FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Taking advantage of VT to 'promote' faith (Page 2)

  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Taking advantage of VT to 'promote' faith
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No you don't, Jutsa. You've made it abundantly clearly in the past that you don't feel I'm a reasonable person. You've made it clear in this thread, as well. You may be a fan of making obviously untrue statements in favor of being nice. I am not.

And now, before I actually go to bed (bit of a flurry of activity here) answer me this simple question, Jutsa: which bottle do you get when you want something spicy? Do you get the bottle of Tabasco sauce, or the bottle of whole milk?

It's a very simple, obvious question, so I'll answer if for you. You get the bottle of Tabasco sauce. By the unreasonable reasoning you're using in this thread, I could with as much merit as you've had here claim that you felt that the only choices when it came to spicy liquids were whole milk or tabasco, just by virtue of comparing the two together.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Euripides:
I think the key difference is that Mormonism is a specific religion and system of ideas, whereas atheism is essentially a statement to the effect of 'I don't see any good reasons to believe in religion or supernatural entities'.

Exactly. [Smile]
Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
No you don't, Jutsa. . . You may be a fan of making obviously untrue statements in favor of being nice. I am not.

You are stating what others believe even when it isn't true. I would rather you cease attempting to turn this into a flame war.
Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nato
Member
Member # 1448

 - posted      Profile for Nato   Email Nato         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, he said "we atheists". If I were to say "we Mormons", and then list a variety of behaviors "we Mormons" engaged in, would you think I was just talking about how Mormons behave, or would you also think I was talking about how Mormonism guides Mormons to behave? [/QB]

But there is no Atheism structure to guide us. We have prominent atheist thinkers, but there is no cohesive ethical guidance other than the limited rational conclusions one can draw about behavior in the absence of a deity. Atheism allows these conclusions (many people may have even reached the same ones), but it does not preach them.
Posts: 1592 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Nato:
But there is no Atheism structure to guide us. We have prominent atheist thinkers, but there is no cohesive ethical guidance other than the limited rational conclusions one can draw about behavior in the absence of a deity. Atheism allows these conclusions (many people may have even reached the same ones), but it does not preach them.

Once again, exactly. [Smile]
Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nato
Member
Member # 1448

 - posted      Profile for Nato   Email Nato         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Rakeesh said:

And now, before I actually go to bed (bit of a flurry of activity here) answer me this simple question, Jutsa: which bottle do you get when you want something spicy? Do you get the bottle of Tabasco sauce, or the bottle of whole milk?

I'm not sure this question will get you anywhere. It seems like you're translating it to "When you are looking for a source of consolation in a situation like this, do you turn to faith, or to atheism?"

I agree that some people find consolation through faith in a higher power. But I don't think anybody would consider "turning to atheism" as a source of answers or (specifically) consolation/healing. That would be as foolish as thinking you are going to satisfy your desire for spiciness with milk.

I can only offer anecdotal evidence for what an atheist might turn to in the absence of a belief in an all-powerful god that listens to prayers. I, like the professor who wrote the linked essay, believe there is no meaning inherent to the world, but that there can be meaning in life. The destruction of life that happened on Monday is, from my perspective, the destruction of the most important resource in the world. Each of those who died represented an incredible potential for meaning in the world. Who could tell the contributions that each of them could have made to the lives of others?

I read the killer's plays, and I watched his video. I struggled to interpret what his emotions were, and why he might have done what he did. I couldn't get very far in this, besides recognizing the presence of his overwhelming feelings (seemed like a high sense of betrayal, and distrust).

But my thoughts really lie with the people who are left. How can we help people to understand the beauty of life and share our desire to protect and nurture it? How can we reach out to hurting people and make them understand our love for them as a fellow occupant of Earth? How should we treat (and follow-up on) people we recognize to have mental/emotional problems? (What kind of public resources are necessary to successfully reach these people?)

I don't ask anything of atheism, although I am asking many questions. I ask myself, and I ask others. I read what people I respect have to say about the matter at hand, but I don't respect these people because of their atheism. I respect them because they might have answers to some of my questions, or they might help me to think of my own.

Posts: 1592 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
]Who said I thought that solace in the face of tragedy was dependant on gods or gods? I didn't say that.

You did.
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh on April 21st at 10:07 PM:
Well the plain and simple truth is, theism has something to offer-whether it's True or Not-in situations like this, but atheism, in and of itself, has nothing to offer at all.

What you are now doing is a different term than 'straw man'. It is called 'backpedaling'. [Smile]

Jutsa, you are making unwarranted leaps not supported on their face by what Rakeesh is saying.

You've quoted this many times now, so I'll assume you've actually read it: "Well the plain and simple truth is, theism has something to offer-whether it's True or Not-in situations like this, but atheism, in and of itself, has nothing to offer at all."

I've bolded the part that it appears you haven't read, or at least understood.

