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The Theist's Problem
#1

The Theist's Problem
The theist experiences something in the real world he deems important but can't explain, so says his god is responsible.  And stops there.  Makes no attempt to ascertain a natural explanation, is content to leave it as god controlled.

Science, encountering exactly the same thing and unable to explain it, says here's a lever of control we didn't know about.  Far from stopping, science gets going on figuring out its natural mechanism.  Ultimately, science does figure it out, and humanity gains a control it never enjoyed before.

Only one of these approaches actually advances humanity's control over its own fate, which is the common aim of all humanity:  controlling its own fate.  The theist hopes to achieve it by pleasing its god and receiving favors; science sidesteps obvious nonsense and gains direct control.

The theist contributes nothing to the effort, but often hobbles it.  The theist is absolutely dependent, not on a god, but on humanity for all the benefits he receives.

And yet it's theism that demands respect.
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#2

The Theist's Problem
Deny them that respect.  They hate that more than anything.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#3

The Theist's Problem
(04-05-2024, 09:49 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Deny them that respect.  They hate that more than anything.

Or will they double down. Stevell?
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#4

The Theist's Problem
Stevie puts his head in the sand and tries to pretend that he can ignore anyone who dares disagree with him and his fucking god.

Stevie is just a gutless puke.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#5

The Theist's Problem
Theists ain't much on thinking.
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#6

The Theist's Problem
While I can give religions some minor kudos for social advancements…and it’s hard to say whether those advancements would have occurred naturally anyway…there isn’t one useful technological or medical advancement gleaned from the Bible or the various religions. Every single amazing advancement throughout time came from those that experimented or thought their way through to solve problems making life easier or safer, even if some credited their gods while doing so. Gods didn’t give us shit to help us advance nor did they prevent any of our errors. The silence from all gods is outstandingly absent.
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#7

The Theist's Problem
(04-05-2024, 08:13 PM)airportkid Wrote: The theist experiences something in the real world he deems important but can't explain, so says his god is responsible.  And stops there.  Makes no attempt to ascertain a natural explanation, is content to leave it as god controlled.

Science, encountering exactly the same thing and unable to explain it, says here's a lever of control we didn't know about.  Far from stopping, science gets going on figuring out its natural mechanism.  Ultimately, science does figure it out, and humanity gains a control it never enjoyed before.

Only one of these approaches actually advances humanity's control over its own fate, which is the common aim of all humanity:  controlling its own fate.  The theist hopes to achieve it by pleasing its god and receiving favors; science sidesteps obvious nonsense and gains direct control.

The theist contributes nothing to the effort, but often hobbles it.  The theist is absolutely dependent, not on a god, but on humanity for all the benefits he receives.

And yet it's theism that demands respect.
There's not a thing here I disagree with, however...

Science tells us how to build atomic bombs but science does not (and does not claim to) tell us whether or when we SHOULD make them and use them. Conversely, religion can't tell you how to can a jar of pickles much less build an atomic bomb, but it claims to tell us whether we should and when we should deploy those bombs. Based not on any assessment of actual harms vs benefits or rational ethical principles, but on the say-so of their imaginary sky wizard. Hence the spectacle of that religitard senator from Michigan the other day saying we should finish off the Palestinians quick with nuclear bombs.

The way this really should work is science invents stuff, industry monetizes applied science, aka "technology", and philosophy tells us whether / when / where / what to do with it. I do think that as a species that philosophy isn't really stepping up to the plate. Religion then steps into the resulting power vacuum.
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#8

The Theist's Problem
I'm still waiting to see a faith-based rocket launch.

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#9

The Theist's Problem
(04-06-2024, 01:43 AM)mordant Wrote: The way this really should work is science invents stuff, industry monetizes applied science, aka "technology", and philosophy tells us whether / when / where / what to do with it. I do think that as a species that philosophy isn't really stepping up to the plate. Religion then steps into the resulting power vacuum.
Any philosophy shared by a community that proposes what must be done and what can never be done, the shape of A Good Life, is a religion.  Civil religion peaked throughout the twentieth century as the bedrock of secular nations until countercultural movements (or observations) in the 60's and 00's did an immense amount of damage.  During that same time, traditional religion had cratered.  It's not by coincidence that the christian right long for a return to both traditional and civil religion, circa 1950...and a novel synthesis of the two..no less.  

Interestingly enough a synthesis of the two had been arrived at, and arguably peaked, during the 60s.  Mission christianity.  Following along with the above, traditional religion that remained consistent with civil religion became increasingly liberal - in the modern sense - having been organized around the suffering of the other and the oppressed.  Central america was in need, and close - but just as the american civil religion had by the 80's completely turned on central america (a 30 year project), that strain of christianity died out and was replaced by the contemporary megachurch - in keeping with the civil religion of the 80's and 90's.  

