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  #626    
Old October 16th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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FrostPheonix
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I came here thinking of talking about space. I had this awesome thought of talking about Red Bull Stratos to prove it. But I guess I'm a bit late.

Well, there have been major floods. Science proves it. The only thing is that no one can prove a major flood as described in the Bible. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.

And how would the ark be an alien artifact? Wouldn't it still be around if it were?

Ah, yeah, if you guys really think you just want to have the club be about Atheists and stuff, sure. I'll stay out if you want. And I suppose sometimes there is a kind of duty for us when we talk here. Christianity does include spreading the belief in the Bible. Some people try to do it, just not the way they should.
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  #627    
Old October 16th, 2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
And how would the ark be an alien artifact? Wouldn't it still be around if it were?
Let's think of the Ark of the covenant from a scientific view (Oops, just realised that I forgot to call it the Ark of the Covenant. Sorry, I just call it the ark and call the boat ark the Giant Boat that Saved Mankind and Animals and stuff). According to the Bible, any who ventured to close to it or opened the box died. It is possible in my mind, that the death people suffered could have been due to some sort of radiation. Wether it was merely a glowing rock that people found and though "Ooh, purty stone" or a Artifact from some bygone race that used nuclear power, we don't know yet. Who knows, maybe God was the King of Atlantis and possesed the power to Create and Destroy? I'm sounding more like one of those guys in the Tabloids

My opinion on the Great Flood is that it could have been a massive Tsunami of Humanity Destroying Proportions.
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  #628    
Old October 16th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by F1refly View Post
Let's think of the Ark of the covenant from a scientific view (Oops, just realised that I forgot to call it the Ark of the Covenant. Sorry, I just call it the ark and call the boat ark the Giant Boat that Saved Mankind and Animals and stuff). According to the Bible, any who ventured to close to it or opened the box died. It is possible in my mind, that the death people suffered could have been due to some sort of radiation. Wether it was merely a glowing rock that people found and though "Ooh, purty stone" or a Artifact from some bygone race that used nuclear power, we don't know yet. Who knows, maybe God was the King of Atlantis and possesed the power to Create and Destroy? I'm sounding more like one of those guys in the Tabloids

My opinion on the Great Flood is that it could have been a massive Tsunami of Humanity Destroying Proportions.
Oh. You were talking about the Ark of the Covenant? That makes more sense .
I suppose, from a POV aside from Christianity that makes sense. Although, something that emitted radiation wouldn't kill instantly, and if it had that powerful radiation a curtain won't protect the priests, would it? But I think it sounds cool. And also, it wasn't ventured close, I'm sure it was touched. People had to move it, and they used sticks to hoist it up without touching it. it had these holes or something to put sticks through and so carry it. But I wonder, what else do you think it could be? I seriously can't think of anything. Poison like the poison dart frog?
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  #629    
Old October 16th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Barrels
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Quote:
I came here thinking of talking about space. I had this awesome thought of talking about Red Bull Stratos to prove it. But I guess I'm a bit late.
I completely want to hear this argument. :D If you get a minute, VM me with it! I love me some arguments that use grounded, earthly concepts to explain bigger things.

Quote:
Well, there have been major floods. Science proves it. The only thing is that no one can prove a major flood as described in the Bible. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.
*puts on philosophical hat*

Ah, but can you prove anything? Or disprove it, for that matter? Let’s say I want to prove that I don’t have a tail. I cannot observe any tail; it would be rather awkward when I sat down if I did, and I don’t experience any such discomfort; and really there’s no evidence to suggest that my tail exists.

So if someone asked you to prove that they didn’t have a tail, those are the types of things you’d point to. And if they didn’t accept it – if they said that their tail was invisible, intangible and retracted whenever they sat down – you’d think they were an idiot.

But here’s the thing – you haven’t proved that they don’t have a tail. As long as there’s some other possibility, we should strictly remain in doubt – and after all, it’s possible that their tail is invisible/intangible/retractable. We can’t prove it isn’t. We can say it’s highly unlikely, of course we can – but we could be wrong. So we haven’t proven anything.

The logical conclusion to this line of thought is Descartes’ famous statement: ‘I think, therefore I am’. Having doubted every belief he held – because after all, a deceitful demon could be tricking him into thinking trees were green when in fact they had purple spots, and we can’t prove that such a demon doesn’t exist – the only thing Descartes felt he could be sure of was that he existed. Because, if he didn’t, who would be doubting his existence? (This is clearer in the extended version of the statement: 'I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am'.)

I’ll wrap this up. You said that ‘the only thing is that no one can prove a major flood as described in the Bible’. Absolutely. Then you say, ‘but, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief’.

Well, yes, but we don’t tend to think of most things that way! If someone asked you, ‘do you believe in cats?’ you’d think they were being irritating on purpose. But strictly speaking, belief is cats is just as uncertain as belief in a flood:

‘The only thing is that no one can prove that cats exist. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.’

But would you say, in casual conversation, ‘cats exist’ or ‘I believe that cats exist’? I’m betting on the former. And so we have to ask ourselves - does religion deserves special consideration? Are we justified in saying that the simple fact that you can’t disprove something makes it a reasonable belief? Or is arguing ‘well, you can’t disprove the flood!’ just as silly as arguing, ‘well, you can’t disprove my tail!’

