Author Topic: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?  (Read 26201 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11982
  • Darwins +251/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #319 on: May 21, 2013, 11:49:59 AM »
The bible clearly teaches we were created in God's image.Truth be told, its always confused me somewhat why the tree was called by God the 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil'. I have no answer to that.

"In God's image" is ambiguous; it can mean whatever you want it to mean.  It could mean we have the same hair colour.  It could mean we have the same reputation.  One's moral values are a little deeper than "image".  It could mean what you need it to mean, but that's a result of your decision, not the Bible's.

Truth be told, its always confused me somewhat why the tree was called by God the 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil'. I have no answer to that.

I gave you a pretty clear and coherent interpretation of it:  It teaches that obedience to the Lord is the only moral value that matters.  Our own moral sense is a result of sin, something the Lord intended us never to have.

This interpretation synchronizes very nicely with the other themes in the Old Testament, whereby the Jews are rewarded or punished based on their obedience to the Lord rather than following their own morality.  The story of Abraham's almost-sacrifice of his son is a perfect example:  The Lord wanted obedience from Abraham (killing his son), not an act of conscience (objecting).

Here you find it in yourself to question/disbelieve the teachings of your own Bible when it comes to this story.  Yet, you find no such fortitude when it comes to Romans 1.  Nobody forced you to make that choice.  It's all on you.

However, it seems pretty clear to me that however you take the strory, literally or not, the clear teaching is that mankind failed its first test of obedience and this caaused death to enter the world.  Seems harsh. True.

Yes, according to the story we disobeyed by obtaining a sense of morality.  This has implications for what human morality is, if we're to take the story seriously.  What's the problem, for you, with taking the story seriously?  I mean, I have reasons not to, but then I'm not a Christian.

That doesn't alter the fact that my sense of good, evil and justice is a reflection of ultimate versions of those things.

According to Genesis, you have the same capacity for moral sense as the god(s).  If you cannot use that moral knowledge to judge God, then you're saying that God can't use that same knowledge to judge himself.  The knowledge is the same in both cases.  Or so, supposedly, said God.
Unless you are Scarlett Johansason or something.  lol  i'd like to punish her with  my baby.  lol

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #320 on: May 21, 2013, 09:18:12 PM »
     No sir, unlike you I do not require some authority figure defining for me what is evidence and what is not. I simply need a healthy amount of skepticism...I obviously do know more than you, since somehow you are confused as to what the term pandemic means.

     All I asked you for (repeatedly) was a reference source to back up your claim that personal experience cannot constitute evidence; I do wish, however, that I had thought of your latest excuse when I was in university.  Instead of actually going to the library and getting sources for my research papers I could have just written on the last page "source: healthy dose of skepticism".  I wonder what my English prof would have said to that?  Also, clearly I could not in this case know what the definition of 'pandemic' is since to have such knowledge I would have to be able to read your mind - after all I shouldn't expect you to submit to the authoritarian tyranny of the dictionary should I?

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #321 on: May 21, 2013, 09:27:20 PM »
     You don't know much about the medical field do you?  The fact of the matter is that we do have a "pandemic of liars and fakes, all claiming 'pain' and asking for drugs (and getting them!)". That, in case you are wondering, is how a good portion of street traded oxycontin gets into circulation.  Patients go to their doctors complaining of pain (e.g. nerve related back pain) and because the doctors, contrary to what you have said, have no way of objectively measuring or ruling out a pain state, drugs often are given out.
What does that have to say then regarding the reliability of 'non-communicable evidence', and how much weight you should ascribe to it when evaluating the truth-value of the associated claim?

     The issue of the whether personal experience can constitute evidence is different from the issue of determining the reliability of the person claiming to have such evidence.  From the first person point of view one would include personal experience as evidence, although the same cannot be said of a third person observer - if you want to read about why some philosophers feel that personal experience can constitute evidence, the article on 'evidence' on the internet encyclopedia of philosophy provides a good overview. 
     

