At 2/12/13 04:44 AM, chiefindomer wrote:
At 2/11/13 11:16 PM, Cynical-Charlotte wrote:
Yes. But you have not adequately responded to my point. What I am saying is that cultic/religious founders rarely, if ever, seek no political/social power or wealth. To do so would be contradictory to human nature - especially when at the cost of any or all of these including one's life.So your point is that if the founders of a religion don't seek power or wealth then the supernatural claims of said religion are true? Now that would be one hell of a stretch.
Absolutely not. It simply decreases the probability that it is a lie. It would be, as you say, a stretch to then say it is true because there is still a mathematical chance of it being false. I am speaking strictly in a scientific-numerical sense. If we agree that the majority of cult-like entities begin primarily in pursuit of power (similar to racial supremacists, rebels, extremists, and the mafia) and/or commercial gain (similar to scientologists, apocalypse groups, and secret membership scammers), and also that Christianity began as a cult-like entity (it proclaimed a philosophy beyond a moral behavior), then the fact that the Christian roots sought neither social power nor wealth but rather risked both including their lives places them in the minority for deceptive groups.
Again, this is not proof of truth or falsehood. It is simply mathematical - not induced - probability.
At 2/12/13 09:52 AM, Angry-Hatter wrote:
At 2/11/13 11:16 PM, Cynical-Charlotte wrote:
This is an illogical leap to a conclusion, and it is NOT the atheistic position. To say that there is no god or gods (what some might refer to as the "anti-theist", or sometimes incorrectly as the "hard-atheist" position) is an affirmative claim, in other words, one that requires evidence before it can be accepted as valid. Seeing as there is no way to provide conclusive affirmative evidence for a negative proposition (i.e. X does NOT exist), it is an irrational position to hold.
An atheist, by definition, is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings. It is not a middle-ground, "passive" position under its dictionary term. Despite this, when I refer to atheism, I am still also including "agnosticism" because it is actually identical to atheism in a purely scientific sense. Let me explain.
Scientifically, it is impossible to prove the nonexistence of anything (outside of mathematical probabilities in observable environments - I will go into this shortly). Therefore, an affirmation on the nonexistence of something would logically be the same as "having no position". Although your conclusion that an indifferent position is valid, it only applies to scientific theories which can be accepted as true through observation and testing exclusively - neither of which can be done on a non-existence, which would otherwise be outside of the observable universe. This is why multiverse "theory" is so controversial.
In other words, refusing to choose a side when only one can be affirmed through observation is synonymous with claiming the other. You are simply more willing, in this scenario, to accept evidence in support of existence. Here's a logic/probability example:
1) I begin with an empty glass jar, and a large bag of marbles of various colors.
2) I fill the glass jar with 100 red marbles.
3) I take 1 marble from the jar.
What color is the marble? I will assume you answer "red". This is because there is a specific environment which can be observed, and this environment holds contents which can be tested. Thus, we deduce the existence of 99 red marbles in the jar, and 1 in my hand.
1) I begin with a glass jar filled with 100 red marbles.
2) I spill all of the marbles from the glass jar onto the floor.
3) I take 1 marble from the floor.
What color is the marble? There is no logical answer, because the probability has been voided by an environment which was not observed in the instance. Although your position must assume the marble is red because it was the only color type you have been presented, even the retrieval of all 100 red marbles does not disprove the existence of blue marbles on the floor. Atheism and agnosticism reflexively assume that I take a red marble from the floor given no other alternative; by doing so, they reject the infinite probability that I take a blue marble from the floor. (Refusing to develop a hypothesis of any sort would not be scientific.) The affirmation that 0 blue marbles exist is mathematically no different from assuming that I have taken a red marble from the floor - which would be the required, default agnostic position due to the fact that no further information has been presented in favor of blue marbles save for speculation.
Thus, atheism/agnosticism is a faith argumentatively contrary to theism which claims that blue marbles are on the floor and also opposed to Christianity, which claims that someone else has told you that blue marbles are on the floor.
As I like to say, I don't believe in God, but I believe in religion even less.
Also responding to your division of this topics positions, the existence of God is the foundation of Christianity. How could one profess to support a religion without first explaining why the key factor in it is entirely based on faith (thus, the opposition of its foundation also a faith)? I am more than happy to engage in more thorough, elaborate apologetics of the Christian faith itself; but, it would be a futile effort if the first step to understanding why followers of it are so adamant is rejected and/or misunderstood.