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Zeconte:

No, the two are not in direct contradiction, because taken in context of the argument being made, what I was saying was that it is not sensible to hold beliefs that contradict/have been proven false by established facts/knowledge. In cases where there is not enough evidence to support one belief over any other, one is free to choose which belief makes the most sense/seems the most correct to themselves, so long as it does not contradict established knowledge, nor do they make the claim that the belief is true.

Are you saying conclusions that have not been proven false, but for which there is no evidence, are as reasonable as those for which there is evidence, then? Would that be a more accurate summary?

Zeconte:

Kaulen Fuhs:
As for the first question, I'm not really concerned with specifically which religions do this. My initial segue-way into this discussion was "Unfortunately, people who think something is an abomination aren't particularly inclined to let alone those who don't."

I don't care specifically who these people are, just whether or not such strong moral revulsion results in pressing others into the fold. I didn't even imply that this is something a lot of religions do. I don't believe it is.

As for that, that would depend on what they understand such beliefs to mean. If, for instance, they realize "abomination" is an extremely poor word choice on the translators of the Bible from Hebrew to English, and should instead read "taboo/forbidden by our culture to set us apart from the practices of our neighbors" they would not make much of an issue of it, as the vast majority of Christians make very little issue of most of such laws found in the Old Testament. If, on the other hand, someone had the idea that "God hates fags" imbedded into them from an early age by parents who did not agree with homosexuality and used a similar passage that was actually condemning male temple prostitution, a common practice among the neighboring pagans of the time to help do so, to reinforce this upon them, they may be more inclined to do so, but even then, I'd say the number who simply personally believe homosexuality is a sin outnumbers those who go out of their way to proclaim it to the world and attempt to enforce/spread such a belief.

You'll find no argument from me on that particular point.

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

No, the two are not in direct contradiction, because taken in context of the argument being made, what I was saying was that it is not sensible to hold beliefs that contradict/have been proven false by established facts/knowledge. In cases where there is not enough evidence to support one belief over any other, one is free to choose which belief makes the most sense/seems the most correct to themselves, so long as it does not contradict established knowledge, nor do they make the claim that the belief is true.

Are you saying conclusions that have not been proven false, but for which there is no evidence, are as reasonable as those for which there is evidence, then? Would that be a more accurate summary?

As reasonable, no, but just because it is more reasonable to believe in things for which there is evidence, doesn't mean it is all together unreasonable to believe in things for which there is no evidence. It is, however, unreasonable to continue believing in things once they have been proven untrue, as the reasonable thing to do would be to adopt that which has been proven true.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Hey, guess what: I don't think Christian missionaries who do nothing other than talk to people are being "intolerant". And neither does anyone else who is reasonable.

Cute little Hail Mary pass attempt, there, though. You almost moved the goal posts enough to make it work.

So, according to you, organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church are not intolerant, so long as they simply use words to advocate their message that homosexuality should not be tolerated?

That's a weird comparison with a lot of excess baggage. I'll only bother addressing it if someone other than you thinks it's a worthwhile comparison to make.

That there is no difference between advocating the benefits of your own beliefs and trying to convince others to adopt them, and criticizing/attacking the beliefs of others in order to convince them to stop believing in them because you do not find them acceptable?

What exactly do you mean by "find them acceptable"? Acceptable for others to hold? Acceptable to oneself?

In any case, there isn't a relevant difference between disputing another belief or "advocating the benefits" of your own. Both are just sharing your belief in the manner you think would most appeal to others. "I don't think that's a reasonable belief to hold" is someone's belief. Saying so is sharing that belief.

In this thread you've called people who are apt to express such a belief less than fully human, accused them of wanting to be machinelike in negating their emotions, and have said that they "have missed the point". And you want those people never to express that belief. But it's OK, because you've fooled yourself into thinking you're fighting intolerance.

Now, I don't think you're especially intolerant except by the standards you've set for others that, if applied to yourself, would mark you as the least tolerant person in the thread.

I'm really not sure how one can argue with a straight face that intolerance cannot possibly be conveyed and advocated through words.

Because that's all a Christian missionary can do that could be described as "just talking"? And the example you jump to is the Westboro Baptist Church for "just talking"? Advocating intolerance is advocating intolerance. Advocating that people become Christians is advocating that people become Christians. "I think you should be Christian because Christianity is true" is not an intolerant statement. "I think you shouldn't be Christian because Christianity is false" isn't so either. "I think everyone should exercise for half an hour every day" also isn't an intolerant statement. (But the exerciser wants non-exercisers to disappear from the earth! It's cultural genocide! Shock, horror, eyerolling, etc.)

Seanchaidh:
"I think you should be Christian because Christianity is true" is not an intolerant statement.

Actually, I would agree that is not an intolerant statement, though it is an invalid one. However, it is not an equivalent statement to your own argument. For an equivalent statement, I would suggest "I think Christianity is true and all other beliefs/religions are false, therefore, everyone should convert to Christianity instead of holding false beliefs." It is that last part of the statement that I would consider intolerant, as it does not allow for the acceptance of any belief other than Christianity, it states that the only valid position to hold on the matter of religion is Christianity and rejects the ability of others to accept other religions and beliefs instead. Which is where your problem lies, and what you are trying to leave out about your own argument. It is not the part where you claim "I believe these beliefs to be irrational and probably untrue" that makes your argument intolerant, it is the part where you go on to claim that no one should hold such beliefs because you believe them to be irrational and probably untrue, that you see no reason why they should hold such beliefs when the way you think is obviously so much better and don't understand why they don't just adopt your way of thinking. It is your unwillingness to accept that other people can hold beliefs based on different criteria than you believe should be the basis for holding a belief, regardless of whether they can achieve the same effect without holding beliefs.

If, instead, someone said "I think you should consider becoming Christian because I personally find it worthy of believing in and think you would too if you looked more into it, but if you disagree, so be it, you have every right to believe what you want to believe" there is nothing intolerant about that. And indeed, if you would instead phrase your argument in such a way as "I would not put so much stock in such beliefs as there is not enough reason nor evidence to suggest it is true and accepting such beliefs offer no benefits that cannot be gained in other, more rational ways, but if you decide to hold them anyways, so be it," I would take no issue with your arguments either.

