ShakaUVM

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Gentleman Adventurer

Member Since: April 11, 2007
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Comments to ShakaUVM

siftbot says...

Happy anniversary! Today marks year number 7 since you first became a Sifter and the community is better for having you. Thanks for your contributions!


siftbot says...

Happy anniversary! Today marks year number 6 since you first became a Sifter and the community is better for having you. Thanks for your contributions!


poolcleaner says...

Can you make a list of Christian ideas that atheists claim as their own? I'm not at all curious about the pragmatic sides of theisms, but the theft of religious intellectual property is very interesting.

In reply to this comment by ShakaUVM:
In reply to this comment by poolcleaner:
Where did you read that atheists claim these ideas as their own?

Like I said, I spend a lot of time on the IIDB boards, and it's a fairly common to see statements like "Religion shouldn't be used as a justification for war" being used as a club against theists.

I'm a theist, and I agree with that statement, and the concept was developed by theists during the Enlightenment, which is why seeing statements like that (or many of the statements made by Sam Harris) annoy me.

Personally, my philosophy is basically Pragmatic, so things like this actually matter quite a bit, as I tend to judge philosophies and religions by the results they produce. While atheism is a fairly reasonable position, when you look at guys like Sam Harris and Dawkins, who basically make their money by being fucktards towards Christians, that I get really annoyed with it. Dan Dennett is closer to the breed of atheist that I prefer.

At the same time, when I look at the immense amount of good being done around the world by Christians and the almost total lack of anything resembling, say, an atheist Red Cross, compounded by the direction that all the atheist nations have gone to to date (China, USSR, France, Cambodia), that I think a Pragmatic argument for Christianity becomes clear.

Don't think that my theism is just for Pragmatic reasons - I do think that Christianity is a defensible stance (and, in fact, a quite probable one, for various reasons) -- but Pragmatic arguments are a sort of common ground that both theists and atheists can participate in.

poolcleaner says...

Where did you read that atheists claim these ideas as their own?

Being something close to an atheist myself I see ideas as a constantly evolving process. We stand on the backs of giants. I'm just glad someone got theism out of the way so that I could freely believe in the lack of a god without being labeled a heretic or a heathen.

No, I don't believe atheists created all our laws and morals. I believe these ideas evolved within our society just as religion did.


In reply to this comment by ShakaUVM:
It's depressing to watch atheists who don't really know what they're talking about try to do theology. (I hang out on the IIDB forums, so I see it all the time.)

He claims the laws in Leviticus are "explicit directions for killing people", when in fact there's no evidence any kid was ever killed for talking back to his parents. The error is in trying to literally interpret everything, which is what fundamentalists try to do. To any atheist, I'd recommend reading the Pope's book on Jesus instead to gain a better understanding of what mainstream Christians believe. I'm a protestant, but it's a very brilliant, very well thought out book which explains the difference between casuistic law and general principles in the OT, as well as many other things.

On the issue of morality without Christianity, what he says without saying, is that he can continue to act according to our current set of cultural and ethical norms without being a Christian. Of course he can - it's trivially easy to adopt the norms of a dominant cultural impulse. It's much harder to do what the abolitionists did -- which was to speak out against cultural norms, and risk being killed or branded a lunatic for standing up for something that you believe is right, due to an expanded sense of morality derived from the moral precepts in the Bible.

That's the sort of stuff atheists can't do. Or at least, not very well. All the liberal traditions that atheists have adopted under the banner of "Humanism" were mainly the result of Christian philosophers writing in the Enlightenment era. Religion shouldn't be the basis for war? Christian Enlightenment philosophy. Natural Rights? Human dignity? Separation of Church and State? All of these are concepts which atheists have coopted as their own while pretending that they invented it, and Christians stand opposed to it.

djsunkid says...

OK, you have my attention. What would you like me to read?

In reply to your comment:
In reply to your comment:
I've actually read Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" does that count as reading up on ID? ID is yet another "theory of the gaps".
There's a collection of theories under the umbrella of ID. The two main threads are:
1) Determining the amount of spontaneous complexity that shows evidence of intelligence
2) That the current theory of evolution can not explain the observed pattern of evolution.

1) is a positive sort of work, akin to what the SETI people have to do to figure out if they're looking at a signal or a random pattenr. 2) is a criticism of the current theory of evolution. It will result in the challenge either being discarded, evolution being modified, or evolution being rejected. Rather standard stuff from a Kuhnian perspective, actually.


You have to realise that when you invoke a "designer" whether that be god or whatever else, it's just the same as giving up.
Not at all. Especially Islam has this problem -- that nothing happens without God's permission -- and so there's no point to science since there is no cause and effect. But ID includes natural selection, so it can be studied (if it's found to hold a drop of sense) alongside everything else with our empirical models.

