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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by wheels5894 on Today at 04:39:42 AM »
Whatever else we can say, we have to say that we don't know what happened 'before[1]' the Big Bang. That means that no one knows how it happened - yes not even religious people.

Now that's not a problem if we remember the definition of belief that BS posted earlier.  It was, I think, believing something without empirical evidence.So, to believe that 'god-did-it' is fine in religious and belief terms even though, in the real world, we know that this is an answer we don't have.... yet..... Making the claim that a god was responsible  is a mere assertion that can wait until evidence comes in. However it is not fact.
 1. Yes, I know, time started at the Big Bang, but it could always be either a Big Crush before or  there could have been crashing universes that are responsible for us being here
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by Add Homonym on Today at 03:57:16 AM »
You are invited to produce logic and evidence that disproves the logical deduction that a deity exists. This logical deduction is based on the initiation of a one-off event (Big Bang) which has rules governing the event in most if not all of its existential aspects, and which event results in the creation of a previously non-existing universe coming into existence and producing the development of intelligence, agency, and consciousness....that requires 1) power; 2) intent/agency; 3) intellect.....despite the overarching rule of constant decay (entropy).

There is a possibility I may be able to get the blog's author to review your response...because, near as I can tell, no atheist has ever taken him up on his challenge...and he has had plenty of atheists visit his site and engage in conversation with him. He was an atheist for 40 years.

I'm glad you have conceded that evolution is true, and things evolved from a Big Bang, 14 billion years ago.

I think there is still a stumbling block, in attributing the creation to a deity, rather than something else. Is a deity an all-purpose solution to gaps problems, or can I get different types of filler from the hardware store?

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3) intellect.....despite the overarching rule of constant decay (entropy).

There is still quite a lot of entropy around, these days. Top physicists seem to see everything in terms of entropy. It's what makes everything tick. The constant rebuilding of everything, from the sun, is what causes evolution to actually work.

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2) intent/agency;

If it was intentional, you must know how many universes He created.
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Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Emma286 on Today at 03:10:22 AM »
I'm glad that you can see what I mean Jynnan lol!

And yup, seeing them as average is just what I was trying to get at!

And very true, personality also makes a big difference to these things.

Nothing wrong with having a slightly offbeat taste. If it works for you that's all that matters!  ;)
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Chatter / Re: I published a short story!
« Last post by Emma286 on Today at 03:00:54 AM »
A big well done to you Crystal Dragon! Congrats!  :)

I'll do my best to get around to looking at that soon. Thanks for sharing that link. Sounds very interesting!

I'd love to achieve something like this one day too. I do plan to get back to writing short stories myself this year (have written a couple before). Planning on writing a horror one! Before that though, focusing on improving poetry writing as doing an online free course in that just now.

How is everything going with the novel writing by the way?
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To get off the June bug train here, and back to the OP, I read this the other day. 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/opinion/to-win-again-democrats-must-stop-being-the-abortion-party.html?_r=0

Anyone want to comment on what a wrong-headed twat this moron is?  He teaches theology at Boston college.  I was amazed how he shot down his own points (hint that abortions after 20 weeks should be illegal, but point out that over 90% are done in 1st trimester)and suggested dems start doing things they already do (talk about abortions as a heart wrenching ply awful moral decision).  And he misses the obvious fact that his crowd is not interested in common ground or meeting anyone half way.

I considered sending him an email telling him to fuck his dumb self.

Unfortunately, nature does not grant high intelligence equally to everyone! :(
 
Can appreciate why you'd feel annoyed/angry Screwtape. And can appreciate why you'd feel the strong temptation to do that. I think it's good that you didn't though, given that I don't see that it would have helped anything (not meaning that in an offensive way towards you).
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Quote of the Day
« Last post by Star Stuff on Today at 12:05:15 AM »
Belief is the wound that knowledge heals.  (Ursula K. Le Guin)
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by Azdgari on Yesterday at 11:35:09 PM »
I do not understand what you mean by “predicting observations.” How does one predict an observation?

Well, first we have some pattern in our minds of what input we're going to get.  And then, we wait and see if that's the input we get.  The pattern is the prediction.  The input is the observation.  Memory of past input can also be set against the pattern (prediction) to see if things would have matched up back then, too.  This all seems really simple to me, so I'm curious as to where things went sideways in terms of out communication.

