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Offline William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #87 on: December 26, 2012, 10:32:36 AM »
Hell, my 8 year old son was looking through a book of prehistoric mammals, and when it presented nearly a dozen variations of the early hominid, was able to see, on his own, ...

kb, congratulations for giving your son the gift of free thought.  I can relate to that  :)
Spare a thought for the billions of theist's children who, through no fault of their own, become infected with the delusions of their parents.

I never taught my daughter religion - I guarded the openness of her mind - when she was 8 years old she blasted straight through the bullshit of the Flood:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,5527.msg122593.html#msg122593 
She's 12 now and going strong  ;) ... acutely alert to social justice issues and the stupid of religion all around the world.

But I worry so much about the innocent children, so full of the same potential, who instead have infectious theist memes planted like a virus in their vulnerable minds.  Every kid is special - so many are just unlucky to have theist parents  :(
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #88 on: December 26, 2012, 12:00:01 PM »

kb, congratulations for giving your son the gift of free thought.
Thank you! I prefer to teach my son how to think, not what to think. He loves to read and explore and learn. Kids have a natural thirst for knowledge and intellectual growth that is beaten out of them by religion, and it's contemptible. I don't remember the context of the discussion, but I had commented that there are actually people who believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. He just could not grasp how anyone could be that gullible or willfully stupid.

I even tell him that I am not always right. Just because I say something does not mean it is true. I encourage him to examine the available knowledge and information and make his own conclusions. I even encourage him to challenge me if he thinks I am wrong about something, and for him to state his reasons why he thinks I am not correct. What theist has the intellectual honesty to do this?!? As a result, he has a pretty critical mind, and is very sharp, and can in fact present a good argument (by third grade standards) for his position. While some might say that this encourages him to challenge authority, so what? Why should children be taught to just accept everything at face value without demanding justification? I would much rather he be able to think for himself and reach his own conclusions. He will be able to make better decisions in his adult life by doing so.

Quote
I can relate to that  :)
Spare a thought for the billions of theist's children who, through no fault of their own, become infected with the delusions of their parents.

I never taught my daughter religion - I guarded the openness of her mind - when she was 8 years old she blasted straight through the bullshit of the Flood:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,5527.msg122593.html#msg122593 
She's 12 now and going strong  ;) ... acutely alert to social justice issues and the stupid of religion all around the world.

But I worry so much about the innocent children, so full of the same potential, who instead have infectious theist memes planted like a virus in their vulnerable minds.  Every kid is special - so many are just unlucky to have theist parents  :(
It's very reassuring that there are other parents who encourage children to use their considerable brain power to its full potential. If only more people did this, there would be less violence, bigotry and injustice in the world.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #89 on: December 26, 2012, 12:40:30 PM »
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!
I think there needs to be a little bit of clarification here. Agnosticism is a position of knowledge. To say that one is agnostic about God is to say that one realizes that they can not know whether or not God is real. One can be an agnostic evangelist or an agnostic atheist. I think that most non-believers here would describe themselves as agnostic atheists, in other words, we can't know for sure, but we do not believe that there is a God. I would agree that agnosticism is the only defensible position in terms of knowledge, but in terms of belief, atheism is the only defensible position, because it is the only position for which there is not contradicting evidence.

One can believe in Odin all they want, but they are deceiving themselves if they think that there is evidence to support the Odin hypothesis. The default in the face of no evidence to support the claim is that there is no reason to believe that the claim is true. If it could be conclusively, irrefutably demonstrated that a man named Jesus Christ was born on a virgin, was tortured to death, and three days later was alive again, and all of the best available evidence supported this, and none of the best available evidence refuted it, then I would conclude that Jesus Christ was in fact born of a virgin and raised from the dead. But, as Hitchens put it, "A resurrected person who was also the son of a virgin could still be talking nonsense. There's no logic that says he must be right".

