Author Topic: Please validate your belief in your God  (Read 54021 times)

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Offline Nam

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2012, 05:50:54 PM »
3sigma,

That's their goto when they can't think of an actual answer, or have an actual answer. We must all be "angry". That has to be the only conclusion to why we're not like them, or believe what they believe to be true.

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This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Boots

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2012, 08:26:06 PM »
Why is there so much anger?

Where, specifically, are you reading anger?  Because I sure didn't read any.  I read a well-reasoned, very reasonable request.
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Offline natlegend

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2012, 11:23:28 PM »

That's their goto when they can't think of an actual answer, or have an actual answer. We must all be "angry". That has to be the only conclusion to why we're not like them, or believe what they believe to be true.

-Nam

They honestly can't see the contradiction...

Christian: "Why don't you believe in god? You must be angry at him!"

Atheist: &)
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline tlcheinig@roadrunner.com

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2012, 01:31:06 AM »
I stongly believe in science.  That every action is met with an equal but opposite reaction is the basis of science, validating that life is based on an extreme positive force and an equal negative force. (the only way to illustrate infinity is to have two mirrors reflecting back and forth.)  The core difference avoiding the extremes on both the spiritual side and scientific side seems to be as simple as on the spiritual side this positive force is conscious and on the other it is not.  I take the conscious side. Removing the legalism and ideology of religions may offer a different perspective.  Non believers find it hard to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead from the one who controls this positive energy force yet do not question that we thousands of people a day from the dead using just that.  An energy force called a defibulator.  Im just saying Maybe looking at something differently and independently will at least allow you wonder about and even question the universe.  good night for now

Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2012, 01:57:39 AM »
Non believers find it hard to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead from the one who controls this positive energy force yet do not question that we thousands of people a day from the dead using just that.  An energy force called a defibulator.  Im just saying Maybe looking at something differently and independently will at least allow you wonder about and even question the universe.

I hate to break it to you, but defibrillators do not raise people from the dead. They are quite effective at preventing people from becoming dead due to cardiac arrest, but these people are still, in fact, alive when the defibrillator is employed. Pretty big difference there.

And I can assure you that the vast majority of participants here are filled with wonder and questions about the universe, we simply prefer to approach the unknown from a logical and rational perspective.

Welcome to the forum, BTW. Its been a while since we've had an adherent of mysticism on board. Hope you stick around for a while. It'll be fun!
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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2012, 02:20:38 AM »
...validating that life is based on an extreme positive force and an equal negative force.

Why "extreme"? Why equal?  Why only 2?

Quote
(the only way to illustrate infinity is to have two mirrors reflecting back and forth.)

Not so.  Draw a circle and imagine going around it repeatedly.  Imagine another tomorrow after tomorrow.

And you do realize that it's possible to have a unilaterally positive infinity *or* a negative infinity with zero origin, don't you?

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The core difference avoiding the extremes on both the spiritual side and scientific side seems to be as simple as on the spiritual side this positive force is conscious and on the other it is not.

Unsupported assertion, and a totally meaningless statement without a coherent definition of what "spiritual" actually means.

Quote
Non believers find it hard to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead from the one who controls this positive energy force yet do not question that we thousands of people a day from the dead using just that.  An energy force called a defibulator.

DumpsterFire has already pointed out that a defibrillator doesn't actually bring people back from the dead; it merely jolt-starts the heart and prevents death.  Nonetheless, it has never successfully been used upon someone who was several days dead... And I'm reasonably certain they didn't have such devices in Jerusalem circa 30 CE.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2012, 08:45:40 AM »
3sigma,

While I know this thread was primarily made for me, I think there are some differences in perception which will get in the way of our discussion.

First, you ask for a "factual" description of God and then qualify that with examples of things that are/are not "useful."  However, my belief is not rooted in what I feel to be useful to you or me or anyone else; it's rooted in what I think is true.  Unfortunately, many of the things I believe about God are not what you would consider "useful."  In particular, I do not believe God is a phenomenon, if by "phenomenon" you mean something that is both a posteriori (dependent on experience) and empirical (based on repeated observation).

