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dtalton's Achievements


Novice (2/7)



  1. Well considering the forum we are chatting on I hope you realize I was kidding. I meant it as a parallel for power that seems to permeate the average business. And I am working on building a Fortune 500
  2. That is a really good way to put it. It does depend on the precept of marriage. If kids are anticipated, I think upbringing would be a good course of discussion. I'd be upset if I were to get married and find out five years later my spouse wanted to give the kids a "good" Catholic upbringing. Marriage shows commitment by both people, and has social advantages. Above that, it's up to the individuals. That article disturbs me, I meet people daily that could be capable of committing that fraud. It is definitely a symptom of a sick mind. Poor "Steve".
  3. Threadjack away! 1) Geeks are power lusters. 2) They are in charge. Want to watch me cripple a Fortune 500? 3) I have excellent social skills. I think the geeks you are thinking of are the screeching open-source apes that permeate /. Either that or I might be one of the few exceptions 4) See 3.
  4. By the way, I directly alluded to my instructor that I believe I "may" have been treated differently for whatever reason. I received a reply back that of the 10 finals he had graded so far 10 people had failed the course. This is Phi101 at a community college. Keep that in mind. I have no background in philosophy other than objectivism. I am reading others now, especially Aristotle.
  5. Looks like alot of you are not alarmed at the things I am. Do you not see his denial of what faith even is? Do you see the very poor example of trust in his father as a standard of faith? He denies my definitions, but does not challenge them, nor clearly argues against them, nor challenges me to expand on them. Let me make this big so I may nip this in the bud. I've already said it a few different ways a few different time. Let me clarify, it seems like some are missing the point of why I even posted this: To these people: Ultimately my stance was very poor, I realize this. I could have argued it much better, but I am rusty, and I did not spend too much time on it. Out of context, his responses could be deemed valid, and actually are in some cases. I just didn't expect apologetic links and statements like "Why is it that Christians have founded all the great schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc.?" I get Aristotle, I get Plato, I get Socrates, I get Rand. I don't really "get" anything else. I could care less about arguing it in this thread. This conversation is taken out of context. There is alot more to it. Note people: How many of you took PHI101 and were targeted after the fact by a Christian apologetic because of a stance you were allowed to take? Now, I took the stance of an athiest, which is very hard to argue to begin with, especially to a layman. Some of you are missing the point, read it again, only this time give me the benefit of the doubt.
  6. That is a valid point. For an introductory, using the Christian god would make sense over other gods. It does matter, at least to me. I had my hopes up for an unbiased view, and I was let down. Needless to say I was upset by this. I have an overly optimistic worldview, and I forget that colleges are not necessary havens for rational people. That, and I was hoping for a little more Aristotle and a lot less Marx, Hume, and Nietziche. My biggest problem, and on some levels the point of my post, was to be a beware sign. I believe my "failure" of the course was directly related to some views I expressed in the course of the class. Once this issue came up, my grades dropped considerably, even though my work got better. About the energy argument, it was a generalization I made referencing a article I had read about particle acceleration. I may have misread it, I cannot find it now either. I cannot reasonably defend it yet. I basically chose it as a cheesy example of the fallacy of creation. The virtual particles may be what I saw, I cannot remember offhand, this was from a month ago. My memory has gotten very poor over the last two years, I work way too much. Ultimately my stance was very poor, I realize this. I could have argued it much better, but I am rusty, and I did not spend too much time on it. Out of context, his responses could be deemed valid, and actually are in some cases. I just didn't expect apologetic links and statements like "Why is it that Christians have founded all the great schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc.?"
  7. Ah, you were editing while I was too! I agree, somewhat. I did come across militantly, although that was not my original intention. Keep in mind we were to pick a stance and argue for it. I did. He didn't return to me a grade with comments pointing out flaws in my arguments like the other assignments I submitted. Note that he references DC Talk. I was hoping for a classical introduction, not a liberal politically correct centric one. If you saw the course materials you would understand more clearly. Anyway, I made the post just to share some of the inanity permeating our schools, not looking for validation.
  8. Agreed, that should be his intention. What to note is that he specifically led the conversation toward Christianity, not another religion. Also, if you take a look at the please convince me site, it's pretty bad. His not accepting standard definitions of faith, and his refusal to acknowledge its reliance on the existence of a god, lead me to believe that he aligns with those arguments. There is more to the conversation, I just posted the more unbelievable bits. Also, I went directly from a B to an F after this conversation. My step-father taught this course at a different local college. I read the kind of work students submit, it's pretty rough. In all my other assignments, he has never raised a stink like this, including my reluctance to do the "feminist" philosophy supplement. This is PHI101. The defensiveness he displays gives him away. At the end of the conversation, he basically left me stonewalled. Also, note that we are to take a stance and support it. I did, albeit from a laymans point of view. He retorted with a familiar Christian apologetic defense.
