Author Topic: nature of truth  (Read 7510 times)

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Offline bertatberts

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2012, 03:21:29 PM »
^Yep. Except for the part that lightning doesn't actually strike the ground from above. It leaps out of the ground and into the sky. Something our human eyes can't seem to catch.
Yes agreed, my bad.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2012, 03:27:04 PM »
You may have to come up with a different scenario

the problem is i think that the truth is defenite... so thete hasnt been any illustrations that have made sense for me... i feel like im spending a good amount of time arguing against myself
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2012, 03:33:00 PM »
First it is the truth of 1+1=2 can be proven,while a religious truth can only be true for the believer,and to nobody else. A religious truth is different for a Muslim than it is for a Christian,and the message of each religion is very different. Then there is the belief of differing Christian sects,same message,different truths
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Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2012, 03:35:29 PM »
You may have to come up with a different scenario

the problem is i think that the truth is defenite... so thete hasnt been any illustrations that have made sense for me... i feel like im spending a good amount of time arguing against myself


Yes, the truth is definite. But you're putting humans into the equation and hoping that we can reliably agree on what it is. History is not on your side.


Nor are cultural, language or class differences on your side.


Luckily humans don't have to know the complete truth. A semblance of it is usually adequate.  "Lightning hit the house and damaged the chimney, but nobody was hurt and there was no fire" is adequate. Knowing exactly which brick it hit is seldom important.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2012, 04:39:01 PM »
The example I was rather fervently argued on was this...

Two people observe a lightning strike, but the exact moment when it happened was different for them.. Same for a hundred different people...

This is not a question of truth, it is a question of observation - human observation of sudden dramatic events is unreliable; it has nothing to do with truth, "absolute" or otherwise.

Both observers would agree that there was lightning - and this is true. The detail is unlikely to be corroborated - just as you can't remember the exact words you wrote in your first post, but know what it was about - it doesn't alter the "truth value" of your post. 

Quote
I argued that if you knew the exact moment they saw the lighting strike and the direction they were looking you could determine the point where the lightning strike happened and the exact moment it hit the ground using a little geometry and the speed of light...

This is not how lightning works - it would be almost impossible to make such a calculation. Look at a lightning fork - its path seems random but its track is governed by moisture and small electrical charges in the atmosphere and points of electrical charge at its point of strike. We cannot know all these in advance.

Quote
but after a while it turned into them telling me that I really didn't understand enough about philosophy to truly understand..

They may be correct - your physics needs brushing up too : (
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Offline shnozzola

Re: nature of truth
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2012, 05:31:16 PM »
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 05:35:18 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2012, 06:20:08 PM »
The example I was rather fervently argued on was this...

Two people observe a lightning strike, but the exact moment when it happened was different for them.. Same for a hundred different people...

This is not a question of truth, it is a question of observation - human observation of sudden dramatic events is unreliable; it has nothing to do with truth, "absolute" or otherwise.

Both observers would agree that there was lightning - and this is true. The detail is unlikely to be corroborated - just as you can't remember the exact words you wrote in your first post, but know what it was about - it doesn't alter the "truth value" of your post. 

Quote
I argued that if you knew the exact moment they saw the lighting strike and the direction they were looking you could determine the point where the lightning strike happened and the exact moment it hit the ground using a little geometry and the speed of light...

This is not how lightning works - it would be almost impossible to make such a calculation. Look at a lightning fork - its path seems random but its track is governed by moisture and small electrical charges in the atmosphere and points of electrical charge at its point of strike. We cannot know all these in advance.

Quote
but after a while it turned into them telling me that I really didn't understand enough about philosophy to truly understand..

They may be correct - your physics needs brushing up too : (

graybeard... i was asked to give an example of an argument for truth being relative... i didnt make ot up i dont think it had anuthing to do with truth either... i argued the point that it could be determined by geometry to illistrate that there was a moment the lightning strike actually happened regardless of peoples perception of it....
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Offline Nam

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2012, 08:54:22 PM »
The only "truth" evident here is your lack of being able to spell the simplest words correctly, mhaberling.

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2012, 09:03:01 PM »
The only "truth" evident here is your lack of being able to spell the simplest words correctly, mhaberling.

-Nam
thanks nam... on my smartphone... harder to type
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Offline Nam

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2012, 09:15:12 PM »
What a pitiful excuse. I am on an Android. That's all I have been on for about 6 months now, minus a couple of trips to the Library in that time period.

If you can spell correctly, then you will. If you do not, it's by choice. Am I getting at the "nature of truth" yet?

"We" all know what the topic is referring to, it's surprising, or not, that you think we do not.

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

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2012, 09:45:12 PM »
What a pitiful excuse. I am on an Android. That's all I have been on for about 6 months now, minus a couple of trips to the Library in that time period.

