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Community Zone => Chatter => Topic started by: mhaberling on December 22, 2012, 03:00:09 PM

Title: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2012, 03:00:09 PM
want to know where people are at on this issue... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) but i want to know how the communit is split up on it... and fight!
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: jetson on December 22, 2012, 03:17:17 PM
I think there is an objective truth, but I'm not sure it's possible at all to get humans to agree and/or accept it.  And that's assuming we found a way to arrive at it!  How would we ever know?

What would be the practicality of an objective truth anyway?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 22, 2012, 03:24:40 PM
Truth is quality or state of being true, in accordance with fact or reality. What else do you wish it to be?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2012, 03:41:10 PM
there are alot of people who deny the existence of an objective truth... im trying to measure if that exists inside this forum
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 22, 2012, 03:53:59 PM
It matters not what we believe to be true, some things are always true and other always false.

What you seem to be talking about is belief.

Beliefs,  have no bearing on the facts of the universe. Truth is truth, is truth, what people claim as truths has to correspond with fact or reality.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2012, 04:17:37 PM
It matters not what we believe to be true, some things are always true and other always false.

What you seem to be talking about is belief.

Beliefs,  have no bearing on the facts of the universe. Truth is truth, is truth, what people claim as truths has to correspond with fact or reality.
no, trust me ive been told by many the truth is relative but neither you nor i seem to think that
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: One Above All on December 22, 2012, 04:22:36 PM
There are relative truths and absolute truths.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: SHIN KAIRI on December 22, 2012, 04:42:35 PM
want to know where people are at on this issue... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) but i want to know how the communit is split up on it... and fight!
Dude stop asking questions to which skeptics cannot answer :laugh: At this rate, they won't like you :laugh:

Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 22, 2012, 05:57:06 PM
Quote from: mhaberling
Quote from: bertatberts
It matters not what we believe to be true, some things are always true and other always false.

What you seem to be talking about is belief.

Beliefs,  have no bearing on the facts of the universe. Truth is truth, is truth, what people claim as truths has to correspond with fact or reality.
no, trust me ive been told by many the truth is relative but neither you nor i seem to think that
Then feel free to explain how it can be? What makes it relative?, explain how your reality will cease when I die? Tell me how a rock will cease to be a rock? tell how the sun will cease to be the sun, if it isn't factual?

Relative truth doesn't mean anything because its an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

Truth is truth regardless of what you believe or want it to be. 
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 22, 2012, 06:47:11 PM
all i know is that people think that and that it is. and its a huge.concept in the humanities... i dont think teuth is relative or understand how it could be.(did you read the op) i was just wondering if anybody did

bertaberts who are you arguing with
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 22, 2012, 07:08:09 PM
all i know is that people think that and that it is. and its a huge.concept in the humanities... i dont think teuth is relative or understand how it could be.(did you read the op) i was just wondering if anybody did

bertaberts who are you arguing with
I'm not I just trying to make it clear that truth is truth is truth, Truth is quality or state of being true, in accordance with fact or reality. There is no other meaning to it.
Anything else is pure supposition.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 23, 2012, 07:26:39 AM
mhaberling, all this is fine but exactly what do you mean by 'objective truth'? Are you dealing with stuff we keep finding out through science or are you talking about the 'truths' of some religion? Things we learn about our universe seem to be true whether anyone believes them or not whereas religious truths require belief.

Which are we talking about, mhaberling?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 10:44:49 AM
mhaberling, all this is fine but exactly what do you mean by 'objective truth'? Are you dealing with stuff we keep finding out through science or are you talking about the 'truths' of some religion? Things we learn about our universe seem to be true whether anyone believes them or not whereas religious truths require belief.

Which are we talking about, mhaberling?

Im simply refering to truth in general... weather religous or scientific in nature doesnt really matter... Since you brought up religion... lets use "There is a God" now woukd you say that statement is either true in all cases or false in all cases?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 23, 2012, 11:12:08 AM
mhaberling, all this is fine but exactly what do you mean by 'objective truth'? Are you dealing with stuff we keep finding out through science or are you talking about the 'truths' of some religion? Things we learn about our universe seem to be true whether anyone believes them or not whereas religious truths require belief.

Which are we talking about, mhaberling?

I'm simply referring to truth in general... weather religious or scientific in nature doesn't really matter... Since you brought up religion... lets use "There is a God" now would you say that statement is either true in all cases or false in all cases?

Yes, the existence of a god, like the existence of anything, is which is either true or not true,Boolean if you like. However, this is no more special that whether there a computer in front of you - either there is or there is not.

Now, if I assume you area reading this, then I have evidence that you have a computer in front of you while you are doing so - (a mobile phone, as well as a tablet, are really just computers!) Of course, I can't know if you are reading this but if you post a reply I will fair certain evidence that there was a computer in front of you.

Now, how does the question of the existence of something - a god or a cat, have anything to do with your question?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 23, 2012, 11:26:55 AM
Im simply refering to truth in general... weather religous or scientific in nature doesnt really matter... Since you brought up religion... lets use "There is a God" now woukd you say that statement is either true in all cases or false in all cases?
I'm going to offer an answer here.

The problem is that science and religion go about discovering "truth" in different ways. Science finds an unexplained phenomena, poses a possible explanation, and tests to see if that explanation is meaningful. Evidence that contradicts the explanation means the explanation is not valid, or is somehow incomplete.

Religion, on the other hand, sees an unexplained phenomena, says "God did it!" and does not test the explanation to see if it works. No evidence to the contrary matters. If presented with evidence that opposes the religious explanation, the religious person just points to the "God did it" explanation and asserts that the contradictory evidence is meaningless, because we already know God did it, and since God did it, we don't need to explain it any further, because God.

These are two very different approaches to deriving "truth" from our world. The science based method has resulted in the computer you are using to type this and the internet that you use to share it with us. The religious based method says the blood of a bird will purify you of leprosy. Which one of these actually works?!?!?

So for the scientist, truth is about the best possible explanation given the best available evidence. For the believer, truth is about what we want to be true, and dismissing all evidence to the contrary.

So, while you are stuck curing disease with bird blood, science has antibiotics, immunizations, skin and organ transplants, blood transfusions, stem cell implants, and the gamma ray knife. If you would prefer the scientific methods to treat your disease over bird blood, then congratulations, it is only to the extent that you reject religious explanations and accept scientific ones that you can be considered a rational person.

And of course the best possible explanation given the best evidence means that the explanation is subject to update, revision, or even outright rejection in the face of newer, better evidence. Religion says "No thanks, we're confident that primitive, barbaric, ignorant, desert wandering, late bronze age goat-herders who couldn't even tell that insects have 6 legs got it right way back then, and there's nothing you can say or do to convince me otherwise".

Look, if paleontologists were to uncover the frozen remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a 10,000 year old ice formation, and all possible testing and analysis revealed that it was indeed a specimen of T-Rex from the end of the last ice age, it would seriously mess up evolutionary theory. And evolutionary theorists would admit this, and realize that they need to go back to the drawing board in a major way. It would be a monumental discovery, and would revolutionize science, and advance our understanding of the world we live in, much as the theory of evolution did when first proposed by Darwin. Or going the other way, if paleontologists found a T. Rex from 67 million years ago, and the fossil was entirely intact and well preserved, and in the stomach region there was a human skeleton, with the broken end of a spear still clutched in its hand, and with signs of damage to the human skeleton specifically from the teeth of the T.Rex, that would blow evolution away. That would be a real smoking gun, and evolutionary scientists would admit that it was a huge problem for their theory.

But since God is eternal and everlasting and blah blah blah, you can't just overwrite God's information with new information. How could God be wrong? Because he is no smarter than the inbred rednecks who wrote his alleged biography! Imagine that.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 12:23:29 PM
no thats way off topic... Look, in the past i have ran int people who claim the truth is relative, thjs group is almoust exclusively atheist in my experience... since this is a primarily atheistic website i was simply seeing if that position existed here
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Graybeard on December 23, 2012, 12:25:55 PM
Absolute truth is found only in mathematics as it is possible to show that 1+1 really does = 2 and from that everything else that is mathematical or capable of being reduced to pure mathematics flows.

A more useful term is “valid.” Which can be combined with “truth” to produce an absolute truth or some lesser forms of truth (it is hard, in practice, to know which is which.) This is also found in pure logic where certain propositions, by virtue of mankind’s experience and knowledge, are taken a priori as true and of the form A is B e.g. “All live house sparrows are birds.” / “Birds are of the set of living creatures.” but “All normal birds have feathers.” is not an absolute truth as ‘normal’ is likely to be subjective and cannot be defined.

Most of our world is based upon a priori truths; we had “All swans are white.” and, until relatively recently that was true but more properly, ‘valid’. It then ceased to be true but can be used as a truth, as can any definitive statement by the addition of “If…” – “If A = B then…”. The statement then may later be shown to be true or false and may thus add to a further truth or falsehood.

mhaberling,
You will be familiar with the induced proof of Pythagoras’s Theorem on right-angled triangles, so I will not repeat it, but it is along the lines of “If X =Y show that Y cannot be greater than Z” thus an assumption turns into an absolute truth.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 23, 2012, 12:30:28 PM
no that's way off topic... Look, in the past i have ran int people who claim the truth is relative, thjs group is almost exclusively atheist in my experience... since this is a primarily atheistic website i was simply seeing if that position existed here

So, bring us back to the topic and be clear in defining what you want.

Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 23, 2012, 12:42:51 PM
Catholics quit burning us for saying the earth revolves around the sun, so at least some truth is relative.


Or they ran out of matches. Which could mean it is still absolute.


Your question in the OP is a bit generic. Give us an example of each type, let us know how much you want to involve religion and understand that few of us have PhD's in philosophy.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: jetson on December 23, 2012, 12:51:24 PM
...and understand that few of us have PhD's in philosophy.

I think we all have PhD's in philosophy!  I know there is more to it, but it always ends up feeling like opinion more than anything else. 

From wiki (my bold): (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy)

Quote
Etymology

The introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.[16] The ascription is said to be based on a passage in a lost work of Herakleides Pontikos, a disciple of Aristotle. It is considered to be part of the widespread body of legends of Pythagoras of this time. "Philosopher" was understood as a word which contrasted with "sophist" (from sophoi). Traveling sophists or "wise men" were important in Classical Greece, often earning money as teachers, whereas philosophers are "lovers of wisdom" and not professionals.

But what do I know, I'm just an atheist!
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 12:53:42 PM
Catholics quit burning us for saying the earth revolves around the sun, so at least some truth is relative.


Or they ran out of matches. Which could mean it is still absolute.


Your question in the OP is a bit generic. Give us an example of each type, let us know how much you want to involve religion and understand that few of us have PhD's in philosophy.

The example I was rather fervently argued on was this...

EDIT : This is not the only time I have run into this, but it is the best explanation I got... I've run into others that have just treated the idea that truth is relative as common knowledge.

Two people observe a lightning strike, but the exact moment when it happened was different for them.. Same for a hundred different people...

I argued that if you knew the exact moment they saw the lighting strike and the direction they were looking you could determine the point where the ligtning strike happened and the exact moment it hit the ground using a little geometry and the speed of light... but after a while it turned into them telling me that I really didn't understand enough about philosophy to truly understand..
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: jetson on December 23, 2012, 01:01:35 PM
There are levels of practicality involved as well.  But no matter, regardless of the number of variables, there is likely an objective truth to the question, assuming all agree that the question clearly defines what it is trying to answer.

Asking 100 people "when did the lightning strike" will garner lots of unique answers, I think.  But asking "Given the following objective values, when did the lightning strike", and then providing a set of objective values for specific variables, will force each person to align their answers to those variables and their values, likely getting them to arrive at a more objective answer.

Man, did that make any sense?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 23, 2012, 01:17:36 PM
Given 100 people reporting seeing lightening, I suspect we might never work the answer out as I bet the timings each gave would be unlikely to be truly accurate enough. This would illustrate that, although everything ought to have a right answer, we can't necessarily find it out. However, mhaberling, I doubt whether we would be using the word 'truth' to describe this sort of situation - I think that, rather, we would merely be looking for the time the lightening struck and not use the word truth at all.

Given that 'obsolete truth' sounds a lot like 'absolute moral values' are you trying to take us there by stages?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 01:43:40 PM
Given 100 people reporting seeing lightening, I suspect we might never work the answer out as I bet the timings each gave would be unlikely to be truly accurate enough. This would illustrate that, although everything ought to have a right answer, we can't necessarily find it out. However, mhaberling, I doubt whether we would be using the word 'truth' to describe this sort of situation - I think that, rather, we would merely be looking for the time the lightening struck and not use the word truth at all.

Given that 'obsolete truth' sounds a lot like 'absolute moral values' are you trying to take us there by stages?
I find it funny that you are suspicious of my motives...

look, don't start making this out to be something more than it is...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 23, 2012, 01:46:55 PM
There is an objective physical reality.  Then there are the subjective truths we think about it.  Science is the best method known by which we can line the latter up with the former.

Valuations, from which morals are derived, are not assertions of truth when their meaning broken down, and are as subjective as any other action.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2012, 01:53:46 PM
Being a witness to a lightening strike is hardly the same as being a witness for a god. To the people who see the lightening crash there is defiantly evidence. To the believer there does not have to be the evidence for it to be true.

 When asked to provide proof in either example,one can and the other cannot. A belief or feeling in a god has nothing to do with the word truth. Truth as it is defined can only be based on evidence.

 The theist in general no matter what religion "believes" that his way is truth,but it is not fact that truth is based on,but belief.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 23, 2012, 02:09:43 PM
If you are relying on humans for the truth, there are too many variables. Experiments have been done to figure out how reliable eye-witnesses are, and the results are wanting.


If you want to measure a lightening strike from 100 different locations using scientific instruments, you can probably eke out about as much of the truth as is realistically available. If you want to rely on humans, you are out of luck. Not because we are liars, but because we are notoriously unreliable in situations such as you describe. Toss in the surprise factor associated with a lightening strike, the propensity of some to think that it was too close and be scared, the fact that many are afraid of lightening and that their fear might color their interpretation of what happened, etc. and you're out of luck.


And if you're too close, it is too bright to even see as a typical lightning bolt. Been there, done that. I know.


If police reports the cite eye witnesses are full of inconsistencies, it is pretty clear that the truth, no matter how it is labeled, is not reliably available through such means.


You may have to come up with a different scenario.



Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 23, 2012, 03:01:51 PM
Catholics quit burning us for saying the earth revolves around the sun, so at least some truth is relative.


Or they ran out of matches. Which could mean it is still absolute.


Your question in the OP is a bit generic. Give us an example of each type, let us know how much you want to involve religion and understand that few of us have PhD's in philosophy.

The example I was rather fervently argued on was this...

EDIT : This is not the only time I have run into this, but it is the best explanation I got... I've run into others that have just treated the idea that truth is relative as common knowledge.

Two people observe a lightning strike, but the exact moment when it happened was different for them.. Same for a hundred different people...

