Theism - better to believe a lie?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Bit of a strawman really as none were killed in the name of Atheism but Communism whereas the theists killed in the name of their religion.
So...let me see about this. You're saying that when people disobey the moral precepts of their own religion (assuming such exist) by killing other people, they do it in the name of their religion? The same religion that told them not to do it? And you're confident of that?

But when someone who is an avowed, self-proclaimed Atheist does it, he does not do it in the name of Atheism? The same Atheism that provides no moral concepts to condemn war? Yet it had no causal contribution? And you're confident of that as well?

Just asking.
Interesting you single out Islam as I'd guess that Christianity has killed more in its name?
Quite wrong. Not even close.

Of all the deaths that have happened through wars, about 7%, were conceivably religiously motivated (generously estimated according to the secular Encyclopedia of Wars http://www.amazon.ca/Encyclopedia-Wars- ... 0816028516). The rest of our wars were caused by other factors, such as economics, geography, tribalism, conquest, desire for wealth, desire for territory, linguistic-cultural tensions, and so on, with far-and -away the number one killer being secular utopian ideologies like Marxism. Check it out.

Now, according to the Encyclopaedia, of those 7% (which is still bad, I admit) half, that is 3.5% were caused by one religion -- Islam. The remaining 3.5% were attributable to all other religions combined -- that means, everything from pagan tribal religions to Buddhism (as perhaps in Myanmar), to Hinduism, to Sikhism, to polytheisms, and so on, to Catholicism, and all other lesser-known nominally or actually Christian groups. Some of those are not even on the radar: for example groups such as the Baptists and Mennonites have no wars to their count at all.

I think you'll agree: statistically, this suggests that Christianity is not a significant cause of war. In fact, even if the statistics of the encyclopaedia were significantly off, if they're anywhere in the ballpark it would suggest the same thing; and at present, even Islam is comparatively a lesser cause of war than secular ideologies have proved to be.

Interesting, I think.
uwot
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by uwot »

Immanuel Can wrote:
What you are saying is that "Is it right to..." just means "Is it god's will that..." How do you know god's will?
That is an important question. But it's not the question Marsh has given us.

Marsh wants to know if it's ever okay to teach people what you know is a lie in order to promote some "good" or "better" outcome?
It is silly to suggest that the conversation hasn't moved on in two weeks and 60 replies, particularly given the fact that you have clearly lost sight of what marsh8472 actually said:
marsh8472 wrote:If it were ever proven scientifically that it's best for the well being of an individual, a society, and evolution to have a belief in god, then is it best to have a belief in god regardless if it is true? Or put another way can the value of believing a lie outweigh the value of knowing the truth?
marsh8472 later explains:
marsh8472 wrote:I came up with the question while reading "Can Man Live Without God" by Ravi Zacharias. The message I took away from what he wrote was that an atheistic worldview is meaningless, baseless, lacks morals, leads to suicide, genocide, misery etc... My first thought is that even if everything he said were true, it has no bearing on whether or not theism is true and that it's still better to believe what is true rather than what people want to believe to give their lives meaning and sense of purpose. But this assumes that the value of holding a true belief outweighs the value of believing a non-truth for one's own well-being. But does it?
To me the question marsh8472 has given us is: Could it be better to pretend that god exists?
Immanuel Can wrote:And what we see is that the Materialist/atheist/relativist (whatever) not only routinely does so inasmuch as he/she promotes morality, but that he/she lacks even the warrant for the concepts with which to issue any moral condemnation of lying.

Now, if we apply that to Theists, we note that what Marsh is suggesting is not something Theists do.
Read it again: marsh8472 is suggesting that is precisely what theists do.
Immanuel Can wrote:For by definition, a "Theist" is one who actually believes what he/she claims in respect to morality. And at least if a Theist falls short of his/her own moral best, he/she has the warrant for the concepts necessary to be corrigible about that.