Quote:
Ah, yeah, if you guys really think you just want to have the club be about Atheists and stuff, sure. I'll stay out if you want. And I suppose sometimes there is a kind of duty for us when we talk here. Christianity does include spreading the belief in the Bible. Some people try to do it, just not the way they should.
I love having you here, personally! :D It’s great to be able to chat about religion with someone who knows the ins and outs better than I do. What does everyone else think?
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  #630    
Old October 16th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
Ah, yeah, if you guys really think you just want to have the club be about Atheists and stuff, sure. I'll stay out if you want. And I suppose sometimes there is a kind of duty for us when we talk here. Christianity does include spreading the belief in the Bible. Some people try to do it, just not the way they should.
Yeah, Ill leave too if you guys want. Its not right that they force you to act like you want certain groups of people in your club if you dont. You should at least be allowed to discourage non-atheists from joining. I thought this club would be less like a science club and more for philosophical and religious discussion, but alas.
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  #631    
Old October 16th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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For everyone who says "I can't prove X but you can't disprove it, so it's a matter of belief", I'd like you to read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

It pretty much says that you can say the most craziest absurd thing ever and claim that people can't disprove it as long as you make enough excuses for it (ie: it's invisible! people haven't looked well enough for it! all traces of it were erased!). That's why usually the logical thing is trying to explain why X exists, not claiming it just does and challenging everyone else to prove you wrong.
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  #632    
Old October 16th, 2012, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Went View Post
For everyone who says "I can't prove X but you can't disprove it, so it's a matter of belief", I'd like you to read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

It pretty much says that you can say the most craziest absurd thing ever and claim that people can't disprove it as long as you make enough excuses for it (ie: it's invisible! people haven't looked well enough for it! all traces of it were erased!). That's why usually the logical thing is trying to explain why X exists, not claiming it just does and challenging everyone else to prove you wrong.
Ive read that before. Thats like the flying spaghetti monster thing that smart alek middle school kids put as their religion on facebook. But, sometimes X does exist, or sometimes its better to believe X exists than to deny it. Believing in X sure makes a lot of people happy.
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  #633    
Old October 16th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AChipOffTheOldBrock View Post
But, sometimes X does exist, or sometimes its better to believe X exists than to deny it. Believing in X sure makes a lot of people happy.
That doesn't make it any more logical.

And sure, maybe there is a teacup between the Earth and Mars, but it's nonsensical to claim it does exist because nobody has disproven its existence. Even if it turns out it does exist, claiming it does because nobody can prove it makes it possible to claim virtually anything ever, even the most absurd nonsensical thing you can possibly think of. The Smurfs? Nobody has proven they don't exist!

And about the "it makes people happy", that's called "utilitarianism", and it's a philosophical take on the world that says that it's not worth considering whether a idea is right or wrong, but their only measure it's how happy they make the overall population. But, of course, it can be misconstructed horribly. After all, having one slave would make me and my family pretty happy as we wouldn't have to cook, take care of the house, etc. But I don't think the slave would be very happy about it, right? Who cares, it's 4 people being happy VS 1 being miserable. Majority wins! I'm sure the people who can't say they don't believe in any god because it predjuices people against them and makes it harder for them to be accepted in most countries aren't happy about people believing in X. And, again, I can think Communism or Fascism are awesome if it makes me happy, but I don't think that makes them any less wrong.
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  #634    
Old October 16th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Went View Post
That doesn't make it any more logical.

And sure, maybe there is a teacup between the Earth and Mars, but it's nonsensical to claim it does exist because nobody has disproven its existence. Even if it turns out it does exist, claiming it does because nobody can prove it makes it possible to claim virtually anything ever, even the most absurd nonsensical thing you can possibly think of. The Smurfs? Nobody has proven they don't exist!

And about the "it makes people happy", that's called "utilitarianism", and it's a philosophical take on the world that says that it's not worth considering whether a idea is right or wrong, but their only measure it's how happy they make the overall population. But, of course, it can be misconstructed horribly. After all, having one slave would make me and my family pretty happy as we wouldn't have to cook, take care of the house, etc. But I don't think the slave would be very happy about it, right? Who cares, it's 4 people being happy VS 1 being miserable. Majority wins! I'm sure the people who can't say they don't believe in any god because it predjuices people against them and makes it harder for them to be accepted in most countries aren't happy about people believing in X. And, again, I can think Communism or Fascism are awesome if it makes me happy, but I don't think that makes them any less wrong.
Whats wrong with believing something illogical if it makes you happy but doesnt hurt anyone else? And the most logical answer isnt always the correct one.
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  #635    
Old October 16th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Sure why not? I'm a Thelemite but an atheist as well.

What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?
I'm for same-sex marriage and abortion simply because there is no rational reason why we should not allow same-sex couples to marry... add to the fact that I am a lesbian woman and a feminist and I think it would be kinda hypocritical to be against marriage equality though I'm still looking for my chosen and preferred. As for abortion, again - why not? It's important to extend abortion rights to all women because there is no rational reason to be against abortion and it is a pragmatic way of making sure that women can choose whether they want to have a child or not.

