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Author Topic: Religion. Again.
King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Nonsense. This very thread refutes you.

And here's another one.

The occasional long screed, which is then not further discussed except in flippant one-liners, does not a habit of engagement make.

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katharina
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This very thread does refute you. I could use more words to point out the same thing, but those were sufficient.
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Scott R
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quote:
Neither Hobbes nor Scott are in the habit of engaging in actual discussion, as opposed to would-be funny one-liners.
I do have a habit of dealing with incivility in that way, especially if the problem has carried through a couple pages, or is especially ripe.

To my knowledge, though, I don't think I've directed my one-liners at individuals as insults.

Sorry you don't think I'm funny, KoM. I'll try harder to be funny for you.

[Taunt]

quote:
Perhaps you should stop baiting me.
I wasn't.

quote:
I know many Mormons (including Cards) who, if they are honest about their faith, believe in the literal resurrection and flood.
Literal resurrection? Sure, I think that's a tenant of Mormonism.

But the Flood? I dunno. I think lots of OSC's writing about it (at least) show that he seems to think it's a metaphor. (See Atlantis)

Ditto the Adam and Eve story. I think it's in Xenocide where he talks about the metaphorical nature of Cain and Abel; and in Red Prophet (I think), the vision Alvin is given shows Adam and Eve as caring, primitive human ancestors.

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Hobbes
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I used to participate in threads like these very consistently, and I like to think constructively. Personal opinions, what I thought were decent arguments, etc... A lot of what has changed is the time I have to spend and am willing to spend involved in these discussions, but another major factor is the decline in what I think I can draw from them. I'm not interested in discussing something very important to me and very personal with someone who seems disengaged with the actual subject and more interested scoring points or verbally hounding their opponents. I think you'll notice that my contributions to threads where that isn't an issue (i.e. threads that are totally unrelated to religion and politics) are more substantive. Or if you're not convinced, I'm sure others will agree that in the past my posts in any thread were much more verbose and to the point.

I still read these threads, but don't want to post because I know what the results will be, and that they rarely include thoughtful discussion of points, or respect of people involved. This of course reduces most of the posts I do make to smarmy remarks whenever I get overly frustrated with otherís inability to be civil.

I believe we just had this discussion and several participants admitted that they had no interest in being civil when they thought their opponents were clearly so stupid, so I donít really expect to be able to solve the problem but I refuse to concede that it is constructive behavior.

Hobbes [Smile]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
To my knowledge, though, I don't think I've directed my one-liners at individuals as insults.
Then your memory is worse than mine.

Ninety percent of the problems here at hatrack are the result of people who sincerely believe they aren't part of the problem while doing very nearly what they berate others for doing. I'm likely one of them.

Like Hobbes, I tend to steer clear of half the threads on hatrack these days. I do sometimes have fun arguing just for the sake of arguing and just to score points, but not when its something I care about very deeply.

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The Rabbit
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KOM, I believe Papa Moose banned you from participating in religions threads. I'd appreciate it is you respected that ban.
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Raymond Arnold
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The thing is, I understand Orincoro's frustration. In what often starts as a perfectly legitimate discussion, debate or conversation, some theists (Ron and Tres being the best examples) involved simply continue to make statements that might appear reasonable at a glance but fall apart under scrutiny, and no matter what evidence or logic is presented to them they don't appear to change their mind. This continues over years. And the atheist has to continue to treat the theist like what they're saying is worth responding to intelligently, because saying "What you're saying makes no sense whatsoever" (let alone less civilized versions of that) results in theists going "see!? Look at the jerk atheist that doesn't respect other people's beliefs!"

Tresopax just outlined, in detail, why believing in aliens is silly. It was a perfectly good argument. And then said "But that doesn't apply to Jesus because I already believe in Jesus and I don't see why I should change my mind."

At this point Orincoro is just being juvenile, and he usually does tend more towards glib sarcasm to an extent that is not necessary. (For whatever it's worth, I do find him funny most of the time). But how exactly are we supposed to respond to that?