Rakeesh said that theism provides a mechanism for providing solace through Gods and that atheism does not provide a mechanism for solace. But that does NOT mean that the only way to achieve solace was through God. Merely that atheism - whether defined as the lack of belief in the existence of God or as the belief that no god exists - does not contain within itself a mechanism analogous to solace through God.

The only way to get from what Rakeesh said to what you have repeatedly insisted that he said is to add an intermediate premise, namely that all possible mechanisms for solace can be found within the superset of atheism and theism. He said no such thing. He said that (i) theism has an attribute that can provide solace and (ii) atheism, in and of itself, does not.

I actually disagree with Rakeesh on (i) - it's easy enough to imagine a form of theism that does not contain within itself a mechanism for solace. So solace is not inherent to theism.

Additional philosophies that have atheism as a founding premise do have mechanisms for solace.

But that's a statement that is in no way precluded by that statement Rakeesh initially made (and which you have taken such pains to repost so many times).

[ April 22, 2007, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Chris Bridges
Member
Member # 1138

 - posted      Profile for Chris Bridges   Email Chris Bridges         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I kinda skimmed over most of this thread after it became obvious that the same thing was being said over and over. But I agree with Dag's post.

Atheism has no solace to offer. That's sort of the point.
Atheists, however, have plenty of comfort, sympathy, and support to offer, because atheists are also people who feel pain, love, and compassion. That's sort of also the point.

Posts: 7790 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Liz B
Member
Member # 8238

 - posted      Profile for Liz B   Email Liz B         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This reflects what Dagonee said above:

Does belief in god/gods (theism) necessarily imply belief in an organized, purposeful universe, a god who cares about individual human tragedy, and/ or an afterlife?

I'm reeeeeeally hoping no, so that we can say that neither atheism nor theism have any solace to offer the suffering, but that perhaps some theist religions and atheist philosophies do.

Posts: 833 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Euripides
Member
Member # 9315

 - posted      Profile for Euripides   Email Euripides         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You don't have to hope, Liz. [Smile] The answer is no.
Posts: 1762 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm. I hadn't thought of it Dagonee, but you're quite right: theism in and of itself isn't a guarantee of the ability to find solace in tragedy. I have yet to hear of a theistic system which didn't, that I can recall, but by no means does that guarantee there isn't one.

quote:
Atheism has no solace to offer. That's sort of the point.
Atheists, however, have plenty of comfort, sympathy, and support to offer, because atheists are also people who feel pain, love, and compassion. That's sort of also the point.

Exactly.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Jutsa, you are making unwarranted leaps not supported on their face by what Rakeesh is saying.

You've quoted this many times now, so I'll assume you've actually read it: "Well the plain and simple truth is, theism has something to offer-whether it's True or Not-in situations like this, but atheism, in and of itself, has nothing to offer at all."

I've bolded the part that it appears you haven't read, or at least understood.

I read it, I understand it, and as I said it is a regurgitation of a straw man. You see, no one else brought it up as if it had. The writer of the response to D'Souza didn't bring it up as if it had.

Do you understand what I am saying, Dagonee? No one had argued that atheism contained such. With the parts "the plain simple truth" it is implied that someone has either claimed or inferred otherwise. So, since no one in this thread or the original link had claimed or inferred otherwise, either Rakeesh misspoke or he was setting up a straw man.

quote:
Rakeesh said that theism provides a mechanism for providing solace through Gods and that atheism does not provide a mechanism for solace. But that does NOT mean that the only way to achieve solace was through God. Merely that atheism - whether defined as the lack of belief in the existence of God or as the belief that no god exists - does not contain within itself a mechanism analogous to solace through God.
But no one else said otherwise. Can you agree with that?

quote:
The only way to get from what Rakeesh said to what you have repeatedly insisted that he said is to add an intermediate premise, namely that all possible mechanisms for solace can be found within the superset of atheism and theism. He said no such thing. He said that (i) theism has an attribute that can provide solace and (ii) atheism, in and of itself, does not.
No one argued otherwise. That is why it was a straw man or a mistake in wording.

quote:
I actually disagree with Rakeesh on (i) - it's easy enough to imagine a form of theism that does not contain within itself a mechanism for solace. So solace is not inherent to theism.
I agree as well, but no one said otherwise.

quote:
Additional philosophies that have atheism as a founding premise do have mechanisms for solace.

But that's a statement that is in no way precluded by that statement Rakeesh initially made (and which you have taken such pains to repost so many times).

You pretty much just made my case. [Smile] Since no one said otherwise, Rakeesh's statement was a comment on a statement no one else made. That is a straw man, unless he was trying to say something else (like he claims) and worded it improperly.

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
I kinda skimmed over most of this thread after it became obvious that the same thing was being said over and over. But I agree with Dag's post.