This makes me wonder about Marsh's real question here: if it is not a question it is coherent to ask with reference to Theists, and yet if it is genuinely a coherent question, it must amount to something like this:

"Is it okay for a Materialist/atheist/relativist to promote morality in order to promote some "better" outcome, even though he/she believes (by definition of being a Materialist, atheist or relativist) that it is a lie?
That is only marsh8472's 'real question' on planet Can.
Immanuel Can wrote:And we have at least part of an answer: "Materialists/atheists/relativists don't have a logical basis upon which morally to condemn lies."
Like I said: you make up premises that are untrue and then assume that the conclusions you draw from them are sound.
The 'logical' basis for your argument, which to repeat is very different to marsh8472, is something like:

There is a god and everything it wishes is good.
It has created us and given us the option of choosing good or not good.
Therefore, all behavioural choices that are in accordance with those wishes are good.

Feel free to amend that, but if you are going to present a logical argument, you cannot do so the basis of unsound premises. Christians have not succeeded in 2000 years of trying to produce a sound logical argument for god. You have a go, Immanuel Can. Good luck.

Once you've done that, then you can explain how you know god's wishes.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Immanuel Can »

It is silly to suggest that the conversation hasn't moved on in two weeks and 60 replies,
There's nothing wrong with "moving on." But when we do, the best thing is to make a new thread. Otherwise, how will people know what the focus of discussion on any particular thread really is?

I think that in a forum like this, just for organization's sake, it's important not to stray too far from the core concern, even if one does "move on" a bit. And I think new participants will thank us if we stay more-or-less on track.
particularly given the fact that you have clearly lost sight of what marsh8472 actually said:
Not at all. I know very well what he said. He started off specifying "Theists." But as I have pointed out, it would be a nonsense question then, because "Theist" means "one who believes in the existence of [a] God," and Marsh is positing a situation in which the person in question *doesn't* think that what he is saying is true. So that, by definition, could be a Materialist, perhaps, or a fake-Theist, but never a real-Theist.

In fact, it was you who ruled out even the idea of a "self-deceived" Theist as a possibility here, so even that case we cannot conceive, if you're right.

So what I tried to do to help Marsh is to save his question, to interpret it charitably by converting it to something like, "Can a person who believes ¬ X still teach X if believing in X yields some "better" result?"

Nothing's unfair in what I've done there. I think you'll see I've been as kind as one can be to Marsh.

If you can do better, then what you'll need to do is to explain how one could be a "Theist" but not believe in one's own Theism, and maybe you can save his question in the exact terms he specified. Otherwise, I think you're going to have to go with me on that one, or give up the question.
Read it again: marsh8472 is suggesting that is precisely what theists do.
If you're right (and I think you are) then as you can see above, Marsh's original question cannot be made coherent. I prefer to be more charitable of his view, and to try to save it as a coherent question. For I DO agree with him that there are people who know ¬ X and yet teach X out of a desire to create some perceivably "better" outcome. And moralizing Materialists would be a perfect case of such.
The 'logical' basis for your argument, which to repeat is very different to marsh8472,
Untrue. I have not advanced any positive argument for Theism in this thread. I've stayed with the charitable version of Marsh's question, and refuted a few complaints by people who didn't like the implications. Here, I have not campaigned for any positive view of morality of my own. I've merely shown that Materialism/atheism/relativism has none at all.

In another thread, headed with a different topic, I might well decide to go further in defending my own views. Here, I'm respecting the best spirit of Marsh's question.
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by uwot »

Immanuel Can wrote:...Marsh is positing a situation in which the person in question *doesn't* think that what he is saying is true.
We can all easily say things that we do not think are true. I think marsh8472 is mooting a situation in which it is better to convince simple minded people, with a limited ability to empathise, that there is someone always watching who will serve almighty punishment on anyone who isn't 'good'.
Immanuel Can wrote:So that, by definition, could be a Materialist, perhaps, or a fake-Theist, but never a real-Theist.
Again, you make up premises, which bear no relation to reality, and draw your own unsound conclusions.
Immanuel Can wrote:In fact, it was you who ruled out even the idea of a "self-deceived" Theist as a possibility here, so even that case we cannot conceive, if you're right.
True, but I think Henry Quirk put it better:
"I don't see how it's possible to believe a lie, knowing it's a lie, without being utterly bugfuck crazy."
No one but you is talking about someone believing something they know to be untrue.
Immanuel Can wrote:So what I tried to do to help Marsh is to save his question, to interpret it charitably by converting it to something like, "Can a person who believes ¬ X still teach X if believing in X yields some "better" result?"
Everyone but you understood that from the beginning; it doesn't take a genius to work it out from this:
marsh8472 wrote:If it were ever proven scientifically that it's best for the well being of an individual, a society, and evolution to have a belief in god, then is it best to have a belief in god regardless if it is true? Or put another way can the value of believing a lie outweigh the value of knowing the truth?
Immanuel Can wrote:Nothing's unfair in what I've done there. I think you'll see I've been as kind as one can be to Marsh.
If you wish to be kind to marsh8472, you could stop misrepresenting them.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Immanuel Can »