On the whole, it seems as if you view God as primarily a posteriori.  However, while I do believe God has at least some a posteriori interaction with us (prayer, miracles, etc.), my belief is primarily a priori (independent of experience).  Thus, I think asking whether we can "detect" God is putting the cart before the horse: yes, I do think we can detect God, but in my view detecting God is something that deepens belief, but is not a foundation for belief.

As for distinguishing objective from subjective reality, I don't know that that's possible.  As I hinted in the other thread, I think we have some major barriers to making that distinction.

I think I'll stop here and see if you want to go further with me, or if this is too far from what you had in mind.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2012, 09:13:32 AM »
While I know this thread was primarily made for me, I think there are some differences in perception which will get in the way of our discussion.

First, you ask for a "factual" description of God and then qualify that with examples of things that are/are not "useful." 

Actually, 3S only uses the word "useful" once - when he suggests that unveriable assertions are not useful.  However, what he does ask for are specifics - a clear description that would enable us to differentiate your god from any other god, or from a pencil or an octopus.

You note that your beliefs are ".....primarily a priori (independent of experience)", which seems to suggest that you believe in something that is essentially outside of your experience. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with that - you are more than welcome to believe in anything you want.  But as 3S said, if you are unable to point to any testable aspect of what you believe, then there is nothing - literally nothing - that differentiates your beliefs from any other person's delusion or confidence trick or insanity.  Again, fine for you if that's what you believe.

But the relevance for me comes in the subsidiary question I asked: if there is not a single thing you can point to to say "that shows that my god is real", then why should we give even a passing moment's thought to your particular view of the universe, other than as "funny story #463"?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline screwtape

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2012, 09:19:36 AM »
However, my belief is not rooted in what I feel to be useful to you or me or anyone else; it's rooted in what I think is true. 

IN addition to what anfauglir said, I would add that what is true is useful to know.  There is truth about this concept of god you have.  Whether the truth is this god is imaginary, it is something like what you conceive or you are completely correct, knowing the truth is useful and important.  If there is a god as you describe, then it is useful to know that, since your god has certain rules and eternal consequences. 
Links:
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2012, 10:17:25 AM »
However, my belief is not rooted in what I feel to be useful to you or me or anyone else; it's rooted in what I think is true. 

IN addition to what anfauglir said, I would add that what is true is useful to know.  There is truth about this concept of god you have.  Whether the truth is this god is imaginary, it is something like what you conceive or you are completely correct, knowing the truth is useful and important.  If there is a god as you describe, then it is useful to know that, since your god has certain rules and eternal consequences.

...except that I'm uncertain that the god that Mooby describes has any rules or any consequences in reality.  Perhaps I need to go through more past posts, but Mooby's god sounds more and more like Karen Armstrong's god.  Mooby, apologies if I am mis-characterizing, but could you mayhaps clarify if you expect that the existence of god would have any consequences in reality that are different from the non-existence of god.

Mooby, another question for you:
Quote
As for distinguishing objective from subjective reality, I don't know that that's possible.  As I hinted in the other thread, I think we have some major barriers to making that distinction.
Do you think that the scientific method is a good way to minimize subjective bias in attempts to understand reality?  If yes, does that make any inroads for you for distinguishing objective reality from subjective reality?  If not, is it simply inadequate, or principally flawed as a tool for establishing objective truths?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2012, 11:00:56 AM »
...except that I'm uncertain that the god that Mooby describes has any rules or any consequences in reality. 

It is possible I have only assumed that.  If it is the case that his god has no rules and there are no consequences, then not only is the truth about his god useless, but so is his god.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2012, 11:31:33 AM »
Actually, 3S only uses the word "useful" once - when he suggests that unveriable assertions are not useful.
You're right. The other times he said "helpful," so I should have said "useful/helpful" instead of "useful."

Quote
But the relevance for me comes in the subsidiary question I asked: if there is not a single thing you can point to to say "that shows that my god is real", then why should we give even a passing moment's thought to your particular view of the universe, other than as "funny story #463"?
I never said you should. I'm honestly not interested in convincing or converting anyone to my beliefs. 3s expressed interest and made me a thread, so I responded. But by the same token, I see no reason to buy your view, either.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2012, 12:18:06 PM »
Actually, 3S only uses the word "useful" once - when he suggests that unveriable assertions are not useful.
You're right. The other times he said "helpful," so I should have said "useful/helpful" instead of "useful."