Atheism has no solace to offer. That's sort of the point.
Atheists, however, have plenty of comfort, sympathy, and support to offer, because atheists are also people who feel pain, love, and compassion. That's sort of also the point.

I agree. [Smile] However, since comparing atheism and theism with regard to those things has nothing to do with the price of tea in China or the statements prior to Rakeesh's post (including the link), my point about his post being a straw man or a misstatement remains. [Smile]

See, considering his later posts, it would have been far easier to say "that isn't what I meant, let me rephrase that." No one was arguing that atheism in and of itself provides comfort, solace, or anything else. As I understand it, no one is arguing that still.

So I ask:
Can we all agree that no one has argued that atheism in and of itself provides any such mechanism?

If yes to the above, can you explain how making a statement against something no one else has claimed is not a straw man?

From the wiki link earlier:
quote:
An example of a straw man fallacy:

Person A: I don't think children should run into the busy streets.
Person B: I think that it would be foolish to lock children up all day.

By insinuating that Person A's argument is far more draconian than it is, Person B has side-stepped the issue. Here the "straw man" that person B has set up is the premise that "The only way to stop children running into the busy streets is to keep them inside all day".

Here is what I observed within this thread:

Original link and posts in the thread: Atheists can still have methods for overcoming tragedy in the face of incidents like the VT shootings.

Rakeesh's statement: Atheism in and of itself contains no such method.

Rakeesh's statement sidestepped the whole point of the original link and subsequent posts because no one, through direct or inferential statements, claimed that atheism provides such a thing. Since we generally seem to agree that atheists still have the ability to utilize methods for seeking comfort facing such a tragedy, what is the point of making a comparison like what Rakeesh made? Was it a straw man? It's possible, as it contains the properties of one. Was it a misstatement? It's possible, but I see no admission of such as of yet.

Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jutsa,

quote:
You are stating what others believe even when it isn't true. I would rather you cease attempting to turn this into a flame war.
Oh, so you do think I'm an 'essentially reasonable person'? *laugh* In the past, you've called me a liar, you've called me intolerant, you've hinted that I'm some sort of sheep following the Fox News crowd, and a variety of other things. So, pardon me if I somehow arrive at the conclusion that you don't think I'm reasonable.

For the record, I'm not interested in having you think I'm reasonable, but I am interested in pointing out something ridiculous, like when you say that you do, and then accuse me of "flaming" for saying you don't.

-----------

quote:
I read it, I understand it, and as I said it is a regurgitation of a straw man. You see, no one else brought it up as if it had. The writer of the response to D'Souza didn't bring it up as if it had.

We atheists do not believe in gods, or angels, or demons, or souls that endure, or a meeting place after all is said and done where more can be said and done and the point of it all revealed. We don’t believe in the possibility of redemption after our lives, but the necessity of compassion in our lives. We believe in people, in their joys and pains, in their good ideas and their wit and wisdom. We believe in human rights and dignity, and we know what it is for those to be trampled on by brutes and vandals. We may believe that the universe is pitilessly indifferent but we know that friends and strangers alike most certainly are not. We despise atrocity, not because a god tells us that it is wrong, but because if not massacre then nothing could be wrong.

Now, you can go on and on and on and on for as long as you can draw breath about how the quote I've bolded doesn't at least imply that atheism brings something to the tragedy table, but you'll still be wrong. The implication is very possible to draw.

quote:
See, considering his later posts, it would have been far easier to say "that isn't what I meant, let me rephrase that." No one was arguing that atheism in and of itself provides comfort, solace, or anything else. As I understand it, no one is arguing that still.
[Smile] Let's just be clear about something: I am not deceived by your frequent use of smilies as you've been using them in this thread, Jutsa. I consider them a form of sarcastic emphasis, and I am responding as such. If you say they are not, I will not believe you.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*ahem* Jutsa, the phrase is, "the price of rice in China."

[Wink]

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here is what I observed within this thread:

Original link and posts in the thread: Atheists can still have methods for overcoming tragedy in the face of incidents like the VT shootings.

Rakeesh's statement: Atheism in and of itself contains no such method.

Rakeesh's statement sidestepped the whole point of the original link and subsequent posts because no one, through direct or inferential statements, claimed that atheism provides such a thing. Since we generally seem to agree that atheists still have the ability to utilize methods for seeking comfort facing such a tragedy, what is the point of making a comparison like what Rakeesh made? Was it a straw man? It's possible, as it contains the properties of one. Was it a misstatement? It's possible, but I see no admission of such as of yet.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
If you say they are not, I will not believe you.

So, are you saying that you are intentionally not beginning from the assumption of good faith when responding to me?

If so, then I can understand why this has continued. If not, then I don't see what you are getting at. I will say again that I do not wish a flame war. [Smile]

Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
*ahem* Jutsa, the phrase is, "the price of rice in China."

[Wink]

No the usage is "the price of tea in China."

