) makes me a "sissy" in your eyes, so be it. You go on making excuses for the guy and enabling his vicious behaviour if you think that's what's right; as for me I'll have no more of it.

I'm done. For all the learning on display here there's very little wisdom to be gained.

J.L. Hinman said...

Sorry Tiny, I don't buy it. Jim's smart enough to step back, re-read his own posts and edit before he hits "send."

how can you not open your eyes and see the depth of hate and venom in most of these atheists attacks that I bring up? The things Lorden said to which I reacted were that she wants to reprogram the minds of people who disagree with here,and a very anti-intellectaul attitude toward Biblical schoalrship.

I did not call her a Nazi, you have got to stop overreacting with emotional chip on your shoulder. But I did want to goad her into realizing how fascistic her statements were seeming.


He's right about one thing though, you can't have a rational dialogue with someone who doesn't respect you, and when someone re[eatedly compares you to a Nazi and calls you a "piece of shit" it's pretty obvious they don't respect you.


If you study the brown shirts you will see the tactics of the "New Atheist" more closely resmeble brown shirt tactics all the time. Its' nothing but a gang of bullies demanding that they have to be right and they don't care how they hurt you to get their way.

I am not saying all atheists, but the one's who have ruined message boards are clearly like that. you keep your head in the sand and refuse to see it.


If standing up for myself (and unlike your friend here I try do that without the profanity and the personal attacks) makes me a "sissy" in your eyes, so be it. You go on making excuses for the guy and enabling his vicious behaviour if you think that's what's right; as for me I'll have no more of it.


I wasn't attacking you. Show me how you are standing up for yourself when I wasn't even referring to you.

I'm done. For all the learning on display here there's very little wisdom to be gained.

go console yourself with how hurt you are. so unfair. I am persecuting all the innocent little atheists who say I have limp dick, that I never went to school, that I'm lying about ever having read a book, so claim that I admitted that I can't debate and that i'm stupid, on and on and on. I'm pesecutign them. I ruined posting for them. I treat them like shit.

grow up, face reality, take responsibility for what you and your co hearts do.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Joe,

The whole "final solution" thing came out of you misunderstanding Loren. She was talking about a creator deity rewriting people like a computer programmer rewrites and refines code. She was not talking about atheists reprogramming people.

A Hermit said...

"I wasn't attacking you. Show me how you are standing up for yourself when I wasn't even referring to you."

Yes you did. Apart from your generalized comparisons of atheists to book-burning "brownshirts" you put up a comment directed at me here (I saw it before you deleted it and saved a screen capture if you really want me to show you)in which you called me a "piece of shit (again) stupid and incapable of learning (again) and told me to "fuck off" and "burn in hell" (again)

"
grow up, face reality, take responsibility for what you and your co hearts do."


I do take responsibility for my own actions, but I am not responsible for what others may or may not have done to you. Some other person's behaviour in some other forum is not a license for you to attack me here.

When are you going to take your own advice, stop playing the victim and take responsibility for your behaviour? Like the lie you just told about not attacking me...

J.L. Hinman said...

Hermit why do you think it's fair to hold things against people that they retract? Yes, you made angry, I lashed out. I thought better of it and changed. so you will never forgive for something I took back?

Kristen said...

Hermit, I understand where you're coming from-- but as an impartial observer, I would say that in this case, you're reading things that happened in the past into what was happening here. When I said to Joe that he shouldn't take his anger at the atheists on that forum out on you in his blog, he agreed and retracted it. He got upset at the blame-the-victim tactics on that forum-- which you were not involved in, nor did he ever say you were. In his frustration, he said some things in his blog that expressed frustration at things you had said in the comments-- which was based on a misunderstanding.

What Tiny said wasn't directed at you either-- far from it. He was talking about those atheists on forums like the one the blog links to, who know about Joe's temper and past history (I noticed they made a special effort to take digs at him about not finishing his dissertation-- you'd think they'd be ashamed of themselves, since they must also know why) and deliberately bait him so they can play the martyr when he loses his cool. You were not involved in that situation. But it was a terribly unfair sideswipe at Joe.

I agree that what Loren said in these comments, was that she thought if people were sinful, God ought to be able to reprogram them so they'd be good, just as she herself rewrites software. She was talking about the problem of evil, not about some kind of "reprogramming" of people who don't agree with atheism. If she had been saying that, Joe would have been correct in calling that a "Nazi" type tactic-- but he simply misunderstood. But in any event, his reference to "Nazi" was not a reference to the ordinary, live-and-let-live atheist-on-the-street, and certainly not to you.

Hope this helps clear some things up. :)