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Author Topic:   For ToErs Eyes Only
Inactive Member

Message 19 of 110 (252235)
10-16-2005 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nuggin
10-15-2005 12:06 AM

Why bother? What can we do?
Well Darn. I have been working up a new thread post and find you have beat me to it. Instead of leaping out on my own with very similiar thread, I will join you.
Why bother! What can we do?
In this forum and uncountable other venues we find debates of evolution versus religion. In all cases, the believers fail to make a case supporting any deity. Yet that cannot find the courage to admit their error. This thread is predicated on the position that this condition is real and that this condition is dangerous.
Part 1: Why should we bother?
This is a rhetorical question as I provide my answer, but its purpose is a lead in to part 2. I feel I provided an answer but certainly not “the” answer. Please consider the question open for further discussion.
Sam Harris, The End of Faith writes:
It is time we recognized that belief is not a private matter; it has never been merely private. In fact, beliefs are scarcely more private than actions are, for every belief is a fount of action in potential . .As a man believes, so he will act. Believe that you are the member of a chosen people, awash in the salacious exports of an evil culture that is turning your children away from God, believe that you will be rewarded with an eternity of unimaginable delights by dealing death to these infidels --- and flying a plane into a building is scarcely more that a matter of being asked to do so. It follows then, that certain beliefs are intrinsically dangerous. (Italics from author)
Muslims are told that Seventy-two virgins await the martyr in heaven. What do those 72 virgins think about their fate? We are talking eternity here, 72 virgins will not last long. What happens when each virgin is no longer a virgin? Is she now useless? What utter crap. But the martyr’s actions are based on this belief and others that are just as preposterous. This is a problem.
A mild example of an intrinsically dangerous belief is that when the pope speaks ex cathreda (from the chair) he is infallible. (Never mind that this has been proven wrong time and time again.) When the pope speaks, people believe, and people act. And they cannot be convinced that their behavior is wrong. This is a problem.
Consider some current events. The pope says that birth control is wrong and to deny sex to one’s husband because you already have too many children is wrong. These beliefs are a fundamental cause of overpopulation. They and others reduce or eliminate effective AIDS prevention. Current belief is causing great harm. These beliefs are dangerous.
Sam Harris writes:
Nothing that a Christian and a Muslim can say to each other will render their beliefs mutually vulnerable to discourse, because the very tenets of their faith have immunized them against the power of conversation. Believing strongly, without evidence, they have kicked themselves loose of the world.
Unfortunately, they have not kicked themselves loose of control. They are not in touch with reality but demand control of the world. For the most part, they do have that control. This is a problem.
They also demand, that is to say with emphasis, DEMAND, that no one but believers are allowed to have political power. This is a problem.
Sam Harris writes:
Many Muslims for instance, are convinced that God takes an active interest in women’s clothing . . Should Muslims really be free to believe that the Creator of the universe is concerned about hemlines.
Hemlines is just one manifestation of this fundamental belief. Two examples. Muslims rioted and killed over two hundred people because a Miss World Pageant might be held in Nigeria. There were intentional murders, in the name of Allah, because some women would wear a bikini. In another case in Mecca, fourteen girls were burned to death in a fire because they were not wearing the right head dress and could not be allowed out. Paramedics and fire fighters could no be allowed to see the girls in this condition. These beliefs are a problem.
Christianity is no better. Although to a large degree they are held in check now, review the Crusades, the Inquisitions, Malleus Maleficarum, and on and on. All because “they believe.” This is a problem.
Some Muslim leaders have issued fatwas instructing their believers that it is not only good to set off a nuclear weapon in our country, but Allah wants this to happen. Its in the works.
I wonder what devastation would have ensued if Christians of 1000 to 1500 years ago had possessed nuclear weapons.
I may be said to have gone overboard here, but I ask the reader to understand that these few words have not even scratched the surface of all the evidence that supports my position.
The case has been made, further discussion is solicited.
Part 2: This is the important part: What can we do?
Making the case that religious believes are dangerous and are a problem is easy. The question of what to do is more difficult.
Sam Harris writes:
Of course, one senses that the problem is simply hopeless. What could possibly cause billions of human beings to reconsider their religious beliefs? And yet, it is obvious that an utter revolution in our thinking could be accomplished in a single generation: if parents and teachers would merely give honest answers to the questions of every child.
But of course, that will never happen. I wish I could quote again from Mr. Harris with a proposed solution, but I cannot.
As I noted earlier, debates and forums do not seem to accomplish much. The believers will cite the bible as proof that the bible right. They will look facts in the face and either pretend the facts are not there, ignore them, or dismiss them with “I believe and that’s good enough.”
The problem is greatly magnified by the fact that the majority of businesses and government are in control of believers. Most of us working people are rightfully concerned that to publicly crusade against religions beliefs will be devastating to our lives.
One start is to be a bright. The Brights' Net - Who are The Brights? I saw a suggestion that a group of brights might be called a constellation of brights. I like the name and the idea. I don’t know how to start one, but am looking into it. Can you help?
But that really doesn’t do much. I want to do more, but I do have a fear that taking public action may well be cutting my own throat. However, not doing anything may be worse.
What do you do? Do you have any suggestions?