[Wink]

Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So, are you saying that you are intentionally not beginning from the assumption of good faith when responding to me?
When someone tells me, as you have in the past, that they do not assume good faith with regards to me, why exactly should I do so with regards to them, I wonder? It's fascinating the way you imply this is something I have done entirely on my own, as though you have no part in it. As to why I continue, it's because I am unwilling to let your objections stand unchallenged. Also because you have made some irritating accusations that aren't backed up by accuracy.

quote:
Rakeesh's statement sidestepped the whole point of the original link and subsequent posts because no one, through direct or inferential statements, claimed that atheism provides such a thing. Since we generally seem to agree that atheists still have the ability to utilize methods for seeking comfort facing such a tragedy, what is the point of making a comparison like what Rakeesh made? Was it a straw man? It's possible, as it contains the properties of one. Was it a misstatement? It's possible, but I see no admission of such as of yet.
This is good. Way to not reply to the statements I make, thus ensuring your objections remain specious. Also, you have yet to answer my spiciness question. You can't answer, because to do so would weaken your already flimsy arguments.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
*ahem* Jutsa, the phrase is, "the price of rice in China."

[Wink]

No the usage is "the price of tea in China."

[Wink]

Oh look I can use wikipedia too!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_price_of_rice_in_China

You will note your wiki article contains no citations or links.

The only backing that I can give MY phrase is that I have actually heard it used by Chinese people, whereas I have yet to hear the word tea in lieu of rice. Now it may be a British phrase but again growing up in a British colony I never heard the British folks use it.

You might still be right however, Ill have to look into it further.

edit:
http://tinyurl.com/228kzq
^^ As used in a periodical.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Morbo
Member
Member # 5309

 - posted      Profile for Morbo   Email Morbo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm going to jump on the Dag-wagon (like a band-wagon but with rigorous logic) and agree that Rakeesh's post was not a straw-man.

I've dealt with Jutsa's passive-aggressive arguments before, and they can be frustrating.

Posts: 6316 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
BlackBlade, I was not using the term you are trying to argue about. I was not calling it a nonsequitur. I was not calling it an absurd change of subject. I was saying that it is unrelated to the subject. There is a difference. If you are going to correct me, at least be absolutely sure you know the intended usage before becoming defensive. I have no idea where your adamant nature on this is coming from.

quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
I'm going to jump on the Dag-wagon (like a band-wagon but with rigorous logic) and agree that Rakeesh's post was not a straw-man.

I've dealt with Jutsa's passive-aggressive arguments before, and they can be frustrating.

Can you please counter what I said without insulting me? I have explained my reason for calling it what I did. I even said that I was willing to accept it if it is explained as a mistaken wording. Instead of attacking my character, attack my argument.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
When someone tells me, as you have in the past, that they do not assume good faith with regards to me, why exactly should I do so with regards to them, I wonder? It's fascinating the way you imply this is something I have done entirely on my own, as though you have no part in it. As to why I continue, it's because I am unwilling to let your objections stand unchallenged. Also because you have made some irritating accusations that aren't backed up by accuracy.

I have not only explained my statement, I have continually asked you to focus on my statement and not what you deem is my character. You continue to make this about my character instead of about my statement.
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
This is good. Way to not reply to the statements I make, thus ensuring your objections remain specious. Also, you have yet to answer my spiciness question. You can't answer, because to do so would weaken your already flimsy arguments.

What does your 'spiciness question' have to do with what you actually said. I already responded in stating quite clearly, more than once, that NO ONE HAS ARGUED THAT ATHEISM DOES WHAT YOU ARGUED AGAINST.

Original link essay and posts in the thread: Atheists can still have methods for overcoming tragedy in the face of incidents like the VT shootings.

YOUR (Rakeesh's) statement, verbatim: Well the plain and simple truth is, theism has something to offer-whether it's True or Not-in situations like this, but atheism, in and of itself, has nothing to offer at all.

NO ONE ARGUED OR STATED OTHERWISE PRIOR TO YOU MAKING THIS POST! NOT A SINGLE HUMAN BEING MADE SUCH A CLAIM!

I have no idea how I can be more clear. Instead of making personal claims about me, how about you actually address what I have been saying from the start? I would really appreciate that. [Smile]

Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Do you understand what I am saying, Dagonee? No one had argued that atheism contained such. With the parts "the plain simple truth" it is implied that someone has either claimed or inferred otherwise. So, since no one in this thread or the original link had claimed or inferred otherwise, either Rakeesh misspoke or he was setting up a straw man.
It is possible to say something that others have not disagreed with in advance. Just sayin'.

quote:
But no one else said otherwise. Can you agree with that?
I don't care if anyone said otherwise. Rakeesh didn't say anyone said otherwise.

quote:
No one argued otherwise. That is why it was a straw man or a mistake in wording.
That doesn't make it a straw man or mistake in wording unless Rakeesh claimed that someone made that argument. He didn't.

