Author Topic: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond  (Read 13115 times)

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3sigma

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #232 on: August 12, 2012, 08:28:24 AM »
I already started the one in science. That link doesn't work for me - just takes me to the main page.

Strange… it works for me. Okay then, here is a link to the first post in the thread. If that doesn't work, go to General Religious Discussion and then to the post: Please validate your belief in your God.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #233 on: August 12, 2012, 01:21:26 PM »


Not interested in god's probability. I'm interested in a testable predictive theory of a god's existence that independent people can perform. Any person - atheist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. should be able to independently run the test and all should come up with the same answer.

Got one?

No, I don't. Neither do you for ???'s existence. You know: ???? - the cause of the universe.

Or do you? I started a thread in 'Science'.
[/quote]

Everthing in the universe--weather patterns, smallpox, natural disasters, birth defects, seasonal changes--that people once attributed to gods/supernatural magical beings so far has been shown to be the result of some scientifically explainable process. Why should we assume that the cause (if there is any) of the universe would be any different?

It seems that when we discover some scientific explanation for something (like germs cause disease, not demons or spells) there are always people who manage to shift to a different place in their brains where god still resides.

Religion: "Earthquakes and volcanoes are caused by the Great Hermingloofer as punishment for our sins. We must sacrifice some children to placate the Great Hermingloofer."

Science: "No. Actually it is the shifting tectonic plates. Has nothing to do with the Great Hermingloofer or sin. Stop sacrificing children."

Religion: "Yeah, well. Okay, so maybe earthquakes and volcanoes are not caused by the Great Hermingloofer. But what about AIDS? Huh? Punishment for sin. The Great Hermingloofer's wrath, right? We should execute homosexuals."

Science: "No. A virus. We have treatment for it now. Leave the homosexuals alone."

Religion: "Yeah, well. Okay, how about...."

And on and on until:

Religion: "Yeah, well. Okay, we will give you diseases and weather and the planets and all that. But how about the entire universe. Huh? What about that smart boy? You can't prove that the Great Hermingloofer didn't fart it out of his ginormous a$$ like it says here in this sacred book, can you? Well can you? So it must be true. So there."

Science: "Ten sacred books have ten different supernatural explanations. There is no evidence for any of them. Yours talks about the Great Hermingloofer's farts. Nobody else's book says that.  All ten of the books could be wrong-- they were all wrong about the diseases and the weather and the planets. It is probably a scientific explanation like with the earthquakes and the AIDS."

Religion: "You don't know, though, do you? So, it has to be the Great Hermingloofer."

How does the religious viewpoint, always shifting, make any sense at all? Someday science might find out how the universe came to be. If past is prologue, it will not be the work of the Great Hermingloofer.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Don_Quixote

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #234 on: August 13, 2012, 11:06:00 AM »
^^ Actually a very good response I might use in the future.

Offline Samothec

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #235 on: August 13, 2012, 02:15:37 PM »
The theory of evolution depends on a bit more than that.  It relies on the notion that life has developed naturally since its origin, and that evolution would create a mind that views the world accurately enough to construct the correct theory.  A lot of evolution critics use a variation of the Omphalos hypothesis.

Several problems here.

"that evolution would create a mind that ..." has the hidden false implication that there was purpose in the 'creation' of such a mind and thus, a creator.

The development of a mind that does not view the world accurately enough to construct correct theories is another false concept. Such a mind would lead it's possessor into destruction and the creature would not exist anymore. Can people construct incorrect theories? Yes, when they do not have all the facts.

As for the Omphalos hypothesis: hidden inside this is a premise that most people don't see and would probably be appalled by. The premise behind the idea that god faked the age of the universe is that god chose to create the largest lie in existence.[1] Are you okay with god faking evolution and the rest of the universe? Are you okay with god creating massive lies? Ultimately, are you okay with god being evil?
 1. It would explain why the devil is only the Prince of Lies since god would be the King of Lies.
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Offline Boots

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #236 on: August 13, 2012, 04:03:09 PM »
i'd only one someone to bow out if they're not contributing to the original question/intent of the post.

Does doing good for the sake of doing good, constitue a greater, lesser, or equal "good" than doing good for hope of reward or hope of avoidance of punishment?  Specifically in the context of religion--and BAR NONE, all religions--yes, Moob, even Xianity--has reward/punishment and you know it!
* Religion: institutionalized superstition, period.

