Hi everyone :)

Hello and welcome to RatSkep! :smile: Why don't you introduce yourself here? ;)

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Re: Hi everyone :)

#21  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Apr 20, 2014 9:29 am

solidatheist wrote:If we need to cater for the religious people by politically correctly saying nothing we know is actual truth, then that's your call. 2 + 2 = 4 and no one is going to tell me otherwise. If evidence leads to something that is unquestionably truth, then it's truth. Should we disregard all the evidence that overwhelmingly proves evolution to be true just in case some religious bigot is offended? Should we allow religious people to be the only ones to rightfully claim ownership of 'truth'? Are we going to beat around the bush about everything we know just to satisfy some religious people?


The caution about "what is truth" is not a sop to religionists-it is about intellectual honesty. There are various epistomological problems with ALL knowledge. [Epistomology is the discipline concerned with the question; "How do we know what we know?"]
What repels me about religious claims is that they are absolute. Far better to make more cautious claims that are well- backed with evidence and reason. :thumbup:

There is no reason to be absolutist anyway. Science progresses by finding out new things, exploring new interpretations, and ever questioning what we think we know. It works fine.
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#22  Postby james1v » Apr 20, 2014 9:35 am

Hi! :cheers:
"When humans yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon". Thomas Paine.
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#23  Postby campermon » Apr 20, 2014 9:35 am

solidatheist wrote: 2 + 2 = 4 and no one is going to tell me otherwise.


:think: That's only true for large values of 2. :grin:

Welcome to the forum!
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#24  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Apr 20, 2014 9:42 am

In bacterial mathematics 1=2, then 2= 4, and so on..until the food runs out! :)
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#25  Postby Macdoc » Apr 20, 2014 10:19 am

Solid....in your new found enthusiasm please listen....

solidatheist wrote:
If we need to cater for the religious people by politically correctly saying nothing we know is actual truth, then that's your call. 2 + 2 = 4 and no one is going to tell me otherwise. If evidence leads to something that is unquestionably truth, then it's truth. Should we disregard all the evidence that overwhelmingly proves evolution to be true just in case some religious bigot is offended? Should we allow religious people to be the only ones to rightfully claim ownership of 'truth'? Are we going to beat around the bush about everything we know just to satisfy some religious people?



The caution about "what is truth" is not a sop to religionists-it is about intellectual honesty. There are various epistomological problems with ALL knowledge. [Epistomology is the discipline concerned with the question; "How do we know what we know?"]
What repels me about religious claims is that they are absolute. Far better to make more cautious claims that are well- backed with evidence and reason.

There is no reason to be absolutist anyway. Science progresses by finding out new things, exploring new interpretations, and ever questioning what we think we know. It works fine.


this is an excellent post and one to heed. I know you have ingrained concepts that are hard to shake - a science and evidence based world view offers huge dollops of uncertainty ....truth smacks of absolutism which is really an anathema for how science/evidence/thesis/antithesis moves forward.

For starters....2+2 is math and is a construct in a formal sense .....you will find in the real world which science deals, those constructs are useful but inadequate or incomplete.....
Dealing with uncertainty and "fuzzy edges" as a constant companion takes some adjustment in both viewpoint and language.
We're pretty certain of that ;) ...evidence shows.

One of the important terms is "confidence" in a fact or theory.
For instance climate scientists have a very high confidence that C02 is the primary driver of global warming but even tho they may act as it's a certainty....the door is left open to a different thesis.

Being comfortable with uncertainty takes a while coming from your background.
But it's a cool challenge.

Here is a lovely bit of science adding to our body of knowledge...knowledge is a process...not a "truth" - uncertainty is part and parcel of a secular world view. ( wait til you get to the wonderful world of Quantum Mechanics which even Einstein wrestled with as "just too weird". :scratch: )

The current study added a numerical model for calculating water exchange through the Strait of Gibraltar as a function of sea-level change, which allowed the microfossil records to be used as a sensitive recorder of global sea-level changes. The new sea-level record was then used in combination with existing deep-sea oxygen isotope records from the open ocean, to work out deep-sea temperature changes.

Lead author, Professor Eelco Rohling of Australian National University, says: "This is the first step for reconstructions from the Mediterranean records. Our previous work has developed and refined this technique for Red Sea records, but in that location it is restricted to the last half a million years because there are no longer drill cores. In the Mediterranean, we could take it down all the way to 5.3 million years ago. There are uncertainties involved, so we included wide-ranging assessments of these, as well as pointers to the most promising avenues for improvement.
This work lays the foundation for a concentrated effort toward refining and improving the new sea-level record."


