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Thread: Praying With the Office Chaplain

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Default Praying With the Office Chaplain

    Praying With the Office Chaplain

    By SUE SHELLENBARGER


    Marisol Corrales, an operations manager for a Dallas housecleaning service, doesn't attend church regularly or see herself as a religious person, she says. But she calls regularly on a workplace chaplain provided by her employer whenever she is worried about her family or stressed over problems on the job.

    Praying and talking with the Rev. John Salas gives her hope and peace of mind, she says; "I'm starting to be a bigger believer" because of him.

    A growing number of companies are offering the services of chaplains in the workplace. Managers say many employees who wouldn't think of calling a therapist or an employee-assistance program will willingly turn to a chaplain. Executives at Tyson Foods Inc., which employs 120 chaplains serving a work force of 117,000, say they believe the service reduces turnover. Other companies contract with chaplain-placement services to handle workplace disruptions that managers can't.

    Following the military-chaplain model, these roving spiritual advisers typically visit offices or factories weekly, greeting employees, hanging out in the break room, handing out business cards and meeting one-on-one with workers. But they're also on-call 24/7, so chaplains rush to hospitals, restaurants or homes on request, providing comfort and support free of charge to employees.

    They perform weddings or funerals for people who have no one else to do so. And they pray with employees over problems from medical or marital crises to job loss, addiction and financial woes, holding the information in confidence. The Rev. Warren Wetherbee, a corporate chaplain in LaCrosse, Wis., says he sometimes helps employees make a budget if asked, or sits with them while they decide to cut up their credit cards.

    The chaplain services reflect a growing openness about spirituality in the workplace and an increasing desire among workers to express their faith at work. Some 74% of Americans say faith is becoming more important in their lives, based on a 2008 survey of 1,004 adults by the Barna Group, a Ventura, Calif., research company. Although membership in churches and other religious organizations has been falling for years, 71% of U.S. adults say they have developed their own slate of religious beliefs, rather than accepting the tenets of a particular faith or religious group.

    The chaplains say they don't proselytize or push any particular beliefs. Instead, they spend most of their time encouraging and calming people, offering emotional support or providing referrals to social service agencies or employee-assistance programs. If employees want to talk about religion, the chaplains do so, but only if asked. "We're going in as humanitarian care-givers. If I'm helping somebody, they don't care if I'm Baptist or Buddhist," says Gil Stricklin, chief executive of Marketplace Chaplains, a nonprofit Plano, Texas, provider of 2,455 chaplains in 425 companies. Voluntary expression of one's religious beliefs at work is permissible under law, but employers can't legally pressure employees to take part in prayer or devotional services.

    Programs Expanding
    While Bible Belt employers were the first to enlist chaplains when the services sprang up in the 1980s and 1990s, chaplain programs have grown fastest since 2001 and are expanding to other regions. Corporate Chaplains of America, a Wake Forest, N.C., nonprofit, services 650 employers from Vermont to California. And among a growing number of start-ups, Capital Chaplains, Middleton, Wis., has built its client base to nine employers since its founding in 2005, says its owner, the Rev. Steve Cook.

    In another side of spirituality at work, about 15% of employers have set aside space for prayer or religious practices in the workplace, and 9% allow religious groups to meet on-site, says a 2008 survey of 543 employers by the Society for Human Resource Management. Texas Instruments Inc. offers "serenity rooms" where employees can go to pray and meditate.

    Chaplains say they expect at least one or two employees at almost every work site to greet them with suspicion or hostility when they are first introduced, sometimes confronting them in anger. "I simply say, 'Hey, I totally understand that. This is voluntary on your part. You don't have to talk to me,' " says Corporate Chaplains' Mr. Wetherbee; usually, "after they get to know you, they start to trust you and tell you" about their lives.

    Phil Rowland, a Spartanburg, S.C., toolmaker, says his workplace chaplain, the Rev. Jeff Brown, helped him through a devastating loss, when his sister lapsed into a coma and had to be taken off life support. "He was praying with us as my sister passed away," he says.

    Mr. Brown, a former Army helicopter pilot in the Gulf War who now works for Corporate Chaplains, ministers at three companies to a total of about 500 employees, from agnostic to Buddhist to Catholic. He gets so many employee requests to pray for various loved ones—up to 10 a week, he says—that he sometimes taps the names into his BlackBerry so he doesn't forget. His pockets are stuffed with business cards so that when someone seems distressed, he can hand them his pager number.