Quote
But the relevance for me comes in the subsidiary question I asked: if there is not a single thing you can point to to say "that shows that my god is real", then why should we give even a passing moment's thought to your particular view of the universe, other than as "funny story #463"?
I never said you should. I'm honestly not interested in convincing or converting anyone to my beliefs. 3s expressed interest and made me a thread, so I responded. But by the same token, I see no reason to buy your view, either.
Can we get away from the implicit requirement of expected intent that the word should seems to be entailing?  I suspect that, like myself, Anfauglir is interested in knowing the truth of what is real.  Should Anfauglir give your view of the universe even a passing moment's thought?  You're making a claim about reality; Anfauglir is interested in reality, ergo would indeed like to know if your claim about reality is true or false.  It doesn't really matter if you think Anfauglir, screwtape, 3sigma, myself, or anyone else should be interested in your beliefs - you're making a claim that affects (maybe - still need clarity from you) shared reality and therefore I'd like to know if your claim is correct.

I guess we could all 'agree to disagree', but then I'm going to start warning everyone about Galactus' eventual visitation to consume the Earth.  Not certain how productive that is.
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2012, 02:18:35 PM »

And, don't forget the fear factor of Christianity.  Christian God had to kill his own son for the sins of the world.  While not much can be known about this God, it's clear that you don't want to get on his wrath.  So, while not completely understanding this God, it's better to be safe than sorry.   Do you want to risk your eternity in hell?  If there is no God, a Christian loses very little (talking about a modern, evangelical Christian, not about a 15th century monk).  But if there is a God, then atheist loses everything.

My bolding

If there is no God a Christian loses a lot in a wasted life , hours and hours going to church, political activities, etc, and all trying to second guess this god into what is required to get to 'Heaven'.

But

If there is an All-powerfull , All-good, All-knowledable god then then this god would appreciate the effort the atheist has put in to get to their honest belief.
This god would acknowledge human limitations.

But, of course, if there is an AMORAL Controlling god.......
anything goes.

Edited for emphasis
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 02:26:40 PM by relativetruth »
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2012, 03:30:06 PM »
Theists are deceiving themselves? Well that's interesting and pretty judgemental. Knowing a bit of science, doesn't give you the right to accuse anyone of deception. Granted, some people use belief to deceive others for selfish gains, but as for theists deceiving themselves? If you're talking about any claim that goes against modern science, it would be scientifically impossible to disagree.

Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but it seems to me; that when you referred to a theist deceiving themselves, you weren't just referring to the scientific side of the argument, instead it seems to be that you may be implying that they are wasting their time or possibly even causing harm to themselves.

Well allow me to just say that I think there is little consideration given towards those individuals whom may need to believe in this just to cope with existence. Some may be extremely satisfied with their existence and just want something or someone to thank for having such a wonderful time on Earth. Accept if you will, even if for just a moment; that some people need this and that some people want this belief in their lives, maybe then you wouldn't go out and demand explanations and accuse others of being deceptive. 
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2012, 04:28:58 PM »
Well allow me to just say that I think there is little consideration given towards those individuals whom may need to believe in this just to cope with existence. Some may be extremely satisfied with their existence and just want something or someone to thank for having such a wonderful time on Earth. Accept if you will, even if for just a moment; that some people need this and that some people want this belief in their lives, maybe then you wouldn't go out and demand explanations and accuse others of being deceptive.

(italics mine)
If people believed in invisible magical powerful beings to cope with existence in the privacy of their own brains, we would not even know about it! Nobody could "demand" anything about anyone's beliefs if they kept those beliefs private. Give thanks to anyone you want for your existence here on earth--your mama, your Brahma, Jehovah, Batman, Santa Claus, Wonder Woman, Mr. Spock or Thor. Or all of them. Knock yourself out! Who would care?

But people don't stop with their own belief. They have to try to change laws that affect other people, make policy governing other people, affect what other people's kids learn in school, block scientific advancements by and for other people. They have to force other people to live by their beliefs. They want to change other people's lives, tell other people who to have sex with or who to marry, what medical procedures or treatments other people can have, or what other people can eat and drink, or what other people will celebrate and how. They even beat up or kill other people who don't believe the same.