Perhaps what we need to do is back up here and explore what a belief is.  I’ll introduce a simple description from Wikipedia since it seems to present a commonly held understanding of the word.
 
“Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. Another way of defining belief sees it as a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented towards the likelihood of something being true.”

This doesn't back us up at all.  This leaps us forward and ignores the issues I brought up which also bear on the Wikipedia definition you cite, given that the Wiki definition references "truth" in the first wording as meaning that a mental idea is "the case".  If you want to make the case that this is how minds interact with the rest of reality, I did invite you to have that discussion in my other post, but I was hoping that your acceptance or rejection would be explicit and we could go from there.
 
A belief may seem true even though it is absent verification of absolute certainty (intriguing that our minds do this). I can believe that the sun will rise tomorrow but I cannot be absolutely certain that the belief was true until the sun actually rose tomorrow. So, my beliefs always have a contingency aspect to them that cannot be resolved until such time as the belief is either demonstrably true or demonstrably false. This, then, represents what is meant when we refer to a belief being actually true or actually false. If the sun doesn’t rise, then my belief was actually false. If it does rise then my belief was actually true.

What is "the sun"?  Do you have a complete representation in your mind of what "the sun" is?  I'm guessing not.  You have a mental symbol that aligns with other mental symbols, but none of these are the sun, not individually nor in aggregate, nor do they fully describe the thing in reality you're trying to point at when you say "sun".  So if you don't have a full concept of the sun in your mind, then what does "the sun will rise" actually refer to?  It can refer to your anticipated experience that you've labelled "the sun rising", but that's about it, no?

I hope this provides a better idea of what is meant by “true” as respects this topic.

So what is meant by "true belief" (or "false belief" for that matter) is a thing that humans cannot actually hold, by that definition.  I can explain why, in depth, as I alluded to in my other post.

Moving on………

No.  Not moving on.  Not without dealing with the other stuff that needs to be dealt with first.  If the question "how is it that humans could come to hold true beliefs?" defines "true beliefs" as things that humans are incapable of actually holding, as you've done here, then there's really nowhere to move on to, is there?  So let's deal with that first.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by BibleStudent on Yesterday at 08:54:52 PM »
How is it that you expect me to provide answers relative to God’s wisdom in these matters? If you know of any miracles that have not been performed, please share.

I’ll give you one miracle that wasn’t performed.  A young mother was diagnosed with a very malignant, very fast moving cancer in my former church.  She had two children under the age of 3.  She had a loving husband.  She had the church and she was a most faithful woman.  All were praying for her to live.  She died less than three months after the diagnosis.  Now what is your excuse? 

A very heart wrenching story for sure.   
 
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Again, BS, you have claimed an adaptation can be false or true.   You have yet to show how this is supposed to work.   An adaptation can be beneficial (in the idea of evolution, allowing for more progeny to be made) or harmful (not allowing more progeny to be made) in a given environment; or neutral with no effect at all. You’ve given this as the definition you are using for false and true: “True: accurate or exact;  In accordance with fact or reality. False: Not according with truth or fact; incorrect. Illusory; not actually so.”  How can an adaptation be false or true by using your own choice of definition and knowing how adaptations work in an environment?

We are discussing belief adaptation. You seem to be referring to something else??

What Plantinga argues is that a neurological process produces behaviors and beliefs. The neurological processes producing each of these states is going to be subjected to natural selection which will maintain or eliminate them based on their ability to enhance surviviability and reproduction…not based on whether they are true or not.

“Natural selection is interested in adaptive behavior and adaptive causes of behavior (say, neurology)..... it doesn’t give a hoot whether your beliefs are true or false. You can believe whatever you want as long as you behave in the right way.” Alvin Plantinga
 
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The fact that you have no evidence, physical or otherwise, to support your belief, and neither does any other theist, and the fact that there is evidence to indicate your religious claims (including the bible) are not based in reality(completely different events happening at the times claimed by Christians), indicates that no, the same can’t be said for the conclusion that theism is based on false belief is only a belief in itself.  There is evidence to support that conclusion that there are not god/s, and especially no gods as detailed by humans. You have yet to show that there is any evidence for your god, and I am including supposed logical arguments like onotology, etc because those only may argue for a vague entity, not the detailed god offered by you, other Christians and other theists. 

