noemon wrote:The only thing that upsets me in here is not your nonsense about Gods and unicorns as you believe, but your denial that you said what you said. It is extremely rude, I get it all the time from my young children and I come here to have an adult discussion and I get it from supposed adults in here as well. You have spent several posts trying to deny your own words which you used in reference to the system of theology and theologians. When I quote someone and I reply to them, I do not repeat the words in the quote but we all take it to mean that the subject of the quote is what we are actually talking about. Clearly not the case for you as you quote someone, and then pretend that you were not talking about the very thing you actually quoted.
Let's analyze the evidence shall we? In the many pages of this discussion you have posted the definition of certain words that you looked up yourself in a dictionary while arguing that they mean something else than they do after I explained to you, in detail, that you were incorrect. So you posted these definitions and what did we find? your very own definition made the point for me... when you kept making the same mistake I even bolded and highlighted it for you and you kept making the same mistake again and I quoted again the same quote (that you originally provided) at which point you got mad/embarrassed and started complaining that I made the font of 2-3 words too big and didn't look good. Fine, the discussion went on, presumably you accepted that you were mistaken... More recently you claim that I said something along the lines of "theology is crap" and when I asked to show me a quote of me saying that, you reply with a quote of a sentence of mine that does not even mention theology at all
. And despite my explicit clarification you have kept complaining and crying for 2 days now, about the same silly thing.... as if it even matters, after all, I am free to change my mind even if at some point were to say that (which I didn't). You are fighting a strawman, and you are hurting yourself in the process.
Consider the matter about theology is done. I will not discuss it further, I am not going to continue enabling such childish tantrums I have enough decency to not have to watch someone go through this sort of regression.
Switching the question is exactly what you have just been caught doing.
I am giving you my own personal mechanism and what do you do when I do? You start talking about dogmas, claims, histories of various religious groups instead. The very thing that you are supposedly not interested in doing and all that as an actual strawman response to my personal faith which did not mention any scripture and which you have quoted. Here it is again:
There is a misunderstanding here. When we are talking about what people are justified to believe, I don't care for dogmas or claims, etc. And I gave you the reason why... if the core belief (yahweh exists, allah exists, zeus exist, etc) is not true, the rest cannot stand on its own.
I can certainly discuss dogmas, claims and religious beliefs within the paradigm of making moral assessments and proclamations, precisely because people use these to guide their lives and make decisions. And when it comes to moral/ethical proclamations, the different dogmas, beliefs, etc do carry a weight independently of whether a god/deity exists or not. In fact, I am sure we can at least agree that it is not possible that all worshiped gods actually exist so at least a large subset of those dogmas and practiced beliefs are obviously misguided but yet they are pervasively practiced every day.
Me trying to measure myself, actions and behaviour against the most perfect being I can conceive is my own personal exercise to be a better person. I require no physical evidence of such a being to conduct such a mental/spiritual/psychological exercise and I do not require to excuse myself to any person that [unjustifiably] believes he/she has the right to mock me for it.
This is plain nonsense. What you are saying here, for it to make any sense, you would need a God whose qualities for perfection can objectively be verified. You cannot even produce said god much less independently confirm its "perfect" characteristics. Why is it important for this to be objective? Because if it isn't, if it comes merely from your imagination, you will always imagine a being that is consistent with what YOU consider a model of perfection. Basically, you would be measuring your own moral character against your own moral character which is an exercise in futility. This is why the Ideal "perfect" god that the terrorist muslim idealizes allows for the muslim terrorist to do terrorists acts and why the ideal "perfect" Christian god of a fundamentalist KKK member agrees with the views of crazy this KKK guy while at the same time there are both non terrorists and non KKK Muslims and Christians that are loving and compassionate that also imagine a god that you guessed it, agree with them.
There is a method to improve one's moral character, and that is to learn about ethics, morality, human behaviour, science, etc... Imagining gods and measuring yourself about said imaginary measuring stick is just an exercise in futility.
My justification for my belief to what I consider to be the most perfect being is that this mental/spiritual exercise helps me become a better person, a Muslim does that same exercise by measuring himself, actions and behaviour in relation to Allah and his attributes in the Quran, a Christian with Savaoth, a Jew with Yahwe, some children with Santa, some atheist people/children with Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga.
That is not a justification. Basically, you are saying I really really want it to be some kind of god so that I can measure myself up to it/him/her in comparison. I already explained above why this idea of "measuring" against a god is problematic, but more importantly, you would first have to arrive to the realization that said entity exists before you can start measuring... how do you arrive to this conclusion?
