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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Federal judge shows fearless good sense (Page 15)

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Author Topic: Federal judge shows fearless good sense
Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
This thread now makes me want to do that move from Star Trek Wrath of Khan where I turn the phaser on myself because I can't withstand the earwig any longer.

Ah, but in Star Trek you wouldn't even be having this conversations, because humans are just descendants of an ancient alien race, and cousins to Klingons and Romulans!

Bonus points if you can name the TNG episode in which that was presented.

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rivka
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The concept of the Preservers was presented long before TNG.

(And the episode I believe you are alluding to is "The Chase".)

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Tresopax
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quote:
Tres: what makes my claim less compelling than someone else's claim that the Bible is the authority on God?
It depends a lot on the details of who they are, the context within which they are making the claim, how they explain knowing that claim, etc. Also, the Bible seems to be consistent with other already-justified beliefs of mine in ways that your claim is not.

quote:
As others have pointed out, it seems to be that you accept baseless claims if they say what you want to hear, and ignore baseless claims if you prefer a world in which they are not true.
Why? Why would I care whether Brain Leprechauns exist? If you told me the Leprechauns would give me gold coins, I'd want them to exist, but I'd be no more convinced that you were telling me the truth. Swbarnes claimed he would give me a million dollars earlier in this thread. I defintely would WANT him to be telling the truth about that - yet I rejected his claim as not true in my judgement. So there's not really any connection there between what I want to hear and the authorities I've advocated accepting.

In fact, this entire argument I'm giving is something I'd prefer not to be true. I would very much have liked to be able to construct a perfect belief system out of infallible assumptions, Descartes-style. I like the idea of Foundationalism. I'd prefer that I would never have to justify anything I believe on something as flimsy as "He told me so". Nevertheless, evidence and reason do not point in the direction I want them to. Reason dictates that reason and evidence alone can't provide me with many answers at all, at least not the answers to the questions I need to know to get through everyday life. So I was forced to take a position I'd perfer I didn't have to.

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MightyCow
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How does believing any one particular religious book over the other options allow you to get through everyday life?

What forces you to accept that a different religion from yours isn't the correct one, or that none at all are?

edit: You mentioned that the Bible was consistent with other already-justified beliefs you hold, which makes you more likely to believe the unprovable parts.

If I make a long laundry list of things that you and I both believe in common, does that make me more trustworthy, regarding the Brain Leprechauns?

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Tresopax
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quote:
How does believing any one particular religious book over the other options allow you to get through everyday life?
I wasn't referring to religion in that case - I was referring to the fact that I have to trust authorities and assumptions to get through everyday life. For instance, if my doctor says a pill will heal me and not kill me, I have to trust him if I am unable to go back and do the research myself at that particular moment in my life. Or even far simply things, like trusting google maps when it says I need to follow a given set of directions to get to the place I want to go.

quote:
What forces you to accept that a different religion from yours isn't the correct one, or that none at all are?
I believe its likely that many world religions are in some part correct, and that mine is probably not completely correct. I accept mine because it seems close to being correct, given everything I've seen and know and trust from authorities. No single thing forces me to - its a combination of many things that leads me to that conclusion.

quote:
If I make a long laundry list of things that you and I both believe in common, does that make me more trustworthy, regarding the Brain Leprechauns?
Yes, particularly if they are things that most people don't know and if they are things that are in some way connected with knowledge of Brain Leprechauns. (Like a math textbook shares many things in common with my beliefs, but that doesn't suggest it is an authority on literature.) However, again, that is only one factor - how you got that knowledge, what other authorities say about you, other experiences I've had with you, your motivations, etc. also would effect the degree to which you seem trustworthy.
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MightyCow
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I don't think I can go anywhere with this. If we establish that you'll eventually believe in Brain Leprechauns, just because I am "trustworthy", then you'd be nuts.

