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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:53 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
Beng: You've undermined your credibility and humanity by deciding to ridicule people and call them inferior. This ignores the accidental nature of our birth circumstances, not to mention just being rude. Did you decide to be born in a Christian, rather than Muslim country? Did atheists decide to not find the Bible compelling? Do they deserve ridicule? I urge you revise your attitude in a more constructive and open-minded way. Calling your opponents 'fools' is not something a decent person does.


You are not being rational.

My approach is truly rational.

If you play goody two shoes, they would walk all over you.

Of course there are non-fundy atheists. To them a different approach is required.

But for the majority (who are fundy atheists), my approach would be most fruitful.

Or maybe you don't know your own atheist community.



PS
What religion you are born into is not the ultimate determinant of someone's religion, especially Catholicism. We (Catholic) becomes Catholic because of grace, not birth. Thus a child born of Catholic parents may and has become muslim, Hindu, Buddhist etc. But a child born of a muslim, Hindu, Buddhist parents may and has become Catholic.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:02 pm 
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dschiff wrote:
Mithrandir: There are indeed some atheists who are zealous, rude and mock people. They tend to be teenagers.

Physical time on earth hardly guarantees that equal intellectual maturity follows. Many atheists use their intellectual "prowess" as a mask to hide their childishness. Being knowledgable doesn't necessarily equate to having wisdom.

Many philosophers have made the observation that old age is often the time when good scientists become bad philosophers.

dschiff wrote:
Also, atheists who are just reactionary and are "angry at God" are different from examined atheists who have found the religious arguments and evidential sources severely lacking.

No, those type of atheists are materialists operating off of flawed assumptions, i.e. using science-the study of the material world-to draw, albeit false, conclusions about metaphysical realities or their insistance that there is nothing beyond the material world. There is no objectoin that atheists posit that cannot be refuted by theists because all of their/your objections are based off of either linguistic confusions or false premises.


dschiff wrote:
Again, atheists perform higher on religious knowledge polls, so it's unclear why you think atheists are atheists on account of less religious knowledge.

That makes me question who's running the poll. If that recent gathering of atheists in D.C. is any indication of the intellectual and psychological status of modern atheists I would say that that poll is highly questionable.

As an atheist I convinced myself I knew just as much or more than any believer. I knew many places that I used-like you-to try and belittle theists and embarass them. So of course you think you know a lot.

The reality is that you have little notion of context so you-as I did-easily twist meanings to occomplish your ends. You feel that if you can overwhelm a believer with enough of these passages that most people don't really read of and are not very familiar that you can confuse them and get them to question their faith.

It's really intellectual dishonesty disguised as sophistry.

Either way, it does not follow that because of their ignorance of the Bible necessitates that there is no God.

dschiff wrote:
Also, I'm not sure what arguments you're referring to that atheists have missed. Care to share?


One, I didn't say atheists "missed" arguments. That would make the false assumption that atheists actually care about looking for well attested challenges to their atheism. I'm saying that their objections against God are the same objections that were answered centuries ago by Christian apologists. Most modern atheists are simply too intellectually lazy to look beyond their own biases and prejudices. Those few atheists that know of the Christian answers, the only reason they know of them is because they encountered real Christians who know their faith, and history, and challenged them.


St. Augustine solved the problem of evil in the 4th century for starters. What I posted in the other thread is a very simplified adaptation largely from his insights.

St. Thomas Aquinas answered the atheists of his day with his "Five Ways"(summaries of the temporal material world pointing beyond itself to an eternal and infinite reality that we call God).

If you're going to argue that most atheists are familiar with either of these works then there's no way that I can take you seriously.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:51 am 
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Appeals to be good, moral people just because it is good and moral reminds me of Christmas song and Jiminy Cricket philosophy. You and others like you owe much to your Christian heritage and you don't even acknowledge it. Too sad.