quote:
You pretty much just made my case. [Smile] Since no one said otherwise, Rakeesh's statement was a comment on a statement no one else made. That is a straw man, unless he was trying to say something else (like he claims) and worded it improperly.
No, it wasn't. It was a comment about theism and atheism, presumably inspired by the opening post and the link therein, but not necessarily in response to it.

quote:
I agree. [Smile] However, since comparing atheism and theism with regard to those things has nothing to do with the price of tea in China or the statements prior to Rakeesh's post (including the link), my point about his post being a straw man or a misstatement remains. [Smile]

See, considering his later posts, it would have been far easier to say "that isn't what I meant, let me rephrase that." No one was arguing that atheism in and of itself provides comfort, solace, or anything else. As I understand it, no one is arguing that still.

You mean, it would have been easier for Rakeesh to buy into your unfounded assumption that anything posted about a topic must be in response to a specific statement made in that topic? Depends entirely what you mean by easier. Less frustrating to Rakeesh? Almost certainly, if he could ignore the being dishonest for the sake of not having a bang0his-head-against-the-wall argument with you.

quote:
Original link and posts in the thread: Atheists can still have methods for overcoming tragedy in the face of incidents like the VT shootings.

Rakeesh's statement: Atheism in and of itself contains no such method.

Rakeesh's statement sidestepped the whole point of the original link and subsequent posts because no one, through direct or inferential statements, claimed that atheism provides such a thing. Since we generally seem to agree that atheists still have the ability to utilize methods for seeking comfort facing such a tragedy, what is the point of making a comparison like what Rakeesh made? Was it a straw man? It's possible, as it contains the properties of one. Was it a misstatement? It's possible, but I see no admission of such as of yet.

What's the point? He wanted to say it. It's something else several people have said and agreed with in this thread so far. Your false dichotomy (straw man or misstatement) relies on your assumption that the only possible motive for posting that was to refute something already said.

Here's a hint: many times people will do something for different reasons than the reasons you would have for doing something.

Your reason for posting such a statement in such a thread might be to disagree with the previous posters. That doesn't mean it's Rakeesh's.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
NO ONE ARGUED OR STATED OTHERWISE PRIOR TO YOU MAKING THIS POST! NOT A SINGLE HUMAN BEING MADE SUCH A CLAIM!
RAKEESH DID NOT ARGUE OR STATE THAT ANYONE ARGUED OR STATED OTHERWISE PRIOR TO HIS MAKING THIS POST!

Got that? It's a very simple concept. HE DIDN'T SAY THAT THEY DID.

quote:
I have no idea how I can be more clear. Instead of making personal claims about me, how about you actually address what I have been saying from the start? I would really appreciate that. [Smile]
If you want to be clear, demonstrate where Rakeesh said that anyone state that atheism, in and of itself, has anything to offer in such a situation.

Not that Rakeesh said that it didn't, but that he claimed anyone did say it did.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jutsa,

quote:
I have not only explained my statement, I have continually asked you to focus on my statement and not what you deem is my character. You continue to make this about my character instead of about my statement.

Dude. We've been through this, like, a half-dozen times now. This is the last time I'm going to discuss this particular subject with you...and as I've said elsewhere, when I make that claim with regards to you, I mean it.

quote:
NO ONE HAS ARGUED THAT ATHEISM DOES WHAT YOU ARGUED AGAINST.
At the very least, the portion of mapantslan's blog can be said to imply that atheism offers solace. So, yes, yes someone has implied that atheism is superior to theism in this regard. Stop saying that it has not been said. It clearly, undeniably has been at least implied.

As for what my spiciness question has to do with the issue:
quote:
You admit to only comparing the two. Only the two. If you meant differently, do you not think you should have included the others at least in passing with your comparison?
My spiciness question has to do with the rather stupid claim you're making, that when you compare two things, that means you think that those are the only.

I have been addressing what you've been saying from the start, which is basically: 1. no one said that atheism offers solace in response to a tragedy (the author did at the very least imply that atheism does that, so you're flat-out wrong there) and 2. that my comparison of atheism and theism must obviously mean that I think those are the only two things which might have something to offer in response to tragedy, because I didn't mention anything else. This is also completely ridiculous, as illustrated by the spciness question.

You can appreciate whatever you want, you can include as many sarcastic, passive-aggressive smilies as you like, you can pretend that you're the font of reasonability, you can whistle my posts from sun up till sundown. I'm done talking about this with you.

Have a nice day! [Smile] (See how sarcastic that smilie was? You're not fooling anyone)

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, now, Rakeesh has said a form of that.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Euripedes,

quote:
I would, yes. I think the key difference is that Mormonism is a specific religion and system of ideas, whereas atheism is essentially a statement to the effect of 'I don't see any good reasons to believe in religion or supernatural entities'.
This is a noteworthy difference, and for what it's worth, I personally agree that when I examine the behavior of an atheist, I won't have the expectation that another atheist three towns over might share similar sorts of behaviors the way I would if I examined the behavior of a Mormon. For example, Scott R and I. Or for another example, King of Men and you.