If the belief is not even based on real evidence, if it is obviously just some made up legends forced on people throughout history for political reasons, on top of everything else, there are some pretty important reasons to, at the very least, ask some skeptical questions about that belief. At the extreme, it might be necessary to fight against the people who have that belief.
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 Mooby

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2012, 07:55:04 PM »
IN addition to what anfauglir said, I would add that what is true is useful to know.
I'm not so sure about that.  There's a lot of knowledge out there that's pretty close to useless, depending on how much you split hairs on usefulness.  Either way, though, I don't think that's how 3s was using it in the OP; in that post, I took "helpful" and "useful" to mean something conducive to 3s' goals in this discussion.


Perhaps I need to go through more past posts, but Mooby's god sounds more and more like Karen Armstrong's god.
I am not familiar with Karen Armstrong or her theological beliefs.

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Mooby, apologies if I am mis-characterizing, but could you mayhaps clarify if you expect that the existence of god would have any consequences in reality that are different from the non-existence of god.
Of course it does, though I don't claim to know them all.  For starters, if God didn't create the universe, we might not even be here!

Quote
Do you think that the scientific method is a good way to minimize subjective bias in attempts to understand reality?  If yes, does that make any inroads for you for distinguishing objective reality from subjective reality?  If not, is it simply inadequate, or principally flawed as a tool for establishing objective truths?
I think it's a good tool for empiric investigation, but that this doesn't necessarily extend to finding objective truths.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2012, 09:14:08 PM »
I'm not so sure about that.  There's a lot of knowledge out there that's pretty close to useless, depending on how much you split hairs on usefulness. 

I totally agree here.  Some knowledge is very useless.  But knowing whether or not a specific postulated being exists, and having our eternal salvation depend upon what we think about this being is far from useless information.  I doubt anyone would disagree here.

Of course it does, though I don't claim to know them all.  For starters, if God didn't create the universe, we might not even be here!

Do you claim to know any specific details that could only be explained by the existence of the God you believe in?  Because, as you well know, the existence of the universe is no more evidence for the God you believe in than it is for any other possible creating force, including a completely natural one.  While the existence of the universe is a fact that lends support to the God theory, it also lends support to the Zeus theory, the Thor theory, the Vishnu theory in exactly the same way.  It also lends support to the idea that it was formed from unknown, or even completely natural causes. 

I think it's a good tool for empiric investigation, but that this doesn't necessarily extend to finding objective truths.

What tool do you find works better than the scientific method at determining objective truths about the universe?  And please provide an example of it's use that illustrates how it is superior to the findings that would be generated if the scientific method were brought to bear on the same example.   
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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2012, 10:04:03 PM »
First, you ask for a "factual" description of God and then qualify that with examples of things that are/are not "useful."  However, my belief is not rooted in what I feel to be useful to you or me or anyone else; it's rooted in what I think is true.  Unfortunately, many of the things I believe about God are not what you would consider "useful."  In particular, I do not believe God is a phenomenon, if by "phenomenon" you mean something that is both a posteriori (dependent on experience) and empirical (based on repeated observation).

I mean useful or helpful in establishing the truth or validity of your claims or useful or helpful in differentiating your God from anything else. You’ve said you believe your God is real and you believe you have a personal relationship with it. I want you to demonstrate to us that those beliefs are true and you aren’t simply deceiving yourself. The first thing we need to do is establish exactly what your God is. That’s why I’m asking you to provide a factual description of it. If you can’t even define or describe your God then it isn’t possible to prove that it is real, in which case your belief is nothing more than self-deception.

A phenomenon is a fact or situation observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question. Saying you don’t believe your God can be observed to exist or your personal relationship with it could be observed to happen only serves to negate your beliefs. Believing you have a personal relationship with something is certainly dependent on experience so your objection here further negates your belief.

Quote
On the whole, it seems as if you view God as primarily a posteriori.  However, while I do believe God has at least some a posteriori interaction with us (prayer, miracles, etc.), my belief is primarily a priori (independent of experience).  Thus, I think asking whether we can "detect" God is putting the cart before the horse: yes, I do think we can detect God, but in my view detecting God is something that deepens belief, but is not a foundation for belief.

Well then what is the foundation of your belief if it isn’t dependent on experience with or observation or detection of your God? Is it just an emotion or internal feeling you have? That would make your personal relationship with it a fantasy.

