Author Topic: nature of truth  (Read 6211 times)

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Offline William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #145 on: January 02, 2013, 10:40:35 PM »
... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

I do say they are wrong and I accept your challenge of the burden of proof.  Here's a small sample of evidence:

The Holy Spirit made them say it:





More messages from the sky:






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Offline William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #146 on: January 02, 2013, 11:46:25 PM »
... provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

And then there's how to spread the "faulty" of your "conciousness" to your kids:










So one day when they grow up it will be with a healthy "conciousness":





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Offline William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #147 on: January 02, 2013, 11:57:27 PM »
Christians have human sacrifice firmly nailed into their collective "consciousness":




Spot anything "faulty" yet?
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #148 on: January 03, 2013, 01:50:57 AM »
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

No, the burden of proof is on the recipients of god's word. If god can tell them something they had no way of knowing, and they can prove they received the information from no other source, then it's considerable, else it's no different from me meditating on an issue and my subconscious providing an answer.

MH, you generally debate with flair and honesty, but now you are asking people to prove the unprovable, i.e. "Prove that there IS no creator!", an obfuscating tactic I thought was below you. I'm sure you've heard this one before, but please think hard about it: Once upon a time, everyone thought the world was flat, and the sun went around us. IT DID NOT MAKE IT SO. Their reasoning was faulty, or they gave credence to bad reasoning, but either way, they were dead wrong and their rock solid belief didn't change a damn thing.

And to head you off at the pass, I know we are speaking of the metaphysical here, not the physical, but if anything that simply places a greater burden on you to prove the metaphysical. Unwise, in my eyes, but then again I play too much chess.

Haha... You hit it right on the head... This offshoot of an offshoot of an offshoot of the original topic was about if we could test the existence of prayer or I guess it was narrowed down to what I believe prayer is. What you are saying is absolutely correct, I am asking you to prove an un provable that was the point. What I am saying is that you are not necessarily wrong to believe that prayers to god don't get answered. And neither are the people who do believe. Since an answer to a prayer as I and many others understand it becomes manifest inside your own consciousness, people believing they are answered is evidence but not definitive evidence by ay means, as well as people not believing they see evidence of god is evidence to the contrary but also not definitive by any means. You say you play to much chess, well chess is great but it is not argumentation. If you were to say that people who believe their prayers are answered, then you take on the burden of proving that because you cant see into there consciousness, which means you have determined some other way of knowing the answer. I am happy with a standstill on this because frankly I don't see that either of us have the required evidence to prove the other right or wrong.
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Offline William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #149 on: January 03, 2013, 02:34:30 AM »
.... which means you have determined some other way of knowing the answer ...

Yes, when people who think their prayers are answered and as a result behave like total asshats (consistent with religious asshats before them) then by observing patterns in their asshattery you can know with reasonable certainty their "consciousness" has been infected by a religious viral meme - or several.  Funny how most new religions have roots in past religions.   
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Offline Skinz

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #150 on: January 03, 2013, 04:18:19 AM »
What you are saying is absolutely correct, I am asking you to prove an un provable that was the point. What I am saying is that you are not necessarily wrong to believe that prayers to god don't get answered. And neither are the people who do believe.

You admit slicing purposely towards a phyrric victory? Were you a general, your men would despise you and probably roast you alive!

Seriously though , someone has to be wrong. You can't pick up a rock and, with an air of occult, declare "This rock exists and simultaneously does not exist" because if someone like me was there, they would prove to you the undeniable reality of the rock. Similarly, if I say "Prayers don't get answered" and you say "Prayers do get answered", one of us is wrong.

I love philosophy, but I make minimum wage and must have my feet firmly on the ground. I am unmoved by fantasy.

If you were to say that people who believe their prayers are answered, then you take on the burden of proving that because you cant see into there consciousness, which means you have determined some other way of knowing the answer.

No. It is up to the recipient of god's favour to prove they have had a prayer answered. What you are saying is this:

"If I wish upon a star, and I don't tell you what the wish is, you can't prove it hasn't come true."

... So the hell what?

"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #151 on: January 03, 2013, 04:40:45 AM »
If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

Interesting.  I said that:

Rocks, in fact, answer ALL prayers.  They have senses beyond ours, and so "hear" all prayers that all people make to all gods, and it amuses them to "answer" those prayers as if from the god prayed to.