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 133332.htm
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#26  Postby Cyberguy » Apr 20, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi Mason. This is Stephen who recommended this site to you.

I have not been active here for several years. In fact I was mostly active on the old Richard Dawkins forums that preceded this. Hackenslash said welcome to the rough and tumble, and if the culture here is the same as it was, he is correct. So please be aware that some of your ideas may be challenged, but in most cases the rules of the game will be followed - namely by playing the ball not the man. As long as you understand that this is a playing field where the best ideas normally come out on top, you will have fun and learn more about rational (and irrational) debate than you could possibly hope.

If you find anything a bit too challenging and feel that you need some support, just PM me either through here or via facebook. Happy to help out if need be.

Anyway - have fun, and welcome.
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#27  Postby campermon » Apr 20, 2014 12:19 pm

Cyberguy wrote: So please be aware that some of your ideas may be challenged, but in most cases the rules of the game will be followed - namely by playing the ball not the man.


Indeed. And certainly don't play with the man's ball, unless of course he is willing. :grin:

For the perusal of newbies and oldies alike; the FUA

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Re: Hi everyone :)

#28  Postby Templeton » Apr 20, 2014 1:40 pm

solidatheist wrote:If we need to cater for the religious people by politically correctly saying nothing we know is actual truth, then that's your call. 2 + 2 = 4 and no one is going to tell me otherwise. If evidence leads to something that is unquestionably truth, then it's truth. Should we disregard all the evidence that overwhelmingly proves evolution to be true just in case some religious bigot is offended? Should we allow religious people to be the only ones to rightfully claim ownership of 'truth'? Are we going to beat around the bush about everything we know just to satisfy some religious people?

It is generally considered bad form to use the term truth when talking in scientific terms, although as you'll soon find out, if you don't already know, the implications of absolutism on this site run rampant. One of the joys of RS is that bigotry is a universal condition no matter what or how devote your beliefs.
Welcome, looks like you'll fit in quite well. :beercheers:
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#29  Postby hackenslash » Apr 20, 2014 1:49 pm

So, we're all bigots, is that it? :what:
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#30  Postby BlackBart » Apr 20, 2014 1:51 pm

I hate bigots.
You don't crucify people! Not on Good Friday! - Harold Shand
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#31  Postby Templeton » Apr 20, 2014 2:04 pm

hackenslash wrote:So, we're all bigots, is that it? :what:


What I really enjoy watching is that mob mentality :mob:
Nothing quite brings a point across like an angry condescending tribe of believers.
Recycled ignorance is bliss :cheers:
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#32  Postby hackenslash » Apr 20, 2014 2:12 pm

And the question?
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#33  Postby kiore » Apr 20, 2014 2:13 pm

Kia Ora! Welcome in, I do understand your transformation, I also came out from a religious world view and know the feeling of just stopping within a very short time, a road from rather than to Damascus... not so much a Saul why do you kick against the pricks, but kiore stop believing the pricks..
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#34  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 20, 2014 2:15 pm

solidatheist wrote:
Macdoc wrote:Mason


use the word evidence instead of truth - truth has a whole lot of garbage tagging along with it.

Yes evidence is required to prove things, but at the end of the day, truth is what is important, not theories based on hypothesis.

Welcome to the forum.
How do you determine the 'truth'?
Or better yet, what is 'truth'?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#35  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 20, 2014 2:20 pm

Templeton wrote:
hackenslash wrote:So, we're all bigots, is that it? :what:


What I really enjoy watching is that mob mentality :mob:
Nothing quite brings a point across like an angry condescending tribe of believers.
Recycled ignorance is bliss :cheers:

Ah persecution complex, not like we haven't seen that bandied around for a a long time.... :nono:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#36  Postby reddix » Apr 21, 2014 1:32 am

Hello. :wave:

Welcome to the forum.


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Re: Hi everyone :)