As for the death penalty... I'm fundamentally against that because it would be kind of hypocritical to be in a society that decries murder, yet would murder those that violate that rule. It does not make sense to me.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
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Getting back into Pokemon after 5 years of being out of it... this is going to be a hard learning curve...
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I'm an initiate of a secret society... Hmm, do secret societies have websites?
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  #636    
Old October 16th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 93Aiwass View Post
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Sure why not? I'm a Thelemite but an atheist as well.

What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?
I'm for same-sex marriage and abortion simply because there is no rational reason why we should not allow same-sex couples to marry... add to the fact that I am a lesbian woman and a feminist and I think it would be kinda hypocritical to be against marriage equality though I'm still looking for my chosen and preferred. As for abortion, again - why not? It's important to extend abortion rights to all women because there is no rational reason to be against abortion and it is a pragmatic way of making sure that women can choose whether they want to have a child or not.

As for the death penalty... I'm fundamentally against that because it would be kind of hypocritical to be in a society that decries murder, yet would murder those that violate that rule. It does not make sense to me.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
Im not a very experienced or well liked member of this club but I'll welcome you anyway. Cool philosophy!
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  #637    
Old October 16th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AChipOffTheOldBrock View Post
Im not a very experienced or well liked member of this club but I'll welcome you anyway. Cool philosophy!
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

S'okay, I'm not very well liked either. Well, except in the Women's Studies dept, they love me there.

And thanks, that's what attracted me to Thelema in the first place. How can I not like a philosophy that had a journal with a subtitle "The methods of science - the aim of religion"?

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
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Getting back into Pokemon after 5 years of being out of it... this is going to be a hard learning curve...
Here is what I look like, in case you were curious.
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  #638    
Old October 16th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostPhoenix
Ah, yeah, if you guys really think you just want to have the club be about Atheists and stuff, sure. I'll stay out if you want. And I suppose sometimes there is a kind of duty for us when we talk here. Christianity does include spreading the belief in the Bible. Some people try to do it, just not the way they should
Quote:
Originally Posted by AChipOffTheOldBrock
Yeah, Ill leave too if you guys want. Its not right that they force you to act like you want certain groups of people in your club if you dont. You should at least be allowed to discourage non-atheists from joining. I thought this club would be less like a science club and more for philosophical and religious discussion, but alas.
I'm not asking anybody to leave, you are all still welcome here. But this is a club for atheists so there is a skew, even if only in numbers. Because of this, all I'm saying is that you can't expect the same fair shake you'd get in a religious discussion in Other Chat, because there is a certain 'home field advantage' in this thread. That's not to say that we're intentionally ganging up on you, just that you should have known by the name of the club what you were getting yourselves into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93Aiwass
Sure why not? I'm a Thelemite but an atheist as well.
Welcome! I gotta ask the obvious question... what is a Thelemite? I might be the lone dense person here but I've never heard of that before lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by AChipOffTheOldBrock
Whats wrong with believing something illogical if it makes you happy but doesnt hurt anyone else? And the most logical answer isnt always the correct one.
The thing is though, it does hurt other people. I don't think there would be even half as much as debate about religion in this world if it didn't hurt anybody else. If it could just keep to itself in its own self-contained bubble and not disturb those who have no interest in it, it'd be fine... but it has proven time and time again that it cannot. It has caused wars that have killed countless people and driven people to acts of terrorism that have done the same; it's been a contributing factor to many suicides in high schools alone; and it's a particular bane in the existence of the gay people who disgust you for no apparent reason. Not to mention the victims of clergy abuse, the... I could go on, but the list is too long and I don't like making tl;drs.

The point is, the belief in God and the structures that have been created around it do hurt a lot of people. And what's it all for, in the end? Peace of mind that life doesn't end? Is the sketchy promise of an afterlife really worth the torment it has caused people in the life we know for sure we have? It's unfathomable to me.

And then there's the potential for future damage. How many more people have to kill themselves or else be killed by others, how many more people have to live through any of the various forms of torment created by religion before people will realise that the book to which they so desperately cleave causes more problems than it solves?
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  #639    
Old October 16th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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AChipOffTheOldBrock
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Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
I'm not asking anybody to leave, you are all still welcome here. But this is a club for atheists so there is a skew, even if only in numbers. Because of this, all I'm saying is that you can't expect the same fair shake you'd get in a religious discussion in Other Chat, because there is a certain 'home field advantage' in this thread. That's not to say that we're intentionally ganging up on you, just that you should have known by the name of the club what you were getting yourselves into.



Welcome! I gotta ask the obvious question... what is a Thelemite? I might be the lone dense person here but I've never heard of that before lol



The thing is though, it does hurt other people. I don't think there would be even half as much as debate about religion in this world if it didn't hurt anybody else. If it could just keep to itself in its own self-contained bubble and not disturb those who have no interest in it, it'd be fine... but it has proven time and time again that it cannot. It has caused wars that have killed countless people and driven people to acts of terrorism that have done the same; it's been a contributing factor to many suicides in high schools alone; and it's a particular bane in the existence of the gay people who disgust you for no apparent reason. Not to mention the victims of clergy abuse, the... I could go on, but the list is too long and I don't like making tl;drs.