We can all easily say things that we do not think are true.
Everyone but you understood that from the beginning; it doesn't take a genius to work it out from this:
This is simply a smokescreen, unless you are genuinely confused on the terms of discussion. If Marsh were merely asking, as you suggest, whether people can *in fact* lie, then the answer is quick and trivial, just as you imply. But he's/she's not. Marsh is not asking for you to state empirical fact that people *do* lie, but whether there is any sense in which such a thing can be morally or rationally justified, especially if it serves some "better" purpose.
Again, you make up premises, which bear no relation to reality, and draw your own unsound conclusions.
That premise to which you refer is quite indisputable, rationally speaking. For if "Theists can't not-believe Theism" is a "made up premise," as you say, then please feel free to explain rationally how someone can *be* a Theist and *not believe* Theism at the same time!

I may as well ask you, "How many sides does a circle have," or "How many bachelors are married." It's impossible to give a coherent account of things being any different than that "a Theist believes Theism." Such an account would be simple self-contradiction. How can one say, "Tom is a Theist, but thinks Theism isn't true, and only advocates it because he thinks its 'better'?" Then he's not really a Theist. But it's simply and straightforwardly definitional. By definition, anyone who is a "Theist" believes in Theism. So he/she cannot be performing the kind of operation Marsh asks about.

Who can lie in the fashion Marsh conceives? The Materialist. He could even assert Theism in that way -- he could take his kids to church or synagogue to "make them better," all the while realizing he thinks Jewish and Christian morality are all bunk. He could go to church and swear to his bride that he would marry her in the sight of God and regard her as "better" than all others, but secretly know he's talking to nothing but the ceiling. And at funerals he could intone lies about how his dead friends and relatives have "gone to a better place," when he firmly believes no such place exists.

So many examples...! But not one "Theist who does not believe in Theism."
uwot
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by uwot »

Immanuel Can wrote:..Marsh is not asking for you to state empirical fact that people *do* lie, but whether there is any sense in which such a thing can be morally or rationally justified, especially if it serves some "better" purpose.
As I say, everyone but you understood that from the beginning.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Again, you make up premises, which bear no relation to reality, and draw your own unsound conclusions.
That premise to which you refer is quite indisputable, rationally speaking. For if "Theists can't not-believe Theism" is a "made up premise," as you say, then please feel free to explain rationally how someone can *be* a Theist and *not believe* Theism at the same time!
As it happens, the particular premises I had in mind were the other two: your straw man 'Materialist' and your 'fake-Theist'. But typically, you chose the option that best suits your argument. I keep saying it, because you keep doing it: you invent unsound premises and convince yourself that the conclusions hold water.
Immanuel Can wrote:Who can lie in the fashion Marsh conceives? The Materialist. He could even assert Theism in that way -- he could take his kids to church or synagogue to "make them better," all the while realizing he thinks Jewish and Christian morality are all bunk. He could go to church and swear to his bride that he would marry her in the sight of God and regard her as "better" than all others, but secretly know he's talking to nothing but the ceiling. And at funerals he could intone lies about how his dead friends and relatives have "gone to a better place," when he firmly believes no such place exists.

So many examples...! But not one "Theist who does not believe in Theism."
Nor of anyone believing something they know to be untrue.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Immanuel Can »

You really want to assert that "Materialist" is a "straw-man"? Then it's one that I share with every Philosophical dictionary you can find. Go look.

I gave you Princeton, but try Stanford...or the IEP...or whatever. It won't change anything. I'm afraid you'll find you're alone in your skepticism if you look to *any* such source.