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #322 on: May 21, 2013, 09:33:50 PM »
.....find me a reputable source that backs up your claim that "evidence is, by it's nature and definition, DEMONSTRABLE to others". 

Can I ask - what is the value, to me, of evidence that you are unable to demonstrate to me?  And for what reason should I value one person's undemonstrable testimony over another's?

     I wouldn't say it is of much value to you at all, nor would I say that you should necessarily value one person's personal experience over another.  The original question that I attempted to answer was 'what would it take me to give up my personal beliefs' not 'what do I think it would take to convince you to acquiesce to my beliefs'.  I have also said in previous posts that if I were debating a Muslim or a Mormon I would not question the evidential merit of their personal experience; but rather, I would attempt to question the specific truth claims of their religion. 

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #323 on: May 21, 2013, 09:36:21 PM »
I don't think "evidence" by itself means much. However, when coupled with the qualifier "repeatable", it means that the evidence can be produced, with much lower chances of wrongness and fakery, and can become the backbone of some field of knowledge.

An artifact may be evidence of Atlantis, but it may have been faked. If the finder can point to a site, where lots of artifacts can be found, in places which would be hard to fake, then the evidence becomes repeatable, and the basis for some serious theorising.

Having a sudden experience of God is "evidence", but could be just about anything. If it can be made to repeat in the same person, or others, then it becomes much more something that can be studied.

     If personal experience can qualify as evidence then the qualifier 'repeatable' doesn't apply since personal experience presents from a 'first person' point of view.  The qualifier 'repeatable' refers to evidence that presents from a 'third person' point of view.

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #324 on: May 21, 2013, 10:05:28 PM »
Most atheists do not, in fact, say that god does not exist...You need to be careful about using dictionary definitions, especially when it comes to contention areas such as this one.  It wasn't so long ago, for example, that if you looked up "atheist" in a dictionary, one of the definitions you would find is "an evil person".  This has only been corrected very recently; I remember seeing current-edition dictionaries listing this definition as recently as the mid to late 80s or so.  That definition is still listed in Merriam-Webster, in fact, although they do have it listed as "archaic".  (By the way, Merriam-Webster is owned and published by the Christian Science church.  For some enlightenment in this area, try looking up their definitions of words such as "God" and "Christ".)

     Thanks for the heads up; however, in my defense the post that I was responding to said "atheism is not a belief; it is a lack of belief".  I would think that given the contentious nature of this issue the person who made the original post should have taken care to use a more precise term (e.g. maybe 'negative atheism' or 'agnostic atheism').  From what I understand, the term 'atheist' includes a subset of people (gnostic atheists) who actually do make a positive claim that 'god does not exist' so the definitions I gave wouldn't be entirely misplaced. 
     I visited the following web site http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=6487 where there is a list of 17 different subcategories of atheism.  Also, at the end of chapter 5 of the WWGHA book there is the following quote: "We have all of this evidence to show that God is imaginary. If we were in a court of law looking at this question, the judge would quickly rule that God is imaginary. There is no concrete evidence that God is real and lots of evidence that he is imaginary."  This seems to be a positive assertion to me; it does not seem to convey a simple suspension of belief.  If a person were to accept this conclusion, how many of the 17 categories of atheism are available to her? Moreover, assuming that most of the atheist members of this forum agree with the chapter 5 conclusion: how far off were the definitions that I cited?

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #325 on: May 21, 2013, 10:42:31 PM »
     By the way, Merriam-Webster is owned and published by the Christian Science church.  For some enlightenment in this area, try looking up their definitions of words such as "God" and "Christ".

     This is just a minor point, but I was wondering where you found the information that Merriam-Webster is owned by the Christian Science church.  Corporate structure and ownership is very convoluted so a may have missed something, but as far as I can tell Merriam-Webster is a subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Encyclopaedia Britannica is in turn apparently owned by a gentleman named Jacob E Safra who, from what I gather, is Jewish (at least the other members of his family are).  http://corporate.britannica.com/board-of-directors-2/

Offline DumpsterFire

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 374
  • Darwins +57/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • The Flaming Duck of Death!
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #326 on: May 21, 2013, 10:51:21 PM »
My bad qualities outweigh my good easily.