As it stands, you insist on phrasing your arguments against beliefs as if only a fool unworthy of respect would not accept the truth of your arguments and change their way of thinking accordingly. You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance, giving them only the choice of accepting your reasons why they should abandon their beliefs, or ignoring you completely, because any statement they make about their beliefs and why they hold them will only be met with rejection, criticism and ridicule by you, all of which you hold to be vital to being able to discuss such matters. And yes, I believe that that is, in fact, being intolerant towards their beliefs, even if you're "just talking" to them.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
"I think you should be Christian because Christianity is true" is not an intolerant statement.

Actually, I would agree that is not an intolerant statement, though it is an invalid one. However, it is not an equivalent statement to your own argument. For an equivalent statement, I would suggest "I think Christianity is true and all other beliefs/religions are false, therefore, everyone should convert to Christianity instead of holding false beliefs."

...

If, instead, someone said "I think you should consider becoming Christian because I personally find it worthy of believing in and think you would too if you looked more into it, but if you disagree, so be it, you have every right to believe what you want to believe" there is nothing intolerant about that.

Those are both compatible with each other. They even amount to the same thing. They are both not intolerant.

And indeed, if you would instead phrase your argument in such a way as "I would not put so much stock in such beliefs as there is not enough reason nor evidence to suggest it is true and accepting such beliefs offer no benefits that cannot be gained in other, more rational ways, but if you decide to hold them anyways, so be it," I would take no issue with your arguments either.

That's just my position (and probably that of everyone else you think you're arguing with) stated with excessive politeness.

As it stands, you insist on phrasing your arguments against beliefs as if only a fool unworthy of respect would not accept the truth of your arguments and change their way of thinking accordingly. You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance, giving them only the choice of accepting your reasons why they should abandon their beliefs, or ignoring you completely, because any statement they make about their beliefs and why they hold them will only be met with rejection, criticism and ridicule by you, all of which you hold to be vital to being able to discuss such matters. And yes, I believe that that is, in fact, being intolerant towards their beliefs, even if you're "just talking" to them.

Because apparently disagreement can't ever happen without ceasing discussion altogether. Wait, no. What a cringe-worthy idea you have there.

Seanchaidh:
Because apparently disagreement can't ever happen without ceasing discussion altogether. Wait, no. What a cringe-worthy idea you have there.

Yeah, the fact that when you can't properly attack someone's argument based on the points they actually argue, you just strawman it to continue attacking it anyways really only goes to further my point.

My point isn't at all that disagreement can't ever happen without ceasing discussion altogether, but rather, if you refuse, for any reason, to offer their argument even the slightest bit of respect and instead simply try to badger, shame and otherwise attempt to coerce them into agreeing with you, there is no point in continuing a discussion, because there is no chance you will be willing to consider an argument you have no respect for. Just because you disagree with someone's belief doesn't mean you have to disrespect it, and the fact that you consider misrepresentation, exaggeration and ridicule to be worthwhile tools to utilize in a "discussion" on beliefs only goes to show how little interest you have in actually discussing them.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Because apparently disagreement can't ever happen without ceasing discussion altogether. Wait, no. What a cringe-worthy idea you have there.

Yeah, the fact that when you can't properly attack someone's argument based on the points they actually argue, you just strawman it to continue attacking it anyways really only goes to further my point.

My point isn't at all that disagreement can't ever happen without ceasing discussion altogether, but rather, if you refuse, for any reason, to offer their argument even the slightest bit of respect and instead simply try to badger, shame and otherwise attempt to coerce them into agreeing with you, there is no point in continuing a discussion, because there is no chance you will be willing to consider an argument you have no respect for. Just because you disagree with someone's belief doesn't mean you have to disrespect it, and the fact that you consider misrepresentation, exaggeration and ridicule to be worthwhile tools to utilize in a "discussion" on beliefs only goes to show how little interest you have in actually discussing them.

Whereas you just post outright falsehoods:

You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,

Herp derp.

Seanchaidh:
Whereas you just post outright falsehoods:

You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,

Herp derp.

And under what circumstances, exactly, would you be willing to accept that someone was not wrong for holding beliefs that you have judged to be irrational and probably untrue? Because so far, you have argued every which way why they should not hold such beliefs because you believe it to be wrong to do so, with only the begrudging admission that if they continue to hold their beliefs regardless of all your criticisms and ridicule and scorn, there is nothing else in your power you can do to convince them otherwise, as much as you still desire to do so.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Whereas you just post outright falsehoods:

You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,

Herp derp.

And under what circumstances, exactly, would you be willing to accept that someone was not wrong for holding beliefs that you have judged to be irrational and probably untrue? Because so far, you have argued every which way why they should not hold such beliefs because you believe it to be wrong to do so, with only the begrudging admission that if they continue to hold their beliefs regardless of all your criticisms and ridicule and scorn, there is nothing else in your power you can do to convince them otherwise, as much as you still desire to do so.

I already accept that many people are probably wrong, Zeconte. That just doesn't stop me from telling them so or listening to them.

So, uh, all circumstances.

Seanchaidh:

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
Whereas you just post outright falsehoods:

Herp derp.

And under what circumstances, exactly, would you be willing to accept that someone was not wrong for holding beliefs that you have judged to be irrational and probably untrue? Because so far, you have argued every which way why they should not hold such beliefs because you believe it to be wrong to do so, with only the begrudging admission that if they continue to hold their beliefs regardless of all your criticisms and ridicule and scorn, there is nothing else in your power you can do to convince them otherwise, as much as you still desire to do so.

I already accept that many people are probably wrong, Zeconte. That just doesn't stop me from telling them so or listening to them.

So, uh, all circumstances.

So, in other words, my statement was true and not the outright falsehood you claimed it to be? No further questions, your honor.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:

Zeconte:

And under what circumstances, exactly, would you be willing to accept that someone was not wrong for holding beliefs that you have judged to be irrational and probably untrue? Because so far, you have argued every which way why they should not hold such beliefs because you believe it to be wrong to do so, with only the begrudging admission that if they continue to hold their beliefs regardless of all your criticisms and ridicule and scorn, there is nothing else in your power you can do to convince them otherwise, as much as you still desire to do so.

