Author Topic: A question for theists  (Read 4070 times)

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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #464 on: Yesterday at 08:55:16 PM »
I agree that we appear to be rational beings. No argument there. That is not the point. The problem for you is that the process of evolution does not select based on whether an adaptation is true or false (it is oblivious to that), so us humans end up believing a lot of false things even though they still help us survive and adapt. That means your belief that we are rational beings has a low probability of being true....and, if that is the case (as probability would suggest), you have nothing to ground rationality in and must consider the real possibility that everything that you think you believe is true is just an illusion.

You are still shooting yourself in the foot. Religion is argued to be one of these false beliefs, that may or may not help us survive, but has certainly occupied a position in the brains of people who need to believe that there is an easy magical point to it all.

If you carry on with shooting yourself in the foot, you may be required to bring a crutch much better than your religion. Perhaps another person with a better argument.

Can you give examples of how your irrational brain has fooled you into believing parts of your religion?
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #465 on: Yesterday at 09:10:25 PM »
For every Part a theist doesnt believe in the writings,they dismiss without thought. As an example why would a God not be inclusive to all peoples instead of one small group? This small group exploits the Messiah to the tune of billions of dollars in aid yearly because someone they refuse to believe is a Messiah needs a kingdom to return to,and Christian followers ACTUALLY BELIEVE the clown is coming back.

 A fool and his money are soon parted,just ask Joel Osteen. Who would have thought the con would last 2000+ years
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #466 on: Yesterday at 09:13:22 PM »
this is quite...bizarre.   How is an adaptation "true" or false"?   considering that there is nothing to show that every thing is an illusion, and plenty not (place your bare hand in molten steel), it's a rather silly argument.

Well, velkyn, for once we agree on something....at least in the sense that when you first hear this, it does seem bizarre. However, it has received a tremendous amount of attention and as I indicated earlier in the thread, some learned non-theists grant a certain level of validity to it. Both theists and non-theists have taken exception to certain elements of it which has led to varying versions and refinement but it does maintain some genuine backbone. I have taken the time to really explore it and have read many of the attempts at refutation. Believe it or not, even I found some shortcomings in different versions of the argument but at least for now I find it rather compelling. I will share the video that helped me to at least get a grasp on the basic argument that led me to dig deeper and be able to consider the implications it presents:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uizZhrX1C6A

It is not a new argument. It has appeared in different forms by C.S. Lewis, Victor Reppert, J.P Moreland, and most recently by Alvin Plantinga.

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The request to provide physical evidence of a non-physical deity is a logical category error.

BS, what evidence would you need to believe in any one of the other gods that humans claim is as real as yours?

I have not studied every religion known to man but I have studied the major religions to a degree. For me, Christianity offers the most unifying and best evidenced. There is a cohesiveness to it that brings together all of the "why" and "how" questions most of us ask about the reality we share. That's it in a nutshell.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:31:34 PM by BibleStudent »

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #467 on: Yesterday at 09:28:24 PM »
I agree that we appear to be rational beings. No argument there. That is not the point. The problem for you is that the process of evolution does not select based on whether an adaptation is true or false (it is oblivious to that), so us humans end up believing a lot of false things even though they still help us survive and adapt. That means your belief that we are rational beings has a low probability of being true....and, if that is the case (as probability would suggest), you have nothing to ground rationality in and must consider the real possibility that everything that you think you believe is true is just an illusion.

You are still shooting yourself in the foot. Religion is argued to be one of these false beliefs, that may or may not help us survive, but has certainly occupied a position in the brains of people who need to believe that there is an easy magical point to it all.

If you carry on with shooting yourself in the foot, you may be required to bring a crutch much better than your religion. Perhaps another person with a better argument.

Can you give examples of how your irrational brain has fooled you into believing parts of your religion?

If there is no God then you are correct.

Here's the catch....and, again, this is based on there being a God. If God exists, then my mind can be relied upon to produce rational beliefs because the Creator is a rational Being and has equipped us with agency (a mind) and the physical faculties capable of producing rational thought. I can identify the Source of my rational thought. The non-theist can hypothesize a source of rational thought but the likelihood that naturalistic evolution produced it in the sense that it can be deemed reliable is low....in fact, very low.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #468 on: Yesterday at 09:52:17 PM »
For every Part a theist doesnt believe in the writings,they dismiss without thought. As an example why would a God not be inclusive to all peoples instead of one small group? This small group exploits the Messiah to the tune of billions of dollars in aid yearly because someone they refuse to believe is a Messiah needs a kingdom to return to,and Christian followers ACTUALLY BELIEVE the clown is coming back.