In other words, even if such a person was demonstrated conclusively to have existed (2000 years later, this still has not occurred) it would be a complete non-sequitur to conclude that this person was in fact the son of capital G God, supreme ruler and creator of the universe, as described in the Bible. Plenty of stories of heavenly persons born of virgins or by means other than natural conception and/or were resurrected from death were present in the human mind way before Jesus. Were all of those people the direct progeny of the supreme overlord of the universe? If your answer is no, then you must see why no one can make the same claim about Jesus. No special pleading allowed. Either people born of virgins, resurrected from the dead are divine offspring, or they are not.

And the problem is that Christians insist that Jesus MUST be for real precisely BECAUSE he was born of a virgin and rose from the grave. If those are the conditions necessary and sufficient for someone to be of divine paternity, then there are plenty of "for real" gods and goddesses out there, and Christians are ignoring them (at their peril, according to Pascal's wager).

Note that the same people who think that it is entirely plausible and believable that a person was born of a virgin, cured blind people, fed thousands with a McFish value meal, turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, and was himself raised from the dead are the same people who don't think it at all possible that human beings are the result of hundreds of millions of years of very tiny changes in genetic composition, IN SPITE OF the OVERWHELMING evidence to support the theory of evolution. Hell, my 8 year old son was looking through a book of prehistoric mammals, and when it presented nearly a dozen variations of the early hominid, was able to see, on his own, the subtle changes in jaw structure, the slow change of shape from "more like apes" hominids to "more like human" hominids, and concluded, on his own, that the best explanation is that modern humans are evolved from more ape-like ancestors. He's EIGHT, and possesses better critical thinking skills than BILLIONS of adults. When presented with the evidence, he was able to see how the evidence supported the theory. Is it really so much to ask that grown ups have the same level of intellectual honesty as a third grader?

Ahh... But there we have it, the thought process I am putting forward does not look for overwhelming evidence it looks for proof, The entire process ignores the idea of evidence, and only looks for definitive proof... Which may very well be one of its limiting factors.


"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #90 on: December 26, 2012, 12:46:38 PM »
Ahh... But there we have it, the thought process I am putting forward does not look for overwhelming evidence it looks for proof, The entire process ignores the idea of evidence, and only looks for definitive proof... Which may very well be one of its limiting factors.
Tell me, exactly how are you going to find definitive proof of anything if you don't consider evidence? What kind of thought process is this you are espousing? How can one find "proof" of any claim made by religion? The thought process you are advocating here is anything but a process of thought.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #91 on: December 26, 2012, 02:38:17 PM »
Sounds Cartesian - trying to gain knowledge about the universe through pure reason rather than by observing it.  It's an approach that carries a very lofty view of human thought patterns.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #92 on: December 26, 2012, 02:56:14 PM »
Ahh... But there we have it, the thought process I am putting forward does not look for overwhelming evidence it looks for proof, The entire process ignores the idea of evidence, and only looks for definitive proof... Which may very well be one of its limiting factors.
Tell me, exactly how are you going to find definitive proof of anything if you don't consider evidence? What kind of thought process is this you are espousing? How can one find "proof" of any claim made by religion? The thought process you are advocating here is anything but a process of thought.

The thought process doesn't ignore evidence, just evidence that isn't definitive. It is not in the business of determining what is likely, only what is true. The thought process only allows for definitive evidence. So on the flight example, It is pretty clear that you could prove it by getting in an aircraft and flying away. Evidence can be used for us to get our opinion on the truth, but if the evidence isn't decisive, this thought process ignores it.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #93 on: December 26, 2012, 03:09:05 PM »
Anfauglir... On your question Ill apply my reasoning that I supported earlier to both the existence and lack of existence of a god...

On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive

My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...

Or, in other words, there is NO testable question you can come up with, and therefore no evidence that can be said to support the hypothesis.  As far as I understand it, your position ultimately is that at the point we have a full understanding of physics, we will be able to determine if there is, or is not, a god: only then will we know.

Well, fair enough.  But so freakin' what?  How does that help anyone now, today?  If that is the ONLY way we can determine the existence of a god - ANY god - then any particular religion is as valid as any other.  Christianity as valid as Hinduism, Odin as likely as Osiris.  What religion you follow is a matter of personal preference and whim (since there is NO evidence that would support one deity over another), and therefore there is NO reason at all for any special priviledge in law or government or society for any chosen faith.  It should be as legal and valid to be married by a Shaman of Tzeentch as by a Muslim Imam, as valid to offset tax against donations to a Christian church/charity as to a Satanist one.