At least my atheist fundamentalist friend had the intellectual honesty to follow his thoughts to their logical conclusions. In short, atheists have no basis for making a moral argument. To one such as he, all things are possible and permissible.

'Agnostic atheists' are a contradiction in terms. Choose which religion you shall serve and have the honesty to follow through.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:16 pm 
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beng wrote:
You are not being rational.

My approach is truly rational.

If you play goody two shoes, they would walk all over you.

Of course there are non-fundy atheists. To them a different approach is required.

But for the majority (who are fundy atheists), my approach would be most fruitful.

Or maybe you don't know your own atheist community.


The idea is a fundamentalist atheist is absurd. I have never met one and I am heavily involved in sections of the atheist movement. Would you like sources that demonstrate how most atheists are agnostic, rather than gnostic atheists?

Quote:
PS
What religion you are born into is not the ultimate determinant of someone's religion, especially Catholicism. We (Catholic) becomes Catholic because of grace, not birth. Thus a child born of Catholic parents may and has become muslim, Hindu, Buddhist etc. But a child born of a muslim, Hindu, Buddhist parents may and has become Catholic.

[/quote]

I don't think you can maintain this, given the way statistics works. Why some *can* change religions, most do not. America is Christian, Syria is Muslim, and Utah is Mormon. 80%, 90%+ and so on. The correlation is massive. 90% stay in the religion of their local culture. The key and most powerful determinant, when controlling for all else, is not birth location.

If, on the other hand, hundreds of millions of Americans converted to Islam, millions of Syrians converted to Judaism and Hinduism, and so on, then perhaps it truly would be the quest of knowledge that convinced people. But it isn't. Religions spread geographically, and it is worthwhile to notice this.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Mithrandir wrote:

Physical time on earth hardly guarantees that equal intellectual maturity follows. Many atheists use their intellectual "prowess" as a mask to hide their childishness. Being knowledgable doesn't necessarily equate to having wisdom.

Many atheists are childish? I'll concede that if you concede that many Catholics are childish. And of course your second statement is true, though knowledge does generally help with wisdom.

Quote:
Many philosophers have made the observation that old age is often the time when good scientists become bad philosophers.


And the fear of death sits in and people come back to religion.
Quote:

No, those type of atheists are materialists operating off of flawed assumptions, i.e. using science-the study of the material world-to draw, albeit false, conclusions about metaphysical realities or their insistance that there is nothing beyond the material world. There is no objectoin that atheists posit that cannot be refuted by theists because all of their/your objections are based off of either linguistic confusions or false premises.

Okay, in rejecting materialism, you're just begging the question. Sure, if I accept that supernatural realms are true, I can refute materialist conclusions. But I don't, and I see no reason to. On the other hand, I would say all of your objections are based on speculative metaphysics that you have absolute no evidence of (save material evidence written in material books by material people).


Quote:

That makes me question who's running the poll.

Questioning the source seems to me a concession, since it's not a valid rebuttal for the point I've just demonstrated. Pew is a major, respected polling organization. If you study the report, you will not find it to be biased.

Quote:
If that recent gathering of atheists in D.C. is any indication of the intellectual and psychological status of modern atheists I would say that that poll is highly questionable.


That's just an insult, and I take offense at it. Again, we score higher in religious knowledge tests. Also, the National Academy of Science is 90% non-theist, and religious belief is negatively correlated with education. I can provide sources here too if you want to doubt me. I ask that you reserve your insults when the intellectual deficits are demonstrably on the other side. Out of politeness, I don't generally argue that atheists are more intelligent. I argue the points. Yet your choice to focus on ad hominems and your attempt to undermine the authority of atheists via insulting their intelligence and psychology really only undermines your intellectual integrity and decency.

Quote:
As an atheist I convinced myself I knew just as much or more than any believer. I knew many places that I used-like you-to try and belittle theists and embarass them. So of course you think you know a lot.

Perhaps that is the sort of person you are. That is not who I am. I am trying to defend atheists against prejudice, prejudice which you are perpetrating paragraph after paragraph.