 A fool and his money are soon parted,just ask Joel Osteen. Who would have thought the con would last 2000+ years

I'm curious...what bothers you or irritates you about people believing in God? I could be wrong but you seem to almost resent people like me for believing in God.

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #469 on: Yesterday at 11:20:23 PM »
If there is no God then you are correct.

Here's the catch....and, again, this is based on there being a God. If God exists, then my mind can be relied upon to produce rational beliefs because the Creator is a rational Being and has equipped us with agency (a mind) and the physical faculties capable of producing rational thought. I can identify the Source of my rational thought. The non-theist can hypothesize a source of rational thought but the likelihood that naturalistic evolution produced it in the sense that it can be deemed reliable is low....in fact, very low.

1) God may not have created you. He may have created somebody else, and we evolved naturally.
1b) We may still be irrational, because that is what is required for selfish survival. Understanding God may be hard, and require 200 years of meditation, to rid ourselves of our irrationality
2) God may be naturalistic, which means unfathomable as quantum mechanics
3) God may not require you to understand him/her/it.
4) We may have to become something else to understand God. Chronologically, we may not be yet equipped to understand God.
5) God may never be understandable
6) God may be diddling you
7) We may be made by a sub-God, who is diddling us
8) You may be right

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #470 on: Yesterday at 11:39:02 PM »
For every Part a theist doesnt believe in the writings,they dismiss without thought. As an example why would a God not be inclusive to all peoples instead of one small group? This small group exploits the Messiah to the tune of billions of dollars in aid yearly because someone they refuse to believe is a Messiah needs a kingdom to return to,and Christian followers ACTUALLY BELIEVE the clown is coming back.

 A fool and his money are soon parted,just ask Joel Osteen. Who would have thought the con would last 2000+ years

I'm curious...what bothers you or irritates you about people believing in God? I could be wrong but you seem to almost resent people like me for believing in God.
people with a belief in scripture and use of certain passages of scripture killed 100 million of my relatives. They used God and scripture to justify their actions. Then again guys like you will dismiss these Christians and their acts because  these guys were 'not really Christian'.

 You can always find ways to dismiss heinous acts like indigenous genocide or other genocides committed by Christians
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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #471 on: Today at 08:06:08 AM »
If this a syllogistic type argument, I cannot get my head around it.

Obviously, from these comments.

I agree that we appear to be rational beings. No argument there.

Following your own definition, you cannot make this claim unless you accept Philosophical Naturalism.

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That is not the point. The problem for you is that the process of evolution does not select based on whether an adaptation is true or false (it is oblivious to that),

This is factually incorrect. I will explain more in answer to the post where this was discussed.

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so us humans end up believing a lot of false things even though they still help us survive and adapt.

Evolution does not create beliefs.

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That means your belief that we are rational beings has a low probability of being true....and, if that is the case (as probability would suggest), you have nothing to ground rationality in and must consider the real possibility that everything that you think you believe is true is just an illusion.

Invalid consequences of a bad argument.

If there is no God then you are correct.

Here's the catch....and, again, this is based on there being a God. If God exists, then my mind can be relied upon to produce rational beliefs because the Creator is a rational Being and has equipped us with agency (a mind) and the physical faculties capable of producing rational thought.


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I can identify the Source of my rational thought.

There is a bigger catch, following your own definition of Philosophical Naturalism, it is impossible for you to identify the source of anything, or know that you are interacting with reality in a rational way, or that there is a god, or what any god might be like, or that you are capable of any rational thought at all, unless you assume Philosophical Naturalism.

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The non-theist can hypothesize a source of rational thought but the likelihood that naturalistic evolution produced it in the sense that it can be deemed reliable is low....in fact, very low.

Factually incorrect.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #472 on: Today at 10:08:08 AM »
I agree that we appear to be rational beings. No argument there.

Following your own definition, you cannot make this claim unless you accept Philosophical Naturalism.

Incorrect. I can believe that we are rational beings because if God created us and equipped us with the ability to be rational then I have the Source for that ability. You need to show how naturalistic evolution can produce reliable true beliefs….and not by demonstrating that we can observe that they are reliable…but because the process of evolution is capable of producing reliable beliefs. You evolved according to naturalistic processes that could give two hoots whether your beliefs are true or not. Evolution produces biological structures that either adapt and survive or they don’t….regardless of truth value.

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Evolution does not create beliefs.

If evolution is the cause of everything we are, including our perceived cognitive faculties, then I fail to see how beliefs are excluded. Where else could they have come from?