As a side note, I did not realize atheists were such big fans of MJ, Justin Biever or Lady gaga. I myself don't like any of those and prefer classical music, romantic period as if my portrait of Beethoven was not subtle enough.
It took me some pages, but you finally understood the obvious, it still has not prevented you however from attempting to repeat your trashed nonsense about atheism and agnosticism on which you insisted with militant rudeness that agnosticism can make a claim of knowledge without making a claim on belief.
So belief can in fact be separated/independent from knowledge and you can make the claim for a belief without actually claiming to have the knowledge (when it comes to religion these are the terms of atheism and agnosticism).
I thought we were past this, but apparently not. Can theists read like normal people? dont you relize that what you are claiming I said is that (and it is bolded) "agnosticism can make a claim of knowledge without making a claim of belief" and this is incorrect. When you make a claim of knowledge you are also making a claim of belief, because knowledge is a subset of belief, something that I have been saying for months now.
Now, let's go to the second quote: "Belief can, in fact, be separated/independent from knowledge and you can make the claim for a belief without actually claiming to have the knowledge" And this is correct. I can have the belief that extraterrestrial beings exist without claiming to have such knowledge.
Like I told you before, all cars are vehicles but not all vehicles are cars. So you can say: "I can take a vehicle to travel from newyork to england" and make sense, because some vehicles (planes/boats) can indeed transport you to england from newyork, while you cannot say "I can take a car to travel from newyork to england" because cars on their own cannot do that.
At this point, I don't know if you are being obtuse on purpose or if you genuinely lack the capacity to understand these very basic concepts. I am properly flabbergasted.
I will simply not waste further of my time trying to explain basic language mechanic to you. The explanations have been quite clear and numerous over the pages of this thread, if it suits you, you can go back and read carefully and learn something if not, you can continue making simple mistakes. Up to you.
If you are justified in believing that the car will start and have sufficient information for such a justification, then it is not a belief, but knowledge.
That is incorrect. There are different definitions of knowledge, but the easiest one to understand in this particular example is knowledge as justified true belief. So if you have a justified belief do you have knowledge? NO! it also have to be true to be called knowledge. I'll give you an example:
Come home, your TV is missing. You might have a justified belief that a thief came and stole it. Is this knowledge? It might be justified because your door was not locked when you arrived, the tv was missing, you know thieves exists and you have been reading in the local news of your neighborhood about a band of thieves stealing stuff. Now, you review the camera video and you see that your son was playing in the living room with a ball and broke the TV so he took it and hide it so you would not find it... Your original belief was justified because you had some evidence that pointed in that direction. But now you have even better evidence, the kind that we can call "knowledge" (unless you subscribe to branches of philosophical existentialism that propose some sort of virtual existence or altered sensorium) at this point your previous belief should be discarded and you formulate a new belief, this time it is also justified (video camera evidence) and it is true (thus qualifies as knowledge). Again, in everyday life, the usage of belief and knowledge is trivial and as a rule of thumbs, you can interchange these terms and people will still understand you. But when it comes to philosophical discussions or discussion about hypothetical unfalsifiable and not-proven entities such as god, the meaning of these terms become more important.
Likewise, in my previous example for the car. Like I told you. Although colloquially it would be reasonable to claim "knowledge", for something with a high confidence, in practice, epistemically speaking it is not knowledge.
If you want to argue that unless we have 100% of information we cannot be thus justified to hold this belief and as such we cannot use the term knowledge for anything, that is fine with me as long as you apply this consistently to your general arguments regarding religion and simply admit that since you lack this information you cannot claim to have any justified opinion on the matter at all.
No, I do not want to argue that. That is, in fact, my criticism towards RhethoricThug and his regression towards absolute skepticism as a method to cast doubt into "reality". As long as we are clear that there is a difference between justified belief (which requires a degree of confidence, usually from some sort of evidence) and unjustified belief (as when using faith) we are on the same page.
The difference between Santa and my personal God(the most perfect being that I can conceive of) is very obvious. Santa is not the most perfect being that exists. There fore I will not measure myself, actions and moral behaviour in relation to santa, or in relation to a unicorn or in relation to a vampire. Theology is not required to tell you this much, so your straw within a straw is quite ridiculous. If you want to go deep into this subject you can use the field of ontology which is the study of examining any kind of concept right down to its very core.
Yeah, this is still not a method by which you can examine and differenciate belief in different supernatural claims (magic invisible pink unicorn, god, astrology, etc). The first step to measure something is to use an instrument that actually exists (ruler, beaker, odometer, calendar, etc). If the said being does not exist, you cannot measure yourself up as I explained earlier. And if you simply imagine it, you are just measuring against yourself, which is futile.