This statement has truly given me pause, MM. I agree with Tonus (and I'm certain the majority here would concur) that your posts on WWGHA largely present you as quite a pleasant and likeable fellow. Granted, the internet is not real life and we do not know you personally, so I suppose you could actually be a rotten SOB out in the world. Would you say that is the case? Or are these "bad qualities" to which you refer actually just your internal wishes to do "bad" things?

If the latter, I can assure you that if I actually did choke the hell out of every person I felt deserved it I would be on the FBI's 10 most wanted list for sure, and if I shagged every woman I ever lusted after I would have bastards in every corner of the globe by now.
And there's plenty more where that came from.

I'm always amazed at how many xtians view themselves as hopeless, wretched sinners that deserve an eternity in flames. As far as I'm concerned, it is not the absence of "bad" urges but the ability to resist such urges that makes one a good person. Is that not the way you see it?
Providing rednecks with sunblock since 1996.

I once met a man who claimed to be a genius, then boasted that he was a member of "Mesa".

Think for yourself.

Offline Add Homonym

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2268
  • Darwins +185/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #327 on: May 21, 2013, 11:02:59 PM »
     If personal experience can qualify as evidence then the qualifier 'repeatable' doesn't apply since personal experience presents from a 'first person' point of view.  The qualifier 'repeatable' refers to evidence that presents from a 'third person' point of view.

Repeatability still applies, because repetition can allow the experiencer to figure out what really happened.

Say I take a psychotropic drug, and I go off into a dreamworld, where I meet an alien who says he is God, and I see the birthplace of all souls, and see reincarnation happening before my eyes.

This is all very well, and may confirm my biases of an Eastern-type reincarnation religion. However, can I do it again, to find out some real details that I can confirm on the outside?

Say I see a boy being born, called Brappi Happi. Can I find him in the real world, and if I can, then can I go to the place again, and see another boy being reincarnated? Also, can I find him in the real world, and document my findings?

Or, if I take the drug again, do I simply see my cat as a fractal icosahedron which permeates time-space, and never end up in the same soul place again, because it was all crap, that my mind invented.
I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #328 on: May 21, 2013, 11:12:43 PM »
     If personal experience can qualify as evidence then the qualifier 'repeatable' doesn't apply since personal experience presents from a 'first person' point of view.  The qualifier 'repeatable' refers to evidence that presents from a 'third person' point of view.

Repeatability still applies, because repetition can allow the experiencer to figure out what really happened.

Say I take a psychotropic drug, and I go off into a dreamworld, where I meet an alien who says he is God, and I see the birthplace of all souls, and see reincarnation happening before my eyes.

This is all very well, and may confirm my biases of an Eastern-type reincarnation religion. However, can I do it again, to find out some real details that I can confirm on the outside?

Say I see a boy being born, called Brappi Happi. Can I find him in the real world, and if I can, then can I go to the place again, and see another boy being reincarnated? Also, can I find him in the real world, and document my findings?

Or, if I take the drug again, do I simply see my cat as a fractal icosahedron which permeates time-space, and never end up in the same soul place again, because it was all crap, that my mind invented.

     What if one day I wake up with neuropathic back pain.  It bothers me all day until finally at bedtime I take a Tylenol and manage to fall asleep.  When I wake up the next morning the pain presents itself again - wouldn't that be a personal experience that was repeated?  Additionally, if I awoke the next morning and the pain did not recur do you think that would cause me to doubt the reality of my pain the previous day?
     

