### Author Topic: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]  (Read 39199 times)

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#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #261 on: December 31, 2014, 05:19:48 PM »
my bold, unbolded is your work unchanged

1.       Let n equal the count of all possible beliefs
2.       Let a equal the count of beliefs where, if you are wrong, you cease to exist.
3.       Let b equal the count of beliefs where, if you are wrong, you experience eternal torment.
4.       Let c equal the count of beliefs where, if you are wrong, you experience eternal bliss.
5.       Let x equal the count of your belief, i.e., 1
6.       Based on the above, x = 1
7.       Based on the above, n=a+b+c+1
8.       Let the utility gained by experiencing eternal bliss be a very large number represented by h
9.       Let the average utility gained by all “eternal bliss” concepts be represented by H
10.   Let the utility lost by experiencing eternal torment be a very large number represented by [h]
11.   Let the average utility gained by all “eternal torment” concepts be represented by [H]
12.   Let the average utility gained by eternal bliss be equal and opposite of the average utility lost by eternal torment,
13.   i.e., H + [H] = 0
14.   For the purposes of this paper, let the cost of believing any belief set be equal
15.   EVB = Expected Value of belief in Heaven and Hell
16.   EVA = Expected Value of belief in Death’s Finality

So this is the original set of assumptions.  If it helps, you can ignore both assumptions 8 and 10.  The lower case h was meant to represent the utility of the bliss gained by belief in a particular belief in Heaven, while the uppoer case H was meant to be the average utility of the bliss gained by all possible Heavens.  Really, it is a attempt to illustrate that, while there might be multiple levels of utility gained by eternal bliss, they are all very large and basically the same number.

[H] is the negative of H, so H+[H] = 0 (Assumption 13).

In the first set of assumptions, because I held that the utility gained by eternal bliss was equal to the utility lost by eternal torment, I held that the utility lost by eternal torment was equal to [H]

so all of the above from this line is actually irrelevant to what follows here, below this line, it is utterly redundant;

Now I also had other sets of assumptions to test different variants in the variables.  So in "Test 1," I made it so the utlity gained from eternal Bliss was greater than the utility lost by eternal torment.  Thus I had to use different variables to represent the two concepts.  (I chose T and B, with B > T in the first Test)

Thus, in the first Test, the assumptions were:
1.       Let eternal bliss utility be equal to B
2.       Let eternal torment utility be equal to [T]
3.       B > T this is where you need to stop, you just claim B>T, the rest is trivial, it this the mathematical equivalent of saying;

10>5

10 +2 > 5+2

10-2 > 5-2

etc, trivial

10>5 is actually a fact, you have assumed that B > T without proof, this is trivial smoke and mirrors disguised as meaningful maths

4.       B +[T] equals a positive number, equals (+)

10 + 3 = (+)

5.       B – [T] equals a positive number, equals (+)

10 - 3 = (+)

|Note: The positive number in 5 is different and greater than the positive number in assumption 4 and 6, but is equal to the positive number in assumption 7|

but 10- 3 does not equal 10 +3 but equals another number ie 5

please give actual values for B, T and [T]

6.       B – T equals a positive number, equals (+)

10-3  =  (+)

|Note: The positive number in 6 is different and less than then positive number in assumption 5 and 7, but is equal to the positive number in assumption 4|

10 - 5 = (+) but is not equal to 10 - 3, trivial and unjustified change

please give actual values for B, T and [T]

7.       B + T equals a positive number, equals (+)

10 + 3 = (+)

please give actual values for B, T and (+)

The reason why I just denoted this as (+) is because only the sign of the number really matters in the equation.

the reason you  added (+) because you are just making shit up, please provide values for all your parameters

I hope that this clarifies the questions you posed.

nope, you seem to be just making up assumption in every step to force an unspecified number to be what you want, please make this real like and supply actual real numbers  to support your assumptions
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 05:39:02 PM by eh! »
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #262 on: December 31, 2014, 05:56:18 PM »

nope, you seem to be just making up assumption in every step to force an unspecified number to be what you want, please make this real like and supply actual real numbers  to support your assumptions

Cool bro.  You clearly aren't understanding what I am saying and I think it is pretty clear.  I am not claiming anything in "TEST" 1.  I am Testing it.  I am testing the scenario where B>T.  in Test two, I test the opposite.  I test if B=T in the first, if B>T in the second and if B<T in the third.  It is me showing you that it doesn't matter whether the utility gained from heaven outweighs the utility lost in Hell.  Regardless of that point, I demonstrate that the results are the the same.

