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Ch. 4 - WHY THERE ALMOST CERTAINLY IS NO GOD

#35: Jan. - Mar. 2007 (Non-Fiction)
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Mr. P

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Quote:Nick, it may well be that you've had different experiences to me, so I'd really be interested to know, what religious person have you met that professed a belief in a god that was subject to the laws of the universe he created?No, no. Your posing a question that had nothing to do with my comment. The cop out that god is exempt from any physical examination based on the laws of science is absolutely used to fend off true inquiry. I am not saying that. This tactic was used to apply to any unexplained thing prior to scientists finding the acutal cause behind said mystery.What I was referring to was your statement that people do not believe in the god of the Xtian (or any other interventionist god) faith. A god that interacts with humans and can cause direct interference with our lives. There are TONS that believe in the 'old bearded chap' in the sky. So a refutation of that god is valid, unfortunately.Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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So your saying that witch hunts are not the offspring of religious thought? And I am going back to the witch hunts prior to Salem too.www.malleusmaleficarum.org/I suppose that religion should also be given a pass regarding the Crusades and Inquisition?Given two systems, I will take the one that bases itself on reality and substance than something (the supernatural) that we cannot even say definitly exists...and are told that we cannot EVER hope to detect. Even if that other system has its drawbacks, at least we are being honest with ourselves as much as we can at any given time.Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Quote:So your saying that witch hunts are not the offspring of religious thought? And I am going back to the witch hunts prior to Salem too.What? How the heck did you manage to take that from what I said?What I said was that it is about as fair to blame religion for things like witch trials as it was to blame secularism for particular wrongs carried out in its name. In which case, if your main problem with religion is the abuses carried out in its name, then maybe you should show a similar level of anger toward secularism.Point being, it doesn't make sense to judge an ideology/worldview using particular abuses of it. Quote:Given two systems, I will take the one that bases itself on reality and substance than something (the supernatural) that we cannot even say definitly exists...and are told that we cannot EVER hope to detect. Even if that other system has its drawbacks, at least we are being honest with ourselves as much as we can at any given time.Oh right. Well if you manage to come up with such a system, let me know. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com
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There already is such a system: science.
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Ditto to the "Lion's" statement.And Niall, do not get me wrong. I am one to challenge and smack any type of ignorance and assholeishness in the face. I would, in my daily life, even turn my aggression on an atheist who unnecessarily abuses a theist that is otherwise not being a ass herself. Despite my chosen method of operation here at booktalk, I am a very fair and decent guy.I am not stupid enough to think that 'no religion'='no human strife'...but I do think that getting rid of it would help to do away with one of the bigger causes of ignorance and predjudice.Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Mr. P: So your saying that witch hunts are not the offspring of religious thought?What do you mean by "offspring of religious thought"? It's probably more apt to say that religious thought was handmaiden to the Witch Crazes. But then, we've been through all of this before. It's dismaying really. Certain people on this site have certain bogeymen that they'll bring up everytime, with no apparant desire to educate themselves on the root causes of the events they cite, and no desire to listen to anyone who has done a good deal of research on the subject.To recap, the witch trials of the 16th and 17th century were, in Europe, very much couched in Catholic angelology and demonology, and provided an extensive justification by zealous master hunters, but historical and sociological studies have revealed that the crazes themselves were mostly built along social lines. To wit, the witch trials were mostly an excuse to persecute minority groups that would have faced persecution regardless of whether or not they happened to fall in line with the quickly manufactured witch mythology. The main lines of conflict in Europe were between Reformation and Counter-Reformation minorities, but also against Jews and Muslims.A similar explanation applies in the case of American witch trials, but because the American society of the time was less established, the lines of fracture are a good deal more subtle. The witch trials were generally levelled against people who railed against Colonial society and who were probably, on a small scale, a general threat to contentment in towns that were living very close to the edge of dissolution in a hostile and untamed atmosphere.None of which I say to exonerate the practice of witch-hunting, but it does make the role of religion a little more explicable. With or without the Judeo-Christian tradition and the witch mythology that it made possible (but did not, as people tend to imply, furnish in its full form -- else, why would witch-hunter generals have to write a "Hammer of God"), these society's were under so much pressure that they would have brought some form of discrimination to bear. Religion provided an easy form, but you can hardly explain the entire episode of witch hunting by attributing it to religion. Nor did religion provide a quick and ready excuse -- the ring-leaders had to fill in a lot of blanks and reinterpret a lot of material in order to bend it to their desires.On the subject of the European witch crazes, I'd suggest H.R. Trevor-Roper's "The Witch-Crazes of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries" -- it's a slim-volume, but very methodically researched and influential in its field. In regards to American witchcraft, you might want to check out John Demos' "Entertaining Satan", which uses a pan-disciplinary method encompassing historical, sociological, and psychological research, and gives a great deal of insight into the methods and motivations of not only the accusers but of the accused as well.On another topic, science is not as tangibly rooted in reality and positivists and their intellectual descendents like to claim. I'm labored this theme to no end. If you don't want to review some of my previous threads on the matter, you can check out John Ziman's "Reliable Knowledge" or Jacob Bronowski's "The Origins of Imagination and Creativity", both books by respected and practicing scientists, both of which deal with science as a discipline rooted in imagination and the construction of a social system rather than a system of direct knowledge.
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But the fact that scientists themselves write such self-critical science books is just more evidence that science is an honest and rational world-view. Every good scientist admits it has its limitations. Amend "a system based on substance and reality" to "the closest thing we have to a system based on substance and reality" and it is still light years ahead of religion as a tool for understanding the world.
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Quote:But the fact that scientists themselves write such self-critical science books is just more evidence that science is an honest and rational world-view.Hardly. If that were the case, then the fact that people like Dawkins write less modest works would count as evidence that science is a dishonest and irrational world view.The fact is that there are those who embrace the science for its utility and those who embrace science as an ideology. Those who embrace it for its utility will always put scientific findings within its philosophical context, but those who adopt it to the exclusion of other perspectives, attempt to claim that the results of applying scientific method to questions that it is not designed for, should be taken as definitive. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com
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I was doing some looking around...this book looks good also. It is primarily a collection of primary sources. Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary HistoryI ordered the Trevor-Roper book and I will also obtain this one. My interest is piqued now.Quote:What do you mean by "offspring of religious thought"? That religious though (fantasy, myths gone wild...) made it possible to even come up with the ideas of witches and the means and methods with which (no pun) to persecute people.You said it yourself, religion made it easier for this to happen, and thus you underline a point I try to make: If we do away with things to make it easier to hate, persecute and kill, we would find that we would have very few reasons to do such things. Having something as arbitrary as religion and it's make believe world-view and justifications around just makes it easier to act in ways contrary to how we should act. It gives us a pass, either on the front end (justification) or on the back end (being forgiven for our transgressions).Quote:The main lines of conflict in Europe were between Reformation and Counter-Reformation minorities, but also against Jews and Muslims.Hmmm...Reformation and Counter-Reformation ...Jews, Muslims...so you are saying it was a religious thing then huh? And why was the focus so narrowly focused on women?Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 3/19/07 11:18 am
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Re: Science

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Science was developed to study our reality, including the things we can detect as well as things we cannot, ESP research for example. Some science uses direct observation some uses statistical observations. The fact is that god and the supernatural do not show up in any detectable way in our reality. Not directly and not statistically. This leads to two possible conclusions.1 They do not exist.2 They do exist but are undetectable and indifferent to our reality. In either case for all practical purposes they might as well not exist. Later
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