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Episode 3 Released!

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Episode 3 Released!
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ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Episode 3 Released!

All hail Saturn! Episode 3: The Military Secular Complex is out and about.




You can follow along with the Show Notes

Grab the episode on iTunes

Or stick it in your feed reader

If you want to discuss the topic/episode, here's the place to do it :D
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:43 am
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4287Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Hooray!
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Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:21 am
DeanBlog EditorUser avatarPosts: 593Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:49 pmLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

The Show was longer than last 2 times, I think, and it was also very detailed and fascinating in some parts, I feel the topic chosen was perfect, as I feel that terms discussed such as 'secularism' and 'atheism' are so often misunderstood and misapprehended. Some of the misconceptions about secularism that may be discussed here are the start of the slippery slope to dubious ideas, such as the belief that atheism = communism, and equivocate atheism AND secularism with other political references that in actuality have nothing to do with either of them! That said, here's my take:

I am currently watching (or listening-to) the Show. About seven minutes into in fact. I cannot help but think that Arthur's comments close to the beginning were a prime example of the kind of misnomer of a concept that the rest of the people so far have seemingly been complaining about. While I respect the rights of anyone to be religious, even if I think the doctrines are absurd (untrue); the statement that 'all religious people are either deceivers or deceived' ... again, I've yet to watch more than the introductory statements, and some of the initial discussion, but this looks a bit odd. I think Inferno hit the nail on the head at about six minutes, where he states:

    "This isn't Militant Secularism as much as it's Militant Atheism ... isn't it?"

YES!

This is a problem that I've been mulling over for some time, and debating it both in internet venues and in real life, but Secularism,by any definition that I have seen,is concerned with impartiality towards religion or the lack thereof in public life, such as in governments, i.e. the separation of Church and State. To my mind, the subject of 'Militant Atheism', e.g. Meyers and Dawkins etc. shouldn't have even came into this discussion, because it's a different subject altogether, and not connected to secularity at all. Some say it's a pointless distinction, but it really really isn't. Calling secularism "Militant" would be to confuse secularism with something like state-atheism, e.g. state-enforced Atheism. The term "atheist" is a personal noun, while the term 'secularist' , as I understand it , is more of a normative term, and it is concerned with the behaviour of governments.

A "secular" government is one that is wholly indifferent to religious beliefs or the lack thereof, and that's the best model of religious policy that's known to exist, and all countries really ought to follow this formula. Additionally, claiming that Secularism is linked to the modern atheist movement is wrong. The modern secularist movement has come from a wide range of peoples from all over the globe, religious and non-religious alike, who believe that religious ought not to interfere with public relations, e.g. in public state schools. Of course, some say this would amount to telling religious people to "keep quiet" in the public arena, but that's nonsense too. They may feel free to do as they wish, and worship etc. as they wish, but in a secular government, the idea of i.e. forcing these doctrines onto others via. education etc. or forcing people to participate in the religious rituals as an aspect of law, would be impossible in a truly secular nation by default.

Not all secularists are atheists, so this strikes me as more of an argument over words, as Inferno stated (explicitly) and australopithecus (implicitly). And that's what a lot of people don't get. America has a constitution, The First Amendment, which states that congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof. America IS a secular nation by law, no matter how many people try to claim that it isn't. The fact that there is a 'wall of separation' between Church and State (as Jefferson put it) is also noteworthy at least.

Yet despite this, America remains one of , if not the , religious nations on Earth, at least in First World countries, and it's always interesting to see the theories set forth by Dawkins & Dennett et al, for example, there is one theory that states that because America has a wall of separation between Church and state, and have no official state church, religion has become "free enterprise" e.g. tele-evangelism and so forth, while in the most non-religious nations on Earth (note the distinction I am maintaining between the word 'non-religious' and the word 'secular') that have official Protestant (Lutheran) churches, etc., religion has become "boring",as Dawkins put it in one of his interviews. It is therefore interesting to see the re-instatement or so it seems, of religious rituals into governments, e.g. that lunatic (quite frankly) Rick Warren, when he has asked to pray at the presidential inauguration.

Also interesting is the way in which those who are on the other side of the scale, e.g. atheists and alike, seem to become knee-jerky and defensive at the most harmless of things, such as a Christmas Nativity Scene, something that is not only completely harmless, but also not even a permanent fixture, and will no longer be there in a matter of weeks. When these sorts of things happen, it's usually in the United States, which doesn't surprise me really. I guess it's conceivable that atheists and agnostics of all stripes may feel as though they're being marginalized in the United States from some obscure sense of "alone-ness", whether or not we are being explicitly persecuted by anyone in the US. Sadly (or whatever else, depending on your own stance),not offending atheists and non-believers per se is probably not high on the list of priorities for the US Government.