I am making assumptions and testing scenarios because there is no way to quantify these numbers, So we have to test out various possibilities.  I show in my original post that in all tests, the results end up the same.

Thanks for being so polite and cool JK LOL!!!!

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #263 on: December 31, 2014, 06:00:43 PM »
well than it is all contrived hocus pocus, no math is actually required.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Anfauglir

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #264 on: December 31, 2014, 06:04:16 PM »
God wanted to create something that was like Himself, so He created us.  In order to be like Him, humans had to be free to do as they chose.  God loved people, but because God is perfect, He can only live in fellowship with those that are perfect too, as imperfections are incompatible with perfection.  So God gave people rules to follow to maintain their perfection....

So, does god need rules to follow to be perfect?  Or is it possible to be perfect, have free will, and have no rules?

In which case, why did god not create man like that?
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?

#### wheels5894

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #265 on: December 31, 2014, 06:09:15 PM »
Hang on! We have no information to do maths here - at least not that much. Try watching this...

Sure, it doesn't answer everything but it does give us cause to think before making claims.

This one, I think I posted this before, is pretty good too!
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)

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #266 on: December 31, 2014, 06:22:11 PM »
God wanted to create something that was like Himself, so He created us.  In order to be like Him, humans had to be free to do as they chose.  God loved people, but because God is perfect, He can only live in fellowship with those that are perfect too, as imperfections are incompatible with perfection.  So God gave people rules to follow to maintain their perfection....

So, does god need rules to follow to be perfect?  Or is it possible to be perfect, have free will, and have no rules?

In which case, why did god not create man like that?

That is like, can an all powerful being create a boulder so big that even he could not lift it?  Here is the thing about the Christian God.  It is something you wont like, but it is the way the Christian God is described:  He is all knowing, all good, and all powerful.  If that kind of creature exists, then we cannot question the goodness of His actions.  If His actions are bad, then either we were wrong about His goodness, or we are wrong about the badness of His actions.  We also might be attributing actions to Him that are actually the actions of other free agents.  I know that this is just the problem of Evil and that there is a whole discuss about why there is evil in the world if God is all good and all powerful, but I haven't seen that discussion end anywhere but: "Man has Free will and God is not the author of Man's actions"  Then we fight about whether God, being the creator, is indirectly responsible for man's actions and whether creating an evil creation if evil.  And then we fight about the definition of evil and so on and so forth.

Anyhow to answer your question, rules are an inherrant part of perfection.  A perfect being would perfectly follow the rules and would not need them to be defined, but perfect being is God and God is already God.  To create another perfect being that is not God would be to split God's power and break His own perfection.  The reason why Jesus does not split God's power is because Jesus is fully God,  He is just in the form of man.  If God wanted to created a world of Jesuses, He would just be creating a world of Himselves.  I don't know what God's motivation was in creating us the way He did, but I believe that He did it because He wanted to create something that was not Him, but could form a relationship with Him.

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #267 on: December 31, 2014, 06:28:26 PM »
well theists here argue that jesus was fully man to make his sacrifice valid, so is jesus fully god or fully man?

how come yr all powerful god can be deated by guys on iron chariots and is scared of peasants making a tower out of sticks and hide that will get into heaven, why did all knowing god set eve up to fail, is that all good?  does all knowing god know why he exists and did he know at the time of creation I would be born some 6000 years later (ignoring reality here) to reject a belief in him?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 06:30:09 PM by eh! »
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Defiance

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #268 on: December 31, 2014, 06:32:06 PM »
Since you're keen at making shit up, might as well play along.

Why did god feel the need to have this bond with someone? Was he lonely and therefore lacked something?
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

#### Nam

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #269 on: December 31, 2014, 06:34:13 PM »

You're a Christian, you should be used to being persecuted. Of course, here it's just self-flagellation. You know, because you're here because you want to be.