  9. NOTE: I apologize ahead of time for the poor formatting. <p><span ><font color="#0000FF">I have just finished a course, PHI101, at Rio Salado community college. I took the exam last week, and was notified today that I failed the course! I am so proud, I have never failed in college before and am glad I can finally say I have! I, for some reason, have a strange feeling that I may have been at the mercy of an Elsworth Toohey though. I had a standing B in the course, but supposedly bombed the final. For entertainment purposes, I have included a discourse with my instructor about the existence of God. </font></span><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >Verbatim, this is the assignment:</span></font></font></p> <p><b><span><font color="#FF0000">Does God exist? Provide three reasons, pro or con, for your thesis. Do not use tradition, upbringing, or authority as reasons; use evidence and arguments. (If you are really unsure or simply agnostic, provide three reasons why you hold the position you do.)</font></span></b><font color="#FF0000"></font></font></p> <p><span ><font color="#0000FF">Note that this is asking me to take a stance, probably my personal belief. I am an atheist. Little did I know that my instructor was a Christian apologetic! I have a very busy schedule, and my arguments are very weak, and I did not have time to research them fully. Nonetheless, this is a 101 course, so I used the following:</font></span><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >Energy can be created from nothing, disproving the “it had to come from somewhere” argument.</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >The general uneducated person needs a reason to explain the unexplainable without having to think.</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >Belief in God requires mystical, illogical thinking, and contradicts our biological faculties.</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >Like I said, these are weak arguments, but still more valid than the classic “If God exists, why is there evil in the world” etc. tripe.</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >I am now currently looking for a course that teaches classical philosophy. This course included such great highlights as “Feminist Philosophy”…</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >It wasn’t my intention to do battle, if you could call this that. I’ve had more enriching conversations with dedicated theists. I think I am more upset as this is my first encounter with philosophy outside of my own private study. That and it cost me $300 for the class.</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><span >Here are some excerpts from my arguments, my instructors responses are in brackets [ ]. My text is blue, his is red. My peppery comments are italicized. Hopefully you will find these as amusing and enjoyable as I did. </span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">Belief of god requires mystical thinking. At no time has it</span><span > </span>[?]</span><span > </span>ever appeared, except “through” man. The existence of god is based on faith in the unseen. This is a similar tactic employed by snake-oil salesmen and hack parlor tricks. People want to be tricked.</span><span color:black'> </span></font></font></p> <p><br> <font color="#FF0000">[Like they are tricked with things like wind, atoms, backs of objects, love, thoughts, etc.? &nbsp;These aren’t seen either, but do they require mystical thinking?]</span><span > </span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">There is almost always a requirement for an external influence to communicate with god, be it church, swami, priest, and seer. The exchange almost always requires the believer give power to the channel to receive communication rites. A person cannot both think mystically and rationally, as there is no rational explanation of god; there is always a separation</span><span>.</span></font><span><br> <br> <font color="#FF0000">[How do you know this? &nbsp;Did you read the arguments in the book?]</font></span><font color="#FF0000"><span > </span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">Even knowing that rational thinking is what keeps us alive, healthy, and well, people still want to believe in magic and fairy tales to dictate their behavior on a daily basis</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">People need something to aspire to, similar to the concept of forms. Something to hold them is awe. Most need to feel their lives have meaning through something greater than themselves. An average person typically isn’t comfortable thinking they are one-hundred percent responsible for their life, actions, and disposition. Fortunate or not. The belief in god lends this to the believer. Give me your tired, your poor. Give me your sins and transgressions and be forgiven. Very Freudian. Not believing in god requires strength and solid fiber of character</span>. </font><br> <br> <font color="#FF0000">[Even if this is true, it’s not an argument why God doesn’t exist. &nbsp;God can still exist and this be true. &nbsp;It may also require more strength to believe in God since you can’t just live however you’d like anymore if He’s really keeping score.]</span><span color:black'> </span></font><span color:black'><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">It requires time to think, question, and rationalize.</span><span > </span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[so all believers are idiots?</span><span color:black'>]</span></font><span color:black'> <br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">It requires time to develop a more healthy moral system outside of the believers. One based solely on accountability, reliability, and truth in action. Belief in god is relief of accountability to your fellow man</span>.</font><br> <br> <font color="#FF0000">[How in the world does this follow? &nbsp;Why is it that Christians have founded all the great schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc.? &nbsp;You might find <a href="http://www.str.org" target="_blank"><span style='color:red'>www.str.org</span></a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com" target="_blank"><span style='color:red'>www.pleaseconvinceme.com</span></a>&nbsp;helpful.