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General Religious Discussion / Re: Testing a Hypothesis
« Last post by nogodsforme on Today at 04:57:13 PM »
Generally, when we say there is no evidence for god, meaning the god hypothesis has been falsified, all we can say for sure is that every specific god that people have described as intervening in human affairs has been falsified.

That has been the result of the past 200 years or so of scientific research. No evidence of intervention by any specifically described god can be found. All tests for specific causes of things have come up with alternatives to the gods people said were the cause.

When people act on those alternatives (like boiling water to kill germs) they get far better results than when they act as though gods were the cause (praying to a god to make the water safe to drink).

The numbers tell the story very clearly. Human population worldwide stayed below 1 billion until the 1800's, although people were producing 8-10 or more children per woman. The was mainly because babies and children died so often, leaving nobody to grow up and reproduce.

Then through atheistic science, germs were found to be the cause of disease, not sin or angry gods. By 1960, after sanitation and vaccinations had reached a majority of the planet, the world population reached 3 billion. Now the world population is at 7 billion, even though the global fertility rate is below 3 kids per woman. Now we can have the luxury of worrying about too many elderly people. Why?

Because most people, esp. pregnant women, babies and children, now have access to clean water and modern medical care. Meaning babies don't die as often. They live to become adults who then have kids.

Prayer, sin and god are probably not factors in the huge improvement of child survival over the past 200 years. Unless you think people used to be godless heathens, but are now finally praying to the right gods? Or god used to hate babies, up until the 1900's,  and now likes them a lot? Or people used to sin a lot more and now they don't sin so much?

There may be a deist type god that has no interest in the universe and has therefore never intervened in human affairs. That god could not be falsified, since that god would leave no evidence in any event. But once you start giving your god attributes that produce outcomes can be measured, tested and falsified, science can get on it. And has.
Science / Re: Nobel for DNA work
« Last post by wright on Today at 04:44:17 PM »
I heard there was some complaints cos it is not chemistry according to purists.

The  prize categories are so old that most research areas were not invented at time of writing the rules.

More categories tho = less money per winner.

Interesting point. I'm no scientist, but it's true scientific and technical specializations have proliferated in a very short period. For instance, is abiogenesis research biology or chemistry? In cases where there's controversy, it seems to be ultimately up to the Nobel committees to make such distinctions.

True, the limited prize funds might be a factor in keeping the categories broad.
General Religious Discussion / Re: different types of atheist
« Last post by nogodsforme on Today at 04:39:11 PM »
It also happens that the only people who try to argue that drowning children, pregnant women, and elderly people, or paying the father a fine after raping the daughter, or enslaving other ethnic groups, or telling a father to kill his son (and then going "Psych!" at the last minute) is somehow moral are those who are trying to fit some ancient rules from their god into modern society.

We have had numerous threads here with theists saying the most absolutely bollocks stuff trying to justify their god's actions. None of what they say is in their sacred text, but they try to fill in the blanks with anything that might make their god's behavior more in line with today's sensibilities.

Like, godly bible slavery was not like real slavery, where you own people of a different race and force them to pick cotton, or make them have sex with whoever you want them to and sell their babies.

God believer:
"It was more like being an employee, just with no pay and no right to leave and seek a different job. Plus you have to live where the boss tells you. And the boss can beat you almost to death. And have sex with you if he wants to make a baby and his wife is infertile. And can sell you. And the boss also owns your spouse and kids. And can beat them, or sell them. You know, like working at a job today...."

And, you know the great global flood where most every human being and most every form of life died at god's hands?

"Well, everyone was really evil, so they deserved to die. God warned them but they would not listen so he had to kill them and start over. What else could he do?"[1]

Wasn't it cruel of god to drown babies and children? Retarded people? Puppies and panda bears?

"There were no babies or children or retarded people back then. And no cute animals, either. Just incredibly evil but genius IQ teenagers, really smart middle aged people and brilliant elderly folks. And besides, drowning is painless, so it was actually a merciful way to kill everyone.