But since I think this way, since I acknowledge that there is no unifying belief system or ideology behind atheism (beyond any unification a statement of disbelief might offer), I think that probably an atheist shouldn't say, "We atheists believe in...," or, "We atheists behave like...," and so on and so forth.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Said a form of what, Dagonee?

Oh, I see what you mean. I have said that the author implies that atheism has something to offer in response to the tragedy. To be clear, I am not saying he explictly said that, though. It's just one possible (and I believe quite reasonable) interpretation of what he wrote. Nor am I saying that this is something widely believed by atheists everywhere. How could I say such a thing? The only thing that is guaranteed to be agreed upon by atheists is that they don't believe in god or the supernatural.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know what? You guys win. It isn't worth a dogpile to argue over this. I appreciate you not devolving into personal attacks, though, Dagonee. I disagree with you and still feel that the original statement I commented on was poorly worded at the very least. It isn't worth risking a flame war over, though. [Smile]
Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rollainm
Member
Member # 8318

 - posted      Profile for rollainm   Email rollainm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
Rakeesh's statement sidestepped the whole point of the original link and subsequent posts because no one, through direct or inferential statements, claimed that atheism provides such a thing. Since we generally seem to agree that atheists still have the ability to utilize methods for seeking comfort facing such a tragedy, what is the point of making a comparison like what Rakeesh made? Was it a straw man? It's possible, as it contains the properties of one. Was it a misstatement? It's possible, but I see no admission of such as of yet.

I think that if you had worded your point in this way earlier on, such a heated discussion may have been avoided. As far as I can tell, the above quote is a pretty accurate summary of your argument, and for the record, I agree. This late in the debate, however, it seems to have been overlooked in lieu of points that others have felt are more important to address.

Also, I feel compelled to point out that your tone is not helping you present your argument, which is a bit disappointing for those of us who actually agree with you. Now I realize you have clearly stated many times what you truly mean by your use of certain words or emoticons, and you expect people to accept that and move on. I personally have no problem with that, but I also see where others are coming from. The problem is that so many people have pointed this out to you that it's no longer a matter of whether you're right or wrong; it's the lack of effective communication. It is clear that you have failed to present yourself in the manner you intended to many people who are obviously not stupid. Why not take a moment to understand just why that is, perhaps make an adjustment or two in how you word things?

Posts: 1945 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
BlackBlade, why is it relevant what version of the phrase is used in China? In the US and several other countries, the phrase used is "the price of tea in China." We also avoid selling coal in Newcastle, and sand in the Sahara.

There are often multiple versions of a common expression. *shrug* So?

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jutsa Notha Name
Member
Member # 4485

 - posted      Profile for Jutsa Notha Name   Email Jutsa Notha Name         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
rollainm: that is why I am bowing out. [Smile]
Posts: 1170 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Hmm. I hadn't thought of it Dagonee, but you're quite right: theism in and of itself isn't a guarantee of the ability to find solace in tragedy. I have yet to hear of a theistic system which didn't, that I can recall, but by no means does that guarantee there isn't one.

The Aztec pantheon; also the Norse, Greek, and Roman ones.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now wait a minute, in the Greek and Roman old religions, if you lived a good life, you (sometimes) at least had a decent place waiting for you in the afterlife. There's solace right there.

If you're Norse, if you die bravely in battle at least you've got a crack at something fun later on.

Aztec, I don't know enough about it to say one way or another, but I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't anything.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Euripides
Member
Member # 9315

 - posted      Profile for Euripides   Email Euripides         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rakeesh,
quote:
quote:
I would, yes. I think the key difference is that Mormonism is a specific religion and system of ideas, whereas atheism is essentially a statement to the effect of 'I don't see any good reasons to believe in religion or supernatural entities'.
This is a noteworthy difference, and for what it's worth, I personally agree that when I examine the behavior of an atheist, I won't have the expectation that another atheist three towns over might share similar sorts of behaviors the way I would if I examined the behavior of a Mormon. For example, Scott R and I. Or for another example, King of Men and you.

But since I think this way, since I acknowledge that there is no unifying belief system or ideology behind atheism (beyond any unification a statement of disbelief might offer), I think that probably an atheist shouldn't say, "We atheists believe in...," or, "We atheists behave like...," and so on and so forth.

While there are many flavours of moral philosophy, I haven't met many atheists in countries like America, Australia, or Japan who couldn't be described using the umbrella term 'secular humanist'. Even when the philosophies they draw from can be disparate, the morals they hold are often very similar; minimise suffering, increase happiness--with no deity as a middle man.

