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Bronze Dog
Nowhere, Texas
Atheist+ and indie gamer.
Interests: Skepticism, atheism, science, programming, indie games, sci-fi, fantasy
Recent Activity
Your desperation is showing, Mark. Bronze, Bob and Al. The witness of the resurrection is recorded in the heavens through the constellations. This witness has been there from the beginning of time. 1. How is it recorded in the constellations? 2. If you're talking about your god being the witness, how can I obtain this testimony? If it's through the Bible, why should I trust it to accurately represent this god's account? How can I get verification of its accuracy from this god? What lines of physical evidence can I use for corroboration? 3. You're saying the false religions fall short because they lacked people claiming first hand experience of their resurrection events? Okay, big whoop. The first hand accounts of humans who lived in superstitious times isn't exactly reliable, even if they wrote them down immediately instead of waiting a few centuries for their predecessors to write down the oral tradition. The difference you're asserting seems rather negligible to me. For salvation is from the Jews. It was done God's way and in God's time. As the scriptures say "in the fullness of time God sent His Son". Jesus is The Way, the Truth, and the Life. No idea what point you're trying to make, here. I sense a tone of Antisemitism, by the way. Personally, I find the notion of collective sin of an ethnic group across generations to be antithetical to the concept of morality. As for posting scriptures that are NOT PC in our era. What is the point of that??????????????????? Really??? As if God answers to us? What does this nebulous concept of political correctness have to do with anything? We're talking about basic morality. Bob is saying your god is evil because he is described as performing quintessentially evil acts. He's not merely "offensive," he's villainous. Also, do you realize that your reaction suggests that you do not believe there is a difference between right and wrong? Is it because you believe might makes right? Or do you believe that your god gets to kill and torment people because property rights override the rights and well being of people who wind up declared property? You'll find that we do not condone such a supremely permissive culture, Mark. Bronze, I agree with you when you say about yourself. "I don't see". That is a true statement. Thank God, He has given me eyes to see. Blessed be His Name. It's funny you say that because theists like you usually label me as "arrogant" for daring to say things like 'I don't know' or 'please explain.' Of course I don't see. You seem more interested in trotting out cliches than trying to understand where I'm coming from and bridge the gaps in my understanding of your god. I've seen all sorts of absurd beliefs, including numerous Christian variations. Pardon me if I'm not psychic enough to read your mind and reluctant to risk erecting straw men by trying to predict your particular idiosyncrasies.
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Bronze, I certainly did answer your question on what distinguishes Christianity from the other so called religions. That would be THE RESURRECTION! What other world religion is based on this? I'll add the Egyptian god, Osiris, to al kimeea's list of resurrected divine figures. Not only is there no good historical evidence that Jesus died and was resurrected, his birth and life are a matter in dispute. The sources you draw from are followers of a religion centered this Jesus figure, coming from a very superstitious time in history. I see no reason to trust testimony coming from one side with a vested interest. The resurrection does not address the point I'm trying to make. I'm talking about evidence and rigorous methodology in obtaining that evidence. I don't see Christian theology doing or accurately predicting things other theologies can't. I don't see any faith doing or accurately predicting things science can't.
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Mark, I'm an ex-Christian atheist. I don't feel all that much different than when I was a Christian, though with more moral urgency to do good in life than I did as a Christian. Additionally, everything you've said about your god sounds very much like so many other alleged gods out there. Also, just because holding a belief feels good doesn't mean it's true. Humans are very vulnerable to wishful thinking. I notice you've avoided my point: What advantage does faith have at finding the truth over science? If faith had consistent results, why do we have so many different religions and denominations? What makes your faith-based claim any more solid than any competing faith claim? This isn't just your particular god against atheism, it's also your particular god against every other god humanity has ever had faith in. We're asking you to make your god stand out against the enormous background noise of gods created out of deceit, sloth, pride, and greed. Bear in mind, there are numerous "Christian" god versions that fall into that category. We've seen far too many try to lie and cheat their way through arguments to be charitable. --- No matter how civil, coldly logical, or compassionately we speak, we're always deemed "militant" and the like. It's a common excuse to ignore the meat of a minority's arguments and fixate on or invent imperfections in their tone. Is it really that surprising that some of us have gotten very blunt in how we ask questions? By the way, how do you know you're not doing what you're accusing Bob of? How do you know you're not inventing a god in your own image?