I already accept that many people are probably wrong, Zeconte. That just doesn't stop me from telling them so or listening to them.

So, uh, all circumstances.

So, in other words, my statement was true and not the outright falsehood you claimed it to be? No further questions, your honor.

This remains an outright falsehood:

"You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,"

Seanchaidh:
This remains an outright falsehood:

"You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,"

When taken outside of its proper context, it may appear to be, but within its proper context, you just affirmed its truth. But do keep grasping at those straws.

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
This remains an outright falsehood:

"You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,"

When taken outside of its proper context, it may appear to be, but within its proper context, you just affirmed its truth. But do keep grasping at those straws.

I wish you'd stop projecting. That's a hope, not a belief.

I accept everyone's right to hold whatever belief they want. You incorrectly think this is incompatible with criticism or thinking that people should abandon beliefs one doesn't think are reasonable. It isn't. There is nothing intolerant about having some amount of conviction. There is nothing intolerant about thinking someone's belief is false or mistaken or that he should think otherwise. You keep conflating "accepting that one could be correct" and "accepting that one has a right to hold a belief".

They are completely different ideas. But you have to maintain that they are not because you have this strange need to attack others who have a more nuanced view than 'if it seems like something a Christian missionary could possibly think, it must be intolerant.'

Seanchaidh:

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:
This remains an outright falsehood:

"You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance,"

When taken outside of its proper context, it may appear to be, but within its proper context, you just affirmed its truth. But do keep grasping at those straws.

I wish you'd stop projecting. That's a hope, not a belief.

I accept everyone's right to hold whatever belief they want. You incorrectly think this is incompatible with criticism or thinking that people should abandon beliefs one doesn't think are reasonable. It isn't. There is nothing intolerant about having some amount of conviction. There is nothing intolerant about thinking someone's belief is false or mistaken or that he should think otherwise. You keep conflating "accepting that one could be correct" and "accepting that one has a right to hold a belief".

They are completely different ideas. But you have to maintain that they are not because you have this strange need to attack others who have a more nuanced view than 'if it seems like something a Christian missionary could possibly think, it must be intolerant.'

The best part about this is not only are you still misrepresenting my argument, but are now accusing me of attacking you for exactly what you started attacking me for in the first place...

Zeconte:

The best part about this is not only are you still misrepresenting my argument, but are now accusing me of attacking you for exactly what you started attacking me for in the first place...

Zeconte, I really don't understand how you can accuse somebody else of misrepresentation.

You said that Seanchaidh "does not accept their right to hold [beliefs he regards to be mistaken] under any circumstance".

You made that up. Just made it right up.

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

The best part about this is not only are you still misrepresenting my argument, but are now accusing me of attacking you for exactly what you started attacking me for in the first place...

Zeconte, I really don't understand how you can accuse somebody else of misrepresentation.

You said that Seanchaidh "does not accept their right to hold [beliefs he regards to be mistaken] under any circumstance".

You made that up. Just made it right up.

So you are saying that being powerless to deny someone a right, no matter how much you disagree with it, is the same as accepting their right? That in order to not accept someone's right, one must physically act to prevent it beyond simply voicing that they do not accept it? That even if you do everything reasonably within your power to convince someone to stop thinking the way they do, you can still claim you accept their right to think that way simply because you cannot force them to think the way you want them to?

Because, throughout the discussion we have had in this thread, Seanchaidh has accepted a person's right to have hopes, dreams, suspicions, ideas, knowledge, to use their imaginations, to write fiction, to act on flights of fancy, but has consistently and vehemently denounced their right to hold beliefs, and does not understand why they should when they can do all these other things that he does accept instead and lose nothing that he considers of value by doing so.

For example, take the states that have legalized gay marriage. Now, people in those states are no longer able to deny homosexuals from marrying, but this does not mean everyone in those states accepts their right to marry. Even if they take no other action than to complain about them having such a right, voice how wrong they believe gay marriage is, they are still being unaccepting of that right.

Zeconte:

So you are saying that being powerless to deny someone a right, no matter how much you disagree with it, is the same as accepting their right? That in order to not accept someone's right, one must physically act to prevent it beyond simply voicing that they do not accept it?

Wh...what?! I never said anything like that. You're just coming out with outrageous stances, and then saying those are my positions.

Speaking out against a right would qualify as "not accepting" that right. But Seanchaidh never did that.

Zeconte:

Because, throughout the discussion we have had in this thread, Seanchaidh has accepted a person's right to have hopes, dreams, suspicions, ideas, knowledge, to use their imaginations, to write fiction, to act on flights of fancy, but has consistently and vehemently denounced their right to hold beliefs, and does not understand why they should when they can do all these other things that he does accept instead and lose nothing that he considers of value by doing so.

Seanchaidh has not denounced anybody's right to believe anything. You're just making that up. Criticising something is not the same as denying the right to it.

Zeconte:
For example, take the states that have legalized gay marriage. Now, people in those states are no longer able to deny homosexuals from marrying, but this does not mean everyone in those states accepts their right to marry. Even if they take no other action than to complain about them having such a right, voice how wrong they believe gay marriage is, they are still being unaccepting of that right.

Those people are specifically saying that a right should be denied. Seanchaidh has not said that any rights should be denied. He never said anything of the sort.

Tell me, Zeconte; Can I criticise a political party without denying people the right to support them?

Zeconte:
For example, take the states that have legalized gay marriage. Now, people in those states are no longer able to deny homosexuals from marrying, but this does not mean everyone in those states accepts their right to marry. Even if they take no other action than to complain about them having such a right, voice how wrong they believe gay marriage is, they are still being unaccepting of that right.

"I think you should not get married."

Is this being intolerant?

"I think you should not buy a gun."

Is this denying someone his second amendment rights? Is it indicative of a wish to do so?

Do you recognize a difference between thinking people should think or act a certain way and denying them a right to think or act in whatever way they do? Because it certainly doesn't seem like you do. And if you do, it certainly seems like you aren't applying that realization to your statements here.