As for "fake-Theist," if you assert that this too is a "straw man," then all you end up doing is agreeing with me that there is no such thing as a Theist who disbelieves Theism
Nor of anyone believing something they know to be untrue.
Not required for Marsh's thesis. All that's required is for someone to teach or advocate in some way a thing that they know not to be true, and to do it for a "better" purpose, as Marsh conceives of it. Like a Materialist/atheist/relativist has to do, if he/she advocates morality.
Gee
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Gee »

Marsh;

You have created a very interesting thread here, but there are some points that I think need to be clarified. Please consider:
marsh8472 wrote:If it were ever proven scientifically that it's best for the well being of an individual, a society, and evolution to have a belief in god, then is it best to have a belief in god regardless if it is true? Or put another way can the value of believing a lie outweigh the value of knowing the truth?
I think the problem stems from the words, "believing" and "knowing". It seems that you think that if someone "believes" something that it is not necessarily true, but if they "know" something, then it is true -- then you apply this reasoning to the theory of God. I, myself, have used these words this way stating that I 'believe' something when I am not as sure, and that I 'know' something when I am more sure of my facts, but this is not really a correct usage of these terms. Whether we think or believe or know something does not tell us how true it is.

There have been many things throughout history that we have known to be true only to discover that they are false. Science is a good example of this as it is constantly changing and updating what is "known". So there is no real delineation between what is believed and what is known as they regard truth.

Since you mentioned science, is it possible that what you mean is that something proven to be true would be considered 'known', whereas something not proven, such as God, would be considered a 'belief'? Is this how you are dividing these terms? If so, then I have a problem with that also. I remember that it was proven that the Earth was flat, and it was proven that the Earth was round, and at different times in history, both theories were believed. It also occurs to me that I may not have a mind, as science has yet to prove that it exists, but I believe that it exists.

Generally speaking, belief is considered to be information that has emotion attached to it, whereas knowledge is thought to be more rational. Is this what you meant? If that is the case, then I would have to lean toward belief, as it is much more real than rationalization.

Gee

Immanuel Can: The "breaking into my car" video was great. Lots of fun there and an interesting possibility for analyzing government policies. (chuckle)

Henry Q: Thank you for my new words, bugfuck crazy. I love it. Have you tried to visualize it? :lol:
Blaggard
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Blaggard »

Just as a side note, it was never proven the Earth was flat, Columbus thought it was shaped like a pear for example, not round like an orange, despite modern retelling. We learn by doing more than we learn by knowing. Only the most backward or silly "civilizations" had any notion of flatness and they didn't last.

We have a lot to learn from science, experiment is king, we can not sadly (sincerely) learn from religion, and philosophy well it should be a mediator of the two off imposters but sadly heroin for the soul, is, so passé.
Myth of the Flat Earth
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the modern myth that medieval Europeans believed the Earth was flat. For mythologies involving the belief in a Flat Earth, see Flat Earth.
The famous "Flat Earth" Flammarion engraving originates with Flammarion's 1888 L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire (p. 163)
Illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th-century copy of L'Image du monde (ca. 1246).

The myth of the Flat Earth is the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical.[1]

During the early Middle Ages, virtually all scholars maintained the spherical viewpoint first expressed by the Ancient Greeks. From at least the 14th century, belief in a flat Earth among the educated was almost nonexistent, despite fanciful depictions in art, such as the exterior of Hieronymus Bosch's famous triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, in which a disc-shaped Earth is shown floating inside a transparent sphere.[2]

According to Stephen Jay Gould, "there never was a period of 'flat earth darkness' among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the Earth's roundness as an established fact of cosmology."[3] Historians of science David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers point out that "there was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity and even know its approximate circumference".[4]

Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell says the flat-earth error flourished most between 1870 and 1920, and had to do with the ideological setting created by struggles over evolution.[5] Russell claims "with extraordinary [sic] few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat", and credits histories by John William Draper, Andrew Dickson White, and Washington Irving for popularizing the flat-earth myth
Suffice to say no one ever laughed at anyone for believing in a flat earth, it just didn't happen that way. Like Santa Claus and global cooling, it has gone the way of all fanciful somewhat biblical myths.
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Arising_uk
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Arising_uk »