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As for distinguishing objective from subjective reality, I don't know that that's possible.  As I hinted in the other thread, I think we have some major barriers to making that distinction.

Objective means not dependent on the mind for existence; actual. If something is objective it is perceptible (though not necessarily perceived) by all observers. If you were to say the foundation for your belief is based on internal feelings then that isn’t objective.

Quote
I think I'll stop here and see if you want to go further with me, or if this is too far from what you had in mind.

I’m asking you to validate (prove) your belief that your God is real and you have a personal relationship with it. You can do that by following the guidelines in the OP. Allowing yourself to believe that an unvalidated feeling, idea or situation is true is self-deception. If you cannot establish the truth or validity of your claims then why should anyone believe them or trust what you say?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2012, 02:40:43 AM »
But the relevance for me comes in the subsidiary question I asked: if there is not a single thing you can point to to say "that shows that my god is real", then why should we give even a passing moment's thought to your particular view of the universe, other than as "funny story #463"?
I never said you should. I'm honestly not interested in convincing or converting anyone to my beliefs.....by the same token, I see no reason to buy your view, either.

Interesting.  Not sure I've presented a view, but implicit in what I've been saying so far is any view I would choose to present to you would be (a) capable of being described and articulated, and (b) capable of verification.

Are you saying that you see no need to consider a view that can be articulated and verified?  That you would dismiss any such views because they do not fit with your "beliefs"?  I'm having a hard time accepting that that IS what you are saying, so please correct me - I may just have the wrong end of the stick.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Dominic

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2012, 09:55:13 AM »

3Sigma,

1.  I want to know how a universe and life can orginate.  My reason tells me that it cannot randomly come together.  So, I need a reasonable alternative.  Science offers a few attempts but since science cannot address a first cause, the problem is out of its scope.

2.  The experiences of people who have temporarily died (NDEs) reveal that consciousness continues without any need of a body.  Although these are subjective reports, their number and consistency requires a serious explanation.

3.  I want explanations for love, for happiness, for consciousness, for the cleverness of nature (and lots more besides).

The only, and I emphasise only, serious explantion that has been offered throughout history for the things mentioned above, is that there is an eternal and universal force which gives rise to and sustains these things.  That force demonstrates intelligence, consumate skill/precision, and purpose in both the universe itself and in the consciousness which witnesses these occurences.

That force is what I call God.  Furthermore I see no alternative to these conclusions.  No other attempted explanation even begins to explain the phenomenon which we witness every day, every minute in fact.

Of course it can be given a name other than God to perhaps avoid the vast quantity of 'baggage' that has attached itself to that term over the years but personally I haven't found a better word than 'God' to encapsulate this concept.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2012, 10:49:36 AM »
I'll let 3sig do the heaving lifting on this, since you did address him.  But let me just point out this one thing:

The only, and I emphasise only, serious explantion

A guy who just existed nowhere, outside of time is a serious explanation?  BAAAAAAHAHAHAHAhahahaha!!! 


Oh, and I'm pretty sure you've been schooled on NDEs here before.  Too bad none of it stuck.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2012, 11:40:28 AM »
1.  I want to know how a universe and life can orginate.  My reason tells me that it cannot randomly come together.

This is called the "Argument from Incredulity": you say that you cannot believe something to be true, therefore it must be false.  Reality does not work that way.  To give a counterexample: I absolutely cannot fathom how anyone can be a Christian -- I really can't.  But it does not follow from that that Christians do not exist.

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Science offers a few attempts but since science cannot address a first cause, the problem is out of its scope.

And this fallacy is called "Moving the Goalposts", or possibly "God of the Gaps": a natural explanation for x is not (currently) available, therefore a deity must have done it.  The problem here is that naturalistic explanations for various phenomena are being discovered all the time, meaning that those gaps are getting smaller and those goalposts don't have much farther back to move, and indeed, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the gaps and goalposts will eventually cease to exist altogether.

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2.  The experiences of people who have temporarily died (NDEs) reveal that consciousness continues without any need of a body.  Although these are subjective reports, their number and consistency requires a serious explanation.

This is simply false.  NDEs have perfectly naturalistic explanations.

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3.  I want explanations for love, for happiness, for consciousness, for the cleverness of nature (and lots more besides).

