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The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:22 pm

jonnygothispen wrote: I have responded as best I can. You're not happy with the answers...
Anybody following this thread (if such a creature even exists anymore) can see for themselves that you have not responded to the questions posed to you. You've only offered diversions, dodges, and a priori assumptions. So apparently the best you can do is to just not answer. (I can only find a single answer you provided. When asked, "What is the evidence that anything is happening besides standard physical processes to make something alive?" you responded, "The fact that you're alive is evidence of a life force. All living creatures have souls. Standard physical processes do not exhibit intellectual properties" which anyone can see doesn't answer the question at all. You can't prove the existence of what you're trying to prove by presupposing it exists.)

When nutria asked you some very straightforward questions, your nonsensical reply was pure dodge: "Interesting. But it just looks like contradiction." (Seriously, how does that even approach making sense?)

Direct questions not answered by you:
1. Do you believe that a lack of faith in the existence of Quetzalcoatl and Athena constitutes a "lack of reason"?
2. What is your definition of "life force"?
3. What is your definition of "soul"? What is the evidence for the existence of a soul? And what is your evidence that all living creatures have them?
4. What is your definition of "intellectual properties"? And what "intellectual properties" are exhibited by bacteria, paramecia, sponges, or jellyfish?
5. What is your definition of "life"?
6. Can you honestly say a religious person would disavow the existence of Jesus, Allah, etc., if given concrete evidence to the contrary? (You didn't answer this one, but you acknowledged it with a non-answer.)

Answer the questions or shut the fuck up, please. (At this point, I think we'd all prefer the latter. 'Cuz we all know I'll respond if you do, and my guess is nobody wants to read that, either.)
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:27 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:How so? It's evidence of nature's capacity for self-organization. Beyond that, you're just speculating without evidence. I'm gonna venture a guess at this juncture that you've never read a single article or book about how the human brain works.
What's your definition of nature? Are you capable of reproducing what you believe "nature" reproduces? The claim I made was that atheism is based on a lack of logic since there is something that can produce life, something greater than what humans can do. Call it "nature" or "God" or whatever you like. In essence, you've replaced "God" with "nature," but would like to be stuck on disproving "God" nonetheless.
jonnygothispen wrote: All living creatures have souls.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:That is a completely unfounded assumption. What's your evidence?
This is more complicated because the proof is something anyone has to seek out on their own. People have substance, something not seen, it's evident in the power by which they speak, or carry themselves, or how possibly deeply they're able to understand things. What do you call that? I call it the "soul." You can say it's not proven while at the same time you're exercising its very existence. If that's where you're stuck, so be it.
jonnygothispen wrote: Standard physical processes do not exhibit intellectual properties.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Evolution is a standard physical process. And here we are. Ta-daaah!
Question for you: What "intellectual properties" are exhibited by bacteria, paramecia, sponges, or jellyfish? Because they're definitely alive (which according to you, means they have souls), and they're definitely part of the same physical process of evolution which resulted in human beings.
This is also complex since it requires an understanding of a what a soul is, which you say doesn't exist. Even in humans there are highly varying degrees of intellectual abilities, so likewise with animals. But since you claim there is no soul, this will pervade your understanding of any explanation I would give you.
jonnygothispen wrote:Religion is delusional, and man-made just like your theories.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Evolution is not man-made. It happened and then we discovered it. And if you believe in souls -- a completely religious belief -- I guess that makes you delusional. Good to know.
I've never disputed evolution, which is actually unintelligent design - mutations of DNA that were genetically superior for surviving in their perspective niches.

I also don't believe in religion. Although I think some parts of each one is inspired. But I suppose that alludes to you that it's metaphysical re: not proven. Can you agree that some things are "good" for you and others "bad?" But in the end, religion is just a collection of words, ink on paper, and all of it is man-made depending on whatever beliefs they had. and what worked for them at that time.

You're arguing along traditional lines of Atheism/God beliefs. Are you able to ponder beyond that? So I'm guessing you believe nature created all these things, including you, and your thoughts, etc?

So let me use just one example and see what you do with it. For example, you decide to go to the co-op to get some Ezekial bread (all the grains ya know), but something tells you it's a bad idea, a feeling you get. Where did that come from? Not the material world which you're basing your entire opinion on. So what was it then?