If we establish that you'll never actually believe in Brain Leprechauns, regardless of my credentials, the your reasons for trusting authorities are illogical and inconsistent.

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TheHumanTarget
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I've decided to end my three year Hatrack hiatus in order to publicly endorse my belief in Brain Leprechauns.

That is all.

Please continue.

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kmbboots
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MightyCow, you can't, while making an untrustable claim be considered to be trustworthy.
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MightyCow
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Kmbboots: what is inherently untrustworthy about Brain Leprechauns? Only that you don't believe in them without what you consider "sufficient" evidence. They have the same base level of trust as a claim that God or Allah or angels or souls have.

Should all religious claims be treated as untrustworthy in the same way?

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kmbboots
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Reasonable people (unless you have an unusual definition of reasonable) have believed in God or Allah (is there a difference?) angels and souls since (roughly) the beginning of history. There is a certain "weight" to that.

What do you have? Except the evidence that you are pretty much making the poor creature up for the sake of argument.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
...what is inherently untrustworthy about Brain Leprechauns?
Well, there's the whole having been made up before our eyes, just now, and the certain knowledge that it was done so as a rhetorical point alone.

That doesn't mean one should trust others about religion, but really, you're being silly here. Brain leprechauns are untrustworthy because we are certain you're lying about them.

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Tresopax
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quote:
If we establish that you'll never actually believe in Brain Leprechauns, regardless of my credentials, the your reasons for trusting authorities are illogical and inconsistent.
I didn't say that if you have enough credentials you can convince me of anything. I said authorities are only one piece of the puzzle - but other beliefs, evidence, reason, etc. also all come into play. Your explanation of Brain Leprechauns contradicts many things I already believe and know about the world (which is precisely why you'd consider me nutty if I believed you). So not only would you need to be an authority, but I'd also need to be convinced those other beliefs are mistaken. There's also some additional weight against your claim from the fact that you are the only authority that says this, and virtually everyone else I'd trust in the world would say that you are crazy.
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TheHumanTarget
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I can't wade through 14 pages of posts, so excuse me if I'm restating something.

Anyone can claim that their faith and belief in something substantiates its existence, be it God, Allah, or Brain Leprechauns.

Using a beliefs tenacity through history as a basis for the perceived value of a belief doesn't hold up either. Seemingly reasonable people throughout history have believed in many things that eventually turned out to be untrue.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Reasonable people (unless you have an unusual definition of reasonable) have believed in God or Allah (is there a difference?) angels and souls since (roughly) the beginning of history. There is a certain "weight" to that.

And reasonable (your word) people have believed in leprechauns, hobbits, nisser, and other little people since (roughly) the beginning of history. Why does that have no weight?
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MightyCow
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Kmbboots and Rakeesh: I am a Holy Prohet of the Brain Leprechaun, only now revealing to you the Good News of his protection and devotion to His Believers.

You see, I can deliver this Revelation in the religious terms of your choice, find True Believers (one showed up already!), and meld it seemelessly into what you already know and hold dear.

Just as many people once believed in Zeus, but were later Enlightened with the words of Jesus, so I now reveal a New Truth to you.

For the Brain Leprechaun said in the Inscription on the Holy Pot of Gold, "Those who most need the Truth will be the most resistant, just as the strongest muscles are those which first endure the most strain."

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TheHumanTarget
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Hmm...come to think of it, I don't really believe in Brain Leprechauns...they sound made up.

Now the Flying Spaghetti Monster...there's a deity with class (not to mention tasty noodles).

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Paul Goldner
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"Reasonable people (unless you have an unusual definition of reasonable) have believed in God or Allah (is there a difference?) angels and souls since (roughly) the beginning of history. There is a certain "weight" to that."

Not if you evaluate evidence rationally, there isn't. The fact that people believe things is not evidence for the reality of the belief.