Lack of testable evidence, and a scant "one day we MIGHT be able to answer the qustion" is a position that carries huge amounts of meaning, as I've noted above.  As a seeker after truth, I'm sure you would support everything I've said above?


I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal

Sure, go for it.  Keep a record of every test you do, every different mechanism and experiment.  Look at the way that each one, time after time, has failed.  And as the list of failures gets longer and longer, explain how support for the original theory should become stronger?  Because THAT is what you are saying here: come up with a theory, have every test and experiment for that theory fail, but continue to assert that the theory is correct regardless of the continued failure of every test and experiment.

How long is "enough"?  At what point, when your hypothesis is, time after time, shown to fail to work in real life, do you lose your dedication to it?  And I'm not talking about one person's life here, I'm talking about centuries of millions of people all trying to prove that humans can be made lighter than air.

If there were really people out there, large groups, established for centuries, asserting that "humans can become lighter than air, we just haven't found out how", we would be ridiculing them by now, as they continue to hold their theory in the face of centuries of failure.  We'd tease them if we met them, we'd vote against funding for continued experiments, we'd CERTAINLY be denying them charitable status or advantage in law.  So why would anyone suggest religion should be treated any differently?

Well I would say that there is a difference in application and the pure form of the theory, People are made lighter than air, is more figurative language and not really precise on my part. Lets go back to flight, this said to look at how people can float on water, since water is also a fluid, I would say if the original testing ground for flight capable machines was water then we would have achieved it much quicker.

I guess with how long people want to spend on it is up to them personally, After all I believe faster than light travel is achievable  and thousands of years of history go against that. But I don't think we should give up on it because of that.

On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 03:16:19 PM by mhaberling »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #94 on: December 26, 2012, 03:25:55 PM »

Unless, by "it does tell us where to look for the answer", you mean "it does tell us where to look for the answer yes".  That would be accurate.


But at least in my application the result where to look for yes is the same place to look for the answer no. So how then is the answer inaccurate.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #95 on: December 26, 2012, 04:01:03 PM »
On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

If, for example, he lives on top of Mount Olympus, the way to determine his nature would be to go to the top of Mount Olympus, find him, and examine him.  If he lives at the bottom of the ocean, we'll need to go there instead.  If he responds to prayer requests, we can test that by having two groups of people with the same illness (let's say the common cold, just for convenience) and have one group receive prayers for recovery and the other group not receive such prayers.  And so on.

So tell us about your deity... where it lives, what it does, and so on, and then we'll know how to determine whether it exists.
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Offline 3sigma

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #96 on: December 26, 2012, 04:23:56 PM »
The thought process doesn't ignore evidence, just evidence that isn't definitive. It is not in the business of determining what is likely, only what is true.

Please tell us the definitive evidence that proves your god is real. You claim the thought process you are proposing looks for proof. Show us what proof you have that your belief is true. All we’ve seen so far is your mere assumption that your god is real followed by lofty aspirations of seeking the truth and proof. Well, what proof do you have that your belief is true?
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. – David Hume 1711–1776

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #97 on: December 26, 2012, 04:25:59 PM »
Quote from: mhaberling
The entire process ignores the idea of evidence


The thought process doesn't ignore evidence
So which is it? You can see why we rational primates are having a difficult time following this nonsense.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #98 on: December 26, 2012, 04:43:12 PM »
I guess with how long people want to spend on it is up to them personally, After all I believe faster than light travel is achievable  and thousands of years of history go against that. But I don't think we should give up on it because of that.

On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.


First of all, mhaberling, I know that this is at times frustrating for you. It is frustrating for us sometimes as well. But you're keeping your cool and stating your case, even though we keep telling you that you need to do better. Don't give up. If this subject gets out of hand try something else here. And while right now most of us think you have something to learn, it may be that we are the ones that need to do that. But it is up to you to be the teacher if that is the case.