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
KOM, I believe Papa Moose banned you from participating in religion threads. I'd appreciate it is you respected that ban.

Either your memory or mine is faulty.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Either your memory or mine is faulty.
Yours is. He made one statement which was frankly pretty clear, but which you chose to interpret incorrectly, then made a follow up statement which you basically just ignored.
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King of Men
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I believe you are mistaken; would you mind linking to these statements?
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MattP
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Not saying who's point this proves, but this is the thread that I think people are referring to:

Papa Janitor:
quote:
KoM, I don't know where the line will end up being on a lot of issues, but while holding your position doesn't break the rules of this forum, I think it's quite clear that the way you express them does. If you think that's wrong and the people who run this place have their heads in the ground, that's also a position you are welcome to hold. If you cannot speak on the subject of theism without personal insult and attack, without (to reference the TOS) "disparag[ing] others for their religious beliefs," then please consider yourself subject-banned. I don't like it -- I'd rather you could simply follow the rules while continuing to disagree with them. But that part of it is your choice.
KOM:
quote:
If you don't mind: Am I subject-banned, or not? This conditional seems to imply a final warning before the ban comes down, but I'd hate to interpret a mod order wrongly and overstep a line I didn't know was there.
Papa Janitor:
quote:
You may consider the conditional a final warning.
http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=056516;p=4&r=nfx#000167
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King of Men
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Well then, that seems quite unambiguous: Final warning. No ban.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

At this point Orincoro is just being juvenile, and he usually does tend more towards glib sarcasm to an extent that is not necessary. (For whatever it's worth, I do find him funny most of the time). But how exactly are we supposed to respond to that?

With resounding applause? Perhaps a medal? A small one, you understand- that would be appreciated.
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Raymond Arnold
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This was unclear, but "by respond to that" I was referring to statements such as the ones Tresopax makes.
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Scott R
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quote:
Then your memory is worse than mine.

I'd put my various comments to you in a different category than the one-liners that seem to have KoM and Orincoro in a tizzy, but I understand why others might not.

:shrug:

EDIT: Let me also note that I'm not particularly proud of those moments; I want to find a better way of responding than that.

[ March 04, 2010, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: Scott R ]

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Papa Janitor
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King of Men is correct in his interpretation of what I said -- that he was given a final warning rather than a ban. I'm sorry if I was unclear. As far as I know, he has remained civil in any such threads since (though I'm open to being corrected), including this thread.
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Hank
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
This was unclear, but "by respond to that" I was referring to statements such as the ones Tresopax makes.

For the record, as a fellow religious-type, I've got to say that I see the point you're making about Tres' alien/Jesus post. Here's the thing, though. you explained it, and I--an innocent bystander who is interested in the subject--got exactly what you meant. I even thought about responding to the OP with an explanantion of why I believe what I believe. The tread was right on track. Things were being said.

Then Tres responded by accusing you of being wrong and unclear. And those on the other side of the argument, instead of thinking, "Well, I could try to clarify, but I've already seen that this is an area where Tres has issues noting breakdowns in his own logic" went with the alternative; "He says I'm unclear? I'll show YOU who's unclear!"

Either you think Tres' arguments are perfectly reasonable, and worth debating, or you don't. If you don't, I think the best response would be to clarify or correct what you think the problem is for others who may not have examined it as closely, and then respond only to subsequent posts that appear to you to be making reasonable points in a polite way.

I don't think pointing out a breakdown in logic constitutes "All the atheists are picking on us Christians!" I DO think that continuing to engage someone who, according to several people's memories has a history of NOT CHANGING THEIR MIND looks a lot like Christian-bating.

If you want rational discussion with people who disagree with you, don't find the most vocal example of a potentially irrational person on the other side of the issue and try to beat some sense into them.