How much of your life is based on what you feel, what is not material? When you form opinions, don;t you conclude with what make you feel good, or satisfied with your conclusion? This non-material feeling that you have, what's behind that? I'm not suggesting it's a God, but rather using this as an example of the metaphysical. And aren't there literally billions upon billions of examples of this every single day? So are you really saying there isn't a metaphysical world that we live in constantly? And if you claim not, how do you think what you believe is based on logic? Your logic can only be something like "because I can't see it, though I feel it, though I can't put it on a spreadsheet, though it's what is guiding me at this moment, though I can't analyze it with charts and graphs, but it's the very thing that made me curious enough to form an opinion, it doesn't exist." That's not logical. It sounds like you use at least part of science the very same way religious fanatics use the Bible.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:34 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:What's your definition of nature?
Nature is the entirety of the universe. It is the natural world and everything in it.
jonnygothispen wrote: Are you capable of reproducing what you believe "nature" reproduces?
Nope. I'm not capable of producing a neutron star, for example. Still not sure why you think that proves there must be something beyond nature.
jonnygothispen wrote: The claim I made was that atheism is based on a lack of logic since there is something that can produce life, something greater than what humans can do.
There is something that can produce life: The universe. It has. Here we are. There is no reason nor need to postulate anything beyond natural processes to accomplish it and you've yet to provide any evidence that there is. Millions of years ago, humans couldn't produce fire. Does that mean there must be something supernatural to explain how it existed? Can a human produce a binary star system? Or a proton? Or a galaxy supercluster? Because those things all exist and they can all be explained via naturally-occurring physical processes. The universe is a wondrous place, doncha think?
jonnygothispen wrote: Call it "nature" or "God" or whatever you like. In essence, you've replaced "God" with "nature," but would like to be stuck on disproving "God" nonetheless.
No, you're suggesting the two are equivalent. By definiton, nature is natural, and God is supernatural. They are wholly different things.
jonnygothispen wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote: All living creatures have souls.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:That is a completely unfounded assumption. What's your evidence?
This is more complicated because the proof is something anyone has to seek out on their own.
This is a dodge, not an answer.
jonnygothispen wrote: People have substance, something not seen, it's evident in the power by which they speak, or carry themselves, or how possibly deeply they're able to understand things.
If it's so evident, where is the evidence? Because all that's required to do the things you just listed are well within the power of the brain, which was formed by natural processes over millions of years of evolution. The more we learn about how the brain functions, the fewer places there are left for a "soul" to be hiding.
jonnygothispen wrote:Even in humans there are highly varying degrees of intellectual abilities, so likewise with animals. But since you claim there is no soul, this will pervade your understanding of any explanation I would give you.
This is also a dodge, not an answer. Just define what you mean by the phrase "intellectual properties". Because the way I understand the phrase, applying it to an amoeba or a jellyfish makes no more sense than applying it to a rock or a pack of cigarettes.
jonnygothispen wrote: Can you agree that some things are "good" for you and others "bad?"
What does this have to do with anything? In the broadest sense, the universe is bad for us.
jonnygothispen wrote: You're arguing along traditional lines of Atheism/God beliefs.
From my perspective, you're the one trapped in that way of thinking. As I say constantly, atheism isn't a belief! It's a lack of belief.
jonnygothispen wrote: So I'm guessing you believe nature created all these things, including you, and your thoughts, etc?
Yep. And I have evidence.
jonnygothispen wrote:So let me use just one example and see what you do with it. For example, you decide to go to the co-op to get some Ezekial bread (all the grains ya know), but something tells you it's a bad idea, a feeling you get. Where did that come from? Not the material world which you're basing your entire opinion on.
Wrong. It came from my brain, which is governed by pretty well-understood physical processes. In fact, if you damage specific parts of the brain, people lose their ability to make exactly those sorts of decisions. Are you suggesting their soul has been damaged? And just because we don't understand fully how the brain works (and geez, cut us some slack, neurobiology is one of the youngest sciences there is) doesn't mean there must be something we can't understand without resorting to supernatural explanations. The same logic you're using led to since-disproved conclusions such as eclipses are caused by angry gods.
jonnygothispen wrote: How much of your life is based on what you feel, what is not material?
None, because my brain is material and it is the source of my thoughts as well as my perceptions about the world.
jonnygothispen wrote: This non-material feeling that you have, what's behind that?
My brain.
jonnygothispen wrote:So are you really saying there isn't a metaphysical world that we live in constantly?
That's exactly what I'm saying.
jonnygothispen wrote: And if you claim not, how do you think what you believe is based on logic?
What's not logical about explaining things via physical processes? Is it illogical to say that rainbows are caused by reflection and refraction of light off water droplets? What's the difference between that and saying thoughts are created by synapses and neurons?
jonnygothispen wrote:Your logic can only be something like "because I can't see it, though I feel it, though I can't put it on a spreadsheet, though it's what is guiding me at this moment, though I can't analyze it with charts and graphs, but it's the very thing that made me curious enough to form an opinion, it doesn't exist."
But we can analyze the brain. It's what neuroscientists do.

