Questionable Motives

March 3, 2011

What might life without god be like?

Filed under: God,values — tildeb @ 10:07 am


  1. Good site – I wasn’t aware of it.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 3, 2011 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  2. Is it ok to believe we were created and not practice a religion or is that taboo for atheists also??

    Comment by Titfortat — March 4, 2011 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

    • You can believe whatever you want, of course, but most atheists really are concerned about what’s true (and using this rather than faith in public policy, but that’s not what you’re asking). In order to respect what’s true, it’s important to inform that with what’s knowable. When what’s knowable is tested and verified, we call it knowledge. If knowledge (or even what’s knowable) and beliefs conflict as they do with your example, then most atheists will dismiss the beliefs as not important because they aren’t concerned with knowledge, so they’re the person holding the belief is not concerned with what’s true. If the person isn’t concerned with what’s true, then what benefit does the enunciation of these beliefs hold for anyone else?

      Comment by tildeb — March 4, 2011 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

  3. If the person isn’t concerned with what’s true, then what benefit does the enunciation of these beliefs hold for anyone else?(tildeb)

    So, tell me the truth, how was the universe created? I know what my supposition is, what is yours?

    Comment by Titfortat — March 4, 2011 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

    • I have no reason to think that the universe was ‘created’ at all but what we have today is the result of the Big Bang. As to its causes, I don’t know and neither do you. This honesty doesn’t promote yours or reduce mine. But I can assure you of one thing: any answers we eventually establish will have nothing whatsoever to do with any method of inquiry that promote supposition to be equivalent of what’s true.

      Comment by tildeb — March 5, 2011 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  4. This honesty doesn’t promote yours or reduce mine.(tildeb)

    The interesting thing is it has never been my intent to reduce your take on things. I wish I could say that feeling was mutual. 😦

    Comment by Titfortat — March 5, 2011 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

    • But your intent is to suggest that beliefs are the EQUIVALENT of what’s true, which in practice reduces what’s true to what is simply believed to be true. And this is universally harmful to intellectual integrity. Reducing your ‘take’ by revealing why it is disingenuous is important.

      Comment by tildeb — March 5, 2011 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

      • You write that my views are coloured by extremists who think their religions are right. I think you’re deluding yourself that this view is about extremists. I think it’s mainstream not because I simply believe it is so but because the evidence is common and ubiquitous and obvious. Hitchens writes that religion poisons everything and I think that is shown to be true wherever we look in every area we look including charity for it undermines the reasons for doing good work based on altruism to helping others to earn god-sanctioned brownie points. Religious beliefs infect and pollute human endeavors in all areas of the public domain by demanding consideration for made-up shit from those who represent this made-up shit. And those causing these infections and pollution are not ‘extremists’ by any common definition but run-of-the-mill believers who honestly think themselves able and justified to abuse a position of public trust to promote their made-up beliefs.

        Be this as it may, it is not from the ranks of non believers that come extremists that fit your definition of the word but from the ranks of so-called reasonable religious moderates who are deemed moderate right up until they do or say something that then alters their classification to ‘extremists’. Your willingness to defend and grant allowance for the root cause of this extremism under the guise of respectable tolerance for made-up shit makes you a de facto co-conspirator. Under your benevolence for tolerating moderation for made-up shit, such extremism maintains a fertile recruitment ground. This is a problem your approach will never address and the ubiquitous interference in public policies and institutions will only deepen. In other words, your attitude is as much a part of the problem as are the actions carried out by so many believers in the name of their made-up shit.

        Comment by tildeb — March 6, 2011 @ 10:28 am

  5. No tildeb, we dont know what started the world as we know it. We have lots of great theories with some evidence but still we do not know. I have always agreed with trying to find out using the scientific mode but that does not mean that I cannot suppose that it is logical to believe that some sort of intelligence is behind it all. From my perspective you are a bitter individual who thinks that there is only one way to view this world. You scream, verify, prove, facts, figures. Wow. You view is coloured by extremists who think their religions are right and you try just as hard to scream that your way is the only logical way. And still you wait for verification.

    Comment by Titfortat — March 5, 2011 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

    • You can suppose what you want. That’s not my criticism. My criticism remains squarely around the equivalence you are willing to grant to suppositions that things might be a certain way that you think equates with an honest “I don’t know.” But the two are not equally honest. And why not be honest?

      Comment by tildeb — March 5, 2011 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  6. I have no problem with I dont know. I have a problem with you thinking Im dishonest for supposing something. You are unwilling to grant me the fact that my logic is different than yours and legitimate. You stand firm with the belief that it is unlikely there could be a creative force behind the universe because there is no evidence for it, which is ok. But the TRUTH is there is no factual evidence for the origins of our universe. Lots of great ideas but alas, still no certainty. Ok, Im done.

    Comment by Titfortat — March 5, 2011 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  7. “But the TRUTH is there is no factual evidence for the origins of our universe. Lots of great ideas but alas, still no certainty.”

    Your asking for certainty where there isn’t any… there isn’t any certainty if you default to ‘god did it’ – because what created god (or the intelligence that you suppose)?

    BTW – at least some of the branches of science (namely maths and theoretical physics) can provide an explanation for the creation of the universe out of nothing.

    The TRUTH is we don’t know how the universe was created – and that is a fact.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 6, 2011 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  8. The TRUTH is we don’t know how the universe was created – and that is a fact.(MUR)

    EXACTLY TRUE. I just think its logical to suppose that something(not sure what) that has some kind of intelligence, created it. You on the other hand think its logical to suppose that it just happened out of nothingness(because some math probably shows that to be true) ;). I support your right to suppose that.