The point is, the belief in God and the structures that have been created around it do hurt a lot of people. And what's it all for, in the end? Peace of mind that life doesn't end? Is the sketchy promise of an afterlife really worth the torment it has caused people in the life we know for sure we have? It's unfathomable to me.

And then there's the potential for future damage. How many more people have to kill themselves or else be killed by others, how many more people have to live through any of the various forms of torment created by religion before people will realise that the book to which they so desperately cleave causes more problems than it solves?
Well of course I wasnt talking about christianity. I was talking about a hypothetical illogical belief that made someone happy and didnt hurt anyone else. Heres the wikipedia page for Thelema. Also, assuming your a man, dont you find the idea of two gay man having sex disgusting? And most gay people I have met, I would not like them if they were straight. Sorry if Im not too coherent, Im high. If your allowed to say that here. If not then Im not high.
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  #640    
Old October 16th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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GolurkIsDaBomb
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It's about time I joined this! Woooooooooooo atheism!

What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?
Same-sex marriage? Go ahead! Why would I be against something that makes two people happy? As for abortion, I'm pro-choice. In my opinion, it's the mother's choice, as the baby won't feel pain/isn't really a baby yet when abortion is still an available option. I am against the death penalty, however. Since I don't believe in an afterlife, cutting someone's only chance at the world short seems horrible to me. Even if they've done terrible things, they still deserve the one chance they have. That's the idealistic version of my view on it. In all actuality, I believe this up to a point, but...but there are people like Hitler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AChipOffTheOldBrock View Post
Well of course I wasnt talking about christianity. I was talking about a hypothetical illogical belief that made someone happy and didnt hurt anyone else. Heres the wikipedia page for Thelema. Also, assuming your a man, dont you find the idea of two gay man having sex disgusting? If not go watch a video of a guy getting rammed and tell me that isnt disgusting. And most gay people I have met, I would not like them if they were straight. Sorry if Im not too coherent, Im high. If your allowed to say that here. If not then Im not high.
As we all know, Andy is extremely anti-gay. He even supplies churches with their facts about how dangerous being a homosexual is, and why it should be illegal. He's an inspiration to us all! *sobs from inspiration*

(Okay, I apologize for the extreme sarcasm, but it felt somewhat warranted/I'm just kidding )

Anyway... Here's what I don't get. You say, "Whats wrong with believing something illogical if it makes you happy but doesn't hurt anyone else?"

So why is something that is completely logical, makes people happy and doesn't hurt anyone else (I'm referring to gay marriage here, presuming you're against gay marriage since you seem to be against gay sex (if not sorry for this little rant)) not okay by you? I guess I can't say it's hypocritical, since they're slightly different ideas, but your ideology confuses me a bit. If you're okay with potentially lying to someone or a group of people or society, just to make them happy, then why aren't you okay with - just letting people be happy, without criticism?

And furthermore, the problem with believing in something illogical just to be happy... well while they say ignorance is bliss, it's still ignorance. And ignorance is dangerous to the ignorant person, everyone else, and well, the world. :/
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  #641    
Old October 16th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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Katholic Nun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AChipOffTheOldBrock
Well of course I wasnt talking about christianity. I was talking about a hypothetical illogical belief that made someone happy and didnt hurt anyone else.
That would still be an exercise in fruitless wish fulfillment, though far less objectionable.

As to your question about whether I find the thought of gay sexual acts disgusting (which I will not quote as it has language that is inappropriate for a Pokemon forum, has been reported and will be deleted when a higher staff member gets to it), yes I am a man and no, I don't find it disgusting at all. I also just called my boyfriend and he doesn't find it disgusting, either.

Also welcome GolurkIsDaBomb :D! Great to have you on board!
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  #642    
Old October 16th, 2012, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GolurkIsDaBomb View Post
It's about time I joined this! Woooooooooooo atheism!

What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?
Same-sex marriage? Go ahead! Why would I be against something that makes two people happy? As for abortion, I'm pro-choice. In my opinion, it's the mother's choice, as the baby won't feel pain/isn't really a baby yet when abortion is still an available option. I am against the death penalty, however. Since I don't believe in an afterlife, cutting someone's only chance at the world short seems horrible to me. Even if they've done terrible things, they still deserve the one chance they have. That's the idealistic version of my view on it. In all actuality, I believe this up to a point, but...but there are people like Hitler.



As we all know, Andy is extremely anti-gay. He even supplies churches with their facts about how dangerous being a homosexual is, and why it should be illegal. He's an inspiration to us all! *sobs from inspiration*

(Okay, I apologize for the extreme sarcasm, but it felt somewhat warranted/I'm just kidding )

Anyway... Here's what I don't get. You say, "Whats wrong with believing something illogical if it makes you happy but doesn't hurt anyone else?"