Here I wanted to comment on your speed of light thing first. No, thousands of years of history don't go against being able to do that. Only in the last 110 years has that subject come up. And yes, though it is generally thought we cannot exceed the speed of light because current theory says that it would take an infinite amount of energy just to get mass up to the speed of light (and hence even more energy to get us past i, there may be ways to indeed exceed that limit, and some in science would agree that it is worth pursuing the subject. You may be in a minority thinking that, but this is one of those areas where the truth is not currently available in the sense that our knowledge is based upon current theory, and current theory is always open change as we make new discoveries.


And while I'm sure Anfauglir will respond as well, the problem here is that we have no idea how to define any evidence to show that a god may exist. What we are trying to tell you is that we have no knowledge of any scientific subject that would point towards a deity being involved in anything. Right now we think, in those areas where we are fairly advanced, knowledge-wise, that all of the phenomena we observe can be accounted for naturally. And in those areas where we still know little (abiogenesis, for instance) we are not finding gaps that appear to be un-fillable. Progress continues to be made in our understanding of what life is and what it requires and we are working backwards to the beginning of our existence, albeit more slowly than we would like.


So there is no arena, be it in science or any other human endeavor, that is so inexplicable that only the existence of a god or gods could explain anything. And so, if we have no ability to create or detect the criteria necessary for a god, and no ability to create or detect the criteria for detecting a god, we're sort of stuck. Unless something new comes along that allows at least one of those two criteria to start making sense, there is nothing for us to work with. We are stuck with what we, as humans, can discover.


Angauglir cannot provide what you asked for, and nobody else can either. Definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence does not exist. And while Christians jump with joy when they hear that, because they apparently think the lack of not only evidence but also criteria is absolute proof that a superior being, out of our reach, must indeed exist. However, that same thinking also applies to flying teacups, spaghetti monsters, the afore mention Odin and the many trickster gods of American Indian lore.


If nothing we'e discovered needs a god and nothing we discover in the future needs a god, I think we'll go ahead and leap to the conclusion that there isn't one. Because until the dude starts talking to us again, until he lets us walk around in the desert lost for 40 years, until he lets us write once again that insects have six legs and until he restates his fear of iron chariots, many of us are going to assume his stories of his existence are just that, stories.


If the kids shows up and the words of Revelation come true, I'll rethink my position. If amputees start spontaneously healing, I'll give the existence of some sort of supreme being serious consideration. If I suddenly turn handsome and all the women start chasing me I'll consider it. But in the meantime, we've got nothing. And of course we think that is all religion has as well.


We can at least consider the possibility of faster than light travel, because we can conceive of it, whether it can be done or not. Ideas can be floated, numbers can be crunched, etc. But we've also figured out that if we did fly at even just the speed of light to a nearby solar system, the shockwave we caused would destroy our destination, which sort of makes one wonder why we should even try. We can't find anything within science that should cause us to consider your god. If you think otherwise, a) we shouldn't be your audience, scientists should be and b) enjoy your Nobel Prize if you're right.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #99 on: December 26, 2012, 05:19:08 PM »
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!

Following up on the 2 previous posts. The ONLY position for a theist or an atheist is agnostic. No believer actually KNOWS that there is a god. They only believe this to be the case - usually based on a somewhat dubious holy book. The atheist has no possibility of KNOWING that there is no a god and can only posit there is not one is view of the lack of evidence.

So, mhaberling, do you KNOW that there is a god or are you an agnostic?
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 One Above All

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #100 on: December 26, 2012, 05:21:44 PM »
Following up on the 2 previous posts. The ONLY position for a theist or an atheist is agnostic.
<snip>

I probably sound like a broken record to older users, but here I go again:
What makes a god a god is left up to personal interpretation. There isn't one single clear definition accepted by everyone. As such, it is entirely possible that one would have an impossible definition, making one sure that there is no god.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #101 on: December 26, 2012, 05:27:03 PM »
Quite so! However, we are talking about truth here and, for an god we might select, there must be an answer to whether that god actually exists or not - i.e. exists in reality and not juts in the mind of a believer. Due to the way believers define their own gods may make discovering the fact of existence or not of the god harder but it still ought to be possible to do.
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 mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #102 on: December 26, 2012, 09:57:20 PM »
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!