After all, we account for something like 5-15% of the population in their "Christian" (actually secular) nation, depending on which numbers you trust. But according to Gallup (who are typically at least mostly reliable to produce numbers on this stuff), some 6% of US Citizens actively deny the existence of one or more gods. This is why secularism is important. After all, something like 1⁄ 10 of the population is still worth consideration, e.g. in the US even though the general consensus is still very religious ... methinks. And the fact that of this doesn't change the secularity of the nation, regardless of what some think.

This is why atheists should also have the freedom to put up billboards and so forth, and the Secular Humanist associations in America that do exist, believe it or not! But to repeat what I said before: to confuse secularism with atheism, and then declare 'militancy' because of one or the other and then CONFUSE the two, is absurd.

    a,·the,·ism/ˈāTHÄ“ËŒizÉ™m/
    Noun: The theory or belief that God does not exist.


    sec,·u,·lar,·ism\ˈse-kyÉ™-lÉ™-ËŒri-zÉ™m\
    Noun: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations


Note that in the latter case I have highlighted the words 'indifference' and 'considerations', e.g. religious (or the lack thereof) considerations, rather than religion per se, and this also extends to atheism, Q. E. D.. To call 'atheism' militant is coherent given some instances, e.g. Dawkins and Meyers as Inferno pointed out, however to call secularity 'Militant' simply because someone espouses it with more vigour than is normal, is a mistake, and it's a misuse of language. Just sayin'. And to say otherwise would be to confuse a term like 'atheism' (personal noun, hence suffixes such as 'ist') and a normative term, such as 'secularism'. There are crucial differences that must be addressed here so I guess I'll get on to watching the rest of the show, once Iv'e gone and made tea ... :D

But I guess there are more bizarre historic examples of what religion can do when it is mixed with the state, for example in Charles Darwin's day,when religion and scientific enterprise were quite notably intermingled, and scientists such as Richard Owen (before he was dispelled from the Royal Society) frequently lied and dissembled to support his views in lieu of the facts, particularly against Darwin's The Origin of Species, and so forth. There was considerable public debate about this in Britain and Europe at the time, because back then,the UK was about as religious (if not more so) than the United States currently is, and most people still believed that the Earth was created no less than 6000 years ago, which is probably why Darwin remained hesitant to publish for some 20 years, after his voyage on HMS Beagle, e.g. gathering evidence for the theory and so on, which will've began around the time he set off around the world, in December 1831.

One of Darwin's friends Thomas H. Huxley was probably one of the first of his kind, a new generation of intellectuals and scientific folk, who believed that religion and science ought not to mix at any point, as they thought similarly with states and religion, and Britain's official State Church was there in the 1800s of course, unlike America. I guess the 'rise in Secularism' may have came from Huxley & Darwin et al, and Huxley's desire to secularize scientific enterprise was certainly part of it, and a force for good too, in my opinion. One wonders why it was ever like this to begin with, but we can be confident that religion ought to play no role per se in science or in education, and that governments ought to be indifferent to religion at least in matters of public life,and therein, lies that basis for secularism.

PS: Sorry about the length ... I have a (some say irritating) tendency to dish out essay-length posts on a whim. :oops:
~~L.N

“You ask ‘Is there any Florida?’ I’m inclined to answer ‘No.’ There is no Florida, there’s only this, this England, which nauseates my soul.” – DH Lawrence


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Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:22 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Nice work Dean, I agree on almost all points, I'll address the one or two issues (mostly semantics) when I get back.
Just saying though, your writing could have a lot more impact if you shorten it significantly. Loved it though, so don't let that take you down. ;)
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:41 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Self criticism time:

I didnt say much and what i said ... wasn't that brilliant to be honest. It didnt help that i had to cut things short because i had other priorities

i feel quite stupid

:cry:


----

btw

on the healthiness of those quite secular scandanavian democracies, see here and here
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:03 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

You didn't come across as stupid in the episode.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:41 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Prolescum wrote:You didn't come across as stupid in the episode.


yea maybe, but i am one of those annoying perfectionists. I often go back to my work (esp my written work) and often percieve it as being flawed, eg actually writing that i wish i could have wrote "blah blah blah" here or "could have phrased it better" here etc etc.

i dont know how much you percieve that in these forums, but its me in a nutshell.

How are the comments for the video anyways?