Offline Add Homonym

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2268
  • Darwins +185/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #329 on: May 22, 2013, 12:43:25 AM »

     What if one day I wake up with neuropathic back pain.  It bothers me all day until finally at bedtime I take a Tylenol and manage to fall asleep.  When I wake up the next morning the pain presents itself again - wouldn't that be a personal experience that was repeated?  Additionally, if I awoke the next morning and the pain did not recur do you think that would cause me to doubt the reality of my pain the previous day?
   

The pain may be real, but it has an unknown cause. The fact that the pain disappears, only means that you could not successfully recreate the cause of it. No doubt because you were not motivated to cause yourself pain. With pain, people are more concerned with figuring out how to eliminate it reproducibly.

With Schizophrenia, the delusional symptoms that occur are real, but have no external (spiritual) cause that anyone can find. Realness is not the issue, because anything that occurs is real.
I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline Anfauglir

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5965
  • Darwins +371/-4
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #330 on: May 22, 2013, 02:14:36 AM »
.....find me a reputable source that backs up your claim that "evidence is, by it's nature and definition, DEMONSTRABLE to others". 

Can I ask - what is the value, to me, of evidence that you are unable to demonstrate to me?  And for what reason should I value one person's undemonstrable testimony over another's?

     I wouldn't say it is of much value to you at all, nor would I say that you should necessarily value one person's personal experience over another. 

Fine.  So I can ignore all personal testimony then, since there is no way I can establish whose experience is correct?
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

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5965
  • Darwins +371/-4
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #331 on: May 22, 2013, 02:23:23 AM »
No No No No! Hell is a fucking terrible thing. How could you possibly not get that, from all I've said? Why did Jesus come and suffer it in our place, if not for the fact it's terrible?

I believe it's a reality. That doesn't make it a good, desirable or pleasant reality. What you're clearly not willing to contemplate is why it should even be a reality.

Oh, I contemplate it.  But I have no understanding at all of why it WOULD be a reality, assuming that your god is both loving, and desiring that we are saved.

Justice. God can't let sin go unpunished. Hard to grasp, impossible if you are of the no free will mindset.

I'd hoped for better from you, MM.  I gave a lengthy post about why an eternal terrible hell made no sense, all of which you appear to have skipped.  Having just re-read it to check, it says nothing about a non-free will basis, and indeed is written from the assumption that we can choose.

I can see why you would be loath to address the points I actually made - like I said though, I expected better of you.
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 magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2628
  • Darwins +167/-71
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #332 on: May 22, 2013, 02:27:24 AM »
No No No No! Hell is a fucking terrible thing. How could you possibly not get that, from all I've said? Why did Jesus come and suffer it in our place, if not for the fact it's terrible?

I believe it's a reality. That doesn't make it a good, desirable or pleasant reality. What you're clearly not willing to contemplate is why it should even be a reality.

Oh, I contemplate it.  But I have no understanding at all of why it WOULD be a reality, assuming that your god is both loving, and desiring that we are saved.

Justice. God can't let sin go unpunished. Hard to grasp, impossible if you are of the no free will mindset.

I'd hoped for better from you, MM.  I gave a lengthy post about why an eternal terrible hell made no sense, all of which you appear to have skipped.  Having just re-read it to check, it says nothing about a non-free will basis, and indeed is written from the assumption that we can choose.

I can see why you would be loath to address the points I actually made - like I said though, I expected better of you.

I was tired. Forgive me.

I'll try and look at it better when I'm fresh and have less work pressure - maybe in a few days.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline bertatberts

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1362
  • Darwins +47/-8
  • Gender: Male
  • Humanists. Not perfect. Not forgiven. Responsible.
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #333 on: May 22, 2013, 06:42:46 AM »
Quote from: Greenandwhite
The issue of the whether personal experience can constitute evidence is different from the issue of determining the reliability of the person claiming to have such evidence.
How so! Personal experience can only be illustrative. The problem for personal experience deemed as evidence, is that it is usually not repeatable.  We are after all only talking about a single case, and as such someone’s belief/feeling. It is clear that a belief/feeling can prove nothing!
Quote from: Greenandwhite
if you want to read about why some philosophers feel that personal experience can constitute evidence, the article on 'evidence' on the internet encyclopedia of philosophy provides a good overview.
It would be pointless as you could only ever gage another opinion. And whether it is their opinion that personal experience can constitute evidence makes it a moot point. You’re simply using one opinion to justify another opinion! Which is merely an appeal to authority, a huge fail.

