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Old 11-24-2012, 05:48 AM  
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Notice how many gods you reject.

Proof #28 - Notice how many gods you reject

There are literally thousands of religions being practiced today. Here are 20 of the most popular, along with an estimate of the number of followers:

Christianity: 2.1 billion
Islam: 1.3 billion
Hinduism: 900 million
Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
Buddhism: 376 million
African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
Sikhism: 23 million
Juche: 19 million
Spiritism: 15 million
Judaism: 14 million
Baha'i: 7 million
Jainism: 4.2 million
Shinto: 4 million
Cao Dai: 4 million
Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
Tenrikyo: 2 million
Neo-Paganism: 1 million
Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
Scientology: 500 thousand

[Source: Encyclopedia Britannica]

If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.

In the same way, the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary.

In other words, each religious person on earth today arbitrarily rejects thousands of gods as imaginary, many of which he/she has never even heard of, and arbitrarily chooses to "believe" in one of them.

The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:

Quote:
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

A rational person rejects all human gods equally, because all of them are equally imaginary.

How do we know that they are imaginary? Simply imagine that one of them is real.

If one of these thousands of gods were actually real, then his followers would be experiencing real, undeniable benefits. These benefits would be obvious to everyone. The followers of a true god would pray, and their prayers would be answered. The followers of a true god would therefore live longer, have fewer diseases, have lots more money, etc.

There would be thousands of statistical markers surrounding the followers of a true god.

Everyone would notice all of these benefits, and they would gravitate toward this true god. And thus, over the course of several centuries, everyone would be aligned on the one true god. All the other false gods would have fallen by the wayside long ago, and there would be only one religion under the one true god.

When we look at our world today, we see nothing like that. There are two billion Christians AND there are more than one billion Muslims, and their religions are mutually exclusive. There are thousands of other religions. When you analyze any of them, they all show a remarkable similarity -- there is zero evidence that any of these gods exist.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:08 PM   #271
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You need to read more about these people, the type of people they were, what their friends said about them, and the circumstances surrounding what they did before commenting if you want to be taken seriously.
You need to reflect on the types of things that can be more important to a person than that person's own life before you have anything to say on this subject. Self interest isn't always about survival and it doesn't always manifest itself in behavior that is traditionally considered selfish.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
How is dying in his best interest?

Psychological egoism is false.
Struggling psychology student fail.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:43 PM   #273
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I guess if your idea of a God is that he knows or cares about every day-to-day decision in your life, then I can see how you would believe that. That isn't inconsistent with the apparent views of some people of faith who say things are done 'by God's will' or 'only God knows'.

Again, I take a different point of view. I see God as having set the wheels in motion, not only from the standpoint of man but as it pertains to the laws of nature. This is how I can reconcile believing in both an evolutionary and creationist theory of life on Earth. Once the wheels are in motion, God lets the will of man decide his fate. He reveals Himself and His intentions through His creations--both in their thoughts and actions.



I'm not sure a social hierarchy is proof of morals, but your argument still begs the question: Where did this drive to propogate your own species come from? If we and other animals are derived from a mass of atoms, why would that evolved mass of atoms care if other masses of atoms even exist at all?
I don't feel that I can say for certain where they come from. But I do feel that it is in every living thing. Those attributes that help propagate the species are rewarded with increased reproduction and the passing on of those attributes. Those attributes which are detriment to the continuation of the species will eventually hamper that species and discourage propagation until extinction. Species that develop morality naturally over time, will help one another and develop into a supportive community. The progression of life itself rewards moral behavior. The fact that this pattern can be seen in countless species over billions of years tells me that religion has nothing to do with it.

This also touches on my personal view on God. I do not believe in an omnipotent or even a sentient God. My belief is that God and evolution are interchangeable. God is the pattern by which the universe works. The pattern by which all life follows. Deus sive Natura... God or Nature.

An interesting read on this would be Spinoza's Ethics. I think it highlights a lot of what we've discussed here. And touches on what you question when you try to fit Creationism and Evolution into the same universe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinoza's Ethics
"Whether we say…that all things happen according to the laws of nature, or are ordered by the decree and direction of God, we say the same thing."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinoza's Ethics
In the universe anything that happens comes from the essential nature of objects, or of God/Nature. According to Spinoza, reality is perfection. If circumstances are seen as unfortunate it is only because of our inadequate conception of reality. While components of the chain of cause and effect are not beyond the understanding of human reason, human grasp of the infinitely complex whole is limited because of the limits of science to empirically take account of the whole sequence. Spinoza also asserted that sense perception, though practical and useful for rhetoric, is inadequate for discovering universal truth; Spinoza's mathematical and logical approach to metaphysics, and therefore ethics, concluded that emotion is formed from inadequate understanding. His concept of "conatus" states that human beings' natural inclination is to strive toward preserving an essential being and an assertion that virtue/human power is defined by success in this preservation of being by the guidance of reason as one's central ethical doctrine. According to Spinoza, the highest virtue is the intellectual love or knowledge of God/Nature/Universe.

In the final part of the "Ethics", his concern with the meaning of "true blessedness", and his explanation of how emotions must be detached from external cause and so master them, give some prediction of psychological techniques developed in the 1900s. His concept of three types of knowledge – opinion, reason, intuition – and his assertion that intuitive knowledge provides the greatest satisfaction of mind, lead to his proposition that the more we are conscious of ourselves and Nature/Universe, the more perfect and blessed we are (in reality) and that only intuitive knowledge is eternal. His unique contribution to understanding the workings of mind is extraordinary, even during this time of radical philosophical developments, in that his views provide a bridge between religions' mystical past and psychology of the present day.

