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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: Truth OT on March 01, 2018, 11:53:28 AM

Title: Why Worship?
Post by: Truth OT on March 01, 2018, 11:53:28 AM
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 01, 2018, 01:24:59 PM
The answer, as I understood it as a xian, was because the more we focus on the deity, the more we are in tune with its mind and will. If you have kids, you'll recognize that knee-jerk worry that comes when you find one of their friends is a bit farther from your comfort zone than from theirs, and the fear is your kids would emulate those unsavory behaviors. Because we pick up what surrounds us.
/theist hat

The answer as I believe it now is that we're really not in charge of what we believe. We believe what we believe because we conclude what is true about reality from information we extrapolate from the world. We apply our experiences into the equation. We interject theories and predictions into incomplete data and constantly make assumptions. And when our brain finds a particularly compelling argument, it assigns it the value of "truth." For the same reason you can't force yourself to believe in the ancient gods of Southern Africa, a xian can't force themselves to believe the world is the result of billions of years of cause and effect from perfectly natural events. Belief is the consequence of thought.

Religions take this natural process and encourages a cessation of thought. Putting one's time and energy into prayer, for example, takes the focus off analyzing events and puts it on comforting thoughts instead. Worship works to channel positive and negative emotions and assign them values within a religious narrative. These activities suppress critical thinking in order to maintain that cognitive focus on the claims, on the promises, on the hopes and fears rather than on the discrepancy between the claim and reality. Add to that all that intermittent reward stuff opperant conditioning explains, which is like catnip to our brains, and worship functions to keep individuals in the group by reinforcing groupthink in conjunction with emotional manipulation.

So it's my belief that the function of worship is to give permission to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, to focus instead on the claims themselves, not the reliability of the claims in the real world. Or as someone said, Hitchens I think, to glorify ignorance and celebrate gullibility. People like to be a part of the glorious victors. People like celebration. Religion takes natural cognitive processes and guides them for its own profits. Profit in this case being existence.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 01, 2018, 01:28:33 PM
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 01, 2018, 01:36:15 PM
So it's my belief that the function of worship is to give permission to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, to focus instead on the claims themselves, not the reliability of the claims in the real world. Or as someone said, Hitchens I think, to glorify ignorance and celebrate gullibility. People like to be a part of the glorious victors. People like celebration. Religion takes natural cognitive processes and guides them for its own profits. Profit in this case being existence.

Yeah I think that makes a lot of sense - and the people celebrate at least once a week.  It's also true that you stop thinking about your position when the exact same message is pounded into your brain week after week after week.  I remember thinking that even as a Christian - this is so boring.  It's the same thing every week.  The pastors did their best to remind us that we should never stop being appreciative and the thank yous must never stop.

But - in our lives, if you do an incredible favor(s), even life-changing, for someone, would you want them thanking you incessantly every day or week?  No, it's just overkill and not necessary.  In fact, it comes across as really weird after awhile, maybe even annoying and intrusive. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Fiji on March 01, 2018, 02:44:12 PM
In monotheism, it makes no sense ... unless you assume this one god to be a complete nutcase. Creator deities with mental illnesses ... could be the basis for a kick-ass TV series.

In polytheism is makes perfect sense. There, you have competing gods. And I can imagine that people would think that the god with 10000 worshippers would be more awesome than the god with just 500 followers. And the god with the huge, well decorated temple would be more awesome than the god whose altar is in a shed in the woods somewhere.

Of course, at his core, Yahweh IS a polytheistic god ... and the worship aspect carried over from when the Hebrew still had multiple gods.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 01, 2018, 02:48:12 PM
very good post, albeto.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Nick on March 01, 2018, 04:10:27 PM
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on March 01, 2018, 06:55:17 PM
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 01, 2018, 08:23:30 PM
This also goes along with the idea that God is perfection. Perfection would not need worship. In fact, it could be argued that perfection would require nothing, and thus be nothing. What is conceivably more logically perfect than nothing?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Add Homonym on March 01, 2018, 09:27:47 PM
The Hebrew God is more about you having to cleanse your sins. When you cleanse your sins, you live a longer life and get free stuff.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Nick on March 01, 2018, 10:23:13 PM
The Hebrew God is more about you having to cleanse your sins. When you cleanse your sins, you live a longer life and get free stuff.
Why can't I just send it out to the dry cleaners?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 02, 2018, 08:13:33 AM
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

Without worship preachers/thieves would not have a career and/or control.  >:(

Without worship there would be no hope for mankind.  &) &) &)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 02, 2018, 08:29:06 AM
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.
now I think that has some truth to it.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Truth OT on March 02, 2018, 01:20:05 PM
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on March 02, 2018, 05:25:05 PM
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

It depends on whether they lean liberal or conservative.  Money would definitely play in to it either way.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on March 02, 2018, 11:36:34 PM
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.

The only reason we exist is to bear witness to His glory. Because.......apparently He thinks He's the greatest thing since before sliced bread but desperately needed to create other beings in order to validate His own self esteem.

Imagine His disappointment with us at this moment.

We were created for a purpose by God!

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on March 02, 2018, 11:44:06 PM
I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Check out my avatar.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 03, 2018, 08:42:37 AM
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

It would look like a vibrator. Good, good, good, good vibrations. OMG!
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Fiji on March 06, 2018, 06:45:11 AM
I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Check out my avatar.

Your avatar always makes me think of a newer, gentler Big Brother who smiles at you ... right before HAVING YOUR FACE EATEN BY RATS!!!
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 07, 2018, 12:26:28 PM
One of the biggest issues with the concept of god for me lately has been the idea that such a being would desire worship. Why? That way of thinking is the epitome of base human tribal instinctual (non)reasoning. What can a god get from the worship of temporary beings temporarily in prominence on a pale blue dot?

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.

The only reason we exist is to bear witness to His glory. Because.......apparently He thinks He's the greatest thing since before sliced bread but desperately needed to create other beings in order to validate His own self esteem.

Imagine His disappointment with us at this moment.

We were created for a purpose by God!

Agreed, extremely strange concept.  I've gotten a similar response, and then ask why he created dinosaurs, cats, dogs, and so on.  Were they created to worship him too? Doubtful - maybe they were created for his own amusement?  Maybe God liked watching the fighting of dinosaurs for 150 million years?  Like Trump with the opposing views on import tariffs for steel and aluminum, he likes conflict?  I've never gotten a good answer for that.  He created us to worship him - why not stop there?  Why create any other animals that could kill us, if he wants us to worship him?  Why lions bears, snakes, deadly bacteria, etc.?  That's where some further issues really start arising, unless you say those that don't worship him get killed by these beings as punishment?  I dunno.

Then you have the issue of theists saying we worship people like Sam Harris or Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It's silly to say we worship them - we admire them, and their hard work and dedication.  For the most part, I think that admiration has been earned.  We admire people who hone a craft and reach great heights of success.  That is all sensible and rational.

Why should we worship a being that we don't even admire?  Those that claim to worship God - is it out of respect, or fear?  That's not real worship or admiration.  It's a survivalist mentality.  It's like the boss that tells so-so jokes, but you laugh at them because he holds your immediate future in your hands.  You can't really say "that joke was terrible."  Not every boss is like this - but a lot of them are.  I think of that whenever I think of this God that people claim to worship.  Deep inside, are they really thinking he's incredibly unreasonable - like that boss that expects you to fall in line no matter what?



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Nick on March 07, 2018, 01:51:43 PM
God has this contract with us.  Kind of like Trump does with his hookers.  Non disclosure.  We worship the God thing or It sends us to a Lake of Fire.  Simple.  Did those of you questioning this not read the fine print?  You have Free Will.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 07, 2018, 03:18:18 PM
God has this contract with us.  Kind of like Trump does with his hookers.  Non disclosure.  We worship the God thing or It sends us to a Lake of Fire.  Simple.  Did those of you questioning this not read the fine print?  You have Free Will.

LOL...yeah the fine print is the stuff in red right? It's weird Jesus's words would be in red - when I think red, I think threats, anger, hell and the devil.  Why not make it green or another color?

On your free will point, I love how Christians say we have free will, then will freely concede, even offer up, points like a person who has been sexually abused is more likely to be an abuser themselves, or a person who is gay has to combat a struggle much like someone with alcoholism, etc.  Where's the free will? 

I'd also wonder if people in North Korea have free will?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jynnan tonnix on March 07, 2018, 07:31:59 PM
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Well, given that the last semi-major religions to come along are probably Mormon and Scientology, there would probably be aliens and not a whole lot of common sense.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 07, 2018, 08:32:01 PM
Totally agree.  I don't like the "kiss the brass ring" concept either.  It does seem to come from tribalism, true, and the need for so many to follow someone who is authoritative.  As so many have pointed out, a God being created in the age where democracies exist would be so much different, certainly in the western world.  These "celestial dictatorships", as Christopher Hitchens put it, seemed to come from a time when dictatorships were the only way man could relate to a leader.

The gods peoples have written of and worshipped reveals a lot about what they valued and believed as respective cultures. I wonder what a god birthed by 21st century westerners would look like.

Well, given that the last semi-major religions to come along are probably Mormon and Scientology, there would probably be aliens and not a whole lot of common sense.

Almost certainly true.  You made me think of Heaven's Gate and Marshall Applewhite.  He said there was a spaceship at the end of the Hale-Bopp comet that would take their spirits to another planet after committing suicide. 

Are the ones willing to make the biggest sacrifices for their religion the biggest believers?  The ones truly willing to walk the walk?  The Stephens of Christianity?  I don't see many of those, but more "Great sermon.  OK anybody up for 18 holes?"
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jynnan tonnix on March 07, 2018, 10:47:25 PM

Are the ones willing to make the biggest sacrifices for their religion the biggest believers?  The ones truly willing to walk the walk?  The Stephens of Christianity?  I don't see many of those, but more "Great sermon.  OK anybody up for 18 holes?"

That is very telling in reference to those Christians who want to say that the number of people who were supposedly martyred for their belief in Jesus is some sort of proof that makes their story the truthiest .
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YRM_DM on March 08, 2018, 03:47:13 AM
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.

Social science was in the stone ages... might made right... leaders needed some non-monetary way to encourage and enforce blind obedience.  If they invented a god that demanded adoration and obedience, and the king or prophet was the mouthpiece of that god?   If you reward blind obedience with god's favor or some imagined door-prize like heaven... then you've got a mass of humanity ready to do your bidding and tell you how great you are while doing it.

How better to get young men to charge into a wall of spears?
How better to get people to peacefully accept being slaves, or being poor?
How better to get poor people to pay over massive taxes to corrupt rich leaders?

Definitely sounds a bit like there were a few Trumps in the initial mix of leaders back in the Holy Book writing days... say whatever the hell will get enough people to fall in line, whether it's true or a non-stop stream of lies.

If Liberals and Democrats could EVER... EVER solve the problem of 100% of the cost of well meaning social programs being 100% dodged  (price gouging, country fleeing, tax dodging, price raising, research cutting, job cutting, budget cutting... while the CEO takes the same bonus or golden parachute) by the rich and major corporations... and 100% of that cost passed along to the middle class, who can't avoid it?

You'd never see another Republican in office again.  We'd be officially free from the tribal level narcissists if that problem could be acknowledged and solved.



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 10, 2018, 03:24:03 PM

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.


if you're talking about me, mr b, my question had to do with the theological reasons behind why a god-- any god-- would want to create anything, not just human beings.

i don't see a human creation as central to the mix, although other people will.

the glory explanation is as good as any other.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 10, 2018, 03:32:31 PM
the glory explanation is as good as any other.
So, also crappy. Got it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 11, 2018, 01:08:59 PM

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.


if you're talking about me, mr b, my question had to do with the theological reasons behind why a god-- any god-- would want to create anything, not just human beings.

i don't see a human creation as central to the mix, although other people will.

the glory explanation is as good as any other.

that's curious since most if not all religions make the creation of humans very central to the mix, when they try to claim just how special believers are.     The "glory" explanation makes for a rather pathetic god, just a human writ large that needs things.   

Your history doesn't speak well about your intentions here, but I can hope  you'll participate in a discussion. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 12, 2018, 07:02:25 AM

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.


if you're talking about me, mr b, my question had to do with the theological reasons behind why a god-- any god-- would want to create anything, not just human beings.

i don't see a human creation as central to the mix, although other people will.

the glory explanation is as good as any other.

If glory is what God was after, do you really think humans glorify God or embarrass it?

I'm going with the latter; if there is a God. See there's lots of suffering at the hands of humans, and not just to humans either. Hell, even the planet suffers from human activity, i.e. pollution. There's human trafficking for sex. Children murdered at school, and at home. There is great suffering in this world that is not explained by a God that created us for its glory, more like for its shame.

Throughout the animal kingdom animals eat other animals, some are even cannibals. Lions will kill little cub lions to take over the heirim.

Maybe plants glorify God, but even they fight one another for the sun's energy.

A more reasonable explanation is that there is no God. Humans are animals. Morality is a human emotion evolved to protect our offspring and ourselves, IMO.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 12, 2018, 08:07:42 AM
Perhaps God is like Trump.  He needs attention and worship daily like a drug.

Maybe the people who made up gods were narcissists and were modelling the gods after themselves.

Social science was in the stone ages... might made right... leaders needed some non-monetary way to encourage and enforce blind obedience.  If they invented a god that demanded adoration and obedience, and the king or prophet was the mouthpiece of that god?   If you reward blind obedience with god's favor or some imagined door-prize like heaven... then you've got a mass of humanity ready to do your bidding and tell you how great you are while doing it.

How better to get young men to charge into a wall of spears?
How better to get people to peacefully accept being slaves, or being poor?
How better to get poor people to pay over massive taxes to corrupt rich leaders?

Definitely sounds a bit like there were a few Trumps in the initial mix of leaders back in the Holy Book writing days... say whatever the hell will get enough people to fall in line, whether it's true or a non-stop stream of lies.

If Liberals and Democrats could EVER... EVER solve the problem of 100% of the cost of well meaning social programs being 100% dodged  (price gouging, country fleeing, tax dodging, price raising, research cutting, job cutting, budget cutting... while the CEO takes the same bonus or golden parachute) by the rich and major corporations... and 100% of that cost passed along to the middle class, who can't avoid it?

You'd never see another Republican in office again.  We'd be officially free from the tribal level narcissists if that problem could be acknowledged and solved.

Really good post.  We saw the 'young men charging into a wall of spears in Jericho and Ai with Joshua, the Midianite slaughter with Moses, and so on.  People peacefully accepting being slaves was powerfully shown in "12 Years a Slave," where it showed the slaves finally able to congregate in a worship session of God. Paying massive taxes to corrupt rich leaders - yup - and tax-free churches.  At least the people get to write off their donations to churches on taxes.  Will that change?  What happens when the standard deduction exceeds ones charitable contributions, property taxes and interest write-offs?  Won't this discourage charity?

I don't think we'll ever see corruption taken out of social programs, like the United Way, or misuse of federal funds by corrupt vendors similar to what was portrayed in War Dogs.  I wonder if one day we'll just see a flat tax, or more innovative ways to stimulate the economy outside of higher taxes - and this will encourage more charity, because people will have more money?  I'm not sure - we may just keep all of that money.  Getting off topic a bit but your questions led me in another direction.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 12, 2018, 07:28:04 PM

On another forum, someone asked why God created us in the first place. One answer from a very cock sure theist was that He created the universe and us in order to show off his glory. Think about that. Some theists believe that we were created to worship God.


if you're talking about me, mr b, my question had to do with the theological reasons behind why a god-- any god-- would want to create anything, not just human beings.

i don't see a human creation as central to the mix, although other people will.

the glory explanation is as good as any other.

that's curious since most if not all religions make the creation of humans very central to the mix, when they try to claim just how special believers are.     The "glory" explanation makes for a rather pathetic god, just a human writ large that needs things.   

Your history doesn't speak well about your intentions here, but I can hope  you'll participate in a discussion.

velkyn, as i recall our shared history, it was mostly you fumbling for something intelligent to say and not succeeding. a pattern of your own history, with or without me.

but not to worry. i'm not particularly interested in this question. another time perhaps.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 12, 2018, 07:49:36 PM
^How cute, a snipe a run lurker.

<snip> i'm not particularly interested in this question.
Then why did you get involved?

 &)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 13, 2018, 08:06:26 AM
velkyn, as i recall our shared history, it was mostly you fumbling for something intelligent to say and not succeeding. a pattern of your own history, with or without me.

but not to worry. i'm not particularly interested in this question. another time perhaps.

ah, my quaker friend makes false statements about others; why on earth would I call out his actions from before?  &)  How unsurprising that you jump in, make some claim and then run away.  So many believers are so predictable.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 13, 2018, 09:37:13 AM
velkyn, as i recall our shared history, it was mostly you fumbling for something intelligent to say and not succeeding. a pattern of your own history, with or without me.

but not to worry. i'm not particularly interested in this question. another time perhaps.

ah, my quaker friend makes false statements about others; why on earth would I call out his actions from before?  &)  How unsurprising that you jump in, make some claim and then run away.  So many believers are so predictable.

Yeah I don't understand this either.   From the Bible's perspective the creation of humans is critical.  Right away in Genesis 1 it talks about us having dominion over all the animals on the earth (and all the creeping things that creep on the earth, or whatever it says.)  If we're to have dominion over the earth, how could Christians believe anything else than God's most important living creation was man? 

In fairness, I have no idea how a Quaker feels on this topic.  Maybe we could get some clarification there.  Do they have a more pantheist view, and that's why they might feel humans aren't a critical creation?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 13, 2018, 11:40:10 AM
In fairness, I have no idea how a Quaker feels on this topic.  Maybe we could get some clarification there.  Do they have a more pantheist view, and that's why they might feel humans aren't a critical creation?

I'd be curious to hear this as well. I grew up Quaker and would say this idea resonates with me. While I grew up eating meat, I recall many potlucks after Quaker meeting that were vegetarian. Probably vegan. The idea that humans are more critical to god's creation because they are born with a highly developed frontal cortex and opposable thumbs was as foreign as the idea that Americans are more critical to god's creation than Canadians, or the Queen of England is more critical to god than my childhood friend with Down Syndrome. As I recall, there was no hierarchy among people, and not really among animals either (with the caveat that animals are beasts of burden, but not to be treated inhumanely).
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 13, 2018, 12:39:56 PM
I don't see how one could argue that humans are to give this god "glory" or "show off his glory" if humans *weren't* critical.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: YouCantHandleTheTruth on March 13, 2018, 01:29:45 PM
In fairness, I have no idea how a Quaker feels on this topic.  Maybe we could get some clarification there.  Do they have a more pantheist view, and that's why they might feel humans aren't a critical creation?

I'd be curious to hear this as well. I grew up Quaker and would say this idea resonates with me. While I grew up eating meat, I recall many potlucks after Quaker meeting that were vegetarian. Probably vegan. The idea that humans are more critical to god's creation because they are born with a highly developed frontal cortex and opposable thumbs was as foreign as the idea that Americans are more critical to god's creation than Canadians, or the Queen of England is more critical to god than my childhood friend with Down Syndrome. As I recall, there was no hierarchy among people, and not really among animals either (with the caveat that animals are beasts of burden, but not to be treated inhumanely).

That is very interesting.  My nieces aren't religious, and go to a Quaker school (K-12).  When I've gone to see them in plays there does seem to be a message of acceptance, and no one person or living being any better than another. So everything you've said resonates with me now.

By any chance do you remember if they believe in eternal life?  Do all species get an eternal life in their minds?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 13, 2018, 01:53:41 PM
By any chance do you remember if they believe in eternal life?  Do all species get an eternal life in their minds?

The thing that sets Quakers apart from other sects of xianity is the lack of authority. I don't mean like independent baptist don't follow the pope kind of lack of authority, I mean no "right" or "wrong" way to interpret any given bible passage. They believe the "light of the lord" shines in each person (and I'd assume many believe this is true of animals as well) and so they are encouraged to find that light within and follow god the best way they understand him to be. For some this includes eternal life (I grew up expecting it), for others it does not. I didn't know anyone who believed the creation story in Genesis was meant to be read as a literal account of historical events, but rather a mythological and cultural piece of history, replete with useful analogies for the taking. I imagine many Quakers feel the same about the resurrection stories.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 16, 2018, 02:50:07 PM
The thing that sets Quakers apart from other sects of xianity is the lack of authority. I don't mean like independent baptist don't follow the pope kind of lack of authority, I mean no "right" or "wrong" way to interpret any given bible passage. They believe the "light of the lord" shines in each person (and I'd assume many believe this is true of animals as well) and so they are encouraged to find that light within and follow god the best way they understand him to be. For some this includes eternal life (I grew up expecting it), for others it does not. I didn't know anyone who believed the creation story in Genesis was meant to be read as a literal account of historical events, but rather a mythological and cultural piece of history, replete with useful analogies for the taking. I imagine many Quakers feel the same about the resurrection stories.

there are different kinds of quakers, depending on their local history in the last 200 years. most quakers are similar to nondenominational baptists, speak swahili, and live in east africa. the next biggest group speaks spanish, lives in south america, and are similar to evangelical protestants. the commonest english-speaking quakers are evangelical protestants and live mostly in north america. in britain most quakers are what are called liberal-- unprogrammed waiting worship, christianity-optional. there are about 17,000 liberal quakers in america, mostly in cities and university towns. they practice unprogrammed waiting worship, and may be christian, buddhist, jewish, atheist, or agnostic, as i am. i'm a bit different as i'm a member of the conservative branch, the very smallest group, mostly christian. we still maintain lots of old practices that the other groups have given up. there's a lot of variety in our beliefs.

albeto, what was the name of your yearly meeting?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 16, 2018, 02:59:01 PM
there are different kinds of quakers, depending on their local history in the last 200 years. most quakers are similar to nondenominational baptists, speak swahili, and live in east africa. the next biggest group speaks spanish, lives in south america, and are similar to evangelical protestants. the commonest english-speaking quakers are evangelical protestants and live mostly in north america. in britain most quakers are what are called liberal-- unprogrammed waiting worship, christianity-optional. there are about 17,000 liberal quakers in america, mostly in cities and university towns. they practice unprogrammed waiting worship, and may be christian, buddhist, jewish, atheist, or agnostic, as i am. i'm a bit different as i'm a member of the conservative branch, the very smallest group, mostly christian. we still maintain lots of old practices that the other groups have given up. there's a lot of variety in our beliefs.

albeto, what was the name of your yearly meeting?

I had no idea. That's quite interesting. Apparently I grew up British heritage of waiting worship. I didn't realize there were practices of any kind, as I thought the waiting upon the holy spirit was the identifying marker of Quakers. Then again, I didn't know there were different sects of Quakers! When you say you maintain lots of old practices, what do you mean? What are these practices? We gathered in the main room of a member's home and eventually everyone would settle into quiet contemplation. Occasionally someone would speak very briefly. There was no discussion. Then mysteriously, people would start opening their eyes, looking around, smile, greet each other and we'd move to bring together a pot-luck lunch. As a kid that always mystified me - how did the adults know when to stop being quiet? My siblings and I were allowed to leave after 15 minutes when we were very young. We were allowed to play quietly (ie, draw) in another room.

I have no idea what the yearly meetings in my area were called, or where they were. I grew up in a bit of a remote area, travelling to different people's homes for meetings. My family went about once per month because of the distance.

As an adult I converted to the RCC. I am no longer religious.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 16, 2018, 03:20:16 PM
with the differences among those who want the name Quaker, it makes the term meaningless. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 16, 2018, 05:51:29 PM
When you say you maintain lots of old practices, what do you mean? What are these practices?

i belong to ohio yearly meeting conservative, which practices waiting worship like the liberal quakers, but is still explicitly christian in faith and practice, like the current protestant quakers. mostly it's conservative in the sense that it attempts to continue the old 18th and 19th century practice of quakerism. it's the only safe place where a quaker can safely adopt the plain dress, for instance, which other quakers feel threatened by, for some reason. OYM still appoints ministers, elders, and overseers, still maintains a meeting for ministry and oversight,  and still views waiting worship as a means of arriving at unity, rather than consensus.

there's a lot of diversity in quakerism, because the original idea was to ditch the forms and rituals and just follow the holy ghost directly in all aspects of your life. so today you can find buddhist, christian, and atheist quakers all worshipping together in the same meeting, because they're looking for commonalities instead of differences.nobody has a problem with me as an agnostic.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 16, 2018, 07:36:45 PM
i belong to ohio yearly meeting conservative, which practices waiting worship like the liberal quakers, but is still explicitly christian in faith and practice, like the current protestant quakers. mostly it's conservative in the sense that it attempts to continue the old 18th and 19th century practice of quakerism. it's the only safe place where a quaker can safely adopt the plain dress, for instance, which other quakers feel threatened by, for some reason. OYM still appoints ministers, elders, and overseers, still maintains a meeting for ministry and oversight,  and still views waiting worship as a means of arriving at unity, rather than consensus.

That sounds so weird to me, like that doesn't sound like Quakerism but a generic Protestantism. But then, no one asked me. ;-)

there's a lot of diversity in quakerism, because the original idea was to ditch the forms and rituals and just follow the holy ghost directly in all aspects of your life. so today you can find buddhist, christian, and atheist quakers all worshipping together in the same meeting, because they're looking for commonalities instead of differences.nobody has a problem with me as an agnostic.

Meh. There's a lot of diversity because if a religious community wants to maintain relevance, it has to appeal to its customer base. In the US, the Xian customer base is as diverse as it gets. Supply and Demand, baby.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Basset Hound on March 16, 2018, 07:44:12 PM
Worship is what god eats.  Gods need worship to survive or they starve to death.  Where are all those gods who are no longer worshiped?  They are dead.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 16, 2018, 07:45:11 PM
That sounds so weird to me, like that doesn't sound like Quakerism but a generic Protestantism. But then, no one asked me. ;-)

maybe. in practice the whole thing looks pretty different. no priests, no sermons, no songs. just people sitting quietly listening to the spirit.

the whole doctrine of the inward light is what defines traditional quakerism, and mostly protestants used to tell me that i was being led by the devil.

catholics too.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 16, 2018, 08:26:50 PM
maybe. in practice the whole thing looks pretty different. no priests, no sermons, no songs. just people sitting quietly listening to the spirit.

I think I'm confusing myself. The idea of listening to the spirit, or following the inner light are things I recognize about Quaker doctrine. But I don't recognize the ministers and overseers and various practices you're talking about. What do the ministers do? What practices are there? Our only practice was gathering and getting quiet. Meeting lasted an hour, more or less. People were very friendly. Humility and pacifism were way up on the top of the chart of personal characteristics to be striven for. I never considered Quakers to have any kind of ministry.

the whole doctrine of the inward light is what defines traditional quakerism, and mostly protestants used to tell me that i was being led by the devil.

catholics too.

Ha! Not surprising!
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: shnozzola on March 16, 2018, 08:49:28 PM
Growing up in the Church of the Brethren, we, along with the Mennonite beliefs my mom grew up with, had a song:

"Quaker meeting has begun, no more laughing, no more fun, no more showing the white's of your teeth, no more chewing chewing gum....."  and then the song was up to the singers to continue to add every possible thing that one could think of, to not be allowed to do.  Of course we were just stupid kids, not realizing our beliefs were as small as anyone's.   Today, I very much appreciate the local Friends Meeting House as a very cool place, politically active, great bluegrass, with all types of welcoming to all types of beliefs.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 16, 2018, 08:58:38 PM
I think I'm confusing myself. The idea of listening to the spirit, or following the inner light are things I recognize about Quaker doctrine. But I don't recognize the ministers and overseers and various practices you're talking about. What do the ministers do? What practices are there? Our only practice was gathering and getting quiet. Meeting lasted an hour, more or less. People were very friendly. Humility and pacifism were way up on the top of the chart of personal characteristics to be striven for. I never considered Quakers to have any kind of ministry.

those are the old practices-- church polity. the liberals have abandoned it, the evangelicals have distorted it to conform to protestanism.

a recognized minister is someone who appears to be consistently led by the holy ghost when he or she speaks. but there's nobody who is ever delegated to speak in a meeting. anybody can, even first time strangers. the first recognized minister in the society was elizabeth hooten, back around 1652. my meeting doesn't have any at the moment, because the last good one died last year.

elders are there to tell the minister that he should have sat down and shut up, or maybe got up and spoken when he didn't.

the overseers are there to make sure absent people don't get forgotten, and to handle membership issues and so forth.

most liberal meetings have abandoned these offices because they were often abused in the past, leading to a hierarchy of "official people." it's a valid criticism. in my yearly meeting, i consider the ministers, elders, and overseers mostly to be hindrances in serving the church.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 16, 2018, 09:01:47 PM
Growing up in the Church of the Brethren, we, along with the Mennonite beliefs my mom grew up with, had a song:

"Quaker meeting has begun, no more laughing, no more fun, no more showing the white's of your teeth, no more chewing chewing gum....."  and then the song was up to the singers to continue to add every possible thing that one could think of, to not be allowed to do.  Of course we were just stupid kids, not realizing our beliefs were as small as anyone's.   Today, I very much appreciate the local Friends Meeting House as a very cool place, politically active, great bluegrass, with all types of welcoming to all types of beliefs.

brethren. interesting. lots of anabaptists where i live.

around here it was, quaker meeting's just begun, no more laughing no more fun. if you should dare to crack a smile, we'll make you walk a quaker mile . . .

the quakers have been active in a lot of progressive movements, and some colossal mistakes, too.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 17, 2018, 12:15:47 PM
those are the old practices-- church polity. the liberals have abandoned it, the evangelicals have distorted it to conform to protestanism.

Yep. Every single Protestant sect believes it's making the right corrections the previous ones failed to see. Everyong things the previous ones have somehow abandoned or distorted the "real faith," and they alone know how to get back to it. Jesus is lucky to have them, lol!

(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/559186bbe4b06a37250278b5/t/55b96086e4b0b0462f3e0a57/1438212770306/?format=1500w)

Quote
a recognized minister is someone who appears to be consistently led by the holy ghost when he or she speaks.


Isn't that interesting? Shouldn't the holy ghost be able to appear consistently to those who want it, who ask? Shouldn't a Quaker Meeting be full of people to whom the holy ghost consistently appears? Anyway, I had been led to believe that's what George Fox claimed, that this belief is what motivated him to start the newest real xian community. It's what the bible says. Of course, if any biblical claims were valid, we would see quite a different reality.

Quote
my meeting doesn't have any at the moment, because the last good one died last year.

Sounds like the minister is the best salesman of the little company, decided by popular vote.

"Quaker meeting has begun, no more laughing, no more fun, no more showing the white's of your teeth, no more chewing chewing gum....."  and then the song was up to the singers to continue to add every possible thing that one could think of, to not be allowed to do. 
around here it was, quaker meeting's just begun, no more laughing no more fun. if you should dare to crack a smile, we'll make you walk a quaker mile . . .

I never heard those, lol!
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 17, 2018, 02:28:04 PM
Isn't that interesting? Shouldn't the holy ghost be able to appear consistently to those who want it, who ask? Shouldn't a Quaker Meeting be full of people to whom the holy ghost consistently appears? Anyway, I had been led to believe that's what George Fox claimed, that this belief is what motivated him to start the newest real xian community. It's what the bible says. Of course, if any biblical claims were valid, we would see quite a different reality.

why? if it were up to me to define god as a self-projection in my own image, i might say yes. but i have no reason to think that my projections should define any god, if any exist. on the other hand, you're right. the old quakers believed that the Light was accessible to everybody, but that not everybody paid attention to it. maybe that would be the answer.

and different people have different skills. to be a minister requires different skills than being an overseer, or a carpenter, or a motorcycle mechanic.

modern liberal quakers don't pay much attention to the bible, as most aren't christian. the conservatives and liberals aren't even protestant, by any usual definition.

Quote
Quote
my meeting doesn't have any at the moment, because the last good one died last year.

Sounds like the minister is the best salesman of the little company, decided by popular vote.

we don't vote, on anything. we reach a unity on issues, or at least try to. if the clerk can't discern an overall unity on a question, we put it off, sometimes forever. doesn't always work that way, though.

Quote
I never heard those, lol!

the old wilburites were pretty dour, no doubt about it. we used to disown people for drinking, attending a non-quaker marriage ceremony, or owning a piano. i once counted up the ways you could be disowned in an 1867 book of discipline. in 105 pages, 57 of them contained one or more ways you could be drummed out of meeting.

we're not so bad now, but still pretty weird. my meeting has defied the old guard ministers and elders with respect to gay marriage and has refused to condemn it. that's made things pretty tense at yearly meetings, but the bigots are gradually losing the battles.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 17, 2018, 06:15:05 PM
why?

I don't understand your question. Why should a religion be held accountable to the claims it made? Why should reliability be a value we hold in high esteem? Why should anyone adhere to a belief system if the beliefs themselves are irrelevant? Why bother knowing fact from fantasy?

Quote
modern liberal quakers don't pay much attention to the bible, as most aren't christian. the conservatives and liberals aren't even protestant, by any usual definition.

I suspect many of the more progressive xian church sects will end up following this path. It's how people will hold on to religion. It will be the only way they can maintain relevancy in the coming years. Already we're seeing such damage to the reputation of the xian faith by way of exposing the ridiculousness of its claims and toxicity of its members when compared to reasonable alternatives to questions people have been asking for years. That, and on the other side of the fence, the churches that maintain conventional beliefs will be more hardcore. The churches that are growing despite the overall rejection of churches are the ones that offer a black and white approach to life, the ones that make the decisions of what is right or wrong so the individual need only follow a prescribed code of behavior.

Quote
the old wilburites were pretty dour, no doubt about it. we used to disown people for drinking, attending a non-quaker marriage ceremony, or owning a piano. i once counted up the ways you could be disowned in an 1867 book of discipline. in 105 pages, 57 of them contained one or more ways you could be drummed out of meeting.

Yikes! I had no idea they were so hardcore, lol!

Quote
but the bigots are gradually losing the battles.

Not fast enough, sadly.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 17, 2018, 06:27:35 PM
why?

I don't understand your question. Why should a religion be held accountable to the claims it made? Why should reliability be a value we hold in high esteem? Why should anyone adhere to a belief system if the beliefs themselves are irrelevant? Why bother knowing fact from fantasy?

good point. but traditional quakers have never held to the idea that everybody can hear god as well as everybody else. that's the whole reason for having ministers in the first place. but there is an underlying belief that everybody should be able to hear the holy ghost to some degree, and follow it. the old way of describing this was the concept of one's measure of the Light.

everybody had some measure of the Light, and whatever they had was sufficient to work out their salvation. but everybody's measure was different. some people were spectacular saints, other people were workhorse followers. whatever they were given was held to be enough, individually, but not everybody had as much as anybody else.

anyway, maybe that doesn't answer your question. the quaker solution was that you were able to hear the holy spirit as well as your measure allowed; and whatever that was was good enough,although it might not be as good as the person next to you.


Quote
. Already we're seeing such damage to the reputation of the xian faith by way of exposing the ridiculousness of its claims and toxicity of its members when compared to reasonable alternatives to questions people have been asking for years.

i'm not seeing that myself, in america. fundamentalism is alive and growing here.

Quote
Quote
but the bigots are gradually losing the battles.

Not fast enough, sadly.

pretty quick, among the society of friends. we're usually a century or so ahead of the dominant culture.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 18, 2018, 06:56:12 AM
Quote from: kevinagain
pretty quick, among the society of friends. we're usually a century or so ahead of the dominant culture.

You must not live in the South.  ;)

Evangelicals are still having a hard time excepting gay marriage around here. The Methodists are alright, but the rest are not.

I think I'm starting to like Quakers though. Y'all seem nice. The way you describe it is pretty in tune with being Christ like.

One of my favorite old GOSPEL tunes is I Saw the Light.

I have to admit, I still don't understand- why a God needs worship?

Maybe it's not God that needs it. Maybe it's humans instead. If there is a good God, by that very definition it would not desire worship.

When I was a theist, I believed starting a religion in Jesus' name was a dishonor to him. I reckon, I came to that conclusion because it was religious believers that hung him on that cross, and the sermon on the mount where Jesus socked it to religious traditions. Then there's the contradicting verse where Jesus tells the disciples to go spread the good news, but that doesn't necessarily mean start a religion and spread it by the sword and blood shed. That is not good news at all! That is awfully terrible news!

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 18, 2018, 08:30:13 AM
ohio for me.

liberal quakers have been doing gay marriages for at least 20 or 30 years in ohio, i think. the coservatives are mostly accepting, but its universal, and the evangelicals arent intetested. tbe last group isnt really quaker anymore, though. mstly baptist.

but theres no central authority. yearly and quarterly and monthly meetings are mostly independent. andweve got some real bastards, like everybody else.

i asked a txas baptist last week why god needs worshipI. his view was that it was appropriate to glorify god and the creation. he's not often clear. mr b referred to him in the first post here. when you ask him for explanations he gets foggy with seminary jargon, so the exchangeI of knowedge stops.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 18, 2018, 11:19:41 AM
anyway, maybe that doesn't answer your question. the quaker solution was that you were able to hear the holy spirit as well as your measure allowed; and whatever that was was good enough,although it might not be as good as the person next to you.

It does. Thanks.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 18, 2018, 12:03:28 PM
Quote from: kevinagain
i asked a txas baptist last week why god needs worshipI. his view was that it was appropriate to glorify god and the creation. he's not often clear. mr b referred to him in the first post here. when you ask him for explanations he gets foggy with seminary jargon, so the exchangeI of knowedge stops.

The Texan's explanation takes believers away from an all-loving good God. 

I'm still stuck on the idea that it is humans that need to worship. Why? Well because it offers them some control in a world where it's easy to feel helpless against the forces of nature. It really sucks to feel helpless.

I never felt more helpless than I did when I was a theist. Being atheist puts you behind the wheel. Your purpose is yours to explore and create. Life feels more like a blessing and less like a curse. After all, you don't need a doctor if you ain't sick.

I do not see any reason why a Christian couldn't adopt that hypothesis except for claiming biblical inerrancy. That gets in the way a lot in terms of defining God as all-loving and good.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 18, 2018, 02:06:26 PM

I'm still stuck on the idea that it is humans that need to worship. Why? Well because it offers them some control in a world where it's easy to feel helpless against the forces of nature. It really sucks to feel helpless.

i think thats as good an explanation for tbe origin of religion as any. appeasi g forces beyond your control.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 19, 2018, 08:34:25 AM

I'm still stuck on the idea that it is humans that need to worship. Why? Well because it offers them some control in a world where it's easy to feel helpless against the forces of nature. It really sucks to feel helpless.

i think thats as good an explanation for tbe origin of religion as any. appeasi g forces beyond your control.

Kevin, would this be the reason you follow a religion?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 08:47:34 AM
i dont follow a religion, velkyn. i'm a non-theist.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 19, 2018, 09:07:00 AM
i dont follow a religion, velkyn. i'm a non-theist.

Could you clarify that please?

What is the difference between a non-theist, and an atheist, or a diest, or an agnostic? I don't recognize whatever subtlety is being expressed by the self-assigned label[1] of non-theist.
 1. the only kind of label that should matter, IMNSHO
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 09:46:34 AM
hi jag

im a nontheist friend, because that purposely broad term is the one used in tbe society of friends to describe members whk do not have a traditional view of god, or have no view. i call myself an agnostic because my position is one of explicit ignorance, not certainty of anything. the old measures i once used to think about religion no longer seem valid to me, and i have no reasonable replacements.

what is an agnostic to you? why is classification important?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 19, 2018, 10:15:29 AM
hi jag

im a nontheist friend, because that purposely broad term is the one used in tbe society of friends to describe members whk do not have a traditional view of god, or have no view. i call myself an agnostic because my position is one of explicit ignorance, not certainty of anything. the old measures i once used to think about religion no longer seem valid to me, and i have no reasonable replacements.
That helps, thanks.

Quote
what is an agnostic to you?
It doesn't really matter anymore, as that isn't what you meant. But I generally assume that it refers to someone who takes the position that the existence or non-existence of god(s) is beyond human knowledge. I stick with that until or unless they add details that lead me to interpret the term some other way in relationship to themselves.

Quote
why is classification important?
It's not so much that classification is 'important' as it is that clarity of terms keeps us talking about the same things in the same context. I don't hear the term non-theist very often, and wanted to be sure I understood what you mean by that term. Nothing insidious, just wanted clarity so I don't misunderstand your position.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 10:28:05 AM
ah

i see. maybe its more a quaker thing than i thought? its a common term in the liberal wing of the society.

hard for me to understand the term "agnostic" meaning tbat something is unknowable. anything and everything is unknowable if one doubts one's senses. for agnostic to mean that, one has to accept rules about what knowledge is valid and what is not. most people dont do that thoroughly, i think.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 19, 2018, 10:41:19 AM
ah

i see. maybe its more a quaker thing than i thought? its a common term in the liberal wing of the society.

hard for me to understand the term "agnostic" meaning tbat something is unknowable. anything and everything is unknowable if one doubts one's senses. for agnostic to mean that, one has to accept rules about what knowledge is valid and what is not. most people dont do that thoroughly, i think.

TBH, none of the terms really make much sense to me. As far as I can tell, you either believe in a god or gods, or you don't. But people are free to assign whatever labels they wish, to themselves. Just like I'm free to think that most of it is just nonsense, intended to make people feel special in some way. Like I said, it's helpful to know specifically what people mean when they use a term to describe themselves; language is used much more fluidly that actual definitions allow for.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 19, 2018, 10:54:58 AM
ah

i see. maybe its more a quaker thing than i thought? its a common term in the liberal wing of the society.

I think it's getting more common. More and more churches are finding they keep their customers longer if they stop pronouncing truths. Not all, but many, and many more than in any previous era.

hard for me to understand the term "agnostic" meaning tbat something is unknowable.

But in your opinion, this thing that is unknowable ["god"] exists? Or doesn't?

anything and everything is unknowable if one doubts one's senses. for agnostic to mean that, one has to accept rules about what knowledge is valid and what is not. most people dont do that thoroughly, i think.

This doesn't make sense to me. How do you think people got to the moon, eradicated small pox, and psychologically manipulated millions of facebook users to support nationalist agendas if knowledge is impossible?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: stuffin on March 19, 2018, 11:32:16 AM
those are the old practices-- church polity. the liberals have abandoned it, the evangelicals have distorted it to conform to protestanism.

Yep. Every single Protestant sect believes it's making the right corrections the previous ones failed to see. Everyong things the previous ones have somehow abandoned or distorted the "real faith," and they alone know how to get back to it. Jesus is lucky to have them, lol!

(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/559186bbe4b06a37250278b5/t/55b96086e4b0b0462f3e0a57/1438212770306/?format=1500w)

That chart tells me religion is a perfect example of evolution.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 11:48:43 AM
. . . language is used much more fluidly that actual definitions allow for.

definitions for definable things are certainly useful. but trying to force people into pre existing categories says more about tbe forcer than the forced. belief, non belief and so on are generally pretty complex, and people who require neat categories for tbe human world miss most of that, i tbink.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 12:04:20 PM
But in your opinion, this thing that is unknowable ["god"] exists? Or doesn't?

can't tell. tbe evidence i used to consider adequate isnt compelling to me now. at the moment i have no belief one way or the other. i have no evidence, so all i can truthfully assert is ignorance.

This doesn't make sense to me. How do you think people got to the moon, eradicated small pox, and psychologically manipulated millions of facebook users to support nationalist agendas if knowledge is impossible?

how did tbe vikings navigate with a magnetic compass if tbey ascribed the movment to sea gods? how did we manage a mechanical world before quantum theory showef it was wrong? how did we make cement before we understood chemistry?

someone who has a hardcore disbelief in gods would reject all evidence of a god's existence, including his senses. i once asked one of those what be would think if a miracle similar to those of the tanach took place, witb him as tbe subject. he told me tbat he would consider himself insane.

so with him, a genuine god would be completely unknowable, because there was no evidence at all that could change his mind. his preexisting rules for how reality worked limited his ability to process any phenomena tbat didnt fit his rules.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 19, 2018, 12:31:10 PM
That chart tells me religion is a perfect example of evolution.