---

i take it that the holodomor stuff has been included in the show notes, if one likes i could turn that single subject into a seperate video for myself.
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:25 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

theyounghistorian77 wrote:
Prolescum wrote:You didn't come across as stupid in the episode.


yea maybe, but i am one of those annoying perfectionists. I often go back to my work (esp my written work) and often percieve it as being flawed, eg actually writing that i wish i could have wrote "blah blah blah" here or "could have phrased it better" here etc etc.


You're speaking to a man who struggles daily with the piss-poor standard of written English on the web; I understand.

Edit: I'm not saying yours is piss-poor, just that I find it difficult not to hack peoples' Disqus accounts to fix their spelling mistakes.

How are the comments for the video anyways?


Only one or two have insulted Arthur.

i take it that the holodomor stuff has been included in the show notes


No, you didn't supply the links and that section didn't make the cut. That sounds really harsh... :oops:

if one likes i could turn that single subject into a seperate video for myself.


I'll send you a PM.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:49 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3347Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

ArthurWilborn claimed that AronRa claims religious people either are deceivers or deceived. However, I have never heard AronRa make this claim about religious people in general, only creationists. It is very different to claim creationists are deceivers or deceived; I doubt any reasonable person would disagree with that. Nevertheless, it would be nice to see a citation for this claim; heck I could be wrong and AronRa could have made that claim about religious people and not just creationists.

In addition, here is a video that explains TheLivingDinosaur's tact when it comes to creationists.




Furthermore, ArthurWilborn points out that potholer54 comes off as a militant secularist/atheist. If I am correct and ArthurWilborn feels this way because of potholer54's Golden Crocoduck Award, than here is a video explaining why he has the award. It comes down to awarding creationists that lie and potholer54 tries to have fun and entertain with it.

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Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:28 am
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ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5002Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

he_who_is_nobody wrote:ArthurWilborn claimed that AronRa claims religious people either are deceivers or deceived. However, I have never heard AronRa make this claim about religious people in general, only creationists. It is very different to claim creationists are deceivers or deceived; I doubt any reasonable person would disagree with that. Nevertheless, it would be nice to see a citation for this claim; heck I could be wrong and AronRa could have made that claim about religious people and not just creationists.


I linked to the video Arthur was referring to on YouTube. I can't be arsed to find it again, as it's fuck o'clock in the morning. Something something reason/faith. He's giving a talk at a university or similar.

Furthermore, ArthurWilborn points out that potholer54 comes off as a militant secularist/atheist. If I am correct and ArthurWilborn feels this way


I believe Arthur's contention is that the language used by Thunderf00t, potholer54 and whoever else does more harm than good, not that they're necessarily militant secularists/atheists, or rather, it gives some weight to the argument that there is such a thing as militant secularism.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:45 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

The video in question is the "Reasonable Faith" one. I have yet to watch it.

"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:43 am
ArthurWilbornPosts: 964Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:46 pm

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Yep, that's the video, where AronRa says that multiple times that religion is a lie since it doesn't follow the processes of reason. As I said in the podcast, reason simply doesn't apply to every aspect of the human experience.

TheLivingDinosaur claims, basically, that he thinks he's being funny. Humor is subjective, of course, but I don't find a constant stream of insults and endless references to feces to be funny.

I was probably being a bit unfair to potholer54; he only occasionally slips into insult. He's fairly calm and reasonable for the majority of his time talking.
Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:11 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

ArthurWilborn wrote:Yep, that's the video, where AronRa says that multiple times that religion is a lie since it doesn't follow the processes of reason.


Can it (reasonably) be called anything else? If I told you that "there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!
But He loves you!" [5]

What else would you call that but a lie? A delusion? Well yeah it's also a delusion, but it is also a lie. (Lie being defined as an untrue statement that is presented as being true.) How can creationism in particular and religion in general be anything else than that - a lie?! "[C]reationism can be collectively defined as the fraction of religious believers who reject science, not just the conclusions of science, but its methods as well..." [6] At least here you will have to agree: Creationism is a lie.

But the same is also true of religion! No religious person uses the same reasoning on his/her God as it does to figure out... well, anything else. But why is reason seemingly not applicable to religion? Because, as Aron demonstrated, reason invariably exposes the errors and lies of religious faith and as such is not allowed to be applied to religion.

ArthurWilborn wrote:As I said in the podcast, reason simply doesn't apply to every aspect of the human experience.