Personal experiences cannot be counted as evidence unless they can be or were able to be observed by others. "feelings" aren't evidence. To say that an anecdote or a series of cases or personal experiences may constitute evidence for something, is not necessarily the same as to say it constitutes conclusive proof. It is ok to hear it, but not ok to take it as verbatim.

That’s not evidence, its delusion. And I mean no offense when I say that.  Humanity's capacity for self-delusion is limitless. There is often a huge gap between what we "think" or "feel" and what IS.

It’s extremely important to separate anecdotal evidence/personal experience from concrete proof, is the truism that “correlation does not always equal causation.” What this means is that if you take action “A,” and then “B” happens, it’s not necessarily true that “A” caused “B” to happen.

For example, let’s say that you have spots on your skin. Someone tells you to rub soap on to help. You follow those instruction and the spots vanish the next day, you might come to the conclusion that the soap does work. But if you had gone to the doctor, you might have learned that you had one days spots that cleared up on their own. So the soap did nothing to help the spots.

From wikipedia"The expression anecdotal evidence refers to evidence from anecdotes. Because of the small sample, there is a larger chance that it may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases.[1][2] Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a claim; it is accepted only in lieu of more solid evidence. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims"Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence

Here is one reason why personal experience isn't evidence. http://gawker.com/5963405/not-even-kidding-hidden-camera-show-pulls-scariest-elevator-prank-ever

And also ‘Quirkology’ by Richard Wiseman is another way of explaining why personal experience fails.

From Quirkology "20 people were asked to persuade a relative to participate in a study about childhood memories. The recruiters were asked to supply a photograph of the person as a child, and three other photographs of the person as a child participating in events. The first photograph was manipulated to produce a false photograph of a trip in a hot air balloon. The participants were then shown the three real photographs and one false one and asked to describe the events in the photos. About one third “remembered” the event in the hot air balloon. By the third interview, half of the participants were able to “remember” and describe in great detail their trip in the hot air balloon. Because the people thought they should remember the event, their brains helpfully supplied them with a vivid and detailed memory. "

http://www.quirkology.com/USA/index.shtml
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 pianodwarf

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4328
  • Darwins +205/-5
  • Gender: Male
  • Je bois ton lait frappé
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #334 on: May 22, 2013, 08:00:34 AM »
     By the way, Merriam-Webster is owned and published by the Christian Science church.  For some enlightenment in this area, try looking up their definitions of words such as "God" and "Christ".

     This is just a minor point, but I was wondering where you found the information that Merriam-Webster is owned by the Christian Science church.

I honestly don't recall.  It was a while ago.  It looks like that may be incorrect, as you point out.  Nevertheless, the M-W dictionary does privilege Christian Science definitions for certain terms.  Have a look:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jesus
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heaven
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hell

Note that each of those entries has a separate definition for the how term is used in Christian Science, and not for any other denominations of Christianity.  I am not aware of any other dictionary that does this, for Christian Science or any other denomination.  Itt's not indicative of impartiality on Merriam-Webster's part, especially considering that the Christian Science Church is a very small denomination (only about 85,000 members worldwide).
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline jdawg70

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
  • Darwins +231/-5
  • Ex-rosary squad
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #335 on: May 22, 2013, 08:05:21 AM »
     You don't know much about the medical field do you?  The fact of the matter is that we do have a "pandemic of liars and fakes, all claiming 'pain' and asking for drugs (and getting them!)". That, in case you are wondering, is how a good portion of street traded oxycontin gets into circulation.  Patients go to their doctors complaining of pain (e.g. nerve related back pain) and because the doctors, contrary to what you have said, have no way of objectively measuring or ruling out a pain state, drugs often are given out.
What does that have to say then regarding the reliability of 'non-communicable evidence', and how much weight you should ascribe to it when evaluating the truth-value of the associated claim?