I argued that if you knew the exact moment they saw the lighting strike and the direction they were looking you could determine the point where the ligtning strike happened and the exact moment it hit the ground using a little geometry and the speed of light... but after a while it turned into them telling me that I really didn't understand enough about philosophy to truly understand..
What I gather from this is you are saying truth is relative to the observer, but a fact/truth will always remain a fact/truth, The fact/truth is lightening struck, anything else is supposition.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 23, 2012, 03:13:14 PM
^Yep. Except for the part that lightning doesn't actually strike the ground from above. It leaps out of the ground and into the sky. Something our human eyes can't seem to catch.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 23, 2012, 03:21:29 PM
^Yep. Except for the part that lightning doesn't actually strike the ground from above. It leaps out of the ground and into the sky. Something our human eyes can't seem to catch.
Yes agreed, my bad.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 03:27:04 PM
You may have to come up with a different scenario

the problem is i think that the truth is defenite... so thete hasnt been any illustrations that have made sense for me... i feel like im spending a good amount of time arguing against myself
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 23, 2012, 03:33:00 PM
First it is the truth of 1+1=2 can be proven,while a religious truth can only be true for the believer,and to nobody else. A religious truth is different for a Muslim than it is for a Christian,and the message of each religion is very different. Then there is the belief of differing Christian sects,same message,different truths
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 23, 2012, 03:35:29 PM
You may have to come up with a different scenario

the problem is i think that the truth is defenite... so thete hasnt been any illustrations that have made sense for me... i feel like im spending a good amount of time arguing against myself


Yes, the truth is definite. But you're putting humans into the equation and hoping that we can reliably agree on what it is. History is not on your side.


Nor are cultural, language or class differences on your side.


Luckily humans don't have to know the complete truth. A semblance of it is usually adequate.  "Lightning hit the house and damaged the chimney, but nobody was hurt and there was no fire" is adequate. Knowing exactly which brick it hit is seldom important.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Graybeard on December 23, 2012, 04:39:01 PM
The example I was rather fervently argued on was this...

Two people observe a lightning strike, but the exact moment when it happened was different for them.. Same for a hundred different people...

This is not a question of truth, it is a question of observation - human observation of sudden dramatic events is unreliable; it has nothing to do with truth, "absolute" or otherwise.

Both observers would agree that there was lightning - and this is true. The detail is unlikely to be corroborated - just as you can't remember the exact words you wrote in your first post, but know what it was about - it doesn't alter the "truth value" of your post. 

Quote
I argued that if you knew the exact moment they saw the lighting strike and the direction they were looking you could determine the point where the lightning strike happened and the exact moment it hit the ground using a little geometry and the speed of light...

This is not how lightning works - it would be almost impossible to make such a calculation. Look at a lightning fork - its path seems random but its track is governed by moisture and small electrical charges in the atmosphere and points of electrical charge at its point of strike. We cannot know all these in advance.

Quote
but after a while it turned into them telling me that I really didn't understand enough about philosophy to truly understand..

They may be correct - your physics needs brushing up too : (
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: shnozzola on December 23, 2012, 05:31:16 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBqgr5xZLz0
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 06:20:08 PM
The example I was rather fervently argued on was this...

Two people observe a lightning strike, but the exact moment when it happened was different for them.. Same for a hundred different people...

This is not a question of truth, it is a question of observation - human observation of sudden dramatic events is unreliable; it has nothing to do with truth, "absolute" or otherwise.

Both observers would agree that there was lightning - and this is true. The detail is unlikely to be corroborated - just as you can't remember the exact words you wrote in your first post, but know what it was about - it doesn't alter the "truth value" of your post. 

Quote
I argued that if you knew the exact moment they saw the lighting strike and the direction they were looking you could determine the point where the lightning strike happened and the exact moment it hit the ground using a little geometry and the speed of light...

This is not how lightning works - it would be almost impossible to make such a calculation. Look at a lightning fork - its path seems random but its track is governed by moisture and small electrical charges in the atmosphere and points of electrical charge at its point of strike. We cannot know all these in advance.

Quote
but after a while it turned into them telling me that I really didn't understand enough about philosophy to truly understand..

They may be correct - your physics needs brushing up too : (

graybeard... i was asked to give an example of an argument for truth being relative... i didnt make ot up i dont think it had anuthing to do with truth either... i argued the point that it could be determined by geometry to illistrate that there was a moment the lightning strike actually happened regardless of peoples perception of it....
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Nam on December 23, 2012, 08:54:22 PM
The only "truth" evident here is your lack of being able to spell the simplest words correctly, mhaberling.

-Nam
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 09:03:01 PM
The only "truth" evident here is your lack of being able to spell the simplest words correctly, mhaberling.

-Nam
thanks nam... on my smartphone... harder to type
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Nam on December 23, 2012, 09:15:12 PM
What a pitiful excuse. I am on an Android. That's all I have been on for about 6 months now, minus a couple of trips to the Library in that time period.

If you can spell correctly, then you will. If you do not, it's by choice. Am I getting at the "nature of truth" yet?

"We" all know what the topic is referring to, it's surprising, or not, that you think we do not.

-Nam
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 23, 2012, 09:45:12 PM
What a pitiful excuse. I am on an Android. That's all I have been on for about 6 months now, minus a couple of trips to the Library in that time period.

If you can spell correctly, then you will. If you do not, it's by choice. Am I getting at the "nature of truth" yet?

"We" all know what the topic is referring to, it's surprising, or not, that you think we do not.

-Nam

sorry i dont review for spelling corrections... please enlighten me on what you know this thread is about...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2012, 01:08:02 AM
stalling and dodging will not do you any favors here MH
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 01:22:25 AM
stalling and dodging will not do you any favors here MH
what am i dodging.... 12 monkeys you really are not that intellgent of an individual.

EDIT... has anyone one considered that this thread has nothing to to do with God and is just a basic philisophical question??
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 05:38:59 AM
I havn't seen mhaberling stall or dodge in this thread, either.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 24, 2012, 06:57:01 AM
graybeard... i was asked to give an example of an argument for truth being relative... i didnt make ot up i dont think it had anuthing to do with truth either... i argued the point that it could be determined by geometry to illistrate that there was a moment the lightning strike actually happened regardless of peoples perception of it....

I think the problem is that there is a distincyt difference between the actuality of what happened, and how people perceived that happening.

Eye-witnesses have been demonstrated over and over again to be an unreliable source of "truth".  They will - without meaning to - embellish their stories over time, confuse and conflate what they have seen, and colour everything through their perceptions and character and history.

So it may be possible to backtrack and determine the truth that lightning struck at this precise GPS co-ordinate, at this exact time, with this exact level of light and radiation and temperature - and that will be the truth of the lightning strike.

But the truth of observer A adds in the majesty of the strike, illuminating the church where they married their long-dead wife, while for observer B it was an annoying light that distracted them while they were trying to drive along a tricky road.  Was the truth that the lightning strike was irritating?  Or awe-inspiring and saddening?  Or was it, in fact, BOTH of those - with the circumstances of the strike leading to the event being in many ways a relative truth for different observers?  That, I believe, is the philosophical idea that lies behind relative truths, despite the fact that the observed event could be defined as being an objectively truthful occurrence.

Hence the problem with trying to classify a god or gods.  While it MAY be the case that the "truth of god" is that there is a particular god, and thus its existence (or not) is an objective truth, the problem lies in being able to categorise and measure that truth.   (Which is the thrust of 3Sigma's thread http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html) on Validating a particular god.  While it MAY be that there is an objective truth about a god, there are few if any ways to examine and measure and arrive at that objective truth, which makes all religious truth relative.

(Side note - for reasons I won't go into, I am Admin for a small forum where 8 Christians are debating morality and the literality of the Bible.  I've long lost hope of them agreeing on one definitive answer for any of the questions they have been asked to consider.)

I can take a cup, and say "this is this colour, this size, this weight", and anybody can come and see that cup and check my statements.  There is an objective truth about the cup that CAN be verified and agreed upon - although there may be relative truths to the cup as well, depending on who gave it to me for example. 

And I would go on to agree that for pretty much everything there IS an objective truth about that thing.....but the issue lies in whether that objective truth can be measured and verified.  For some things, it can be.  For some things, it can not - and thus for those things (such as the existence of a particular god) the best that can be established it a relative truth - this god exists for me because of a, b, and c, or does not exist for me because of d and e.

To tie to another thread, on what should be taught as true, my contention would be that only those things that can be demonstrated as objectively true should be taught as such.  So I have no problem with a class being taught "this is the Bible, which says such-and-such", as well as "this is the Koran, which says this-and-that".  But unless and until someone can objectively verify anything contained within those books, the substance of the claims should NOT be taught as true.

Sorry - long post!
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 24, 2012, 07:04:42 AM
stalling and dodging will not do you any favors here MH
what am i dodging.... 12 monkeys you really are not that intellgent of an individual.

EDIT... has anyone one considered that this thread has nothing to to do with God and is just a basic philisophical question??
Philosophical questions can never reach a conclusion, merely a possibility/ an opinion.
 
And if it isn't about your belief or God then why put it in General Religious Discussion, Why not Chatter.

You can't blame 12th for misunderstanding your meaning, when you place the thread in the wrong section.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Nam on December 24, 2012, 08:01:07 AM
mhaberling,

If this is, as you say, a philosophical question, then why, as bertaberts relays, do you have this in a "religious" section? if not for the fact, or truth, that this is about the "truth" of those who are religious, such as yourself, versus those who are not?

You know the "truth"[1], and "we" do not because we are incapable of knowing such a thing for not having your god in our lives.

If this is just a wild opinion I hold, I don't think I am alone in it. Your OP, in my view espouses such, or implies such ideology.

-Nam
 1. spewed by many religious people countless times
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 3sigma on December 24, 2012, 08:40:25 AM
want to know where people are at on this issue... is truth definite or relative?

Relative to what? ‘Relative’ means compared to something else. Perhaps a better way of expressing this would be: is the truth objective or subjective? Bertatberts answered that question in reply #2. The truth is objective. It is that which is in accord with fact or reality. Reality is objective.

Maybe you are confusing the truth (objective reality) with the Truth: the subjective reality of religious believers in which they believe things are as they want or imagine them to be rather than as they are.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 10:17:18 AM

Hence the problem with trying to classify a god or gods.  While it MAY be the case that the "truth of god" is that there is a particular god, and thus its existence (or not) is an objective truth, the problem lies in being able to categorise and measure that truth.   (Which is the thrust of 3Sigma's thread http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html) on Validating a particular god.  While it MAY be that there is an objective truth about a god, there are few if any ways to examine and measure and arrive at that objective truth, which makes all religious truth relative.

(Side note - for reasons I won't go into, I am Admin for a small forum where 8 Christians are debating morality and the literality of the Bible.  I've long lost hope of them agreeing on one definitive answer for any of the questions they have been asked to consider.)

I can take a cup, and say "this is this colour, this size, this weight", and anybody can come and see that cup and check my statements.  There is an objective truth about the cup that CAN be verified and agreed upon - although there may be relative truths to the cup as well, depending on who gave it to me for example. 

I really do like this... We can percieve and measure things with inside the natural world and discover the truth about them... For something like a God, that would exist independent of the natural world, Yes it is agreeable that there is a truth but one that is impossible to validate.

What then would you say the significance of Truth is? Perceivable or not. And how to we go about discovering it best?

Here is an illustration... Polio is a curable disease, in the year 1800 it was also a curable disease even though humans had not found the cure.

Now lets look at Cancer, Do we start with the assumption that Cancer is curable and try to prove it, or do we accept the possibility that it is not curable and try and discover weather it is or not. Which do you think is a better for advancing human discovery? (note: I slightly lean towards the former but do recognize assumptions as a possible problem)
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 10:25:31 AM
mhaberling,

If this is, as you say, a philosophical question, then why, as bertaberts relays, do you have this in a "religious" section? if not for the fact, or truth, that this is about the "truth" of those who are religious, such as yourself, versus those who are not?

You know the "truth"[1], and "we" do not because we are incapable of knowing such a thing for not having your god in our lives.

If this is just a wild opinion I hold, I don't think I am alone in it. Your OP, in my view espouses such, or implies such ideology.

-Nam
 1. spewed by many religious people countless times

I would agree that putting the thread on this board was probably a mistake... To be honest I didn't think about it to hard. If a moderator would like to change it that would be fine.. if not that's cool too.

Nam, "we are incapable for knowing such a thing for not having god in our lives"
That would be a very smug view point for me to have...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 24, 2012, 11:22:30 AM
I really do like this... We can percieve and measure things with inside the natural world and discover the truth about them... For something like a God, that would exist independent of the natural world, Yes it is agreeable that there is a truth but one that is impossible to validate.

Yes, sort of. As far as a god is concerned, if there is literally no way to know if there is one at all, (for example the deist concept of a god who stated the universe and then went of break)' then the existence of that god would not be worth any consideration at all. This is because if there is no way of us knowing it exists, there would be equally no way for the god to take any part i the world - even to observe what happens in it. Now this is not like the usual mainstream gods who are claimed to be active in the world and who could, at the very least, be potentially detectable by looking at the way it reacts with matter - putting thoughts in the brain of a believer would require changing the biochemistry in the brain.

So I would say there are some things which can never be known and for which there is no point knowing anyway.

Quote
What then would you say the significance of Truth is? Perceivable or not. And how to we go about discovering it best?

Here is an illustration... Polio is a curable disease, in the year 1800 it was also a curable disease even though humans had not found the cure.

Now lets look at Cancer, Do we start with the assumption that Cancer is curable and try to prove it, or do we accept the possibility that it is not curable and try and discover weather it is or not. Which do you think is a better for advancing human discovery? (note: I slightly lean towards the former but do recognize assumptions as a possible problem)

Aren't you being too pedantic here? Researchers who thought they could not do anything with a disease would not even start to research it. Does it matter so much if their intention is to cure of ameliorate?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 24, 2012, 12:26:03 PM
I really do like this... We can percieve and measure things with inside the natural world and discover the truth about them... For something like a God, that would exist independent of the natural world, Yes it is agreeable that there is a truth but one that is impossible to validate.

Why so sure?  As Wheels said, unless we are talking about a non-interventionist deist god, any god will have particular and measurable effects on the world.  So as soon as any claims are made about any god, those claims can be tested.

Now lets look at Cancer, Do we start with the assumption that Cancer is curable and try to prove it, or do we accept the possibility that it is not curable and try and discover weather it is or not. Which do you think is a better for advancing human discovery? (note: I slightly lean towards the former but do recognize assumptions as a possible problem)

In this instance, cancer is a given truth - what is open for debate is whether there is such a thing as a "Cure Truth": there may or may not be a cure, so we will start to run tests to see if such a thing exists.

Similarly, there may or may not be a god, so we can start to run tests to see if such a thing exists.

And it is at this point that it all starts to break down, because I have yet to find a believer of any stripe who can give a testable hypothesis for their god.  Is there a god?  Who knows - and while there is no test possible, who cares?  Because in the absence of any test, each god hypothesis is equally as valid as any other, and any decision to live a certain way to please one particular god is a decision made at whim that may just as well have been made by cutting cards, because (in the absence of tests), it is just as reasonable to live one's life in the opposite fashion, to try to please the hypothetical opposite deity that can be proposed.

With cancer, of course, we have numerous studies and statistics that show that living life in certain ways will improve, or reduce, one's chance of suffering from cancer.  There is evidence available that can steer one to a particular course of action.  But I am aware of NO god hypothesis where there is evidence that a particular set of lifestyle choices will lead to measurable increased favour with that hypothesised god.  Indeed, every study I have ever seen shows that adherence to a particular belief system brings no discernable difference to one's life compared to belief in alternate god/s (or in none).

So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 01:06:07 PM
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 24, 2012, 02:18:39 PM
I'm not sure quite how you work out the existence of god from the state of the universe. We would need to think rather harder than that it seems you have. Even if we do, I'm not sure it would be possible.

