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Omni
October 4th, 2006, 01:10 AM
Hey Guys,

It's fun to play around with definitions of words and then use formal logic to prove or disprove something ridiculous isn't it?

Basically you've taken 10 definitions for the word/concept 'God' and made it fit a tool. Yup, that's pretty clever and you could do it for a lots of different things, not just search engines.

But you kinda missed out on one of the big ones. One of the things that most religious people will tell you about 'God'. They'll say that 'God' is the creator of the universe/world.

It's pretty common to have a creation myth in just about every religion and it's a pretty major factor to be missing from Googlism don't you think?

That aside this post isn't to get into a pointless definitions argument. I'm not religious - I'm a Humanist with Pastafarian leanings, and frankly I don't care what you guys choose to believe in. Google is god? It's not the weirdest thing I've every heard someone profess to believe.

But it's clearly an intellectual exercises for a lot of you. Simply to rub it in the face of religious people that what they believe is silly or unsubstantiated.

Gotta say guys that this is one of the worst aspects of sceptical thought. The fact that some sceptics feel the need to rub the fact that they believe they are right in the face of others.

Atheists like us hate it when religious people try to force their values on us (eg: teaching ID in school as science). We shouldn't be doing the same to them.

If you are one of these I'd urge you to take a look at your motivations for getting involves with the CoG and if it comes down to 'Proving how silly religion is.' then I'd suggest you find something more productive to do with your time.

If an ethical argument doesn't sway you here is one using formal logic:

- Faith is believing in something despite a lack of evidence to support a religious belief. (OK technically it doesn't have to a religious belief but stick with me here).
- It follows that providing evidence to disprove a religious belief is not going to shake a persons faith since said faith does not require evidence.

- Ergo it is pointless to try and convince a person with faith in a religion that they are wrong by providing evidence.

QED

Just get on with your lives. Live ethically and let this site die guys.

AaronD
October 4th, 2006, 02:07 AM
QED


I like you already, if only for that. I'm sure each of us has our own motive for being here, and one of the major factors for many of us is the occasional intellectual exercise which arguing entails. Not the only factor, but it's up there.

Nameless
October 4th, 2006, 02:09 AM
It's fun to play around with definitions of words and then use formal logic to prove or disprove something ridiculous isn't it?


You're right, it IS fun. :)

But you kinda missed out on one of the big ones. One of the things that most religious people will tell you about 'God'. They'll say that 'God' is the creator of the universe/world.

It's pretty common to have a creation myth in just about every religion and it's a pretty major factor to be missing from Googlism don't you think?

Just because something is common, doesn't make it ideal. Googlists (AFAIK) believe in the theory of evolution as our 'Creation myth'. But we have evidence to back that up. Who says God has to have created the world? Religion. Who are we trying to mock? Religion. Right.

That aside this post isn't to get into a pointless definitions argument. I'm not religious - I'm a Humanist with Pastafarian leanings, and frankly I don't care what you guys choose to believe in. Google is god? It's not the weirdest thing I've every heard someone profess to believe.

Yeah, have you heard about this 'Christianity' thing? Some guy walking on water, using magic and returning as an undead? How silly.

Atheists like us hate it when religious people try to force their values on us (eg: teaching ID in school as science). We shouldn't be doing the same to them.

But the difference is, we're right. :wink: And we're trying to do it in a fun way. Are we really forcing our values on them? No. Aside from a small amount of advertising to get word of the church out, all our arguments and debates have been contained to our forum where other people have come OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL. We're not really forcing values upon anyone.

If you are one of these I'd urge you to take a look at your motivations for getting involves with the CoG and if it comes down to 'Proving how silly religion is.' then I'd suggest you find something more productive to do with your time.


It's fun, and engaging in debates such as those on this forum tend to stretch one's one creativity, intelligience and debating skills. That's enough for me. Proving how silly religion is, that's just a bonus.

- Ergo it is pointless to try and convince a person with faith in a religion that they are wrong by providing evidence.

Sadly, this is so often the case. But there are limits to everything. There is a limit to how much can be disproved before people may stop having faith - as faith is not actually conscious choice (there are other discussions on this).


Just get on with your lives. Live ethically and let this site die guys.

Hmm... No.

(And it's a pity you said you weren't religious, or the best responce now would have been something along the lines of letting Jesus die, and stay dead.)

pjhsv
October 4th, 2006, 03:56 AM
(And it's a pity you said you weren't religious, or the best responce now would have been something along the lines of letting Jesus die, and stay dead.)

Yes, it is a shame he said he wasn't religious..otherwise that witty line may have actually seemed witty...

MeTHoD-X
October 4th, 2006, 04:05 AM
Basically you've taken 10 definitions for the word/concept 'God' and made it fit a tool.