So why is something that is completely logical, makes people happy and doesn't hurt anyone else (I'm referring to gay marriage here, presuming you're against gay marriage since you seem to be against gay sex (if not sorry for this little rant)) not okay by you? I guess I can't say it's hypocritical, since they're slightly different ideas, but your ideology confuses me a bit. If you're okay with potentially lying to someone or a group of people or society, just to make them happy, then why aren't you okay with - just letting people be happy, without criticism?

And furthermore, the problem with believing in something illogical just to be happy... well while they say ignorance is bliss, it's still ignorance. And ignorance is dangerous to the ignorant person, everyone else, and well, the world. :/
Its not that I wouldnt hate someone just because they are a homosexual but I do not like the idea of homosexuality. Ive also never met a homosexual I liked. I like some gay singers but so far in my life I have yet to meet a homosexual and like them as a person. I was also raised very aint-gay. I was raised in the south, baptist, and by a very anti-gay single mother. So I guess its kind of a learned behavior as well as not liking homosexuals that I have met. Im not going to lie, Im against gay marriage just to get at gay people. I just dont like them and I dont like the idea of them getting married. Im fine with domestic partnerships or what have you but I dont see why they cant use a different word than marriage. Sorry if Im rambling Im kind of out of it right now. Ill edit this tomorrow if its not well constructed.

And onto the other part. How is ignorance dangerous? And say there are two theories as to why something happens. One is the most logical one and the other is not. If the more logical conclusion makes people unhappy and the less logical one makes people happy what is the problem? How does this hurt anyone. Again I apologize if this post isnt any good.

@Shining Raichu, I edited my post. Sorry if the language was too graphic. Im assuming you werent kidding with the boyfriend part. Well, do you find the sexual acts that homosexual women engage in disgusting? Or men and women? Sorry if you dont like my anti-gay stances. No offense intended, but Im not going to lie about my views.And you might find the above description of acceptance of a less logical theory more reasonable. Also how is it fruitless if it makes someone happy? Thats metaphorical fruit isnt it?
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Old October 16th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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This wasn't meant to become an interview about your beliefs about homosexuality, and it's getting a little off-topic from the the religion discussion we're meant to be having, so lets end it here.

But no, I don't find heterosexual or lesbian sexual acts disgusting, and I'm not offended by your views. They're nothing new to me. What bothers me is that they're largely baseless and seem to hinge on "ew gay sex is gross".

And with that, please lets return to topic.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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You admit your stance against homosexuality then proceed to state that you're high, basically all in one sentence. Who chooses which morals you follow and the ones you ignore? Or do you only adhere to the ones that affect you? (e.g. If you were a gay Christian, you would be against/ignore Pauls' passages about homosexuality. Or if you enjoyed getting high, you would ignore the law and the Bibles' strict attitude towards following the law of the land you live in and retaining a healthy, earthly body.)

When I see young people walking in their ignorant parents' footsteps I feel so sorry for them. It's like when a parent chooses which outfit a child will have to suffer with, but in this case what personality and beliefs they will wear to make the public suffer.

You're a product of ignorance and you don't even know it, and that is what is dangerous. When you can captivate the hearts and minds of young, impressionable people you harm and stall the progress of humanity. When you have people who believe God can make a planet out of nothing, so much as to worry not of the consequences of our actions on the environment, you put everything at risk; therefore, it is extremely dangerous to choose to be ignorant to things because you find them unsettling. Sure, you'd make people happy by telling them the Sun will never expand and engulf the Earth. But they won't be happy when the Sun is approaching and it is too late to do anything about it.

(Trying to explain how ignorance can be dangerous. I really hope that is the topic, if not I'll edit this~~)
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Old October 17th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Can we please move out of the topic where we discuss whether or not Brock's ideas are logical or not? We're just gonna get into another flame war.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Went View Post
For everyone who says "I can't prove X but you can't disprove it, so it's a matter of belief", I'd like you to read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

It pretty much says that you can say the most craziest absurd thing ever and claim that people can't disprove it as long as you make enough excuses for it (ie: it's invisible! people haven't looked well enough for it! all traces of it were erased!). That's why usually the logical thing is trying to explain why X exists, not claiming it just does and challenging everyone else to prove you wrong.
Quote:
Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong.
Well, I wasn't really trying to convince anyone about the flood (I think, I dunno anymore i wrote that two days ago...). I stated that it wasn't possible to disprove it, therefore I will believe in it because of my religious beliefs. I suppose I should have added that I don't expect anyone else to believe in it just because of that.


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Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
I'm not asking anybody to leave, you are all still welcome here. But this is a club for atheists so there is a skew, even if only in numbers. Because of this, all I'm saying is that you can't expect the same fair shake you'd get in a religious discussion in Other Chat, because there is a certain 'home field advantage' in this thread. That's not to say that we're intentionally ganging up on you, just that you should have known by the name of the club what you were getting yourselves into.
I'm fully aware, I've had a lot of interesting discussion here. But what I was asking was whether or not you would like to keep it to yourself to talk about whatnot without us butting in. I suppose, as you said, you can't ban non atheists due to rules, but if you would like to keep the discussion out of debate and more philosophical or something I'll respect that.