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just_me
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quote:
Originally posted by Papa Janitor:
King of Men is correct in his interpretation of what I said -- that he was given a final warning rather than a ban. I'm sorry if I was unclear. As far as I know, he has remained civil in any such threads since (though I'm open to being corrected), including this thread.

I was actually thinking of starting a thread the other day to mention this. I haven't necessarily seen/read everything he's posted but I have noticed that King of Men has indeed been a little... I would say "nicer" but I guess "civil" works too. He still makes good points, but they aren't as barbed as they used to be.

I commend him on adjusting his style to accommodate PJs request to do so. I just wish some others here would also learn to tone it down a bit.

So, for what it's work KoM.. Thanks!!

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by just_me:
but they aren't as barbed as they used to be.

I commend him on adjusting his style to accommodate PJs request to do so.

Agreed. And I appreciate it as well.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
If you want rational discussion with people who disagree with you, don't find the most vocal example of a potentially irrational person on the other side of the issue and try to beat some sense into them.
In the abstract, I agree with you. But forum threads, in practice, don't work that way. There's a wide range of people all talking at once, with varying degrees of sincere efforts to engage in conversation/debate. You can try your best to ignore one particular person, but other people might not be ignoring that person and you can't always focus on everyone else without addressing what the more frustrating people have to say.
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BlackBlade
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I too have noticed KOM reign in alot of his more serrated commentary on this board.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Tresopax just outlined, in detail, why believing in aliens is silly. It was a perfectly good argument. And then said "But that doesn't apply to Jesus because I already believe in Jesus and I don't see why I should change my mind."
To clarify, "I already believe in Jesus" is not the difference between the two examples.

Going back to the image of a scale weighing different options, I believe the scale that is doing the weighing is human judgement - NOT pure logical proof. I don't believe it is possible to come up with a logical calculation to prove whether "aliens exist" is more reasonable than "aliens don't exist". Instead, I think it is necessary for a human being to make a judgement call on the question, based on the evidence. The reason for this is because there are so many different pieces of evidnece/observations/other beliefs that needed to be factored into the final conclusion, and most of it is very ambiguous. How trustworthy is that person claiming to have been abducted? How unlikely really is it that aliens can remain secret? These sorts of questions cannot be answered precisely. Thus you can't use a precise calculation to weigh all of that evidence and determine the answer. Instead, you have to use a human being's judgement - your own judgement.

Since the Olympics are fresh on my mind, I'll use an Olympic analogy. In some sports, like hockey, the results are determined precisely by a finish line or number of goals or something very cut-and-dry. In other sports, like figure skating, determining who is the best requires weighing many many different ambiguous factors. Because of that complexity, human judges are required to weigh those factors to determine the winner. When it comes to making most beliefs, especially religion, the situation is like figure skating. There are only a few sorts of beliefs that are like hockey scores, usually in well-defined areas like math, where belief-making can be done with precise cut-and-dry logic.

This is the difference between aliens and Jesus. It comes down to a judgement call. In one case, I judge the evidence points to Christianity. In the other case, I judge that the evidence points against alien abductions.

I recognize this poses a problem for a debate like this: If it all comes down to a judgement call and if it is impossible to use a precise proof to show what the one most rational belief is, then that make it pretty hard to force someone to change their mind on any given issue. Anybody could just say "well I judge the world to be flat, so I'm going to believe it." They are really the only ones that can hold themselves accountable; no amount of logic from us on the forum would be able to force them to change, if they insist they see it a certain way. And that in turn, I think, goes to the heart at why some people may be frustrated with my position - they judge the evidence in another way, and simply do not understand how I can see it otherwise, so they think I should be convinced by the argument they've laid out to me.

I think that problem reflects reality though... We really can't force people to change beliefs. People on these forums constantly try, and no matter how good the argument is, it typically does not succeed. It's not always because one person is intentionally being stubborn just to win a debate. I think it is more often because we are each using different scales to weigh the arguments and evidence.