    Comment by Titfortat — March 6, 2011 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

  9. The difference is TfT is that there is more evidence to suggest that there is no intelligent design to the universe.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 7, 2011 @ 2:23 am | Reply

  10. Well, at least one of us supports the other’s right to suppose certain ideas.

    Comment by Titfortat — March 7, 2011 @ 7:43 am | Reply

    • I have written You can believe whatever you want, and You can suppose what you want. Your right to suppose certain ideas is not what’s at issue in spite of your belief to the contrary. What’s at issue is not whether these suppositions are allowable but if they’re made on behalf of finding out what’s true or supporting something else. That’s why I have explained that when certain suppositions conflict with what’s true or knowable, THEN the suppositions are no longer honest suppositions but just another assertion faith-based belief, used in the service to something other than what is true or knowable. You seem to take offense to my opinion that spreading contrary suppositions to what is true is equivalent to spreading bullshit.

      Comment by tildeb — March 7, 2011 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  11. The thing is tildeb is your truth is limited, so regardless of how accurate you think your science is, any supposing you do is also bullshit. My issue is that you think Im full of shit for supposing that it could be possible for intelligence behind our origins. The reason I think youre an extremist is because you insinuate that I must be a moron or lacking any reasoning ability for supposing this. In other words if I accept the idea that it could come from nothingness because it is potentially mathematically possible then all of a sudden I become a reasonable human being. And you wonder why I might take offense?

    Comment by Titfortat — March 7, 2011 @ 9:16 am | Reply

    • I think it is dangerous to equate bullshit with what is true, to accept the premise that all suppositions are created equal. They’re not. And we figure out the difference not by respecting all suppositions as likely true (meaning what is probably true, probably accurate, probably correct) but by respecting the method that allows us evidence that it works well enough to produce reliable, consistent, and practical applications. When a supposition is put forth that is contrary to what knowledge this method has produced – that does so not on the merit of plausibility but by pretending that the method itself is untrustworthy – then yeah, I think such a person is dishonest and needs to be called on it.

      If someone makes a suggestion that is unknowable, then that needs to be accompanied by an honest “I don’t know.” Without any evidence to support your assertion that the universe was created and much contrary evidence to suggest no such agency is kicking about to do such a job, then your suggestion is not merely idle speculation but an allowance to those who also suggest a creator so therefore Jesus or therefore death to imam who believes in evolution. Although I have no doubt you disagree with the specific conclusions like these, what I’m (vainly) trying to get you to understand is that your thinking that all suppositions are equal because the method of science is somehow flawed is part and parcel of the root problem for ALL such contrary conclusions that elevate belief to be the equivalent of knowledge.

      Comment by tildeb — March 7, 2011 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  12. Im not saying my supposition is equal, nor am I saying its right. What I am saying is that it is possible and in my mind not unlikely as we have such a limited view of the Universe. I liken it to a Cro-magnon man suggesting to his friends that they would one day be flying vehicles that would go to the planets(though they wouldnt call them that). Given the limited view of the world that they had would his supposition have any potential validity to it? Not from their limited view. But guess what, he still would have been right. I agree with you on using science as a mechanism, I just dont agree that my supposition has no merit at all. Also, stop trying to compartmentalize me with the Theologians. I am in no way trying to quantify what my supposition is. I guess were both lacking the skills to communicate our position as I feel my attempts are in vain too.

    Comment by Titfortat — March 7, 2011 @ 11:14 am | Reply

    • Tft, you write What I am saying is that it is possible and in my mind not unlikely as we have such a limited view of the Universe.

      And herein lies the honesty: WHY do you assert that ‘it’ (meaning intelligence behind our origins) is not only possible but not unlikely? This is the vital point you are making. But on what is this conclusion based? And how does it account for all the evidence we do have about unguided mindless processes found in nature?

      Because I fail to see any evidence for ‘it’, I assign your conclusion to what I call a faith-based belief, meaning it assumes the conclusion is informed only by assertion and assumption and not by evidence. If you have evidence to back up your conclusion so that it is not a faith-based conclusion, then I’m all ears (or in the case of reading, eyes).

      My criticism is that you put forth your suggestion about some deep and/or hidden intelligence as if it were as reasonable, as possible, as likely to be true as assuming no such intelligence. And this is where the intellectual dishonesty lies. Without evidence to back up WHY an assertion is NOT a faith-based belief, you hold a position that is a vacuum lacking any merit of knowledge to inform it. It’s simply supposition. A supposition without any knowledge merit is not equivalent to the default position of non belief you yourself hold for every other unfounded conclusion of empty assertion and assumption, such as a rainbow living between your teeth. You would justifiably be critical of someone so open-minded that they thought all faith-based claims like this piece of stupidity and misunderstanding of the properties of light were equivalent in possibility in spite of strong evidence to draw that assertion into disrepute. Such a person who tells us we need to respect the beliefs of the rainbow-between-teeth proponent is asking us to be so ‘open-minded’ (meaning gullible) that our brains will fall out. But surely we should hold fast to some way to discriminate between good reasons and no reasons and this discrimination should be even more important to differentiate between assertions that have no merit and contrary assertions that have many and mutually supportive avenues of merit!

      Why should we pay any attention whatsoever to the conclusions reached by someone who thinks beliefs – especially beliefs contrary to knowledge – are equally possible?

      What possible contribution can someone who intends to misrepresent and misunderstand what is knowable offer anyone who is attempting to respect what is true?

      Why should we be expected to keep our tone civil and our ridicule in check when dealing with people who don’t care about what’s true but wish to promote their faith-based beliefs as equivalent to what’s true?

      Comment by tildeb — March 11, 2011 @ 9:43 am | Reply

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