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That means your belief that we are rational beings has a low probability of being true....and, if that is the case (as probability would suggest), you have nothing to ground rationality in and must consider the real possibility that everything that you think you believe is true is just an illusion.

Invalid consequences of a bad argument.

An explanation for why you indicate this would be appreciated. Actually, your explanation is critical on this point.

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If there is no God then you are correct.

Here's the catch....and, again, this is based on there being a God. If God exists, then my mind can be relied upon to produce rational beliefs because the Creator is a rational Being and has equipped us with agency (a mind) and the physical faculties capable of producing rational thought.


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I can identify the Source of my rational thought.

There is a bigger catch, following your own definition of Philosophical Naturalism, it is impossible for you to identify the source of anything, or know that you are interacting with reality in a rational way, or that there is a god, or what any god might be like, or that you are capable of any rational thought at all, unless you assume Philosophical Naturalism.

No ma’am. As I indicated to Add Homonym, what you are claiming is true only if there is no God. If there is a God then Philosophical Naturalism is false and there is no need to consider whether my cognitive abilities can be relied upon to produce true beliefs.

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Quote
The non-theist can hypothesize a source of rational thought but the likelihood that naturalistic evolution produced it in the sense that it can be deemed reliable is low....in fact, very low.

Factually incorrect.

An explanation for why you indicate this would be appreciated.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #473 on: Today at 10:11:12 AM »
If there is no God then you are correct.

Here's the catch....and, again, this is based on there being a God. If God exists, then my mind can be relied upon to produce rational beliefs because the Creator is a rational Being and has equipped us with agency (a mind) and the physical faculties capable of producing rational thought. I can identify the Source of my rational thought. The non-theist can hypothesize a source of rational thought but the likelihood that naturalistic evolution produced it in the sense that it can be deemed reliable is low....in fact, very low.

1) God may not have created you. He may have created somebody else, and we evolved naturally.
1b) We may still be irrational, because that is what is required for selfish survival. Understanding God may be hard, and require 200 years of meditation, to rid ourselves of our irrationality
2) God may be naturalistic, which means unfathomable as quantum mechanics
3) God may not require you to understand him/her/it.
4) We may have to become something else to understand God. Chronologically, we may not be yet equipped to understand God.
5) God may never be understandable
6) God may be diddling you
7) We may be made by a sub-God, who is diddling us
8) You may be right

Number 2 is an interesting thought. I think there is enough of an argument to counter that but it is still an interesting thought.

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #474 on: Today at 10:27:34 AM »
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Incorrect. I can believe that we are rational beings because if God created us and equipped us with the ability to be rational then I have the Source for that ability. You need to show how naturalistic evolution can produce reliable true beliefs….and not by demonstrating that we can observe that they are reliable…but because the process of evolution is capable of producing reliable beliefs. You evolved according to naturalistic processes that could give two hoots whether your beliefs are true or not. Evolution produces biological structures that either adapt and survive or they don’t….regardless of truth value

That might well be true but then you would necessarily have to show there was  god in the first place to do this which rather renders the argument circular I think,
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #475 on: Today at 10:36:24 AM »
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Incorrect. I can believe that we are rational beings because if God created us and equipped us with the ability to be rational then I have the Source for that ability. You need to show how naturalistic evolution can produce reliable true beliefs….and not by demonstrating that we can observe that they are reliable…but because the process of evolution is capable of producing reliable beliefs. You evolved according to naturalistic processes that could give two hoots whether your beliefs are true or not. Evolution produces biological structures that either adapt and survive or they don’t….regardless of truth value

That might well be true but then you would necessarily have to show there was  god in the first place to do this which rather renders the argument circular I think,

The entirety of the argument is an argument for God. There is nothing circular about it. It demonstrates that belief in naturalism is irrational because naturalism relies on naturalistic causes which can never be shown to produce beliefs that are reliably true.

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #476 on: Today at 10:45:42 AM »
For every Part a theist doesnt believe in the writings,they dismiss without thought. As an example why would a God not be inclusive to all peoples instead of one small group? This small group exploits the Messiah to the tune of billions of dollars in aid yearly because someone they refuse to believe is a Messiah needs a kingdom to return to,and Christian followers ACTUALLY BELIEVE the clown is coming back.

 A fool and his money are soon parted,just ask Joel Osteen. Who would have thought the con would last 2000+ years

I'm curious...what bothers you or irritates you about people believing in God? I could be wrong but you seem to almost resent people like me for believing in God.
people with a belief in scripture and use of certain passages of scripture killed 100 million of my relatives. They used God and scripture to justify their actions. Then again guys like you will dismiss these Christians and their acts because  these guys were 'not really Christian'.

