Atheists = Theists?

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Other than the obvious and fundemental difference, of course.

I've seen a couple threads floating around (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.305549-Apparently-indoctrinated-anti-theist-children-exist and http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/528.304918-Poll-Atheists-Sue-to-Block-Display-of-Cross-Shaped-Beam-in-9-11-Museum to be specific) and I've seen some posts from some more outspoken atheists that made me wonder: Are Atheists and theists really so different? Or to rephrase, Are some atheists starting to fall into the very traps that they so often decry? The indoctrination one absolutely cries of this, I've seen lots and lots of atheists critisize religious families for forcing religion on their children. I've also seen some atheists who just don't want to be part of the discussion. They have their beliefs and your beliefs can go fuck themselves because you're wrong and clearly a dumbass for believing for a second that any higher power could possibly exist. That actually flows nicely into my next point which is that some atheists can be very unflinching in professing their beliefs and will tirelessly try to convince (convert, if you will) others to believe as they do. The similarities are as striking as they are numerous, and I'm wondering what other people think of this little trend I've percieved.

tl;dr: Are Atheists starting to fall into the same traps that they so often decry?

EDIT: Also, to clarify, I DO NOT mean this to be true for the majority of atheists, the same way I don't view these things as being true for the majority of theists. I'm trying to call attention to the more vocal minority and highlight the similarities extremism can take in all it's forms.

What traps?

Indoctrination? - no, I certainly wouldn't say so.
Hatred? - well holy shit dude people are jerks no matter what they believe. I bet there were some anti-slavery proponents that were stubborn, stupid, and aggressive.

Atheists criticise the belief in god, and maybe faith as well. What is there to contradict?

Hm, no. We may overgeneralize sometimes, but overall I'd disagree. That said, Atheists aren't always reasonable. Being reasonable can lead you to being an Atheist, but being an Atheist is no guarantee of the reverse. Especially considering the sorts of hatred Atheists still receive in some places, it shouldn't be surprising that emotions sometimes overboil when they finally get a chance to speak their minds. On the whole, though, I'd disagree, as I said above.

At first, I thought this thread was about Atheists and Theists not being that different in other ways. I'd agree with that, considering we're much more shaped by our families, friends and society than by religion, since religion is much more varied and dependent on culture than some would think. For instance, a Theist and an Atheist from an advanced country, having grown up in almost the same surroundings, will have much more common than a Theist from an advanced country and a Theist of the same religion from an uncivilized one where much more radical, theocratic views may persist. Atheists and Theists are a lot alike in most of their views because religion is merely one aspect of what makes a person's views.

thtool:
What traps?

Indoctrination? - no, I certainly wouldn't say so.
Hatred? - well holy shit dude people are jerks no matter what they believe. I bet there were some anti-slavery proponents that were stubborn, stupid, and aggressive.

Atheists criticise the belief in god, and maybe faith as well. What is there to contradict?

Well there's my point, the same as atheists criticise the belief in god and general existence of fate, theists criticise atheist's inherent lack of faith. Almost like saying theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin for that particular argument.

MoNKeyYy:

thtool:
What traps?

Indoctrination? - no, I certainly wouldn't say so.
Hatred? - well holy shit dude people are jerks no matter what they believe. I bet there were some anti-slavery proponents that were stubborn, stupid, and aggressive.

Atheists criticise the belief in god, and maybe faith as well. What is there to contradict?

Well there's my point, the same as atheists criticise the belief in god and general existence of fate, theists criticise atheist's inherent lack of faith. Almost like saying theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin for that particular argument.

I'm not following what your point is. Yeah - atheists and theists are on opposite sides of an argument...

Skeleon:
Hm, no. We may overgeneralize sometimes, but overall I'd disagree. That said, Atheists aren't always reasonable. Being reasonable can lead you to being an Atheist, but being an Atheist is no guarantee of the reverse.

Of course, being reasonable seems to lead to atheism to an atheist. And being reasonable seems to lead to theism to a theist.

The "atheists are rational thinkers" claim is complete tautology.

My logic says that there's no God, therefore it's logical to not believe in God...

I don't think that quite does the job.

On topic, I wouldn't say they are starting to fall into the same traps, because atheists aren't exactly new, and everyone who tries to argue their belief or disbelief in God hits the "nobody knows the answer" wall and is left with only the ability to yell smug things at whoever disagrees. End point: the only atheist or theist not falling into all the same traps is the one who never says a word about their beliefs. That way you cannot spew hatred about it, crusade your cause, belittle the opposing side, or indoctrinate your children.

tstorm823:
Of course, being reasonable seems to lead to atheism to an atheist. And being reasonable seems to lead to theism to a theist.

The "atheists are rational thinkers" claim is complete tautology.

My logic says that there's no God, therefore it's logical to not believe in God...

I don't think that quite does the job.

Hm? Even plenty of Theists admit that their belief isn't founded on empirical evidence. Thus, this claim doesn't seem tautological to me at all. Unless you think believing things without empricial evidence is reasonable. Hell, Theists use this kind of defense quite regularily: "It's called faith for a reason. If there were proof, it wouldn't be faith. It's not about evidence, it's about belief. It's about personal experience." Or something else along those lines. Are those qualities you'd generally call reasonable? Maybe being reasonable is, in itself, not a positive or negative thing for the people in question. Maybe you're inserting too much into this.

thtool:

MoNKeyYy:

thtool:
What traps?

Indoctrination? - no, I certainly wouldn't say so.
Hatred? - well holy shit dude people are jerks no matter what they believe. I bet there were some anti-slavery proponents that were stubborn, stupid, and aggressive.

Atheists criticise the belief in god, and maybe faith as well. What is there to contradict?

Well there's my point, the same as atheists criticise the belief in god and general existence of fate, theists criticise atheist's inherent lack of faith. Almost like saying theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin for that particular argument.

I'm not following what your point is. Yeah - atheists and theists are on opposite sides of an argument...

Maybe the thought seems to be a given to you haha, I couldn't say. My point is that every quality professed by a certain group to be negative that belongs to the other group innevitably comes up in the behaviour of the opposite group's members. Christ that sentance was a nightmare.