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dkw
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No, but the knowledge that someone made one up is evidence against it.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Kmbboots and Rakeesh: I am a Holy Prohet of the Brain Leprechaun, only now revealing to you the Good News of his protection and devotion to His Believers.
No, you're not. You're comically lying for the purpose of a debate. I know you are. You know you are. Everyone knows you are. I know it about as well as any human can know something about another human. But feel free to keep flogging with noodly appendages in an effort to prove a defunct point.
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Paul Goldner
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I agree. There's a reason I said nothing about brain leprechauns.
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MightyCow
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Rakeesh: your argument is used by Muslims to show how wrong Christianity is. If it works for you, it works for them too.

In addition, I, you, and everyone here knows that you just made up that point on the spot, for the sole purpose of trying to disprove my point... Which by your logic invalidates your own argument.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
The concept of the Preservers was presented long before TNG.

(And the episode I believe you are alluding to is "The Chase".)

I remember them in the ST cartoon. Were they presented before that?
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MightyCow
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And really Rakeesh, you know that I'm lying? By what standard could you possibly know that?

In fact, you know that I'm lying with equal or less certainty (I claim to have solid proof) than I know that I'm telling you he truth.

In otherwords your argument is meaningless. I know that you're lying about me lying, because you're an agent of the Evil Nixies. Now we are back to square one.

You'll have to do better than that.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
And really Rakeesh, you know that I'm lying? By what standard could you possibly know that?
Come on. [Roll Eyes]
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
The concept of the Preservers was presented long before TNG.

(And the episode I believe you are alluding to is "The Chase".)

I remember them in the ST cartoon. Were they presented before that?
From the Star Trek Wiki:

quote:

The Preservers were a race known for transplanting civilizations in danger of extinction. This included several Native American tribes.

In 2268, the USS Enterprise visited the planet Amerind and discovered a civilization of American Indians living there. The Preservers had evidently transplanted a nearly extinct group of these Indians to Amerind. They may have transplanted various flora and fauna as well, for Amerind was richly populated by Earth-native forms. The inhabitants referred to the Preservers as the "Wise Ones." Because asteroid impacts threatened Amerind on a semi-regular basis, the Preservers constructed a deflector in the form of an obelisk and left instructions with the tribal medicine man.

Glyphs incised into the obelisk represented tones in a musical language. Among other things, they explained how to open the device. Once inside, a memory beam instructed visitors on the finer points of operating the deflector.

Leonard McCoy and Spock theorized that the Preservers were responsible for the spread of the many humanoids that populate the galaxy (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome"). But about a century later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and archaeologist Richard Galen learned that the Preservers were only part of the reason. (TNG: "The Chase")

Ronald D. Moore has stated that he'd considered, but intentionally did not specify, that the ancient humanoids seen in TNG: "The Chase" were in fact the Preservers. He noted, "but this could be them and be internally consistent." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Preservers
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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
And really Rakeesh, you know that I'm lying? By what standard could you possibly know that?
Come on. [Roll Eyes]
Yes,that's exactly how I react when someone tells me that a glass of wine is the literal blood of a man who died over 2000 years ago.

This is really getting frustrating. Does religion demand a total lack of introspection, to go along with believing the illogical ghost stories of one book while denouncing all the rest?

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mr_porteiro_head
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You believe that they're being disingenuous?
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FoolishTook
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quote:
Yes,that's exactly how I react when someone tells me that a glass of wine is the literal blood of a man who died over 2000 years ago.
Literal? Where have you heard that? I've never heard it in all my life, having taken communion thousands of time.

Even the original Last Supper was figurative.

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King of Men
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For example, the Catholic Encyclopedia:

quote:
The Church's Magna Charta, however, are the words of Institution, "This is my body this is my blood", whose literal meaning she has uninterruptedly adhered to from the earliest times. The Real Presence is evinced, positively, by showing the necessity of the literal sense of these words, and negatively, by refuting the figurative interpretations.