-Nam

Might be used to it, but doesn't mean I like it.  Rather be patted on the back that whipped.  But you are right, it does talk about persecution a lot in the Bible.  I would just think that you Atheists would not think the persecution is an OK thing to do.

We don't. But the thing is...you started it.

-Nam
"presumptions are the bitch of all assumptions" -- me

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #270 on: December 31, 2014, 06:39:40 PM »
Hang on! We have no information to do maths here - at least not that much. Try watching this...

Sure, it doesn't answer everything but it does give us cause to think before making claims.

In this video, if the cartoon guy did not convert to Christianity, where would he have gone?  Still to Hell.  Islam is not too fond of non-believers.

My argument was not an argument between Christianity and Islam, it was an argument between belief in Heaven and Hell and believe in Atheism.  Based on my argument alone, both Islam and Christianity have the same expected utility.  I mention this in my argument.

My point is that Atheists have a lower expected value than believers because if they are correct, they get no after-life utility.

The best case scenario for Atheists is that they are wrong, that God does exist, and that He is cool with everyone.  I am not ruling that out as a possibility, but that is not what Atheists believe.

I believe that the best case scenario for the Atheist is if they are wrong.  I would not want to be in that beliefset as it does not benefit me if I am right.

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #271 on: December 31, 2014, 06:42:34 PM »
yeah but yr math is BS.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Nam

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #272 on: December 31, 2014, 06:44:05 PM »
Another one who uses Pascal's Wager.

-Nam
"presumptions are the bitch of all assumptions" -- me

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #273 on: December 31, 2014, 06:44:20 PM »
well theists here argue that jesus was fully man to make his sacrifice valid, so is jesus fully god or fully man?

how come yr all powerful god can be deated by guys on iron chariots and is scared of peasants making a tower out of sticks and hide that will get into heaven, why did all knowing god set eve up to fail, is that all good?  does all knowing god know why he exists and did he know at the time of creation I would be born some 6000 years later (ignoring reality here) to reject a belief in him?

Isaiah 55:8 states: "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."

Any speculation on why God does what He does is just speculation.  I can think of reasons, but I have no way of knowing what God's reasons are.  I just trust that He is God, so His ways are right.

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #274 on: December 31, 2014, 06:46:17 PM »
that is as blind as faith gets.

the mind is a terrible thing to waste, it is sinful that you do so.

is it also speculation that god exists, as you can't really comprehend such a thing given your scripture.

you actually have rendered yrself no opinion at all in this life, you can't know why or how anything happens given that god is all powerful, good, knowing etc and that you can not know anything about why, how etc according to yr scripture quote.

it is nihilistic, defeatists and robotic.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 06:50:45 PM by eh! »
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #275 on: December 31, 2014, 06:50:39 PM »
Since you're keen at making shit up, might as well play along.

Why did god feel the need to have this bond with someone? Was he lonely and therefore lacked something?

I am just postulating what could be the reason why God did what He did.  I have no way of understanding God's motivations.  The whole ending of Job is a rebuke of Job and his friends for trying to justify God's actions.  The point is that God is beyond our understanding and it is arrogant to expect to comprehend the creator of the universe and all of His ways.

Job basically responds to God in Job 42, "You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."  I know you won't like this answer but this is the answer in the Bible.  God is outside of our understanding.  We are too limited to understand His eternal being.

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #276 on: December 31, 2014, 06:51:55 PM »
outside of our understanding and outside of our universe = non-existent or close enough.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #277 on: December 31, 2014, 06:56:06 PM »
that is as blind as faith gets.

the mind is a terrible thing to waste, it is sinful that you do so.

is it also speculation that god exists, as you can't really comprehend such a thing given your scripture.

you actually have rendered yrself no opinion at all in this life, you can't know why or how anything happens given that god is all powerful, good, knowing etc and that you can not know anything about why, how etc according to yr scripture quote.

it is nihilistic, defeatists and robotic.