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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #237 on: August 13, 2012, 04:54:07 PM »
I'm not a theist anymore but I'd say the one who does good for the sake of doing good is more moral than the one who does it because he's bribed or coerced into doing it. Bibery/Coercion is corruption. God[1] is corrupt. Corruption is not good. Therefore God is not good.
 1. since he bribes and threatens.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #238 on: August 13, 2012, 05:33:53 PM »
God[1] is corrupt. Corruption is not good. Therefore God is not good.
 1. since he bribes and threatens.

If God is, then perhaps God is chaos that created life in the universe to help him bring order to himself.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #239 on: August 19, 2012, 10:11:48 PM »
I meant there would be no disagreement between us over the existence of your God if someone had ever shown it to exist.
What you're basically saying to me is that you'd agree with me if someone had shown to you that God exists.  Which is a bit redundant, don't you think?

Anyways...

Goalpost:
I am certainly imagining something if it exists as a concept in my mind, but isn’t present to my senses.

Kick:
Quote
Are quarks imaginary?

Shift:
No, we have instruments to detect quarks.

If you need an instrument to detect something, then it follows that the something is not present to your senses.

Quote
There is no instrument to detect the presence of your God because your God is imaginary.
How do you know that's the reason that no such instrument currently exists?

Quote
No God detector will ever be built because your God is imaginary.
But a radio wave detector was built.  How can you logically claim that no God detector will ever be built, unless you already have evidence that God is imaginary?

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed this, but I am usually careful to say your God whenever I’m speaking to religious believers.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I don't believe in "my god."  So that is not an accurate assessment of my beliefs.

"that evolution would create a mind that ..." has the hidden false implication that there was purpose in the 'creation' of such a mind and thus, a creator.
"That evolution would evolve/develop/produce/result a mind that..."

Better?

Quote
The development of a mind that does not view the world accurately enough to construct correct theories is another false concept. Such a mind would lead it's possessor into destruction and the creature would not exist anymore.
How do you know this?

Are you okay with god faking evolution and the rest of the universe?
Personally?  No, but then again I don't believe in the Omphalos Hypothesis.  Keep in mind that I was replying to a comment on what the theory of evolution relies on with possible criticisms, not with my personal beliefs.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

3sigma

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #240 on: August 19, 2012, 10:45:08 PM »
If you need an instrument to detect something, then it follows that the something is not present to your senses.

Yes, and I would be imagining it if I believed I could detect quarks directly, but I don’t believe that. Can you detect your God directly with your physical senses?

Quote
How do you know that's the reason that no such instrument currently exists?

Oh please do explain how you detected your God without a God detector. I’m sure we are all interested to hear this. Did you detect it directly using your senses? Which sense(s), exactly? If it wasn’t actually present to your physical senses then doesn’t that mean, as you argue above, that you are imagining it?

Quote
But a radio wave detector was built.  How can you logically claim that no God detector will ever be built, unless you already have evidence that God is imaginary?

Let’s just say I am reasonably confident that one will never be built given the fact that in all of human history no one has ever produced a shred of sound evidence or a single sound argument to prove your God is real. If and when a God detector is built, I will be proven wrong, but I highly doubt that will ever happen.

Now that you’ve returned to the forum, perhaps you could go to the thread I started for you where you can validate your belief in your God. In that thread I ask you to validate your beliefs in three ways: provide a factual description of your God; provide sound evidence and sound arguments to provide your God is real; show us what distinguishes your belief from imagination. I eagerly await your response in that thread.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #241 on: August 20, 2012, 07:43:24 AM »
How can you logically claim that no God detector will ever be built,

Because of how religious people have defined god. 
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3sigma

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #242 on: August 20, 2012, 07:53:42 AM »
Because of how religious people have defined god.

Or perhaps how they have failed to define their God. If no one can provide a factual description of God then what parameters would a detector be configured to detect? Without a factual description, it would be impossible to build a detector.

Offline HAL

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #243 on: August 20, 2012, 07:57:10 AM »
Quote
No God detector will ever be built because your God is imaginary.

But a radio wave detector was built.  How can you logically claim that no God detector will ever be built, unless you already have evidence that God is imaginary?

