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Theists must Deny facts because facts don't support their position
in Religion

By Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 1565 Pts
As an agnostic-atheist and former Christian, I once was very guilty of doing this, and I still see it all the time in believers.

It seems to me there are 3 types of believers, which I will call casual, moderate, and fundamentalists. Where casual are those who engage in religious practices for cultural reasons, i.e they might go to church on some occasions and follow the culture and celebrate the holidays, but don't take a particularly strong stance on the matter of the existence of god, moderates are those who take a metaphysical interpretation of their religion, believing that what gives it value is the underlying message and the behavior that stem from them, and the fundamentalists are those who take a literal interpretation and will not accept that it in any way can be false.

For example, many Christian fundamentalists are also young-earth creationists, who believe that the earth and all life was created about 6,000 years ago, and they will twist and deny the overwhelming evidence that this is not the case, for example light from distant stars, the geological record, all of the fossils, ice cores, craters on the moon, archaeology, etc. They do this because the genealogical record in the bible and the age of each of these people can be extrapolated to determine an approximate age of the earth, if you assume that the bible is true. In other words, they are starting with the assumption that the world was created in 7 days, and then reaching the conclusion that the earth must only be around 6,000 years old. This means that if the assumption is invalidated, the claim goes with it, thus they must do everything in their power to deny the reality that the earth and all life did not come to be in just 6,000 years, or else the bible must be literally false and their world view would take a mortal blow.

When I was a practicing Christian, I fell for all of these stories too, a lot of the ridiculous things they conclude simply don't stack up to rigorous examination. When I was in high school, we had an organized debate on the topic, and I took the side of creationism. This probably did more to convince me that it was all BS than most other things, because as I studied and watched actual debates by actual professionals, I realized that the arguments just didn't stand up to scrutiny, because I simply couldn't find a single argument that couldn't be rebutted with minimal effort. In the end, me and the other students I was working with ended up resorting to a gish-galloping strategy of just throwing out all of this evidence that was mostly made up, some was even contradictory.

Then of course there is the god-of-the-gaps fallacy, where someone asserts that because we don't know something, that someone or something must be controlling it or behind it. No matter how much we know, this will always stand as a possibility, because the limits of our knowledge will always be finite, there will always be information that is just beyond our grasp as a consequence of physics and the universe being finite despite being unthinkably huge.

Of course we could speculate all day for years on the validity of any scientific claim or discovery, and even discuss the philosophical implication of those discoveries, but all of this is a bit redundant, because the real killer of the theists position is pragmatism. Simply put, when you know the facts you can use them for useful purpose. For example, if you believe that praying for something will result in your prayers being answered, you might be surprised when you discover that they are not, and at the same frequency as if you had prayed to any other god or even just an inanimate object. You might however discover that praying has a placebo effect, and knowing this and what a placebo can do is more than enough to get the same results in other ways. Knowing what is true and what is made up is always more useful than blind speculation.

It is a unique combination of cognitive dissonance and denial that lead to the theist's worldview, they must delude themselves into believing that reality isn't what it actually is with religious belief to solve a problem which doesn't exist without religion in the first place. Religious beliefs have no value that can not be gained elsewhere, or can not be achieved in a more robust and coherent way. Theists conclude that there is agency where there is no proof of any existing at all, they see the world as being the result of intelligence and randomness as being deliberately designed, even without the slightest evidence of that being the case. Rather they conclude that the seemingly non-random events were in themselves proof of agency.

Consider these two pictures, one is random from generated numbers, one I drew myself, and another is from typing random numbers. Vote on which you think is  the true random picture:

A:



B:



C:



PlaffelvohfenMayCaesarxlJ_dolphin_473AlofRIRS_master
  1. Live Poll

    Which is the true random picture?

    9 votes
    1. A
      11.11%
    2. B
      66.67%
    3. C
      22.22%
At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
All of that so we can argue about nothing.



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  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    When I first heard the religious narrative at the age of 6 or so, I already knew it to be ridiculous. I was lucky to be brought up reading science popularising books, so even at that age, hearing someone talk about "supernatural beings" that "watch over us" and "hear us through our prayers", I thought, "What a bunch of nonsense. Are adults really thinking I am that naive?" I genuinely thought for many years afterwards that this was just the way adults were toying with kids, much like the stories about tooth fairies, Santa Claus, etc. Imagine my surprise when in middle school I learned that there were actually billions people seriously believing in that... I could not understand how it was possible - still cannot to this day.

    It was interesting growing up in the early post-communist world: people no longer really believed in socialism, but had not given up atheism completely yet either, so it was this bizarre period when the free market / enlightenment sentiment was strong on the post-USSR territory. In any other period of time in almost any other region of Earth I would probably not have grown up to be a freedom lover and a science junkie, a combination so rare even in the free world nowadays, where scientists are embracing statism, while freedom lovers are bowing their heads to mythical supernatural beings.

    Feynman's life philosophy was very close to mine. I will just post two of his quotes here:
    "I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong."
    "I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned."
    The guy also exhibited so many unconventional behaviors; for example, he liked working on physics problems at strip clubs. What is wrong with that, really? But ask almost anyone, and they will find it odd. Feynman though did not give much thought to these subjective cultural preferences: he just did things he liked.

