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Atheists in the U.S.

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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby StormCrow » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:30 am

You did read my big red disclaimer I trust. ;)
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~ Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby Add » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:18 am

StormCrow wrote:Likewise I can think of an atheist off the top of my head who is a total @$$****.

Yeah, but I write wicked-fast SQL.
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby BladeBoy » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:34 am

I wouldn't touch this thread with a 10 foot crucifix, two thing I don't get into religion and politics.
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby Add » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:44 am

BladeBoy wrote:I wouldn't touch this thread...

:? ...but...didn't...you...just....

Never mind. :roll:
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby StormCrow » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:13 pm

The main issue with atheists thinking is that, because their own perspective is as biased towards their idea that there isn't a God as a theist's is towards the belief that there is, they skew the probabilities.

In the atheist's mind they think of the Abrahamic God, and probably one with a fluffy white beard hanging out over the clouds ala Monte Python, and think, how absurd, that can't possibly be true. They therefore assign a probability of negligible to pretty much zilch of there being a god.

In reality, since there's no means to empirically test whether there is a God or not, we can only make determinations as a result of statistics based on how specific you want to be.

If we were to ask the broad question:

Did the universe self-create, or was their a greater sentient influence behind it?"

...then without any other information (and there is none) we are forced to assign a 50/50 chance.

Now, as we become more specific, the odds begin to drop percipitously. So now we'll say that God is represented by a religion on earth, then we'll say that it's representative of a single particular religion, and then by a particular sect of a religion. When you think about it, there are over 5000 religions on this planet so even if we accepted that the odds of God existing was 100% rather than 50/50, and we somehow divined the probability that God was represented by a religion on our planet was 100%, the likelihood that any one person's religion was correct would be worse than 1 in 5000, and the probability that that person's specific sect (don't call a catholic a christian :roll: ) was correct is much worse.

Of course odds can't be assigned specifically to such unknowns, and I personally avoid making absolute statements, but rather assign the probability based on the Stormcrow lolIjustmadethisshitup scale of 1-9 (very scientific :lol:).

1: negligibly likely
2: very unlikely
3: unlikely
4: slightly unlikely
5: unsure
6: slightly likely
7: likely
8: very likely
9: almost certain
Mark Twain
~ As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake.
~ Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.
~ I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby Add » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:18 pm

StormCrow wrote:The main issue with atheists thinking is that,...
In the atheist's mind they think ...

You're telling us what other people think now :roll: ? Or are you like the atheist Pope setting down doctrine?
StormCrow wrote:...then without any other information (and there is none) we are forced to assign a 50/50 chance.

:shock: If you're going to torture probability theory then at least do me the favour of calling it an enemy combatant and claiming it had WMD first.
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby StormCrow » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:59 pm

I'm not an atheist at all...I think I've been pretty clear that my whole being is driven towards being the antithisis of absolutism, so for me to speak for what all others think is absurd. I can tell you the thoughts of what most folks I have encountered think however. It's my way to inquire with folks as to their beliefs, so over my years I've developed a reasonably large pool of folks and their beliefs from whom to draw.

As far as torturing probability theory? Not at all. My whole point is that you can't apply probability theory at all. I reserve hard probabilities to events that can be empirically tracked. Faith cannot be. That's the long winded point of my statement. I will agree that I used certain statements like "50/50" and the term "probability" itself for lack of a better term, but I think you understand the heart of what I'm trying to say. If a person has no way of knowing if something is true or not, it seems somewhat absurd to act like they have truth trademarked.

On my 1-9 scale I place the liklihood of there being "something out there" at a 5, and the liklihood of a sect of a single religion on this planet as being true as a 1. Note that there are no probability percentages applied. That would be absurd. Note also that I'm not stating anything is absolutely true or false.

I feel as though what I say is upsetting you. Please dont let it. This is meant to be a friendly discussion or debate. You have an accusationary tone and dismissive emotes, along with comments that suggest to me that you may not fully be reading what I'm writing. I welcome comments in contradiction to my thoughts, but please keep them well thought out and civil. I can always be wrong in my thinking...and so too can you. ;)

Sidethought on faith to all who are interested in weighing in: faith implies that you are believing in something that there is no empirical evidence to be true. in your opinion, can you choose to believe something? What I mean is, believing with your mind rather than your heart. Lets say we agree with the idea that maybe god exists and maybe he doesn't. Lets say we then choose to believe that he does. At this point we're essentially saying "I choose to believe that god exists, but I could be wrong." So, is this faith? Does faith require absolutism, or does it allow one to keep their mind open to other possibilities?
Mark Twain
~ As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake.
~ Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.
~ I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby eric » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:39 pm

This is an old thread and I think I posted somewhere in the middle of it, but when I just re-read the first post I thought it was kind of sad. Not because he thinks he's an atheist or whatever, but because like many atheists one will discover on the internet, they basically see the whole world through their atheist us-against-them lens much like their fanatical or overly-enthusiastic religious counterparts.

Notice I said "discover" on the internet and not "encounter on the internet." People meet atheists all the time and never know they are atheists. This is because most atheists are just like people with any other belief system. Their system of belief grants them peace of mind and they don't need to wear it on their shoulder or worry about what other people believe.

I believe in gravity. I'm certain it will keep me from floating off into space. So far, I've never tried to seek out unbelievers so I could convince them they are wrong. If I ever meet someone who doesn't believe in gravity I'll probably try to either avoid the subject or just stay away from the person altogether.
Eric

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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby Add » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:43 pm

StormCrow wrote:I feel as though what I say is upsetting you. Please dont let it. This is meant to be a friendly discussion or debate.

:D No way buddy. I'm cool.
StormCrow wrote: You have an accusationary tone and dismissive emotes, along with comment that suggest to me that you may not really be reading what I'm writing. I welcome comments in contradiction to my thoughts, but please keep them well thought out and civil. I can always be wrong in my thinking...and so too can you. ;)

Sorry I have an accusatory tone and dismissive emotes. I'll scale them back.

I didn't realize you were "after well thought out". I'll get my coat.

Oh wait. Maybe I can add something, seeing as we're talking about maths... There's something in Bayesian inference called the principle of indifference. Which offers the prior that given n mutually exclusive possibilities the simplest non-informative prior is to assign p=1/n. That's to say (*cough*) assign the probability of 50%. Yeah... Yeah... I know... I just thought the torture line was funny :roll: (<- that dismissive emote is directed at my own lame sense of humour).

There! Does that pass muster? or still too snarky?
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby Add » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:49 pm

eric wrote:they basically see the whole world through their atheist us-against-them lens much like their fanatical or overly-enthusiastic religious counterparts.

I think that's very true, although I think it's a US phenomenon. In Britain we don't really "do" God (as Tony Blair famously said). I wonder if a politician in the US could get away with it not being an issue?

eric wrote:I believe in gravity. I'm certain it will keep me from floating off into space.

Isn't that just subjective? Where's Kev-La when you need him?
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby KevLa » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:59 pm

Add wrote:
eric wrote:I believe in gravity. I'm certain it will keep me from floating off into space.

Isn't that just subjective? Where's Kev-La when you need him?

Yep, I'd say the workings of gravity are essentially subjective. But then, I say everything is subjective ;)
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby GTPowers » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:40 pm

Rawr.
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Re: Atheists in the U.S.

Postby ChesterCopperpot » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:53 am

I think the main crux of this problem is trying to make sense of US politics. It makes no sense at all. It's a fools errand to try to find some reasoning out of this mess.
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