Immanuel Can wrote:So...let me see about this. You're saying that when people disobey the moral precepts of their own religion (assuming such exist) by killing other people, they do it in the name of their religion? The same religion that told them not to do it? And you're confident of that?
Fair point, I guess many do it for the same reason every one else does, power, goods, land, fun, etc but the religionist often justify it as being their 'God's' will that they do such stuff. Or are you saying that your 'God's' moral laws actually hold no sway over 'its' believers?
But when someone who is an avowed, self-proclaimed Atheist does it, he does not do it in the name of Atheism? The same Atheism that provides no moral concepts to condemn war? Yet it had no causal contribution? And you're confident of that as well?
Fairly yes, as the Atheist does it in the name of whatever other ideology it is they believe in.

You've not heard of Humanism? They are Atheists who have a moral concept that condemns killing and war.
Just asking.
Just replying.
Interesting you single out Islam as I'd guess that Christianity has killed more in its name?
Quite wrong. Not even close.
Of all the deaths that have happened through wars, about 7%, were conceivably religiously motivated (generously estimated according to the secular Encyclopedia of Wars http://www.amazon.ca/Encyclopedia-Wars- ... 0816028516). The rest of our wars were caused by other factors, such as economics, geography, tribalism, conquest, desire for wealth, desire for territory, linguistic-cultural tensions, and so on, with far-and -away the number one killer being secular utopian ideologies like Marxism. Check it out.
As I said, technology is the major cause for the increase in numbers and failed economics as it was not war that killed the most but failed crops.
Now, according to the Encyclopaedia, of those 7% (which is still bad, I admit) half, that is 3.5% were caused by one religion -- Islam. The remaining 3.5% were attributable to all other religions combined -- that means, everything from pagan tribal religions to Buddhism (as perhaps in Myanmar), to Hinduism, to Sikhism, to polytheisms, and so on, to Catholicism, and all other lesser-known nominally or actually Christian groups. Some of those are not even on the radar: for example groups such as the Baptists and Mennonites have no wars to their count at all.

I think you'll agree: statistically, this suggests that Christianity is not a significant cause of war. In fact, even if the statistics of the encyclopaedia were significantly off, if they're anywhere in the ballpark it would suggest the same thing; and at present, even Islam is comparatively a lesser cause of war than secular ideologies have proved to be.
The first and second world wars involved many theists and killed many millions of people, how do you explain this?
Interesting, I think.
Not really as the theists have only recently got their hands on advanced weaponry and look to use it with fair abandon despite their religion precepts. I think there is a fair chance that this century will be the return of the religious war and the slaughter will make the past look pathetic in comparison.
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Gee »

Blaggard;

Apparently, I did not explain myself well enough. Please consider:
Blaggard wrote:Just as a side note, it was never proven the Earth was flat,
The Earth is proven to be flat every day by thousands of people.

If you do not believe this, then take a very large globe and go to a kindergarten or first grade class. Explain to the class what it is, then point out the country that you and the children are in, then bend over. Read the name of a country that is on the bottom and ask the kids how they think that the people down there stay on the Earth. You will get some very unusual and fun answers often related to glue or tape. A few will have some vague notion of gravity, but if you ask how it works, you will get more fun answers. The reality is that every one of those children proved that the Earth is flat before they were five years old, and they did it through experience.

If all knowledge were wiped from the minds and lands of Earth, we would go back to thinking that the Earth is flat, because our experience would prove that it is so. This is one of the things that is great about science, because it can teach us things that we can not know otherwise. But science is not a God and has limitations. Science can not test for consciousness, mind, emotion, the supernatural, or God -- it can not even acknowledge that we experience and have qualia. So although science is valuable and important, it is only one of the three seekers of truth, philosophy, religion, and science.
Blaggard wrote:We have a lot to learn from science, experiment is king, we can not sadly (sincerely) learn from religion, and philosophy well it should be a mediator of the two off imposters but sadly heroin for the soul, is, so passé.
Experiment may be king, but the kingdom will not last more than one lifetime if that king does not find a queen. I am going to name the queen wisdom, as I have never noted science having that quality and suspect it may be needed.