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fugu13
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To be fair, the Catholic Church's position is not that any detectable properties of the bread and wine are transformed, just that their inherent nature -- their "Substance", to use the language of transubstantiation -- is transformed into the literal body and blood of christ. That is, a part of his body that is present happens to taste like bread, and a part of his blood that is present happens to taste like wine.

FoolishTook: if that has never been mentioned to you, a good comparative study of religious theology is probably in order, if you'd like to have a basic understanding of the religious beliefs of others. That's one of the most important beliefs of the Catholic church.

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
You believe that they're being disingenuous?

I believe that they're making a preposterous claim, which is completely imaginary, and which no logical person would believe.

As KoM pointed out, people have believed in Leprechauns for thousands of years. If we're going on time of belief, that makes them more believable than the Book of Mormon.

Besides, your or anyone's belief that I'm being disingenuous has no effect on the truth value of my statements.

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Tresopax
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quote:
And really Rakeesh, you know that I'm lying? By what standard could you possibly know that?
Well, I don't know you are lying, but I have the ability to make a judgement call based on the incomplete evidence I have on what you are saying. My judgement is that you are not telling the truth about Brain Leprechauns.

So let's test it out: Are you telling the truth or aren't you? You must know. If you are telling the truth, then I guess I'm wrong. But if you aren't telling the truth, then would you admit that somehow I have an ability to figure that sort of thing out?

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King of Men
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Yes, ok, to be fair, the Catholics are using 'literal' in the sense of 'not literal', demonstrating the usual theist commitment to truth and accuracy; but nonetheless, they do use the word.
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MightyCow
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Tres: Of course I'm tellin the truth. A cobra didn't kill you, did it?

So, I've confirmed my statement. Do you believe it yet?

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Rakeesh: your argument is used by Muslims to show how wrong Christianity is. If it works for you, it works for them too.
Oh, it is? Muslims say of Christians, "They're lying, they're intentionally lying, and they're just lying to prove a point." I'd be fascinated to see some evidence of that that doesn't effectively amount to a few Muslims somewhere have said it.

quote:
You'll have to do better than that.
No, I really don't. You seem to think that I believe my knowing you're lying is somehow evidence in support of believing the claims of others. I don't. All I'm saying is that the situations are a bit different. When someone takes as evidence for God the religious claim of another human being, they usually are pretty reasonably convinced that the other human being actually believes what they are saying. I know you don't believe what you're saying-at least, the specific claim of it.

I know that with much greater certainty than I know that, say, rivka is sincere when she discusses her own faith. Now, are you seriously going to suggest I'm wrong about that? Is that really the best you've got? Please, again, note that I'm not suggesting absolute iron-clad certainty.

quote:
This is really getting frustrating. Does religion demand a total lack of introspection, to go along with believing the illogical ghost stories of one book while denouncing all the rest?
Yup. Speaking for myself and all other religious people, I just turn off the ole noggin and let the warm, comfy sheeplike sensation tuck me in at night!

quote:
I believe that they're making a preposterous claim, which is completely imaginary, and which no logical person would believe.
That's not what's being discussed here. What's being discussed is the difference between someone who makes a 'preposterous' claim and believes it and someone who makes a 'preposterous' claim and clearly doesn't.

quote:
Besides, your or anyone's belief that I'm being disingenuous has no effect on the truth value of my statements.
It certainly can serve as a measure of truth if we're right about whether or not you're being disingenuous.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Tres: Of course I'm tellin the truth. A cobra didn't kill you, did it?

So, I've confirmed my statement. Do you believe it yet?

The test is not what you say or whether I believe it. The test is what is actually true - and thats something only you really know for sure, regardless of what you tell us, so you are the only one who is going to know for sure the true result of the test.

But if you are lying, then I have correctly detected it, which suggests I do have some capacity to distinguish true authorities from lying authorities without needing scientific evidence to prove it one way or another.

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MightyCow
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Ah, so things people really believe are more likely to be true than things people only say that they believe?

