Saturday, June 11, 2016

Quick Plats

I've been thinking a bit about the A-Chick Tracts that Telltale Atheist has been doing, and I rather had an idea for one.

First, we have two brothers.  One is an amazing artist, who devotes his life to oil painting. We will call him Teddy.  The other is a scoundrel who really isn't good for much.  We'll call him James

The two have a small dialogue, where Teddy tries to tell James that he simply needs Jesus and he'll quit being a lush. and James just kinda blows him off.  Teddy is worried about James soul, and James doesn't believe in any of that.  James responds that he's already going to hell anyway, so there's no use trying for redemption.  That is, says James, if it's even real. Teddy resigns himself to painting, as James leaves.

Later that day, we pick up James' story, and he's sitting in a bar getting quite drunk.  He has a conversation with someone in the bar, who happens to believe in god.  James tells him he doesn't believe any of that.

Cut to Teddy, who is at home.  He's working on a neat painting of Jesus on the mount (Teddy being a Christian, and a lover of symbolism), when he realizes he's going to need more oil paints.  He puts on his coat and heads out into the stormy eventide.

Cut back to James, who is rather irritated at this point and decides he's going to go drink at the bar across town.  He gets in his car, though he can barely stand. In a twist of fate, James and Teddy wreck, and both die.

Teddy and James are now both dead.  The afterlife wasn't real, and Teddy wasted his life painting stuff he didn't really feel strongly about.  Teddy was actually really interested in nude art, but he believed it was lustful and wrong, and therefore never reached his true potential.  James gave up on life because he believed that, if a god were real, it was going to damn him regardless.  Neither believed in themselves, and their beliefs in a god didn't change the fact that they both died.

In leiu of a bible verse, here we take a moment to block-text a replacement for John 3:16

Your life is valuable, and it's the only one you get.  Don't waste it, or limit yourself, because you are afraid of what might lie on the other side of death.  Death is final.  Live your life as though you've only got one, because it's precious since it's your only one.  You won't have eternity to catch up with friends and family, so value your time with them now.  Do what's right because it's right, not because you expect some reward.
Last regular page: Put some flowery picture of a sunset or something, and this text: Life isn't black-and-white like a Chick Tract.  This life is the only one you have, so live it well.

Questionnaire optional.

Q1: Do you believe your life is worth living to the fullest?
Q2: Do you feel confined by a belief you don't necessarily hold?
Q3: Do you feel as though you could create your own meaning in life?

If so, start being the change you want to see in the world.

Response to EveKeneinan

Today, we're going to be discussing this little bit of wonderful glossolalia.
This is going to be fun.
A funny thing happens with the concept of the "burden of proof." People keep claiming over and over that the burden of proof lies with the person who makes the positive claim.
I'm not sure what's so funny about this, but it's correct.
They claim this repeatedly;

It isn't a claim.  You're conflating that word with another here to try to make your point seem more valid than it actually is.  That's several fallacies all at once, but most importantly it's the fallacy by conflation.  Here's a nice wikipedia page on the very subject.   Also, as you'll see soon enough, the author presumes that her god existing is the null hypothesis, which it is not.  Until evidence arises for whichever god(s) she's believing in (presumably the Jesus one), the null hypothesis remains that there is no god. There's equally much evidence to support any god, and many mythical characters who aren't gods, like Beowulf or Odysseus.  However, until we find evidence independent of someone's story, the null hypothesis is that they were not real.
so by their own principle, the burden of proof should lie with them to prove their claim that the burden of proof lies with the person who makes the claim.
 Sure, we just did.  The null hypothesis is that all gods are equally probable, including the absence of a god.  It is from this point we present our evidence.  Christians like to claim a global flood, but stratified rock is a clear example of evidence against that god.  Greco-Roman Pantheists will claim that from Chaos (the deity) appeared Gaea (the literal, living god who is earth), but the fact that the Earth doesn't appear to be a god is evidence against this.

Again, as Eve failed to discuss the null hypothesis, it's understandable why she might not understand the significance of burden of proof, or how to prove who has it.  Even if the null hypothesis were that a god exists, there is currently no evidence to support that assertion, but plenty against.  With regard to Christianity, for example, we have a distinct lack of reports of the sun being gone for three days.  We do, however, have texts from that time period, none of which anywhere in the world mentioned this particular phenomenon.  Most things in the bible do not have evidence to support them, therefore the null hypothesis would become invalid and the previous null hypothesis (there are no gods) would return.

And yes, they consistently refuse [to] do this. Why is that?
I'm not refusing here, exactly as others have tried to explain this to you, but keep ignoring that.  Also, about that evidence you were discussing, isn't this a positive claim?
My guess i that they don't really mean...lies with the one who makes the claim
This part is more of that positive claim she's making.  Which, oddly enough, applying her logic earlier, she hasn't proven why she (or anyone else) has such burden.
I've yet to see anything beyond mere (and repeated) assertion.
Well, that's some top-tier pot-kettle right there, folks.
But an ad-naseum fallacy is not an argument. Something doesn't become true after being repeated many times. 
Oh really?

What was it she said up there again?  Repeating a thing over and over doesn't make it true? Repeatedly saying that someone is wrong because they disagree with you is not an argument.  I'm glad we agree there.  Arguing that you don't like the way logic works, over and over, doesn't actually prove that logic doesn't work.  You see, when you claim someone's got a fallacy, you've got to try to explain why, even by your own logic.  The picture you posted in the first tweet doesn't do that, and now I'm explaining why.  In fact, it's pretty self-referential, your picture, because it just keeps repeating your assertions without breaking them down logically. Argumentum Ad Naseum, as it were.
Also, most people who use "burden of proof" talk seem to be hypocrites engaged in special pleading...
You're the one ignoring the null hypothesis, and then repeatedly telling everyone else they're wrong.  I agree, that is kinda hypocritical, and a clear use of the special pleading fallacy...
...asking for special exemption from having to give arguments for their own position...

Maybe she'll explain why it's an error of reification, maybe not.  Just for fun, let's see what 'God' means.  According to Merriam-Webster,
1: a being having superhuman powers and control over a particular part of life or the world <in some belief systems, natural forces like the wind and the sea (are) gods>
Synonyms: divinity, deity 
2: (cap) the being worshipped as the creator and ruler of the universe <let us give thanks to God>
Synonyms: Allah, Almighty, Author, Creator, Divinity, Eternal, Everlasting, Father, God, Godhead, Jehova, Lord, Maker, Providence, Supreme Being, Yahweh
So, again, asserting that your god doesn't fall into the category of all gods is not a category error, because anything which can be described within those confines is a god.
...while demanding their opponents do so.
See also: Eve's entire feed, more or less.
The rational response to special pleading is, of course, "No."
That's kinda been our entire point. Thanks for at least saving me the trouble of making that point!
Note on Theism/Atheism: ...There is an entire anthology of essays...
Unless one of those essays references something other than the bible (again, I'm presuming you're attempting to defend YHWH, though you've not said so directly), it's not evidence.  If you don't understand why, perhaps see my Secular Sunday School responses, both here (the past couple entries) or on my youtube channel, here and here.

I think I'll leave it there for today.  She had a TL:DR on her thing that was half as long as her original post. Here's a better way.

TL;DR: If you want to prove who has the burden of proof, start by defining the null hypothesis.