     The issue of the whether personal experience can constitute evidence is different from the issue of determining the reliability of the person claiming to have such evidence.  From the first person point of view one would include personal experience as evidence, although the same cannot be said of a third person observer - if you want to read about why some philosophers feel that personal experience can constitute evidence, the article on 'evidence' on the internet encyclopedia of philosophy provides a good overview. 
   
I'm going to need your guidance as to what I should be looking for in the evidence article on Wikipedia[1].  I could not necessarily find what you think I should be finding necessary there.  The link to personal experience[2] doesn't tend to lend any credence in any direction to this particular discussion either.

Insofar as I can tell, personal experience as evidence still suffers from all of the exact same problems with determining the reliability of both the person claiming the personal experience and of the observation associated with those experiences.  That same problem will still exist regardless of whether it is your own personal experience or another person's experience being relayed to you.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence
 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_experience

Offline median

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1545
  • Darwins +157/-14
  • Gender: Male
  • Belief is not a choice.
    • Talk Origins
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #336 on: May 22, 2013, 12:01:16 PM »
You also conveniently forget that god made hell the default setting for all of us.  We are the ones who have to go through lengths to avoid it.  All the responsibility is on us.  God just sits around on his fat ass not helping people and ignoring real suffering.

Actually, (interestingly enough) according to much Christian theology (the Romans ch 9 crowd etc) Yahweh not only set us up to fail (predestination) he also designed most of us to go to hell ("prepared [us] for destruction")! So basically, this "god" designed (and planned for) most of us to be punished for all eternity (something for which we did not choose - he created us this way, etc) and for some odd reason decided to "save" some of us (via divine election) so we can sing his praises and bow down worshiping him for ever and ever. How pompous and narcissistic!

This of course does not sound like a God at all, but rather an insecure, immature, childlike bronze-age middle-eastern goat herder who needs adoration for his low self-esteem.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 12:03:04 PM by median »
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Tonus

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
  • Darwins +28/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
    • Stuff I draw
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #337 on: May 22, 2013, 12:06:00 PM »
Actually, (interestingly enough) according to much Christian theology (the Romans ch 9 crowd etc) Yahweh not only set us up to fail (predestination) he also designed most of us to go to hell ("prepared [us] for destruction")!

Even Jesus gets in on the act:

Quote
Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

I see some Christians claim that all you need to do is "A/S/K" and you will experience Christ.  But this would be the same Christ who expects few to be saved.  So either god has done a terrible job of helping humanity be saved, or (as the above texts infer) he deliberately set most of us up to fail.  Because he's a just and loving and kind and generous and good and righteous god.  &)

Offline median

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1545
  • Darwins +157/-14
  • Gender: Male
  • Belief is not a choice.
    • Talk Origins
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #338 on: May 22, 2013, 12:17:18 PM »
     No sir, unlike you I do not require some authority figure defining for me what is evidence and what is not. I simply need a healthy amount of skepticism...I obviously do know more than you, since somehow you are confused as to what the term pandemic means.

     All I asked you for (repeatedly) was a reference source to back up your claim that personal experience cannot constitute evidence; I do wish, however, that I had thought of your latest excuse when I was in university.  Instead of actually going to the library and getting sources for my research papers I could have just written on the last page "source: healthy dose of skepticism".  I wonder what my English prof would have said to that?  Also, clearly I could not in this case know what the definition of 'pandemic' is since to have such knowledge I would have to be able to read your mind - after all I shouldn't expect you to submit to the authoritarian tyranny of the dictionary should I?

Dictionaries are after the fact, sir. We are discussing the very nature of that definition (as philosophers so often do). You seem to have missed the part where we have been passed the "my source vs yours" BS. It could be that you are struggling with this because you have no formal philosophical training. I really don't know, but you need to catchup with the discussion here. This "reference source" you are looking for stems from the logical fallacy called Argumentum Ad Verecundiam.