Let's build one Mooby. You tell us - what do we do first? What parts do we need to gather? I'll open a line of credit at Digi-Key

Or perhaps instead at this store - Sacred Mists Shoppe

You tell us and we'll gather up the needed supplies.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #244 on: August 20, 2012, 08:43:00 AM »
Or perhaps how they have failed to define their God. If no one can provide a factual description of God then what parameters would a detector be configured to detect? Without a factual description, it would be impossible to build a detector.

My point was it is more than that.  They describe god as completely inaccessible.  "Outside space and time".  Wtf does that even mean, you ask?  It means, "you cannot verify him, so you cannot negate him."  They have come up with tests for god in the past and he has failed.  They anticipate that will continue to be the case, so to prevent their god from being actually shown to be fictitious, they have defined it - god - in a way that is utterly beyond detection. They figure "outside space and time" is far enough.  And it is.  Because if something is "outside the universe", it is as good as non-existant to us.

So mooby is being duplicitous when he suggests that some day a god detector could be built.  He knows there couldn't be.  Because he anticipates that if one is built, it would not detect anything and god would have to be further removed from our reach.  And if it did detect sweet baby jesus, then he would no longer be supernatural, but natural, measurable, explainable and quantifiable.  Yeesh.  Can't have that.

But it serves his argument to say it.  I suspect the RCC would find his statement heretical despite it being in service of supporting god. 

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #245 on: August 20, 2012, 09:41:24 AM »

My point was it is more than that.  They describe god as completely inaccessible.  "Outside space and time".  Wtf does that even mean, you ask?  It means, "you cannot verify him, so you cannot negate him."  They have come up with tests for god in the past and he has failed.  They anticipate that will continue to be the case, so to prevent their god from being actually shown to be fictitious, they have defined it - god - in a way that is utterly beyond detection. They figure "outside space and time" is far enough.  And it is.  Because if something is "outside the universe", it is as good as non-existant to us.

So mooby is being duplicitous when he suggests that some day a god detector could be built.  He knows there couldn't be.  Because he anticipates that if one is built, it would not detect anything and god would have to be further removed from our reach.  And if it did detect sweet baby jesus, then he would no longer be supernatural, but natural, measurable, explainable and quantifiable.  Yeesh.  Can't have that.

Yes, I know he is being duplicitous. That’s what I expect from religious believers—particularly those who have a modicum of intelligence. It is entertaining to watch them cycle back and forth between having an intimate personal relationship with their God and a God so distant that it is beyond the observable universe.

At first their God communicates with them, performs miracles, answers their prayers and closely interacts with the natural world and then, when you press them for a factual description of their God, it becomes progressively less concrete and more ethereal until eventually it is beyond any means of detection at all. Then, when they’ve effectively shielded their God from examination and you ask them to provide sound evidence that their God is real, back come the personal experiences with it, the miracles and answered prayers. It’s all a ridiculous charade to allow them to cling to their comforting beliefs. I do wish they would just learn to overcome their fears and anxieties and accept reality—harsh as that can be at times.

Offline Samothec

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #246 on: August 21, 2012, 11:36:34 PM »
"that evolution would create a mind that ..." has the hidden false implication that there was purpose in the 'creation' of such a mind and thus, a creator.
"That evolution would evolve/develop/produce/result a mind that..."
Better?

Adequate.


Quote
Quote
The development of a mind that does not view the world accurately enough to construct correct theories is another false concept. Such a mind would lead it's possessor into destruction and the creature would not exist anymore.
How do you know this?

How do you not see this? Seriously. I'm reading this as an empty challenge since I included enough info for a person of your intelligence - as I estimated it - to see the correct answer (which I gave). Do I need to lower my estimate of your intelligence? Or I can I write this question off as you just jerking me around?
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Mooby

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #247 on: September 29, 2012, 10:49:10 PM »
Yes, and I would be imagining it if I believed I could detect quarks directly, but I don’t believe that.
You've contradicted yourself.  You said if something is not present to your senses, then you are imagining it.  Then you say that quarks are not present to your senses.  But then you say that you are not imagining quarks.

Quote
Can you detect your God directly with your physical senses?
In theory, yes.  If He chooses to make Himself accessible that way.

Quote
Quote
How do you know that's the reason that no such instrument currently exists?

Oh please do explain how you detected your God without a God detector.
Completely irrelevant to the text you quoted, and a claim I never made.