That is one of the most absurd things I've seen on hatrack.

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MightyCow
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Here, I've found some links to people who seem to sincerely believe that Leprechauns and Faeries are real.

Does that make my claim more likely to be true? Would the same claim be more likely to be true coming from the creators of the websites?

http://www.all-about-fairies.com/leprechauns-real.html

http://leprechaunevidence.blogspot.com/

http://www.realfairies.net/celebrating-leprechauns-on-st-patricks-day.html

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Ah, so things people really believe are more likely to be true than things people only say that they believe?

That is one of the most absurd things I've seen on hatrack.

That's quite a misconstruing of what he said.

Unfortunately, it's not one of the most absurd misconstruings of another's post I've ever seen on hatrack.

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MightyCow
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MPH: I'm aware of that, but people aren't being intellectually honest here, and I'm trying to ferret out the truth.

Sadly, I think some people have a lot more invested in keeping up their wall against cognitive dissonance than I do in pointing out how inconsistent and illogical their criteria for belief in truth are.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
MPH: I'm aware of that, but people aren't being intellectually honest here, and I'm trying to ferret out the truth.
You think that more of the same will help?
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MightyCow
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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum?wasRedirected=true

It is clearly absurd to believe that my Brain Leprechaun saved anyone from Cobra Attack in exactly the same way that it is absurd to believe that someone praying for me to be safe today kept a cobra away.

Disbelieving in me leprechaun because there is zero evidence for leprechauns, even though many people honestly believe in them and have for centuries is logical in the same way that disbelieving in the fantastical and evidenceless stories of holy books is logical.

Brain Leprechaun is just another word for God.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Sadly, I think some people have a lot more invested in keeping up their wall against cognitive dissonance than I do in pointing out how inconsistent and illogical their criteria for belief in truth are.
That's certainly a way of characterizing it that is flattering to your vanity.

quote:

Disbelieving in me leprechaun because there is zero evidence for leprechauns, even though many people honestly believe in them and have for centuries is logical in the same way that disbelieving in the fantastical and evidenceless stories of holy books is logical.

There is not zero evidence for belief in God. You are not persuaded by what evidence there is, that's all well and good, I can certainly understand that. But this constant smug droning repetition that there is no evidence isn't going to make it any more true than it already isn't. OK? Could you move on to a persuasive argument at some point in the near future, instead of flogging a thoroughly dead (as opposed to mostly dead) horse?
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:

It is clearly absurd to believe that my Brain Leprechaun saved anyone from Cobra Attack in exactly the same way that it is absurd to believe that someone praying for me to be safe today kept a cobra away.

Do you have any evidence that any of the theists posting here believe that someone praying for you would keep a cobra away?
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MightyCow
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Rakeesh: You're not worth

dkw: I don't keep track of the individual beliefs of all the theists here. I am fairly certain that all the theists here believe in multiple supernatural things with the same amount of evidence as the leprechaun.

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dkw
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So, you don't actually know what anyone here believes, but you're certain enough about the character of these unknown beliefs to make accusations of intellectual dishonesty when people don't agree with your characterizations of them.

And you claim to be arguing against presuppositions and in favor of reason and evidence.

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Tresopax
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quote:
It is clearly absurd to believe that my Brain Leprechaun saved anyone from Cobra Attack in exactly the same way that it is absurd to believe that someone praying for me to be safe today kept a cobra away.
A major difference is that the only person supporting this view is you, you seem to have a rather obvious motivation to make up something to support you position, and you don't seem to have any way of knowing what you are claiming to know. Nobody else in the world has suggested that a brain leprechaun saved me from a cobra attack this week.