But I suppose since I haven't explicitly denied it I must favor thought control. It hasn't been disproved; it is within the realm of possibility. Believing that I am in favor of thought control would just be an important part of the human experience. Not believing it just because there is no evidence would be missing the point and would also mean that one lacks emotions.

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

So you are saying that being powerless to deny someone a right, no matter how much you disagree with it, is the same as accepting their right? That in order to not accept someone's right, one must physically act to prevent it beyond simply voicing that they do not accept it?

Wh...what?! I never said anything like that. You're just coming out with outrageous stances, and then saying those are my positions.

Speaking out against a right would qualify as "not accepting" that right. But Seanchaidh never did that.

Except, not only has he done so, he then defended his having done so by claiming he was "just talking" and that "just talking" could never be considered not accepting someone's right to do something or being intolerant. To argue that believing it is wrong for one to hold beliefs on an unproven factual matter (such as the existence of God) and therefore preferring that no one held them is entirely different from believing it is wrong for one to have the right to believe is just splitting hairs. Either way, you believe it is wrong to hold beliefs whether the right exists or not. If the right does exist, it's irrelevant, because you still believe they shouldn't exercise that right, and if the right does not exist, why would you support such a right when you believe it unnecessary, detrimental and wrong to exercise such a right anyways?

Zeconte:

Because, throughout the discussion we have had in this thread, Seanchaidh has accepted a person's right to have hopes, dreams, suspicions, ideas, knowledge, to use their imaginations, to write fiction, to act on flights of fancy, but has consistently and vehemently denounced their right to hold beliefs, and does not understand why they should when they can do all these other things that he does accept instead and lose nothing that he considers of value by doing so.

Seanchaidh has not denounced anybody's right to believe anything. You're just making that up. Criticising something is not the same as denying the right to it.

He did not phrase it in a way that dealt with rights specifically, that much is true, however, he very much did phrase it in the way of "I find it wrong for people to hold beliefs and have a problem with them doing so, here is a list of things they could do instead that I do find acceptable." Again, what exactly is the difference between this and not accepting their right to hold beliefs? You can't really say you accept their right to hold beliefs when you think doing so is wrong. You can't really say you don't care that they hold beliefs, because if you didn't, you wouldn't be arguing that they shouldn't. All you can say is that you don't go out and try to deny them the right to hold beliefs, which is meaningless because you don't have the power to stop them even if you tried, and, in fact, by trying to convince them not to hold beliefs, you actually are trying to stop them from doing so.

Zeconte:
For example, take the states that have legalized gay marriage. Now, people in those states are no longer able to deny homosexuals from marrying, but this does not mean everyone in those states accepts their right to marry. Even if they take no other action than to complain about them having such a right, voice how wrong they believe gay marriage is, they are still being unaccepting of that right.

Those people are specifically saying that a right should be denied. Seanchaidh has not said that any rights should be denied. He never said anything of the sort.

And why, exactly, are they saying that the right for homosexuals to marry should be denied? Because they think gay marriage is wrong. Without a sufficient number of people thinking it was wrong, denying gay marriage wouldn't even be an issue, because there would be no reason to deny it. But even if there was no reason for a society at large to deny it, that does not mean everyone within that society accepts it as being right. A push to deny a right is not dependent upon how wrong one individual thinks it is, it is dependent upon how many people think it is wrong. The only way to counter this, then, is to convince the more reasonable people that what they think is wrong is not wrong at all. Once people accept it as right, there is no concern that such a right will be denied.

As it stands, there is no concern that the right to hold beliefs will be denied, because most people accept others' right to hold beliefs different than their own. A couple centuries ago, however, there was a very big issue with the right to hold beliefs being denied, because most people believed that it was wrong to hold any belief other than Christianity and so attempted to force others into believing it. As more and more people fought against this and argued that this way of thinking was wrong, that there was nothing wrong with believing in something other than Christianity, or even nothing at all, and more people were convinced that this was right, religious freedom was eventually granted as a right. However, this does not mean people who do not accept this right no longer exist. There still exists people who believe it is wrong to believe in anything but Christianity, there also exists people who believe it is wrong to believe in anything but Islam, and, as Seanchaidh, among others on these forums, has demonstrated time and again, there exists people who believe it is wrong to believe in anything at all, and if any one of these groups gained a sufficient amount of support, the threat of having this right taken away will rise again, just as the threat of having the 2nd Amendment taken away is a valid concern because of how many people think it is wrong for citizens to own guns.

And just to be clear, just because you, say, accept that it is right for someone to believe in Christianity, does not mean you accept Christianity as true or believe in it yourself, only that you find no issue with someone else believing in Christianity, that you accept their right to do so. Seanchaidh does not accept this and has stated his goal is to convince as many people as he can that it is wrong to hold beliefs and will primarily use criticism and ridicule to achieve his goal. He then goes on to say that there is nothing wrong with this, no harm in it at all, because they're just words. I do not agree with this at all, and believe that history has proven repeatedly that convincing people to accept something as wrong leads to persecution, the denial of rights, and/or laws being enacted to criminalize it.

Tell me, Zeconte; Can I criticise a political party without denying people the right to support them?

That depends, are you criticizing the very idea that people would even support or affiliate with the political party and espousing that it is wrong for anyone to do so? Or are you simply criticizing a specific aspect of the political party that you don't agree with?

If you are doing the former, you may not be denying people the right to support the political party (nor did I ever suggest that Seanchaidh was denying people the right to hold beliefs), but you certainly do not accept the right of that political party to exist. Which is fine if you truly believe the political party in question is bad enough to warrant its destruction, just don't try to sugarcoat your intentions and try to claim you aren't intolerant of it as Seanchaidh is attempting to do.

If you are doing the latter, you are simply taking issue with certain things about the political party, not with the fact the political party exists in the first place, and I see nothing wrong with that.

And just to be perfectly clear:

Having a problem with a certain aspect of a belief and criticizing it, I have no problem with. Having a problem with someone holding a belief at all and criticizing and ridiculing them for holding it, that I have a problem with.