</span></font></font></p> <p><i><font color="#0000FF">I stated his claim of “Why is it that Christians have founded all the great schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc.?” was a blanket statement, sophomoric, and basically garbage. He then struck back with</span><span > </span>[No more sophomoric than claiming that “Belief in god is relief of accountability to your fellow man” as you<br> said.] </span></font></i><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">They do. If you are ultimately accountable to a supernatural being, with<br> his/her command being recognized over the dictates of your fellow man,<br> where then does accountability lie?</span></font><span><br> <font color="#FF0000"><br> </font></span><font color="#FF0000">[ultimately human accountability is to God, since He’s the source of truth<br> and justice, etc. &nbsp;But Jesus put it this way: the first commandment is to<br> love God, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. &nbsp;So humans<br> are still accountable to one another, particularly since humans are made<br> in the image of God.]</span></font><span color:black'><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[sophomoric… totally out of touch with history.]</span></font><span><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">Show me great Christians who have spread joy and love throughout the world<br> and saved millions. If I were to write a list, it would consist of<br> philosophers, psychologists, Fortune 50 businessmen, and scientists.</span></font><span ><br> <font color="#FF0000"><br> </font></span><font color="#FF0000">[And like most of these are atheists without any religious motivations?<br> &nbsp;Nonetheless, numbers here don’t make for a good argument for or against<br> God’s existence.]</span></font></font></p> <p><em><font color="#0000FF">Here he knows I can get numbers if I need to, and backs down.</span></font> The proof always lies with the claimant.</font></em></p> <p><span><font color="#0000FF">NOTE THE ABOVE LINKS TO APOLOGETICS WEBSITES</font></span><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><i><font color="#0000FF">My comical retort, drawing directly from Objectivist ideals, may have been too much for him to handle:</span></font></i><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">You might find this helpful, it is the basis of my argument:<br> <br> Existence exists - and the act of grasping that statement implies two<br> corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one<br> exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of<br> perceiving that which exists. <br> If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with<br> nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness<br> conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it<br> could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of<br> something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you<br> possess is not consciousness.</span></font><span><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[This has nothing to do for an argument why<br> you think God doesn’t exist or why you are at least skeptical concerning<br> His existence.]</span></font></font></p> <p><i><font color="#0000FF">I believe this wholly correlates to the non-existence of God. I don’t think I need to expand that idea on this forum…on with more funnies..</span></font></i><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">I've obviously struck a nerve, and gladly so. You have definitely given me<br> food for thought.</span><span color:black'> </span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><i>I decided to be nice and see where he took this</span></i></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[This happens to be my favorite subject, so I’m glad<br> you’re playing along! &nbsp;But unfortunately, this is going to be my last<br> response due to time constraints. &nbsp;To further pursue this, I’ll give you<br> some references so you can see where my mind is on all this.]</span><span > &nbsp;</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">What the goal of my stance was is this: the existence of god cannot be known<br> through reason (unless you are Aquinas), only through faith.</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[There are many other philosophers<br> who think the same here, but they don’t make such a radical divorce of<br> faith and reason that you are.]</span><span> </span></font><span><br> </span></p> <p><em><font color="#0000FF">I know there are other philosophers, Aquinas is just an ideal example. Note the copout of “time constraints”. This is an online course. There is no classroom time allocated.</span></font> Why are we arguing numbers?</font></em></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><i>Here is where it gets REALLY bad. He denies the dictionary definition, and from what I know of, the general populations definition of what faith is. I have since asked a born-again Christian, and a non-denom pastor what they thought about my argument and they both agreed with me.</span></i></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">The second definition of faith dictionary.com provides is:<br> Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. <br> <br> The first being: <br> Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person,<br> idea, or thing.</span><span color:black'> </span></font><span color:black'><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[i have faith in my dad coming through when he says he<br> will. &nbsp;Is this divorced from reason? &nbsp;Of course not. &nbsp;I have all sorts of<br> reasons why I can trust him.]</span></font></font></p> <p><i><font color="#0000FF">Ummm, that’s not faith…</span></font></i><span><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">The second definition clarifies the first. That the confident belief in<br> the idea does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[This is your assumption that I don’t hold.]</span></font><span><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">This is my argument for mystical thinking. Thinking not based in known<br> reality, but in the supernatural; sight unseen and not able to be<br> logically explained or materially proven WITHOUT faith.</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[i don’t grant your<br> definition. &nbsp;You’re assuming the supernatural is already something other<br> than known reality. &nbsp;You’re using faith in your definition, but you’re<br> trying to use reason, although I don’t think it’s very good. &nbsp;You’re<br> accepting a very recent (relatively speaking) societal understanding of a<br> radical division between facts and values. &nbsp;For more on this, you really<br> should check out Nancy Pearcy’s “Total Truth”.]