See how easy it is to answer questions people ask? I can't help but notice you still have not done likewise.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:21 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Nature is the entirety of the universe. It is the natural world and everything in it.
So I'm guessing you assume that this natural world created itself w/o any proof, OK. Pretty much the same argument you make against God believers.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote: I'm not capable of producing a neutron star, for example. Still not sure why you think that proves there must be something beyond nature.
your definition of nature doesn't include an explanation on how it came to exist. Nature just popped up? Always was? Or you have no idea?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:There is something that can produce life: The universe. It has. Here we are. There is no reason nor need to postulate anything beyond natural processes to accomplish it and you've yet to provide any evidence that there is. Millions of years ago, humans couldn't produce fire. Does that mean there must be something supernatural to explain how it existed? Can a human produce a binary star system? Or a proton? Or a galaxy supercluster? Because those things all exist and they can all be explained via naturally-occurring physical processes. The universe is a wondrous place, doncha think?
The Universe, then is your euphemism for "God." The Universe is your higher power, as you stated. Some people translated that into words in religious texts. Pretty offensive stuff, eh?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:No, you're suggesting the two are equivalent. By definiton, nature is natural, and God is supernatural. They are wholly different things.
If one of the two doesn't exist, how can it be anything at all? You recognize a power greater than yourself (nature/universe), but choose to remain autonomous and separate yourself from that completely most likely because you see religious people as subjugated, too which I would almost completely agree.

jonnygothispen wrote: People have substance, something not seen, it's evident in the power by which they speak, or carry themselves, or how possibly deeply they're able to understand things.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:If it's so evident, where is the evidence? Because all that's required to do the things you just listed are well within the power of the brain, which was formed by natural processes over millions of years of evolution. The more we learn about how the brain functions, the fewer places there are left for a "soul" to be hiding.
Now I have to turn the tables on you and say this is a complete dodge on your part. Do you, yes or no, have premonitions that are often correct, or thoughts or concerns that do not come from within yourself, yet you're left to think them over? What about the power within people? Some people, try as they might are weak and have a hard time being heard by even one person, while another can rivet an audience of 100,000 or more to their seats by the strength of their presence. You can tell the difference in the power between a Led Zeppelin performance and Katrina and the Waves, right? By what means does this happen? Are you going to dodge that again with a reverse accusation?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:This is also a dodge, not an answer. Just define what you mean by the phrase "intellectual properties". Because the way I understand the phrase, applying it to an amoeba or a jellyfish makes no more sense than applying it to a rock or a pack of cigarettes.
I think I will define it as having a will of your own, to be able to pick and choose, no matter how strong or weak your sense of being is, insect or scientist. I think you get it, but you just want something to pick apart if you can.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:From my perspective, you're the one trapped in that way of thinking. As I say constantly, atheism isn't a belief! It's a lack of belief.
Oddly, as someone else pointed out, atheism depends on belief in God for it's existence. Perhaps it's more a belief in disbelief than anything else. I want to use your argument on you: Atheists don't exist. How so? You can say you don't believe in God all you like, but you can't actually prove you don't believe in God. They're just words. This is the foundation of atheism, lol. A belief in disbelief, hence your insistence on this debate.
jonnygothispen wrote: So I'm guessing you believe nature created all these things, including you, and your thoughts, etc?
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Yep. And I have evidence.
you have evidence that nature created your thoughts? Your definition of nature is extremely vague: the natural world and everything in it, but you want a clear definition of God. Your main claim them is that there is no other claim than yours. Because you say so. It's more like a showing of strength based on repetition than honest debate.
jonnygothispen wrote:So let me use just one example and see what you do with it. For example, you decide to go to the co-op to get some Ezekial bread (all the grains ya know), but something tells you it's a bad idea, a feeling you get. Where did that come from? Not the material world which you're basing your entire opinion on.
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Wrong. It came from my brain, which is governed by pretty well-understood physical processes. In fact, if you damage specific parts of the brain, people lose their ability to make exactly those sorts of decisions. Are you suggesting their soul has been damaged? And just because we don't understand fully how the brain works (and geez, cut us some slack, neurobiology is one of the youngest sciences there is) doesn't mean there must be something we can't understand without resorting to supernatural explanations. The same logic you're using led to since-disproved conclusions such as eclipses are caused by angry gods.
Great! Your brain tells you what's good and bad, it's not in your control or your direction, lol! No, I'm talking about a feeling without cognitive recognition that turns out to be completely true, like just today for me, don't drive up Dickinson to East Washington if you're in a hurry. I did anyway. Traffic jam, maybe an accident up near East High. Happens all the time every day of my life. There's no pre-experience or cognitive force associated with many of these examples. So this is where your theory completely breaks down. You ascribe to nature the supernatural force of being able to determine the difference between good and bad w/o pre-recognition. In other words, you've only changed the name of horse you rode in on. It's still the same horse. Thanks for the debate. I'm better prepared for the next pseudo atheist. : )

