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Old 10-04-2009, 01:59 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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My saying "Believing in god may help your recovery, but it does not prove that god exists." does not exactly force you to bring up AA does it?

I said "Believing in god may help your recovery, but it does not prove that god exists." in response to something you said about the effects of belief being verifiable.

Although obviously my response was another strawman, ad hominem, logically fallacial faux pas on my part.

What I say doesn't have to be a response to what you wrote, I might just be stating my opinion, not everything revolves around you and what you say.

Would you stop answering peoples posts by trying to put the blame on me for what you said please?

I wont be answering any more of your posts.

Last edited by stone; 10-04-2009 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:23 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by mistycshore View Post
The difference being that in one case, no evidence that a thing exists ends in the conclusion that the thing exists. In the other case, no evidence that a thing exists ends in the conclusion that the thing does not exist.
That's not exactly what I meant. The problem you (in a general sense. Not you specifically, misty) run into here is that you can't disprove a negative. Atheists do not have any evidence that God does not or cannot exist. So their belief that God does not exist is as much based on faith as a theist's assertion that God does exist. I'm an eternal fence-sitter. Call me agnostic then clean up and go home.

For the sake of exposition I'll throw this out there: I've had some basic physics classes. I'm no physicist or astronomer. But I "believe" in the Big Bang. I don't understand all the physics behind it, I have not studied the theory in depth, I've never even really seen the evidence for it. Probably wouldn't understand the evidence if I did see it. But I think science has progressed sufficiently in this area for me to accept it based on my rudimentary understanding of the idea and the fact that people much more educated in this area accept it.

But that's sorta the same thought process people use for believing in God. They don't understand what God is or how he arrived on the scene. I'm willing to bet the majority of them haven't even read the texts they so firmly believe (hell, I never read most of my physics book either ). But their preacher and many well-studied theologians tell them it's true, so they accept it.



Originally Posted by mistycshore View Post
Dawkins is restating a theme from a slightly different angle. Proclaiming the existence of god simply leads to a more complicated question: Where did god come from?
Dawkins is a scientist at heart. Read some peer-reviewed articles sometime. Most of them conclude by asking more questions, saying what the study did not teach them. I think he goes too far sometimes (having read a very limited selection of his work), sometimes he gets frighteningly close to, "...and then a miracle occurs..." to justify his views. This is why I lump both ends of the spectrum, the absolute believers and absolute non-believers, into one group.

Originally Posted by mistycshore View Post
It's possible (can't disprove a negative), but I suspect we haven't evolved far enough to let go of the comfort religious belief brings people. I think that human beings are fearful critters who don't want to die - nothing illogical about that. These giant brains developed a wonderful mechanism for managing that fear - our imaginations. I can't not love that very adaptable and astonishingly unique evolutionary trait, but it can (and has) gotten away from us with destructive results.
I kind of doubt we will ever evolve so far that we will no longer need religion. The reason is that it's the "lower" creatures that don't need religion. Now we have religion, I think we're stuck with it until we no longer need to explain pain and death and all the bad crap that happens in our lives.

Holy crap! We've come full circle, we're back to recovery. I can't use religion to justify the bad juju, so I covered it up with alcohol and methamphetamine and coke and painkillers and anti-depressants. It created more bad juju. So I kinda have to learn how to get over myself, come to terms with the fact that bad juju and good juju both exist in the world, my life's only a disaster because I made it so, and learn to handle my problems. I didn't want to use religion as a crutch, instead I used drugs.

Originally Posted by mistycshore View Post
Actually, I think that religion in general was meant to explain the origin of world, the origin of human beings and the numerous natural events that people experienced but could neither control nor explain.
I actually agree, but I was working with Armstrong's argument. Honestly, I felt like this thread was out of control and I was taking a stab at getting it back on track so it didn't get locked down and I decided to be kind of picky about introducing too much new stuff. I think there's a lot of good conversation to be had here, but religion is a pretty personal topic and lots of people take religious comments personally even when they aren't meant as an attack.

Deep breath, everyone. These are words on a computer screen, not someone chasing you with a baseball bat.

Back to my homework...
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:08 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
That's not exactly what I meant. The problem you (in a general sense. Not you specifically, misty) run into here is that you can't disprove a negative. Atheists do not have any evidence that God does not or cannot exist. So their belief that God does not exist is as much based on faith as a theist's assertion that God does exist. I'm an eternal fence-sitter. Call me agnostic then clean up and go home.
I used to call myself an agnostic atheist...but I found out that most atheists are, anyways. Besides...too many syllables to pronounce.


Do you have any evidence that invisible pink (or maybe purple) unicorns do not or cannot exist? Does it require faith for you to believe that these things in all likelihood do not exist?

Are you asserting that all beliefs and all lack of beliefs are based upon faith?

Faith is believing in fill-in-the-blank without proof or evidence. Do you believe in everything and nothing without any proof? Are any of the beliefs or lack of beliefs you possess based upon proof, evidence, or logic?

The word atheism means lacking theism. Nothing more. It makes no claims about the nonexistence of a god or gods. It does not make claims that a god or god exists. A person who is an atheist is simply a person who lacks a belief in the existence of any gods.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:04 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:18 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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The word atheism means lacking theism. Nothing more. It makes no claims about the nonexistence of a god or gods. It does not make claims that a god or god exists. A person who is an atheist is simply a person who lacks a belief in the existence of any gods.
However, it makes watching people desperately trying to prove or disprove this nonexistent "entity" vastly amusing
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:22 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
That's not exactly what I meant. The problem you (in a general sense. Not you specifically, misty) run into here is that you can't disprove a negative. Atheists do not have any evidence that God does not or cannot exist. So their belief that God does not exist is as much based on faith as a theist's assertion that God does exist.
Not so. My belief is based on the lack of evidence. My previous example of WMD in Iraq is a pretty good example. Since the lack is quite evident in the world, by definition my belief is not a matter of faith because it is actually based on the lack of evidence. It does does not exist despite the lack of evidence, which is the necessary requirement for faith.