Why not try and detect a possible god interacting with the world of, more specifically, a single believer? Repeat observations of such interactions over a large number of people and there is possible evidence for a god. of course, it wouldn't say which of the many possible ones though!
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2012, 02:42:42 PM
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...
What interest does this God have in 33% of a planet in the middle of a galaxy in a small corner of a vast universe he created?......And what would you remark on my intelligence......you seem to not even be able to spell correctly.....or is that just testament to the USA's education system
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 24, 2012, 03:16:19 PM
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence...
Immediate fail. Your not starting with a truth.
Quote from: mhaberling
I would look then to what would also be true,
Second fail you haven't established a first truth, you merely have an assumption to work from, You are getting no where fast.
Quote from: mhaberling
we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible.
Well duh! This is because you haven't established a truth.
Quote from: mhaberling
So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics.
Where would you find such evidence when all you have is an assumption.
Quote from: mhaberling
So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God.
So until then we must err on the side of caution, and follow reality as it is.
The complete theory as you call it, may finally prove fairies exists, should we then believe they exist in advance.
It's a Pascal wager fail
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 24, 2012, 03:59:58 PM
OK, guys, let's try and imagine how the world would look if there were a loving, all-powerful, all-loving god in charge. I'd go with -

1. Prayers to relieve suffering would be answered be the god relieving the suffering.

2. There could be no doubt as to the fact there was a god and what its name was. (this would save the problem of there being such a large choice that most people have picked a loser!)

Right, what would other people pick - imagining how the world would look with a good god as in the NT?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 3sigma on December 24, 2012, 04:19:03 PM
OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence...

Okay, let’s see if you are following the scientific method—pretty much the best tool we have for determining the truth. You start with a hypothesis… check.

Quote
I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world…

You make predictions based on that hypothesis… well, you seem to recognise that you should make predictions, but you haven’t actually proposed anything specific.

Quote
But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...

You test those predictions… wait, where are the tests Anfauglir requested? I don’t see any. All I see is evasion and procrastination. In the meantime, all you are left with is an unsupported and essentially worthless assumption. Surely you wouldn’t base your beliefs on something like that, would you?

Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 05:17:07 PM
So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...
What interest does this God have in 33% of a planet in the middle of a galaxy in a small corner of a vast universe he created?......And what would you remark on my intelligence......you seem to not even be able to spell correctly.....or is that just testament to the USA's education system

Never been a good speller... Never really thought it necessary to make sure spelling is always correct... A forum is conversational in nature, so it should be taken more casually than formal literature... 12 monkeys, you start adding on topic intelligent arguments to my threads and stop trolling and I will stop questioning your intelligence... Also your question seems to imply that you think that a god would solely be focused on earth... Why would that be true?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 24, 2012, 05:25:58 PM
mhaberling, 3Sigma has it right. Wheels and Bertaberts are asking the right questions too. It is fine to start out with a hypothesis, but you don't just get to make something up, declare it true, and then start looking for confirmation.


You said:

OK this is maybe straying a bit off topic but I enjoy the discussion, I would start with an assumption of God's existence... I would look then to what would also be true, we would probably see the effects of such deity in the natural world, But since we are apart of the natural world everyday observation may be impossible. So then I would say if there was evidence then it would reside in the basic truth of the universe like physics... So I would say that whenever we find the complete theory of physics we will find evidence of a God...


I could hypothesize that, as the old joke goes when told poorly, that strawberry fields have lots of elephants in them and that the reason you can't see them is because elephants paint their toenails red. Then I could claim that we should assume this is true and start looking for what also would be true. But at least I could specify that some of the strawberries would be real hard and heavy or something. You don't have enough information about the god you profess to make a similar claim. And too, you have to be able to say which conditions would contra-indicate a god. In the case of the elephant/strawberries question, if we picked all of the strawberries, and none were hard and heavy, then my theory would go right out the door. But you have to be able to describe what would be true with a god and without a god so that we can tell the difference, and as far as I know, you don't have any way to make either claim.


What is the difference between your approach and one I might take. Where the first assumption is that there is no god, and that we should be able to the lack of affects that non-deity has on the world. Is my job, if I set it up that way, any harder or easier? Nope. It is all about the same. Luckily for my side, we don't need to include a god any of our hypothesis and yet we keep finding conditions that match the a variety of hypotheses and none of them seem to require your god.


kaziglu bey was saying recently that if there is a terrible accident but some people survive, the religious are going to claim that the survivors are a miracle from god. Now I know miracles are not the same as proof, but keep in mind the wide range of outcomes the religious are willing to label as a miracle. As kaziglu said, it doesn't matter if only 10% died or 99% died, it is still often times called a miracle when not everyone does. God saved that one child. Or, as in the case of a plane crash, everyone dies but people that could have died on the ground survived then it is still a miracle.


Religious standards tend not to be too high (it gets so bad that some people just stand there and look at the world and declare it beautiful and then claim that beauty is proof of a god), which seems to indicate a lack of knowledge about the scientific method and statistics and such. And unless you can provide a better method than the scientific one to prove things, you are sort of going to have to go along with the current standard.


If we don't seem to be getting your point, you might try restating it, but from here, is appears that you assuming that you can overcome the faith requirement so many christians use as the reason that there is no proof.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 05:28:18 PM
Now this is getting a little out of hand... Read the OP, any arguments I made about the existence of a god were to entertain the idea of applying what anfauglir and I were discussing about truth... You don't need to jump on this like I'm trying to give you an ultimate reason to believe in god... I'm just having a conversation....

edit... parking places on your post... i dont think it is harder or easier to start with your base assumption

this also has little to do with the op, as i stated its a bit off topic but i was interested so entertained the idea
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 24, 2012, 05:52:44 PM
Now this is getting a little out of hand... Read the OP, any arguments I made about the existence of a god were to entertain the idea of applying what anfauglir and I were discussing about truth... You don't need to jump on this like I'm trying to give you an ultimate reason to believe in god... I'm just having a conversation....
Then you haven't answered his question. This is all we are telling you.
His question was  "So how would you begin to test for a god, mhaberling?  What tests can we run to begin to confirm or deny the truth of any given god?" (note the bold) And your answer was to use an assumption.
How does that possible answer his question let alone establish a truth. all we were saying was you failed.
You need to give a better answer then the one you had given, tis all.
I'm certain Anfauglir will tell you the same.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 05:55:05 PM
As I've said in the past, it's not all that impressive for an argument to arrive at a conclusion when that conclusion was also used as a premise.

It is called "circular reasoning" and mhaberling, you have embraced it here as some sort of intellectual holy grail.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 06:06:04 PM
As I've said in the past, it's not all that impressive for an argument to arrive at a conclusion when that conclusion was also used as a premise.

It is called "circular reasoning" and mhaberling, you have embraced it here as some sort of intellectual holy grail.

which i agree with, this isnt a proof as much as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: bertatberts on December 24, 2012, 06:09:52 PM
As I've said in the past, it's not all that impressive for an argument to arrive at a conclusion when that conclusion was also used as a premise.

It is called "circular reasoning" and mhaberling, you have embraced it here as some sort of intellectual holy grail.

which i agree with, thos isnt a proof as mucha as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one
No! As you starting from a false premise, any conclusion is worthless.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Nam on December 24, 2012, 06:16:40 PM
mhaberling,

If your OP is an honest attempt of knowing the "nature of truth" then I retract, however, I still do not perceive it as such. I still feel there is an underlying view here that you are attempting to get the gist of from us.

Also spelling is more important on a forum rather than not. Not everyone on here has English as their primary language. So, when you misspell a word or words then they do not understand, sometimes, what you are saying. They don't know if the word is supposed to be spelled that way or if it is an error on your part. There are many forms of English, in many areas of the world where it is readily used. Speaking coherently as possible is better than not, in such cases.

-Nam
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 06:19:00 PM
No! As you starting from a false premise, any conclusion is worthless.
at some point human flight would have been a false premise...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 06:20:30 PM
mhaberling,

If your OP is an honest attempt of knowing the "nature of truth" then I retract, however, I still do not perceive it as such. I still feel there is an underlying view here that you are attempting to get the gist of from us.

Also spelling is more important on a forum rather than not. Not everyone on here has Engflish as their primary language. So, when you misspell a word or words then they do not understand, sometimes, what one is saying. They don't know if the word is supposed to be spelled that way or if it is an error on your part. There are many forms of English, in many areas of the world where it is readily used. Speaking coherently as ypossible is better than not, in such cases.

-Nam

Quoted for irony.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 06:22:20 PM
which i agree with, this isnt a proof as much as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one

And once we've taken on that premise as a belief, we end up "finding" one by way of our own adopted bias, no matter what reality says.  It does make a difference.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 06:26:55 PM
Aww, I got a -1 for that?  Well it was worth the chuckle anyway.  Seriously Nam, if you're going to bitch about someone's spelling, the least you can do is run spell-check on the post you're using to do it.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Nam on December 24, 2012, 06:28:38 PM
Azdgari,

I do not know your problem with me, and frankly I don't give a shit. But, I reread everything I post, especially since I am on a phone, and I modify when I see errors.

So, fuck you very much, and get off my back. 2 words in that whole comment and that is "ironic"?

Please.

-Nam
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 24, 2012, 06:31:27 PM
No! As you starting from a false premise, any conclusion is worthless.
at some point human flight would have been a false premise...
beyond your ability is not false premise
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 06:35:14 PM
Yes, that is ironic, Nam.  Humorously so.  Now simmer the hell down, I posted it mainly for humor and you're taking it way too personally.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Nam on December 24, 2012, 06:40:29 PM
Yes, that is ironic, Nam.  Humorously so.  Now simmer the hell down, I posted it mainly for humor and you're taking it way too personally.

Seeing how you haven't responded to anything I have said on here in a very long time, and this is the post you decide to respond to, I think it's more out of spite than humor. So please with your rhetoric about it being "humorous".

2 words does not make irony, especially when they are corrected in a timely fashion.

-Nam
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 24, 2012, 06:52:50 PM
which i agree with, this isnt a proof as much as an excersize in reasoning l... not to determine if there is a god but to determine where to look for one

And once we've taken on that premise as a belief, we end up "finding" one by way of our own adopted bias, no matter what reality says.  It does make a difference.
i think were talking about different things... i'm only offering this as a starting thougt process you are offering it as a means to an answer 
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 24, 2012, 06:53:15 PM
Well, you'd know my feelings and intentions better than I would, wouldn't you, Nam?

If I was out to get you then I would have replied to more posts of yours on the forum.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 25, 2012, 01:46:42 AM
Ok I do want to hear alot of the arguments being made but I feel we got a little lost... The evidence of god was a requested example... This is what is really being debated...

Which is better for advancing human discovery, Assuming a truth and looking to see what that truth implies and if what it implies exists... or starting with know assumptions and trying to see if you can discern if something is true or false...
I lean towards the former...

Note (think this is necessary just so we can keep the conversation on track hope to see responses soon and Merry Christmas!)
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 25, 2012, 04:19:17 AM
Which is better for advancing human discovery, Assuming a truth and looking to see what that truth implies and if what it implies exists... or starting with know assumptions and trying to see if you can discern if something is true or false...
I lean towards the former...

Sure.  So why not start with the assumption of truth being "there is no god" and see what that implies?  Let's see.....believers have no discernably different lives to unbelievers; studies show prayers have no effect; and no other testable proof of a god's existence has ever been put forward.

Seems pretty conclusive to me - unless, of course, you actually HAVE a testable proof of the existence of your assumed truth?

That's the whole point of working towards truth.  You come up with a hypothesis that you can demonstrate, that can be shown to be true or false, and then you test it.  And the results of the test will tell you whether that thing is true, or not.

WRT flight, its a fair point - but with flight we can come up with a different test as technology advances, so I see no problem with repeated tests using different criteria.  For example:

"Can I jump off a building and fly?"  - No, human flight is not possible under those conditions - therefore for practical purposes we assume it is NOT true.
"Can I jump off a building with feathers on my arms and fly?" - No, human flight is not possible under those conditions - continue to assume it is NOT true.
"Can I fly with a machine that uses a bouncing umbrella?" - No, human flight is still not possible under those conditions - continue to assume it is NOT true.
"Can I fly with a system of wings and forward propulsion?" - Aha, yes!  Under THOSE circumstances, we discover that human flight IS true.

The problem is that all tests I am aware of to detect a god simply repeat stage one with "fail" results - yet the assumption from believers is that despite the fails, it is logical to nevertheless hold the assumption to be true.

But, like I say, perhaps I'm missing a test.  So I repeat - do you have a testable proof of any god?  If not, I see no reason whatsoever to assume that "there is a god" is a Truth.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 25, 2012, 08:27:43 AM
i think were talking about different things... i'm only offering this as a starting thougt process you are offering it as a means to an answer

That's the point, though.  Once you adopt the assumption as your starting point of your thought process, if it's an assumption you already favor, it tends to become your answer regardless of all other variables.  Rather than looking for truth, you start looking solely for things that validate the initial assumption.  Or such has been my experience.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 25, 2012, 10:09:19 AM


Never been a good speller... Never really thought it necessary to make sure spelling is always correct... A forum is conversational in nature, so it should be taken more casually than formal literature... 12 monkeys, you start adding on topic intelligent arguments to my threads and stop trolling and I will stop questioning your intelligence... Also your question seems to imply that you think that a god would solely be focused on earth... Why would that be true?

Maybe you ought to get going with answering the points made to you, mhaberling. At the moment you seem to be stalling and avoid answering.

Oh, and spelling - something we all get wrong sometimes - try using a good browser that picks up wroing spelling and then correcting them.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 01:06:38 AM
wheels... Sorry, I have found that as a theist I do need to do a little conversation management or It becomes hard to keep a conversation on topic with so many replies... On your direct quote regarding 12monkeys question... As soon as you ask a question you take on the burden of the questions viability... I would be happy to answer 12monkeys question if he can tell me why the existence of a god implies what he is claiming in the first place....

12monkeys... I have read back and calling you stupid as much as I have is a bit uncalled for... I was still a little burnt by you hounding me on the SPAG thing so much (thread should be up on that tomorrow PM me if I forget) Anyways sorry,

Anfauglir... On your question Ill apply my reasoning that I supported earlier to both the existence and lack of existence of a god...

On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive


My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...


I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal


Azdgari.. Does my application answer your problems with the thought process???
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 26, 2012, 01:45:51 AM
We do not become lighter than air or water,science explains this.....or are you just using the phrase to explain?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 01:50:24 AM
We do not become lighter than air or water,science explains this.....or are you just using the phrase to explain?

More of just an explanation, I'm aware of this... It was more of just a lazy way to put it into words...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 26, 2012, 02:03:42 AM
On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

At this point, we invent whatever attributes of the god are necessary in order for our observations of nature to yield a positive result.  That is what actually happens when people go looking for gods in the way you describe, but remain theists.  Do we find everything completely coherent?  Well then, only a divine mind could keep it so!  Do we find instead that space-time as we know it breaks down in some way at extremely small scales?  Well then, that proves <my version of> supernaturalism!  God is real!

This is a dishonest approach, because the result will only ever be about the so-called experimenter's biases, rather than about the topic being analyzed.  Again, this is what actually happens when people do what you describe.  The whole exercise is smoke and mirrors.

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive

Actually neither of those things suggest the lack, or presence, of a god.  Gods believed-in by intelligent believers are deliberately placed beyond the scope of analysis.  After all, they're safe as long as they stay there.

My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...

You have not shown a thought process that tells me how to figure out where to look for a god.  You have shown me your opinion of where to look for a god, and no results will ever be interpreted - by you - as a negative result in that department.

Unless, by "it does tell us where to look for the answer", you mean "it does tell us where to look for the answer yes".  That would be accurate.