Following up on the 2 previous posts. The ONLY position for a theist or an atheist is agnostic. No believer actually KNOWS that there is a god. They only believe this to be the case - usually based on a somewhat dubious holy book. The atheist has no possibility of KNOWING that there is no a god and can only posit there is not one is view of the lack of evidence.

So, mhaberling, do you KNOW that there is a god or are you an agnostic?

I believe in God, I pray to God, but do I know for sure? No, in that sense i am agnostic.... That is a great question +1;

Parking Places...
Maybe I understand you wrong, but if not I will respond with such...
It has never been my position that an atheistic viewpoint is a wrong one, just a different one in the absence of knowing the truth... On what I think points to God's existence, well that is a long discussion for a different day...
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #103 on: December 26, 2012, 10:10:46 PM »

I believe in God, I pray to God, but do I know for sure? No, in that sense i am agnostic....
I'm admittedly really confused by your worldview, mhaberling.
 
You have so far on this forum stated that your personal thought process requires definitive proof, in spite of evidence. Yet, you admit that you do not know for sure that there is a God, therefore there cannot be definitive proof of his existence. So, in spite of a lack of your proclaimed standard of definitive proof, you still believe in God anyway? My only conclusion is that you do not believe in the validity of your own through process. Please help me here, because its not clear at all to me where you stand at this point.

EDIT: Fixed incorrect quote formatting.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #104 on: December 26, 2012, 10:54:34 PM »
Parking Places...
Maybe I understand you wrong, but if not I will respond with such...
It has never been my position that an atheistic viewpoint is a wrong one, just a different one in the absence of knowing the truth... On what I think points to God's existence, well that is a long discussion for a different day...


I wasn't going for right or wrong, I was going after what is knowable. If you wish to point to that which we do not know, or to that which we will probably never know, and say "Look, that might be God!" I am in no position to argue with you, if you don't count my obstinacy. However, if you are wanting to point at things that we do know, or think we know, and say "See, right there, behind that Higgs Boson, that's God!" then I have a quibble, because none of the people actually doing the looking with instruments and technology are detecting such a thing.


Obviously anyone can point to anything and say they see God's handiwork or his mercy or his his cherry '65 Shelby Mustang in any and everything. That I don't simultaneously see the same thing indicates that something is amiss with at least one of us. And if there is a truth, which I assume there is, the closer we get to it, the more obvious it should be which side is wrong. And science looks and looks and as of yet sees nothing that primitive culture of ancient Israel saw. The only indication we actually have that there is a god is the stories, and those of you who believe have to keep falling back on them because there is nothing current that I know of that corroborates that claim.


The mere existence of religion is not adequate proof of a god. It is only proof of the misconceptions strong willed people, strong cultural norms, strong human tendencies and strong prejudices can produce. In my humble opinion.


Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #105 on: December 27, 2012, 02:02:13 AM »

I believe in God, I pray to God, but do I know for sure? No, in that sense i am agnostic....
I'm admittedly really confused by your worldview, mhaberling.
 
You have so far on this forum stated that your personal thought process requires definitive proof, in spite of evidence. Yet, you admit that you do not know for sure that there is a God, therefore there cannot be definitive proof of his existence. So, in spite of a lack of your proclaimed standard of definitive proof, you still believe in God anyway? My only conclusion is that you do not believe in the validity of your own through process. Please help me here, because its not clear at all to me where you stand at this point.

EDIT: Fixed incorrect quote formatting.