If that's true then a knock-down proof is not the way to go if you want to change someone's mind. Instead, you'd either have to (1) add brand new evidence to the scale, or (2) change the scale. And option 2 is probably a long slow process.

And now I think I've drifted off topic...

[ March 05, 2010, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Javert
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quote:
This is the difference between aliens and Jesus. It comes down to a judgement call.
Doesn't the fact that it comes down to a judgment call suggest that there isn't a difference?
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Scott R
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I judge that one skater who does a bunch of acrobatic stunts and never falls down is better than another skater who just skates in circles, and spends a bunch of time flat on her back.

There's definitely a difference.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
I don't believe it is possible to come up with a logical calculation to prove whether "aliens exist" is more reasonable than "aliens don't exist".

I never seem to be able to grasp why you come at things this way. The point was: you reserve a reasonable level of doubt in regards to reports of an unlikely event. Yet in another equally or even less likely event (certainly not more likely- people do not rise up from the dead), you forgo that skepticism and declare that you are not worthy of denying nor affirming the witnesses- this despite the fact that there are no primary witnesses at all, none who's accounts we now have access to, and that the accounts that do exist can be discredited easily as derivative works.

Now, if you regard it as a more likely scenario that the events that take place in the new testament have at least *some* (read: tangential or remote), basis in actual real life events than that aliens landed on some redneck's farm last Wednesday and made boop-boop noises and ate his cat for good measure, then I say huzzah. There is nothing wrong with assuming as little as possible about things of which your knowledge is perforce limited. On the same token, to take a completely open minded approach to the literal events of the Bible is not reasonable. We have a lot of concrete evidence that proves that the Bible is not a firsthand account, nor even originated at the time in which the text is set. We know beyond a reasonable doubt that several of the books claiming to be accounts of Jesus' life were adapted from accounts of other people's lives. That places the literal events of the bible into a remote category of likelihood, even if you ignore the physical impossibility or unlikelihood of many claims that the writings make. This is true even if you ignore the endless editing and tweaking and translation undertaken since those writings were first created, by unknown authors, in editions that are now lost. Even if the events of the bible were totally credible historical accounts with believable scenarios, the likelihood that they would be accurately preserved is remote. A reasonable person, presented with the evidence available to him, concludes that the factual veracity of the bible is easily dismissed.

I'll tell you how you come up with a rational calculation to tell you whether aliens exist. If you see an alien- aliens exist. Up until such time, your assumptions are based on limited information. We have MUCH more information about the nature of the bible than we do about aliens. And that information tells us, quite pointedly, that the bible is fictional.

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kmbboots
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There is a difference between "fictional" and "not historical in the way we think of historical today".
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Orincoro
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Point taken.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
This is the difference between aliens and Jesus. It comes down to a judgement call. In one case, I judge the evidence points to Christianity. In the other case, I judge that the evidence points against alien abductions.

But you haven't demonstrated a difference at all. Your "human judgement" amounts to "I believe what I want, and disbelieve what I don't. If the evidence agrees with me, great. If it doesn't, I ignore it".

Tell us, what is the practical difference between your "human judgment" and what I described above? How does a person know that they are using their judgment, and not just going with what they wish to be true? (And if your answer is ' they use their 'human judgment', that's a total fail of an answer, and you know that)

The thing is, what you want to be true has no bearing on what is true. And acting on false premises is likely to have bad consequences. Didn't we already establish that you would be enraged if your child died because a doctor went with their "human judgement" and not with the treatment that reason and evidence shows would have saved your child? So how is it fair for you to demand that you be allowed to believe what you like, and do what you like, based on your judgment, while demanding that others be held to a different standard?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Point taken.