Having a problem with two specific individuals who both happen to be men marrying each other and voicing your concerns as to why you think that wouldn't be a good idea, I have no problem with. Having a problem with the very idea of any two men marrying each other, I have a problem with.

Having a problem with something that a political party supports and criticizing their support of it, I have no problem with. Having a problem with a political party existing at all and criticizing and ridiculing anyone who supports it, I have a problem with.

See where I'm coming from with this yet?

Zeconte:
Snipped

I've known "where you're coming from" for some time.

Put it this way; you, Zeconte, are criticising my opinion (even if you're repeatedly misrepresenting what my opinion actually is). Does that mean that you don't respect my right to hold my own view?

Of course not. You are disagreeing with me; and you are able to do so without prejudicing my right to hold that view.

EDIT: Removed most of my reply. It was long and unnecessary.

Silvanus:

Zeconte:
Snipped

I've known "where you're coming from" for some time.

Put it this way; you, Zeconte, are criticising my opinion (even if you're repeatedly misrepresenting what my opinion actually is). Does that mean that you don't respect my right to hold my own view?

Of course not. You are disagreeing with me; and you are able to do so without prejudicing my right to hold that view.

EDIT: Removed most of my reply. It was long and unnecessary.

Actually, I am challenging your right to hold that particular view. It's basically what criticizing something is, pointing out what you see wrong with it and how it needs to be altered in order to be corrected.

The difference is, whereas I am challenging your belief that it is wrong for others to hold beliefs for reasons that do not meet your personal criteria without making a statement against your personal right not to hold a belief unless it meets your criteria, you are challenging the right of others to hold their beliefs in the first place because their reasons for doing so do not meet your personal criteria. Basically, you are taking what they believe and why they believe it, judging it based on whether or not you would believe it, and then telling them that since their beliefs do not meet your standards, they shouldn't believe in them. Why do you believe that necessary? Why not just say "if that's what you want to believe, go right ahead, I just don't find much reason to believe it myself"? Why take that extra step to try to convince people that such beliefs are wrong and they shouldn't believe in it either just because they're not right for you?

If you honestly respected someone's belief and accepted their right to hold it, why would you bother publicly criticizing it if not to convince them to agree with you instead? If you honestly respected theism and accepted theists' right to believe in God, why would you call them irrational/illogical/unreasonable for doing so unless they can provide evidence to support their belief that you already know doesn't exist? It is because you believe that atheism is the only rational/logical/reasonable position to hold, and therefore, no one should hold any other position unless evidence can be provided to support a different position.

For me, however, I have no problem with atheism, and I can see a lot of good reasons for people to be atheists, so I have no problem with people who are, but it is not right for me, and I have a problem with people telling me I should be atheist too because I have no good reason not to be. I have plenty good reason not to be, thank you very much. It may not be good enough reason for you not to be, but I'm not the one who wants you to agree with my position, I just want you to accept my right to hold my position and stop trying to insult my intelligence for holding it, because whether or not my reasons are good enough to justify my beliefs to myself is my decision to make, not yours, just like whether or not my reasons are good enough to justify my beliefs to you is your decision to make, so long as you decide only for yourself rather than deciding that my reasons shouldn't be good enough for me nor anyone else either.

Likewise, I have no problem with Christianity, and I can see a lot of good reasons for people to be Christian, so I have no problem with people who are, but it is not right for me, and I have a problem with people telling me I should be Christian because it is the one true faith and only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their lord and savior are allowed into heaven, so I'll surely spend eternity being punished in hell if I don't.

Personally, discordianism is what I most closely identify with, though my beliefs go far beyond the scope of what is found in the Principia Discordia and other discordian works, and have been honed through twenty-five years of personal experiences, observations, introspection, soul searching and how I've personally come to understand the universe and why it and we are here. And though that is what works, what I consider to be right, for me, I am not so foolishly convinced of the truth of my beliefs as to consider all other beliefs to be wrong and to try to convince others of this, because I do not believe I have any right to judge their beliefs to be wrong on the behalf of anyone other than myself. And I feel strongly enough about people telling others what they should or should not believe being wrong to argue against others who do so and try to convince them to stop doing it.

And I have no problem admitting that.

Zeconte:
Snipped a very long post (but I promise, I did read it).

You're still not recognising the difference between disagreement with a belief (and attempts to persuade) and the denial of the right to hold it. Unless you can get over that false equivalence, there's no honest discussion that can be had.

You know, in school, they taught us to criticise texts, and debate with other members of the class. At university they did the same; we held seminar discussions, and attempted to persuade others, particularly in Politics. If you genuinely believe that in these cases, by trying to persuade others we were denying the rights of others to their own beliefs, then I'm not going to be able to convince you otherwise.

As for why I "take that extra step" to debate with people; I enjoy it. This is an internet forum, where people who enjoy debate... debate. I would have thought that people who believed criticism to be an assault on freedom of thought wouldn't hang out here very much.

Zeconte:
A couple centuries ago, however, there was a very big issue with the right to hold beliefs being denied, because most people believed that it was wrong to hold any belief other than Christianity and so attempted to force others into believing it.

Thought infallibly to be wrong and also indicative of severe and very dangerous moral failing (which is the more important part.) I don't think having false beliefs is a moral failing. I also don't think that my beliefs are infallible, which was a strong component of the illiberal tradition that Mill argued against in On Liberty. I think it's always better for these things to be resolved through the marketplace of ideas even if there is the power to have it resolved in some other way. Adversarial argument reveals truths, reveals even the utility of false beliefs that you're so enamored of. "Some people think this and so they often act in a certain way; maybe acting that way is a good idea" (or possibly not, if it doesn't seem like it.) Even apart from all the various bad things that are caused by repression, I still don't think repression is a good idea. So stop misrepresenting me as thinking so.

If you honestly respected someone's belief and accepted their right to hold it, why would you bother publicly criticizing it if not to convince them to agree with you instead?

Those two ideas aren't in disagreement. You can do both in precisely the way that you are saying. They are compatible.

Silvanus:

Zeconte:
Snipped a very long post (but I promise, I did read it).