The problem with ID is that it tries SO hard to find out what scientists don't know, and when the proponents find anything, they gleefully shriek "see!? you don't know how that works, it must be a designer!!!"
Rather it is the search for things that would be contrary to the theory of evolution.

These ID people are the very advanced "researchers" like Behe and some others. I'll assume that you are among this elite group of "well-informed" creationists

Then you'd make a very, very bad mistake like most people who argue against ID. Not everyone who thinks that ID should at least be investigated are IDers, let alone a Creationist. I am neither. But it's typical a typical ad hominem bullshit reaction that someone who thinks that ID is at least interesting to conflate them with young earth creationists. Frankly, it's a more ignorant reaction than what you'd expect even from YECs.

Does it make you at all curious to note that the majority of your supporters are frothing at the mouth bigots? The same people who support "teach the controversy" are the people that oppose stem cell research, abortion for rape victims, and probably racial desegregation?

This is honestly the stupidest statement I've read today, and I spend a lot of time on Slashdot.

Why is it that Intelligent Design textbooks are word for word verbatim copies of old creationist textbooks?
Because Creationists see it as a sneaky way of disguising their beliefs in the veneer of science. However, they don't realize that ID is as opposed to Creationism as the TOE is.


Having read Behe, I agree that ID isn't straight religion. In fact, it's worse. It's straight up anti-scientific.

Actually, it's a classic challenge to an established belief, ala Kuhn. Not all challenges to established beliefs turn out to be right (like heliocentrism). It might very well turn out to be wrong. But it's not anti-scientific. It's antiestablismentarianism, and the conflict is actually rather typical.

Or did you mean a different sort of ID, that actually does some research? Because the only ID i've ever heard of simply sits and complains. Fearfully.

I think it's possible to do research to see if it's possible.

In any event, the video is an example of ID, not evolution.

djsunkid says...

I've actually read Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" does that count as reading up on ID? ID is yet another "theory of the gaps" which is to say, it searches for further and further small gaps in scientific knowledge in the hopes that someday, eventually the scientists will be totally flummoxed, and finally admit that there MUST be something that is impossible to explain.

You have to realise that when you invoke a "designer" whether that be god or whatever else, it's just the same as giving up. Oh, well, we don't know what is causing bubonic plague, it must be God's divine retribution, we might as well not study it. Humans aren't meant to fly, it's God's will.

The problem with ID is that it tries SO hard to find out what scientists don't know, and when the proponents find anything, they gleefully shriek "see!? you don't know how that works, it must be a designer!!!" Then science progresses, and the ID camp is pushed back even further, and searches for more percieved gaps.

These ID people are the very advanced "researchers" like Behe and some others. I'll assume that you are among this elite group of "well-informed" creationists ID proponents. Does it make you at all curious to note that the majority of your supporters are frothing at the mouth bigots? The same people who support "teach the controversy" are the people that oppose stem cell research, abortion for rape victims, and probably racial desegregation?

Not to turn this into an appeal to authority nor an ad hominem attack, but it must make you pause and think. Why is it that Intelligent Design textbooks are word for word verbatim copies of old creationist textbooks? Do you find it at all curious that the term Intelligent Design was coined the very same year that the american supreme court banned the teaching of creation "science" on the grounds that it violated the constitutional seperation of church and state?

Having read Behe, I agree that ID isn't straight religion. In fact, it's worse. It's straight up anti-scientific.

Or did you mean a different sort of ID, that actually does some research? Because the only ID i've ever heard of simply sits and complains. Fearfully.

In reply to your comment:
ShakaUVM- i think the principle you're reaching for, the one you've almost but not quite grasped hold of, is what is referred to as natural selection. Not ID. Once you have genes that replicate, the "goal" is to have genes that replicate better.

No, I'm quite well read on evolution and ID. What you do not understand is that ID incorporates the theory of evolution and natural selection in it. Natural selection is, in fact, a subset of ID theory. ID is not creationism. If you think so, you drastically need to read up on the topic. Creationism is the literal belief in the account of Genesis in the Bible. ID is the belief that an intelligent being influenced evolution (to produce humans). These two beliefs are quite at odds with each other.

I know, I know it's popular in the press to say that they are the same, but besides the fact that God could be the intelligent designer, they have nothing in common.

This video is a demonstration of ID. In fact, I could remove his text labels and make a compelling new video demonstrating how intelligent design could have worked. An intelligent designer could have done nothing more than to set a teleological goal (in this case, "Clock-ness") and then let evolution figure out the rest.

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