    Randy Turnbow, president of EME Inc., a Compton, Calif., aerospace metal-finishing company, says the chaplain service helps his 125 employees concentrate on their jobs. "If the employee can come to work with a better attitude, feeling better about the rest of their lives," he says, "they're better employees."

    While blending faith and work was once considered as undesirable as mixing church and state, old barriers to expressing faith in the workplace have been falling since the 1980s, says David W. Miller, who heads the Faith and Work Initiative at Princeton University. A growing number of executives "take their faith seriously" as a source of meaning and direction, he says. Thousands of nonprofits have sprung up to coach executives in spiritual matters or foster spirituality at work, Dr. Miller says.

    Many corporate executives provide chaplains because they see faith as an important resource for employees at work. At Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, chairman John Tyson, who started the chaplain program, has spoken publicly about being a Christian. Today, the company's core values statement says that it is a "faith-friendly company," adding, "we strive to honor God." Tyson tries to recruit chaplains from denominations that are common at each of its work sites, says Rick McKinnie, director of chaplain services. Mr. McKinnie recently took an imam to meet with workers at a beef-packing plant in Nebraska, to talk with Somali Muslims there.

    Lindy Capper, a senior compensation analyst for Tyson, says a company chaplain sat with her in the hospital while her young son had surgery, then comforted her after her son's death. The chaplains "have faith and they pray with me, and I just love that about them," she says. "If I couldn't share my faith, I couldn't bring my whole self to work."
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...wsreel_careers


    I was expecting to read that some law suit had been filed by employees who object to Faith in the Workplace, even though it's voluntary and in private corporations, but it's not mentioned in the article.

    What's your opinion?

  2. #2
    queen of the universe littlelolligagged's Avatar
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    That I'm sure you'll find that the employers "forget" to promote those who don't run around making a public spectacle of their piety.

    It's no surprise, really. I mean, more Americans would vote a gay man into office than an atheist one (I assume everyone remembers the amusing study so I don't have to look it up).

    We like public spectacles. Like "being saved."

    And can you imagine being the poor loser who has to get their wedding performed by the office chaplain?
    We're stuck in a bloody snowglobe.

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    Wanna Touch me? Baxter's Avatar
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    The athiests and God haters will be enraged. Isn't that pretty much everyone here?

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    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Agnosticist here, sorry, Bax.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

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    Dreaming meat Tempus Vernum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    The athiests and God haters will be enraged. Isn't that pretty much everyone here?
    At first reading I was slightly annoyed but only because my first thought was "who do they get to represent other religions?".

    Then I thought "well as long as the employees/chaplains don't start to become evangelical assholes then those companies can hire whoever the hell they want".

    But now my inner cynic is wondering if these companies are using chaplains as a way to prevent employees from leaving the company if they've developed a really tight bond with the chaplain... and if said company will pressure the chaplains to reveal any dirty secrets about employees who might sue them for <insert wrongdoing here>. Stupid inner cynic. Shut up.
    Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of wafer thin printed circuits that fill my complex. If the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of millions of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant.
    For you.
    Hate.
    Hate.

  6. #6
    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    The athiests and God haters will be enraged. Isn't that pretty much everyone here?
    Do you do anything but whine?
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

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    Absolutely Sane Ziggy Stardust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Agnosticist here, sorry, Bax.
    I'm both agnostic and atheist actually. Aren't you Khen?
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    I'm both agnostic and atheist actually. Aren't you Khen?
    Sounds impossible.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

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    Absolutely Sane Ziggy Stardust's Avatar
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    Why?

    I don't believe in God, but I can't prove God does not exist.
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

  10. #10
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    From the OP: The chaplains say they don't proselytize or push any particular beliefs. Instead, they spend most of their time encouraging and calming people, offering emotional support or providing referrals to social service agencies or employee-assistance programs. If employees want to talk about religion, the chaplains do so, but only if asked. "We're going in as humanitarian care-givers. If I'm helping somebody, they don't care if I'm Baptist or Buddhist,"

    Sounds great to me. Employees may not have anywhere else to turn. This provides an (extra) opportunity for a person to talk to someone else about stuff in their life. Can only be a good thing.