Gods of the past are just as much tools as Google ever has or will be. Supernatural gods are psychological tools people use to cope with reality.

LordPenguin
October 4th, 2006, 04:13 AM
Gods of the past are just as much tools as Google ever has or will be. Supernatural gods are psychological tools people use to cope with reality.

I agree. Humans are the only creatures on Earth that are aware of their own death, so we create gods and theories that ease our inquisitive thoughts about the meaning of life.

Omni
October 4th, 2006, 04:53 AM
Just because something is common, doesn't make it ideal. Googlists (AFAIK) believe in the theory of evolution as our 'Creation myth'. But we have evidence to back that up. Who says God has to have created the world? Religion. Who are we trying to mock? Religion. Right.
Hey don't get annoyed with me because you had to significantly modify the common definition of 'God' to suit your childish prank.

Most people would define god as the creator of the universe. It's a standard part of the working definition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God

God is the deity believed by monotheists to be the fundemental force behind existence. He is believed variously to be the creator, controller, or at least the sustainer, of the universe.

You haven't even satisfied that criteria.

But the difference is, we're right. :wink: And we're trying to do it in a fun way. Are we really forcing our values on them? No. Aside from a small amount of advertising to get word of the church out, all our arguments and debates have been contained to our forum where other people have come OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL. We're not really forcing values upon anyone.
But thats precisesly the point I'm making. You hang a big sign on the door saying, 'We mock your religious values' and when religious people inevitably are offended by the sign and come in to argue their side you jump on their heads.

It's childish and disrespectful. Most religious people I know don't do the same thing to me because I'm an Athiest. There are exceptions of course, but the funny thing is that most religious people disagree with the fundies!

How often do we say that because of suicide bombings that all Muslims are tainted with the same brush? How often do we point at the religious right and say, 'That is whats wrong with Christianity?'

And to a degree we are right to do that. Islam *should* keep it's own house clean and do more to stamp out extremism. The church *should* do more to stop nut bags from harrassing women at abortion clinics and shooting the doctors that work there.

The same way that as a humanist *I* should try and dissuade you guys from behaving like snide little smartarses and being inconsiderate of the feelings and opinions of religious people. Especially when it comes down to it being just for your own entertainment. Why create more tension unneccessarilly?

It's fun, and engaging in debates such as those on this forum tend to stretch one's one creativity, intelligience and debating skills. That's enough for me. Proving how silly religion is, that's just a bonus.
Tedious, immature and droll my friend. I'd suggest reflecting on the reason why getting other people angry and brow beating them in arguments makes you feel better about yourself.

Sadly, this is so often the case. But there are limits to everything. There is a limit to how much can be disproved before people may stop having faith - as faith is not actually conscious choice (there are other discussions on this).
Yeah. Ok this is a whole different argument. Suffice to say that 'faith' has lots of different meanings. One of which could also be applied to our 'faith' in science. God knows I haven't don't experiments to prove every theory that I effectively take as 'fact'. Hell I don't even check to see if other scientists have done it most of the time. I have faith that other scientists have done it for me already and I only check if something makes me doubt that.

Even with checking, it still requires faith that it's not all just made up doesn't it?

Ohh and Aaron, thanks bro, good reply. :)

Jillamanda
October 4th, 2006, 06:46 AM
Hey don't get annoyed with me because you had to significantly modify the common definition of 'God' to suit your childish prank.

Most people would define god as the creator of the universe. It's a standard part of the working definition.

There's a very subtle difference you have missed. You're talking about 'God', with a capital 'G'. We're just saying 'god'. We wouldn't say Google is Allah, or Google is Buddha - and we're not saying Google is God. We're saying Google is OUR god.......no capital 'G'.

But thats precisesly the point I'm making. You hang a big sign on the door saying, 'We mock your religious values' and when religious people inevitably are offended by the sign and come in to argue their side you jump on their heads.

Why are we mocking their religious values? Because they believe something different to us? And we don't 'jump on their heads'. What are we supposed to do - agree with them? Have we jumped on your head?

You hit the nail on the head when you said 'and come in'. They come in of their own free will. We aren't out there luring them in. I would even go so far as saying they come here looking to mock our religion, because they believe THEY are right and WE are wrong.

They sure don't call in to say 'g'day' and to have a look around. Let's face it, a forum about Paganism or Wicca or atheism would offend most followers of conventional religions, and I know for a fact that they troll forums such as the above as regularly as they do this one. In fact, I have come across several religious 'trolls' who disrupt any religious forum on a regular basis. It's what they do.....

