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General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by wheels5894 on Yesterday at 01:12:08 PM »
Heh, Biblestudent, where did I mention free will? I didn't!

My argument is about the fact that no god, such as YHWH, appears to have a physical effect in the world. Ps 39 is an illustration of this. The thing is that we cannot claim a supernatural source for anything without showing a supernatural  being exists to exercise anything. The evidence for the supernatural, never mind gods, is precisely zero!

Show us a god we might agree with the argument but as we stand now, the only possible thing to have produced our minds is evolution but if you can show any other explanation, with evidence, I would be delighted.
General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by BibleStudent on Yesterday at 12:56:24 PM »
Biblestudent is coming up to a BIG problem with this. Even if we accept the premise that the chances are low that evolution could have made how we are today, there is still -

1. A low chance is not a 'no chance' so evolution could have managed it anyway (like rolling snake eyes or winning the lottery)



2. External agency is required to have managed the job. If BIblestudent thinks it's games over if we go for 2. he is missing out something - so far, no one has shown that there is any agency that could affect our brains. Moreover, he has not even tried to come up with a mechanism[1].
 1. Given the god watches over people in the womb (PS39) he, if he existed, could easily make the tweak while the brain is growing - an ideal time - but his performance with all the various birth defects including neural chord defects, suggests that there is no one watching over foetus grown or that it is incapable of fixing anything.

It strikes me as odd to refuse to acknowledge the empirical observations we can make of the mental faculty which allows us to make choices and is present in all human beings. Claiming that free will is an illusion just seems to fly in the face of simple scientific observation.

I do not know how God's monitoring of the womb pertain to this discussion.

It comes down to this -

a. How can we tell whether our present cognition comes from evolution or from an external agency?

b. If it is the latter, we are going to have to look for whatever might have intervened and investigate its methods. (A daunting task!)

Inference and observation should be your guide. If there is no free-will then there is no "you." "You" is a biological mass being directed by cause and effect which started all the way back at the Big Bang and will continue moving forward oblivious to the existence of any "you." As Jerry Coyne points out: Like the output of a programmed computer, only one choice is ever physically possible: the one you made." That means that any beliefs you have about “you” being some sort of independent decision maker, rationalizer, reasonor, etc is just an illusion. It means you are whatever nature has pre-programmed you to be. You are, in essence, a puppet of evolution. You may feel you are a "you" but that would contradict the notion of natural cause and effect. What you think and do is the result of neurons in your brain firing and responding to some stimuli within the environment you are in....nothing more. Even the idea of contra-causal free will appears to be a strawman with no rational basis.

I realize there is no proof of free will but I happen to think the evidence for it is rather glaring. That is all I have to say about that.
General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by wheels5894 on Yesterday at 12:13:49 PM »
Is true means according to the facts and evidence then Plantinga has some problems, I think, Let' have a look.

1. Evolution The mass of evidence from various scientific fields indicates that the description in the Theory of Evolution is true.  Only some very, very unexpected evidence would change this. I doubt this can be in any doubt though.

2. Rational Minds Well, were are discussing these things - using logic and evidence so I suppose no one will argue with the idea that we have rational  minds.

3. Other Explanation of Minds Here, Plantinga is very keen to assign the task of creating these rational minds, that can't, in his estimation, be created by evolution so some 3rd party that the argument only assigns to 'god'. There, is though, one very small, insignificant problem - there is no evidence for such a being. If the only evidence is hearsay and a storybook it does count as evidence. So the proposed explanation for our rational minds cannot be true.

So, what is more likely? Our rational minds have developed through evolution (which we know happened) of from a supposed god (for which there is no evidence at all?)

Moreover, Plantinga goes on to try and prove the existence of this supposed god by using this argument - which, I suppose, shows how minds can leave rationality at times!
General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by BibleStudent on Yesterday at 11:32:09 AM »
So, if we live in a rational world, because God did it, do we then have the rationality to establish that :

- evolution is true
- the Bible is false
- the world is more than 6000 years old

If a rational conclusion is drawn from logic and reason then, yes, coming to those conclusions is possible.
General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by BibleStudent on Yesterday at 11:29:57 AM »
I had offered these definitions earlier in the thread:

True: accurate or exact;  In accordance with fact or reality.
False: Not according with truth or fact; incorrect. Illusory; not actually so.

This seems to invoke the correspondence theory of truth.  Is that your intention?

I do not know how the authors of the arguments define the word true or truth. It does not appear that anyone has asked for Plantinga to define what he means by these words so I cannot answer your question. If you feel that this presents a challenge to the argument I'm curious to hear what you have to say.

I think I need to be more careful about using the word reliable. I can see what you are getting at and now the word seems out of place. In the context that I was using it in, it was meant to convey a confidence in whether or not a belief could be deemed as true...which is really just unnecessary redundancy.

Glad we got that sorted out.  But I disagree that "reliable" is a word that should be avoided here, because in terms of evolution we clearly do have a pressure toward being able to form beliefs that are reliable at some things.  Do you disagree?  If not, then what might some of those things be?

Can you provide an example of a true belief that may have been pressured into being reliable? I would think that a lot of it has to do with what is producing the belief.

Religion & Society / Re: Blood money in 21st century
« Last post by jdawg70 on Yesterday at 10:02:56 AM »
They even have different blood money rates for males and females (half that of males). :-)

What the shit kinda charity does this Singh dude run?

Quote from: article
"We somehow made him agree (to pardon the convicts) ... and as per Sharia law, have submitted 200,000 dirhams as blood money in the court," Oberoi added.

Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by jdawg70 on Yesterday at 09:47:09 AM »
Artist: Janis Martin
Track: Drugstore Rock 'n Roll
General Religious Discussion / Re: What's you're answer?
« Last post by jdawg70 on Yesterday at 09:28:23 AM »
No I believe those the Bible calls "wicked" will suffer the judicial punishment of death.  I believe unbelief will be removed from the earth before this occurs.
So right before facing oblivion, I will believe that god exists, through no choice of my own?

How is that going to work?

Just clearly say that yes, god removes our free will prior to his kingdom of heaven arriving on Earth.  Near as I can tell, over the years speaking with you, that is precisely what you believe, yet I don't think you've ever explicitly said so.  And I think you say the opposite of that frankly.

I mean, I genuinely do not see any way to accomplish the removal of unbelief without involving the removal of free will.
A violation of free will to is to force someone down a path when another is available.

If this is the case, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why god doesn't just remove unbelief right now, or thousands of years ago, or at the dawn of sentience.  I'm told by others - maybe by you, maybe not - but I'm told many times that belief in the existence of god is some manner of choice, and that particular choice is something I need to make of my free will volition, and that my eternal fate is in some way tied to that belief/choice.

I dunno...maybe we start with this question:
Jstwebbrowsing, in your opinion, is your fate (e.g. heaven or oblivion or whatnot) entirely dependent upon free willed choices, or are there circumstances and situations that exist that dictate what your eternal fate is that is principally beyond your control - beyond your free will - absolutely independent of any choice?

Adam and Eve both are a special case because of their human perfection and their closesness to Jehovah, much like Satan himself.   The scriptures show that they were without excuse.  They were not unbelievers.  They did not make a simple mistake.  They actively rebelled against an obvious demonstration of Jehovah's spirit, and this I understand is a way to "blaspheme the Holy Spirit", or commit the unforgivable sin.
The scriptures tell you that they were without excuse.  That is very different from showing that they were without excuse.

Like...I dunno how you can possibly read 'human perfection' or whatever from Adam and Eve.  They were either imperfect in a way that Jesus wasn't imperfect (and, since Jesus existed at this time, clearly god could compare and contrast Jesus with Adam and Eve and notice the vast differences between Jesus and Adam and Eve), or, at the very least, so immensely stupid and mentally broken as to commit the unforgivable sin in full knowledge that it was an unforgivable sin against the all-mighty master of all-reality, with whom you have daily conversations with.

Look...I get you buy the Adam and Eve story, and that's fine, but it is a very stupid story, showcasing either an incredibly cruel Jehovah, an incredibly stupid Jehovah, or an incredibly cruel and stupid Jehovah.  And to even remotely think that Jehovah is some manner of forgiving creature in light of this story is kind of laughable.

Rebellion is evidenced by their lack of repentant attitude.  They, in effect, joined Satan.  It would have been just like if Christ had disobeyed Jehovah.  The nature of the disobedience is just not the same as most of ours.  Those that commit the unforgivable sin do not receive a resurrection.  We are all dying because of their rebellion.  Our blood is on their hands.
Yeah I guess I just want some clarity here:
Prior to eating the apple, did Adam and/or Eve know it was wrong to do it?

If Satan had explicitly asked Eve or Adam to join him, what do you think Eve or Adam's response would have been and why?
General Religious Discussion / Re: What's you're answer?
« Last post by Foxy Freedom on Yesterday at 08:47:18 AM »
El is also a generic semitic word meaning any god.  Israel, according to scholars, likely means "God rules", "Prince of God", or possibly "struggles with God".  The latter being a reference to Jacob's wrestling with God. 

Historical context shows that El of Israel was the chief Canaanite god, whose epithets were still used in the OT, sometimes independently of Yahweh. The Israelites were Canaanites and spoke the same language.

Mark Smith, The Early History of God, p32
General Religious Discussion / Re: A question for theists
« Last post by Foxy Freedom on Yesterday at 08:05:20 AM »
What Plantinga stated in the video is that a neurological process produces behaviors and beliefs. The point being that 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.  He further factually and correctly states that the evolutionary process is neutral on whether or not those states of being are true or false.  That is the central point  to his argument.

You have indicated that evolution does not produce beliefs and that culture and words do. I will not disagree with this

Which contradicts the first sentence of Plantinga above.

No, it does not contradict what Plantinga is saying. Something is taking place in the brain and what he said is a very general representation of what that may be. Are you contending that beliefs are not connected to the brain in some way?

Since you accept that culture and words produce beliefs, you are contradicting Plantinga since Plantinga thinks that behaviour produces beliefs. You are talking about different parts of the brain which evolved for different functions. Belief about a behaviour uses a different part of the brain from behaviour itself and need not even understand that behaviour. The parts of the brain which evolved to deal with conscious rational thought and language evolved for the purpose of rational thought and language and have evolved to be reliable.

A region of the human brain that scientists believe is critical to human intellectual abilities surprisingly functions much like a digital computer.

Also beliefs are not treated in the brain the same way as rational thoughts. Beliefs have an emotional component. A certain part of the brain lights up during a brain scan when you talk about yourself and another part lights up when you talk about someone else. When you talk about gods, the part of your brain which you use, is the same one you use for yourself, not the part you use for other people. As we know from statements of theists, these theists are only projecting their own views onto gods, so it is no surprise that talking about gods uses the same part of the brain as talking about yourself.

Religious people tend to use their own beliefs as a guide in thinking about what God believes, but are less constrained when reasoning about other people's beliefs

The data demonstrated that reasoning about God's beliefs activated many of the same regions that become active when people reasoned about their own beliefs.
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