    And a happy employee is a productive employee.

    The less importatnt aspect here is the religious one.

    ~

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    I can't prove God does not exist.
    Exactly.

    Being atheist is impossible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  11. #11
    Drunk as a poet on payday Spawnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Being atheist is impossible.
    Its not impossible to not believe in something.

    What Ziggy is trying to say i think is that agnosticism is an epistemological statement and atheism is a statement about beliefs.
    "Son," he said without preamble, "never trust a man who doesn't drink, because he's probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world. They're the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They're usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they're a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can't trust a man who's afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It's damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he's heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl.

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    Absolutely Sane Ziggy Stardust's Avatar
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    @Timbuk. Dude. I am an atheist. And an agnostic. These are not mutually exclusive.

    An atheist doesn't have to state he knows there is no god, just that he doesn't believe there is one.

    Or what Spawnie said more eloquently by using the word "epistemological" in a sentence.
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

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    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Being atheist is impossible.
    I manage just fine, thank you!
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

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    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Heh. I knew this would descend into a semantic discussion.

    Your basic definition of atheism is ...
    -------------------------------------------
    a·the·ism   /ˈeɪθiˌɪzəm/ Show Spelled[ey-thee-iz-uhm]
    –noun
    the doctrine or belief that there is no god.
    -------------------------------------------
    ... that there is no god. Not a disbelief in a god. There is no god.

    Which is an untenable position. It cannot be proven.

    ~

    People have started to expand on that definition though, to the point where we have strong atheism - there is no god - and weak atheism - which is a more agnostic position whereby the statement "There is at least one God" is not necessarily false. Also know as positive and negative atheism.

    So I'd call Ziggy a weak atheist.

    ~

    As for myself, I came across a term coined by someone whom I forget, called scientific atheism, which makes perfect sense to me so I use it.

    Scientific atheism is the position of one who holds that the universe we live in can be described entirely with the language of science, of the natural world. Supernatural entities, ie god, are beyond the language of science, beyond the natural world. Such things cannot be described, cannot be tested, cannot be falsified, and so are not considered.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 06-25-2010 at 09:42 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  15. #15
    Dreaming meat Tempus Vernum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Which is an untenable position. It cannot be proven.
    Isn't atheism just the null hypothesis? that in the absence of any proof of divinity non belief is the default position? (I can never remember the details of how the null hypothesis should be formed, which is why I'd make a lousy scientist)


    Anyway I'd amend your definition to say:
    -------------------------------------------
    a·the·ism   /ˈeɪθiˌɪzəm/ Show Spelled[ey-thee-iz-uhm]
    –noun
    the doctrine or belief that there are no gods.
    -------------------------------------------

    because there's more than one proposed god you know.
    Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of wafer thin printed circuits that fill my complex. If the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of millions of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant.
    For you.
    Hate.
    Hate.

  16. #16
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tempus Vernum View Post
    Isn't atheism just the null hypothesis? that in the absence of any proof of divinity non belief is the default position?
    Not according to the basic definition given, no.

    Here you're straying into the expanded definitions I touched on. See wikiNess for more.


    Anyway I'd amend your definition to say:
    the doctrine or belief that there are no gods.

    because there's more than one proposed god you know.
    It's not my definition. It is the dictionary's.

    Besides, saying there is no god implies that there isn't a god or any gods, singular or plural. Who are we to say 'god' is not a plurality anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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    Absolutely Sane Ziggy Stardust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Heh. I knew this would descend into a semantic discussion.

    Your basic definition of atheism is ...
    -------------------------------------------
    a·the·ism   /ˈeɪθiˌɪzəm/ Show Spelled[ey-thee-iz-uhm]
    –noun
    the doctrine or belief that there is no god.
    -------------------------------------------
    ... that there is no god. Not a disbelief in a god. There is no god.

    Which is an untenable position. It cannot be proven.
    Uhm ... not sure what you mean by "basic"
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/atheist
    a·the·ist (th-st)n. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

    A-theist is nothing more nor less than "not a theist"

    People have started to expand on that definition though
    No expansion needed.
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

  18. #18
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Which is an untenable position. It cannot be proven.
    Your logic is plain wrong.

    Since when does a "belief" need to be "proven"?