    This is the kind of person I have always aspired to be, and no religion or other totalitarian ideology is compatible with this mindset. Most people choose to live in some form of totalitarianism, often self-induced, when they tell themselves that there are some morally unacceptable things which they cannot allow themselves, even when those things do not harm themselves or anyone else. This definitely comes from the same place as religion.

    Forget order; chaos is everything!  >:)
    Happy_KillbotxlJ_dolphin_473
  • This has been a while, so for anyone who is interested "B" is the truly random picture, "A" is the one I drew, and "C" is composed of randomly typed numbers.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • TKDBTKDB 538 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    You being anti voluntarily Religious oriented is fine, isn't it?"

    And have any of these individuals denied you, of your voluntary choice to be anti Religious oriented?

    The casual believers, the moderate believers, or the fundamentalist believers?

    "It seems to me there are 3 types of believers, which I will call casual, moderate, and fundamentalists."

    And then your other statement?

    "Where casual are those who engage in religious practices for cultural reasons, i.e they might go to church on some occasions and follow the culture and celebrate the holidays, but don't take a particularly strong stance on the matter of the existence of god, moderates are those who take a metaphysical interpretation of their religion, believing that what gives it value is the underlying message and the behavior that stem from them, and the fundamentalists are those who take a literal interpretation and will not accept that it in any way can be false."

    Are any of the above, causing you, some sort of an anxiety over them? 

    And because of your previous experiences:

    "As an agnostic-atheist and former Christian, I once was very guilty of doing this, and I still see it all the time in believers."

    Are you, maybe judging how they choose to engage in Religion, through their peaceful ways, these very believers, (the casual, moderate, and fundamentalists believers, that you mentioned,) according to your anti Religious stance?

    @Happy_Killbot ;
    Again, where does your apparent anxiety over them, appear to stem from?




  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 25
    @Happy_Killbot

    Here is a very nice video on randomness from Numberphile:

    https://youtu.be/tP-Ipsat90c

    The takeaway is that humans are extremely bad at generating random numbers: we have this inherent bias towards equal distributions of random values, which causes us to be selective when generating random numbers, which is incompatible with true randomness.

    For example, if I ask you to generate four random numbers from 1 to 10, ask you what the first three numbers are and they are all below 6, then I can almost guarantee that the fourth number will be above 5, as intuitively you feel that, at least, one number should be in the upper half of the distribution. While in true randomness the chance that the fourth number will be above 5 is still just 50%.

    There are ways to generate close to truly random numbers by just thinking, but it requires performing some algorithm. For example, I could instead generate random words, then sum over the positions of their letters in the alphabet, take the module of its division by 10 and add 1.
    For example, I generate the random word "whale", with letter positions in the alphabet being "23 8 1 12 5". The sum of these numbers is 23+8+1+12+5=49, and 49 mod 10 is 9. Now I add 1 and get 10, which is my randomly generated number.
    This still is not quite random, as there could be some mathematical patterns in how most English words are formed, plus we might not be thinking completely random words either - but it will be a much better approximation at randomness than we can muster by just jumping straight to the result off the bat.

    Modern computers usually generate random numbers by using some internal system clock values which do not appear to have any obvious patterns. Interestingly enough, how close these numbers are to truly random ones is still an open question - but for practical purposes they seem to work well enough.
    Josh_Drake
  • MayCaesar said:
    @Happy_Killbot

    Here is a very nice video on randomness from Numberphile:

    https://youtu.be/tP-Ipsat90c

    The takeaway is that humans are extremely bad at generating random numbers: we have this inherent bias towards equal distributions of random values, which causes us to be selective when generating random numbers, which is incompatible with true randomness.

    For example, if I ask you to generate four random numbers from 1 to 10, ask you what the first three numbers are and they are all below 6, then I can almost guarantee that the fourth number will be above 5, as intuitively you feel that, at least, one number should be in the upper half of the distribution. While in true randomness the chance that the fourth number will be above 5 is still just 50%.

    There are ways to generate close to truly random numbers by just thinking, but it requires performing some algorithm. For example, I could instead generate random words, then sum over the positions of their letters in the alphabet, take the module of its division by 10 and add 1.
    For example, I generate the random word "whale", with letter positions in the alphabet being "23 8 1 12 5". The sum of these numbers is 23+8+1+12+5=49, and 49 mod 10 is 9. Now I add 1 and get 10, which is my randomly generated number.
    This still is not quite random, as there could be some mathematical patterns in how most English words are formed, plus we might not be thinking completely random words either - but it will be a much better approximation at randomness than we can muster by just jumping straight to the result off the bat.

    Modern computers usually generate random numbers by using some internal system clock values which do not appear to have any obvious patterns. Interestingly enough, how close these numbers are to truly random ones is still an open question - but for practical purposes they seem to work well enough.
    *pulls up calculator*

    *hits RANDOM button*

    *random number*

    You're arguing with yourself.
  • @Josh_Drake

    Who are you?

    Do you just have a personal vendetta against May Caesar or something?
    Josh_Drake
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • Josh_DrakeJosh_Drake 17 Pts
    edited March 30
    @Josh_Drake

    Who are you?
    You must be blind. My username is on the screen.
  • @Josh_Drake

    A username is not who you are.
    Josh_Drake
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  •  Happy_Killbot said:
    @Josh_Drake

    A username is not who you are.
    You know what I meant by 'My username is on the screen'. Your trolling isn't going to work just like the last time.
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