Quote
If it wasn’t actually present to your physical senses then doesn’t that mean, as you argue above, that you are imagining it?
That was your argument, not mine.
I am certainly imagining something if it exists as a concept in my mind, but isn’t present to my senses.

So mooby is being duplicitous when he suggests that some day a god detector could be built.
3sigma introduced the concept of a God receiver, and started making claims about whether it will ever be built.  I merely asked him how he arrived at those conclusions.  I do find it interesting how you and 3sigma are imagining that I'm making arguments that aren't in my posts.

How do you not see this? Seriously. I'm reading this as an empty challenge since I included enough info for a person of your intelligence - as I estimated it - to see the correct answer (which I gave). Do I need to lower my estimate of your intelligence? Or I can I write this question off as you just jerking me around?
What information did you provide, exactly?  Your personal speculation that an inaccurate mind would lead to self-destruction?

Simply put, evolution is posited as ends-oriented.  In other words, evolution doesn't care how or why you survive long enough to reproduce, just that you do.  You either survive or you don't; you don't get extra points for being right.  And considering how research shows more and more how lazy and inaccurate our brains actually are (just try googling about memory accuracy if you're bored one day), it's not so far-fetched to believe it might be taking shortcuts in broad strokes about reality itself.

Or, if you're into entertaining lists, there's plenty of info on Cracked alone.

So yes, perhaps you do need to lower your estimate of my intelligence, at least to the point where you can engage me in discussion rather than just condescendingly blowing me off.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Samothec

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #248 on: September 30, 2012, 01:46:48 AM »
So yes, perhaps you do need to lower your estimate of my intelligence, at least to the point where you can engage me in discussion rather than just condescendingly blowing me off.
You haven't been Mister Congenial in this thread yourself so there was a good amount of justification in my comment about you jerking me around. But let's rewind a bit to examine things again to make things clear for you.

I had said:
Quote
The development of a mind that does not view the world accurately enough to construct correct theories is another false concept. Such a mind would lead it's possessor into destruction and the creature would not exist anymore.

Expanded: An organism that evolves to have a sophisticated enough brain to think abstractly is going to have been subjected to sufficient long term natural selection that it's perception of the world is going to be adequate for survival. If it then starts using it's abstract thinking to aid it in survival then the abstract thinking will be indirectly subjected to natural selection. Nature/evolution is about trial and error. Poor abstract thinking will be selected against. Good abstract thinking will be selected for. Since theories are a type of abstract thinking, constructing accurate theories[1] will be selected for while construction of inaccurate theories[2] will be selected against.

Do you understand now?[3]
 1. with sufficient accurate information
 2. or theories based on too little accurate information
 3. If not you need to do more reading on how evolution / natural selection work.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #249 on: September 30, 2012, 05:36:33 AM »
Salvation By Faith alone:
John 3:16,  Rom. 3:22, Rom. 3:24, Rom. 3:26,  Rom. 3:28-30,  Rom. 4:3, Rom. 4:5, Rom. 4:11,  Rom. 4:16, Rom. 5:1, Rom. 5:9, Rom. 9:30, Rom. 9:33, Rom. 10:4,  Rom. 10:9-10, Rom. 11:6, Gal. 2:16, Gal. 2:21, Gal.3:5-6, Gal. 3:8, Gal. 3:14, Gal. 3:22, " Gal. 3:24, Eph. 1:13,  Eph. 2:8, Phil. 3:9,  1 Tim. 1:16,

By Works
James 2:24
Jas:2:21: Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Jas:2:22: Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Jas:2:23: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Jas:2:24: Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


Salvation By Faith alone is summed up in
Eph:2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph:2:9: Not of works, lest any man should boast[1]
Eph:2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The result of this is that you have freewill to believe or not, those that do, go to heaven, those that do not, go to hell. However, a test of whether you believed or not is when it comes to ‘works’[2] these have been ordained within us and (once we are ‘saved’) a conscious effort is required to rebel against them. In true ‘No True Scotsman’ style, if you do an evil deed whilst claiming to have faith in Jesus, you never had faith in Jesus and were thus never 'saved'.

