Book review: ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’ by Amir D. Aczel

  

Category:  Religion & Ethics

Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  504 comments

Book review: ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’ by Amir D. Aczel
And here we come to the fascinating irony of the fine-tuning problem. Both the theological explanation and the scientific explanation require faith. To be sure, there are huge differences between science and religion. Religion knows about the transcendent experience. Science knows about the structure of DNA and the orbits of planets. Religion gathers its knowledge largely by personal testament. Science gathers its knowledge by repeated experiments and mathematical calculations, and has been...

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Book review: ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’ by Amir D. Aczel


By Alan Lightman April 10, 2014




Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist and professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. His latest book is   “The Accidental Universe.”

In “Einstein, God, and the Big Bang,” a colorful chapter of his new book, Amir D. Aczel maintains that Albert Einstein truly believed in God. He points out that Einstein attended synagogue during his year in Prague (1913). He repeats several famous Einstein utterances mentioning the Deity: “Subtle is the Lord, but malicious he is not” and “I want to know God’s thoughts — the rest are details.” And he quotes from a letter the great physicist wrote to a little girl in January 1936: “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.”

Aczel goes on to express strong displeasure with such people as physicist Lawrence Krauss and evolutionary biologist   Richard Dawkins   (who, in his bestseller   “The God Delusion,”   says that Einstein “didn’t really mean it”) when they cast Einstein as an atheist in support of their diatribes against religious belief.

Dawkins; Krauss, with his bestseller   “A Universe From Nothing” ; and Sam Harris, with his bestseller   “The End of Faith,”   are prominent New Atheists, who use modern science to argue that God is not only unnecessary but unlikely to exist at all, even behind the curtains. There’s a certain religious fervor in all these books. Atheists, unite.

Aczel, trained as a mathematician, currently a research fellow in the history of science at Boston University and the author of   “Fermat’s Last Theorem,”   takes aim at the New Atheists in his intelligent and stimulating book   “Why Science Does Not Disprove God.”   He attempts to show that the New Atheists’ analyses fall far short of disproving the existence of God. In fact, he accuses these folks of staining the scientific enterprise by bending it to their dark mission. (“The purpose of this book is to defend the integrity of science,” he writes in his introduction.) Yet Aczel has a sly mission of his own. Invoking various physical phenomena that do not (yet) have convincing scientific explanations, he sets out not only to debunk the arguments of the New Atheists but also to gently suggest that the findings of science actually point to the existence of God.

97800622305911396980541.jpg?uuid=36HMdL9IEeOe5wLB4QoD8A   “Why Science Does Not Disprove God" by Amir Aczel” by Amir D. Aczel. (William Morrow)

In stockpiling his arguments, Aczel quotes from his interviews with dozens of leading scientists and theologians, and interprets statements in a range of popular writings. The resulting book is part science (interesting but superficial summaries of cosmology, quantum mechanics, evolutionary biology, chaos theory), part history of religion, part philosophy, part spirituality, and a modicum of backbiting and invective. The latter applies to the writings of the New Atheists as well.

Let’s start with the origin of the universe. There is plenty of good scientific evidence that our universe began about 14 billion years ago, in a Big Bang of enormously high density and temperature, long before planets, stars and even atoms existed. But what came before? Krauss in his book discusses the current thinking of physicists that our entire universe could have emerged from a jitter in the amorphous haze of the subatomic world called the quantum foam, in which energy and matter can materialize out of nothing. (On the level of single subatomic particles, physicists have verified in the lab that such creation from “nothing” can occur.) Krauss’s punch line is that we do not need God to create the universe. The quantum foam can do it quite nicely all on its own. Aczel asks the obvious question: But where did the quantum foam come from? Where did the quantum laws come from? Hasn’t Krauss simply passed the buck? Legitimate questions. But ones we will probably never be able to answer.

In his foray into biology, Aczel says the theory of evolution is flawed. In particular, he points out that it does not explain altruistic behavior with no apparent survival benefit to the genes of the do-gooder. He cites a recent example of a Mount Everest climbing expedition in which an Israeli climber was well on his way to the top when he discovered a fallen Turkish climber who had lost his face mask and oxygen supply. At the cost of his own fingers and toes to frostbite, and sacrificing the glory of reaching the summit, the Israeli stopped and saved the life of the Turkish fellow. Why did he do it? “Human decency and goodness,” Aczel writes, with the implication that such qualities come from religion and spirituality. (In another chapter, he explains how a code of morality developed in early religions.)

Aczel discusses the mysteries of “emergent” phenomena — when a complex system exhibits a qualitative behavior that cannot be explained in terms of the workings of its individual parts: for example, the emergence of self-replicating life from inanimate molecules or the emergence of consciousness from a collection of connected neurons. He writes, “The inexplicability of such emergent phenomena is the reason why we cannot disprove the idea of some creative power behind everything.”

I disagree. It is not the inability of science to explain some physical phenomenon that shows we cannot disprove the existence of a creative power (i.e., God). Science is a work in progress, and phenomena that science cannot explain now may be explained 100 years from now. Before the 18th century, people had no explanation for lightning. The reason that science cannot disprove the existence of God, in my opinion, is that God, as understood by all human religions, exists outside time and space. God is not part of our physical universe (although God may choose to enter the physical universe at times). God is not subject to experimental tests. Either you believe or you don’t believe.

Thus, no matter what scientific evidence is amassed to explain the architecture of atoms, or the ways that neurons exchange chemical and electrical signals to create the sensations in our minds, or the manner in which the universe may have been born out of the quantum foam, science cannot disprove the existence of God — any more than a fish can disprove the existence of trees. Likewise, no matter what gaps exist in current scientific knowledge, no matter what baffling good deeds people do, no matter what divine and spiritual feelings people have, theology cannot prove the existence of God. The most persuasive evidence of God, according to the great philosopher and psychologist   William James   in his landmark book   “The Varieties of Religious Experience”   (1902), is not physical or objective or provable. It is the highly personal transcendent experience.

There is one scientific conundrum that practically screams out the limitations of both science and religion. And that is the “fine tuning” problem. For the past 50 years or so, physicists have become more and more aware that various fundamental parameters of our universe appear to be fine-tuned to allow the emergence of life — not only life as we know it but life of any kind. For example, if the nuclear force were slightly stronger than it is, then all of the hydrogen atoms in the infant universe would have fused with other hydrogen atoms to make helium, and there would be no hydrogen left. No hydrogen means no water. On the other hand, if the nuclear force were substantially weaker than it is, then the complex atoms needed for biology could not hold together.

In another, even more striking example, if the cosmic “dark energy” discovered 15 years ago were a little denser than it actually is, our universe would have expanded so rapidly that matter could never have pulled itself together to form stars. And if the dark energy were a little smaller, the universe would have collapsed long before stars had time to form. Atoms are made in stars. Without stars there would be no atoms and no life.

So, the question is: Why? Why do these parameters lie in the narrow range that allows life? There are three possibilities: First, there might be some as-yet-unknown physics that requires these parameters to be what they are. But this explanation is highly questionable — why should the laws of physics care about the emergence of life? Second possibility: God created the universe, God wanted life (for whatever reasons), so God designed the universe so that it would allow life. Third possibility, and the one favored by many physicists today: Our universe is one of zillions of different universes with a huge range of parameters, including many different values for the strength of the nuclear force and the density of dark energy.

Some universes have stars and planets, some do not. Some harbor life, some do not. In this scenario, our universe is simply an accident. If our particular universe did not have the right parameters to allow the emergence of life, we wouldn’t be here to talk about it. In a similar way, Earth happens to be at the right distance from the sun to have liquid water, a nice oxygen atmosphere and so on. We can ask why our planet has all these lovely properties, amenable to life. And the explanation is that there is nothing special or designed about Earth. Other planets exist. But if we lived on Mercury, where the temperature is 800 degrees, or on Neptune, where it is 328 degrees below zero, we could not exist. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that we cannot prove the existence of these other universes. We must accept their existence as a matter of faith.

And here we come to the fascinating irony of the fine-tuning problem. Both the theological explanation and the scientific explanation require faith. To be sure, there are huge differences between science and religion. Religion knows about the transcendent experience. Science knows about the structure of DNA and the orbits of planets. Religion gathers its knowledge largely by personal testament. Science gathers its knowledge by repeated experiments and mathematical calculations, and has been enormously successful in explaining much of the physical universe. But, in the manner I have described, faith enters into both enterprises.

Several years ago, I thought that the writings and arguments of such people as Dawkins and Aczel, attempting to disprove or prove the existence of God, were a terrible waste of calories. I have changed my mind. I now believe that the discussions of science and religion, even the attempts of one side to disprove the other, are part of the continuing and restorative conversation of humanity with itself. In the end, all of our art, our science and our theological beliefs are an attempt to make sense of this fabulous and fleeting existence we find ourselves in.

Alan Lightman   is a physicist, novelist and professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT. His latest book is   “The Accidental Universe.”




Article is LOCKED by author/seeder
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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
And here we come to the fascinating irony of the fine-tuning problem. Both the theological explanation and the scientific explanation require faith. To be sure, there are huge differences between science and religion. Religion knows about the transcendent experience. Science knows about the structure of DNA and the orbits of planets. Religion gathers its knowledge largely by personal testament. Science gathers its knowledge by repeated experiments and mathematical calculations, and has been enormously successful in explaining much of the physical universe. But, in the manner I have described, faith enters into both enterprises.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

from the Introduction to the book

The past few years have seen the rapid growth of the idea that God and science cannot possibly coexist. I feel that many people who hold this view distort both the process of science and its value. Science is about the objective pursuit of truth, and we should be very skeptical when “science” is invoked to further someone’s sociocultural agenda.

The purpose of this book is to defend the integrity of science. I firmly believe that spirituality, religion, and faith have important roles to play in our lives. They keep us humble in the face of the great wonders of nature; they help maintain our social values, promoting the care for our weak and poor; and they provide hope and some moral code in our ever more complicated modern world. Science and spirituality are both integral parts of the human search for truth and meaning; they provide us possible paths of comprehending and appreciating the vast cosmos and our place in it.