 You can always find ways to dismiss heinous acts like indigenous genocide or other genocides committed by Christians

I'm really sorry you have to live with that knowledge. I do understand your grievance.

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #477 on: Today at 10:53:04 AM »
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Incorrect. I can believe that we are rational beings because if God created us and equipped us with the ability to be rational then I have the Source for that ability. You need to show how naturalistic evolution can produce reliable true beliefs….and not by demonstrating that we can observe that they are reliable…but because the process of evolution is capable of producing reliable beliefs. You evolved according to naturalistic processes that could give two hoots whether your beliefs are true or not. Evolution produces biological structures that either adapt and survive or they don’t….regardless of truth value

That might well be true but then you would necessarily have to show there was  god in the first place to do this which rather renders the argument circular I think,

The entirety of the argument is an argument for God. There is nothing circular about it. It demonstrates that belief in naturalism is irrational because naturalism relies on naturalistic causes which can never be shown to produce beliefs that are reliably true.

Never.... Never.... Are you sure about that? Would you care to elaborate?

True is, no doubt, that dodge on this one. Anything that has been found out tends to be provisional rather than 'true' in the religious sense. Nonetheless, that we are having the conversation using technology that could hardly be guessed at 100 years ago suggests that some pretty accurate facts about teh way the world works have been accumulated. Still let's get down to philisophy sinve it is your favoured ground.

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Plantinga defined:

N as naturalism, which he defined as "the idea that there is no such person as God or anything like God; we might think of it as high-octane atheism or perhaps atheism-plus."[12]
E as the belief that human beings have evolved in conformity with current evolutionary theory
R as the proposition that our faculties are "reliable", where, roughly, a cognitive faculty is "reliable" if the great bulk of its deliverances are true. He specifically cited the example of a thermometer stuck at 72 °F (22 °C) placed in an environment which happened to be at 72 °F as an example of something that is not "reliable" in this sense[9]
and suggested that the conditional probability of R given N and E, or P(R|N&E), is low or inscrutable.[19][1]
 1. quoted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_argument_against_naturalism

This is the argument to which you refer as outlines by Plantinga. As an argument it appears to work well except for the heart - the " conditional probability of R given N and E, or P(R|N&E), is low or inscrutable" Plantinga gives no defence that I have seen for this estimation or guess as I prefer it. I know as I heard him lecture on this. This is an argument set up (with this low estimation) to show that a god has to exist. This can be seen as if one changes the 'low' to 'high', god puffs away. This is a classic 'don't look out of the window' argument like the ontological argument.

Now if we can look at nature and observe something factual then, fine, add it to the argument. Yet if this is all intellectual, well, how can one know this stuff? This is the argument of the desperate - desperate as the god that is wanted fails to show in any meaningful way for 2,000 years and intellectual cheating is all that is left.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #478 on: Today at 10:54:26 AM »
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Incorrect. I can believe that we are rational beings because if God created us and equipped us with the ability to be rational then I have the Source for that ability. You need to show how naturalistic evolution can produce reliable true beliefs….and not by demonstrating that we can observe that they are reliable…but because the process of evolution is capable of producing reliable beliefs. You evolved according to naturalistic processes that could give two hoots whether your beliefs are true or not. Evolution produces biological structures that either adapt and survive or they don’t….regardless of truth value

That might well be true but then you would necessarily have to show there was  god in the first place to do this which rather renders the argument circular I think,

The entirety of the argument is an argument for God. There is nothing circular about it. It demonstrates that belief in naturalism is irrational because naturalism relies on naturalistic causes which can never be shown to produce beliefs that are reliably true.

How can you say we are rational, when we are demonstrably not always? The argument presupposes that we are rational only in respect to deducing that God exists, by using incorrect data.

In other words, rationality has nothing to do with it. It's an assertion that we are built to deduce that God exists, no matter what evidence we have.
« Last Edit: Today at 11:02:37 AM by Add Homonym »
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #479 on: Today at 11:08:43 AM »
Never.... Never.... Are you sure about that? Would you care to elaborate?

True is, no doubt, that dodge on this one. Anything that has been found out tends to be provisional rather than 'true' in the religious sense. Nonetheless, that we are having the conversation using technology that could hardly be guessed at 100 years ago suggests that some pretty accurate facts about teh way the world works have been accumulated. Still let's get down to philisophy sinve it is your favoured ground.

How did I "dodge" something?