If you can spell correctly, then you will. If you do not, it's by choice. Am I getting at the "nature of truth" yet?

"We" all know what the topic is referring to, it's surprising, or not, that you think we do not.

-Nam

sorry i dont review for spelling corrections... please enlighten me on what you know this thread is about...
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2012, 01:08:02 AM »
stalling and dodging will not do you any favors here MH
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #41 on: December 24, 2012, 01:22:25 AM »
stalling and dodging will not do you any favors here MH
what am i dodging.... 12 monkeys you really are not that intellgent of an individual.

EDIT... has anyone one considered that this thread has nothing to to do with God and is just a basic philisophical question??
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 01:35:35 AM by mhaberling »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #42 on: December 24, 2012, 05:38:59 AM »
I havn't seen mhaberling stall or dodge in this thread, either.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2012, 06:57:01 AM »
graybeard... i was asked to give an example of an argument for truth being relative... i didnt make ot up i dont think it had anuthing to do with truth either... i argued the point that it could be determined by geometry to illistrate that there was a moment the lightning strike actually happened regardless of peoples perception of it....

I think the problem is that there is a distincyt difference between the actuality of what happened, and how people perceived that happening.

Eye-witnesses have been demonstrated over and over again to be an unreliable source of "truth".  They will - without meaning to - embellish their stories over time, confuse and conflate what they have seen, and colour everything through their perceptions and character and history.

So it may be possible to backtrack and determine the truth that lightning struck at this precise GPS co-ordinate, at this exact time, with this exact level of light and radiation and temperature - and that will be the truth of the lightning strike.

But the truth of observer A adds in the majesty of the strike, illuminating the church where they married their long-dead wife, while for observer B it was an annoying light that distracted them while they were trying to drive along a tricky road.  Was the truth that the lightning strike was irritating?  Or awe-inspiring and saddening?  Or was it, in fact, BOTH of those - with the circumstances of the strike leading to the event being in many ways a relative truth for different observers?  That, I believe, is the philosophical idea that lies behind relative truths, despite the fact that the observed event could be defined as being an objectively truthful occurrence.

Hence the problem with trying to classify a god or gods.  While it MAY be the case that the "truth of god" is that there is a particular god, and thus its existence (or not) is an objective truth, the problem lies in being able to categorise and measure that truth.   (Which is the thrust of 3Sigma's thread http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html on Validating a particular god.  While it MAY be that there is an objective truth about a god, there are few if any ways to examine and measure and arrive at that objective truth, which makes all religious truth relative.

(Side note - for reasons I won't go into, I am Admin for a small forum where 8 Christians are debating morality and the literality of the Bible.  I've long lost hope of them agreeing on one definitive answer for any of the questions they have been asked to consider.)

I can take a cup, and say "this is this colour, this size, this weight", and anybody can come and see that cup and check my statements.  There is an objective truth about the cup that CAN be verified and agreed upon - although there may be relative truths to the cup as well, depending on who gave it to me for example. 

And I would go on to agree that for pretty much everything there IS an objective truth about that thing.....but the issue lies in whether that objective truth can be measured and verified.  For some things, it can be.  For some things, it can not - and thus for those things (such as the existence of a particular god) the best that can be established it a relative truth - this god exists for me because of a, b, and c, or does not exist for me because of d and e.

To tie to another thread, on what should be taught as true, my contention would be that only those things that can be demonstrated as objectively true should be taught as such.  So I have no problem with a class being taught "this is the Bible, which says such-and-such", as well as "this is the Koran, which says this-and-that".  But unless and until someone can objectively verify anything contained within those books, the substance of the claims should NOT be taught as true.

Sorry - long post!
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2012, 07:04:42 AM »
stalling and dodging will not do you any favors here MH
what am i dodging.... 12 monkeys you really are not that intellgent of an individual.

EDIT... has anyone one considered that this thread has nothing to to do with God and is just a basic philisophical question??
Philosophical questions can never reach a conclusion, merely a possibility/ an opinion.
 
And if it isn't about your belief or God then why put it in General Religious Discussion, Why not Chatter.

You can't blame 12th for misunderstanding your meaning, when you place the thread in the wrong section.
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Offline Nam

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2012, 08:01:07 AM »
mhaberling,

If this is, as you say, a philosophical question, then why, as bertaberts relays, do you have this in a "religious" section? if not for the fact, or truth, that this is about the "truth" of those who are religious, such as yourself, versus those who are not?

You know the "truth"[1], and "we" do not because we are incapable of knowing such a thing for not having your god in our lives.

If this is just a wild opinion I hold, I don't think I am alone in it. Your OP, in my view espouses such, or implies such ideology.