This book is not written from the perspective of any one faith tradition, nor does it seek to defend our often flawed religious institutions. “God” here is used in the broadest possible sense: the Creator. Spirituality, including religious faith, is understood to be the age-old human impulse to know, respond, and possibly align with this absolute, original, and eternal force, without which the universe would not exist. My goal is to restore science and faith to their proper realms and end the confusion sown by those who aim to destroy faith in the name of science.

As a science writer who has made a career of reporting on some of the most complicated and exciting advances in science and mathematics over the past quarter century, I realize that in publishing this book I am taking a risk. In these pages I am attacking the arguments of many prominent scientists and thinkers, and I understand that my doing so will likely lead to criticisms of my book. But I feel very strongly that the integrity of science has been compromised by some New Athiest writers and that it is important to set things straight and to restore the distinction between rigorous logic and overreaching supposition. 
 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
4  Dismayed Patriot    3 weeks ago

I haven't met an atheist or scientist yet who claimed science 'disproved' God. Most atheists are 'agnostic atheists' who simply see no proof of God but wouldn't go so far as to say what humans might define as God definitely doesn't exist, that would be a 'gnostic atheist'. 

I've also never met a believer who could actual prove their brand or any brand of God, but there are far more gnostic theists (believe there definitely is a God regardless of proof) than there are gnostic atheists.

As for science, it doesn't take sides, it simply studies actual testable, definable universal phenomenon in an attempt to understand our universe better.

If there was a trail of verifiable evidence of anything supernatural science would follow it to its end regardless of what the results or conclusions might be, even if it proved there was a God. There is no trail to follow to prove there is no God, to prove such a thing you'd have to be able to look in every corner of the universe and possibly beyond. There is only the trail of truth to follow for true scientists. Now there will always be partisan scientists hired by parties invested in the results, like the scientists hired by the oil and gas industry who are tasked with undermining other scientific data for their own personal financial benefit. And the same is true of religions who get partisan scientists to try and undermine scientific data with wild fantasies in an effort to support their God theories hired by fundamentalist's like Ken Ham.

no matter what scientific evidence is amassed to explain the architecture of atoms, or the ways that neurons exchange chemical and electrical signals to create the sensations in our minds, or the manner in which the universe may have been born out of the quantum foam, science cannot disprove the existence of God

The fact is science doesn't make the claim "there is no God" therefore it has no burden of proof to disprove any God.

Theists do make a claim that "there is a God" therefore they do have the burden of proof but have been coming up short since God theories began. For thousands of years they have proclaimed unexplained phenomenon as their proof, the problem is that the more science explores and understands those phenomenon it ends up undermining the believers premises (which is often the unpinning of their faith) that those phenomenon are proof of their God. If they truly want to maintain their faith I recommend not trying to tie their faith to still unexplained phenomenon since they just never know when, through study, experimentation and observation, that phenomenon could be explained and prove to be free of any supernatural origin.

So while science cannot disprove God, it can be very useful for disproving the false narratives where believers claim unexplained phenomenon are evidence of their God. Lightning can no longer be simply attributed to angry deities in the sky because we now understand it far better now through science. And while that may be a bad thing for those who still believe in Zeus, most rational humans can see that science is truly doing us a favor by being able to explain many things that were once simply attributed to the supernatural.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    3 weeks ago
Theists do make a claim that "there is a God" therefore they do have the burden of proof but have been coming up short since God theories began.

They dont have the burden of proof any more than an atheist does who says the big bang proves there was no need for God. 

This "burden of proof " business is an attempt by atheism to claim the default position. When neither side has any "proof" the default position is a mighty valuable thing to have. 

People who believe in God have no burden to "prove" the existence of God to you unless they are trying to force you to believe, which is basically impossible. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago

The "burden of proof" is a concept of logic. The one who makes a claim of certainty bears the burden of proving the claim. A claim for or nay sans proof is logically indefensible. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

I dont think there are very many religious believers who are into "proving " the existence of God. They take God's existence as a matter of course due to their faith. You keep wanting people who debate with you to "prove" God exists, when you are the only one in the discussion that cares about proof. 

The God of the Bible, the Koran, the Hindu or Buddhist scriptures, tribal religions, they are all cultural expressions. No one has to "prove" any of it.  Nor should any of them try to force their beliefs on others. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

I only challenge those who claim with certainty that God exists or is responsible for something.   If someone says it's just their belief, then fine. But there are certain individuals who do claim god as fact, which invites challenge. Like I said, belief does not equal fact either.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.3    3 weeks ago

No one can prove God exists, no one can prove God doesnt exist.  Its even in the article I seeded. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

Tru dat!

So if someone cannot satisfy the burden of proof, they should not make a claim of certainty.

Thus:  "no god exists" and "my god exists" are both unprovable claims (unless one plays semantic games with the definition of the word 'god').

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.6  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

This is true. But it's the claims of certainty that warrant challenge. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.6    3 weeks ago

Exactly.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
4.1.8  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago
They don't have the burden of proof any more than an atheist does who says the big bang proves there was no need for God.

Someone saying there is "no need for God" is very different than saying "there is no God".

People who believe in God have no burden to "prove" the existence of God to you unless they are trying to force you to believe, which is basically impossible.

People who believe in God have no burden to "prove" the existence of God unless they are proselytizing aka trying to convince others of the veracity of their beliefs. As for the claim it's "basically impossible" to try and "force" others to believe, history proves it not only very possible but occurred with frequency.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.9  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.1.8    3 weeks ago
People who believe in God have no burden to "prove" the existence of God unless they are proselytizing aka trying to convince others of the veracity of their beliefs.

Proselytizers dont use logic, they use emotion. They dont have any burden of proof. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.10  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.9    3 weeks ago
Proselytizers dont use logic, they use emotion.

At least that much is true.

They dont have any burden of proof. 

Wrong!  They make the claim, they bear the burden of proof. An emotional state does not automatically absolve them of that. It just likely means they really can't prove their claim and is basically BS!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.11  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.10    3 weeks ago

No , you're wrong. No one has to prove to you that God exists according to your "science" prerequisites in order to promote their faith. 

You are talking about your own preferences. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.9    3 weeks ago

Depends on the claim.   "My god exists;  no way I am wrong" bears the burden of proof.   "I believe my god exists" does not.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.13  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.11    3 weeks ago

He is referencing the philosophical burden of proof.    Hardly his invention.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.14  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.11    3 weeks ago
No , you're wrong. No one has to prove to you that God exists according to your "science" prerequisites in order to promote their faith.

It has nothing to do with faith or not. It's all about the claim made. 

You are talking about your own preferences. 

I'm talking about logic and logical fallacies.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
4.1.15  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

That is why I call myself a liberal agnostic.  I don't believe there is a God but who am I to say that there isn't.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.11    3 weeks ago

This is probably a shock, but I agree with you on this.

People who believe in God or a god do not have any obligation to prove anything to anyone.

Period.

No matter what they claim.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.17  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.16    3 weeks ago
People who believe in God or a god do not have any obligation to prove anything to anyone.

That is correct, there is no obligation to prove anything for mere belief.

And even when someone declares with certainty that their god exists and that they could not possibly be wrong, there is no obligation for them to prove anything.

They bear the burden of proof, not an obligation to deliver proof.

Do you understand the difference here?

The burden of proof is a liability on their argument.   A claim of certainty that does not satisfy the burden of proof that it bears becomes an unproven assertion.   If this claim is in an argument then the argument will be unsound. 

So, in simple terms, the burden of proof speaks to the demonstrated veracity of the claim and its use in an argument.    It is not some legal or moral obligation to actually deliver the proof.

This is logic we are talking about here.

So, if someone says:

My god exists (100% certainty)

They bear the burden of proof because of that certainty.  

Thus someone can legitimately challenge them to deliver the proof.

If they do not deliver the proof, their claim is basically bullshit.   That is the consequence.   They are not obliged to defend their claim; they would only do so if they cared about the veracity of the claim as seen by others.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.18  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.17    3 weeks ago

Look, this is the exact same argument I have seen here many, many times.

I believe in God. I don't care if anyone else does.

God exists for me.

I have no need to explain, justify, or validate my faith.

I don't agree with people who proselytize, and I don't do it myself--ever.

I do not ask anyone to prove their faith or the existence of God, because I realize that it really is not any of my business what others believe.

Seems like a monumental waste of time to me, so I am always wondering what the people who demand proof of God get out of making those demands.

Especially when they know that God's existence can not be proven.

I don't see any point in wasting hours on here debating whether He exists or not. It accomplishes ZERO.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.19  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.18    3 weeks ago

Did you not read what I wrote?  

I have no need to explain, justify, or validate my faith.

Nobody is forcing you to do so.

I am always wondering what the people who demand proof of God get out of making those demands.

Again, Texan, I have explained this in very clear terms.   You comment as if people approach you and demand that you deliver proof of God.   But that is not what happens in this forum (to my knowledge).   Proof of God only arises when you make a claim like:  "My god exists and there is no possibility I am wrong".   That claim is irrational because of the 100% certainty.   For you to have that certainty you would need to be omniscient.   The challenge "Prove it" is challenging your implied claim of omniscience (perfect knowledge).

Especially when they know that God's existence can not be proven.

I doubt anyone challenging you as above thinks you can deliver proof.   That is not the point.   The point is to challenge your impossible claim.   If your claim was something like "I believe in my god" then the challenge of "Prove it" does not apply and makes no sense.   It would be asking you to prove that you hold your stated belief.   No, Texan, it is the claim of certainty that is challenged.

Another example:  "The Earth is flat; no way that I am wrong" is a claim of certainty that logically should be challenged with "Prove it" whereas "I think the Earth is flat;  but I could be wrong on that" is not a claim of certainty and "Prove it" does not apply.

