The Winding Path – 025

For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.

13 August 2013 01:55 PM

Occam. – Nah, it’s mainly the dumber criminals who get caught and go to jail, so you’d expect them to be predominantly religious. LOL

LilySmith – I guess this is an example of an atheist’s respect for others? The moderator no less.

brmckay – Yea, I noticed that too. Have to re-evaluate my opinion.

LillySmith – I decided not to debate you, but consider you a friend instead. Hope that’s okay.

Thanks. Though I may still toss out a point or two now and again.

I have enjoyed the chance to compare vantage points and learned from it.

13 August 2013 12:30 PM

brmckay – Does it matter how we come up with our “criteria for good”?

Lausten – Huh?

If you use a completely arbitrary means of defining it, yes it matters. If you come up with something that very few people agree with, it matters. I start from the position that most people are good, so agreement should hold some weight. If it’s a majority opinion, but still lacks a sense of fairness, it matters.

Maybe I’m not understanding the question.

Good enough. Thank you.

Here is another line of thought I was sitting on while we sorted out LilySmith.

Is the question of “Good and Evil” only relevant to humans?

13 August 2013 12:53 PM

brmckay – Now I’m curious what you might consider “a high level of debate”?

Lausten – A couple possibilities;

1) using logic and theology like the cosmological argument. That would be “high level”, but I wouldn’t get into it since those arguments are elsewhere all over the web. 
2) A deeper description of her faith, beyond the 3 or 4 obvious commandments, something that really delineated it as different. At least that would lead to more understanding.

I call it high level because she has:

1) Not resorted to making inferences that she already has arguments against.
2) Stayed within what I feel is a logically coherent framework.
3) Acknowledged the “unprovability” of Gods existence, and therefore her reliance on “Belief”. (Which I consider more related to “Intuitive Comprehension”. But that’s another thread.)
4) Demonstrated what I consider a “Zen like” integrity. (I admit that this is VERY subjective.)

What I think you want, is for her to say things that you have been able to “knock down” in other discussions. In my mind she is demonstrating “Skilfull Means” and I admire it.

Because she is Christian, does not make her “wrong”. In fact I am gaining some appreciation of her “path”.

13 August 2013 12:21 PM

brmckay – Which I’m assuming means Lois doesn’t respect LilySmith’s efforts to debate. Which so far has been at a pretty high level.

Lausten – If you consider “it is wrong to murder” demonstrates a follower of Christ passes for a high level of debate, well, that’s your opinion. Not to mention “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist”. Sorry Lilysmith but that’s schoolyard level of argument.

Now I’m curious what you might consider “a high level of debate”?

13 August 2013 12:13 PM

LillySmith – You have a bad habit of inferring things I didn’t say. Clearly if a man follows the teachings of Christianity, he knows that it is wrong to murder, steal and break the laws of the country in which he lives. A man who does that is not following the teachings of Christ. That’s pretty basic.

Lausten – … I’m not going to argue whether or not she committed the “not a true Christian” fallacy, it’s not really important.

But you misrepresented what she said.

Lausten – What we see here is, defining Christianity as basic decency. Fine then, all decent people are Christians. What LilySmith is saying is that this decency stems from God, that ethical behavior was taught by Jesus, possibly to the exclusion of anyone else having taught it, or at least no one taught as well as he did. I’m not sure what she’ll say about that, but there is something she is claiming that is special about Jesus. I’m saying he’s not special. There are historical reasons for why we are familiar with him not supernatural ones.

You need to grant her the point rather than compounding your error by “inferring” a ton of stuff you want her to have said.

Anybody else is free to back me up on this so we can move on.

13 August 2013 11:58 AM

Lausten – For me, any statement of what a Christian is, is meaningless because there are so many different definitions. It’s become another word for “good”, except it has this exclusionary aspect to it. I’d rather just have criteria for “good” and accept that there are degrees of good and evil and that each of us has both.

This is sort of what I mean by “quality” and “earnestness of application”.

A Buddhists might use the term “Skilfull Means”.

It applies equally to the practice of atheism.

Does it matter how we come up with our “criteria for good”?

Does the question of “quality” apply to the process of coming up with it?

13 August 2013 10:49 AM

Lois,

Sorry, I’ll start over.

Lois – Atheists are underrepresented in the prison population and Christians are overrepresented. That has to tell you something about how believers and atheists live their lives. Atheists have a much lower divorce rate, too. I guess it’s just a coincidence.

No matter what the statistics might indicate. In my opinion, your inferred conclusion seems wildly unfounded.

LilySmith – Actually what that tells me is that this country has been traditionally Christian, and many people call themselves Christians because that’s what their mothers told them they were, not because they actually understand and practice that faith.

What I hear is that statistically there are just a lot of people in this country* who self identify as Christians. Many of them are really so, only in a traditional sense. Inherited it from their family. Maybe don’t go very deeply into it. I would suspect that if you had a statistical test for earnestness of application, there would be a one to one correspondence to atheist incarceration, or lack thereof. Same with divorce.

When Lausten jumps on LilySmith’s response to your comment, he seems to be equating it to “intra-Christian one-upmanship”. This would not be fair if my interpretation of her meaning is correct.

So, I’ll ask; What point were you making when you said, “That has to tell you something about how believers and atheists live their lives.”?

———-
* I’m assuming as probably was LilySmith, that you meant in U.S. prisons.

13 August 2013 09:26 AM

LillySmith – not because they actually understand and practice that faith

Lausten – Oh, my absolute favorite, the “not real Christians” defense. Sorry LilySmitth, I might revel in this for a little bit. I’m so looking forward to you explaining exactly what the “right” kind of Christian is, and how know you that.

Umm….Lausten here is the original quote based on Lois’ comment.

Lois – Atheists are underrepresented in the prison population and Christians are overrepresented. That has to tell you something about how believers and atheists live their lives. Atheists have a much lower divorce rate, too. I guess it’s just a coincidence.

LilySmith – Actually what that tells me is that this country has been traditionally Christian, and many people call themselves Christians because that’s what their mothers told them they were, not because they actually understand and practice that faith.

I think she is talking statistically. There are degrees of quality, and levels of investment that anyone makes in their field of interest.

The original statement wasn’t particularly sincere, pretty irrational. Which I’m assuming means Lois doesn’t respect LilySmith’s efforts to debate. Which so far has been at a pretty high level. Another possibility is, that he’s not that invested in the conversation. Just likes to vent.

I hesitate to mention it but I think that you also jumped to an habitual response. One based on dealings with less intelligent opponents where it might actually be justified.

12 August 2013 10:04 AM

Occam – “… Similarly, when people fed me religious junk when I was a kid, it didn’t take too long to see that it was all fairytales and that they were crackpots.”

I personally find that “skill” and “wisdom” come into play in the presentation of both scientific as well theological/philosophical concepts.

Giving credence to “crackpots” will only make me one. Looking for the best teachers, combined with a personal aptitude and enthusiasm, will give more viable results.

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