-Nam
 1. spewed by many religious people countless times
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline 3sigma

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2012, 08:40:25 AM »
want to know where people are at on this issue... is truth definite or relative?

Relative to what? ‘Relative’ means compared to something else. Perhaps a better way of expressing this would be: is the truth objective or subjective? Bertatberts answered that question in reply #2. The truth is objective. It is that which is in accord with fact or reality. Reality is objective.

Maybe you are confusing the truth (objective reality) with the Truth: the subjective reality of religious believers in which they believe things are as they want or imagine them to be rather than as they are.
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. – David Hume 1711–1776

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2012, 10:17:18 AM »

Hence the problem with trying to classify a god or gods.  While it MAY be the case that the "truth of god" is that there is a particular god, and thus its existence (or not) is an objective truth, the problem lies in being able to categorise and measure that truth.   (Which is the thrust of 3Sigma's thread http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html on Validating a particular god.  While it MAY be that there is an objective truth about a god, there are few if any ways to examine and measure and arrive at that objective truth, which makes all religious truth relative.

(Side note - for reasons I won't go into, I am Admin for a small forum where 8 Christians are debating morality and the literality of the Bible.  I've long lost hope of them agreeing on one definitive answer for any of the questions they have been asked to consider.)

I can take a cup, and say "this is this colour, this size, this weight", and anybody can come and see that cup and check my statements.  There is an objective truth about the cup that CAN be verified and agreed upon - although there may be relative truths to the cup as well, depending on who gave it to me for example. 

I really do like this... We can percieve and measure things with inside the natural world and discover the truth about them... For something like a God, that would exist independent of the natural world, Yes it is agreeable that there is a truth but one that is impossible to validate.

What then would you say the significance of Truth is? Perceivable or not. And how to we go about discovering it best?

Here is an illustration... Polio is a curable disease, in the year 1800 it was also a curable disease even though humans had not found the cure.

Now lets look at Cancer, Do we start with the assumption that Cancer is curable and try to prove it, or do we accept the possibility that it is not curable and try and discover weather it is or not. Which do you think is a better for advancing human discovery? (note: I slightly lean towards the former but do recognize assumptions as a possible problem)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 10:19:09 AM by mhaberling »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2012, 10:25:31 AM »
mhaberling,

If this is, as you say, a philosophical question, then why, as bertaberts relays, do you have this in a "religious" section? if not for the fact, or truth, that this is about the "truth" of those who are religious, such as yourself, versus those who are not?

You know the "truth"[1], and "we" do not because we are incapable of knowing such a thing for not having your god in our lives.

If this is just a wild opinion I hold, I don't think I am alone in it. Your OP, in my view espouses such, or implies such ideology.

-Nam
 1. spewed by many religious people countless times

I would agree that putting the thread on this board was probably a mistake... To be honest I didn't think about it to hard. If a moderator would like to change it that would be fine.. if not that's cool too.

Nam, "we are incapable for knowing such a thing for not having god in our lives"
That would be a very smug view point for me to have...
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2012, 11:22:30 AM »
I really do like this... We can percieve and measure things with inside the natural world and discover the truth about them... For something like a God, that would exist independent of the natural world, Yes it is agreeable that there is a truth but one that is impossible to validate.

Yes, sort of. As far as a god is concerned, if there is literally no way to know if there is one at all, (for example the deist concept of a god who stated the universe and then went of break)' then the existence of that god would not be worth any consideration at all. This is because if there is no way of us knowing it exists, there would be equally no way for the god to take any part i the world - even to observe what happens in it. Now this is not like the usual mainstream gods who are claimed to be active in the world and who could, at the very least, be potentially detectable by looking at the way it reacts with matter - putting thoughts in the brain of a believer would require changing the biochemistry in the brain.

So I would say there are some things which can never be known and for which there is no point knowing anyway.

Quote
What then would you say the significance of Truth is? Perceivable or not. And how to we go about discovering it best?

Here is an illustration... Polio is a curable disease, in the year 1800 it was also a curable disease even though humans had not found the cure.

Now lets look at Cancer, Do we start with the assumption that Cancer is curable and try to prove it, or do we accept the possibility that it is not curable and try and discover weather it is or not. Which do you think is a better for advancing human discovery? (note: I slightly lean towards the former but do recognize assumptions as a possible problem)

Aren't you being too pedantic here? Researchers who thought they could not do anything with a disease would not even start to research it. Does it matter so much if their intention is to cure of ameliorate?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #50 on: December 24, 2012, 12:26:03 PM »
I really do like this... We can percieve and measure things with inside the natural world and discover the truth about them... For something like a God, that would exist independent of the natural world, Yes it is agreeable that there is a truth but one that is impossible to validate.