I still don't understand why not, though. If faith is not governed by reason and is (not sometimes, but ALWAYS) contrary to reason, then it is by definition unreasonable or irrational. Unreasonable can in this case be substituted by absurd [1], arbitrary [2], biased, far-fetched, foolish, mad, nonsensical, preposterous, senseless, silly, stupid [3], beyond what can be accepted and harmful [4].
Most dictionaries don't use so harsh a tone, but by ANY definition I could find, unreasonable is a synonym with "idiotic". You yourself admit that faith is without reason or maybe even against all reason to the contrary, so you yourself admit that faith is unreasonable or irrational and by extension, idiotic.




[1] Merriam-Webster: Unreasonable
b : not conformable to reason : absurd <unreasonable beliefs>

[2] YourDictionary: Unreasonable
Not determined by reason; capricious; arbitrary; irrational.

[3] Dictionary Reverso: Unreasonable
unreasonable
1 excessive, exorbitant, extortionate, extravagant, immoderate, steep (informal) too great, uncalled-for, undue, unfair, unjust, unwarranted
2 arbitrary, biased, blinkered, capricious, erratic, headstrong, inconsistent, opinionated, quirky
3 absurd, far-fetched, foolish, illogical, irrational, mad, nonsensical, preposterous, senseless, silly, stupid

[4] Dictionary Findlaw: Unreasonable
unreasonable adj
: not reasonable
: beyond what can be accepted: as
a : clearly inappropriate, excessive, or harmful in degree or kind [an delay] [an restraint of trade]
b : lacking justification in fact or circumstance [an inference]

[5] George Carlin: Religion is bullshit - Text
George Carlin: Religion is bullshit - Video

[6] 1st FFoC - Text
1st FFoC - Video
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:11 pm
ArthurWilbornPosts: 964Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:46 pm

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Inferno wrote:
ArthurWilborn wrote:Yep, that's the video, where AronRa says that multiple times that religion is a lie since it doesn't follow the processes of reason.


Can it (reasonably) be called anything else?


Did you not hear me when I said reason doesn't necessarily apply? You can point out inconsistencies, you can debunk certain historical claims, yes. However, for certain things, like personal communication with a supernatural entity, the furthest you can go is to say is that the available evidence doesn't meet a certain standard. You can't use reason to point to a single standard that must be employed by everyone and demonstrate that with testable evidence.

But the same is also true of religion! No religious person uses the same reasoning on his/her God as it does to figure out... well, anything else. But why is reason seemingly not applicable to religion? Because, as Aron demonstrated, reason invariably exposes the errors and lies of religious faith and as such is not allowed to be applied to religion.


There's elements of that, but I'd say that's more on the business side of the church equation.

ArthurWilborn wrote:As I said in the podcast, reason simply doesn't apply to every aspect of the human experience.


I still don't understand why not, though.


Try to use pure reason to state whether TheLivingDinosaur is funny. I dare you. You can say you think he's funny and tell us why. You can show a certain percentage of people think he's funny. However, humor is a matter of emotion, not one of reason - pure reason will not reveal an answer.

If faith is not governed by reason and is (not sometimes, but ALWAYS) contrary to reason,


There is an afterlife. Use pure reason to demonstrate this is certainly untrue. (Hint: you can't.)

You're also employing the same wordplay that Christians use to say all atheists hate god. :roll: Many aspects of the religious experience I would call areasonable, in the same manner as amoral or atheist - a neutral position apart from the concerns of what it is not.
Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:42 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

ArthurWilborn wrote:Did you not hear me when I said reason doesn't necessarily apply?


I did. I also disagree and asked you WHY reason doesn't apply. I can understand why it does not apply to humour or taste, because that is by definition subjective. But if there is a God, then this God is not objective and reason must necessarily apply to it. As you correctly state, one thing we can say is that there isn't enough evidence to believe in such a God... which again by definition makes the position unreasonable. If I understood your sentence correctly ("the furthest you can go") then you're wrong about that too, because that's actually the absolute best we can say about this God: That there is no evidence for it.
The absolute worst case scenario is when someone tries to claim certain attributes to this God or claims myths about this God. Then we can verify that these myths are just that: myths. We can point out that the evidence is contrary to the claims and we can point out the logical inconsistencies of the particular attribute of God or its creation. For example, I have many times pointed out the logical inconsistencies of a God and free will, I have also pointed out the inconsistencies of free will and an after life.
However you bend it, reason must necessarily apply to this concept (God) and as I stated earlier, any attempt to claim that it is not is merely a dishonest attempt to bolster faith. (Be it for commercial gains of the sect/church or others)

ArthurWilborn wrote:You can point out inconsistencies, you can debunk certain historical claims, yes. However, for certain things, like personal communication with a supernatural entity, the furthest you can go is to say is that the available evidence doesn't meet a certain standard. You can't use reason to point to a single standard that must be employed by everyone and demonstrate that with testable evidence.


