Looking for respectfull Atheist to talk about God

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Calilasseia's picture
I'm late to this party, and

I'm late to this party, and have yet to wade through what has gone before, but quite simply, I'm going to make certain points very clear before I begin.

Item one. If you want me to respect bad ideas, then this is NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. I don't care how attached you are to said bad ideas, I will treat them the same way I treat every other bad idea I come across, namely, by subjecting it to whatever bombardment I decide is appropriate, with whatever discoursive artillery I choose to deploy. If you don't like this, then tough. And I'm now going to tell you the reasons why I take this approach. Starting with:

Item two. Thanks to my background, I've become aware of the proper rules of discourse, and their application, which are understood to be in operation in every properly constituted, rigorous academic discipline. These are, in a nutshell:

[1] Assertions, when first presented, possess the status "truth value unknown. There are NO exceptions to this rule.

[2] The epistemological deficit in [1] above, is remedied only by subjecting said assertions to proper test. Only by this means, can we determine if an assertion presented is true or false.

[3] In the absence of said proper test, an assertion retains its "truth value unknown" status, and as a corollary, may safely be discarded until said proper test is conducted, and said epistemological deficit is remedied.

[4] Assertions found via proper test to be false, are discarded except for pedagogical purposes. Assertions found to be true, on the other hand, become the basis for a body of proper, substantive knowledge.

[5] As a corollary of [4], a proper test of an assertion, is a test capable of falsifying that assertion. if the test cannot do this, it fails to be a proper test. In short, proper tests are tests to destruction.

[6] As a corollary of [5], assertions surviving proper tests, and emerging with the status of "true", despite ruthless attempts to destroy them, can be considered from that point on to be rigorous and robust postulates.

Quite simply, the above rules of discourse, and their ruthless application, are the only way to weed out bad ideas, before those ideas not only pollute the arena of discourse, but start exerting malign influence beyond that arena. Since those of us who paid attention in class, are aware of the existence of a large body of historical data, informing us what happens when bad ideas are allowed to fester unchecked, we regard the extirpation thereof as a public duty. Not least because that historical data informs us, that all too often, persistence of bad ideas leads to the premature extirpation of good people. The above rules of discourse have been demonstrated time and again, in rigorous disciplines, to possess unsurpassed utility value in this respect, and as a corollary, those who wish to abandon the above rules of discourse, in order to give free rein to their favourite collections of bad ideas, I and others here regard with well-deserved suspicion. All too frequently, the observational data available tells myself and others here, that those who seek to exempt their assertions from the above provisions, do so for duplicitous reasons.

Item three. Since, as a corollary of the application of the above rules of discourse to assertions, it is possible for those exercising the relevant diligence to change their views, with respect to the soundness or validity of a given postulate, several appropriate maxims arise therefrom, the first of these being you are not your ideas. Several of us here, will happily admit that there were ideas we regarded as unassailably correct in our youth, but now regard as an error-laden product of (at times unavoidable) insufficient learning. We moved through the spectrum of ideas, ultimately, by applying the above rules of discourse, and discarding bad ideas that failed appropriate proper test, even if we did not consciously know at the time that we were doing this. The whole point of my exposition here, is to make that process we followed explicit, and to bring it into the spotlight, so that there is no ambiguity about the nature of our epistemological journey.

Other relevant maxims arise as a corollary of the foregoing, among which a particular favourite of mine, is bad ideas exist to be destroyed. Preferably before they end up destroying good people (see my brief allusion to the relevant historical data above). It's precisely because we recognise the power of bad ideas to exert a malign influence in the wider world, particularly if those bad ideas are chosen as a basis for policy, that we regard ruthless bombardment of bad ideas in the arena of discourse as a public duty. The diligent do not have to dig deep for spectacular illustrative examples of the principle just espoused.

Item four. This is the part where I'm probably going to cause the most offence, to those with the relevant synthetic sensibilities, but again, in the interests of rigour and robustness of ideas, I don't care. Indeed, my view is that if you haven't offended at least some purveyors of bad ideas whilst destroying their nonsense, then you've been less than diligent at that task. Bad ideas, by their very nature, deserve scorn, ridicule, satirical lampooning and the rest of it. Classical Greek civilisation was the first to exhibit explicit recognition of this essential notion, and the literature of that era is replete with the subjection of bad ideas, and the purveyors thereof, to ruthless dissection, not merely from the standpoint of serious consideration of the merit of ideas, but from the standpoint of comedy. Indeed, in the hands of people such as Aristophanes, comedy was a highly effective discoursive weapon, brought to bear upon bad ideas, and used with lethal effect to run them through with the stiletto of refutation. The provenance of satire as a discoursive test, in skilled hands, is pretty much impeccable, and those who paid attention in class, will recognise satire as simply the age-old business, again bestowed upon us by Classical Greece, of reductio ad absurdum, translated into the dramatic sphere. As a corollary, those who exhibit synthetic "offence" at the deployment of such tried and trusted techniques, frequently provide observational data to the effect that their revulsion is driven by mendacity.