Quote:
The reality is that you have little notion of context so you-as I did-easily twist meanings to occomplish your ends. You feel that if you can overwhelm a believer with enough of these passages that most people don't really read of and are not very familiar that you can confuse them and get them to question their faith.

It's really intellectual dishonesty disguised as sophistry.

Using logical arguments to disprove points is the definition of logical, reason-based argument. It is the exact opposite of sophistry. Conflating my intellectual directness and honesty with sophistry is itself sophistry.

Quote:
Either way, it does not follow that because of their ignorance of the Bible necessitates that there is no God.

Of course not. I never made this claim.

Quote:
One, I didn't say atheists "missed" arguments. That would make the false assumption that atheists actually care about looking for well attested challenges to their atheism. I'm saying that their objections against God are the same objections that were answered centuries ago by Christian apologists. Most modern atheists are simply too intellectually lazy to look beyond their own biases and prejudices. Those few atheists that know of the Christian answers, the only reason they know of them is because they encountered real Christians who know their faith, and history, and challenged them.


St. Augustine solved the problem of evil in the 4th century for starters. What I posted in the other thread is a very simplified adaptation largely from his insights.

St. Thomas Aquinas answered the atheists of his day with his "Five Ways"(summaries of the temporal material world pointing beyond itself to an eternal and infinite reality that we call God).

If you're going to argue that most atheists are familiar with either of these works then there's no way that I can take you seriously.


You think the problems are solved. We don't. That's why there are still atheists, generation after generation. Again calling us intellectually lazy. Despite that more college Professors are atheists? Despite the higher performance on religious knowledge tests? You're insults are unmerited.

If you think the arguments are so obvious, convince me. And do it without throwing in insults and overgeneralizations every few sentences. That much is minimal to have a decent conversation.

The arguments that you think are profound and obvious, atheists would dismiss or refute as illogical and wishful. Just because there are apologists doesn't mean we buy what they say. Keep that in mind whenever you are tempted to say some answer is obvious.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:51 am 
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dschiff wrote:
The idea is a fundamentalist atheist is absurd. I have never met one and I am heavily involved in sections of the atheist movement. Would you like sources that demonstrate how most atheists are agnostic, rather than gnostic atheists?


Why don't you browse around... say, PZ Meyer's blog, Jerry Coyne's blog or... hehe... evil bible website.


I;m not talking Agnostic vs gnostic atheist, but fundy atheist. Fundy atheist is kinda like fundamental Christians.

Quote:
I don't think you can maintain this, given the way statistics works. Why some *can* change religions, most do not. America is Christian, Syria is Muslim, and Utah is Mormon. 80%, 90%+ and so on. The correlation is massive. 90% stay in the religion of their local culture. The key and most powerful determinant, when controlling for all else, is not birth location.

If, on the other hand, hundreds of millions of Americans converted to Islam, millions of Syrians converted to Judaism and Hinduism, and so on, then perhaps it truly would be the quest of knowledge that convinced people. But it isn't. Religions spread geographically, and it is worthwhile to notice this.


A determinant is absolute. If birth is the determinant of religion than EVERYONE who is born Catholic should have died as a Catholic. When there are some who do not die as Catholic, then you can make the case that "birth" is a determinant of someone's religion.


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 Post subject: Re: A Sample Twitter Discussion with 'New Atheists'
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:04 am 
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dschiff wrote:
Mithrandir wrote:

Physical time on earth hardly guarantees that equal intellectual maturity follows. Many atheists use their intellectual "prowess" as a mask to hide their childishness. Being knowledgable doesn't necessarily equate to having wisdom.

Many atheists are childish? I'll concede that if you concede that many Catholics are childish. And of course your second statement is true, though knowledge does generally help with wisdom.


No I won't. Because I don't see Catholics in the numbers that I saw atheists making complete and utter fools of themselves in D.C. for their "faith".


dschiff wrote:
Quote:
Many philosophers have made the observation that old age is often the time when good scientists become bad philosophers.

And the fear of death sits in and people come back to religion.

And where do you suppose that fear comes from?

dschiff wrote:
Quote:
No, those type of atheists are materialists operating off of flawed assumptions, i.e. using science-the study of the material world-to draw, albeit false, conclusions about metaphysical realities or their insistance that there is nothing beyond the material world. There is no objectoin that atheists posit that cannot be refuted by theists because all of their/your objections are based off of either linguistic confusions or false premises.

Okay, in rejecting materialism, you're just begging the question. Sure, if I accept that supernatural realms are true, I can refute materialist conclusions. But I don't, and I see no reason to. On the other hand, I would say all of your objections are based on speculative metaphysics that you have absolute no evidence of (save material evidence written in material books by material people).


So, then, are you saying that truth is only what you can sense?


dschiff wrote:
Questioning the source seems to me a concession, since it's not a valid rebuttal for the point I've just demonstrated. Pew is a major, respected polling organization. If you study the report, you will not find it to be biased.

That's just an insult, and I take offense at it. Again, we score higher in religious knowledge tests. Also, the National Academy of Science is 90% non-theist, and religious belief is negatively correlated with education. I can provide sources here too if you want to doubt me. I ask that you reserve your insults when the intellectual deficits are demonstrably on the other side. Out of politeness, I don't generally argue that atheists are more intelligent. I argue the points. Yet your choice to focus on ad hominems and your attempt to undermine the authority of atheists via insulting their intelligence and psychology really only undermines your intellectual integrity and decency.

Perhaps that is the sort of person you are. That is not who I am. I am trying to defend atheists against prejudice, prejudice which you are perpetrating paragraph after paragraph.


No, what was biased was how you vaguely presented it. You failed to mention that atheists themselves missed almost half the questions themselves on average(20 out of 32).

What is obvious to me was your tact in citing the poll. Why cite it at all? If you really believed that you are more intelligent than us nit-wit believers, why cite it? Was it to toot your own horn about your intellectual superiority? You claim "no", but then you go on apparently ignoring your own words.

You charge me with committing "ad-hominems". Yet I never attacked your person, just your words. And I provided a very obvious example of atheists that you knew undermined your argument. So you, I guess in a token of solidarity(or maybe because you were there yourself), took offense. I don't know.

But the whole passage makes me wonder if you set yourself up to play the victim. Stir the pot, wait for the response, and then insist that you're only here "defend atheists against prejudice, prejudice which you are perpetrating paragraph after paragraph.."


dschiff wrote:
Quote:
The reality is that you have little notion of context so you-as I did-easily twist meanings to occomplish your ends. You feel that if you can overwhelm a believer with enough of these passages that most people don't really read of and are not very familiar that you can confuse them and get them to question their faith.

It's really intellectual dishonesty disguised as sophistry.

Using logical arguments to disprove points is the definition of logical, reason-based argument. It is the exact opposite of sophistry. Conflating my intellectual directness and honesty with sophistry is itself sophistry.


I have yet to see intellectual directness or honesty. I haven't seen an argument at all. All I've seen is that you seem to want to play the victim while you attack theists as being stupid morons.

I'm still waiting for a rational argument to materialize....
dschiff wrote:
Quote:
Either way, it does not follow that because of their ignorance of the Bible necessitates that there is no God.

Of course not. I never made this claim.


Again, then what's the point of citing the poll? Remember, you're not here talking to average Catholics either. You're going after people who KNOW the Faith. Who have extensive experience engaging in apologetics and defending our Faith.

If you think you've come here for easy prey, then you've come to the wrong place.
dschiff wrote:
Quote:
One, I didn't say atheists "missed" arguments. That would make the false assumption that atheists actually care about looking for well attested challenges to their atheism. I'm saying that their objections against God are the same objections that were answered centuries ago by Christian apologists. Most modern atheists are simply too intellectually lazy to look beyond their own biases and prejudices. Those few atheists that know of the Christian answers, the only reason they know of them is because they encountered real Christians who know their faith, and history, and challenged them.