Your English professor is not going to help you in this manor because we are discussing (once again b/c you missed it) the very nature of what constitutes the necessary and sufficient conditions (the defining bounds) by which to consider something "evidence". To put it another way, this discussion is PRIOR to name dropping. Ever read Socrates or Plato? WOW.
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline jtk73

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
  • Darwins +11/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #339 on: May 22, 2013, 01:12:55 PM »
God can't let sin go unpunished.

Can't or won't? Can't implies that he is not 'all powerful'. Won't implies that he is an asshole.

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5651
  • Darwins +677/-1
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #340 on: May 22, 2013, 02:41:37 PM »
It also implies that humans are more powerful than god, because, despite god's best efforts (and god will never do less than his best, right?) we brought sin into the world. Now god has to do all this clean up work, like sending Jesus and resurrecting him. Otherwise, he has to punish absolutely everyone who has ever lived. Even though he does not want to. And didn't god know all this would happen in the first place?

No matter how you look at it, this great plan of god's (at least the part of the plan he lets us know about) is all fulla holes. Is this a god, or Microsoft having to design a patch to fix a software bug? :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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

Offline epidemic

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 379
  • Darwins +28/-11
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #341 on: May 22, 2013, 02:42:12 PM »
What I would need to believe, corroberating evidence sounds good.

Here are some options, if XYZ religion:

Lot in life being better  (statistically less murder, less suffering, longer life, peaceful death) not to say a perfect life just perceivably better for their faithful adherence

Magic healings (Probably including amputations but I could see others as possibly sufficient.  for the faithful of a given sect)

A really good one would be an unalterable bible universally understood by every human.  Gods words should not be able to be miscommunicated.

An idea a bit more on the fringes would be, a bible penned during christ's days on earth along with some secular non christian corroberating evidence.  Egyptians bitching about plague of frogs and the dang jews bringing it down on them.  Hell it might even be intersting after a couple of centuries of being slave labor that the jews put their mark on something in israel.

any form of real magic only able to be performed by the faithful.  You know a mustard seed worth of faith making a mountain move.



Commit a sin turn blue, comitt anotehr sin and sprout horns... Then beg forgiveness and turn back to normal again.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 02:48:54 PM by epidemic »

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5651
  • Darwins +677/-1
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #342 on: May 22, 2013, 02:46:35 PM »
Yeah, pretty much any of that would be helpful in at least establishing that some of this religious stuff is real. But no. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #343 on: May 22, 2013, 06:35:02 PM »
     By the way, Merriam-Webster is owned and published by the Christian Science church.  For some enlightenment in this area, try looking up their definitions of words such as "God" and "Christ".

     This is just a minor point, but I was wondering where you found the information that Merriam-Webster is owned by the Christian Science church.

I honestly don't recall.  It was a while ago.  It looks like that may be incorrect, as you point out.  Nevertheless, the M-W dictionary does privilege Christian Science definitions for certain terms.  Have a look:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jesus
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heaven
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hell

Note that each of those entries has a separate definition for the how term is used in Christian Science, and not for any other denominations of Christianity.  I am not aware of any other dictionary that does this, for Christian Science or any other denomination.  Itt's not indicative of impartiality on Merriam-Webster's part, especially considering that the Christian Science Church is a very small denomination (only about 85,000 members worldwide).

     Fair enough - I don't usually use Merriam-Webster so I had never seen the separate entries giving the Christian Science spin on certain terms.  It is hard to explain the inclusion of such entries except by reference to ownership by the Christian Science church...if it was about money one would think that the Mormons would have some entries as well. 

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #344 on: May 22, 2013, 06:50:30 PM »
     I'm going to need your guidance as to what I should be looking for in the evidence article on Wikipedia[1].  I could not necessarily find what you think I should be finding necessary there.  The link to personal experience[2] doesn't tend to lend any credence in any direction to this particular discussion either.