Just a small slice of how so many of us find ourselvs, today, lacking faith in traditional religions and civil religion.  IDK if it's even down to not having good ethical systems to choose from.....because even there, and assuming the fairy tale ending where we find just the right one...there's a gnawing suspicion that we would find some way, somehow, to screw it all up.  To make that putatively wonderful thing the most powerful agent of misery in our lives.
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#10

The Theist's Problem
Quote:Religion then steps into the resulting power vacuum.

Religion is always sticking its nose in where it isn't wanted.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#11

The Theist's Problem
“God is always invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things you do not understand. Now when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which are taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we have not figured it out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you do not believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you live to a certain length of time---life and death---stuff like that. God is always associated with those things you do not understand.” (Richard Feynman)
“I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Etienne De Grellet)
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#12

The Theist's Problem
(04-06-2024, 02:44 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Any philosophy shared by a community that proposes what must be done and what can never be done, the shape of A Good Life, is a religion.
My point is that society needs to honestly wrestle with the tradeoffs between harms and benefits, and ethics and moral systems should be getting input from secular philosophers way more than the religious. There's a substantial difference between religion:

"I assert x without evidence and demand that people outside my in-group accept my assertion or burn in hell"

... and philosophy:

Based on what we know about x and past experience with x, I'd argue we should do y ... thoughts?
(04-06-2024, 02:44 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Just a small slice of how so many of us find ourselvs, today, lacking faith in traditional religions and civil religion.  IDK if it's even down to not having good ethical systems to choose from.....because even there, and assuming the fairy tale ending where we find just the right one...there's a gnawing suspicion that we would find some way, somehow, to screw it all up.  To make that putatively wonderful thing the most powerful agent of misery in our lives.
I am of the view that humans cannot help but screw things up. This does not mean that we should find the fastest and most effective ways to screw things up. I think we can screw things up more slowly and less thoroughly, maybe even at a slower rate than we fix things -- at least at times.
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#13

The Theist's Problem
(04-06-2024, 01:43 AM)mordant Wrote: There's not a thing here I disagree with, however...

Science tells us how to build atomic bombs but science does not (and does not claim to) tell us whether or when we SHOULD make them and use them. Conversely, religion can't tell you how to can a jar of pickles much less build an atomic bomb, but it claims to tell us whether we should and when we should deploy those bombs. Based not on any assessment of actual harms vs benefits or rational ethical principles, but on the say-so of their imaginary sky wizard. Hence the spectacle of that religitard senator from Michigan the other day saying we should finish off the Palestinians quick with nuclear bombs.

The way this really should work is science invents stuff, industry monetizes applied science, aka "technology", and philosophy tells us whether / when / where / what to do with it. I do think that as a species that philosophy isn't really stepping up to the plate. Religion then steps into the resulting power vacuum.

Most of this is pretty solid stuff, but I would like to quibble about some minor issues.

First, for some reason it always worries me how "science" is often referred to as an entity.  That isn't accurate and I think most people understand that but do it anyway out of a conversational shorthand.  "Science" is a methodology, actually a subset of philosophy.  Scientists, however, are people who learn things like how the atom works and share that knowledge with the world.

Second:
-Scientists learn things about the universe.
-Engineers exploit said things and build useful technology.
-Entrepreneurs exploit said technology to make money.
-Everyday people (not everyone, of course) use said technology without the foggiest idea how it actually works.  (I included this for the flat earthers)

And there are no rules that say a single person cannot perform the first three functions.

I wonder if philosophy isn't stepping up or is it that the rest of us just refuse to listen to good advice?
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#14

The Theist's Problem
(04-06-2024, 10:37 PM)mordant Wrote: There's a substantial difference between religion:

"I assert x without evidence and demand that people outside my in-group accept my assertion or burn in hell"

... and philosophy:

Based on what we know about x and past experience with x, I'd argue we should do y ... thoughts?
There's a substantial difference between those two things, but not a substantial difference between religion per se and the second thing, particularly civil religion - which is what you would end up with by any answer to that second question that united a community into a moral whole.  

Take the recent civil religion of a liberal democracy roughly outlined in the us.  It doesn't demand cultural assimilation, it coerces it.  You are not a member of the people by virtue of birth but by virtue of constitutional patriotism.  The things you must do and must not do, and the shape of a good life, are found in the relationships between you and your community and you and your state.  We observe our common identity on our national holidays - and we all groan together on every national holiday.  The legitimacy of our institutions is premised upon their generational experience and competence at resolving those issues that face us in and through time.   The whole world of human organization, we contend, ought to be like this.  