And the things that the author said that atheists believe in, are the sorts of things that most human beings have faith in; it's just that atheists put all their faith in those, rather than investing it in religion. Things like 'other people and their wisdom', 'their joys and pains', the compassion of friends, reprehension towards atrocity; the most discriminating of the items on the list is probably "human rights and dignity", but I'd say that most atheists hold those to be important too. So in that light, I think it was fair enough to start with 'We atheists believe...'

Posts: 1762 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Euripides
Member
Member # 9315

 - posted      Profile for Euripides   Email Euripides         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:

Now wait a minute, in the Greek and Roman old religions, if you lived a good life, you (sometimes) at least had a decent place waiting for you in the afterlife. There's solace right there.

If you're Norse, if you die bravely in battle at least you've got a crack at something fun later on.

Aztec, I don't know enough about it to say one way or another, but I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't anything.

But not everyone's god is all forgiving, and the equivalent of heaven could be either a very nebulous concept, or a very exclusive kind of place.
Posts: 1762 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Euripedes,

quote:
While there are many flavours of moral philosophy, I haven't met many atheists in countries like America, Australia, or Japan who couldn't be described using the umbrella term 'secular humanist'. Even when the philosophies they draw from can be disparate, the morals they hold are often very similar; minimise suffering, increase happiness--with no deity as a middle man.
Then couldn't the author have properly credited his virtues by saying, "We secular humanists..."? Wouldn't you agree that it was (probably--I don't actually know the guy) the professor's secular humanism, and not his atheism, from which those virtues flowed?

quote:
But not everyone's god is all forgiving, and the equivalent of heaven could be either a very nebulous concept, or a very exclusive kind of place.
Agreed. But even a nebuluous and exclusive heaven would offer solace to some.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Then couldn't the author have properly credited his virtues by saying, "We secular humanists..."? Wouldn't you agree that it was (probably--I don't actually know the guy) the professor's secular humanism, and not his atheism, from which those virtues flowed?

Ah, but nobody expects ... the Hatrack Inquisition! *grin

Yeah, he could have been more specific, for sure. I'm pretty sure the intent is the same: i.e., to contrast the possible responses of his worldview with those ascribed to it by D'Souza. (D'Souza is the one he quotes in the quote-blocks, if that wasn't clear. I can't tell whether everyone was on the same page about that above.)

So I think he is using the term "atheism" to loosely include the secular humanism also a part of his worldview. That is, he is arguing (I think) that atheism can have a response to this which is more than just "Tough luck, bub. The world sucks sometimes," and -- to be more specific for him -- that is because atheism does not rule out such perspectives as secular humanism, that atheists can also find meaning. And still be atheists.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

BlackBlade, I was not using the term you are trying to argue about. I was not calling it a nonsequitur. I was not calling it an absurd change of subject. I was saying that it is unrelated to the subject. There is a difference. If you are going to correct me, at least be absolutely sure you know the intended usage before becoming defensive. I have no idea where your adamant nature on this is coming from.

I assure you I do not feel defensive about this topic. I understand you were using the phrase to denote an unrelated change in subject, I was questioning the wording not the manner in which it was used.

TBH I thought the phrase was limited to rice and that tea was some sort of bastardization, the price of rice being far more important to the Chinese then the price of tea. I believed the phrase was Chinese as I first heard the phrase in China. Turns out the phrase may not be Chinese though it involves China, remember I said "You might still be right however, Ill have to look into it further." That was my attempt to let you know I was just being friendly about the whole matter, and that I was not certain I was in the right and you were in the wrong.

Don't look at my remarks beyond the point of a friendly correction, that I now believe may be unwarranted.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CT,

Heh, no kidding. Now, if only we had comfy chairs...

I agree that his intent was probably what is being guessed at here: that is, if you sat the guy down and asked him specifically, "Do you believe it is your atheism which teaches you to believe thus and so?" he would most likely say "no, it's my secular humanism," or some variation of that. Just a guess on my part.

However, if religion does not get credit for the good behavior of individuals--and I don't think it should--why then should atheism? I believed then, and I believe now, that it was an important distinction to make. Mapantsula isn't a good or a bad person because he's an atheist.

quote:
So I think he is using the term "atheism" to loosely include the secular humanism also a part of his worldview. That is, he is arguing (I think) that atheism can have a response to this which is more than just "Tough luck, bub. The world sucks sometimes," and -- to be more specific for him -- that is because atheism does not rule out such perspectives as secular humanism, that atheists can also find meaning. And still be atheists.
I agree that one can still be an atheist and have many things more helpful and less cruel than, "@#$% happens pal, get used to it," and then walk away. But those many other helpful and meangingful things? They don't come from the atheism, nor do they come in spite of it.
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nato
Member
Member # 1448

 - posted      Profile for Nato   Email Nato         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
However, if religion does not get credit for the good behavior of individuals--and I don't think it should--why then should atheism? I believed then, and I believe now, that it was an important distinction to make. Mapantsula isn't a good or a bad person because he's an atheist.