You guys are asking to understand something that is beyond comprehension.  Of your you will never be satisfied.  That is like me asking you to write down all the digits of Pi in order for me to believe that Pi is the ratio of the diameter and the circumference of a circle.

I won't believe it until you PROVE to me you know what the last digit of Pi is!!!

You see how this would be frustrating?   You guys won't believe something spiritual unless it is proven to you materialisticly.  You are asking for something that, by the nature of our religion, can not be provided.  chasing after the wind...

#### Nam

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #278 on: December 31, 2014, 06:57:02 PM »
Beyond comprehension yet you call it "fact".

-Nam
"presumptions are the bitch of all assumptions" -- me

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #279 on: December 31, 2014, 06:59:44 PM »
actually I can give you a precise and exact value for Pi, it involves a string a ruler and a circle. it is not required to list all the digits to have a clearly defined value anymore than knowing a voltage of 1 Volt into a 1 Ohm load gives an exact Amperage of 1 Amp.

the inerrant bible actually quotes an incorrect value for Pi.

now why is all powerful god scared of iron chariots again?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 07:03:01 PM by eh! »
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #280 on: December 31, 2014, 07:02:51 PM »
actually I can give you a precise and exact value for Pi, it involves a string a ruler and a circle.

the inerrant bible actually quotes an incorrect value for Pi.

now why is all powerful god scared of iron chariots again?

Please do.  You give me the exact value for Pi and I will answer your question.

#### eh!

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #281 on: December 31, 2014, 07:05:18 PM »
Pi = C/D for all D and all C

done
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

#### jaimehlers

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #282 on: December 31, 2014, 07:09:37 PM »
You don't have to belong to Christianity and, were you a Christian, you could leave at any time.  You would be pressured by other Christians not to leave, but you could do it. Christians legitimately believe that non-Christians are going to Hell.  Christians are also called to be compassionate and to love their neighbors.  If you love your neighbor and believe that they are going to Hell, then you will probably work to get them to make decisions that will stop them from going to Hell.  That's the rationalization for why Christians want to pressure you to be a Christian.  I know that you yourself do not believe in Hell, but if you really want to never hear about Hell again, you are going to have to do a lot of converting yourself.
I'm well aware that this is the rationale that Christians use.  However, that does not mean that it's effective, reasonable, or even rational itself.  To be honest, it comes across as exactly the same sort of 'compassion' that led Christians to justify doing some pretty awful things to nonbelievers for the sake of their supposed afterlife.  Frankly, I find that sort of attitude to be more condescending than compassionate.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Do you at least see how Atheists, who try to convert Christians to Atheism could be seen as as annoying as Christians who try to convert Atheists to Christianity?
What exactly are Atheists?  I only know of atheists.  You seem to be making the very typical mistake of assuming that atheism means something more than the lack of belief in deities.

That aside, I find advertising in general to be annoying, but I just tune it out for the most part.  So I don't especially care if Christians advertise for their religion, nor do I especially care if atheists advertise against religion.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Here is some evidence that the afterlife exists.  There are some Christian ones on there and some other experiences.  There are ones with Hell, there are ones with weird Heavens.  Does it prove that God exists?  No.  But it is at least a few "shreds" of evidence that supports the existence of God and the afterlife.
I already answered this in an earlier post.  Subjective near-death experiences don't serve as evidence of anything except that odd things happen when a person nears death.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
YOU ARE!  JK, but seriously, I do not think it is disengenuous to point out that the world may be completely different from how we perceive it.  Further, that we might just be being deceived into thinking the world is the way it is.  The real point that I end with, when I think about how the world might actually be, is that, no matter how much we learn about the universe and its makeup, it wont mean anything.  We might learn everything we could possibly learn about everything only to find out that it was all a computer simulation or other such nonsense.
It is, however, disingenuous to claim that other people take reality on 'faith' simply because you do.  Not to mention the fact that you clearly believe that your own take on reality is fundamentally accurate, and have argued repeatedly that people should adopt it because of utility, or whatever.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
The point that Solomon is trying ot make here is that, under the sun (in the material world), there is lots and lots to do, but nothing ever gets done.  It is all an endless cycle that ends exactly where it started.
Look, I get it that you want to believe that there's something more to life than simply endless toil which ultimately comes to nothing.  I even get why - it's not exactly heartening to conclude that nothing you do will ultimately matter.  But you don't need to act like there's some eternal afterlife where you get punished or rewarded based on what you believed while you were alive in order to come up with a reason to keep going.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
You kiss your mother with that mouth?  I don't know what an Ipse is, but I am no Dixit!
Google "ipse dixit" next time rather than making a questionably smart comeback.  It refers to an arbitrary, dogmatic statement that you expect others to accept as valid without supporting it.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
The leaps of faith I was talking about are like:
Believing that this is not a dream
Believing that your thoughts are your own and not someone elses
Believing that you are not being deceived
Believing that this is the first time you lived your life and that you have free will to chose what decisions you make in the future.
Believing that this is not a computer simulation
Believing that you actually exist
Believing that I actually exist