OK I see where we got off track... I am arguing for a thought process for discerning the truth about something or progressing technological advancement... At the beginning I asked which is better for advancing human discovery, not which one to use as part of every day life... The first assumption of the thought process is that you have decided you wan't to know the truth about something, I argue that it is best for determining where to look. I have opinions on things and beliefs that I admittedly don't know the Truth of. But if knowing the Truth is what your after I would forward this thought process as a good place to start. Does that make sense, I understand your confusion...  If not maybe I can explain it in another way. Sorry bout that...
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #106 on: December 27, 2012, 02:07:24 AM »
I wasn't going for right or wrong, I was going after what is knowable. If you wish to point to that which we do not know, or to that which we will probably never know, and say "Look, that might be God!" I am in no position to argue with you, if you don't count my obstinacy. However, if you are wanting to point at things that we do know, or think we know, and say "See, right there, behind that Higgs Boson, that's God!" then I have a quibble, because none of the people actually doing the looking with instruments and technology are detecting such a thing.

Hey, this is off track and maybe we can discuss it later in more detail, but what do you think about particle physics and its validity long term?
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #107 on: December 27, 2012, 02:09:47 AM »
Quote from: mhaberling
The entire process ignores the idea of evidence


The thought process doesn't ignore evidence
So which is it? You can see why we rational primates are having a difficult time following this nonsense.

Oh yeah almost forgot to answer this one... Maybe you took this out of context, maybe I didn't explain it right... It ignores anything but definitive evidence, what has to be true, as opposed to what should be true.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #108 on: December 27, 2012, 02:31:01 AM »
I wasn't going for right or wrong, I was going after what is knowable. If you wish to point to that which we do not know, or to that which we will probably never know, and say "Look, that might be God!" I am in no position to argue with you, if you don't count my obstinacy. However, if you are wanting to point at things that we do know, or think we know, and say "See, right there, behind that Higgs Boson, that's God!" then I have a quibble, because none of the people actually doing the looking with instruments and technology are detecting such a thing.

Hey, this is off track and maybe we can discuss it later in more detail, but what do you think about particle physics and its validity long term?


This is off track. We should find something to argue about in the science section and go for it. As for long term validity, it doesn't exists in science. We are too early in the game to not suffer new knowledge on a regular basis. That's why I spend more time reading science blogs and writing than I do here.


Added: Example: They just announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson a few months ago. But they may already have to modify that discovery. Because there are indications that there may be two different Higgs Bosons, something not theoretically predicted.

PM me and we can talk science all we want. If we come up with something worth discussing, we'll start a thread.


/end of thread highjacking
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 02:38:01 AM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #109 on: December 28, 2012, 04:15:55 AM »
On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

Like Pianodwarf says, "god" is a woolly word that can mean dramatically different things to different people, even when those two people profess to believe in the same "god".  So yes - the first criteria towards proving "god" is to define exactly what "god" means.

Its the scientific principle - you clearly define your hypothesis, and come up with a test that can prove the hypothesis, or falsify it.  Any test where the results can be ambiguous is pretty much worthless, as indeed are assertions that "one day we may be able to do it, just not yet".

Actually, I believe that that is a HUGE cop-out - at least if the "god" we are talking about is anything other than a non-interventionist deist creator-type god.  And as I've said before, if THAT is the only god we are talking about, then I'm not particularly interested anyways - if he's not ever EVER going to interact with me, then I don't care whether he exists or not, same as I don't particularly care whether Mr.John Smith of Des Moines who died in 1803 ever existed.  I can see perhaps how specific scientific disciplines might have an interest in that god, but for the "day-to-day person"?  Nope.

Fortunately, that question seldom arises.  Believers in non-interventionist deist creators seldom tend to want to force their views on other people, and even when they do, its not usually an issues precisely because of the "non-interventionist" aspect.  Their god doesn't want anything, so there is nothing they have to push onto others.

But I digress - the bigger reason I see it as a sneaky question because it tries to shift the goalposts back - "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" indeed!  "Please prove there are no black swans", as some might put it.  Of COURSE nobody here is going to be able to ask a question, or show the evidence, that there are NO gods out there at all, and its a rather disingenuous thing to ask.  I can't prove there are no black swans in the world, either.

But what I - and we - CAN do is ask questions, and provide the evidence, that knock down all the interventionist gods with particular characteristics that get put forward.  Does your god live in a certain physical place?  Then (as PD points out) we can go there.  Does your god say it will do particular things?  Then we can look to see if those things get done.  Does your god do this, look like that, manifest here, miracle that?  Then we can ask those questions, and (because we are looking at specifics) we can say "NO - THAT god does NOT exist". 