The God Virus (https://www.amazon.com/God-Virus-Religion-Infects-Culture/dp/0970950519/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521480570&sr=8-1&keywords=god+virus) does a fantastic job of explaining just how religion evolves, as a memetic virus specifically. The laws of natural selection can be found in religion just as readily as can be found in grasses.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 19, 2018, 12:39:34 PM
how did tbe vikings navigate with a magnetic compass if tbey ascribed the movment to sea gods? how did we manage a mechanical world before quantum theory showef it was wrong? how did we make cement before we understood chemistry?

someone who has a hardcore disbelief in gods would reject all evidence of a god's existence, including his senses. i once asked one of those what be would think if a miracle similar to those of the tanach took place, witb him as tbe subject. he told me tbat he would consider himself insane.

so with him, a genuine god would be completely unknowable, because there was no evidence at all that could change his mind. his preexisting rules for how reality worked limited his ability to process any phenomena tbat didnt fit his rules.

You're conflating inaccurate information with no information. Vikings navigated the seas because the information they had was accurate enough to be reliable. Attribution to the gods eventually fell away as it was not relevant after all. Lots of irrelevant assumptions fall away.

If there was any actual evidence for god, it would be interesting to see who rejects it. We can see theists reject evidence for evolution, astronomy, neurology, biology, etc etc etc in order to maintain their theistic beliefs, but we have never encountered an event in which evidence for god has been rejected. Non theists reject claims, not evidence, simply because evidence has never been presented.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 01:12:20 PM
the question had to do with whether tbe existence of god was knowable or unknowable, and as such whether "agnostic" meant tbat. this is what i said:

Quote from: kevinagain on Today at 11:28:05 AM
anything and everything is unknowable if one doubts one's senses. for agnostic to mean that, one has to accept rules about what knowledge is valid and what is not. most people dont do that thoroughly, i think.

if you took an agnostic who claimed that tbe question of god was unknowable and took him to tbe judgement seat, walked him around the new jerusalem, and introduced him to jehovah personally, and he *still* thought tbat vod was unknowable, then you would have someone for whom tbe term agnostic has no genuine meaning.

i'm agnoztic, because i have no firm knowledge eitber way.

but tbese are just words and fairly limited definitions. i think if you want to know what someone believes, youre better off talking about it than looking for tbe rivht preexistkng category.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 19, 2018, 02:30:36 PM
i dont follow a religion, velkyn. i'm a non-theist.

are you a quaker?  do you believe in this "spirit"? 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 02:37:57 PM
i dont follow a religion, velkyn. i'm a non-theist.

are you a quaker?  do you believe in this "spirit"?

yes, velkyn. i'm a quaker.

as for the spirit, i don't believe in the holy ghost, as theist friends define it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 19, 2018, 06:43:58 PM
^^^You keep skirting around the question and I wonder what your point is. Are you saying you don't rely on your senses at all? Except for your sight and sound and balance and temperature and the senses you do rely on? Or are you saying you don't rely on your senses when it comes to the possibility of a supernatural reality? Or something else?

Meanwhile, you are ignoring knowledge that does exist, knowledge regarding the creation of the world, the age of the world, how and under what circumstances people get sick, what influences behavior, efficiency of prayer (or lack thereof), the reliability of observation and measurement of the laws of physics, etc. Do you distrust the validity of this knowledge or do you believe one must have 100% knowledge of a thing to consider a claim credible?

Why Quakerism? What do you see is the function and purpose of the Quaker Meeting, and what do you think it provides that other belief systems don't?

yes, velkyn. i'm a quaker.

as for the spirit, i don't believe in the holy ghost, as theist friends define it.

See what I mean about skirting around the question? It's if you're afraid to give an answer in hopes of avoiding criticism about that answer. Or as Greta Christina suggests, hoping to get the atheist seal of approval (https://www.alternet.org/belief/why-religious-believers-are-so-desperate-atheist-seal-approval) so you won't be associated with "those" people who believe "weird" stuff. So how do you define the spirit, if not "the holy ghost as theist friends define it"?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 19, 2018, 07:24:37 PM
^^^You keep skirting around the question and I wonder what your point is.

Ditto.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 07:35:33 PM
albeto, what in the world are you talking about? your make assumptions and conclusions about things i haven't mentioned. i answer the questions put to me, as time allows and as my interest permits. if you have a specific conversation in mind, make it clear and i will answer you as clearly as i understand you. velkyn can speak for herself.

your post appears to have two questions:

Why Quakerism? What do you see is the function and purpose of the Quaker Meeting, and what do you think it provides that other belief systems don't?

So how do you define the spirit, if not "the holy ghost as theist friends define it"?

a quaker meeting is a meeting for worship. theists who attend it listen to the leadings of the holy spirit, may or may not speak as they are led, and leave with a renewed sense of unity that allows them to act as a community with greater cohesiveness than otherwise. as a non-theist, i participate because i feel similar connections with the people and with the meeting without needing to search for a supernatural explanation. i'm not interested in theology, and so i take the existential support that i find there. there's more to it than that, but i don't like long posts.

as for the spirit, i don't define it. it's a theological concept that i don't believe in. if they were ever inclined to theorize, the earlier friends would have stated the holy spirit to be the logos, the greek term for the active force animating the universe, as discussed in john1 and elsewhere in the greek new testament. the spirit was active through the agency of the Light, which roughly corresponded to the protestant idea of grace, but was a tangible influence that emanated from god and was received according to the differing measures that individuals possessed.

there's a lot more to the Light, but it's not something that i find credible.






 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 19, 2018, 07:37:45 PM
^^^You keep skirting around the question and I wonder what your point is.

Ditto.

beats me. i don't have a clue what your point is either.

if you think i'm avoiding something somebody else asked, ask it yourself so i can identify what you're talking about.

the fewer words the better.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Add Homonym on March 19, 2018, 08:05:38 PM
Back when I was a lad, a guy at work started Raja Yoga. I think they sat around staring into each other's eyes and seeing the light.

http://www.yogaworld.org/raja2.htm

However, he started talking about this chap who was the most impure soul, and that the universe was on a cycle of 5000 years, and we were supposedly entering the end times, where the circle started again. I wondered how you would distinguish seeing the light from your own imagination. That link touches on it, but essentially ignores the problem.

The Quaker meeting seems to be verging on mindfulness meditation, which gets good recommendations for lowering depression and increasing various health factors.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 19, 2018, 08:08:38 PM
^^^You keep skirting around the question and I wonder what your point is.

Ditto.

beats me. i don't have a clue what your point is either.

if you think i'm avoiding something somebody else asked, ask it yourself so i can identify what you're talking about.

the fewer words the better.

Nope, I've lost interest. I can see where this is gong and I just don't care enough to participate.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 19, 2018, 08:44:38 PM
a quaker meeting is a meeting for worship. theists who attend it listen to the leadings of the holy spirit, may or may not speak as they are led, and leave with a renewed sense of unity that allows them to act as a community with greater cohesiveness than otherwise. as a non-theist, i participate because i feel similar connections with the people and with the meeting without needing to search for a supernatural explanation. i'm not interested in theology, and so i take the existential support that i find there. there's more to it than that, but i don't like long posts.

as for the spirit, i don't define it. it's a theological concept that i don't believe in. if they were ever inclined to theorize, the earlier friends would have stated the holy spirit to be the logos, the greek term for the active force animating the universe, as discussed in john1 and elsewhere in the greek new testament. the spirit was active through the agency of the Light, which roughly corresponded to the protestant idea of grace, but was a tangible influence that emanated from god and was received according to the differing measures that individuals possessed.

there's a lot more to the Light, but it's not something that i find credible.

Thanks. That's what I was wondering.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 20, 2018, 08:48:17 AM
i dont follow a religion, velkyn. i'm a non-theist.

are you a quaker?  do you believe in this "spirit"?

yes, velkyn. i'm a quaker.

as for the spirit, i don't believe in the holy ghost, as theist friends define it.

so, the most important thing that defines Quakers, their religious beliefs, are not what you accept.  This is why I find that you calling yourself a Quaker to be weird.  Might as well call the meeting place a club house for people that you like for reasons that aren't religoius, and where you spend time not doing what they are doing.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 20, 2018, 09:57:20 AM
here's some reading for you, velkyn.

enjoy.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheist_Quakers&ved=2ahUKEwj8m-ywlPvZAhVPylMKHcptCqoQFjAAegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw0-kPNcvHFTG10HZh-5Wgzb
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 20, 2018, 12:09:55 PM
so, the most important thing that defines Quakers, their religious beliefs, are not what you accept.  This is why I find that you calling yourself a Quaker to be weird.  Might as well call the meeting place a club house for people that you like for reasons that aren't religoius, and where you spend time not doing what they are doing.

Yep. Then again, there are cultural Catholics and people have become accustomed to that. I think xian communities are learning that if they want to keep their customer base, they have one of two options. One is to double down on the rules and regulations. Some people really like the black and white approach. It makes life seem simple. All the hard decisions are made for them and they can pretend to be in the care of an invisible sugar sky daddy. The problem with this is those people are the ones who are exposed for hypocrisy and intolerance. Younger people are increasingly put off by hypocrisy and intolerance.

The other is to become more vague, refusing to make any declaration of faith or morality lest society in general decide it's not cool after all (like LGBTQ issues). Xian gods will eventually fade away as the Norse, Greek, Roman gods, and European fairies all did, preserved only for holiday cards, invoked at weddings and funerals.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 20, 2018, 12:29:06 PM
here's some reading for you, velkyn.

enjoy.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheist_Quakers&ved=2ahUKEwj8m-ywlPvZAhVPylMKHcptCqoQFjAAegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw0-kPNcvHFTG10HZh-5Wgzb

yup and it makes no more sense there either, especially when you tout being part of conservative Quakers. I'm guessing you are just hiding your nonsense, unwilling to admit to what you actually believe, and thinking you are clever for doing that.  Been there, done that a lot of times before, as Albeto mentions, that a lot of theists end up with the vague nonsense so they don't have to acknowledge that their claims are are baseless at best and completely wrong at worst.  One doesn't need Quakerism to be peaceful, kind etc.  That's pretty much humanism, without the religion.   

Now, you claimed to be a non-theist.  Wikipedia has an entry on that too, and it's essentially a meaningless term since no one can agree on what it means: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheism    If one is going with what the prefix "non-" means, then this should simply mean not a theist, aka atheist, (a- prefix means "not) but that's not what is claimed.  What you actually mean by it is anyone's guess.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 20, 2018, 12:40:36 PM
lol

you really can't depart from your script, can you, velkyn?

since you have it all figured out, there's nothing for me to say.

let me know if you ever come up with something new, and we can move on.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 20, 2018, 02:24:28 PM
lol

you really can't depart from your script, can you, velkyn?

since you have it all figured out, there's nothing for me to say.

let me know if you ever come up with something new, and we can move on.

I've never said I have it all figured out.  Please do show that if you think it is true, if you aren't simply making a false claim to avoid a point.   We've ended up back where you make a false claim about me and then using it to avoid answering questions and points.  That's what happened before too.    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20789.msg471918.html#msg471918   More false claims to avoid a discussion that you don't like where it is going for your side. 
 

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 20, 2018, 04:03:22 PM
Been there, done that a lot of times before, as Albeto mentions, that a lot of theists end up with the vague nonsense so they don't have to acknowledge that their claims are are baseless at best and completely wrong at worst.  One doesn't need Quakerism to be peaceful, kind etc.  That's pretty much humanism, without the religion.

Not even to avoid acknowledging their claims are baseless at best and completely wrong at worst. I think they don't care. I think people who have religious beliefs don't actually care if those beliefs are right or wrong. They care if those beliefs make them feel better about themselves. Sometimes if they don't feel better about themselves because people are starting to criticize their beliefs too much, people will engage in some ridiculous PR work in hopes that solves the problem.  "Christian" doesn't make them look good in public any more, so "Christ follower" it is. No more "religion," it's a "personal relationship with Jebus." I see what you mean with "non-theist." What's wrong with using the word atheist to denote a lack of belief? That is, literally, what atheism means. Using words like "agnostic" in hopes of getting a pass from criticism seems predictably dishonest and self-serving.

I worked for a boss who did the same thing. Ran rental units that had the worst reputation in town. Every few years they changed their name. Same crappy owners, shiny new name. The idea was no one would think of them when talking about the worst rental company in town.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 20, 2018, 08:57:10 PM
lol

you really can't depart from your script, can you, velkyn?

since you have it all figured out, there's nothing for me to say.

let me know if you ever come up with something new, and we can move on.

I've never said I have it all figured out.  Please do show that if you think it is true, if you aren't simply making a false claim to avoid a point.   We've ended up back where you make a false claim about me and then using it to avoid answering questions and points.  That's what happened before too.    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20789.msg471918.html#msg471918   More false claims to avoid a discussion that you don't like where it is going for your side.

Not directed at you velkyn...just a comment.

There are no sides in the god issue. Since the dawn of god claims, what god has ever been shown to actually exist? Every. Single. God. Is a story, and nothing more. That alone is where the difficulty and discomfort comes for those who "believe" the claims, and those who straddle any form of mysterious or spiritual woo that allows them to avoid the blinding truth. There are no gods. In the complete absence of anything more than stories passed along since the dawn of humanity, we face beautiful mysteries and unknowns, and we face them head on with excitement and wonder. We forge ahead with scientific intensity and curiosity to see what more we can learn about ourselves, and the universe we see around us.

We may never know it all. We may never find the answers we seek. But religions and gods are basically the same as giving up before we start. No curiosity, no wonder, no mystery. Just a god or a set of gods. Excuses. Scapegoats for behavior. Pointless distractions form the only life we really have. I think most adults know this, but are literally too afraid to face it. I sort of get it, but I don't condone it.

As I age, I find myself wondering more about when my last day will be - or more specifically - when will I no longer be able to do the things I enjoy? Even with that in mind, I do not yet take full advantage of every day as though the end is nigh. I don't know why. It's like knowing I don't eat healthy, and knowing what that will take, but not really changing my behavior. The self-awareness is what hurts. Still, every day is a new day, another chance to take full advantage of all that we currently know. Another day to live without the comfort of immortality (isn't that the ultimate arrogance for anyone, that they could live forever?)

It's like arguing with someone about Xenu and the planet Kolob. Despite the well documented author of Scientology, people embrace it and commit their lives to it, as though it is real. The author reportedly stated it was made up in order to make money or get rich. Sigh.




Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 21, 2018, 05:57:30 AM
I do not perceive kevinagain being dishonest at all. He's being genuine with us. Some people here are being too darn pushy.
 
He can call himself whatever he darn well wants to.

I've been observing a substance recovery group for my final assignment in HSE-122. One of the most emphasized skill is being respectful of diversity in groups. The group I'm observing is diverse. Two members had a spiritual experience that felt like a higher power had taken control of their lives. Another member, a gay man, he don't believe in gods.

The point I'm trying to make here is: Some people need to believe in a Higher Power to feel like they have control over natural forces beyond their control.

A man like kevinagain that is humble about belief is a breath of fresh air.

Be well kevinagain. ;)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 21, 2018, 07:15:44 AM
Not directed at you velkyn...just a comment.

no problem at all.  Good points, jetson.  I just recently turned in my resignation for my job because it was making me miserable and life is too short for that. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 21, 2018, 07:48:23 AM
I've never said I have it all figured out.  Please do show that if you think it is true, if you aren't simply making a false claim to avoid a point.   We've ended up back where you make a false claim about me and then using it to avoid answering questions and points.  That's what happened before too.    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20789.msg471918.html#msg471918   More false claims to avoid a discussion that you don't like where it is going for your side.

velkyn, three points of my own. first, when you spend an entire post lecturing someone about something you never heard of, its a reasonable observation to make that you think you have it figured out. if you dont, i invite you to confess your ignorance and ask questions, rather than make accusations.

second, regarding posts from years ago, i dont obsess over you tbe way you apparently have obsessed over me. i have no idea what we spoke of years ago, and do not need to relive my past.

third, and this is the only conversation i will pursue with you, the fact tbat you have a row of neat boxes into which you need to fit people does not interest me. i have found people to be more complex in tbeir tbinking and experience than neat boxes encompass. nontheist quakerism is like that. tbere's variety, contradictions, and braided streams of belief and lack of it. no tidy little box fits everybody. some nontheist friends are hardcore atheists, others are pantheists. some are explicit theravadans.

in my case, i reserve tbe decision az currently unknowable, bazdd on the evidence i have. i call that agnosticism, and am quite happy leaving it at tbat unless someone actually wants to know what i think. arguing over labels doesnt address substance in any way i find useful.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 21, 2018, 08:00:29 AM
I've been observing a substance recovery group for my final assignment in HSE-122. One of the most emphasized skill is being respectful of diversity in groups. The group I'm observing is diverse. Two members had a spiritual experience that felt like a higher power had taken control of their lives. Another member, a gay man, he don't believe in gods.

The point I'm trying to make here is: Some people need to believe in a Higher Power to feel like they have control over natural forces beyond their control.

intrresting. i once knew a very articulate (and funny) atheist who called himself vynn. he had no belief in deities, but described states of mind and experience tbat he chose to call spiritual. i have no problem with spiritualify without spirit, so to speak, but the words are cumbersome when you try to force them to describe things they werent invented for. vynn took off and disappeared before i could get him to explain more about what he was experiencing.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 21, 2018, 10:24:43 AM
in my case, i reserve tbe decision az currently unknowable, bazdd on the evidence i have. i call that agnosticism, and am quite happy leaving it at tbat unless someone actually wants to know what i think. arguing over labels doesnt address substance in any way i find useful.

I want to know what you think. Not what you don't think, but what you do.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 21, 2018, 03:07:44 PM
sure, albeto. first, i think if you believe this applies to me, you don't know what you're talking about.

Quote
I see what you mean with "non-theist." What's wrong with using the word atheist to denote a lack of belief? That is, literally, what atheism means. Using words like "agnostic" in hopes of getting a pass from criticism seems predictably dishonest and self-serving.

i choose the term agnostic because it expresses an uncertainty that i associate with an intelligent analysis of tbe question. so called "strong atheists," in my opinion, are often idiots who express no doubts over things of which tbey have only partial understanding. there are exveptions, and tbey can be onteresting to learn from. but they are rare.

in my case, i once accepted tbe quaker belief in an active, immanent deity. i had various leadings and shared experiences which seemed to me to be supernatural in origin. doeznt matter what they were. the usual. since that time, tbe leadings have ceased, and i now doubt that tbey were genuinely divine in tbd first place. but should they return in a more certain manner, i wojld have no problem in revisiting a belief in god. i do not know there is no god, and "athiest" is a tsfm with so much baggage that i dont care to associate myself with them without qualifications tbat many object to.

what about you? why is tbe label important? is it because it provides a club of congenial travellers with an easy entrance test, just tbe use of a term for oneself? or is tbere more to it? what is it that you tbink? not what you have no belief in, but what you do?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 21, 2018, 03:29:52 PM
sure, albeto. first, i think if you believe this applies to me, you don't know what you're talking about.

Quote
I see what you mean with "non-theist." What's wrong with using the word atheist to denote a lack of belief? That is, literally, what atheism means. Using words like "agnostic" in hopes of getting a pass from criticism seems predictably dishonest and self-serving.

i choose the term agnostic because it expresses an uncertainty that i associate with an intelligent analysis of tbe question. so called "strong atheists," in my opinion, are often idiots who express no doubts over things of which tbey have only partial understanding. there are exveptions, and tbey can be onteresting to learn from. but they are rare.

in my case, i once accepted tbe quaker belief in an active, immanent deity. i had various leadings and shared experiences which seemed to me to be supernatural in origin. doeznt matter what they were. the usual. since that time, tbe leadings have ceased, and i now doubt that tbey were genuinely divine in tbd first place. but should they return in a more certain manner, i wojld have no problem in revisiting a belief in god. i do not know there is no god, and "athiest" is a tsfm with so much baggage that i dont care to associate myself with them without qualifications tbat many object to.

what about you? why is tbe label important? is it because it provides a club of congenial travellers with an easy entrance test, just tbe use of a term for oneself? or is tbere more to it? what is it that you tbink? not what you have no belief in, but what you do?

What did you expect when you starting posting here recently? Genuinely curious given the statement you just made. You don't sound particularly intelligent when it comes to atheism.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 21, 2018, 05:57:08 PM
What did you expect when you starting posting here recently? Genuinely curious given the statement you just made. You don't sound particularly intelligent when it comes to atheism.

hi jet. how've you been?

i expected what i found, and i'm looking forward to listening to a variety of points of view to help me work through various questions in my own mind. i look for people who are smarter than i am, because i learn stuff from them. there are people like that here, not that they're hard to find elsewhere.

what do you find unintelligent about my comments? you didn't identify anything, so i am in the dark.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 21, 2018, 07:17:34 PM
velkyn, three points of my own. first, when you spend an entire post lecturing someone about something you never heard of, its a reasonable observation to make that you think you have it figured out. if you dont, i invite you to confess your ignorance and ask questions, rather than make accusations.

Hmmm, what have I "never heard of"?   

Quote
second, regarding posts from years ago, i dont obsess over you tbe way you apparently have obsessed over me. i have no idea what we spoke of years ago, and do not need to relive my past.

Nice attempt at dodging and more false claims. 

Quote
third, and this is the only conversation i will pursue with you, the fact tbat you have a row of neat boxes into which you need to fit people does not interest me. i have found people to be more complex in tbeir tbinking and experience than neat boxes encompass. nontheist quakerism is like that. tbere's variety, contradictions, and braided streams of belief and lack of it. no tidy little box fits everybody. some nontheist friends are hardcore atheists, others are pantheists. some are explicit theravadans.

in my case, i reserve tbe decision az currently unknowable, bazdd on the evidence i have. i call that agnosticism, and am quite happy leaving it at tbat unless someone actually wants to know what i think. arguing over labels doesnt address substance in any way i find useful.

hmmm, more baseless claims about me to avoid answering questions.  How unsurprising. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 21, 2018, 09:55:07 PM
What did you expect when you starting posting here recently? Genuinely curious given the statement you just made. You don't sound particularly intelligent when it comes to atheism.

hi jet. how've you been?

i expected what i found, and i'm looking forward to listening to a variety of points of view to help me work through various questions in my own mind. i look for people who are smarter than i am, because i learn stuff from them. there are people like that here, not that they're hard to find elsewhere.

what do you find unintelligent about my comments? you didn't identify anything, so i am in the dark.

I'm doing well kevin.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive to opinions about strong atheists, and what these "idiots" may or may not know when they reveal their "partial understanding" openly.

Does anyone have more than a partial understanding? These rare "exceptions", what do they know that the rest do not? Or is it really more about how they present their ideas?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 21, 2018, 11:24:35 PM
what about you? why is tbe label important? is it because it provides a club of congenial travellers with an easy entrance test, just tbe use of a term for oneself? or is tbere more to it?

I guess I don't think about it as labeling. In my experience, using the word "label" in this context is similar to using the word "legalism" when classifying or defining other people's religious viewpoints. It implies the one talking is the one who has it right and others are somehow missing the mark. It's a way of implying oneself is in a position of more knowledge. I find that interesting because with faith, there is no knowledge. Claims are, well, accepted in faith.

If your question to me is why do I ask for these classifications, I'm not asking for a PhD dissertation from you or anything, but more information than I might expect a 3rd grade report, if that makes sense. Not that I have any right to expect it, it just makes the conversation more enjoyable than what otherwise amounts to meaningless small talk.

For example, you offer, "i choose the term agnostic because it expresses an uncertainty that i associate with an intelligent analysis of tbe question." And now I'm curious what you mean by that. What do you consider an "intelligent analysis of the question"? For example, how would one go about intelligently questioning the validity of the claim "god exists"?  If I have only partial understanding, where would I go to get more? How could I be certain that understanding accurately reflects reality?

what is it that you tbink? not what you have no belief in, but what you do?

I am atheist. That is, I harbor no theistic beliefs of any kind. Atheism does not claim god does not exist, like you implied in your post. Not even "strong atheism." It only claims a person does not hold any such beliefs. In the same way, I don't believe in numerology, premonition, past lives, karma, or magic of any kind. I can't claim these things don't exist because a negative can't be proven, but I don't believe there is reason to assume they do.

I do believe the world with which we interact is by its nature physical and not supernatural or magical, and can be reliably understood by factual, rational, logical explanations without needing to invoke any supernatural or ghostly or otherworldly intervention. We as a species continue to gain knowledge at an amazing rate, and we have consistently replaced superstitious, magical explanations of our world with natural ones. I know of no reason to expect that to change.


Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Emma286 on March 22, 2018, 06:30:35 AM
Not directed at you velkyn...just a comment.

no problem at all.  Good points, jetson.  I just recently turned in my resignation for my job because it was making me miserable and life is too short for that.

Sorry to hear that Velkyn. I won’t disrupt the thread by going on at length about this, but I’ve got a problem boss in one of my voluntary jobs - at the religious charity I’m still doing some volunteer time with. Regarding the people management aspect of her job, she’s really not very good with it and I’ve been wanting to leave for a while now as fed up with it. Unfortunately, I’m in a current position of having to be very careful with the timing. Still, as soon as I’ve had a paid job offer that I can accept (after completing my Employment Support programme with the other charity I’m volunteering for), am planning on walking then.

Hoping that you can soon find something better. Honestly can’t blame you.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 22, 2018, 11:25:47 AM
I'm doing well kevin.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive to opinions about strong atheists, and what these "idiots" may or may not know when they reveal their "partial understanding" openly.

Does anyone have more than a partial understanding? These rare "exceptions", what do they know that the rest do not? Or is it really more about how they present their ideas?

my point probably doesnt apply to most of tbe people here, but to tbe population at large. my experience has been that if you take 100 people off the street who are willing to positively assert that god does not exist, the vast majority would not be able to explain themselves, especially about tbe differences between the statements "god does not exist," and "i have no credible evidence that god exists." not even richard dawkins is willing to take a strong atbeism position, but instead states "god probably doez not exist." and dawkins is pretty smart.

maybe the issue is one of expression, as you suggest, and certainly noone has complete knowledge. but i am generally dubious when people express certainty about subjects whenI a few questions can reveal that tbere are aspects and facets that tbey dont understand or may even be unaware of.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 22, 2018, 11:37:59 AM
my point probably doesnt apply to most of tbe people here, but to tbe population at large. my experience has been that if you take 100 people off the street who are willing to positively assert that god does not exist, the vast majority would not be able to explain themselves, especially about tbe differences between the statements "god does not exist," and "i have no credible evidence that god exists." not even richard dawkins is willing to take a strong atbeism position, but instead states "god probably doez not exist." and dawkins is pretty smart.

maybe the issue is one of expression, as you suggest, and certainly noone has complete knowledge. but i am generally dubious when people express certainty about subjects whenI a few questions can reveal that tbere are aspects and facets that tbey dont understand or may even be unaware of.
Dawkins has stated the following:  "On a scale of seven, where one means I know he exists, and seven I know he doesn't, I call myself a six. That doesn't mean I'm absolutely confident, that I absolutely know, because I don't."

And here: "The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Prof Dawkins answered that he did.

An incredulous Sir Anthony replied: “You are described as the world’s most famous atheist.”

Prof Dawkins said that he was “6.9 out of seven” sure of his beliefs.

“I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low,” he added." https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9102740/Richard-Dawkins-I-cant-be-sure-God-does-not-exist.html


So, 6 out of a possible 7? 6.9 out of a possible 7?  This certainly seems to be a "strong atheist" position.  You are also committing the fallacy of assuming that since Dawkins is "pretty smart" he should be automatically trusted. 

since no one can define this god, one can be quite certain that certain claims of a god don't exist and the vagueness claimed by some theists and agnostics is essentially meaningless.  Sayign "well, something could exist, but I can't define it or determine anything about it", is rather silly when you are trying to tell someone else that they are wrong about this thing.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 22, 2018, 11:45:14 AM
what about you? why is tbe label important? is it because it provides a club of congenial travellers with an easy entrance test, just tbe use of a term for oneself? or is tbere more to it?

I guess I don't think about it as labeling. In my experience, using the word "label" in this context is similar to using the word "legalism" when classifying or defining other people's religious viewpoints. It implies the one talking is the one who has it right and others are somehow missing the mark. It's a way of implying oneself is in a position of more knowledge. I find that interesting because with faith, there is no knowledge. Claims are, well, accepted in faith.

If your question to me is why do I ask for these classifications, I'm not asking for a PhD dissertation from you or anything, but more information than I might expect a 3rd grade report, if that makes sense. Not that I have any right to expect it, it just makes the conversation more enjoyable than what otherwise amounts to meaningless small talk.

For example, you offer, "i choose the term agnostic because it expresses an uncertainty that i associate with an intelligent analysis of tbe question." And now I'm curious what you mean by that. What do you consider an "intelligent analysis of the question"? For example, how would one go about intelligently questioning the validity of the claim "god exists"?  If I have  partial understanding, where would I go to get more? How could I be certain that understanding accurately reflects reality?

what is it that you tbink? not what you have no belief in, but what you do?

I am atheist. That is, I harbor no theistic beliefs of any kind. Atheism does not claim god does not exist, like you implied in your post. Not even "strong atheism." It only claims a person does not hold any such beliefs. In the same way, I don't believe in numerology, premonition, past lives, karma, or magic of any kind. I can't claim these things don't exist because a negative can't be proven, but I don't believe there is reason to assume they do.

I do believe the world with which we interact is by its nature physical and not supernatural or magical, and can be reliably understood by factual, rational, logical explanations without needing to invoke any supernatural or ghostly or otherworldly intervention. We as a species continue to gain knowledge at an amazing rate, and we have consistently replaced superstitious, magical explanations of our world with natural ones. I know of no reason to expect that to change.

thank you for comprehensive answer, albeto. im on a small screened phone, so let me address one point were discussing. i used tbe term "strong atheist" which i understand to be an azsertion of certainty tbat god or gods do not exist. it may be stated formally as "the statement tbat at least one god exists is false." this acvording to wiki, which has a whole analysis. the issue is that a strong atheist asserts 100 percent certainty, by definition. not my definition, but the one i read to be correct.
 
this is a certainty, a statement tbat implicitly has as a precondition that all relevant data is in and included. i dont see that in reality. its easy to say "i have no credible evidence that god exists, and so i have no reason to believe in one." that makes perfect sense, because it does not assert beyond what is personally known.

this is very important:

Quote
For example, you offer, "i choose the term agnostic because it expresses an uncertainty that i associate with an intelligent analysis of tbe question." And now I'm curious what you mean by that. What do you consider an "intelligent analysis of the question"? For example, how would one go about intelligently questioning the validity of the claim "god exists"?  If I have  partial understanding, where would I go to get more? How could I be certain that understanding accurately reflects reality?

to me, a lot of tbis has to do with the difference between evidenceand proof. theres lots of evidence for gods-- books, visions,  auditionz, testimonies. all thiz is evidence, but not proof unless one accepts premises tbat not everybody accepts, such as tbe truth of books or whether people happen to be sane. making a statement tbat "tbere is no evidence for god" is not an informed or thoughtful statement, in my opinion. saying instead that "tbere is no evidence tbat an intelligent person would find credible" is a statement that shows an understanding of what tbe real question actually is.

let me think about tbe rest of your post. im parked on a narrow road in front of 40000 pounds of frac sand, and i have to split my attention.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 22, 2018, 04:17:13 PM
to me, a lot of tbis has to do with the difference between evidenceand proof.

Let me just stop you right here for a moment. Consider that "proofs" do not exist in science. Proofs exist in math and alcohol. Science offers laws, hypotheses, and theories (more here if you're unfamiliar with the differences (https://sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution/Theories.shtml)). Scientific theories are not like mathematical proofs which declare a thing is fully known, because we can always learn more. Scientist Stephen Jay Gould explained it this way, "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.'"

theres lots of evidence for gods-- books, visions,  auditionz, testimonies. all thiz is evidence, but not proof unless one accepts premises tbat not everybody accepts, such as tbe truth of books or whether people happen to be sane.

Books, visions, testimonies (I'm not sure what the typo auditionz was meant to be, auditions? auditory?) are not examples of evidence for god any more than they are evidence for numerology, karma, superheroes, Hogwarts, or the proposal we're all merely the products of an elaborate computer simulation. This is an example of relying on circular logic to rationalize a belief. Since you want to conduct your inquiries in an intelligent way, you might want to be aware of this logical fallacy and how it applies to your position here. It's a relatively common cognitive bias to fall into, but I imagine you'd want to know and avoid it in the future for your own satisfaction.

making a statement tbat "tbere is no evidence for god" is not an informed or thoughtful statement, in my opinion. saying instead that "tbere is no evidence tbat an intelligent person would find credible" is a statement that shows an understanding of what tbe real question actually is.

It's an awfully broad sentiment, I would say, but I think what it means to convey is the idea that claims made that attribute any involvement of god can reasonably be rejected, without exemption. For example, we know the earth was not created as recorded in the bible's book of Genesis. No evidence has ever been found to point to an earthquake, blotting out of the sun, or previously dead people rising from their graves to socialize in Jerusalem on the first day of Easter as claimed by the gospels, not to mention the absurd nature of such notions. We know there is a great deal of crossover between Jewish and Canaanite religions, and that we can point to abrupt changes in theological doctrine based on the historical timeline of the religion (such as a virgin giving birth to the messiah). It's perfectly reasonable to reject these claims, no?

Still, the same process helps us reject even more, generally accepted xian beliefs. For example we have records that show prayer has never been shown to be effective when applied systematically and methodically, and any effects reported can be attributed to other, perfectly natural explanations. We know, because of the increasing compilation of data, that our sense of self can be attributed to natural elements, namely our physical bodies and especially the brain, and when the brain is injured it can disrupt the sense of self so much the personality after an accident or illness can be incompatible with the personality before the accident or illness. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support any claim that this sense of self survives the death of our physical bodies. Based on growing data, we're getting more and more comfortable abandoning "free will" as a useful explanation for our behavior at all.

Any other supernatural claims you make, I am certain, can be rejected, not based on an unwillingness to consider your argument, but based on information we do have that more reliably explains the phenomena to which you would be referring. I don't think I'm wrong. I don't mean to sound snarky, but I'm quite certain I'm not. Still, I'd be happy to find out if I am if you would like to show me the error in my thinking here.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 22, 2018, 04:29:54 PM
sorry about tbe the typos. tbe ends of my fingers are much larger tban the buttons on my telephone, and i dont have time to edit tupically. plus the screen is 2 point typeface.

yes, auditions are visions that you hear instead of see. supernaturL sounds. ill answer your post when im out of the truck.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 22, 2018, 04:33:37 PM
yes, auditions are visions that you hear instead of see. supernaturL sounds. ill answer your post when im out of the truck.

Are you talking about auditory hallucinations? I only knew "audition" in relation to the theater or music, so I'm glad I asked, lol!
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 22, 2018, 06:01:13 PM
I'm doing well kevin.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive to opinions about strong atheists, and what these "idiots" may or may not know when they reveal their "partial understanding" openly.

Does anyone have more than a partial understanding? These rare "exceptions", what do they know that the rest do not? Or is it really more about how they present their ideas?

my point probably doesnt apply to most of tbe people here, but to tbe population at large. my experience has been that if you take 100 people off the street who are willing to positively assert that god does not exist, the vast majority would not be able to explain themselves, especially about tbe differences between the statements "god does not exist," and "i have no credible evidence that god exists." not even richard dawkins is willing to take a strong atbeism position, but instead states "god probably doez not exist." and dawkins is pretty smart.

maybe the issue is one of expression, as you suggest, and certainly noone has complete knowledge. but i am generally dubious when people express certainty about subjects whenI a few questions can reveal that tbere are aspects and facets that tbey dont understand or may even be unaware of.

Lol, I am a 7! But I take the position that I have no burden of proof whatsoever. I say there are no gods because there are none, not because there might be and I cannot prove the negative. People like to tell me that I now have a burden of proof because I am making a positive assertion. I understand that argument, but I don't care. The thing is, there is a reverence given to god claims because of the popularity and age of religions and gods, not because there has ever been any reason to think those claims are real. If there were a god, or gods, I would not be an atheist. Pretty simple.

I don't get into those debates anymore since it comes down to the fact that anyone can make any claim they want, and then attempt to put the burden of proof on those who simply reject the claim for lack of evidence or facts to support it. If someone would just show me their god, I would not need to be a believer, I would just accept that there is a god.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 23, 2018, 10:42:06 AM
albeto, i cant respond to everhthing in your very tboughtful post without wfiting a stupid long essay. let me focus on what i see as tbe difference between evidence and proof. tbe simplest example is a caregorical syllogism: two premises, with three terms, and a conclusion linking the terms to provide proof of a third connection apparent only by combining tbe premises. for exampld,

all frogs live near water
some frogs live in trees
some trees are near water

tbe premises are both pieces of evidence, tbe logic is valid, and so the conclusion is valid. if tbe premises are also true, tbe conclusion must be true as well. the evidence has provided proof, a true conclusion.

another:

all things must be created
only a god can create
all things must be created by god.

^^^this is a valid argument too, taking two pieces of evidence- again, the premises-- and generating a valid conclusion. cant tell if the conclusion is true unless the premises are demonstrated true first. the conclusion follows correctly from the evidence supplied, but has not been shown to be proven until tbe evidence has been shown to be true first.

thats where visionz, auditions, holy books, miraclez, and so on are valid pjecez of evidence for their argumdnt, and thats the sticking point in a lot of discussions. tbe evidence leads correctly to tbe conclusion, but nowhere in tbe argument is tbe evidence itself shown to be true.

you consider auditions to be hallucinationz, and so you would rightly reject as untrue a valid argument using auditions to prove the existence of god. you would say that tbe evidence is false, the conclusion unproven.

courts reject evidence all tbe time, either because its decided to be false or it because it doesnt support tbe argument people want.

if someone could eztablish that an audition was in fact from god and not a hallucination or loud space aliens, you could combine it with other evidence and prove tbe existence of god. i cant do that, and havent met anyone who can convince me that tbey can.

enough words

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 23, 2018, 10:48:00 AM
[quote from jetson]
I don't get into those debates anymore since it comes down to the fact that anyone can make any claim they want, and then attempt to put the burden of proof on those who simply reject the claim for lack of evidence or facts to support it. If someone would just show me their god, I would not need to be a believer, I would just accept that there is a god.
[/quote]

i agree that experience is the only real tezt. i dont pay much attention to logic because a god known only by logic is not active in tbe world, anx is thdfefore indistingjishable from no god. shit got to go
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 23, 2018, 11:23:30 AM
albeto, i cant respond to everhthing in your very tboughtful post without wfiting a stupid long essay. let me focus on what i see as tbe difference between evidence and proof. tbe simplest example is a caregorical syllogism: two premises, with three terms, and a conclusion linking the terms to provide proof of a third connection apparent only by combining tbe premises. for exampld,

all frogs live near water
some frogs live in trees
some trees are near water

tbe premises are both pieces of evidence, tbe logic is valid, and so the conclusion is valid. if tbe premises are also true, tbe conclusion must be true as well. the evidence has provided proof, a true conclusion.

another:

all things must be created
only a god can create
all things must be created by god.

^^^this is a valid argument too, taking two pieces of evidence- again, the premises-- and generating a valid conclusion. cant tell if the conclusion is true unless the premises are demonstrated true first. the conclusion follows correctly from the evidence supplied, but has not been shown to be proven until tbe evidence has been shown to be true first.

thats where visionz, auditions, holy books, miraclez, and so on are valid pjecez of evidence for their argumdnt, and thats the sticking point in a lot of discussions. tbe evidence leads correctly to tbe conclusion, but nowhere in tbe argument is tbe evidence itself shown to be true.

you consider auditions to be hallucinationz, and so you would rightly reject as untrue a valid argument using auditions to prove the existence of god. you would say that tbe evidence is false, the conclusion unproven.

courts reject evidence all tbe time, either because its decided to be false or it because it doesnt support tbe argument people want.

if someone could eztablish that an audition was in fact from god and not a hallucination or loud space aliens, you could combine it with other evidence and prove tbe existence of god. i cant do that, and havent met anyone who can convince me that tbey can.

enough words

So if I may combine your argument examples it might look like this:

If auditions, visions, and miracles are real,
And if auditions, visions, and miracles come from god,
Then auditions, visions, and miracles are evidence of god.

Close?

You recognize no one can actually prove, or even give evidence to the premises, but nevertheless you're reserving your judgement in order to maintain the possibility that it might yet be proven true one day.

Close?



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 23, 2018, 11:34:59 AM
i agree that experience is the only real tezt.  i dont pay much attention to logic because a god known only by logic is not active in tbe world, anx is thdfefore indistingjishable from no god. shit got to go

Always? Are there exceptions? Schizophrenia? Oxygen loss to the brain? Fever? Injury?

If these exceptions exist, how can one reliably determine if an experience is being interpreted accurately? I'm not asking about the reality of the experience, because we know the brain experiences what it experiences, but we also know that its experiences can be the result of responding to stimuli that is found only in the brain, not externally.

People with temporal lobe epilepsy can often have heightened feelings of religiosity. Without being hooked up to wires to look at brain function, how could one know an experience was inspired by god as opposed to a tiny, otherwise imperceptible epileptic seizure, or a micro stroke? Do you think logic is aptly applied here? Do you think that would be an intelligent way to analyze the question?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 23, 2018, 01:38:17 PM
ddddd double post
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 23, 2018, 01:59:15 PM


So if I may combine your argument examples it might look like this:

If auditions, visions, and miracles are real,
And if auditions, visions, and miracles come from god,
Then auditions, visions, and miracles are evidence of god.

Close?


better this way:

god communicates through visions
i have visions
god has communicated with me

the argument is flawed, because it both assumes the existence of god going in and makez a univdrsal conclusion from particular premises. visions are evidence for god, but dont prove anything. by tbemselvez visions are evidence, but not sufficient evixence, as you point out. but this is usually how it goes
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 23, 2018, 04:55:56 PM
i agree that experience is the only real tezt.  i dont pay much attention to logic because a god known only by logic is not active in tbe world, anx is thdfefore indistingjishable from no god. shit got to go

Always? Are there exceptions? Schizophrenia? Oxygen loss to the brain? Fever? Injury?

If these exceptions exist, how can one reliably determine if an experience is being interpreted accurately? I'm not asking about the reality of the experience, because we know the brain experiences what it experiences, but we also know that its experiences can be the result of responding to stimuli that is found only in the brain, not externally.

People with temporal lobe epilepsy can often have heightened feelings of religiosity. Without being hooked up to wires to look at brain function, how could one know an experience was inspired by god as opposed to a tiny, otherwise imperceptible epileptic seizure, or a micro stroke? Do you think logic is aptly applied here? Do you think that would be an intelligent way to analyze the question?

there is no way to know anything except by experience, and if youre a brain in a vat, maybe even physical experience is questionable. solipzism aside, i dont think logic has ever been successful in answering any questions unless people agree on what assumptions-- the premises-- are either proven or observed.

for that matter, theres no reason to think that a god might not communicate better with crazy people than with sane ones. look at artists. the best ones were often half nuts. people with a preoncieved leaning towards materialsm, like tbe old logical positivists, might not be intellectually capable of recognizing a real god if one appeared in front of tbem.

you dont believe in god. let me ask a question. what evidence can you think of that would prove to you that god existed? any god, doesnt matter which one, or define one yourelf that you would find convincing?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 23, 2018, 07:49:54 PM
visions are evidence for god

No they're not. They're symptoms of neurological activities, including the cognitive process of filling in the blanks, ignoring the things that don’t quite fit, presenting an image of the world that has been edited and made to fit with what we expect (link (http://www.iflscience.com/brain/new-study-offers-insight-emergence-hallucinations/)). They can be manipulated (suppressed or increased) and even created in the lab.

Your entire argument is based on the logical fallacy of begging the question (https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/53/Begging-the-Question). It's a way of assuming your conclusions are the very pieces of evidence you're looking for to prove your argument. This isn't careful analysis, this is defending a theistic belief.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 23, 2018, 08:07:39 PM
there is no way to know anything except by experience, and if youre a brain in a vat, maybe even physical experience is questionable. solipzism aside, i dont think logic has ever been successful in answering any questions unless people agree on what assumptions-- the premises-- are either proven or observed.

Because you said yourself that you look for intelligent analysis of these kinds of questions, I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with what scientific evidence is, how it works, and how the scientific method works in general. I say this because your comment here makes it sound like you're not familiar with this at all, assuming instead that one is qualified enough to accurately interpret their experiences using only their own base of knowledge and logic, protected from criticism. In reality there's an entire, comprehensive, systematic, objective methodology developed over centuries, and used reliably and with confidence.

