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Posted: 13 July 2008 02:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 12 July 2008 06:06 PM
isocratic infidel - 12 July 2008 05:48 PM

Bruce: “The manner of her death was proof positive for many people that atheism was evil. She was the woman who dared God to strike her down, and He did.”

So getting murdered if “proof positive” that atheism is evil?
God didn’t strike her down, two-time murderer David Waters “struck” her down, and possibly raped her beforehand. Unless of course, Waters was merely an instrument of god…

I didn’t say I bought into this idea. But that is how many people interpreted it. God works in mysterious ways.  He used Nebuchadnezzar to punish the Jews, Attila to punish Rome, and Michael Jackson to punish Sander.

Bruce dah-ling, I didn’t say you personally bought into the idea, I was responding to “the many people” you were referring to. And yet, for someone who doesn’t “[buy] into this idea”  you certainly make clear that “god works in mysterious ways…” don’t you mean: god works in murderous ways?

And what’s this about the son of Nabopolossar (Nebuchadnezzar, 605-54? BCE)) “punishing” the jewish people prior to jesus’ birth? Why did the abrahamic god punish the jews via Nebuchanezzar before “the jews” supposedly allowed “christ” to be crucified?  Was god mad at “the jews” prior to sending his son, the messiah to them, just so “He” could make them responsible for his death?
Think about what this says: God revealed himself to the jews as the one and only true god, punishes them via Nebuchadnezzar for what-the-fuck-all-mighty-reason, waits awhile and then sends his son to be killed by “the jews” ... for WHAT purpose or reason exactly? So every “gentile” can have eternal life? This god is a self-loathing anti-semite.

And the Huns as a weapon of god against Rome?

Your view on history is tainted my friend.


...And Michael Jackson is more than just a punishment against Sander.

Michael Jackson aside,  THIS is the god you believe in and promote?

ii

[ Edited: 13 July 2008 02:55 AM by isocratic infidel]
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Posted: 13 July 2008 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 13 July 2008 06:40 AM

And what’s this about the son of Nabopolossar (Nebuchadnezzar, 605-54? BCE)) “punishing” the jewish people prior to jesus’ birth? Why did the abrahamic god punish the jews via Nebuchanezzar before “the jews” supposedly allowed “christ” to be crucified?  Was god mad at “the jews” prior to sending his son, the messiah to them, just so “He” could make them responsible for his death?
Think about what this says: God revealed himself to the jews as the one and only true god, punishes them via Nebuchadnezzar for what-the-fuck-all-mighty-reason, waits awhile and then sends his son to be killed by “the jews” ... for WHAT purpose or reason exactly? So every “gentile” can have eternal life? This god is a self-loathing anti-semite.

And the Huns as a weapon of god against Rome?

I’m giving you a religious interpretation of some historical events. The “Nebuchadnezzar was used by God to punish the Jews” idea is right from the Jewish scriptures. Look at II Chronicles 36:11-21. This is the Jews’ own interpretation of what happened. It’s not a Christian or anti-semitic interpretation - it comes right from Jewish priests and prophets and scribes. They violated the Mosaic covenant, and God brought the punishment prescribed in that covenant upon them. That’s what the Jews themselves thought.

The Hun thing is a Catholic interpretation of Attila. He was called the “scourge of God.”  That is how they interpreted his actions. History is what we interpret it to be, to a large extent, and this is how the people who were involved interpreted the events. The events themselves are not in question - the issue is how to interpret them. And why are we talking about this on this thread? It’s much too serious.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 13 July 2008 10:29 AM

I’m giving you a religious interpretation of some historical events. The “Nebuchadnezzar was used by God to punish the Jews” idea is right from the Jewish scriptures.

And I-I is telling you that a religious interpretation of historical events as part of a teleology is a recipe for an infinite amount of nonsense. Now, Bruce, you’re entitled to your own set of religious practices and formalisms, but if people make fun of you for the amount of effort you waste on it - um, well - you make your own bed with it.

Why waste effort trying to “correct” other people’s impression that Scripture is nonsense? Why do you feel you need to do that? Is something rotten in your cognitive Elsinore? Nah. You’re just obeying the boot-up instructions, Threepio.

Bruce Burleson - 13 July 2008 10:29 AM

History is what we interpret it to be, to a large extent, and this is how the people who were involved interpreted the events. The events themselves are not in question - the issue is how to interpret them. And why are we talking about this on this thread? It’s much too serious.

You pulled this aimless thread into a particular course in order to defend a particular definition of God (one you claim is different from the one envisioned by those who murdered O’Hair):

Bruce Burleson - 12 July 2008 03:52 PM
McCreason - 11 July 2008 05:15 PM

Bruce do you mean to say that LandR was not the typical Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao atheist? By God who could have thunk it!