For the sake of exposition I'll throw this out there: I've had some basic physics classes. I'm no physicist or astronomer. But I "believe" in the Big Bang. I don't understand all the physics behind it, I have not studied the theory in depth, I've never even really seen the evidence for it. Probably wouldn't understand the evidence if I did see it. But I think science has progressed sufficiently in this area for me to accept it based on my rudimentary understanding of the idea and the fact that people much more educated in this area accept it.

But that's sorta the same thought process people use for believing in God. They don't understand what God is or how he arrived on the scene. I'm willing to bet the majority of them haven't even read the texts they so firmly believe (hell, I never read most of my physics book either ). But their preacher and many well-studied theologians tell them it's true, so they accept it.
That's an excellent throw. I don't know that I believe in big bang (and don't claim a in-depth understanding of it), but it seems like a possibility - it has a degree of probability going for it. The physicists who do understand it would likely be the first to abandon the theory if hard evidence to the contrary presented itself, so I tend to trust them. That is not the same thought process as believing something is true because my preacher, the president, Jerry Falwell or the pope said so.

Dawkins is a scientist at heart. Read some peer-reviewed articles sometime.
I know. I limped my way slowly through part of The Selfish Gene before I surrendered. The God Delusion is more accessible but still no breezy summer read.

Most of them conclude by asking more questions, saying what the study did not teach them. I think he goes too far sometimes (having read a very limited selection of his work), sometimes he gets frighteningly close to, "...and then a miracle occurs..." to justify his views.
I would need to see an example to make a comment. I can't think of when Dawkins (and I do have every video he ever made and two of his books) would have said such a thing, unless it was a facetious comment.
This is why I lump both ends of the spectrum, the absolute believers and absolute non-believers, into one group.
Many "absolute believers" in other nations would put you death for saying so, but I think you're fairly safe with the non-believers.

Do you see only the three categories (believer, non believer, other)?
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:40 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
The word atheism means lacking theism. Nothing more. It makes no claims about the nonexistence of a god or gods. It does not make claims that a god or god exists. A person who is an atheist is simply a person who lacks a belief in the existence of any gods.
Excellent point.

When I was an atheist, I explained it this way: an atheist is someone who does not believe in a supernatural intelligence.

One of the things that used to irritate me the most was when people said to me, 'How can you say there is no God?' -- To which I would reply, "I never said there was no god; I said that I do not believe in a god."

Unfortunately, many theists don't have the intellectual capablity to make this distinction.

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Old 10-04-2009, 07:49 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Dawkins is a scientist at heart. Read some peer-reviewed articles sometime. Most of them conclude by asking more questions, saying what the study did not teach them. I think he goes too far sometimes (having read a very limited selection of his work), sometimes he gets frighteningly close to, "...and then a miracle occurs..." to justify his views. This is why I lump both ends of the spectrum, the absolute believers and absolute non-believers, into one group.
You make a good point here, I think..

Even when I was an atheist, I found that there were many who I described as "fundamentalist atheists" - that is: mindless militant atheists who went out of their way to slam theists.

In my two decades of philosophical and theological research (mostly cross-sectional studies with people), I've found that most people on both sides of the fence are moderates.

It is the fundamentalists, both theistic and atheistic, that give the bad name to both of their causes, typically though their attempt to slam that which is not part of their cause.

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Old 10-04-2009, 08:02 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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I am trying to leave the thread open. Please be respectful if you want to continue to have access to this thread. Please review the forum rules.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:37 PM
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There have been several posts removed. I am speaking to everyone who is hijacking the thread with personal debates. Please use private messages for that sort of thing.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:33 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by allport View Post
Forget god (and how I wish you all would) my point was that that a discussion that involves any 12 step program is not appropriate for this forum.
Agree! This is the SECULAR Recovery forum.

Last edited by shockozulu; 10-05-2009 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:56 AM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
MG, so is it wrong for me to even say I am in AA? My only mention of AA was to say that I am in AA and an atheist.
This isn't a forum to discuss the steps. If you only work a twelve step program, you probably aren't getting much out of discussing secular recovery programs anyway. If you are one of many that do work several programs, then feel free to discuss your secular program.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:32 AM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Alera View Post
This isn't a forum to discuss the steps. If you only work a twelve step program, you probably aren't getting much out of discussing secular recovery programs anyway. If you are one of many that do work several programs, then feel free to discuss your secular program.

I take your point but I work the 12-step program in a secular way so...I wasn't sure.

I suppose there is a forum explicitly for that but surely it is OK for me to mention in passing I am in AA in this forum as long as I don't go on about it?
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
I take your point but I work the 12-step program in a secular way so...I wasn't sure.

I suppose there is a forum explicitly for that but surely it is OK for me to mention in passing I am in AA in this forum as long as I don't go on about it?
That's what the 12-Step Secular forum is for. This is for those of us who work a secular recovery.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Alera View Post
Agree! This is the SECULAR Recovery forum.
I agree, too.

Just keep in mind that atheists in this base should follow the rules as well.

Unless they want to be ironically hypocritical.

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