Right on that last point. He's responding to criticism that atheists are unable to appropriately respond to tragedy. He's saying they can and do have a fitting response. The people get the credit, their belief doesn't.

edit: a presumption of deitylessness in the world allows atheists to come to take positions on tragedies, but it is not responsible for their positions. It is like when somebody knows the weather is cold, they might respond by putting on earmuffs. The cold weather didn't put the earmuffs on them.

Posts: 1592 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Touching what theism has to offer in such a situation, I would note that many people have, in the past, found solace and comfort in alcohol.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's statements like that in part which prompted me to make the comparison I did [Smile]
Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Euripides
Member
Member # 9315

 - posted      Profile for Euripides   Email Euripides         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rakeesh,
quote:
quote:
While there are many flavours of moral philosophy, I haven't met many atheists in countries like America, Australia, or Japan who couldn't be described using the umbrella term 'secular humanist'. Even when the philosophies they draw from can be disparate, the morals they hold are often very similar; minimise suffering, increase happiness--with no deity as a middle man.
Then couldn't the author have properly credited his virtues by saying, "We secular humanists..."? Wouldn't you agree that it was (probably--I don't actually know the guy) the professor's secular humanism, and not his atheism, from which those virtues flowed?
Sure. I think that's really splitting hairs though. In the context of the discussion I think 'atheists' provided an appropriate contrast. It's also a more concise word than 'secular humanists', and what makes it doubly appropriate is that D'Souza was specifically attacking atheists on the basis that their disbelief led them to emotional poverty of some kind.

Were the comfy chairs a Monty Python reference?

Posts: 1762 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rakeesh
Member
Member # 2001

 - posted      Profile for Rakeesh   Email Rakeesh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Euripedes,

quote:
Sure. I think that's really splitting hairs though. In the context of the discussion I think 'atheists' provided an appropriate contrast. It's also a more concise word than 'secular humanists', and what makes it doubly appropriate is that D'Souza was specifically attacking atheists on the basis that their disbelief led them to emotional poverty of some kind.
'Secular humanists' is two words. [Wink] I disagree that it's splitting hairs, I feel it's an important distinction to make when a comparison between atheism and theism comes up, as it did here, for the reasons noted above. But even if it were splitting hairs...well, those hairs have been split and resplit so many times in these discussions, I think they need some conditioner or something, don't you?

But all that aside, I don't know much about D'Souza--I saw him once on the Colbert Report--but he doesn't sound like a very well-meaning or especially smart fellow to me. And yup, MP reference.

Posts: 17164 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It isn't splitting hairs. Atheism is a denial of something - not something positive in and of itself.

If there is something positive happening, then it is important to identify the source. The source is not the negation of something else.

Posts: 26076 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So what IS the source, within secular humanism, of that something positive?
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Does it matter? If humanism is positive, does it matter why?
Posts: 26076 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shigosei
Member
Member # 3831

 - posted      Profile for Shigosei   Email Shigosei         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really enjoyed the professor's writing. I found it to be a thoughtful and moving response to a rather nasty rant. Why did D'Souza write something so negative? A similar point could be made without all the hurtfulness by explaining how faith is helping people deal with tragedy in their lives. Was he just trying to score points with his audience? Was he hoping to convince anyone?

I do think it is appropriate to discuss what thoughts and philosophies atheists find comforting in the face of something tragic, even if those things aren't inherently a part of atheism. The post went after both atheists and atheism, after all. At least he isn't actually blaming them for causing it.

Here's a list of things that are being blamed: http://www.cynical-c.com/?p=7191

Posts: 3546 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katharina
Member
Member # 827

 - posted      Profile for katharina   Email katharina         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that thread is very telling, Shig. I don't think human beings deal well with a member of society going off the rails. If we can find something to blame, then we can maybe prevent it from happening again.
Posts: 26076 | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shigosei
Member
Member # 3831

 - posted      Profile for Shigosei   Email Shigosei         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah. And it does make sense to me to try to understand why things like this happen, so that we can prevent them in the future. I don't think it's helpful to do it to try to place blame for this incident, however.
Posts: 3546 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Morbo
Member
Member # 5309

 - posted      Profile for Morbo   Email Morbo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had seen a couple of lists of the nutty things people blamed for this, but your link was just so comprehensive, Shigosei. I was thinking about this earlier, that people have such a desperate need to search out meaning from tragedy. Blaming 50 different irrelevant causes is pointless but inevitable. [Frown] edit: it's mostly pointless, except as Shig says to try to prevent future tragedies.

Then, of course, there are those who, in the words of the governor, mount up their hobby-horses and flog the issue according to their own agendas. They are the ones who make me really mad. [Wall Bash]

Posts: 6316 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2