#37  Postby solidatheist » Apr 21, 2014 2:36 am

Sorry everyone for my militant approach. I'm applying my militant Christian evangelism to my atheism which I'm slowing starting to understand is like a German speaking Chinese without a Chinese accent. I'm open to all ideas and criticism. Just to clarify, I do believe there's no such thing as absolute fact, but I do believe when there's overwhelming circumstantial evidence (like evolution for example) then even though it's a theory, it's widely accepted as fact. It's a fact that the earth isn't only 6000 years old, it's also a fact that I didn't have breakfast this morning. I don't believe we should allow religious people to be able to use the word truth while we beat around the bush and say well we can't be certain, but we're pretty sure science is more correct than the bible.
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#38  Postby virphen » Apr 21, 2014 2:41 am

solidatheist wrote:Sorry everyone for my militant approach. I'm applying my militant Christian evangelism to my atheism which I'm slowing starting to understand is like a German speaking Chinese without a Chinese accent. I'm open to all ideas and criticism. Just to clarify, I do believe there's no such thing as absolute fact, but I do believe when there's overwhelming circumstantial evidence (like evolution for example) then even though it's a theory, it's widely accepted as fact. It's a fact that the earth isn't only 6000 years old, it's also a fact that I didn't have breakfast this morning. I don't believe we should allow religious people to be able to use the word truth while we beat around the bush and say well we can't be certain, but we're pretty sure science is more correct than the bible.


I'm content to let the religious have a monopoly on Truth, as long as it is capitalised.
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#39  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Apr 21, 2014 3:04 am

solidatheist wrote:Sorry everyone for my militant approach. I'm applying my militant Christian evangelism to my atheism which I'm slowing starting to understand is like a German speaking Chinese without a Chinese accent. I'm open to all ideas and criticism. Just to clarify, I do believe there's no such thing as absolute fact, but I do believe when there's overwhelming circumstantial evidence (like evolution for example) then even though it's a theory, it's widely accepted as fact. It's a fact that the earth isn't only 6000 years old, it's also a fact that I didn't have breakfast this morning. I don't believe we should allow religious people to be able to use the word truth while we beat around the bush and say well we can't be certain, but we're pretty sure science is more correct than the bible.


Indeed! Part of the problem is that observation is in part, theory-driven. We can tend to "see" things we believe in. For example, a young impressionable Catholic girl might imagine she saw a statue of the Virgin Mary crying tears of blood, because that is one of the myths of Catholicism. Yet a Muslim, Hindu, Bhuddist or atheist would not, because that idea is not part of their culture or belief system.

Ideas/concepts can be useful too. For example, the concept of the atom-which had to wait over two thousand years before it was confirmed by scientific observation.

I suppose from an atheist point of view [if there is such a thing], it is important not to overstate our case, because it tends to weaken it. In science, we have methodological naturalism. This differs vastly from philosophical naturalism, which equates natural phenomena with nature itself.

Instead, the process we call science can be called a sort of game. if you play the rules of the game, you get really interesting and useful results. It does not matter if it is really true or not. If scientific theories, well tested by the evidence allows us to cure cancer, make computers, build space stations and space shuttles, then who cares if it is really true? The point is moot, or rather philosophical.

So science, which can be done without any philsophical or metaphysical baggage, is untouchable by the irrational skeptics. A science stands or falls on its own merits, and not some metaphysical garbage like truth, reality or whatever.

This "non-realism" of science is incredibly useful, because it means ANYONE can do science, even devout religious people, and yes, even fundis. ALL that is required is the proper process, the proper methodology and not whether the scienc eis believable or not, or appears to conflict with some religious notion or dogma.

So say I am a fundi Young Earth creationist. I believe that the Earth is only six thousand years old. But when I do Geology, it is useful to me to "pretend" that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, because that makes the geology consistent. If I pretend the Earth is billions of years old, I can find coal or oil, discover creatures like Tiktaalik, and so on. This is because science is a process of modelling natural phenomena. In other words, science is a sort of map, rather than being the terrain.

So science is no DIRECT threat to faith. Of course, a religious person may ponder why this 4.6 billion year old earth of the scientific imagination conflicts with their beliefs of a young earth. This may lead to cognitive dissonence, and the end of belief. :thumbup: Often though, a religious person will compartmentalise science and religion into different "magesteria" and rationalise it that way.

Faith however, can be a threat to science, because some religious folks believe in their myths as being the true reality. That is the main problem. Despite the fact that the Earth appears to be 4.6 billion years old, and is good a fact as we can get, their religion [or rather their interpretation] insists on an earth only 6K years old. This might prompt them to attempt to change science education policy and all sorts of other harmful nonsense.

The natural challenge to this is for all [religious and non-religious] to INSIST on a secular education and science policy. Secularism protect ALL-religious and non-religious from any dominant belief perverting the aim of a good education and a sound scientific program.
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Re: Hi everyone :)

#40  Postby Macdoc » Apr 21, 2014 8:41 am

All we are trying to do SA is steer your language use and mindset a bit away from the vernacular of skydaddy types in which "truth" figures far too often.

You arguments and positions will carry more weight with the vernacular of a science view.

BTW there are atheists and anti-thesists....variations on a theme.
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