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Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
Welcome! I gotta ask the obvious question... what is a Thelemite? I might be the lone dense person here but I've never heard of that before lol
Youre not the only one... I just found out
Spoiler:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
The thing is though, it does hurt other people. I don't think there would be even half as much as debate about religion in this world if it didn't hurt anybody else. If it could just keep to itself in its own self-contained bubble and not disturb those who have no interest in it, it'd be fine... but it has proven time and time again that it cannot. It has caused wars that have killed countless people and driven people to acts of terrorism that have done the same; it's been a contributing factor to many suicides in high schools alone; and it's a particular bane in the existence of the gay people who disgust you for no apparent reason. Not to mention the victims of clergy abuse, the... I could go on, but the list is too long and I don't like making tl;drs.

The point is, the belief in God and the structures that have been created around it do hurt a lot of people. And what's it all for, in the end? Peace of mind that life doesn't end? Is the sketchy promise of an afterlife really worth the torment it has caused people in the life we know for sure we have? It's unfathomable to me.

And then there's the potential for future damage. How many more people have to kill themselves or else be killed by others, how many more people have to live through any of the various forms of torment created by religion before people will realise that the book to which they so desperately cleave causes more problems than it solves?
A few things. Other than the crusades, I can't really think of examples where Christianity in its essence has advocated or created damage or problems. Christianity is completely against it. I know some religions advocate this, not trying to be stereotypical, but a friend (he's muslim) told me that Islam has two versions of the Quran; one that advocates Jihad and terrorism and one that doesn't want to you killing people. I dunno about that then. And you are talking about christianity, right? Because
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
[When brock noted that he wasnt talking about christianity ]That would still be an exercise in fruitless wish fulfillment, though far less objectionable.
I admit, Christians have commited horrible crimes. The recent clergy abuses. crusades. South America. But most christians don't do stuff like this. They advocate peace. I think you're being a bit generalizing here, as I think most christians do actually help, and not hurt the world. Or at least they don't hurt the world. And cases of christians commiting these 'vile' acts in the name of christianity are doing it because they either don't understand the Bible or don't try and use it as an excuse. The Bible is against anything of the sort. I think a quote from Gandhi sums it up (I couldn't find the exact quote, but its true nevertheless):
Oh, I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.
Christ and his teachings are true and I hold to them. It's just many christians don't practice them and still call themselves christians.
Its sad to see Christians' reputation go to shambles because of the few.

And no, I didn't forget the philosophy argument!
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Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
*puts on philosophical hat*

Ah, but can you prove anything? Or disprove it, for that matter? Let’s say I want to prove that I don’t have a tail. I cannot observe any tail; it would be rather awkward when I sat down if I did, and I don’t experience any such discomfort; and really there’s no evidence to suggest that my tail exists.

So if someone asked you to prove that they didn’t have a tail, those are the types of things you’d point to. And if they didn’t accept it – if they said that their tail was invisible, intangible and retracted whenever they sat down – you’d think they were an idiot.

But here’s the thing – you haven’t proved that they don’t have a tail. As long as there’s some other possibility, we should strictly remain in doubt – and after all, it’s possible that their tail is invisible/intangible/retractable. We can’t prove it isn’t. We can say it’s highly unlikely, of course we can – but we could be wrong. So we haven’t proven anything.

The logical conclusion to this line of thought is Descartes’ famous statement: ‘I think, therefore I am’. Having doubted every belief he held – because after all, a deceitful demon could be tricking him into thinking trees were green when in fact they had purple spots, and we can’t prove that such a demon doesn’t exist – the only thing Descartes felt he could be sure of was that he existed. Because, if he didn’t, who would be doubting his existence? (This is clearer in the extended version of the statement: 'I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am'.)

I’ll wrap this up. You said that ‘the only thing is that no one can prove a major flood as described in the Bible’. Absolutely. Then you say, ‘but, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief’.

Well, yes, but we don’t tend to think of most things that way! If someone asked you, ‘do you believe in cats?’ you’d think they were being irritating on purpose. But strictly speaking, belief is cats is just as uncertain as belief in a flood:

‘The only thing is that no one can prove that cats exist. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.’

