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Offline DL

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Is it possible [#260]
« on: August 18, 2008, 11:04:49 PM »
 
Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

Offline xphobe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2008, 11:09:18 PM »
Hi!

I can't speak for the creator of the website and videos, but I personally could agree to that possibility.  Unless you're talking about "Yahweh", then No - he is imaginary, and it can be demonstrated.

But hey, come join us and we can talk about it!

Cheers!
Xphobe
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Offline CosmicScherzo

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2008, 11:12:08 PM »
Am I wrong?  Perhaps.  Is the bible wrong?  Certainly.
"What claim has your piety on my deference?"

Offline JCISKING

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2008, 11:36:36 PM »
Well, I am the one who posed the question on GIIVideo's YouTube short on Why God does not heal amputees. (I found it quite interesting) He posted the question on this blog, then he told me he posted it, so here I am, a registered human on this thread following up with those who have already begun to take on the question. Not necessarily my intention, but if the owner of the video felt it necessary to share with the world my question, maybe it was impactful in a way, or not.  Either way, I am interested in the discussion for some reason, I am not sure which one yet though, but maybe I will find the answer in throughout this experience, and I will be glad to share it once I find it.

That is my introduction.  I am a very short winded person. I do not plan to rant and rave like others seem to do and say nothing in the process whether defending or denying points of view.  I like to ask poignant questions, receive poignant answers, and I believe we can get a lot more accomplished that way. 

Who is in?


Offline DL

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 11:46:37 PM »
Is it possible that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that the Easter bunny is imaginary?

Offline xphobe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 11:48:44 PM »
I'm in.  Let me begin by posing your question back at you.  Now that I've answered honestly, do you likewise admit that there is a possibility you could be wrong about your final conclusion about God? In other words, that God is, in fact, imaginary?
I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is gonna be so pissed when they find out...

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2008, 11:15:50 AM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

Here's a poll on that issue, including a list of the types of religious points of view of the members on the forums here.  Enjoy!

What is your religious position?
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=833.0
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Vynn

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2008, 11:22:29 AM »
I think it's possible that anyone can be wrong about anything. However, individuals must draw their own conclusions based on what they feel is convincing evidence. I mean, i could just be some series of 1's and 0's in a computer simulation, and have no way to prove otherwise, but since i have to deal with the world as it seems to me, it makes sense from this perspective to apply logic and reasoning to my experiences and come to the best possible conclusions.

Do you think you could be wrong about your beliefs (whatever they are), about god?

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2008, 11:26:04 AM »
I like to ask poignant questions, receive poignant answers, and I believe we can get a lot more accomplished that way. 

Welcome!  I'm long winded myself, but I will restrain myself as much as possible.

Who is in?

Sure.  If you can handle -- and respond to -- tough questions I'm interested.  I'll respond to any question you pose that's moderately on-topic.

If you want to discuss things on the one-on-one sub forum, let me or the person you would like to talk directly with know.





One note, and it may not apply to you so do not take this personally;

* Saying "I don't know" when you really don't is an entirely valid response.

* Making things up to avoid "I don't know" is not a valid response.  (Please avoid speculation unless you clearly mark it as speculation.)
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008, 11:30:36 AM »
Is it possible that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that the Easter bunny is imaginary?

Possible, yes.  Credible, no.




Note: I'm an agnostic atheist (see the poll on Religious Positions) only because gods I've heard of are not credible to me.  This does not mean that I have reached some 'final conclusion'.  The Easter Bunny (in some form) is more credible to me than some of the gods I've heard of; not much.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Ashe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2008, 12:00:37 PM »
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

Hi there.

Depends on the god. But I will say generally, sure, there is a possibility I am wrong.
2 miles!
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2008, 12:11:50 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

Sure, depending on how you define god and the context for which individuals who claim god belief in the first place.  If a person persists in defining god by distinctions/parameters that are intimately part of their personal intiution and subjective authority to a confirmation bias, then I really have no other possibility open ther than to deem it imaginary.  There may very could be a god, but it has nothing to do with the god they are claiming.
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2008, 12:42:00 PM »
bm

Welcome to the forum!
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Frank

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2008, 02:00:31 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

No.
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline JackWhitehead1

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2008, 05:51:40 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?
Yup, a possibility, but not probable :)

Offline JCISKING

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2008, 06:24:45 PM »
Okay, I can see this will be tougher than I thought, but I plan to answer each reply to my post honestly.

Firstly, DL is the one who posted my (JCISKING) question from the YouTube video. 

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

JCISKING is me, and will continue to own the question posed.

Now, my intention is not to debate, rather to seek answers.  A debate lends toward someone having the better argument, or the upper hand.  But as most of us has admitted, and Xphobe, I am answering your question here, we could ALL be wrong about God, Yahweh, Jesus or any god for that matter, yet, we can't all be right.