</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">I do incorporate psychology in my arguments. It helps tremendously to<br> understand, even on the smallest levels, why people think they way they<br> do. Things in the nature of &quot;why would man assign man-like characteristics<br> to a god?&quot;. These are the questions that I think of when I question<br> religion. Maybe an argument I should have taken is why do most religions<br> god have emotion? Emotions, non-rational behavior, are chemically<br> triggered. That means god would have a physical manifestation, with<br> chemistry similar to ours.</span></font><span><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[This is the problem with Freud and others… it’s called the genetic<br> fallacy. &nbsp;It’s attributing the wrongness of an idea to its dodgey origins.<br> &nbsp;Man may arrive at a belief in God that way, but it has nothing to do with<br> whether God really exists or not. &nbsp;It’s like saying my 2nd grade teacher<br> was a terrorist, therefore I can’t believe that 2 + 2 = 4.]</span></font></font></p> <p><i><span ><font color="#0000FF">After this he states that I still have yet to logically explain why God doesn’t exist. My arguments are weak, but valid enough for a 101 class covering this question.</font></span></i><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><i><span >And here we have sloppy solisism and another apologetic reference:</span></i></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">Entirely correct, I was not trying to say otherwise. It was a fairly poor<br> illustration of the point that God can only be explained logically by<br> holding a premise of faith. How could god be explained without faith?</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[Now that’s a much better question! &nbsp;But it may be similar to how can I<br> explain the existence of other minds without faith? &nbsp;I’ve never seen a<br> person in my life, technically speaking. &nbsp;How do I know that everyone else<br> isn’t a highly complex robot? &nbsp;Of course I have reasons based on an<br> analogy to myself, but when it comes down to it, I have to exercise some<br> amount of faith. &nbsp;For more on this, see Alvin Plantinga’s “God and Other<br> Minds”.]</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">Belief in god is relief in accountability to your fellow man. I few quick<br> examples are Jihad, abortion doctor murders, polygamy, slavery, spousal<br> abuse, forced submission. The world’s largest religions support these<br> ideals.</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#FF0000">[so what? ~Does Christianity or Judaism today support these? Are<br> you telling me that atheism has no social problems? What about all the<br> murders committed by atheists for their utopia? ~Let me put it to you<br> this way: suppose your car breaks down in the ghetto at night and you see<br> 3 guys coming to your car. Would it make any difference to you to know<br> that they are coming from a Bible study?]</span><span> </span></font><span><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">By following a doctrine that<br> allows for transgressions against others for what amounts to as a<br> difference of opinion is absurd. Most major religions have such doctrines.</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span></font></p> <p><i><font color="#0000FF">I replied:</span></font></i><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#0000FF">I am not implying atheism has no problems whatsoever. Some of the biggest<br> monsters of the past century were atheists, I assume this is what you are<br> talking about when you mention the murderers. Some of the biggest saints<br> were also. Not saints in a religious sense, but in the sense of them saving<br> lives, helping people help themselves, and spreading all around good will.<br> A good example would be Paul Muller, with his discovery of DDT as a great<br> pesticide. DDT did, until it was banned, save one million lives a year.</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[Then this is really irrelevant to the question as to whether God exists<br> or not.]</span></font></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF"><em>The why the [email protected]#$ did he ask it? I was answering his question. This is the type of man you can hand a can of soda and he will tell you that it does not exist and you did not just hand him a can.</span></font></em></font></p> <p><font color="#0000FF">To answer the broken down car question: do you think those same bible<br> study people would approach me and my broken down car if I was wearing<br> gang colors and cursing? They may still, but I’m sure they would think<br> twice. It’s a moot point though, as we are referring specifically to<br> Christian doctrine, and the goodness of Christians, not the existence of<br> god. If I were a good Christian in a fascist muslim ghetto, I’d be shot.</span></font><span ><br> <br> </span><font color="#FF0000">[it is moot, but there are such things as Christian martyrs. &nbsp;For more on<br> many of them throughout history, see DC Talk and the Voice of the Martyrs’<br> “Jesus Freaks”. &nbsp;Many of these were simply passive, but were active in<br> helping others that were very likely to kill them.]</span></font></font></p> <p><i><font color="#0000FF">Woohoo</span><span > DC Talk! No comment.</span></font></i><font color="#0000FF"></font></font></p> </div>
  10. Probably should be more like what haven't I read. Anthem, We the Living, Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Objectivist Epistomology, Journal of Ayn Rand, and I have a nice hardbound copy of the Objectivist Newsletter, which contains all the articles from VoS, C:tUI What can I say? I'm a bit of a fanboy. I didn't expand on my intro earlier as I was really busy. About me: I am in IT as a profession. I have found that I am basically capable of doing anything I put my mind to. I have a business development company and a networking company as hobbies. I love learning new things; I sort of like college, but the more instructors I meet, the more that view changes.
  11. Just found this board via google, finally. I don't know why I didn't look sooner.
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