I thought sure we all were pure evil!

You have to remember that my concept of “atheist” was almost totally informed by Mother Madalyn. She lived in Austin and was too loud for any other voice to be heard. The manner of her death was proof positive for many people that atheism was evil. She was the woman who dared God to strike her down, and He did. So, put that in context. The form of atheism that I have encountered here is of a different nature.

[ Edited: 13 July 2008 07:06 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 13 July 2008 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 12 July 2008 03:52 PM

You have to remember that my concept of “atheist” was almost totally informed by Mother Madalyn. She lived in Austin and was too loud for any other voice to be heard. The manner of her death was proof positive for many people that atheism was evil. She was the woman who dared God to strike her down, and He did. So, put that in context. The form of atheism that I have encountered here is of a different nature.

You do realize, I hope, that this standard of “proof positive” that atheism is evil is pretty obviously jumping at affirmation? I also hope you recognize, when considering history, the rather obvious pattern, which seems to be born of a very similar mentality, that if “God’s [presumed] people” suffer, the agent of their suffering is the “Scourge of God,” whereas if someone a presumed “Scourge of God” suffers, it’s God’s judgment.

In your case I suspect you’re aware of this, and likely also of how “critically” it indicates most of the faithful consider such things (i.e. reality), but it’s an issue worthy of emphasis, I think, and perhaps clarification.

Byron

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Posted: 13 July 2008 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Salt Creek - 13 July 2008 11:01 AM

Why waste effort trying to “correct” other people’s impression that Scripture is nonsense? Why do you feel you need to do that?

A) It’s fun trying; B) it keeps me from getting bored; C) it gives me a chance to practice; D) it keeps me somewhere around the center of attention; E) it gives the other participants something to attack; F) I get to read interesting arguments and comments; G) I feel mischievous; H) I don’t know; I) why not?; and J) I might get lucky.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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SkepticX - 13 July 2008 11:28 AM

You do realize, I hope, that this standard of “proof positive” that atheism is evil is pretty obviously jumping at affirmation? I also hope you recognize, when considering history, the rather obvious pattern, which seems to be born of a very similar mentality, that if “God’s [presumed] people” suffer, the agent of their suffering is the “Scourge of God,” whereas if someone a presumed “Scourge of God” suffers, it’s God’s judgment.

In your case I suspect you’re aware of this, and likely also of how “critically” it indicates most of the faithful consider such things (i.e. reality), but it’s an issue worthy of emphasis, I think, and perhaps clarification.

Yeah, in other words - we all come to the table with our own set of assumptions and motives. Like Stuart Smalley, we are all seeking our daily affirmations, in one way or another.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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And that’s….......okay!

BTW, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people LIKE me.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 13 July 2008 03:09 PM

Yeah, in other words - we all come to the table with our own set of assumptions and motives. Like Stuart Smalley, we are all seeking our daily affirmations, in one way or another.

Close in a way, but no.

In other words, if we’re honest we try our best to reject or at least account for our biases rather than to justify them. Those who have internalized the principles of skepticism (which can be fairly described as hard core honesty) are actually suspicious of affirmation unless we carefully analyze it and it passes stricter muster than usual. Honesty requires that we strive diligently against bias, certainly not that we embrace or even defend it.

Byron

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Posted: 13 July 2008 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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SkepticX - 13 July 2008 04:20 PM

In other words, if we’re honest we try our best to reject or at least account for our biases rather than to justify them.

OK, I agree with this. Now, please admit that you are biased toward “reason” being the only way we can obtain accurate information about reality. I admit that I think that there are other ways.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 13 July 2008 04:35 PM
SkepticX - 13 July 2008 04:20 PM

In other words, if we’re honest we try our best to reject or at least account for our biases rather than to justify them.

OK, I agree with this. Now, please admit that you are biased toward “reason” being the only way we can obtain accurate information about reality. I admit that I think that there are other ways.

Reason (often in the form of math) is the only means to process data about reality in anything that can come close to a reliable understanding of that data.

Tell us how you suggest we acquire and process accurate information about reality and develop the best understanding of that information if not through rational means though. By what measures would you suggest we take an effective degree of responsibility to avoid making mistakes that humans tend to make? What kind of error correction measures do you suggest in order to revise imperfections in our understanding of reality as best we can?

Byron

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Posted: 13 July 2008 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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SkepticX - 13 July 2008 05:03 PM

Reason (often in the form of math) is the only means to process data about reality in anything that can come close to a reliable understanding of that data.

Tell us how you suggest we acquire and process accurate information about reality and develop the best understanding of that information if not through rational means though. By what measures would you suggest we take an effective degree of responsibility to avoid making mistakes that humans tend to make? What kind of error correction measures do you suggest in order to revise imperfections in our understanding of reality as best we can?