God could have had sulfuric acid lovingly rain down on them until they dissolved, or have them hunted down and slowly but lovingly eaten by some horrible monsters or lovingly given them all really bad cases of ebola or something. He loved them so much he drowned them all instead. Now I am off to read my bible. I will pray for you."

If their god was really all that, eternal, wise, just, loving, etc. they would not sound like sociopathic mental cases explaining why it was perfectly okay to drown or enslave people back then, but is wrong now. And still maintain, somehow,  that godly morality never changes. :angel:

They do not seem to notice that their god behaves exactly like the crazy murdering "atheist" dictators who caused so much suffering and death during the past century. Strange how human beings are evil and immoral if they do the same things that were loving, just and moral--and incidentally the only choice possible-- when god did them. 

Again, there is that godly morality that supposedly never changes.  &)
 1. I can think of about 3,517,862,594 alternatives to drowning the planet and killing all life that would work just as well, especially since people were acting up again about five minutes after the water dried up--meaning it didn't work anyway. But that is my atheistic arrogance showing...
General Religious Discussion / Re: Testing a Hypothesis
« Last post by 12 Monkeys on Today at 04:26:26 PM » should take some science courses( like biology) there is more DNA in your body from things like bacteria than your own genes. The relationship between bacteria and other things foreign to your DNA is symbiotic and keeps you alive with the work it does inside your body. For you to blame sickness and disease on sin is ridiculous. Jst,you might as well say that people like Jonas Saulk and other people working to eliminate diseases that kill are working against the plans of God.
Chatter / Re: Question to atheist paranormal non believers here
« Last post by eh! on Today at 04:22:36 PM »
Define paranormal??
Science / Re: Nobel for DNA work
« Last post by eh! on Today at 04:01:04 PM »
I heard there was some complaints cos it is not chemistry according to purists.

The  prize categories are so old that most research areas were not invented at time of writing the rules.

More categories tho = less money per winner.
Chatter / Re: Question to atheist paranormal non believers here
« Last post by One Above All on Today at 03:53:06 PM »
Experience, for starters. No phenomenon in the history of mankind that has been attributed to a supernatural cause (fire, lightning, wind, rain, storms) was confirmed to have a supernatural cause. Quite the opposite, in fact - a natural cause was found.
Chatter / Question to atheist paranormal non believers here
« Last post by Emma286 on Today at 03:41:48 PM »
Would be interested to hear your reasons as to why you 100% do not believe in this  (other than not believing in religious deities or their having any connection, I feel I'm reasonably clear on that at this stage lol!).

Anyways, asking as just curious!  I can hazard a reasonable guess or two, but nevertheless wondered if there might be other reasons for this I'm not currently aware of.   8) 
General Religious Discussion / Re: What is the "supernatural"?
« Last post by OldChurchGuy on Today at 03:36:55 PM »
Not real phenomenon are also 'not subject to the laws of physics'.  So this description of 'supernatural' does not help to distinguish the supernatural from the non-existent.

Let's look at it this way - here is a valid description of toast: An object that is not made of copper.  That description is correct for toast, but it is not adequate for us to recognize toast.  When presented with something, if the question is "is that something toast?", we would be unable to ever answer in the affirmative.  We would at best be able to answer in the negative.

"No, that thingie is not toast.  That thingie is made of copper, ergo it cannot be toast."

But when presented with a piece of bread that has characteristics such as looking a little burnt, we could in no way say "yeah, that's toast" given the descriptor of toast being 'thingie not made of copper.'  Likewise, a description of 'supernatural' that is 'not subject to the laws of physics' can, at best, to look at something and say "no, that thingie isn't supernatural.  That thingie is subject to the laws of physics, ergo it cannot be supernatural."  We can never get to the point of saying "yeah, that's supernatural."

That kinda what you're going for, median?

You are on the right track! I have yet to see any sort of definition (general or specific) that would qualify as in any way satisfactory for displaying both the necessary and sufficient conditions by which to call something "supernatural" (i.e. - above and beyond nature). As you rightly noted, giving vague definitions such as "not subject to the laws of physics" is insufficient b/c that definition can include fictional characters and/or things that would not be accepted as 'supernatural' by the people who are asserting that there is such a thing as the supernatural (for example, a space/time realm that is not the same as ours in this space/time).