The University of California at Berkeley is a great resource, imo. It was created for teachers who might not have had a very comprehensive education, but found themselves in the position of being expected to explain science to students who have had only mythological stories to explain what we know of the world.

https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/coreofscience_01
https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/whatisscience_06

you dont believe in god. let me ask a question. what evidence can you think of that would prove to you that god existed? any god, doesnt matter which one, or define one yourelf that you would find convincing?

Well, this is putting the cart before the horse again. I don't know how to answer that. There would have to be a body of evidence that shows the reality of the thing, whatever that thing is, in order to accept the explanation.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 23, 2018, 08:33:33 PM
you dont believe in god. let me ask a question. what evidence can you think of that would prove to you that god existed? any god, doesnt matter which one, or define one yourelf that you would find convincing?

Well, this is putting the cart before the horse again. I don't know how to answer that. There would have to be a body of evidence that shows the reality of the thing, whatever that thing is, in order to accept the explanation.

if we don't know how to answer that question, albeto, then maybe we can't tell whether god exists or not.

don't get me wrong. someone once asked haldane what evidence might disprove the theory of evolution to his satisfaction. he supposedly answered, "rabbits in the precambrian." he was able to suggest a test that would prove his beliefs wrong.

what test might prove an atheist position to be in error? if there isn't any, then shouldn't that give some cause for thought?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 23, 2018, 09:40:25 PM
if we don't know how to answer that question, albeto, then maybe we can't tell whether god exists or not.

don't get me wrong. someone once asked haldane what evidence might disprove the theory of evolution to his satisfaction. he supposedly answered, "rabbits in the precambrian." he was able to suggest a test that would prove his beliefs wrong.

what test might prove an atheist position to be in error? if there isn't any, then shouldn't that give some cause for thought?

The atheist position can't be proven because it's not possible to prove a negative. We can, however, show that every question thus far, and every conceivable question about how the world works has never had to rely on supernatural or magical qualities. Ever. We can take each religious claim and offer an alternative that is not only reasonable, but supported by actual evidence.

The question about disproving evolution is not only a specific question (which you didn't ask me), but is essentially a question that seeks to falsify a scientific hypothesis (creationism). Falsification is a very important component of the scientific method, and a component that simply cannot be applied to religious hypotheses. It cannot be applied because *faith* is the variable that acts like a magic wild card to connect dots that otherwise don't connect. Science does not have this wild care. Scientific theories never require faith to work.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 24, 2018, 06:17:06 AM

I'm still stuck on the idea that it is humans that need to worship. Why? Well because it offers them some control in a world where it's easy to feel helpless against the forces of nature. It really sucks to feel helpless.

i think thats as good an explanation for tbe origin of religion as any. appeasi g forces beyond your control.

Kevinagain, have you ever heard of mindfulness?
a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I am asking because it helps me when things seem out of control. It's easy to do, and no gods are necessary (neither are gods forbidden).

IMO, it helps because it keeps us in the present moment.  So much so, that you do not even worry about 5 minutes in the future or past.

You know it's never not now; it's always now. I got that from Sam Harris- author and neuroscientist.

Theism made feel me feel less in control whereas rejecting theism makes me feel more in control, but the icing on the cake is mindfulness.

There are techniques you learn to deploy when you find yourself in panic mode. The simple one is to look around the room and identify objects such as pictures, furniture, plants. Feel your feet on the ground or your butt on the chair. Feel your breath go into and out of your lungs.

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 07:46:08 AM
Quote from: albeto

The atheist position can't be proven because it's not possible to prove a negative. We can, however, show that every question thus far, and every conceivable question about how the world works has never had to rely on supernatural or magical qualities. Ever. We can take each religious claim and offer an alternative that is not only reasonable, but supported by actual evidence.

albeto, you seem familisr with hypothesis testing. so you know that the scientific inquiry never proceeds by proving anything, but instead disproves null hypotheses. all null hypotheses are phrased in the negatve-- they assert that no relationship exists in the data.

the null hypothesis regarding god is that god does not exist. it is disproven by providing proof that god does exist. this hasnt been done to my satisfaction, so the null hypothesis of atheism stands.

howevrr, if there is *no test* that can possibly disprove the null hypothesis that no gods exist, then there will never be any way to disprove it, even if there are thoudands of gods and two sit next to you on the bus every morning. atheism becomes an empty statement.

think about it, please. what test could disprove atheism? not prove it right, but prove it wrong?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on March 24, 2018, 07:53:17 AM
think about it, please. what test could disprove atheism? not prove it right, but prove it wrong?

Produce a god and demonstrate its properties.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 08:44:35 AM

Kevinagain, have you ever heard of mindfulness?
a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I am asking because it helps me when things seem out of control. It's easy to do, and no gods are necessary (neither are gods forbidden).

IMO, it helps because it keeps us in the present moment.  So much so, that you do not even worry about 5 minutes in the future or past.


jb, i know exactly what you mean. i try to click into present time when i find myself worrying about things only partially under my control.. money, my deteriorating marriage, job problems, and so on. quaker worship is like that. you try to bring nothing with you and exist only there, then.

one related thing i do that is is more intense than anything else in achieving that focus is racing a motorcycle. i have a very old one i built from parts and junk, and i race LSR-- land speed. bonneville style, nothing but a track and timing lights two miles away. when the starter wavez you up to the line, you are completely by yourself. everything stops while they clear the track. all thought, all planning, all emotions. it becomes completely still. i just wait for the signal. when he waves his hand, i go down the track. nothing else exists but a progression of instant nows, as i run the motor to redline throgh the gears and wait for the lights to appear at the end.

it only lasts forty seconds, but its the most intensely calm forty seconds in my life.

lol unless something comes apart.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 08:48:39 AM
think about it, please. what test could disprove atheism? not prove it right, but prove it wrong?

Produce a god and demonstrate its properties.

that would do it.

what properties would prove that it was a god?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 24, 2018, 08:54:07 AM
Quote from: albeto

The atheist position can't be proven because it's not possible to prove a negative. We can, however, show that every question thus far, and every conceivable question about how the world works has never had to rely on supernatural or magical qualities. Ever. We can take each religious claim and offer an alternative that is not only reasonable, but supported by actual evidence.

[snip]

the null hypothesis regarding god is that god does not exist. it is disproven by providing proof that god does exist. this hasn't been done to my satisfaction, so the null hypothesis of atheism stands.

[snip]


The null hypothesis regarding any claim is that any claim does not exist. It is disproven by providing proof that any claim does exist. This hasn't been done to my satisfaction, so the null hypothesis of a-anyclaimism stands.

I'm sure that your particular position on atheism is satisfying to you in some way. But science, and people who genuinely want to approach knowledge without resorting to anyclaimism do not operate in the way you seem to be portraying.

There is nothing behind atheism that is scientific. It is nothing more than the most reasonable and fact-based position on all god claims. Again, I can spend my life being an a-moonist, but that would be rather silly given that the moon is visible to me on a regular basis, it has been more than well documented as a space body orbiting the earth even without the aid of science, and anyone who claims a position that it does not exist would never be taken seriously.

So, tell me why any particular god claim should be taken seriously in the first place? And I don't mean in terms of what believers do on earth under the premise, just the claim of a god existing at all. Why should that be taken seriously? And if it should, then should not all claims be taken seriously?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 09:28:50 AM
Quote from: jet
The null hypothesis regarding any claim is that any claim does not exist. It is disproven by providing proof that any claim does exist. This hasn't been done to my satisfaction, so the null hypothesis of a-anyclaimism stands.."

i agree, jet. this is what i said, in different words. my question is, what is the proof that would be acceptable?

hypothesis testing is very clear, since fisher first proposed it. but if you cannot tell when your hypothesis has been falsified, your hypothesis cannot be disproven.

that's an important failure in reasoning.

let me use an illustration:

john: i have never seen a quagga, and therefore have no reason to believe in one.

mark: thats reasonable. how would you know one if you saw one?

john: _____________________


to your question, i dont take any claim seriously, if its impossible to disprove, no matter wbat it is. thats been an obvious position since russells teapot. in your case of the moon, a-moonism can be falsified by seeing a moon. i'm asking what can falsify a-theism.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: shnozzola on March 24, 2018, 10:18:18 AM
      http://youtu.be/y9N8OXkN0Rk
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 24, 2018, 10:21:14 AM
Quote from: jet
The null hypothesis regarding any claim is that any claim does not exist. It is disproven by providing proof that any claim does exist. This hasn't been done to my satisfaction, so the null hypothesis of a-anyclaimism stands.."

i agree, jet. this is what i said, in different words. my question is, what is the proof that would be acceptable?

hypothesis testing is very clear, since fisher first proposed it. but if you cannot tell when your hypothesis has been falsified, your hypothesis cannot be disproven.

that's an important failure in reasoning.

let me use an analogy.

john: i have never seen a quagga, and therefore have no reason to believe in one.

mark: thats reasonable. how would you know one if you saw one?

john: _____________________


to your question, i dont take any claim seriously, if its impossible to disprove, no matter wbat it is. thats been an obvious position since russells teapot. in your case of the moon, a-moonism can be falsified by seeing a moon. i'm asking what can falsify a-theism.

My point was more about why a god claim should be taken any more seriously than the teapot. I don't see any god claims worthy of consideration on a serious level. To me, the god claims are purely philosophical, with very little evidence that they represent anything more than our lack of knowledge/understanding. I think we invented gods because we were ignorant, not because they were a valid idea. While I would agree there may have been a time when we had little choice, I don't believe we can say such a thing today.

Deism is another philosophical idea that certainly makes more sense than the myriad gods we currently discuss. The heaps of anthropomorphism are what seal the deal for me. Not sure why it feels so crystal clear - we invented gods, and gave them human attributes for relatability, not because we know anything at all about what a god might actually be.

I don't feel any need to falsify atheism, because I do not see atheism as a positive truth claim in any sense. It is merely a reaction to god assertions, and a very reasonable reaction! At least as reasonable a reaction from a-teapotists - know what I mean?

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 10:30:05 AM
sure

atheism is a lack of knowledge, a recognition that no evidence has been presented that would contradict it.

but theres a difference between never having had a position successfully contradicted, and denying that a contradiction is possible.

is that what you're saying? that nothing that you could ever see, hear, or experience would change your lack of belief?

ive asked tbis several times, and it seems to be something people havent thought about. or maybe they have, but havent talked about it in so long tbat tbey have forgotten. im picking what i say carefully here, because i dont want to put words in peoples mouths.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 24, 2018, 10:41:32 AM
sure

atheism is a lack of knowledge, a recognition that no evidence has been presented that would contradict it.

but theres a difference between never having had a position successfully contradicted, and denying that a contradiction is possible.

is that what you're saying? that nothing that you could ever see, hear, or experience would change your lack of belief?

ive asked tbis several times, and it seems to be something people havent thought about.

If I'm understanding you correctly, I have stated in the past that all I need is a god to drop my atheist position. Specifically, I am unsure what would be unambiguous, and I would certainly be skeptical on most things that claimed to be evidence or facts about a god or gods. Given our propensity to enjoy fantastical depictions of god-like powers in movies and stories, I would probably enter a state of confusion if a sufficiently powerful being presented itself to me.

What if I make this statement right here in this thread; "Dear God, please heal all amputees overnight, across the entire planet, and leave no trace or memory of your intervention, nor for the person you healed". Given the more common attributes of a triple-omni god, I do not expect that this would be even a minor challenge. If I wake up tomorrow and there are no amputees, and no news about such a thing - well, what can I say! Maybe that would do it for me. :)  Or, perhaps an easier scenario, what if I asked God to make human limbs regrow, just like a lizard tail! While we would still have the pain and suffering of amputees, we would know that the limb would regrow! That would be pretty cool!

What about you?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 10:56:47 AM
good answer.

dramatic answers to questions would be suggeztive, and lots of them would be inductive proof that atheism was wrong. i think tbat would have to be my answer as well, and in fact is why i became a theist long ago. i presentex god with a long series of questions, and got a long string of consistent responses, each of tbem improbable by tbemselves. so i changed my mind, and became a theist. dont remember what all they were, the usual stuff. long time ago.

the improbable experiencez conginued for quite a while at less frequent timing,  and then stopped. i have been forcex to conclude that i was probably wrong. havent had anything lately to change my mind.

but if they start up again, ill have to reconsider.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 24, 2018, 11:57:04 AM
the null hypothesis regarding god is that god does not exist. it is disproven by providing proof that god does exist.

Because we cannot prove a negative, it is illogical to claim a god does not exist. Atheism makes no such claims. I feel like this is where you're stuck.

howevrr, if there is *no test* that can possibly disprove the null hypothesis that no gods exist, then there will never be any way to disprove it, even if there are thoudands of gods and two sit next to you on the bus every morning. atheism becomes an empty statement.

think about it, please. what test could disprove atheism? not prove it right, but prove it wrong?

Evidence of a god.

To avoid wasting time, become familiar with what evidence is in a scientific context.

However, we can use logic here to deduce our reasoning while we wait. We can note that every religious claim about how the world works has been corrected with natural explanations. While there do exist pockets of individual experiences as of yet unexplained, the general religious claim has been debunked and replaced with solid knowledge. Never has a natural explanation been corrected by a supernatural one.

Or think of it this way. Think of the claim, The moon is made of green cheese. We can't prove the moon isn't made of green cheese. Sure, we've sent men up to the moon and we've gathered moon rocks and dust and photographs, but that's just scratching the surface. What if the moon was made up of green cheese but covered with a layer of space dust a few meters thick and we missed it? How could we know? If we don't know, is it logical to remain agnostic on the matter?

Or should we apply knowledge we *do* have to the equation? We know enough about food process in general to know cheese requires a lactating mammal, which has yet to be observed in the sky (or its effects, like space cow patties), not to mention any food source for this mammal or any one of the umpteen physical requirements necessary to support such a beast. It could be a magical animal, but let's not get silly. As the Scientific American Blog (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/) (from which I'm stealing this example) explains,

Quote
Our conviction that green cheese makes up a negligible fraction of the Moon's interior comes not from direct observation, but from the gross incompatibility of that idea with other things we think we know. Given what we do understand about rocks and planets and dairy products and the Solar System, it's absurd to imagine that the Moon is made of green cheese. We know better.

Likewise, we know about the creation and operation of the earth to know there is no need to interject a god variable to explain the workings of anything. We know, and are learning so rapidly it's amazing, human behavior and even the thought process enough to exclude any god component from our mechanics. It's simply unnecessary, sloppy, and illogical to include a variable with a known history of superstitious, magic origins when the natural explanation suffices.

Any arguments to the contrary necessarily rely on logical fallacies (like your circular reasoning) because they function to rationalize a belief that is incongruent with the mountains of information we have. These are arguments of wishful thinking, not emotionally detached, systematic analysis.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 24, 2018, 02:46:38 PM
Quote from: jet
The null hypothesis regarding any claim is that any claim does not exist. It is disproven by providing proof that any claim does exist. This hasn't been done to my satisfaction, so the null hypothesis of a-anyclaimism stands.."

i agree, jet. this is what i said, in different words. my question is, what is the proof that would be acceptable?

hypothesis testing is very clear, since fisher first proposed it. but if you cannot tell when your hypothesis has been falsified, your hypothesis cannot be disproven.

that's an important failure in reasoning.

let me use an illustration:

john: i have never seen a quagga, and therefore have no reason to believe in one.

mark: thats reasonable. how would you know one if you saw one?

john: _____________________


to your question, i dont take any claim seriously, if its impossible to disprove, no matter wbat it is. thats been an obvious position since russells teapot. in your case of the moon, a-moonism can be falsified by seeing a moon. i'm asking what can falsify a-theism.

I believe your analogy fails because it lacks the claim that quaggas exist.

Without that claim there is no need for John to answer- how would he know a quagga if he sees one?

You have to give John some idea about what to expect of a quagga, especially if John's life depends on knowing what a quagga wants with John.

Your analogy begs the question: what is a quagga?





Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 03:04:20 PM
I believe your analogy fails because it lacks the claim that quaggas exist.

Without that claim there is no need for John to answer- how would he know a quagga if he sees one?

You have to give John some idea about what to expect of a quagga, especially if John's life depends on knowing what a quagga wants with John.

Your analogy begs the question: what is a quagga?

well, think about it, junebug.

your first sentence is the important one:

how would he know a quagga if he sees one?


the question isn't what has convinced quagga people, it's what would convince john. descriptions of quaggas among quagga people are commonplace-- a peryssodactylate equid with a striped pelage and diastemic dentition, and so on . . . everybody (maybe?) knows what a quagga is supposed to be, but nobody but john knows when he will decide he has seen one.

if john denies quaggas, it's up to john to identify what evidence would change his mind. quagga skulls? quagga teeth? quagga skins?

likewise, if john claims that it's up to someone else to convince him that gods exist, then john is obligated to state the rules: what would convince him? miracles? logical arguments? i dunno, i'm not john.

nobody else can tell john what it takes to change his mind. only john can do that.

so if john says gods can't exist, it falls to him to identify the rules of the game he is following. otherwise there's nothing more to say-- john is immune to conversation, logic, reason, or any further discourse.

let me know if i've missed your point. i can't always understand other people clearly. by the way, to my great delight, i have learned that the south africans have reverse-engineered quaggas, in the same way that the poles are reverse-engineering the auroch.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 03:09:53 PM
the null hypothesis regarding god is that god does not exist. it is disproven by providing proof that god does exist.

Because we cannot prove a negative, it is illogical to claim a god does not exist. Atheism makes no such claims. I feel like this is where you're stuck.

and yet people do, albeto, on this forum. where are they going wrong, if they are?

Quote
howevrr, if there is *no test* that can possibly disprove the null hypothesis that no gods exist, then there will never be any way to disprove it, even if there are thoudands of gods and two sit next to you on the bus every morning. atheism becomes an empty statement.

think about it, please. what test could disprove atheism? not prove it right, but prove it wrong?

Evidence of a god.

To avoid wasting time, become familiar with what evidence is in a scientific context.


i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

but what would convince you?

what evidence, specifically?

miracles? angelic visitations? transportation to the third heaven? what would it take? this is not a big deal, because most anybody can identify what would change their mind. but there's often a communication difficulty, and i think that's where we are now.

i'm just curious about what sort of gods it is that people don't believe in, and they're the only ones who can say.

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 24, 2018, 03:55:59 PM
well, think about it, junebug.

your first sentence is the important one:

how would he know a quagga if he sees one?


the question isn't what has convinced quagga people, it's what would convince john. descriptions of quaggas among quagga people are commonplace-- a peryssodactylate equid with a striped pelage and diastemic dentition, and so on . . . everybody (maybe?) knows what a quagga is supposed to be, but nobody but john knows when he will decide he has seen one.

if john denies quaggas, it's up to john to identify what evidence would change his mind. quagga skulls? quagga teeth? quagga skins?

likewise, if john claims that it's up to someone else to convince him that gods exist, then john is obligated to state the rules: what would convince him? miracles? logical arguments? i dunno, i'm not john.

nobody else can tell john what it takes to change his mind. only john can do that.

so if john says gods can't exist, it falls to him to identify the rules of the game he is following. otherwise there's nothing more to say-- john is immune to conversation, logic, reason, or any further discourse.

let me know if i've missed your point. i can't always understand other people clearly. by the way, to my great delight, i have learned that the south africans have reverse-engineered quaggas, in the same way that the poles are reverse-engineering the auroch.

If John had a qualified science teacher in a school district that encouraged knowledge, he'd know by the time he was through middle school that some things can be known not by direct observation, but by observation of their effects. If he was in 5th grade today, he might even partake in conversation about the discovery of the Higgs boson particle (https://science.howstuffworks.com/higgs-boson.htm).
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on March 24, 2018, 03:56:52 PM
think about it, please. what test could disprove atheism? not prove it right, but prove it wrong?

Produce a god and demonstrate its properties.

that would do it.

what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 24, 2018, 04:16:49 PM
and yet people do, albeto, on this forum. where are they going wrong, if they are?

Not formally, they're not. They're talking about their personal opinion that the god claims are just so damn absurd that it's inconceivable anyone will spin what we already know into something so profoundly different that atheists all over would collectively slap their foreheads and run to google to find their nearest appropriate place of worship.

i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

Your posts suggest otherwise. Your recent illustration of someone denying a claim simply because they did not see the object of the claim is also telling.

but what would convince you?

what evidence, specifically?

miracles? angelic visitations? transportation to the third heaven? what would it take? this is not a big deal, because most anybody can identify what would change their mind. but there's often a communication difficulty, and i think that's where we are now.

i'm just curious about what sort of gods it is that people don't believe in, and they're the only ones who can say.

Here's my problem with this question. I think of god as incorporating, for the lack of better words, magic. But I know magic does not exist, either when conjured through vocal or physical manipulation. The laws of physics are constant and do not bend to magic. They never have, and they have always been shown to be constant. Having said that, I will acknowledge that we may not understand the precise details of this cause and effect, but I'm not a scientist and getting into quantum physics is just so over my head I have no business bringing it up. I do know however, that if I want to understand something, I have access to the information that would bring me this knowledge. It's not hidden, it doesn't require faith or an honorable character or the personal favor of any supernatural being. It requires other knowledge, like math, another thing I'm not so good at.

So when you ask what evidence would support the existence of a god, I think evidence of its effect in the world, namely, magic. But we know that doesn't exist. So how am I supposed to pretend that something exists when we know it doesn't? The only way I can think of it is if this god suddenly popped into existence now, because for sure there's no reason to suspect its had any part in history, not even this morning.

I find it interesting that your suggestions all rely on subjective experiences, but we know that subjective experiences are not always explained accurately. We've talked about temporal lobe epilepsy, and yet you still offer personal experiences qua evidence, which is another reason I doubt you really do understand how evidence works in science.

Evidence would require confirmation, from many sources. It would require formal data analysis and peer review. It would require testing and retesting and details to be explored further. It would require more than one experience or even many experiences of one person. It sure as hell would require more than the personal assurances of an individual who promises sincerely they're not making shit up. If you understand how the theory of evolution works, you know it's not proven by *one* thing, but by the existence of many, many millions of examples and experiments and data analyses. In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 04:38:16 PM
Quote from: kevin
what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.

fair enough. every christian congregation has one of those.

unless . . . ?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 04:40:47 PM
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on March 24, 2018, 05:50:26 PM
Quote from: kevin
what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.

fair enough. every christian congregation has one of those.

unless . . . ?

Unless what? Produce an omnipotent and omniscient entity and I will become a theist.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 05:57:18 PM
Quote from: kevin
what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.

fair enough. every christian congregation has one of those.

unless . . . ?

Unless what? Produce an omnipotent and omniscient entity and I will become a theist.

sure.

go to any christian worship service. if that's not good enough, it's up to you to say why.

this is your show, not mine.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 24, 2018, 07:06:07 PM
Quote from: kevin
what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.

fair enough. every christian congregation has one of those.

unless . . . ?

it is up to you to support whatever you mean by "unless...?"    if you refuse, then one has to wonder why?   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 24, 2018, 07:12:15 PM
i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

what and from where?  If you received multiple graduate degrees, this would indicate that you have done multiple theses.  these would be fairly easy to be located.  An unusual claim like having multiple graduate degrees in the sciences needs to be supported to be believed. 

Now, I'm going to make the prediction you will refuse to do so.   Which makes your claims seem less than true. You will claim you do not care, which is what most theists who make similar claims do.   The problem with this is that you have tried to claim an authority without taking responsibility for that claim, undercutting your reason for mention these supposed "multiple graduate degrees in the sciences". 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 24, 2018, 07:46:07 PM
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.

Citing a Bible verse is not proof, I'm sure you know this? In fact, words on paper are never proof. Proof is demonstrable and falsifiable. Bible verses are human invented words and phrases on paper.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 24, 2018, 08:34:32 PM
I believe your analogy fails because it lacks the claim that quaggas exist.

Without that claim there is no need for John to answer- how would he know a quagga if he sees one?

You have to give John some idea about what to expect of a quagga, especially if John's life depends on knowing what a quagga wants with John.

Your analogy begs the question: what is a quagga?

well, think about it, junebug.

your first sentence is the important one:

how would he know a quagga if he sees one?


the question isn't what has convinced quagga people, it's what would convince john. descriptions of quaggas among quagga people are commonplace-- a peryssodactylate equid with a striped pelage and diastemic dentition, and so on . . . everybody (maybe?) knows what a quagga is supposed to be, but nobody but john knows when he will decide he has seen one.

if john denies quaggas, it's up to john to identify what evidence would change his mind. quagga skulls? quagga teeth? quagga skins?

likewise, if john claims that it's up to someone else to convince him that gods exist, then john is obligated to state the rules: what would convince him? miracles? logical arguments? i dunno, i'm not john.

nobody else can tell john what it takes to change his mind. only john can do that.

so if john says gods can't exist, it falls to him to identify the rules of the game he is following. otherwise there's nothing more to say-- john is immune to conversation, logic, reason, or any further discourse.

let me know if i've missed your point. i can't always understand other people clearly. by the way, to my great delight, i have learned that the south africans have reverse-engineered quaggas, in the same way that the poles are reverse-engineering the auroch.

I agree my first sentence is the important one, but I do not agree you quoted my first sentence. My first sentence was that your analogy did not define quaggas.

If John is to say how he would know a quaggas if seen, then John must know what to look for.

Once John knows what to look for, then John can say how he would know a quaggas when he sees one.

Now that you have given John a description of the quaggas, John can now say; I will know a quaggas when I see one because it will look like a half zebra half donkey type mammal.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 09:11:41 PM
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.

Citing a Bible verse is not proof, I'm sure you know this? In fact, words on paper are never proof. Proof is demonstrable and falsifiable. Bible verses are human invented words and phrases on paper.

then let me hear some, jet. im sympathetic, but increasingly bemused.

saying, "i dont believe gods exist, but wouldnt be able to identify one if it hit me in the face" is not a convincing position.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 24, 2018, 09:15:52 PM
I believe your analogy fails because it lacks the claim that quaggas exist.

Without that claim there is no need for John to answer- how would he know a quagga if he sees one?

You have to give John some idea about what to expect of a quagga, especially if John's life depends on knowing what a quagga wants with John.

Your analogy begs the question: what is a quagga?

well, think about it, junebug.

your first sentence is the important one:

how would he know a quagga if he sees one?


the question isn't what has convinced quagga people, it's what would convince john. descriptions of quaggas among quagga people are commonplace-- a peryssodactylate equid with a striped pelage and diastemic dentition, and so on . . . everybody (maybe?) knows what a quagga is supposed to be, but nobody but john knows when he will decide he has seen one.

if john denies quaggas, it's up to john to identify what evidence would change his mind. quagga skulls? quagga teeth? quagga skins?

likewise, if john claims that it's up to someone else to convince him that gods exist, then john is obligated to state the rules: what would convince him? miracles? logical arguments? i dunno, i'm not john.

nobody else can tell john what it takes to change his mind. only john can do that.

so if john says gods can't exist, it falls to him to identify the rules of the game he is following. otherwise there's nothing more to say-- john is immune to conversation, logic, reason, or any further discourse.

let me know if i've missed your point. i can't always understand other people clearly. by the way, to my great delight, i have learned that the south africans have reverse-engineered quaggas, in the same way that the poles are reverse-engineering the auroch.

I agree my first sentence is the important one, but I do not agree you quoted my first sentence. My first sentence was that your analogy did not define quaggas.

If John is to say how he would know a quaggas if seen, then John must know what to look for.

Once John knows what to look for, then John can say how he would know a quaggas when he sees one.

Now that you have given John a description of the quaggas, John can now say; I will know a quaggas when I see one because it will look like a half zebra half donkey type mammal.

let me think about this, jb. youve brought up something im not sure i understand. i may be thinking about this wrong.

lol not the first time.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 24, 2018, 11:34:47 PM
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.

Citing a Bible verse is not proof, I'm sure you know this? In fact, words on paper are never proof. Proof is demonstrable and falsifiable. Bible verses are human invented words and phrases on paper.

then let me hear some, jet. im sympathetic, but increasingly bemused.

saying, "i dont believe gods exist, but wouldnt be able to identify one if it hit me in the face" is not a convincing position.

I have no burden, kevin. I am not making any positive assertions. I am rejecting a positive assertion that a god or gods exist. There is a big difference. The burden of proof is on the claimant, not the person they make the claim towards. As I said before, humans are beyond the point of being obligated to entertain whatever god claims come about, old or new. Why should we? And from that point of view, I would not waste a moment of my life trying to prove there is no god. I don't need proof, because there is no god - have you seen one?

Personally, I don't say things like "I don't believe gods exist", I just reject the claim straight on because it is as empty as the teapot behind the moon.

Theist: There is a god.
Atheist: Where?
Theist: Everywhere and nowhere, all powerful, and omniscient, etc., etc., etc.
Atheist: That's nice, but can you show me this god?
Theist: You have to believe and have faith. Oh, and read this book...
Atheist: So, you know there's a god, but I have to take your word for it? I have to just believe in this god, and read a book?
Theist: And, go to church, listen to the sermons...
Atheist: I need coffee...



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on March 25, 2018, 12:01:38 AM
I can't help but think that IF there was a god around (really, any god will do), AND that god WANTED me to know that it was, in fact, a god, well, I'd know. Because it's a god, and if it has the attributes theists claim (whichever flavor of theism they follow), if it wanted me to know it was a god, I wouldn't be able to not know.

This isn't hard to understand.

If a god wants me to know that it exists, it doesn't make any difference whatsoever what I want.

IF a god wants me to know that it exists, I would. I don't - which only leave me with three possibilities
1) A god exists, but it does not want me to know that it exists[1]
2) A god exists, but is indifferent to my knowledge or lack thereof about it [2]
3) There is no such being as a god, as typically described by a theist of any sort. Claims of interactions between god(s) and humans, claims of miracles[3], and claims of expectation about human behavior to satisfy the ...needs? demands? desire for adoration?... of said deity have no evidence of existing and can be safely dismissed until and unless such evidence is produced and verified as any other such extraordinary claim would be[4]

There is nothing here that isn't simple and clear. Given these choices, it doesn't really even matter which one turns out to be the case.
 1. There's nothing I can do to make a god who doesn't want me to know it exists prove itself to me now can I? It's hidden itself from me so completely I don't think such a thing is even a thing.
 2. If theists would just stick to this kind of claim, I wouldn't bother to argue.
 3. known as magic in any other realm of discussion
 4. precise explanations of what such verification would entail can not be given until and unless such evidence is presented and it's form can be determined
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 25, 2018, 01:16:48 AM
then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

Is this a joke? Is this your attempt at being witty when you're not sure how to proceed? I don't understand what this post it getting at. It's a sudden drop in critical thinking and I wonder if it's an attempt at some kind of theist "gotcha" moment of self-declared Grand Victory. Only it's not victorious at all, it's really just... odd.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

Only if we've thrown logic and evidence to the wind and whatever people believe magically becomes real. In that case, watch out for Manbearpig.

they claim they have proof.

So do people who say they've been anally probed by aliens inside UFOs, Big Foot fans, and every person who identifies themselves as Jesus Christ.

you claim "i don't know."

Are you even trying? 

time to define your position.

I did (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30990.msg729133.html#msg729133).
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on March 25, 2018, 03:51:35 AM
Quote from: kevin
what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.

fair enough. every christian congregation has one of those.

unless . . . ?

Unless what? Produce an omnipotent and omniscient entity and I will become a theist.

sure.

go to any christian worship service. if that's not good enough, it's up to you to say why.

this is your show, not mine.

I did, and I saw no omnipotent and omniscient entities there. Just a bunch of people on their knees, and not in the fun way.
Produce an omnipotent and omniscient deity.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 25, 2018, 10:17:48 AM
Kevinagain,
 
I want you to know, I'm not trying to convert you. We are having a conversation with mutual respect. I understand why people believe in gods, I think you are curious as to why there are atheists. I'm more than happy to share with you.

I reject Christianity and theism, in general, for a few reasons.
1) The creation story makes no sense
2) it dawned on me when I was a child that God did not love humans, at least not any love that I could recognize. The act of creating us is not love, it's selfish.
3) dinosaurs are not mentioned in the Bible
4) Job
5) the promise of answered prayers, not kept
6) seek and ye shall find, I searched for 20 years at least. I've been atheist since 2014.
7) the indifference of nature matches reality; being ruled by a supreme all-loving, all-powerful God does not match reality.
8.) the horrible atrocities committed in God's name-witch burnings, homophobia, racism, beheading for heresy/blasphemy,  ableism, classism, and misogyny
9) there are many religions
10) the trinity makes no sense at all
11) the apocrypha- shows the dishonesty behind the compilation of the Bible
12) an afterlife is wishful thinking, even Hell, and reincarnation


I did seek, I sought earnestly with a passion, and found nothing. There were times, when I was a theist, that I thought God was working in my life, but in hindsight it was me. I loved my way through family conflict.

No I don't believe in gods, but I believe in love. I believe in you. I believe all humans capable of good moral behavior. I accept that given the wrong biology and environment any human can turn out to do horrible things- no demons necessary. On the flipside, I accept that given the right biology and environment a human can do much good- no angels necessary.

My question to you is- Have you sought earnestly OR is believing for you something that's "common"?

There is an ad populum fallacy that states, the fact that a majority of people believe something does not make it true.

There's the appeal to authority fallacy that many theists use to force you into belief, i.e. Pascal's Wager, threat of Hell.

There's the argument from ignorance, god.did.it. because I don't know the answer to the question i.e. what happens to our consciousness when we die?

There's circular reasoning, i.e. the first cause argument begs the question- who created God and so and so on, endless regress.

You talk about going to church to find God; which one? You cannot get a clear definition from all the disagreements within the theist community. Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? Christianity- protestant, Calvinism, Greek orthodoxy, Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, new age? Scientology? All these religions begs the question- what if I chose the wrong religion?

Deism- what evidence supports conciousnessness can exist without a brain?

Using your analogy, one group of quaggas people believe quaggas are 10 feet tall 8 feet long with sharp teeth that chews up humans for dinner, and another group believe they're 5 feet tall and 6 feet long and make great pets, another group says they are mysterious, you will know them when you feel them. They cannot be seen. They are super-natural.

I have 5 senses-hear, taste, smell, touch, and sight. If a theist wants me to think their God is real it must stimulate one of those senses. A philosophical argument without objective evidence begs the question-what evidence supports your argument, which makes it not logical.

If not for theism, there would be no atheism.

That's my story. I'm not a great philosopher or scientist. A lot of that stuff is over my head. I'm interested in psychology-human behavior.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 11:20:48 AM
interesting, people. thank you for responding. i'm not trying to convert anybody, and i'm not asserting gods exist, because i don't have any reason to think they do. i'm not asserting that atheism is wrong, because i think it's a reasonable position.

what i'm getting at is what sort of thinking people use to establish what it is they believe in and what they don't. doesn't have to be gods, could be anything. i don't believe in fairies, for instance, although i grant that they are possible. for a long time people didn't believe in the platypus, either, in coelocanths, ball lightning, continental drift, or lots of other things that have been shown to really exist. sometimes the evidence was always there, and people's view of what it proved or didn't prove was what changed.

continental drift is a good example. people used to fit cut-outs of the continents together on a flat table, and note how they fit together into a smaller continuous surface. i remember doing this when i was ten years old. this was evidence of two contradictory things, one that the continents moved, or two, that the earth was expanding. i remember when an expanding earth was considered reasonable, and the jigsaw continents were pointed out as evidence for it. then people realized that crust was being created in the mid-ocean ridges, and subducted in the trenches, and suddenly the same evidence from the shape of the continents was held to prove something else. the expanding earth people faded away, although their evidence hadn't changed. more had been added. you could still see diagrams of an expanding earth in science books in the mid 1960s.

with this god thing, i'm hearing a lot of reactive arguments, derivative stuff, where people let theists define the argument and then simply reject what the theists propose. nothing wrong with that, except it doesn't go to the more interesting step of dealing with the possibility that gods do actually exist and the theists are completely wrong about them. one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step. but so many theist proposals are so dubious and contradictory that i don't see much of any interest in arguing theology with them. i've done a lot of that, and it doesn't go anywhere.

still interested in the idea of what would change people's minds, though. the idea that a god must be omniscient and omnipotent to be a god is an interesting one. would a god have to be all knowing and all powerful to be a god? most christians think so, but most hindus don't. i know a number of quaker pagans who don't consider gods all-powerful, and believe in a lot of them.

still thinking.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 11:23:34 AM
i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

what and from where?  If you received multiple graduate degrees, this would indicate that you have done multiple theses.  these would be fairly easy to be located.  An unusual claim like having multiple graduate degrees in the sciences needs to be supported to be believed. 

Now, I'm going to make the prediction you will refuse to do so.   Which makes your claims seem less than true. You will claim you do not care, which is what most theists who make similar claims do.   The problem with this is that you have tried to claim an authority without taking responsibility for that claim, undercutting your reason for mention these supposed "multiple graduate degrees in the sciences".

here you go, velkyn. one of them is currently online.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/33882574_Silenis_Ostracoda_Metacopina_from_the_Silurian_of_Gotland_morphology_ontogeny_and_stratigraphic_distribution

pay them some money and you can get your own copy.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 11:41:43 AM
june bug, thank you for that very thoughtful response. it's interesting that you point out the problem of evil as significant in your journey.

that has been the main difficulty that i have always had with christianity-- that the reality was so different from the assertion, and that when pressed, christians would eventually retreat into the position that god was unknowable and that his ways were not our ways. the lesson of job, for me, was that in the end, the hebrew god was a god of power only, and not of love. in job, jehovah stomps on humanity and states that it is his right to do so as the stronger of the two.

i learned about christianity later in life than my knowledge of islam and hinduism, which came first for me, growing up in southeast asia. at the time of my conversion, i was an adult and had been trained in the hard-core material sciences of quantitative ecology and paleontology. i had various experiences that pointed me to the supernatural, and went that way as the likeliest explanation. now i simply don;'t see that paradigm as continuing toi answer the questions i have, and so i am no longer a theist.

you mention this, though:

Quote
You talk about going to church to find God; which one? You cannot get a clear definition from all the disagreements within the theist community. Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? Christianity- protestant, Calvinism, Greek orthodoxy, Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, new age? Scientology? All these religions begs the question- what if I chose the wrong religion?

most liberal quakerism is explicitly universalist, and traditional quakerism has always had a universalist thread, going back to william penn. were god to exist, i see no reason to expect anybody to get him right in all aspects, or even in most. the fact that various religions contradict each other doesn't disprove god, it just disproves religions. so when people tell me that giod doesn't exist because there are flaws in the bible, or because the eight-fold path makes no sense, or because hanuman hasn't been seen by anybody they trust, i listen, but i don't find that line of thinking conclusive.

what does make more sense to me is that atheist position that there is no reasonable question to begin discussion on until a theist sets the table, so to speak. an absence of information is not a useful platform on which to build a discussion.

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 25, 2018, 11:59:28 AM
i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

what and from where?  If you received multiple graduate degrees, this would indicate that you have done multiple theses.  these would be fairly easy to be located.  An unusual claim like having multiple graduate degrees in the sciences needs to be supported to be believed. 

Now, I'm going to make the prediction you will refuse to do so.   Which makes your claims seem less than true. You will claim you do not care, which is what most theists who make similar claims do.   The problem with this is that you have tried to claim an authority without taking responsibility for that claim, undercutting your reason for mention these supposed "multiple graduate degrees in the sciences".

here you go, velkyn. one of them is currently online.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/33882574_Silenis_Ostracoda_Metacopina_from_the_Silurian_of_Gotland_morphology_ontogeny_and_stratigraphic_distribution

pay them some money and you can get your own copy.

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.  I'm a little confused here.  What are your other "multiple graduate degrees"?   You seem to be trying to use an argument from authority to claim you understand evidence.   

at that link, one only has to request the full text from the authors and one does not seem to have to pay for anything.  I requested the full text. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 25, 2018, 12:10:54 PM
[snip]

still interested in the idea of what would change people's minds, though. the idea that a god must be omniscient and omnipotent to be a god is an interesting one. would a god have to be all knowing and all powerful to be a god? most christians think so, but most hindus don't. i know a number of quaker pagans who don't consider gods all-powerful, and believe in a lot of them.

still thinking.

Well, I think the real challenge is that humans are defining gods, not the other way around - and what may have started as fairly innocent philosophy/ideas on what we see around us, turned into "gods at the helm". I think that is why anthropomorphism is such a prominent feature of many gods. We almost had to invent gods to explain what we inherently want to know, and our lack of tools, intelligence, and ability to discover on our own.

The continental drift defined itself just by doing what it does (a natural process, as it turns out). It just took humans some time to figure it out. At this point, we have no actual reason to think there are intelligent beings or creators involved in the universe and the stuff within it. But yes, it is a possibility. The possibility is about as likely as a super-intelligent race of beings that remain beyond our ability to identify. I consider that extremely far-fetched, and only throw it out as an example of the myriad possibilities.

Humans cannot deal with infinity, in general. We need boundaries, we need focus, we need labels, and we need these things to operate in our small place in the universe with some sense of order. Yes, we can insert infinity into a math function and use it, but we just can't deal with the fact that infinity by definition has no boundary. There is no largest number, there cannot be. You can never stop dividing something in half, because there will always remain, another half...and so on. And so we are forced to find the fastest way to understanding things that we want to know. We cannot spend time chasing infinite possibilities on any specific topic - we have to focus, and weed out the things that cannot be measured. We have to. Otherwise, we will spend an eternity spinning wheels.

Of course, the goal of humanity is not necessarily to learn everything there is to know, it just seems to be a part of who we are. We seem somewhat desperate to know why we are here - how we got here - what is our purpose, and other similar things. Maybe we overthink it. Maybe we're just here, like a giraffe. Does a giraffe have a purpose? Was it defined in some intelligent way to be a part of earth history? Seems unlikely to me. Seems rather random, with a bit of luck and situational survival thrown in.

Perhaps the real question for modern humanity is this: Do humans need gods? Even if they are invented? Even if they are real? It would seem that many humans do indeed need a god in their life. A dependency on something comforting, perhaps? I don't know. I do know that I am doing fine without religion and gods in my life. I'm not immortal, and I have no concern over my ultimate demise. It's not a fun thought, of course. I would love to live longer and see more of what humans can achieve. What I can achieve. What my children might accomplish. But I know it will end for me. And the last concern I have is whether or not there is a god in the universe.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 12:11:57 PM

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts

yes it does.

Quote
and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.

no i didn't.

Quote
  I'm a little confused here.

yes you are.

lern to google, velkyn.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 12:27:27 PM

Humans cannot deal with infinity, in general. We need boundaries, we need focus, we need labels, and we need these things to operate in our small place in the universe with some sense of order. Yes, we can insert infinity into a math function and use it, but we just can't deal with the fact that infinity by definition has no boundary. There is no largest number, there cannot be. You can never stop dividing something in half, because there will always remain, another half...and so on. And so we are forced to find the fastest way to understanding things that we want to know. We cannot spend time chasing infinite possibilities on any specific topic - we have to focus, and weed out the things that cannot be measured. We have to. Otherwise, we will spend an eternity spinning wheels.



you've touched on something i think is probably at the heart of the matter, jet, which is that gods seem to have been invented in order to give humans control over their environment. not control in that the environment must be under our power to change, but control in that we've removed the uncertainty of living in a universe that doesn't care or react to us in any way differently than it does to fish, weasels, or kangaroos. infinity implies a universe in which we don't matter, and that has always frightened people.

the "gods at the helm" idea is part of that. even if we're being taken for a ride, we're at least going somewhere. frankly, the calvinist idea of almost universal damnation doesn't seem like a better ride to me than annihilation, but somehow it appealed to people in the past and still does today. i find it pretty creepy.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jetson on March 25, 2018, 12:37:28 PM

Humans cannot deal with infinity, in general. We need boundaries, we need focus, we need labels, and we need these things to operate in our small place in the universe with some sense of order. Yes, we can insert infinity into a math function and use it, but we just can't deal with the fact that infinity by definition has no boundary. There is no largest number, there cannot be. You can never stop dividing something in half, because there will always remain, another half...and so on. And so we are forced to find the fastest way to understanding things that we want to know. We cannot spend time chasing infinite possibilities on any specific topic - we have to focus, and weed out the things that cannot be measured. We have to. Otherwise, we will spend an eternity spinning wheels.



you've touched on something i think is probably at the heart of the matter, jet, which is that gods seem to have been invented in order to give humans control over their environment. not control in that the environment must be under our power to change, but control in that we've removed the uncertainty of living in a universe that doesn't care or react to us in any way differently than it does to fish, weasels, or kangaroos. infinity implies a universe in which we don't matter, and that has always frightened people.

the "gods at the helm" idea is part of that. even if we're being taken for a ride, we're at least going somewhere. frankly, the calvinist idea of almost universal damnation doesn't seem like a better ride to me than annihilation, but somehow it appealed to people in the past and still does today. i find it pretty creepy.