What I'm saying is that when an atheist or theist criticises the other group for behaving a certain way, that group is almost certainly guilty of the same thing. The difference that I'm trying to highlight is that atheists, as the "newer" or less societally prominant group have traditionally held the high ground in this regard, but that their position has slipped recently and they now exhibit precicely the behavior that they rally against.

the worst thing about Richard Dawkins is that he comes across as as much a driven fundamentalist as half the people he's supposedly the counter to.

if would be far better if Atheists had a much nicer poster boy . . . like say David Attenborough or somebody

anyway not my subject really.
i'm an Apatheist

Sleekit:
the worst thing about Richard Dawkins is that he comes across as as much a driven fundamentalist as half the people he's supposedly the counter to.

if would be far better if Atheists had a much nicer poster boy . . . like say David Attenborough or somebody

Why do you say that? What has Dawkins actually done that makes you think of him that way? I see people say that about him a lot but I just don't see it myself. He seems pretty honest and fair. I'm hardly a fan of him, just seen various clips of him getting asked fucktarded questions from idiots.

I think that if David Att actually started talking more about atheism then he would get just as much hate.

If I claim that 1+1=2 and my opponent claims that 1+1=3 in the exact same tone of voice and with the exact same amount of conviction, I'm still pretty clearly right. I'm not saying atheism is an obvious truth in same way addition is, but just because two different groups of people speak in a similar fashion (accepting your over-generalization for the sake of argument) doesn't mean one group isn't more right than the other.

MoNKeyYy:

thtool:

MoNKeyYy:

Well there's my point, the same as atheists criticise the belief in god and general existence of fate, theists criticise atheist's inherent lack of faith. Almost like saying theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin for that particular argument.

I'm not following what your point is. Yeah - atheists and theists are on opposite sides of an argument...

Maybe the thought seems to be a given to you haha, I couldn't say. My point is that every quality professed by a certain group to be negative that belongs to the other group innevitably comes up in the behaviour of the opposite group's members. Christ that sentance was a nightmare.

What I'm saying is that when an atheist or theist criticises the other group for behaving a certain way, that group is almost certainly guilty of the same thing. The difference that I'm trying to highlight is that atheists, as the "newer" or less societally prominant group have traditionally held the high ground in this regard, but that their position has slipped recently and they now exhibit precicely the behavior that they rally against.

So what is the actually quality that both of them have yet criticise the other for having as well?

I guess I just don't see the arguments doing anything like that. I have seen people in this forum start accusing atheists of being "religious" for teaming up or sharing ideas or something, but I consider that to be a pretty stupid accusation.

Falconsgyre:
If I claim that 1+1=2 and my opponent claims that 1+1=3 in the exact same tone of voice and with the exact same amount of conviction, I'm still pretty clearly right. I'm not saying atheism is an obvious truth in same way addition is, but just because two different groups of people speak in a similar fashion (accepting your over-generalization for the sake of argument) doesn't mean one group isn't more right than the other.

I'm not trying to say that either group is more "Right" than the other, and I apologize if my post conveys that. My point is merely that the similarity in how both groups address each other exists and that there's a certain hypocracy there.

thtool:

MoNKeyYy:

thtool:

I'm not following what your point is. Yeah - atheists and theists are on opposite sides of an argument...

Maybe the thought seems to be a given to you haha, I couldn't say. My point is that every quality professed by a certain group to be negative that belongs to the other group innevitably comes up in the behaviour of the opposite group's members. Christ that sentance was a nightmare.

What I'm saying is that when an atheist or theist criticises the other group for behaving a certain way, that group is almost certainly guilty of the same thing. The difference that I'm trying to highlight is that atheists, as the "newer" or less societally prominant group have traditionally held the high ground in this regard, but that their position has slipped recently and they now exhibit precicely the behavior that they rally against.

So what is the actually quality that both of them have yet criticise the other for having as well?

I guess I just don't see the arguments doing anything like that. I have seen people in this forum start accusing atheists of being "religious" for teaming up or sharing ideas or something, but I consider that to be a pretty stupid accusation.

The things I said in my OP, basically. How both groups are on a high horse with regard to the other, how both sit atop a position of immovable percieved "rightness", how both criticise the other for being hateful and/or viewing the other as inferior, how both groups blame the other for brainwashing youth while all the while indoctrining their own views into their own youth, that sort of thing.

And as a sidenote, atheism is a position of belief so an organized group of atheists could consitute a religious sect, technically. Not that they would or it would, but it's a funny thought and would nicely fuck up the naming and filing system.

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
Of course, being reasonable seems to lead to atheism to an atheist. And being reasonable seems to lead to theism to a theist.

The "atheists are rational thinkers" claim is complete tautology.

My logic says that there's no God, therefore it's logical to not believe in God...

I don't think that quite does the job.

Hm? Even plenty of Theists admit that their belief isn't founded on empirical evidence. Thus, this claim doesn't seem tautological to me at all. Unless you think believing things without empricial evidence is reasonable. Hell, Theists use this kind of defense quite regularily: "It's called faith for a reason. If there were proof, it wouldn't be faith. It's not about evidence, it's about belief. It's about personal experience." Or something else along those lines. Are those qualities you'd generally call reasonable? Maybe being reasonable is, in itself, not a positive or negative thing for the people in question. Maybe you're inserting too much into this.

By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence. The only people who escape from this are the agnostics. All I'm saying is that everything exists, we don't know where everything came from, we haven't the faintest idea how time works at all, and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

I'm not saying theism is based on empirical evidence. I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

tstorm823:
By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence.

Except I'm not making that claim. The burden of proof is on Theists. I'm an Agnostic Atheist. I don't believe in gods but I'm not claiming certainty of their non-existence. That would be inconsistent, considering I'm trying to get at it from a scientific perspective.

...and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

No, I think believing things with no evidence is unreasonable. Also goes for the argument from ignorance, by the way. You need to understand the concept of rejecting a positive claim without making a positive claim of one's own.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

It's unreasonable to jump from "everything came from something" to "here's a Theistic god with very specific moral views, a cosmology of its own and all sorts of claims". There's no way to support any sort of Theism with such argumentation. You could maybe get as far as Deism if I were to accept the premises, but no further.

I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

Disagreed. I have no empirical evidence for gods, thus I don't accept the claims about them. Could gods exist? Sure. Nothing's impossible. Could I be a brain in a jar? Sure. Is there any reason to believe either of those things? Nope. Thus, unreasonable.

MoNKeyYy:

Falconsgyre:
If I claim that 1+1=2 and my opponent claims that 1+1=3 in the exact same tone of voice and with the exact same amount of conviction, I'm still pretty clearly right. I'm not saying atheism is an obvious truth in same way addition is, but just because two different groups of people speak in a similar fashion (accepting your over-generalization for the sake of argument) doesn't mean one group isn't more right than the other.

I'm not trying to say that either group is more "Right" than the other, and I apologize if my post conveys that. My point is merely that the similarity in how both groups address each other exists and that there's a certain hypocracy there.

Since I think there is a right answer, you don't have to apologize to me if you think you implied one group was more "right."

But that's not the point I was making. What I was trying to get at was that this criticism is kind of misaimed. It might just be that atheists are objectively right and that theists are objectively wrong (or vice versa), and firmly sticking to your position is no crime. What you're looking at is just the very surface of atheist and theist positions, and you really can't make any judgments from that. The "traps" atheists (or, perhaps, anti-theists, since that's what I think you're really looking for) tend to point out in religion are things like faith (i.e. belief without justification) and so far I think atheists definitely have the upper hand on that one. Atheists don't criticize theists for being firm with their positions and any criticisms about trying to "convert" people are social in nature and have nothing to do with religious belief in particular.

MoNKeyYy:
Well there's my point, the same as atheists criticise the belief in god and general existence of fate, theists criticise atheist's inherent lack of faith. Almost like saying theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin for that particular argument.

No, you're wrong. Here's how it goes:
Atheists to theists - "You try to indoctrinate society, persecute those who don't share your beliefs, argue that the law should be based around a 2000 year old book written by desert nomads, constantly slow down the scientific and social progress...(etc.)"
Theists to atheists - "You don't believe the invisible man in the sky."

Two sides of the same coin?
So what if atheists are "rude"? They should be since that's the only way they can really be heard. Being humble and polite won't get your message across, trust me.

tstorm823:

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
Of course, being reasonable seems to lead to atheism to an atheist. And being reasonable seems to lead to theism to a theist.

The "atheists are rational thinkers" claim is complete tautology.

My logic says that there's no God, therefore it's logical to not believe in God...

I don't think that quite does the job.

Hm? Even plenty of Theists admit that their belief isn't founded on empirical evidence. Thus, this claim doesn't seem tautological to me at all. Unless you think believing things without empricial evidence is reasonable. Hell, Theists use this kind of defense quite regularily: "It's called faith for a reason. If there were proof, it wouldn't be faith. It's not about evidence, it's about belief. It's about personal experience." Or something else along those lines. Are those qualities you'd generally call reasonable? Maybe being reasonable is, in itself, not a positive or negative thing for the people in question. Maybe you're inserting too much into this.

By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence. The only people who escape from this are the agnostics. All I'm saying is that everything exists, we don't know where everything came from, we haven't the faintest idea how time works at all, and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

I'm not saying theism is based on empirical evidence. I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

The only way to prove atheism wrong is to show empirical evidence for a god. The only way to prove theists wrong is to.. well, nothing. You can't prove a god doesn't exist. But if a god existed, it would leave evidence. If a god doesn't exist, there would be no evidence. Therefore, every second of living in a world with no evidence for a god is evidence for atheism.

Even if you don't accept that lack of evidence is evidence of lack, you must accept that the most logical position is a lack of belief, pending actual evidence. And a lack of belief in god is awfully, awfully close to believing there is no gods, pointless semantics aside.

You can't "prove" a lack. So no, atheists are definitely not in the same faith-camp as theists. They are fundamentally different positions.

thtool:

Sleekit:
the worst thing about Richard Dawkins is that he comes across as as much a driven fundamentalist as half the people he's supposedly the counter to.

if would be far better if Atheists had a much nicer poster boy . . . like say David Attenborough or somebody

Why do you say that? What has Dawkins actually done that makes you think of him that way? I see people say that about him a lot but I just don't see it myself. He seems pretty honest and fair. I'm hardly a fan of him, just seen various clips of him getting asked fucktarded questions from idiots.

I think that if David Att actually started talking more about atheism then he would get just as much hate.

Richard Dawkins is just not a very personable person. brilliant scientist and mind. bad public spokesperson for a cause...or whatever you want to call it.

he doesn't get called "Darwin's Rottweiler" for nothing.

Carl Sagan or "David Att" he is not.

Sleekit:

thtool:

Sleekit:
the worst thing about Richard Dawkins is that he comes across as as much a driven fundamentalist as half the people he's supposedly the counter to.

if would be far better if Atheists had a much nicer poster boy . . . like say David Attenborough or somebody

Why do you say that? What has Dawkins actually done that makes you think of him that way? I see people say that about him a lot but I just don't see it myself. He seems pretty honest and fair. I'm hardly a fan of him, just seen various clips of him getting asked fucktarded questions from idiots.

I think that if David Att actually started talking more about atheism then he would get just as much hate.

Richard Dawkins is just not a very personable person. brilliant scientist and mind. bad public spokesperson for a cause...or whatever you want to call it. he's no Carl Sagan.

Hmm, alright. I don't really see it like that, though. I still think that even if Sagan was the one to take up the atheist 'flag', he would get as much hate. I get the feeling that it's just most people dislike atheists, especially vocal ones, and anyone would catch flack regardless of how personable they are.

thtool:

Sleekit:

thtool:

Why do you say that? What has Dawkins actually done that makes you think of him that way? I see people say that about him a lot but I just don't see it myself. He seems pretty honest and fair. I'm hardly a fan of him, just seen various clips of him getting asked fucktarded questions from idiots.

I think that if David Att actually started talking more about atheism then he would get just as much hate.

Richard Dawkins is just not a very personable person. brilliant scientist and mind. bad public spokesperson for a cause...or whatever you want to call it. he's no Carl Sagan.

Hmm, alright. I don't really see it like that, though. I still think that even if Sagan was the one to take up the atheist 'flag', he would get as much hate. I get the feeling that it's just most people dislike atheists, especially vocal ones, and anyone would catch flack regardless of how personable they are.

I find Dawkins to be very likable. He is honest, but he tries to be respectful. It is hard for a scientist to take on a religious person without sounding condescending.

Falconsgyre:

MoNKeyYy:

Falconsgyre:
If I claim that 1+1=2 and my opponent claims that 1+1=3 in the exact same tone of voice and with the exact same amount of conviction, I'm still pretty clearly right. I'm not saying atheism is an obvious truth in same way addition is, but just because two different groups of people speak in a similar fashion (accepting your over-generalization for the sake of argument) doesn't mean one group isn't more right than the other.

I'm not trying to say that either group is more "Right" than the other, and I apologize if my post conveys that. My point is merely that the similarity in how both groups address each other exists and that there's a certain hypocracy there.

Since I think there is a right answer, you don't have to apologize to me if you think you implied one group was more "right."

But that's not the point I was making. What I was trying to get at was that this criticism is kind of misaimed. It might just be that atheists are objectively right and that theists are objectively wrong (or vice versa), and firmly sticking to your position is no crime. What you're looking at is just the very surface of atheist and theist positions, and you really can't make any judgments from that. The "traps" atheists (or, perhaps, anti-theists, since that's what I think you're really looking for) tend to point out in religion are things like faith (i.e. belief without justification) and so far I think atheists definitely have the upper hand on that one. Atheists don't criticize theists for being firm with their positions and any criticisms about trying to "convert" people are social in nature and have nothing to do with religious belief in particular.

That's a great point about the atheist vs anti-theist thing, I'll keep that in mind for the future. Rather like calling out Christians instead of the WBC =P And there's those similarities popping up again, ha.

And I think I see what you mean. I certainly agree that my points have been basically surface things, but it's this kind of behavior I'm trying to exhibit. It's why the first sentance in this thread is "aside from the obvious and fundamental difference". Also I'm trying to call out the anti-theists mostly here I guess, the ones who actually do shit on religion and claim it's the root of all evil and that, not the atheists who just make points on logical fallacy and and the problem with faith.

Also while the faith thing has been brought up I wouldn't say that it's 100% belief without justification, and I think both the point you made and the point I'm about to make are examples of the aforementioned fundamental difference.

Written records are one example. Lots of people - and lots of different people at that have written about all kinds of well documented cases of prophets and miracles and such. Archeological records and non-religious historical texts verify the existences of the settings and characters in these myths so the thought that the more supernatural content is true isn't a large stretch for many. Or there's simply fundamental belief. I for one see life and the universe and think that there must be something out there keeping it all together. The difference is that I say it's something tangible and you say that it's the way it has and always will be.

HardkorSB:

MoNKeyYy:
Well there's my point, the same as atheists criticise the belief in god and general existence of fate, theists criticise atheist's inherent lack of faith. Almost like saying theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin for that particular argument.

No, you're wrong. Here's how it goes:
Atheists to theists - "You try to indoctrinate society, persecute those who don't share your beliefs, argue that the law should be based around a 2000 year old book written by desert nomads, constantly slow down the scientific and social progress...(etc.)"
Theists to atheists - "You don't believe the invisible man in the sky."

Two sides of the same coin?
So what if atheists are "rude"? They should be since that's the only way they can really be heard. Being humble and polite won't get your message across, trust me.

It's actually the flying spagetti monster, thank you. While you're being so crass I'd appreciate that you at least be accurate. ;)

In all seriousness though, I think you're oversimplifing it a bit. For one, you seem to be limiting your scope of religon to Christianity, or perhaps the Abrahamic religions in general and for two you're portraying all theists as being ignorant and responsible for the actions of greater (not to mention past) organizations who's motivations, I doubt many would dispute, had more to do with power than religion. When I say that atheists and theists are on two sides of the same coin I mean that they both stand from a position of percieved superiority, that they both view the other side as "needing help", that we both stand from a position of belief and that we express that belief in similar ways, at least when dealing with opposite group.

And I'm afraid I'm going to have to flat out disagree about needing to be rude to get a point across, I see no reason that conversation with regards to any issue can't be civil and I think that any level of rudeness simply serves to devalue the conversation as a whole.

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence.

Except I'm not making that claim. The burden of proof is on Theists. I'm an Agnostic Atheist. I don't believe in gods but I'm not claiming certainty of their non-existence. That would be inconsistent, considering I'm trying to get at it from a scientific perspective.

...and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

No, I think believing things with no evidence is unreasonable. Also goes for the argument from ignorance, by the way. You need to understand the concept of rejecting a positive claim without making a positive claim of one's own.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

It's unreasonable to jump from "everything came from something" to "here's a Theistic god with very specific moral views, a cosmology of its own and all sorts of claims". There's no way to support any sort of Theism with such argumentation. You could maybe get as far as Deism if I were to accept the premises, but no further.

I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

Disagreed. I have no empirical evidence for gods, thus I don't accept the claims about them. Could gods exist? Sure. Nothing's impossible. Could I be a brain in a jar? Sure. Is there any reason to believe either of those things? Nope. Thus, unreasonable.

Firstly, the concept of atheism is the disbelief in God. If your belief is that you don't know either way, you are not an atheist. I'm sure you could get into a definition war about this with me, but I'll just assume I'm wrong about that if you agree it doesn't matter.

I believe the existance of everything is quite reasonable evidence for a creator. With non-supernatural elements, we can say that every event has 1 or more causes, and all causes determine what "direction" their effects will go. (Not necessarily physical direction, but in determining the outcome.) That leaves us with 2 open questions. First, the absolute question of what caused the string of causes to begin, and second, the curiousity question of how did that cause determine a universe where we are alive enough to debate on internet forums.

A scientist sees an unanswered question, makes a hypothesis, and tests it through observation. The hypothesis can be that there is a greater power. You behave as though the observations come up with no results. I behave as though there was never an appropriate test in the frist place. Oops, nobody has the upper hand, get used to it.