edited for quotations
Last edited by jonnygothispen on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby peripat » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:24 pm

And you assume people actually believe you when you say you had a feeling or a premonition.....
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:25 pm

dave esmond wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:If I put you and the Professor on my ignore list, does that mean you don't exist? This is what atheists do since the proof that something greater than mankind (something that can do things that man cannot do) is all around us.



Swing and a miss.

Atheists don't ignore the forces of nature and the universe. Nor do they deny those forces exist. They just don't think there's a supernatural being behind them.
Except that, uh, Atheists apply supernatural powers to nature itself, w/o any explanation or proof of how that came about. So far it looks like atheists have just replaced the word "God" with "Nature" in a way to avoid religion altogether, a noble idea for sure.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:06 pm

peripat wrote:And you assume people actually believe you when you say you had a feeling or a premonition.....
You assumed I think that.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Ducatista » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:05 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:Except that, uh, Atheists apply supernatural powers to nature itself, w/o any explanation or proof of how that came about.

Apply supernatural powers to nature itself? What, uh, are you talking about? You're as far from getting it as Pluto is from regaining planethood.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:27 pm

The idea as presented by wagstaff that nature dictates his thoughts. That nature tells you what is good or bad. That Nature created itself, without proof. Big Bang? Where's the proof? What's there to get except that Wagstaff's "The Universe is God" is another version of an unprovable concept?

I still want to hear Wagstaff's ideas about the personal power within people, or as I define it, their souls. These things are self evident in every person, yet atheists just completely deny or dodge it at their convenience. It's just brushed off as something nature does/did, w/o any proof.

I've noticed that the Atheists who like arguing often set up a fortress of words they think impenetrable the very same way religious fanatics repeat scripture.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby butters » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:49 am

jonnygothispen wrote:The claim I made was that atheism is based on a lack of logic since there is something that can produce life, something greater than what humans can do. Call it "nature" or "God" or whatever you like. In essence, you've replaced "God" with "nature," but would like to be stuck on disproving "God" nonetheless.

So even if your faulty logic and reasoning does convince you there is a "life producer" (god) out there, the religious are left with having to also explain (or provide evidence for) the long list of characteristics they have attributed to the god(s) they have conjured up for themselves. They pretend they know what it wants, what it likes, what it approves of, what it disapproves of, etc. Some even claim the existence of a god-human hybrid, which comes with whole other set of attributes!

Such wishful thinking not only sounds loopy, but it can become dangerous when people actually believe their stories are real and try to impose their unfounded beliefs on their neighbors. It can lead to bad policy, silly laws, and take away rights and freedom.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby DCB » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:18 am

jonnygothispen wrote:I still want to hear Wagstaff's ideas about the personal power within people, or as I define it, their souls. These things are self evident in every person, yet atheists just completely deny or dodge it at their convenience. It's just brushed off as something nature does/did, w/o any proof.
.