Good point, I had not thought of it in that specific context. We need gods, regardless of whether they are real. Perhaps the new role of the atheist would be to help convince people that gods are not really necessary? lol

We are burdened with higher intelligence, in a funny way. If you look at a giant herd of wildebeest cranking across the plains, what are their concerns on an individual basis? To eat, poop, and have babies, and to prevent being eaten! Humans are only different in that they are self aware, and thus need something more intelligent than themselves.

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 12:46:38 PM
june bug spoke to this too.

i'm looking back for what she said.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: junebug72 on March 25, 2018, 12:57:20 PM
I have completely enjoyed this talk with you kevinagain.

I feel as though I should drop out now. Before I leave this talk I want you to know that Quakers are alright by me.

It is a valid question to ask- do humans need gods even if they are not real? It is clear to me that many do. I wish they would try Quakerism. ;)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 25, 2018, 01:12:38 PM

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts

yes it does.

Quote
and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.

no i didn't.

Quote
  I'm a little confused here.

yes you are.

lern to google, velkyn.

hmmm

Quote
i have my own dinosaur:

https://youtu.be/JJPDBQcA0oA
  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30994.msg729231.html#msg729231

(https://clubschadenfreude.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/motorcycle.jpg)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 01:15:00 PM
well, junebug, i wish quakerism had the answers for me that once thought it did.

it still has answers, but not to the questions i'm currently asking.

and we have made astonishingly bad mistakes, in the past. we invented modern solitary confinement in prisons, we forced prohibition on america, we fostered eugenics, and we've had officers in major positions in the ku klux klan, of all things.

but on the other hand, we abolished slavery 100 years before anybody else in the west, we've always been over-represented in the sciences, we established trial by jury as supreme over fiat by judges, wrote freedom of religion into our first constitution, we did all sorts of other wondrous and decent thngs, et cetera, et cetera . . .

but we didn't do this, lol:

(http://www.whiskyparadise.com/public/4389_Old_Quaker_p.jpg)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on March 25, 2018, 01:16:45 PM

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts

yes it does.

Quote
and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.

no i didn't.

Quote
  I'm a little confused here.

yes you are.

lern to google, velkyn.

hmmm

Quote
i have my own dinosaur:

https://youtu.be/JJPDBQcA0oA
  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30994.msg729231.html#msg729231

(https://clubschadenfreude.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/motorcycle.jpg)




velkyn, i'm going to open a thread where you can doubt my existence in public, so we don't complicate this one.

here it is.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729276/topicseen.html#msg729276
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on March 25, 2018, 09:40:39 PM
with this god thing, i'm hearing a lot of reactive arguments, derivative stuff, where people let theists define the argument and then simply reject what the theists propose. nothing wrong with that, except it doesn't go to the more interesting step of dealing with the possibility that gods do actually exist and the theists are completely wrong about them.

I'd love to see an example of the "right" god. In all human history, this has never been accomplished, but there's always that person who thinks they're the closest to figuring the whole shebang out.

one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

Correct. Atheism isn't a conversation starter. It can't be by its very nature. Once a claim is made, it can be considered, weighed against known information, and then accepted or denied. Claims about gods invariably fail because they conflict what what is known. So cue the god of the gaps, but even that is impotent considering the knowledge we have. This is precisely why faith is such a virtue, and in some cases, more valued than knowledge or critical thinking. It's no coincidence the conservative xians are the least persuaded of the value of education.

still interested in the idea of what would change people's minds, though. the idea that a god must be omniscient and omnipotent to be a god is an interesting one. would a god have to be all knowing and all powerful to be a god? most christians think so, but most hindus don't. i know a number of quaker pagans who don't consider gods all-powerful, and believe in a lot of them.

still thinking.

Biblically speaking, the god of the bible isn't omniscient or omnipotent either. It just evolved that way over time. Same with it's monotheistic nature. The evolution of religious beliefs is fascinating to me too, and so is the study of religious thought. Here's a video of a talk given by a Andy Thompson who explains an increasingly accepted theory of the biological and neurological roots of religious thought. It's about an hour long, but I think really comprehensive and quite informative.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on March 26, 2018, 12:47:15 PM
velkyn, i'm going to open a thread where you can doubt my existence in public, so we don't complicate this one.
here it is.
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729276/topicseen.html#msg729276

nice.  I especially like the false title since I haven't doubted your existence. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 07, 2018, 12:10:21 AM
The answer, as I understood it as a xian, was because the more we focus on the deity, the more we are in tune with its mind and will. If you have kids, you'll recognize that knee-jerk worry that comes when you find one of their friends is a bit farther from your comfort zone than from theirs, and the fear is your kids would emulate those unsavory behaviors. Because we pick up what surrounds us.
/theist hat

The answer as I believe it now is that we're really not in charge of what we believe. We believe what we believe because we conclude what is true about reality from information we extrapolate from the world. We apply our experiences into the equation. We interject theories and predictions into incomplete data and constantly make assumptions. And when our brain finds a particularly compelling argument, it assigns it the value of "truth." For the same reason you can't force yourself to believe in the ancient gods of Southern Africa, a xian can't force themselves to believe the world is the result of billions of years of cause and effect from perfectly natural events. Belief is the consequence of thought.

Religions take this natural process and encourages a cessation of thought. Putting one's time and energy into prayer, for example, takes the focus off analyzing events and puts it on comforting thoughts instead. Worship works to channel positive and negative emotions and assign them values within a religious narrative. These activities suppress critical thinking in order to maintain that cognitive focus on the claims, on the promises, on the hopes and fears rather than on the discrepancy between the claim and reality. Add to that all that intermittent reward stuff opperant conditioning explains, which is like catnip to our brains, and worship functions to keep individuals in the group by reinforcing groupthink in conjunction with emotional manipulation.

So it's my belief that the function of worship is to give permission to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, to focus instead on the claims themselves, not the reliability of the claims in the real world. Or as someone said, Hitchens I think, to glorify ignorance and celebrate gullibility. People like to be a part of the glorious victors. People like celebration. Religion takes natural cognitive processes and guides them for its own profits. Profit in this case being existence.

I like the example you provide at the beginning.  That is what I believe.  To worship God means to have reverence and adoration for him.  If you have reverence and adoration for him then you will obey him.  So the worship of God means obeying him because you have love for him.  What does a parent get from the love and obedience of their children?

I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.         
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 07, 2018, 10:20:50 AM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers? 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 08, 2018, 05:20:35 PM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers?

Like what?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Katharine on April 08, 2018, 11:00:22 PM
I agree with the above your post.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 09, 2018, 12:07:14 AM
Quote from: kevin
one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

The problem with that is the people in the Bible are long gone.  So then the burden of proof gets shifted to all believers, but I don't think that's where it belongs.  If we want to know, it's really up to each of us to determine whether or not to believe it's true.

Why rely on another person?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 09, 2018, 10:09:22 AM
Quote from: kevin
one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

The problem with that is the people in the Bible are long gone.  So then the burden of proof gets shifted to all believers, but I don't think that's where it belongs.  If we want to know, it's really up to each of us to determine whether or not to believe it's true.

Why rely on another person?

exactly, jst.

why rely on old stories of another person's experiences when god is maintained to be alive, here, today?

why argue about what an old book says or doesn't say, when the point is whether a world with god is detectably different from one without?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 09, 2018, 11:20:16 AM
The problem with that is the people in the Bible are long gone.  So then the burden of proof gets shifted to all believers, but I don't think that's where it belongs.  If we want to know, it's really up to each of us to determine whether or not to believe it's true.

Why rely on another person?

which makes the claims of believers all essentially worthless since they all come up with different claims.  This gets rather solipsistic. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 09, 2018, 11:22:43 AM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers?

Like what?

how to treat non-christians.  how to treat homosexuals.  How to worship this god.  How to be saved.  How to be baptized.  which parts of the bible are factual and which are not. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 10, 2018, 10:55:22 AM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

Can you explain these "lines of communication"? What do they look like?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 10, 2018, 11:12:50 AM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

Can you explain these "lines of communication"? What do they look like?

Do any of those lines of communication require blood sacrifice?  Like, if god provides some direction to you Jstwebbrowsing, and you agree to follow that direction, do you need to kill an animal to seal the agreement?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 10, 2018, 05:32:43 PM
Quote from: kevin
one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

The problem with that is the people in the Bible are long gone.  So then the burden of proof gets shifted to all believers, but I don't think that's where it belongs.  If we want to know, it's really up to each of us to determine whether or not to believe it's true.

Why rely on another person?

exactly, jst.

why rely on old stories of another person's experiences when god is maintained to be alive, here, today?

why argue about what an old book says or doesn't say, when the point is whether a world with god is detectably different from one without?

They should not be a replacement for God but we should learn from them if can.  I mean I don't believe in God because the Bible says Moses parted the Red Seas.  I cannot live through their experiences, but I can learn from them and have my own experiences.

Quote
why argue about what an old book says or doesn't say

No good reason that I have found. 

Quote
the point is whether a world with god is detectably different from one without?

If the Bible is true then it should actually appear to be a world with a Satan.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 10, 2018, 06:08:53 PM
]the point is whether a world with god is detectably different from one without?

If the Bible is true then it should actually appear to be a world with a Satan.

when i say "world" i mean the totality of the creation, jst, the universe. not just a fallen portion.

my point is that the universe appears to be an image, complete, without a narrative, so to speak. if you add a theist narrative, you have an explanatory story, but the image stays the same as before. the narrative doesn't change anything that you are looking at.

if the image appears the same with and without the theisti narrative, then i am having trouble seeing how the narrative is justifiable as more than speculation. possible, but untestable and unprovable.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 12, 2018, 11:33:15 AM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers?

Like what?

how to treat non-christians.  how to treat homosexuals.  How to worship this god.  How to be saved.  How to be baptized.  which parts of the bible are factual and which are not.

What are the contradictory instructions?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 12, 2018, 12:29:35 PM
]the point is whether a world with god is detectably different from one without?

If the Bible is true then it should actually appear to be a world with a Satan.

when i say "world" i mean the totality of the creation, jst, the universe. not just a fallen portion.

my point is that the universe appears to be an image, complete, without a narrative, so to speak. if you add a theist narrative, you have an explanatory story, but the image stays the same as before. the narrative doesn't change anything that you are looking at.

if the image appears the same with and without the theisti narrative, then i am having trouble seeing how the narrative is justifiable as more than speculation. possible, but untestable and unprovable.

But how many narratives match reality and is anything within them testable?  I think people sometimes get too hung up on the untestable.  "God created the heavens and the earth".  This is not testable but people will claim "no gods are necessary", but then they really don't know that.  To me that is a faith belief because it's untestable.

But is there a true God?  Can this be tested?  The only way biblically, and I think logically, we could know of such a being is if it were to purposely reveal itself.  It could, for example appear in a burning bush.

But let's say that Moses' first message from God came from a prophet.  What if the conversation went like this?

Prophet:  "Meet God on the mountain and he will appear to you in a burning bush."
Moses:  "Nope.  If God wants to meet me then he can tell me himself."

Prophet:  "That's why God sent me, so you would know and you can come meet him."
Moses:  "I can't believe you.  I will listen to no one but God himself."

Prophet:  "You can listen to God if you will just go to the mountain."
Moses:  "If God wants to talk to me then he can come to me himself."

Now if God does decide to come personally talk to Moses, how do you think it's going to go for Moses?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 12, 2018, 01:57:50 PM
if the image appears the same with and without the theisti narrative, then i am having trouble seeing how the narrative is justifiable as more than speculation. possible, but untestable and unprovable.

But how many narratives match reality and is anything within them testable?  I think people sometimes get too hung up on the untestable.  "God created the heavens and the earth".  This is not testable but people will claim "no gods are necessary", but then they really don't know that.  To me that is a faith belief because it's untestable.

i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.

Quote
But is there a true God?  Can this be tested?  The only way biblically, and I think logically, we could know of such a being is if it were to purposely reveal itself.  It could, for example appear in a burning bush.

But let's say that Moses' first message from God came from a prophet.  What if the conversation went like this?

Prophet:  "Meet God on the mountain and he will appear to you in a burning bush."
Moses:  "Nope.  If God wants to meet me then he can tell me himself."

Prophet:  "That's why God sent me, so you would know and you can come meet him."
Moses:  "I can't believe you.  I will listen to no one but God himself."

Prophet:  "You can listen to God if you will just go to the mountain."
Moses:  "If God wants to talk to me then he can come to me himself."

Now if God does decide to come personally talk to Moses, how do you think it's going to go for Moses?

no way to tell until god talks to moses, jst. i know prophecy is commonly presented as evidence for theism, but you know that i don't consider prophecy convincing unless it takes place in the present.

elijah denied the presence of god in miraculous appearances, wind, and earthquake, and fire. melodrama is not convincing to me either.

what convinced elijah was the still, small, voice.

what convinces you? how is your world with god, different from my world, without?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 12, 2018, 03:10:09 PM
Quote
But how many narratives match reality and is anything within them testable?  I think people sometimes get too hung up on the untestable.  "God created the heavens and the earth".  This is not testable but people will claim "no gods are necessary", but then they really don't know that.  To me that is a faith belief because it's untestable.

i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.

kevinagain, do you see any differences between these two statements:
1) I believe that there does not exist a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France.
2) I do not believe that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France.

Would anyone agreeing with either of those statements be able to say that they possess a belief that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France?

I guess...kevinagain, I identify as an atheist.  Could you tell me what you think I am exercising faith in exactly?  What is faith in this context, kevinagain?

Would you say that you possess belief that a planet-sized sentience that devours cybernetic worlds exists?  Do you require something - evidence, argumentation, logic - prior to you withholding belief in the existence of a planet-sized sentience that devours cybernetic worlds?

I admit that part of this stems from slight irritation at your claim that identifying as an atheist requires one to have 'as much faith'[1] as is required to accept a proposition such as 'god exists'.  And perhaps it does, I suppose, but then I struggle to think of any possible position on any kind of claim or topic that does not require at least that amount of faith.  I mean, in general, can you really say that 'not accepting a proposition presented to you' is an act of faith?  If I said "there exists a leprechaun in my desk," exactly how much of an act of faith are you engaging in when you don't accept that claim?  If you did not at all respond to my claim "there exists a leprechaun in my desk," would you say you possess the belief that "there exists a leprechaun in my desk?"  If not, does that not exactly, precisely correspond to you not possessing belief that "there exists a leprechaun in my desk?"

To be clear, kevinagain, I'm not asking these questions in any effort to get you to change your mind about whatever label you want to apply to yourself.  That's entirely up to you.  But I am somewhat concerned about what assumptions you make about a person when they inform you, or you are otherwise informed, that they are an atheist.
 1. How is this quantified, exactly?  How does one compare less faith vs. more faith, and is that comparison in any way different than comparing less confidence vs. more confidence?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 12, 2018, 04:56:32 PM
what i think is that you think a great deal more carefully about what you believe than most people, jdawg, and that your posts require more thought in replying than do a lot of others.

i do understand the difference between asserting a non-belief and asserting a dis-belief. that's why i used the modifier "certainty regarding atheism." i was obviously not clear. i meant, not certainty regarding your beliefs, but certainty regarding their truth value. here is my view:

people who assert the non-existence of god as a fact are operating on a faith level indistinguishable from people who assert the existence of god as a fact.

^^^that is what i believe. if someone wants to make a distinction between things they know to be true, and things they do not know to be false, that's okay with me. i understand the difference.

but in the end, the taxonomy is unimportant to me. i'd rather people just explain what they believe rather than identify with a category.

but it's coming, anyway. be careful of your examples:

(https://i.imgur.com/iJWBcyNl.png)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 12, 2018, 05:33:48 PM
what i think is that you think a great deal more carefully about what you believe than most people, jdawg, and that your posts require more thought in replying than do a lot of others.

i do understand the difference between asserting a non-belief and asserting a dis-belief. that's why i used the modifier "certainty regarding atheism." i was obviously not clear. i meant, not certainty regarding your beliefs, but certainty regarding their truth value. here is my view:

people who assert the non-existence of god as a fact are operating on a faith level indistinguishable from people who assert the existence of god as a fact.

wow, but not surprising at all.  So, kevin, you want to claim that theists and atheists are the same in their beliefs.  So, how does that work when thesits have no evidence for their claims but atheists have evidence that entirely different events happened when a theist claimed their nonsense happened?   

You seem to be one of those agnostics who are perched on the fence, happy to point fingers at everyone, and ignoring the diffferences just so you can feel superior. 

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 12, 2018, 05:38:04 PM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers?

Like what?

how to treat non-christians.  how to treat homosexuals.  How to worship this god.  How to be saved.  How to be baptized.  which parts of the bible are factual and which are not.

What are the contradictory instructions?

hmmm, all of those Christians who claim that their god has told them that those parts of the bible they find inconvenient are metaphor, or are just from humans and they don't have to follow those bits; you know, just like you.   Again, jst, great to see Christians disagree with each other.  Are Chrisitans to acccept homosexuals or not?  How do you knwo their version of Christianity is wrong and yours is right as you have claimed?  And I'm sure you'll try again to claim you've never done that, but it's more than easy to quote you when you declare Christians who believe differently than you are wrong. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 12, 2018, 07:31:22 PM
what i think is that you think a great deal more carefully about what you believe than most people, jdawg, and that your posts require more thought in replying than do a lot of others.

i do understand the difference between asserting a non-belief and asserting a dis-belief. that's why i used the modifier "certainty regarding atheism." i was obviously not clear. i meant, not certainty regarding your beliefs, but certainty regarding their truth value. here is my view:

people who assert the non-existence of god as a fact are operating on a faith level indistinguishable from people who assert the existence of god as a fact.

wow, but not surprising at all.  So, kevin, you want to claim that theists and atheists are the same in their beliefs.  So, how does that work when thesits have no evidence for their claims but atheists have evidence that entirely different events happened when a theist claimed their nonsense happened?   

hi velkyn.

no, i'm making a distinction between thoughtful atheists, and atheists like you, who think very little. as i recall, you consider yourself a strong atheist, yet you were ignorant of the standard definition of the term. i'll be happy to quote your post back to you, if you'd like to explain. it wasn't so long ago.

if you want to discuss the difference between evidence and proof, go ahead and define the terms, and we can talk about it.

Quote
You seem to be one of those agnostics who are perched on the fence, happy to point fingers at everyone, and ignoring the diffferences just so you can feel superior.

ad hominem attacks are your style, velkyn, not mine. i see no need to respond to them.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on April 12, 2018, 09:42:23 PM
Quote from: kevin
<snip> theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

The problem with that is the people in the Bible are long gone.  So then the burden of proof gets shifted to all believers, but I don't think that's where it belongs.
Of course you don't. To take a different position would require you to , well, take a position. On something. Anything, really.

Quote
  If we want to know, it's really up to each of us to determine whether or not to believe it's true.

I agree with this part, but it's about to get silly in here.....

Quote
Why rely on another person?

Because absent the input of "another person", we would not be introduced to the idea of the christian god in the first place. Without a cultural deference built over decades and generations (which is in no way a testament to the truth value of any given interpretation), I certainly wouln't have thought up the doctrine of any particular branch of the Christian Theistic Belief Tree on my own.

So, since the idea is presented by other people, and expected to be accepted (say, from parent to child, for instance) - well then it seems perfectly frickin' reasonable to expect them to be able to make a sensible accounting of the defining book of their faith.

Religion is the only subject that is treated this way. Do you expect that students should figure out the rules of grammar for themselves? What about math? Do you send your children to school jst? If so - why? Why should you expect anyone to teach them anything? Why rely on other people? Build your own energy source while you're at it, plant, raise and harvest your own food, and material for shelter too.

Give an 8 year old some car keys why don'cha? The kid can just figure it out, he's been in cars his whole life, what's the problem?

Hoping that the endless references to agape will just wither and die, but patiently waiting for you to resolve the conflict between how much you admit you don't know/don't understand/can't find the capacity to express, and your willingness to tell us that you're right anyway,
Jag
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on April 12, 2018, 09:51:40 PM
^^^A quick addition to the above post - ultimately, the subject under discussion in this exchange is salvation and how to achieve it by way of Christianity.

If salvation is being offered by way of the bible, I think it's absolutely reasonable for the person presenting the idea of salvation being necessary in the first place certainly does have a very real responsibility to prove evidence that this is the case. For a theist to clam otherwise is just. fucking. lazy.

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 13, 2018, 07:05:39 AM
thinking.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 13, 2018, 09:40:28 AM
hi velkyn.

no, i'm making a distinction between thoughtful atheists, and atheists like you, who think very little. as i recall, you consider yourself a strong atheist, yet you were ignorant of the standard definition of the term. i'll be happy to quote your post back to you, if you'd like to explain. it wasn't so long ago.

if you want to discuss the difference between evidence and proof, go ahead and define the terms, and we can talk about it.

nice false claims about me, kevin.  really?   

Quote
You seem to be one of those agnostics who are perched on the fence, happy to point fingers at everyone, and ignoring the diffferences just so you can feel superior.

Quote
ad hominem attacks are your style, velkyn, not mine. i see no need to respond to them.

an ad hominem attack is one that makes a claim that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. What I have observed is quite relevant.  You should learn what an ad hominem fallacy is before accusing anyone of using one. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 13, 2018, 11:25:51 AM
if the image appears the same with and without the theisti narrative, then i am having trouble seeing how the narrative is justifiable as more than speculation. possible, but untestable and unprovable.

But how many narratives match reality and is anything within them testable?  I think people sometimes get too hung up on the untestable.  "God created the heavens and the earth".  This is not testable but people will claim "no gods are necessary", but then they really don't know that.  To me that is a faith belief because it's untestable.

i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.

Quote
But is there a true God?  Can this be tested?  The only way biblically, and I think logically, we could know of such a being is if it were to purposely reveal itself.  It could, for example appear in a burning bush.

But let's say that Moses' first message from God came from a prophet.  What if the conversation went like this?

Prophet:  "Meet God on the mountain and he will appear to you in a burning bush."
Moses:  "Nope.  If God wants to meet me then he can tell me himself."

Prophet:  "That's why God sent me, so you would know and you can come meet him."
Moses:  "I can't believe you.  I will listen to no one but God himself."

Prophet:  "You can listen to God if you will just go to the mountain."
Moses:  "If God wants to talk to me then he can come to me himself."

Now if God does decide to come personally talk to Moses, how do you think it's going to go for Moses?

no way to tell until god talks to moses, jst. i know prophecy is commonly presented as evidence for theism, but you know that i don't consider prophecy convincing unless it takes place in the present.

elijah denied the presence of god in miraculous appearances, wind, and earthquake, and fire. melodrama is not convincing to me either.

what convinced elijah was the still, small, voice.

what convinces you? how is your world with god, different from my world, without?

I'm not really talking prophecy about future events.  I'm talking about listening to the instructions of the prophets when it comes to finding God.  The Bible claims to be instructions from Jehovah for finding him.  If you haven't found God, or have lost him, then is it possible it's because you haven't followed directions?  Because we grow and learn what worked in the past may not work in the present as God expects more from us because of our increased knowledge.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 13, 2018, 11:33:55 AM
I'm not really talking prophecy about future events.  I'm talking about listening to the instructions of the prophets when it comes to finding God.  The Bible claims to be instructions from Jehovah for finding him.  If you haven't found God, or have lost him, then is it possible it's because you haven't followed directions?  Because we grow and learn what worked in the past may not work in the present as God expects more from us because of our increased knowledge.

possibly.

or its possible that i might follow the directions correctly, and not find god because god is not there.

my question to you was, how would i know the difference?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 13, 2018, 12:13:59 PM
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers?

Like what?

how to treat non-christians.  how to treat homosexuals.  How to worship this god.  How to be saved.  How to be baptized.  which parts of the bible are factual and which are not.

What are the contradictory instructions?

hmmm, all of those Christians who claim that their god has told them that those parts of the bible they find inconvenient are metaphor, or are just from humans and they don't have to follow those bits; you know, just like you.   Again, jst, great to see Christians disagree with each other.  Are Chrisitans to acccept homosexuals or not?  How do you knwo their version of Christianity is wrong and yours is right as you have claimed?  And I'm sure you'll try again to claim you've never done that, but it's more than easy to quote you when you declare Christians who believe differently than you are wrong.

Yes you are right.  People disagree.   Not even all believers believe the Bible is necessary or important and there is a whole spectrum in between and people disagree about what the Bible teaches.

So where does that leave everyone?  In the same boat.  Pointing out that people disagree doesn't solve anything.

I understand that you would like some testable way of knowing I am correct.  I wish I had that myself.  Since I don't then I don't think it is proper for me to make any absolute claims.  But I see nothing wrong with an exchange of ideas which is what I'm offering by posting here.

I can point out the differences between my religion and others and share how we understand the Bible.  People will have to decide for themselves what to make of the information.

You seem to think that if God is real then all Christians should agree.  You are entitled to your opinion.  I have no reason to believe that way.  I think expectations should be based on what the Bible says.  It does not say all believers would be in agreement.  It fact, it predicts sectarianism and condemns it.  It was prophesied to occur and it occurred.  This reality builds my faith in Jehovah and the Bible. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 13, 2018, 12:40:03 PM
I'm not really talking prophecy about future events.  I'm talking about listening to the instructions of the prophets when it comes to finding God.  The Bible claims to be instructions from Jehovah for finding him.  If you haven't found God, or have lost him, then is it possible it's because you haven't followed directions?  Because we grow and learn what worked in the past may not work in the present as God expects more from us because of our increased knowledge.

possibly.

or its possible that i might follow the directions correctly, and not find god because god is not there.

my question to you was, how would i know the difference?

Well if you follow the Bible then you would know it's true or not by finding God or not finding God.    But if our expectations of God are based on something else then we're not really searching for the God of the Bible.

And I do question if you have followed the directions correctly.

The one thing that really concerns me is your apparent desire to mix religions.  I may be wrong but it appears to me that you search different religions trying to peace together some univeral image of a god.  According to the Bible that's just about the absolute worst thing you could possibly do.  Does not a little bit of leaven work through the whole batch?

17 “‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’” 18 “‘And I will become a father to you, and you will become sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah, the Almighty.”  (2 Cor 6:17,18)

Jehovah is a God that requires exclusive devotion.  I don't think you can seek him and at the same time seek other gods.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 13, 2018, 12:47:02 PM
jst, quakerism is univerzalist in many expressions. that is true. we shld talk about universalism sometime.

but you have never answered my question.

try it this way. look at a television set. turn the sound off. you can't tell whether tbe talking head is a theist or an atheist.

i see the universe tbe same way. if i turn the sound off-- the a priori belief in god-- the universe looks the same without god as it does with god.

what is there in the world that cannot be explained without god? what strikes you as most convincing?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 13, 2018, 04:54:02 PM
okay, velkyn. here's your accusation about "strong atheism."

nice false claims about me, kevin.  really?

here’s my first “false claim:”

“as i recall, you consider yourself a strong atheist . . .”

here’s the proof that my claim is true:

I'm a strong atheist to the gods claimed by humans so far.

I consider myself a strong atheist too but don't see the need to reiterate what others have so capabably said already.

velkyn, based on your own posts, my statement was true.

here’s my second "false claim:”

. . . yet you were ignorant of the standard definition of the term.

here’s the proof that my claim is true:

So, 6 out of a possible 7? 6.9 out of a possible 7?  This certainly seems to be a "strong atheist" position. 

here’s the wiki definition:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism

Negative atheism, also called weak atheism and soft atheism, is any type of atheism where a person does not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist.[1][2][3]

velkyn, based on your own posts, my statements were true. your accusation was false.

regarding ad hominem attacks, hon, here’s yours:

You seem to be one of those agnostics who are perched on the fence, happy to point fingers at everyone, and ignoring the diffferences just so you can feel superior.

an ad hominem attack is one that makes a claim that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. What I have observed is quite relevant.  You should learn what an ad hominem fallacy is before accusing anyone of using one.

no, velkyn. ^^^what you have described is an informal fallacy called "ignoratio elenchi," the “red herring.” you don't know what an "ad nominem attack" is. here’s the definition of ad hominem, from webster:

: marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made .

.  .  . which of course, is exactly what you did, mentioning nothing that i had written but instead attacking me personally.

velkyn, i don’t like wasting time feeding trolls, and in the future i’m not going waste more time feeding you. i’m continually surprised that people here put up with your posting, which goes beyond merely stupid and mostly consists of just spite and malice. but as i said before, that reflects well on them.

so have a nice day. i'm done.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 13, 2018, 05:10:12 PM
You seem to think that if God is real then all Christians should agree.  You are entitled to your opinion.  I have no reason to believe that way.  I think expectations should be based on what the Bible says.  It does not say all believers would be in agreement.  It fact, it predicts sectarianism and condemns it.  It was prophesied to occur and it occurred.  This reality builds my faith in Jehovah and the Bible.

Why wouldn't you expect reality to be treated more or less equally by people? It is a fact that water boils at sea level at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. I may not pay attention to the temp when I'm boiling eggs on the stove, but I would be mighty surprised if one day my eggs boiled at 70 degrees, or if boiling water suddenly required the same heat necessary to melt lead. The chemical properties of water contribute to our knowledge of everything from cooking to aviation. Why would reality about a god be any different? Opinions would differ, but facts don't. Surely you would agree facts are objective by nature.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 13, 2018, 07:07:02 PM
.its not reality, albeto, but the perception of it that is in question.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 13, 2018, 09:34:41 PM
.its not reality, albeto, but the perception of it that is in question.

Sorry if I'm not being clear but I'm not asking about the perception of reality. I'm asking why does he not think Jehovah would be reflected in reality in such a way people could respond accordingly? After all, the chemical properties of water are reflected in reality, regardless of our perceptions. We respond accordingly to the reality of it. He's suggesting that's not the case with Jehovah. I'm curious why not.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 14, 2018, 05:38:59 AM
.its not reality, albeto, but the perception of it that is in question.

Sorry if I'm not being clear but I'm not asking about the perception of reality. I'm asking why does he not think Jehovah would be reflected in reality in such a way people could respond accordingly? After all, the chemical properties of water are reflected in reality, regardless of our perceptions. We respond accordingly to the reality of it. He's suggesting that's not the case with Jehovah. I'm curious why not.

i cant answer for jst, but in my opinion even facts are observed and recorded with error. if you boil water with your thermometer in it, you will get a range of measurements centered around a mean. tbere won't be a single temperature that you repeat each time. water from different wells will have different boiling points,  and it will vary slightly with the weather, and so on. you'll get close, but how close is close enough?

assuming jst's jehovah is of one nature, the perception of him will vary with time, place, and culture. this would not be true if his existence amd nature were unambiguous, but that is not the casr. in my opinion, this inability to see one nsture for god implies either universalism or his nonexistence.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 14, 2018, 03:22:58 PM
You seem to think that if God is real then all Christians should agree.  You are entitled to your opinion.  I have no reason to believe that way.  I think expectations should be based on what the Bible says.  It does not say all believers would be in agreement.  It fact, it predicts sectarianism and condemns it.  It was prophesied to occur and it occurred.  This reality builds my faith in Jehovah and the Bible.

Why wouldn't you expect reality to be treated more or less equally by people? It is a fact that water boils at sea level at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. I may not pay attention to the temp when I'm boiling eggs on the stove, but I would be mighty surprised if one day my eggs boiled at 70 degrees, or if boiling water suddenly required the same heat necessary to melt lead. The chemical properties of water contribute to our knowledge of everything from cooking to aviation. Why would reality about a god be any different? Opinions would differ, but facts don't. Surely you would agree facts are objective by nature.

I'm not disputing facts.  The fact is Christians are splintered into thousands of sects.  What has not been established as fact is that if God exists then all Christians would be in agreement.

The fact is the Bible says sectarianism would infiltrate the congregation.  So to me, pointing out sectarianism doesn't disprove God.  It's proves the Bible.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 14, 2018, 05:01:24 PM
.its not reality, albeto, but the perception of it that is in question.

Sorry if I'm not being clear but I'm not asking about the perception of reality. I'm asking why does he not think Jehovah would be reflected in reality in such a way people could respond accordingly? After all, the chemical properties of water are reflected in reality, regardless of our perceptions. We respond accordingly to the reality of it. He's suggesting that's not the case with Jehovah. I'm curious why not.

i cant answer for jst, but in my opinion even facts are observed and recorded with error. if you boil water with your thermometer in it, you will get a range of measurements centered around a mean. tbere won't be a single temperature that you repeat each time. water from different wells will have different boiling points,  and it will vary slightly with the weather, and so on. you'll get close, but how close is close enough?

assuming jst's jehovah is of one nature, the perception of him will vary with time, place, and culture. this would not be true if his existence amd nature were unambiguous, but that is not the casr. in my opinion, this inability to see one nsture for god implies either universalism or his nonexistence.

Yes, I agree that perceptions of him will vary.  I even believe some of his expectations can even change based on time, place, and culture.  He wants us to love one another but how we do that can change based on time, place, and culture.  Also I believe there are universal perceptions of God's spirit.  I believe people have perceived it and describe it the best way they can. 

Witnesses have a book titled "Mankind's Search for God".  I think that's a very fitting way to account for this world's religions.  And probably some have come to a knowledge of at least some truth.  A lot of them have common stories, beliefs, and principles.

But none of that makes me a universalist because there are also opposing beliefs and principles.  I think you have said you believe these are human inventions.  But I don't think that can always be the case.  Do you?
   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 14, 2018, 05:28:22 PM

But none of that makes me a universalist because there are also opposing beliefs and principles.  I think you have said you believe these are human inventions.  But I don't think that can always be the case.  Do you?
 

i think that you are correct in that various religions have opposing foundations. theravada teaches atheism and the achievement of enlightenment as thehighest goal. hinduism teaches that progressive elevation through transmigration will eventually unite the soul with the godhead. catholicism, judaism, and islam all teach that adherence to certain practices will result in salvation.  protestantism holds that certain beliefs will do the same. quakerism teaches that you can know god experientially, and achieve perfection in this life by obedience to the Light. and so on.

if an immanent god exists, i find it doubtful that so many people have got it so wrong. i believe it is likelier that most everybody has got most all of it wrong. or at least some of it. there are aspects of christianity that i believe are as ludicrous as are aspects of the norse pantheon.

but whether i think it's ludicrous or not is beside the point, if god exists. one problem with both theism and atheism is SPAG. for theists,  the idea is that the god you accept is accepted because of his resemblance to what you think a god should be like. for atheists, the idea is that the god you reject is rejected because of his non-resemblance to what you think a god should be like.

it's the same SPAG, whether, you're a theist or atheist. you can read numerous examples of both on this website.

so i don't know. how much of what god is or is not should be subject to my ideas of what a god should be? should god be consistent? why? should god be loving? why? should god behave logically? why? same for omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent. . . why?

people argue endless about why god is, or is not, adequately described by their own SPAG, their own suppositions as to what a god must be. i don't have that preconception, so arguments that god is not loving, or that god might not be omnipotent, are meaningless to me.

i'm looking, and listening, and paying attention to what i hear, see, and feel.

so what makes you sure that the hindus are wrong, jst? the vedas pre-date most of the old testament by many years. what makes you think the gospel is right and the bhagavad gita is wrong?

what do you know of the gita?

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 14, 2018, 06:05:48 PM
but whether i think it's ludicrous or not is beside the point, if god exists. one problem with both theism and atheism is SPAG.

Yes. 

Quote
so what makes you sure that the hindus are wrong, jst? the vedas pre-date most of the old testament by many years. what makes you think the gospel is right and the bhagavad gita is wrong?

Bible prophecy is a very strong anchor for my faith.  Of course, that is based largely upon the interpretations of the Witnesses but some of it requires no interpretation, just observation.

Being able to clearly see the message of the kingdom as the underlying theme of the entire Bible is another.  There is just no way for the writers to have accidentally written such complimentary works and I don't think it was the intention of the authors.

I don't know much about the gita.  But I do know some about Hindu beliefs.  They are not reconcilable with the Bible.

   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 14, 2018, 09:04:44 PM
i cant answer for jst, but in my opinion even facts are observed and recorded with error. if you boil water with your thermometer in it, you will get a range of measurements centered around a mean. tbere won't be a single temperature that you repeat each time. water from different wells will have different boiling points,  and it will vary slightly with the weather, and so on. you'll get close, but how close is close enough?

assuming jst's jehovah is of one nature, the perception of him will vary with time, place, and culture. this would not be true if his existence amd nature were unambiguous, but that is not the casr. in my opinion, this inability to see one nsture for god implies either universalism or his nonexistence.

You've earned two master's degrees in two different fields of science, how do you understand claims to be accepted as facts?

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 14, 2018, 09:07:09 PM
I'm not disputing facts.  The fact is Christians are splintered into thousands of sects.  What has not been established as fact is that if God exists then all Christians would be in agreement.

The fact is the Bible says sectarianism would infiltrate the congregation.  So to me, pointing out sectarianism doesn't disprove God.  It's proves the Bible.

Conflict among believers doesn't disprove a god of course. And the sophomoric resolution to this problem is to declare those who don't agree to be heretic of some sort. So while it doesn't actually solve the problem, it allows the believer to dismiss the problem as problematic.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 14, 2018, 09:09:13 PM
but whether i think it's ludicrous or not is beside the point, if god exists. one problem with both theism and atheism is SPAG. for theists,  the idea is that the god you accept is accepted because of his resemblance to what you think a god should be like. for atheists, the idea is that the god you reject is rejected because of his non-resemblance to what you think a god should be like.

Are you saying atheists reject belief in a god or many gods because the god character does not resemble what the atheist thinks it should?

Also, have you been giving any thought to jdawg's question here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30990.msg729694.html#msg729694)? I'm also curious what you think this faith is based on.

Quote
so i don't know. how much of what god is or is not should be subject to my ideas of what a god should be? should god be consistent? why? should god be loving? why? should god behave logically? why? same for omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent. . . why?

people argue endless about why god is, or is not, adequately described by their own SPAG, their own suppositions as to what a god must be. i don't have that preconception, so arguments that god is not loving, or that god might not be omnipotent, are meaningless to me.

Don't you think it's more reasonable to determine the characteristics of a thing based on the qualities of the thing itself rather than what people would like the thing to be?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 15, 2018, 09:54:06 AM
I'm not disputing facts.  The fact is Christians are splintered into thousands of sects.  What has not been established as fact is that if God exists then all Christians would be in agreement.

The fact is the Bible says sectarianism would infiltrate the congregation.  So to me, pointing out sectarianism doesn't disprove God.  It's proves the Bible.

Conflict among believers doesn't disprove a god of course. And the sophomoric resolution to this problem is to declare those who don't agree to be heretic of some sort. So while it doesn't actually solve the problem, it allows the believer to dismiss the problem as problematic.

Yes I know.  I wear that label myself.  But I've also had some good discussions with other believers.  Only a minority actually labels me, but it happens.  But that's no reason for me to throw my hands up and quit trying.

   

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 15, 2018, 12:17:45 PM

You've earned two master's degrees in two different fields of science, how do you understand claims to be accepted as facts?

different understandings of logic will answer that question in different ways, albeto. there's more than one system of logic. in my opinion, a fact is something proven to be true on tbe basis of indisputable evidence or reasoning. a claim is something believed to be true on the basis of evidence considered reasonable, but not conclusive.

a claim becomes an accepted fact when tbe evidence for it becomes indisputable, rather than just reasonable. if people dispute the evidence or the reasoning, not everbody will agree.

what is your own opinion?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 15, 2018, 08:35:53 PM
different understandings of logic will answer that question in different ways, albeto. there's more than one system of logic. in my opinion, a fact is something proven to be true on tbe basis of indisputable evidence or reasoning. a claim is something believed to be true on the basis of evidence considered reasonable, but not conclusive.

a claim becomes an accepted fact when tbe evidence for it becomes indisputable, rather than just reasonable. if people dispute the evidence or the reasoning, not everbody will agree.

Thank you for this. Do you agree there exists indisputable evidence and reasoning to establish and accept certain facts about the existence and nature of water, despite its possibly having been observed and recorded with error from time to time? Do you think that despite faulty conclusions, personal perceptions, or cultural influences we can still rely on gathered knowledge of the properties of water to use it predictably, regardless of who uses it or what they believe?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 04:26:44 AM
sure. tbe existence of water can be demonstrated by observation, its characteristics can be recorded with reasonable precision, and then can be used to predict its presence and state elsewhere.

do you agree tbat newtonian mechanics is an insufficient model of tbe universe to be able to predict tbe quantum characteristics of light and the relative relationships between space and time, and to try to conform tbe real world to an inaccurate model necessarily results in error?

do you think tbat inspite of tbe accuracy of newtonian mechanics in explaining tbe world tbat provided tbe premisez upon which it was constructed, that it may fail to predict tbe true characteristics of tbe true universe, which actually conforms to laws not included in tbe newtonian model?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 16, 2018, 09:53:59 AM
what i think is that you think a great deal more carefully about what you believe than most people, jdawg, and that your posts require more thought in replying than do a lot of others.
Thanks, I suppose, but I don't see it that way.  I would hate to think that I think a great deal more carefully about what I believe than most people.  To me that would be the equivalent of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom being considered one of the greatest films of all time.  I love the movie but man are there problems with it.

Quote
i do understand the difference between asserting a non-belief and asserting a dis-belief. that's why i used the modifier "certainty regarding atheism." i was obviously not clear. i meant, not certainty regarding your beliefs, but certainty regarding their truth value. here is my view:
What's the difference between 'certainty regarding beliefs' and 'certainty regarding their truth value'?  Can you elaborate on what you mean by those statements?  What's being measured regarding certainty when speaking of 'certainty regarding belief'?  If it's different from 'truth value' or 'confidence in truth value', what is that difference?  Are you just talking about knowledge regarding a belief?

Like, distinguish these two statements for me:
1) I am nigh-certain that my belief that a door is in front of me is true.
2) I am nigh-certain that there is a door in front of me.

Is statement two a statement that is independent of belief?  Does the first statement make no claims or assertions regarding truth value?

Quote
people who assert the non-existence of god as a fact are operating on a faith level indistinguishable from people who assert the existence of god as a fact.

^^^that is what i believe. if someone wants to make a distinction between things they know to be true, and things they do not know to be false, that's okay with me. i understand the difference.

but in the end, the taxonomy is unimportant to me. i'd rather people just explain what they believe rather than identify with a category.
Yeah I feel ya, but I am still a little concerned about what preconceived notions you may be bringing to the table, intentional or otherwise, when someone informs you or you are otherwise informed about someone's label of 'atheist'.

Quote
but it's coming, anyway. be careful of your examples:

(https://i.imgur.com/iJWBcyNl.png)
I guess...why should I have been careful with my example of the ball of yarn?  Prior to any evidence of any kind whatsoever, like the picture you posted, would you have said it advisable to possess the belief that there is, in fact, a giant ball of yarn in Paris, France?  If I suddenly pulled out a leprechaun from my desk, would you feel like you would have had egg on your face for withholding belief in the existence of that leprechaun in my desk based on solely my claim "I have a leprechaun in my desk"?  You would not have felt justified in withholding belief that a leprechaun exists in my desk prior to me showing some evidence of that leprechaun?

That you think the example was a potential misstep on my part regarding what I'm saying is, I think, somewhat indicative of the biases I think you have regarding atheists.  If I started from a position that did not include possessing a belief in the existence of a 50m ball of yarn in Paris, France, and you showed me evidence of the existence of a 50m ball of yarn in Paris, France - I guess, would you have expected me, an a-ball-of-yarn-in-Paris-ist, to be upset with the discovery of my incorrectness?  That I would have found evidence that was contrary to what my belief-state was regarding 50m balls of yarn in Paris, France to be problematic, and that I should have somehow known better prior to seeing this evidence?