Let me repeat, "We can't ALL be right."

Some have admitted to already winning the argument by saying

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

No.

and
Am I wrong?  Perhaps.  Is the bible wrong?  Certainly.

By answering "No" and "Certainly" to "Is the Bible wrong?", then I don't even know how to address you other than the way I just did.  You have won your debate.

I like Hermes' post about saying I don't know and not speculating:
I like to ask poignant questions, receive poignant answers, and I believe we can get a lot more accomplished that way. 

Welcome!  I'm long winded myself, but I will restrain myself as much as possible.

Who is in?

Sure.  If you can handle -- and respond to -- tough questions I'm interested.  I'll respond to any question you pose that's moderately on-topic.

If you want to discuss things on the one-on-one sub forum, let me or the person you would like to talk directly with know.

One note, and it may not apply to you so do not take this personally;

* Saying "I don't know" when you really don't is an entirely valid response.

* Making things up to avoid "I don't know" is not a valid response.  (Please avoid speculation unless you clearly mark it as speculation.)

And no Hermes, I did not take it personally and I couldn't agree more. 
So, I am sorry if I have alienated the debaters and created a boring thread for the hardcore seekers.
Enough of what I said I would not do (being longwinded), but I had to get that off my chest.

Now, do the seekers agree that we could all be wrong about a belief, but we can't all be right about the same belief?  Or am I way off base asking that question?

JCISKING

Offline Hermes

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2008, 06:55:00 PM »
Now, do the seekers agree that we could all be wrong about a belief, but we can't all be right about the same belief?  Or am I way off base asking that question?

I take it that by seekers you mean participants in this thread.  With that as a given...

Identifying a misunderstanding is one way to purge/correct unfounded ideas.

While the context of a fact is important, contradictory ideas that cover the same context can not both be correct.


To use short hand, and to avoid dancing around some potential land mines, I also take this as a given; Both the post-modernists (relativists) and the presuppositionalists (solipsistic) are not worth talking with.  If one of these two fit your POV, I will be open to a brief discussion but I have found that this is rarely enlightening.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 06:56:42 PM by Hermes »
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Dvhiker

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2008, 07:32:44 PM »

Now, do the seekers agree that we could all be wrong about a belief, but we can't all be right about the same belief?  Or am I way off base asking that question?

JCISKING

It depends on the belief.  Say two men are blindfolded and asked to inspect an object with their hands.  After the inspection, one man believes it’s an elephant while the other believes it’s a rhino.  In this instance, only one man can be right, but it is also possible that both men can be wrong.  So, in that sense I agree.

Now let’s suppose that one man believes there is a god who created the universe while another man entertains no such belief.  In this instance, both men cannot be right nor can they both be wrong since, regardless of either man’s knowledge, in reality a god who created the universe either exists or he does not.  So, in that sense, I do not agree with your statement.

Offline xphobe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2008, 07:54:52 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

No.

Frank, I'd like to learn more about your view.  Can you elaborate?
I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is gonna be so pissed when they find out...

Offline Airyaman

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2008, 08:07:48 PM »
Hey, is the "JC" in "JCISKING" Jose Conseco? You could pick a better hero I suppose.
If you are following God why can I still see you?

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2008, 09:07:13 PM »
^ he's a juicer, right?
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline JCISKING

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2008, 09:08:23 PM »
Very good.  Okay, let's see....Dvhiker:

It depends on the belief.  Say two men are blindfolded and asked to inspect an object with their hands.  After the inspection, one man believes it’s an elephant while the other believes it’s a rhino.  In this instance, only one man can be right, but it is also possible that both men can be wrong.  So, in that sense I agree.

Now let’s suppose that one man believes there is a god who created the universe while another man entertains no such belief.  In this instance, both men cannot be right nor can they both be wrong since, regardless of either man’s knowledge, in reality a god who created the universe either exists or he does not.  So, in that sense, I do not agree with your statement.

Now, I believe you are right in both instances, but there is a major difference between the two arguments, and it has nothing to do with subjects of each argument, rather the execution of it. 

The two subjects in the first argument have had the opportunity to feel and touch the object.  The subjects in the second argument have only been blindfolded and are waiting to feel the object, but they haven't laid there hands on it yet. So in a sense, the subjects in the second have not had the opportunity to determine if either of them are right or both wrong because neither have "crossed the curtain." 

So, my belief is, without the analogy, that the only time the two subjects in the second argument can know if God exists or not is at the time of death, that is when the hand touches the skin of an elephant, rhino or the animal that never was.  If you agree to that, then I believe, when matter (rhino or elephant, God or no God) has been experienced physically (sight, touch, smell, sound), or dare I say spiritually (metaphysical interaction), then the question I posed stands.  But I could be wrong. ;)  If the subjects in the first argument were blindfolded and told there was an animal, they could guess all day long.  Maybe that is why there are as many religions as there are guesses. 