Thanks. I think that this is an enormous mistake that is made by the biblical literalists as well. They try to read the gospels as if they were contemporary newspapers or history books instead of a collection of records of an oral history that wasn't so much about "fact" as it was about "truth" and incorporates a story telling tradition that is rich in metaphor and symbolism.
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Tresopax
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quote:
The point was: you reserve a reasonable level of doubt in regards to reports of an unlikely event. Yet in another equally or even less likely event (certainly not more likely- people do not rise up from the dead), you forgo that skepticism and declare that you are not worthy of denying nor affirming the witnesses- this despite the fact that there are no primary witnesses at all, none who's accounts we now have access to, and that the accounts that do exist can be discredited easily as derivative works.
I'm not really approaching it from a position of skepticism or doubt at all though. By that I mean I don't hold "disbelief" as a default that holds true unless a certain threshold of evidence is met. I don't think there's any default at all - I just think whichever position I judge to be stronger/more consistent with everything else I believe is the one to go for.

A key difference for the story of Jesus is the fact that I also believe in both religion in general and in God. If you accept God exists, then suddenly the story of a resurrection seems a lot more plausible than it would if you approach it from the belief that there is no God or afterlife. And although I know of nobody who can give me a first hand account of the resurrection directly, I know many people who have given accounts of God and/or spiritual experiences they've had, which in turn make the whole Christian story seem believable to me, which in turn makes me more likely to trust that the New Testament is not a lie.

In contrast, I know of nobody personally who claims to have ever had any sort of contact with an alien. I know such people do exist, but I don't really have much reason to trust them or any way to see why they believe what they do. So I have very little reason to trust them over other beliefs I have about the world which are inconsistent with secret alien abductions and which have seemed generally pretty well founded so far.

quote:
But you haven't demonstrated a difference at all. Your "human judgement" amounts to "I believe what I want, and disbelieve what I don't. If the evidence agrees with me, great. If it doesn't, I ignore it".

Tell us, what is the practical difference between your "human judgment" and what I described above?

The difference is, I don't get to choose what my judgement says is true. I can't just pick whatever I want. I can lie to myself and try to trick myself, but ultimately my judgement says what it says. I'm not really using my judgement if I just pick whatever I want to true.

Going back to ice skating, the Russian judge may want the Russian skater to win. He could even lie and give the Russian skater a score that is higher than he knows she deserves. But still he'd know what his judgement truly says, and if his judgement truly tells him the Korean skater did the best, he can't honestly change that simply by wanting it to be different.

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Orincoro
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Tres, you do get to choose. You are calling your belief your "judgment," but that isn't what it is. We know that isn't what it is because you consistently show that your "judgment" is wildly inconsistent.
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kmbboots
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I get to choose. When there is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence to the contrary - and there can be none either way for the existence of God as I define God - I get to choose. Yay! I choose good stuff.

Not so yay for the people who choose less good stuff. I don't understand those people. Nor do I understand the people who don't know that they choose. Of course we do.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
But you haven't demonstrated a difference at all. Your "human judgement" amounts to "I believe what I want, and disbelieve what I don't. If the evidence agrees with me, great. If it doesn't, I ignore it".

Tell us, what is the practical difference between your "human judgment" and what I described above?

The difference is, I don't get to choose what my judgement says is true. I can't just pick whatever I want. I can lie to myself and try to trick myself, but ultimately my judgement says what it says. I'm not really using my judgement if I just pick whatever I want to true.

Going back to ice skating, the Russian judge may want the Russian skater to win. He could even lie and give the Russian skater a score that is higher than he knows she deserves. But still he'd know what his judgement truly says, and if his judgement truly tells him the Korean skater did the best, he can't honestly change that simply by wanting it to be different.

You can't possile be so abysmally ignorant. Human beings are highly fallible, and will let their personal emotions sway their judgment all the time. I don't believe for a single second that you have never in your life seen someone swayed by bias or heard of a single study which shows pervasive bias, even among people who aren't trying to be biased.

As a single example, for years, there were virtually no women in classical music. Heads of orchestras thought they were honestly picking the best players, and women rarely made the cut. Everyone trusted their judgement, and conlcuded that overall, few women were top flight musicians.

