Author Topic: A question for theists  (Read 8569 times)

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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #377 on: March 20, 2017, 02:21:51 PM »
This where I read the little blurb about C.S. Lewis not immediately embracing Christianity. It's a fine article that describes the irrational nature of materialism:

http://strangenotions.com/the-single-best-argument-against-philosophical-materialism/

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #378 on: March 20, 2017, 03:02:34 PM »
Yeah I think that's why there are so many versions of Christianity.  I went to my nephew's school's basketball tournament in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago.  He goes to Saint Mary's in California, and they're in the West Coast Conference.  It's a conference which includes a lot of religious schools, such as Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and BYU.  It's funny that a Christian conference would hold their basketball tournament in Sin City.  But that's another example of bending the rules in favor of a God you want to believe in.  I'm not sure if that's what you were talking about, but that definitely rubs a lot of atheists the wrong way.  The funny thing is, they didn't play any games on Sunday - why?  You're in Las Vegas - go ahead and play on Sunday!

My wife and I travel to Las Vegas about once a year. Most of our time is spent sight-seeing, enjoying the food, shows, and relaxing by the pool. I know it's referred to as "sin city" but we stay away from any of the activity that earned it that name. It's a pretty fascinating place.




Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #379 on: March 20, 2017, 03:57:25 PM »
It started out as curiosity. I then realized it was beneficial to participate as it forced me to challenge my own beliefs. I have learned much from participating here. There are certain topics that I favor but I often do nothing more than sit in the bleachers during other conversations and observe the arguments being made.

The problem I run into here sometimes is that some do not believe I am actually doing that. Truth is, I have departed from here on many occasions feeling as though I had encountered a challenge that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. I fully realize that I am literally wasting my time if I do not read and consider what others are saying.

I believe that you believe that you are doing enough to challenge your beliefs.

...but I prefer to look at the actual evidence and the results of your thinking.

I have read many accounts of people who have abandoned atheism in favor of Christianity and in just about every case, the trigger was a realization that atheism was irrational.

And you believe these people because you want to.

Let's see how rational your Christian thinking really is


This is all I needed to know.

Since, as you said, "nothing is 100% provable since that only happens in mathematics”  that means your claims of certainty that "there is no evidence for god" and "there is no God" are false. Your claim is more accurately stated as "the probability for their being no evidence of god is high" and that "the probability that there is no God is high." I will apply this to some of the other claims and assertions you have made as well....you are speaking in terms of probability which is different than speaking in terms of certainty.

When you say "that means", you are confusing proof and disproof, and showing that you have not thought about rational thinking or the scientific method.

To disprove a positive statement you only need one counter example which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

To disprove a negative statement you only need one counter example which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

To prove a negative statement, the underlying method is Bayes Theorem, so extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but when there is sufficient evidence, it is equivalent to disproving a positive statement by contradiction which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

To prove a positive statement, the underlying method is Bayes Theorem, so extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but when the context is well defined, proof can be raised to 100% or practically 100%. (What is the shape of the Earth? What is the structure of DNA?)


Now apply this to your statement about proving and disproving a god.  To prove a god, you use Bayes Theorem, so extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To disprove a god, you use the appropriate disproof which gives you 100% certainty that the god does not exist.

So BS you are not thinking as rationally as you think you are. Unconscious barriers are holding you back. I want you to be aware that these barriers exist in your mind.
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Offline eh!

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #380 on: March 20, 2017, 04:42:14 PM »
BS you have started another diversion away from presenting  evidence.
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?

Offline wheels5894

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #381 on: March 20, 2017, 04:58:45 PM »
This where I read the little blurb about C.S. Lewis not immediately embracing Christianity. It's a fine article that describes the irrational nature of materialism:

http://strangenotions.com/the-single-best-argument-against-philosophical-materialism/

That's an interesting article but it seems to me that it does that which I have seen others do in the past - it assumes that this 'materialism' excludes anything else. This is just no true.

Time and again in science we find researchers coming up against things that are plainly and obviously wrong - how could light be a wave and particles at the same time, for example?  Well, sometimes, we have to put away our common sense and settle for what nature tells us. These odd behaviours of light really happen and we have shown it. Our maths works out accurately as the conclusion has to be that light really is that way. the point here is that there is not limit set as to what research can show and most scientists would be quite pleased if someone could break a theory in their field as it would lead to new discoveries.