Insofar as I can tell, personal experience as evidence still suffers from all of the exact same problems with determining the reliability of both the person claiming the personal experience and of the observation associated with those experiences.  That same problem will still exist regardless of whether it is your own personal experience or another person's experience being relayed to you.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence
 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_experience

     I was actually referring to the internet encyclopedia of philosophy: http://www.iep.utm.edu/evidence/ and not to Wikipedia - not that one cannot find helpful information on Wikipedia, I just take what I read there with a grain of salt.  Section 1b on the IEP gives an overview of some of the arguments for and against personal experience constituting evidence - I don't think that a person reading it would feel required to accept personal experience as evidence; I just think that it demonstrates that the issue isn't closed. 

Offline jdawg70

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
  • Darwins +231/-5
  • Ex-rosary squad
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #345 on: May 22, 2013, 07:02:42 PM »
     I was actually referring to the internet encyclopedia of philosophy: http://www.iep.utm.edu/evidence/ and not to Wikipedia - not that one cannot find helpful information on Wikipedia, I just take what I read there with a grain of salt.  Section 1b on the IEP gives an overview of some of the arguments for and against personal experience constituting evidence - I don't think that a person reading it would feel required to accept personal experience as evidence; I just think that it demonstrates that the issue isn't closed.
Thanks for the link - I'll check it out; however, from what you're saying, it still sounds like the associated problem with personal experience is the non-communicable part.  It is inherently, in principle, unverifiable by entities that do not experience it.  And if that kind of personal experience somehow leads you to believe some kind of transcendent "truth" of some kind or what have you (e.g. a presence of "connectedness" with all things), well, okay, fine I suppose.  I haven't had those personal experiences so ultimately I have no say in the judgment of their apparent effect to your worldview.  I don't have any kind of issue with that.

But as soon as this "truth discovered only through personal experience" somehow, in any way, makes contact with the shared objective reality that we're all a part of, then for me problems arise.  These are claims that pierce through the veil of a personal space and lead to objective consequences - god causes/prevents natural disasters for example.

Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #346 on: May 22, 2013, 07:25:45 PM »
What I would need to believe...
1. Lot in life being better  (statistically less murder, less suffering, longer life, peaceful death) not to say a perfect life just perceivably better for their faithful adherence

     Then being a follower of Christ definitely isn't for you: see Mt8:20 and I Peter 4:12

2. Magic healings (Probably including amputations but I could see others as possibly sufficient.  for the faithful of a given sect)

     Again, following Christ isn't for you - it seems to me that in the gospels when a miracle of Jesus is described with more than just a passing remark, the person's faith precedes the event and not visa versa - miracles were done in response to faith (Mt8:2, Mt9:28) and not to generate faith.  If Jesus performed his miracles to induce a faith response then what do you make of Mt13:58 and 16:4?   

3. A really good one would be an unalterable bible universally understood by every human.  Gods words should not be able to be miscommunicated.

     You know, every once in a while I argue with my dad over the truth value of evolutionary claims.  My dad likes to say: "show me some clear and unmistakeable evidence; show me a monkey turning into a man; show me...". The answer, as I have pointed out is that sometimes if you want to discover the truth you have to do a little work - sucks doesn't it?  Incidentally, do you really think that if the evidence was "clear", we as humans would be unable to find something to disagree about? 







Offline Greenandwhite

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Darwins +5/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What Would It Take For You To Change Your View?
« Reply #347 on: May 22, 2013, 07:38:40 PM »
     Fine.  So I can ignore all personal testimony then, since there is no way I can establish whose experience is correct?

     Sure, if you were trying to decide between Christianity and Mormonism you could disregard both of our claims to personal experience and go straight to textual analysis or whatever else you see fit. Personal experience deals with belief formation and not with the evaluation of the objective value of a religion's truth claims, although if I as a Christian never had any personal experience, that would be a bit of a problem.