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Thread: The Delusions of Atheists

  1. #21

    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Quote Xeno said View Post
    I assume you mean by "it", "who or what was jesus, if anything". My view is that it is pretty immaterial as an argument regarding theism when discussing with a theist directly, but still not an assumption which should be allowed through unchecked where there is a bystander whose attention may be lax.
    Even more irrelevantly,what it there never was any ‘Q’ document, and Matthew was not written until more than a century after the time you mention?

    When did Matthew first enter the historical record?

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Quote katrina said View Post
    Even more irrelevantly,what it there never was any ‘Q’ document, and Matthew was not written until more than a century after the time you mention?

    When did Matthew first enter the historical record?
    I am taking it these are rhetorical questions hooked on to my post, because I certainly do not intend to follow up the research!
    There are no good arguments for gods.

  4. #23

    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    No, not at all. You did say that Matthew apparently drew on 'Q' and Mark, and I assumed you were reasonably well versed in this subject.

    Anyway, I was interested to hear your reply on when Matthew's existence was first mentioned, or even that of the other three canonical gospels.

  5. #24

    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Quote 142857 said View Post
    Okay, self-reporting of atheism among prisoners is probably not the best evidence. I dare say, though, that if self-identifying atheists were massively over-represented in prisons rather than massively under-represented you wouldn't see quite as many people bending over backwards trying to claim that the statistic was somehow meaningless.

    Here is an article that makes a broader case (although it does also reference prison population statistics):
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...m-and-religion

    Another (although it's a bit short on providing the hard stats and the link to the original study doesn't work):
    http://www.nairaland.com/121066/pred...s-lowest-crime

    Thank you for replying.

    In fact there are no shortage of articles out there showing similar correlations.

    Of course correlation is not causation, and it is difficult to prove that atheism makes you more moral or less likely to act in ways that society considers less moral. But the fact that people on both sides of the debate have to tie themselves into knots trying to explain why the statistics that appear to show that atheists are more moral are not as conclusive as they might appear to be at first glance does tend indicate that religion is not a prerequisite for moral behaviour by any stretch.
    The second-mentioned article refers to a ‘scholarly study’ under the uplifting title of Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies.

    Before I got even halfway through, I found myself asking whether the author was only playing a joke on his readers!

    Someone else thought so too:

    'Conclusion

    Mr. Paul’s paper may be long on baloney and short on logic, but it could have been worse.

    “We rejected it initially,” Dr. Simkins said. “When he agreed to rewrite it, the review committee narrowed its focus, made certain suggestions, and shortened it. We published it because we were interested in his figures. Initially he made a lot broader claims about the meaning of his data. We didn’t allow him to make those claims in the rewritten version.”

    So the end product was a pseudoscientific paper by a dinosaur-book writer passing for a social scientist, dramatized by the London Times, uncritically accepted by atheist Web-meisters as scientific proof that religion is bad for you, and probably destined to be trotted out by every intellectual featherweight desiring to make that point.

    No one bothered to check the author’s credentials; no one bothered to examine his argument on its merits.

    It is, in a single word, humbug.’


    http://chalcedon.edu/research/articl...e-credentials/

  6. #25
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    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    For some reason when I read that article I was interested in the data and not the author.

    Are you disputing the presented data?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."Philip K. Dick


  7. #26
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    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    From the link:
    Using exactly the same kind of data Paul used, one could easily show that America’s societal ills only increased after courts, schools, media, the American Civil Liberties Union, and liberal politicians mounted an aggressive campaign to de-Christianize America. As America has been made less Christian and more secular, social pathology has dramatically increased.
    In fact, crime in the United States has been dramatically decreasing over the same period as the article refers to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_..._United_States

    Of course you could claim that even though people are killing each other less, beating each other up less, and stealing from each other less, social pathology is somehow increasing. But how is social pathology related to a supposed increase in secularism? Many (myself included) would claim that increases in social pathology are more closely related to the rise of libertarian and neo-conservative ideologies that have nothing to do with secularism.
    Last edited by 142857; 20th June 2016 at 07:51 PM.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Quote katrina said View Post
    No, not at all. You did say that Matthew apparently drew on 'Q' and Mark, and I assumed you were reasonably well versed in this subject.