But would you say, in casual conversation, ‘cats exist’ or ‘I believe that cats exist’? I’m betting on the former. And so we have to ask ourselves - does religion deserves special consideration? Are we justified in saying that the simple fact that you can’t disprove something makes it a reasonable belief? Or is arguing ‘well, you can’t disprove the flood!’ just as silly as arguing, ‘well, you can’t disprove my tail!’
Forgive me if I answer this wrong. I haven't ever taken philosophy, despite it being so awesome. anyway. Cats and history are two different things, in my opinion. Cats are tangible. They live. You have one in several households. My teacher had about 6 and 4 dogs. History, in and of itself, is a concept, similar to love, liberty, slavery. Well, close enough. You can't really touch history, can you? But you can for a cat. If you say 'The only thing is that no one can prove that cats exist. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.’ I would stop you at the first sentence, bring a cat, and therefore prove a cat exists. But take aliens, for example. We don't know they exist. But reason holds that if life exists on this planet, it must on others, right? Therefore, I'd say saying 'The only thing is that no one can prove is that aliens exist. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.' seems sensible. Although the wording makes it wierd, i apologize, it is true. You can't prove aliens. You can't disprove them either. Therefore, you can either believe in them or not. It, like belief in the flood, doesn't make the slightest difference to anyone but you. But you know have a certainty in this. Whereas, if you say that no one can prove the world is flat, and can't disprove it either, you can give them either a satellite map, show them the often used example of the ship's front vanishing in the horizon first, or show them the greeks (or was it egyptians?) actually calculated the circumference of the earth by using the stars long before we even sailed around the globe. So I would say 'You can't disprove the flood!' has actually much more sense than saying 'You can't disprove that the world is flat!' I am sure the cat analogy was meant differently, but I can't think of another object that would work better in ur example. Sorry about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
I love having you here, personally! :D It’s great to be able to chat about religion with someone who knows the ins and outs better than I do. What does everyone else think?
And thanks for this, it means a lot to me personally :D Although sometimes I feel overwhelmed of how much you guys know about religion.



Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiran777 View Post
You're a product of ignorance and you don't even know it, and that is what is dangerous. When you can captivate the hearts and minds of young, impressionable people you harm and stall the progress of humanity. When you have people who believe God can make a planet out of nothing, so much as to worry not of the consequences of our actions on the environment, you put everything at risk; therefore, it is extremely dangerous to choose to be ignorant to things because you find them unsettling. Sure, you'd make people happy by telling them the Sun will never expand and engulf the Earth. But they won't be happy when the Sun is approaching and it is too late to do anything about it.
I thought that was a bit mean. And he does say he wasn't christian, so that probably means he doesn't adhere to the morals of christianity. Although not taking drugs should be a bit more general. Ignorance, though, is dangerous. You're right, if you keep walking through life without trying to back up the beliefs you have, like the earth is flat or something (purely hypothetical) and everyone says its wrong, you should try thinking or researching it. Ignorance can be fatal. And I don't recall any christian arguments that global warming is not important because god is all powerful...? I don't think most sensible christians would say global warming is a useless affair because god will fix it.

Oh yeah, I think a child also has more say about his beliefs than what the parent says. Take for example several members here; many have been converted to atheism and they have a religious background. A parent, I think, more suggests what to wear for life; its then the childs choice to wear it or not.


omg, I wrote so much. I probably wrote a ton of stuff that people won't like and a ton that may be wrong. I might edit it. So please go easy on me if you reply.

Last edited by FrostPheonix; October 17th, 2012 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Added spoilers.
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  #646    
Old October 17th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiran777 View Post
You admit your stance against homosexuality then proceed to state that you're high, basically all in one sentence. Who chooses which morals you follow and the ones you ignore? Or do you only adhere to the ones that affect you? (e.g. If you were a gay Christian, you would be against/ignore Pauls' passages about homosexuality. Or if you enjoyed getting high, you would ignore the law and the Bibles' strict attitude towards following the law of the land you live in and retaining a healthy, earthly body.)

When I see young people walking in their ignorant parents' footsteps I feel so sorry for them. It's like when a parent chooses which outfit a child will have to suffer with, but in this case what personality and beliefs they will wear to make the public suffer.

You're a product of ignorance and you don't even know it, and that is what is dangerous. When you can captivate the hearts and minds of young, impressionable people you harm and stall the progress of humanity. When you have people who believe God can make a planet out of nothing, so much as to worry not of the consequences of our actions on the environment, you put everything at risk; therefore, it is extremely dangerous to choose to be ignorant to things because you find them unsettling. Sure, you'd make people happy by telling them the Sun will never expand and engulf the Earth. But they won't be happy when the Sun is approaching and it is too late to do anything about it.

(Trying to explain how ignorance can be dangerous. I really hope that is the topic, if not I'll edit this~~)
Ill say this again, I am not a christian. I do not believe in the bible, in its entirety. And to answer your question, yes I just pick and choose what parts of the bible I want to believe in and I just do whatever I want regardless of what the law says. I get that my view on homosexuality is pretty much baseless and illogical. But its my choice, I can think whatever I want. Theres not really too much to argue about when it comes to my view on homosexuality. And your last paragraph was kind of ridiculous. If a planet doesnt come from nothing where does it come from? Either the material to make it was already there or it wasnt and it came from nothing. And if it didnt come from nothing where does the material that to make it come from? The Big Bang? Who/what created the big bang? How is it extremely dangerous to choose to be ignorant about things you find unsettling, especially when those things are irrelevant to your life or unproven. Maybe the sun never will expand and engulf the earth. And if it does, scientists say it wont be until long after we are dead so it wont affect us in any way. They will be dead before the Sun is approaching and it is too late to do anything about it.

BTW, what is the general atheist view on recreational drug use?
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Old October 17th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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There isn't a general atheist view on drug use. It has nothing to do with religion so atheists in general don't have a set opinion on it.

I personally am one of the "legalize everything" types though.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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I personally am one of the "legalize everything" types though.
As am I.