Then musicians started auditionaing behind screens, or on numbered tapes, so that orchestra heads didn't know who was male, and who was female. All of a sudden, women started to dominate orchestras. It's not because a whole slew of top flight women mucisians magically appeared, it's because the people hiring were biased the whole time.

Then there's the finding that applicants with obviously 'black' names get fewer interviews thatn people with identical resumes and normal names...etc. People on this board will be able to cite hundreds and thousands of studies showing that people's biases severely affect their judgment, even when they are trying to be fair.

You are living in a fantasy world if you think that people as a whole don't work like this. You are deluded if you think that you are immnue to biases as well. They don't work perfectly, but logic and evidence applied rigorously are the only antidote.

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Raymond Arnold
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Frankly, I'm with Tres on that particular point - that you DON'T choose. Part of this has to do with not believing in Free Will in the first place, but even that aside, I simply don't understand how you could possibly choose something other than the thing you feel you have more evidence for, or the thing that previous experience makes you more likely to prefer. This doesn't make you RIGHT, and it doesn't mean that you shouldn't periodically re-examine your beliefs and confront them with new evidence to see if your old beliefs were biased.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot choose to believe in the invisible pink unicorn, no matter how little evidence there is against it.

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Samprimary
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quote:
As a single example, for years, there were virtually no women in classical music. Heads of orchestras thought they were honestly picking the best players, and women rarely made the cut. Everyone trusted their judgement, and conlcuded that overall, few women were top flight musicians.

Then musicians started auditionaing behind screens, or on numbered tapes, so that orchestra heads didn't know who was male, and who was female. All of a sudden, women started to dominate orchestras. It's not because a whole slew of top flight women mucisians magically appeared, it's because the people hiring were biased the whole time.

Then there's the finding that applicants with obviously 'black' names get fewer interviews thatn people with identical resumes and normal names...etc. People on this board will be able to cite hundreds and thousands of studies showing that people's biases severely affect their judgment, even when they are trying to be fair.

Oh, this was in Outliers, wasn't it.

but either way, what swbarnes is saying is true to a level that we rarely like to admit. Eminently logical and rational people I know who work with the highest echelons of skeptical and methodological thought are always noting it in themselves. I am always amazed to find what doofy things still color my perspectives and conclusions beyond my conscious judgment. especially when it comes to race relations.

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King of Men
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quote:
I get to choose. When there is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence to the contrary - and there can be none either way for the existence of God as I define God - I get to choose.
No, you don't. That is, because our society is regrettably rather soft-hearted towards certain kinds of wrong-headed, foolish thinking, nobody (except me) is going to look at you pityingly for this sort of statement and mutter darkly about locked attics and mental institutions; but that is the correct reaction. There is a definite fact of the matter as to whether a god exists; you do not get to choose which it is. You get to investigate the evidence and see whether it convinces you. And when you decide that no possible evidence could convince against your current belief - especially when you admit that you also don't have any evidence in favour! - then you have abandoned adulthood and become as the child who stamps her foot and insists that of course Santa exists, because how else would she get presents?

Some people, admittedly, think that such "childlike faith" is a good thing. I am prepared to say it has a certain amount of cuteness, in a six-year-old who can be expected to grow out of it, and anyway is not going to be making major decisions on such a basis. But in an ostensibly adult woman with, absent gods help us, the power to vote, I find it horrifying and disgusting. What's next, schoolgirl skirts and an affected lisp?

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I get to choose. When there is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence to the contrary - and there can be none either way for the existence of God as I define God - I get to choose. Yay! I choose good stuff.

There is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence contradicting my belief that if I bet my life savings and yours on the roulette wheel, that we won't make a mint and get to retire early. That's certainly good stuff! So yay, I choose 21!

Kara Neumann's family knew there was no certain, irreffutable evidence that standard treatment would keep their diabetic daughter alive. So they choose the "good stuff" of letting God cure here with no medical treatment, only prayer. Yay for that outcome? Really?