I know that you might not consider those to be "Leaps", but I do, and those were the leaps I ws talking about.
As you guessed, I consider none of those to be leaps of faith.  Nor am I obligated to accept your statement that they are.  That's what I meant by ipse dixit - you made this statement about "leaps of faith", expecting others to simply accept it as valid because you thought it was.  The statement "leap of faith" refers to something that a person actively believes or takes into account.  And I don't.  I don't even think about any of those things more than 99% of the time.  Neither do you; you don't seriously believe that any of those are the case, and therefore calling them leaps of faith doesn't work.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Go to that Near Death website.  Those people say that they left and came back.  If you want physical evidence to be brought back from a spiritual world, then you might be out of luck.  I think that we will have to wait and see if they were right or not.
Do you even realize just how inane this statement of yours is?  First off, you have no way to show that they actually do go somewhere else.  Second, there is no reason to assume that someone cannot bring back evidence from this so-called 'spiritual' world.  If your belief was actually correct, then the 'spiritual' component of human existence (whatever it was) would serve as just that sort of evidence.  And therefore, it would be possible for a person to bring back something from this 'spiritual' world, into their body, and then measure the impact it had on their physical body.  No matter which way you slice it, this belief of yours doesn't hold up.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
I think that this restriction is going to definitionally limit you to just the material world. So, even if there is a world that exists outside of the material world, you would never be able detect it, so you would never know about it.  Now, there are people who say that they have witnessed things from non-material worlds, but I guess we can't trust them because they don't have physical proof.
Why are you simply assuming that this 'spiritual' world of yours is inherently undetectable?  There are plenty of things which were undetectable to human senses, which we have nonetheless managed to detect evidence of.  So why use special pleading to set your 'spiritual' world apart from everything else in the universe?

Quote from: Dante Harnz
You are under no obligation to take me or my statements seriously.
If that's the case, why does this topic exist at all?  You most assuredly expected us to take you seriously, otherwise why go to the trouble of concocting logical arguments to justify doing so?  So why is it that, after you've realized that your arguments aren't working, we somehow aren't 'obligated' to take you seriously?  If I knew of something that was a danger to someone else, then I would most assuredly expect them to take me seriously on it.  So why this change of heart?

Quote from: Dante Harnz
But truth and morality is all subjective too, So I guess it is fine that the evidence is subjective.  I am going to Ipse Dixit you now!  I disagree all the evidence is purely subjective. The Biblical profecy fulfilment is not subjective, it might be disagreed upon, but either the prohecies got fulfilled or they did not.  Also,  What are you looking for?  Like a God rock that has proof of God on it?  I already talked about this that, if God really demonstrated undeniable proof of His existence, it would really throw a kink into the whole free will idea.
And yet, there's no record showing that the prophecies were made when they were claimed to be made; there's no reason to conclude that they remained unchanged from the moment they were supposedly made to the moment they were supposedly fulfilled.  Given how just about everything else in the Bible was changed, why should these so-called 'prophecies' be exempted?