    Anyway, I was interested to hear your reply on when Matthew's existence was first mentioned, or even that of the other three canonical gospels.
    Hi Katrina

    Given I have been around longer, I think it is incumbent on me to clear up our confusion (maybe only mine).

    I thought you were making a point from your own further knowledge, which I had taken from its content to be comparable to mine as an initial working assumption. Hence, I joked that I was not about to rehearse the research given we agree (I think) this is not a critical issue for a-theism.

    My source in my original post was bc.edu, and I derive also from information in Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted. I am willing to look up the answers to your questions provided you are willing to wait up to a week for me to do so. This is to remind myself of things previously but not recently read.

    cheers
    X
    There are no good arguments for gods.

  9. #28

    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Quote Loki said View Post
    For some reason when I read that article I was interested in the data and not the author.

    Are you disputing the presented data?
    When I read the article I had no idea who the author was. I only noted that it was a one-man affair, devoid of any mention of qualification, or affiliation to any university or other research body.

    I simply found his arguments, claims, statement after statement, becoming ever more absurd. After that, to be honest, I had no interest in wasting time on his so-called data, partly perhaps because in past years I have studied many surveys comparing different aspects of US society with those of European countries or Australia, ones deemed trustworthy from the outset, I should add.

    I have no idea whether his data is accurate or not, but data incorrectly interpreted is probably worse than no data at all! The US federal prison religious affiliation survey mentioned earlier, with claims that only .07 percent of prisoners are atheist, is as good an example as any.

    “Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.” (Clifford Stoll)

    But what is it that you found compelling from his data?

  10. #29
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    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Well, for a start it is not "his" data, as you would know given you are apparently familiar enough with it to arbitrarily dismiss it.

    Secondly, much of this data is freely and publically available for you to assess for yourself. Not only the data available when that particular paper was written, but right up to 2015. Plus a whole heap of other data not considered in that paper.

    You could perhaps start with the WHO Global Health Observatory data. Knock yourself out. Let us know how you get on.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."Philip K. Dick


  11. #30

    Default Re: The Delusions of Atheists

    Quote stylofone said View Post

    I became a bit of an Einstein fanboy when I read the Isaacson biography. Albert was very obliging to people who wanted to quote mine so everyone seems to want to
    claim him for their team. But amid all the misrepresentation Einstein was pretty clear. He keeps coming back to Spinoza...Einstein explicitly and rather testily said he
    does not believe in a personal god. The god he did believe in was some sort of pantheistic one barely god at all really. Isaacson baldly states Einstein believed in God
    in his introduction but the content of the book shows how inadequate that statement is. Isaacson also links Einsteins quasi religious view that there is a simple
    elegant order to the universe to his refusal to accept some of the key principles of quantum mechanics. So the impression I got was that even this very dilute
    faith was still toxic to the potency of the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century. Religion poisons everything stands up pretty well in this example
    Einstein was born a Jew but did not believe in the Abrahamic God or indeed any deity for that matter. For as you say he was a pantheist rather than a theist or deist. This
    is why he did not want to be mistaken for an atheist. I have though seen the other side claim him as one of their own by saying he believed in God. That may be because
    of his famous quote God does not play dice. However it was simply metaphorical and not proof of him declaring a belief. And as Einstein was neither a theist or an atheist
    neither side can claim him as one of their own. And even if he was one or the other this would be academic since he should be remembered for his contribution to physics
    Nothing else. For outside of his area of expertise his opinions are not as informed. Incidentally I have read the Isaacson and intend to again as it is an excellent biography
    A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN

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