"Never...Never" type arguments/questions are irrelevant. Most everything we believe could very well be true but according to naturalism you can never know if they are or not....which means belief in naturalism is irrational.

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Plantinga defined:

N as naturalism, which he defined as "the idea that there is no such person as God or anything like God; we might think of it as high-octane atheism or perhaps atheism-plus."[12]
E as the belief that human beings have evolved in conformity with current evolutionary theory
R as the proposition that our faculties are "reliable", where, roughly, a cognitive faculty is "reliable" if the great bulk of its deliverances are true. He specifically cited the example of a thermometer stuck at 72 °F (22 °C) placed in an environment which happened to be at 72 °F as an example of something that is not "reliable" in this sense[9]
and suggested that the conditional probability of R given N and E, or P(R|N&E), is low or inscrutable.[19][1]

This is the argument to which you refer as outlines by Plantinga. As an argument it appears to work well except for the heart - the " conditional probability of R given N and E, or P(R|N&E), is low or inscrutable" Plantinga gives no defence that I have seen for this estimation or guess as I prefer it. I know as I heard him lecture on this. This is an argument set up (with this low estimation) to show that a god has to exist. This can be seen as if one changes the 'low' to 'high', god puffs away. This is a classic 'don't look out of the window' argument like the ontological argument.
 1. quoted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_argument_against_naturalism


Many others have attempted to refute the probability assessment and there is nothing holding you back from doing the same. Have at it. You are only doing yourself a disservice by merely asserting that it is inaccurate.

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Now if we can look at nature and observe something factual then, fine, add it to the argument. Yet if this is all intellectual, well, how can one know this stuff? This is the argument of the desperate - desperate as the god that is wanted fails to show in any meaningful way for 2,000 years and intellectual cheating is all that is left.

This does not make sense to me. I do not understand what you are getting at here.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #480 on: Today at 11:21:33 AM »
How can you say we are rational, when we are demonstrably not always? The argument presupposes that we are rational only in respect to deducing that God exists, by using incorrect data.

I do not claim that we are always rational and I have been careful not to make such a claim. You are correct if you are claiming that we are not always rational even if God is the source of our reasoning capabilities. I do not disagree. However, we can observe rational behavior and beliefs and rationally deduce that they are because we have a Source for that ability. See, that's the part that is missing from a naturalistic viewpoint, there is no source that makes beliefs reliably true.

What is the incorrect data that you refer to?

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In other words, rationality has nothing to do with it. It's an assertion that we are built to deduce that God exists, no matter what evidence we have.

No, the argument is built to demonstrate that a belief in naturalism is irrational and a belief in God is rational. The only rational response from a naturalist is determinism....and many many embrace that as a possible solution even though that solution is formed on an irrational basis as well.

« Last Edit: Today at 11:35:04 AM by BibleStudent »

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #481 on: Today at 12:08:10 PM »
However, we can observe rational behavior and beliefs and rationally deduce that they are because we have a Source for that ability. See, that's the part that is missing from a naturalistic viewpoint, there is no source that makes beliefs reliably true.

I guess I'd wonder what the source is for when we're irrational?  Is it God that's the source for people joining Heaven's Gate, the Branch Davidians, or the Peoples Temple?  Or would Christians contend that it's the Devil?  I'd also wonder, like most others on here, why God doesn't just get rid of the Devil?  Why let him hang around and wreak havoc?  Or, is choosing one of these other cults being sinful?  I'm assuming God isn't to blame, right?


Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #482 on: Today at 12:21:40 PM »
However, we can observe rational behavior and beliefs and rationally deduce that they are because we have a Source for that ability. See, that's the part that is missing from a naturalistic viewpoint, there is no source that makes beliefs reliably true.

I guess I'd wonder what the source is for when we're irrational?  Is it God that's the source for people joining Heaven's Gate, the Branch Davidians, or the Peoples Temple?  Or would Christians contend that it's the Devil?  I'd also wonder, like most others on here, why God doesn't just get rid of the Devil?  Why let him hang around and wreak havoc?  Or, is choosing one of these other cults being sinful?  I'm assuming God isn't to blame, right?

It is believed that God gives us the ability to be rational. You know the old saying: "garbage in, garbage out?"...well that's why I would say that we can produce irrational thoughts even though we're created with the ability to be rational.

I'm apprehensive to answer the rest of your questions because I see this thread going off into multiple different directions if I do...and we've already done that more than once. I'm not saying they're bad questions or anything like that. As I'm sure you know, it doesn't take much to get the conversation headed off into an entirely unrelated topic. You agree?