Given Spinoza's insistence on a completely ordered world where "necessity" reigns, Good and Evil have no absolute meaning. The world as it exists looks imperfect only because of our limited perception.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Struggling psychology student fail.
Nice redirect. That would be the study of ethics from the philosophical minor, where we explore the concept of psychological egoism. Now, if you would be so kind as to answer the question instead of trying to attack me from an angle in which you have no knowledge of, I would be mighty obliged.

The question being: how does dying serve his best interest?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:46 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
Nice redirect. That would be the study of ethics from the philosophical minor, where we explore the concept of psychological egoism. Now, if you would be so kind as to answer the question instead of trying to attack me from an angle in which you have no knowledge of, I would be mighty obliged.

The question being: how does dying serve his best interest?

Thank you in advance.
If dying to save someone's life means more to him than living with the memories of the death of a friend, his interests are served by jumping on that grenade. It's really not rocket science. It just requires you to be able to empathize with people who have values that you might not share.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #276
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That has nothing to do with establishing a church. George Washingtons Thanksgiving Proclamation contradicts this. But thank you for proving my point.
Look this material over and get back with me nitwit~

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

How about James Madison on the subject~

Direct references to separation:

The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State (Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).

Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov't in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history (Detached Memoranda, circa 1820).

Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).

I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them will be best guarded against by entire abstinence of the government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order and protecting each sect against trespasses on its legal rights by others. (Letter Rev. Jasper Adams, Spring 1832).

To the Baptist Churches on Neal's Greek on Black Creek, North Carolina I have received, fellow-citizens, your address, approving my objection to the Bill containing a grant of public land to the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, Mississippi Territory. Having always regarded the practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government as essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, I could not have otherwise discharged my duty on the occasion which presented itself (Letter to Baptist Churches in North Carolina, June 3, 1811).

Madison's summary of the First Amendment:

Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform (Annals of Congress, Sat Aug 15th, 1789 pages 730 - 731).

Or~


Article VI which clearly states "There shall be no religious test for public office"
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
If dying to save someone's life means more to him than living with the memories of the death of a friend, his interests are served by jumping on that grenade. It's really not rocket science. It just requires you to be able to empathize with people who have values that you might not share.
With all due respect, caring about the friend isn't an option in self interest. The only option is to perform the action due to fear of a negative consequence to yourself such as guilt over inaction.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:17 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by RedNeckRaider View Post
Look this material over and get back with me nitwit~

[...]

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

[...]
Man, that sounds like a great foundation for a government. WTF happened?
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
With all due respect, caring about the friend isn't an option in self interest. The only option is to perform the action due to fear of a negative consequence to yourself such as guilt over inaction.
Trying to find a way to feel good about yourself or to avoid feeling bad about yourself is self-interest.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:33 PM   #280
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Those are not the Constitution RNR. That letter shows Jefferson's views. Jefferson did not attend the original CC. He was a deist and he referred to a Creator in his Dec, as to where rights came from. That was a public policy document justifying our secession from Britain.

My only point is that there is NOT a hard line. No one is compelled to believe in any religion. Some religious words here and there such as on coins are not a violation. Even the Constitution closes with the word "Lord" capital letters. Neither establish a church.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:35 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
How is dying in his best interest?

Psychological egoism is false.
When I say "best interest" it is in the terms of the own individuals interpretation. Maybe a better word is "utility". Any voluntary action you take, you take that because you decided it would give your life/legacy/ etc the greatest utility. So, in the case of someone jumping in front of a car to save their loved one. They may value their loved ones life more than their own and it was the best option at the time, thus, giving them most satisfaction or utility out of any other option. If premeditated, say someone risked their life to diffuse a bomb they may seek fame even if it is posthumous of their good deeds or they weighed the risk vs. reward thinking that if they were successful at diffusing the bomb it could further their career or give them notoriety in their everyday life of such an accomplishment.

My point is I believe all individuals are selfish in their own way whether they admit it or not. It is in human nature.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:37 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Trying to find a way to feel good about yourself or to avoid feeling bad about yourself is self-interest.
So thats why a soldier would do such a thing? Out of the need to not feel "bad" or guilt?
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:51 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by BWillie007 View Post
When I say "best interest" it is in the terms of the own individuals interpretation. Maybe a better word is "utility". Any voluntary action you take, you take that because you decided it would give your life/legacy/ etc the greatest utility. So, in the case of someone jumping in front of a car to save their loved one. They may value their loved ones life more than their own and it was the best option at the time, thus, giving them most satisfaction or utility out of any other option. If premeditated, say someone risked their life to diffuse a bomb they may seek fame even if it is posthumous of their good deeds.

My point is I believe all individuals are selfish in their own way.
That's utilitarianism, which states that all things are weighed out and the one that yields the best consequence is the act you perform. However, that runs into problems as well.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Those are not the Constitution RNR. That letter shows Jefferson's views. Jefferson did not attend the original CC. He was a deist and he referred to a Creator in his Dec, as to where rights came from. That was a public policy document justifying our secession from Britain.

My only point is that there is NOT a hard line. No one is compelled to believe in any religion. Some religious words here and there such as on coins are not a violation. Even the Constitution closes with the word "Lord" capital letters. Neither establish a church.
And my only point is our government was intended to remain completely neutral regarding religious beliefs. Which is why the language of any relligious belief should not appear on a government building. Also no relligious test is in the 1st amendment of the constitution~
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #285
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So thats why a soldier would do such a thing? Out of the need to not feel "bad" or guilt?
How could you have been confused by my response?
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"I'll see you guys in New York." ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to US military personnel upon his release from US custody at Camp Bucca in Iraq during Obama's first year in office.
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