You go at it the completely wrong way. It is not I who has to demonstrate something, it is they. "No available evidence" is enough for me to make the reasonable assumption that this God doesn't exist. Add to that "no logical need or consistency" and I can actually be fairly sure that there is no God.
As for pointing to a single standard, I can simply point them to Sagan's (or Truzzi's, or Laplace's or even Hume's) axiom that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Give me one single piece of evidence (evidence being defined as any point of data that is consistent with your idea only) and I can accept your claim to be reasonable. The problem is that there is no such evidence.
As always, reason applies.

ArthurWilborn wrote:There is an afterlife. Use pure reason to demonstrate this is certainly untrue. (Hint: you can't.)


I've already pointed out that it's up to the believer to make a case for the afterlife, it's not up to me to make a case against it. If you have no case, then your belief is by definition unreasonable. If you have no evidence, then your belief is also by definition unreasonable.
I'd also point out that you don't understand what "reason" is, otherwise you wouldn't pose the challenge that I should "Use pure reason to demonstrate this is certainly untrue." Can I demonstrate that dragons certainly don't exist? No. And yet, almost every person alive would call it unreasonable to believe in a dragon.

Even though it's in no way related to the discussion, I'll point out that this is too broad a claim. Narrow it down. Which afterlife are you talking about? The Christian one? I've already shown that to be false. The Buddhist one? Easy peasy.

EDIT: I ignored the condescending last bit, I don't feel that there's a reason why I should answer that. If you can actually hold a conversation without employing smilies and without being condescending*, then I'll gladly point out why you're wrong about that too.
*Because as we've seen, you have no reason to be.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:14 am
DeanBlog EditorUser avatarPosts: 593Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:49 pmLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

ArthurWilborn
ArthurWilborn wrote:["¦] Yep, that's the video, where AronRa says that multiple times that religion is a lie since it doesn't follow the processes of reason. As I said in the podcast, reason simply doesn't apply to every aspect of the human experience. ["¦]

,1. To be quite honest; I have not watched that video, and I don't intend to either. But for the purposes of argument, could you please direct me to the points in the video at which he states (either implicitly or explicitly) that religion per se is a 'lie', because it is contrary to reason... it would just be helpful for discussion if you could actually show us what it is that you're complaining about, such that I don't have to undergo the enervating task of sifting through a 40 minute video for "multiple" (I wonder what that entails) references to religion being a "lie".

,2. Exactly what parts of the "human experience" as you call it; are inapplicable and / or inexplicable to the 'processes of reason'? You also seem to be using a convoluted definition of "experience".


Observation of facts ... practical contact ... come to think of it, you probably should've said that religion is totally evacuated of experience, given your own statements, since 'evidence' for the supernatural is per se impossible, because it is beyond all reason, observation, etc, and is logically implausible and physically impossible too. But allowing for your own definition, e.g. you might well attempt to compare religious thought to humour. Quite frankly, I don't care what you think about TheLivingDinosaur, because it's utterly irrelevant. I don't care much for him myself, either. But to compare religion with such things is a grave mistake.

All the world religions I have ever heard of make specific truth claims about the Age of The Earth, the Origin of Species, and especially the origin of Humans. This is what needs to be said to religious people who think atheists believe that God cannot have created the universe. We absolutely do not say the universe could not have been created by a God. We just say that the story told in e.g. Genesis, etc. and the story told by known facts can't both be true, and thus certain aspects of religion (the parts that actually make legitimate claims) are at least in principle,a feasible target of rational and logical inquiry.

,3. What has any of this got to do with secularism anyway? Once again, you seem to be stuck in convoluted descriptions of secularism as entailing or necessitating atheism, which is the sort of thing that is typically only claimed by religionists. Militant Atheism and so-called Militant secularism are NOT the same thing. One, as I said; is a proper noun, e.g. it is the belief that governments should pay no particular respects to any particular religious group or non-religious group. In other words, a belief in a political system that is wholly indifferent to religion (or the lack thereof.).

While on the other hand, atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods. And there is no such thing as a 'New' atheism, they are only 'new' inasmuch as they are recent. I suppose it would be fair enough to claim that they are "militant" in the sense that they are highly determined to push their particular goals, but that per se is not connected to atheism itself. As australopithecus said in the show, the closest thing to militancy in this regard (at least in the UK) are those bus-campaigns which nobody really cares about ...

,3b. I notice you've still yet to address my critique...