The whole moral views of God thing is just a silly arguement by you. You seem to think it's absurd that a creator would have moral guidelines to follow. But I wonder if you think there are such things as moral guidelines. If you believe that murder is wrong, you certainly have some moral guidelines, but since you don't believe in God, the idea tha God declared that wrong seems absurd. However, if you believe God created all of existance, he certainly did create the idea that killing is wrong, thus giving moral guidelines. I'm not sure why you feel that you make theism look absurd there.

Though I also don't know why you imply that deism is no more compatable with theism than atheism.

You have never been given a reason to believe you are a brain in a jar. I just gave a reason I believe in God. Thus, not analogous. You may certainly believe what you want, but you have no monopoly on reason.

tstorm823:

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence.

Except I'm not making that claim. The burden of proof is on Theists. I'm an Agnostic Atheist. I don't believe in gods but I'm not claiming certainty of their non-existence. That would be inconsistent, considering I'm trying to get at it from a scientific perspective.

...and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

No, I think believing things with no evidence is unreasonable. Also goes for the argument from ignorance, by the way. You need to understand the concept of rejecting a positive claim without making a positive claim of one's own.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

It's unreasonable to jump from "everything came from something" to "here's a Theistic god with very specific moral views, a cosmology of its own and all sorts of claims". There's no way to support any sort of Theism with such argumentation. You could maybe get as far as Deism if I were to accept the premises, but no further.

I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

Disagreed. I have no empirical evidence for gods, thus I don't accept the claims about them. Could gods exist? Sure. Nothing's impossible. Could I be a brain in a jar? Sure. Is there any reason to believe either of those things? Nope. Thus, unreasonable.

Firstly, the concept of atheism is the disbelief in God. If your belief is that you don't know either way, you are not an atheist. I'm sure you could get into a definition war about this with me, but I'll just assume I'm wrong about that if you agree it doesn't matter.

Wrong. Atheism is not a positive stance. It is simply a rejection of all claims of a deity up to this point in time. The burden of proof is on the theist.
Take it away Russell!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

MoNKeyYy:
When I say that atheists and theists are on two sides of the same coin I mean that they both stand from a position of percieved superiority, that they both view the other side as "needing help", that we both stand from a position of belief and that we express that belief in similar ways, at least when dealing with opposite group.

Except while one group has a constantly growing amount of evidence for their side, the other just has some old books.

MoNKeyYy:
And I'm afraid I'm going to have to flat out disagree about needing to be rude to get a point across, I see no reason that conversation with regards to any issue can't be civil and I think that any level of rudeness simply serves to devalue the conversation as a whole.

Does it devalue a conversation? Maybe.
Does it work? Definitely.
Sure, some people will only be persuaded by logic and reason with most of them you just have to hit them over the head with what you want to say. If you make the opposing side look like shit, the people will side with you. Just look at Dawkins or Hitchens - they mock and ridicule religious belief on a daily basis. Do you think that if they were polite to the religious they would get the same results? I don't.
It's not about what is morally right or wrong, it's about what works. Being a dick makes for a better spectacle. People are generally attracted to spectacles.
We are a species that is usually controlled by our emotions.First you have to win people over emotionally and then, once you have them on your side, hit them with logic, reason and evidence to further solidify your position.

tstorm823:
Firstly, the concept of atheism is the disbelief in God. If your belief is that you don't know either way, you are not an atheist. I'm sure you could get into a definition war about this with me, but I'll just assume I'm wrong about that if you agree it doesn't matter.

I gave you the exact name of what I consider myself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism
The idea that Agnosticism and Atheism are mutually exclusive does not make sense.

I believe the existance of everything is quite reasonable evidence for a creator.

Then you've bought into the argument from ignorance, which is fallacious. It could be a creator. It could be quantum mechanics. It could be five creators. It could be a natural, physical process in a metaverse we don't understand yet. Etc.. None of this leads anywhere close to actually accepting any such notion. You need evidence for your claims.

You know who else relied on arguments from ignorance? ID-proponents. And you know why they failed? Because ignorance can be lifted. Because we can learn about the world. Because we do know where the bacterial flagellum and the eye came from.

Arguments from ignorance are vacuous and useless, mere placeholders until they are dispelled by real inquiry.

A scientist sees an unanswered question, makes a hypothesis, and tests it through observation. The hypothesis can be that there is a greater power. You behave as though the observations come up with no results. I behave as though there was never an appropriate test in the frist place. Oops, nobody has the upper hand, get used to it.

A scientist would not lend creedence to an untestable hypothesis, which a creator being is. It's a non-answer. What observations are there to indicate a creator? The only thing the "hypothesis" has going for it is that it is not falsifiable but that actually makes it worthless in scientific terms.

The whole moral views of God thing is just a silly arguement by you. You seem to think it's absurd that a creator would have moral guidelines to follow.

What? Did you not read the rest of that bit? It's not just about morals, it's about everything Theism entails. It's extremely specific in its claims about the entity and its basis for those claims are naught but circular argumentation based on religious texts and personal experience. There is just no logical connection between the universe requiring a creator and the idea that that creator is a Theistic god.

But I wonder if you think there are such things as moral guidelines. If you believe that murder is wrong, you certainly have some moral guidelines, but since you don't believe in God, the idea tha God declared that wrong seems absurd.

Of course I think there are moral guidelines. What kind of non-sequitur is this? And of course I don't believe that a deity declared some things as wrong since I lack belief in gods in the first place. But so what?

However, if you believe God created all of existance, he certainly did create the idea that killing is wrong, thus giving moral guidelines. I'm not sure why you feel that you make theism look absurd there.

Though I also don't know why you imply that deism is no more compatable with theism than atheism.

Again, you've completely misunderstood the argument I was making. If I accepted your claim that "universe came from somewhere, therefore creator", which I'll do for the sake of argument, that in no way would imply that the creator in question would be the Christian god, the Hindu god or any Theistic god whatsoever.

Even if you proved that the universe had a creator, there would still be no reason to think that any Theistic religions are right. Deism and Theism are vastly apart. They're compatible in the sense that Theism isn't contradicted by Deism, but Deism itself does not logically lead to Theism. So your entire argument about the origin of the universe, even if I accepted it in the first place, fails utterly when it comes to supporting Theism.