Are you accepting the same burden of proof you pushed at Pianodwarf and telling me I am wrong? 
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 Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2013, 04:44:46 AM »
.....I don't see that either of us have the required evidence to prove the other right or wrong.

Heh - posted before I changed page, so I guess this answers my question.  So I guess you are accepting that your original position.....
... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) .....
.....is unsupportable and you are now agreeing that truth is relative?  Because if you AREN'T, then you need - as we have been asking for 6 pages - to demonstrate how you can be sure that Truth is definite. 
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 #153 on: January 03, 2013, 07:39:25 AM »
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

the 'IF' is the important bit here!

Firstly, a claim like this would need a bit of backing up. For a start I have known a lot of church people and none of them ever claimed to have received any messages from a god. This is only my experience but of course in more evangelical areas maybe people do receive this sort of thing or maybe they say that they do so as not to look out of place!

Secondly, we need to know something about the things people think they get from their god. Frequently people's claims to have 'heard from god' amount to reinforcing their own views. One would have thought that, just sometimes, their god will tell them they were wrong and needed to change. Occasions of this latter sort would be very interesting.

Finally, we need to evaluate these claims to have received anything from a god. The brain is a very complicated organ and much of it works in the background only revealing what it has been doing to the conscious mind later on. Research (I haven't got any links right now) has suggested that when faced with an important decision, the subconscious works away at it and then presents the conscious mind with a choice and the conscious mind then has to think of the reasons why it is the right choice. Now thinking about something for which one wants to pray might have the same effect and the act of praying might just be the right time when the conscious brain gets to know the answer the sub-conscious brain has been working out. The result would feel like getting a message from outside but, in reality, is just inter-brain communication at work. We would need to be able to rule that possibility out before concluding that the messages do come from outside.

Any thoughts, mhaberling?
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 William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #154 on: January 03, 2013, 07:56:26 AM »
For a start I have known a lot of church people and none of them ever claimed to have received any messages from a god. This is only my experience but of course in more evangelical areas maybe people do receive this sort of thing or maybe they say that they do so as not to look out of place!

Secondly, we need to know something about the things people think they get from their god.

My old mum, 86 years old and a devout catholic, told me that when she was in the back yard hanging out some washing to dry, God actually told her that she had left the stove on in the kitchen.  Sure enough when she went inside to check the stove it was turned up high and the pressure cooker was about to explode (just like it had exploded once before  :o )

And another time she just could not find the plastic bag she was looking for, became exasperated, prayed for help, and suddenly there it was right where she had looked before  :o :o

I shouldn't really be saying this stuff about my mother that I love and don't have for much longer - but if I asked her I know she'd be quite happy for me to supply these examples as her testimony, and she'd probably add a few more to be helpful.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #155 on: January 03, 2013, 09:51:01 AM »
For a start I have known a lot of church people and none of them ever claimed to have received any messages from a god. This is only my experience but of course in more evangelical areas maybe people do receive this sort of thing or maybe they say that they do so as not to look out of place!

Secondly, we need to know something about the things people think they get from their god.

My old mum, 86 years old and a devout catholic, told me that when she was in the back yard hanging out some washing to dry, God actually told her that she had left the stove on in the kitchen.  Sure enough when she went inside to check the stove it was turned up high and the pressure cooker was about to explode (just like it had exploded once before  :o )

And another time she just could not find the plastic bag she was looking for, became exasperated, prayed for help, and suddenly there it was right where she had looked before  :o :o

I shouldn't really be saying this stuff about my mother that I love and don't have for much longer - but if I asked her I know she'd be quite happy for me to supply these examples as her testimony, and she'd probably add a few more to be helpful.

The snag with these examples are that we can also see them as moments when your mother's subconscious pushed the information into her conscious though - probably due to the concentration on prayer.
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 William

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #156 on: January 03, 2013, 10:13:32 AM »
The snag with these examples are that we can also see them as moments when your mother's subconscious pushed the information into her conscious though - probably due to the concentration on prayer.

Yes, I agree that is most certainly one mechanism of the apparent success of prayer. 

Another mechanism is cherry picking events that conform to the required outcome and ignoring events that don't.  Note my mother's pressure cooker had blown up before with no prior warnings from God  ;)

When my wife's father was dying of cancer she (with me loyally but somewhat skeptically in tow) got caught up in the activities of a prayer group - we were stars of the prayer performances while he still lived but from the day he died we got the cold shoulder - effectively shunned.  I'm fairly sure (from the looks I got) they believed it was me who was the arch contaminant - the one who didn't have enough faith to achieve critical mass to pull off this miracle.  So even a failure reinforced their concept of truth.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #157 on: January 03, 2013, 11:27:31 AM »
.....I don't see that either of us have the required evidence to prove the other right or wrong.