In fact, if we ever discovered something genuinely non-material, like a god, say, action on something in the material world and could prove it, there's a Nobel prize waiting! the thing is, though, that research leads where it leads and we can't predict what will be found.However, so far no one has been able to show that there is such a thing as the 'supernatural' (I rather think the words are rather woolly and poorly defined so that some careful work on defining might be necessary to even know if we found such a thing.) It's hardly as though no one has researched, though, as psychics have been working on this for decades.

Then there is this thing about minds. It has been a handy thing to pick up on for theists as, of course, we don't know enough minds and brains at present. Yet we know quite a bit. Researchers have managed to speak to completely paralysed people but asking them yes or no questions and getting them to think of something, like playing tennis, and picking up the brain patterns on a brain scan. Other studies have shown us the brain making decisions before the person knows what that decision is[1]. So we are starting to get to grips with the brain and the mind. However, there is one thing we have known for a long time about minds and that is they only exist whilst there is a functioning, healthy brain there. As soon as the brain dies, so does the mind. We even know what parts of the brain do from observing the effects of brain damage on people. Damage the visual cortex and sight is affected perhaps. So we know that minds are not quite as nebulous might be thought as they are firmly attached to brains and damaged in the same way as brains are.

Now if we are to contemplate how we can trust our brains / minds, well, the fact is if they were not reliable we may well be unaware of this. After all, the same problem would apply to all of us. We could, of course, note that we make good predictions about our environment and can easily compare notes about that environment with other people. However, the rub is that faulty minds affect the theist just as much as the atheist,  (or not).

So, actually, research has some problems if it were to look for the non-material. There's no definition of the supernatural and we have no concept of a mind without a brain. These are awkward to get round in the short term but not insuperable. Any research we are doing could, in theory, be affected by the supernatural but we need to know what to look for. Meanwhile, for theists there are problems too - just suppose an experiment gave us the tell-tale signs of a god acting[2]. How would the theist work out it was their particular god from all the possible ones?

So, science and atheists are not so much materialistic but following the evidence. If there really is a non-material god out there that causes changes in the material universe, it is bound to be the case that this god will be detected - maybe by affecting a person's brain to the extent that the person heard words from that god. It's a promising line of research for the churches to fund to see if they can show the existence of something that they only believe in.
 1. The process takes place in the sub-conscious brain which only passes on the results when a course of action is decided.
 2. No, I have no idea how this could happen!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline velkyn

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #382 on: March 20, 2017, 05:33:08 PM »
It's not surprising that BS has yet to show any evidence for his claims nor has acknowledged that he repeatedly claimed that he was right and everyone else is wrong. 
Quote
I know why there is good and evil. I know how life began. I know where the universe came from. I know why bad things happen to good people. I know why we have morals and logic and why the universe is so exquisitely ordered. I know where the amazing DNA molecule came from. I know why the existence of life at the microscopic level appears so amazing and complex. I know why we enjoy things like art and music and why we love and hate and laugh and cry. I know why words like “God” and “spirit” and “supernatural” actually mean something. I don’t need a materialism explanation to try and account for those things because I don’t believe that materialism can ever do such a thing. My Christian view on the world is amazingly well ordered and unified and explains why we know what we know and why we don’t know what we don’t know.”

Still nothing to show that the cosmological argument shows that the version of the Christian god that BS claims exists actually does.  Nothing to show that this god is the one and only creator.  No peer-reviewed information that has been vetted to be evidence at all for his claims, despite his demands for evidence from others, which he of course willfully ignores.

In trying to claim that there is some magical non-material soul or spirit interacting with the brain, one has to also agree that if this non-material thing can and must interact with the physical, including chemistry and physics, in the form of electricity one should have absolutely no problem in detecting this soul, or many souls.   Like the scientologists claim about thetans, they should pop up with no problem.   But they don't.  Still no evidence for the supernatural.

As for trusting cause and effect, well, BS, you do every single day just like me and have not suffered for it.  It's a pretty thought problem, but there is nothing to show that cause and effect don't work (at least in the greater than quantum world), and again still no evidence for your version of your god nor for any of the supposed events that are claimed in your bible. All you are doing is looking desperately for a gap for your god to hide in and showing how hypocritical you are in the process.

As for "sin city", again funny how Christians don't agree on what "sin" is, and how they have no problem in ignoring their bible when convenient, making false claims with no compunction at all despite the repeated admonishments in their holy book about not lying at all, ever. 