Gee
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Immanuel Can »

Re: Arising
The first and second world wars involved many theists and killed many millions of people, how do you explain this?
Even bigger problem for you...it included far *more* atheists, agnostics and other kinds of skeptics. Like the whole Soviet Union, for example. And did you know that Mao's (self-declared Atheist and stridently anti-religious) "Great Leap Forward" killed at least 43,000,000 people? So tell me about the dangers of "religion"!

But in any case, is your definition of "religious war" one in which somebody "religious" was involved? That would make just about everything in the history of the planet a "religious" event, in your sense. Now, I had been labouring under the impression that you meant religion was some sort of important *cause* of wars. But apparently not? Then by your definition, all wars in history have been "religious" -- and "atheist" at the same time, since "religious" people, and presumably people who believed in other things, were always involved!
You've not heard of Humanism? They are Atheists who have a moral concept that condemns killing and war.
You've not heard of The Terror? It came right after the very "humanist" French Revolution. In any case, Humanism is irrational, according to any Materialist account. There's no rational account of why to privilege mankind among animals, since according to Materialism we're all merely contingent products of an indifferent universe.

Humanism, if it wants to oppose war, has a burden to prove rationally why war is wrong. It doesn't get a pass just for saying it, nor does it get a pass because I, as a Christian, happen also to think war is wrong. To be philosophically sound, it needs to show such a claim rationally or morally necessary on the basis of its own ontology: and that it simply cannot do. And absent that, there's no reason why anyone who wants war should take Humanists seriously if they don't like it.
technology is the major cause for the increase in numbers
If this is your best response, it's not much. Both "religious" people and secular ones nowadays have access to such things...but worse than that, you can only *speculate* on what you think "religious" people *could have done* if they'd had more technology: but I can point to what secularists actually *did* do with that same technology. So...it's a guess...versus the historical facts...and I think, on that balance, you can't possibly win that argument with any rational observer.

In point of fact, though, you've got a much bigger problem with your inability to differentiate among what you call "religions." Some "religions" are bloodthirsty, it's true. Take the Thugees of India. Or the headhunters of Borneo. Or more relevantly today, the Muslims: for they are a crusader religion, and have no prohibition against killing infidels..indeed, they have a declared positive duty to put them to the sword. But contrast that with, say, the Mennonites, the Baptists, the Methodists, or any other of a great variety of Protestant groups, for whom not a single war in history can be blamed. In damning all religions, you are not only slandering some of the innocent, but actually blaming a great many of the victims!

There is, after all, no warrant for pacifism in Materialism. And as I pointed out, secular utopian ideologies are by far the most homicidal kind of thing. According to the Encyclopedia of War, the historical record of collective Atheism is 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Catholicism's worst historical misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition; and there is a 58% chance that an Atheist leader will murder a significant percentage of the population over which he rules (at least 20,000).

Not even Islam can compete with that (and you may wish to add "yet").
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Ginkgo »

Immanuel Can wrote:
This makes me wonder about Marsh's real question here: if it is not a question it is coherent to ask with reference to Theists, and yet if it is genuinely a coherent question, it must amount to something like this:

"Is it okay for a Materialist/atheist/relativist to promote morality in order to promote some "better" outcome, even though he/she believes (by definition of being a Materialist, atheist or relativist) that it is a lie?
Immanuel, this is not a coherent question. It is a nonsensical question.

"And we have at least part of an answer: "Materialists/atheists/relativists don't have a logical basis upon which morally to condemn lies."

Not surprisingly, we have a equally nonsensical answer to the question.
Last edited by Ginkgo on Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
thedoc
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by thedoc »

The problem is that the original question assumes that believing in God/Religion is believing in a lie, that has not been proven, so the question really "Is it a lie?" Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Re: Theism - better to believe a lie?

Post by Ginkgo »

Immanuel Can wrote:
But contrast that with, say, the Mennonites, the Baptists, the Methodists, or any other of a great variety of Protestant groups, for whom not a single war in history can be blamed. In damning all religions, you are not only slandering some of the innocent, but actually blaming a great many of the victims!
I don't think you could tell this to the successors of Henry V111 and James 11

English history is littered with Catholicism versus Protestantism.
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