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Raymond Arnold
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kmbboots didn't clarify what... (his/her?) belief in God actually WAS, but I would say that if you are, for all practical purposes, defining God as an invisible friend who offers you encouragement and comfort, then you're fine. Possibly wrong, but not consequentially so.

If you're defining God as an entity that would ever influence you to actually change your actions on anything remotely important, then as swbarnes as notes, you are running a very grave risk.

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Tresopax
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quote:
You can't possile be so abysmally ignorant. Human beings are highly fallible, and will let their personal emotions sway their judgment all the time. I don't believe for a single second that you have never in your life seen someone swayed by bias or heard of a single study which shows pervasive bias, even among people who aren't trying to be biased.
I agree that people are biased. We are imperfect scales.

But we don't simply choose our bias. It's also a part of our judgement that, if it is changable, can only be changed very slowly with a lot of effort. I can't tell myself I want the world to be flat and instantly make myself biased enough to truly judge that the evidence tells me the world is flat. The world seems round to me, no matter how strongly I might want an edge to exist.

quote:
I get to choose. When there is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence to the contrary - and there can be none either way for the existence of God as I define God - I get to choose. Yay! I choose good stuff.
I don't agree with this, at least as far as I can tell. And if I could choose, would it really be good for me to choose anything other than what seems to me most likely to be true?
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MrSquicky
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quote:
If you're defining God as an entity that would ever influence you to actually change your actions on anything remotely important, then as swbarnes as notes, you are running a very grave risk.
Could you explain why?
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Samprimary
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quote:
But we don't simply choose our bias.
Not entirely true. We can convince ourselves of extremely improbable things, by simply desiring something that is proposed to be true.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
I don't agree with this, at least as far as I can tell. And if I could choose, would it really be good for me to choose anything other than what seems to me most likely to be true?
As I said, I agree with you that you don't necessarily choose anything other than what seems to be true. Those people hiring the male musicians may not have had any reason to think they were being biased or doing anything wrong.

But over time we've been able to realize exactly HOW biased we are, in quantifiable ways that we can educate people about. And the better we get at that, the less excuse we have to believe wrong things simply because they "seem true." After those HR directors are informed of their hiring biases, and that their actions are genuinely causing harm to the world, they have two options: either take steps to eliminate their biases (i.e. having blind auditions), or keep doing what they're doing. If they choose the latter, then they are lazy, stubborn, and bad for the world.

You've been repeatedly shown how your decisions might be biased. And rather than re-examine your biases and double check your beliefs, you have simply said "well that's how it seems to me, the end." Which is just as lazy and stubborn as the HR directors in question would be. And if you ever use your beliefs to make an important real world decision, potentially just as dangerous.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
Kara Neumann's family knew there was no certain, irreffutable evidence that standard treatment would keep their diabetic daughter alive. So they choose the "good stuff" of letting God cure here with no medical treatment, only prayer. Yay for that outcome? Really?

No. That would be choosing bad stuff. How would that be good stuff?
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Could you explain why?
Swbarnes already gave some good examples - faith healing and the like. If you're making a major real world decision and you're basing it solely on something that you've believe because "there's no evidence against it" then you're potentially making a wrong decision for no reason. How damaging this can be depends on what precisely is at stake. (Although a lot of little wrong decisions might add up to something bad over time).

quote:
Not entirely true. We can convince ourselves of extremely improbable things, by simply desiring something that is proposed to be true.
I would argue that desiring something is not a decision you make. If you desire to desire something (such as to stop drinking) you might be able to work at that over time to change said desire, but it a) takes time and b) still requires you to desire to desire it in the first place.
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Raymond Arnold
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@kmmboots: you're going to have to be more clear on what is good stuff and what is bad stuff for this discussion to be worthwhile.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Could you explain why?
Swbarnes already gave some good examples - faith healing and the like. If you're making a major real world decision and you're basing it solely on something that you've believe because "there's no evidence against it" then you're potentially making a wrong decision for no reason. How damaging this can be depends on what precisely is at stake. (Although a lot of little wrong decisions might add up to something bad over time).
Do you find that all people who believe in some sort of god make these kind of wrong decisions? As far as I can tell, there are very few fringe people (at least, in America) that believe in faith healing.