C.S. Lewis may have converted to Christianity, and many people have converted to its many many sects (which are mostly sure that the other sects are going to hell), and other religions, Islam, Judaism, Wicca, Asatru, etc.   They look for the "right" religion, and it is no surprise that none of them can show that the claims of their religions are true. 

Quote
Seems some folks find something inherently wrong and disturbing in their beliefs and change direction looking for what does satisfy their need for a more rational explanation.
This would indicate that millions find something in inherently wrong and disturbing in Christianity, Islam, etc.  Now, what would that be since there is no evidence that the claims of those religions are true?  There doesn't appear to be any rational thought, but the common human belief that the grass is always greener on the other side.  This god failed me so I'll run to the next, and the next and the next, until you die with nothing or having nastly little fantasies that those who didn't agree with you will be punished "real soon now". 

as for that link that BS gave, oy.   I do wonder what the author has defined "subjective experience" as.   
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 06:37:38 PM by velkyn »
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Offline eh!

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #383 on: March 20, 2017, 06:27:27 PM »
Thou shall not lie, BS you said you know all the big answers and have evidence, show it or admit you are sinning and being deceitful.

Your god demands it.
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?

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #384 on: March 20, 2017, 06:32:51 PM »
When you say "that means", you are confusing proof and disproof, and showing that you have not thought about rational thinking or the scientific method.

To disprove a positive statement you only need one counter example which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

To disprove a negative statement you only need one counter example which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

Not sure I follow. Perhaps you could give an example of how this works.

My understanding is that science via the scientific method does not endeavor to provide proof of anything.


Offline wheels5894

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #385 on: March 21, 2017, 03:30:42 AM »
OK, BS. I have a hypothesis that all swans are white. I can't prove this since it would mean being everywhere at once in the world and that's not possible. Still there are no black swans where I am so I claim I have proved white swans are  white.

No, BS, let's imagine you want to disprove my claims. All that is needed is one black swan. Confirm a sighting od one black swan and my hypothesis is dead. That how what Foxy was talking about works. Obviously, not every case is as simple but i think you can see what I mean.
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)

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #386 on: March 21, 2017, 03:58:04 AM »
Science would go further than observing black or white, there is colour genetics that predict the frequency of black and white even if a specific color is not observed in a specific population.

You can still predict the colour of the progeny on genetics. I train dogs, a lot of science has gone into color genetics.
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?

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #387 on: March 21, 2017, 08:27:16 AM »
OK, BS. I have a hypothesis that all swans are white. I can't prove this since it would mean being everywhere at once in the world and that's not possible. Still there are no black swans where I am so I claim I have proved white swans are  white.

No, BS, let's imagine you want to disprove my claims. All that is needed is one black swan. Confirm a sighting od one black swan and my hypothesis is dead. That how what Foxy was talking about works. Obviously, not every case is as simple but i think you can see what I mean.

Okay. Got it. So she's referring to falsification. Thanks.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #388 on: March 21, 2017, 09:23:35 AM »
In fact, if we ever discovered something genuinely non-material, like a god, say, action on something in the material world and could prove it, there's a Nobel prize waiting!

What is your take on unexplained healings (eg. Miracle at Lourdes), irreducible complexity, near-death experiences, demon possession,  origin of the universe, origin of life, modern day prophecy, quantum physics. Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for the non-material?

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #389 on: March 21, 2017, 09:30:58 AM »
When you say "that means", you are confusing proof and disproof, and showing that you have not thought about rational thinking or the scientific method.

To disprove a positive statement you only need one counter example which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

To disprove a negative statement you only need one counter example which gives 100% certainty of the disproof.

Not sure I follow. Perhaps you could give an example of how this works.

My understanding is that science via the scientific method does not endeavor to provide proof of anything.

The general method in science, when the context is not fully known, is by disproof not by proof, since the answer is certain when disproof is used. This means for example that false explanations for the beginning of the universe can be eliminated. This still leaves a range of more or less likely options to be eliminated later. The hope is to whittle them down to one working explanation.

See Wheels explanation for one type of disproof.


Some common fallacies by Christians are these;

Science could be wrong so I could be right.

Evolution could be wrong so creationism could be right.

Experts disagree so I could be right.

They are all based on the mistake of not understanding that science uses disproof.


