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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    No wonder The Roman Catholic Church has loads of them and God always asks for more.

    They want to suck away all the evil from us.
    God needs more money!
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    A serious question: have you ever actually been part of a religious community? Because with all due respect, just like driftawaay, you are writing things that you would know are wrong if you had ever actually been in a religious community.
    It would be nice if you'd stick to arguing your case instead of liberally sprinkling it with genetic fallacies. Yes, I have been part of a religious community and, no, that doesn't tell me that I'm either right or wrong about this. My personal background has nothing to do with this and is not going to help you convince me one way or the other.

    There is a massive difference between having faith in a set a values and a higher being, and having faith that a certain scripture is the literal word of God.
    Faith is faith is faith. I don't buy into this argument that faith i.e. believing things without reason or evidence, is okay in some instances but not okay in others. It's either okay in every instance or in no instance. But just to address these particular examples: they both involve faith without evidence and are hence dangerous. Your implication that the former is somehow benign and the latter isn't is clearly nonsense. Scripture isn't the only source through which some people receive their god's instructions; it can just as easily be what a lot of people call 'talking' to their god every day.

    Modern progressive religious communities that in your words "Cherry-pick" are not "cheating", nor are they some inferior form of religion. They are simply using the brains, realising that some 2000 year old traditions contradict modern values since we know better now, and disregard some of those traditions as a consequence.
    They are cheating if they preach an absolute morality and practise a relative one, like quite a few prominent religious organisations such as the Roman Catholic Church do. In any case, my point with mentioning cherry-picking was not that everybody who does it is cheating but to point out that the sort of reasoning you're putting forward, using anecdotes of your personal experience with religious people, is not proof that the religion of these people is itself benign.

    You seem to be responding more to driftawaay than to me on this point. Most of the confusion on this point is, in my view, the result of your failure to distinguish religions and the behaviour of their followers from each other. I have not argued, on the basis of anecdotes, that religion is bad (like you've done, but with the opposite conclusion). I have argued, based on its definition as belief without evidence, that it is bad and has the potential to justify almost anything in the minds of those who follow it.

    They are still very much religious, the difference is that they have adapted with the times, something that major religions have done many times throughout history. Faith is not a black and white thing - you can have faith whilst not believing the word of your scripture literally.
    Faith is belief without evidence. Fullstop. I have not denied that it's possible for people to not take their holy books literally; again, my primary criticism is of religion, and your primary defence is of religious people, which gives me the impression that we're talking past each other here. I'm talking about religion and why its bad; bringing up anecdotal evidence of the nice rabbi at your local synagogue is not doing anything to weaken my case about religion (i.e. not religious people).

    Similarly, modern religious progressives do are more than capable of thinking rationally and indeed many excellent scientists and engineers are religious - because they are able to realise that there are certain questions that science can answer, and certain questions that religion can provide a more satisfactory answer to. There isn't any contradiction here. Religion is not the abolishment of all reason and common sense, that is an incredibly simplistic and wrong view of religion.
    Can I just make one distinction? Religion doesn't answer anything. There is no procedure by which religion determines its answers. It merely invents consolatory nonsense so that people will like it.

    'Is there a meaning to my life?' "Yes, of course there is. The universe was created with just you in mind and there's somebody out there looking out for you and who loves you, as long as you'll donate money to our church every month."

    'Will I be reunited with lost family and friends?' "Yes, of course you will. Just pray fives times a day, come to mosque and make sure to put money in the charity bucket that goes around after prayers that we'll later spend on non-charitable causes."

    These are not answers, they're appeasement of people's feelings. I don't mind if people wish to swallow this nonsense to console themselves, but that doesn't detract from the fact that it is, at the end of the day, unprovable nonsense.

    Second bold bit: It would be nice if you'd provide some arguments for why it's simplistic and wrong instead of hoping to convince me by assertion. You've said nothing that proves that religion is not the antithesis of reason. Bringing up scientists who're religious is, again, reasoning by anecdote that can be summarised as 'look, these smart people believe in it, so it can't be stupid!'

    the simple fact that some people can make a lot of good of it shows that it's not fundamentally bad. I don't see why this is so difficult to understand.
    It's difficult to understand because it's nonsense. That had to be the most obvious non sequitur I've seen in some time. How if I put it like this: The simple fact that some Nazis made a lot of good of it shows that Nazism is not fundamentally bad. Nonsense, right? Yet it seems true to you if we're talking about religion. Whether something is fundamentally bad is not determined by how individual people happen to use it in a nice way.

    No, it doesn't. If you actually went into my local synagogue, for instance, you'd see many sessions where people examine their scriptures very critically and evaluate it with respect to their lives and things that are going on in the world. If you like, you can view that as literature analysis - and it is extremely meaningful to these people. There are some extremely intelligent people in the field of theology. And as I've already stated, simply having faith is not the same thing as the abandonment of reason. Believing something does not mean you're incapable of using reason where it's necessary.
    Where is it unnecessary, may I ask? It is still faith (belief without evidence). They're debating the finer details of the text, not the truth of the text itself. To disguise this as reason is to make a very bad mistake. Such questions as whether a particular quote should be interpreted one way or another isn't reason, it's speculation. They are not doubting that the quote itself is true; therefore, it's not reason.

    It may very well be meaningful to these people, but that doesn't make it true or moral. Why that is proving so hard to understand is beyond me.

    The only thing you've written about that applies to all religions is the existence of faith. And as I hope I've made very clear, having faith in some things is absolutely not the same thing as the abandonment of reason. I have plenty of beliefs that I can't prove and that doesn't stop me from making rational decisions for matters that require reason and logic.
    Because that is the only problem I have with all religions and not specific ones. It is also the root cause of my dislike of religion and, in my view, the reason why it should be opposed by any right-thinking person. As for faith not being the same thing as the abandonment of reason, refer back to what I said about your synagogue discussion example.

    Firstly, this feature is not common to all religions. Granted, it's common to most of the most popular religions but again, this isn't something intrinsic to religion. And I don't agree that this is a very good argument anyway. Why does a central figure mean that the religion was founded to control people? All big ideas or sociopolitical movements have symbols that people can relate to, having a human at the centre of a religion is something completely natural and expected.
    It's not, but it's a hint nonetheless. I'm not a huge fan of using 'common sense' arguments because that's often a way of dodging questions but since you seem to set so much store by it, I thought you, being consistent, wouldn't make an exception when common sense required you to consider a point that you didn't agree with originally but you nevertheless did, for whatever reason.

    A central figure that conveniently happens to be the guy who came up with the religion implies something of an ulterior motive. Why was it important for these central figures to have themselves practically worshipped by their followers? I'll leave you to speculate.

    Again, this really irritating idea that liberal forms of religion are cheating! They're not! Adapting your faith to modern society is a strength, not a weakness. You attack religions when they don't adapt to modern values and you conveniently act as if they're no longer real religions when they do. There's nothing less real about liberal religions, they're just as true as any other religious interpretation. You are making that judgement because you're convinced that religion is evil.
    I haven't said they're cheating. I've merely pointed out that to make judgements about religion based on its manifestation in 21st century Britain is, at best, fooling yourself. I'm somewhat surprised how personal you're getting about this -- I attack nonsense and hypocrisy. That is all. Religious people (opposite distinction this time: not religion) most certainly are cheating if they claim that morality is absolute and then change it to suit the political climate. I never said that they weren't real religions as a result, however; just that they're not following their self-declared precepts.

    I am making that judgement because that is where the weight of the arguments lies. While I am convinced that religion generally is a bad thing, I do not think that it is necessarily evil or the root of all evil; nor do I have a prejudice, like you seem to be implying. If you're going to get needlessly personal and make up stuff I haven't said, then don't expect further reply.

    In any case, I'm off for the night. I have the BMAT in ten days and, if past conversations of this kind are any indication, the responses are going to get longer and longer. I won't be replying before tomorrow morning, sorry.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)


    Faith is faith is faith. I don't buy into this argument that faith i.e. believing things without reason or evidence, is okay in some instances but not okay in others. It's either okay in every instance or in no instance. But just to address these particular examples: they both involve faith without evidence and are hence dangerous. Your implication that the former is somehow benign and the latter isn't is clearly nonsense. Scripture isn't the only source through which some people receive their god's instructions; it can just as easily be what a lot of people call 'talking' to their god every day.

    I have argued, based on its definition as belief without evidence, that it is bad and has the potential to justify almost anything in the minds of those who follow it.

    ---

    Where is it unnecessary, may I ask? It is still faith (belief without evidence). They're debating the finer details of the text, not the truth of the text itself. To disguise this as reason is to make a very bad mistake. Such questions as whether a particular quote should be interpreted one way or another isn't reason, it's speculation. They are not doubting that the quote itself is true; therefore, it's not reason.

    Because that is the only problem I have with all religions and not specific ones. It is also the root cause of my dislike of religion and, in my view, the reason why it should be opposed by any right-thinking person. As for faith not being the same thing as the abandonment of reason, refer back to what I said about your synagogue discussion example.
    But this isn't how religious people, or academics studying this concept typically understand the term 'faith' though is it? So whether or not you want to continue to reply, you're going to spend the rest of this just beating up a strawman :|
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    (Original post by DeathGuardElite)
    God needs more money!
    God wants us to have less evil.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    God wants us to have less evil.
    but god wants money.
    So if you give him more money he'll see about giving less evil if he gets around to it.
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    (Original post by DeathGuardElite)
    but god wants money.
    So if you give him more money he'll see about giving less evil if he gets around to it.
    money = evil
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    money = evil
    Money itself is not evil, the love of money is the root to all evil.
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    (Original post by DeathGuardElite)
    Money itself is not evil, the love of money is the root to all evil.
    So god loves them for us.

    Dying for our sins part 2.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    So god loves them for us.

    Dying for our sins part 2.
    exactly now you get it.
    also god has some gambling debts he needs to clear
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    (Original post by DeathGuardElite)
    exactly now you get it.
    also god has some gambling debts he needs to clear
    He gambled for our desires.

    Dying for our sins part 3.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    He gambled for our desires.

    Dying for our sins part 3.
    He also owes this Jewish lady alamony.
    Basically god is not good with money
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    (Original post by DeathGuardElite)
    He also owes this Jewish lady alamony.
    Basically god is not good with money
    And that is why husbands let their wives handle their finances.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    And that is why husbands let their wives handle their finances.
    yep
    We're also considering taking god to rehab for his gambling addicition
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    (Original post by DeathGuardElite)
    yep
    We're also considering taking god to rehab for his gambling addicition
    It's entirely our fault.
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    (Original post by silverbolt)
    wrong. Man is the root of all evil, who use religion to excuse thier actions.

    Faith on the other hand is a very good thing. I have faith and i am not evil, nor is my particular religion.
    since in my view all religions are man-made, I would agree that we are responsible for a good proportion of evil on Earth (not all of it, of course - many bad things happen entirely without any human intervention)

    on the other hand, faith can be very dangerous : and, of course, there are evil religions, who justify and even require evil behaviour, so not all religious faiths deserve respect

    on a more general level, religion has simply added ideological tools at the disposal of people who enjoy discord and war : not a great feat, I would say

    as if we didn't have already too many ...
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    (Original post by YesAllMen)
    But this isn't how religious people, or academics studying this concept typically understand the term 'faith' though is it? So whether or not you want to continue to reply, you're going to spend the rest of this just beating up a strawman :|
    With all due respect, do you know what a straw man fallacy is? I certainly haven't committed one in calling faith what it is. This is the definition that just about everybody uses -- except, of course, it's kind of harsh so people will usually rephrase it as a 'realisation' or a 'profound conviction' or other such euphemisms. Make no mistake about it: their understanding of the concept is the same as mine, especially the academics. They have no evidence for this view and it is therefore faith. If anybody would like to volunteer evidence for any religious beliefs, I'm happy to look at it and change my mind if it's convincing.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    With all due respect, do you know what a straw man fallacy is? I certainly haven't committed one in calling faith what it is. This is the definition that just about everybody uses -- except, of course, it's kind of harsh so people will usually rephrase it as a 'realisation' or a 'profound conviction' or other such euphemisms. Make no mistake about it.
    Well yes. If you had an understanding of what it is then you wouldn't use it. Though, reiterating my response already given-- in any case, while religious people can be unreasonably obstinate about their beliefs (which you would take as faith) so can non-religious people (which doesn't have to be 'faith' but some other belief); and, most notably, in any case this notion of "blind faith" of which you describe isn't typically what religious people mean when they speak about religious faith, so that the criticism of the latter which proceeds by equating it with the former is a strawman.

    heir understanding of the concept is the same as mine, especially the academics. They have no evidence for this view and it is therefore faith. If anybody would like to volunteer evidence for any religious beliefs, I'm happy to look at it and change my mind if it's convincing.
    Uh, which academics are you getting this from? Certainly none of which I know. Make no mistake about it? I better go tell the academics I learn under that they're wrong!

    . They have no evidence for this view and it is therefore faith. If anybody would like to volunteer evidence for any religious beliefs, I'm happy to look at it and change my mind if it's convincing.
    Then perhaps take a bit of time to look to some variations of this

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/faith/
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/faith-re/

    Have to say here -- I do hope that you aren't basing your opinions of what the likes of Dawkins, Harris and others are saying, because they aren't academics
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    (Original post by YesAllMen)
    Well yes. If you had an understanding of what it is then you wouldn't use it. Though, reiterating my response already given-- in any case, while religious people can be unreasonably obstinate about their beliefs (which you would take as faith) so can non-religious people (which doesn't have to be 'faith' but some other belief); and, most notably, in any case this notion of "blind faith" of which you describe isn't typically what religious people mean when they speak about religious faith, so that the criticism of the latter which proceeds by equating it with the former is a strawman.
    Well, of course they don't say it like that because, again, it's too harsh for their sensibilities. They'd rather euphemise it. But the fact of the matter is that believing in any religions that claim to have definite answers for such unanswerable questions as whether there is an afterlife in which people are sorted according to how closely they adhered to the rules laid out in a specific book is blind faith. There is no evidence for it and the only way that anybody can believe it is to tell themselves that it's true, fullstop.

    I know you must be excited to pull fallacies on people on the Internet but, really, this is just cheap. Religious people who genuinely believe in their religions (i.e. not just 'I'm Christian because I was raised Christian') are indulging in blind faith. I suppose it's actually generous of me to call it blind faith; faith is, by its nature, blind to reason and evidence so I'll apologise for that error. It's just faith -- the belief in something without evidence.

    Uh, which academics are you getting this from? Certainly none of which I know. Make no mistake about it? I better go tell the academics I learn under that they're wrong!

    Then perhaps take a bit of time to look to some variations of this

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/faith/
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/faith-re/

    Have to say here -- I do hope that you aren't basing your opinions of what the likes of Dawkins, Harris and others are saying, because they aren't academics
    Ah, one of TSR's patented 'I study a subject so I'm right by default' debaters. What fun. You even have the cheek to refer to Dawkins and Harris as non-academics (as if being that would actually be sufficient rebuttal of their views) because they don't study some joke of a discipline as theology.

    Let's have a look at something from that Stanford page, which takes great care to make distinctions between the different types of faith as it's seen by people. Surely this will reveal to me the folly of having an opinion while not studying theology!

    'the ‘purely affective’ model: faith as a feeling of existential confidence [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘special knowledge’ model: faith as knowledge of specific truths, revealed by God [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘belief’ model: faith as belief that God exists [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘trust’ model: faith as belief in (trust in) God [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment beyond the evidence to one's belief that God exists [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘sub-doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment without belief [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘hope’ model: faith as hoping—or acting in the hope that—the God who saves exists. [Based on evidence? No.]'

    You're right, I've totally had my ass kicked by your academic highness. How silly of me to think that it's acceptable to lump together different forms of something, none of which are based on any evidence, into one larger category and saying that nothing in that category is based on evidence.

    Don't even bother replying -- I'm not going to read it.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    With all due respect, do you know what a straw man fallacy is? I certainly haven't committed one in calling faith what it is. This is the definition that just about everybody uses -- except, of course, it's kind of harsh so people will usually rephrase it as a 'realisation' or a 'profound conviction' or other such euphemisms. Make no mistake about it: their understanding of the concept is the same as mine, especially the academics. They have no evidence for this view and it is therefore faith. If anybody would like to volunteer evidence for any religious beliefs, I'm happy to look at it and change my mind if it's convincing.
    We have no evidence? Interesting. Okay then, I'd be happy to show you some very significant arguments for theism! Before I do though, let me know, how aware are you of the following: predicate logic (mainly first-order logic but not limited to second or third order), epistemology, modal logic, intension statements, how to interpret various forms of existence statements, the principle of sufficient reason, de jure reasonings for beliefs, Kierkegaards and others ideas of 'fideism', a priori reasoning for beliefs (these are all necessary, so just making sure!), and general (i.e basic undergrad) level of, let's say, metaphysics

    edit:

    (Original post by HydeMan)
    x
    Oh dear, what a travesty

    What you were saying was unequivocally a strawman. Sorry if you don't understand basic logical fallacies but that's not really his issue.
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    This is such a stupid argument I don't know where to start:

    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Well, of course they don't say it like that because, again, it's too harsh for their sensibilities. They'd rather euphemise it
    Evidence for this please.

    They'd rather euphemise it.But the fact of the matter is that believing in any religions that claim to have definite answers for such unanswerable questions as whether there is an afterlife in which people are sorted according to how closely they adhered to the rules laid out in a specific book is blind faith
    But it's presumably how the world in reality is that is the thing we're interested in, rather than merely how 'Hydeman' sees the world. Although you see the world in terms of equating religious faith with too much credulity and insufficient critical thinking and hence 'blind faith', that's not how the world actually is. Perhaps religious people do suffer from these things, but that's not simply what they mean when they talk about faith, so you're going to have to try again.

    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Well, of course they don't say it like that because, again, it's too harsh for their sensibilities. They'd rather euphemise it.
    But the fact of the matter is that believing in any religions that claim to have definite answers for such unanswerable questions as whether there is an afterlife in which people are sorted according to how closely they adhered to the rules laid out in a specific book is blind faith. There is no evidence for it and the only way that anybody can believe it is to tell themselves that it's true, fullstop.

    I know you must be excited to pull fallacies on people on the Internet but, really, this is just cheap. Religious people who genuinely believe in their religions (i.e. not just 'I'm Christian because I was raised Christian' are indulging in blind faith. I suppose it's actually generous of me to call it blind faith; faith is, by its nature, blind to reason and evidence so I'll apologise for that error. It's just faith -- the belief in something without evidence.
    This is just a long-winded post of the above filled with ignorance.

    Surely what religious people feel what faith happens to be defined at is important, for if it's not how they typically understand faith then the argument is a strawman, and if it's a strawman then it's not a compelling argument.

    For the reason given, that that is not what religious people typically mean when they refer to having faith. I'm not sure why people have trouble recognizing this error. But I suspect it wouldn't be the least bit unclear if it was being used against a position you're sympathetic too. Imagine if some apologist said "Atheism is just the view that there are no morals and no truths, according to atheism we can't even do science and the only acceptable political system is dictatorship." I'm sure there wouldn't be any hesitation objecting that that's not in fact what atheism is. If we're going to indict people for the things they espouse, we have to accurately represent those things, or else we're just beating up strawmen.

    Your critique of religious faith happens to be premised on identifying it by definition with too much credulity and insufficient critical thinking. But that's not what religious faith typically means, so your critique of it ended up being a straw man. Now all you need to do is establish that the people you have met are a representative sample of religious belief generally.

    The fact that you arrogantly conclude your statement with 'full stop' as well is just dumb as ****.


    Ah, one of TSR's patented 'I study a subject so I'm right by default' debaters. What fun. You even have the cheek to refer to Dawkins and Harris as non-academics (as if being that would actually be sufficient rebuttal of their views) because they don't study some joke of a discipline as theology.
    Dawkins might be an academic on evolutionary biology, but in terms of theology and philosophy of religion? No academic who actually took those subjects would take either of them seriously. Here's the logical form since you missed the point:

    1) If a non-trivial number of relevant experts find an argument to be poor this argument cannot reasonably be considered unproblematically sound.

    2) A non-trivial number of relevant experts find the arguments from the likes of Harris to be poor.

    3) Therefore the arguments cannot reasonably be considered unproblematically sound.

    Harris isn't taken seriously in any form of philosophy, even moreso than Dawkins.


    Let's have a look at something from that Stanford page, which takes great care to make distinctions between the different types of faith as it's seen by people. Surely this will reveal to me the folly of having an opinion while not studying theology!
    Uh, sure?


    'the ‘purely affective’ model: faith as a feeling of existential confidence [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘special knowledge’ model: faith as knowledge of specific truths, revealed by God [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘belief’ model: faith as belief that God exists [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘trust’ model: faith as belief in (trust in) God [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment beyond the evidence to one's belief that God exists [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘sub-doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment without belief [Based on evidence? No.]
    the ‘hope’ model: faith as hoping—or acting in the hope that—the God who saves exists. [Based on evidence? No.]'
    Whoops, looks like you've missed the point!

    See, I'm able to tell that you didn't even read any of the links! Why? Because if you had, HydeMan, then you wouldn't have had this amount of confusion. Instead, you chose to arbitrarily pick something from the article and paste it here to try and act as a counter-point, when I know personally that it's a futile counter-point since I've read the articles

    Why did you do this? Presumably you had nothing meaningful to say, or you couldn't be bothered to read. That's fine, but don't ask for people to try and convince you and then ignore or disregard any the subsequent information provided.

    Of course, you've easily debunked an encyclopedia written by academic philosophers and is constantly peer-reviewed! How silly of me to link it.

    Don't even bother replying -- I'm not going to read it.
    I don't care if you don't reply; you're free to live in ignorance if you wish. I'll reply for the sake of other people who don't really have an opinion on things and wish to learn more, and I can't have them learning from some really pathetic arguments that people here put forward, especially from people like you who have the nerve to dismiss theology as a joke when presumably you haven't even been to university yet! What's even more funny is that somehow you felt like academics supported your definition, when in fact the links provided would contradict that! Lol, I have to think whether or not finding that led to the comment about thinking theology is useless (in this case - it's actually philosophy!).

    Find it funny how many of the criticisms you apply to theism, might also be applied to you. Hopefully this changes as you get older.

    Dunning-Kruger effect in one post :rolleyes:!! You're really out of your depth here lad.
 
 
 
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