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Where theists go wrong...

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Boscoe, 10 Jul 2013.

  1. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

    3 May 2012
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    That study seems to be less about intelligence and more about the personal circumstances. I.e. the better those are the less likely you are to be religious.

    That is to say you could be thick as plank and in good personal circumstance making you less likely to be religious and vice versa.

    Intelligence leads to better circumstance and better circumstance leads to less religion, however that doesn't mean that intelligence makes you less religious. Even that's inferred in the article.
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2013
  2. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil What's a Dremel?

    17 Aug 2009
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    Those who are often poor, down trodden or at a low ebb turn to religion in the hope it may somehow offer them a way out, or salvation; not very bright... :worried:
  3. chriscase

    chriscase What's a Dremel?

    2 Dec 2011
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    Maybe we can rename this thread "Where threads about theism go wrong." I know the OP has been addressed more or less directly, but here are my comments:
    The usual reason one might claim that a-theism is a fundamentally different position from theism is because a-theism does not necessarily make any claim, so it does not necessarily assume the burden of proof.

    Well here, you've pretty much thrown out that whole burden of proof concept. So you've made a claim and now you are obliged to support it. That makes your atheism more similar to theism than it necessarily needed to be, but I can respect that. It's just not very much in line with your statement above that a-theism is so very different from theism - a statement I happen to agree with.

    What overwhelming evidence has science brought to bear on the subject of theism? I am dubious that there is much, if any, because few theistic claims are rigorous enough to give way to empirical examination. In my book this makes theistic claims ill-suited as serious explanations of anything objective, but it also means there isn't - cannot be - much in the way of evidence. If it were possible to accumulate credible evidence regarding the core dogmas of theism in a definitive way, we'd probably spend a lot less time speculating about it.

    I'm with you there. :thumb: Sacred texts are stories people made up. It's such an obvious observation one wonders how theists manage to paper over it so often.

    Not all theists are into the God of the Gaps. Many smart theists have gone out of their way to distance themselves from that argument. Never the less...

    I think one has to consider the qualities of a good "explanation". "God did it," and "Anything is possible," can explain literally anything. What neither "explanation" does in the least is offer insight as to how or why anything actually works. The test of a good explanation in the empirical sense is whether the explanation has any predictive value. Religious explanations are marvelously effective at explaining what has already happened and disastrously ineffective at predicting what will happen in the future. This is a key asymmetry that ought to tell us something is wrong in the logical foundations.

    I don't think math is really going to do much for atheism, at least not how you've used it here. This needs a lot of thinking through.

    Why is math factual, and not a matter of opinion? I would say that it is similar to other objective entities in as much as it is not subject to change based on our wishes. In this sense, maths and objective phenomena share the property of independence from our minds.

    But this opens a large can of worms around subjectivity. And I think it's a legitimate question whether there exists anything that is truly subjective. Is the thought I had when I wrote that last sentence truly dependent on my mind? Not any more. Its existence at that time is fact - I cannot change its existence now regardless of how much I might want to.

    Subjectivity is - in my opinion - more a matter of perspective. For example, the subjective experience of free will is likely a matter of perspective - it's what the process of a brain making a decision appears like from within the process, whereas from the outside all such processes appear to be - and in fact are - objective.

    Why would we need more arguments for natural selection? Evolution is one of the most thoroughly documented and well supported bodies of scientific theory we have.

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