...again, my primary concern isn't about what label you slap on yourself, or even what label you slap on others in your own internal discourse.  I am concerned about what you interpret from that label from others.  Perhaps it's worthwhile to again ask - what do you think I, an atheist, exercise faith in?  And understand that I am definitely taking into account your modifier "certainly regarding atheism".
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 16, 2018, 10:04:07 AM
it's curious that the ball of yarn isn't even remotely 50 meters (assumed in diameter) and it's presented as evidence for a 50 meter ball of yarn.  It is not. 

it also strikes me as the same tactic of woo peddlers when kevin runs to quantum physics as an excuse on why we might not be right.   It is possible that I can think of a world where there are no physics or none that we can understand, aka a Dr. Seussian world, but there is no reason think that one is probable. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 16, 2018, 10:07:10 AM
kevinagain -

The above on "certainty regarding beliefs" and "certainty regarding truth value" makes me think of an old thread of mine:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30307.0.html

In that thread I was essentially trying to further explore and understand the differences between "knowing about a belief" and "accepting a belief as true", which I feel is related to our conversation here.  If you've got the time you should consider reading through that to give you more of an idea of where I'm coming from with my response to you here.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 16, 2018, 10:08:36 AM
it's curious that the ball of yarn isn't even remotely 50 meters (assumed in diameter) and it's presented as evidence for a 50 meter ball of yarn.  It is not.

Well I think he's just using that particular pic as an example of being careful of...something.  I'm thinking it's the "be careful to not be wrong" thing.  But I don't think he's presenting that as a serious blow or anything to my lack of belief in the existence of a ball of yarn 50m in diameter in Paris, France.

...also I'm pretty sure that's a ball of rubber bands.  Again I don't think that's his point, but I do hope he understands his point isn't an especially good one.  Of course I could just be misunderstanding his point.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 16, 2018, 10:17:30 AM
You seem to think that if God is real then all Christians should agree.  You are entitled to your opinion.  I have no reason to believe that way.  I think expectations should be based on what the Bible says.  It does not say all believers would be in agreement.  It fact, it predicts sectarianism and condemns it.  It was prophesied to occur and it occurred.  This reality builds my faith in Jehovah and the Bible.

Why wouldn't you expect reality to be treated more or less equally by people? It is a fact that water boils at sea level at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. I may not pay attention to the temp when I'm boiling eggs on the stove, but I would be mighty surprised if one day my eggs boiled at 70 degrees, or if boiling water suddenly required the same heat necessary to melt lead. The chemical properties of water contribute to our knowledge of everything from cooking to aviation. Why would reality about a god be any different? Opinions would differ, but facts don't. Surely you would agree facts are objective by nature.

I'm not disputing facts.  The fact is Christians are splintered into thousands of sects.  What has not been established as fact is that if God exists then all Christians would be in agreement.

The fact is the Bible says sectarianism would infiltrate the congregation.  So to me, pointing out sectarianism doesn't disprove God.  It's proves the Bible.

indeed the bible does say that there will be sectarianism.  Now, we have a god that claims to say the truth.   We have a supposed messiah that claims to say the truth.  And both, though supposedly omnipotent, cannot communicate this truth so that everyone accepts it, as they should be able to do without error.   They fail, destroying the false claims by theists in this one stroke. 

The common Christian answer is "free will", but the bible never indicates free will is important to this god and is indeed punishable by death and worse if one does not obey this god and follow the "truth".  Indeed, the bible indicates that it has no problem in allowing believers to be deceived and lied to, to the point of this god intentionally allowing its archenemy to come back and lie to the believers that Jesus Christ ruled over for an "eon" just so this god can have another bloodbath.

Now, are the authors of the bible making what happens with humans a prophecy when it is not, in that they already saw it happening?   There is nothing at all to indicate that this is a prophecy when we have no good idea when this nonsense was written and the intent by the author.   We do know that there has been factional ism in religion since its invention, and paul rants and raves about how dare anyone believe any version of Christianity but his.  This is another instance where a Christian will insist on prophecy and that claim fails just as the other ones have.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 16, 2018, 10:21:20 AM
velkyn, i don’t like wasting time feeding trolls, and in the future i’m not going waste more time feeding you. i’m continually surprised that people here put up with your posting, which goes beyond merely stupid and mostly consists of just spite and malice. but as i said before, that reflects well on them.

so have a nice day. i'm done.

of course you are dear,  we've seen that statement more than a few times, and still false.   but still keep calling me a troll if that makes you feel better and trying to insult the other people here with your passive aggressive nonsense.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 10:33:52 AM
kevinagain -

The above on "certainty regarding beliefs" and "certainty regarding truth value" makes me think of an old thread of mine:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30307.0.html

In that thread I was essentially trying to further explore and understand the differences between "knowing about a belief" and "accepting a belief as true", which I feel is related to our conversation here.  If you've got the time you should consider reading through that to give you more of an idea of where I'm coming from with my response to you here.

lol

i've got time at the moment. i'm driving the 11th truck load of sand in a line waiting to deliver to a well pad that hasnt run more than 6 hours in a row for four days. it will be about three hours before i'm out of here, at tbe earliest.

your posts are pretty dense. let me think. i do believe i need to explain myself more carefully as we go along, becsuse the metaphors and re-statements i use keep getting misunderstood and it takes time to back up and start over. not profitable.

for instance, my image of the ball of yarn was a joke, because your example made me laugh earlier. if i could have found a picture oc a bigger one, i would have used that instead.

let me see what the gods of concise expression might grant me.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 10:51:54 AM

kevinagain, do you see any differences between these two statements:
1) I believe that there does not exist a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France.
2) I do not believe that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France.

Would anyone agreeing with either of those statements be able to say that they possess a belief that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France?



maybe i can just re-answer your original question?

saying that"i believe that there does not exist . . .x" is what i regard as a statement of positive knowledge. a statement of positive knowledge can justifiably be required to be accompanied by evidence for tbe claim.

saying that "i do not believe that there exists . . . x" is what i regard as a statement of no knowledge,"  and makes no claim that requires evidence.

am i understanding you correctly?

Quote
.again, my primary concern isn't about what label you slap on yourself, or even what label you slap on others in your own internal discourse.  I am concerned about what you interpret from that label from others.  Perhaps it's worthwhile to again ask - what do you think I, an atheist, exercise faith in?  And understand that I am definitely taking into account your modifier "certainly regarding atheism".

youve interpreted it backwards. i dont think that you exercise faith in anything, which was the point i was trying to make.

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 16, 2018, 11:02:40 AM

kevinagain, do you see any differences between these two statements:
1) I believe that there does not exist a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France.
2) I do not believe that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France.

Would anyone agreeing with either of those statements be able to say that they possess a belief that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France?



maybe i can just re-answer your original question?

saying that"i believe that there does not exist . . .x" is what i regard as a statement of positive knowledge. a statement of positive knowledge can justifiably be required to be accompanied by evidence for tbe claim.

saying that "i do not believe that there exists . . . x" is what i regard as a statement of no knowledge,"  and makes no claim that requires evidence.

am i understanding you correctly?
I think you understand what I'm saying.

Could you answer the third question now?
Would anyone agreeing with either of those statements be able to say that they possess a belief that there exists a giant ball of yarn exceeding 50m in diameter in Paris, France?

Quote
Quote
.again, my primary concern isn't about what label you slap on yourself, or even what label you slap on others in your own internal discourse.  I am concerned about what you interpret from that label from others.  Perhaps it's worthwhile to again ask - what do you think I, an atheist, exercise faith in?  And understand that I am definitely taking into account your modifier "certainly regarding atheism".

youve interpreted it backwards. i dont think that you exercise faith in anything, which was the point i was trying to make.
I am having a very difficult time squaring your words above with your words below:

if the image appears the same with and without the theisti narrative, then i am having trouble seeing how the narrative is justifiable as more than speculation. possible, but untestable and unprovable.

But how many narratives match reality and is anything within them testable?  I think people sometimes get too hung up on the untestable.  "God created the heavens and the earth".  This is not testable but people will claim "no gods are necessary", but then they really don't know that.  To me that is a faith belief because it's untestable.

i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.

What am I misunderstanding here?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 11:23:40 AM
no, tbere is no justification in eitber statement for asserting the existence of a ball of yarn. no one agreeing with eitber statemnt could consistently say tbat tbey believed tbe yarn existed.

regarding misunderstanding, i am distinguishing a statement of existential import-- i believe tbere is no ball of yarn--from one without existential import-- i have no belief in the ball of yarn.

the first statement asserts tbe existence of a condition, that tbe yarn is not there. tbe second does not make any assertion at all except for a lack of knowledge.

is tbis how you were using the ideas?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 16, 2018, 11:59:18 AM
sure. tbe existence of water can be demonstrated by observation, its characteristics can be recorded with reasonable precision, and then can be used to predict its presence and state elsewhere.

do you agree tbat newtonian mechanics is an insufficient model of tbe universe to be able to predict tbe quantum characteristics of light and the relative relationships between space and time, and to try to conform tbe real world to an inaccurate model necessarily results in error?

do you think tbat inspite of tbe accuracy of newtonian mechanics in explaining tbe world tbat provided tbe premisez upon which it was constructed, that it may fail to predict tbe true characteristics of tbe true universe, which actually conforms to laws not included in tbe newtonian model?

This is merely a "god of the gaps" argument. First it was culture and perception, then it was faulty measurements and data records, now it's quantum physics that is offered as a possible explanation that despite claims this god of the bible can be observed and known (or its effects), no one has ever been able to objectively observe this god and no knowledge of it exists outside religious faith-based claims.

I can't help but wonder what's wrong with leaving it at that. Why would it be so important to promote the existence of some heretofore unknown but mysterious and magical explanation likely hidden in the gaps of modern knowledge to be uncovered at a later date, or maybe never at all? That's a rhetorical question, btw. I'm not asking you directly, but if you'd like to answer that's fine too. Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
 
I'm still curious what you mean by your definition of atheism: "the god you reject is rejected because of his non-resemblance to what you think a god should be like." Can you expand more on that?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 12:12:56 PM
listen, albeto.

you need to understand something that you keep missing, over and over.

i am not a christian.

i do not believe in god.

i make no statements that anyone can construe otherwise, unless they insert words that i did not supply.

i am very intetested in how people think, both theists and non-tbeists. i have to go.

please think this over.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 16, 2018, 12:48:44 PM
listen, albeto.

you need to understand something that you keep missing, over and over.

i am not a christian.

i do not believe in god.

i make no statements that anyone can construe otherwise, unless they insert words that i did not supply.

i am very intetested in how people think, both theists and non-tbeists. i have to go.

please think this over.

I do understand that. And yet I notice you throw out options, such as reincarnation or this last one, that maybe people's cultural views or poor data collection prevents them from understanding god - if such a thing exists. I've never encountered someone who doesn't believe in deities consistently promote possibilities of deities before. It's weird for me is all. I'll get over it, lol!

Still looking forward to your explaining the idea of atheism being a rejection of what they think god ought to be. That's also a new one for me. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 01:09:09 PM
im driving catch you later
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 01:42:46 PM
lol

part of it is that i have only scraps of time between moving the truck and do t get complete thoughts down. i work 4 o  4 off, 13 to 16 hours a day, so i have to rush

got to move tbe truck again
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 16, 2018, 02:55:03 PM
I do think atheism is a faith belief or at least it is indistinguishable from one.  I don't think it is simply "lacking a belief in God".  You simply lack belief in something that's completely foreign to you.  If you had never heard of God then maybe you would simply lack a belief.  But once confronted with a claim you must choose to either accept it or not accept it.  Here is an example.

Three men are sitting in a house.  None of them have heard any weather reports.  They all lack a belief that a tornado is coming.  Then another person comes in a claims a tornado is approaching.  One man gets up and goes to take shelter.  The other two sit there and do nothing.

1.  Which man has belief in an approaching tornado? 
2.  Which man lacks a belief in an approaching tornado?
3.  Which man believes there is no approaching tornado?

#2 and #3 are identical because they both result in the same action.  Belief is evidenced by action.  He may say he simply lacks a belief but his inaction shows he actually believes there is no tornado.  You cannot just lack a belief once you are presented with the knowledge.  You must decide to either believe or disbelieve.  And you true beliefs will be evidenced by your actions.

My dog lacks a belief in God.  I don't think you guys do.  I think you actually believe there is no God because that's the way you consciously live your life, as if all God claims are false.

And let's say man #2 starts arguing and debating that there probably is no tornado.  Would you say he is simply lacking a belief?  Maybe there are some that simply lack a belief in God, but I don't include any of you among them.  To me, what you say you believe is betrayed by your actions.  Your actions show what you really believe.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 08:22:58 PM
Quote from: kevin
i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.

What am I misunderstanding here?

i'm not sure. i think it's probably semantics, which you'll notice has gotten in the way of communication more than once recently.

"certainty regarding atheism" is the shorthand i use for what people call explicit atheism, which is i define as this:

explicit atheism is the rejection of the null hypothesis that there exists at least one god.

i suppose some people might call that "strong atheism," which i suppose is okay. rather than substitute a label, which has proven confusing, i find it easier and quicker just to ask people to explain what they believe, in a sentence or two. for example, i believe that i do not know whether gods exist or not. i call that agnosticism, and don't need to analyze the etymology.

is this what you were asking?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 08:55:14 PM
yo albeto

I do understand that. And yet I notice you throw out options, such as reincarnation or this last one, that maybe people's cultural views or poor data collection prevents them from understanding god - if such a thing exists. I've never encountered someone who doesn't believe in deities consistently promote possibilities of deities before. It's weird for me is all. I'll get over it, lol!

i don't believe in reincarnation. but i don't see why reincarnation is any odder than black holes, or light that bends, or neutrinos, or the indeterminate location of electrons. i don't think it's likely enough to pursue, but i make a clear distinction between things i know and things i don't know, and i don't know that reincarnation does not exist. and so on, including god. or quaggas. or fairies, for that matter.

Quote
Still looking forward to your explaining the idea of atheism being a rejection of what they think god ought to be. That's also a new one for me.

many people base their rejection of god on their own SPAG. for example, WWGHA is primarily a christianity website. not because its members are christians, but because christianity is the primary focus of probably 90 percent of the conversations that occur here regarding religion. it's what people here are most interested in talking about when they discuss atheism. if we actually counted, i might be wrong, but i don't think so.

because this is a christianity website, you will read the same story over and over:

i was raised a christian , but i disagreed with [x, y, and z.] it is absurd to think that a god would behave in a manner that is so [illogical/immoral/unreasonable/etc]. i justify my atheism on that basis. god does not exist because he is not like me.

this is NOT a definition of atheism, which i never claimed it to be. it IS the explanation of why many people -- here on WWGHA-- are atheists, and frequently supplies the evidence that i read over and over-- here on WWGHA. i'm not saying any of this is wrong, or unreasonable. i am merely observing what is. people define god according to their own projections of what god would be like if they were god-- SPAG-- and reject the idea because the one they hear about isn't like the god that they project.


my turn.

you cite the scientific method fairly frequently as the basis for understanding reality, and for addressing the question of whether there are or are not gods.

the scientific method is a means of investigating reality. like any tool, there are some purposes for which it is better or worse suited than others.

what are the assumptions of the scientific method, as you see it? what ideas form its foundation?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 16, 2018, 10:20:49 PM
@kevinagain:

Let me stop you right there.  The null hypothesis is basically the empty hypothesis.  In science, it is the hypothesis that says there is no relationship between given phenomena.  For example, if one were trying to see if water would dissolve silicates, the null hypothesis is that nothing would happen.

The hypothesis you describe as "there exists at least one god" is not null.  The true null hypothesis is "gods have no effect on reality".  The reason strong atheists reject gods is because of Occam's razor; if gods have no effect on reality, then asserting any entities of the class 'god' is unnecessary.  The point is to minimize assumptions and avoid ad hoc additions that don't actually tell us anything.

This, I think, is the reason things like reincarnation are disregarded, while black holes are not.  It doesn't have anything to do with them being odd or not odd.  The oddity of something has no bearing on whether it exists.

I'll save albeto the trouble of having to look this up; the assumptions of the scientific method are that phenomena are understandable as an effect of nature and that there is no exception to the 'rules' nature operates under.

http://www.science20.com/rugbyologist/scientific_assumptions
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 16, 2018, 10:40:52 PM
hi bud

@kevinagain:

Let me stop you right there.  The null hypothesis is basically the empty hypothesis.  In science, it is the hypothesis that says there is no relationship between given phenomena.  For example, if one were trying to see if water would dissolve silicates, the null hypothesis is that nothing would happen.

The hypothesis you describe as "there exists at least one god" is not null.  The true null hypothesis is "gods have no effect on reality".  The reason strong atheists reject gods is because of Occam's razor; if gods have no effect on reality, then asserting any entities of the class 'god' is unnecessary.  The point is to minimize assumptions and avoid ad hoc additions that don't actually tell us anything.

sure. that will work. would you please rephrase it in the context of this discussion?

you recognize that asserting that an explanation is unnecessay is not the same as asserting that it is false?

occam's razor is a tool of convenience. it isnt a test of any kind.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 08:27:35 AM
albeto, i am still interested in your opinion.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2018, 08:42:16 AM
no, tbere is no justification in eitber statement for asserting the existence of a ball of yarn. no one agreeing with eitber statemnt could consistently say tbat tbey believed tbe yarn existed.
So you would agree that person would not possess belief in the existence of a 50m diameter ball of yarn in Paris, France?

Quote
regarding misunderstanding, i am distinguishing a statement of existential import-- i believe tbere is no ball of yarn--from one without existential import-- i have no belief in the ball of yarn.
Could you better clarify 'existential import'?  I think that is related to this:
What's the difference between 'certainty regarding beliefs' and 'certainty regarding their truth value'?  Can you elaborate on what you mean by those statements?  What's being measured regarding certainty when speaking of 'certainty regarding belief'?  If it's different from 'truth value' or 'confidence in truth value', what is that difference?  Are you just talking about knowledge regarding a belief?

Like, distinguish these two statements for me:
1) I am nigh-certain that my belief that a door is in front of me is true.
2) I am nigh-certain that there is a door in front of me.

Is statement two a statement that is independent of belief?  Does the first statement make no claims or assertions regarding truth value?


Quote
the first statement asserts tbe existence of a condition, that tbe yarn is not there. tbe second does not make any assertion at all except for a lack of knowledge.
And as far as beliefs are concerned, both statements would indicate that the entity making said statement would not possess a belief in the existence of the yarn, yes?

I just want to make sure we're both on the same page on that one.  Again I think I need more clarity on 'existential import' but I do suspect we're roughly on the same page here.

Quote
is tbis how you were using the ideas?
I was trying to understand how you use the ideas.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2018, 08:57:45 AM
Quote from: kevin
i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.

What am I misunderstanding here?

i'm not sure. i think it's probably semantics, which you'll notice has gotten in the way of communication more than once recently.

"certainty regarding atheism" is the shorthand i use for what people call explicit atheism, which is i define as this:
Maybe don't use such an egregious, assumptive shorthand in the future?  I feel like you said that you dislike cake, and we had a conversation that basically revealed that you're fine with cake but you don't like chocolate cake.  I was trying to figure out what it is you thought about cake batter.  Turns out cake batter has nothing to do with it.

Quote
explicit atheism is the rejection of the null hypothesis that there exists at least one god.
I believe jaimehlers has tackled this but I have to say it is weird to consider that the null hypothesis.

Quote
i suppose some people might call that "strong atheism," which i suppose is okay. rather than substitute a label, which has proven confusing, i find it easier and quicker just to ask people to explain what they believe, in a sentence or two. for example, i believe that i do not know whether gods exist or not. i call that agnosticism, and don't need to analyze the etymology.

is this what you were asking?
I was asking what I was misunderstanding about these rather contradictory (mutually exclusive, cannot be simultaneously true, etc) statements on your part:
youve interpreted it backwards. i dont think that you exercise faith in anything, which was the point i was trying to make.
Wherein you are saying that you don't think that I, a person you know with nigh-certainty that self-identifies as 'atheist', am exercising faith in anything, and:
i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.
Wherein you state that atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism.

The misunderstanding stems from you leaving out information.  That's fine.  It happens.  What I want to make sure - what I want to be clear on - is that when someone tells you that they are an atheist - for example, me - you have as few incorrect assumptions regarding that person's position and views.  Prior to us conversing, if I had introduced myself and said "hi I'm jdawg70 and I am an atheist," would you have assumed that I was exercising faith in something?  If yes, then you understand the point of our discussion I hope.  If no, then simply be more careful and less assumptive in the future.

Still interested in what faith you think is being exercised in those who take a 'strong atheist' position by the by, and certainly interested in how that is roughly quantified as 'on the same level as a pentacostal', though that may be a different conversation.  I don't find that claim (that strong atheism is a position of faith) to be correct.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 09:01:56 AM
lol

yes, yes, and yes, i think? none of the assertions you describe contain wording that requires a belief in the ball of yarn.

not believing in something asserts absence of belief . . . in the yarn.

dis-believing in something asserts presence of disbelief, not of belief, in the yarn.

existential import is the implication of existence ina phenomenon inherent in a proposition. in aristotelean logic, the statement " all frogs lay eggs in the water" infers the pre-existence of frogs. in boolean logic, the inference is not consequent. i can say that frogs lay eggs in the water without requiring the statement "frogs exist" to be true. it has consequences in terms of what inferences are valid from ones premises.

let me get to opening the door i dont believe in a bit. im still reading your other thread.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 09:10:47 AM
jdawg, you have to understand also that youre difficult to talk with. when i make a one-line humorous joke about a giant ball of yorn, you respond with paragraphs of writing speculating on my hidden meanings. the density of your posts takes lots of consideration.

slow down a bit. i dont have the tools or the brains to translate braided streams into canals, and i get pretty terse when i am faced with multiple ntertwined lines of thought in a single post.

its a limit in my thinking. im pretty linear.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 17, 2018, 10:37:40 AM
i don't believe in reincarnation. but i don't see why reincarnation is any odder than black holes, or light that bends, or neutrinos, or the indeterminate location of electrons. i don't think it's likely enough to pursue, but i make a clear distinction between things i know and things i don't know, and i don't know that reincarnation does not exist. and so on, including god. or quaggas. or fairies, for that matter.

The difference between reincarnation and black holes, bending light, neutrinos, or the indeterminate location of electrons is the existence of evidence that contributes to such hypotheses. The evidence you provided for reincarnation, informal and off the cuff as it may have been, was essentially "new forms of life." This doesn't make sense to me, and in no small part because I can't figure out what you mean by "new forms of life." It seems to me that what you noted with regard to the trees, fungus, and chorals was more detailed information, but that information seems to me to fit squarely into the realm of biology. Why would that be insufficient?

Quote
many people base their rejection of god on their own SPAG. for example, WWGHA is primarily a christianity website. not because its members are christians, but because christianity is the primary focus of probably 90 percent of the conversations that occur here regarding religion. it's what people here are most interested in talking about when they discuss atheism. if we actually counted, i might be wrong, but i don't think so.

because this is a christianity website, you will read the same story over and over:

i was raised a christian , but i disagreed with [x, y, and z.] it is absurd to think that a god would behave in a manner that is so [illogical/immoral/unreasonable/etc]. i justify my atheism on that basis. god does not exist because he is not like me.

this is NOT a definition of atheism, which i never claimed it to be. it IS the explanation of why many people -- here on WWGHA-- are atheists, and frequently supplies the evidence that i read over and over-- here on WWGHA. i'm not saying any of this is wrong, or unreasonable. i am merely observing what is. people define god according to their own projections of what god would be like if they were god-- SPAG-- and reject the idea because the one they hear about isn't like the god that they project.

I'm not sure I understand correctly. Do you suggest if atheists could hear the "right" version of god described, they wouldn't be atheists any more? If that self projection could work out logically for them, then they would no longer identify as atheist?

Quote
my turn.

you cite the scientific method fairly frequently as the basis for understanding reality, and for addressing the question of whether there are or are not gods.

the scientific method is a means of investigating reality. like any tool, there are some purposes for which it is better or worse suited than others.

what are the assumptions of the scientific method, as you see it? what ideas form its foundation?

I don't think science addresses whether or not there are gods. I don't think science can. Science addresses the nature of reality, and thus far there has been no evidence to suggest a god variable, or any magical or supernatural interjection of any kind is realistic.

I'm not sure off the top of my head I can think of a tool that explains any part of reality better than the scientific method. What other tools are so reliable?

Many thanks to jaimehlers. The explanation he posted resonates with my understanding as well. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 10:54:53 AM
okay, can we simplify? i think these questions summarize what you have been asking. correct me if i'm wrong, please.


The misunderstanding stems from you leaving out information.  That's fine.  It happens.  What I want to make sure - what I want to be clear on - is that when someone tells you that they are an atheist - for example, me - you have as few incorrect assumptions regarding that person's position and views.  Prior to us conversing, if I had introduced myself and said "hi I'm jdawg70 and I am an atheist," would you have assumed that I was exercising faith in something?  If yes, then you understand the point of our discussion I hope.  If no, then simply be more careful and less assumptive in the future.

no, i would not have assumed you had faith in anything. if you had introduced yourself as an an atheist, i would have concluded that you had no belief in god. your statement would have had no information about whether or not you considered the hypothesis that at least one god did not exist was false. i've said this from the start, jdawg, clearly, to my mind, and you've repeated the question over and over, so obviously i'm missing something about expressing the idea to you.

Quote
Still interested in what faith you think is being exercised in those who take a 'strong atheist' position by the by, and certainly interested in how that is roughly quantified as 'on the same level as a pentacostal', though that may be a different conversation.  I don't find that claim (that strong atheism is a position of faith) to be correct.

i disagree with you there. i think strong atheism is a position of faith in the untestable assertion that no gods exist:

- strong atheism asserts a belief in something that is unknowable, the lack of gods in the universe.

- that belief cannot be disproven.

- to say that "no gods exist," is a positive assertion of knowledge in exactly the same measure as a pentacostalist asserting, "one or more gods exists."

both are statements adequately summarized by the author of hebrews: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

i don't quantify the comparison except to state that since the arguments are the same, the lack of evidence is the same, and the conclusion is the same, then the level of belief required in either is likely to be the same as well.


this is why i believe this:

if you take jaime's formulation of the null hypothesis, which is clearer than mine was:

. . . "gods have no effect on reality". . .

then you have an idea which cannot be falsified. certainly, demonstrating the activity of a god would contradict the null hypothesis. but that is impossible to test, because gods can choose whether to manifest themselves or not. gods are not chemical reactions, or statistical tests, or lottery balls subject to probability. an unequivocal demonstration of a god event would be falsify the null hypothesis, but the lack of a god event tells you nothing. there is no P value you can apply.

it's the same as testing for the presence of the mary ann in the next room, using the null hypothesis that mary ann is not present. if my test is to call out, "hey, mary ann, sup, babe . . ." and she answers, then i know she is in there. but if she doesn't answer, i know nothing, because mary ann may have chosen not to answer because she thinks i'm full of shit. even if i look into the room, mary ann may step into the closet.

just like asserting that mary ann  is not in the next room, strong atheism asserts that gods do not exist, not that someone simply lacks belief in them. there is no test that i know of that can demonstrate that to be true, or all of its opposing statements to be false.

hence i assert that strong atheism and pentacostalism require equivalent levels of faith in things unseen.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2018, 11:27:09 AM
jdawg, you have to understand also that youre difficult to talk with. when i make a one-line humorous joke about a giant ball of yorn, you respond with paragraphs of writing speculating on my hidden meanings. the density of your posts takes lots of consideration.
That is fine, but understand that my tangent with the ball of yarn, as far as I can tell, was very, very, very relevant to the topic at hand.  I used it as a springboard to further our exchange of ideas.  Personally I think I'm saying some good stuff regarding that ball of yarn, in terms of what it means to accept or withhold belief and why it may or may not be appropriate to do such a thing depending on circumstances.  That you made it as a joke is fine but I feel like you're sortakinda missing the broader point, and I genuinely feel like that broader point is quite relevant to our discussion.

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slow down a bit. i dont have the tools or the brains to translate braided streams into canals, and i get pretty terse when i am faced with multiple ntertwined lines of thought in a single post.
That is fine.  Have you noticed the amount of lag time between my posts to you?

Also, if you do get to the point of just not being interested in a discussion (due to lack of interest or conversational exhaustion or just because you want to focus on other topics/discussion/people), like this one with me for example, it is fine if you want to drop it.  Just let me know.

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its a limit in my thinking. im pretty linear.
I'm guessing your thinking is a lot less linear than you think it is.  This is neither a good nor a bad thing; it's just a thing.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 17, 2018, 11:35:13 AM
It isn't a surprise that kevin now declares his ball of yarn analogy a "joke"f. It wass posted as a reason why to do something.  Your analogy failed and now it becomes a "joke". 

Kevin wants to use the word faith as a theist would, and then make the baseless assumption that an atheist would have this belief based on nothing, as a theist would.   I, as an atheist, and as one who is sure that there are no gods in the universe, have reached that conclusion because of evidence and lack of evidence, because I know how humans define god, and that they don't mean some vague undetermined thing that doesn't do anything.  it requires kevin to make up soemthign that isn't a god and insist that this thing that he cannot define may exist and be aghast that no one believes in such a thing.  For some reason he feels that keeping an "open mind" to something that can't be defined and can't be seen to exist to be the better position for some reason.  In this, it would be just as better a position to believe in the great bugblatter beast of traal. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 17, 2018, 11:38:27 AM
My dog lacks a belief in God.  I don't think you guys do.  I think you actually believe there is no God because that's the way you consciously live your life, as if all God claims are false.

what you think makes no difference, since you are simply wrong and basing your claims on wishful thinking.  You want to believe that people agree with you but, using the tedious old theist lie about atheists, want to claim that we just want to ignore your ever so special god because we want live our lives without obeying it. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 11:49:15 AM
hey albeto


The difference between reincarnation and black holes, bending light, neutrinos, or the indeterminate location of electrons is the existence of evidence that contributes to such hypotheses. The evidence you provided for reincarnation, informal and off the cuff as it may have been, was essentially "new forms of life." This doesn't make sense to me, and in no small part because I can't figure out what you mean by "new forms of life." It seems to me that what you noted with regard to the trees, fungus, and chorals was more detailed information, but that information seems to me to fit squarely into the realm of biology. Why would that be insufficient?

why would a god not fit squarely into the realm of biology? what is impossible about a form of life that is poorly detected but still fits into the usual view of how the universe works, but with a nature that might change the paradigm? to say that it doesn't exist because we haven't found it is an assertion that our search was 100 percent adequate. is that reasonable?

regarding evidence, there's plenty of evidence for the existence of reincarnation. every book in the vedas asserts it, explains why it is reasonable, and makes predictions. crazy people provide evidence for past lives in every mental institution. you can assert that the available evidence is flawed, that it is inconclusive, or that you just don't believe it, and that nothing is proven, but you can't assert that no evidence exists. evidence is not proof.

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I'm not sure I understand correctly. Do you suggest if atheists could hear the "right" version of god described, they wouldn't be atheists any more? If that self projection could work out logically for them, then they would no longer identify as atheist?

nope. of course, some might.


Quote from: jaime
I don't think science addresses whether or not there are gods. I don't think science can. Science addresses the nature of reality, and thus far there has been no evidence to suggest a god variable, or any magical or supernatural interjection of any kind is realistic.


i agree that science currently cannot address whether there are gods. but there's plenty of evidence. there is no scientific proof.

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I'm not sure off the top of my head I can think of a tool that explains any part of reality better than the scientific method. What other tools are so reliable?

Many thanks to jaimehlers. The explanation he posted resonates with my understanding as well.

to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. when faced with a screw, the hammer doesn't work. asserting that screws therefore do not exist is not a reasonable solution, although it results in a belief that hammers are a reliable tool for every fastener.

what is wrong with the following assertion?

reality consists of all things that can be tested using the scientific method.

albeto, please return to a previous question. earlier i pointed out that quantum mechanics rendered newtonian mechanics obsolete. but up to that day, everybody stated that certain things were impossible because that wasn't how the world worked. and they were wrong. the paradigm changed. you did not address that point.

is it possible that the world works in ways that the scientific method does not yet address?


Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 11:53:51 AM
jdawg, you have to understand also that youre difficult to talk with. when i make a one-line humorous joke about a giant ball of yorn, you respond with paragraphs of writing speculating on my hidden meanings. the density of your posts takes lots of consideration.
That is fine, but understand that my tangent with the ball of yarn, as far as I can tell, was very, very, very relevant to the topic at hand.  I used it as a springboard to further our exchange of ideas.  Personally I think I'm saying some good stuff regarding that ball of yarn, in terms of what it means to accept or withhold belief and why it may or may not be appropriate to do such a thing depending on circumstances.  That you made it as a joke is fine but I feel like you're sortakinda missing the broader point, and I genuinely feel like that broader point is quite relevant to our discussion.

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slow down a bit. i dont have the tools or the brains to translate braided streams into canals, and i get pretty terse when i am faced with multiple ntertwined lines of thought in a single post.
That is fine.  Have you noticed the amount of lag time between my posts to you?

Also, if you do get to the point of just not being interested in a discussion (due to lack of interest or conversational exhaustion or just because you want to focus on other topics/discussion/people), like this one with me for example, it is fine if you want to drop it.  Just let me know.

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its a limit in my thinking. im pretty linear.
I'm guessing your thinking is a lot less linear than you think it is.  This is neither a good nor a bad thing; it's just a thing.

when i said you were difficult to talk to, i didn't mean it in a negative sense. i meant to point out that answering you requires me to think about what i believe.

but i don't know what else i can address about the ball of yarn, i think i've answered everything i've come across. is there a point i'm missing?

and anyway, i'm here because talking to people makes me think harder about what i believe. i've had my mind changed about significant things by conversations with people lots smarter than i'll ever be, and it has resulted in me being here now. i'm still trying to figure out what you think i'm missing, because you clearly are making a point that's going over my head.

what is it?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2018, 11:54:51 AM
no, i would not have assumed you had faith in anything. if you had introduced yourself as an an atheist, i would have concluded that you had no belief in god. your statement would have had no information about whether or not you considered the hypothesis that at least one god did not exist was false. i've said this from the start,
I'm just going to remind you what started our conversion:
i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.
From the start, near as I can tell, you have associated 'atheism' with 'having as much a faith belief as pentacostalism'.  Now, you've clarified what you meant.  Which is good.  But I want to be very clear on the circumstance here, kevinagain.

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jdawg, clearly, to my mind, and you've repeated the question over and over, so obviously i'm missing something about expressing the idea to you.
I get it now.  When you said 'atheist' early, you did not mean 'atheist'.  You meant something more specific.  That's fine.  The last thing I posted to you was me explaining in what way I now understand what you are saying.  Henceforth the 'if no, then simply be more careful and less assumptive in the future.'  Your answer was 'no', ergo the information I was trying to convey to you in my post was to simply ask you to be more careful and less assumptive in the future.

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Still interested in what faith you think is being exercised in those who take a 'strong atheist' position by the by, and certainly interested in how that is roughly quantified as 'on the same level as a pentacostal', though that may be a different conversation.  I don't find that claim (that strong atheism is a position of faith) to be correct.

i disagree with you there. i think strong atheism is a position of faith in the untestable assertion that no gods exist:

- strong atheism asserts a belief in something that is unknowable, the lack of gods in the universe.
What makes that unknowable?  Is there something you know about gods that allows you to say whether or not their existence in the universe, or reality at large, is knowable?

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- that belief cannot be disproven.
Why can't that be disproven?  Is there something you know about gods that allows you to say whether or not the belief in their lack of existence in the universe, or reality at large, is provable?

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- to say that "no gods exist," is a positive assertion of knowledge in exactly the same measure as a pentacostalist asserting, "one or more gods exists."
When you ask a strong atheist what their basis is for claiming no gods exist, are you saying that what they tell you sounds the same as what a pentacostalist would say that their basis is for claiming "one or more gods exist?"

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both are statements adequately summarized by the author of hebrews: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Is that the basis of a strong atheist's claim that no gods exist?  Would you say that a strong atheist hopes that god does not exist?

Can you think of any negative claim (e.g. "There is no 2nd Earth moon") wherein the statement 'evidence of things not seen' doesn't apply?

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i don't quantify the comparison except to state that since the arguments are the same,
Are they?

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the lack of evidence is the same,
Is it?

Query: is the absence of a bruise on your face evidence that no goat has kicked you in the face?  I don't mean to ask if that definitely concludes that no goat has kicked you in the face, but I am asking if you think that constitutes evidence that no goat has kicked you in the face?

Is 'no evidence' the same as 'insufficient evidence'?

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and the conclusion is the same,
...what?

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then the level of belief required in either is likely to be the same as well.
I don't think I quite get how you're making this conclusion.  Do you mean level of conviction?

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this is why i believe this:

if you take jaime's formulation of the null hypothesis, which is clearer than mine was:

. . . "gods have no effect on reality". . .

then you have an idea which cannot be falsified.
Wouldn't a god affecting reality immediately falsify this idea?  Or do you know something about gods that precludes this?

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certainly, demonstrating the activity of a god would contradict the null hypothesis. but that is impossible to test, because gods can choose whether to manifest themselves or not. gods are not chemical reactions, or statistical tests, or lottery balls subject to probability. an unequivocal demonstration of a god event would be falsify the null hypothesis, but the lack of a god event tells you nothing. there is no P value you can apply.
Unequivocal?  Is this the same as 'certain'?

Is there a difference between 'no evidence' and 'insufficient evidence'?

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it's the same as testing for the presence of the mary ann in the next room, using the null hypothesis that mary ann is not present. if my test is to call out, "hey, mary ann, sup, babe . . ." and she answers, then i know she is in there. but if she doesn't answer, i know nothing, because mary ann may have chosen not to answer because she thinks i'm full of shit. even if i look into the room, mary ann may step into the closet.
Surely you know something.  At the very least, you know that "Mary Ann's non-existence" is still in the bucket of possible explanations or descriptions of reality.  Right?

And what do you mean that you know she is there?  What if it were a Mary Ann impersonator?  A sophisticated computer program?  A ghost?  A demon?  A god?  How can you make this claim of knowledge based on hearing a response to you saying "hey, mary ann, sup, babe"?

Is there a difference between 'no evidence' and 'insufficient evidence'?

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just like asserting that mary ann  is not in the next room, strong atheism asserts that gods do not exist, not that someone simply lacks belief in them. there is no test that i know of that can demonstrate that to be true, or all of its opposing statements to be false.
So...I guess, are you saying you'd never be able to be in the position to state "Mary Ann is not in the next room" without explicitly walking into the room to check, and even then, how could you say that Mary Ann is not in the next room just because you can't see her?  Is "Mary Ann is not in the next room" really a testable claim?

Is there a difference between 'no knowledge', 'some knowledge', and 'complete knowledge'?

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hence i assert that strong atheism and pentacostalism require equivalent levels of faith in things unseen.
Personally I don't think you've thought it through enough.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 12:01:22 PM
no, i would not have assumed you had faith in anything. if you had introduced yourself as an an atheist, i would have concluded that you had no belief in god. your statement would have had no information about whether or not you considered the hypothesis that at least one god did not exist was false. i've said this from the start,
I'm just going to remind you what started our conversion:
i agree with that completely. certainty regarding atheism is as much a faith belief as pentacostalism. that's why i don't call myself an atheist.
From the start, near as I can tell, you have associated 'atheism' with 'having as much a faith belief as pentacostalism'.  Now, you've clarified what you meant.  Which is good.  But I want to be very clear on the circumstance here, kevinagain.

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jdawg, clearly, to my mind, and you've repeated the question over and over, so obviously i'm missing something about expressing the idea to you.
I get it now.  When you said 'atheist' early, you did not mean 'atheist'.  You meant something more specific.  That's fine.  The last thing I posted to you was me explaining in what way I now understand what you are saying.  Henceforth the 'if no, then simply be more careful and less assumptive in the future.'  Your answer was 'no', ergo the information I was trying to convey to you in my post was to simply ask you to be more careful and less assumptive in the future.

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Still interested in what faith you think is being exercised in those who take a 'strong atheist' position by the by, and certainly interested in how that is roughly quantified as 'on the same level as a pentacostal', though that may be a different conversation.  I don't find that claim (that strong atheism is a position of faith) to be correct.

i disagree with you there. i think strong atheism is a position of faith in the untestable assertion that no gods exist:

- strong atheism asserts a belief in something that is unknowable, the lack of gods in the universe.
What makes that unknowable?  Is there something you know about gods that allows you to say whether or not their existence in the universe, or reality at large, is knowable?

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- that belief cannot be disproven.
Why can't that be disproven?  Is there something you know about gods that allows you to say whether or not the belief in their lack of existence in the universe, or reality at large, is provable?

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- to say that "no gods exist," is a positive assertion of knowledge in exactly the same measure as a pentacostalist asserting, "one or more gods exists."
When you ask a strong atheist what their basis is for claiming no gods exist, are you saying that what they tell you sounds the same as what a pentacostalist would say that their basis is for claiming "one or more gods exist?"

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both are statements adequately summarized by the author of hebrews: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Is that the basis of a strong atheist's claim that no gods exist?  Would you say that a strong atheist hopes that god does not exist?

Can you think of any negative claim (e.g. "There is no 2nd Earth moon") wherein the statement 'evidence of things not seen' doesn't apply?

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i don't quantify the comparison except to state that since the arguments are the same,
Are they?

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the lack of evidence is the same,
Is it?

Query: is the absence of a bruise on your face evidence that no goat has kicked you in the face?  I don't mean to ask if that definitely concludes that no goat has kicked you in the face, but I am asking if you think that constitutes evidence that no goat has kicked you in the face?

Is 'no evidence' the same as 'insufficient evidence'?

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and the conclusion is the same,
...what?

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then the level of belief required in either is likely to be the same as well.
I don't think I quite get how you're making this conclusion.  Do you mean level of conviction?

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this is why i believe this:

if you take jaime's formulation of the null hypothesis, which is clearer than mine was:

. . . "gods have no effect on reality". . .

then you have an idea which cannot be falsified.
Wouldn't a god affecting reality immediately falsify this idea?  Or do you know something about gods that precludes this?

Quote
certainly, demonstrating the activity of a god would contradict the null hypothesis. but that is impossible to test, because gods can choose whether to manifest themselves or not. gods are not chemical reactions, or statistical tests, or lottery balls subject to probability. an unequivocal demonstration of a god event would be falsify the null hypothesis, but the lack of a god event tells you nothing. there is no P value you can apply.
Unequivocal?  Is this the same as 'certain'?

Is there a difference between 'no evidence' and 'insufficient evidence'?

Quote
it's the same as testing for the presence of the mary ann in the next room, using the null hypothesis that mary ann is not present. if my test is to call out, "hey, mary ann, sup, babe . . ." and she answers, then i know she is in there. but if she doesn't answer, i know nothing, because mary ann may have chosen not to answer because she thinks i'm full of shit. even if i look into the room, mary ann may step into the closet.
Surely you know something.  At the very least, you know that "Mary Ann's non-existence" is still in the bucket of possible explanations or descriptions of reality.  Right?

And what do you mean that you know she is there?  What if it were a Mary Ann impersonator?  A sophisticated computer program?  A ghost?  A demon?  A god?  How can you make this claim of knowledge based on hearing a response to you saying "hey, mary ann, sup, babe"?

Is there a difference between 'no evidence' and 'insufficient evidence'?

Quote
just like asserting that mary ann  is not in the next room, strong atheism asserts that gods do not exist, not that someone simply lacks belief in them. there is no test that i know of that can demonstrate that to be true, or all of its opposing statements to be false.
So...I guess, are you saying you'd never be able to be in the position to state "Mary Ann is not in the next room" without explicitly walking into the room to check, and even then, how could you say that Mary Ann is not in the next room just because you can't see her?  Is "Mary Ann is not in the next room" really a testable claim?

Is there a difference between 'no knowledge', 'some knowledge', and 'complete knowledge'?

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hence i assert that strong atheism and pentacostalism require equivalent levels of faith in things unseen.
Personally I don't think you've thought it through enough.

jdawg, ^^^this post exceeds my ability to respond. can you summarize your thoughts?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2018, 12:02:24 PM
what is it?