I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal

If by "human flight" you mean solely lighter-than-air flight, such as by zepplins, then that makes sense.  It is not akin to what you have done above.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 26, 2012, 02:16:08 AM
Anfauglir... On your question Ill apply my reasoning that I supported earlier to both the existence and lack of existence of a god...

On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive

My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...

Or, in other words, there is NO testable question you can come up with, and therefore no evidence that can be said to support the hypothesis.  As far as I understand it, your position ultimately is that at the point we have a full understanding of physics, we will be able to determine if there is, or is not, a god: only then will we know.

Well, fair enough.  But so freakin' what?  How does that help anyone now, today?  If that is the ONLY way we can determine the existence of a god - ANY god - then any particular religion is as valid as any other.  Christianity as valid as Hinduism, Odin as likely as Osiris.  What religion you follow is a matter of personal preference and whim (since there is NO evidence that would support one deity over another), and therefore there is NO reason at all for any special priviledge in law or government or society for any chosen faith.  It should be as legal and valid to be married by a Shaman of Tzeentch as by a Muslim Imam, as valid to offset tax against donations to a Christian church/charity as to a Satanist one.

Lack of testable evidence, and a scant "one day we MIGHT be able to answer the qustion" is a position that carries huge amounts of meaning, as I've noted above.  As a seeker after truth, I'm sure you would support everything I've said above?


I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal

Sure, go for it.  Keep a record of every test you do, every different mechanism and experiment.  Look at the way that each one, time after time, has failed.  And as the list of failures gets longer and longer, explain how support for the original theory should become stronger?  Because THAT is what you are saying here: come up with a theory, have every test and experiment for that theory fail, but continue to assert that the theory is correct regardless of the continued failure of every test and experiment.

How long is "enough"?  At what point, when your hypothesis is, time after time, shown to fail to work in real life, do you lose your dedication to it?  And I'm not talking about one person's life here, I'm talking about centuries of millions of people all trying to prove that humans can be made lighter than air.

If there were really people out there, large groups, established for centuries, asserting that "humans can become lighter than air, we just haven't found out how", we would be ridiculing them by now, as they continue to hold their theory in the face of centuries of failure.  We'd tease them if we met them, we'd vote against funding for continued experiments, we'd CERTAINLY be denying them charitable status or advantage in law.  So why would anyone suggest religion should be treated any differently?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 02:22:12 AM
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: shnozzola on December 26, 2012, 07:47:42 AM
   You know, Mhaberling, I'm agnostic only because, to follow logic, and the small limits of my mind, how could I be otherwise?  But that said, through my experiences, what science is learning, and what I have learned from  rational thinkers like those here at WWGHA, it really does seem as if this deity thing is just a leftover idea from civilization that should be past.   I can put up with harmless theists or deists, but frankly, the pieces in place for how the universe works and how we as a species could have gotten to where we are, make it obvious there is not or ever was any god of any kind.

   It is our species collective inability to be objective that prevents us from getting past this.  The idea that we as a species need a purpose is probably what currently drives it - I mean, science has explained lightning, disease, etc. - theists may argue over details, but you must almost force your head to stay in the sand to think any type of god is responsible for anything .  The continuing evolution of the type of life that has evolves on our little planet may not seem enough, but it really is all the purpose we have.   We need to get past this "god" idea, and concentrate on what we as a species need to do to progress.  Unfortunately, you look at what is going on in the world, and the fervor with which people practice the religion of their parents - I mean, if an intelligent mind wants to investigate all the world's religions before choosing what seems logical - atheists win!  :)

   Another thing, and probably the most dangerous, that keeps religion in the picture is emotion. We can get all fired up over someone questioning the very core of what we were taught.  What audacity to question the very creator - these atheist people must be stopped!  They are evil!  They are exactly what jesus said would happen with the seeds spread on rock. 

   Anyway - stay with these arguments and your intelligence will begin to force you to think about the ideas you get at WWGHA.   We are not evil.  There really isn't evil.  There is bad, but not evil.  I hope the idea that 'your' god will be angry with you for trying to discover the truth will not stop you.  I believe that is a very sad reality for some theists that are afraid of their interpretation of a god that was never there.  What mind games we are taught to play.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 26, 2012, 10:02:18 AM
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!
I think there needs to be a little bit of clarification here. Agnosticism is a position of knowledge. To say that one is agnostic about God is to say that one realizes that they can not know whether or not God is real. One can be an agnostic evangelist or an agnostic atheist. I think that most non-believers here would describe themselves as agnostic atheists, in other words, we can't know for sure, but we do not believe that there is a God. I would agree that agnosticism is the only defensible position in terms of knowledge, but in terms of belief, atheism is the only defensible position, because it is the only position for which there is not contradicting evidence.

One can believe in Odin all they want, but they are deceiving themselves if they think that there is evidence to support the Odin hypothesis. The default in the face of no evidence to support the claim is that there is no reason to believe that the claim is true. If it could be conclusively, irrefutably demonstrated that a man named Jesus Christ was born on a virgin, was tortured to death, and three days later was alive again, and all of the best available evidence supported this, and none of the best available evidence refuted it, then I would conclude that Jesus Christ was in fact born of a virgin and raised from the dead. But, as Hitchens put it, "A resurrected person who was also the son of a virgin could still be talking nonsense. There's no logic that says he must be right".

In other words, even if such a person was demonstrated conclusively to have existed (2000 years later, this still has not occurred) it would be a complete non-sequitur to conclude that this person was in fact the son of capital G God, supreme ruler and creator of the universe, as described in the Bible. Plenty of stories of heavenly persons born of virgins or by means other than natural conception and/or were resurrected from death were present in the human mind way before Jesus. Were all of those people the direct progeny of the supreme overlord of the universe? If your answer is no, then you must see why no one can make the same claim about Jesus. No special pleading allowed. Either people born of virgins, resurrected from the dead are divine offspring, or they are not.

And the problem is that Christians insist that Jesus MUST be for real precisely BECAUSE he was born of a virgin and rose from the grave. If those are the conditions necessary and sufficient for someone to be of divine paternity, then there are plenty of "for real" gods and goddesses out there, and Christians are ignoring them (at their peril, according to Pascal's wager).

Note that the same people who think that it is entirely plausible and believable that a person was born of a virgin, cured blind people, fed thousands with a McFish value meal, turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, and was himself raised from the dead are the same people who don't think it at all possible that human beings are the result of hundreds of millions of years of very tiny changes in genetic composition, IN SPITE OF the OVERWHELMING evidence to support the theory of evolution. Hell, my 8 year old son was looking through a book of prehistoric mammals, and when it presented nearly a dozen variations of the early hominid, was able to see, on his own, the subtle changes in jaw structure, the slow change of shape from "more like apes" hominids to "more like human" hominids, and concluded, on his own, that the best explanation is that modern humans are evolved from more ape-like ancestors. He's EIGHT, and possesses better critical thinking skills than BILLIONS of adults. When presented with the evidence, he was able to see how the evidence supported the theory. Is it really so much to ask that grown ups have the same level of intellectual honesty as a third grader?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on December 26, 2012, 10:32:36 AM
Hell, my 8 year old son was looking through a book of prehistoric mammals, and when it presented nearly a dozen variations of the early hominid, was able to see, on his own, ...

kb, congratulations for giving your son the gift of free thought.  I can relate to that  :)
Spare a thought for the billions of theist's children who, through no fault of their own, become infected with the delusions of their parents.

I never taught my daughter religion - I guarded the openness of her mind - when she was 8 years old she blasted straight through the bullshit of the Flood:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,5527.msg122593.html#msg122593 
She's 12 now and going strong  ;) ... acutely alert to social justice issues and the stupid of religion all around the world.

But I worry so much about the innocent children, so full of the same potential, who instead have infectious theist memes planted like a virus in their vulnerable minds.  Every kid is special - so many are just unlucky to have theist parents  :(
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 26, 2012, 12:00:01 PM

kb, congratulations for giving your son the gift of free thought.
Thank you! I prefer to teach my son how to think, not what to think. He loves to read and explore and learn. Kids have a natural thirst for knowledge and intellectual growth that is beaten out of them by religion, and it's contemptible. I don't remember the context of the discussion, but I had commented that there are actually people who believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. He just could not grasp how anyone could be that gullible or willfully stupid.

I even tell him that I am not always right. Just because I say something does not mean it is true. I encourage him to examine the available knowledge and information and make his own conclusions. I even encourage him to challenge me if he thinks I am wrong about something, and for him to state his reasons why he thinks I am not correct. What theist has the intellectual honesty to do this?!? As a result, he has a pretty critical mind, and is very sharp, and can in fact present a good argument (by third grade standards) for his position. While some might say that this encourages him to challenge authority, so what? Why should children be taught to just accept everything at face value without demanding justification? I would much rather he be able to think for himself and reach his own conclusions. He will be able to make better decisions in his adult life by doing so.

Quote
I can relate to that  :)
Spare a thought for the billions of theist's children who, through no fault of their own, become infected with the delusions of their parents.

I never taught my daughter religion - I guarded the openness of her mind - when she was 8 years old she blasted straight through the bullshit of the Flood:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,5527.msg122593.html#msg122593 
She's 12 now and going strong  ;) ... acutely alert to social justice issues and the stupid of religion all around the world.

But I worry so much about the innocent children, so full of the same potential, who instead have infectious theist memes planted like a virus in their vulnerable minds.  Every kid is special - so many are just unlucky to have theist parents  :(
It's very reassuring that there are other parents who encourage children to use their considerable brain power to its full potential. If only more people did this, there would be less violence, bigotry and injustice in the world.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 12:40:30 PM
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!
I think there needs to be a little bit of clarification here. Agnosticism is a position of knowledge. To say that one is agnostic about God is to say that one realizes that they can not know whether or not God is real. One can be an agnostic evangelist or an agnostic atheist. I think that most non-believers here would describe themselves as agnostic atheists, in other words, we can't know for sure, but we do not believe that there is a God. I would agree that agnosticism is the only defensible position in terms of knowledge, but in terms of belief, atheism is the only defensible position, because it is the only position for which there is not contradicting evidence.

One can believe in Odin all they want, but they are deceiving themselves if they think that there is evidence to support the Odin hypothesis. The default in the face of no evidence to support the claim is that there is no reason to believe that the claim is true. If it could be conclusively, irrefutably demonstrated that a man named Jesus Christ was born on a virgin, was tortured to death, and three days later was alive again, and all of the best available evidence supported this, and none of the best available evidence refuted it, then I would conclude that Jesus Christ was in fact born of a virgin and raised from the dead. But, as Hitchens put it, "A resurrected person who was also the son of a virgin could still be talking nonsense. There's no logic that says he must be right".

In other words, even if such a person was demonstrated conclusively to have existed (2000 years later, this still has not occurred) it would be a complete non-sequitur to conclude that this person was in fact the son of capital G God, supreme ruler and creator of the universe, as described in the Bible. Plenty of stories of heavenly persons born of virgins or by means other than natural conception and/or were resurrected from death were present in the human mind way before Jesus. Were all of those people the direct progeny of the supreme overlord of the universe? If your answer is no, then you must see why no one can make the same claim about Jesus. No special pleading allowed. Either people born of virgins, resurrected from the dead are divine offspring, or they are not.

And the problem is that Christians insist that Jesus MUST be for real precisely BECAUSE he was born of a virgin and rose from the grave. If those are the conditions necessary and sufficient for someone to be of divine paternity, then there are plenty of "for real" gods and goddesses out there, and Christians are ignoring them (at their peril, according to Pascal's wager).

Note that the same people who think that it is entirely plausible and believable that a person was born of a virgin, cured blind people, fed thousands with a McFish value meal, turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, and was himself raised from the dead are the same people who don't think it at all possible that human beings are the result of hundreds of millions of years of very tiny changes in genetic composition, IN SPITE OF the OVERWHELMING evidence to support the theory of evolution. Hell, my 8 year old son was looking through a book of prehistoric mammals, and when it presented nearly a dozen variations of the early hominid, was able to see, on his own, the subtle changes in jaw structure, the slow change of shape from "more like apes" hominids to "more like human" hominids, and concluded, on his own, that the best explanation is that modern humans are evolved from more ape-like ancestors. He's EIGHT, and possesses better critical thinking skills than BILLIONS of adults. When presented with the evidence, he was able to see how the evidence supported the theory. Is it really so much to ask that grown ups have the same level of intellectual honesty as a third grader?

Ahh... But there we have it, the thought process I am putting forward does not look for overwhelming evidence it looks for proof, The entire process ignores the idea of evidence, and only looks for definitive proof... Which may very well be one of its limiting factors.


Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 26, 2012, 12:46:38 PM
Ahh... But there we have it, the thought process I am putting forward does not look for overwhelming evidence it looks for proof, The entire process ignores the idea of evidence, and only looks for definitive proof... Which may very well be one of its limiting factors.
Tell me, exactly how are you going to find definitive proof of anything if you don't consider evidence? What kind of thought process is this you are espousing? How can one find "proof" of any claim made by religion? The thought process you are advocating here is anything but a process of thought.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Azdgari on December 26, 2012, 02:38:17 PM
Sounds Cartesian - trying to gain knowledge about the universe through pure reason rather than by observing it.  It's an approach that carries a very lofty view of human thought patterns.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 02:56:14 PM
Ahh... But there we have it, the thought process I am putting forward does not look for overwhelming evidence it looks for proof, The entire process ignores the idea of evidence, and only looks for definitive proof... Which may very well be one of its limiting factors.
Tell me, exactly how are you going to find definitive proof of anything if you don't consider evidence? What kind of thought process is this you are espousing? How can one find "proof" of any claim made by religion? The thought process you are advocating here is anything but a process of thought.

The thought process doesn't ignore evidence, just evidence that isn't definitive. It is not in the business of determining what is likely, only what is true. The thought process only allows for definitive evidence. So on the flight example, It is pretty clear that you could prove it by getting in an aircraft and flying away. Evidence can be used for us to get our opinion on the truth, but if the evidence isn't decisive, this thought process ignores it.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 03:09:05 PM
Anfauglir... On your question Ill apply my reasoning that I supported earlier to both the existence and lack of existence of a god...

On existence, God is real... This being true what would have to be true, We would most likely see a belief system based around his existence(unnecessary but likely), We would see some evidence of a God at the base workings of nature ie physics,
We may see a record of his interaction with our species (also not required)...

Conclusion, we saw to things that suggested a god, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell... Inconclusive

On  non existence, God is not real... This being true what would have to be true? We would most likely see groups of people denying an existence(not required). We would see a complete explanation of the natural that does not require an intervention of intelligence.

Conclusion, we saw something that suggested a lack of a God, but had only one requirement, since there is not a complete understanding of the natural laws we cannot tell if intelligent intervention is required or not... Inconclusive

My assertion is that using my thought process It is not possible to possible to prove a god or lack there of but It does tell us where to look for the answer which as far as I could discern is the same place...

Or, in other words, there is NO testable question you can come up with, and therefore no evidence that can be said to support the hypothesis.  As far as I understand it, your position ultimately is that at the point we have a full understanding of physics, we will be able to determine if there is, or is not, a god: only then will we know.

Well, fair enough.  But so freakin' what?  How does that help anyone now, today?  If that is the ONLY way we can determine the existence of a god - ANY god - then any particular religion is as valid as any other.  Christianity as valid as Hinduism, Odin as likely as Osiris.  What religion you follow is a matter of personal preference and whim (since there is NO evidence that would support one deity over another), and therefore there is NO reason at all for any special priviledge in law or government or society for any chosen faith.  It should be as legal and valid to be married by a Shaman of Tzeentch as by a Muslim Imam, as valid to offset tax against donations to a Christian church/charity as to a Satanist one.