Oh, yes, and the "free will" standby.  Hasn't it occurred to you that if your god actually exists in the way you claim, there never was any such thing as free will to begin with?  In fact, by preventing people from truly knowing whether your god exists, then rewarding or punishing them afterward based on their belief, he's actually taking away from what little "free will" they might have had in the first place.  In the name of allowing people the 'freedom' to choose whether he exists - which is pointless, akin to 'allowing' people the freedom to, say, choose whether McDonalds exists - he takes away their ability to make informed decisions about whether to follow his instructions or not.  In short, by granting a 'freedom' that can't possibly matter, he takes away the much more meaningful freedom to decide to obey him or face the consequences.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
You think it would be better if God were to reveal himself, but could you at least submit that it might be worse?  Like, it is pretty big speculation that the world, with God being everpresent, would be more pleasant than how it is now.
I cannot think of a single instance where it would be better to remain in ignorance than to gain knowledge, no matter how painful that knowledge might end up being.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Also, Christianity is not simple.  It is not a simple belief that gets you salvation, it is a life commitment.  I have not said that the cost of Christianity is low, I have said that the utility of both Christians and Atheists is arguably equal.
Christianity being a life commitment has no bearing on how simple a belief it is.  And the fact of the matter is that Christianity is a very simple belief system, for all that Christians want to believe it's sublime and esoteric and whatever other adjectives they want to tack on.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Also also, it is not about whether you would rprefer knowledge over ignorance, it is about the motivations you have in doing what you do.  There are people who follow the law in order to not get punished and sent to jail, then there are people who follow the law out of a great pride in their country and its laws.  If God wants peoples' motivations to be love for God and not fear of punishment, it might cloud the issue if the punishment is constantly being rubbed in everyone's face.
No, it wouldn't.  Not at all.  You see, if your god wanted people to act out of love for him, there would be no need for threatened punishments for disobedience.  Christianity got saddled with that because it's rooted in Judaism - which does have laws that their god expects his followers to abide by in order to avoid severe punishment, and which they are presumably rewarded for.  This worked with the authoritarian, warlike god that the Jews believed actually moved through the world, but it doesn't work so well with a god who wants people to obey him because they love him.

So, in fact, having your god hide in order to preserve "free will" is actually the attempt to cloud the issue.  If your god was evident in the world, it would be obvious that your god didn't actually care about whether people loved him, but just that they obeyed him, which would undercut the entire message of Christianity.  Well, that, and the fact that there's much less, especially in the modern day, which can actually be attributed to the hand of a god rather than the workings of nature.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
You can probably guess then, that there are things in the "We don't know we don't know category" right?  Like, even if we have come this far in our scientific understanding, couldn't it be possible that we have only found out a very small percentage of what is actually knowable?  I just think that people have always thought that we know everything, then when we find out we were totally wrong, we decide, oh yeah, we were wrong, but NOW we know everything again
That's why I like the scientific method.  It makes no claim that anything we discover with it is actually right - just that what we exclude with it was wrong.  I would rate scientific methodology as one of the top conceptual innovations in the world, for the simple reason that it helps us avoid the subtle mental trap you just described.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Faith is belief without knowledge.  I hold that we don't really have any knowledge.  We have beliefs based on experiences and we have faith that those experiences are real or trustable.   Knowledge is truth and truth is no provable in our world because we cannot trust that we are perceiving things correctly.
Au contraire; we have plenty of knowledge.  However, that knowledge is not complete and it will probably never be fully complete.  I also don't agree that knowledge is truth, although this certainly explains your attitude.  Truth, to me, is a human conception; what it means is how close something approximates reality.  And it's true that we can never know just how close we're coming, but that doesn't make our approximations useless.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
James,  You are very eloquent and well spoken. I most likely will not have this kind of time to respond to other such comprehensive responses because Christmas break only comes so often.
I realize you didn't mean any harm by it, but if you're going to shorten my username, I would really appreciate it if you would shorten it to Jaime.  My username is actually a variation on an initialism, so it rubs me the wrong way to be addressed by the 'wrong' name.

Thank you for the compliment, and Merry Christmas to you as well.  I don't expect comprehensive responses most of the time; the intent of my posting is to hopefully get people to think about what they're saying.

Imagine that, in order for justice to be served, you would have to right the wrongs you had committed.  Imagine that you would need to be punished until you could make recompense for those wrongs.  Imagine that, in order to make recompense for wrongdoings, you would have to undo the wrongs that were committed so it was as if they never occured in the first place.