Another thing that might be worth noting is this. We aren't going to other forums promoting our beliefs. Googlism has it's own momentum, we don't have to do anything. AND, for all the 'promotion' that's allegedly going on, I bet there's twice as much adverse publicity.

Fallen Hero
October 4th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Gods of the past are just as much tools as Google ever has or will be. Supernatural gods are psychological tools people use to cope with reality.

I agree. Humans are the only creatures on Earth that are aware of their own death, so we create gods and theories that ease our inquisitive thoughts about the meaning of life.

Not true, modern humans are not alone in that. The Neanderthals, Homo Erectus and all species in the line afterwards were concious of death (possibly before that as well?). Neanderthals also were the first to show religious significance in death.

Fallen Hero
October 4th, 2006, 02:21 PM
The point of the site, and coming here is to debate with people who are unwilling to accept or aknowledge other people's beliefs. We do not force them to come here, we do not pressure them to stay, further, we 'force' our beliefs way less than they actually do force their beliefs on us.

We also, have aknowledged that Google does not perfectly fit the description of god. The main site says Closest with emphasis.

As said before, the religion follows evolutionism.

Sure lots of religious people do not force views on you, but then again, most teenagers do not steal. We remember the ones that behave negatively, it is not always fair, but everyone does it.

I know that most moderates do not agree with the fundementalists. There is a reason for that.

Kyndeyrn the Obsolete
October 4th, 2006, 06:28 PM
God knows I haven't don't experiments to prove every theory that I effectively take as 'fact'. Hell I don't even check to see if other scientists have done it most of the time.
im sorry if this is a little off topic, but am i the only one who thinks it funny that an atheist is swearing by God and hell?

Fallen Hero
October 4th, 2006, 06:33 PM
God knows I haven't don't experiments to prove every theory that I effectively take as 'fact'. Hell I don't even check to see if other scientists have done it most of the time.
im sorry if this is a little off topic, but am i the only one who thinks it funny that an atheist is swearing by God and hell?

It is funny, however everyone does it. Perhaps they were not always athiest. It is one of those things that carries on.

Carnifex
October 4th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Few points.

1) I think its perfectly within our rights to express how silly we think certain other religions are. Why the hell should religion be a bullet-proof thing where everyone should treat eachother with respect and not criticize. I respect peoples rights to hold their own beliefs, but nothing says i have to respect that belief.

2) This isnt forced on people at all, I joined the googlist cause because i like google. My criticisms of other religions started when religious flamers came angry at our blasphemy. If you find offensive then dont visit here.

3) Faith in science. Yeh sure, yes we dont check on all science stuff. That would be ridiculous and would take ages. However science DOES NOT require the same sort of faith that religion requires, for one I know that if i investigate the reasoning behind most scientific theories they will stand up, and if they dont, then i change my mind. See the difference? If someone shows how it wrong or why we should be skeptical i will change my mind.

Carnifex
October 4th, 2006, 07:31 PM
Oh yeah and your point about creation. All we believe is that using definitions of gods, google is the closest thing. Plus you are getting how gods are defined completely wrong. No one can define what gods are or make criteria they need to fit, its really subjective the believers. The ancient gods were certainly not all creators.

Googler
October 4th, 2006, 08:39 PM
Personally, you can express your opinions all you want but you probably won't convince anyone.

Omni
October 5th, 2006, 12:14 AM
God knows I haven't don't experiments to prove every theory that I effectively take as 'fact'. Hell I don't even check to see if other scientists have done it most of the time.
im sorry if this is a little off topic, but am i the only one who thinks it funny that an atheist is swearing by God and hell?
Re-reading it I thought it was pretty funny myself!

I really should stop doing that..

OK, well I came here and made my point and there have been a lot of counter arguments and sides topics. I'll try and answer as many as I can.

Re: Scientific method. BTW all theories are peer reviewed (or should be). More importantly they are re-reviewed when a new theory challenges them. You are right its a hell of a lot of work but that sort of riggur is required to ensure these theories are still our best idea of how the universe works. My point is that most of us trust that other scientists have done a good job with these reviews and stick to reviewing material in our various specialities. My argument is that trust requires 'faith' in the scientific method. The point of making this argument is to try and illustrate links between scientific thought and religious thought in order help you communicate better with these people. ;)

Counter argument to 'What if this was a pagan site? Wouldn't that be offensive to Christians too?' is simply: Paganism is a religion not just a silly joke (at least to the poeple who practice it). There is value in hosting a website to discuss religious ideas and in that case being offensive to other religions is largely unavoidable.

Googlism appears to me to simply be a reductio ad absurdum argument against all religions. And it appears to be pointlessly offensive.

