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Everything posted by Achilles

  1. Le sigh. Looks like I'll be buying this a third time Thanks for the response!
  2. Anyone know if "native widescreen support" includes a properly scaling UI? Specifically for 16x10 (1920x1200)?
  3. Yes, you are. My assertions was that you are not here to debate in good faith. In other words, your mind is already made up, you are closed to (new) evidence, and no amount of sound reasoning will persuade you. Not the same thing as saying that you are dishonest (though some might argue that pattern of behavior I described above fits the definition of "intellectual dishonesty"). I guess I don't see why such a thing shouldn't be possible. In fact, something as substantive and "obvious" as the existence of a supreme being shouldn't require a great deal of evidence at all (as no other reasonable explanation should exist). To argue that one would need much more than a few bullet points on a single powerpoint slide seems like overkill. Great question. This is actually very helpful. In our past exchanges, it seemed to me that you had a vested interest in maintaining your position at all costs. Now I understand why. I see "rational" in there, but just for clarity: how do you see concepts such as "logic" and "critical thinking" relating to "philosophy"? Nope. Straight answer = not posting 15 lines of word-salad without addressing the question (especially if the question is in a quote box at the top of the post).
  4. It shouldn't be too difficult to read a few posts up, Kurgan. Here, I did it for you (and it didn't even hurt): Before we go on...we won't be "going on". I've known you too long to think for one second that you're here to debate in good faith. My sole purpose for responding to your posts is to help new readers figure that as well. However, if you truly wish to have a go at it, here's the deal: straight answers are going to be a currency between us. Each of us will have to maintain a balance with the other in order to "make a withdrawal". So... No, I do not hold any degrees in philosophy, theology, or anthropology. I do hold both graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business. Course requirements for both included study in ethics/moral philosophy, law, history, and critical thinking - all of which I've continued to study outside of the classroom because I find them interesting. I've also completed coursework in anthropology and sociology and I continue to study those topics as well. Straight answers balance: Achilles +1 Kurgan, before we go on, please operationally define "philosophy".
  5. You quoted questions and then didn't answer them. Did you quote them by mistake?
  6. We are pretty close to the point (if we haven't crossed it already) where we are arguing in circles. I'm going to make one last-ditch effort to make my point and then we'll see where it goes from there. A primer on causality: A) the sun rises B) the rooster crows C) the farmer's alarm clock goes off D) the farmer wakes up Someone with a flawed understanding of causality may argue that A causes B, which causes C, which clauses D. Someone with a better understanding of causality understands that A causes B, nothing in this sequence causes C, and while B could be a cause for D, in this example C is the actual cause of D. A and B have a causal relationship. C and D have a causal relationship. There is no overlap between the first causal relationship and the second. Now, to bring it home: A) Humans are pro-social mammals B) Pro-social mammals gain benefits from normative behaviors C) Religion provides a framework of normative behaviors D) Humans gain benefits from religion B happens because A is true. D happens because C also just happens to be true. Your "argument" is simply to assert D over and over again. My point is that you can replace the word "religion" in C and D with any other thing that satisfies C and you will get the same result. You seem to think that this constitutes a good reason for thinking that the christian god exists. This cannot be the case if "the thing" in question is your weekly cribbage tournament. "Christianity" is one degree shy of being completely arbitrary at that point. This is why there is no causal relationship between the specific belief in the christian god and happiness; the thing causing the happiness isn't the belief, it's the framework. You're confusing the two. Moving on. Regarding your sources: They are garbage. I started to make an honest attempt to address the very serious problems with each of them, but honestly, I can't shake the feeling that I would be wasting my time. Not to be insulting, but anyone who posts a Psychology Today link probably isn't going to understand why that's a bad idea, even if it's explained to them. If you want the tl;dr version: poor methodology or no methodology provided, blatantly biased samples, no explanation of how results compared to other groups when other factors were controlled for (I've called you out for this last one in other posts. The fact that you didn't acknowledge, counter-argue, or change your tactic is a contributing factor to my assumptions about you above - just in case you try to accuse me of judging you unfairly). Next. Let's take a look at christianity. What differentiates christianity from other religions (or what makes christianity "christianity")? It's jesus, right? Ok, who is he? Why is he important? Let's talk about that. A) christianity is a religion based on the belief that jesus christ is "the savior" (can't tie this back to god - two other religions lay claim to the same abrahamic deity. The thing that makes christianity "christianity" is christ...it's right there in the name). B) Acceptance of jesus christ is required for salvation ("salvation"? Salvation from what?) C) Salvation is the absolution/forgiveness for one's sins (okay, sounds important, but this doesn't answer my question. What am I being saved from?) D) Absolution/forgiveness is