Now imagine that, because time travel is not possible, you could never right those wrongs.  Justice would not allow for you to be forgiven until you fix what you broke and once broken, many things cannot be fixed. So... how would justice be served in that scenario?
What you describe here sounds like the antithesis of justice.  If you cannot undo wrongs (to make them as if they were never committed), and this is required to make recompense for those wrongs, then how is it just to punish someone until they can make recompense for their wrongs?  What you're actually saying is that a person who commits a wrong - any wrong, no matter how trivial - should thus be punished forever because they can't undo it.  That's retribution, not justice, and furthermore, it is retribution that undercuts the very concept of justice.  Even someone who has committed a wrong still deserves justice - meaning, among other things, that they don't get hit with unfair punishments.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
I know that our legal system is based on the idea that you can pay recompense by serving time in jail, but that does not make anything right.  It just serves to do more harm in the universe.  We also have the idea that we can pay a certain amount of money to fix our wrongs.  I submit that no amount of money could replace a life or could remedy a trauma caused by an assuault.  It might make things better, but it would not make things right.

Think about perfect justice.  Would any person go unpunished if there were perfect justice in the world?
If there were perfect justice in the world, nobody would ever need to be punished in the first place, because nobody would do anything to deserve punishment.  A world where punishment exists is a world where justice cannot be perfect.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

#### jaimehlers

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #283 on: December 31, 2014, 07:34:07 PM »
I responded to this separately because I didn't want this to get lost in a big post, and because it's an important point that I want Dante to recognize.

This is a rat-study, James.
As I mentioned before, if you're going to shorten my username, I would appreciate it if you would shorten it to Jaime.

As for the study being about rats, so what?  Many scientific studies start with rodents (such as rats, mice, and guinea pigs) because they're close enough to human physiology to be useful for testing.  If nothing else, you can work out how to ensure that such studies are safe to perform on humans without running into serious ethical concerns.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
You guys talk about this thing evolving in animals.  Are you serious!?  how does having a surge of brain activity when you DIE improve your evolutionary fitness?!  Are you kidding me?  Oh yeah, that rat over there is super sexy because, I heard that, when he is going to die, he is going to have a huge surge of activity in his brain.
I can quite easily see how something like this would improve evolutionary fitness.  Why can't you?

Let me put this as straightforwardly as I can.  You have two animals which are basically identical, except that one has this huge surge of brain activity when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, and the other does not.  If something happens to, say, stop their heart (which has the effect of interrupting blood flow), then the biggest danger is that their brain cells will die due to hypoxia, oxygen deprivation.  As long as the brain cells survive, it can resuscitate itself, or be resuscitated.  So the animal which doesn't have this huge surge of brain activity will most likely have its brain cells start dying immediately - within seconds - due to lack of blood flow, and even if it manages to survive (people and animals can survive heart attacks on their own, just to give one example), it will likely be so impaired that it will not be able to live for long.  Whereas the animal which does have that huge surge of brain activity gets at least two major benefits.  First off, there's the chance that the surge of brain activity can kick-start the heart back into action, thus allowing it to survive.  And second, that extreme level of activity most likely reduces the number of brain cells that actually die due to hypoxia, at least in the short-term, so if something happens to prevent it from dying (which can happen even in nature), it will be much more likely to survive without impairment.

Since evolution is all about the transmission of genes to offspring, the benefit of having something that helps keep an animal from maybe dying to begin with, and reduces the impairment it suffers if it does come back to life, would naturally make it more likely that it would be able to transmit its genes to its offspring.  If it dies, that cannot happen.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
How does anything that happens AT DEATH, evolve?  I was always under the impression that in order for a trait to be passed down to future generations, the organism with that trait had to not be dead so that they could reporduce and send their genes onward.
The point is that this might keep the animal from dying and reduces the impairment it suffers from its brush with death.  Since it would therefore not be dead, it could then reproduce.