Why so sure?  As Wheels said, unless we are talking about a non-interventionist deist god, any god will have particular and measurable effects on the world.  So as soon as any claims are made about any god, those claims can be tested.

Now lets look at Cancer, Do we start with the assumption that Cancer is curable and try to prove it, or do we accept the possibility that it is not curable and try and discover weather it is or not. Which do you think is a better for advancing human discovery? (note: I slightly lean towards the former but do recognize assumptions as a possible problem)

In this instance, cancer is a given truth - what is open for debate is whether there is such a thing as a "Cure Truth": there may or may not be a cure, so we will start to run tests to see if such a thing exists.

Similarly, there may or may not be a god, so we can start to run tests to see if such a thing exists.

And it is at this point that it all starts to break down, because I have yet to find a believer of any stripe who can give a testable hypothesis for their god.  Is there a god?  Who knows - and while there is no test possible, who cares?  Because in the absence of any test, each god hypothesis is equally as valid as any other, and any decision to live a certain way to please one particular god is a decision made at whim that may just as well have been made by cutting cards, because (in the absence of tests), it is just as reasonable to live one's life in the opposite fashion, to try to please the hypothetical opposite deity that can be proposed.

With cancer, of course, we have numerous studies and statistics that show that living life in certain ways will improve, or reduce, one's chance of suffering from cancer.  There is evidence available that can steer one to a particular course of action.  But I am aware of NO god hypothesis where there is evidence that a particular set of lifestyle choices will lead to measurable increased favour with that hypothesised god.  Indeed, every study I have ever seen shows that adherence to a particular belief system brings no discernable difference to one's life compared to belief in alternate god/s (or in none).

So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2012, 01:06:07 PM »
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2012, 02:18:39 PM »
I'm not sure quite how you work out the existence of god from the state of the universe. We would need to think rather harder than that it seems you have. Even if we do, I'm not sure it would be possible.

Why not try and detect a possible god interacting with the world of, more specifically, a single believer? Repeat observations of such interactions over a large number of people and there is possible evidence for a god. of course, it wouldn't say which of the many possible ones though!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2012, 02:42:42 PM »
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...
What interest does this God have in 33% of a planet in the middle of a galaxy in a small corner of a vast universe he created?......And what would you remark on my intelligence......you seem to not even be able to spell correctly.....or is that just testament to the USA's education system
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2012, 03:16:19 PM »
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence...
Immediate fail. Your not starting with a truth.
Quote from: mhaberling
I would look then to what would also be true,
Second fail you haven't established a first truth, you merely have an assumption to work from, You are getting no where fast.
Quote from: mhaberling
we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible.
Well duh! This is because you haven't established a truth.
Quote from: mhaberling
So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics.
Where would you find such evidence when all you have is an assumption.
Quote from: mhaberling
So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God.
So until then we must err on the side of caution, and follow reality as it is.
The complete theory as you call it, may finally prove fairies exists, should we then believe they exist in advance.
It's a Pascal wager fail
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2012, 03:59:58 PM »
OK, guys, let's try and imagine how the world would look if there were a loving, all-powerful, all-loving god in charge. I'd go with -

1. Prayers to relieve suffering would be answered be the god relieving the suffering.

2. There could be no doubt as to the fact there was a god and what its name was. (this would save the problem of there being such a large choice that most people have picked a loser!)

Right, what would other people pick - imagining how the world would look with a good god as in the NT?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline 3sigma

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2012, 04:19:03 PM »
OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence...

Okay, let’s see if you are following the scientific method—pretty much the best tool we have for determining the truth. You start with a hypothesis… check.

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I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world…

You make predictions based on that hypothesis… well, you seem to recognise that you should make predictions, but you haven’t actually proposed anything specific.

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But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...

You test those predictions… wait, where are the tests Anfauglir requested? I don’t see any. All I see is evasion and procrastination. In the meantime, all you are left with is an unsupported and essentially worthless assumption. Surely you wouldn’t base your beliefs on something like that, would you?

« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 04:23:31 PM by 3sigma »
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. – David Hume 1711–1776

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2012, 05:17:07 PM »
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...
What interest does this God have in 33% of a planet in the middle of a galaxy in a small corner of a vast universe he created?......And what would you remark on my intelligence......you seem to not even be able to spell correctly.....or is that just testament to the USA's education system

Never been a good speller... Never really thought it necessary to make sure spelling is always correct... A forum is conversational in nature, so it should be taken more casually than formal literature... 12 monkeys, you start adding on topic intelligent arguments to my threads and stop trolling and I will stop questioning your intelligence... Also your question seems to imply that you think that a god would solely be focused on earth... Why would that be true?
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin