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  1. The Frozen One
    Agreed. This is a good line of thought. Individuality should be the point of being a free-thinker. What concerns me is that sometimes people get so wrapped up into the "no religion" narrative that it runs the risk of becoming a religion itself. And I thought indoctrination is what we were supposed to be against.
  2. scorpiomover
    07-31-2014 02:00 PM

    When does it need to be in?

    I'm a massive P. No deadline = "Still got to read it" 100 years later. Probably wouldn't bother me. But I gather you want to hand this in, and want my opinion on it before then?

    Give me a few days. Or even a couple of weeks.
  3. scorpiomover
    07-31-2014 01:51 PM
    BTW, I really liked your deist thread. Interesting question. Also got a lot more positive feedback than most threads. Very diplomatic.
  4. scorpiomover
    07-31-2014 01:50 PM
    I'm just able to recall how often I have been proved wrong, which is a lot, and on probably every topic and every type of argument, including how what seemed completely irrational, turned out later to have been very rational. Only the reasoning was kept from me at the time.
  5. scorpiomover
    07-31-2014 01:28 PM

    You are quite a character. I think I'd like to get to know you better.

    Me too. I know we've bumped heads. But you seem to try to see both sides.

    would you like to read my paper on the legalization of marijuana?

    Very much. Especially since we've got a thread on if MJ caused more homeless in Denver.

  6. Saul
    07-29-2014 05:13 PM
    Fair enough. But think about the thought experiment when it's only 3 doors. It's not so obvious even then, if he knows where it is.
  7. Saul
    07-29-2014 04:31 PM
    I don't think I've ever seen it described that the host cares whether you win the car or not. Just that he only opens doors with goats behind them, so he knows where the car is.
  8. Saul
    07-29-2014 04:10 PM
    The key to understanding the problem with the goats is in the fact that there is bias in the show host. The show host is never opening the door with the car behind it, he's pumping up the odds with each door he opens, but only if you switch.
  9. Saul
    07-29-2014 04:04 PM
    They might deserve to be mocked, but I don't think I would mock them unless they were doing something like teaching children ghosts are certainly real. To me, they're pretty harmless.
  10. Saul
    07-29-2014 03:50 PM
    How about belief in ghosts?
  11. Saul
    07-29-2014 03:43 PM
    Again, I don't really pick on deists. If they are trying to convince others or claim their beliefs are totally rational, that's when I'll pipe up. I don't really pick on people who believe in chakras or Ki either for the same reasons. Despite these beliefs being irrational, they are not particularly harmful.
  12. Saul
    07-29-2014 03:10 PM
    It doesn't have an effect on which door the goat is behind, no, but the odds that the goat is behind the door you have chosen were set when you originally picked the door (1/1000), and the odds when switching are 1/2.

    I understand that there are reasons some people believe in a deity - I just don't say they're rational. Believing because lots of people do, or have, doesn't carry any weight for me. 23% of the people on earth currently believe in Allah with Mohammed as his prophet. There certainly must be a great deal of wise people among them. That doesn't make this belief any less absurd.

    I believe you mentioned that a friend of yours is a Christian who cannot be swayed by the truth, despite the fact that you may be presenting it simply and that he may be intelligent enough that he should not require it explained so plainly. Even if I'm mixing you up, everyone has such a friend -- so, intelligence often works to reinforce beliefs wee shouldn't have.

    With all that said, before the discovery of the meaning of DNA only ~50 years ago, the idea of life without a creator was a stretch of the imagination. I'd have been a deist too.
  13. Saul
    07-28-2014 11:08 PM
    As mentioned, you cannot prove ghosts are "wrong" - or Bertrand's teapot. There are an infinite number of things that cannot be disproven. I don't really feel the need to have deists change their position, but I don't agree at all that their position is as rational.
  14. Saul
    07-28-2014 10:22 PM
    The answer is fairly easy to determine using rules of logic, but is totally unintuitive for our brains. It's usually more intuitive for people if we change it ever so slightly. Pretend that you choose a door out of 1000 doors instead of 3, 998 doors get opened and are all goats. Does it seem more straightforward to switch to the remaining door in this example?
  15. Saul
    07-28-2014 10:18 PM
    Atheists aren't necessarily rational. Atheism is the most rational. Unless you were saying atheism wasn't. I'm all ears. I don't see deists as enemies, I see ideologies that spread lies as an enemy, though. While I do see irrationality as an enemy, deism by nature is typically a personal journey, so it's not usually any sort of threat to the health and survival of mankind.
  16. Saul
    07-28-2014 06:43 PM
    I should mention as an aside; feel free to be a deist. I don't think it's the most rational position, but "rational" is not necessarily how everyone wants to make their decisions. The decision to buy a particular car or a chocolate bar is usually not rational.
  17. Saul
    07-28-2014 06:41 PM
    Also, don't look it up even after you answer
  18. Saul
    07-28-2014 06:40 PM
    No no, the magic beans were so you could grow a beanstalk, climb up and get golden eggs to pay off the loans you'll need to pull out to pay me for all these things.