required for entrance into heaven in the afterlife (please? the answer to my question now?) E) Those not granted into heaven go to hell (sounds...fun. What exactly happens in hell?) F) Hell is a lake of fire in which the souls banished there will enjoy an eternity of never-ending torment. TL;DR - jesus is only way to not be subjected to the worst possible torture imaginable. BTW, god never sleeps, can read your thoughts, and will seriously **** your **** up if you even think about slipping. But he loves you. So much so that he invented hell just so that you could have a place to go if you can't prove that you love him back enough. This is just the most fundamental example of what I mean when I say, "belief in christianty comes out of the box with several negative implications which result in a net loss of happiness". If you really need more examples, we can talk about christianity's views on topics such as womens' rights, slavery, homosexuality, minority rights, science education, environmentalism, etc. Still feeling like I'm making stuff up? Almost finished. To draw attention to the meta-argument for a moment, I'd like to point out a couple of things: 1) To the question, "What good reason is there to believe the christian god exists?" your only response has been to assert that the belief (apparently in anything) makes people happy. Is this really the only arrow in your quiver? 2) Your sources (and to a certain extent, your argumentation) keep referring to spirituality. You do realize that "spiritual, but not religious" is a thing, right? Or that muslims, hindus, buddists, jains, hari krishnas, etc, etc, etc all consider their pursuits to be "spiritual", right? Are you arguing that spirituality is a good thing or are you arguing that there is a good reason to think the christian god exists? The former is really a non sequitur (and all I see you doing). The latter is the actual topic of the thread.
  7. Good reason. The title of the thread is "What good reason is there to believe the christian god exists?" You offered a reason, but as I pointed out it isn't a good reason because 1) the relationship between belief and happiness isn't causal, 2) a positive correlation between belief and happiness would be applicable to any religious belief and therefore not a supporting argument for the christian god specifically, and 3) belief in christianity comes out of the box with several negative implications (for oneself and for others) which result in a net loss of happiness. The second part of your post specifically said: Yes. It absolutely is possible. If I've said otherwise in this thread, please show me where. What I have not said is that this is a good reason for believing that the christian god exists. The belief that Santa is going to bring me a Tesla Model S tomorrow may bring me intense joy, but that joy doesn't make my reasoning sound. Even if I managed to convince my neighbors that this was a thing and they too adopted this thinking, it still wouldn't be good reasoning. If we started getting up early on Sunday mornings to dress in our best clothes and gather together to talk about the immense satisfaction that came with knowing that "tomorrow" Saint Nicholas would be bringing us fancy electric cars, it still wouldn't be good reasoning. Even if this belief system somehow spread into the global water supply and every man, woman, and child all came to believe (and found bone-shattering ecstasy in the acceptance) that in the morning, there would be a shiny Model S waiting for them compliments of Kris Kringle, not a single one of us would have come to that belief via good reasoning. Title of the thread: "What good reason is there to believe the christian god exists?" Not sure how being able to stick to the argument constitutes trolling.
  8. Yeah, that isn't the argument that I was making. I was using extreme examples to support the argument I was making. Apologies for adding confusion where I was trying to add clarity. Re: the second part of your post - I don't think anyone has questioned that such a thing was possible. It's possible to find bliss in any number of things (some of which immoral). The question I thought we were trying to answer was whether or not we had good reasons for thinking the christian god exists. "Because some people believe that believing makes some people happy" continues to be a poor argument.
  9. In the interest of being consistent, I'll repeat my earlier argument that ideology (in and of itself), tends to be a poor indicator of happiness. An extroverted atheist who spends a lot of time hanging out with like-minded secular people, doing volunteer work, etc is going to be more happy than an introverted jehovah's witness who sits at home, hating himself for being a sinner. Likewise, someone who is moderately religious but goes to unitarian church every Sunday to hang out with like-minded theistic people is going to be happier than the anti-theist sitting at home crossing "god" off his dollar bills with a sharpie. Furthermore, religions that are more fundamentalist in nature don't give a crap about "doing the right thing". They care about adherence. Islamists who are cutting off the heads of journalists and aid workers aren't doing it because they feel that their actions are contributing to maximizing human flourishing, they are doing it because they have a very strict interpretation of their doctrine. So yeah, you could argue that this person (or these persons) are individually happier because they feel they are doing "the right thing", however they are increasing suffering while doing so. Hardly a "good reason to believe". I don't agree that this is categorically a difficulty that atheists usually have. I do find a couple of things interesting/telling here: 1) you seem to only think of athiests in terms of former theists who deconverted. While it probably fair to say that some significant number of people who identify as athiests (especially those you encounter in North America) probably fit the bill, a lot of your commentary falls apart the moment we try to apply to people who were raised secular. This includes entire countries. 