But let me add.... I'd be unlikely to believe anyone who claims to know a prayer has saved me from a cobra attack. For one thing, I don't believe cobras are a threat in my area. For another thing, how could they possibly know what would have happened without the prayer? They'd have to either have a really good explantion of how they knew, or I'd have to believe they have a very profound authority on questions of prayer.

quote:
I am fairly certain that all the theists here believe in multiple supernatural things with the same amount of evidence as the leprechaun.
You didn't ask whether we believe in leprechauns though. I'd be more inclined to believe in a leprechaun than a brain leprechaun, since you are the first person I've ever heard mention the latter creature. I'd also be more inclined to believe leprechauns merely exist than that one saved me this week from a cobra attack.

You seem to be trying to equate all supernatural things as having the exact same degree of authority, evidence, and reasoning supporting them. This is not true. If one person believes in X and a million people believe in Y, there's a bit more reason to believe in Y. If the Pope says Y and a random person on the street says X, there's a bit more reason for me to believe Y (assuming I ascribe some authority to the Pope.) If X contradicts numerous laws of physics I believe in, and if Y does not, that's reason to judge Y is more likely. If X doesn't fit in with my other religious beliefs which I believe are justified, but Y does, that's reason to judge Y is more likely. And so on. Add all of these things together and you can end up with the difference between a crazy belief and a rational belief.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
They'd have to either have a really good explantion of how they knew, or I'd have to believe they have a very profound authority on questions of prayer.

Great. For the umteenth time, explain how you determine if someone is an authority on prayer. You must have a non-circular (meaning, not listening to other authorities) method, what is it?

quote:
If one person believes in X and a million people believe in Y, there's a bit more reason to believe in Y.
So you are saying that there is more reason to believe in Islam than in Mormonism.

quote:
If the Pope says Y and a random person on the street says X, there's a bit more reason for me to believe Y (assuming I ascribe some authority to the Pope.)
Okay, so how did you determine the Pope's authority?

quote:
If X contradicts numerous laws of physics I believe in, and if Y does not, that's reason to judge Y is more likely.
So disregarding the data that supports the theory of relativity, like lots of Creationists and conservatives do (see the conservapedia entry on it), is the right and smart thing to do, since they don't believe in relativity, and the data contradicts what they do believe in. They are using their personal judgement to choose to believe that relativity is a liberal plot. All their chosen authorities tell them this is the case, and it matches their reason and evidence.

So, what exactly, if anything, are they doing wrong?

Or to put it another way, if you are faced with a person who believes that the theory of relativity is wrong, and has chosen to believe in the authority of the authors of Conservapedia, how would you go about convincing this person that the physics of relativity were accurate? I know how you could convince a person who was drawing conclusions based solely on the reason and evidence, but how do you do it to a person who already has a belief based on relying on their favorite authority?

How do you convince the inquisitor that torturing you won't improve the state of your soul? Again, that's trivial to demonstrate to the person who bases their beliefs on the reason and evidence only, but what about the torturer who is following his deeply held beliefs, and is supported by his chosen authrorities?

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MightyCow
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dkw: I see where the confusion might cme from. The reason I'm claiming intellectual dishonesty isn't for anyone's specific beliefs (which I don't know).

What is intellectually dishonest is to claim that people somehow know that my claim is false and at the same time somehow know that their own supernatural claims, such as the existence of their deity of choice, are true.

It is baffling that people are actually trying to claim that real belief or lots of people believing something makes it more likely to be true. You'll notice that nobody is suddenly on the leprechaun bandwagon after seeing my website links.

It's dishonest to pretend that the reason is anything other than cultural norms and personal choice in belief.

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Tresopax
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quote:
What is intellectually dishonest is to claim that people somehow know that my claim is false and at the same time somehow know that their own supernatural claims, such as the existence of their deity of choice, are true.
What is dishonest about believing one thing supported by one set of justifications, while not believing another thing that is supported by a different set of justifications? Would it be dishonest of me to accept five different weathermen telling me that it will be sunny tomorrow, while not believing a random person on the internet who says fire will fall from the sky tomorrow, if I personally possess no phsyical evidence myself for either?
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