Author Topic: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?  (Read 9868 times)

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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2015, 10:52:13 AM »
There's no better evidence for a deist God than there is for anyone else.
There isn't as much controverting evidence though.  A non-interventionist god is much more likely than an interventionist god just because of the lack of interventions in recent years decades millennia.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2015, 02:17:43 PM »

 The origin of life is just a string of peptides self replicating a few billion years ago and now here we are. No need for the mythic spook anymore.
Sure, but lack of need is not proof anything.

Special pleading.
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Offline Sawyer

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2015, 05:39:21 PM »

 The origin of life is just a string of peptides self replicating a few billion years ago and now here we are. No need for the mythic spook anymore.
Sure, but lack of need is not proof anything.

Special pleading.

I think we're having two completely different conversations here.  You guys seem to be starting from "is there a compelling reason for someone that is a skeptic to  consider deism?" (not really) or perhaps "do religious people perpetually move the goalposts to vaguer definitions of God in order to avoid scientific critique?"  (of course they do).  I think everyone here is on the same page regarding these questions.

I was trying to answer the question "is there a fundamental requirement for a scientist/skeptic to completely eschew a deist god in order to maintain a logically coherent worldview?"  That question has been asked by scientists, philosophers, historians of science, logicians etc. for hundreds of years, and I'm pretty sure most of them end up at a big fat "NO".  I do not consider myself a deist and feel odd defending them, but I'm pretty sure you guys are just plain getting this wrong.  We used to have some threads on the forums discussing this issue but they may no longer exist.

I've already broken my vow to not get involved in an off-topic question, but I'm going to try to leave it at that.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2015, 06:23:14 PM »

 The origin of life is just a string of peptides self replicating a few billion years ago and now here we are. No need for the mythic spook anymore.
Sure, but lack of need is not proof anything.

Special pleading.
I think he was using the argument from final consequences, not special pleading. 

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2015, 10:28:26 PM »
I'd go so far as to say that deism is the one form of theism that is not inconsistent with a skeptical view of religion.

Hold on there.  Deism means you still believe in some cryptic spook.  Deism is consistent with theism but not skepticism.

Deism is the belief in a non-interventionist god. By definition there cannot be evidence for such a god. Since skepticism is all about examining the evidence, deism cannot be incompatible with it.
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Offline Anders

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2015, 07:14:50 AM »
I'd go so far as to say that deism is the one form of theism that is not inconsistent with a skeptical view of religion.

Hold on there.  Deism means you still believe in some cryptic spook.  Deism is consistent with theism but not skepticism.

Deism is the belief in a non-interventionist god. By definition there cannot be evidence for such a god. Since skepticism is all about examining the evidence, deism cannot be incompatible with it.

Skepticism is about what Hume said:  "A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence." If there is no evidence, there's no reason to believe it. Otherwise you'd have to believe in a million non-interventionist things or make a special case for the God. This is the "invisible dragon" idiocy all over again.
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Offline Belgarath

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2015, 07:59:19 AM »
I guarantee you believe contradictory things for which you have no evidence.  Believing that their is a deist type god that doesn't intervene isn't a problem.  It BECOMES a problem when you start using that belief to make claims about how the world works. 


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Offline Anders

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2015, 09:52:11 AM »
I guarantee you believe contradictory things for which you have no evidence.

Extremely likely. But why add to the pile? It's like saying "I guarantee you have cancer cells in your body, so drinking creosote shouldn't worry you".

Believing that their is a deist type god that doesn't intervene isn't a problem.  It BECOMES a problem when you start using that belief to make claims about how the world works.

It's not a great problem, I agree with that. Of the theisms, deism is certainly the least objectionable. But it's still not good skepticism.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” Charles Darwin

Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2015, 09:02:30 AM »
You absolutely can be a skeptic and also be a deist.  There is no problem there


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You are saying that you can believe things without evidence and be a skeptic?

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2015, 03:19:28 PM »
You absolutely can be a skeptic and also be a deist.  There is no problem there


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You are saying that you can believe things without evidence and be a skeptic?
Yes. It's called cognitive dissonance, and humans possess it.
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Offline Belgarath

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2015, 05:10:03 PM »

You absolutely can be a skeptic and also be a deist.  There is no problem there


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You believe 100 things before you get out of bed each day without evidence

You are saying that you can believe things without evidence and be a skeptic?


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Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2015, 06:31:22 PM »
The problem is that the means of acquiring knowledge is incompatible.

Religion involves revealed truth and authority. You don't question authority.

Science means question everything. Observation, form a theory, make a testable hypothesis, test the hypothesis and see what happens. If the test fails, either modify the theory or drop the theory and come up with a new one.

If someone could prove Einstein's relativity wrong or Darwin's theory of natural selection wrong, they would win a Nobel Prize and go down in the history books.
If you prove religion wrong, up until a few hundred years ago, you could be killed for heresy. Now, you are just ignored or shunned.

Those are incompatible ways of acquiring knowledge about the world. To think they are compatible is just wishful thinking.

The SGU is worried about the negative consequences of being too honest with these loving Christians. Along with religious belief, you typically also find intolerance.

Offline DaveTheReader

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2015, 06:51:35 PM »

You believe 100 things before you get out of bed each day without evidence

There are useful fictions. These are things that you are not absolutely sure about, but have so far not been able to falsify. For instance, the Earth will rotate such that the side of the Earth where you are, will experience what is called 'daylight'. These useful fictions help us make it through the day, rather than having to think through each one, each day. Another useful fiction is gravity. No one has yet proven what gravity is. Einstein's space/time theory is just a mathematical theory. It has so far, not been proven wrong, and so, it is useful.

If something has happened 24,000 times, without fail, I am going to give it a provisional acceptance; it is a useful fiction. I have never seen anyone die and come back to life. I have never seen anyone raise the dead etc. These are all fails, which do not qualify as useful fictions.

A god who became man.
Born of a virgin on December 25 (very popular).
Performed miracles.
Raised the dead.
Died and rose from the dead after 3 days (also popular).
These are all fictions, unprovable, and, not useful. Whether Jesus existed or was born of a virgin makes no difference in my day-to-day life.
BTW, these properties are common to the gods at the time that Christianity was invented. The Jesus story is just a re-telling of stories common at the time. They changed the names and locations, and borrowed freely from a number of gods. There is no reason to think that all of these other gods are false, while the Christian god is true.

Whether or not gravity exists, makes a big difference in my day-to-day life. GPS makes a difference in my day-to-day existence, as well as many other scientific bits of knowledge. GPS uses Einstein's theories for fine adjustments.

Science is useful, religion is not.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 06:59:09 PM by DaveTheReader »

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2015, 09:23:49 PM »
You argue against religions and how they demand revealed knowledge.  To my knowledge NO DEIST believe in revealed knowledge. In fact that's the major distinction between a deist and a theist. 

All of what your argue against are NOT the positions that deists take. 




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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Why does the SGU recommed The God Delusion and God Is Not Great?
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2015, 02:16:50 AM »
Seems to me a lot of skeptics who are also atheists don't actually understand deism. But a lot of them don't understand any kind of religion, so I guess that's par for the course.
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