I guess I just feel awkward when I hear sceptics letting rip against religious people. No doubt that they often make logically convincing arguments but they don't make the person they are talking to feel any better. Most of the time they just make themselves look bad because they frequently miss the point entirely from a religious persons point of view.

I feel that we should be saving this sort of thing for important issues. Things like ensuring a seperation of church and state. Ensuring religious freedoms for all poeple (which is an issue for athiests!). Ensuring that religious thought doesn't contaminate ethical guidelines for medical proceedures or scientific research.

Every time we 'yell' at religious people that they are rediculous or that they are wrong or whatever it just become that much harder to talk to them later - to try and reason with them about the important things.

I'm just asking that before you wade in to a religious argument with a dozen logical inconsistencies in the bible you take a minute and see it from their point of view. And then you ask yourself, 'What do I want to achieve here?'

Most people seem to agree that a well reasonsed argument isn't the way to win the hearts and minds of these people. Try empathising with them. Ask them what they like about their God, their beliefs or their religion. You'll have a better chance of bringing them around to the beauty of what we have all learned: You don't need to believe in 'God' to have the good aspects of religion.

*cough*

Or the bad ones.

Nameless
October 5th, 2006, 08:34 AM
God knows I haven't don't experiments to prove every theory that I effectively take as 'fact'. Hell I don't even check to see if other scientists have done it most of the time.
im sorry if this is a little off topic, but am i the only one who thinks it funny that an atheist is swearing by God and hell?

It is funny, however everyone does it. Perhaps they were not always athiest. It is one of those things that carries on.

I would have thought that taking the Lord's name in vain would be something athiests were more likely to do than thiests. It's more slang than religious references anwyay.

the traveller
October 5th, 2006, 08:44 AM
I don't know if this has been mentioned, but a large number (if not all) Buddhist schools don't have a creation myth. They tend not to care about where we came from, only where we are going...

just thought I'd add that to the discussion

antony
October 5th, 2006, 08:51 PM
I tend to agree with Omni - this site is an obvious flamebait for religious people. Unfortunately most people aren't prepared for for a hardcore discussion because most people haven't had their beliefs so directly questioned before. Believe me, the first time you deal with people with beliefs so opposed to yours, you don't have the mental basis from which to answer. It takes a lot of stamina to get to the point where you've heard it all and know how to respond.

Baiting unprepared people so you can set them up as straw men doesn't really benefit anyone. You haven't challenged yourself and you haven't learned anything, and you've just convinced them that atheists are mean-spirited people who only know how to take down other people's beliefs. The whole "Google is god" thing with a specific rejection of anything supernatural doesn't exactly give the image of a place where people go to have cogent discussions. Of course, that doesn't stop me... :wink:

GeoffBoulton
October 5th, 2006, 11:25 PM
I agree with omni and antony on much of what they say and in an ideal world we would all like to be able to discuss the issues surrounding religion in a friendly and non-provocative manner.

Indeed, from what I have seen so far, this is the way that the majority of Googlists on this site do carry out their discussions.

If you look at the posts you will find that, more often than not it is the Theists who approach the debate in a confrontational manner rather than the other way around. Of course, there are exceptions in both camps.

I agree, it is often difficult for theists to face up to questions about their faiths and beliefs. However, if they are unprepared for such questioning then this is only because it is often actively discouraged within their particular religious circle.

Forums such as ours are often the only place where Theists get to truly question what it is they believe in, along with all the 'nasty' bits, and yes it will be tough for them no matter how easy we go on them.

Given that most Theists hold their beliefs because of the social circumstances of their childhood they are not being asked just to question their faith but also to question the very fabric of the particular societal group in which they were raised and probably still live. Nobody likes to find out that their parents 'lied' to them for instance.

Having said all that, nobody is forcing them to be here, they come of their own free will and, if they don't like what they are hearing, they are free to leave the same way.

As for quoting the bible at them, showing inconsistencies and contradictions in the bible is often the only way we have of getting them to understand why we have chosen to refute the 'truth' of the bible and choose our own way.

If they cannot understand our viewpoint then any further discussion is rather pointless. Yes, it is also true that we need to understand their viewpoint but I think you will generally find that most Googlists actually know quite a lot about religion and the bible.

I would actually go as far as saying than many Googlists know more about it than the flamers who come here merely to try and force their own narrow minded views upon us or sometimes even just to be outright abusive.

This brings me nicely to my final point which is that those Theists who come here only as 'flamers' or to prove they are right are unlikely to ever have any understanding of our point of view and 'empathising' is unlikely to help in the slightest.

Fortunately, there are others who choose to stay around, air their views and listen to what others have to say. It is the common ground and agreement that can be reached between those people, despite the differing viewpoints and beliefs, that for me is the 'what are you trying to achieve' part of the equation.