And at this point, I'm going to be utterly scathing about the business of "tone policing", an issue I've addressed here in the past, but which is apposite to revisit here, given the manner in which 'respect' was introduced into this thread. Quite simply, it doesn't matter what invective is deployed by whoever chooses to do so, first because what actually counts in discourse, is the rigour and robustness of one's ideas, regardless of their mode of presentation, and second, some of the nonsense that has been served up here by the usual suspects, is utterly deserving of whatever contempt, scorn and derision the veterans can muster to signal their displeasure at seeing said nonsense being vomited forth into the arena of discourse. If you post nonsensical drivel, expect it to be dismantled with gleeful savagery. Whingeing and bleating about post style, as a means of evading addressing post content, is a familiar act of duplicity we've seen in operation here often enough to recognise in our sleep, and resort to this particular brand of discoursive evasion will simply earn you even more scorn and derision than your original bad ideas.

Think of this place as the blast furnace into which ideas are tossed, to see which of said ideas shrivel to nothingness in the searing heat, and you will be equipped by this approach, to understand the modus operandi here. Don't expect us to lower our standards in order to give garbage a free pass, just because you treat that garbage as "sacred".

And with that, I'll now turn my attention to what has passed before, and see what bad ideas are to be subjected to the discoursive Atomic Annie.

Sheldon's picture
Calilasseia "some of the

Calilasseia "some of the nonsense that has been served up here by the usual suspects, is utterly deserving of whatever contempt, scorn and derision the veterans can muster to signal their displeasure at seeing said nonsense being vomited forth into the arena of discourse."

Well said. What's galling here is that a cursory look through any of dozens of threads would have provided rebuttals to his bad ideas that manifestly shredded them beyond any hope of resuscitation, yet this buffoon like so many apologists before him leaped in with both feet, filled with hubris and unfounded self confidence in his risible arguments and superstitious wares.

Best of all, demanding respect a priori, before presenting his farcical cliched garbage, you have to laugh, you really do.

CyberLN's picture
Despite Mystical’s OP saying

Despite Mystical’s OP saying he was looking for honest conversation, I suspect he wasn’t looking very hard...

boomer47's picture


After coming across dozens of these clowns over years, I'm not sure what to think.

Pretty confident it's not simple stupidity , due to them finding their way to an atheist forum and posting their drivel . I can't help but think much of it is a purblind ignorance, which is impervious to facts and reason.

Someone used the word 'hubris' which I think is pithy and ironic . Most apologists I run across tend to exhibit an ignorance of both basic science an inability to engage in reasoned discussion. To be expected I guess. Christianity [at least] is anti intellectual and anti science .

Apologies if I've posted this quote before. From Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation:

“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

David Killens's picture
"I can't help but think much

"I can't help but think much of it is a purblind ignorance, which is impervious to facts and reason."

Never forget John Chau, who in his blind arrogance and stupidity decided he wanted to missionary a known hostile tribe and got his just reward.


boomer47's picture


Yair. Came across that again yesterday on a Darwin Award clip on Youtube .

Drongos like that do not exist in a vacuum as far as I can tell. Pretty fair bet he came from a family and perhaps a church of enablers.

To be fair, not entirely his fault. Members of some of the literalist evangelical sects take the following admonitions of very seriously:

Matthew 28:19

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

Matthew 28:20:

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Of course it also helps a lot if the pupil is also ineffably stupid, as this chap seems to have been. Probably a benefit to the species that he doesn't seem to have bred.

I wonder if he gets his 72 virgins? Or is that only Muslims? Seems a bit mean.

David Killens's picture
@ cranky47

@ cranky47

He was up to his eyeballs in a family and community marinating in religion and missionary work. So when you mix one young adventurous man with religion, the result is the Darwin Awards. Of course his family was devastated, and I am sure many did not want him to do something this stupid.

It is a sad and tragic tale, suicide by religion.

toto974's picture
@Mystical theist

@Mystical theist

Define what supernatural is...that is not magic? Sadly, you seem to be like a lot of other theists I have seen on this website.

This is a re posting of an earlier message.


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