Now BS, you might like to demonstate how believing the extraordinary claims of Christianity is rational, especially since you are constantly redefining your god to be beyond your own verifiability when you discover a new problem. It is called the god of the gaps, your gaps.

I saw recently on a video by Richard Carrier that he mentioned that psychologists now know that belief is an emotion which if true would mean belief is not rational but a rationalization of emotional need.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #390 on: March 21, 2017, 09:40:07 AM »
In fact, if we ever discovered something genuinely non-material, like a god, say, action on something in the material world and could prove it, there's a Nobel prize waiting!

What is your take on unexplained healings (eg. Miracle at Lourdes), irreducible complexity, near-death experiences, demon possession,  origin of the universe, origin of life, modern day prophecy, quantum physics. Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for the non-material?

The unexplained is unexplained. Choosing an explanation is a fallacy.

There is no such thing as irreducible complexity. You are believing liars.

Souls and demons do not need the same explanantion as gods since they can be entirely natural in a parallel universe or more likely psychological events.

Prophecy is bullshit.

The science questions do not need non scientific answers.
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Offline Jag

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #391 on: March 21, 2017, 09:49:15 AM »
If your God is not subject to a moral code, by definition your God is amoral, so I'm fine discussing this without using the word immoral.

The question then becomes, can an amoral being construct a moral code for other beings?

That's what I have to offer. Would you like to respond? I'll be on and off throughout the day.

Hmm. I do not recall ever considering this.
I hadn't either, until I read the post i quoted. I'm kind of surprised actually, this is not the first time you've taken this position, but I hadn't thought of it this way before.

Quote
You say that, by definition, because God is not subject to a moral code then He is amoral. Does that mean the keyboard I am typing on is also amoral since it is neither moral nor immoral?
Yes, it does. Amoral simply means without morals in it's most simple definition. of course your keyboard is amoral. Rocks are too.

Quote
Definition of amoral
a :  having or showing no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong amoral politicians an amoral, selfish person
b :  being neither moral nor immoral; specifically :  lying outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amoral

I assume you are using definition b. ??
Well, no, not precisely, but yes it's certainly an acceptable way to state what I mean. I meant what I said above, but we can use whichever definition you prefer. Would you like to use b?

I need to think about this.
Trigglypuff warning!

Before you get any more distance between you and an unresolved issue from 9 days and 100+ more posts, have you identified a defense you wish to deploy for this question, or have you decided to not participate, despite asking for such engagement? I haven't seen anything further, please point me to any response I may have overlooked, or clarify your intentions on this issue.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #392 on: March 21, 2017, 10:19:26 AM »
Re Lourdes :
- not enough of them to be impressive
- too many potential subjects to keep a proper eye on any of them
- easily fooled judges
- too much motivation for fakery, using twins or standard lying techniques

Re Near death
- too many drugs involved, which may be causing hallucinations
- too many liars involved
- no compelling reason the experience should be triggered "near death", since they lived, and weren't near death. The experience should be triggered more often when not near death.
- no obvious mechanism of why a soul would transmit experiences back to our physical memory systems

Re irreducible complexity. There is no way to identify IR. It's like saying that skyscrapers are impossible, without knowing that the builders used cranes that were later taken away. I can't see how the pieces of building walked up to the top of the building. They don't have legs. Skyscrapers are impossible without God.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #393 on: March 21, 2017, 11:42:36 AM »
Trigglypuff warning!

Before you get any more distance between you and an unresolved issue from 9 days and 100+ more posts, have you identified a defense you wish to deploy for this question, or have you decided to not participate, despite asking for such engagement? I haven't seen anything further, please point me to any response I may have overlooked, or clarify your intentions on this issue.

This has been a bit of a head-spinner but I can share my very simplistic thought process so far:

Definition of amoral
1.   a :  having or showing no concern about whether behavior is morally right or wrong amoral politicians an amoral, selfish person
        b :  being neither moral nor immoral; specifically :  lying outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply
2.      :  being outside or beyond the moral order or a particular code of morals amoral customs


Definition 1.a. is not indicative of God’s nature since He clearly is concerned about whether behavior is right or wrong…hence He condemns all sin.

Definition 1.b. also casts doubt that God could be amoral based on His being a “good” God. If He is a “good” God then He must necessarily be moral.

Now definition 2. may suggest God is amoral if we say that He is outside of the particular code of morals that we live by. In other words, in this sense, He would be amoral on the basis that He Himself is not necessarily subject to the moral code that He prescribes for us.