1)  Love: What do you need to know?
2)  Happiness: Same question.
3)  Consciousness: We don't have a definitive explanation and/or definition of it yet; some even claim that it does not exist.  We're working on it, so stay tuned.
4)  The cleverness of nature: Assumes facts not in evidence.  There is no indication that nature is "clever" -- if I'm even understanding what you mean by that, which I admit I may well not be.

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The only, and I emphasise only, serious explantion that has been offered throughout history for the things mentioned above, is that there is an eternal and universal force which gives rise to and sustains these things.

"An unknowable force does things in an unknowable way using unknowable methods and for unknowable reasons."  This is not a serious explanation.  It is, indeed, not an explanation at all.

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That force demonstrates intelligence, consumate skill/precision, and purpose in both the universe itself and in the consciousness which witnesses these occurences.

How?

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That force is what I call God.

And what if you called it Fred, or Mugwump?

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Furthermore I see no alternative to these conclusions.  No other attempted explanation even begins to explain the phenomenon which we witness every day, every minute in fact.

Argument from Incredulity again (with a dash of "Argument from Ignorance" thrown in for seasoning).

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Of course it can be given a name other than God to perhaps avoid the vast quantity of 'baggage' that has attached itself to that term over the years but personally I haven't found a better word than 'God' to encapsulate this concept.

Define "God".  Explain its characteristics, how it works, where it is, etc etc.  Once you've done that, we can investigate whether this being/force exists.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2012, 04:26:10 PM »
Perhaps I need to go through more past posts, but Mooby's god sounds more and more like Karen Armstrong's god.
I am not familiar with Karen Armstrong or her theological beliefs.
Insofar as I understand, her theological beliefs are basically an exercise in semantic vagueness.  'God' exists, but isn't a person, force, or presence in reality.  But exists, mind you.  She'll tell you a whole lot about what god isn't but will make damn sure to let you know that she can't tell you what god is.  But god is real.

I think I equated Karen Armstrong's theological views on god to porn.  Sweet.
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Mooby, apologies if I am mis-characterizing, but could you mayhaps clarify if you expect that the existence of god would have any consequences in reality that are different from the non-existence of god.
Of course it does, though I don't claim to know them all.  For starters, if God didn't create the universe, we might not even be here!
In what ways does this differ then from the claim "If the 64th Regiment of Rigel 7 didn't create the universe, we might not even be here!"
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Do you think that the scientific method is a good way to minimize subjective bias in attempts to understand reality?  If yes, does that make any inroads for you for distinguishing objective reality from subjective reality?  If not, is it simply inadequate, or principally flawed as a tool for establishing objective truths?
I think it's a good tool for empiric investigation, but that this doesn't necessarily extend to finding objective truths.
...so is it simply inadequate or principally flawed?
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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2012, 04:27:28 PM »
1.  I want to know how a universe and life can orginate.  My reason tells me that it cannot randomly come together.  So, I need a reasonable alternative.  Science offers a few attempts but since science cannot address a first cause, the problem is out of its scope.

I’d be interested to know how the universe originated as well, but we don’t know now and we may never know because it may be impossible to obtain information from “before” the Big Bang. I’m hoping we will know how life originated within my lifetime, but we don’t know that yet either. I’m certainly not going to assume an answer without any sound evidence or sound arguments to support it.

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2.  The experiences of people who have temporarily died (NDEs) reveal that consciousness continues without any need of a body.  Although these are subjective reports, their number and consistency requires a serious explanation.

You know, people who experience NDEs haven’t really died. That’s why they’re called near death experiences instead of after death experiences. Sure, they are designated as being clinically dead, but that just means their circulation and breathing have stopped. That happens to hundreds of thousands of people every day around the world. Some of them are resuscitated. A few of those describe what they felt as their brain malfunctioned due to hypoxia and other chemical imbalances in their bodies. I’d like to see someone who has died and been cremated come back to life and tell us about it. Then I’ll believe in experiences after death.

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3.  I want explanations for love, for happiness, for consciousness, for the cleverness of nature (and lots more besides).

Then I suggest you read more.