You're still not recognising the difference between disagreement with a belief (and attempts to persuade) and the denial of the right to hold it. Unless you can get over that false equivalence, there's no honest discussion that can be had.

You know, in school, they taught us to criticise texts, and debate with other members of the class. At university they did the same; we held seminar discussions, and attempted to persuade others, particularly in Politics. If you genuinely believe that in these cases, by trying to persuade others we were denying the rights of others to their own beliefs, then I'm not going to be able to convince you otherwise.

As for why I "take that extra step" to debate with people; I enjoy it. This is an internet forum, where people who enjoy debate... debate. I would have thought that people who believed criticism to be an assault on freedom of thought wouldn't hang out here very much.

And for the third or fourth time at least, I am not saying you are trying to deny someone of the right to hold it. But do you honestly believe you are not arguing that it is not right for someone to hold a belief if they do not have sufficient evidence to support it, that you are not trying to convince them to no longer hold that belief? And if you think it is wrong and want them to stop believing it, how can you say you accept or respect their belief?

Seanchaidh:

If you honestly respected someone's belief and accepted their right to hold it, why would you bother publicly criticizing it if not to convince them to agree with you instead?

Those two ideas aren't in disagreement. You can do both in precisely the way that you are saying. They are compatible.

"Though I respect your belief and your right to hold it, you should stop holding it because its has no evidence suggesting it is true, and therefore, it is wrong of you to hold such an irrational, unsupported belief because no one who valued logic and reason would ever do so."

Oh yes, nothing contradictory there. How could I have ever thought that was anything but respectful and accepting?

Zeconte:

Seanchaidh:

If you honestly respected someone's belief and accepted their right to hold it, why would you bother publicly criticizing it if not to convince them to agree with you instead?

Those two ideas aren't in disagreement. You can do both in precisely the way that you are saying. They are compatible.

"Though I respect your belief and your right to hold it, you should stop holding it because its has no evidence suggesting it is true, and therefore, it is wrong of you to hold such an irrational, unsupported belief because no one who valued logic and reason would ever do so."

Oh yes, nothing contradictory there.

Correct. Glad you understand.

I could quarrel with your unwarranted insertion of "because no one who valued logic and reason would ever do so", but that is unnecessary.

Zeconte:

And for the third or fourth time at least, I am not saying you are trying to deny someone of the right to hold it.

Here are three times you said exactly that.

Zeconte:

Again, you argue that they have no right to believe such things

Zeconte:
you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance

Zeconte:
throughout the discussion we have had in this thread, Seanchaidh has ... consistently and vehemently denounced their right to hold beliefs

===

Zeconte:
But do you honestly believe you are not arguing that it is not right for someone to hold a belief if they do not have sufficient evidence to support it, that you are not trying to convince them to no longer hold that belief? And if you think it is wrong and want them to stop believing it, how can you say you accept or respect their belief?

I think they are mistaken, yes (just like anybody who has reached a conclusion about an objective matter regards those who do not agree as mistaken). I would prefer they stop believing it.

These are not the same as denying someone the right to believe differently to me. All I am doing is voicing criticism. Is all disagreement on objective matters denial of rights now?

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

And for the third or fourth time at least, I am not saying you are trying to deny someone of the right to hold it.

Here are three times you said exactly that.

Zeconte:

Again, you argue that they have no right to believe such things

Zeconte:
you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance

Zeconte:
throughout the discussion we have had in this thread, Seanchaidh has ... consistently and vehemently denounced their right to hold beliefs

===

Zeconte:
But do you honestly believe you are not arguing that it is not right for someone to hold a belief if they do not have sufficient evidence to support it, that you are not trying to convince them to no longer hold that belief? And if you think it is wrong and want them to stop believing it, how can you say you accept or respect their belief?

I think they are mistaken, yes (just like anybody who has reached a conclusion about an objective matter regards those who do not agree as mistaken). I would prefer they stop believing it.

These are not the same as denying someone the right to believe differently to me. All I am doing is voicing criticism. Is all disagreement on objective matters denial of rights now?

And so, for the fourth or fifth time now, I fully recognize that not accepting one's right is not the same as denying someone that right. One is a personal rejection of someone doing something, it is a disapproval of someone expressing the right in question. The other is an attempt to forcibly prevent someone from expressing the right.

So, when I said, and I quote in full context:

You offer them no way to continue holding their beliefs while trying to discuss them with you, because you do not accept their right to hold them under any circumstance, giving them only the choice of accepting your reasons why they should abandon their beliefs, or ignoring you completely, because any statement they make about their beliefs and why they hold them will only be met with rejection, criticism and ridicule by you

I was stating that when someone is trying to discuss their beliefs and you have judged them to be wrong for holding those beliefs, there is no point for them to continue discussing their beliefs with you unless they're willing to sit there and listen to all the things you find wrong with their beliefs and why they should stop believing them, because that is the only thing you are interested in discussing about them.

In other words, since you are not willing to accept that they are right to hold their beliefs for any reason other than if they can provide sufficient evidence in support of them, the only option you give them in order to continue believing is to ignore you and move on, since as long as they're discussing their beliefs with you, you will do nothing but try to convince them to stop believing.

Now, given the proper context of my argument, please explain to me how this is wrong and under what conditions you would accept that someone was right to hold beliefs (of the same or similar nature as believing in God) in which you have deemed the evidence to support lacking.

As for my problem with you claiming you do accept someone's right to believe something, despite trying to convince them and everyone else that it is wrong for them to believe it, simply because you are not actively trying to deny them the right: To me, that would be a lot like saying "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it . . . however, anytime you say it around me, I will voice my disapproval of you for saying it and try to convince you and everyone else that it was wrong for you to have said it at all." How exactly can you claim to be willing to defend someone's right to say something while (verbally) attacking them for having said it? By saying someone is wrong for holding a belief to begin with, you are not criticizing what you find wrong with the belief, because it is that the belief is held at all that you find wrong and are criticizing. So again, how can you claim to accept someone's right to believe something while disagreeing with it if there is nothing about the belief they can change in order for you to agree with it, because it is that they hold the belief at all that you have a problem with?