First, reason is not necessary at all with respect to receiving accurate information about reality. Non-reasoning animals receive sensory input and accurately process it without ever having any consciousness or rational thought, and they survive just fine. Second, even we as rational beings receive and process information independently of the reasoning process. Often, reason acts only as a spectator and interpreter of what the brain (in its non-conscious function) has detected, processed and responded to.

Third, I propose that there is such a thing as “spirit” which acts as an additional faculty by which humans can obtain information.  But this is so far off the subject of this thread that I feel compelled to start a new topic so that I can once again satisfy my narcissistic longings.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 13 July 2008 05:22 PM

. . . [R]eason is not necessary at all with respect to receiving accurate information about reality. Non-reasoning animals receive sensory input and accurately process it without ever having any consciousness or rational thought, and they survive just fine. . . .

Bruce, you’re disappointing me here, by stepping over the line from (religious) nonsense (in my opinion) into pure bullshit.

People may have access to cognitive techniques that assist us in experiencing, on occasion, longer thoughts than those of other animals, but feeling and reacting to nature requires, not abhors, reason. The more information-processing technique an animal somehow manages to wrest from her bones and tissues, the better her chances of outwitting her perhaps equally clever opponents. People diverge from this condition only because we have the luxury of, for some reason, owning more neuro-tissue than we apparently need to keep our natural, non-human opponents at bay. It may be that we have so much of it that its effect will eventually be to destroy us.

Oh well.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 13 July 2008 05:22 PM

Third, I propose that there is such a thing as “spirit” which acts as an additional faculty by which humans can obtain information.

Not narcissistic at all. I propose that there is such a thing as “tribalism” that acts as an additional support network for people too addled to endure their own cognitive mistakes by donatng material support from a whole community which pretends not to see that the bell curve includes people who are as dumb as a sack of hammers. You make your (ecumenical) living off such people.

Mind you, I am not condemning “tribalism”. Just saying how it functions to save the bacon for the rear tail of the bell curve. Nor am I asserting a priori that you, Bruce, are “addled”. You feed at the big trough, and feel your contribution to atmospheric methane concentration as significant as anyone else’s, no?

However, your conflation of “tribalism” with “spirit” is a grave mistake, so the jury is still out on whether or not you are “addled”. I personally think that you could survive very well without trying to pass off “tribalism” as “spirit”. You might still have to live off the “dumb as hammers” crowd, but at least you wouldn’t be producing conflations as noxious as flatulence.

Like I say, I’m not opposed to “tribalism”. I am only in favor of calling something by its right name.

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Posted: 14 July 2008 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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homunculus - 13 July 2008 09:35 PM

Bruce, you’re disappointing me here, by stepping over the line from (religious) nonsense (in my opinion) into pure bullshit.

People may have access to cognitive techniques that assist us in experiencing, on occasion, longer thoughts than those of other animals, but feeling and reacting to nature requires, not abhors, reason. The more information-processing technique an animal somehow manages to wrest from her bones and tissues, the better her chances of outwitting her perhaps equally clever opponents. People diverge from this condition only because we have the luxury of, for some reason, owning more neuro-tissue than we apparently need to keep our natural, non-human opponents at bay. It may be that we have so much of it that its effect will eventually be to destroy us.Oh well.

Sharks and cockroaches are much better survivors than we are, H, and they have no reason at all. They process information with organs that we don’t have, but don’t think about it and probably are not (or barely) conscious of it. My point is simply that reason is not the be-all-and-end-all of information acquisition. There are other organs, other methods, other epistemological avenues that this parade can follow.

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Posted: 14 July 2008 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Salt Creek - 13 July 2008 10:28 PM

Not narcissistic at all. I propose that there is such a thing as “tribalism” that acts as an additional support network for people too addled to endure their own cognitive mistakes by donatng material support from a whole community which pretends not to see that the bell curve includes people who are as dumb as a sack of hammers. You make your (ecumenical) living off such people.

Let the narcissism debate be settled once and for all - we are all lovers of self - period. No need to pretend otherwise. We are all on the same merry-go-round in that respect. Furthermore, we are all probably chronically addled by our own endorphins, which are generated by our chronic narcissism. No one on this forum can claim to have achieved pure reason or pure objectivity. 

The concept of tribalism is a convenient refuge for those who cannot accept that anyone has had a personal experience with the transcendent. You must pigeon-hole everyone who claims to have had such an experience into a tribalistic category, so that you can safely dismiss their testimony. You must believe that they say what they say because they are a mindless component of a group, a tribe, a mob. They are just treepios who are programmed to spout out the party line. End of rant.

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