At what point did I claim that God exists or that the Rapture was coming, andyb and edh? In all of my posts, I have played the part of a skeptic, attacking your reasoning and not your conclusions.
I am not going to re-read all of your posts in this thread and as a reasonable person I will assume that you are correct and have not directly claimed that, however you did say "You say there is no god? Prove it." that is what I am trying to get across to you.
You claim there is no god because there is no evidence of one (ie, the absence of proof is disproof), and that “the burden of proof is upon the religious.” Ironically, these are logical equivalents to what Russell’s teapot disproved: “You must believe as I do because you can’t prove me wrong.” In fact, the burden of proof is upon the believer, and no matter what that belief is, the absence of disproof is not proof, and the absence of proof is not disproof (ie, the default position for any logical proposition is "maybe,” with optional qualification).
So in this case, andyb and edh, you are the believers. You both claimed that god doesn’t exist. That is a belief. Your failure to prove your belief (an inevitability, according to Russell) doesn’t prove it false, but it does prove that it is faith-based and irrational.
You have missed the point of the whole concept of "burden of proof", and yes in relation to the classic "does God exist" question the burden of proof lies entirely with the people who claim that God does exist for the following reason - any and all (meaningful and measurable) evidence to support the idea that God exists has been proven to be either false or unprovable, however the evidence to suggest that God does NOT exist is enormous and the parties trying to prove otherwise have provided little or nothing to counter the argument that God does not exist.
Blaming religion for violence is like blaming football for hooliganism. It’s mistaking correlation for causation, and humans for rational animals. Group violence is driven primarily by the psychological satisfaction derived from acting out the “us vs. them” narrative. What distinguishes “us” from “them” is irrelevant and quite possibly manufactured for just that purpose.
Please tell me whether the following statement would be considered "football" or "hooliganism"
"Kill the nonbelievers wherever you find them."
Please tell me whether the following statement would be considered "football" or "hooliganism""Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: 'by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.' "
So what makes religion so different from all the other ideologies and causes people claim to fight for? You really think people wouldn’t find some other excuse to behave badly? Judging by what has occurred in atheist states (sorry, andyb, but ignoring them is like performing an experiment without a test group), the answer is no.
I think we are arguing from a similar direction on a number of points here. I dont only
blame religion for all of the ills of this world, I also blame cultism and ideologies that appear in many forms not just
religious forms as well as those who simply want power, however due to the overwhelming majority of people on this planet who are religious and the ridiculous amount of religious violence between different religious groups it is impossible to deny that religious violence exists.
The part that makes religious people so prone to violence towards people from another religious group comes in 3 main forms. They often have a "God mandated excuse to be violent to another religious group", what could possibly be a stronger calling for violence for the brainwashed armies of God.? There is usually a lot of historical violence between different religious groups which really helps to re-ignite violence with little provocation. Religion infects regions of the world a great deal more where there is little education, or to put it another way religion in many parts of the world is a direct cause
of a lack of education, which in turn helps to fuel violence as stupid people are much easier to push towards violence.
Religionists aren’t the only ones with invisible teapots. What do you think dark energy and dark matter are? They’re invisible, “seen” only by indirect observation, and they explain the otherwise-unexplainable.
I dont know what dark matter/energy are, I have never read much on the subject at all. Dark matter/energy is being worked on by many scientists in many different ways to identify whether it does actually exist, and if so what it is and how better to understand it. This cannot be comparable with religion in any way as religion by definition is "the true word of God" and as such anything that disagrees with religion is thrown out as being incorrect or Blasphemous because religion makes people stupid by telling them that we already know everything that we ever need to know - science does the exact opposite.
Why can't scientists just admit they got gravity wrong?
I am sure they will at some point in the future "Gravitational Theory" will be revised when a better more accurate Theory is widely accepted, it has already been revised several times there is nothing to say that we know everything there is to know about gravity.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of ... nal_theory
There is no doubt that the scientific method is a powerful tool, but scientists are just as human as the rest of us. They'd have to be gods themselves for their work to be free of ego, preconception, and groupthink.
I would not disagree with the fact that science does sometimes get stuck in a rut (part of being human I suppose), and then someone (still human) comes along and re-writes science.... thats what science does, it is constantly striving for better answers and more knowledge than what we have now. A perfect example of scientists getting things wrong, and then another scientist comes along and re-defined our knowledge.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/4304290.stm
Seriously, though, sometimes we could all benefit from a little more uncertainty and a lot more self-awareness. All too often, our made-up minds are armored by cognitive dissonance and impervious to reality. If I hadn't seen it so often in others, I'd still have plenty of examples in myself, but for some reason, I've forgotten most of them.
I agree totally, which is why I sometimes catching myself stating as though it is proven fact that God does NOT exist, rather than me saying that I am 99.999% certain that God does not exist, which is true as I cannot prove the extra 0.001%