I don't see any point in wasting hours on here debating whether He exists or not.

I almost never see a debate on whether or not God exists.   The debate is usually about something else where the premise that God exists is foundational to their argument.   In that case, that implied premise is often exposed and noted as necessary to the argument and thus needs to be proved true.   That is logic 101:  all premises of an argument must be true in order for the argument to be sound.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.20  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.19    3 weeks ago
Did you not read what I wrote?  

Of course I read what you fucking wrote.

Nobody is forcing you to do so.

Not anything I have claimed, so what is your point?

Obviously, whatever point I made escaped your understanding, so I'll just leave it alone for now.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.21  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.19    3 weeks ago

Have any of your comments on this seed addressed the premises of the seeded article?

It is not the inability of science to explain some physical phenomenon that shows we cannot disprove the existence of a creative power (i.e., God). Science is a work in progress, and phenomena that science cannot explain now may be explained 100 years from now. Before the 18th century, people had no explanation for lightning. The reason that science cannot disprove the existence of God, in my opinion, is that God, as understood by all human religions, exists outside time and space. God is not part of our physical universe (although God may choose to enter the physical universe at times). God is not subject to experimental tests. Either you believe or you don’t believe. Thus, no matter what scientific evidence is amassed to explain the architecture of atoms, or the ways that neurons exchange chemical and electrical signals to create the sensations in our minds, or the manner in which the universe may have been born out of the quantum foam, science cannot disprove the existence of God — any more than a fish can disprove the existence of trees. Likewise, no matter what gaps exist in current scientific knowledge, no matter what baffling good deeds people do, no matter what divine and spiritual feelings people have, theology cannot prove the existence of God. The most persuasive evidence of God, according to the great philosopher and psychologist William James in his landmark book “The Varieties of Religious Experience” (1902), is not physical or objective or provable. It is the highly personal transcendent experience.

You continue to insist that people who want to profess belief in God do so through scientific evidence. As the passages above show us, that is not the way it works. 

Moreover, very few people claim to be able to "prove" the existence of God, it is not even something that "believers" normally think about. You think about it and Gordy thinks about it. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.22  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.20    3 weeks ago
Of course I read what you fucking wrote.

Your reply reads as though none of it sunk in.

Yet another angry, trollish comment in reply to a serious attempt by me to communicate with you.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.23  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.22    3 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.24  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.21    3 weeks ago
You continue to insist that people who want to profess belief in God do so through scientific evidence.

Where do I insist that?   Deliver a quote.

Moreover, very few people claim to be able to "prove" the existence of God, it is not even something that "believers" normally think about. You think about it and Gordy thinks about it

Nobody can prove the existence or inexistence of god (barring a definition of 'god' that could indeed be shown to not exist as defined due to contradiction).

Obviously you have not been reading my posts.   I have explained this now several times right here in this seed.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.25  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.21    3 weeks ago
The reason that science cannot disprove the existence of God, in my opinion, is that God, as understood by all human religions, exists outside time and space.

Where do you find me suggesting that science can disprove the existence of God (where God, in this case, is defined as supernatural)?    What, precisely, is your complaint?    Making vague complaints makes it impossible for me to intelligently respond to same.   I have to guess at what you are talking about.

Did you not even read my response @5?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.26  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.22    3 weeks ago
Your reply reads as though none of it sunk in.

Then that is merely YOUR Interpretation. [deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.27  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.17    3 weeks ago
They are not obliged to defend their claim; they would only do so if they cared about the veracity of the claim as seen by others.

Yeah, I don't care what others think about MY faith. Their doubts or lack of belief on God doesn't interest me at all. Nor do their opinions carry any weight with me.

 
 
 
Sister Moosh Noosh Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
4.1.28  Sister Moosh Noosh Ample Bottom  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.27    3 weeks ago

[removed]   

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.29  JBB  replied to  Sister Moosh Noosh Ample Bottom @4.1.28    3 weeks ago

BRAVA!

 
 
 
Dig
Masters Guide
4.1.30  Dig  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago
This "burden of proof " business is an attempt by atheism to claim the default position.

I'm surprised nobody responded to that. Atheism is the default position. Nobody is born with knowledge of man-made myths about imaginary deities, any more than they're born with knowledge of other man-made myths like vampires or Santa Claus. It all has to be learned. At birth our minds are a default blank slate.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.31  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Dig @4.1.30    3 weeks ago
Atheism is the default position. Nobody is born with knowledge of man-made myths about imaginary deities, any more than they're born with knowledge of other man-made myths like vampires or Santa Claus.

Absolutely not. First of all, if God exists, its existence is not in the slightest dependent on what human beings think. 

Second, are human beings born with a belief that there is no God? I doubt it. They learn that too dont they? 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4.1.32  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.31    3 weeks ago
First of all, if God exists, its existence is not in the slightest dependent on what human beings think.

Of course.  The opposite is true as well - if God doesn't exist, no amount of believing and declaring him to exist will poof him into existence.

Second, are human beings born with a belief that there is no God?

They are born without a belief in God.  They are taught belief in gods.  You believe in the Abrahamic god because it's what you've been taught.  If you'd been born in ancient Greece, you'd be paying respects to Zeus and Hera.  If you'd been born in pre-Christian Britain, you'd dance around a bonfire at Beltane.  If you'd been born in India, you might be worshipping Vishnu.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.33  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.32    3 weeks ago
They are born without a belief in God.  They are taught belief in gods. 

Are they born with a belief that there is no God? 

With all due respect to the point of view that the default belongs to atheism because babies are born without a belief in God, it is ridiculous. 

Babies are born without any beliefs and have nothing to do with whether or not there is a "default position" on God's existence. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.34  TᵢG  replied to  Dig @4.1.30    3 weeks ago

I have done so in the past with JR.  He just nuh'uhs the fact that we are born without knowledge of any god and that all 'knowledge' of a god is a result of learning and what is learned is a function of one's environment.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.35  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.33    3 weeks ago
Are they born with a belief that there is no God? 

No, babies are not born as gnostic atheists.   They are born as agnostic atheists.   They are not convinced there is a god ... they do not even know what a god is.

Being born without any beliefs translates into agnostic atheism.   Gnostic and agnostic theism both are based on a belief in a god and gnostic atheism is based on the belief there cannot be a god.   Only agnostic atheism allows one to be free of a belief of or against a god or gods.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.36  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.34    3 weeks ago

Dig said that babies being born with no information about God one way or the other demonstrates that atheism is the default position. That is absurd. 

They are born without any information about baseball either. Does that then mean that the default position should be that baseball doesnt exist ? 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4.1.37  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.33    3 weeks ago

They are born without any beliefs regarding any gods, period.

Atheism is the lack of a belief in gods.  It is not necessarily an absolute claim that there is no god.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.38  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.36    3 weeks ago
Dig said that babies being born with no information about God one way or the other demonstrates that atheism is the default position. That is absurd. 

Why is that absurd?   Do you have evidence that babies even have a concept of god?   I think it is absurd for you to suggest that babies are born with a concept of god.

They are born without any information about baseball either. Does that then mean that the default position should be that baseball doesnt exist ? 

Oh, so you acknowledge that babies are born without knowledge of god.   So what is the problem here?

You insist on defining atheism as:  'no god exists'.   That is utterly naive and wrong.   You think that atheism = gnostic atheism when in reality almost every atheist is an agnostic atheist.

Agnostic atheism = 'I am not convinced a god exists'.   That is profoundly different from:  Gnostic atheism = 'No god exists'.

No way do I believe you incapable of making the distinction.  So why do you insist on redefining atheism as simply the irrational position of gnostic atheists?

Babies are not convinced a god exists.   Obviously.  They do not even know what a god is.   They are, thus, by default, agnostic atheists.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.39  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.38    3 weeks ago
I think it is absurd for you to suggest that babies are born with a concept of god.

You are not making the slightest bit of sense.  I never said that babies are born with a concept of God.

The rest of your comment I do not understand. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.40  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.39    3 weeks ago
I never said that babies are born with a concept of God.

You did by implication.   Dig posited that babies are not born with a concept of god and you called his posit absurd:

Dig @4.1.30I'm surprised nobody responded to that. Atheism is the default position. Nobody is born with knowledge of man-made myths about imaginary deities, any more than they're born with knowledge of other man-made myths like vampires or Santa Claus. It all has to be learned. At birth our minds are a default blank slate.

What, JR, do you think that implies?  

The rest of your comment I do not understand. 

If you recognize that babies have no concept of god then obviously they cannot possibly be convinced a god exists.   That is exactly the position of the agnostic atheist:  'I am not convinced a god exists'.

Babies are all agnostic atheists by default.   To change that condition, they must be taught the god concept and then, ultimately, they will either be persuaded that a particular god exists (theism) or not (atheism).

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.41  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.40    3 weeks ago
  Dig posited that babies are not born with a concept of god and you called his posit absurd:

The absurdity was that babies being born without a concept of God means that the default position is atheism. 

You skip over that I said this in another comment

With all due respect to the point of view that the default belongs to atheism because babies are born without a belief in God, it is ridiculous.  Babies are born without any beliefs and have nothing to do with whether or not there is a "default position" on God's existence. 
 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.42  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.31    3 weeks ago
First of all, if God exists, its existence is not in the slightest dependent on what human beings think. 

A big 'if,' but also true. We cannot honestly say with certainty if god exists or not.

are human beings born with a belief that there is no God? I doubt it.

A lack of belief is not a belief in itself.

Are they born with a belief that there is no God? 

I doubt they are born with any beliefs. Beliefs are generally taught and/or personally derived.

I never said that babies are born with a concept of God.

That would make babies agnostic atheists by default. They don't know one way or another, but rather have that position shaped by outside influences.

The absurdity was that babies being born without a concept of God means that the default position is atheism. 

Are you suggesting theism is the "default?" 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.43  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.41    3 weeks ago
The absurdity was that babies being born without a concept of God means that the default position is atheism. 