Blindfolded people are trying to figure out what is behind the curtain.

Hermes, I agree with you, no need to rule anyone out of the thread for sake of a lackluster discussion.  I am having fun, so let them all say their peace.

And for Airyaman: Cisking is my last name.  It is Norwegian, but Canseco is a great baseball player.

Thank you for allowing me to think.  Good night and see you all tomorrow.



Offline xphobe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2008, 09:44:25 PM »
Cisking is my last name.  It is Norwegian

How ... coincidental.  I just googled Cisking Norway, Cisking Norwegian, and Cisking Norge.  No hits.  You wouldn't be pulling our legs now, would you?


Yours truly,
G. O. Disimaginary (It's Indian, in case you're wondering)
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2008, 05:34:03 AM »
So, my belief is, without the analogy, that the only time the two subjects in the second argument can know if God exists or not is at the time of death, that is when the hand touches the skin of an elephant, rhino or the animal that never was.

Yet, that is demonstratively false or at best inconsistent with what we know to be true and asserts that what many would wish yet do not know is actually knowable.

Specifically, and as a reminder;

1. The time of death is variable.  When one person was considered dead even a few years ago is no longer true and some have been revived.  We even have terms for types of death now so that they can be distinguished from one another.

2. At the time of death by massive blood loss, we know that the brain is one of the last organs to loose oxygen.  As that oxygen is depleted, specific parts of the brain are starved first before others.  The "tunnel of light" effect that people report in near death experiences is caused by this selective blood loss.

3. If there is or was an afterlife, then it could only be experienced when the person is dead.  At that point, if the person were brought back to life, where would the experience of the afterlife be stored?   For that matter, what 'experienced' the after life if the body was not involved?  (If you say the soul, then why did the ancients refer to the breath and the soul as one in the same?)

4. The soul?  A myth (said with respect) that adds complexity to the issue and no insight.  With it being introduced we now have to deal with the religious concept of an immaterial vapor ... something that is asserted as fact by many, has not been verified by anyone who is not predisposed.  (The soul and the breath were considered to be one and the same by many of our ancestors.  With that they were not too far from the truth.)

5. Nobody who is completely dead is ever brought back to life so they (soul in tow) can't say anything about what happened even if there was an afterlife.  We have no facts, only assertions, and those assertions are very detailed and differ from society to society, from religion to religion, from sect to sect, and often from person to person.

Because in general we know these things are true, I can't agree or even assess the topics covered in much of the rest of your comment.  I don't think anyone can unless we have honest neutral and verifiable facts to go on.  Anything else is wishful speculation or at best a presumption.

Hermes, I agree with you, no need to rule anyone out of the thread for sake of a lackluster discussion.  I am having fun, so let them all say their peace.

FWIW: The word seeker kinda misses the point.  Some folks are.  Most are not.  Personally, while I am compelled to learn and will change my opinion, I'm not annoyed and dissatisfied with what I do know. 

As an example, with news of a potential body of Bigfoot reported in the news a few days back, I did not dismiss it entirely.  I did think that it being a hoax was a likely certainty.  When the facts came in, all that was left was a bare assertion that they had Bigfoot's body in a freezer box and a bunch of reasons why people can't investigate the claim itself.

When religious people proclaim miracles or supernaturalism as true, I will give them some time to offer proof but as soon as they refuse to put the claims they make to a review I'm done with them.  Why take seriously something that is extraordinary just because they say so?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 05:35:55 AM by Hermes »
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Frank

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2008, 12:38:58 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

No.

Frank, I'd like to learn more about your view.  Can you elaborate?





Ok. There is absolutely no way God actually exists and is entirely a product of human imagination.
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2008, 01:23:53 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

No.

Frank, I'd like to learn more about your view.  Can you elaborate?





Ok. There is absolutely no way God actually exists and is entirely a product of human imagination.

Thanks, but I am more interested in how you feel confident in making such a categorical statement of knowledge about the entirety of the Universe and anything/everything that may or may not lie beyond.

I'm not arguing against it, I'm trying to learn.  Strong atheism is definitely the minority view, and I've always been envious of people who hold it.
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Offline Frank

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2008, 02:10:17 PM »

Hi,
I was wondering if you agree that there is a possibility that you could be wrong about your final conclusion that God is imaginary?

No.

Frank, I'd like to learn more about your view.  Can you elaborate?





Ok. There is absolutely no way God actually exists and is entirely a product of human imagination.

Thanks, but I am more interested in how you feel confident in making such a categorical statement of knowledge about the entirety of the Universe and anything/everything that may or may not lie beyond.