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The only, and I emphasise only, serious explantion that has been offered throughout history for the things mentioned above, is that there is an eternal and universal force which gives rise to and sustains these things.  That force demonstrates intelligence, consumate skill/precision, and purpose in both the universe itself and in the consciousness which witnesses these occurences.

That force is what I call God.  Furthermore I see no alternative to these conclusions.  No other attempted explanation even begins to explain the phenomenon which we witness every day, every minute in fact.

On the contrary, “God did it” is a shallow answer to comfort shallow thinkers. It is nothing more than an admission of ignorance and defeat. It is just a condensed way of saying you don’t know how those things happened, but not knowing makes you feel insecure so you’re going to assume a simple answer that reinforces your comforting religious beliefs and you’re unwilling or unable to investigate any further.

You haven’t answered the OP. All you’ve done is evade it by asking questions in return. We see that often from religious believers. So tell us, is this God of yours real or imaginary? Please provide a factual description of it. Please provide enough sound evidence and sound arguments to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it is real. Please explain what, if anything, distinguishes your belief in your God from imagination. If you can’t provide any of that then it is more than likely you are simply deceiving yourself.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 04:32:13 PM by 3sigma »

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2012, 04:30:13 PM »
3.  I want explanations for love, for happiness, for consciousness, for the cleverness of nature (and lots more besides).
So do I.  Should I just make up explanations or devise a way of finding and verifying those explanations?

If you want explanations for these things, I've got those in spades.  But I suspect you want correct explanations.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline Mooby

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2012, 05:26:53 PM »
Do you claim to know any specific details that could only be explained by the existence of the God you believe in?  Because, as you well know, the existence of the universe is no more evidence for the God you believe in than it is for any other possible creating force, including a completely natural one.  While the existence of the universe is a fact that lends support to the God theory, it also lends support to the Zeus theory, the Thor theory, the Vishnu theory in exactly the same way.
No, I do not.  For any finite set of points, there are an infinite number of equations that go through all of them.  Similarly, there's at least one alternative explanation for every phenomenon.

Zeus, Thor, and Vishnu are all conceptions of God.

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What tool do you find works better than the scientific method at determining objective truths about the universe?
I haven't found any.  Therein lies the problem.  I know of no tool that determines objective truths about the universe.


You’ve said you believe your God is real and you believe you have a personal relationship with it.
I did not invent God, nor do I claim any ownership over Him.  He is no more "my" God than the laws of thermodynamics are "my" laws.

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The first thing we need to do is establish exactly what your God is. That’s why I’m asking you to provide a factual description of it. If you can’t even define or describe your God then it isn’t possible to prove that it is real, in which case your belief is nothing more than self-deception.
Actually, I think that's a few steps down the road, but since you went to the trouble of making the thread, I won't argue the point.

God is, to the best my human mind and language can describe, the eternally omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent source of all being.

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A phenomenon is a fact or situation observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question. Saying you don’t believe your God can be observed to exist or your personal relationship with it could be observed to happen only serves to negate your beliefs.
What I said is that God can be observed, but that He's not observable as a phenomenon.  It might be more clear to say that God can cause phenomenon and/or make Himself known directly to our senses, but He is not a constantly observable phenomenon like your computer.

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Well then what is the foundation of your belief if it isn’t dependent on experience with or observation or detection of your God? Is it just an emotion or internal feeling you have? That would make your personal relationship with it a fantasy.
You really do like answering your own questions for me, don't you?

God is ontologically prior to experience, observation, detection, emotions, internal feelings, and imagination.  If God were to suddenly stop existing (or start, for the atheist), the meaning of all those things would change in some way.  Thus, I cannot base my faith on these any more than I can use polar coordinates to prove the equation for the area of a circle (since polar coordinates are derived from said equation.)

So where can it come from?  It can't come from the universe, since if I believe God is eternal and the universe is not, then God must be prior to the universe.  Can it come from my own reason, Decartes style?  No, for the same reason.

So what's left when I discard all experience, observation, detection, emotions, internal feelings, imagination, the universe, or even myself?

Interesting.  Not sure I've presented a view, but implicit in what I've been saying so far is any view I would choose to present to you would be (a) capable of being described and articulated, and (b) capable of verification.
I don't think you have, but I was assuming that you have some view of the universe.  My point was that the door swings both ways: you currently have no reason to buy my view, and I have no reason to buy yours, whatever it may be.