Wikipedia describes “amoral” as the absence of, indifference towards, or disregard for morality.

Again, since God is understood to be good and just and has provided a means for understanding what is right and what is wrong, it seems illogical that He would be amoral according to this definition.

Next, I considered what it means to be a moral being and posed the question “is God a moral being?” What does it mean to be a moral being? To be a moral being, one simply understands right and wrong regardless of what constitutes a right behavior or a wrong behavior. It is understanding what it means to do right and do wrong.

The definition of the word moral is then considered:

Definition of moral
1.   a :  of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior :  ethical moral judgments   
        b :  expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior a moral poem                             
        c :  conforming to a standard of right behavior                                   
        d :  sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment a moral obligation
        e :  capable of right and wrong action a moral agent


Here, I see further cause to believe that God is a moral being based on 1.a and 1.c. Definition 1.e would not apply on the basis that God is only capable of right action.

Lastly, being the source of what we refer to as morality, it seems logical to conclude that morality must necessarily be an ingredient in the essence of the source. I have attempted to counter this logically but cannot seem to do so…although this consideration is difficult because it requires having at least some comprehension of what and who the totality of God is. 

At this point, I do not feel it would be accurate to say that God is amoral but I am not fully committed to that. More contemplating is required and I think I have a ways to go with this.

If you have any thoughts on this, please share.


Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #394 on: March 21, 2017, 11:52:31 AM »
Re Lourdes :
- not enough of them to be impressive
- too many potential subjects to keep a proper eye on any of them
- easily fooled judges
- too much motivation for fakery, using twins or standard lying techniques

Re Near death
- too many drugs involved, which may be causing hallucinations
- too many liars involved
- no compelling reason the experience should be triggered "near death", since they lived, and weren't near death. The experience should be triggered more often when not near death.
- no obvious mechanism of why a soul would transmit experiences back to our physical memory systems

Re irreducible complexity. There is no way to identify IR. It's like saying that skyscrapers are impossible, without knowing that the builders used cranes that were later taken away. I can't see how the pieces of building walked up to the top of the building. They don't have legs. Skyscrapers are impossible without God.

The intent in providing the list was simply to suggest that perhaps there is a hint (perhaps even some evidence) somewhere within what I offered. In other words, if we could weed out the fakery, the fraud and the rest of the suspicions and we were left with no other way to explain the cause, is it unreasonable to conclude that perhaps the cause was something non-material? 

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #395 on: March 21, 2017, 11:54:42 AM »
It's not surprising that BS has yet to show any evidence for his claims nor has acknowledged that he repeatedly claimed that he was right and everyone else is wrong. 
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I know why there is good and evil. I know how life began. I know where the universe came from. I know why bad things happen to good people. I know why we have morals and logic and why the universe is so exquisitely ordered. I know where the amazing DNA molecule came from. I know why the existence of life at the microscopic level appears so amazing and complex. I know why we enjoy things like art and music and why we love and hate and laugh and cry. I know why words like “God” and “spirit” and “supernatural” actually mean something. I don’t need a materialism explanation to try and account for those things because I don’t believe that materialism can ever do such a thing. My Christian view on the world is amazingly well ordered and unified and explains why we know what we know and why we don’t know what we don’t know.”

Still nothing to show that the cosmological argument shows that the version of the Christian god that BS claims exists actually does.  Nothing to show that this god is the one and only creator.  No peer-reviewed information that has been vetted to be evidence at all for his claims, despite his demands for evidence from others, which he of course willfully ignores.

In trying to claim that there is some magical non-material soul or spirit interacting with the brain, one has to also agree that if this non-material thing can and must interact with the physical, including chemistry and physics, in the form of electricity one should have absolutely no problem in detecting this soul, or many souls.   Like the scientologists claim about thetans, they should pop up with no problem.   But they don't.  Still no evidence for the supernatural.

As for trusting cause and effect, well, BS, you do every single day just like me and have not suffered for it.  It's a pretty thought problem, but there is nothing to show that cause and effect don't work (at least in the greater than quantum world), and again still no evidence for your version of your god nor for any of the supposed events that are claimed in your bible. All you are doing is looking desperately for a gap for your god to hide in and showing how hypocritical you are in the process.