I guess...why should I have been careful with my example of the ball of yarn?  Prior to any evidence of any kind whatsoever, like the picture you posted, would you have said it advisable to possess the belief that there is, in fact, a giant ball of yarn in Paris, France?  If I suddenly pulled out a leprechaun from my desk, would you feel like you would have had egg on your face for withholding belief in the existence of that leprechaun in my desk based on solely my claim "I have a leprechaun in my desk"?  You would not have felt justified in withholding belief that a leprechaun exists in my desk prior to me showing some evidence of that leprechaun?

Perhaps it's just easier to try to collapse my point with the following questions:
I am going to straight up claim that there is a leprechaun in my desk.  After hearing that claim, and just hearing that claim, would you say you would be reasonably justified in holding a position of not believing that I have a leprechaun in my desk, and would you say that reasonable justification is pretty much the exact same degree of reasonable justification a pentacostal would have for holding a position of believing that god exists?  And would a circumstance of you asking me to show you this leprechaun, and me being unable to show you this leprechaun, constitute as evidence - not necessarily conclusive or definitive evidence but evidence - of a lack of existence of a leprechaun in my desk?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jdawg70 on April 17, 2018, 12:04:54 PM
jdawg, ^^^this post exceeds my ability to respond. can you summarize your thoughts?

You've asked me to slow down, which is fine, but I'm going to go ahead and ask you to do the same please.  The post you're trying to respond to ought to require more than 3 minutes of thought.  Read it, digest it, then put it aside and come back to this conversation tomorrow.

This forum is a mode of asynchronous communication, and there is no necessity for immediacy.  If it takes you a few days or so to respond to a post I make, that's perfectly fine.  I've done that to you a number of times already.  It's fine.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 12:24:42 PM
it's not speed, it's complexity. doubling the questions with each post exceeds my ability to answer. all i can do is pick out the most important question, and pare the conversation down to a single line of discussion. as you have noticed, this results in confusion because i simply don't address everything, such as your ball of yarn.

i have a ten-dollar bill's worth of analytical ability, and one line of thought in a conversation will get all ten dollars. twenty different lines in the same conversation get two-bits each.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 12:49:17 PM

Perhaps it's just easier to try to collapse my point with the following questions:
I am going to straight up claim that there is a leprechaun in my desk.  After hearing that claim, and just hearing that claim, would you say you would be reasonably justified in holding a position of not believing that I have a leprechaun in my desk, and would you say that reasonable justification is pretty much the exact same degree of reasonable justification a pentacostal would have for holding a position of believing that god exists?

yes.

if you qualify the scenario by stating that leprechauns have an established definition, agreed upon by all reasonable parties, and that you accept that definition as adequate and comprehensive to define a leprechaun-- it's size, weight, abilities, folklore, and so on, then my answer is yes.

if the pentacostal described his god to you in the same way, and you rejected that god as being inadequately established to your satisfaction, i would consider you justified in expressing a strong atheism with respect to that god. were you then to extend that understanding to all gods based on the failure of the pentacostal to convince you, i would say your strong atheism was not justified.

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And would a circumstance of you asking me to show you this leprechaun, and me being unable to show you this leprechaun, constitute as evidence - not necessarily conclusive or definitive evidence but evidence - of a lack of existence of a leprechaun in my desk?

again, yes. but if someone asked you to show him this leprechaun, and demanded that you do so by opening the closet door and not your desk, then i would not consider the absence of the leprechaun established. opening the closet door does not tell me anything about what is in your desk.

your test is reactive, and works only for those leprechauns (and gods) already defined by other people. it does not work for the idea of gods in general.

asserting strong atheism regarding gods in general requires pentacostal-like faith. it requires you to extrapolate beyond your data points with no knowledge of the function you are estimating.

thank you for persisting in this conversation, by the way.



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 17, 2018, 03:09:46 PM
why would a god not fit squarely into the realm of biology?

Then biology would explain it. What would make this god unique from a naturally occurring biological organism?

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what is impossible about a form of life that is poorly detected but still fits into the usual view of how the universe works, but with a nature that might change the paradigm?

If it was explained with biology, then why would it change the paradigm of biology?

If it could not be explained by biology, then by what tool would it be explained?

I don't really understand what you mean by changing the paradigm.

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to say that it doesn't exist because we haven't found it is an assertion that our search was 100 percent adequate. is that reasonable?

I do not believe that's reasonable, but neither is it an accurate summary of my argument.

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regarding evidence, there's plenty of evidence for the existence of reincarnation. every book in the vedas asserts it, explains why it is reasonable, and makes predictions. crazy people provide evidence for past lives in every mental institution. you can assert that the available evidence is flawed, that it is inconclusive, or that you just don't believe it, and that nothing is proven, but you can't assert that no evidence exists.


You're typing the word "evidence" but you're describing "claims." The two are not the same.

Do you believe heartfelt claims and genuine belief should count as evidence?

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evidence is not proof.

Proof exists in mathematics and alcohol, not science. It doesn't exist in science because it's not possible to prove a claim is true like it is in math. I'm finding it a bit weird to see this misunderstanding and the previous one coming from a person who claims to have not one but two master's degrees in two different fields of science.

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i agree that science currently cannot address whether there are gods. but there's plenty of evidence.

What evidence is there of the existence of gods?

Why you not believe in gods in which you believe there is compelling evidence?

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to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. when faced with a screw, the hammer doesn't work. asserting that screws therefore do not exist is not a reasonable solution, although it results in a belief that hammers are a reliable tool for every fastener.

This doesn't answer my question. I feel like it doesn't really address it other than illustrate your rationalization for dismissing it.

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what is wrong with the following assertion?

reality consists of all things that can be tested using the scientific method.

I'm not asking about "all things," I'm asking about alternatives to science as a tool to reliably explain reality.

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albeto, please return to a previous question. earlier i pointed out that quantum mechanics rendered newtonian mechanics obsolete. but up to that day, everybody stated that certain things were impossible because that wasn't how the world worked. and they were wrong. the paradigm changed. you did not address that point.

To quote a simple summary from stack exchange (https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/97743/did-relativity-make-newtonian-mechanics-obsolete) that resonates with my admittedly limited familiarity, "Einstein extended the rules of Newton for high speeds. For applications of mechanics at low speeds, Newtonian ideas are almost equal to reality. That is the reason we use Newtonian mechanics in practice at low speeds."

What do you mean by the paradigm being changed? What's the difference between a paradigm shift and expanding knowledge in this context?

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is it possible that the world works in ways that the scientific method does not yet address?

Sure. And it's an interesting possibility. It raises the question - how would one know? What method would be employed as an alternative to the scientific method with regards to understanding how the world works?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 04:04:03 PM
Then biology would explain it. What would make this god unique from a naturally occurring biological organism?

nothing.

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If it was explained with biology, then why would it change the paradigm of biology?

If it could not be explained by biology, then by what tool would it be explained?

I don't really understand what you mean by changing the paradigm.

you understand how quantum mechanics changed the paradigm of physics? how plate tectonics changed the paradigm of geology? how evolution changed the paradigm of biology? like that.

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You're typing the word "evidence" but you're describing "claims." The two are not the same.

Do you believe heartfelt claims and genuine belief should count as evidence?

you don't understand the difference between evidence and proof, albeto. all evidence is "claims." all of it. proof is evidence that cannot be disputed.

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Proof exists in mathematics and alcohol, not science.

no. ^^^this is completely incorrect. open a thread, please, if you still don't understand: "all evidence is claims. some evidence is proof." for example, if i see a bandersnatch in the basement, my observational evidence is proof for my claim that that a bandersnatch is in the basement. to deny that my claim is not evidence providing proof is to deny reason.

you're describing popperian falsification. that's a special case in hypothesis testing, not the general situation of expanding knowledge

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What do you mean by the paradigm being changed? What's the difference between a paradigm shift and expanding knowledge in this context?

they are the same. the difference is in the magnitude and the explanatory ability. it's an informal descriptor.

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is it possible that the world works in ways that the scientific method does not yet address?

Sure. And it's an interesting possibility. It raises the question - how would one know? What method would be employed as an alternative to the scientific method with regards to understanding how the world works?

whatever explained the world better.

albeto, look up evidence and proof, please.


Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 17, 2018, 06:54:25 PM
you understand how quantum mechanics changed the paradigm of physics? how plate tectonics changed the paradigm of geology? how evolution changed the paradigm of biology? like that.

I don't understand because more information does not change the framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted within the scientific method, it contributes to it. I suspect we're thinking about different things when we're thinking about the concept of paradigms.

What's the difference between "god" and "little known biological organism" in this hypothetical scenario?

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they are the same. the difference is in the magnitude and the explanatory ability. it's an informal descriptor.

So a paradigm shift isn't a shift at all, it's just more knowledge.

You seem to have a habit of making claims then walking them back when they're taken seriously. That's frustrating because I want to take you seriously but I'm losing faith that you mean what you say because it's later revealed that you didn't mean that at all.

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whatever explained the world better.

You can't think of one that is reliable, but you're basing your ideas like reincarnation and the existence of gods on the possibility a way to identify them might be found? Some day? Maybe?

That's nice, and a fun use of imagination, but why should we consider your imagination accurate enough to apply to this process of understanding reality?

Out of curiosity, is there any reason you have to not trust the reliability of science?

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albeto, look up evidence and proof, please.

Wait wait wait! Are you telling me you have evidence of reincarnation and of gods but you won't share them? That despite all the experiments and studies ever conducted throughout the centuries, you alone have your finger on the keys of these things, but you're keeping it to yourself?

And...

While you have all this evidence that would likely not only earn you the Nobel Prize in Physics or something, it would catapult your name to such fame and recognition through the centuries, like Confucius, DaVinci, Einstein, but you don't believe these things yourself?

Anyway, perhaps you can share a resource that defines all scientific evidence as "claims." I'd like to see that.


Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 17, 2018, 07:19:47 PM
What's the difference between "god" and "little known biological organism" in this hypothetical scenario?

nothing, albeto. why is this so hard?

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So a paradigm shift isn't a shift at all, it's just more knowledge.

albeto, i don't make this stuff up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm_shift

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You seem to have a habit of making claims then walking them back when they're taken seriously. That's frustrating because I want to take you seriously but I'm losing faith that you mean what you say because it's later revealed that you didn't mean that at all.

no, albeto, what is happening is that you are reading things into my posts that i never said and don't believe, and are then becoming frustrated when i won't defend them for you.

read what i say and stop there.

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whatever explained the world better.

You can't think of one that is reliable, but you're basing your ideas like reincarnation and the existence of gods on the possibility a way to identify them might be found? Some day? Maybe?

That's nice, and a fun use of imagination, but why should we consider your imagination accurate enough to apply to this process of understanding reality?

Out of curiosity, is there any reason you have to not trust the reliability of science?

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albeto, look up evidence and proof, please.

Wait wait wait! Are you telling me you have evidence of reincarnation and of gods but you won't share them? That despite all the experiments and studies ever conducted throughout the centuries, you alone have your finger on the keys of these things, but you're keeping it to yourself?

And...

albeto. understand this.

i do not believe in reincarnation. i have never said i believed in reincarnation. i have never provided evidence for reincarnation.

if you make something up again about reincarnation and ask me to defend it one more time, i will never respond to you again.

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While you have all this evidence that would likely not only earn you the Nobel Prize in Physics or something, it would catapult your name to such fame and recognition through the centuries, like Confucius, DaVinci, Einstein, but you don't believe these things yourself?

Anyway, perhaps you can share a resource that defines all scientific evidence as "claims." I'd like to see that.

you need to catch up in a bad way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_(truth)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_logic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_science

https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-method10.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inference
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 17, 2018, 08:23:34 PM
if you make something up again about reincarnation and ask me to defend it one more time, i will never respond to you again.

because everyone is so afraid of you not responding when you have no evidence for what you claim is possible.

quantum physics have evidence to support it.  plate tectonics have evidence to support it.  you've mentioned reincarnation as something we should consider as possible but you have no reason why other than you seem to again want to consider your mind so open that you accept anything as possible, no matter the evidence. This is why I said that you seem to be the agnostic who wants to feel superior to everyone else; you don't want to ever be found wrong, so you have these vague beliefs so you can come down on any side and say "see, see what I told you".
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 17, 2018, 10:56:30 PM
nothing, albeto. why is this so hard?

The difficulty comes when you ask a question or pose an idea only to walk it back later. Let me explain why I think this. You asked me why would a god not fit squarely into the realm of biology. You asked if I would consider it might be possible that a form of life that is poorly detected but still fits into the usual view of how the universe works, but with a nature that might change the paradigm. I'm assuming you're arguing *for* this idea you want me to consider. I'm assuming you're arguing *for* the idea that a god might fight squarely into the realm of biology but with a nature that might inspire a paradigm shift.

Now you're suggesting there is no difference between a "god" and "little known biological organism." Why ask about gods if you're not talking about gods? See my confusion?

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albeto, i don't make this stuff up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm_shift

That's fine, but keep in mind you asked me if I could consider this god/little known biological organism might change the paradigm of biology. You later clarified that paradigm shift and expanding knowledge in this context are the same thing, that the difference is in the magnitude and the explanatory ability. You said you meant this as an informal descriptor.

Which meaning do you want to ask me about? When you ask about paradigm shifts, do you mean "expanded knowledge" or a "fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline" (from wiki link)? If you mean to ask about paradigm shift literally and not expanded knowledge, would you explain what basic concept you believe has been changed? What experimental practices do you believe have been altered? If you don't believe any have, why are you asking me to consider such a thing? What's the purpose of that line of questioning?

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i do not believe in reincarnation. i have never said i believed in reincarnation. i have never provided evidence for reincarnation.

Again, I do understand that. Nevertheless, in another thread you posed a question asking if we've considered it as a legitimate possibility, and just today suggested "there's plenty of evidence for the existence of reincarnation." You go on to suggest that "every book in the vedas asserts it, explains why it is reasonable, and makes predictions. crazy people provide evidence for past lives in every mental institution."

You suggest you believe there is evidence in reincarnation but don't believe it's realistic? Is that right? I've never encountered a person who does not believe a thing exists despite what they believe to be evidence that supports it. I'd love hear more about your opinion, how you dismiss a conclusion you feel there is ample evidence to support, but at this point I'm afraid you're frustrated with me and this line of conversation.

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if you make something up again about reincarnation and ask me to defend it one more time, i will never respond to you again.

For much of this post, I quoted you directly with copy/paste. I can provide links if you'd like.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_(truth)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_logic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_science

https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-method10.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inference

Here's the trouble I'm having with this. I cannot find anything that corroborates your assertion that all evidence is "claims." all of it. Or that proof is evidence that cannot be disputed. Again, these are your words.

What I understand of science is that claims are statements made that assert a particular reality as being true. For example, I may make the claim flies are created from rotten meat. That claim, I'm sure you'd agree, is not evidence, it is merely an assertion inspired from observing maggots suddenly appearing on rotten meat.

In any case, the evidence comes from the results of careful experiments, it is not the claim itself. In this case, the original claim was wrong so that can't be evidence. Instead, a careful experiment is set up, observations made, data is recorded and analyzed, a conclusion is extrapolated, shared, analyzed some more. Perhaps someone else has a new question inspired from the experiment, and the process continues to add to the growing pile of evidence about entomology, decaying foods, etc. Still, such a thing is not understood to be scientifically proven even if it the evidence can't be disputed (Common misconceptions about science I: “Scientific proof” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200811/common-misconceptions-about-science-i-scientific-proof)).

Perhaps you meant something else and used the word "claims" as shorthand for a more detailed explanation, but I can only assume you meant the word in the conventional sense unless directed otherwise.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 18, 2018, 12:42:07 PM

Here's the trouble I'm having with this. I cannot find anything that corroborates your assertion that all evidence is "claims." all of it. Or that proof is evidence that cannot be disputed. Again, these are your words.


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Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion.[1] This support may be strong or weak. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. At the other extreme is evidence that is merely consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence

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A proof is sufficient evidence or a sufficient argument for the truth of a proposition.[1][2][3][4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_(truth)

albeto, "anything presented in support of an assertion" is as reasonable a definition of "claim" as it is necessary to provide. "a proof is sufficient evidence for the truth of a proposition" is as close to "proof is evidence that cannot be disputed" as the english language can deliver.

both these definitions were at the top of the links that you say you read.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 18, 2018, 01:59:58 PM
a claim is "a statement saying that something happened a certain way or will happen a certain way", per merriam webster definition for english students. 

a claim is an assertion, and evidence is what is used to support an assertion.  they are not the same. 

an assertion is "a declaration that something is the case"  the example given by MW is "He presented no evidence to support his assertions."  this can also be written "He presented no evidence to support his claims."   
 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on April 18, 2018, 03:05:50 PM
a claim is "a statement saying that something happened a certain way or will happen a certain way", per merriam webster definition for english students. 

a claim is an assertion, and evidence is what is used to support an assertion.  they are not the same. 

an assertion is "a declaration that something is the case"  the example given by MW is "He presented no evidence to support his assertions."  this can also be written "He presented no evidence to support his claims."

It's almost like kevinagain has no idea of what words mean in a scientific context, despite his two degrees.

kevinagain, if I were you, I'd demand a refund. You were robbed.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 18, 2018, 03:11:42 PM
Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion.[1]

It seems we have a bit of a language barrier here. Earlier you asserted that "all evidence is claims." I understand claims to mean a statement or assertion that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof (EOD (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/claim)). If evidence is a claim, as you say, and if a claim is to assert a thing is the case, then your definition reads something like this: Claims/Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of a claim/assertion. This would be a circular argument, which of course would be insufficient for scientific purposes.

Following the same article down a bit we read, "In scientific research evidence is accumulated through observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions. Scientific evidence usually goes towards supporting or rejecting a hypothesis."

When I'm asking about evidence for reincarnation or gods, for example, I'm asking specifically for scientific evidence. I'm asking what observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions support the assertion that reincarnation and/or gods exist. Do you know of any? If you do, would you share them? If you do, why do you not believe in reincarnation and/or gods?

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_(truth)

According to this article, "In most disciplines, evidence is required to prove something. Evidence is drawn from experience of the world around us, with science obtaining its evidence from nature,[11] law obtaining its evidence from witnesses and forensic investigation,[12] and so on." (Italics mine)

This article also does not mention or even imply "all [or even some] evidence is claims," as you promoted.

When I ask about evidence of reincarnation or gods, I'm asking about the things drawn from nature that support this assertion, not assertions made by people who believe in it.

Semantics aside, when you ask about paradigm shifts, do you mean "expanded knowledge" or a "fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline" (from wiki link)? If you mean to ask about paradigm shift literally and not as expanded knowledge, would you explain your reasoning?

What basic concepts and experimental practices do you believe have been altered in the field of physics? Do you believe the examples of trees, fungus, and chorals you provided in another thread presents a paradigm shift in the field of biology? If so, would you explain what basic concept and experimental practices you believe have been changed?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 18, 2018, 03:49:26 PM

When I'm asking about evidence for reincarnation or gods, for example, I'm asking specifically for scientific evidence. I'm asking what observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions support the assertion that reincarnation and/or gods exist. Do you know of any? If you do, would you share them? If you do, why do you not believe in reincarnation and/or gods?


we're done, albeto.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 18, 2018, 03:52:22 PM

It's almost like kevinagain has no idea of what words mean in a scientific context, despite his two degrees.

kevinagain, if I were you, I'd demand a refund. You were robbed.

nah, i don't think so.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on April 18, 2018, 04:58:16 PM

When I'm asking about evidence for reincarnation or gods, for example, I'm asking specifically for scientific evidence. I'm asking what observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions support the assertion that reincarnation and/or gods exist. Do you know of any? If you do, would you share them? If you do, why do you not believe in reincarnation and/or gods?


we're done, albeto.

ROFL

You're gonna run out of people to talk to, quickly.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 18, 2018, 05:03:23 PM

ROFL

You're gonna run out of people to talk to, quickly.

looks that way.

is there something you'd like to talk about, jag?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 18, 2018, 05:38:04 PM
sure. that will work. would you please rephrase it in the context of this discussion?

you recognize that asserting that an explanation is unnecessay is not the same as asserting that it is false?

occam's razor is a tool of convenience. it isnt a test of any kind.
As it is already fully understandable in the context of this discussion, I see no point in rephrasing it.

And I am well aware that Occam's razor doesn't actually prove anything, but that does not make it a mere "tool of convenience".  Quite the opposite, in fact; it saves tremendous time and effort by effectively ruling out complications unless and until there is actual reason to introduce them into an explanation or whatever.  That is why strong atheists dismiss gods entirely - they unnecessarily complicate explanations without justifying the additional complications.

You, of course, are not obligated to agree.  Nor are you obligated to make use of other things that make your life simpler and easier.  But I think you would probably not be willing to accept reasoning that you should live without air conditioning, or microwaves, or automobiles, or any of the other modern 'conveniences' you are probably very used to using, without some particularly good justifications for taking those out of your life.

By the way, you should probably take more care when trying to present arguments.  You don't convince people of anything by trying to argue definitions - largely because they can pull out their own definitions, and that gets nowhere fast.  I got what you were trying to say - claims are a form of evidence, albeit a weak one.  What you failed to recognize is that just because all claims are evidence, it does not mean that all evidence is claims.  This is basic set mechanics.  If all B are A, it does not follow that all A are B[1].

I also don't recommend telling people you're 'done' with them.  Especially when it looks like you did so to avoid addressing valid points raised against your arguments.
 1. if A is the set of all positive whole numbers and B is the set of all prime numbers, then all members of set B are going to be members of set A, but the opposite does not hold true; all positive whole numbers are not prime
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 18, 2018, 06:21:26 PM
hello jaime


And I am well aware that Occam's razor doesn't actually prove anything, but that does not make it a mere "tool of convenience".  Quite the opposite, in fact; it saves tremendous time and effort by effectively ruling out complications unless and until there is actual reason to introduce them into an explanation or whatever.

. . . in other words, a tool of convenience. thank you for that.

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That is why strong atheists dismiss gods entirely - they unnecessarily complicate explanations without justifying the additional complications.

You, of course, are not obligated to agree. 

and i don't. you are conflating strong atheism-- the explicit assertion that gods do not exist-- with the position supported by parsimony of merely asserting that they are unnecessary. occam's razor may justify the assertion that gods are unnecessary. it does not justify the assertion that they do not exist.

of course, there are strong atheists who will disagree. they will be wrong.

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By the way, you should probably take more care when trying to present arguments.  You don't convince people of anything by trying to argue definitions - largely because they can pull out their own definitions, and that gets nowhere fast.

yes. i've noticed a tendency for discussions to get bogged down in semantics, to the detriment of content.

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I also don't recommend telling people you're 'done' with them.  Especially when it looks like you did so to avoid addressing valid points raised against your arguments.

thank you for the advice.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 18, 2018, 11:15:37 PM
. . . in other words, a tool of convenience. thank you for that.
Sorry, simply restating your original assertion doesn't fly here.  Try again, this time with actual logic to support your argument.

Quote from: kevinagain
and i don't. you are conflating strong atheism-- the explicit assertion that gods do not exist-- with the position supported by parsimony of merely asserting that they are unnecessary. occam's razor may justify the assertion that gods are unnecessary. it does not justify the assertion that they do not exist.
Incorrect.  Occam's razor, the principle of parsimony, is about excluding assertions that make unnecessary additional assumptions.  And contrary to what you might believe, asserting that something exists requires additional assumptions over asserting that it does not.  Therefore, Occam's razor will always exclude such things from consideration unless someone can show that it is necessary to make those additional assumptions.

It is true that strong atheism asserts that gods do not exist.  Where you are mistaken is in assuming that this is not compatible with parsimony, as I showed above.  More concretely, in order to assert that something exists without physical evidence, you must make assumptions about it.  For example, to assert that leprechauns exist, one must assume all the various details about them - being fairly short, wearing green clothes, hiding pots of gold at the ends of rainbows, and so on, whereas to assert that leprechauns do not exist, one must simply reject these assumptions.

Quote from: kevinagain
of course, there are strong atheists who will disagree. they will be wrong.
Save it for when you no longer retreat from discussions the way you did with albeto.

Quote from: kevinagain
yes. i've noticed a tendency for discussions to get bogged down in semantics, to the detriment of content.
Discussions get bogged down even more when one party says "everyone but me is wrong".

Quote from: kevinagain
thank you for the advice.
If you really want to thank me, then make use of the advice.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on April 19, 2018, 09:15:06 AM

ROFL

You're gonna run out of people to talk to, quickly.

looks that way.

is there something you'd like to talk about, jag?

Sorry kevinagain, not with you. I see a pattern in your participation that interests me in the abstract, but does nothing to draw me in. I'll just keep watching, and interjecting the occasional remark as the mood strikes.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 19, 2018, 10:47:36 AM
  I got what you were trying to say - claims are a form of evidence, albeit a weak one. 

Jaimehlers, perhaps you can explain this to me. In what way are claims a form of evidence?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 11:40:49 AM
. . . in other words, a tool of convenience. thank you for that.
Sorry, simply restating your original assertion doesn't fly here.  Try again, this time with actual logic to support your argument.

jaime, the positive assertion that occam’s razor was adequate to justify strong atheism was yours, and therefore you have the rhetorical burden of proof to back it up. but here is the actual logic behind my position anyway:

premise1. occam's razor is a heuristic for identifying the simplest solution to a problem.
premise2. the simplest solution to a problem is not always correct solution to the problem.
conclusion. occams' razor is a heuristic that does not always identify the correct solution to a problem.

if there is something wrong with ^^^this, please point it out.

apparently, the following is the actual logic behind your assertion that occam’s razor justifies strong atheism:

premise1.  the simplest solution to the god question is that there are no gods.
premise2. the simplest solution to a problem is the correct solution.
conclusion. the correct solution to the god question is that there are no gods.

^^^ this appears to be the argument you have presented so far. the form is valid, but the second premise is not true. unless you have a different formulation of parsimony, or have a different defintion of strong atheism to propose, that’s enough to support my point.

do you have something different?

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Incorrect. Occam's razor, the principle of parsimony, is about excluding assertions that make unnecessary additional assumptions.  And contrary to what you might believe, asserting that something exists requires additional assumptions over asserting that it does not.  Therefore, Occam's razor will always exclude such things from consideration unless someone can show that it is necessary to make those additional assumptions.

there is nothing ^^^here i disagree with, jaime.

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It is true that strong atheism asserts that gods do not exist.  Where you are mistaken is in assuming that this is not compatible with parsimony, as I showed above.  More concretely, in order to assert that something exists without physical evidence, you must make assumptions about it.  For example, to assert that leprechauns exist, one must assume all the various details about them - being fairly short, wearing green clothes, hiding pots of gold at the ends of rainbows, and so on, whereas to assert that leprechauns do not exist, one must simply reject these assumptions.

no, jaime. ^^^this argument doesn’t fly. strong atheism is the positive assertion of the existence of a condition—the non-existence of gods, and asserting the existence of a condition requires evidence, as you say. parsimony asserts nothing more than that there is no evidence for gods, and that’s as far as the occam’s razor argument will take you. a statement of logical certainty that no gods exist cannot be made unless the universe is completely searched for for them. that is absurd, and cannot be done. what parsimony asserts is that there is no evidence for believing in gods, which is very different from stating that they do not exist.

the existence of a phenomenon does not depend on whether or not we have evidence for it.

Quote
Quote from: kevinagain
thank you for the advice.
If you really want to thank me, then make use of the advice.

jaime, i’ll thank you anyway, even though i still think you’re wrong and won’t be following your advice. i’m here to learn, and talking with you helps me do that. if you have more to offer, i'm listening.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 11:42:04 AM
Quote from: kevin
is there something you'd like to talk about, jag?

Sorry kevinagain, not with you. I see a pattern in your participation that interests me in the abstract, but does nothing to draw me in. I'll just keep watching, and interjecting the occasional remark as the mood strikes.

okay. feel free to say hi or not, as you are led.

i don't bite, and i have no axe to grind.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 19, 2018, 12:40:21 PM

When I'm asking about evidence for reincarnation or gods, for example, I'm asking specifically for scientific evidence. I'm asking what observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions support the assertion that reincarnation and/or gods exist. Do you know of any? If you do, would you share them? If you do, why do you not believe in reincarnation and/or gods?


we're done, albeto.

aka he's run away again.  It's a shame that kevin doesn't want to be responsible for what he has typed. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 12:47:56 PM
Kevin wins.

I don't even agree with this:

premise1.  the simplest solution to the god question is that there are no gods.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 19, 2018, 12:50:04 PM
Kevin wins.

well, that's quite amusing since it's jst just making one more baseless claim in desperate need to convince us.  ;D  what an ally  &)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on April 19, 2018, 12:50:22 PM
I don't even agree with this:

premise1. the simplest solution to the god question is that there are no gods.

Good for you. You're wrong.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 19, 2018, 01:26:24 PM
I don't even agree with this:

premise1.  the simplest solution to the god question is that there are no gods.

I don't either. That's not a premise, it's a conclusion.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 01:38:33 PM
Kevin wins.

I don't even agree with this:

premise1.  the simplest solution to the god question is that there are no gods.

i didn't mean that it was the simplest solution to the question of gods, jst. i was referring only to the question of whether parsimony justifies a position of explicit atheism. i don't think it does.

occam's razor is nothing more than a tool of convenience pointing to provisional answers for a question for which several answers are possible. the thing about occam's razor is that it is by definition provisional-- it's nothing more than a heuristic for choosing the least complex but still adequate answer to a question, pending any other information which may someday contradict it. it doesn't prove anything to be true. it just says that if a simpler answer can explain the data, there's no need to complicate the model by adding anything else.

for example, if i hear a crash from the kitchen, and then when i walk in i find my son standing over a broken cookie jar, the simplest explanation consistent with what data i have is that my son has broken it. occam's razor would indicate that scenario to be an adequate solution to the data in my possession.

but if i then walked over to the pantry and upon opening the door, discovered my daughter hiding inside eating a handful of cookies, i now have more information that the theory must accommodate. the simplest solution no longer explains all the data and may have to be revised.

with respect to strong atheism, occam's razor states that if i have no evidence to support the existence of gods, there is no need to believe in them. but to jump ahead to a conclusion that occam's razor says that gods aren't there does not follow from the argument.

perhaps god is in the pantry, eating cookies.

^^^^^
(https://i.imgur.com/M6Z2Nzcl.png)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 02:36:50 PM
with respect to strong atheism, occam's razor states that if i have no evidence to support the existence of gods, there is no need to believe in them. but to jump ahead to a conclusion that occam's razor says that gods aren't there does not follow from the argument.

Well I guess is a pretty good principle but it's not an infallible mechanism.

If I hear a crash in the kitchen the simplest explanation is that a cat is on the counter again.  So much so that I consider it guilty until proven innocent lol.  It has been proven innocent a couple of times. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 02:46:30 PM
Well I guess is a pretty good principle but it's not an infallible mechanism.

If I hear a crash in the kitchen the simplest explanation is that a cat is on the counter again.  So much so that I consider it guilty until proven innocent lol.  It has been proven innocent a couple of times.

well, here is what it says, jst:

parsimony is a logical heuristic that states that there is no need to multiply explanatory entities beyond what is necessary.

this is a heuristic:

Quote
A heuristic technique (/hj???r?st?k/; Ancient Greek: ???????, "find" or "discover"), often called simply a heuristic, is any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, guesstimate, stereotyping, profiling, or common sense. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristic

this is occam's razor, which is an expression of logical parsimony:

Quote
In science, Occam's razor is used as an heuristic guide in the development of theoretical models, rather than as a rigorous arbiter between candidate models.[1][2] In the scientific method, Occam's razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result; the preference for simplicity in the scientific method is based on the falsifiability criterion. For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an extremely large, perhaps even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. Since one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable.[3][4][5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

if you justify something on the basis of occam's razor, or logical parsimony, you are stating that you are using a heuristic to arrive at a satisfactory, simplest, most practical, or least complicated answer to a question that still explains the data you currently have available.

your are not stating that  your answer must be true.

your assertion may be contradicted at any time by the inclusion of data previously unknown or excluded.

with respect to the existence of gods, it can be proposed that there is no adequate evidence for their existence. given that, occam's razor allows you to state that there is no need to believe in their existence.

it does not allow you to state that gods do not exist, which is the strong atheist position.

it may be true that gods do not exist, but you have to look elsewhere than logical parsimony to support that assertion.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 03:27:23 PM
you are conflating strong atheism-- the explicit assertion that gods do not exist-- with the position supported by parsimony of merely asserting that they are unnecessary.

Just out of interest, please list the attributes of unnecessary gods in such a way that they could be considered gods.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 03:31:54 PM
it does not allow you to state that gods do not exist, which is the strong atheist position.

Is strong atheism different than antitheism?  I wish there weren't so many sects of atheism.  Why can't they all agree to just be one kind of atheist?

I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.  And while atheist claim they have evidence the God of the Bible isn't real, that's just the tip of the ice berg. 

First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 03:40:18 PM
I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.

bingo, jst. you'll notice the loudest opponents of your position don't actually defend a position of their own. they just demand that you prove yours.

Quote
First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge.

yes. claiming that your position--that gods exist-- is wrong does not establish theirs--that gods do not exist-- to be correct by some sort of default.

occam's razor merely allows the statement that gods have not been proven to exist.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 03:43:23 PM
you are conflating strong atheism-- the explicit assertion that gods do not exist-- with the position supported by parsimony of merely asserting that they are unnecessary.

Just out of interest, please list the attributes of unnecessary gods in such a way that they could be considered gods.

hi foxy

how've you been?

history has had hundreds of definitions of gods, far too many to list.

what is your own opinion?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 04:16:57 PM
you are conflating strong atheism-- the explicit assertion that gods do not exist-- with the position supported by parsimony of merely asserting that they are unnecessary.

Just out of interest, please list the attributes of unnecessary gods in such a way that they could be considered gods.

hi foxy

how've you been?

history has had hundreds of definitions of gods, far too many to list.

what is your own opinion?

I am very busy with my life at the moment. No time for anything else.

I want to know how you deal with this, not hundreds of religions.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 19, 2018, 04:19:39 PM
I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.

bingo, jst. you'll notice the loudest opponents of your position don't actually defend a position of their own. they just demand that you prove yours.

Quote
First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge.

yes. claiming that your position--that gods exist-- is wrong does not establish theirs--that gods do not exist-- to be correct by some sort of default.

occam's razor merely allows the statement that gods have not been proven to exist.

and kevin again ignores that strong atheists (most) do not just say that gods don't exist based on their "faith" that this is the case.  we have evidence. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 19, 2018, 04:21:32 PM
it does not allow you to state that gods do not exist, which is the strong atheist position.

Is strong atheism different than antitheism?  I wish there weren't so many sects of atheism.  Why can't they all agree to just be one kind of atheist?

I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.  And while atheist claim they have evidence the God of the Bible isn't real, that's just the tip of the ice berg. 

First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge.

what is antitheism and atheism in your understanding, jst?     It's interesting to see kevin's and jst's positions coalescing.  tell us what evidence of a god's presence is and how you know. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 04:27:46 PM
lol

see below.

my fan club will keep us all on topic here, i'm sure.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 04:31:02 PM
you are conflating strong atheism-- the explicit assertion that gods do not exist-- with the position supported by parsimony of merely asserting that they are unnecessary.

Just out of interest, please list the attributes of unnecessary gods in such a way that they could be considered gods.

hi foxy

how've you been?

history has had hundreds of definitions of gods, far too many to list.

what is your own opinion?

I am very busy with my life at the moment. No time for anything else.

I want to know how you deal with this, not hundreds of religions.

well, i guess i have no answer for you. i don't contemplate the characteristics of unnecessary gods on a routine basis.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 04:40:22 PM
I do think atheism is a faith belief or at least it is indistinguishable from one.  I don't think it is simply "lacking a belief in God".  You simply lack belief in something that's completely foreign to you.  If you had never heard of God then maybe you would simply lack a belief.  But once confronted with a claim you must choose to either accept it or not accept it.  Here is an example.

Three men are sitting in a house.  None of them have heard any weather reports.  They all lack a belief that a tornado is coming.  Then another person comes in a claims a tornado is approaching.  One man gets up and goes to take shelter.  The other two sit there and do nothing.

1.  Which man has belief in an approaching tornado? 
2.  Which man lacks a belief in an approaching tornado?
3.  Which man believes there is no approaching tornado?

#2 and #3 are identical because they both result in the same action.  Belief is evidenced by action.  He may say he simply lacks a belief but his inaction shows he actually believes there is no tornado.  You cannot just lack a belief once you are presented with the knowledge.  You must decide to either believe or disbelieve.  And you true beliefs will be evidenced by your actions.

2 and 3 are not identical. Do you see what you have done here? You have added an extra condition to get the answer you want. You have invented the scenario that "the other two sit there and do nothing." No one else invented it, you did. False beliefs are making you construct the scenario you want.
Quote

My dog lacks a belief in God.  I don't think you guys do.  I think you actually believe there is no God because that's the way you consciously live your life, as if all God claims are false.

And let's say man #2 starts arguing and debating that there probably is no tornado.  Would you say he is simply lacking a belief?  Maybe there are some that simply lack a belief in God, but I don't include any of you among them.  To me, what you say you believe is betrayed by your actions.  Your actions show what you really believe.

Likewise, false beliefs are making you construct the scenario you want. It is not reality that atheists believe in gods nor specifically the Christian god.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: BibleStudent on April 19, 2018, 04:51:13 PM
I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.

bingo, jst. you'll notice the loudest opponents of your position don't actually defend a position of their own. they just demand that you prove yours.

Double bingo. Both comments are spot on.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 04:52:29 PM
well, i guess i have no answer for you. i don't contemplate the characteristics of unnecessary gods on a routine basis.

Of course you don't, that is why I am asking you to contemplate them.

i’m here to learn, and talking with you helps me do that. if you have more to offer, i'm listening.

Call it a learning experience. I asked the question for you, not for me. If you are genuine in wanting to learn something think about this carefully.

I am perfectly willing to tell you what I think about this, after you have thought carefully about it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 05:05:56 PM
it does not allow you to state that gods do not exist, which is the strong atheist position.

Is strong atheism different than antitheism?  I wish there weren't so many sects of atheism.  Why can't they all agree to just be one kind of atheist?

I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.  And while atheist claim they have evidence the God of the Bible isn't real, that's just the tip of the ice berg. 

First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge.

Do you or do you not agree with athests that as far as gods other than the Christian god are concerned, they are not real?

So the only god which has to be disproved for you is the Christian god?

Now that is easy.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 05:16:37 PM
I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.

bingo, jst. you'll notice the loudest opponents of your position don't actually defend a position of their own. they just demand that you prove yours.

Quote
First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge.

yes. claiming that your position--that gods exist-- is wrong does not establish theirs--that gods do not exist-- to be correct by some sort of default.

occam's razor merely allows the statement that gods have not been proven to exist.

and kevin again ignores that strong atheists (most) do not just say that gods don't exist based on their "faith" that this is the case.  we have evidence.

Then why is there such a failure to produce it?

Quote
what is antitheism and atheism in your understanding, jst?     It's interesting to see kevin's and jst's positions coalescing.  tell us what evidence of a god's presence is and how you know.

I don't understand there to be a difference, but I am not an expert in all the variations of atheists so I could be wrong.

I just know that I have never seen the claim, "No God's exist", be supported with evidence. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 05:22:22 PM
I do think atheism is a faith belief or at least it is indistinguishable from one.  I don't think it is simply "lacking a belief in God".  You simply lack belief in something that's completely foreign to you.  If you had never heard of God then maybe you would simply lack a belief.  But once confronted with a claim you must choose to either accept it or not accept it.  Here is an example.

Three men are sitting in a house.  None of them have heard any weather reports.  They all lack a belief that a tornado is coming.  Then another person comes in a claims a tornado is approaching.  One man gets up and goes to take shelter.  The other two sit there and do nothing.

1.  Which man has belief in an approaching tornado? 
2.  Which man lacks a belief in an approaching tornado?
3.  Which man believes there is no approaching tornado?

#2 and #3 are identical because they both result in the same action.  Belief is evidenced by action.  He may say he simply lacks a belief but his inaction shows he actually believes there is no tornado.  You cannot just lack a belief once you are presented with the knowledge.  You must decide to either believe or disbelieve.  And you true beliefs will be evidenced by your actions.

2 and 3 are not identical. Do you see what you have done here? You have added an extra condition to get the answer you want. You have invented the scenario that "the other two sit there and do nothing." No one else invented it, you did. False beliefs are making you construct the scenario you want.
Quote

My dog lacks a belief in God.  I don't think you guys do.  I think you actually believe there is no God because that's the way you consciously live your life, as if all God claims are false.

And let's say man #2 starts arguing and debating that there probably is no tornado.  Would you say he is simply lacking a belief?  Maybe there are some that simply lack a belief in God, but I don't include any of you among them.  To me, what you say you believe is betrayed by your actions.  Your actions show what you really believe.

Likewise, false beliefs are making you construct the scenario you want. It is not reality that atheists believe in gods nor specifically the Christian god.

Atheists have faith that their worldview is correct.  That worldview intentionally excludes a belief in God.   Therefore it is a faith belief.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 05:34:14 PM
I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.

bingo, jst. you'll notice the loudest opponents of your position don't actually defend a position of their own. they just demand that you prove yours.

Double bingo. Both comments are spot on.

Yes, I know.  And you can never actually get past them wanting you to prove God and to support their own position.  But I guess that may be due to a lack of options.  They do not defend their position because it's indefensible.

I can empathize with "I lack a reason to believe in God".  I concede this may even be true.  But I think it's very foolish to say, "There is no God".
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 19, 2018, 05:44:34 PM
it does not allow you to state that gods do not exist, which is the strong atheist position.

Is strong atheism different than antitheism?  I wish there weren't so many sects of atheism.  Why can't they all agree to just be one kind of atheist?

I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.  I do not even think it's a rational position because you would have to actually prove evidence of absence.  And while atheist claim they have evidence the God of the Bible isn't real, that's just the tip of the ice berg. 

First you have to accurately define evidence of a god's presence before you can determine it's absent.  I've never seen anyone up to the challenge.

Do you or do you not agree with athests that as far as gods other than the Christian god are concerned, they are not real?

So the only god which has to be disproved for you is the Christian god?

Now that is easy.

No, I don't agree.  I don't automatically disbelieve the claims of other religions.  I believe most religions are influenced by spirits.  So I think there are many gods.  But to me there is only one God, Jehovah and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 05:59:25 PM
and kevin again ignores that strong atheists (most) do not just say that gods don't exist based on their "faith" that this is the case.  we have evidence.

Then why is there such a failure to produce it?

lol

jst wins.

+1
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 06:05:39 PM
well, i guess i have no answer for you. i don't contemplate the characteristics of unnecessary gods on a routine basis.

Of course you don't, that is why I am asking you to contemplate them.

i’m here to learn, and talking with you helps me do that. if you have more to offer, i'm listening.

Call it a learning experience. I asked the question for you, not for me. If you are genuine in wanting to learn something think about this carefully.

I am perfectly willing to tell you what I think about this, after you have thought carefully about it.

foxy, i have no idea what you are talking about. it isn't up to me to define your questions for you. flesh out your query with some thought of your own. when you do, i'll respond.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 06:24:18 PM

premise1. occam's razor is a heuristic for identifying the simplest solution to a problem.
premise2. the simplest solution to a problem is not always correct solution to the problem.
conclusion. occams' razor is a heuristic that does not always identify the correct solution to a problem.

if there is something wrong with ^^^this, please point it out.
.

^^^ this actually is not well-formulated.

it should read:

premise1: occam's razor is a heuristic that reccommends accepting the simplest solution to a problem.
premise2: the simplest solution to a problem is not always the correct solution to the problem.
conclusion: occam's razor is a heuristic that does not always reccommend the correct solution to a problem.

this is clearer, i think.

a famous atheist, h l mencken stated it this way:

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 06:38:45 PM
Atheists have faith that their worldview is correct.  That worldview intentionally excludes a belief in God.   Therefore it is a faith belief.   

Atheism is not a worldview. It is a single issue.