Why is that absurd?   A baby has no concept of god.   That means the baby does not believe in a god.   That means the baby is technically atheist.  (Agnostic atheist to be specific.)

With all due respect to the point of view that the default belongs to atheism because babies are born without a belief in God, it is ridiculous.  Babies are born without any beliefs and have nothing to do with whether or not there is a "default position" on God's existence. 

Then use the language 'default condition' as I noted earlier.   Does that not clear things up for you?   A baby is born an agnostic atheist because the baby is not convinced there is a god ... the baby could not be convinced since the baby does not even know what a god is.

By default of birth, we all start out as agnostic atheists.  

 
 
 
Dig
Masters Guide
4.1.44  Dig  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.36    3 weeks ago
Dig said that babies being born with no information about God one way or the other demonstrates that atheism is the default position. That is absurd. 

It's not absurd. It's the truth. They lack belief in gods because they've never even heard of them. The default position for newborn brains is a lack of "belief" in everything, by the way, not just god concepts. As we grow up and gain experience with reality, we tend to learn how to discern between what is real and what isn't. Or some people do, anyway.

You are obviously aware of how gullible, if not downright stupid so many people can be, in light of the recent QAnon conspiracy stuff and the idea that Trump won the election. You post about it all the time, about how there's absolutely no evidence for any of it. You seem to be fully aware that it's all nonsense that people have glommed on to for factional, cultish reasons that affirm something about their own psychological perceptions of identity. Strange that you can't (or refuse to) connect the dots in the same way when it comes to theistic concepts, which are alternate reality conspiracy theories in their own right.

They are born without any information about baseball either. Does that then mean that the default position should be that baseball doesnt exist ? 

Yes. And it is. Nobody "believes" baseball exists before they've even heard of it. That's putting the cart before the horse. Unlike gods, however, the existence of baseball can be learned about and then quickly confirmed with empirical evidence. You can see baseball. You can see people playing it. You can learn the rules and play it yourself. And everything about it obeys the known laws of physics. No magic. No leap of faith required.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.45  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.43    3 weeks ago
Why is that absurd?   A baby has no concept of god.   That means the baby does not believe in a god.   That means the baby is technically atheist.  (Agnostic atheist to be specific.)

Babies dont believe in mathematics or physics either. Should we have a default that mathematics and physics dont exist because babies dont believe in them?

The argument that atheism is the default position because babies dont know about God is absurd. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.46  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.45    3 weeks ago
Babies dont believe in mathematics or physics either. Should we have a default that mathematics and physics dont exist because babies dont believe in them?

That is not what Dig stated.   I think you are purposely pretending to not understand his point.

Dig did not say that the default is that babies believe that god does not exist.   He wrote that they have no beliefs at all (shit, just read his latest):

Dig @ 4.1.44 ☞ They lack belief in gods because they've never even heard of them. The default position for newborn brains is a lack of "belief" in everything, by the way, not just god concepts.

So, to correct your misstatement, babies by default do not believe that 1+1=2 or that gravity is what causes them to fall down.   They have no concept of arithmetic or gravity and thus hold no beliefs about same.

Similarly, babies have no concept of god and thus have no beliefs about same.    If one does not believe in a god, one is by the very definition of the term, an atheist.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.47  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.46    3 weeks ago

No matter what people say to you guys, you want to frame it all in a way that is favorable for your previously stated positions. 

Forget about mathematics. Are babies born believing that murder is wrong?  There is no evidence for that, at all, is there? Then are we to believe that "murder is OK" is a default? 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.48  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4.1.35    3 weeks ago

Babies are born innocent. If concepts of God are not in the world for exposure and vice-versa concepts denying or seeking physical evidences of God. . . a child would have to find such concepts in itself. . .or not.

There is a Christian hymnal chorus:

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart
Songwriters: Alfred H. Ackley
"[God] lives within my heart." Is a remarkable consideration on how such notions, concepts and beliefs to build upon enter into hearts and minds with permanence.
 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.49  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.47    3 weeks ago
No matter what people say to you guys, you want to frame it all in a way that is favorable for your previously stated positions. 

I think we are being consistent and disallowing our meaning to be misrepresented.

Forget about mathematics. Are babies born believing that murder is wrong? 

No.  They do not understand what murder is.   They do not understand right vs. wrong.   

There is no evidence for that, at all, is there? Then are we to believe that "murder is OK" is a default? 

No, the default is that a baby does not know if murder is right or wrong because the baby has no concept of murder.   That does not translate into 'murder is OK' in any way, shape or form.


Why do you pretend to not understand the very simple notion that because a baby is born with no knowledge of god that the baby thus 'has no belief in any god' and is ipso facto atheist?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.50  TᵢG  replied to  CB @4.1.48    3 weeks ago
Babies are born innocent.

And are blank slates (cognitively).  

If concepts of God are not in the world for exposure and vice-versa concepts denying or seeking physical evidences of God. . . a child would have to find such concepts in itself. . .or not.

Until that happens, the child does not believe in a god.   Correct?   If so, when the child does not believe in a god (for whatever reason) that child is by definition an atheist.  

What are you trying to accomplish here CB?    Are you going to eventually claim that babies are born theists (they believe in a god before they even know what a god is)?    If not then they are born atheists (they do not believe in a god because they do not even know what a god is).

So tell me where you think this is headed.

 
 
 
Dig
Masters Guide
4.1.51  Dig  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.47    3 weeks ago
Are babies born believing that murder is wrong?  There is no evidence for that, at all, is there? Then are we to believe that "murder is OK" is a default? 

They are not born believing that murder is wrong because they have no conception of it yet. It's not even a question of right and wrong, or of morality and immorality, because that kind of stuff has to be learned socially, after the default condition of amorality (just like religious concepts aren't a thing for them yet, making them initially atheistic by default).

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.52  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.50    3 weeks ago
Are you going to eventually claim that babies are born theists (they believe in a god before they even know what a god is)? 

I posed a similar question to John above. No answer, no surprise.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
4.1.53  Kathleen  replied to  CB @4.1.48    3 weeks ago

I have to agree that religion does live in your heart. It’s a personal preference and a very touchy subject for many people. That is why even though I am not a religious person, I try to respect their opinion without putting them down. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.54  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.52    3 weeks ago
Are you going to eventually claim that babies are born theists (they believe in a god before they even know what a god is)? 
I posed a similar question to John above. No answer, no surprise.

What are you talking about? Who has claimed babies are born theists? This is why I dont "debate" you people more. It is just endless objection to anything anyone says that you dont agree with. 

The existence of God cannot be disproven through science. That was the premise of the seeded article.  How many of your comments on this seed address that premise? I dont think there were many. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.55  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.54    3 weeks ago
The existence of God cannot be disproven through science.   That was the premise of the seeded article. 

I do not think anyone disagrees with that (assuming the definition of 'God' is supreme entity or sentient creator or equivalent).  

I noted this earlier.   What else can one say if one agrees?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.56  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.54    3 weeks ago
Who has claimed babies are born theists?

I think you want to assert that babies are all agnostic.   That is true.   They have no knowledge so they are pristine agnostics.

But 'agnostic' is a measure of knowledge.  When one questions the theology of babies the result must be theist or atheist.   There is either a belief in some deity or there is not.   If you object to babies having no belief in a deity (meaning they are atheists) then you must be arguing that they are theists.

I think you want to limit discussion to simply focus on knowledge and labeling babies agnostic so as to ignore the fact that in terms of theology, we are all born  atheists (agnostic atheists to be more precise).

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
4.1.57  Kathleen  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.47    3 weeks ago

When you are born, you don’t know anything other then messing themselves and drinking from a nipple. Other then that, everything else is taught. As far as being born a atheist or not, you don’t know what either of those things are.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.58  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @4.1.57    3 weeks ago

Correct.    We do not know the concept of theist, atheist, heaven, hell, arithmetic, physics, etc.   In particular, we as babies obviously do not believe in any god.   There is a name for that.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.59  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.54    3 weeks ago
What are you talking about? Who has claimed babies are born theists?

You said the idea that babies are born atheist as a default was absurd. What is the alternative?

The existence of God cannot be disproven through science.

Yes, that has been established. Now what?

How many of your comments on this seed address that premise? I dont think there were many. 

I've already said science doesn't deal with god or establishing proof one way or another. So what's left? What more are you looking for?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.60  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.59    3 weeks ago
What are you talking about? Who has claimed babies are born theists?
You said the idea that babies are born atheist as a default was absurd. What is the alternative?

How about neither?  For someone so religiously logical you forgot about that one. 

I think I'm done with this. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.61  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.60    3 weeks ago
How about neither?  For someone so religiously logical you forgot about that one. 

If one has no religion, belief, or theistic concept at birth, then one is agnostic atheist by default. They may not remain that way, but that is the starting point. Why is that such a problem?

religiously logical

A contradiction in terms.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.62  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4.1.50    3 weeks ago

Is a baby is born innocent, it does not conceive of God one way or the other: positively or negatively.

Something (whether) strange just happened in your commenting to me which threw me off-balance for a second: It appeared you were "attacking me" in your third paragraph without provocation. . . until 'seconds' later I assume you are responding to my mention of the Christian hymn: He Lives.

Are you asking me for my intentions (here) regarding the "message" in the hymn—without acknowledging its presence in my comment?

Moving down further. Of course, I am not claiming babies are born theists, when born innocent. I stated so @4.1.48. The hymn is an after-affect learned through living and speaks to education and 'knowing' through other means.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.63  CB   replied to  Dig @4.1.51    3 weeks ago

Babies are innocent. They are not atheists in any sense, because being an atheist is a state of being, it is an informed condition where one is decidedly against, or inconclusive about holding to a belief in God.

Does this make sense? Is not - why not?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.64  CB   replied to  Kathleen @4.1.53    3 weeks ago

:)

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.65  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1.61    3 weeks ago
A contradiction in terms.