To put it in simple terms: "The universe had a creator, therefore a guy in ancient Palestine walked on water." That makes no sense. There's no connection between the two and there's no way to prove Theism through proving Deism.

You have never been given a reason to believe you are a brain in a jar.

Actually, I read stories with such topics, I read about Solipsim, I saw the Matrix movies. That's as good as Theistic claims get. In fact, Solipsism gets me thinking every time, so it may actually be superior in that regard. Still does not mean it's right.

I just gave a reason I believe in God. Thus, not analogous.

The moral argument? That's very weak considering we have plenty of answers for that question that do not rely on supernatural interventions and are both unproven and unfalsifiable. To use an old phrase, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And what could be more extraordinary than a Theistic god of all things?

You may certainly believe what you want, but you have no monopoly on reason.

I never claimed I did. If I did that, I hardly would've said that being reasonable can lead you to being an Atheist but would've simply called everybody who is not an Atheist unreasonable. But reason is not the basis for belief in gods.

I'm quite sure that theists which could - in full accordance with the scientific method - present credible empirical evidence in support of their theories on how reality is put together, would be taken seriously, and met with both curiosity and respect.

They can't though, and are hence met with the same dismissal anyone else who made similar bizarre and unwarranted suggestions on reality - then used those to try and justify homophobia and whatnot - would be.

That something is a "religion" doesn't mean it - or its practitioners - deserves any greater respect than what its argumentative strength can earn on the free market of ideas. Seems it's in recession there, and thank god for that.

[/quote]
It is hard for a scientist to take on a religious person without sounding condescending.[/quote]

This sentence is, simply put, so sad. As if the "religious persons" who made great the western history of thought were not miles above the intellectual level of some pretentious accountants. I guess a "scientist" would find hard to not sound condescending with the likes of Poincarč, or Simone Weil, or even Erwin Schroedinger.

MoNKeyYy:

That's a great point about the atheist vs anti-theist thing, I'll keep that in mind for the future. Rather like calling out Christians instead of the WBC =P And there's those similarities popping up again, ha.

And I think I see what you mean. I certainly agree that my points have been basically surface things, but it's this kind of behavior I'm trying to exhibit. It's why the first sentance in this thread is "aside from the obvious and fundamental difference". Also I'm trying to call out the anti-theists mostly here I guess, the ones who actually do shit on religion and claim it's the root of all evil and that, not the atheists who just make points on logical fallacy and and the problem with faith.

Also while the faith thing has been brought up I wouldn't say that it's 100% belief without justification, and I think both the point you made and the point I'm about to make are examples of the aforementioned fundamental difference.

Written records are one example. Lots of people - and lots of different people at that have written about all kinds of well documented cases of prophets and miracles and such. Archeological records and non-religious historical texts verify the existences of the settings and characters in these myths so the thought that the more supernatural content is true isn't a large stretch for many. Or there's simply fundamental belief. I for one see life and the universe and think that there must be something out there keeping it all together. The difference is that I say it's something tangible and you say that it's the way it has and always will be.

Well, I of course disagree that mere historical record or intuition constitutes justification, but I digress.

What I'm trying to get here, I guess, is just that the content of the message matters more than the method of delivery. I'm never too worried when someone starts being loud or obnoxious (unless they're so loud they start drowning out other people's voices or when they negatively impact public image, but those are indirect concerns). Really, it's just the arguments that matter. Anti-theists might actually just be right, and I think their specific arguments need to be evaluated. Though I agree there's some similarities on the surface, I don't think it matters much.

MoNKeyYy:
The things I said in my OP, basically. How both groups are on a high horse with regard to the other, how both sit atop a position of immovable percieved "rightness"

Hold it right there, here's what I take issue with.

See, the position of atheism isn't immovable, but the one of theism is. Ask any atheist or antitheist in the world whether they would believe in a god if evidence was presented, and they most certainly would. But a theist would never stop believing no matter what evidence was ever presented. There is no evidence that could ever be put forward to convince a theist that god doesn't exist.

That means that one of those positions is, when it comes to logic and reasonableness, better than the other, and I think we both know which is which.

Theists hide behind the concept of the god of the gaps. Every single phenomenon that has ever been believed to have been caused by god, and has been put under scientific scrutiny, has subsequently been proven to have nothing to do with god. Not just most, but every single one. So, the gaps shrink, and therefore god shrinks; people used to argue that he interacted with the world constantly, and that all things difficult to explain were evidence of his existence. At present, theists are stuck with arguing that it is impossible to prove the existence of god because he doesn't interact with the world at all in any way, shape or form, as if that proves his existence.

Essentially, they are stuck with the notion that the fact that you can't prove the existence of god is why they manage to believe in him. Is that reasonable or logical?

HardkorSB:

Does it devalue a conversation? Maybe.
Does it work? Definitely.
Sure, some people will only be persuaded by logic and reason with most of them you just have to hit them over the head with what you want to say. If you make the opposing side look like shit, the people will side with you. Just look at Dawkins or Hitchens - they mock and ridicule religious belief on a daily basis. Do you think that if they were polite to the religious they would get the same results? I don't.
It's not about what is morally right or wrong, it's about what works. Being a dick makes for a better spectacle. People are generally attracted to spectacles.
We are a species that is usually controlled by our emotions.First you have to win people over emotionally and then, once you have them on your side, hit them with logic, reason and evidence to further solidify your position.

The "Thank You For Smoking" school of argument really only applies if the people we're trying to convince aren't the majority. Dawkins and Hitchens are great for convincing people who are already disillusioned with religion or for making people who are nominally atheists stronger ones. But this kind of tactic utterly fails to convince the people you're actually talking with unless they have a massive amount of intellectual honesty. In general, being a dick is one of the worst ways to convince people because people don't generally listen to assholes. To win people over emotionally, you have to understand why they feel the way they do and go from there. And there is something rather dishonest about the idea that you win them over emotionally first and only then use logic.

tstorm823:

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
Of course, being reasonable seems to lead to atheism to an atheist. And being reasonable seems to lead to theism to a theist.

The "atheists are rational thinkers" claim is complete tautology.

My logic says that there's no God, therefore it's logical to not believe in God...