People are atheists for different reasons. Undoubtedly there are some atheists who are atheists for emotional reasons and/or who don't care about evidence. But then, proof depends on expertise in method and knowledge and no one has the time to gain expertise in everything. There is always something in which you have to trust that other people have found the answer and which you don't know yourself.

I don't think you can say in general that atheists intentionally reach the conclusion they do. There are atheists who have unintentionally become atheists through consideration of the evidence. Matt Dillahunty for example was trying to make himself a better Christian but he discovered he was wrong. So evidence, not intention, is important for some atheists. It depends who you meet.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 19, 2018, 06:41:32 PM
No, I don't agree.  I don't automatically disbelieve the claims of other religions.  I believe most religions are influenced by spirits.  So I think there are many gods.  But to me there is only one God, Jehovah and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ.

Are the spirits of other religions actually gods or dependent beings in your opinion?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 19, 2018, 07:45:15 PM
Atheists have faith that their worldview is correct.  That worldview intentionally excludes a belief in God.   Therefore it is a faith belief.   

Interesting, because in your other thread you're promoting the idea that faith is what aids in knowledge. So according to your logic, as I understand it, atheists know there is no god the same that theists know there is a god. Correct?

What's the difference between knowing something and believing something that isn't true?

How would one discern which view they held - the accurate one or the mistaken one?



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 19, 2018, 08:22:16 PM

People are atheists for different reasons. Undoubtedly there are some atheists who are atheists for emotional reasons and/or who don't care about evidence. But then, proof depends on expertise in method and knowledge and no one has the time to gain expertise in everything. There is always something in which you have to trust that other people have found the answer and which you don't know yourself.


foxy, do you accept that ^^^this method of establishing belief works for theism as well?

it seems that atheism and theism aren't so far apart after all.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 19, 2018, 08:24:54 PM
Is strong atheism different than antitheism? 

Yes. Atheism comes from the Latin "a" meaning "without and "theos" meaning "god."
Antitheism means "opposition to theism."

I wish there weren't so many sects of atheism. 

I wish there weren't so many sects of theists. I wish those sects never ever raised weapons against people in the name of their religion. I wish those sects never ever protected known child molesters in the hope of protecting the reputation of their religion and their particular community. I wish those sects never ever taught their children self-loathing or to fear the retribution of an offended god. I wish those sects never ever taught their children to rely on faith as a means of gathering knowledge, or to be satisfied with "god did it" when curious about how the world works. I wish those sects didn't coerce entire nations to withhold known medical care, health screening, and family planning because women are more useful when they lack autonomy.

Why can't they all agree to just be one kind of atheist?

Same reason people don't just "agree" to like the same movies, books, women, political ideologies, weight loss strategies or dog breeds. Because the simple answer, as comforting as it may be, is not always the most efficient.

I've never seen strong atheism supported with anything other than statements of faith.

You got us. We each recite the atheist creed every morning when we get up, every night when we go to bed, twice on Halloween, and backwards when we put the sacrificial baby on the BBQ. It goes something like this (I can't tell you exactly or I'll be killed):

"I swear on my mother's life, which holds absolutely no value to me because I hate everyone and everything because I hate God and he is love and so I hate love, that I am up to no good."
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 20, 2018, 10:07:53 AM
foxy, do you accept that ^^^this method of establishing belief works for theism as well?

it seems that atheism and theism aren't so far apart after all.

I don't recomend it as a method for anyone. It is just a fact that people don't have the time to become experts on everything. This means that people take the chance, on subjects which have a low priority for their interests, that they will not be fed too much false information, or that they will not misunderstand correct information.

If something is important to you, and you want to make claims about it to others, you have to gain some expertise in the methods and the evidence. For example if someone claims to be an expert on the bible but begins every question by assuming the conclusion that the bible is true, that person has not learnt correct methods of research and is not an expert whatever qualifications he or she might have blundered through. In research you don't start with conclusions. If, after doing research, someone reaches the conclusion they first thought of before they started, it is almost always a sign of incompetence.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 20, 2018, 10:58:49 AM
  I got what you were trying to say - claims are a form of evidence, albeit a weak one. 

Jaimehlers, perhaps you can explain this to me. In what way are claims a form of evidence?
If I were to say "I saw a firetruck go past me this morning on my way to work with its sirens blaring," that would be both a claim and evidence.  I am claiming an event happened, but at the same time, the claim itself is evidence that can be used to check the claim; "this morning on my way to work" gives you an idea of when and where it happened, which you can use to get more information about it.  To put it another way, if the claim were not evidence, you couldn't do anything with it.

That being said, claims are not very strong evidence, and they tend to be circular, which is a problem in and of itself.  Ideally, you'd want other sources of evidence to support my initial claim, or at least as many details about it as possible from me.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 20, 2018, 11:33:53 AM
Atheists have faith that their worldview is correct.  That worldview intentionally excludes a belief in God.   Therefore it is a faith belief.   

Atheism is not a worldview. It is a single issue.

People are atheists for different reasons. Undoubtedly there are some atheists who are atheists for emotional reasons and/or who don't care about evidence. But then, proof depends on expertise in method and knowledge and no one has the time to gain expertise in everything. There is always something in which you have to trust that other people have found the answer and which you don't know yourself.

I don't think you can say in general that atheists intentionally reach the conclusion they do. There are atheists who have unintentionally become atheists through consideration of the evidence. Matt Dillahunty for example was trying to make himself a better Christian but he discovered he was wrong. So evidence, not intention, is important for some atheists. It depends who you meet.
   

But it shapes your worldview and you have faith in it.  And I don't see how an atheist can just lack a belief in God because it determines how you live your life.  My granddaughter that is one year old lacks a belief in God.  An atheist's lack of belief is nothing like her lack of belief.  So what sort of atheist is she?  She is not in the same class as any of you so how can it be said that you just lack belief.  To me a lack of belief means you don't have an opinion one way or the other, like my granddaughter.  An atheist's lack of belief appears to me to have more in common with disbelieving.

For example, I have a lack of belief in aliens.  I can have that lack of belief because my belief or unbelief doesn't change anything in my life.  It doesn't prompt any action on my part.  I can basically be neutral which is how I view a lack of belief.  One that lacks belief is neutral, like my grandaughter.  Now if belief in aliens somehow required some action on my part, like going to alien church then I could no longer sit on the fence and be neutral.  I must choose to either believe or disbelieve before deciding to go or not go to alien church.  It may not move far from a lack of belief, but in deciding not to go to alien church I am tilting my beliefs toward disbelief.  I am at least believing the odds are greater for one side than the other.  I can't just be neutral.
 
Like I said, I am no atheist expert.  To realate and analyze it I substitute things in my life that are a matter of disbelief or unbelief.  For example, I'm an atheist toward alien life, but the claims about Santa Claus cause be to go beyond a simple lack of belief.  I only see two choices.  Believe or disbelieve.  How else can I decide whether or not to lay out cookies? 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 20, 2018, 12:11:34 PM
No, I don't agree.  I don't automatically disbelieve the claims of other religions.  I believe most religions are influenced by spirits.  So I think there are many gods.  But to me there is only one God, Jehovah and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ.

Are the spirits of other religions actually gods or dependent beings in your opinion?

I believe they are dependent.  The problem that occurs with atheists trying to disprove my God is that they substitute beliefs about God that I do not support.  They don't do anything more than attempt to disprove their version of my God.  When I challenge their version I get the retort, "well who says your version is correct........everyone doesn't agree?"

While that is a good question that is no reason to default to the atheist version.  I don't have to say my version is right.  But disproving any other version doesn't disprove my God.  That having been said, I don't have an individual and personal brand.  I believe the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses.  So I guess that widens  your goal posts a little.

But also, even if you think you can disprove my god, that does not establish the strong atheist position.  The goal post is not disproving my god.  It's proving that no gods exist.  And if you want to claim that "no gods exist" then it is not a believer's job to define god.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 20, 2018, 12:20:49 PM
  I got what you were trying to say - claims are a form of evidence, albeit a weak one. 

Jaimehlers, perhaps you can explain this to me. In what way are claims a form of evidence?
If I were to say "I saw a firetruck go past me this morning on my way to work with its sirens blaring," that would be both a claim and evidence.  I am claiming an event happened, but at the same time, the claim itself is evidence that can be used to check the claim; "this morning on my way to work" gives you an idea of when and where it happened, which you can use to get more information about it.  To put it another way, if the claim were not evidence, you couldn't do anything with it.

That being said, claims are not very strong evidence, and they tend to be circular, which is a problem in and of itself.  Ideally, you'd want other sources of evidence to support my initial claim, or at least as many details about it as possible from me.

I disagree.  The part "I saw a firetruck go past me " is the claim.  The rest is corroborating evidence, but is not the claim.  This morning can place it in time.  The sirens blaring can indicate that others likely were aware of it too.  you could also add the street you were on and that again would be evidence.  You could also say that firetrucks exist so the claim is likely but again that existence is just corroborating evidence, not the claim. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 20, 2018, 12:26:35 PM
and kevin again ignores that strong atheists (most) do not just say that gods don't exist based on their "faith" that this is the case.  we have evidence.

Then why is there such a failure to produce it?

lol

jst wins.

+1

well, Kevin, nice to see you agree with someone who makes a baseless claim.  There hasn't been a "failure to produce it", since I can show that gods do not exist as defined and I can show that theists do their best to try not to define theirs gods in order to keep their belief in them.  We've been having a great deal of fun watching you and jst do your best to refuse to define what a god is.  But i know that false claim supports your baseless claims so of course you have to agree. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 20, 2018, 01:15:52 PM
jaime, the positive assertion that occam’s razor was adequate to justify strong atheism was yours, and therefore you have the rhetorical burden of proof to back it up. but here is the actual logic behind my position anyway:

premise1. occam's razor is a heuristic for identifying the simplest solution to a problem.
premise2. the simplest solution to a problem is not always correct solution to the problem.
conclusion. occams' razor is a heuristic that does not always identify the correct solution to a problem.

if there is something wrong with ^^^this, please point it out.
Your initial response was to simply restate your original position.  The very fact that I disputed it in the first place means, at the very least, that your logic and reasoning is not self-evident.  As such, laying out your reasoning is a good idea.  If you are correct, then others will have an Easter time recognizing it, and if you are incorrect, it gives you the chance to correct yourself.  Both are good outcomes.

By the way, Occam's razor isn't really about finding the simplest solution.  It's about keeping people from introducing additional assumptions in order to privilege one explanation over another.

Quote from: kevinagain
apparently, the following is the actual logic behind your assertion that occam’s razor justifies strong atheism:

premise1.  the simplest solution to the god question is that there are no gods.
premise2. the simplest solution to a problem is the correct solution.
conclusion. the correct solution to the god question is that there are no gods.

^^^ this appears to be the argument you have presented so far. the form is valid, but the second premise is not true. unless you have a different formulation of parsimony, or have a different defintion of strong atheism to propose, that’s enough to support my point.

do you have something different?
Your understanding is just plain wrong.  I'm not sure how you came up with it, but that doesn't matter as long as you don't keep trying to tell me that it is correct.

Here is the logic of my position.

1.  Parsimony allows us to rule explanations with more assumptions out from consideration until explanations with less assumptions are shown to be lacking.
2.  The argument that something exists necessaryily requires more assumptions than the argument that something doesn't exist.
3.  Until someone shows that there is good reason to consider explanations that include gods, the explanation that excludes them is the most parsimonious.

As you can see, my argument wasn't about correctness in the first place.

Quote from: kevinagain
no, jaime. ^^^this argument doesn’t fly. strong atheism is the positive assertion of the existence of a condition—the non-existence of gods, and asserting the existence of a condition requires evidence, as you say. parsimony asserts nothing more than that there is no evidence for gods, and that’s as far as the occam’s razor argument will take you. a statement of logical certainty that no gods exist cannot be made unless the universe is completely searched for for them. that is absurd, and cannot be done. what parsimony asserts is that there is no evidence for believing in gods, which is very different from stating that they do not exist.
Do I really need to point out the contradiction in you saying that strong atheism asserts the existence of something and then immediately following by saying that it's about the non-existence of something?    If I assert that something (say leprechauns) doesn't exist, I'm not making a "positive assertion of the existence of a condition".  To be honest, this sounds like bafflegab to me.  Please restate it, without any inherent contradictions such as the one I described.

Quote from: kevinagain
the existence of a phenomenon does not depend on whether or not we have evidence for it.
Of course not, but that is not a reason to take 'phemonena' (that is to say, concepts) with no credible evidence seriously.  The sheer number of concepts out there which are at least as plausible as that of a god is probably so huge as to be incomprehensible.  If we take the concept of gods seriously without evidence, then we basically have to take all other concepts which are at least as plausible just as seriously, and there's little point in that.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 20, 2018, 02:03:18 PM

Your understanding is just plain wrong.  I'm not sure how you came up with it, but that doesn't matter as long as you don't keep trying to tell me that it is correct.

Here is the logic of my position.

1.  Parsimony allows us to rule explanations with more assumptions out from consideration until explanations with less assumptions are shown to be lacking.
2.  The argument that something exists necessaryily requires more assumptions than the argument that something doesn't exist.
3.  Until someone shows that there is good reason to consider explanations that include gods, the explanation that excludes them is the most parsimonious.

As you can see, my argument wasn't about correctness in the first place.

lol.

i do see it. do you remember that this was your original assertion regarding strong atheism?

The reason strong atheists reject gods is because of Occam's razor; if gods have no effect on reality, then asserting any entities of the class 'god' is unnecessary.

if you want to define strong atheism as "ruling gods out from consideration," your logic is sound, but your definition is not the general one.

Quote
Do I really need to point out the contradiction in you saying that strong atheism asserts the existence of something and then immediately following by saying that it's about the non-existence of something?    If I assert that something (say leprechauns) doesn't exist, I'm not making a "positive assertion of the existence of a condition".  To be honest, this sounds like bafflegab to me.  Please restate it, without any inherent contradictions such as the one I described.

i think the fact that it sounds like bafflegab to you means you need to think more about the question.

if i say "the  refrigerator is empty," that is a positive assertion of a condition. "empty" is an explicit condition, not a lack of one. strong atheism is the positive assertion that the set of all gods is an empty set. to assert it requires completely inspecting the set to determine whether there are members. if no members are there, then the statement that "there is no god or gods" is a true one. if the set is not completely inspected, then the best that can be stated is that the set has not yet been found to contain members.

because it is impossible to inspect the entire universe for gods, the strong atheist’s statement that they do not exist cannot be demonstrated to be true. as you have admitted, it is certainly possible to change that statement to "gods may be ruled out of consideration."

the latter is a statement of weak atheism, not strong atheism, according to wiki:

Quote
Negative atheism, also called weak atheism and soft atheism, is any type of atheism where a person does not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist.[1][2][3]

occam's razor supports a position of weak atheism. it does not support strong atheism, which was the position you have walked back from.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 20, 2018, 02:15:53 PM

well, Kevin, nice to see you agree with someone who makes a baseless claim.  There hasn't been a "failure to produce it", since I can show that gods do not exist as defined and I can show that theists do their best to try not to define theirs gods in order to keep their belief in them.  We've been having a great deal of fun watching you and jst do your best to refuse to define what a god is.  But i know that false claim supports your baseless claims so of course you have to agree.

'You make false claims,' said Wormtongue. 'Those words come too oft and easy from your lips,' said Gandalf.”

Quote from: velkyn
" doesn't mean children too. The level of false claims and willful ignorance that theists display in

......  want to ignore context when inconvenient for your false claims. what was the "entire world" to the authors who  ......

......  to do without error. They fail, destroying the false claims by theists in this one stroke.   The common  ......

......  atheist, I don't know the xact amount   making false claims in order to convince people that they need to  ......

......  are political diagnoses.    Hmmm, any more false claims you want to make? It's always good to see  ............  making false claims.  ......

......  up.    It's because you are making ignorant and false claims as usual, BS. You occasionally want to claim  ............ , formations, to go, but BS will try to make false claims about that too, with his willful ignorance.    ......

......  hmmm, will it sounds better if I say you bring up false claims made constantly by Trump supporters? whatever  ......

......  when they are made comfy, but intentionally make false claims about those same sciences when they show that the  ......

......  quite happy to point out your failures and your false claims.    The question is, who do you think are you  ............  is an arrogant and ignorant man who has made false claims about atheists and has tried very hard to  ......

......  false claims is rarely a good thing, unless of course you are  ......

...... / Happily, reality doesnt' care what DOL makes false claims about.   Quote  One final hint: Trump is actually  ......

......  I went out of my way to show you evidence so your false claims about me fail. I am happy that you did admit  ......

......  are completely against environmentalism.   more false claims with nothing to support them, all harvested from  ......

......  you have posted is baseless opinions, outright false claims and other people's claims which again have  ......

......  let them know that there are problems with their false claims.  ......

......  nonsense and nice to see you are willing to make false claims with no evidence whatsoever. I don't want white  ............  believes, DOL. The facts matter and your false claims don't. You were wrong again. I do love to see  ............  not one thing on Fox. How "surprising", one more false claims by DOL. Funny how you trust news reporters when  ......

......  is why I should care, if I see someone making false claims and acting very unpleasantly toward myself and  ......

......  the "is it okay to be me" thread where you made false claims about this community and those within it as an  ......

...... , another classic dodge by someone who is making false claims. Now, where are these healings in hospitals  ......

...... .   I call you a Nazi because you spew the same false claims that they did. You are just the latest version,  ......

......  It is no surprise that again DOL tries to spread false claims, and relies on nonsense like the Leuchter report:  ......

......  when it doesn't suit them.   sigh, just more false claims from someone who is desperate for external  ......

......  another problem, why would a Christian make a false claims, since the god involved says that no lie is  ......

......  religion. We know what it actually says, not the false claims made constantly by believers. Quote  But I'm not  ......

......  excuses are just that, Charlie. You make the false claims that a discussion is “going no where productively” ......

......  this claim if someone points out that you make false claims, and then you try to claim that the First  ............ .   As usual, you are lashing out, making more false claims and compounding the problem. You refuse to  ............  one's child to be promiscuous?     You have made false claims that all of a certain class are promiscuous  ............  evince in order to try to shore up your previous false claims; this indicates you are ignorant of those  ............  again that does not give you an excuse to repeat false claims that you have already been shown are false. You  ......

......  also not work well if you insist on repeating false claims, for someone will point them out.  Quote from:  ............ , demonstrated that you use fallacies and you make false claims about others. You don't get to have your own  ............ . These behaviors include making baseless and false claims about information and others. You asked for  ......

......  be part of ‘health and safety’ because you make false claims about callousness, and “brokenhearts” and “ ......

......  are neither and we have one more Christian making false claims. He’s also one of those sad little men who still  ............    What we end up with is a series of false claims, based on intentional misrepresentation of  ......
......  soon now.   Mods, I would ask if BS's repeated false claims about his own links would suffice as evidence  ............  he is intentionally presenting false claims, also known as lying.        ......

...... , and shows he is intentionally trying to make false statements for his own benefit. He also didn't bother  ......

......  time perhaps.    ah, my quaker friend makes false statements about others; why on earth would I call out his  ......

......   Do that, then lets talk some more.    wow. Nice false statements, MM, I guess you don't care if you bear false  ......

......  who also takes refuge in willful ignorance and false statements. It surprises me not at all that now you want to  ......

......  have tried your darndest to try to use your old false statements that no one can have morals without your  ......

...... 's inability to support his claims and his making false statements about forum members.  ......

......  were wrong and you choose to return to those false statements. This is where excuses of intent fail. If you  ......
...... . Why do so many Christians choose to make such false statements, BS? It seems that many Christians are so  ......

......  you were referring to Albeto's pointing out your false statements about me, I appreciate her words and the time  ......

......  claims. Both change their claims when their false statements are caught, and then they run to another excuse.  ......

......   The bible is a book riddled with contradictions, false statements, etc. There is no reason to think that it is  ......

......  curious when called on a false claim, it suddenly becomes a "joke". and more passive  ......

...... 's unfortunate that you've chosen to make that false claim, that we aren't reading what you are writing.  ......

......  result in a life on its own. You also made the false claim, that "drastic" changes happen as soon as  ............  I went out of my way to show you evidence so your false claims about me fail. I am happy that you did admit  ......

......  people dead and gone, but that's quite a nice false statement from our wannabee Nazi. Yep, scientists have  ......

......  will come to the same answer you do. That is a false statement and a continuation of your delusion that you and  ......

......  that God does not exist.   A demonstrably false statement. Then you, when called on it say Quote   I know  ......










Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 20, 2018, 02:25:17 PM
foxy, do you accept that ^^^this method of establishing belief works for theism as well?

it seems that atheism and theism aren't so far apart after all.

I don't recomend it as a method for anyone. It is just a fact that people don't have the time to become experts on everything. This means that people take the chance, on subjects which have a low priority for their interests, that they will not be fed too much false information, or that they will not misunderstand correct information.

If something is important to you, and you want to make claims about it to others, you have to gain some expertise in the methods and the evidence. For example if someone claims to be an expert on the bible but begins every question by assuming the conclusion that the bible is true, that person has not learnt correct methods of research and is not an expert whatever qualifications he or she might have blundered through. In research you don't start with conclusions. If, after doing research, someone reaches the conclusion they first thought of before they started, it is almost always a sign of incompetence.

i agree. the problem is that there is a disconnect in a lot of religions about what sorts of criticism are acceptable and can be applied to the question. for example, nobody argues that jet propulsion can lift an aircraft into the air and take it to the caribbean. it's obvious and can be demonstrated too easily.

but those same people will take a different level of skepticism and apply it to radiometric dating, in spite of the fact that the same laws of chemistry and physics are applied to rocks and jet fuel in the same way.

i think it's because you can see the jet move, but you have to have expertise to measure the rock chemistry. it's much easier to reject things you don't understand, because you are immune to the correct explanations.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 20, 2018, 02:52:09 PM
If I were to say "I saw a firetruck go past me this morning on my way to work with its sirens blaring," that would be both a claim and evidence.  I am claiming an event happened, but at the same time, the claim itself is evidence that can be used to check the claim; "this morning on my way to work" gives you an idea of when and where it happened, which you can use to get more information about it.  To put it another way, if the claim were not evidence, you couldn't do anything with it.

I'm still not following. Your claiming you saw a firetruck go past you this morning on your way to work, with its sirens blasting is the claim. That claim, when corroborated, can be used to check other claims or establish other details, but claim itself isn't self evident. If it is evidence in any way, it is unrelated to that particular claim; it would be evidence to show you are capable of making reasonable claims, you know how to refer to firetrucks and work in context, etc.

If I claim Jesus died for my sins, that claim can't be used to check the claim Jesus really did die or that I harbor things called sins. It's not self-evident so requires corroboration. I'm not sure if that's the best analogy, but I'm stuck with it for now.

In any case, the corroboration we look for to validate a claim comes from objective sources, which we call evidence, not the claim itself.

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 20, 2018, 06:17:18 PM

well, Kevin, nice to see you agree with someone who makes a baseless claim.  There hasn't been a "failure to produce it", since I can show that gods do not exist as defined and I can show that theists do their best to try not to define theirs gods in order to keep their belief in them.  We've been having a great deal of fun watching you and jst do your best to refuse to define what a god is.  But i know that false claim supports your baseless claims so of course you have to agree.

'You make false claims,' said Wormtongue. 'Those words come too oft and easy from your lips,' said Gandalf.”

amazing on how kevin seem to think making something bigger makes it more true.  I guess that is all you have left, Kevin.  Perhaps you'd like to go for all caps too? &)

and as always, nice to see you unable to contest a single one of those quotes you lovingly took out of context.   ;D
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 20, 2018, 07:24:14 PM

well, Kevin, nice to see you agree with someone who makes a baseless claim.  There hasn't been a "failure to produce it", since I can show that gods do not exist as defined and I can show that theists do their best to try not to define theirs gods in order to keep their belief in them.  We've been having a great deal of fun watching you and jst do your best to refuse to define what a god is.  But i know that false claim supports your baseless claims so of course you have to agree.

'You make false claims,' said Wormtongue. 'Those words come too oft and easy from your lips,' said Gandalf.”

amazing on how kevin seem to think making something bigger makes it more true.  I guess that is all you have left, Kevin.  Perhaps you'd like to go for all caps too? &)

and as always, nice to see you unable to contest a single one of those quotes you lovingly took out of context.   ;D

yep.

i gave in to a mean-spirited moment there, and it was unnecessary.

i apologize, velkyn.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 20, 2018, 08:05:34 PM

well, Kevin, nice to see you agree with someone who makes a baseless claim.  There hasn't been a "failure to produce it", since I can show that gods do not exist as defined and I can show that theists do their best to try not to define theirs gods in order to keep their belief in them.  We've been having a great deal of fun watching you and jst do your best to refuse to define what a god is.  But i know that false claim supports your baseless claims so of course you have to agree.

'You make false claims,' said Wormtongue. 'Those words come too oft and easy from your lips,' said Gandalf.”

amazing on how kevin seem to think making something bigger makes it more true.  I guess that is all you have left, Kevin.  Perhaps you'd like to go for all caps too? &)

and as always, nice to see you unable to contest a single one of those quotes you lovingly took out of context.   ;D

yep.

i gave in to a mean-spirited moment there, and it was unnecessary.

i apologize, velkyn.

Considering your behavior, there is no reason to accept an apology or believe it.  isn't this a "joke" too?   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 21, 2018, 05:54:06 AM
well, velkyn, its like this.

i didnt come here to fight with people, or engage in flame wars. but you regularly post false accusations about what i say. sometimes you apologize, sometimes you quietly ignore it when i show you to be wrong.

lately you seem to have unspecified problems with my "behavior." so what exactly are your accusations this time, and what is your evidence to back them up?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 21, 2018, 06:47:03 AM
Are the spirits of other religions actually gods or dependent beings in your opinion?

I believe they are dependent.  The problem that occurs with atheists trying to disprove my God is that they substitute beliefs about God that I do not support.  They don't do anything more than attempt to disprove their version of my God.  When I challenge their version I get the retort, "well who says your version is correct........everyone doesn't agree?"

While that is a good question that is no reason to default to the atheist version.  I don't have to say my version is right.  But disproving any other version doesn't disprove my God.  That having been said, I don't have an individual and personal brand.  I believe the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses.  So I guess that widens  your goal posts a little.

But also, even if you think you can disprove my god, that does not establish the strong atheist position.  The goal post is not disproving my god.  It's proving that no gods exist.  And if you want to claim that "no gods exist" then it is not a believer's job to define god.

So you already agree that no other independent gods exist. This means that to prove to you that no gods exist only requires proof that your god does not exist.

You have previously said that your god exists outside of space and time and is pure energy.

But energy (and power) does not exist outside of space and time. Its units are space and time. Your god outside of space and time could not think or do anything without energy or space or time, which shows that the idea of a god outside of space and time is a poorly thought out idea which leads to a contradiction.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 21, 2018, 06:58:31 AM
strong atheism is the positive assertion that the set of all gods is an empty set. to assert it requires completely inspecting the set to determine whether there are members. if no members are there, then the statement that "there is no god or gods" is a true one. if the set is not completely inspected, then the best that can be stated is that the set has not yet been found to contain members.

You only have to show that the rule of the set is violated. You don't have to know everything or inspect every member.

Quote
because it is impossible to inspect the entire universe for gods, the strong atheist’s statement that they do not exist cannot be demonstrated to be true. as you have admitted, it is certainly possible to change that statement to "gods may be ruled out of consideration."

the latter is a statement of weak atheism, not strong atheism, according to wiki:

Quote
Negative atheism, also called weak atheism and soft atheism, is any type of atheism where a person does not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist.[1][2][3]

occam's razor supports a position of weak atheism. it does not support strong atheism, which was the position you have walked back from.

Even simply proving that a god is unnecessary actually tells you that it does not exist since an unnecessary god is not a god. If you think it is, please list the attributes which make an unnecessary god, a god.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 21, 2018, 08:20:53 AM

You only have to show that the rule of the set is violated. You don't have to know everything or inspect every member.

there are no members in an empty set, foxy. but to prove that, the set must be inspected completely. in tbe context of this question, that is impossible, and whether the set is actually empty remains undeterrmined.

Quote

Even simply proving that a god is unnecessary actually tells you that it does not exist since an unnecessary god is not a god. If you think it is, please list the attributes which make an unnecessary god, a god.

the point was that gods are logically unnecessary to a particular assertion, not that unnecessary gods have characteristics of some sort.

i have never defined a god. you state tbat unnecessary gods are not gods, so you clearly aready have a definition in mind of what a god must be.

what is this definition of an unneccessary god?

added.

or any god. i dont have any idea what they might be. i dont believe in them.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: albeto on April 21, 2018, 11:32:21 AM
i have never defined a god. you state tbat unnecessary gods are not gods, so you clearly aready have a definition in mind of what a god must be.

Earlier in this thread (post 231), you suggested atheism is a form of SPAG. Do I understand correctly that you do not consider yourself an atheist, despite saying you don't believe in gods, because you haven't heard every possible definition of a god and you believe it's possible a definition of a god exists that you could not reasonably reject?

In that same post you gave your explanation of why atheists reject gods (SPAG), but said it is not a definition of atheist. Can you define atheist?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 21, 2018, 02:11:28 PM

You only have to show that the rule of the set is violated. You don't have to know everything or inspect every member.

there are no members in an empty set, foxy. but to prove that, the set must be inspected completely. in tbe context of this question, that is impossible, and whether the set is actually empty remains undeterrmined.

You have confused two different sets. I'll unravel them from your original statement.

strong atheism is the positive assertion that the set of all gods is an empty set. to assert it requires completely inspecting the set to determine whether there are members. if no members are there, then the statement that "there is no god or gods" is a true one. if the set is not completely inspected, then the best that can be stated is that the set has not yet been found to contain members.

because it is impossible to inspect the entire universe for gods, the strong atheist’s statement that they do not exist cannot be demonstrated to be true. as you have admitted, it is certainly possible to change that statement to "gods may be ruled out of consideration."


The universe is the set you are inspecting. You are inspecting the set of the universe to discover if the subset of gods contains any members.

Now imagine an infinite set so that it is impossible to examine every member. The set is the set of odd numbers. Is the number 300,000,000,002 in the set? Are any even numbers in the set? The answer is no to both. The subset of even numbers is empty because it violates the rule of the set. You don't need to inspect every number to know that, or to know everything to discover the answer.

Likewise with gods. If the supposed nature of gods violates the rules of the set, they don't exist.You don't need to examine the whole universe or know everything to discover that gods don't exist.

Quote
Quote

Even simply proving that a god is unnecessary actually tells you that it does not exist since an unnecessary god is not a god. If you think it is, please list the attributes which make an unnecessary god, a god.

the point was that gods are logically unnecessary to a particular assertion, not that unnecessary gods have characteristics of some sort.

i have never defined a god. you state tbat unnecessary gods are not gods, so you clearly aready have a definition in mind of what a god must be.

what is this definition of an unneccessary god?

added.

or any god. i dont have any idea what they might be. i dont believe in them.

If gods are logically unnecessary for any assertion then they are unnecessary gods and have that characteristic of being unnecessary. I am saying that that is a contradiction since religions which claim to worship gods and know what they are, claim that they are necessary. It is not my definition, it is the definition of theists that gods are necessary for something. If you want to be different and claim that a logically unnecessary god should be considered a god, go ahead and say why.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 21, 2018, 03:21:34 PM
 thats interesting and i need to think about it.

i have to fix fence this evening to keep a donkey in. let me get back to you asap.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 21, 2018, 06:16:30 PM
Are the spirits of other religions actually gods or dependent beings in your opinion?

I believe they are dependent.  The problem that occurs with atheists trying to disprove my God is that they substitute beliefs about God that I do not support.  They don't do anything more than attempt to disprove their version of my God.  When I challenge their version I get the retort, "well who says your version is correct........everyone doesn't agree?"

While that is a good question that is no reason to default to the atheist version.  I don't have to say my version is right.  But disproving any other version doesn't disprove my God.  That having been said, I don't have an individual and personal brand.  I believe the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses.  So I guess that widens  your goal posts a little.

But also, even if you think you can disprove my god, that does not establish the strong atheist position.  The goal post is not disproving my god.  It's proving that no gods exist.  And if you want to claim that "no gods exist" then it is not a believer's job to define god.

So you already agree that no other independent gods exist. This means that to prove to you that no gods exist only requires proof that your god does not exist.

You have previously said that your god exists outside of space and time and is pure energy.

But energy (and power) does not exist outside of space and time. Its units are space and time. Your god outside of space and time could not think or do anything without energy or space or time, which shows that the idea of a god outside of space and time is a poorly thought out idea which leads to a contradiction.

According to the Big Bang theory, space (matter) was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  Therefore it existed before matter.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 21, 2018, 09:40:33 PM
i do see it. do you remember that this was your original assertion regarding strong atheism?

if you want to define strong atheism as "ruling gods out from consideration," your logic is sound, but your definition is not the general one.
Yes, you quoted what I said.  I see no contradiction or problem between it and my position now.  So, I disagree with your statement that I am redefining strong atheism.  I am simply stating that it is the most parsimonious position, not that it is about parsimony.  If strong atheism ceased to be the most parsimonious position, it would not actually change strong atheism.

Quote from: kevinagain
i think the fact that it sounds like bafflegab to you means you need to think more about the question.
No, it means that what you said sounds like bafflegab to me.  Instead of telling me "you need to think about it more", you should probably take time to make sure that what you're saying is coming across clearly.

Quote from: kevinagain
if i say "the  refrigerator is empty," that is a positive assertion of a condition. "empty" is an explicit condition, not a lack of one. strong atheism is the positive assertion that the set of all gods is an empty set. to assert it requires completely inspecting the set to determine whether there are members. if no members are there, then the statement that "there is no god or gods" is a true one. if the set is not completely inspected, then the best that can be stated is that the set has not yet been found to contain members.
Honestly?  This is not a very good argument.  For example, if I look in a refrigerator and don't find any food in it, and say "the refrigerator is empty (of food)", and you come along and say "unless you've thoroughly examined the refrigerator, you cannot say that it is empty of food, but only that it has not yet been found to contain food", I am not going to be persuaded by your reasoning, to say the least.  Most likely, I'm going to say something along the lines of "well, if you want to look for food in there, be my guest.  Let me know if you find any, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting."

Quote from: kevinagain
because it is impossible to inspect the entire universe for gods, the strong atheist’s statement that they do not exist cannot be demonstrated to be true. as you have admitted, it is certainly possible to change that statement to "gods may be ruled out of consideration."
Sorry, but this reasoning doesn't work.  It's the same basic problem as when you were trying to say that the null hypothesis regarding gods is "there is at least one god".  It's true that we can't say definitively that gods don't exist, just as we can't say definitively that natural law can explain all phenomena.  But just as we shouldn't assume that there are phenomena out there that can't be explained by natural laws, we also shouldn't assume that there are any gods out there.

Quote from: kevinagain
the latter is a statement of weak atheism, not strong atheism, according to wiki:

Quote
Negative atheism, also called weak atheism and soft atheism, is any type of atheism where a person does not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Positive atheism, also called strong atheism and hard atheism, is the form of atheism that additionally asserts that no deities exist.[1][2][3]

occam's razor supports a position of weak atheism. it does not support strong atheism, which was the position you have walked back from.
Sorry, but the distinction you're trying to draw here just doesn't hold up.

First off, so you don't misunderstand, I'm not a strong atheist.  I generally describe myself as an apatheist, basically "I don't know if there are gods and I don't care either".  But the point is that I don't personally assert that gods can't exist.  However, I understand strong atheism pretty well, enough to know that it's patently ridiculous for someone to try to use weak atheism to argue that strong atheism is not parsimonious.  In actual fact, both are equally parsimonious.

There isn't a significant difference between saying "gods don't exist" and saying "gods have not been shown to exist", despite what you are trying to argue here.  Certainly not enough of a difference to successfully argue that Occam's razor supports one and not the other.  You see, both strong atheism and weak atheism assert that gods may be ruled out.  Strong atheism is just more emphatic about it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 22, 2018, 05:51:54 AM

There isn't a significant difference between saying "gods don't exist" and saying "gods have not been shown to exist", despite what you are trying to argue here.  Certainly not enough of a difference to successfully argue that Occam's razor supports one and not the other.  You see, both strong atheism and weak atheism assert that gods may be ruled out.  Strong atheism is just more emphatic about it.

well, there you have it, jaime.

you may find it convenient to think this way, but you are still logically incorrect. a lack of knowledge about a phenomenon does not support a statement of certainty regarding its nonexistence.

the differences between what we know to be false and what we just believe to be false are profound. you have blurred that distinction by asserting that no knowledge of gods justifies certain disbelief in their existence.

one is a statement of ignorance, while the other is a statement of knowledge. you may consider those statements to be same, but they are fundamentally different.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 22, 2018, 04:38:25 PM
According to the Big Bang theory, space (matter) was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  Therefore it existed before matter.

Your understanding is incorrect.

Energy has units of space and time such as hc/l which is a constant times the speed of light divided by wavelength. Wavelength is obviously space and speed is how fast in time.

And since energy has units of time there cannot even be a "before".

Your god of energy is based on false intuitive thinking.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 22, 2018, 05:19:03 PM
well, there you have it, jaime.

you may find it convenient to think this way, but you are still logically incorrect. a lack of knowledge about a phenomenon does not support a statement of certainty regarding its nonexistence.

the differences between what we know to be false and what we just believe to be false are profound. you have blurred that distinction by asserting that no knowledge of gods justifies certain disbelief in their existence.

one is a statement of ignorance, while the other is a statement of knowledge. you may consider those statements to be same, but they are fundamentally different.

You are forgetting how theists define gods.

Rom 1;20 ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. SO THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.

The evidence for gods is defined as necessarily obvious, so absence of evidence or of necessity does mean evidence of and necessity of absence in the case of gods.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 22, 2018, 05:41:48 PM
According to the Big Bang theory, space (matter) was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  Therefore it existed before matter.

Your understanding is incorrect.

Energy has units of space and time such as hc/l which is a constant times the speed of light divided by wavelength. Wavelength is obviously space and speed is how fast in time.

And since energy has units of time there cannot even be a "before".

Your god of energy is based on false intuitive thinking.

But that does not prove that God is not the source of it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 22, 2018, 05:42:52 PM
well, there you have it, jaime.

you may find it convenient to think this way, but you are still logically incorrect. a lack of knowledge about a phenomenon does not support a statement of certainty regarding its nonexistence.

the differences between what we know to be false and what we just believe to be false are profound. you have blurred that distinction by asserting that no knowledge of gods justifies certain disbelief in their existence.

one is a statement of ignorance, while the other is a statement of knowledge. you may consider those statements to be same, but they are fundamentally different.

You are forgetting how theists define gods.

Rom 1;20 ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. SO THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.

The evidence for gods is defined as necessarily obvious, so absence of evidence or of necessity does mean evidence of and necessity of absence in the case of gods.

Romans 1:20 is not applied to all people.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 22, 2018, 06:29:39 PM
well, there you have it, jaime.

you may find it convenient to think this way, but you are still logically incorrect. a lack of knowledge about a phenomenon does not support a statement of certainty regarding its nonexistence.

the differences between what we know to be false and what we just believe to be false are profound. you have blurred that distinction by asserting that no knowledge of gods justifies certain disbelief in their existence.

one is a statement of ignorance, while the other is a statement of knowledge. you may consider those statements to be same, but they are fundamentally different.

You are forgetting how theists define gods.

Rom 1;20 ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. SO THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.

The evidence for gods is defined as necessarily obvious, so absence of evidence or of necessity does mean evidence of and necessity of absence in the case of gods.

im not a christian, foxy, so arguing how christianity is or is not flawed doesn't do much for me. even when i was, quoting scripture didnt convince me of anything either, whegher it came a theist kr an atheist.

still thinking about your set example. havent had more tban a few minutes at a time.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 08:17:59 AM
According to the Big Bang theory, space (matter) was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  Therefore it existed before matter.

Your understanding is incorrect.

Energy has units of space and time such as hc/l which is a constant times the speed of light divided by wavelength. Wavelength is obviously space and speed is how fast in time.

And since energy has units of time there cannot even be a "before".

Your god of energy is based on false intuitive thinking.

But that does not prove that God is not the source of it.

It proves that what you claimed to believe is wrong.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 08:19:53 AM
im not a christian, foxy, so arguing how christianity is or is not flawed doesn't do much for me. even when i was, quoting scripture didnt convince me of anything either, whegher it came a theist kr an atheist.

still thinking about your set example. havent had more tban a few minutes at a time.

What matters is what gods are supposed to be like.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 08:27:38 AM
Romans 1:20 is not applied to all people.

Rom 1:18 says it does apply to all

Rom 2;1 also says "Therefore you have no excuse WHOEVER YOU ARE"
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 23, 2018, 08:28:22 AM
According to the Big Bang theory, space (matter) was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  Therefore it existed before matter.

Your understanding is incorrect.

Energy has units of space and time such as hc/l which is a constant times the speed of light divided by wavelength. Wavelength is obviously space and speed is how fast in time.

And since energy has units of time there cannot even be a "before".

Your god of energy is based on false intuitive thinking.

But that does not prove that God is not the source of it.

It proves that what you claimed to believe is wrong.

Just because we apply measurements to energy doesn't mean it didn't create the universe.  And I haven't misunderstood.  According to the Big Bang our universe was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  So energy existed before matter (space). 

Plus I have never believed that God himself is literally the energy all around us, only the source of it.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 23, 2018, 08:41:54 AM
Romans 1:20 is not applied to all people.

Rom 1:18 says it does apply to all

Rom 2;1 also says "Therefore you have no excuse WHOEVER YOU ARE"

Romans 1:18 applies to those that know God and then supress the truth (v 21).  It's talking about apostasy not atheism.

Romans 2:1 is talking about passing judgment on others.  "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are,+ if you judge......
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 23, 2018, 09:06:57 AM
im not a christian, foxy, so arguing how christianity is or is not flawed doesn't do much for me. even when i was, quoting scripture didnt convince me of anything either, whegher it came a theist kr an atheist.

still thinking about your set example. havent had more tban a few minutes at a time.

What matters is what gods are supposed to be like.

um, no.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 09:10:18 AM
im not a christian, foxy, so arguing how christianity is or is not flawed doesn't do much for me. even when i was, quoting scripture didnt convince me of anything either, whegher it came a theist kr an atheist.

still thinking about your set example. havent had more tban a few minutes at a time.

What matters is what gods are supposed to be like.

um, no.

Yes, because if they are not what they are supposed to be they cannot be called gods and no one would claim they are.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 09:17:54 AM
Romans 1:20 is not applied to all people.

Rom 1:18 says it does apply to all

Rom 2;1 also says "Therefore you have no excuse WHOEVER YOU ARE"

Romans 1:18 applies to those that know God and then supress the truth (v 21).  It's talking about apostasy not atheism.

Romans 2:1 is talking about passing judgment on others.  "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are,+ if you judge......

You have just recently said that atheists really do believe in your god or do you recant that statement.

Anyone can pass judgement, can they not. It clearly says "whoever you are". The whole passage is about non Christians "from the creation of the world".
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 23, 2018, 12:01:10 PM

You only have to show that the rule of the set is violated. You don't have to know everything or inspect every member.

there are no members in an empty set, foxy. but to prove that, the set must be inspected completely. in tbe context of this question, that is impossible, and whether the set is actually empty remains undeterrmined.

You have confused two different sets. I'll unravel them from your original statement.

strong atheism is the positive assertion that the set of all gods is an empty set. to assert it requires completely inspecting the set to determine whether there are members. if no members are there, then the statement that "there is no god or gods" is a true one. if the set is not completely inspected, then the best that can be stated is that the set has not yet been found to contain members.

because it is impossible to inspect the entire universe for gods, the strong atheist’s statement that they do not exist cannot be demonstrated to be true. as you have admitted, it is certainly possible to change that statement to "gods may be ruled out of consideration."


The universe is the set you are inspecting. You are inspecting the set of the universe to discover if the subset of gods contains any members.

Now imagine an infinite set so that it is impossible to examine every member. The set is the set of odd numbers. Is the number 300,000,000,002 in the set? Are any even numbers in the set? The answer is no to both. The subset of even numbers is empty because it violates the rule of the set. You don't need to inspect every number to know that, or to know everything to discover the answer.