Nope. Believe it or not religiously has more than one meaning. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.66  TᵢG  replied to  CB @4.1.62    3 weeks ago
Is a baby is born innocent, it does not conceive of God one way or the other: positively or negatively.

Agreed.

Something (whether) strange just happened in your commenting to me which threw me off-balance for a second: It appeared you were "attacking me" in your third paragraph without provocation. . . until 'seconds' later I assume you are responding to my mention of the Christian hymn: He Lives.

My third paragraph was asking where you were taking the discussion.  I was asking, in effect, what point you were making.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.67  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4.1.66    3 weeks ago
@4.1.48  There is a Christian hymnal chorus:
He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart
Songwriters: Alfred H. Ackley
"[God] lives within my heart."
Illustrates my point.
And, is a remarkable consideration on how such notions, concepts and beliefs to build upon enter into hearts and minds with permanence.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4.1.68  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.65    3 weeks ago
Nope. Believe it or not religiously has more than one meaning. 

Religiosity is the state of being religious or too religious. Since I am not religious, your statement is erroneous.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
4.1.69  Kathleen  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.18    3 weeks ago

I feel pretty much the same. It’s not going anywhere, because there will never be an answer. I see the same thing day after day. I do think that there might be something out there, but we can’t connect with it yet. If someone thinks that is stupid, well too bad.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5  TᵢG    3 weeks ago

Anyone who claims that science has proved that there is no sentient creator should not be speaking for science because the individual clearly does not understand science.

There are specific claims attributed to a god that science has, inadvertently, provided extremely convincing evidence to the contrary.    For example, the belief that human beings were created in our current form directly from the elements (and not the result of billions of years of evolution).    And prior to that, the primitive beliefs such as gods controlling thunder, volcanoes, etc.

But science does not ever engage in trying to disprove 'god'.   There is no 'god' hypothesis in science.   Science observes phenomena, gathers formal evidence and surmises potential explanations (hypotheses).   If, after much experimentation, validation, challenges, etc. an hypothesis turns out to reliably explain the phenomena, is backed by solid evidence, has predictive capabilities (especially if verified) and is falsifiable then it elevates to the level of scientific theory.

The notion of a 'god' has absolutely nothing to do with this and will not unless, as some time, we uncover actual evidence of a supreme entity.   Then the 'god' hypothesis would be a consideration of science.

Bottom line, science does not disprove a sentient creator ... it does not even concern itself with such matters.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
5.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @5    3 weeks ago
Bottom line, science does not disprove a sentient creator ... it does not even concern itself with such matters.

Exactly.  Science is not in the business of proving or disproving a god.  It doesn't even try.  It searches for knowledge without reference to the existence or nonexistence of a creator.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5.1    3 weeks ago

And if evidence were to emerge to warrant an hypothesis, science would be all over it.   Discovering a sentient creator theory could be the greatest achievement ever.  

But first the evidence must arrive.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6  TᵢG    3 weeks ago
Both the theological explanation and the scientific explanation require faith.

That depend on whether or not an individual holds the explanation to be truth.

Typically, theological explanations are held by the faithful as truth.

The scientific explanation of multiple universes is not held as truth.   It is simply an hypothesis pending further exploration.   There is no faith involved.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
7  Kathleen    3 weeks ago

I did not know if there is a god or not, but I do know that my family is with me somehow, and that’s a fact!

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
7.1  Split Personality  replied to  Kathleen @7    3 weeks ago

They are certainly in your memories, some would say your heart.

that's a good thing.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
7.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  Split Personality @7.1    3 weeks ago

It is... somethings you just can’t explain, and it’s too profound to just be a coincidence. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8  Nerm_L    3 weeks ago

Another debate between theists and atheists.  The arguments are overly constrained to a binary conclusion that there is or isn't a God.  Science versus God.  That stark contrast may sell books but is not particularly enlightening.

Is astrology science or religion?  Is Feng Shui science or religion?  Both astrology and Feng Shui utilize direct observation of objective reality and depend upon cause/effect relationships.  Both astrology and Feng Shui incorporate deities, as a matter of convention, but neither astrology or Feng Shui involve anything that could be considered religious practices.  Astrology and Feng Shui do not include worship, prayer, offerings, rituals, or devotion to deities.

Astrology and Feng Shui are based upon the idea that the universe is controlled by determinate physical relationships and that the deterministic universe influences the indeterminate human condition.  Both astrology and Feng Shui are based upon observations of a complex, well ordered, and predictable objective reality.

Astrology and Feng Shui have all the characteristics associated with science.  Astrology and Feng Shui use physics as a tool as do many other sciences.  Astrology and Feng Shui have none of the characteristics associated with theist religion.  And astrology and Feng Shui have few, if any, of the characteristics associated with pagan religion.  So, are astrology and Feng Shui science or religion?

What differentiates astrology and Feng Shui from climate science or evolution science or social science?  

Does astrology and Feng Shui disprove God?  IMO the debate is more than just an argument between theists and atheists.  The real contrast at the heart of the argument is between determinism and indeterminism.  Are we controlled by a determinate objective reality or can we exert our own independent influence on objective reality?

Science based upon the idea that knowledge allows us to control and shape objective reality to what humans desire really is searching for God.  Only a god can overcome determinism and act independently to alter objective reality according to their will.  In many respects, scientists are theists who have not yet found God.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8    3 weeks ago
The arguments are overly constrained to a binary conclusion that there is or isn't a God.  Science versus God. 

You are doing the constraining.   Where do you see a debate on whether or not God exists here?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1    3 weeks ago
You are doing the constraining.   Where do you see a debate on whether or not God exists here?

I didn't say anything about existence, either.  You're addressing a point that isn't there.

The question of disproving God is all about whether or not a belief in God is justified.  The arguments between theists and atheists are about belief in God, not about the existence of God.  The belief does exist.  Faith does exist.

The question being posed is whether or not scientific facts address belief and faith.  Does belief and faith in science disprove belief and faith in God?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.1    3 weeks ago
I didn't say anything about existence, either.  You're addressing a point that isn't there.

Did you forget what you just wrote??:

Nerm @8The arguments are overly constrained to a binary conclusion that there is or isn't a God.
 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.1.3  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.2    3 weeks ago
Did you forget what you just wrote??:

What I wrote is that the arguments are overly constrained to a binary conclusion there is or isn't a God.  A belief is a conclusion.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.3    3 weeks ago

And in doing so you did indeed write of existence.

Sometimes it is best to not try to deny the glaringly obvious.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.1.5  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.4    3 weeks ago
And in doing so you did indeed write of existence. Sometimes it is best to not try to deny the glaringly obvious.

I was writing about conclusions, belief, and faith.  I have corrected what you incorrectly highlighted to prove that point and refute your claim.  Since you wish to bring existence into the discussion, belief exists.  The conclusion exists.  Faith exists.

Are astrology and Feng Shui science or religion?  Astrology and Feng Shui have the characteristics associated with science but have none of the characteristics associated with theist religion.  Does astrology and Feng Shui disprove a belief in God?  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.6  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.1.5    3 weeks ago

I am done with you again Nerm.   I have no patience for such blatant intellectual dishonesty.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8    3 weeks ago
Only a god can overcome determinism and act independently to alter objective reality according to their will. 

Can a god be surprised?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2    3 weeks ago
Can a god be surprised?

Human behavior is indeterminate and unpredictable.  Humans have certainly been endowed with the ability to surprise God.  

According to Biblical scripture, humans have convinced God to change a course of action, convinced God to intercede, and angered God.  Biblical scripture suggests that humans have surprised God at times.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.1    3 weeks ago
Humans have certainly been endowed with the ability to surprise God.  

How does one surprise an omniscient entity?   If an entity knows everything (past, present and future), explain how surprise is possible.

I predict you will be fast and loose with semantics of common words.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.3  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.1    3 weeks ago
According to Biblical scripture, humans have convinced God to change a course of action, convinced God to intercede, and angered God.  Biblical scripture suggests that humans have surprised God at times.

I'm bowing out of this conversation.  I have had this discussion too many times to be interested in re-hashing today the similarities and differences of thousands of gods that have been created, worshipped and discarded throughout human history.

Maybe, I'll find some new info to bring to a new discussion in the future.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.3    3 weeks ago

Understandable since whatever you write will be dismissed in venues like this.   The best result to ever expect is a civil, thoughtful disagreement or maybe some new twist might emerge that you had not considered.   I call this mining for gold.  

The overwhelmingly common result, however, is intellectually dishonest tactics.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.5  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.2    3 weeks ago
How does one surprise an omniscient entity?   If an entity knows everything (past, present and future), explain how surprise is possible. I predict you will be fast and loose with semantics of common words.

I can only relate that Biblical scripture describes instances suggesting God has been surprised by humans.  Human behavior is indeterminate and unpredictable.  A God that acts out of anger and disapproval of human behavior and expresses regret for acting in anger does suggest that humans have the capacity to surprise God.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
8.2.6  JBB  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.5    3 weeks ago

If God is all knowing, why is The Bible full of stories about how mankind confounds him?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.5    3 weeks ago
A God that acts out of anger and disapproval of human behavior and expresses regret for acting in anger does suggest that humans have the capacity to surprise God.

Thus when the Bible defines God as having perfect knowledge of past, present and future the Bible has produced a definition of God that is a contradiction.

That God, as defined, cannot exist.   X and ~X cannot both be true.

Now, there could be a God that is similar to what the Bible defined as long as it is defined free of contradiction.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.8  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.4    3 weeks ago
The overwhelmingly common result, however, is intellectually dishonest tactics.

I am married to a narcissist.  This is the only level of discourse that he is capable of.  

I have no way of knowing the true personalities of people online, but I have learned to be very wary of people who talk past the point made or ignore it altogether.  Being defensive, angry and hostile - all red flags that no one should ignore whether online or offline.

I wouldn't have thought to use that terminology, but you are correct, I am online to mine for gold.  And occasionally, I am rewarded enough to make it worthwhile.