Truth fears no question.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Nuggin, posted 10-15-2005 12:06 AM Nuggin has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Nighttrain, posted 10-16-2005 11:50 PM bkelly has not replied
 Message 22 by Ben!, posted 10-17-2005 12:10 AM bkelly has replied

Inactive Member

Message 25 of 110 (252521)
10-17-2005 9:14 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Ben!
10-17-2005 12:10 AM

Re: Why bother? What can we do?
Hello Ben,
I appreciate your thoughts, but that is not what I am searching for in this thread.
Compare the demonstrable bad of religion with the good. The bad outweighs the good with a monsterous ration. But that is not the topic that Nuggin started.
(Note: I do not speak for Nuggin, just myself)
The religious folks do two things. First, when they argue about ToE and ID, they parrot their crap and ignore the facts before them. Is there anything we can do to get through to them? Is that truely an impossible task?
Second, following from the first, they continue to cram their religion down every throat they can without regard to the horrible results brought about by religion. They do not respect the rights of other beliefs.
What can we do about that?
If you are strongly religious, then you probably find the question itself a bit insulting. That is understandable. If you want to discuss the good of religion, there are plenty of places. This is not one of them.
With Nuggin's approval (question not statement) there are two questions, one explicit (his) and one implicit (mine).
1. What can we do about the believers that argue ad-nauseum without justification? (This can be reworded as: Is it possible to teach them the truth?)
2. What can we do to hold back the evil that they cause?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Ben!, posted 10-17-2005 12:10 AM Ben! has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by RAZD, posted 10-17-2005 9:18 PM bkelly has replied
 Message 28 by coffee_addict, posted 10-17-2005 11:58 PM bkelly has not replied

Inactive Member

Message 27 of 110 (252534)
10-17-2005 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by RAZD
10-17-2005 9:18 PM

Re: Why bother? What can we do?
You have me laughing and crying at the same time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by RAZD, posted 10-17-2005 9:18 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by RAZD, posted 10-18-2005 6:47 PM bkelly has not replied

Inactive Member

Message 38 of 110 (253152)
10-19-2005 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by robinrohan
10-18-2005 12:42 AM

arrogance and respect
robinrohan writes:
You might want to be a little less arrogant. You are never going to convince anybody by claiming that you are better than they are.
You might have a little more respect.
Do you feel like some of the participants in this thread are arrogant and disrespectful towards you, or are you trying to help formulate plans of action that will be better received? I read your words but have no confidence that I know your position.
I ask you in return, how do you behave when you show others fact after fact supporting your position while they maintain their position and provide no evidence what-so-ever? The creationist and IDers say nothing but "I believe," and reference books that are obviously flawed. Those who believe have never ever supported their beliefs and call blind faith a respectable and desired characteristic. That is a problem.
You are right about arrogance and respect, but when faced with that kind of stubbornness and idiocy, restricting arrogance and maintaining respect can be extraordinarily difficult.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by robinrohan, posted 10-18-2005 12:42 AM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Parasomnium, posted 10-19-2005 6:06 PM bkelly has not replied
 Message 43 by robinrohan, posted 10-19-2005 8:18 PM bkelly has not replied

Inactive Member

Message 40 of 110 (253171)
10-19-2005 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Ben!
10-19-2005 5:31 PM