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Just to note: The only times I can recall anyone ever using words like "necessary" and "contingent" to describe causes were when religious apologetics were involved. They were much more direct about where they were taking it, though, since they weren't interested in giving lessons on the meaning of the jargon or used to being asked questions about it. Their arguments that followed from their talk about the necessary first cause or whatever were complete non-sequiturs, so I never really had the need to look into this part of the argument. Since the dead field of religious apologetics was the only thing I knew of that used that language, I wasn't exactly motivated to learn the nuance when the rest of the package had more obvious flaws.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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If a cause NEEDS its effect to happen in order to be a cause, then something must be necessary. <= See...I can play your sophistry game too. Okay, so does this mean absolutely everything's necessary, now? If so, it kind of trivializes the use of the word. And what's sophistry about describing the nature of causality?
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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You have to furnish me with a reason to reject it by specifically identifying where it is flawed. Now I think we're getting into burden of proof or something like it. I need an explanation of why it's impossible. The way I'm looking at it right now, a cause "needs" its effect to happen in order to be a cause, to be what it is, so a cause-effect relationship looks like a two-way contingency to me. I have already stated why in a previous post. Link, please? You can copy it from the post's timestamp.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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You're NOT granting me anything. Either you acknowledge that "something must be necessary because everything can't be contingent" or you don't. If you don't, then you are obligated to identify the logical flaw in my argument. Failure to do so ends this debate. That's how it works. Currently, I do not see a reason to accept your premise that everything can't be contingent. Some additional clarification on the terms "necessary" and "contingent" as you're using them would also be nice. In my experience, the specialized definitions are most typically (mis)used to distort or manufacture meaning, rather than express ideas. As for why I haven't been focusing on this point, well, why is it that important? It's the common leap from the idea of a first/necessary/whatever cause to anthropomorphic entities called "gods" that I'm most interested in. I generally don't see much point in breaking a chain of terminological nuance when I'm aware of weaker links.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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You want a flaw so lets start with the very first premise, that whatever begins to exist had a cause for that. I just remembered a point that I think is worth bringing up: Most things we think about in everyday life don't "begin to exist" in the way that phrase tends to imply. All that matter and energy has been around since at least the Big Bang, and it's only changed forms. We just apply labels to certain forms when they are "created," though those changes do typically involve causes. Of course, it's still highly questionable to assert that everything has a cause just because we're familiar with caused events, since, as has been mentioned, the radioactive decay of an individual atom and particle pairs that arise in a vacuum appear to be causeless events. I don't see any problem with the idea that the Big Bang was uncaused.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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Alastair, are you being evasive because you know we know your game and won't play along? --- Oh, and one thing that comes to mind, though I can't quite recall how it went: It's possible to think of causes and effects as dependent (contingent?) on each other, and it's our temporal bias that makes us privilege causes.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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Even if we granted that, so what?
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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Edit to my above comment: I mean probability, not plausibility.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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Something I feel I should note: We're not asking for "utter certainty," either. We're just asking for a reasonable level of confidence and plausibility, like we would for any science question under debate. Certainty is rarely possible outside of pure mathematics.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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don't believe I have ever employed the term "know" in this regards. Care to explain yourself and what your claims actually are, then?
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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Alastair, HOW do you know this alleged necessary uncaused cause is this thing you call a god? To me, this is like saying it's "narf," by the way. I don't exactly see a consensus on what a "god" is or demonstrable examples on which to base a definition. It's ivory tower nonsense to me. Actually, it's more like one very specific echo chamber in the ivory tower. It's really not that hard to make arguments that are logically valid and/or self-consistent. Good authors essentially do that for the sake of building fictional worlds that make sense to readers, even if they use magic or weird science that doesn't exist in real life. The author's definitions only carry weight because he's the one doing the worldbuilding. Readers will typically suspend disbelief for the sake of being entertained and accept strange premises. To keep that suspension of disbelief, the author tries to maintain a narrative with logical consequences based on those premises. The tough issue in arguing about real life is cogency. Validity means that if your premises are true, your conclusion will be true. Cogency/soundness means that your premises are true. If any one of your premises is false, your logic fails to be compelling because it's effectively changing the venue to a fictional world where those premises are true. We'd rather argue about the real world. Definitions are also a problem because the universe won't change to match our language. It's more realistic to observe the universe and sculpt our language to describe what we see. We can't discover or understand anything new by throwing around definitions as if they were inherently authoritative. Words are not magic.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2013 on The Golden Woos #4 at Skeptico
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Testing comments with my TypePad account. Forgot I had one, since it was last used in 2009. Let me know if I get stuck in the spam filter or something.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2013 on Chrome Test at Kymberlie's Blog
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Perhaps you'd like to tell us what you can tell about a person with reasonable confidence with astrology, Frog. Whenever astrology's tested, many astrologers tend to leave comments about the things astrology can't predict. As for fingerprints, no one claims that a person's fingerprint influences their personality or future. Astrologers usually claim that a person's birth date and position of the planets do.
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2009 on Astrology's (lack of) Provenance at Skeptico
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