Offline, when I desire conversation, I go shopping and have conversations with people shopping for the same items I am.  Sometimes, it is really interesting, but at least, it is socially polite.  This usually takes care of my need for social interaction.

 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.9  Nerm_L  replied to  JBB @8.2.6    3 weeks ago
If God is all knowing, why is The Bible full of stories about how mankind confounds him?

Beats me.  I never said God is all knowing.  That was TiG.  Direct your question to TiG and ask why TiG believes God is all knowing.

I've only pointed out that Biblical scripture is full of stories about how mankind confounds God; just as you have stated.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.10  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.9    3 weeks ago

Do you disagree with the Bible's definition of God as omniscient:  perfect knowledge of past, present and future?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.11  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.7    3 weeks ago
Thus when the Bible defines God as having perfect knowledge of past, present and future the Bible has produced a definition of God that is a contradiction.

That God, as defined, cannot exist.   X and ~X cannot both be true.

Now, there could be a God that is similar to what the Bible defined as long as it is defined free of contradiction.

Are humans knowable?  Is evolution knowable?  Is the behavior of life knowable?  What you are describing is a God that knows everything that can be known.  But does that mean a God knows what cannot be known?  I can only point to Biblical scripture that suggests God has been surprised by humans.  The Biblical description of God may not be a contradiction since humans may not be knowable.  The contradictions in the Bible may tell us more about humans than they tell us about God.

Astrology and Feng Shui attempts to apply what can be observed, predicted, and known to the unpredictable behavior of humans.  Astrology and Feng Shui attempts explain the indeterminate using knowledge of the determinate.  Does knowing the determinate really provide knowledge of the indeterminate?  Does that mean astrology and Feng Shui are science or religion?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.12  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.11    3 weeks ago

If God has perfect knowledge of the past, present and future then God knows everything.   There is nothing that is unknowable to God per this definition.

You are trying to make X and ~X both true.   While entertaining, it is pointless.   Try something else.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.13  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.3    3 weeks ago
I'm bowing out of this conversation.  I have had this discussion too many times to be interested in re-hashing today the similarities and differences of thousands of gods that have been created, worshipped and discarded throughout human history. Maybe, I'll find some new info to bring to a new discussion in the future.

I've directly answered your question.  You asked can God be surprised?  The answer is yes.  Biblical scripture suggests God has been surprised by humans.

What does that have to do with similarities and differences between thousands of gods?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.14  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.12    3 weeks ago
You are trying to make X and ~X both true.   While entertaining, it is pointless.   Try something else.

I'm pointing out that the situation may be X and Y rather than X and ~X as you have claimed.  I've pointed out that your logic may not describe the actual situation.

Humans may be unknowable; humans may be beyond knowing.  Even an omniscient God can only know what can be known.  That which is unknowable cannot be construed as knowledge.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.15  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.14    3 weeks ago
I'm pointing out that the situation may be X and Y rather than X and ~X as you have claimed. 

Now that is just abstract bullshit Nerm.   I give an X and ~X and you say ... oh no, really it is Y and not ~X.

Even an omniscient God can only know what can be known.  That which is unknowable cannot be construed as knowledge.

That which is unknowable is so abstract as to be meaningless.   We were talking about an omniscient entity.   If an entity has perfect knowledge of past, present and future then there is no possible way to surprise it.   You cannot surprise it with 'non-knowledge'.   Your argument is ridiculous.

Give me an example of how an entity with perfect knowledge of past, present and future can be surprised (learn something that it did not know and actually did not even expect)?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.16  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.13    3 weeks ago
What does that have to do with similarities and differences between thousands of gods?

Science does not concern itself with proving or disproving any of the tens of thousands of gods that men have created.  Why would scientists not study whether a god existed or not?  

Yahweh was just another evil god that demanded blood was spilled as a tribute - including human blood sacrifice.  Yahweh is not unique in this regard because Yahweh was created along the lines of the gods that were in vogue at the time.  Hence, the comment that I wasn't wasting my time researching and referencing the history of the region because I knew it would be ignored.  If anyone cares about the history of world religions then they can do their own research.

Furthermore, if Yahweh was real, the last thing I would do is worship it.

I find ALL of the following to be unacceptable and immoral.  

This is ALL in the Bible that you are citing.

People either don't know what is in their Bible or don't care.  I have real difficulty to believe that anyone, with other an abhorrent personality, could willingly worship the god the Bible.

If this is evidence of Yahweh's form of love, I believe the world would have always been better off without it.  Certainly, the men, women and children slaughtered, tortured, raped, pillaged, etc., would have been better off.  The men carrying out the slaughter, torture, rape and pillage are supposedly doing this on Yahweh's orders.  Not the kind of people that I want in my life.

Evil Bible .com – Fighting Against Immorality in Religion

Welcome to the EvilBible.com website.

This website is designed to spread the vicious truth about the Bible.  For far too long priests and preachers have completely ignored the vicious criminal acts that the Bible promotes.  The so called God of the Bible makes Osama Bin Laden look like a Boy Scout. This  God, according to the Bible, is directly responsible for many mass-murders, rapes, pillage, plunder, slavery, child abuse and killing, not to mention the killing of unborn children.  I have included references to the Biblical passages, so grab your Bible and follow along.

It always amazes me how many times this  God orders the killing of innocent people even after the Ten Commandments saidThou shall not kill. For example,  God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21).

God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there.  He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3).  He orders another attack and the killing ofall the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses(Joshua 6).  In Judges 21 He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be forcibly raped and married. When they wanted more virgins, God told them to hide alongside the road and when they saw a girl they liked, kidnap her and forcibly rape her and make her your wife!

Just about every other page in the Old Testament has  God killing somebody!  In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church!  In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered

The God of the Bible also allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11), child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 & Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9).  This type of criminal behavior should shock any moral person.

Murder, rape, pillage, plunder, slavery, and child abuse can not be justified by saying that some god says it’s OK.  If more people would actually sit down and read the Bible there would be a lot more atheists like myself.  Jesus also promoted the idea that all men should castrate themselves to go to heaven: For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it(Matthew 19:12).  I don’t know why anyone would follow the teachings of someone who literally tells all men to cut off their privates.

The  God of the Bible also was a big fan of ritual human sacrifice and animal sacrifice.

And just in case you are thinking that the evil and immoral laws of the Old Testament are no longer in effect, perhaps you should read where Jesus makes it perfectly clear: It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid (Luke 16:17). There are many more quotes on this topic at my  Do Not Ignore the Old Testament  web page.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.17  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.16    3 weeks ago

You have a thing for attacking the God of the Bible. Many atheists do. Its not really pertinent to this discussion though. 

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.18  mocowgirl  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.17    3 weeks ago
You have a thing for attacking the God of the Bible. Many atheists do. Its not really pertinent to this discussion though.

How is the god of the Bible different from all of the rest of the tens of thousands of gods that science does not concern itself about?

Quoting Yahweh of the Bible is not an attack on Yahweh of the Bible.  I have actually read the Bible.  I know what the Bible says.  I also attended various sects of the Christian religion for close to 30 years and heard their interpretations of the Bible.  I don't recall any of them saying that any of it did not happen on Yahweh's orders and Yahweh was pleased and rewarded his chosen people for doing his bidding. 

Maybe some of the 30,000 sects that I have not attended preach it differently, but what is in the Bible is in the Bible.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.19  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.18    3 weeks ago

I am not saying science should concern itself about the God of the Bible. But there is only one God, there are not multiple "gods" in terms of a Supreme Being. 

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.20  mocowgirl  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.19    3 weeks ago
But there is only one God, there are not multiple "gods" in terms of a Supreme Being. 

That is your belief.  The people who worshipped the other 30,000+ gods were just as convinced about their gods as you are about yours.

There is just as much proof of the other 30,000+ gods existing as there is of Yahweh existing.

Religious ritual fills a need for unity and community that many people have.  As long as no one is harmed, I see it as beneficial to some people's well-being.  

It is when the message and/or rules are forced on anyone inside or outside the sect that religion becomes intolerable, cruel and completely unacceptable.  

If the Catholic Church wants to condemn birth control in their doctrine that is fine.  Using their power/money to deny birth control to anyone in any way should never be tolerated.

If the Baptist Church wants to ban dancing inside their church - fine.  If the Baptist Church works to ban it outside their church - not tolerated.

Unfortunately, the Christian religion is all about controlling lives from cradle to grave and claiming it is love.   If it was love, then it would not have to be legislated through the courts.

The propaganda is that Yahweh allows freewill and choices.  In reality, the various sects are working to control governments the same way the Roman Catholic Church did in Europe for over a thousand years.  This is only about power and control by the men who head up the various religious sects in the name of a god there is zero proof of existing.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.21  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.20    3 weeks ago

There is only one God. It is not possible for their to be more than on God. It is like saying there could be two highest places on earth or two fastest baseball pitches ever thrown. 

The thousands of Gods you are referring to are cultural expressions of the same God. 

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.22  mocowgirl  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.21    3 weeks ago
The thousands of Gods you are referring to are cultural expressions of the same God. 

That is only your belief.

These gods were created for specific purposes before a god was created that knew how to multitask.

There was the god of hearth, the god of the horse, the god of war, the god of love, the god of whatever a person needed a god for - therefore, 30,000+ gods.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.23  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.16    3 weeks ago
Science does not concern itself with proving or disproving any of the tens of thousands of gods that men have created.  Why would scientists not study whether a god existed or not?  

Yahweh was just another evil god that demanded blood was spilled as a tribute - including human blood sacrifice.  Yahweh is not unique in this regard because Yahweh was created along the lines of the gods that were in vogue at the time.  Hence, the comment that I wasn't wasting my time researching and referencing the history of the region because I knew it would be ignored.  If anyone cares about the history of world religions then they can do their own research.

Furthermore, if Yahweh was real, the last thing I would do is worship it.

I find ALL of the following to be unacceptable and immoral.  