Out of curiosity, I would ask how a baseless belief that there is no god/s would serve a beneficial function?  You postulated it, now support it.  If you cannot, then there is no reason to accept it as a valid hypothesis, when it serves no purpose other than being a theist’s attempt to say “but but you’re just the same as we are, so you can’t tell us we’re wrong.” 

Who said anything about a baseless belief in no god/s? I think you are misinterpreting what was said.

The comment(s) I think you are referring to related to a false belief in religion that some believe became an adaptation because it provides a beneficial function. I’m just repeating what others have said. Go ask Foxy, she claims it is a false belief allowed by evolution. There’s plenty of info relating to this hypothesis out on the internet.

“But in addition to helping humans make rational decisions, hypersensitive agency-detecting device  may have planted the seeds for religious thought. In addition to attributing agency to lions, for example, humans started attributing agency to things that really didn't have agency at all.http://www.livescience.com/52364-origins-supernatural-relgious-beliefs.html

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You have said this about your god “The request to provide physical evidence of a non-physical deity is a logical category error.”   I was wrong in saying you said had no evidence for this god, I was wrong and I am sorry.

I honestly do not understand what you are referring to here. I know I made the statement about a logical category error but I do not recall where you said what you are claiming to have said. Either way, if you feel you made a mistake and are apologizing then no worries. All is well.

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I am asking where the evidence for your god is and for the essential events claimed in your holy book, that is in accordance with reality.  You have yet to show this.  Now, if your god does miracles which interact with the physical, e.g. healing, then we would have physical evidence.  If the essential events in your bible were caused by your god, they would have left evidence,  a massive flood deposit, the loss of all of the precious metals of most of the Egyptians and the loss of the entire Egyptian army and the attention that would have garnered from Egypt’s enemies, razed cities, burnt Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.  You have also claimed that the following were evidence for your god: “Logic, reason, math, morality, beliefs.”  This also leads back to my point that any theist can claims this, and you are stuck again in believing in those other gods, BS, because you have no more evidence than those other theists do, despite your claiming that you know so very many things are true, that your god is real, that you know where we are going and how we came to be etc etc.  Your statement above also makes it rather curious for other Christians who claim that they do indeed have physical evidence for this god.  Who should we believe?

When naturalism is claimed as false, that there is only natural, as opposed to supernatural, forces, then you also claim evolutionary theory false since it uses only those forces, no god to be seen at all, and certainly not your version of your god.  I’m still quite happy to see where you can show your immaterial outside of time god does anything at all.

In addition to post #641 which is in reply to the request for evidence, what is your take on unexplained healings (eg. Miracle at Lourdes), irreducible complexity, near-death experiences, demon possession, origin of the universe, origin of life, modern day prophecy, quantum physics? Is it possible to you that there are already evidences for a deity?

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You have made claims that your beliefs are more coherent than others but you have not shown how or why we should find your claims valid. You now try to claim the excuse that you don’t have time to do so, but we know that you have no problem in posting reams. By all means, do it for one.  It will be most interesting to see which religion you choose. 

It’s hilarious that you now want me to do exactly what was asked of you when you so whined about how much work it would be. I am not making an assumption at all, BS, because I know a lot about other religions and yes, their believers can, and do, make the same claims as you have:  that some spirit is confirming their beliefs for them, that the universe is the evidence for their god and no other; that only their god could make life; miracles are answered by their god; morals and logic were invented by their god; the evolutionary model is incomplete so their god must be hiding in the cracks; their prayers were answered, that their holy books/myths, etc tell them how we got here, why we’re here and where we’re going. Indeed, religion is invented to supposedly give answers for just those questions.  Add to this that there is also no evidence for Jesus Christ, son of God, living dying or resurrecting, no more than there being avatars of Vishnu or loas inhabiting people. Your sad little attempt to claim that they also must acknowledge Jesus, is such a pathetic attempt to ignore what I’ve said.