The trouble we have, with maga, is that they are at heart disaffected liberals with a novel idea of who the other and the oppressed happen to be at the present moment.  For them, the failures of civil religion and the ambiguity of contemporary political relativism has calcified into active civil nihilism.  Not just that the world is this way, but that it should be, and they will make it this way wherever or whenever it is not.  That we should be burning down our government.  That we should be excluding the other - judged by their presumed birth.   That the only way out is through, and in order to reach some more preferable state, we must accelerate the collapse of the existing power structure.

-but what do you think about a return to civil religion (as described above), or the further assumption of religions of nature? If there's a vacuum, and it's a religion shaped vacuum (ie it satisfies durkheims functional criteria)...what sort of religion would you fill it with?
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#15

The Theist's Problem
(04-06-2024, 11:56 PM)The Paladin Wrote: I wonder if philosophy isn't stepping up or is it that the rest of us just refuse to listen to good advice?
Lol -- well I think that's definitely in play, but philosophy is in crisis / disarray too. Too many theories, too little practicum. Too much mental masturbation and too little actual thinking.
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#16

The Theist's Problem
(04-07-2024, 05:46 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: If there's a vacuum, and it's a religion shaped vacuum (ie it satisfies durkheims functional criteria)...what sort of religion would you fill it with?
I see religion as the expression of religious faith which is belief in asserted truth without requiring evidence.

So I see the need for logic and reason, not more assertions.

I think the "liberal experiment" has failed ultimately because it was polluted with wishful thinking and, as you suggest, religious notions such as Manifest Destiny, the assumed virtuous and maximally perfect nature of American ambitions in the world, and taboos around criticizing such notions. Insufficient epistemological humility. Also it tolerated the idea that capitalism should be utterly unbridled, that the invisible hand of the markets was incapable of wrongdoing, that all income must be earned / deserved by all persons at all times, that the American Dream is inevitable and lifts all (worthy) boats.
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#17

The Theist's Problem
(04-05-2024, 08:13 PM)airportkid Wrote: The theist experiences something in the real world he deems important but can't explain, so says his god is responsible.  And stops there.  Makes no attempt to ascertain a natural explanation, is content to leave it as god controlled.

Science, encountering exactly the same thing and unable to explain it, says here's a lever of control we didn't know about.  Far from stopping, science gets going on figuring out its natural mechanism.  Ultimately, science does figure it out, and humanity gains a control it never enjoyed before.

Only one of these approaches actually advances humanity's control over its own fate, which is the common aim of all humanity:  controlling its own fate.  The theist hopes to achieve it by pleasing its god and receiving favors; science sidesteps obvious nonsense and gains direct control.

The theist contributes nothing to the effort, but often hobbles it.  The theist is absolutely dependent, not on a god, but on humanity for all the benefits he receives.

And yet it's theism that demands respect.

Outstanding post! One of the clearest explanations I have ever read. All theisms are not only weak in reasoning, they diminish human thought and capabilities.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#18

The Theist's Problem
You athiests really just hop online and post complete nonsense. It was the Moors (both Christian and Muslim) that brought scientific advancement to Europe binging them out of the dark age and into the Renaissance.
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#19

The Theist's Problem
(04-14-2024, 10:18 PM)Huggy Bear Wrote: You athiests really just hop online and post complete nonsense. It was the Moors (both Christian and Muslim) that brought scientific advancement to Europe binging them out of the dark age and into the Renaissance.

I don’t think it’s as simple as you’re making it sound.  I thought it was the Muslims that continued to translate the lost (to the west, particularly) Ancient Greek writings and Christian monks who went to them to learn the lost Greek and then discovered all those writings?  This advanced Christian philosophy (though I’d argue it just gave them insights into how to newly interpret Christianity) and a few farming techniques but we had to wait for the enlightenment before we discovered that science was the real way to make progress.  I know that’s true for medicine in particular since we were stuck with Galen and his humours until then.

We have more reason to thank the Muslims than Christians.
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#20

The Theist's Problem
(04-14-2024, 10:41 PM)pattylt Wrote:
(04-14-2024, 10:18 PM)Huggy Bear Wrote: You athiests really just hop online and post complete nonsense. It was the Moors (both Christian and Muslim) that brought scientific advancement to Europe binging them out of the dark age and into the Renaissance.

I don’t think it’s as simple as you’re making it sound.  I thought it was the Muslims that continued to translate the lost (to the west, particularly) Ancient Greek writings and Christian monks who went to them to learn the lost Greek and then discovered all those writings?  This advanced Christian philosophy (though I’d argue it just gave them insights into how to newly interpret Christianity) and a few farming techniques but we had to wait for the enlightenment before we discovered that science was the real way to make progress.  I know that’s true for medicine in particular since we were stuck with Galen and his humours until then.