This is ALL in the Bible that you are citing.

People either don't know what is in their Bible or don't care.  I have real difficulty to believe that anyone, with other an abhorrent personality, could willingly worship the god the Bible.

If this is evidence of Yahweh's form of love, I believe the world would have always been better off without it.  Certainly, the men, women and children slaughtered, tortured, raped, pillaged, etc., would have been better off.  The men carrying out the slaughter, torture, rape and pillage are supposedly doing this on Yahweh's orders.  Not the kind of people that I want in my life.

None of this proves or disproves God.  Doesn't a justification for rejecting any God depend upon a belief in that God?  You've listed facts concerning God to present a conclusion about God as truth.  And those facts depend upon a conclusion there is a God.  Otherwise those facts wouldn't be facts.  Basing a conclusion upon chosen facts really isn't any different than Flat Earthers concluding the Earth is flat.  Facts can mislead to an untruth just as easily as lead to a truth.  Knowledge and facts, alone, are not enough to test truth.

A conclusion presented as truth requires more than chosen facts.  A conclusion based upon chosen facts doesn't prove or disprove.

The facts you've presented about Yahweh also describes the natural world.  Humans must sacrifice life on the alter of survival every day because the natural world has imposed that requirement on humans.  If God were named Survival instead of Yahweh, the same chosen facts would be objectively true.  What does that suggest about the conclusion presented as truth?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.24  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.22    3 weeks ago

By definition there can only be one Supreme Being. I dont care if some people believe in thousands of gods, such beliefs are cultural expressions. 

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.25  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.23    3 weeks ago
Doesn't a justification for rejecting any God depend upon a belief in that God?

Why does anyone have to justify rejecting a belief in a god anymore than they have to justify rejecting a belief in mermaids, leprechauns, etc.?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.26  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.24    3 weeks ago
I dont care if some people believe in thousands of gods, such beliefs are cultural expressions. 

Why do you not consider the Christian God to be a cultural expression?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.27  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.17    3 weeks ago
You have a thing for attacking the God of the Bible.

Ever occur to you that mocowgirl is making an argument for why she does not believe the God of the Bible exists?    And that she was pointing out how so many religious people are ignorant of what is really in their Bibles?   

No offense intended since I know you are Catholic, but most of my friends and family are Catholic and I know after decades of living that the Catholic church teaches a very nice, highly edited (and very pleasant) depiction of the Bible.   I have been quite impressed by how much of the Bible (especially the OT) is entirely brand new news to lifelong Catholics.

To wit, I think mocowgirl has a point.    And it is not just Catholics.   Too many religious people IMO simply listen to their authorities and accept whatever they tell them.   A very dangerous practice.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.28  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.27    3 weeks ago

All religions are cultural expressions. 

There is no point to saying that "these other people believe in different gods than you do" . It is not something that interests me. 

It has been my experience that many atheists like to attack Christianity. And some of them believe that if they can disprove aspects of Christianity they are disproving the existence of God. I completely disagree and it is not something I am interested in. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.29  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.28    3 weeks ago
All religions are cultural expressions. 

Yup.   Let's note agreement.

And some of them believe that if they can disprove aspects of Christianity they are disproving the existence of God.

I can see someone holding that if they disprove aspects of Christianity (e.g. disprove the resurrection) that they are disproving the existence of the Christian God.   But that is only relevant in a debate where one's interlocutor has claimed that the Christian God exists and that there is no way they are mistaken.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.30  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.19    3 weeks ago

Disprove those other gods.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
8.2.31  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.27    3 weeks ago

I have always found it fascinating that when people back then heard voices, they were called the chosen ones.  Now we call them schizophrenics.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.32  sandy-2021492  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8.2.31    3 weeks ago

Well, they claimed to hear voices.  Since those voices often granted them some sort of authority or superiority of rights over others, one must question their credibility.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
8.2.33  JBB  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.32    3 weeks ago

When we grow up we are supposed to quit believing in vampires and werewolves and fairies and elves and ghosts and magic...

Except for a holy ghost who will raise up an army of the dead at the end of time. Game of Thrones has got nothing on the Bible...

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.34  Ender  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8.2.31    3 weeks ago

South Park ruined me with their head of the Mormons episode...

He found these scrolls, that no one else can see...

Dumb dumb dumb dumb...

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
8.2.35  JBB  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8.2.31    3 weeks ago

In Biblical times if someone claiming to be a prophet proved to be wrong, even once, they were brutally executed for false prophecy...

Today they get a TV show that runs 55 years!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.36  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.30    3 weeks ago

Why would I do that? The seed is not at all about what gods people believe in. 

Secondly, there is by definition only one Supreme Being. Obviously "thousands of gods" are not God. 

Religions are all human creations. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.37  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.22    3 weeks ago
That is only your belief.

These gods were created for specific purposes before a god was created that knew how to multitask.

There was the god of hearth, the god of the horse, the god of war, the god of love, the god of whatever a person needed a god for - therefore, 30,000+ gods.

You misunderstand what religion is. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.38  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.25    3 weeks ago
Why does anyone have to justify rejecting a belief in a god anymore than they have to justify rejecting a belief in mermaids, leprechauns, etc.?

The point is that rejecting the idea of a God wouldn't use chosen facts about a specific god for justification.  Rejecting a specific God based upon facts about that specific God is actually a search for a better God.

An atheist would justify rejecting the idea of a God because that idea is unnecessary to explain things and serves no purpose for survival of the species.  A theist would reject a specific God because that God does not conform to their concept of what a God should be.

You've presented a theist argument based on the idea that there is a God but that Yahweh is a false God, for the reasons you cited.  The argument you presented is not an atheist argument that the idea of any God is unnecessary and the idea of any God does not warrant belief.

Anti-Bible, anti-Christian arguments are not arguments to support atheism.  Those arguments are made by theists who believe there is a God but are searching for a better God.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.39  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.36    3 weeks ago

You're the one making the declaration, John.  If you make a declaration you can't support, expect to be called on it.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.40  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.39    3 weeks ago
God, Supreme Being noun the   supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe;   the object of worship in   monotheistic   religions Wiktionary (2.50 / 2 votes) Rate this definition:
www.definitions.net/definition/supreme+being
==============================================================

I dont even know what you talking about.  I said God is by definition the Supreme Being.  There can be only one Supreme Being. "gods" are human creations, and that includes the Bible religions.  If God exists (the Supreme Being) it exists independently of what human beings think about it. 

Why do so many atheists get hung up on this pointless topic of thousands of competing gods? I guess they think it makes some important point but i dont see it. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.41  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.40    3 weeks ago

In monotheistic religions.  You sort of skip some very important words, there, John.  Not all religions are monotheistic.  In fact, most religions are polytheistic, and your own has polytheistic roots.

Why are you atheist regarding other gods, but don't apply the same standards to your own?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.42  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.41    3 weeks ago

You are completing misunderstanding me. All religions are human creations and cultural expressions.  They ALL worship the same God. The reason they all worship the same God is because God is THE Supreme Being, and there can only be one Supreme Being. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.43  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.42    3 weeks ago
All religions are human creations and cultural expressions.  They ALL worship the same God.

How can you seriously state that the ancient Greeks, an example of one set of humans, worshiped the same God as you?    How can you seriously state that Hindus worship the same God as you?

The Greek gods, for example, had no supreme being.  In fact, if you follow the lore, Zeus is the son of Cronos and Cronos is the son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth).  The supreme being is who, exactly?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.44  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.42    3 weeks ago
They ALL worship the same God. The reason they all worship the same God is because God is THE Supreme Being, and there can only be one Supreme Being. 

Sez you.

Without evidence.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.45  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.43    3 weeks ago

I assume you would agree that there can be only one first cause. Two or more first causes negates the meaning of "first cause". 

If we define God as the Supreme Being, which is the commonly accepted definition of capital G God, then no human religions that worship multiple gods are worshipping the Supreme Being, unless they are but dont realize it (which would be my explanation). 

The biggest mistake atheists make is all this pettifogging over "multiple thousands" of gods. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.46  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.44    3 weeks ago

Let's see your evidence that these cultural expressions dont all ultimately refer to the same Supreme Being. 

===================================================

Similar   creation   myths   involving the world being created out of chaos or a vast, empty, nothingness can be found in the myths of ancient Babylon (the Enûma Eliš myth), ancient Greece (the golden egg laid by Nyx or Night), the Book of Genesis (Elohim creating the heavens and earth in six days), and in Norse mythology (the yawning void named   Ginnungagap ), among numerous others.
original
edtimes.in/massive-similarities-between-different-world-mythologies/
 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.47  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.46    3 weeks ago

Not my job, John.  You're the one declaring they're all the same, and somehow all valid (if you're saying they're al expressions of your belief).  It's on you to prove it.  I'm interested to see if you'll apply the same standards of evidence to your own mythology as to others'.  Because they're all myths, with similar lack of evidence to support them, yours included.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.2.48  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.47    3 weeks ago

I have said, at least a half dozen times on THIS seed, that ALL religions are cultural expressions. Tig specifically agreed with me. And when I say specifically I mean he said "yes" .  And yet you continue to say, to me, 

I'm interested to see if you'll apply the same standards of evidence to your own mythology

That strikes me as disingenuous.  Religions were created to explain the mysteries of existence to people within a geographical or cultural location in the world.  Religion in India is not the same as religion in Israel. But to the extent that the religions refer to the "Creator" they are referring to the same God.

I am actually surprised that you people continue to insist on arguing about this. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.49  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.19    3 weeks ago
But there is only one God, there are not multiple "gods" in terms of a Supreme Being. 

That's nice. Prove it!

It is not possible for their to be more than on God. It is like saying there could be two highest places on earth or two fastest baseball pitches ever thrown. 

How do you know this? Perhaps there are 2 or more gods on the exact same level?

The thousands of Gods you are referring to are cultural expressions of the same God. 