Lack of testable evidence, and a scant "one day we MIGHT be able to answer the qustion" is a position that carries huge amounts of meaning, as I've noted above.  As a seeker after truth, I'm sure you would support everything I've said above?


I also want to do the flight example...

Human flight is possible, If that is true then humans can be made as light as air. If humans can be made as light as air then there is a process by which humans can be made lighter than other fluids. A common fluid humans are made lighter then is water. Boats float on water by Bernoulli's principal.

Conclusion... To achieve human flight we should investigate the application of Bernoulli's principal

Sure, go for it.  Keep a record of every test you do, every different mechanism and experiment.  Look at the way that each one, time after time, has failed.  And as the list of failures gets longer and longer, explain how support for the original theory should become stronger?  Because THAT is what you are saying here: come up with a theory, have every test and experiment for that theory fail, but continue to assert that the theory is correct regardless of the continued failure of every test and experiment.

How long is "enough"?  At what point, when your hypothesis is, time after time, shown to fail to work in real life, do you lose your dedication to it?  And I'm not talking about one person's life here, I'm talking about centuries of millions of people all trying to prove that humans can be made lighter than air.

If there were really people out there, large groups, established for centuries, asserting that "humans can become lighter than air, we just haven't found out how", we would be ridiculing them by now, as they continue to hold their theory in the face of centuries of failure.  We'd tease them if we met them, we'd vote against funding for continued experiments, we'd CERTAINLY be denying them charitable status or advantage in law.  So why would anyone suggest religion should be treated any differently?

Well I would say that there is a difference in application and the pure form of the theory, People are made lighter than air, is more figurative language and not really precise on my part. Lets go back to flight, this said to look at how people can float on water, since water is also a fluid, I would say if the original testing ground for flight capable machines was water then we would have achieved it much quicker.

I guess with how long people want to spend on it is up to them personally, After all I believe faster than light travel is achievable  and thousands of years of history go against that. But I don't think we should give up on it because of that.

On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 03:25:55 PM

Unless, by "it does tell us where to look for the answer", you mean "it does tell us where to look for the answer yes".  That would be accurate.


But at least in my application the result where to look for yes is the same place to look for the answer no. So how then is the answer inaccurate.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: naemhni on December 26, 2012, 04:01:03 PM
On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

If, for example, he lives on top of Mount Olympus, the way to determine his nature would be to go to the top of Mount Olympus, find him, and examine him.  If he lives at the bottom of the ocean, we'll need to go there instead.  If he responds to prayer requests, we can test that by having two groups of people with the same illness (let's say the common cold, just for convenience) and have one group receive prayers for recovery and the other group not receive such prayers.  And so on.

So tell us about your deity... where it lives, what it does, and so on, and then we'll know how to determine whether it exists.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 3sigma on December 26, 2012, 04:23:56 PM
The thought process doesn't ignore evidence, just evidence that isn't definitive. It is not in the business of determining what is likely, only what is true.

Please tell us the definitive evidence that proves your god is real. You claim the thought process you are proposing looks for proof. Show us what proof you have that your belief is true. All we’ve seen so far is your mere assumption that your god is real followed by lofty aspirations of seeking the truth and proof. Well, what proof do you have that your belief is true?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 26, 2012, 04:25:59 PM
Quote from: mhaberling
The entire process ignores the idea of evidence


The thought process doesn't ignore evidence
So which is it? You can see why we rational primates are having a difficult time following this nonsense.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2012, 04:43:12 PM
I guess with how long people want to spend on it is up to them personally, After all I believe faster than light travel is achievable  and thousands of years of history go against that. But I don't think we should give up on it because of that.

On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.


First of all, mhaberling, I know that this is at times frustrating for you. It is frustrating for us sometimes as well. But you're keeping your cool and stating your case, even though we keep telling you that you need to do better. Don't give up. If this subject gets out of hand try something else here. And while right now most of us think you have something to learn, it may be that we are the ones that need to do that. But it is up to you to be the teacher if that is the case.


Here I wanted to comment on your speed of light thing first. No, thousands of years of history don't go against being able to do that. Only in the last 110 years has that subject come up. And yes, though it is generally thought we cannot exceed the speed of light because current theory says that it would take an infinite amount of energy just to get mass up to the speed of light (and hence even more energy to get us past i, there may be ways to indeed exceed that limit, and some in science would agree that it is worth pursuing the subject. You may be in a minority thinking that, but this is one of those areas where the truth is not currently available in the sense that our knowledge is based upon current theory, and current theory is always open change as we make new discoveries.


And while I'm sure Anfauglir will respond as well, the problem here is that we have no idea how to define any evidence to show that a god may exist. What we are trying to tell you is that we have no knowledge of any scientific subject that would point towards a deity being involved in anything. Right now we think, in those areas where we are fairly advanced, knowledge-wise, that all of the phenomena we observe can be accounted for naturally. And in those areas where we still know little (abiogenesis, for instance) we are not finding gaps that appear to be un-fillable. Progress continues to be made in our understanding of what life is and what it requires and we are working backwards to the beginning of our existence, albeit more slowly than we would like.


So there is no arena, be it in science or any other human endeavor, that is so inexplicable that only the existence of a god or gods could explain anything. And so, if we have no ability to create or detect the criteria necessary for a god, and no ability to create or detect the criteria for detecting a god, we're sort of stuck. Unless something new comes along that allows at least one of those two criteria to start making sense, there is nothing for us to work with. We are stuck with what we, as humans, can discover.


Angauglir cannot provide what you asked for, and nobody else can either. Definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence does not exist. And while Christians jump with joy when they hear that, because they apparently think the lack of not only evidence but also criteria is absolute proof that a superior being, out of our reach, must indeed exist. However, that same thinking also applies to flying teacups, spaghetti monsters, the afore mention Odin and the many trickster gods of American Indian lore.


If nothing we'e discovered needs a god and nothing we discover in the future needs a god, I think we'll go ahead and leap to the conclusion that there isn't one. Because until the dude starts talking to us again, until he lets us walk around in the desert lost for 40 years, until he lets us write once again that insects have six legs and until he restates his fear of iron chariots, many of us are going to assume his stories of his existence are just that, stories.


If the kids shows up and the words of Revelation come true, I'll rethink my position. If amputees start spontaneously healing, I'll give the existence of some sort of supreme being serious consideration. If I suddenly turn handsome and all the women start chasing me I'll consider it. But in the meantime, we've got nothing. And of course we think that is all religion has as well.


We can at least consider the possibility of faster than light travel, because we can conceive of it, whether it can be done or not. Ideas can be floated, numbers can be crunched, etc. But we've also figured out that if we did fly at even just the speed of light to a nearby solar system, the shockwave we caused would destroy our destination, which sort of makes one wonder why we should even try. We can't find anything within science that should cause us to consider your god. If you think otherwise, a) we shouldn't be your audience, scientists should be and b) enjoy your Nobel Prize if you're right.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 26, 2012, 05:19:08 PM
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!

Following up on the 2 previous posts. The ONLY position for a theist or an atheist is agnostic. No believer actually KNOWS that there is a god. They only believe this to be the case - usually based on a somewhat dubious holy book. The atheist has no possibility of KNOWING that there is no a god and can only posit there is not one is view of the lack of evidence.

So, mhaberling, do you KNOW that there is a god or are you an agnostic?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: One Above All on December 26, 2012, 05:21:44 PM
Following up on the 2 previous posts. The ONLY position for a theist or an atheist is agnostic.
<snip>

I probably sound like a broken record to older users, but here I go again:
What makes a god a god is left up to personal interpretation. There isn't one single clear definition accepted by everyone. As such, it is entirely possible that one would have an impossible definition, making one sure that there is no god.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 26, 2012, 05:27:03 PM
Quite so! However, we are talking about truth here and, for an god we might select, there must be an answer to whether that god actually exists or not - i.e. exists in reality and not juts in the mind of a believer. Due to the way believers define their own gods may make discovering the fact of existence or not of the god harder but it still ought to be possible to do.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 26, 2012, 09:57:20 PM
On my way to bed... answer more tomorrow... according to the thought process I put forward on god the only defensible position is Agnostic... Nite!!

Following up on the 2 previous posts. The ONLY position for a theist or an atheist is agnostic. No believer actually KNOWS that there is a god. They only believe this to be the case - usually based on a somewhat dubious holy book. The atheist has no possibility of KNOWING that there is no a god and can only posit there is not one is view of the lack of evidence.

So, mhaberling, do you KNOW that there is a god or are you an agnostic?

I believe in God, I pray to God, but do I know for sure? No, in that sense i am agnostic.... That is a great question +1;

Parking Places...
Maybe I understand you wrong, but if not I will respond with such...
It has never been my position that an atheistic viewpoint is a wrong one, just a different one in the absence of knowing the truth... On what I think points to God's existence, well that is a long discussion for a different day...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 26, 2012, 10:10:46 PM

I believe in God, I pray to God, but do I know for sure? No, in that sense i am agnostic....
I'm admittedly really confused by your worldview, mhaberling.
 
You have so far on this forum stated that your personal thought process requires definitive proof, in spite of evidence. Yet, you admit that you do not know for sure that there is a God, therefore there cannot be definitive proof of his existence. So, in spite of a lack of your proclaimed standard of definitive proof, you still believe in God anyway? My only conclusion is that you do not believe in the validity of your own through process. Please help me here, because its not clear at all to me where you stand at this point.

EDIT: Fixed incorrect quote formatting.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 26, 2012, 10:54:34 PM
Parking Places...
Maybe I understand you wrong, but if not I will respond with such...
It has never been my position that an atheistic viewpoint is a wrong one, just a different one in the absence of knowing the truth... On what I think points to God's existence, well that is a long discussion for a different day...


I wasn't going for right or wrong, I was going after what is knowable. If you wish to point to that which we do not know, or to that which we will probably never know, and say "Look, that might be God!" I am in no position to argue with you, if you don't count my obstinacy. However, if you are wanting to point at things that we do know, or think we know, and say "See, right there, behind that Higgs Boson, that's God!" then I have a quibble, because none of the people actually doing the looking with instruments and technology are detecting such a thing.


Obviously anyone can point to anything and say they see God's handiwork or his mercy or his his cherry '65 Shelby Mustang in any and everything. That I don't simultaneously see the same thing indicates that something is amiss with at least one of us. And if there is a truth, which I assume there is, the closer we get to it, the more obvious it should be which side is wrong. And science looks and looks and as of yet sees nothing that primitive culture of ancient Israel saw. The only indication we actually have that there is a god is the stories, and those of you who believe have to keep falling back on them because there is nothing current that I know of that corroborates that claim.


The mere existence of religion is not adequate proof of a god. It is only proof of the misconceptions strong willed people, strong cultural norms, strong human tendencies and strong prejudices can produce. In my humble opinion.


Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 27, 2012, 02:02:13 AM

I believe in God, I pray to God, but do I know for sure? No, in that sense i am agnostic....
I'm admittedly really confused by your worldview, mhaberling.
 
You have so far on this forum stated that your personal thought process requires definitive proof, in spite of evidence. Yet, you admit that you do not know for sure that there is a God, therefore there cannot be definitive proof of his existence. So, in spite of a lack of your proclaimed standard of definitive proof, you still believe in God anyway? My only conclusion is that you do not believe in the validity of your own through process. Please help me here, because its not clear at all to me where you stand at this point.

EDIT: Fixed incorrect quote formatting.

OK I see where we got off track... I am arguing for a thought process for discerning the truth about something or progressing technological advancement... At the beginning I asked which is better for advancing human discovery, not which one to use as part of every day life... The first assumption of the thought process is that you have decided you wan't to know the truth about something, I argue that it is best for determining where to look. I have opinions on things and beliefs that I admittedly don't know the Truth of. But if knowing the Truth is what your after I would forward this thought process as a good place to start. Does that make sense, I understand your confusion...  If not maybe I can explain it in another way. Sorry bout that...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 27, 2012, 02:07:24 AM
I wasn't going for right or wrong, I was going after what is knowable. If you wish to point to that which we do not know, or to that which we will probably never know, and say "Look, that might be God!" I am in no position to argue with you, if you don't count my obstinacy. However, if you are wanting to point at things that we do know, or think we know, and say "See, right there, behind that Higgs Boson, that's God!" then I have a quibble, because none of the people actually doing the looking with instruments and technology are detecting such a thing.

Hey, this is off track and maybe we can discuss it later in more detail, but what do you think about particle physics and its validity long term?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 27, 2012, 02:09:47 AM
Quote from: mhaberling
The entire process ignores the idea of evidence


The thought process doesn't ignore evidence
So which is it? You can see why we rational primates are having a difficult time following this nonsense.

Oh yeah almost forgot to answer this one... Maybe you took this out of context, maybe I didn't explain it right... It ignores anything but definitive evidence, what has to be true, as opposed to what should be true.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 27, 2012, 02:31:01 AM
I wasn't going for right or wrong, I was going after what is knowable. If you wish to point to that which we do not know, or to that which we will probably never know, and say "Look, that might be God!" I am in no position to argue with you, if you don't count my obstinacy. However, if you are wanting to point at things that we do know, or think we know, and say "See, right there, behind that Higgs Boson, that's God!" then I have a quibble, because none of the people actually doing the looking with instruments and technology are detecting such a thing.

Hey, this is off track and maybe we can discuss it later in more detail, but what do you think about particle physics and its validity long term?


This is off track. We should find something to argue about in the science section and go for it. As for long term validity, it doesn't exists in science. We are too early in the game to not suffer new knowledge on a regular basis. That's why I spend more time reading science blogs and writing than I do here.


Added: Example: They just announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson a few months ago. But they may already have to modify that discovery. Because there are indications that there may be two different Higgs Bosons, something not theoretically predicted.

PM me and we can talk science all we want. If we come up with something worth discussing, we'll start a thread.


/end of thread highjacking
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 28, 2012, 04:15:55 AM
On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

Like Pianodwarf says, "god" is a woolly word that can mean dramatically different things to different people, even when those two people profess to believe in the same "god".  So yes - the first criteria towards proving "god" is to define exactly what "god" means.

Its the scientific principle - you clearly define your hypothesis, and come up with a test that can prove the hypothesis, or falsify it.  Any test where the results can be ambiguous is pretty much worthless, as indeed are assertions that "one day we may be able to do it, just not yet".

Actually, I believe that that is a HUGE cop-out - at least if the "god" we are talking about is anything other than a non-interventionist deist creator-type god.  And as I've said before, if THAT is the only god we are talking about, then I'm not particularly interested anyways - if he's not ever EVER going to interact with me, then I don't care whether he exists or not, same as I don't particularly care whether Mr.John Smith of Des Moines who died in 1803 ever existed.  I can see perhaps how specific scientific disciplines might have an interest in that god, but for the "day-to-day person"?  Nope.

Fortunately, that question seldom arises.  Believers in non-interventionist deist creators seldom tend to want to force their views on other people, and even when they do, its not usually an issues precisely because of the "non-interventionist" aspect.  Their god doesn't want anything, so there is nothing they have to push onto others.

But I digress - the bigger reason I see it as a sneaky question because it tries to shift the goalposts back - "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" indeed!  "Please prove there are no black swans", as some might put it.  Of COURSE nobody here is going to be able to ask a question, or show the evidence, that there are NO gods out there at all, and its a rather disingenuous thing to ask.  I can't prove there are no black swans in the world, either.

But what I - and we - CAN do is ask questions, and provide the evidence, that knock down all the interventionist gods with particular characteristics that get put forward.  Does your god live in a certain physical place?  Then (as PD points out) we can go there.  Does your god say it will do particular things?  Then we can look to see if those things get done.  Does your god do this, look like that, manifest here, miracle that?  Then we can ask those questions, and (because we are looking at specifics) we can say "NO - THAT god does NOT exist". 

Its a process that has been going on for centuries.  Way back when, EVERYTHING was evidence for god.  But as we move forward, "god" has to retreat, and retreat, as slowly but surely everything that makes that god specific is revealed away as the smoke and mirrors it is, and we end up with an insubstantial and non-interfering "god" that would have been unthinkable to the people of a thousand, or even a hundred years ago.  We NEVER ask a question that makes the likelihood of a god a little MORE likely - NEVER devise the test that says "if there is a god, we should see X, and if there is not, we should see Y", and have X be the outcome.

So I'll repeat PD's question.  What exactly IS your god?  What does it do?  What is its nature?  Answer those questions, and we'll start to nail down the tests and the evidence that will "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" - or, rather, the lack of it.  I'm confident that we will blow away the mists that surround your god - whatever that may be - and either reveal that there is nothing there at all, or we will have amended the description of "god" to something completely irrelevant to mankind.

Is there a man behind your curtain, mhaberling?  What IS your god? 

Work with us and lets get to the truth.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 29, 2012, 03:09:46 AM
On another note regarding the proof of god, Azdgari you accused me of putting the detection of God out of reach for safety's sake. Please provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence.

Before he (or anyone else, for that matter) can do that, you will need to define your god.

Like Pianodwarf says, "god" is a woolly word that can mean dramatically different things to different people, even when those two people profess to believe in the same "god".  So yes - the first criteria towards proving "god" is to define exactly what "god" means.

Its the scientific principle - you clearly define your hypothesis, and come up with a test that can prove the hypothesis, or falsify it.  Any test where the results can be ambiguous is pretty much worthless, as indeed are assertions that "one day we may be able to do it, just not yet".

Actually, I believe that that is a HUGE cop-out - at least if the "god" we are talking about is anything other than a non-interventionist deist creator-type god.  And as I've said before, if THAT is the only god we are talking about, then I'm not particularly interested anyways - if he's not ever EVER going to interact with me, then I don't care whether he exists or not, same as I don't particularly care whether Mr.John Smith of Des Moines who died in 1803 ever existed.  I can see perhaps how specific scientific disciplines might have an interest in that god, but for the "day-to-day person"?  Nope.

Fortunately, that question seldom arises.  Believers in non-interventionist deist creators seldom tend to want to force their views on other people, and even when they do, its not usually an issues precisely because of the "non-interventionist" aspect.  Their god doesn't want anything, so there is nothing they have to push onto others.

But I digress - the bigger reason I see it as a sneaky question because it tries to shift the goalposts back - "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" indeed!  "Please prove there are no black swans", as some might put it.  Of COURSE nobody here is going to be able to ask a question, or show the evidence, that there are NO gods out there at all, and its a rather disingenuous thing to ask.  I can't prove there are no black swans in the world, either.

But what I - and we - CAN do is ask questions, and provide the evidence, that knock down all the interventionist gods with particular characteristics that get put forward.  Does your god live in a certain physical place?  Then (as PD points out) we can go there.  Does your god say it will do particular things?  Then we can look to see if those things get done.  Does your god do this, look like that, manifest here, miracle that?  Then we can ask those questions, and (because we are looking at specifics) we can say "NO - THAT god does NOT exist". 

Its a process that has been going on for centuries.  Way back when, EVERYTHING was evidence for god.  But as we move forward, "god" has to retreat, and retreat, as slowly but surely everything that makes that god specific is revealed away as the smoke and mirrors it is, and we end up with an insubstantial and non-interfering "god" that would have been unthinkable to the people of a thousand, or even a hundred years ago.  We NEVER ask a question that makes the likelihood of a god a little MORE likely - NEVER devise the test that says "if there is a god, we should see X, and if there is not, we should see Y", and have X be the outcome.

So I'll repeat PD's question.  What exactly IS your god?  What does it do?  What is its nature?  Answer those questions, and we'll start to nail down the tests and the evidence that will "provide definitive evidence that is in reach that would show the nature of God's existence" - or, rather, the lack of it.  I'm confident that we will blow away the mists that surround your god - whatever that may be - and either reveal that there is nothing there at all, or we will have amended the description of "god" to something completely irrelevant to mankind.

Is there a man behind your curtain, mhaberling?  What IS your god? 

Work with us and lets get to the truth.

I believe God's nature is the following...

Creator of the Universe and Knower of the Truth...
Walked among us in human form to send us one message... Treat each other with love and respect and the world we be a better place
... We failed to get that message...

A god that loves us, wants the best for us...
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 29, 2012, 03:53:18 AM
I believe God's nature is the following...

Creator of the Universe and Knower of the Truth...
Walked among us in human form to send us one message... Treat each other with love and respect and the world we be a better place
... We failed to get that message...

A god that loves us, wants the best for us...

I've highlighted the parts that begin to describe your god.  Lets see if they are testable.

Creator of the Universe - not testable, so far as I can tell, therefore a baseless claim.
Knower of the Truth - potentially testable, though requires that the god can be reliably communicated with and will impart the Truth when requested.....
Walked among us in human form - not test, in my opinion.  Many gods have been said to walk in human form, so unless there is something that verifies your god as opposed to any other tale of human form, I think this is also a non-starter.
loves us, wants the best for us - possibly testable, depending again on whether the god is willing to reliably communicate. 

So two possibilites exist to test your god hypothesis.

1) Question the god directly.  How would you propose that this is carried out?
2) Examine the world to see if the model holds true.  Not possible, I think, for criteria (2), so we need to look at (4): loves us, wants the best for us.

As evidence against this claim:

Central African Republic: 80.3% Christian.  Infant Mortality 9.7% (5th highest in world), life expectancy 45-48 years.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_African_Republic)
The baby killing machine - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2243387/The-Baby-Killing-Machine-Heidi-Roger-arrested-death-second-child-Germany.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2243387/The-Baby-Killing-Machine-Heidi-Roger-arrested-death-second-child-Germany.html)
Rwandan Genocide - in a country that is 93% Christian - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda#Culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda#Culture)
Alzheimers and other dementias - incuable and progressive disease that leaves sufferers confused, frightened, miserable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m18shMbpsQQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m18shMbpsQQ)

I could go on for some time, but I am in danger ofdrifting from the point.  How do you intend to test for your hypothetical god's love, your hypothetical god's wanting the best for us?  IS there a test you can perform, or is this, also, an unprovable claim?

We are, after all, after ways to determine the TRUTH - not wishful thinking, or assumptions.  You'vemade some specific claims there, mhaberling.  Are any of them testable?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 29, 2012, 05:08:14 AM
I was hoping to find out from mhaberling is communication with his god was possible - by prayer, for example, and if the god answered prayer. It seems to me that -

1. the god does answer prayer and thus gives us a new area where we might test the hypothesis

OR

2. There is no communication between people and the god in which case the whole nature of the god would seem to be invented by a human.

I wonder which it is....,
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: shnozzola on December 29, 2012, 08:53:38 AM
Mhaberling,
             Thank you for  remaining and continuing the debate.  We are like a nest of wasps that attack you from all sides at once.  At least the debate is serious and stimulating.

                   When you say:      Creator of the universe         - How do you picture that yourself?  Cause big bang and watch?  Little experiments in many galaxies?    Or is god the whole universe at the same time? Or do you picture  a being that goes from place to place?  Or cause Big Bang but remain and concentrate on the only life possible in the entire universe on earth in the milky way galaxy?  Or do you think this spiritual being was like - whoa, look at these black holes forming - who would of predicted that?

                     There are several videos that have been posted before.  There are lecture videos from Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins on how the current universe is self sustaining and can be self starting from nothing, as science is guessing.  I do not know if you roll your eyes when Lawrence Krauss is mentioned.  I watched this video with an open mind and found it very exciting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjaGktVQdNg


 I am less afraid of people that aren't sure than I am of those who positively know.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 29, 2012, 12:37:10 PM
I would like some definition for communicating and answering prayers... Do you me like a request line or simply just getting questions answered
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 29, 2012, 03:00:04 PM
I would like some definition for communicating and answering prayers... Do you me like a request line or simply just getting questions answered

This is hardly difficult - its largely what it says on the tin. Its only what lots of religious people tell us - that they pray to god and that they get answers. Let's leave it loose and you answer as to the way you see or experience things.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 29, 2012, 09:45:08 PM
I would like some definition for communicating and answering prayers... Do you me like a request line or simply just getting questions answered

This is hardly difficult - its largely what it says on the tin. Its only what lots of religious people tell us - that they pray to god and that they get answers. Let's leave it loose and you answer as to the way you see or experience things.

Ok, Ill say that it is answers without intervention... So you may be answered by god but not in a way to where he does things for you... I don't really think this is testable though..
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: screwtape on December 29, 2012, 10:20:23 PM
I don't really think this is testable though..

why not?  if there is an effect in reality, it should be measurable, detectable and statistically significant.  Otherwise, it is indistinguishable from background noise, and not considered to be an actual effect, ie, not real.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: JeffPT on December 29, 2012, 11:02:53 PM
Ok, Ill say that it is answers without intervention... So you may be answered by god but not in a way to where he does things for you... I don't really think this is testable though..

The fact that you can find nothing testable, measurable, or predictable about the way god answers you should raise some suspicion on your part.  If that is the case, then it holds a lot in common with every other religious belief I've ever heard of. 

Imagine that I told you I prayed to a special red rock every day.  If you asked me to describe how it communicated with me, could I not say that the rock gives me 'answers without intervention'?  I could say that I prayed for rain and if it rained, the rock answered me yes.  If it didn't rain, it answered me no.  If it rained later in the day, then the rock wanted me to wait for it.  Is this similar to what you're talking about when you say you get answers without intervention? 

If you can't distinguish the way your god responds to prayers from the way a rock responds to prayers, then I'd say you really need to revisit your position. 

Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on December 30, 2012, 04:05:51 AM
Ok, Ill say that it is answers without intervention... So you may be answered by god but not in a way to where he does things for you... I don't really think this is testable though..

The fact that you can find nothing testable, measurable, or predictable about the way god answers you should raise some suspicion on your part.  If that is the case, then it holds a lot in common with every other religious belief I've ever heard of. 

Imagine that I told you I prayed to a special red rock every day.  If you asked me to describe how it communicated with me, could I not say that the rock gives me 'answers without intervention'?  I could say that I prayed for rain and if it rained, the rock answered me yes.  If it didn't rain, it answered me no.  If it rained later in the day, then the rock wanted me to wait for it.  Is this similar to what you're talking about when you say you get answers without intervention? 

If you can't distinguish the way your god responds to prayers from the way a rock responds to prayers, then I'd say you really need to revisit your position.
great point but it doesn't apply... I am forwarding that God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint in some cadoesnt do things independently to affect the world... Like to sat a farmers prayer for rain would fall to death ears
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 30, 2012, 04:59:28 AM
great point but it doesn't apply... I am forwarding that God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint in some cadoesnt do things independently to affect the world... Like to sat a farmers prayer for rain would fall to death ears

You are not making this easy, are you? Please be a lot more specific about what you are saying - i.e.

1. "!God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint" Do you mean by this that you consider god advises you of what action to take?

2. Are you also saying that the god you propose cannot or will not intervene to do physical things in the world such as making it rain?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on December 30, 2012, 06:56:53 AM
(DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion, and therefore is my truth. I am, however, willing to cede to brilliant and unstoppable debate. Being proved wrong is the only way we ever learn :)

Truth is a human construct, and therefore is made up of opinion, concensus, research and communication. Fact is immutable.

Example: When Ptolemy asserted that the earth was the center of the universe, he was telling what he honestly thought was the truth. He used his own and other's observations to arrive at a hypothesis, he and other astronomers/astrologers (They were the same thing at this time) tested it with his little device. It was accepted by Government, populace and the vast majority of the scientific community.

However, Ptolemy was not in possesion of all the facts, and that is directly because he was willing to make minor concessions to support his truth. But he believed it completley.

Therefore, truth is a shaky pillar on which to build anything. Fact is far harder to obtain, but the aquisition and application of fact is the only reason we are not crawling in the mud.

P.S. We can delve right into a fantastic philosophical discussion about individual perception re: Fact vs. Truth, but without facts to support it, I don't know how far we'll get.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 3sigma on December 30, 2012, 08:20:13 AM
Ok, Ill say that it is answers without intervention... So you may be answered by god but not in a way to where he does things for you... I don't really think this is testable though..

In other words, you have no way to distinguish your belief from imagination.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 30, 2012, 11:17:39 AM
(DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion, and therefore is my truth. I am, however, willing to cede to brilliant and unstoppable debate. Being proved wrong is the only way we ever learn :)

Truth is a human construct, and therefore is made up of opinion, concensus, research and communication. Fact is immutable.

Example: When Ptolemy asserted that the earth was the center of the universe, he was telling what he honestly thought was the truth. He used his own and other's observations to arrive at a hypothesis, he and other astronomers/astrologers (They were the same thing at this time) tested it with his little device. It was accepted by Government, populace and the vast majority of the scientific community.

However, Ptolemy was not in possesion of all the facts, and that is directly because he was willing to make minor concessions to support his truth. But he believed it completley.

Therefore, truth is a shaky pillar on which to build anything. Fact is far harder to obtain, but the aquisition and application of fact is the only reason we are not crawling in the mud.

P.S. We can delve right into a fantastic philosophical discussion about individual perception re: Fact vs. Truth, but without facts to support it, I don't know how far we'll get.


Welcome Skinz.


I would argue about this with you but right now I have to go to a meeting of my local Flat Earth Society.  ;D


Yep, truth is truth, our take on it is distorted, but at least through science we can be a heck of a lot closer to it than we can via guessing.


Religion is a guess, non-testable. And given that where the Greeks were, 300-400 years before Christ, scientifically, religion is a pretty uneducated guess. Yes, the Greeks were more wrong that we are today, but at least they were basing many of their theories on observation, not obvious fictions.

Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on December 30, 2012, 12:08:14 PM
great point but it doesn't apply... I am forwarding that God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint in some cadoesnt do things independently to affect the world... Like to sat a farmers prayer for rain would fall to death ears

You are not making this easy, are you? Please be a lot more specific about what you are saying - i.e.

1. "!God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint" Do you mean by this that you consider god advises you of what action to take?

2. Are you also saying that the god you propose cannot or will not intervene to do physical things in the world such as making it rain?

That's the point of the above. It gives a chance to fix a god in a permanently unreachable place  - at the cost of his pointlessness - or into the realms of potential scientific checking, in which case he could be shown not to exist as described.

These definitions are all very well but, in the end, they are guesses and those who guess are trying to make sure they have a god who is some use but, at the same time, can never be traced. I claim these positions are not compatible as a god who cannot, at least in principle, be shown to affect matter on earth cannot be any use at all and is demonstrated to be a figment of the imagination of those claiming its existence.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: screwtape on December 30, 2012, 02:32:36 PM
I am forwarding that God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint in some cadoesnt do things independently to affect the world...

I do not understand what you mean.  Please explain your position further.

Quote
Like to sat a farmers prayer for rain would fall to death ears

deaf.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on December 31, 2012, 07:03:00 AM
I would like some definition for communicating and answering prayers... Do you me like a request line or simply just getting questions answered

Well, mhaberling, what I am asking is how - or if - this communication backs up your assertion about your god.  Let's review:

I believe God's nature is the following...
Knower of the Truth...
 loves us, wants the best for us...

I've highlighted the parts that begin to describe your god.  Lets see if they are testable.

Knower of the Truth - potentially testable, though requires that the god can be reliably communicated with and will impart the Truth when requested.....
loves us, wants the best for us - possibly testable, depending again on whether the god is willing to reliably communicate. 

So two possibilites exist to test your god hypothesis.

1) Question the god directly.  How would you propose that this is carried out?

How do you intend to test for your hypothetical god's love, your hypothetical god's wanting the best for us?  IS there a test you can perform, or is this, also, an unprovable claim?

We are, after all, after ways to determine the TRUTH - not wishful thinking, or assumptions.  You'vemade some specific claims there, mhaberling.  Are any of them testable?

You made two very specific claims about your god, both of which could definitely be tested via communication.  "The truth" could be tested by asking (and receiving answers to) certain specific questions, and "wants the best for us" could, again, be tested by receiving direct and specific answers to decision points in our lives.

With the latter, for example, the assertion "wants the best for us" could be evidenced by having direct and specific answers to specific questions in life.  I want the best for my children, so I will answer their questions when they ask them, and offer advice, and assistance.  What I will NOT do (while wishing to retain the description of "wants what is best") is at any point give non-answers, or be vague, or give no answer at all.

So when you ask about communication, what I am asking is whether there is a communication route that enables you - and, crucially, someone else with identical questions - to verify those two specific claims that you have made.

That's the nub of it.  How do you verify the claims you have made?  I've suggested that "communication" would allow verification, so you now need to either demonstrate how communication CAN verify the claim - or admit that communication CANNOT verify your claim, and instead demonstrate the alternative means by which your claims can be demonstrated to be true.....which is, after all, the point of this thread, is it not?  How we can establish the nature of truth?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: JeffPT on December 31, 2012, 09:21:22 AM
great point but it doesn't apply... I am forwarding that God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint in some cadoesnt do things independently to affect the world... Like to sat a farmers prayer for rain would fall to death ears

That's fine to say, but you still haven't distinguished your god's answers from someone who claims that a rock 'advises' them.  You'll need to do that before it can be taken seriously.  And again, if you can't, you need to really think it through.  That voice in your head giving you advice could just be you.

It's interesting to note that devising a test for the person who believes that a rock gives them special advice has the exact same difficulties as devising a test for the person who believes that God gives them advice.  Does that tell you anything? 
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: 12 Monkeys on December 31, 2012, 11:46:54 AM
here is the nature of "truth"

 4000 hungry children per hour starve......out of those 4000,some if not all are praying for food. As they die their prayers go unanswered. Is God ignoring their pleas?

 Now we move to the western world and the middle aged white guy praying to God for a good return financially for his efforts or that the doctor finds his test results to be good news. Either way God answers,either negative or positive is the will of God.......God cant lose.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 02, 2013, 01:47:38 AM
great point but it doesn't apply... I am forwarding that God answers prayers in an advisory standpoint in some cadoesnt do things independently to affect the world... Like to sat a farmers prayer for rain would fall to death ears

That's fine to say, but you still haven't distinguished your god's answers from someone who claims that a rock 'advises' them.  You'll need to do that before it can be taken seriously.  And again, if you can't, you need to really think it through.  That voice in your head giving you advice could just be you.

It's interesting to note that devising a test for the person who believes that a rock gives them special advice has the exact same difficulties as devising a test for the person who believes that God gives them advice.  Does that tell you anything?

I Guess I don't so much care if A person is getting advice from a rock... Would you agree that there is a statistically significance between the people who claim to get there questions answered by rocks and those answered by God... As to the test, you aren't exactly correct. A rock is a physical object, you could destroy it and have it replaced with an Idnetical rock without the believer knowing... God is a metaphysical concept so testing God is harder to do.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on January 02, 2013, 02:33:06 AM
Would you agree that there is a statistically significance between the people who claim to get there questions answered by rocks and those answered by God...

No, I certainly would not.[1]

There is one study out there that found the power of intercessionary prayer helped people, but it was overturned as a massive fraud[2].

On the other hand, the power of positive thinking, aka the placebo effect, is validated by many studies... Maybe you're thinking about that?
 1. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 2. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/columbia_university_miracle_study_flawed_and_fraud
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 02, 2013, 03:03:27 AM
Would you agree that there is a statistically significance between the people who claim to get there questions answered by rocks and those answered by God...

No, I certainly would not.[1]

There is one study out there that found the power of intercessionary prayer helped people, but it was overturned as a massive fraud[2].

On the other hand, the power of positive thinking, aka the placebo effect, is validated by many studies... Maybe you're thinking about that?
 1. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 2. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/columbia_university_miracle_study_flawed_and_fraud

No... what I said, was there is a much larger amount of people who pray and believe they get answers from a god as compared to those getting advice from rocks
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on January 02, 2013, 03:11:27 AM
No... what I said, was there is a much larger amount of people who pray and believe they get answers from a god as compared to those getting advice from rocks

You most certainly did! Sorry man, I totally misread your post... Apologies and retractions.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on January 02, 2013, 05:46:12 AM
Would you agree that there is a statistically significance between the people who claim to get there questions answered by rocks and those answered by God...

Nope.  Because it bears no relation to the truth of the matter, its an appeal to popularity.

Rocks, in fact, answer ALL prayers.  They have senses beyond ours, and so "hear" all prayers that all people make to all gods, and it amuses them to "answer" those prayers as if from the god prayed to.

Initially, people found it more plausible that a "god" answered them, rather than a rock, so more people believed that was in fact what was going on.  So very quickly, you had more people with stories of god-miracles than people with stories of rock-miracles.....and so the undecided found it more socially acceptable and a "safer bet" to pray to god.....and, like I said, the rocks answered those prayers.  The effect snowballed, and we arrived at the situation today, where WAY more people believe in gods than in rocks - but where the rocks STILL answer all the prayers.

The only way your "we've got more, so we must be right" argument would in any way be demonstrable (given the scenario I have posited) is if you could point to studies that showed that devout prayers to a particular god were answered more than similar devout prayers to other gods - or to the rocks. 

Which is why we've been asking for the TESTABLE evidence for your god - and why you've found it so hard to actually show any, and why you prefer these tangential arguments.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: screwtape on January 02, 2013, 09:27:21 AM
No... what I said, was there is a much larger amount of people who pray and believe they get answers from a god as compared to those getting advice from rocks

bold mine.  Who cares what they believe?  People believe all sorts of stupid shit.  Homepathy is but one annoying example.  Belief does not make it fact.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: JeffPT on January 02, 2013, 11:59:55 AM
I Guess I don't so much care if A person is getting advice from a rock...

You should care about as much as the person who claims that an invisible sky man gives them advice.  Both claims deserve equal consideration.  If you don't think they do, then you're adding your personal bias.

Would you agree that there is a statistically significance between the people who claim to get there questions answered by rocks and those answered by God...

Do you mean a numbers difference?  Sure, I would agree that there is a larger number of people who claim to get their questions answered by a god than there are who get questions answered by rocks.  Do you think that matters?  Do you think the two claims should be analyzed differently?  Why? 
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 02, 2013, 04:06:58 PM
What I am saying is that the population of this planet praying to rocks is much less then that praying to god, If that wasn't true this Site would Be called "Why Won't Rocks Heal Amputees?" Since many people believe they receive answers from a god, you would need to show me proof of a flaw in their consciousness that causes them to falsely perceive it, If you can't do that then who is to say that you are not the broken ones??

(PS this is so completely off subject, but I feel that it is the only thing left being discussed in this thread so Ill continue for a bit more at least)
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: naemhni on January 02, 2013, 04:11:46 PM
Since many people believe they receive answers from a god, you would need to show me proof of a flaw in their consciousness that causes them to falsely perceive it

This is a combination of two logical fallacies.

The first is "Appeal to Popularity".  Here, you are saying that since so many people believe something, there must be something to what they believe.  Reality doesn't work that way.

The second is "Begging the Question".  You have not provided any evidence that any of the individuals in question are actually perceiving anything.  Before you can prove or disprove a phenomenon, you must first ascertain whether the phenomenon exists.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 04:51:01 PM
What I am saying is that the population of this planet praying to rocks is much less then that praying to god, If that wasn't true this Site would Be called "Why Won't Rocks Heal Amputees?" Since many people believe they receive answers from a god, you would need to show me proof of a flaw in their consciousness that causes them to falsely perceive it, If you can't do that then who is to say that you are not the broken ones??

(PS this is so completely off subject, but I feel that it is the only thing left being discussed in this thread so Ill continue for a bit more at least)

I'm kind of late to this party. I hope it doesn't feel like a pile-on.

Part of being rational creatures is that not only can we believe something, we can come up with a system that tests those beliefs to determine if the results validate the belief. After all, life requires results.

If someone claims that they are talking to god, and that god is answering them, is it possible to test that belief? Or does god only answer in ways that either cannot be tested (or that is indistinguishable from imagination)?

It would be helpful if you could outline your thoughts on the matter. The site isn't called Why Wont Rocks Heal Amputees, it's WWGHA, because for millenia humans have stated as a fact that that praying to god produces results; in other words, that god exists and  does intervene directly and materially in ways  that we can perceive. That is what people all over the world believe: Prayer produces results.

While people have been believing this for a long, long time, now that we have developed disciplines that can quantify results, we find that the only results prayer achieve are those identical to placebo. Belief in imaginary things can produce similar physiological results to belief in "real" things.

Since many people believe they receive answers from a god, you would need to show me proof of a flaw in their consciousness that causes them to falsely perceive it...

The common belief is that god answers prayers in ways that produce material results in relation to the prayer. Analysis of prayer and result shows that there is no connection beyond the psychological change achieved by merely believing, whether the thing you believe in is real or imaginary. It does not have any effect beyond the person doing the praying, and even that effect is very limited. Believing I am strong enough to lift a tank with my bare hands will NOT make it happen, nor will believing I am genius level IQ enable me to invent perpetual motion machines.

Believing that god answers prayers directly and materially when it can be demonstrated that does not happen, is the flaw in the consciousness. All attempts to prove otherwise achieve results consistent with the statement "god answers only in the same way rocks answer prayers", except that in a pinch you can pick up the rock and throw it at someone.

There's your flaw in their consciousness.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Bagheera on January 02, 2013, 04:55:33 PM
want to know where people are at on this issue... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) but i want to know how the communit is split up on it... and fight!

My opinion? All truth is relative. Yet that statement in and of itself means that even that statement is relative, so there are some truths that are objective, and that statement is one objective truth: All truths are relative.

Basically, we carry our universes around in our brains. Interfere with that brain, and your perception of the universe changes. Whatever our perception of the universe, that's our truth, because that's the only way we can interact with the universe. Measurements, scientific inquiry, logic, reason are all useful tools for fine tuning universal truth, but eventually that's all that it is. And everything springs from that.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 02, 2013, 09:02:24 PM
want to know where people are at on this issue... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) but i want to know how the communit is split up on it... and fight!

My opinion? All truth is relative. Yet that statement in and of itself means that even that statement is relative, so there are some truths that are objective, and that statement is one objective truth: All truths are relative.

Basically, we carry our universes around in our brains. Interfere with that brain, and your perception of the universe changes. Whatever our perception of the universe, that's our truth, because that's the only way we can interact with the universe. Measurements, scientific inquiry, logic, reason are all useful tools for fine tuning universal truth, but eventually that's all that it is. And everything springs from that.
Hey! that has something to do with the OP alright!!! No but seriously this is the first on track post in a while and I thank you for that...

I have a request to the claimer of relative truth. Please say "The truth is relative" without forwarding a definite truth..
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 02, 2013, 09:05:51 PM
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: naemhni on January 02, 2013, 09:46:29 PM
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

I did not say they were wrong.  I simply said that just because a whole bunch of people say and/or believe something, that doesn't mean that they're right.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on January 02, 2013, 09:56:10 PM
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

No, the burden of proof is on the recipients of god's word. If god can tell them something they had no way of knowing, and they can prove they received the information from no other source, then it's considerable, else it's no different from me meditating on an issue and my subconscious providing an answer.

MH, you generally debate with flair and honesty, but now you are asking people to prove the unprovable, i.e. "Prove that there IS no creator!", an obfuscating tactic I thought was below you. I'm sure you've heard this one before, but please think hard about it: Once upon a time, everyone thought the world was flat, and the sun went around us. IT DID NOT MAKE IT SO. Their reasoning was faulty, or they gave credence to bad reasoning, but either way, they were dead wrong and their rock solid belief didn't change a damn thing.

And to head you off at the pass, I know we are speaking of the metaphysical here, not the physical, but if anything that simply places a greater burden on you to prove the metaphysical. Unwise, in my eyes, but then again I play too much chess.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: ParkingPlaces on January 02, 2013, 10:30:37 PM
If prayer were actually working, then statisticians could easily work out which religious group is doing better than anyone else. Which group has less cancer, fewer birth defects, better cure rates for hard to cure diseases, better home life, better than average driving records, etc. If people were actually benefitting from prayer, actuarial tables would be on the side of the right religion.

Actuarials would think that fact so cool that they would tell us. They haven't. Better luck next time.



Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on January 02, 2013, 10:40:35 PM
... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

I do say they are wrong and I accept your challenge of the burden of proof.  Here's a small sample of evidence:

The Holy Spirit made them say it:
(http://marinecorpstimes.com/xml/news/2010/08/ap-funeral-protests-free-speech-phelps-snyder-083010/030910_funeral_protests_500.JPG)
(http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/13/21/26/2954634/3/628x471.jpg)
(http://www.queeried.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/anti-gay-protest-signs7.jpg)


More messages from the sky:
(http://ww1.hdnux.com/photos/15/16/50/3467836/3/628x471.jpg)
(http://www.watzijnditvoorgrappen.nl/wp-content/uploads/angry-muslims.jpg)
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_md61S_gChL0/Sot1xyiv3YI/AAAAAAAAA70/iKeBwqwx5Hc/s400/copticchildren.jpg)
(http://www.realcourage.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/OSA-0001.jpg)


Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on January 02, 2013, 11:46:25 PM
... provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

And then there's how to spread the "faulty" of your "conciousness" to your kids:

(http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/images/ashouramore04.jpg)
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Mpd1ozuoa64/Sz56bjSxi9I/AAAAAAAABf8/2bQlakJVNCc/s1600/Islam+Loves+Blood.jpg)
(http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/ashura-6.jpg)
(http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/ashura-2.jpg)
(http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/ashura-3.jpg)
(http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/ashura-4.jpg)



So one day when they grow up it will be with a healthy "conciousness":

(http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/images/lebanonmuslims.jpg)



Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on January 02, 2013, 11:57:27 PM
Christians have human sacrifice firmly nailed into their collective "consciousness":

(http://atechworld.com/photo/misc/philippine_crucifixion.jpg)


Spot anything "faulty" yet?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 03, 2013, 01:50:57 AM
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

No, the burden of proof is on the recipients of god's word. If god can tell them something they had no way of knowing, and they can prove they received the information from no other source, then it's considerable, else it's no different from me meditating on an issue and my subconscious providing an answer.

MH, you generally debate with flair and honesty, but now you are asking people to prove the unprovable, i.e. "Prove that there IS no creator!", an obfuscating tactic I thought was below you. I'm sure you've heard this one before, but please think hard about it: Once upon a time, everyone thought the world was flat, and the sun went around us. IT DID NOT MAKE IT SO. Their reasoning was faulty, or they gave credence to bad reasoning, but either way, they were dead wrong and their rock solid belief didn't change a damn thing.

And to head you off at the pass, I know we are speaking of the metaphysical here, not the physical, but if anything that simply places a greater burden on you to prove the metaphysical. Unwise, in my eyes, but then again I play too much chess.

Haha... You hit it right on the head... This offshoot of an offshoot of an offshoot of the original topic was about if we could test the existence of prayer or I guess it was narrowed down to what I believe prayer is. What you are saying is absolutely correct, I am asking you to prove an un provable that was the point. What I am saying is that you are not necessarily wrong to believe that prayers to god don't get answered. And neither are the people who do believe. Since an answer to a prayer as I and many others understand it becomes manifest inside your own consciousness, people believing they are answered is evidence but not definitive evidence by ay means, as well as people not believing they see evidence of god is evidence to the contrary but also not definitive by any means. You say you play to much chess, well chess is great but it is not argumentation. If you were to say that people who believe their prayers are answered, then you take on the burden of proving that because you cant see into there consciousness, which means you have determined some other way of knowing the answer. I am happy with a standstill on this because frankly I don't see that either of us have the required evidence to prove the other right or wrong.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on January 03, 2013, 02:34:30 AM
.... which means you have determined some other way of knowing the answer ...

Yes, when people who think their prayers are answered and as a result behave like total asshats (consistent with religious asshats before them) then by observing patterns in their asshattery you can know with reasonable certainty their "consciousness" has been infected by a religious viral meme - or several.  Funny how most new religions have roots in past religions.   
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on January 03, 2013, 04:18:19 AM
What you are saying is absolutely correct, I am asking you to prove an un provable that was the point. What I am saying is that you are not necessarily wrong to believe that prayers to god don't get answered. And neither are the people who do believe.

You admit slicing purposely towards a phyrric victory? Were you a general, your men would despise you and probably roast you alive!

Seriously though , someone has to be wrong. You can't pick up a rock and, with an air of occult, declare "This rock exists and simultaneously does not exist" because if someone like me was there, they would prove to you the undeniable reality of the rock. Similarly, if I say "Prayers don't get answered" and you say "Prayers do get answered", one of us is wrong.

I love philosophy, but I make minimum wage and must have my feet firmly on the ground. I am unmoved by fantasy.

If you were to say that people who believe their prayers are answered, then you take on the burden of proving that because you cant see into there consciousness, which means you have determined some other way of knowing the answer.

No. It is up to the recipient of god's favour to prove they have had a prayer answered. What you are saying is this:

"If I wish upon a star, and I don't tell you what the wish is, you can't prove it hasn't come true."

... So the hell what?

Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on January 03, 2013, 04:40:45 AM
If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

Interesting.  I said that:

Rocks, in fact, answer ALL prayers.  They have senses beyond ours, and so "hear" all prayers that all people make to all gods, and it amuses them to "answer" those prayers as if from the god prayed to.

Are you accepting the same burden of proof you pushed at Pianodwarf and telling me I am wrong? 
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on January 03, 2013, 04:44:46 AM
.....I don't see that either of us have the required evidence to prove the other right or wrong.

Heh - posted before I changed page, so I guess this answers my question.  So I guess you are accepting that your original position.....
... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) .....
.....is unsupportable and you are now agreeing that truth is relative?  Because if you AREN'T, then you need - as we have been asking for 6 pages - to demonstrate how you can be sure that Truth is definite. 
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 07:39:25 AM
Pianodwarf... If a significant people claim that they pray and receive answers from god inside their own consciousness, And you say that they are wrong... You have accepted the burden of proof, and then should provide a reason why their consciousness is faulty and yours is not. Can you do that?

the 'IF' is the important bit here!

Firstly, a claim like this would need a bit of backing up. For a start I have known a lot of church people and none of them ever claimed to have received any messages from a god. This is only my experience but of course in more evangelical areas maybe people do receive this sort of thing or maybe they say that they do so as not to look out of place!

Secondly, we need to know something about the things people think they get from their god. Frequently people's claims to have 'heard from god' amount to reinforcing their own views. One would have thought that, just sometimes, their god will tell them they were wrong and needed to change. Occasions of this latter sort would be very interesting.

Finally, we need to evaluate these claims to have received anything from a god. The brain is a very complicated organ and much of it works in the background only revealing what it has been doing to the conscious mind later on. Research (I haven't got any links right now) has suggested that when faced with an important decision, the subconscious works away at it and then presents the conscious mind with a choice and the conscious mind then has to think of the reasons why it is the right choice. Now thinking about something for which one wants to pray might have the same effect and the act of praying might just be the right time when the conscious brain gets to know the answer the sub-conscious brain has been working out. The result would feel like getting a message from outside but, in reality, is just inter-brain communication at work. We would need to be able to rule that possibility out before concluding that the messages do come from outside.

Any thoughts, mhaberling?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on January 03, 2013, 07:56:26 AM
For a start I have known a lot of church people and none of them ever claimed to have received any messages from a god. This is only my experience but of course in more evangelical areas maybe people do receive this sort of thing or maybe they say that they do so as not to look out of place!

Secondly, we need to know something about the things people think they get from their god.

My old mum, 86 years old and a devout catholic, told me that when she was in the back yard hanging out some washing to dry, God actually told her that she had left the stove on in the kitchen.  Sure enough when she went inside to check the stove it was turned up high and the pressure cooker was about to explode (just like it had exploded once before  :o )

And another time she just could not find the plastic bag she was looking for, became exasperated, prayed for help, and suddenly there it was right where she had looked before  :o :o

I shouldn't really be saying this stuff about my mother that I love and don't have for much longer - but if I asked her I know she'd be quite happy for me to supply these examples as her testimony, and she'd probably add a few more to be helpful.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 09:51:01 AM
For a start I have known a lot of church people and none of them ever claimed to have received any messages from a god. This is only my experience but of course in more evangelical areas maybe people do receive this sort of thing or maybe they say that they do so as not to look out of place!

Secondly, we need to know something about the things people think they get from their god.

My old mum, 86 years old and a devout catholic, told me that when she was in the back yard hanging out some washing to dry, God actually told her that she had left the stove on in the kitchen.  Sure enough when she went inside to check the stove it was turned up high and the pressure cooker was about to explode (just like it had exploded once before  :o )

And another time she just could not find the plastic bag she was looking for, became exasperated, prayed for help, and suddenly there it was right where she had looked before  :o :o

I shouldn't really be saying this stuff about my mother that I love and don't have for much longer - but if I asked her I know she'd be quite happy for me to supply these examples as her testimony, and she'd probably add a few more to be helpful.

The snag with these examples are that we can also see them as moments when your mother's subconscious pushed the information into her conscious though - probably due to the concentration on prayer.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: William on January 03, 2013, 10:13:32 AM
The snag with these examples are that we can also see them as moments when your mother's subconscious pushed the information into her conscious though - probably due to the concentration on prayer.

Yes, I agree that is most certainly one mechanism of the apparent success of prayer. 

Another mechanism is cherry picking events that conform to the required outcome and ignoring events that don't.  Note my mother's pressure cooker had blown up before with no prior warnings from God  ;)

When my wife's father was dying of cancer she (with me loyally but somewhat skeptically in tow) got caught up in the activities of a prayer group - we were stars of the prayer performances while he still lived but from the day he died we got the cold shoulder - effectively shunned.  I'm fairly sure (from the looks I got) they believed it was me who was the arch contaminant - the one who didn't have enough faith to achieve critical mass to pull off this miracle.  So even a failure reinforced their concept of truth.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 03, 2013, 11:27:31 AM
.....I don't see that either of us have the required evidence to prove the other right or wrong.

Heh - posted before I changed page, so I guess this answers my question.  So I guess you are accepting that your original position.....
... is truth definite or relative? (im in the definite side) .....
.....is unsupportable and you are now agreeing that truth is relative?  Because if you AREN'T, then you need - as we have been asking for 6 pages - to demonstrate how you can be sure that Truth is definite.
Wait, what... How does this discussion have anything to do with the nature of truth, I've said twice now I thought it was completely off topic an I was only entertaining it for conversation's sake
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 11:49:41 AM


Wait, what... How does this discussion have anything to do with the nature of truth, I've said twice now I thought it was completely off topic an I was only entertaining it for conversation's sake

How so? we are discussing the nature of truth and one of factors that leads people to declare something to be 'truth' is religion which relies, in part, on prayer. Indeed, given the way science is always provisional and always growing, one might say that religions are the only places that proclaim 'truth' (well their own version of what might be truth to the rest of us.) Now if we were to pass over this discussion of prayer and the answers to prayer we might well miss out the the most important area that claims to have 'truth'.

Sure, philosophy has much to say but when it comes down to it, for the ordinary person, truth is of a practical nature (how to live my life, how did humans come to exist, when will the universe end) so we need to tackle that which the ordinary person might think of as truth. I can't think of anything more likely to be 'truth' than that which comes from the mouth of the creator of the universe (well, apart from the fact I do not think there is such a character) and this is certainly the case for believers. So I say we need time to look at that aspect of the truth as it relates to people claiming to hear the word of their god which, if it were true that they heard the word of a god, could change the way all of us live.

Of course, mhaberling, if you find this a tough area to tackle....
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 03, 2013, 12:08:50 PM
Wheels, what people treat as true and what is true are to different things. You may go through your life thinking there is no god. Even though you accept the faint possibility of one the lack of a god is something you TREAT like truth. However your opinion on the matter is entirely disjoint of the truth itself. If we are going back to the original discussion and involving God, would you agree that there is a God or there is Not. One of those is the definite truth. If you would say neither of those are true then you a claiming the truth is relative. So no I don't think we need to tackle the practicality of truth for a normal person because the Truth has no burden to be practical. Maybe I misunderstood you, If so please explain.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 03, 2013, 12:26:03 PM
Wheels, what people treat as true and what is true are to different things. You may go through your life thinking there is no god. Even though you accept the faint possibility of one the lack of a god is something you TREAT like truth. However your opinion on the matter is entirely disjoint of the truth itself. If we are going back to the original discussion and involving God, would you agree that there is a God or there is Not. One of those is the definite truth. If you would say neither of those are true then you a claiming the truth is relative.

Ah, so here is a problem to start with. Something is true even if no one knows it. Gravity was still just as true before there was anyone to even think it a problem. That no one knows and answer to a problem, like is there a god, that doesn't mean that one of these isn't true. Certainly there is either a god or there is not but no one actually knows this. It doesn't matter how this is answered by you or by me or by millions of people in the world - no one knows which is right yet it is certainly true that one answer is right.

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So no I don't think we need to tackle the practicality of truth for a normal person because the Truth has no burden to be practical. Maybe I misunderstood you, If so please explain.

I think only a mathematician or a philosopher would be happy with the concept of "Truth having no burden to be practical." Compared with those two professions, truth impacts on our daily lives - it settle what we think and who we are, it keeps us safer (not jumping out of high windows because of the truth about gravity) and so forth. Surely you don't want to leave truth juts to those professions and leave the rest or us to stagger along? Religious truth impacts on my life and yours. I as a non-theist still have to pay, via the tax exemptions and so on given to religions. I have to listen to people telling me 'what god has told them'. We need to understand and settle what is truth and what is not to be able to carry our daily lives.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: mhaberling on January 04, 2013, 02:03:10 AM
Then I think we agree that the truth is definite...

I would argue on your second point that belief impacts our daily lives, our belief in a truth, not the truth itself. Truth is simply information, and is impartial
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2013, 05:02:15 AM
Then I think we agree that the truth is definite...

Well yes, though, to some extent this is by definition - how we define truth. Still, yes, we can agree that truth is definite even though, for some things, we don't actually know what the truth is.

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I would argue on your second point that belief impacts our daily lives, our belief in a truth, not the truth itself. Truth is simply information, and is impartial

I agree that truth is quite a matter of fact and, clearly, can't take sides in any sort of discussion. Yes, it is the way people use facts that causes problems. After all, the truth is not always that convenient and gets ignored as a result.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on January 04, 2013, 05:14:42 AM
Language clafication: In the context of this debate, does Truth = Fact?

EDIT: Could that misspelling be considered ironic?
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2013, 05:21:49 AM
Language clafication: In the context of this debate, does Truth = Fact?

EDIT: Could that misspelling be considered ironic?

As I see it, truth is a description of information indicating its, er, truthfulness. Any fact we ever consider has the potential to be true or false (Boolean in fact) and I am taking it that is what is meant. For example, it is true there are spacecraft on Mars but false that there are little green men there.

On the other hand, there is the fact of whether there is a god or not. This, in the parlance of part of the Bush era, is a known unknown. No one knows for certain yet there has to be an answer. I guess the lack of an answer will keep this forum running for many years.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Skinz on January 04, 2013, 05:48:51 AM
No worries. I was wondering, because this is such a slut of a language, and people use it any old which way in every location. Sometimes people say "Well YOUR truth isn't the same as MY truth", and I thought we were getting into these odious shady areas.

In that case, fact is fact, whether it is observed by humans or not. However, humans claiming something is a fact without observational proof is delusion, or imagination, or whatever you want to call it, but it sure as shit ain't fact.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on January 04, 2013, 06:09:08 AM
Apologies - I had a brain burp there I think.

Then I think we agree that the truth is definite...

Yeah, me too....with the slight caveat that for one event there can be a number of definite truths - for example, what physically happened, and how that event made two different witnesses feel. 

So yes - there is the definite truth that there IS, or IS NOT a god.  And there are the definite truths about how the concept of god makes a person feel.

BUT, if we are searching for the answer to that "definite truth", then we need to be able to determine that definite truth of the existence of god.  Unless either side can testably prove that truth, we can say nothing about the existence of god, only about how the concept of god makes a person feel.

The bulk of this thread has been about attempting to find questions that can help us determine the definite truth about god.  Thus far, I've seen NO questions or tests that point to a "yes, god exists" as the answer to that truth (quite the reverse), but rather a series of questions that can only tell us about the truth "I believe god exists".
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: wheels5894 on January 04, 2013, 06:29:34 AM

The bulk of this thread has been about attempting to find questions that can help us determine the definite truth about god.  Thus far, I've seen NO questions or tests that point to a "yes, god exists" as the answer to that truth (quite the reverse), but rather a series of questions that can only tell us about the truth "I believe god exists".

I don't think the OP was wanting to get into a 'is there a god or not debate' here but to address the question of truth. I'm not sure we can escape without some discussion of this topic though. So far as I know, the concept of a god is entirely proposed by those who want they concept accepted (and to be in charge of course!) and no one has come up with any evidence to support it or, really, to deny it either. I suppose we will never solve this one - unless the theists are right and we have to serve out our past death live somewhere, or course.
Title: Re: nature of truth
Post by: Anfauglir on January 04, 2013, 07:44:05 AM

The bulk of this thread has been about attempting to find questions that can help us determine the definite truth about god.  Thus far, I've seen NO questions or tests that point to a "yes, god exists" as the answer to that truth (quite the reverse), but rather a series of questions that can only tell us about the truth "I believe god exists".

I don't think the OP was wanting to get into a 'is there a god or not debate' here but to address the question of truth.

Aye, fair enough.  And I'm happy to say that I believe that there IS a definite truth for everything....with the caveat that the question you are asking may need to be distinct and definite in what it is asking.  A certain thing will exist, or not (Boxed Cats aside), and that is a fact.  It may not be possible to determine its existence, but I don't believe anything can in actuality be two opposing things at once, although its relationship or effect may be different to different people it interacts with.