It appears self-evident to you. Seems pretty nebulous to me.

I'm fairly confident we can ascribe any human (or other animal) behavior directly to biological activity.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:55 am

jonnygothispen wrote:So I'm guessing you assume that this natural world created itself w/o any proof, OK. Pretty much the same argument you make against God believers.
How so? I've made absolutely no claim about how the universe came to be (when do you think I did?), except to say that there's no reason to predict the existence of something supernatural to explain it. There is lots of evidence to support the idea that the universe needed absolutely no help getting started. But the notion that if science cannot provide all the answers, the answer must be supernatural is simply illogical, both in principle and based on the history of that argument. Virtually everything we now know was once explained away exactly as you attempt to do now. But lightning bolts aren't caused by Zeus, diseases aren't caused by demons, and the sun isn't Ra's ship sailing across the sky.
jonnygothispen wrote:The Universe, then is your euphemism for "God."
No, it isn't. The universe is the universe. It is a physical thing, not a supernatural force. You feel a need to attach a name to something you imagine stands apart from everything we know exists, not me.
jonnygothispen wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:No, you're suggesting the two are equivalent. By definiton, nature is natural, and God is supernatural. They are wholly different things.
If one of the two doesn't exist, how can it be anything at all?
This makes no sense. Apples and bicycles are different things. If one of them didn't exist, how would that affect the other?
jonnygothispen wrote: You recognize a power greater than yourself (nature/universe), but choose to remain autonomous and separate yourself from that...
What? I am not separate from the universe in any sense at all. Considering the chemical elements composing my body were forged in now-dead stars millenia ago, the universe and I are intertwined at quite an intimate level, I'd say.
jonnygothispen wrote:Do you, yes or no, have premonitions that are often correct,
No. I don't have premonitions of any kind, but it's kind of adorable that you presume everybody does.
jonnygothispen wrote: or thoughts or concerns that do not come from within yourself, yet you're left to think them over?
I have thoughts and concerns, yes, but they most definitely come from within my brain. That's what the brain does.
jonnygothispen wrote:What about the power within people? Some people, try as they might are weak and have a hard time being heard by even one person, while another can rivet an audience of 100,000 or more to their seats by the strength of their presence. You can tell the difference in the power between a Led Zeppelin performance and Katrina and the Waves, right? By what means does this happen? Are you going to dodge that again with a reverse accusation?
The notion that I'm dodging anything is ludicrous, given my overly zealous point-by-point refutation of your arguments. But part of the problem is that you refuse to define your terms, so I end up having to argue with phantoms. "The power within people" is a nonsense phrase and beyond criticism. It's simply not possible to explain away a made-up, nebulous concept for which there is no evidence. And the "difference in power" between rock bands is, y'know, about human taste, popularity, marketing, and dozens of other factors which have no clear tie to any supernatural agent, unless you have some evidence Jimmy Page really did make a deal with the devil.
jonnygothispen wrote:I think I will define ['intellectual properties"] as having a will of your own, to be able to pick and choose, no matter how strong or weak your sense of being is, insect or scientist.
Earlier you said that "all living things" have these properties. What about bacteria, trees, and jellyfish? They are all alive. Do bacteria have free will? Do trees have a "sense of being"? Do jellyfish "pick and choose"? If your concepts only make sense in the vaguest of terms, then they really aren't very explanatory. Criticizing me for failing to grasp something you've invented but cannot explain is ludicrous.
jonnygothispen wrote:Oddly, as someone else pointed out, atheism depends on belief in God for it's existence.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? No, you say? Well, that proves that he exists.
This argument is so monumentally stupid I can't bring myself to say any more about it. Just watch this.
jonnygothispen wrote:You can say you don't believe in God all you like, but you can't actually prove you don't believe in God. They're just words.
My thoughts are not just words. Of course it is impossible to prove what someone else actually thinks, but by your logic, I can prove you don't believe any of the nonsense you're spouting either. You can't have it both ways.
jonnygothispen wrote:...hence your insistence on this debate.
My insistence? I told you earlier that I would respond if you did. So if you don't want to have this debate, stop egging me on. Because as long as you keep posting drivel, I'm going to keep debunking it, especially if you continue to misrepresent my views.
jonnygothispen wrote: you have evidence that nature created your thoughts?
I sure do. Lots. It's called neurobiology.
jonnygothispen wrote: Your definition of nature is extremely vague: the natural world and everything in it