Do you think that boots is running the risk of coming to believe in faith healing and thus eschewing medical treatment?

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Tresopax
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quote:
Not entirely true. We can convince ourselves of extremely improbable things, by simply desiring something that is proposed to be true.
Yes, true, but that's more like tricking yourself. It requires some time/effort on your part to mess up (or "improve" if you look at it that way) your own judgement.

quote:
You've been repeatedly shown how your decisions might be biased. And rather than re-examine your biases and double check your beliefs, you have simply said "well that's how it seems to me, the end."
When did I say that? If I was not interested in examining my biases or double-checking my beliefs, I would not be writing this on this forum.
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kmbboots
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Eh...I am afraid that I am not quite up for listing everything I think is good or bad or writing down everything I believe about God. It is daunting just thinking about it. And subjective as well.

I guess questions of good or bad could be tested by asking, "how's that working for you?" Does it make you happy? A better person? A force for good (however you define it)?

And there is some evidence. Much of it open to pretty flexible interpretation.

My point is that people don't (for the most part) have to believe in a God that they don't think is good. I don't, for example, buy the "I don't have anything personal against homosexuals, but God[ hates them so I have to" kinds of arguments. People do choose otherwise so clearly people can choose otherwise.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I guess questions of good or bad could be tested by asking, "how's that working for you?"

The Dr. Phil test for religious beliefs? [Big Grin]
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
[QB]
quote:
You can't possile be so abysmally ignorant. Human beings are highly fallible, and will let their personal emotions sway their judgment all the time. I don't believe for a single second that you have never in your life seen someone swayed by bias or heard of a single study which shows pervasive bias, even among people who aren't trying to be biased.
I agree that people are biased. We are imperfect scales.

But we don't simply choose our bias. It's also a part of our judgement that, if it is changable, can only be changed very slowly with a lot of effort.

I don't see how this argument helps your claim that relying on our biased judgment over reason and evidence is a smart thing to do. Personally, I'd be more inclined to trust the judgment of some who has changed their mind, if they can point to the change of evidence that caused them to do it, over the person who formed a 'judgment' based on their whims and wishes, and never yields it, even when its shown to be baseless, or cntradicted by the facts.

quote:
I can't tell myself I want the world to be flat and instantly make myself biased enough to truly judge that the evidence tells me the world is flat. The world seems round to me, no matter how strongly I might want an edge to exist.
Paul seems to have changed his mind rather suddenly, and I don't think that the process is unheard of in other religious converts. This of course says nothing about the logical soundness or the factual accuracy of those beliefs, so I don't know why you brought it up.

quote:
quote:
I get to choose. When there is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence to the contrary - and there can be none either way for the existence of God as I define God - I get to choose. Yay! I choose good stuff.
I don't agree with this, at least as far as I can tell. And if I could choose, would it really be good for me to choose anything other than what seems to me most likely to be true?
No, it's not, which is why it is so stupid for you to denigrate the only method we falible humans have of weeding out false beliefs from true. "Judgements" are resiliant things, born out of human prejudices and biases and ignorance, more often than not, and changing judgments based on those things is very difficult. However, if one makes conclusions based on evidence and reason, then it is far easier to change thsoe beliefs when the evidence changes. Humans can't do it perfectly, but we do a fair job of it. There are an infinite number of false conclusions people used to believe about the physical world that are no longer believed, becuase the evidence refuted them, and people accepted the evidence. Religious differences are usually only solved by torturing and burning all the dissenting adherants. (The torturers and murderers, of course, believe that they are correctly following their "judgment", so I don't see how you can condemn them)
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