Its a process that has been going on for centuries.  Way back when, EVERYTHING was evidence for god.  But as we move forward, "god" has to retreat, and retreat, as slowly but surely everything that makes that god specific is revealed away as the smoke and mirrors it is, and we end up with an insubstantial and non-interfering "god" that would have been unthinkable to the people of a thousand, or even a hundred years ago.  We NEVER ask a question that makes the likelihood of a god a little MORE likely - NEVER devise the test that says "if there is a god, we should see X, and if there is not, we should see Y", and have X be the outcome.

So I'll repeat PD's question.  What exactly IS your god?  What does it do?  What is its nature?  Answer those questions, and we'll start to nail down the tests and the evidence that will "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" - or, rather, the lack of it.  I'm confident that we will blow away the mists that surround your god - whatever that may be - and either reveal that there is nothing there at all, or we will have amended the description of "god" to something completely irrelevant to mankind.

Is there a man behind your curtain, mhaberling?  What IS your god? 

Work with us and lets get to the truth.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #110 on: December 29, 2012, 03:09:46 AM »
On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

Like Pianodwarf says, "god" is a woolly word that can mean dramatically different things to different people, even when those two people profess to believe in the same "god".  So yes - the first criteria towards proving "god" is to define exactly what "god" means.

Its the scientific principle - you clearly define your hypothesis, and come up with a test that can prove the hypothesis, or falsify it.  Any test where the results can be ambiguous is pretty much worthless, as indeed are assertions that "one day we may be able to do it, just not yet".

Actually, I believe that that is a HUGE cop-out - at least if the "god" we are talking about is anything other than a non-interventionist deist creator-type god.  And as I've said before, if THAT is the only god we are talking about, then I'm not particularly interested anyways - if he's not ever EVER going to interact with me, then I don't care whether he exists or not, same as I don't particularly care whether Mr.John Smith of Des Moines who died in 1803 ever existed.  I can see perhaps how specific scientific disciplines might have an interest in that god, but for the "day-to-day person"?  Nope.

Fortunately, that question seldom arises.  Believers in non-interventionist deist creators seldom tend to want to force their views on other people, and even when they do, its not usually an issues precisely because of the "non-interventionist" aspect.  Their god doesn't want anything, so there is nothing they have to push onto others.

But I digress - the bigger reason I see it as a sneaky question because it tries to shift the goalposts back - "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" indeed!  "Please prove there are no black swans", as some might put it.  Of COURSE nobody here is going to be able to ask a question, or show the evidence, that there are NO gods out there at all, and its a rather disingenuous thing to ask.  I can't prove there are no black swans in the world, either.

But what I - and we - CAN do is ask questions, and provide the evidence, that knock down all the interventionist gods with particular characteristics that get put forward.  Does your god live in a certain physical place?  Then (as PD points out) we can go there.  Does your god say it will do particular things?  Then we can look to see if those things get done.  Does your god do this, look like that, manifest here, miracle that?  Then we can ask those questions, and (because we are looking at specifics) we can say "NO - THAT god does NOT exist". 

Its a process that has been going on for centuries.  Way back when, EVERYTHING was evidence for god.  But as we move forward, "god" has to retreat, and retreat, as slowly but surely everything that makes that god specific is revealed away as the smoke and mirrors it is, and we end up with an insubstantial and non-interfering "god" that would have been unthinkable to the people of a thousand, or even a hundred years ago.  We NEVER ask a question that makes the likelihood of a god a little MORE likely - NEVER devise the test that says "if there is a god, we should see X, and if there is not, we should see Y", and have X be the outcome.

So I'll repeat PD's question.  What exactly IS your god?  What does it do?  What is its nature?  Answer those questions, and we'll start to nail down the tests and the evidence that will "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" - or, rather, the lack of it.  I'm confident that we will blow away the mists that surround your god - whatever that may be - and either reveal that there is nothing there at all, or we will have amended the description of "god" to something completely irrelevant to mankind.