You will note that all but one of the above quotes are from Paul – a man who never met Jesus and who, without shame, regularly contradicts Jesus, whilst claiming to preach His Word. Paul is the one who brought the Bible to Gentiles saying that Jesus's teaching was applicable to them as well, whereas Jesus only wanted to convert Jews.

More than that John’s claim, “Joh:3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Is written in the subjunctive and comes out as, “IF you believe in him…then…” But even here, “to believe” is a bit more than “accept that he is real.” – it demands faith, and obedience.

The OP’s question
Quote
I ask you two questions.

1) Who is "more moral" or "more good:" he who does good to avoid punishment and gain reward, or he who does so fully expecting neither?
is answered several times in the Bible: it is neither. It is someone who follows Jesus, praises God and, without thought and as purely natural behaviour, does good works.

It must be said that “doing good works” is simply being a reasonable person – that is not a bad message and philosophy. Unfortunately, Christianity and, by definition, all religions, demand that you believe in an invisible friend as well as taking orders and subjecting yourself to a deluded priesthood.
 1. God hates boasters but strangely, Paul admits to boasting on a regular basis.
 2.  good behaviour in line with the teachings of God and Christ
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

3sigma

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #250 on: September 30, 2012, 06:23:45 AM »
You've contradicted yourself.  You said if something is not present to your senses, then you are imagining it.  Then you say that quarks are not present to your senses.  But then you say that you are not imagining quarks.

No, I am not contradicting myself. I said I would be imagining quarks if I believe I directly detect them with my senses, but I don’t believe I directly detect them with my senses. However, we know quarks exist because we do have scientific instruments that detect quarks, unlike your God. There is no instrument to detect your God.

Quote
Quote from: 3sigma
Can you detect your God directly with your physical senses?
In theory, yes.  If He chooses to make Himself accessible that way.

Okay then, if that’s the way you want to play this game, do you actually detect your God directly with your physical senses? I’m pretty sure you don’t, but if you believe you do then please explain which physical sense(s) you use and what it is you detect. Give us a factual description of your God. If you don’t detect your God with your physical senses and there is no instrument to detect your God (which there isn’t), but you still believe your God is real then you are almost certainly imagining it. Your God is imaginary. It exists only within your imagination. It lacks factual reality.

By the way, you still haven’t responded in the thread I created for you to validate your belief in your God. Please try to do that.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #251 on: September 30, 2012, 06:40:04 PM »
An organism that evolves to have a sophisticated enough brain to think abstractly is going to have been subjected to sufficient long term natural selection that it's perception of the world is going to be adequate for survival.  If it then starts using it's abstract thinking to aid it in survival then the abstract thinking will be indirectly subjected to natural selection.
I agree.  If the perception is beneficial to survival, it should be selected for; if it is detrimental to survival, then it should be selected against.  So yes, I think we can confidently assume that perception that has been subject to long-term selection is "adequate for survival."

Quote
Since theories are a type of abstract thinking, constructing accurate theories will be selected for while construction of inaccurate theories will be selected against.
Even if we accept that assertion as true, that still doesn't give us adequate => accurate.  At most, it gives us accurate => adequate.  In other words, we'd have basis to say, "accuracy is a possible way to develop an adequate perception" but not, "accuracy is the only way to develop an accurate perception."  If both the notions, "The tiger will eat me" and "The tiger has cooties" cause our primitive man to run from the tiger, why would one be selected over the other?

But an even bigger issue is that accurate abstract reasoning requires accurate sensory input, and according to evolutionary history our senses developed before our abstract reasoning.  So now we have the same issue, except further down the chain: why must our senses be accurate?  And of course you'll say that accurate senses are beneficial to the organism, but how do we know that that's the only possible outcome?

I said I would be imagining quarks if I believe I directly detect them with my senses, but I don’t believe I directly detect them with my senses.
Yes, you said this after I gave a counterexample to your earlier claim.  You shifted the goalpost.

Quote
Okay then, if that’s the way you want to play this game, do you actually detect your God directly with your physical senses?
I do not recall any specific instance in which I saw, smelled, tasted, heard, or touched something that I recognized as God.

you still believe your God is real then you are almost certainly imagining it.
Based on?

Quote
By the way, you still haven’t responded in the thread I created for you to validate your belief in your God. Please try to do that.
I haven't forgotten about it.  I had the rough outline of a post in my head before my last absence, but have since forgotten it.  If I remember correctly, the OP involved making some assumptions that don't really fit the way I approach my faith, so I need to find a way to broach that while minimizing the accusations that I'm trying to weasel out of whatever there is to weasel out of.  Once that's accomplished, I project that the topic itself will require a fair amount of my time, so I'm trying to figure out a good time to join in.  Tuesday or Wednesday may be doable.  Certainly not tonight, as I have other work that I should have started 1 hour and 40 min ago.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

3sigma

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #252 on: September 30, 2012, 08:18:49 PM »
you still believe your God is real then you are almost certainly imagining it.
Based on?

Based on the fact that you haven’t detected your God with your physical senses and it hasn’t been detected by any instrument. If your God has never been actually observed in any way, but you still believe it is real then you must be imagining it. From your point of view, it must exist only as a mental image or concept because you have no sound, objective evidence that it is real. It lacks factual reality. It is imaginary. It is the same for people who believe Santa Claus is real. There is no sound, objective evidence that Santa Claus is real. It exists only as a mental image or concept in people’s minds. It is imaginary.

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If I remember correctly, the OP involved making some assumptions that don't really fit the way I approach my faith, so I need to find a way to broach that while minimizing the accusations that I'm trying to weasel out of whatever there is to weasel out of. Once that's accomplished, I project that the topic itself will require a fair amount of my time, so I'm trying to figure out a good time to join in.

Oh dear. I hope that thread won’t become yet another futile journey into a labyrinth of sophistry, semantic subterfuge and evasion. Time will tell.

Offline HAL

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #253 on: September 30, 2012, 08:26:16 PM »
Oh dear. I hope that thread won’t become yet another futile journey into a labyrinth of sophistry, semantic subterfuge and evasion.

Trust me - it will.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #254 on: September 30, 2012, 11:06:59 PM »
Based on the fact that you haven’t detected your God with your physical senses and it hasn’t been detected by any instrument.
So in other words, anything that I have not determined as concrete via senses or an instrument is imaginary?  Such as pure mathematics or any other abstract concept?

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If your God has never been actually observed in any way, but you still believe it is real then you must be imagining it. From your point of view, it must exist only as a mental image or concept because you have no sound, objective evidence that it is real. It lacks factual reality. It is imaginary.
You overstep yourself from the second to third sentence.  It does not follow.

For instance, when Dmitri Mendeleev developed the periodic table, he noted gaps in his arrangement.  He then predicted elements that had never been observed nor detected in any way, but still believed they were real.  He even listed properties of those elements.  From his point of view, they existed as mental images or concepts because he had no sound, objective evidence that they were real.  They met your definition of "imaginary," though I will use the distinguishing label "theoretical" as it was never shown that those elements lack factual reality (and eventually, they were shown to actually exist in factual reality.)  Thus, it is possible for one to determine theoretical things possible and/or likely to exist without actually observing/detecting them.

Similarly, it is possible to develop and believe in a theoretical God without direct observation.  It's even possible to predict the properties of God, similar to how Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements.  This is normally the goal of apologists employing philosophical apologetics, with the resulting God sometimes called the "Philosopher's God" in the Western world.

That being said, your argument relies on God "never been actually observed in any way."  This implies that, if I accept the veracity of at least one of the countless claims of a God observation (including the 30+ years the Bible claimed that God walked the Earth in human form,) then I am justified in rejecting the notion that God is purely imaginary/theoretical from my point of view.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 11:08:53 PM by Mooby »
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Samothec

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #255 on: October 01, 2012, 01:06:10 AM »
So now we have the same issue, except further down the chain: why must our senses be accurate?  And of course you'll say that accurate senses are beneficial to the organism, but how do we know that that's the only possible outcome?

In one statement you accept adequately accurate senses then you turn around and take issue with it. Since you already accepted that our senses are adequately accurate your first question above is just (substitute polite version of "jerking me around"). What other possible "outcome" (whatever you mean by that) is there? Your second question doesn't really make sense or contribute to the conversation although it's a good ruse to make me try to defend a stance you've already acknowledged and accepted.



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If your God has never been actually observed in any way, but you still believe it is real then you must be imagining it. From your point of view, it must exist only as a mental image or concept because you have no sound, objective evidence that it is real. It lacks factual reality. It is imaginary.
You overstep yourself from the second to third sentence.  It does not follow.
These are false claims. His third statement is only a restating of the second. Claiming otherwise does not make it so.


Similarly, it is possible to develop and believe in a theoretical God without direct observation.  It's even possible to predict the properties of God, similar to how Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements.  This is normally the goal of apologists employing philosophical apologetics, with the resulting God sometimes called the "Philosopher's God" in the Western world.

That being said, your argument relies on God "never been actually observed in any way."  This implies that, if I accept the veracity of at least one of the countless claims of a God observation (including the 30+ years the Bible claimed that God walked the Earth in human form,) then I am justified in rejecting the notion that God is purely imaginary/theoretical from my point of view.

When the periodic table was developed, logic and reason were used and showed gaps that were later filled through experimentation. No one has presented a list of the properties of any god that can be tested and verified (or refuted). Are you saying you can provide such a list? Instead of saying "yes", present the list of the properties of your god that can be tested and verified (or refuted). If you cannot provide such a list then your argument above is falacious.

He is accurate in his statement that no god has been observed - by rational non-believers. All claims of observation have been by believers who (it can be validly argued) are not reliable witnesses.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #256 on: October 01, 2012, 06:10:15 AM »
So in other words, anything that I have not determined as concrete via senses or an instrument is imaginary?  Such as pure mathematics or any other abstract concept?

Well… yes. Mathematics doesn’t have a physical existence. Abstract concepts don’t have a physical existence. When I ask if your God is real, I’m using the word real to mean actually existing as a thing, not imagined or supposed. Imaginary means not real—lacking factual reality. Your God lacks factual reality. It isn’t real. It is imaginary.

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For instance, when Dmitri Mendeleev developed the periodic table, he noted gaps in his arrangement.  He then predicted elements that had never been observed nor detected in any way, but still believed they were real.

Similarly, it is possible to develop and believe in a theoretical God without direct observation.  It's even possible to predict the properties of God, similar to how Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements.

Mendeleev imagined, supposed or hypothesised that the elements actually existed. If they hadn’t been shown to exist then they would still be imagined, supposed or hypothetical. Mendeleev’s predictions were based on sound evidence. It was already a fact that elements exist and they had proven characteristics such as atomic weight and valence. However, it isn’t a fact that any gods exist and they have no proven characteristics so, no, it isn’t a similar situation at all. It isn’t possible to develop a theoretical God from a complete lack of facts and observations without simply make the whole thing up. Mendeleev also provided a sound argument for this predicted elements based on the already apparent periodicity of the known elements and the suggestive gaps between them. There is no such sound argument for your God. It has no foundation in fact at all so, no, it isn’t possible to predict the properties of your God in a way similar to how Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements. Again, all you could do is make up these imaginary properties out of whole cloth.

I hope you aren’t going to use this sort of sophistry in your responses in the other thread. Please try to provide straight, cogent answers to the questions in that thread if and when you post in it. In that thread I ask for a factual description of your God’s characteristics and abilities, not a hypothetical or imagined set of properties.

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That being said, your argument relies on God "never been actually observed in any way."  This implies that, if I accept the veracity of at least one of the countless claims of a God observation (including the 30+ years the Bible claimed that God walked the Earth in human form,) then I am justified in rejecting the notion that God is purely imaginary/theoretical from my point of view.

Justified means shown or proven to be right or reasonable so, no, of course you aren’t justified in believing your God is real. Accepting the implausible claims in some ancient storybook without a shred of sound evidence to support them isn’t justified at all. It just means you are gullible. You are no more justified in believing your God is real than someone is justified in believing Santa Claus is real.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #257 on: October 01, 2012, 10:00:27 PM »
In one statement you accept adequately accurate senses
FALSE

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Since you already accepted that our senses are adequately accurate
FALSE

If you're going to make false claims about my posts, it helps to choose one not on the same page.


It isn’t possible to develop a theoretical God from a complete lack of facts and observations without simply make the whole thing up. Mendeleev also provided a sound argument for this predicted elements based on the already apparent periodicity of the known elements and the suggestive gaps between them. There is no such sound argument for your God. It has no foundation in fact at all so, no, it isn’t possible to predict the properties of your God in a way similar to how Mendeleev predicted the properties of elements. Again, all you could do is make up these imaginary properties out of whole cloth.
No, there is 3000+ years of Western arguments for God, many of which are based in a logical foundation.  Whether you agree with the arguments or not, to deny that they are built on foundations is just as silly as a creationist denying that evolutionary theories exist, whether he agrees with them or not.

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Accepting the implausible claims in some ancient storybook without a shred of sound evidence to support them isn’t justified at all. It just means you are gullible. You are no more justified in believing your God is real than someone is justified in believing Santa Claus is real.
You said that me imagining God follows from God having never been observed in any way.  So if I can doubt that God has never been observed (i.e. I think it's possible God has been observed,) then I can doubt that God must be imaginary.  Via your argument, I don't even have to have a specific confirmed instance of God observation; I just have to fail to say that God observation has never happened.  If I can do that, then I can fail to say God must be imaginary.

And I mentioned the Bible as just one (of many) sources of God observations.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Samothec

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #258 on: October 01, 2012, 10:13:15 PM »
In one statement you accept adequately accurate senses
FALSE
Quote
Since you already accepted that our senses are adequately accurate
FALSE
If you're going to make false claims about my posts, it helps to choose one not on the same page.

I agree.  If the perception is beneficial to survival, it should be selected for; if it is detrimental to survival, then it should be selected against.  So yes, I think we can confidently assume that perception that has been subject to long-term selection is "adequate for survival."

LIAR and slimy coward

Instead of actually answering people's questions honestly, instead of making honest challenges, instead of being a decent person, you choose to do the opposite - playing word games because you have nothing of substance to say.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 10:40:37 PM by Samothec »
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #259 on: October 01, 2012, 11:30:06 PM »
Samothec:  You aren't doing your position any good with this attitude.  Right now, you're lashing out at Mooby because he smote you, and you're spending more time reacting than thinking.

Mooby said that perception that had undergone long-term selection would be adequate for survival.  It does not follow then that he accepted "adequately accurate senses".  He said that if it improved the chances of survival, it would be selected for, not that it would therefore be inaccurate.  For example, human beings have remarkably inaccurate senses compared to many other animals (we can only feel infrared, and we can't sense ultraviolet at all; our ears have a very limited range of hearing as well; our noses are practically useless compared to many animals).  Furthermore, some of those inaccurate senses give a survival benefit, such as the tendency to not even notice a minor injury until after a crisis situation is over and done with (increasing the chances of survival, since even minor wounds are distracting), or the tendency to shut out things that don't seem to matter in favor of things that are far more immediate (again increasing the chances of survival, since distractions can be dangerous, even lethal under many circumstances).

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Challenge: any theists encouraged to read and respond
« Reply #260 on: October 02, 2012, 12:23:29 AM »
(I don't know if I'm off-topic or not), but it would be clear to humans that 'god' was not real if they expected nothing from him, and nobody else believed in him. (The two most important factors to believing in 'god' are peer group pressure and desperation - which are not a great altruistic foundation to start from.)

If a religion so arose, that said that Obama had died and resurrected, people would initially laugh at it, and say 'he was never dead'. But when the religion grew in strength, and those around you, whom you respected said he had been dead, and that you would be punished eternally for not believing, then suddenly doubts would emerge in the more suggestible population, that maybe the story had some truth in it. If you watch enough Derren Brown, you will come away with a distinct knowledge that people will believe just about anything, under pressure. (In Ep 3 of The Experiments, Derren convinces a nice guy to admit to murder, just by disorientating him a bit.)

Homeopathy and Astrology both have logical 'foundations', but nobody is at gunpoint to believe Astrology; however, when a person gets cancer, and the specialist says the outlook is not so good, then suddenly, the peer group pressure to use homeopathy increases, and the cancer victim, in desperation, thinks that maybe there is something to this complete garbage after all, and tries it with some hope. Anything productive that seems to happen will be accredited to the homeopathy, by those who believe it.

The tendency to give religion the absolute benefit of the doubt, is pushed as far in one direction as it possibly can be, because everything appears to be at stake. Even those who can logically see that it's all balderdash, can be psychologically 'worked on' by peers, and slight cracks of evidence are suddenly seen as rock solid proofs.

Christians are very allergic to holding their religion to the same levels of proof that we might expect for anything that is mundane in our lives, such as, a transistor or car. Why? Because you might be wrong! As long as someone is around to bully you into believing it, you might be wrong.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.