What measurement would you use to determine is anything is in fact a fact or an opinion?

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"On the internet, 98.351% of non-facts are easily spotted by non-cited, ridiculously accurate statistics and erroneous attributions to famous thinkers." - Sir Isaac Newton

But Einstein believed in God!

But all the founding fathers believed in God!



Neil deGrasse Tyson's twitter today:

"Skeptic's Credo: You're entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts."


Sadly this is what the apologist Dinesh D'souza says in his debates against hitchens and harris.  


'You're entitled to your own opinions , but not to your own facts." 


D'souza likes to admit that atheists of course (of course!) are good people and do things , but ONLY because Christianity is so rampant in the world.  If not for Christianity , Atheists wouldn't know what it is to be nice and give to charity.  Christianity has been the main cause of social progress and equal rights.  


Sorry D'souza , but if you ever read the bible , you would know Christianities progressive nature is actually going against what the bible teaches.  


He speaks his points so eloquently I am afraid many people fall for the nonsense.  : /

Not to take D'souza's side at all, but I think there was a time, perhaps for a couple centuries, where religion really was responsible for social progress.  King's were able to assume power (a good thing when the previous state was basically anarchy) because they invoked some mystical divine rite of religion.  I'm not a historian, but I've seen one on TV, and it seems to me that Charlemagne couldn't have set Europe back into motion without allying himself with the Church of Rome.


Now I would like to think that literacy would have eventually spread and people would have come to their senses enough to establish a society without the influence of the Church, but politics doesn't make much more sense to people today than it did 1200 years ago.  I do think that some period of 'invoking divine inheritance' can speed things along, I just wish it were easier to get rid of the tool once it had served its purpose.

You might like to read this discussion started a while back.

Blaming the religious for being anti-advancement is one of the major mistakes atheists make. Religion was as the very base of advancement in our particular phase of society. Until very recently all major learning institutions were religious. This extraction of knowledge from religion is in fact quite recent.

Thanks, TAA,


I've done a lot of reading and thinking on this very subject over the years and I'll definitely check out the discussion that you've linked.  I have strong opinions that you are not truly atheist as long as you are a 'church hater', such as those who simply cannot even consider the possibility that religion might have been an essential, or at least helpful, step in the development of society.  I tried to voice these opinions in another discussion on Gobekli Tepe where people were up on arms about whether the archeological findings represented early religious institutions or civic institutions.  I feel that in early society the lines between the development of religion and civics was moot.


In establishing social order one cannot rely on a widespread medium of reason.  It may in fact be justifiable to kick start things with an appeal to superstition.  I happen to believe that Jesus understood this, and recognized that Judaism was just a system of social structure which he felt had outlived it's usefulness.  This goes into a debate which is likely far beyond internet forum discussion however, so I mostly just edge into it a bit in order to inspire some thought where I can.

Philosophically and scientifically speaking, we use the Hypothetico-Deductive method of reasoning to find the BEST conclusion using logic, reason, and the dialectical process.  This method is also self-correcting.


So much better than saying "Goddidit"


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