Likewise with gods. If the supposed nature of gods violates the rules of the set, they don't exist.You don't need to examine the whole universe or know everything to discover that gods don't exist.

Quote
Quote

Even simply proving that a god is unnecessary actually tells you that it does not exist since an unnecessary god is not a god. If you think it is, please list the attributes which make an unnecessary god, a god.

the point was that gods are logically unnecessary to a particular assertion, not that unnecessary gods have characteristics of some sort.

i have never defined a god. you state tbat unnecessary gods are not gods, so you clearly aready have a definition in mind of what a god must be.

what is this definition of an unneccessary god?

added.

or any god. i dont have any idea what they might be. i dont believe in them.

If gods are logically unnecessary for any assertion then they are unnecessary gods and have that characteristic of being unnecessary. I am saying that that is a contradiction since religions which claim to worship gods and know what they are, claim that they are necessary. It is not my definition, it is the definition of theists that gods are necessary for something. If you want to be different and claim that a logically unnecessary god should be considered a god, go ahead and say why.

foxy, all your reasoning depends on there being a known and fixed definition for a god, so that it can be scrutinized and its characteristics checked, like birds against a fieldguide.

i can't help you there, because you're asking for something that has never existed. gods have been universal, particular, benevolent, malevolent, omnipotent, omniscient--or not-- singular, multiple, unitarian, infinite, eternal, or mortal. there has never been one definition of a god, and even within any religion, their nature is disputed and changes over time.

i have no reason to believe that theists are exactly right about the god tbey worship, sbould it exist, and i do not require any scripture to be inerrant, which sets my beliefs apart from many theists and atheists alike.

my belief is tbat any gods that exist are defined by what they do. by experience, not by logic or books. i have no idea whether god has a mamma, is perfect, is eternal, or not. my belief is that personal experience of god is all that counts, and if you don't have that, there is no reason to believe in god. i do not have that experience, and i do not have a belief in god. i do not reject the possibility, and would change if my experience changed.

so your set theory falls down, because it requires someone else to define their god for you, so you can test it against a list. many people will take you up on that, usually because they think scripture is key, as you do. i don't share that point of view, nor do i think it is required for gods to exist.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 05:23:11 PM

foxy, all your reasoning depends on there being a known and fixed definition for a god, so that it can be scrutinized and its characteristics checked, like birds against a fieldguide.

i can't help you there, because you're asking for something that has never existed. gods have been universal, particular, benevolent, malevolent, omnipotent, omniscient--or not-- singular, multiple, unitarian, infinite, eternal, or mortal. there has never been one definition of a god, and even within any religion, their nature is disputed and changes over time.

i have no reason to believe that theists are exactly right about the god tbey worship, sbould it exist, and i do not require any scripture to be inerrant, which sets my beliefs apart from many theists and atheists alike.

my belief is tbat any gods that exist are defined by what they do. by experience, not by logic or books. i have no idea whether god has a mamma, is perfect, is eternal, or not. my belief is that personal experience of god is all that counts, and if you don't have that, there is no reason to believe in god. i do not have that experience, and i do not have a belief in god. i do not reject the possibility, and would change if my experience changed.

so your set theory falls down, because it requires someone else to define their god for you, so you can test it against a list. many people will take you up on that, usually because they think scripture is key, as you do. i don't share that point of view, nor do i think it is required for gods to exist.

I am not arguing for a known fixed definition of a god since there are obviously at least as many gods as there are believers.

I am only saying that they are generally regarded as evident and necessary. Only these qualities are needed for the logical argument that absence of evidence and of necessity means evidence and necessity of absence.

I have put in bold the important part of what you wrote, "my belief is tbat any gods that exist are defined by what they do.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 23, 2018, 06:43:29 PM
i dont believr absence of evidence means more than absence of evidence, because of the assumptions. by that i mean it true in pecific cases, but not as the universal it is often presented as. we should talk about that sometime. im open to changing my mind.

but necessity is something we deem closer to agreement on. i didnt understand what you meant before.if there is no evidentiary need to hypothesize a god based on observable phenomena, then to me the concept ceases to have meaning or purpose. in terms of explaining the universe, every culture has a mythology, and i dont see any real differences between them.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 23, 2018, 07:30:35 PM
Just because we apply measurements to energy doesn't mean it didn't create the universe.  And I haven't misunderstood.  According to the Big Bang our universe was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  So energy existed before matter (space). 

Plus I have never believed that God himself is literally the energy all around us, only the source of it.

You have misunderstood the Big Bang in a Big Way. Energy needs time, so it cannot exist "before" time in order to create time. The amount of energy which can be created from nothing is related to the TIME it can exist by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Matter evolved after the Big Bang at a slower pace.

Have you ever heard of conservation of energy? Gods could not be the source of energy unless they were energy themselves. Spacetime and energy create each other and don't need any source. The total energy they have is zero since energy is conserved. The total energy of the universe is zero, so no source is needed.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 23, 2018, 08:28:24 PM
well, there you have it, jaime.

you may find it convenient to think this way, but you are still logically incorrect. a lack of knowledge about a phenomenon does not support a statement of certainty regarding its nonexistence.
If you think I am logically incorrect, then be so kind as to show, using logic, how I am incorrect.  Do not simply say "you are wrong" as if that ends the discussion.  Given the fact that I only got into this thread because of your incorrect argument regarding the null hypothesis and gods, I am hardly inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding this particular argument.  Especially given that it's basically just a rephrase of that original wrong position.

Quote from: kevinagain
the differences between what we know to be false and what we just believe to be false are profound. you have blurred that distinction by asserting that no knowledge of gods justifies certain disbelief in their existence.

one is a statement of ignorance, while the other is a statement of knowledge. you may consider those statements to be same, but they are fundamentally different.
If you'll excuse my saying so, this reasoning is not only false, but fundamentally so.  First off, you are accusing me of blurring distinctions, despite the fact that you just did exactly that with my own statement.  I said that there was not a significant difference between strong atheism and weak atheism.  That is hardly saying they are the same thing, as you mistakenly tried to assert.

You are trying to say here that believing that something is false is a statement of ignorance.  This is mistaken, as all human knowledge is necessarily finite; to put it another way, we can only ever have partial knowledge to base our beliefs on.  We can never get to "certainly true" or "certainly false", only to a probable level of certainty based on the knowledge we possess.  So no matter how much knowledge one has, it isn't enough to eliminate all of their ignorance, so it's a matter of how much knowledge vs how much ignorance a particular belief is based on.

That's why I'm arguing that there isn't a significant difference between the two.  Strong atheism and weak atheism are both based on partial knowledge of the universe.  The biggest difference between the two is not in the amount of knowledge used to inform their atheism, but in whether that knowledge is sufficient for someone to say "gods don't exist".  A strong atheist and a weak atheist may disagree on that, but is there anything else they're likely to disagree on with regards to atheism?  And if there is not, then that isn't really much of a difference.  Certainly not enough of one to successfully argue that the one is a statement of ignorance while the other is a statement of knowledge.

In other words, the primary difference between a strong atheist and a weak atheist is in how certain they are on the subject, rather than how much knowledge they have on it.  The amount of knowledge to get to 50.1% certainty on something isn't generally all that much less than the amount of knowledge to get to 99% certainty.  In fact, I bet you can get from 50.1% to 99.9% or even higher without going to the next order of magnitude in terms of actual knowledge obtained.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Emma286 on April 24, 2018, 01:53:48 AM
here's some reading for you, velkyn.

enjoy.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheist_Quakers&ved=2ahUKEwj8m-ywlPvZAhVPylMKHcptCqoQFjAAegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw0-kPNcvHFTG10HZh-5Wgzb

yup and it makes no more sense there either, especially when you tout being part of conservative Quakers. I'm guessing you are just hiding your nonsense, unwilling to admit to what you actually believe, and thinking you are clever for doing that.  Been there, done that a lot of times before, as Albeto mentions, that a lot of theists end up with the vague nonsense so they don't have to acknowledge that their claims are are baseless at best and completely wrong at worst.  One doesn't need Quakerism to be peaceful, kind etc.  That's pretty much humanism, without the religion.   

Now, you claimed to be a non-theist.  Wikipedia has an entry on that too, and it's essentially a meaningless term since no one can agree on what it means: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheism    If one is going with what the prefix "non-" means, then this should simply mean not a theist, aka atheist, (a- prefix means "not) but that's not what is claimed.  What you actually mean by it is anyone's guess.   

Up till now I’ve been thinking of the term ‘non-theist’ as lacking belief in at least one type of god! Maybe I need to update my view here. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Emma286 on April 24, 2018, 03:06:56 AM
a claim is "a statement saying that something happened a certain way or will happen a certain way", per merriam webster definition for english students. 

a claim is an assertion, and evidence is what is used to support an assertion.  they are not the same. 

an assertion is "a declaration that something is the case"  the example given by MW is "He presented no evidence to support his assertions."  this can also be written "He presented no evidence to support his claims."

It's almost like kevinagain has no idea of what words mean in a scientific context, despite his two degrees.

kevinagain, if I were you, I'd demand a refund. You were robbed.

One possibility does occur to me. That maybe the degree study took place a long time ago and at least some of the knowledge gained has been forgotten since.

Could be that there’s something to degree study, as compared to high school study or National Vocation Qualification study (that’s my highest qualification type personally), that I don’t know that’s relevant here. But I do know that, at least in my case, that when I’ve studied/passed education courses (and gotten genuine qualifications on paper for them which I still have to this day), that when I’ve not been actively applying the knowledge on an every day (or at least pretty frequent basis) that at least most of the information has gone out of my head and stayed like that.

And what about degree subject relevance? It is possible to have degrees in subjects such as religious studies, design, music, art and history for example. Why would there be much (if any) emphasis on learning the meanings of scientific words in such case types?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 24, 2018, 02:51:54 PM
One possibility does occur to me. That maybe the degree study took place a long time ago and at least some of the knowledge gained has been forgotten since.

Could be that there’s something to degree study, as compared to high school study or National Vocation Qualification study (that’s my highest qualification type personally), that I don’t know that’s relevant here. But I do know that, at least in my case, that when I’ve studied/passed education courses (and gotten genuine qualifications on paper for them which I still have to this day), that when I’ve not been actively applying the knowledge on an every day (or at least pretty frequent basis) that at least most of the information has gone out of my head and stayed like that.

And what about degree subject relevance? It is possible to have degrees in subjects such as religious studies, design, music, art and history for example. Why would there be much (if any) emphasis on learning the meanings of scientific words in such case types?

well, kevin's degrees were in the sciences. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 24, 2018, 02:53:58 PM
my belief is tbat any gods that exist are defined by what they do. by experience, not by logic or books.

so, what do they do??  that certainly needs to be explained. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 24, 2018, 02:55:43 PM
well, velkyn, its like this.

i didnt come here to fight with people, or engage in flame wars. but you regularly post false accusations about what i say. sometimes you apologize, sometimes you quietly ignore it when i show you to be wrong.

lately you seem to have unspecified problems with my "behavior." so what exactly are your accusations this time, and what is your evidence to back them up?
I have indeed apologized.  and I've been more than directly about what behavior I have problems with.  The others, well there is still no evidence from you. Oh well. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 24, 2018, 07:50:13 PM
@velkyn

well, velkyn, its like this.

i didnt come here to fight with people, or engage in flame wars. but you regularly post false accusations about what i say. sometimes you apologize, sometimes you quietly ignore it when i show you to be wrong.

lately you seem to have unspecified problems with my "behavior." so what exactly are your accusations this time, and what is your evidence to back them up?
I have indeed apologized.  and I've been more than directly about what behavior I have problems with.  The others, well there is still no evidence from you. Oh well.

yes, velkyn, you apologized when i pointed out that you couldn't read your own posts for correct content. that was here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729309.html#msg729309

you quietly said nothing after i pointed out that you hadn’t the faintest idea what an argumentum ad hominem was, although you tried to correct me on it. that was here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30990.msg729733.html#msg729733

now when i call you out for evidence for your baseless accusations, you're slinking away.

present your evidence, velkyn, or STFU.


Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 24, 2018, 08:40:32 PM
well, there you have it, jaime.

you may find it convenient to think this way, but you are still logically incorrect. a lack of knowledge about a phenomenon does not support a statement of certainty regarding its nonexistence.
If you think I am logically incorrect, then be so kind as to show, using logic, how I am incorrect.  Do not simply say "you are wrong" as if that ends the discussion.  Given the fact that I only got into this thread because of your incorrect argument regarding the null hypothesis and gods, I am hardly inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding this particular argument.  Especially given that it's basically just a rephrase of that original wrong position.

Quote from: kevinagain
the differences between what we know to be false and what we just believe to be false are profound. you have blurred that distinction by asserting that no knowledge of gods justifies certain disbelief in their existence.

one is a statement of ignorance, while the other is a statement of knowledge. you may consider those statements to be same, but they are fundamentally different.
If you'll excuse my saying so, this reasoning is not only false, but fundamentally so.  First off, you are accusing me of blurring distinctions, despite the fact that you just did exactly that with my own statement.  I said that there was not a significant difference between strong atheism and weak atheism.  That is hardly saying they are the same thing, as you mistakenly tried to assert.

You are trying to say here that believing that something is false is a statement of ignorance.  This is mistaken, as all human knowledge is necessarily finite; to put it another way, we can only ever have partial knowledge to base our beliefs on.  We can never get to "certainly true" or "certainly false", only to a probable level of certainty based on the knowledge we possess.  So no matter how much knowledge one has, it isn't enough to eliminate all of their ignorance, so it's a matter of how much knowledge vs how much ignorance a particular belief is based on.

That's why I'm arguing that there isn't a significant difference between the two.  Strong atheism and weak atheism are both based on partial knowledge of the universe.  The biggest difference between the two is not in the amount of knowledge used to inform their atheism, but in whether that knowledge is sufficient for someone to say "gods don't exist".  A strong atheist and a weak atheist may disagree on that, but is there anything else they're likely to disagree on with regards to atheism?  And if there is not, then that isn't really much of a difference.  Certainly not enough of one to successfully argue that the one is a statement of ignorance while the other is a statement of knowledge.

In other words, the primary difference between a strong atheist and a weak atheist is in how certain they are on the subject, rather than how much knowledge they have on it.  The amount of knowledge to get to 50.1% certainty on something isn't generally all that much less than the amount of knowledge to get to 99% certainty.  In fact, I bet you can get from 50.1% to 99.9% or even higher without going to the next order of magnitude in terms of actual knowledge obtained.

okay. this is useful. i'm not certain we disagree at all, because we seem to be arguing about how to express the same thing.

first, let's get past this: the correct null hypothesis is:

at least one god does not exist.

can i assume that the following is the focus of your argument? correct me if i'm wrong:

Quote
That's why I'm arguing that there isn't a significant difference between the two.  Strong atheism and weak atheism are both based on partial knowledge of the universe.  The biggest difference between the two is not in the amount of knowledge used to inform their atheism, but in whether that knowledge is sufficient for someone to say "gods don't exist".  A strong atheist and a weak atheist may disagree on that, but is there anything else they're likely to disagree on with regards to atheism?  And if there is not, then that isn't really much of a difference.  Certainly not enough of one to successfully argue that the one is a statement of ignorance while the other is a statement of knowledge.

i think what you are saying is that strong atheism is an assertion based on a common-sense recognition of uncertainty. you have used the phrase "significantly different" several times, so i'm assuming that you know of the statistical connotations of the phrase: that there is a certain level of uncertainty expressed by a p value. i don't want to get into the minutiae.

i agree with this. but what i have been arguing is that strong atheism--as generally expressed-- is a position of logical certainty, not one of a pragmatic level of acceptance, as you have suggested. my understanding of the term is that it expresses complete knowledge of the universe, with respect to gods: an acceptance of the statement that, at least one god does not exist.

how would you phrase that statement with respect to strong atheism?


Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 25, 2018, 10:22:47 AM
@velkyn

well, velkyn, its like this.

i didnt come here to fight with people, or engage in flame wars. but you regularly post false accusations about what i say. sometimes you apologize, sometimes you quietly ignore it when i show you to be wrong.

lately you seem to have unspecified problems with my "behavior." so what exactly are your accusations this time, and what is your evidence to back them up?
I have indeed apologized.  and I've been more than directly about what behavior I have problems with.  The others, well there is still no evidence from you. Oh well.

yes, velkyn, you apologized when i pointed out that you couldn't read your own posts for correct content. that was here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729309.html#msg729309

you quietly said nothing after i pointed out that you hadn’t the faintest idea what an argumentum ad hominem was, although you tried to correct me on it. that was here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30990.msg729733.html#msg729733

now when i call you out for evidence for your baseless accusations, you're slinking away.

present your evidence, velkyn, or STFU.

ah, Quakers, don't you love them?  And I do know exactly what an ad hominem is and I did not use one. I pointed out why.  And you are still wrong.   
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 25, 2018, 11:41:04 AM
@velkyn

well, velkyn, its like this.

i didnt come here to fight with people, or engage in flame wars. but you regularly post false accusations about what i say. sometimes you apologize, sometimes you quietly ignore it when i show you to be wrong.

lately you seem to have unspecified problems with my "behavior." so what exactly are your accusations this time, and what is your evidence to back them up?
I have indeed apologized.  and I've been more than directly about what behavior I have problems with.  The others, well there is still no evidence from you. Oh well.

yes, velkyn, you apologized when i pointed out that you couldn't read your own posts for correct content. that was here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729309.html#msg729309

you quietly said nothing after i pointed out that you hadn’t the faintest idea what an argumentum ad hominem was, although you tried to correct me on it. that was here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30990.msg729733.html#msg729733

now when i call you out for evidence for your baseless accusations, you're slinking away.

present your evidence, velkyn, or STFU.

ah, Quakers, don't you love them?  And I do know exactly what an ad hominem is and I did not use one. I pointed out why.  And you are still wrong.

you're a liar, velkyn.

you didn't know what an ad hominem was, as your own words show in the post i linked. that's a lie, and it's a stupid one, because anybody who wants to can read your lie for themselves with a single click.

you continue to deny that your personal attacks on me are ad hominem attacks, although you claim to understand what the definition is. that can just as easily be checked in the same way. apparently you still don't know how to use google to find a definition for a logical fallacy.

and you claim i'm wrong --about something -- and that i cast aspersions on atheists -- somewhere -- and that you have problems with my behavior --somehow -- but you won't provide any evidence, velkyn.

your posts about me are full of accusations, yet you never seem to be able to back them up.

i am calling you a liar, velkyn, outright and in public. i have provided the evidence. you can refute me by providing anything that contradicts it, and i invite you to do so.



Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on April 25, 2018, 12:26:46 PM
you're a liar, velkyn.

you didn't know what an ad hominem was, as your own words show in the post i linked. that's a lie, and it's a stupid one, because anybody who wants to can read your lie for themselves with a single click.

you continue to deny that your personal attacks on me are ad hominem attacks, although you claim to understand what the definition is. that can just as easily be checked in the same way. apparently you still don't know how to use google to find a definition for a logical fallacy.

and you claim i'm wrong --about something -- and that i cast aspersions on atheists -- somewhere -- and that you have problems with my behavior --somehow -- but you won't provide any evidence, velkyn.

your posts about me are full of accusations, yet you never seem to be able to back them up.

i am calling you a liar, velkyn, outright and in public. i have provided the evidence. you can refute me by providing anything that contradicts it, and i invite you to do so.

thanks, kevin.  That's does wonderfully as a coda to our interaction. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 25, 2018, 02:23:03 PM
you're a liar, velkyn.

you didn't know what an ad hominem was, as your own words show in the post i linked. that's a lie, and it's a stupid one, because anybody who wants to can read your lie for themselves with a single click.

you continue to deny that your personal attacks on me are ad hominem attacks, although you claim to understand what the definition is. that can just as easily be checked in the same way. apparently you still don't know how to use google to find a definition for a logical fallacy.

and you claim i'm wrong --about something -- and that i cast aspersions on atheists -- somewhere -- and that you have problems with my behavior --somehow -- but you won't provide any evidence, velkyn.

your posts about me are full of accusations, yet you never seem to be able to back them up.

i am calling you a liar, velkyn, outright and in public. i have provided the evidence. you can refute me by providing anything that contradicts it, and i invite you to do so.

thanks, kevin.  That's does wonderfully as a coda to our interaction.

yet again, velkyn, you have nothing to say when you are called out for not providing the evidence you claim to have so readily at hand.

full of claims, full of accusations, full of nothing. no substance, babe. if there were substance to your accusations, this was the perfect opportunity to put me in my place.

you're a habitual liar, velkyn. you misquote the people you pick out as enemies, you twist their words to fit your agenda, and you level false accusations with vague references to posts that somehow you can't produce.

if this is really a coda to our relationship, that's fine with me. if you lie about me again, misquote me again, or twist what i say again, you can expect to be exposed the same way, again.

each and every time.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 25, 2018, 05:02:43 PM
Green means I'm speaking as a moderator.

Please do not accuse other members of lying, as this is prohibited by the forum rules.  If you believe a member is lying, report the post and follow up with a PM to a recently active moderator, following the guidelines in the forum rules thread (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,21732.msg483894.html#msg483894).
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 25, 2018, 05:58:29 PM
ah.

so that's why velkyn always accuses other members of making "false statements."

jaime, i'd be happy to delete these two posts, but the editing function has timed out. if appropriate, please delete them.

in the future i'll be careful in my word usage and will abide by the rules.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 27, 2018, 09:55:16 AM
okay. this is useful. i'm not certain we disagree at all, because we seem to be arguing about how to express the same thing.

first, let's get past this: the correct null hypothesis is:

at least one god does not exist.
You are correct, we need to get past this before we can move on.  So I'll be focusing on this for now.

I disagree that this is the correct null hypothesis.  For one thing, there's a very serious problem with it.  I think you would agree that each particular god has its own null hypothesis "this god does not exist", which can be countered by showing evidence in favor of it.  Put another way, a particular god is presumed to not exist until someone shows that it does.  Now, since each god has that null hypothesis, that means you can combine the null hypotheses.

For example, you have the null hypothesis "the god Loki does not exist" and the null hypothesis "the god Set does not exist".  So you can combine the two into "the gods Loki and Set do not exist".  You can continue to do this, adding in gods, until you've included every god ever proposed by humans, and the null hypothesis for them will be "all listed gods do not exist".

This illustrates why null hypotheses work - the whole point of using them is to set up a hypothesis that can be easily shown to be false.  All it takes is one counter-example.  The idea is to set things up so that if your hypothesis is wrong, someone can easily show that it is.

So, here is where I illustrate the problem I mentioned earlier.  Let's take a relatively small subset of gods, just for simplicity's sake.  Amaterasu, Loki, Isis, YHWH, Shiva.  If I am correct, the null hypothesis is "none of these gods exist", and if you are correct, the null hypothesis is "at least one of these gods does not exist".  So let's say, for the sake of argument, that someone comes in with evidence showing that Amaterasu exists.

My hypothesis is instantly disproved.  I must formulate a new one, because it clearly cannot be correct if Amaterasu actually exists.  Your hypothesis, however, is not disproved, because none of the other gods on that list have been shown to exist.  In order to disprove your hypothesis, someone must bring evidence to show that each and every one of those gods exists.  As such, the better candidate for the null hypothesis is mine, as it would only take one counter-example to disprove it, whereas it would take five counter-examples to disprove yours.  And remember, this is with an extremely limited subset of gods.  In reality, it would be almost impossible to disprove your hypothesis, and as such it is not only an extremely poor choice for a null hypothesis, it doesn't work in a scientific sense either.

Your hypothesis allows you to avoid having to change your mind in the face of contradictory evidence.  This is almost completely the opposite of how science works.  The idea in science is to formulate an explanation that takes the minimum amount of work to contradict, so that science can move on from wrong hypotheses; what you are proposing is an explanation that would take the maximum amount of work to contradict.

Let me ask you, kevinagain; if you are wrong about something, would you prefer to know that you're wrong about it, or would you prefer to not know that you're wrong about it?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: kevinagain on April 27, 2018, 10:14:26 AM
i used the phrase at least one god to indicate a set of indeterminate quantity that was not an empty set, not to separate out gods for separate testing. my intentwas to indicate the-condition-that-at-least-one-god-exists douez not exist.

 but we can change it to

no gods exist,

yes, i prefer to be corrected.

jaime, the application of a null hypothesis to tbe existence of god is useful only for trying to understand the question. there is no actual test i know of that could reject it.

what test would you use? how would you know whether a god question had been correctly addressed?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 27, 2018, 10:35:43 AM
Just because we apply measurements to energy doesn't mean it didn't create the universe.  And I haven't misunderstood.  According to the Big Bang our universe was created by the transformation of energy into matter.  So energy existed before matter (space). 

Plus I have never believed that God himself is literally the energy all around us, only the source of it.

You have misunderstood the Big Bang in a Big Way. Energy needs time, so it cannot exist "before" time in order to create time. The amount of energy which can be created from nothing is related to the TIME it can exist by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Matter evolved after the Big Bang at a slower pace.

Have you ever heard of conservation of energy? Gods could not be the source of energy unless they were energy themselves. Spacetime and energy create each other and don't need any source. The total energy they have is zero since energy is conserved. The total energy of the universe is zero, so no source is needed.

So how does a singularity exist before time?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: One Above All on April 27, 2018, 10:39:50 AM
So how does a singularity exist before time?

The Big Bang theory makes no such claim.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 27, 2018, 07:21:23 PM
The use of the null hypothesis "no gods exist" isn't so much for gods, but for phenomena that happen within the universe.  Or at least so I understand.

In a way, the question of gods lacks coherence, much like the question "what happened before the Big Bang" does.  Despite the way many people describe it, time is not actually a dimension, but a vector, a direction.  It describes the motion of energy towards thermodynamic equilibrium, from the origin point.  But we can't trace it back before that point, because it's basically meaningless.  If we do turn out to be able to trace further back than the Big Bang, that just moves the origin point backwards - it won't be before the origin point.

Same thing with gods.  If we find something that we can't describe using current scientific theories, it's not going to justify saying that a god was responsible.  It'll simply push the borders of science back to include more.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 28, 2018, 11:57:39 AM
So how does a singularity exist before time?

It doesn't. It is merely a theoretical extrapolation backwards to what would be the beginning of time assuming that the universe could be reduced to a single point.

From wikipedia

Quote
The classical version of the Big Bang cosmological model of the universe contains a causal singularity at the start of time (t=0), where all time-like geodesics have no extensions into the past. Extrapolating backward to this hypothetical time 0 results in a universe with all spatial dimensions of size zero, infinite density, infinite temperature, and infinite spacetime curvature.

NO gods could "do" anything "before" the singularity because there would be no "before".
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on April 30, 2018, 02:27:38 PM
So how does a singularity exist before time?

It doesn't. It is merely a theoretical extrapolation backwards to what would be the beginning of time assuming that the universe could be reduced to a single point.

From wikipedia

Quote
The classical version of the Big Bang cosmological model of the universe contains a causal singularity at the start of time (t=0), where all time-like geodesics have no extensions into the past. Extrapolating backward to this hypothetical time 0 results in a universe with all spatial dimensions of size zero, infinite density, infinite temperature, and infinite spacetime curvature.

NO gods could "do" anything "before" the singularity because there would be no "before".

There is no "before" in relation to us and this universe only.  It came into existence "in the beginning".  However, there is no reason to believe this universe is the only thing that exists.  Scientists even have a lot of speculations including multiple universes and multiple dimensions.  Some even think that seeing time as a unidirectional river may not be the only way to see it.

The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Steve on April 30, 2018, 02:59:36 PM
There is no "before" in relation to us and this universe only.
We don't know that. So all we can say is we don't know what came before.
It came into existence "in the beginning".
The beginning of what? As said we can only say we don't know.
However, there is no reason to believe this universe is the only thing that exists.  Scientists even have a lot of speculations including multiple universes and multiple dimensions.  Some even think that seeing time as a unidirectional river may not be the only way to see it.
Really which ones. it is all conjecture. Just people talking. nobody actually thinks it's fact.
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?
It doesn't. it is not even considered.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on April 30, 2018, 05:26:15 PM
Nobody has ever given a good reason for why that should be taken into anyone's consideration, for that matter.

Saying "god has no beginning or end" is one of those things which sounds really incredible and awe-inspiring if you just accept it at face value, but if you stop and actually think about it, it doesn't really mean a whole lot.  Humans don't have a particularly good conception of time in the first place, so it's easy to say "no beginning or end" but very difficult to even start to comprehend just what that means.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on April 30, 2018, 06:32:47 PM
There is no "before" in relation to us and this universe, only.  It came into existence "in the beginning".  However, there is no reason to believe this universe is the only thing that exists.  Scientists even have a lot of speculations including multiple universes and multiple dimensions.  Some even think that seeing time as a unidirectional river may not be the only way to see it.

Of course, other universes would have their own independent time.

Are you claiming that your god lives in another universe and so is not supernatural?

Quote
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

It is a statement based on ignorance.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 01, 2018, 10:55:10 AM
We don't know that. So all we can say is we don't know what came before.

Yes, this is what I've heard from scientists.  Foxy appears to know.

Quote
The beginning of what? As said we can only say we don't know.

I agree.  That's why I don't see how Foxy is such an expert on God.

Quote
Really which ones. it is all conjecture. Just people talking. nobody actually thinks it's fact.

Yes, but there are fields of study related to it.  Foxy seems to be on her own in knowing that a God could not exist.

Quote
It doesn't. it is not even considered.

So do you think everything had a beginning?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 01, 2018, 12:18:48 PM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 02, 2018, 11:52:14 AM
Nobody has ever given a good reason for why that should be taken into anyone's consideration, for that matter.

Saying "god has no beginning or end" is one of those things which sounds really incredible and awe-inspiring if you just accept it at face value, but if you stop and actually think about it, it doesn't really mean a whole lot.  Humans don't have a particularly good conception of time in the first place, so it's easy to say "no beginning or end" but very difficult to even start to comprehend just what that means.

I like to think about things that challenge my perceptions and comprehension.  Trying to comprehend time is one of those things.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 02, 2018, 11:53:14 AM
Of course, other universes would have their own independent time.

Are you claiming that your god lives in another universe and so is not supernatural?

No, I'm saying you don't know what's possible.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 02, 2018, 11:54:21 AM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".

The Bible has proven true about a lot of things.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 02, 2018, 12:13:47 PM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".

The Bible has proven true about a lot of things.

and what are these things, jst?  I'm waiting. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 02, 2018, 12:18:39 PM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".

The Bible has proven true about a lot of things.

and what are these things, jst?  I'm waiting.

It would be much simpler for you to state what you think isn't true.  Historians have found it to be true in many matters.  At exactly where do you divide it between what's true, what may be true, and what's false?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 02, 2018, 12:24:36 PM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".

The Bible has proven true about a lot of things.

and what are these things, jst?  I'm waiting.

It would be much simpler for you to state what you think isn't true.  Historians have found it to be true in many matters.  At exactly where do you divide it between what's true, what may be true, and what's false?

congratulations on the dodge, jst.  Just as suspected, you again won't support a claim you made.  You claimed that the bible is proven true about a lot of things.   I didn't make that claim, you did.   It's also great to see you try to hedge your claims, now trying to add "may be true". 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on May 02, 2018, 12:40:57 PM
congratulations on the dodge, jst.  Just as suspected, you again won't support a claim you made.  You claimed that the bible is proven true about a lot of things.   I didn't make that claim, you did.   It's also great to see you try to hedge your claims, now trying to add "may be true".

You didn't even add a qualifier that it had to be exclusive to the Bible, not present in any other text. You just asked for examples and got spun with bullshit.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 02, 2018, 01:58:28 PM
congratulations on the dodge, jst.  Just as suspected, you again won't support a claim you made.  You claimed that the bible is proven true about a lot of things.   I didn't make that claim, you did.   It's also great to see you try to hedge your claims, now trying to add "may be true".

You didn't even add a qualifier that it had to be exclusive to the Bible, not present in any other text. You just asked for examples and got spun with bullshit.

indeed.  if jst, and bs are the best their god has, tsk.  &)
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on May 02, 2018, 02:51:55 PM
Of course, other universes would have their own independent time.

Are you claiming that your god lives in another universe and so is not supernatural?

No, I'm saying you don't know what's possible.

You are a person of many skills. In addition to communicating directly with your god, you are also a mindreader.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 03, 2018, 01:19:50 PM
Of course, other universes would have their own independent time.

Are you claiming that your god lives in another universe and so is not supernatural?

No, I'm saying you don't know what's possible.

You are a person of many skills. In addition to communicating directly with your god, you are also a mindreader.

Point taken.  Allow me to reword.  I have no reason to believe that you know what's possible.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 03, 2018, 01:35:27 PM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".

The Bible has proven true about a lot of things.

and what are these things, jst?  I'm waiting.

You should so some research.

"Archaeology has served to confirm many historical features of the Biblical account with regard to these lands and to substantiate points once held in question by modern critics. Skepticism as regards the Tower of Babel, denials of the existence of a Babylonian king named Belshazzar and of an Assyrian king named Sargon (whose names, up until the nineteenth century C.E., were not found in sources independent of the Bible record), and other adverse criticisms as to Bible data relating to these lands have all been demonstrated to be without foundation. Contrariwise, a wealth of evidence has been unearthed that harmonizes fully with the Scriptural account.

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000344
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 03, 2018, 08:16:08 PM
The Bible says that God does not have a beginning or an end.  How does that factor into your understanding of time?

in that you have not shown that the bible is true about anything, there is no reason to consider what the bible says at all.  It's like saying "the Book of Mormon mentions magic sword; how does that factor into your understanding of metallurgy".

The Bible has proven true about a lot of things.

and what are these things, jst?  I'm waiting.

You should so some research.

"Archaeology has served to confirm many historical features of the Biblical account with regard to these lands and to substantiate points once held in question by modern critics. Skepticism as regards the Tower of Babel, denials of the existence of a Babylonian king named Belshazzar and of an Assyrian king named Sargon (whose names, up until the nineteenth century C.E., were not found in sources independent of the Bible record), and other adverse criticisms as to Bible data relating to these lands have all been demonstrated to be without foundation. Contrariwise, a wealth of evidence has been unearthed that harmonizes fully with the Scriptural account.

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000344
Wow, and the jws say it so it must be true.  And this is from someone who has said that the jws aren't right.  Archaeology does confirm a number of bible claims.  Archaeology also supports a number of claims of other religions too.  Are those religions as valid as yours?  That is what you are arguing.  Your argument also can be used to claim Spider-Man is real too.  Do you see the problem?  Why is there no archaeological evidence for the special events in the bible?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: jaimehlers on May 07, 2018, 10:21:02 AM
People didn't believe Troy was a real city till they found the ruins some years back.

Would that justify all the other things Homer wrote about in the Iliad?  I'm asking because that seems to be the reasoning you're using here, Jst.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on May 08, 2018, 08:44:12 AM
Of course, other universes would have their own independent time.

Are you claiming that your god lives in another universe and so is not supernatural?

No, I'm saying you don't know what's possible.

You are a person of many skills. In addition to communicating directly with your god, you are also a mindreader.

Point taken.  Allow me to reword.  I have no reason to believe that you know what's possible.

So your claims about energy, time and gods are contradicted by science, but you still hope your ideas might be correct even though you cannot explain your ideas in any form which makes any sense nor is uncontradictory.

And I am being generous to you by assuming that the universe did begin independently from nothing. Others would not do that. Hawking thought the universe was just part of a bigger structure. Even assuming a universe from nothing your ideas make no sense.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2018, 01:14:38 PM
People didn't believe Troy was a real city till they found the ruins some years back.

Would that justify all the other things Homer wrote about in the Iliad?  I'm asking because that seems to be the reasoning you're using here, Jst.

I'm not using it as a reason to accept everything it says.  It was in response to the challenge, "you have not shown that the bible is true about anything"

Now I have.

 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2018, 01:20:13 PM
Archaeology also supports a number of claims of other religions too.  Are those religions as valid as yours?  That is what you are arguing.  Your argument also can be used to claim Spider-Man is real too.  Do you see the problem?  Why is there no archaeological evidence for the special events in the bible?

No you're moving the goal post.  You said, "you have not shown that the bible is true about anything".  The rest is a straw man.  And historians don't study Spider Man.  Your comparison is way off base.

Quote
And this is from someone who has said that the jws aren't right.

Where did I say JWs aren't right?
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2018, 01:31:42 PM
So your claims about energy, time and gods are contradicted by science, but you still hope your ideas might be correct even though you cannot explain your ideas in any form which makes any sense nor is uncontradictory.

No you haven't.  "We don't know what's out there" does not contradict my beliefs.  Plus it appears your science may be outdated.  Evidently, the Law of the conservation can be broken.   

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-may-have-found-time-crystal-in-strange-place/ar-AAwKovx

Quote
And I am being generous to you by assuming that the universe did begin independently from nothing. Others would not do that. Hawking thought the universe was just part of a bigger structure. Even assuming a universe from nothing your ideas make no sense.

Yes I have heard that.  Why do my ideas make no sense?

Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 08, 2018, 03:58:53 PM
Archaeology also supports a number of claims of other religions too.  Are those religions as valid as yours?  That is what you are arguing.  Your argument also can be used to claim Spider-Man is real too.  Do you see the problem?  Why is there no archaeological evidence for the special events in the bible?

No you're moving the goal post.  You said, "you have not shown that the bible is true about anything".  The rest is a straw man.  And historians don't study Spider Man.  Your comparison is way off base.

Quote
And this is from someone who has said that the jws aren't right.

Where did I say JWs aren't right?

you disagree with them in various things, right?  Or do you really want me to dig up where you said this and show you to be twice making false claims? 

Again, historians know that the claims of the bible aren't supported in reality.  They do not study the bible to know how things were in ancient times, though they to use it to know how those authors thought.  It's not suprising that you ignore my point about other religions and archaeology.  Are they as true as yours, jst?  It always makes me laugh when you ineptly try to ignore something, as if you think that this will work. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 08, 2018, 04:03:05 PM
No you haven't.  "We don't know what's out there" does not contradict my beliefs.  Plus it appears your science may be outdated.  Evidently, the Law of the conservation can be broken.   

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-may-have-found-time-crystal-in-strange-place/ar-AAwKovx


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_crystal

unsuprisingly, jst isn't quite right. 
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 08, 2018, 04:27:39 PM
No you haven't.  "We don't know what's out there" does not contradict my beliefs.  Plus it appears your science may be outdated.  Evidently, the Law of the conservation can be broken.   

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-may-have-found-time-crystal-in-strange-place/ar-AAwKovx


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_crystal

unsuprisingly, jst isn't quite right.

I didn't create the article that was posted a few days ago.

"Time crystals are a true anomaly as they violate the law of conservation, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed."

"Time crystal atoms derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time. For this reason they break the law of conservation of energy. "
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on May 08, 2018, 08:12:50 PM
So your claims about energy, time and gods are contradicted by science, but you still hope your ideas might be correct even though you cannot explain your ideas in any form which makes any sense nor is uncontradictory.

No you haven't.  "We don't know what's out there" does not contradict my beliefs.  Plus it appears your science may be outdated.  Evidently, the Law of the conservation can be broken.   

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-may-have-found-time-crystal-in-strange-place/ar-AAwKovx

This is even more confused than your usual comments. "We don't know what's out there" is your argument not mine.

I only have to know that you are writing nonsense. For that I don't have to know everything, just more than you, which is not difficult.

Quote
Quote
And I am being generous to you by assuming that the universe did begin independently from nothing. Others would not do that. Hawking thought the universe was just part of a bigger structure. Even assuming a universe from nothing your ideas make no sense.

Yes I have heard that.  Why do my ideas make no sense?

Because you are quoting stuff and arguing about stuff you don't understand.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 09, 2018, 12:51:19 PM
This is even more confused than your usual comments. "We don't know what's out there" is your argument not mine.

Well then instead of being here you should be out instructing scientists on the matter of God's existence or show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.

Quote
I only have to know that you are writing nonsense. For that I don't have to know everything, just more than you, which is not difficult.

No.  You are talking nonsense.  Show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.

Show me where scientists have concluded no form of energy can exist outside of our own time and space.

Quote
Because you are quoting stuff and arguing about stuff you don't understand.

Then show me I don't.  Show me where scientists have reached your conclusions.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on May 09, 2018, 01:20:36 PM
This is even more confused than your usual comments. "We don't know what's out there" is your argument not mine.

Well then instead of being here you should be out instructing scientists on the matter of God's existence or show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.

Quote
I only have to know that you are writing nonsense. For that I don't have to know everything, just more than you, which is not difficult.

No.  You are talking nonsense.  Show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.

Show me where scientists have concluded no form of energy can exist outside of our own time and space.

Quote
Because you are quoting stuff and arguing about stuff you don't understand.

Then show me I don't.  Show me where scientists have reached your conclusions.

Scientists don't use any gods to explain anything. Scientific explanations always work well without gods, because gods are unnecessary.

Please give a scientific explanation which needs a god, if you think there is one.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jag on May 09, 2018, 03:57:40 PM
This is even more confused than your usual comments. "We don't know what's out there" is your argument not mine.

Well then instead of being here you should be out instructing scientists on the matter of God's existence or show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.
Show us where a scientist actually researched the question.

Alternatively, you could quote precisely where Foxy made that claim.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Jstwebbrowsing on May 10, 2018, 06:39:22 PM
This is even more confused than your usual comments. "We don't know what's out there" is your argument not mine.

Well then instead of being here you should be out instructing scientists on the matter of God's existence or show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.

Quote
I only have to know that you are writing nonsense. For that I don't have to know everything, just more than you, which is not difficult.

No.  You are talking nonsense.  Show me where scientists have concluded that Jehovah cannot exist.

Show me where scientists have concluded no form of energy can exist outside of our own time and space.

Quote
Because you are quoting stuff and arguing about stuff you don't understand.

Then show me I don't.  Show me where scientists have reached your conclusions.

Scientists don't use any gods to explain anything. Scientific explanations always work well without gods, because gods are unnecessary.

Please give a scientific explanation which needs a god, if you think there is one.

Explanations don't change reality.  Understanding the laws of physics is not evidence things were not intelligently created.  I mean do you expect God should be out turning a crank somewhere or something?  Should we expect magical fairy dust everywhere?  Exactly what are the tell-tale signs of creation by God?

Science doesn't talk about God because it's not equipped to even address the question.  How can you tell by looking at something whether or not it's designed by God?

Saying no gods were involved because their is no evidence for their existence is an argument from ignorance.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on May 11, 2018, 02:58:09 AM
Explanations don't change reality.

I suppose you know that scientific explanations are bounded by experiment and observation?

Quote
Understanding the laws of physics is not evidence things were not intelligently created.  I mean do you expect God should be out turning a crank somewhere or something?  Should we expect magical fairy dust everywhere?  Exactly what are the tell-tale signs of creation by God?

Science doesn't talk about God because it's not equipped to even address the question.  How can you tell by looking at something whether or not it's designed by God?

Reality does not agree with either of the two creation stories in Genesis in any branch of science. There was no worldwide flood and you are not descended from Noah.

Quote
Saying no gods were involved because their is no evidence for their existence is an argument from ignorance.

Finally you agree that there is no evidence and that the worldwide flood and the two creation stories in Genesis are wrong.
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: Wow... on May 17, 2018, 12:11:41 AM
People worship all sorts of things all the time, doesn't have to be a deity...
Title: Re: Why Worship?
Post by: velkyn on May 17, 2018, 11:11:08 AM
Explanations don't change reality.  Understanding the laws of physics is not evidence things were not intelligently created.  I mean do you expect God should be out turning a crank somewhere or something?  Should we expect magical fairy dust everywhere?  Exactly what are the tell-tale signs of creation by God?

Science doesn't talk about God because it's not equipped to even address the question.  How can you tell by looking at something whether or not it's designed by God?

Saying no gods were involved because their is no evidence for their existence is an argument from ignorance.

hmmm, yep, jst, what is evidence e.g. "tell-tale signs of creation by god"?      And yep, science is equipped to address the question, especially since the bible itself gives us claims(roughly hypotheses) to analyze and look for evidence to support those claims. 

you and your bible have made claims that one can just look around and see these "tell-tale signs of creation by god" (one example, Romans 1).    I'm soooo glad you now say that the bible is quite wrong again.