As for "sin city", again funny how Christians don't agree on what "sin" is, and how they have no problem in ignoring their bible when convenient, making false claims with no compunction at all despite the repeated admonishments in their holy book about not lying at all, ever. 

C.S. Lewis may have converted to Christianity, and many people have converted to its many many sects (which are mostly sure that the other sects are going to hell), and other religions, Islam, Judaism, Wicca, Asatru, etc.   They look for the "right" religion, and it is no surprise that none of them can show that the claims of their religions are true. 

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Seems some folks find something inherently wrong and disturbing in their beliefs and change direction looking for what does satisfy their need for a more rational explanation.
This would indicate that millions find something in inherently wrong and disturbing in Christianity, Islam, etc.  Now, what would that be since there is no evidence that the claims of those religions are true?  There doesn't appear to be any rational thought, but the common human belief that the grass is always greener on the other side.  This god failed me so I'll run to the next, and the next and the next, until you die with nothing or having nastly little fantasies that those who didn't agree with you will be punished "real soon now". 

as for that link that BS gave, oy.   I do wonder what the author has defined "subjective experience" as.

I realize that it is rude to just ignore so I'll respond. You and I are as just not connecting on the issues we keep debating and attempting to discuss. You have your position and I have mine and since we cannot establish any common ground whatsoever, it seems fruitless to carry on. Agree?

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #396 on: March 21, 2017, 12:23:38 PM »
Now BS, you might like to demonstate how believing the extraordinary claims of Christianity is rational, especially since you are constantly redefining your god to be beyond your own verifiability when you discover a new problem. It is called the god of the gaps, your gaps.

Perhaps you could afford one or two examples of the extraordinary claims you are referring to and then I can attempt to provide a rational argument in its defense.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #397 on: March 21, 2017, 12:34:13 PM »
In fact, if we ever discovered something genuinely non-material, like a god, say, action on something in the material world and could prove it, there's a Nobel prize waiting!

What is your take on unexplained healings (eg. Miracle at Lourdes), irreducible complexity, near-death experiences, demon possession,  origin of the universe, origin of life, modern day prophecy, quantum physics. Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for the non-material?

1. Lourdes

Just how many people have received long-lasting healing at Lourdes? Compare that with the number who have visited or got some short-term relief of symptoms. We are talking of a tiny minority of visitors to a shrine at which the supposed almighty god who has promised to answer prayers presides at.

Numbers aside, no one seems, probably for data protection reasons,to publish enough information for people like us to comment on individuals. We would expect some people to get something out of the visit due to the placebo effect but the ones, the very few, who are healed we cannot comment on due to lack of data. Now the RC Church has good reason to publish good results and every reason to have as many as possible as it is good for business but their criterion for a haling is merely something for which we have no complete explanation right now so even they are not claiming a god healing per se. I'd rate the value of Lourdes as pretty low.

2. Irreducible Complexity

Read the judgement in the link. the court heard evidence that there is no such thing as IC - it was invented to justify converting creationism into intelligent design. Nothing useful there!


I could go on but I am going to say similar things and I notice other have already commented. I would like to mention, though, " Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for the non-material?" I think we have problems here and it is definitions again. What, precisely do you mean?

Do you mean supernatural? Do you mean abstract things, like stories, courage or intelligence? Those are all abstract concepts though we can listen to / measure them. Define things much more closely to allow me to answer.
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)

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #398 on: March 21, 2017, 01:04:32 PM »
In fact, if we ever discovered something genuinely non-material, like a god, say, action on something in the material world and could prove it, there's a Nobel prize waiting!

What is your take on unexplained healings (eg. Miracle at Lourdes), irreducible complexity, near-death experiences, demon possession,  origin of the universe, origin of life, modern day prophecy, quantum physics. Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for the non-material?

1. Lourdes

Just how many people have received long-lasting healing at Lourdes? Compare that with the number who have visited or got some short-term relief of symptoms. We are talking of a tiny minority of visitors to a shrine at which the supposed almighty god who has promised to answer prayers presides at.

Numbers aside, no one seems, probably for data protection reasons,to publish enough information for people like us to comment on individuals. We would expect some people to get something out of the visit due to the placebo effect but the ones, the very few, who are healed we cannot comment on due to lack of data. Now the RC Church has good reason to publish good results and every reason to have as many as possible as it is good for business but their criterion for a haling is merely something for which we have no complete explanation right now so even they are not claiming a god healing per se. I'd rate the value of Lourdes as pretty low.