I'm not arguing against it, I'm trying to learn.  Strong atheism is definitely the minority view, and I've always been envious of people who hold it.

Anyone who isn't a strong atheist and even remotely thinks that god exists is an agnostic. Eons ago when man was an ignorant cave dwelling savage (like present day fundies) gods were imagined to cover all those things they couldn't explain, and in those days there were a lot of things they couldn't explain. Present day religions are simply an elaboration on that simplistic superstition.

Now I am expected to believe that a being exists that controls every piece of matter in the universe right down to the sub-atomic particle level. Not only this but it also knows exactly what every human being who ever existed (approx 30 billion ) are going to do from before they are born to the moment they die. It also controls what happens to you AFTER you die.

The whole notion is patently absurd and not to be given consideration by any rational human being.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 02:12:41 PM by Frank »
"Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions fall away, atheism is what is left behind".

Offline xphobe

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2008, 05:41:02 PM »
Anyone who isn't a strong atheist and even remotely thinks that god exists is an agnostic.

An agnostic is someone who holds that it is not possible to confirm or deny the existence of gods.  Technically I can not categorically deny the invisible pink unicorn either (although the idea is absurd) so I have to call myself an agnostic.  To be able to categorically deny anything anywhere, I would have to have the knowledge of the entire universe - god's knowledge.  In effect, I would be a god, and my existence would disprove my own denial.

Quote
Eons ago when man was an ignorant cave dwelling savage (like present day fundies) gods were imagined to cover all those things they couldn't explain, and in those days there were a lot of things they couldn't explain. Present day religions are simply an elaboration on that simplistic superstition.

All the ones I know of, yes. 

Quote
Now I am expected to believe that a being exists that controls every piece of matter in the universe right down to the sub-atomic particle level. Not only this but it also knows exactly what every human being who ever existed (approx 30 billion ) are going to do from before they are born to the moment they die. It also controls what happens to you AFTER you die.

I never specified.  That's the thing: as many here have pointed out, whoever is arguing for a god has to define what they're talking about, and of course they never can.  Or if they do (Yahweh for example) they are easily shot down.

So the question I'm asking is "can you categorically deny some unspecified thing?"  And to me, the only rational answer to that question is "It's impossible for me to say."  I can follow that with "such an idea seems absurd to me", but that is only my opinion.  Therefore I have to call myself an agnostic atheist.
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Offline Dvhiker

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Re: Is it possible [#260]
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2008, 06:30:59 PM »
Very good.  Okay, let's see....Dvhiker:

It depends on the belief.  Say two men are blindfolded and asked to inspect an object with their hands.  After the inspection, one man believes it’s an elephant while the other believes it’s a rhino.  In this instance, only one man can be right, but it is also possible that both men can be wrong.  So, in that sense I agree.

Now let’s suppose that one man believes there is a god who created the universe while another man entertains no such belief.  In this instance, both men cannot be right nor can they both be wrong since, regardless of either man’s knowledge, in reality a god who created the universe either exists or he does not.  So, in that sense, I do not agree with your statement.

Now, I believe you are right in both instances, but there is a major difference between the two arguments, and it has nothing to do with subjects of each argument, rather the execution of it. 

The two subjects in the first argument have had the opportunity to feel and touch the object.  The subjects in the second argument have only been blindfolded and are waiting to feel the object, but they haven't laid there hands on it yet. So in a sense, the subjects in the second have not had the opportunity to determine if either of them are right or both wrong because neither have "crossed the curtain." 


Remember, your question was: “Now, do the seekers agree that we could all be wrong about a belief, but we can't all be right about the same belief?”

In the context of your question, “a belief,” means any belief, yet now you’re trying to distinguish one type of belief from another in order to maintain your position.  So, I’ll do it a different way for you.

One man claims it is an elephant while the other man claims it is a rhino.  The question to be asked here is: is it an elephant, is it a rhino or is it something else entirely; say a water buffalo?  As you can see in this example, there is a possible alternative to the claims of both men.  If it is indeed a water buffalo, then both men are wrong.  If, however, it actually is an elephant or a rhino, only one of the men can be right.

Now, suppose one man claims it is an elephant while the other man claims it is not an elephant. The question to be asked here is: is it an elephant or is it not an elephant?  As you can see, there is no alternative to these claims.  It either is an elephant or it is not an elephant.  It makes no difference when or even if the men discover who is right and who is wrong; the fact remains that both men cannot be right nor can they both be wrong.

In the first set of claims, I’ve demonstrated that all claimants can be wrong but it’s possible for some to be right.  In the second set, I’ve shown that all claimants cannot be wrong and that some claimants must be right.

So, no, I don’t agree with your question.