Reforming Counter-Apologetics

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Reforming Counter-Apologetics

Dedicated to realizing the fundamental impulses that drive belief, and seeking secular parallels ~ creating a format for discussion that doesn't address apologetical arguments as much as it replaces the need for those arguments to begin with.

Members: 51
Latest Activity: Mar 7

Discussion Forum

Formulating a New Argument

Started by Park Bierbower. Last reply by Jedi Wanderer Jun 16, 2012. 11 Replies

I was listening to a podcast a few weeks ago, and they were covering the apologetical argument known as Pre-supposational Apologetics.  Its a clever argument, hard to refute if you're not already…Continue

Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 27, 2012. 1 Reply

Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief, Study ShowsJust using their "analytic" system of thinking…Continue

Impulse that drives belief -death anxiety?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Apr 4, 2012. 1 Reply

New University of Otago research suggests that when non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to…Continue

Tags: fear of death

The Accursed Argument (from lack of proof)

Started by Jedi Wanderer. Last reply by Jedi Wanderer Jan 8, 2012. 13 Replies

All of us should by now be intimately familiar with this argument. It is the foundation of the arguments used by a religious friend of mine that I met on MySpace and have argued extensively on the…Continue

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Comment by Marc Draco on February 10, 2011 at 6:14pm
Yes, my bad. It looks like the primates don't have multiple staged mirror memory. The study I saw demonstrated how an ape watched another ape solve a multi-part puzzle but when faced with the same puzzle, began agin from scratch.

We'll have to dig this out and compare notes - working memory is crucial to how we learn.

Good to hear from you Arron, life is taking over at this end again. Has a habit of doing that. A close friend has just discoerved she has metastatic cancer ... You do the math.

It struck me that memoryplex theory has a comfort side for bereaved people that could help like religion usually does. I'm sure you can see where I'm going - it's late Nd I'm jiggered. And in bed on the iPad. Lol.
Comment by Jedi Wanderer on February 10, 2011 at 5:57pm

In another group, Marc writes: One thing I've noted (not discussed with the other two, as yet) is that this suggests that many animals may have a sense of self - not dissimilar to ours.
What makes us different is our ability to mirror and learn from others. The only creature I am aware that can do this are crows - other apes, apparently, cannt. To some extent, other birds also exhibit a similar behavior

 

A good point Marc, but you are mistaken on one count - other primates can and do learn from imitating others. This is actually one definition of culture, the ability to transmit information to others by other than genetic means. Chimps have been known to learn how to use straws to pick up ants from their nests from other chimps, for one example. I'm sure there are many more examples like this. Also there are many birds who exhibit similar behavior as well. Some learn how to use a fishing lure from other birds, some also learn how to crack open nuts by dropping them on rocks from other birds. The lists grow every day I'm sure.

 

What would it mean if animals do possess a sense of self? I'm quite sure that many do. For one thing, it could easily imply that many other animals are capable of morality in the deepest sense. I don't think this point can be overestimated.

 

I had a teacher once who said that animals don't think. I said yes they do. He said that animals don't plan things out in advance. I said yes they do. Then he said that animals don't have ideas then. I said yes they do! A terrific study was done where monkeys were locked in a cage with a basket of fruit hanging from the top far out of reach. On the floor were two sticks which were too short on their own, but could be linked together to make a single stick capable of reaching the fruit. After desperately trying in vain to reach the basket with one stick only, one of the monkeys was seen sitting quietly and then jumping up, attaching the sticks together and getting to the fruit. Now if that's not an idea then I don't know what is.

 

If people can be so wrong about what separates us from animals, then maybe we are not nearly so different from them as we would like to believe. It seems to me there is little qualitative difference at all, that our differences are almost if not entirely quantitative in nature. Since I believe a sense of self is central to our human sense of morality, perhaps this means that right and wrong is not something only reason enables us to have alone, but rather that many creatures have the same sense, a conscience if you will. It would certainly help to explain why we think of other animals as beings who deserve our respect and why we think they should be treated with more dignity than is given to them by those who see them as nothing more than expendable or worse.

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on February 7, 2011 at 6:05pm
I thankfully grew up without ever hearing of creationism until well into my 20's. I grew up learning about dinosaurs and ancient earth history and learning alot about science. The fact that there were people out there who were so ignorant as to challenge evolution and basic scientific ideas was just an astounding example to me of how right I was to have rejected religion in the first place. I would rather just make the argument that creationists are science-denyers, but your way might work too!
Comment by Park Bierbower on February 7, 2011 at 9:22am
was just thinking of a tactic~ in regards to creationism, explaining that the theory of evolution is a descriptive law, it is not a thing.  It is a natural law that stems from an observation of the way things work, exactly like the 'law' of gravity.  if we can correlate the two well enough, it should be able to show how patently absurd referring to 'Darwinian Dogma' and other sorts of stupid rhetoric is.
Comment by Jedi Wanderer on February 6, 2011 at 11:13am
Hey Park, love the forefinger-thumb chin-rest look, very thoughtful-looking!
Comment by Park Bierbower on February 4, 2011 at 10:01am

Welcome new members!  Feel free to post a new discussion, or check out an older one.  If you want to know a little more specifically what this group is about, check out the 'new members, please read' thread.

Thanks!

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on February 2, 2011 at 10:59am
Marc, you may call me Aaron. Not you Park. JK
Comment by Marc Draco on February 2, 2011 at 8:17am

Bugger. You beat me to it Wanderer!

 

I'm going to do a Youtube presentation later highlighting how they differ.

 

I have my ex-wife's bathroom to rebuild... looooong story.

Comment by Jedi Wanderer on February 2, 2011 at 7:58am

Two things: it would seem (to me) that plexes are composed out of many memes, so that is one big distinguishing factor. Also, if we are talking just about a single person's memoryplex then we can say that it is composed of (among other things) a single set of memes, but if we are talking about larger plexes/cultures, there may be many different memes in competition with each other. Actually this is pretty much how it works in our individual brains as well, and the stronger ones just happen to be the ones which are expressed. Don't know how followable that was.

 

And that brings me back to morons. Psychology, especially the psychology of social entities/cultures, is a very complex and difficult subject for most. Unless someone has already shown some interest in being honest with themselves and getting themselves educated on the subjects which are most important to understanding themselves and people in general, such discussions won't get far with such people. Even people who have studied psychology show extreme resistance to different ideas, like determinism. Which brings me back to having to express some ideas I have on what we can actually do to create some real change in people's minds, but unfortunately, my kids school is closed for the day! I now have 3 little monsters (all boys under age 5) to take care of and entertain for the rest of the day. Curses! I won't have time to be on much today, but maybe I will have more luck tomorrow.

Comment by Park Bierbower on February 2, 2011 at 7:21am
Should there be a distinction between 'memes' and 'plexes' because I don't personally see them the same.  It would seem to me that 'memes' do act in a more viral way; and they don't necessarily need to to agree for them to stick~ helping distinguish memetics in reference to online phenomena from plexes, which are developed over time and integrated into a persons worldview/personality.
 

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