There is a rather large difference between disagreeing with a belief, and disagreeing that someone should hold a belief. You can defend someone's right to believe something without agreeing with it. You cannot, however, defend someone's right to believe something while you are attacking the belief as something that should not be held, because those two actions directly conflict with each other.

Zeconte:

In other words, since you are not willing to accept that they are right to hold their beliefs for any reason other than if they can provide sufficient evidence in support of them, the only option you give them in order to continue believing is to ignore you and move on, since as long as they're discussing their beliefs with you, you will do nothing but try to convince them to stop believing.

As long as we're discussing beliefs, I will voice my opinion, yes. That's what a debate is.

What do you mean, "the only option I've given them"? They have all the same debating tools at their disposal as I do. It's a debate. What more options would you like them to have? The option to be free from criticism? The option to completely bypass evidence, and not be called out on it?

Zeconte:
Now, given the proper context of my argument, please explain to me how this is wrong and under what conditions you would accept that someone was right to hold beliefs (of the same or similar nature as believing in God) in which you have deemed the evidence to support lacking.

In order to "accept that someone was right", I would have to believe in the same thing myself.

After all, Christians do not accept that I am right.

You'll notice, however, that I accept their right to believe it. Notice that these are two different uses of the word "right", with distinct meanings: I accept their right, but do not accept they're right.

Zeconte:
As for my problem with you claiming you do accept someone's right to believe something, despite trying to convince them and everyone else that it is wrong for them to believe it, simply because you are not actively trying to deny them the right: To me, that would be a lot like saying "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it . . . however, anytime you say it around me, I will voice my disapproval of you for saying it and try to convince you and everyone else that it was wrong for you to have said it at all." How exactly can you claim to be willing to defend someone's right to say something while (verbally) attacking them for having said it?

That's not what I do, though, Zeconte.

I do not bring up my disagreement with the Christians I know in real life (and I shared a house with two, for two years; was even involved with one semi-romantically). I never voiced my disagreement. I even accompanied the other to Christian society meetings, because he wanted a friend around. I never voiced my disagreement.

But this is an internet forum, on the specific subject of belief. So, yes. I am going to voice my disagreement here! This is the place to do it. You'll find your right to believe completely intact when you leave.

Silvanus:
As long as we're discussing beliefs, I will voice my opinion, yes. That's what a debate is.

What do you mean, "the only option I've given them"? They have all the same debating tools at their disposal as I do. It's a debate. What more options would you like them to have? The option to be completely free from criticism? The option to completely bypass evidence, and not be called out on it?

That's all well and fine, if it is, in fact, a debate about who is right or wrong. The problem is when people are trying to talk about their beliefs, and someone comes in and tries to turn it into a debate about who is right or wrong. And it would be refreshing to have a discussion on topics of religion and spirituality without it devolving into a bunch of atheists decrying how wrong it is for people to hold religious or spiritual beliefs in the first place and expecting people who do to defend their right to have religious beliefs.

And no, posts like this:


are in no way whatsoever respecting nor accepting someone's right to hold such beliefs, but are a direct challenge to justify that right. And again, you simply cannot claim to be willing to defend a right you are attacking. It is just not possible.

Zeconte:
Now, given the proper context of my argument, please explain to me how this is wrong and under what conditions you would accept that someone was right to hold beliefs (of the same or similar nature as believing in God) in which you have deemed the evidence to support lacking.

In order to "accept that someone was right", I would have to believe in the same thing myself.

After all, Christians do not accept that I am right.

You'll notice, however, that I accept their right to believe it. Notice that these are two different uses of the word "right", with distinct meanings: I accept their right, but do not accept they're right.

The problem is, I didn't ask you under what circumstances you would accept their belief as being right. I asked under what circumstances would you accept that they were right (as in, not wrong) to hold their beliefs, despite you not agreeing that they were right (as in having proved their belief to be correct). In other words, under what circumstances would you not desire them to stop holding their belief, even if you believe they do not have sufficient evidence to justify them doing so? Only until you can answer that with something other than "none", can you actually claim to accept their right to hold their belief. Until then, you can claim you accept their right to believe it all you want, it just won't be true, because you will continue to challenge their right to believe unless they can justify their belief.

Zeconte:
As for my problem with you claiming you do accept someone's right to believe something, despite trying to convince them and everyone else that it is wrong for them to believe it, simply because you are not actively trying to deny them the right: To me, that would be a lot like saying "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it . . . however, anytime you say it around me, I will voice my disapproval of you for saying it and try to convince you and everyone else that it was wrong for you to have said it at all." How exactly can you claim to be willing to defend someone's right to say something while (verbally) attacking them for having said it?

That's not what I do, though, Zeconte.

I do not bring up my disagreement with the Christians I know in real life (and I shared a house with two, for two years; was even involved with one semi-romantically). I never voiced my disagreement. I even accompanied the other to Christian society meetings, because he wanted a friend around. I never voiced my disagreement.

But this is an internet forum, on the specific subject of belief. So, yes. I am going to voice my disagreement here. This is the place to do it. You'll find your right to believe completely intact when you leave. Please do not presume again.

But again, I don't have a problem with someone disagreeing with a belief and voicing their disagreement, I have a problem with people claiming that it is wrong to hold a belief unless it can be justified based on their own personal criteria of what justifies a belief. That is not disagreeing with or criticizing a belief, that is criticizing or disagreeing with the right to hold it.

And you didn't really prove that's not what you do, you only demonstrated that you only do that with people you don't know.

Zeconte:
are in no way whatsoever respecting nor accepting someone's right to hold such beliefs, but are a direct challenge to justify that right.

Justifying a belief is not the same thing as justifying a right to hold a belief.

Zeconte:

That's all well and fine, if it is, in fact, a debate about who is right or wrong. The problem is when people are trying to talk about their beliefs, and someone comes in and tries to turn it into a debate about who is right or wrong. And it would be refreshing to have a discussion on topics of religion and spirituality without it devolving into a bunch of atheists decrying how wrong it is for people to hold religious or spiritual beliefs in the first place and expecting people who do to defend their right to have religious beliefs.

I didn't realise I was being held accountable for the actions of "a bunch of atheists".