I don't think that quite does the job.

Hm? Even plenty of Theists admit that their belief isn't founded on empirical evidence. Thus, this claim doesn't seem tautological to me at all. Unless you think believing things without empricial evidence is reasonable. Hell, Theists use this kind of defense quite regularily: "It's called faith for a reason. If there were proof, it wouldn't be faith. It's not about evidence, it's about belief. It's about personal experience." Or something else along those lines. Are those qualities you'd generally call reasonable? Maybe being reasonable is, in itself, not a positive or negative thing for the people in question. Maybe you're inserting too much into this.

By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence. The only people who escape from this are the agnostics. All I'm saying is that everything exists, we don't know where everything came from, we haven't the faintest idea how time works at all, and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

I'm not saying theism is based on empirical evidence. I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

You're making the common mistake of trying to make atheism into a position of faith. Often, atheism couldn't be described as 'the belief that there are no gods' it is better described as 'the lack of belief in gods'.

There isn't enough evidence to move me from the default position of atheism into the side of theism.

My belief isn't based on empirical evidence because it's not a belief. I've simply refused to accept the theist position because it hasn't provided a single shred of credible evidence in its favour. The existence of a god that cannot be supported by any evidence, is an irrational belief. Refusing to accept that claim because it's unevidenced is not an irrational belief.

OT: I make a point to never actually promote atheism as if it were an inherently superior position, I promote scientific literacy, critical thinking, and reason.

tstorm823:

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
By making the claim that there is no God, you are believing something without empirical evidence.

Except I'm not making that claim. The burden of proof is on Theists. I'm an Agnostic Atheist. I don't believe in gods but I'm not claiming certainty of their non-existence. That would be inconsistent, considering I'm trying to get at it from a scientific perspective.

...and you think that the idea that something created it all is unreasonable.

No, I think believing things with no evidence is unreasonable. Also goes for the argument from ignorance, by the way. You need to understand the concept of rejecting a positive claim without making a positive claim of one's own.

I'm pretty confident that every moment of your life is empirical evidence that nothing comes from nowhere.

It's unreasonable to jump from "everything came from something" to "here's a Theistic god with very specific moral views, a cosmology of its own and all sorts of claims". There's no way to support any sort of Theism with such argumentation. You could maybe get as far as Deism if I were to accept the premises, but no further.

I'm just saying, atheists need to admit their beliefs aren't based on empirical evidence.

Disagreed. I have no empirical evidence for gods, thus I don't accept the claims about them. Could gods exist? Sure. Nothing's impossible. Could I be a brain in a jar? Sure. Is there any reason to believe either of those things? Nope. Thus, unreasonable.

Firstly, the concept of atheism is the disbelief in God. If your belief is that you don't know either way, you are not an atheist. I'm sure you could get into a definition war about this with me, but I'll just assume I'm wrong about that if you agree it doesn't matter.

I believe the existance of everything is quite reasonable evidence for a creator. With non-supernatural elements, we can say that every event has 1 or more causes, and all causes determine what "direction" their effects will go. (Not necessarily physical direction, but in determining the outcome.) That leaves us with 2 open questions. First, the absolute question of what caused the string of causes to begin, and second, the curiousity question of how did that cause determine a universe where we are alive enough to debate on internet forums.

A scientist sees an unanswered question, makes a hypothesis, and tests it through observation. The hypothesis can be that there is a greater power. You behave as though the observations come up with no results. I behave as though there was never an appropriate test in the frist place. Oops, nobody has the upper hand, get used to it.

The whole moral views of God thing is just a silly arguement by you. You seem to think it's absurd that a creator would have moral guidelines to follow. But I wonder if you think there are such things as moral guidelines. If you believe that murder is wrong, you certainly have some moral guidelines, but since you don't believe in God, the idea tha God declared that wrong seems absurd. However, if you believe God created all of existance, he certainly did create the idea that killing is wrong, thus giving moral guidelines. I'm not sure why you feel that you make theism look absurd there.

Though I also don't know why you imply that deism is no more compatable with theism than atheism.

You have never been given a reason to believe you are a brain in a jar. I just gave a reason I believe in God. Thus, not analogous. You may certainly believe what you want, but you have no monopoly on reason.

No, the existence of everything is only evidence that everything exists.

Also, the belief in a god is not a hypothesis, hypotheses have to have initial reasoning behind them for support. Such as theoretical support by maths or basing what you think would happened on established laws.

And, actually, modern science actually makes the existence of a god both unnecessary and in many cases so unlikely that it touches the boundaries of impossibility.

The existence of a god has absolutely no evidence for it, I cannot stress that enough.

One, not everything needs a 'cause' if you're familiar with quantum mechanics you'll understand that things can often come from seemingly 'nothing' at the quantum level.

I post this video far too often, but it's one of my favourite lectures.

If you're willing to sit through the hour it will give you a basic understanding of the science.

Morality can exist without a god, humans thrive best in cooperation, people who murder disrupt society, it would be of evolutionary benefit to develop morals. That's just one possibly natural explanation.

You gave a 'reason' to believe sure, but it wasn't a very good one.

The most scientific position you can have on the god issue is to simply say 'we don't know exactly how the universe started, but we should find out'

Not, 'I don't know, so god must have done it'.

Falconsgyre:
Dawkins and Hitchens are great for convincing people who are already disillusioned with religion or for making people who are nominally atheists stronger ones.

The majority of religious people only believe in their religion because the people around them do as well. most of them could be converted in a day. The extremists will most likely never listen but that's the problem with every kind of extremism.

Falconsgyre:
In general, being a dick is one of the worst ways to convince people because people don't generally listen to assholes.

From my experience, it's not true. When someone says something that really pisses you off, it stays in your head. You keep coming back to that and that person's words keep appearing in your head. If you have even a single brain cell, you will sooner or later think about these words, even if your initial goal will be to prove that they're bull shit (and don't go with the "most people are just dumb fucks who don't know anything" because that's just stupid).
Being nice just has much less of an impact unless you're DOING something nice. With speech, being rude is better.

Falconsgyre:
And there is something rather dishonest about the idea that you win them over emotionally first and only then use logic.