What we need is a definition that defines the bounds of that word such that it can be distinguished from both it's alleged opposite and things that are not it. Note that I am not here requiring that the definition of supernatural be flawless or without difficulty (since that would be hypocritical b/c I don't believe the definitions for words like "morality" or "life" are flawless or without difficulty). All I'm saying here (in Socratic-like tradition) is that the term "supernatural" is really incoherent by nearly any definition I have thus far seen, and I'm challenging theists to come up with a better definition that does a better job of drawing the bounds around what "it" is (not what it is not).

My suspicion is that this task cannot be done. Terms like "supernatural", "spiritual", or "immaterial" are placeholders for human ignorance driven by fear, credulity, and superstition.

Someone prove me wrong, if you dare!

If I am understanding the thread correctly, a hard and fast definition of "supernatural" in the realm of scientific inquiry is impossible.  Partly because such a definition is relative.  For example, earthquakes and floods were considered supernatural as there was no knowledge of the weather patterns or plate tectonics.  As knowledge grew, what was supernatural became understandable and, to some degree, predictable.

Therefore, yesterday's supernatural phenomenon is today's explainable event.  Correct?

As always,

General Religious Discussion / Re: God is a spirit.
« Last post by Graybeard on Today at 03:30:33 PM »

This is a question I have pondered, and still ponder.  I have some thoughts on the matter but not a direct answer.  The scriptures say that God is a spirit.  That means he is a spirit being.
That's a lot of words to say, "I have no idea. I just worship whatever I have been told that God is."

The scriptures - your version of the Bible - says God is real, Gen 3:8  Later they heard the voice of Jehovah God as he was walking in the garden about the breezy part of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the face of Jehovah God among the trees of the garden.

Seems pretty solid to me.

As far as spirits are concerned, we all (according to the Bible) have one.

In Genesis 1:2 we have Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Here, “Spirit” = ruach
(Strong's: From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; … by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).)

The idea here is that God did not actually need to move from Heaven, He exercised his powers. You should imagine “magic” emanating from God in heaven and moving “upon the face of the waters.”

In English, we can say “He lost the fight but he showed a lot of spirit.” And this is what the English translators had in their vocabulary – strength of character or force of character. This is not a bad translation, as it is God’s “force of character” that does the magic – He wills it.

In Gen 41:8 we have another use of “spirit” using the same word “ruach” And it came to pass in the morning that his (Pharoah’s) spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

Spirit is clearly part of the psyche (a concept of intangible self) of the human being (and God)

In Exo 28:3 there is yet another use of “spirit” using the same word “ruach”   God is speaking to Moses: And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

Here we see the idea of immaterial strength.

In Num 24:2 there is a similar descending of the Spirit of God to that in the NT when the dove came to the disciples: And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. Basically, this is the same spirit that “moved on the waters” a magic ray that opens Balaam’s mind and fills it with the idea of God.

In the last book of the OT, we have ruach again: Mal 2:15  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Here ruach seems to mean “character; conscience”.

Thus we see that Ancient Hebrew had only one word to cover all these ideas.

The only instances of “ghost” in the OT are in the phrase “To give up the ghost” -> to die. The word used is
A primitive root; to breathe out, that is, (by implication) expire: - die, be dead, give up the ghost, perish.


The NT has reference to “the Holy Spirit” and “The Spirit of God”

Mat 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 3:16  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

In both cases, the word used is pneuma
(Strong's: From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.)

This is where the Koine Greek and the Ancient Hebrew do not quite match up. Whereas both have the idea of the insubstantiality of a wind/breeze/air and, figuratively, force or strength of character, pneuma extends this to "life" itself.

The word pneuma is also found in Mar 5:2  And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,  But the word character could be inserted here.

The same phrase for dying does exist: Mar 15:39  And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

The word used for ghost (as in to give one up) is ekpneo?
to expire; to breathe out

Which is identical to the Ancient Hebrew, gava.

The NT then has other words to nuance various immaterial aspects of “life”, but they are not so far from our current English use to describe various aspects of the character.

None of these references actually contradict the idea that God is solid.
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