2. Irreducible Complexity

Read the judgement in the link. the court heard evidence that there is no such thing as IC - it was invented to justify converting creationism into intelligent design. Nothing useful there!


I could go on but I am going to say similar things and I notice other have already commented. I would like to mention, though, " Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for the non-material?" I think we have problems here and it is definitions again. What, precisely do you mean?

Do you mean supernatural? Do you mean abstract things, like stories, courage or intelligence? Those are all abstract concepts though we can listen to / measure them. Define things much more closely to allow me to answer.

I wasn't expecting that you go through and attempt to debunk any of what I offered. I think we agree that there is an element of mystery and unexplained phenomenon present in everything I listed. I am not insisting that they are evidence of the non-material evidence you seek....BUT, they may be. You can elect to dismiss them as such but not on the basis that there is definitely a material cause for them. So, the question arises, why do you dismiss them as potential evidence for a non-material cause?

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #399 on: March 21, 2017, 01:34:35 PM »
Evidence. We have no evidence of there being anything by way of non-material causes so why would we position one?
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)

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #400 on: March 21, 2017, 01:58:51 PM »
Evidence. We have no evidence of there being anything by way of non-material causes so why would we position one?

Sir, there are at least a dozen good arguments for a deity that have not been refuted. The one that I am studying now was originally framed by C.S. Lewis and then later expanded upon by the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. This is what C.S. Lewis said:

"Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."

In order to refute this argument, you would have to establish why our intuitions about logic and reason are reliable in light of materialistic processes.

It is simply inaccurate to say that there is no evidence. At best, what you can say is that there is no evidence based on your subjective criteria for evidence of a deity. This is what adherence to Philosophical Materialism forces you to do and yet you are relying on a philosophy whose own tenets cannot be empirically demonstrated to be valid. It is irrational to think this way...which is why people like C.S. Lewis and others abandoned atheism. They realized this.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 02:01:44 PM by BibleStudent »

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #401 on: March 21, 2017, 02:09:04 PM »
Now BS, you might like to demonstate how believing the extraordinary claims of Christianity is rational, especially since you are constantly redefining your god to be beyond your own verifiability when you discover a new problem. It is called the god of the gaps, your gaps.

Perhaps you could afford one or two examples of the extraordinary claims you are referring to and then I can attempt to provide a rational argument in its defense.

Choose whatever you think is the most important belief you have and prove it is rational.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #402 on: March 21, 2017, 03:19:28 PM »
Evidence. We have no evidence of there being anything by way of non-material causes so why would we position one?

Sir, there are at least a dozen good arguments for a deity that have not been refuted. The one that I am studying now was originally framed by C.S. Lewis and then later expanded upon by the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. This is what C.S. Lewis said:

"Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."

In order to refute this argument, you would have to establish why our intuitions about logic and reason are reliable in light of materialistic processes.

It is simply inaccurate to say that there is no evidence. At best, what you can say is that there is no evidence based on your subjective criteria for evidence of a deity. This is what adherence to Philosophical Materialism forces you to do and yet you are relying on a philosophy whose own tenets cannot be empirically demonstrated to be valid. It is irrational to think this way...which is why people like C.S. Lewis and others abandoned atheism. They realized this.

Or I can refute this if you think it has not been refuted.

First, no one designed a brain or a giraffe or an appendix. Nature is not well designed, which is why most animals which have ever lived have gone extinct. Something else evolved further and out-competed them. There is no question that animals have gone extinct and no one can deny it.

Second, C S Lewis' brain (and everyone else's) was not well designed, which is why he thought that he, just by chance, grew up in a country with the correct religious beliefs, of course after carefully considering that every other country's beliefs were false. He made the mistake, highlighted, of "believing in thought". This is the fundamental mistake which theists always make. No doubt believing in his own thought led him to false beliefs such as "effects need causes to come before them". If he had tried the simple experiment of spinning a gyroscope on his table and tried to push it in the direction he wanted it to go, he would have found that his brain would completely let him down because it is not designed to understand even something so simple. Why does the brain have such a problem with understanding nature? Because it was not designed to understand nature, it evolved what it needs for survival. Anyone who trusts their thoughts will have false beliefs.

Third, this is why we use evidence and methods of proof and disproof in science because our brains are not well designed. At least we can do some of the simple stuff like collect evidence and use methods of proof, or I should say that some of us can. We do need some basic skills for survival. Sometimes when we have the results, we can't understand what the results actualy mean because our brains can't cope with it. In that case we need a computer to have an idea what the result says.