Still, it works.
We're not the be all end all of existence. We're just animals. Complex as we may be, we're still fairly simple to manipulate. Appealing to emotions does the job better, quicker and on a larger scale than appealing to reason. Just look at how politicians win elections or how companies are advertising their products.

HardkorSB:

The majority of religious people only believe in their religion because the people around them do as well. most of them could be converted in a day. The extremists will most likely never listen but that's the problem with every kind of extremism.

I doubt it's as simple as that. Religion is a social phenomenon, but people don't believe religion just because everyone around them does any more than they believe any other idea. I have intelligent friends who are religious or spiritual, despite being around intelligent atheists.

Falconsgyre:

From my experience, it's not true. When someone says something that really pisses you off, it stays in your head. You keep coming back to that and that person's words keep appearing in your head. If you have even a single brain cell, you will sooner or later think about these words, even if your initial goal will be to prove that they're bull shit (and don't go with the "most people are just dumb fucks who don't know anything" because that's just stupid).
Being nice just has much less of an impact unless you're DOING something nice. With speech, being rude is better.

I suspect the reason something pisses you off is because they were right on the target and because you have some intellectual honesty. In my experience, people are far more likely to rationalize and stop considering your opinions if they are too offended. People aren't stupid for doing this; they're just people. How many people have you convinced by condescending or insulting them?

Falconsgyre:

Still, it works.
We're not the be all end all of existence. We're just animals. Complex as we may be, we're still fairly simple to manipulate. Appealing to emotions does the job better, quicker and on a larger scale than appealing to reason. Just look at how politicians win elections or how companies are advertising their products.

Many things work that are not right. Unless lives are at stake, sacrificing your integrity in order to convince people does not seem to be the right choice. Even worse, atheists today pride ourselves on rationality. What kind of message does this send if we convince people through emotional appeals? Isn't it the worst kind of hypocrisy?

HardkorSB:

MoNKeyYy:
When I say that atheists and theists are on two sides of the same coin I mean that they both stand from a position of percieved superiority, that they both view the other side as "needing help", that we both stand from a position of belief and that we express that belief in similar ways, at least when dealing with opposite group.

Except while one group has a constantly growing amount of evidence for their side, the other just has some old books.

MoNKeyYy:
And I'm afraid I'm going to have to flat out disagree about needing to be rude to get a point across, I see no reason that conversation with regards to any issue can't be civil and I think that any level of rudeness simply serves to devalue the conversation as a whole.

Does it devalue a conversation? Maybe.
Does it work? Definitely.
Sure, some people will only be persuaded by logic and reason with most of them you just have to hit them over the head with what you want to say. If you make the opposing side look like shit, the people will side with you. Just look at Dawkins or Hitchens - they mock and ridicule religious belief on a daily basis. Do you think that if they were polite to the religious they would get the same results? I don't.
It's not about what is morally right or wrong, it's about what works. Being a dick makes for a better spectacle. People are generally attracted to spectacles.
We are a species that is usually controlled by our emotions.First you have to win people over emotionally and then, once you have them on your side, hit them with logic, reason and evidence to further solidify your position.

But I'm not discussing the evidence. Please, there's no need to try to convince me of anything, I assure you.

Haha, okay that one I'll give you to be sure. Surely Fox News wouldn't be as effective as they are and the Tea Party would not be as prevailent in American politics if they weren't good at creating controversy and generating spectacle. I'll even concede that when I argue I tend to go for the "Nick Nayler" school of debate where if you're wrong I must be right by default. But what I will say is that sensible discourse where you allow yourself to be the bigger person is 100% more effective than slander and specticle when done right. It's not as easy mind you, and faster, but ask Nelson Mandella, Lincoln or even Barrack Obama; it get's you a lot more people on your side and makes your arguments sound a whole lot better.

Elcarsh:

MoNKeyYy:
The things I said in my OP, basically. How both groups are on a high horse with regard to the other, how both sit atop a position of immovable percieved "rightness"

Hold it right there, here's what I take issue with.

See, the position of atheism isn't immovable, but the one of theism is. Ask any atheist or antitheist in the world whether they would believe in a god if evidence was presented, and they most certainly would. But a theist would never stop believing no matter what evidence was ever presented. There is no evidence that could ever be put forward to convince a theist that god doesn't exist.

That means that one of those positions is, when it comes to logic and reasonableness, better than the other, and I think we both know which is which.

Theists hide behind the concept of the god of the gaps. Every single phenomenon that has ever been believed to have been caused by god, and has been put under scientific scrutiny, has subsequently been proven to have nothing to do with god. Not just most, but every single one. So, the gaps shrink, and therefore god shrinks; people used to argue that he interacted with the world constantly, and that all things difficult to explain were evidence of his existence. At present, theists are stuck with arguing that it is impossible to prove the existence of god because he doesn't interact with the world at all in any way, shape or form, as if that proves his existence.

Essentially, they are stuck with the notion that the fact that you can't prove the existence of god is why they manage to believe in him. Is that reasonable or logical?

I'd just like to say first that I'm taking about the extreme ends of either group. And I don't think the positions of many atheists is nearly as immovable as you think it is. Yes, they say that if they were presented absolute proof that a divine being/beings exists or that the soul exists etc they would change their stance but I'm skeptical of that position. People like Dawkins don't say and do the things they do without a very strong, very firm belief point. I'm sure if Jesus himself walked up to Dawkins and turned his water into malt whiskey Dawkins would simply demand to know who this crazy man is and how he got whiskey in his cup.

The positions of theists, by contrast, isn't as immovable as you say either. The increasing number of certified atheists in the world is proof enough of that, and I know plenty of people who once believed in one religion or another who just don't now, the same way I know atheists who have changed their stance on religion.

As for your last point, I think you're doing two things that aren't neceddarily correct. First you assume that the inability to disprove is the fundamental foundation for belief. The inability to disprove is usually just an argument people use, and I'll admit that it's a rather silly argument, especially the way it's used. Second, you're assuming that your logic is either a) correct or b) universal, and of course neither is necessarily true. Correct? Perhaps, but that knowledge is unobtainable. Universal? Certainly not, what constitutes logic to one man constitutes insanity to another.

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