How is that vague? Pretty inclusive, I'd say. Do you consider the set of all positive integers vague as well? But OK, you don't understand, so I'll be more specific: Nature (I prefer the universe, actually, but I don't mind too much making the substitution) is the collective name for all of the physical world, including all matter and energy, as well as the underlying structure of spacetime in which they exist.
jonnygothispen wrote:...but you want a clear definition of God.
Not really, at least not from you. You've shied away from that term, so I have no cause to challenge you about it. I and others have asked you for the terms we want defined, most of which remain nebulous because of your refusal to answer. Again, it's impossible to argue against an undefined concept, so calling me out for not doing so is ridiculous.
jonnygothispen wrote: Your main claim them is that there is no other claim than yours.
Huh? I'm willing to examine all comers when it comes to claims about the nature of the universe and how it came to be. Show me the evidence and I will evaluate it.
jonnygothispen wrote:I'm talking about a feeling without cognitive recognition that turns out to be completely true...
What you ascribe to precognition, I ascribe to decision-making within the brain. And how do you explain all those "feelings" you get that turn out to be wrong? My guess is, you ignore them, because that's how confirmation bias works.
jonnygothispen wrote:You ascribe to nature the supernatural force of being able to determine the difference between good and bad w/o pre-recognition.
I do no such thing, especially given that what you just said is meaningless tripe. Stringing random words together is not very convincing evidence for a supernatural force.
jonnygothispen wrote:The idea as presented by wagstaff that nature dictates his thoughts.
Nature produced my brain. My brain dictates my thoughts.
jonnygothispen wrote:That nature tells you what is good or bad.
I never said anything like this. When you tried putting these words in my mouth last time, I expressed bafflement at how it was even pertinent to the discussion. Good and bad are human concepts. The universe has no morality except that which we impose on it (which was my point in posting the video explaining all the ways in which the universe tries to make itself inhospitable to our very existence.)
jonnygothispen wrote: That Nature created itself, without proof. Big Bang? Where's the proof?
The evidence for the Big Bang is literally all around us. You just don't want to look at it because you've already come to your own conclusions. As for "nature creating itself", as I said, there are several possibilities, none of which can yet be confirmed. In your book, admitting this means science has failed and therefore only a supernatural explanation will suffice. In my book, conclusions cannot be drawn without evidence.
jonnygothispen wrote:I still want to hear Wagstaff's ideas about the personal power within people, or as I define it, their souls. These things are self evident in every person
There is one thing of which I am absolutely certain: You have no idea what "self-evident" means.
jonnygothispen wrote:I've noticed that the Atheists who like arguing often set up a fortress of words they think impenetrable the very same way religious fanatics repeat scripture.
Whose words are impenetrable? The words which are strictly defined and describe actual things for which there is evidence, or the words which you use without defining them, amounting to nothing more than unsubstantiated mumbo jumbo?

I look forward to your accusations that I am dodging the questions which I have responded to point-by-point, while you continue to ignore mine.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby Mean Scenester » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:54 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:And the "difference in power" between rock bands is, y'know, about human taste, popularity, marketing, and dozens of other factors which have no clear tie to any supernatural agent, unless you have some evidence Jimmy Page really did make a deal with the devil.

Geez, Wags, next you're going to tell us that Jim Morrison wasn't really the Lizard King and that he couldn't really do anything.

p.s. If there truly were any kind of supernatural authority, it wouldn't have stricken this thread dead pages ago.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby evansvillehousewife » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:59 am

I "came out" to a fellow mother.
She gasped and said "How can you be an atheist? You seem like such a good mom!"

Same mom was heard to say "I think Atheists should be deported. This country was founded on Freedom OF Religion, not freedom from religion. You shouldn't be free to not believe in a God."

Needless to say, she does not like me. And has encouraged other mothers to blackball my kid. Very Christian behavior.
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Re: The Rise of Atheism in America & Who to Thank

Postby evansvillehousewife » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:02 pm

Johnny, I do not apply "supernatural" powers to nature. That's just it. The power of creation is not a power. It's an incident. It's natural. The fact that life came into being makes it natural. Nothing had to make it that way. It just is.
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