We have more reason to thank the Muslims than Christians.

It's never as simple as Smuggy presents it. The guy explaining it to him has to take it to that level, though, and Smuggy just parrots that version.
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#21

The Theist's Problem
(04-14-2024, 10:41 PM)pattylt Wrote:
(04-14-2024, 10:18 PM)Huggy Bear Wrote: You athiests really just hop online and post complete nonsense. It was the Moors (both Christian and Muslim) that brought scientific advancement to Europe binging them out of the dark age and into the Renaissance.

I don’t think it’s as simple as you’re making it sound.  I thought it was the Muslims that continued to translate the lost (to the west, particularly) Ancient Greek writings and Christian monks who went to them to learn the lost Greek and then discovered all those writings?  This advanced Christian philosophy (though I’d argue it just gave them insights into how to newly interpret Christianity) and a few farming techniques but we had to wait for the enlightenment before we discovered that science was the real way to make progress.  I know that’s true for medicine in particular since we were stuck with Galen and his humours until then.

We have more reason to thank the Muslims than Christians.

I'm referring to Christian moors. Christianity was in Africa long before it spread to Europe. Regardless, the op is referencing theists so the point still stands.

I wonder how ya'll feel about the ancient Egyptians having Wi-fi.
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#22

The Theist's Problem
(04-05-2024, 08:13 PM)airportkid Wrote: The theist experiences something in the real world he deems important but can't explain, so says his god is responsible.  And stops there.  Makes no attempt to ascertain a natural explanation, is content to leave it as god controlled.

Science, encountering exactly the same thing and unable to explain it, says here's a lever of control we didn't know about.  Far from stopping, science gets going on figuring out its natural mechanism.  Ultimately, science does figure it out, and humanity gains a control it never enjoyed before.

Only one of these approaches actually advances humanity's control over its own fate, which is the common aim of all humanity:  controlling its own fate.  The theist hopes to achieve it by pleasing its god and receiving favors; science sidesteps obvious nonsense and gains direct control.

The theist contributes nothing to the effort, but often hobbles it.  The theist is absolutely dependent, not on a god, but on humanity for all the benefits he receives.

And yet it's theism that demands respect.

So what about the theists who are in science? Or Medicine? Or any STEM subject for that matter?

What about those people who *are* theists and also use science to cure patients? Or use science to create low emission vehicles to improve our carbon footprint, or create bio technologies for any number of applications. Do those people exist? *Can* they exist?
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#23

The Theist's Problem
(04-06-2024, 01:03 AM)pattylt Wrote: While I can give religions some minor kudos for social advancements…and it’s hard to say whether those advancements would have occurred naturally anyway…there isn’t one useful technological or medical advancement gleaned from the Bible or the various religions.  Every single amazing advancement throughout time came from those that experimented or thought their way through to solve problems making life easier or safer, even if some credited their gods while doing so.  Gods didn’t give us shit to help us advance nor did they prevent any of our errors.  The silence from all gods is outstandingly absent.

Beautifully put. Whether you're religious or non-religious, the physical world in which we live seems to be 100% responsive to our actions, or the actions of others (or responsive to some physical attribute).

I wonder if there are any theists in STEM who are like, "Yeah, I think there's a deity, but that deity has given me a world in which to live and act, and it's up to us to figure it out and make the best of it." What if someone like this ends up curing cancer?!

WAY back, years ago, I asked an atheist who proposed a question similar to OP if they would accept treatment from me, a Jewish woman, if I were a doctor and capable of curing their illness. They said no. They were concerned that I might pray over them or worse, substitute prayer for medicine. I further asked if the answer is the same if I have excellent patient reviews, and patients do better in my care than other doctors. The answer wavered at that point, but it still wasn't a solid yes. 

Bigotry aside, I think that person was failing to use logic in their decision to select a doctor. Maybe they're not so qualified to judge who is rational and who is fear mongering lunatic.
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#24

The Theist's Problem
My favourite doctor I've ever had was a devout Catholic, but if he had tried to push his religion on me he would have probably been my least favourite. That's all it comes down to for me, feeling comfortable within the very intimate relationship that is between a doctor (or psychologist etc) and a patient.

Basically as long as you're not acting like this:



Or talking about paranormal/conspiracy theories like Mulder, or telling me I'm going to hell...

Then I'll be perfectly happy and comfortable to have you as my doctor.
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#25

The Theist's Problem
(04-15-2024, 08:54 AM)Huggy Bear Wrote: I'm referring to Christian moors. Christianity was in Africa long before it spread to Europe. Regardless, the op is referencing theists so the point still stands.

I wonder how ya'll feel about the ancient Egyptians having Wi-fi.

Hopefully they didn't use it for shitposting.

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