Heh - posted before I changed page, so I guess this answers my question.  So I guess you are accepting that your original position.....
... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) .....
.....is unsupportable and you are now agreeing that truth is relative?  Because if you AREN'T, then you need - as we have been asking for 6 pages - to demonstrate how you can be sure that Truth is definite.
Wait, what... How does this discussion have anything to do with the nature of truth, I've said twice now I thought it was completely off topic an I was only entertaining it for conversation's sake
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #158 on: January 03, 2013, 11:49:41 AM »


Wait, what... How does this discussion have anything to do with the nature of truth, I've said twice now I thought it was completely off topic an I was only entertaining it for conversation's sake

How so? we are discussing the nature of truth and one of factors that leads people to declare something to be 'truth' is religion which relies, in part, on prayer. Indeed, given the way science is always provisional and always growing, one might say that religions are the only places that proclaim 'truth' (well their own version of what might be truth to the rest of us.) Now if we were to pass over this discussion of prayer and the answers to prayer we might well miss out the the most important area that claims to have 'truth'.

Sure, philosophy has much to say but when it comes down to it, for the ordinary person, truth is of a practical nature (how to live my life, how did humans come to exist, when will the universe end) so we need to tackle that which the ordinary person might think of as truth. I can't think of anything more likely to be 'truth' than that which comes from the mouth of the creator of the universe (well, apart from the fact I do not think there is such a character) and this is certainly the case for believers. So I say we need time to look at that aspect of the truth as it relates to people claiming to hear the word of their god which, if it were true that they heard the word of a god, could change the way all of us live.

Of course, mhaberling, if you find this a tough area to tackle....
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 #159 on: January 03, 2013, 12:08:50 PM »
Wheels, what people treat as true and what is true are to different things. You may go through your life thinking there is no god. Even though you accept the faint possibility of one the lack of a god is something you TREAT like truth. However your opinion on the matter is entirely disjoint of the truth itself. If we are going back to the original discussion and involving God, would you agree that there is a God or there is Not. One of those is the definite truth. If you would say neither of those are true then you a claiming the truth is relative. So no I don't think we need to tackle the practicality of truth for a normal person because the Truth has no burden to be practical. Maybe I misunderstood you, If so please explain.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #160 on: January 03, 2013, 12:26:03 PM »
Wheels, what people treat as true and what is true are to different things. You may go through your life thinking there is no god. Even though you accept the faint possibility of one the lack of a god is something you TREAT like truth. However your opinion on the matter is entirely disjoint of the truth itself. If we are going back to the original discussion and involving God, would you agree that there is a God or there is Not. One of those is the definite truth. If you would say neither of those are true then you a claiming the truth is relative.

Ah, so here is a problem to start with. Something is true even if no one knows it. Gravity was still just as true before there was anyone to even think it a problem. That no one knows and answer to a problem, like is there a god, that doesn't mean that one of these isn't true. Certainly there is either a god or there is not but no one actually knows this. It doesn't matter how this is answered by you or by me or by millions of people in the world - no one knows which is right yet it is certainly true that one answer is right.

Quote
So no I don't think we need to tackle the practicality of truth for a normal person because the Truth has no burden to be practical. Maybe I misunderstood you, If so please explain.

I think only a mathematician or a philosopher would be happy with the concept of "Truth having no burden to be practical." Compared with those two professions, truth impacts on our daily lives - it settle what we think and who we are, it keeps us safer (not jumping out of high windows because of the truth about gravity) and so forth. Surely you don't want to leave truth juts to those professions and leave the rest or us to stagger along? Religious truth impacts on my life and yours. I as a non-theist still have to pay, via the tax exemptions and so on given to religions. I have to listen to people telling me 'what god has told them'. We need to understand and settle what is truth and what is not to be able to carry our daily lives.
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 #161 on: January 04, 2013, 02:03:10 AM »
Then I think we agree that the truth is definite...

I would argue on your second point that belief impacts our daily lives, our belief in a truth, not the truth itself. Truth is simply information, and is impartial
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #162 on: January 04, 2013, 05:02:15 AM »
Then I think we agree that the truth is definite...