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Are you saying that you see no need to consider a view that can be articulated and verified?
No, I would definitely consider any view that could be articulated and verified in establishing objective reality.

Insofar as I understand, her theological beliefs are basically an exercise in semantic vagueness.  'God' exists, but isn't a person, force, or presence in reality.  But exists, mind you.  She'll tell you a whole lot about what god isn't but will make damn sure to let you know that she can't tell you what god is.  But god is real.
Interesting.  Perhaps she feels she lacks the words to describe God properly?  She sounds like she'd be interesting to talk to, at any rate.

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In what ways does this differ then from the claim "If the 64th Regiment of Rigel 7 didn't create the universe, we might not even be here!"
Well, for starters, I don't know who or what the 64th Regiment of Rigel 7 is.  Is it ontologically prior to the universe?

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...so is it simply inadequate or principally flawed?
As a tool?  Neither.  For empirical investigation?  It's great.  For establishing objective truths?  It's inadequate.

Much as a screwdriver is good for screwing screws, so-so for hammering nails, and terrible for tightening bolts, so is the scientific method good at what it does, but not good at what it doesn't.
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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2012, 06:31:15 PM »
I did not invent God, nor do I claim any ownership over Him.  He is no more "my" God than the laws of thermodynamics are "my" laws.

When I say your God, I simply mean whatever it is you think of as God. It only implies possession inasmuch as you have formed your own personal opinion of what God is. Of course, everyone has to do that because it has no foundation in fact.

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God is, to the best my human mind and language can describe, the eternally omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent source of all being.

I asked for a factual description. Is any of that a fact? Has any of it been proven to be true? Please prove that description is factual. If you can’t do that then provide another description and this time please confine yourself only to facts.

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What I said is that God can be observed, but that He's not observable as a phenomenon.  It might be more clear to say that God can cause phenomenon and/or make Himself known directly to our senses, but He is not a constantly observable phenomenon like your computer.

God is ontologically prior to experience, observation, detection, emotions, internal feelings, and imagination.  If God were to suddenly stop existing (or start, for the atheist), the meaning of all those things would change in some way.  Thus, I cannot base my faith on these any more than I can use polar coordinates to prove the equation for the area of a circle (since polar coordinates are derived from said equation.)

This is meaningless word salad unless you can prove that any of that is a fact. Please provide a factual description of your God.

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So where can it come from?  It can't come from the universe, since if I believe God is eternal and the universe is not, then God must be prior to the universe.  Can it come from my own reason, Decartes style?  No, for the same reason.

So what's left when I discard all experience, observation, detection, emotions, internal feelings, imagination, the universe, or even myself?

Hold on there. There is no sound reason to discard emotions, internal feelings and imagination as an explanation for your belief in a God. Those are all valid explanations and are probably the true explanation.

I’ll ask again, is this God of yours real or imaginary? Please provide a factual description of it. Please provide enough sound evidence and sound arguments to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it is real. Please explain what, if anything, distinguishes your belief in your God from imagination. If you can’t provide any of that then it is more than likely you are simply deceiving yourself.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Please validate your belief in your God
« Reply #57 on: October 03, 2012, 07:14:40 PM »
I asked for a factual description. Is any of that a fact?
Of course.

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Please prove that description is factual.
It's factual because it's an accurate depiction of the God in whom I believe.

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This is meaningless word salad unless you can prove that any of that is a fact.
No, it's an expansion of the definition I gave above.  Also, you are using "word salad" incorrectly, and "meaningless word salad" is redundant.

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Hold on there. There is no sound reason to discard emotions, internal feelings and imagination as an explanation for your belief in a God. Those are all valid explanations and are probably the true explanation.
Those are valid explanations for a posteriori belief, but as I said above I believe in an a priori god.

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Please explain what, if anything, distinguishes your belief in your God from imagination.
My beliefs refer to things external to myself, while my imagination is self-contained.  Also, as I mentioned in my last post, my imagination comes from me, and I come from the universe, so a god prior to the universe could not come from me unless I am more prior to the universe than God, which would make me prior to the universe, which we're assuming for the moment that I'm not.

I think some of this will become more clear after we get a little further into my beliefs about the relationship between science and objective reality.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 07:18:03 PM by Mooby »
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