So if anyone tells you, or you tell yourself, that you can understand reaity just by thinking about it, you are being led astray by a not well designed brain.
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Offline albeto

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #403 on: March 21, 2017, 03:29:39 PM »

"Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."

Oh good grief. I think this argument is embarrassingly silly, and I'll bet you'd recognize that if you stopped and thought a moment. If I am of the opinion that I am Joan of Arc, I need only consider my own birth certificate, childhood school pictures, and the calendar to know this claim does not conform to reality. In other words, I would confirm my opinion against available information. If I am of the opinion that the earth is flat, I will need to consider less personal evidence, but the process of confirming an opinion with reality is the same.

Your understanding of science and how the world works should have been addressed in elementary school. These are elementary ideas here. This is the difference between facts and opinions. Simple knowledge, simple logic, and personal experience easily refutes these kinds of arguments.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #404 on: March 21, 2017, 04:04:55 PM »
Or I can refute this if you think it has not been refuted.

First, no one designed a brain or a giraffe or an appendix. Nature is not well designed, which is why most animals which have ever lived have gone extinct. Something else evolved further and out-competed them. There is no question that animals have gone extinct and no one can deny it.

Second, C S Lewis' brain (and everyone else's) was not well designed, which is why he thought that he, just by chance, grew up in a country with the correct religious beliefs, of course after carefully considering that every other country's beliefs were false. He made the mistake, highlighted, of "believing in thought". This is the fundamental mistake which theists always make. No doubt believing in his own thought led him to false beliefs such as "effects need causes to come before them". If he had tried the simple experiment of spinning a gyroscope on his table and tried to push it in the direction he wanted it to go, he would have found that his brain would completely let him down because it is not designed to understand even something so simple. Why does the brain have such a problem with understanding nature? Because it was not designed to understand nature, it evolved what it needs for survival. Anyone who trusts their thoughts will have false beliefs.

Third, this is why we use evidence and methods of proof and disproof in science because our brains are not well designed. At least we can do some of the simple stuff like collect evidence and use methods of proof, or I should say that some of us can. We do need some basic skills for survival. Sometimes when we have the results, we can't understand what the results actualy mean because our brains can't cope with it. In that case we need a computer to have an idea what the result says.

So if anyone tells you, or you tell yourself, that you can understand reaity just by thinking about it, you are being led astray by a not well designed brain.

Oh good grief. I think this argument is embarrassingly silly, and I'll bet you'd recognize that if you stopped and thought a moment. If I am of the opinion that I am Joan of Arc, I need only consider my own birth certificate, childhood school pictures, and the calendar to know this claim does not conform to reality. In other words, I would confirm my opinion against available information. If I am of the opinion that the earth is flat, I will need to consider less personal evidence, but the process of confirming an opinion with reality is the same.

Your understanding of science and how the world works should have been addressed in elementary school. These are elementary ideas here. This is the difference between facts and opinions. Simple knowledge, simple logic, and personal experience easily refutes these kinds of arguments.

You both missed the underlying argument. It is more thoroughly explained by the "Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism."

"First, the probability of our cognitive faculties being reliable, given naturalism and evolution, is low. (To put it a bit inaccurately but suggestively, if naturalism and evolution were both true, our cognitive faculties would very likely not be reliable.) But then according to the second premise of my argument, if I believe both naturalism and evolution, I have a defeater for my intuitive assumption that my cognitive faculties are reliable. If I have a defeater for that belief, however, then I have a defeater for any belief I take to be produced by my cognitive faculties. That means that I have a defeater for my belief that naturalism and evolution are true. So my belief that naturalism and evolution are true gives me a defeater for that very belief; that belief shoots itself in the foot and is self-referentially incoherent; therefore I cannot rationally accept it. And if one can’t accept both naturalism and evolution, that pillar of current science, then there is serious conflict between naturalism and science.” – Alvin Plantinga

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Re: A question for theists
« Reply #405 on: March 21, 2017, 05:13:16 PM »
"
then there is serious conflict between naturalism and science.”

This conclusion makes no sense, science is naturalism most fundamentally. There is no conflict even semantically.

Its like saying there is conflict between being alive and living, the two can't be in conflict and make sense.

Platinga is such a degenerate bottom feeder.
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?