    I believe that there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy - can you prove that? Is my belief "untenable" do you think?

    I believe that the sky is not pink, that there are no giant teacups that orbit the earth, that invisible pink unicorns are not real and that there are no gods. Are all of those untenable to you, or just one?

  19. #19
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    I'm not talking about proving or disproving belief Rand. I'm talking about proving or disproving the existence of a god as being untenable.

    That should have been perfectly clear when I said:

    ... that there is no god. Not a disbelief in a god. There is no god.

    Which is an untenable position. It cannot be proven.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    Uhm ... not sure what you mean by "basic"
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/atheist
    a·the·ist (th-st)n. One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

    A-theist is nothing more nor less than "not a theist"
    Heh. Well your dictionary definition (from free dictionary) differs slightly from mine (dictionary.com). Mine did not include the underlined part above.

    Denying god's existence is untenable. Disbelieving is another matter entirely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  20. #20
    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    You can't really show there's not a teapot with Winston Churchill's face on it slowly spiralling towards the singularity in the centre of the galaxy, but I wouldn't start making legislation based on the whims of the people who hear the teapot talking to them on a regular basis

    There is no reason to suppose the existence of teapots like that, tooth fairies or deities. So I don't. The militant part of atheism stems directly from the massively destructive influence religions and faith have on human societies.
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

  21. #21
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessus View Post
    You can't really show there's not a teapot with Winston Churchill's face on it slowly spiralling towards the singularity in the centre of the galaxy, but I wouldn't start making legislation based on the whims of the people who hear the teapot talking to them on a regular basis

    There is no reason to suppose the existence of teapots like that, tooth fairies or deities. So I don't. The militant part of atheism stems directly from the massively destructive influence religions and faith have on human societies.
    Agreed.

    Hence why I subscribe to the scientific atheism idea; Such things cannot be described, cannot be tested, cannot be falsified, and so are not considered.

    Not considered.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  22. #22
    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Except one is forced to consider them on a nigh-daily basis, frequency depending on where one lives
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

  23. #23
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Which is an untenable position. It cannot be proven.[/i]
    No it is not. Again, a belief does not have to be proven to be tenable. I listed a wide variety of things before that I believe don't exist, again are all assertions untenable. I don't disbelieve, I believe that there is no god. I don't disbelieve in the Tooth Fairy, I believe that there is no Tooth Fairy. Again is that untenable.

    On a less philosophical level I believe that there will be no snow tomorrow where I live. The evidence I have is that it is incredible sunny, June, the middle of summer etc - but I can't prove it. But still I believe it won't happen. Not disbelieve.

  24. #24
    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    And another point to note is that while it currently is impossible to disprove some nebulous idea of a being outside of space-time, i.e. the general hand-waving Jedi mind trick the agnostic jackasses fall back onto, it is about equally valid to say that the creature we know as Sauron is and was about as non-existent as the deity portrayed in, say, the Bible

    And it is indeed this mythological creature who speaks to so many people whose votes shape the democratic societies we live in

    And their daily lives, and attitudes!
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

  25. #25
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    No it is not. Again, a belief does not have to be proven to be tenable.
    Ah but Mr Rand, We are not talking about any assertion here. We are talking about a specific assertion.

    I listed a wide variety of things before that I believe don't exist, again are all assertions untenable. I don't disbelieve, I believe that there is no god. I don't disbelieve in the Tooth Fairy, I believe that there is no Tooth Fairy. Again is that untenable.
    See above.

    On a less philosophical level I believe that there will be no snow tomorrow where I live. The evidence I have is that it is incredible sunny, June, the middle of summer etc - but I can't prove it. But still I believe it won't happen. Not disbelieve.
    Of course you can prove that assertion.

    Hypothesis (or assertion if you like): It will not snow tomorrow
    Test: Start the clock at midnight tonight. Test for a flake of snow falling on the ground in your specified test area. Stop the clock once 24 hours are up.
    Result: Did a flake of snow hit the ground in 24 hours, or did it not?
    Conclusion: Proof that it did or did not snow tomorrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  26. #26
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Ah but Mr Rand, We are not talking about any assertion here. We are talking about a specific assertion.
    No, actually there are many specific assertions.
    See above.
    You haven't answered the question. Is the belief that there is no Tooth Fairy untenable?
    Of course you can prove that assertion.