You wish examples.  Very well. the Muslims, the Hindu, the Wicca, the Zoroasterians, the Sikhs, the Ba-hai, etc. Each has their special leaders (perhaps not so much Wicca since there are so many eclectic practioners), each has their claims of creation, spirits, miracles, morality and logic, gaps that they claim their gods fill, how we got here, why we’re here and where we are going. What I’m guessing is that we are headed right for that common Christian tactic, to try to claim that Christianity is “unique”, therefore it must be true. 

Okay. No problem. I’ll pick one and provide a compare and contrast and explain why Christianity is the more coherent and thorough faith.

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As expected, after making claims that your god answers your prayers, and does all these wonderful things, you now beg ignorance on why your God doesn’t fulfill its promises.  It seems we are left with only a few possibilities: Is it that your bible is making a false promise? Are you not a true Christian, just like every other Christian who can’t do these things e.g. every one of you?  Why aren’t there empty children’s hospitals and veterans’ hospitals, not to mention every nursing home where people are dying from things like Parkinson’s, dementia, etc?   All we have from you is “How is it that you expect me to provide answers relative to God’s wisdom in these matters”  We can contrast this with all of your claims on how great this god is for answering your prayers and letting you know everything there is to know, and how loving this god is.  So we seem to have a god that only cares about BS, only answers BS’s prayers, and says screw everyone else who prayed for help.  We have miracles claimed and funny how this god never ever touches an amputee and restores that which was blown, ripped or cut off.  Poor BS, someone is asking lil’ ol’ *you* why your god fails, and all you apparently have is “well maybe he didn’t want to heal someone for you know, *reasons*”.

This is the second Mt Everst of absurdity you’ve posted in the same thread. You expect the almighty Creator of the world to bow down to the demands of the atheist rejectionist so that the atheist rejectionist may have her demands met? What you think God should do is based on your own intellectually immature ideas which have no justification in reason or logic. To observe someone actually demonstrate this level of self-righteousness and superiority over God is, indeed, to observe the Mt Everest of absurdity.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by BibleStudent on Yesterday at 08:38:41 PM »
The fact that you have no evidence, physical or otherwise,

Here is a challenge for you:

any and all Atheists are invited to produce logic and or evidence which disproves the deduction that the initiation of a one-off event which has rules governing the event in most if not all of its existential aspects, and which event results in a previously non-existing universe coming into existence and including the possibility of the development of intelligence, agency, consciousness despite the overarching rule of constant decay (entropy), requires 1) power; 2) intent/agency; 3) intellect."
(I borrowed this from here: http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2016/03/discussion-zone-for-atheism.html)

please do explain what is asked here, BS. Because if you can't, your "borrowing" is only an attempt to baffle with bullshit.

You are invited to produce logic and evidence that disproves the logical deduction that a deity exists. This logical deduction is based on the initiation of a one-off event (Big Bang) which has rules governing the event in most if not all of its existential aspects, and which event results in the creation of a previously non-existing universe coming into existence and producing the development of intelligence, agency, and consciousness....that requires 1) power; 2) intent/agency; 3) intellect.....despite the overarching rule of constant decay (entropy).

There is a possibility I may be able to get the blog's author to review your response...because, near as I can tell, no atheist has ever taken him up on his challenge...and he has had plenty of atheists visit his site and engage in conversation with him. He was an atheist for 40 years.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by Add Homonym on Yesterday at 08:30:56 PM »
Plantinga then refers to the following comment from Patricia Churchland:

A nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F’s: feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. ... A fancier style of representing [the external world] is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism’s way of life and enhances the organism’s chances of survival. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.”
 
Can you describe why you think we should have a high level of confidence that the evolutionary process is selecting based on whether a belief is true or not?

That statement is true for dogs. Humans have the fancier style.

Hunting has been a major part of human evolution, which means knowing how to stalk, and outwit a fast prey. Making bows and arrows and understanding how to fire a projectile at a moving target has been important, as has understanding how to build structures and mix up formulas for healing and farming. Humans have weakened in numerous ways, such as muscle strength, speed, sense of smell, healing speed, due to our ingenuity of avoiding being selected out of the gene pool.
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