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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Yeah I have it waiting for the two hours I will need to enjoy it. We have an Agnostic and Atheist Student Association at UC Davis and they arranged a screening but I missed it.

I am definitely going to check it out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
Your main argument seems to be that if something can't be proven, or hasn't been proven, then it doesn't exist. I simply don't agree with this logic.

For example, science has yet to prove the existance of inteligent life on other planets. This does not however disprove it's existance.


There is plenty of evidence supporting likeliness of intelligent life on other planets. There is nothing of the sort for god or fairies. If I told you there is a teapot orbiting the sun out in the asteroid belt, would you think that very likely? That's not even supernatural. What if I said there are invisible spirits that cause things to happen?

The point is god and fairies have the same likelihood of being real. Proving nonexistence of anything is impossible. But for something to be considered real it must be fallible. Also the burden of proof is on the person making the claim.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
Likewise, disproving the bible is only possible if one subscibes to a relatively narrow literal enterpretation.


So I guess interpretation includes ignoring all contradiction and violence.

What the bible says or how anyone chooses to interpret it doesn't have anything to do with proof. The problem is the origins of the bible. They are very questionable.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
"Values yes, but not beliefs. That is a straw man. We don't have any beliefs." - Ironman

Perhaps you're misunderstanding what I mean by beliefs. ... In my estimation, any opinion based on values is a belief. For example, if you think that stealing is wrong, that's a belief. It doesn't matter if this belief comes from religion, society, family, etc.


That's not completely true. There are plenty of logical reasons for stealing being wrong. Plus you are mistaking opinion and faith. Belief can be a synonym for opinion and faith. But faith and opinion are not the same.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:15 pm 
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"Also the burden of proof is on the person making the claim." - Ironman

I agree with you there. However, there's a difference between making a claim and merely stating ones beliefs (or lack thereof).

If someone says they don't believe in God, then no proof is required.

However, if someone claims there is no God, I expect proof.


Last edited by Matt Z on Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:19 pm 
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I believe in one God. It's possible I'm wrong. There may be no God, or many gods, but that is not what I believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
I believe in one God. It's possible I'm wrong. There may be no God, or many gods, but that is not what I believe.


I wish more believers of religion had this mentality, just as much as I wish non-believers could entertain the possibility they're wrong and there is a god. The problem is everyone insists they're "right". No one really knows, we all just have ideas about what we think things are. This is why I am a believer of I don't know. That doesn't mean I don't care or don't think about it or don't find it fascinating, but I just don't have the means to support any position. I'd like to believe in a force higher than humanity, but that it is beyond our comprehension as well. So that's my main problem with most organized religions, we apply the human thought process to religion. I think that's a big mistake.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:30 am 
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If someone says there is no god, it is strictly in a virtual sense. NEVER in an absolute one. Atheists know negative proof is impossible. Atheists never think of anything in absolute terms.

Non-believers DO entertain the possibility they are wrong. It is believers who usually entertain no other possibilities. There is not one single atheist who would not believe in god given proper evidence.

These are 2 of the most annoying straw man arguments.


I have a very simple position that can be boiled down to this. I don't believe in anything for which there is no evidence. That's all that an atheist is.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:39 pm 
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I don't know how you can speak for all Atheists. I don't claim to speak for all Catholics, only for myself.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:43 am 
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I'm speaking more in terms of definition. I suppose there could be some people who have just decided they are going to believe something. Normally atheists just take a rational point of view. So the people who are true rational atheists are that way by definition.

You would be very hard pressed to find an atheist who thinks in absolutes or will not accept evidence. That would almost make them not atheist.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:01 pm 
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If someone calls himself a Catholic, most people would consider him a Catholic, even if he's a habitual liar, who steals, cheats on his wife and hasn't been to church in years.

Likewise, if someone calls himself an Atheist, I would generally consider him an atheist, even though he may not be a very good Atheist by your definition.

I've met self-proclaimed Atheists who were anything but rational.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:41 pm 
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It's an elite club. Not everyone has what it takes ;).

I don't know about other atheists but I agree with Ironman, which is why I prefer to call myself a secular humanist/rationalist to clarify. I do think that if you asked an atheist if they were certain, on some variable scale, the vast super majority (99%+) would respond "I am all but certain" or "the chances of God existing are almost negligible" but few would say the chance is zero. Anything is possible, just not probable.

I agree with your Catholic example but I also hear bad Catholic thrown around quite often.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:18 pm 
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Catholic priest faces child porn charges

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2009/ ... 6-sun.html

You know how one of the ten commandments are, "Though shall not steal"

Well... What about all those priests who steal kid's virginities? lol

I know the priest in this article just had child porn, but i'm sure he's touched some little boy in the bum.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:03 am 
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Matt Z wrote:
If someone calls himself a Catholic, most people would consider him a Catholic, even if he's a habitual liar, who steals, cheats on his wife and hasn't been to church in years.

Likewise, if someone calls himself an Atheist, I would generally consider him an atheist, even though he may not be a very good Atheist by your definition.

I've met self-proclaimed Atheists who were anything but rational.


That's not quite the same thing. A better example would be a Catholic that barley believes in god, doesn't believe in the trinity or divinity of christ or the virgin birth. Basically not a Catholic.

I am more of a rationalist/skeptic/secular humanist too, but many people don't know what that means. They know the word atheist though. Even if they might have misconceptions and see it in a bad context. The label fits too since I don't believe. However it is strange to label someone by what they are not. People use the example "non-stamp collector". Plus there is a lot more to it than not believing in god. I don't believe in ghosts, alternative medicine or conspiracy theories either. Plus I'm big on human rights and civil liberties. So that's why I am more of a rationalist/skeptic/secular humanist.

By the way, I am neutral on the rational vs skeptic philosophical argument. I mean the terms only in the more common usage.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:41 pm 
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"Well... What about all those priests who steal kid's virginities? lol" - Jebus

I don't really see anything funny about child rape.


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