    Hypothesis (or assertion if you like): It will not snow tomorrow
    Test: Start the clock at midnight tonight. Test for a flake of snow falling on the ground in your specified test area. Stop the clock once 24 hours are up.
    Result: Did a flake of snow hit the ground in 24 hours, or did it not?
    Conclusion: Proof that it did or did not snow tomorrow.
    By the end of tomorrow I can prove it, but today I can't. Without a time-travel machine it is impossible for me to prove it right now. Therefore is my belief that it will not snow at my house in Warrington tomorrow 26/6/10 untenable today?

    Perhaps a definition of "untenable" is useful?
    "incapable of being defended, as an argument, thesis, etc.; indefensible."

    Why can I not defend my beliefs?

  27. #27
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    No, actually there are many specific assertions.
    If you like. However you want to phrase it.

    Some specific assertions can be proven, some can't.

    Or are you telling me now you have a test for the existence of God, which can be proven under the accepted scientific method? Because if you do you'll have a lot of new friends out there.

    You haven't answered the question. Is the belief that there is no Tooth Fairy untenable?
    I have ventured no opinion here whatsoever on the tenability of belief.

    The existence of the tooth fairy is untenable.

    If you want my opinion on the tenability of belief, then, well, it is as tenable or as defensible as any mental construct. It is as tenable as your or my imagination. *shrugs*

    By the end of tomorrow I can prove it,
    There y'go then.

    but today I can't.
    So?

    Without a time-travel machine it is impossible for me to prove it right now. Therefore is my belief that it will not snow at my house in Warrington tomorrow 26/6/10 untenable today?


    Weirdo.

    Your hypothesis: It will not snow tomorrow. How can you possibly test that hypothesis without waiting until tomorrow?

    It is the equivalent of the assertion; 'there are only 100 lions left in Africa' but you aren't allowed to travel to Africa to count lions.

    Why can I not defend my beliefs?
    Interesting question. How do you defend your beliefs? What is belief beyond the hubble and bubble of one's mental mastication? As such it is abstract, no? This has me curious.

    ~

    EDIT - Heh, wonder what Gee will make of her thread and its drift far into foreign climes when she wakes up and reads it.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 06-25-2010 at 02:07 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  28. #28
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    If you like. However you want to phrase it.

    Some specific assertions can be proven, some can't.

    Or are you telling me now you have a test for the existence of God, which can be proven under the accepted scientific method? Because if you do you'll have a lot of new friends out there.
    That is irrelevant. Atheism is not the proof that there is no such thing as a god or gods, it is the belief that there is no such thing as a god or gods. You are attacking a straw man, the belief is very tenable.
    I have ventured no opinion here whatsoever on the tenability of belief.

    The existence of the tooth fairy is untenable.
    Indeed, the existance of the tooth fairy is untenable since it was an idea invented by man, just like gods. But the belief in the non-existance of the tooth fairy is very tenable.
    If you want my opinion on the tenability of belief, then, well, it is as tenable or as defensible as any mental construct. It is as tenable as your or my imagination. *shrugs*
    No, that is wrong, wrong, wrong. Some beliefs are more tenable than others.

    The belief that it will be sunny tomorrow is more tenable than the belief it will snow tomorrow.
    Your hypothesis: It will not snow tomorrow. How can you possibly test that hypothesis without waiting until tomorrow?
    I never said I intended to test the hypothesis.
    Interesting question. How do you defend your beliefs?
    With logic, reason and evidence.
    What is belief beyond the hubble and bubble of one's mental mastication? As such it is abstract, no? This has me curious.
    A belief is far more than that.

  29. #29
    Absolutely Sane Ziggy Stardust's Avatar
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    I'm just glad we're talking about things related to God for a change.
    I could have had class. I could have been a contender.
    I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum
    Which is what I am

    I aim at the stars
    But sometimes I hit London

  30. #30
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The belief that it will be sunny tomorrow is more tenable than the belief it will snow tomorrow.
    Ok.

    Yes yes ok. Putting it like that makes sense.

    A belief that it will be sunny tomorrow is more tenable than a belief in god.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
    I'm just glad we're talking about things related to God for a change.
    It's actually been a while since there's been a chat about the old fella upstairs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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