ArthurWilborn wrote:["¦] There is an afterlife. Use pure reason to demonstrate this is certainly untrue. (Hint: you can't.) ["¦]

I've removed the rest of your second post from this, because it seems to be more or less just a repetition of your earlier points. Frankly, I couldn't care less about the hypotheticals of some immaterial, metaphysical place that exists nowhere in space or time, and is inexplicable to the laws of science and alike for all practical purpose. What a lot of religious people seem to miss is that it's possible to deconstruct arguments (e.g. religious metaphysical claims and locations, such as an afterlife) using logic alone. You'd have to anyway, since these places aren't explicable to 'reason'; as you said. But whether or not they are explicable to evidence-based reason, a.k.a. empiricism is irrelevant. They can be deconstructed using fairly standard logic.

And in fact, that's the reason why all the so-called ontological "proofs" of 'God' are doomed to fail. But once again, I have to ask: what relevance does debating the nefarious nuances of reason, standards of evidence in deconstructing religion(s), etc. have to do with Secularism? And whether or not 'Militancy' in secularism can actually be said to exist. As Inferno said on the show , and the point was also elucidated by many others , you continually conflate Secularism as a position with atheism. They are not the same thing. As australopithecus so rightly pointed out: All Atheists are (or at least should be),secularists. But not all secularists are atheists. :)
~~L.N

“You ask ‘Is there any Florida?’ I’m inclined to answer ‘No.’ There is no Florida, there’s only this, this England, which nauseates my soul.” – DH Lawrence


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Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:43 am
ArthurWilbornPosts: 964Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:46 pm

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

Inferno wrote:
ArthurWilborn wrote:Did you not hear me when I said reason doesn't necessarily apply?


I did. I also disagree and asked you WHY reason doesn't apply. I can understand why it does not apply to humour or taste, because that is by definition subjective. But if there is a God, then this God is not objective and reason must necessarily apply to it.


Not really - in most descriptions god has a personality and sapience. Examining humans will quickly tell you that attempting to apply reason to the actions of a sapient being is often an exercise in futility. There was another thread which claimed Joseph of Aramathia couldn't have existed because he had a conflict of interest - ignoring the fact that performing conflicting actions is a common event for humans. :roll:

You go at it the completely wrong way. It is not I who has to demonstrate something, it is they. "No available evidence" is enough for me to make the reasonable assumption that this God doesn't exist.


The claim under discussion is that reason can be universally (or at least very broadly) applied - which is your claim and which you must demonstrate.

ArthurWilborn wrote:There is an afterlife. Use pure reason to demonstrate this is certainly untrue. (Hint: you can't.)


I've already pointed out that it's up to the believer to make a case for the afterlife, it's not up to me to make a case against it. If you have no case, then your belief is by definition unreasonable. If you have no evidence, then your belief is also by definition unreasonable.


Ahem - no evidence? You mean not enough evidence to meet your standard of proof, yes? Well, I hate to break it to you, but not everyone uses the same standard of proof. You can't use reason to prove that one standard of proof is universal - you can only state where it should be in your judgement.

Dean wrote:ArthurWilborn
ArthurWilborn wrote:["¦] Yep, that's the video, where AronRa says that multiple times that religion is a lie since it doesn't follow the processes of reason. As I said in the podcast, reason simply doesn't apply to every aspect of the human experience. ["¦]

,1. To be quite honest; I have not watched that video, and I don't intend to either. But for the purposes of argument, could you please direct me to the points in the video at which he states (either implicitly or explicitly) that religion per se is a 'lie', because it is contrary to reason... it would just be helpful for discussion if you could actually show us what it is that you're complaining about, such that I don't have to undergo the enervating task of sifting through a 40 minute video for "multiple" (I wonder what that entails) references to religion being a "lie".


Within the first two minutes, and constantly throughout. I'm fairly certain you can start the video at a random time and hear an example within two minutes. It's like looking for cigarette butts on a beach - not exactly a difficult task. I do, however, find your tone of incredulity at not finding something in a work you haven't looked at hilarious. :lol:

,2. Exactly what parts of the "human experience" as you call it; are inapplicable and / or inexplicable to the 'processes of reason'? You also seem to be using a convoluted definition of "experience".


Observation of events, as per the definition you cited. Don't blame me if you're confused because you're skipping words - words you highlighted, no less. :D

...since 'evidence' for the supernatural is per se impossible, because it is beyond all reason


So glad we agree! :D Look, I know you like reason, I like it to, but there's no need to dump all over anything outside of reason because it's not your favorite.