Re: etiquette
DHR writes:
I DO NOT understand why the Mods don't call them when they declare thier closed minds.
Ben writes:
Please expand on this. What does it look like when someone declares their mind to be closed, and what does it mean for a moderator to call them on it?
Example: Member T (ToE) states position X. Member B (Believer) objects and claims the ToE has holes and does not account for the beginning of life. Member T and others repeat that the ToE does not address that and counters all points from B. B continues to deny T’s position based on self referencing quotes from his bible. When pressed, B throws up a diatribe of nonsense and claims victory. When B’s response is closely examined, the words are essentially vacuous and do not respond to the points made by T. B continues to claim victory.
Example: B claims that Genesis contains the actual facts of the creation of the universe and the earth, and the bible is the literal word of god. Both have been clearly refuted and B offers absolutely no supportable evidence.
I don’t know your position, but if you agree with B, provide evidence. (in another thread)
However, This is off topic from the original post. The question is: What can the ToEers do about this debate (ToE versus ID) and the refusal of believers to face up to the facts. To debate if the facts are correct, go to other threads. This one is based on the assumption that the facts are correct.
BTW: General question: What is YEC?

Truth fears no question.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Ben!, posted 10-19-2005 5:31 PM Ben! has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Ben!, posted 10-19-2005 6:45 PM bkelly has replied

Inactive Member

Message 42 of 110 (253192)
10-19-2005 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Ben!
10-19-2005 6:45 PM

Re: etiquette
Then I misconstrued that aspect of your posts. My appology

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Ben!, posted 10-19-2005 6:45 PM Ben! has not replied

Inactive Member

Message 65 of 110 (255382)
10-28-2005 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Nuggin
10-15-2005 12:06 AM

What topics to debate
I keep finding myself drawn back to this thread. If one were to look around and initiate or join an ongoing debate about evolution, what topics should be presented.
To argue the points about god and ID is, to a large extent, useless. Re: all the points that Nuggin made in the original post and the response posted.
Assume we have an audience of people that just do not know must about evolution. I would also assume that the education level ranges from junior high through graduate studies. I come up with two questions.
What topics should be initiated?
How should we deal with the bible thumpers that keep throwing their garbage into the discussion? As much as I might like, you can't just shoot them or chase them out.
Just as must as personal replies, I am looking for some we sites where I can download some material and read up on how this debate might be pursued.
BTW: How is the trial going in pensylvania? I just did some google searches and really did not find anything recent or worth reading. I see that as on topic as the trial is an example of dealing with the bible thumpers. Much as they deny, ID is a religious position.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Nuggin, posted 10-15-2005 12:06 AM Nuggin has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by nwr, posted 10-28-2005 5:41 PM bkelly has replied
 Message 67 by robinrohan, posted 10-28-2005 5:43 PM bkelly has not replied

Inactive Member

Message 68 of 110 (255388)
10-28-2005 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by nwr
10-28-2005 5:41 PM

Re: What topics to debate
Thanks nwr. From your response, should I infer the trial has been sent to the jury?
As I say that, it seems a bit preposterious that a jury would be debating this topic. I have no alternatives, the concept just seems weird. I guess part of my problem is that if the jury votes to include the statement, how much precedence will that set?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by nwr, posted 10-28-2005 5:41 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by nwr, posted 10-28-2005 6:58 PM bkelly has not replied
 Message 70 by Nighttrain, posted 10-28-2005 10:23 PM bkelly has replied

Inactive Member

Message 71 of 110 (255656)
10-30-2005 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Nighttrain
10-28-2005 10:23 PM

The unanswered questions
Thanks Nighttrain,
They seem to be off line at the moment, I will try again later.
To continue the main topic a bit, here is some possible food for thought.
As I peruse some of the threads in this forum, frequently there is information to be found in the questions that are not answered. The ToEers jump in and reply to the hard questions. We seledom leave them unanswered. We sometimes even admit to “That’s a good question and we really don’t have a good answer.” However, far more often than not, the questions are answered with evidence, reason and logic.
On the other hand, when faced with difficult questions, the IDers tend to ignore the question and pretend they have earned some credit.
What to other ToEers think about this?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Nighttrain, posted 10-28-2005 10:23 PM Nighttrain has not replied

Replies to this message:
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