Well yes, though, to some extent this is by definition - how we define truth. Still, yes, we can agree that truth is definite even though, for some things, we don't actually know what the truth is.

Quote
I would argue on your second point that belief impacts our daily lives, our belief in a truth, not the truth itself. Truth is simply information, and is impartial

I agree that truth is quite a matter of fact and, clearly, can't take sides in any sort of discussion. Yes, it is the way people use facts that causes problems. After all, the truth is not always that convenient and gets ignored as a result.
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 Skinz

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #163 on: January 04, 2013, 05:14:42 AM »
Language clafication: In the context of this debate, does Truth = Fact?

EDIT: Could that misspelling be considered ironic?
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

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Offline wheels5894

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #164 on: January 04, 2013, 05:21:49 AM »
Language clafication: In the context of this debate, does Truth = Fact?

EDIT: Could that misspelling be considered ironic?

As I see it, truth is a description of information indicating its, er, truthfulness. Any fact we ever consider has the potential to be true or false (Boolean in fact) and I am taking it that is what is meant. For example, it is true there are spacecraft on Mars but false that there are little green men there.

On the other hand, there is the fact of whether there is a god or not. This, in the parlance of part of the Bush era, is a known unknown. No one knows for certain yet there has to be an answer. I guess the lack of an answer will keep this forum running for many years.
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 Skinz

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #165 on: January 04, 2013, 05:48:51 AM »
No worries. I was wondering, because this is such a slut of a language, and people use it any old which way in every location. Sometimes people say "Well YOUR truth isn't the same as MY truth", and I thought we were getting into these odious shady areas.

In that case, fact is fact, whether it is observed by humans or not. However, humans claiming something is a fact without observational proof is delusion, or imagination, or whatever you want to call it, but it sure as shit ain't fact.
"Science changes it's views based on what's observed; Religion ignores the facts so that faith may be preserved."

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: nature of truth
« Reply #166 on: January 04, 2013, 06:09:08 AM »
Apologies - I had a brain burp there I think.

Then I think we agree that the truth is definite...

Yeah, me too....with the slight caveat that for one event there can be a number of definite truths - for example, what physically happened, and how that event made two different witnesses feel. 

So yes - there is the definite truth that there IS, or IS NOT a god.  And there are the definite truths about how the concept of god makes a person feel.

BUT, if we are searching for the answer to that "definite truth", then we need to be able to determine that definite truth of the existence of god.  Unless either side can testably prove that truth, we can say nothing about the existence of god, only about how the concept of god makes a person feel.

The bulk of this thread has been about attempting to find questions that can help us determine the definite truth about god.  Thus far, I've seen NO questions or tests that point to a "yes, god exists" as the answer to that truth (quite the reverse), but rather a series of questions that can only tell us about the truth "I believe god exists".
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 #167 on: January 04, 2013, 06:29:34 AM »

The bulk of this thread has been about attempting to find questions that can help us determine the definite truth about god.  Thus far, I've seen NO questions or tests that point to a "yes, god exists" as the answer to that truth (quite the reverse), but rather a series of questions that can only tell us about the truth "I believe god exists".

I don't think the OP was wanting to get into a 'is there a god or not debate' here but to address the question of truth. I'm not sure we can escape without some discussion of this topic though. So far as I know, the concept of a god is entirely proposed by those who want they concept accepted (and to be in charge of course!) and no one has come up with any evidence to support it or, really, to deny it either. I suppose we will never solve this one - unless the theists are right and we have to serve out our past death live somewhere, or course.
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 #168 on: January 04, 2013, 07:44:05 AM »

The bulk of this thread has been about attempting to find questions that can help us determine the definite truth about god.  Thus far, I've seen NO questions or tests that point to a "yes, god exists" as the answer to that truth (quite the reverse), but rather a series of questions that can only tell us about the truth "I believe god exists".

I don't think the OP was wanting to get into a 'is there a god or not debate' here but to address the question of truth.

Aye, fair enough.  And I'm happy to say that I believe that there IS a definite truth for everything....with the caveat that the question you are asking may need to be distinct and definite in what it is asking.  A certain thing will exist, or not (Boxed Cats aside), and that is a fact.  It may not be possible to determine its existence, but I don't believe anything can in actuality be two opposing things at once, although its relationship or effect may be different to different people it interacts with.
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?