All the world religions I have ever heard of make specific truth claims about the Age of The Earth, the Origin of Species, and especially the origin of Humans. This is what needs to be said to religious people who think atheists believe that God cannot have created the universe. We absolutely do not say the universe could not have been created by a God. We just say that the story told in e.g. Genesis, etc. and the story told by known facts can't both be true, and thus certain aspects of religion (the parts that actually make legitimate claims) are at least in principle,a feasible target of rational and logical inquiry.


I'm not defending specific, testable, and wrong claims; and I know they're common. They are, however, not what I am talking about.

But once again, I have to ask: what relevance does debating the nefarious nuances of reason, standards of evidence in deconstructing religion(s), etc. have to do with Secularism?


When secularists start rabidly insulting religion it creates a problem for secularism. Clean out your ears.
Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:19 pm
CommonEnlightenmentUser avatarPosts: 649Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 amLocation: Plato Crater Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

ArthurWilborn wrote:
When secularists start rabidly insulting religion it creates a problem for secularism. Clean out your ears.


Are you talking about insulting the religion or critically analyzing the beliefs that some hold? There is a stark difference between insulting and critically analyzing something. The problem arises when the offending party takes everything as a insult as opposed to someone critically analyzing what is written in a particular text (in most of my cases the bible.) There are also probably some good psychological reasons why the offending party would want to make it appear as an insult as opposed to something that is being critically analyzed, but that is probably a slightly different topic. Also, I do realize that some people use a combination of insults and critically analyzing something to show a point or draw a conclusion.

Just for a reference point:

I think it would behoove a bunch of individuals to watch this video and try to conclude one of the following:

1. In your view or opinion do you see this individual critically analyzing the information to make a case against Christianity.

2. In your view or opinion do you see this individual insulting a particular religion, if so, which one. And in what specific cases. Also, I think it's important to make a distinction between insulting a individual as opposed to insulting or critically analyzing a belief. In some cases, it can be a very fine line distinction and in most cases it depends on how the individual defines how much of a belief makes up who or what that person is.

3. Do you see this video as something slightly different than 1 or 2, above.



Enjoy the video, Arthur.........
There is still light in the 'Earthly' darkness. Finding light in the darkness can be more satisfying than merely seeing the glaring light of our sun. It gives us a better understanding of light and a deeper understanding of our universe.
Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:43 pm
DeanBlog EditorUser avatarPosts: 593Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:49 pmLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

ArthurWilborn
ArthurWilborn wrote:["¦]
Dean wrote:["¦] since 'evidence' for the supernatural is per se impossible, because it is beyond all reason ["¦]


So glad we agree! :D Look, I know you like reason, I like it to, but there's no need to dump all over anything outside of reason because it's not your favorite. ["¦]

Heh, of course there are different ways of examining this point, I suppose. It could be claimed that the existence of so-called miracles are evidence for the supernatural, but that cannot be true either, since evidence for that is also impossible, since miracles are impossible by definition (as AronRa has made a habit of pointing out), e.g. something that defies all the known laws of science, and therefore defies explanation.

Perhaps a better word to use instead of reason would be empiricism. But in any case, this accentuates the point that Inferno made on the Show, i.e. the fact that the burden of explanation is not on us to prove otherwise, it is on the religious to prove their own claims. It's their God(s), Religion(s), Miracles, etc, so the burden of proof, and alike, always falls on them.

ArthurWilborn wrote:
Dean wrote:["¦] All the world religions I have ever heard of make specific truth claims about the Age of The Earth, the Origin of Species, and especially the origin of Humans. This is what needs to be said to religious people who think atheists believe that God cannot have created the universe. We absolutely do not say the universe could not have been created by a God. We just say that the story told in e.g. Genesis, etc. and the story told by known facts can't both be true, and thus certain aspects of religion (the parts that actually make legitimate claims) are at least in principle,a feasible target of rational and logical inquiry. ["¦]


I'm not defending specific, testable, and wrong claims; and I know they're common. They are, however, not what I am talking about. ["¦]

I wholly agree with the general scope of what you're saying, you know. I really do. But if you're only going to defend the aspects of religion that are cultural, emotional, and doctrinal ... then this discussion is really not of much value to anyone. Religion is not purely to do with providing emotional and/or psychological reassurance, and alike. That aspect is part of many religions, but most if not all religions make specific claims about the nature of reality, and the existence of certain things, e.g. God. Not to mention (as I said) the creation and formation of the world in universe. If your only point is that faith per se cannot be subjected to reason, then I suppose we're in agreement.

But I still can't help but thinking that you are confusing some terms. For example, instead of using the word "reason" in all this, try "empiricism", e.g. I guess you could argue that inductive reasoning, e.g. of the kind employed in science and empirical observation, cannot impugn on faith itself, and cannot disprove things that are not subjected to the laws of physics, i.e. our spatiotemporal reality (such as the afterlife example that you mentioned). But the end of empirical inquiry is not necessarily the end of rational inquiry, which is why all these convoluted theological arguments for divine existence are doomed to fail...

I mean sure, many of them make testable claims, and can be dismissed on empirical grounds, as such. But otherwise, if they are purely deductive arguments (as most of them are), then they can be refuted using logic alone. Etc.

ArthurWilborn wrote:
Dean wrote:["¦] But once again, I have to ask: what relevance does debating the nefarious nuances of reason, standards of evidence in deconstructing religion(s), etc. have to do with Secularism?


When secularists start rabidly insulting religion it creates a problem for secularism. ["¦]

Um, that's not what the topic was about. The topic was about whether or not Militancy in secularism on itself alone can be said to exist, the answer to which is clearly no. AronRa's statements are not "militantly secular", in that regard, but are rather militantly atheistic. Once again, implicit in your arguments is a confusion of the terms 'secularism' and 'atheism', they are not the same thing.

The part you omitted: All atheists are (or at least should be), secularists. But not all secularists are atheists. Thus, the militancy you point out has to do with aggressive atheism, not with secularism at all. Other than that (as Inferno said, most of our disagreements on this topic seem to be semantical), I agree.
~~L.N

“You ask ‘Is there any Florida?’ I’m inclined to answer ‘No.’ There is no Florida, there’s only this, this England, which nauseates my soul.” – DH Lawrence


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Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:26 pm
ArthurWilbornPosts: 964Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:46 pm

Post Re: Episode 3 Released!

CommonEnlightenment wrote:
ArthurWilborn wrote:
When secularists start rabidly insulting religion it creates a problem for secularism. Clean out your ears.


Are you talking about insulting the religion or critically analyzing the beliefs that some hold?


Insults. I was talking about insults. Check out some of the people I mentioned and listen to the insults. The insults are near constant in many sources.

Since I'm talking about insults, everything that follows in your post is not relevant.

Dean wrote:
ArthurWilborn wrote:["¦]So glad we agree! :D Look, I know you like reason, I like it to, but there's no need to dump all over anything outside of reason because it's not your favorite. ["¦]

Heh, of course there are different ways of examining this point, I suppose. It could be claimed that the existence of so-called miracles are evidence for the supernatural, but that cannot be true either, since evidence for that is also impossible, since miracles are impossible by definition (as AronRa has made a habit of pointing out), e.g. something that defies all the known laws of science, and therefore defies explanation.


Oh-ho. It defies scientific explanation, or rational explanation. That's rather my point. Miracles (if they exist) are, by definition, not scientific since they're not repeatable. However, as established, people are not wholly reasonable creatures and thus can come up with areasonable explanations in the absence of a reasonable one. Just ask Colonel Jack O'Neil about magnets sometime.

ArthurWilborn wrote:I'm not defending specific, testable, and wrong claims; and I know they're common. They are, however, not what I am talking about. ["¦]

I wholly agree with the general scope of what you're saying, you know. I really do. But if you're only going to defend the aspects of religion that are cultural, emotional, and doctrinal ... then this discussion is really not of much value to anyone. Religion is not purely to do with providing emotional and/or psychological reassurance, and alike. That aspect is part of many religions, but most if not all religions make specific claims about the nature of reality, and the existence of certain things, e.g. God. Not to mention (as I said) the creation and formation of the world in universe. If your only point is that faith per se cannot be subjected to reason, then I suppose we're in agreement.


Well, my point was also that it's mean spirited, incorrect, and counterproductive to insult people for having religious beliefs.

ArthurWilborn wrote:When secularists start rabidly insulting religion it creates a problem for secularism. ["¦]

Um, that's not what the topic was about. The topic was about whether or not Militancy in secularism on itself alone can be said to exist, the answer to which is clearly no. AronRa's statements are not "militantly secular", in that regard, but are rather militantly atheistic. Once again, implicit in your arguments is a confusion of the terms 'secularism' and 'atheism', they are not the same thing.


They are not necessarily connected from a stance of pure reason, perhaps. However; at a practical, human level there are strong connections. Secularism and atheism are strongly linked, particularly in the US. Since I am a US citizen, this forms the basis of my perspective on the subject. It's probably different across the Atlantic where fundamentalism isn't such a big social construct.

I'll turn it around; name three major political speakers or activists in the US who champion secularism and are NOT atheists.
Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:41 pm
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