2) if the "secret sauce" is religion, then why would these people "desire" goals, such as "being happy" or "helping people"? Before you answer, the question was rhetorical. The mechanism you're looking for here is "confirmation bias". Interesting. If there was no god, how would you know it? If the answer to the question of god's existence was unknowable, would you still be able to find happiness? Neither of these are rhetorical. Objective morality isn't dependent upon a god existing (let alone the christian god). Is eternal happiness for loyalty to god the only reason to be moral? There have been non-theists for at least as long as we've been recording history. One could say that they are more prominent now (though that it could be possible that this is simply a function of how human percieve the times they live in). The shortish answer might sound something like this: You're right to invoke evolution here. The landscape has changed and we, the social mammals, have evolved. We don't need "the group" the way we once did. The mix between individual yearning and group adherence has changed. It's not that "atheists are better than non-theists" or vice versa. We still have moral obligations to each other. Using a 2000 year old book and bronze age superstition is not the best way to navigate that conversation though. Our brains are part of our physical makeup. Religion is fairly universal. There are two explanations for this: 1) religion is right or 2) we all have brains with religious centers in them. Evolution accounts for #2. More people, more free time, more interaction between ideologies. 2 million people, split into tribes and spread across the globe with little contact and no means to communicate don't have religious conflict. Yeah, I spend a lot of time around atheists and I don't think I've ever heard any one of them say anything like this. I think anyone who knows even a little bit of the history of science is well aware of how things have gone down.
  10. Kinda glad FireHawkX necro'd the thread. Re: my earlier posts and the GUI fix for TSL... Link to fully operational TSL GUI in 16x9 and 16x10 Possibly a shameless plug, but probably not a bad idea to post it here in case someone sees the old post.
  11. Wish I could help you. FWIW, you can use EMPs on the locks too. According to Steam I've spent 2142 hours in northern Tamriel. Is there a "shame" emoticon?
  12. I wish I could help you with those. It's taken 3 years of modding to make me not hate-quit Skyrim every time I try to play it.
  13. I've finished it a couple of times on PC. Admittedly, I didn't even try to monkey with the keyboard and mouse, as I was used to playing on the 360 so used the controller instead. And because Mimi can never hear it enough: if you genuinely can't figure out the hacking, put a point or two in the tech skill and use EMPs instead.
  14. Again, the "secret sauce" isn't being spiritual. Studies that prime subjects via secular cues (such as voting, or other civic-related institutions or activities) show the same results. When these studies controlled for other factors (the sequence in which you make your arguments above makes me think you aren't considering this as part of your analysis) they consistently find that religion/spirituality just isn't a factor.
  15. No, there is sound argument to be made. If there are multiple ways to accomplish X, some are inherently going to be better than others (which means some are going to be worse than others). The only room for real debate here is whether or not you agree that doing things, like indoctrinating children to believe that an invisible man lives in the sky, can read your thoughts, and will send you to a lake of fire to burn for all of eternity if you don't love him enough, is a "bad thing".
  16. I'll try this again a slightly different way. What you are arguing (whether you realize it or not), is that there is a causal relationship between spirituality/church attendance/what have you and happiness. The point I am trying to make is that the causal relationship is between pro-social behavior/pro-social cues and happiness. That some people get this from religion and/or spirituality is nice, but there are lots of ways to get there. My larger point (made elsewhere in this thread and others, but not this exchange) is that spirituality/religion is actually one of the least optimal ways to get there.
  17. Your argument is that happiness is a good reason to believe that god exists. My argument is that happiness doesn't do that.
  18. Ah, some things never change. Closer examination of said studies, along with an understanding that correlation does not equal causation, tends to support an alternate hypothesis. Specifically, that the actual "secret sauce" is pro-social behavior, which church-going people just happen to get from spending time around their in-group. Same measures of happiness and satisfaction can be found in people that have completely secular means of scratching that itch, such as chess clubs or cup-stacking tournaments.
  19. Hello to you as well, mimi. Sorry I missed your b-day. I only remembered it about a week a late this year :) Hope you and your family (even the rat-dog) are all doing well.


    Still at TOR I see?

  20. LOL. You won't regret it. The same guy that wrote this also wrote the Uncharted series (also developed by Naughty Dog).


    Speaking of new toys, this was waiting for me when I got home today.

  21. Also, I recommend going into it blind. Better that way.

  22. Good question that I haven't answered yet. A coworker loaned me his console, convinced I would love the game. It's at least worth renting one. You'll know in the first 20 minutes whether or not it's something you're gonna like. I still love obsidian, but it blows anything they've done out of the water.

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