Is there a man behind your curtain, mhaberling?  What IS your god? 

Work with us and lets get to the truth.

I believe God's nature is the following...

Creator of the Universe and Knower of the Truth...
Walked among us in human form to send us one message... Treat each other with love and respect and the world we be a better place
... We failed to get that message...

A god that loves us, wants the best for us...
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #111 on: December 29, 2012, 03:53:18 AM »
I believe God's nature is the following...

Creator of the Universe and Knower of the Truth...
Walked among us in human form to send us one message... Treat each other with love and respect and the world we be a better place
... We failed to get that message...

A god that loves us, wants the best for us...

I've highlighted the parts that begin to describe your god.  Lets see if they are testable.

Creator of the Universe - not testable, so far as I can tell, therefore a baseless claim.
Knower of the Truth - potentially testable, though requires that the god can be reliably communicated with and will impart the Truth when requested.....
Walked among us in human form - not test, in my opinion.  Many gods have been said to walk in human form, so unless there is something that verifies your god as opposed to any other tale of human form, I think this is also a non-starter.
loves us, wants the best for us - possibly testable, depending again on whether the god is willing to reliably communicate. 

So two possibilites exist to test your god hypothesis.

1) Question the god directly.  How would you propose that this is carried out?
2) Examine the world to see if the model holds true.  Not possible, I think, for criteria (2), so we need to look at (4): loves us, wants the best for us.

As evidence against this claim:

Central African Republic: 80.3% Christian.  Infant Mortality 9.7% (5th highest in world), life expectancy 45-48 years.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic
The baby killing machine - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2243387/The-Baby-Killing-Machine-Heidi-Roger-arrested-death-second-child-Germany.html
Rwandan Genocide - in a country that is 93% Christian - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda#Culture
Alzheimers and other dementias - incuable and progressive disease that leaves sufferers confused, frightened, miserable.


I could go on for some time, but I am in danger ofdrifting from the point.  How do you intend to test for your hypothetical god's love, your hypothetical god's wanting the best for us?  IS there a test you can perform, or is this, also, an unprovable claim?

We are, after all, after ways to determine the TRUTH - not wishful thinking, or assumptions.  You'vemade some specific claims there, mhaberling.  Are any of them testable?
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 wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #112 on: December 29, 2012, 05:08:14 AM »
I was hoping to find out from mhaberling is communication with his god was possible - by prayer, for example, and if the god answered prayer. It seems to me that -

1. the god does answer prayer and thus gives us a new area where we might test the hypothesis

OR

2. There is no communication between people and the god in which case the whole nature of the god would seem to be invented by a human.

I wonder which it is....,
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 shnozzola

Re: nature of truth
« Reply #113 on: December 29, 2012, 08:53:38 AM »
Mhaberling,
             Thank you for  remaining and continuing the debate.  We are like a nest of wasps that attack you from all sides at once.  At least the debate is serious and stimulating.

                   When you say:      Creator of the universe         - How do you picture that yourself?  Cause big bang and watch?  Little experiments in many galaxies?    Or is god the whole universe at the same time? Or do you picture  a being that goes from place to place?  Or cause Big Bang but remain and concentrate on the only life possible in the entire universe on earth in the milky way galaxy?  Or do you think this spiritual being was like - whoa, look at these black holes forming - who would of predicted that?

                     There are several videos that have been posted before.  There are lecture videos from Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins on how the current universe is self sustaining and can be self starting from nothing, as science is guessing.  I do not know if you roll your eyes when Lawrence Krauss is mentioned.  I watched this video with an open mind and found it very exciting.




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« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 08:56:51 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #114 on: December 29, 2012, 12:37:10 PM »
I would like some definition for communicating and answering prayers... Do you me like a request line or simply just getting questions answered
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #115 on: December 29, 2012, 03:00:04 PM »
I would like some definition for communicating and answering prayers... Do you me like a request line or simply just getting questions answered

This is hardly difficult - its largely what it says on the tin. Its only what lots of religious people tell us - that they pray to god and that they get answers. Let's leave it loose and you answer as to the way you see or experience things.
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)