ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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Latest Activity: 7 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

Ancestral humans had more DNA

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Joseph P 7 hours ago. 8 Replies

Cancer Changed to Normal Cell Growth in Lab

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joseph P 7 hours ago. 3 Replies

Researhers Turn Off Obesity Gene in Mice

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Susan Stanko Aug 22. 5 Replies

Mini moons may zip around Earth

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Gerald Payne Aug 19. 3 Replies

explanation for reality Theism or Atheism?

Started by dudaboli yev. Last reply by Joseph P Jul 31. 5 Replies

Fossils illustrate evolution of life

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Gerald Payne Jul 27. 1 Reply

On Abolishing Religion

Started by Rounaq Biswas. Last reply by Gerald Payne Jul 16. 69 Replies

Researchers Say There Might be Life After Death

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Jul 15. 56 Replies

On the scientific miracles of Qur'an

Started by Rounaq Biswas. Last reply by Daniel Gotro Jun 26. 25 Replies

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Comment by Joseph P on February 20, 2015 at 7:46pm

That's what you have to watch out for in arguments in Christian apologetics, Lemual.  They switch definitions at will, often between step 1 and step 2 of an argument.

God is Love.  You feel love.  Therefore God exists.  And no, I'm not parodying a Christian argument to try to make it look stupid.  That is the argument, exactly as made by many Christians.  It's called an equivocation fallacy.

Comment by Susan Stanko on February 20, 2015 at 1:53pm

Nonetheless, it seems that it was a cerebral condition of a determined man that looks like wrecking our wish for a democratic world with its wonderful human rights charter of 1948.

Huh?

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 20, 2015 at 12:13pm

I like the way they switch around definitions to suit the situation.  Take the word myth for example.  We all know the entire whole story, from the talking snake to the disappearing corpse trick to be myth, but "they" define it as religion.  Better yet is the word, faith.  If I insisted that Harvey the giant, talking rabbit was real, and controlled every aspect of life, would their diagnosis be, “Strong, deep seated faith in Harvey?”

Comment by Joseph P on February 20, 2015 at 9:59am

@LadyWolf

I have always thought it rather ironic that we as a society administer anti-psychotic drugs to those people who have trouble differentiating between actual reality and their own self-created world (i.e., Schizophrenia), yet we in no way consider those who pray to and believe in supernatural entities to have any form of mental illness.

A lot of the important difference there is the difference between neurotic disorders and psychotic disorders, I think.  Generally (with fairly simplistic definitions), neurotic disorders are usually stress-induced, while psychotic disorders are usually genetic/chemical.  Both types can sometimes be treated with drugs, but the more important point is how that causal distinction applies to religion, as you're speaking on the subject.

Religion would usually be classed as a neurotic disorder, if you want to extend the mental illness metaphor to the breaking point.  It's the result of childhood brainwashing ... ie. stress-induction (not exactly stress, but we're working with metaphors here).  Now, you have some people who audibly hear Yahweh speaking back to them.  They're probably bringing along their own clinical psychosis, which reinforces the childhood indoctrination.  Some good anti-psychotics could probably make the voice of Yahweh go away, but you'd have to convince the psychotic religious person that that would be a good thing, first.

Then there's the perspective of rationality, as opposed to literal insanity.  We often consider rationality to be the antonym of insanity, but it really isn't, if we're talking about clinical insanity.  Believing that someone walked on water, because a storybook said so, when we've never seen anyone do it in real life, without the use of stage magic props, is irrational as hell.  But I don't think that comparing that to clinical insanity is necessarily fair.

This sort of thing is more a matter of an educational deficiency.  Our school system does a shit job of teaching students critical thinking and the scientific method, in most school districts (mine were great, but then I grew up in wealthy, suburban school-districts).  And now we have the various fundamentalist, religious leaders in this country actively trying to suppress critical thinking courses in grade schools, because ... well, of course they are; they know a threat when they see one.

I like to describe Pentecostals and other extreme religious sorts as being insane, when I'm in a pejorative sort of mood, but if we're really analyzing the situation, it isn't that simple.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 20, 2015 at 8:26am

Correctly pointed out, Donna and Susan.

Nonetheless, it seems that it was a cerebral condition of a determined man that looks like wrecking our wish for a democratic world with its wonderful human rights charter of 1948.

Comment by Susan Stanko on February 20, 2015 at 7:57am

Nope, Neurological illness is not the same as mental illness.

Comment by Donna Darko on February 20, 2015 at 7:42am

The book "The God Gene" shows that some religious propensity is due to genetic influence.

@ Dr. Meaden: Not to prop up Mohammed, but I don't think epilepsy is classified as a mental illness.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 20, 2015 at 4:52am

Mohammed was one such mentally ill person---an epileptic---and look what that led to very quickly . . . and what the consequences are some 14 centuries later. 

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 20, 2015 at 4:32am

I guess the difference is that someone who suffers from an actual mental illness, their delusion stems from a chemical imbalance and the delusion comes from within. Whereas a religious person's delusion is a learnt bias, they have been brainwashed by others outside themselves.

You might find this interesting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDDyT1lDhA

Comment by LadyWolf on February 20, 2015 at 12:29am

I have always thought it rather ironic that we as a society administer anti-psychotic drugs to those people who have trouble differentiating between actual reality and their own self-created world (i.e., Schizophrenia), yet we in no way consider those who pray to and believe in supernatural entities to have any form of mental illness. A person of "faith" can say that a man walked on water, or that an ark housed every currently-existing animal on earth for an entire year (without the boat having been the size of North America), and yet no one hauls that person off to a padded room. These people can be confronted with one scientific fact after another, and will still refuse to let go of their fantasies. Is this
not the very definition of a mental illness?

 

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