Quote from: Dante Harnz
Explain to me how at-death experiences can evolve.
The whole point of near-death experiences is that one doesn't actually die.  Correct?  Something that almost dies, but ends up surviving, can pass on its genes to its offspring, and if there was something in those genes that contributed to its survival, then its offspring will most likely have it.  That's the whole point of evolutionary theory.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

#### Defiance

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #284 on: December 31, 2014, 07:35:10 PM »
actually I can give you a precise and exact value for Pi, it involves a string a ruler and a circle.

the inerrant bible actually quotes an incorrect value for Pi.

now why is all powerful god scared of iron chariots again?

Please do.  You give me the exact value for Pi and I will answer your question.

22/7.
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

#### Dante Harnz

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #285 on: December 31, 2014, 07:40:36 PM »
james,

You are not fun to talk to.

You and your Atheists can have your little social club back now.

You guys are cowards and liars.  You hide behind atheism like it is some concept that canot be attacked. "Atheists are all different"  Then why do you have a friggin site like this one for Atheists to all gather and pat eachother on the back all day?

Listen,  you are going to Hell.  I am not going to put you there, you are.  The only reason I invested any of my time on this God-awful site is to try to save you, but you have been cruel to me.  If you want to be saved, go to church, but being around a hard heart like the one you have cultivated will only serve to make me a worse human being.

Good luck with this whole, trying to destroy Christianity thing that you all seem to get off on.  One day, I hope you realize how similar to Christians you all really are.  You know how much you hate Christians for prostletyzing and for believing in ridiculous things?  You know how much time you devote to fighting us evil Christians?  Well guess what.  Atheism are the most fanatical religion I know.  Just look at how much time you invest in this site!

I hope that you, Nam, Eh, Shnozzo, and Astreja really grow out of your experience of bolstering eachother and just consistently talking yourselves up.  I really hope you gain new perspetives by focusing only on your current perspectives.

This is your church and you can have it back.  I am sick of the way you guys argue.  You are a bunch of cruel jerks.  If this is the world you want, the world of arrogant science-jerks who are so high on their horse they can't see truth, then you can have it.  If you were in my church yelling about Atheism, I know you would meet a similarresponse  that I received so guess what, I am not going to stick around.

Seriously, you guys are the meanest people I have ever met.  I hope you are happy and feel really good about yourself.  I am not a strong person and I am not emotionally invinceable.  You are mean and your meanness has impacts on the world.  You guys have talked about the legacy you will leave behind on this world?  Well, the legacy you have left with me is very negative.  You can add that to your Karma board as a minus

You are all close minded and you love it.  Please open your hearts to Jesus.  I can do nothing for you.  Only God can.

Good bye.

#### Defiance

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #286 on: December 31, 2014, 07:43:21 PM »
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

HAPPY NEW YEAR BUDDY
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/miscellaneousjokes/schooljokes/physicsjokes.html

#### jaimehlers

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #287 on: December 31, 2014, 07:44:35 PM »
^Unfortunately, Defiance, I do have to point out that, as pi is an irrational number, it cannot be properly represented by a fraction.

Furthermore, it's easy to show that 22/7 exceeds the value of pi.  The value of pi, to 7 decimal places, is 3.1415296; the value of 22/7, to the same 7 decimal places, is 3.1428571.  22/7 is a "good enough" approximation used by a lot of people, but it cannot be considered the 'exact' value of pi.

The fraction that most closely approximates pi (at least without having an inconveniently large denominator) is 355/113, or 3.1415292.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

#### Nam

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #288 on: December 31, 2014, 07:46:29 PM »
It's funny, really. He comes in, breaks rules, insult us and when we defend ourselves it's us attacking him.

Hilarious.

-Nam
"presumptions are the bitch of all assumptions" -- me

#### HAL

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##### Re: Why, logically, you should believe in Heaven and Hell [#2809]
« Reply #289 on: December 31, 2014, 07:52:04 PM »
I hope that you, Nam, Eh, Shnozzo, and Astreja really grow out of your experience of bolstering each other and...

Way to go guys! Awesome job!

Quote
Seriously, you guys are the meanest people I have ever met.

Shoot, they aren't nearly as mean as I can be. Are you leaving or can we talk?
Seriously, you guys are the meanest people I have ever met.  I hope you are happy and feel really good about yourself.