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reason and theism, continued

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Mr. P

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Re: --

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Quote:Nice juxtaposition here:Mad also conveniently cast us in a dark place by assuming that anything that would be presented as evidence would be dismissed by us. Wow...give us a chance.The FACT is, there has never been ANY evidence.I didn't even have to cut and paste to get them next to one another.....aaannnd? What is this supposed to mean. You are asserting there has been evidence then?Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: just because

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MadQuote:My belief in God can be (though probably not accurately) boiled down to two lines of thought...I don't see why anything should exist at all, rather than not exist...It's a daily kind of experience, something that I see in the character of the world around me, which I take to be, for lack of a better word, divine.What mad is demonstrating is another example of the "god of the gaps", but if he feels content to call nature god than so be it. MadQuote:Yeah, there are a lot of people who believe in a lot of different things, and sometimes those people do things that make life really hard for the rest of us. But is it necessary to attack the belief in order to curb the behavior? It may be necessary, especially if the belief requires one to challenge/change others to their way of thinking and behaving. Challenging their belief seems to be the only way to show object observers that their rules are not universally accepted or beneficial.MadQuote:If we put two people side by side, and they both claim to believe in Allah, but one is a fanatical jihadist and the other is just some guy that lives next door to you and doesn't cause any problems, is the belief itself the problem, or is the problem more specific to the person?The problem is both the belief and the person. The person has the capacity to be nosey and controlling, the belief gives them the justification to act on their feelings. While I agree that the peaceful Muslim deserves respect for their decision to stay out of other peoples business, what about their family? Might they cause me grief justified by a belief in some imaginary guy? As I have said before I do not care one way or another what a person's individual beliefs are, but religions are notorious for pushing their beliefs on others.Later
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Re: just because

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There are a lot of different reasons that a person might come to believe one thing or another, what I do not understand is the capacity to believe in something in contradiction of the evidence, or lack of evidence. Why do theists desperately cling to their belief with such conviction? With very few exceptions I have no real problem accepting new evidence and adjusting my beliefs accordingly. Why do theists continue to lead a life of servitude to a master that is for all practical purposes nonexistent? Later
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Quote:But if you can think of a supernatural analogy, feel free to suggest it.The only useful analogy I can make regarding the supernatural is this:Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Frank 013: What mad is demonstrating is another example of the "god of the gaps", but if he feels content to call nature god than so be it.You may be right about the first half of your statement, but it's inaccurate to suppose that I'm equating God to nature. That's a cosmological position; what I'm talking about is an ontological position.Challenging their belief seems to be the only way to show object observers that their rules are not universally accepted or beneficial.That's working pretty well do far, is it?The problem is both the belief and the person. The person has the capacity to be nosey and controlling, the belief gives them the justification to act on their feelings.If that's the case, then it looks to me as though depriving a person of one belief will only serve to set them back temporarily. If they're really intent on, say, improving their own situation through violence, then making jihadist Islamicism untenable will only force them to find another justification. It seems more practical to me to put our efforts towards getting people to fit their behavior to a model, and let them adapt their own beliefs to that behavior.While I agree that the peaceful Muslim deserves respect for their decision to stay out of other peoples business, what about their family? Might they cause me grief justified by a belief in some imaginary guy?They might. Can the same not be said for every position? You deserve respect to the degree that you don't harm anyone else, but if you raise your children to be atheists, and they use it as a justification to persecute someone else, then ought that to reflect back on your atheism the same way you propose the actions of his family ought to reflect back on his beliefs?With very few exceptions I have no real problem accepting new evidence and adjusting my beliefs accordingly.I think it's pretty likely that, for most people, their filter against contradictory evidence is strong enough that they aren't even aware that they're ignoring a piece of evidence. Who knows -- it might be the same for you.misterpessimistic: The only useful analogy I can make regarding the supernatural is this:Then I guess we're stuck making analogies to natural phenomenon, which is fine with me, since that's what analogies do.
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Quote:but if you raise your children to be atheists, and they use it as a justification to persecute someone else, then ought that to reflect back on your atheism the same way you propose the actions of his family ought to reflect back on his beliefs?The thing is...HOW much persecution do we have IN THE NAME OF atheism?Quote:but if you raise your children to be atheists, and they use it as a justification to persecute someone else, then ought that to reflect back on your atheism the same way you propose the actions of his family ought to reflect back on his beliefs?I prefer to just leave the supernatural in the story books, since it is a fiction. That is what my analogy was actually saying after all!Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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misterpessimistic: The thing is...HOW much persecution do we have IN THE NAME OF atheism?What do you mean by "in the name of atheism"? If you mean, persecution of theists by atheists, in the interest of irradicating religions, then we have plenty of it. If you want specific references, you can re-read the Dawkins thread that's been closed and relocated to the forum for "The God Delusion" discussion.I prefer to just leave the supernatural in the story books, since it is a fiction.Fine. But if you want to convince me of that, you're going to have to do more than just assert it.
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Quote:If you want specific references, you can re-read the Dawkins thread that's been closedI think I remember some of those references...but I also believe someon mentioned that these instances were NOT in the NAME OF atheism, but of some other dogmatic ideology.So...ah...no...Mr. P. Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!Mr. P's Bookshelf.I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - AsanaThe one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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MadQuote:You may be right about the first half of your statement, but it's inaccurate to suppose that I'm equating God to nature. That's a cosmological position; what I'm talking about is an ontological position.What you are calling god I call natural until I see some reason to change that definition.MadQuote:That's working pretty well so far, is it?Actually yes, the last time I checked Atheism was the fastest growing belief in America, furthermore this tactic has helped keep religious belief out of our public school system. MadQuote:If they're really intent on, say, improving their own situation through violence, then making jihadist Islamicism untenable will only force them to find another justification. It seems more practical to me to put our efforts towards getting people to fit their behavior to a model, and let them adapt their own beliefs to that behavior.And how would you recommend changing their behavior without taking away the justification?MadQuote:They might. Can the same not be said for every position?No, because not every position encourages intolerance of other beliefs.Later
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Re: God Matters

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Niall--In regards to your remarks about Godel, his theorem is only applicable to formal systems. Your use of it elsewhere is like attempting to argue that our conception of the solar system, with its star and various planets, is necessarily incomplete. It's not really applicable.Quote:Imagine a cimpanzee looking up into the sky and the sun and declaring: "I understand all that you are, great energy in all places and all times...I have surveyed the total horizon of your domain...and have deemed, for a fact, that you cannot be created or destroyed!"This "fact" would be based upon observation and experience, though, unlike claims about God. If we have never really seen energy "created" or "destroyed", we have an initial reason to believe that this is so. However, in regards to God, we cannot make such an assumption, because God is posited only as an explanation for contingency, not because we have any sensory input to validate this claim.Quote:Again, imagine the Chimp: "All of this, as far as I can see or imagine, everything, even things I can't imagine or can't see...none of this is necessary: there is no necessity anywhere for anything ever...this I know, because I know everything."I have not said what the chimp is saying, Dissident. All that I have said is it is not contradictory to believe that all that exists is contingent and there is no necessary existence. I am not claiming that I know for a fact that this is the case, only that it is a possibility and there is no reason to exclude it by asserting that God is the real explanation. The whole basis of the contingency argument for God's existence rests upon the unfounded premise that contingent things cannot exist on their own, and this is plainly false.Quote:And, you know this how?...."now, let me tell you the entirety of my birth...all that it meant, its causes, purposes, and all the complexities of its contingencies...and let me show you how none of it was necessary...a non-necessity."I know my birth is contingent for the simple fact that it is not self-contradictory to say something like, "I may have not existed!"So, let's look at my argument again, instead of misrepresenting it with implausible stuff about chimps looking at the sun, shall we?Mad is arguing that we have reason to believe in God because God explains why there is something rather than nothing. Most everything in the universe can be conceived of as not existing, and therefore they are contingent. What is needed is something that necessarily exists to form the foundation of this contingent existence.My critique of this is to remark that God does not explain why there is something rather than nothing--instead, the argument asserts that at some point we don't need to explain existence, that something can "necessarily" exist. Of course, we don't know the identity of this necessary existence--all we know is that it necessarily exists, and it coudl very well be energy, a giant flying goat, or God. Even if Mad's argument proved that something necessarily exists, it wouldn't prove what this thing is, only that it necessarily exists.My second point focuses on the premises, arguing that Mad's argument doesn't prove that something necessarily exists. The premise that contingent things cannot exist without a necessary existence to found it is false. Perhaps the entire universe may have not existed, but the fact that it may have not existed doesn't entail that it DOESN'T exist if the universe is in fact all there is. It just means that its existence isn't necessary.
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