For what it's worth, I do see how that must get frustrating here in the Escapist.

Zeconte:
And again, you simply cannot claim to be willing to defend a right you are attacking. It is just not possible.

You're right. But nobody is attacking the right.

Zeconte:

The problem is, I didn't ask you under what circumstances you would accept their belief as being right. I asked under what circumstances would you accept that they were right (as in, not wrong) to hold their beliefs, despite you not agreeing that they were right (as in having proved their belief to be correct). In other words, under what circumstances would you not desire them to stop holding their belief, even if you believe they do not have sufficient evidence to justify them doing so? Only until you can answer that with something other than "none", can you actually claim to accept their right to hold their belief. Until then, you can claim you accept their right to believe it all you want, it just won't be true, because you will continue to challenge their right to believe unless they can justify their belief.

Why should I stop desiring that? I desire everybody to agree with me politically, as well, but it's not going to happen, and I respect the rights of others to disagree.

I have not once challenged their right to believe. I have challenged only the belief itself, not their right to hold it. You said earlier you recognised the difference.

Zeconte:
But again, I don't have a problem with someone disagreeing with a belief and voicing their disagreement, I have a problem with people claiming that it is wrong to hold a belief unless it can be justified based on their own personal criteria of what justifies a belief. That is not disagreeing with or criticizing a belief, that is criticizing or disagreeing with the right to hold it.

I hardly think "any evidence whatsoever" can be called "my own personal criteria".

That aside, though; No, that isn't an attack on anybody's rights, and you calling it such doesn't make it so.

Silvanus:
I have not once challenged their right to believe. I have challenged only the belief itself, not their right to hold it. You said earlier you recognised the difference.

Yes, I recognize the difference, and the way you "challenge a belief" is no different from "challenging the right to hold a belief", as in, you posit not that there is something wrong with the belief, but that there is something wrong with believing in the belief with little consideration of anything about the belief other than if there is sufficient reason to believe it.

Now, again, if they were trying to convince you to adopt their belief, and you expected them to justify it in order to convince you to do so and then argued why what they presented was insufficient to do so, I'd have no problem with that. But the fact that someone simply mentions what they believe because someone asked them, and then people try to argue that they should not believe what they believe, because the reason they gave for doing so is not good enough for the people trying to convince them to abandon the belief, there is, to me, something wrong with that, and it was Eddie the head doing exactly that in the quote I listed above that caused me to step in and voice my disagreement with it, which eventually lead to you and Seanchaidh stepping in to argue against me.

I see little distinguishable difference between someone saying "you shouldn't believe that because you have no/insufficient reason to" and saying "you have no right to believe that" or "you are not justified in believing that". No matter how you phrase it, the end result is exactly the same, you believe that no one should believe what you are arguing against.

If you have evidence of your own to support the assertion that it was wrong for them to believe what they believe (as in, evidence that suggests or proves the belief is false), that would be one thing, and I'd consider you justified in arguing against holding that belief, but I do not believe you are justified in doing so unless they can provide evidence to you that you agree justifies holding their belief, because, again, it's one thing to judge whether or not it's worthy for you to hold a belief, it's entirely another to judge whether or not it's worthy for anyone to hold a belief.

Zeconte:

I see little distinguishable difference between someone saying "you shouldn't believe that because you have no/insufficient reason to" and saying "you have no right to believe that"

Really? You can't be looking very hard, then.

The first is a position taken by members of debates all over the world, since forever. The second is an impossible denial of the right to freedom of thought.

Zeconte:
I do not believe you are justified in doing so unless they can provide evidence to you that you agree justifies holding their belief, because, again, it's one thing to judge whether or not it's worthy for you to hold a belief, it's entirely another to judge whether or not it's worthy for anyone to hold a belief.

This is an objective matter. "There is a god", and "there is no god", cannot simultaneously be true. I cannot consider myself right, and simultaneously consider theists right.

I can recognise their reasons; of course I can. Perhaps that is what you meant by "judge whether or not it's worthy for anyone to hold a belief"?

Silvanus:

Zeconte:

I see little distinguishable difference between someone saying "you shouldn't believe that because you have no/insufficient reason to" and saying "you have no right to believe that"

Really? You can't be looking very hard, then.

The first is a position taken by members of debates all over the world, since forever. The second is an impossible denial of the right to freedom of thought.

No, members of debates all over the world would take the position of "your argument has failed to sway my opinion" not that their opponent is not entitled to their opinion because they were not swayed by it. And, for the fifth or sixth time, just because you cannot deny someone a right does not mean you accept it. I mean, seriously, how many times do I have to repeat myself? Just because an establishment does not accept American Express does not mean the card has been denied, as you can walk over to an establishment that does accept it and have no problems using it, because the card is still valid/able to be used, it's just not considered an acceptable form of payment at certain establishments. Just as one can not accept someone's right to believe something, but that does not mean that the right has been denied, only that the person who did not accept it does not consider it an acceptable belief to hold.

Zeconte:
I do not believe you are justified in doing so unless they can provide evidence to you that you agree justifies holding their belief, because, again, it's one thing to judge whether or not it's worthy for you to hold a belief, it's entirely another to judge whether or not it's worthy for anyone to hold a belief.

This is an objective matter. "There is a god", and "there is no god", cannot simultaneously be true. I cannot consider myself right, and simultaneously consider theists right.

I can recognise their reasons; of course I can. Perhaps that is what you meant by "judge whether or not it's worthy for anyone to hold a belief"?

Then I take it you are one of the few atheists who willingly admits that you believe God does not exist? Because as I've pointed out, though I personally believe that Goddess does exit, or rather, that there is an infinite consciousness that gave rise to souls who in turn gave rise to the universe we currently find ourselves in which I most closely identify with the Goddess Eris of discordianism, I do not take that extra, unnecessary step of believing that my belief is true and that any other belief is wrong, so I actually can simultaneously consider myself, theists who hold other beliefs on the matter, and atheists to all be potentially right, because I do not know the truth of the matter and neither do any of them. Once you accept that, it's rather easy to consider yourself right without considering everyone else who doesn't share your belief to be wrong.

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