    It's not that I think you're not smart, it's that our brains are sometimes conditioned in such a way that we happily dismiss the irrational while having a great deal of difficulty with situations that are identical aside from non-substantial differences.

    There is a thought experiment that I hope you haven't heard of. Don't look the problem up, just try to answer it:

    You're on a game show. There are three closed doors. Behind two doors are goats, behind one door is a car. If you choose the door with the car behind it, you win the car. You choose a door and the game show host opens a different door. Behind the door he opened is a goat. He then offers to allow you to change the door you have selected to the other closed door. What would you do? Is there any reason to select the other closed door?
  19. Saul
    07-28-2014 12:20 PM
    Deists may be right, but there is no reason to think that they are, and you don't operate your life using this kind of logic (at least I hope). You also can't disprove someone who claims ghosts exists, or alien abductions and probings have occurred. If the burden of proof is not on the person making the claim, then every form of snake-oil medicine should be assumed to work until there is evidence against it, etc. If you continue further with this sort reasoning, I have some magic beans, tarot cards, witching rods, magic crystals and a magnetic bracelet to sell you You see, your aura is out of alignment, and your chakras are in need of attention.

    I would say that I was a deist when I was a child, because I didn't believe what people told me about God. I saw prayer as absurd and saw no effects in the world from it, the stories and bible didn't make sense and were contradictory, I didn't believe the Catholic church and what I would call "goodness" lined up. I was uncomfortable with the odd symbolism and zombie manner in which everyone there sat, kneeled, stood up, etc...

    However, I thought at the core of it, there must be some sort of deity, since I was aware of the complexity and diversity of life and my own consciousness. When your mind pieces the universe together as having "purpose" but disbelieve other human beings about what that purpose is, then you are a deist, I suppose.

    Once you realize that what you are seeing is best described as coincidence, it's easy to go from deist to atheist. The patterns of harm seen in other religions start to apply to all religions once you aren't treating any religions preferentially, and so I went from merely anti-Islamic to anti-theistic... Islam is still the most disgusting religion, but the others still go up on the chart
  20. Saul
    07-27-2014 11:16 PM
    You can't really go off of what a few people claim. It's not a question that's easy to ask - imagine asking why people are Christians. I bet you wouldn't even get the correct answer from an honest person regarding their own belief. The way I look at it is in the array of possible reasons to believe in something. Even if they believe for the wrong reasons but there is a valid reason to believe, then it is a defensible position. If I don't see any possible reasons to believe, then I assert that it's an irrational position.

    I do think that a lot of people leave religions and become deists before they become atheists, though I am not suggesting deism is simply the path to atheism, it was the path for me. It's hard to say though - I don't think I can ever say I was a Christian, since while sometimes I felt watched out for I never felt that something could 'hear' my prayers. So I think the best description for me would have been as a deist - I believed there was _something_ there to explain life, even if it had no contact with us.

    Before I understood evolution, mind you. The idea that life came to be without a creator was absurd. Now it's obvious that there isn't an alternative.

    I also don't think I'm comparing apples to oranges. I completely disagree that to "know it existed" requires there to have been an "it". Otherwise, the entire genre of science fiction is impossible (they're philosophers in their own way too!). For a real example, all the details Mormonism adds is impossible without it having existed, when we know he was a fraud. The claims for God, ghosts, bigfoot, leprechauns, unicorns and aliens is all the same. Some people claimed to have seen things, and some people claim things with other explanations - like crop circles, coincidences and an abundance of stories/claims.

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  • About clock40man
    Grew up in Alaska, briefy studied Mechanical Engineering, currently self-employed Watch Repair
    Repairing and restoring watches
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