I just didnt know if recreational drug use was "illogical" or something.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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What's illogical is for pot to be illegal. It really makes no sense whatsoever. I can kind of understand with drugs that may cause violence in people (then again, so does alcohol SO), but with pot it just makes no sense.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Cats and history are two different things, in my opinion. Cats are tangible. They live. You have one in several households. My teacher had about 6 and 4 dogs. History, in and of itself, is a concept, similar to love, liberty, slavery. Well, close enough. You can't really touch history, can you? But you can for a cat. If you say 'The only thing is that no one can prove that cats exist. But, correct me if I'm wrong, they can't disprove it either, right? So it's another case of belief.’ I would stop you at the first sentence, bring a cat, and therefore prove a cat exists.
Haha, this was exactly my point. It’s the job of the irritating resident philosopher to pick up the cat and doubt it. To say, ‘am I really holding this cat? Or is there a powerful supercomputer tricking me into believing that I am holding this cat?’ I mean, you can’t prove that the supercomputer doesn’t exist. And so you haven’t actually proven that the cat exists, because there still exists the possibility that it doesn’t.

To really, properly prove something is true means that you have to extinguish every other possibility. Which is impossible, because they’re literally infinite. You bringing me a cat doesn’t prove its existence – I might be dreaming the whole encounter! Or I might be under the influence of a powerful extraterrestrial entity with the ability to make me believe things which are not true. Or Bast herself might be appearing to me in feline form – so while she might look, sound and feel like a cat, she’d still be a goddess. You can’t actually disprove any of those ridiculous assertions – so the existence of a cat is not certain. Here:
‘Cats are tangible.’
Ah, but I could be wired up to a machine that simulates the texture of fur under my fingers – so I believe that the cat I’m stroking is tangible. Doesn’t mean it actually exists!
‘They live.’
Well, they appear to breathe, but that could be a cunning illusion. Perhaps all cats are secretly evil, dimensionally transcendental beings who have invented perception filters that make them seem to appear physically in our world. Or perhaps they’re just really convincing ghosts. And so on.

Obviously – obviously! – I’m not recommending this as a way to go about arguing. It gets you absolutely nowhere, and it isn’t the way the world works. If you’re in court, for example, and the judge asks you whether you did in fact drown all those cats, you cannot possibly respond, ‘well, you can’t prove that cats exist, so you can’t prove I drowned anything at all, so you’ll have to let me go.’ Our justice system – and indeed our lives – instead use the principle of ‘reasonable doubt’ – you can find a defendant guilty if you can prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that they did whatever you’re accusing them of. And this is the crucial point.

We tend to use the word ‘proof’ when we mean ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’. Which is fine! The problem is that people tend to forget this when arguing about things which are far from reasonable: like the Flood example. We have all of one piece of evidence that Noah, say, really existed, and even believers will (or should) concede that a worldwide flood is extremely unlikely. This doesn’t mean it can’t have happened – just that the odds are against it.

And so to argue that you can’t disprove the Flood is meaningless. It’s exactly the same as arguing that you can’t prove that cats exist! Both statements are not supported by any reliable evidence, and the fact that we can’t prove them one way or the other is neither here nor there. To justify a belief, you have to provide a satisfactory explanation for it – it’s not sufficient to plead that ‘it could be true’, because all beliefs could be true. That doesn’t elevate it above any other – so we’re back where we started.

Your satisfactory explanation can, of course, be God! (Though that may not satisfy other people.) You can say that you believe that the Bible is historical fact because God wouldn’t lie, and that’s fine. Many people believe just that. But what people have to understand it that saying ‘you can’t disprove the Flood/Eden/insert-contentious-Biblical-event-here!’ is not going to convince anyone who isn’t religious, because it’s not reasonable to believe such a thing happened.

In essence: the whole point of my cat example was to say, ‘yeah, look, it’s ridiculous not to believe in cats! It goes against all the evidence!’ Of course I believe in cats! But it’s for the same reason I believe in cats – because they’ve been proven beyond reasonable doubt – that I don’t believe in the Flood – because it hasn’t. Hopefully I’ve managed to make things a bit clearer.

Quote:
History, in and of itself, is a concept, similar to love, liberty, slavery. Well, close enough. You can't really touch history, can you?
Well… I’d have to disagree. Again, it’s the reasonable doubt thing – we can ‘prove’ that, say, Henry VIII was King of England in 1525 because the evidence overwhelmingly supports that conclusion. You can go to the College of St. George and touch his coffin. You can look at the X-rays of his skeleton, the letters he wrote, the portraits that were painted, and conclude, ‘yes, I believe Henry was King. It’s the most likely conclusion.’

Quote:
So I would say 'You can't disprove the flood!' has actually much more sense than saying 'You can't disprove that the world is flat!' I am sure the cat analogy was meant differently, but I can't think of another object that would work better in ur example. Sorry about that.
Hey, don’t apologise. My example was intentionally bonkers. But here’s the thing – I disagree when you say that the statement ‘you can’t disprove the flood’ is any more sensible than saying that ‘you can’t disprove that the world is flat’! Neither of those statements are backed up by any reliable evidence. In fact, there’s major evidence to suggest the opposite in both cases!
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