St. Augustine solved the problem of evil in the 4th century for starters. What I posted in the other thread is a very simplified adaptation largely from his insights.

St. Thomas Aquinas answered the atheists of his day with his "Five Ways"(summaries of the temporal material world pointing beyond itself to an eternal and infinite reality that we call God).

If you're going to argue that most atheists are familiar with either of these works then there's no way that I can take you seriously.

You think the problems are solved. We don't. That's why there are still atheists, generation after generation. Again calling us intellectually lazy. Despite that more college Professors are atheists? Despite the higher performance on religious knowledge tests? You're insults are unmerited.


Many college professors in secular colleges are athiests because many of them are progressives/socialists/communists as well. They studied Nietzsche, Marx, Feuerbach. The assertion is meaningless. Just because you assume they studied a lot hardly means that they have thoroughly studied the claims of any faith. If they were as intelligent as you claim then they should have perfect scores on that poll survey. 20 out of 32? That's what you're going by as "high performance"? For every college professor you put forth I can put forth a man of faith that would at the very least get your professor to scratch his chin.


dschiff wrote:
If you think the arguments are so obvious, convince me. And do it without throwing in insults and overgeneralizations every few sentences. That much is minimal to have a decent conversation.


Look, if your so sensitive that when someone calls you out for intellectual dishonesty you're going to have a hissy-fit then we can just stop right now. I'm not going to allow you insist that because atheists collectively scored a 63% on a pew poll survey about religion to characterize as a "high performance". Its dishonest. It'd be different if it was like 30/32-but its not even close!

And you have average Catholics-who quite honestly are rather unknowledgeable as far as chapters and verses go-are only four questions behind your lauded atheists. Catholics may not know chapter and verse like other protestants do, but they know the stories because they hear the verbatum at Mass.

That you can only beat Catholics by four questions I think says volumes more about what atheists DO NOT know compared to what they think they know.

The bottom line is this: We're adults here, and we're liable to have adult conversations. If you can't handle things getting a little heated or pointed, you should probably go somewhere else.
dschiff wrote:
The arguments that you think are profound and obvious, atheists would dismiss or refute as illogical and wishful. Just because there are apologists doesn't mean we buy what they say. Keep that in mind whenever you are tempted to say some answer is obvious.


"Wishful" is not an objective term, it is a subjective opinion. As far as the former objection there is no such thing as an illogical argument in support of the Faith, because God-who created the universe and everything in it, also created logic. I wonder if you have heard this one?

For example, I argue that atheistic materialism is irrational. Why, you ask? Simple. You claim that materialism is true. You want us to consider your arguments and accept your conclusions. But the system of nature your doctrine affirms is a closed one: a self-sufficient series of material causes and effects. Is there room is such a system for rational argument? It seems not.

Think of a question to be considered. That question, the consideration of it, and the judgement finally rendered, are all, if materialism is true, the necessary(and perhaps, partly random) results of the play of material forces: forces stretching back to the beginning of the universe itself. Thus the judgement that something(e.g. materialism) is true, and the judgement that it is false are both the result of physical causes. Both of them equally real, both of them equally necessary. The same holds for the reflection preceeding those judgements and for the discussion which might follow that reflection. The same holds for all reflection, each discussion, every judgement. But this means that the conditions for rational judgement have been eliminated. Because to judge means to be free to consider or weigh the merits of the thing we judge; no judge in court can ever also be a part of the group of prisoners on trial. But if materialism is true, there can be no freedom to weigh or to consider, and therefore no real act of judgement.
Materialists want us to judge that their doctrine is true, yet their doctrine eliminates the posibility of making any true judgements at all.

But we DO have the ability to make judgements-therefore materialism is false.


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