Demonstrably false. Many cultures have multiple gods  and with different attributes that the Abrahamistic god. Even the one "God" is an expression of its base religions and cultures.

It has been my experience that many atheists like to attack Christianity. And some of them believe that if they can disprove aspects of Christianity they are disproving the existence of God.

More like they challenge some of the affirmative claims christianity makes!

Religions are all human creations. 

This is true. By the same token, god/s can also be human creations. A means to explain the various aspects of the world around them.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.50  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.48    3 weeks ago

You have said they are all cultural expressions.  That, we can agree on.

Your last statement goes further.  Now, you're claiming that they're all cultural expressions of the exact same idea - one supreme being.  That is a statement you need to support.  You've just subsumed numerous religions and cultures into your own, negating them and declaring your own valid, with no evidence.

John, you're still arguing, too.  It's a bit silly to point out that others are arguing, when you're doing the same.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.51  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.45    3 weeks ago
I assume you would agree that there can be only one first cause. Two or more first causes negates the meaning of "first cause". 

You assume correctly.

If we define God as the Supreme Being, which is the commonly accepted definition of capital G God, then no human religions that worship multiple gods are worshipping the Supreme Being, ...

Agreed except for polytheistic religions that have a supreme being and lesser gods.   One could argue that Christianity is constructed in this manner.   The supreme being is the Father (creator, etc.) with the Son and HG as lesser (albeit this is countered by the trinity concept which makes all three hypostases the collective God).   But more clear are the angels who actually correlate more with the ancient Greek and Roman gods.

... unless they are but dont realize it (which would be my explanation). 

My Zeus example shows that the ancient Greek did not have supreme being (as you and I define that term).

The biggest mistake atheists make is all this pettifogging over "multiple thousands" of gods. 

Seems like a very logical challenge.   Why is your god the correct god and all these other gods, believed in just as strongly, false gods?

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
8.2.52  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.37    3 weeks ago

If I could choose a god to party with, it would be Zeus.  He knew how to rock the place.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.53  sandy-2021492  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8.2.52    3 weeks ago

Yeah, but he and Hera were pretty much always fighting because he was out fathering demigods with human women.  That could get awkward, and depending on her temper and aim, dangerous.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
8.2.54  charger 383  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2    3 weeks ago
  "Can a god be surprised?"
When Moses was up on the Mountain getting the 10 commandments and visiting God,  did God know what was going on down on the ground? if  God did know why did he not tell Moses instead of letting Moses be surprised and disappointed?
Another thing that did not make sense  to me as a little Boy and still does not
 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.55  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.38    3 weeks ago
Anti-Bible, anti-Christian arguments are not arguments to support atheism.  Those arguments are made by theists who believe there is a God but are searching for a better God.

You might be right.

When I was a theist, I did not search for a better God, I searched for a better version of Yahweh than I had yelled at me by the fire and brimstone preachers.  I attended many different denominations of Christianity including Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Methodist and Mormon.  I had friends who were members of different denominations that could openly discuss their beliefs without becoming defensive and hostile.  I could only be comfortable with Yahweh as long as I ignored the sheer brutality, ignorance and ineptness of such a god.  I damn sure had to ignore that Yahweh condoned rape and maltreatment of women and children.

I have never been happier in life than when I discovered that Yahweh was just as much a myth as Zeus, Apollo and Odin.  This is why I learned more about the history of humans and what gods they created and what purpose those gods was supposed to serve.  The purpose usually boils down to nothing less than an attempt to control the masses by the men who were intelligent enough to manipulate the less intelligent/gullible.

Rulers enacted laws long before the Ten Commandments were conceived.  Our species is not the only species who has "rules".  It is just that we have the ability to write them down.  The people, who are capable of being fair to others, obey the laws and the people, who are not capable of being fair to others, skirt or ignore them.

As stated previously, people usually want order in their lives.  Laws provide a way to protect the victims from the predators if the predators are not allowed positions of authority. 

Among others things, when predators are in charge then even law abiding people are told they are born evil and must spend their lives atoning for things they never dreamed of doing in the first place.  Even worse, the law abiding citizens are told they are no better than the predator and must accept and forgive the predator for all their crimes against humanity.

There is not a perfect legal system, but there are probably few in existence today that are worse than that in the Bible.

Hammurabi’s Code | Western Civilization (lumenlearning.com)

The Code of Hammurabi is one of the oldest deciphered writings of length in the world, and features a code of law from ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia. Written in about 1754 BCE by the sixth king of Babylon, Hammurabi, the Code was written on stone stele and clay tablets. It consisted of 282 laws, with punishments that varied based on social status (slaves,  free men, and property owners). It is most famous for the “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (lex talionis) form of punishment. Other forms of codes of law had been in existence in the region around this time, including the Code of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (c. 2050 BCE), the Laws of Eshnunna (c. 1930 BCE) and the codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (c. 1870 BCE).

The laws were arranged in groups, so that citizens could easily read what was required of them. Some have seen the Code as an early form of constitutional government, and as an early form of the presumption of innocence, and the ability to present evidence in one’s case. Intent was often recognized and affected punishment, with neglect severely punished. Some of the provisions may have been codification of Hammurabi’s decisions, for the purpose of self-glorification. Nevertheless, the Code was studied, copied, and used as a model for legal reasoning for at least 1500 years after.

The prologue of the Code features Hammurabi stating that he wants “to make justice visible in the land, to destroy the wicked person and the evil-doer, that the strong might not injure the weak.” Major laws covered in the Code include slander, trade, slavery, the duties of workers, theft, liability, and divorce. Nearly half of the code focused on contracts, such as wages to be paid, terms of transactions, and liability in case of property damage. A third of the code focused on household and family issues, including inheritance, divorce, paternity and sexual behavior. One section establishes that a judge who incorrectly decides an issue may be removed from his position permanently. A few sections address military service.
 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.56  Gordy327  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @8.2.52    3 weeks ago
If I could choose a god to party with, it would be Zeus.  He knew how to rock the place.

He also had quite the way with the ladies too.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
8.2.57  Kathleen  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2    3 weeks ago

More like I would be surprised if there is one.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.58  mocowgirl  replied to  Kathleen @8.2.57    3 weeks ago
More like I would be surprised if there is one.

If there is one, there is no evidence of it except in myths and legends.

I tend to think of the word god the same way I think of dragon, mermaid, leprechaun, vampires, werewolves, etc. - nothing more than a mythical creature.

I googled "list of mythical creatures".  It returned some interesting results.  Imagination should not be confused with reality.  

List of Mythical Creatures – Mythical Creatures Guide

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.59  mocowgirl  replied to  JohnRussell @8.2.37    3 weeks ago
You misunderstand what religion is.

I agree with your definition in 8.2.36 "Religions are all human creations."

So what don't I understand about "religion"?

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
8.2.60  Kathleen  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.58    3 weeks ago

All that kind of stuff, I agree with you, but some things I experienced I have to wonder about something else.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.61  mocowgirl  replied to  Kathleen @8.2.60    3 weeks ago

Kathleen, I can't and won't argue about your personal experience because of all of the hours, days, weeks, months and years that I have spent trying to understand the influences that shape an individuals perception, perspective and personality in order to better understand myself and others.  

What I will say, that extraordinary claims do require testing and replication to be accepted as fact.

We are not necessarily a "blank slate" when we are born.  There are genetic influencers that will have a role in how we interact with our environment.

As a child, I was indoctrinated to believe that the dead could communicate with living via "signs".  Since I had been orphaned as a baby, I desperately looked for "signs" that my deceased mother was looking out for me.

As a child, I was indoctrinated that Yahweh loved me and everything that happened to me was according to his perfect plan - a plan that He did not have to explain to me or anyone else.  I was just to accept whatever Hell was thrown my way and be grateful for it.

So I actually worked to accept that Yahweh loved me so much that I was orphaned and placed under the authority of a sadistic stepfather who tormented me with mental and physical abuse until I escaped at 17.  (My stepfather never once touched me in a sexual way.  At least, he had a few boundaries.)  My stepmother had already suffered the humiliation of going through a divorce in the 1950s at the age of 19 so she rarely said anything about whatever abuse he heaped on me and her daughter from her first marriage.  My stepmother's mother (the person I always refer to as my grandmother) was my only sanctuary as a child.  Without her, I would not have ever known a hug, a tender touch or love.

At this time, I just can't go into detail about meeting my very large biological family at the age of 17, but the assortment of educated and uneducated narcissists, alcoholics, pedophiles, liars, thieves ....and I was even raped by a member of my own biological family.....

Yet, through all of this, I was still trying to find acceptance of Yahweh's perfect plan for my life because I had been taught that abuse was love.

I cannot tell you in words how painful it is to relive these experiences when I write about them.  I only do it because it is in the only way I can try to spare others from being controlled by abusers.

The abusers will try to say all kinds of things to ignore or justify their abuse by attacking the credibility of the victim.  Unfortunately, this has proven to be an effective tactic.  Maybe, if enough victims speak out our society will listen and change for the better of all.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.2.62  CB   replied to  charger 383 @8.2.54    3 weeks ago
EXODUS 32

1 After the people saw that Moses had been on the mountain for a long time, they went to Aaron and said, “Make us an image of a god who will lead and protect us. Moses brought us out of Egypt, but nobody knows what has happened to him.”

Aaron told them, “Bring me the gold earrings that your wives and sons and daughters are wearing.” Everybody took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron, then he melted them and made an idol in the shape of a young bull.

All the people said to one another, “This is the god who brought us out of Egypt!”

When Aaron saw what was happening, he built an altar in front of the idol and said, “Tomorrow we will celebrate in honor of the Lord.” The people got up early the next morning and killed some animals to be used for sacrifices and others to be eaten. Then everyone ate and drank so much that they began to carry on like wild people.

The Lord said to Moses:

Hurry back down! Those people you led out of Egypt are acting like fools. They have already stopped obeying me and have made themselves an idol in the shape of a young bull. They have bowed down to it, offered sacrifices, and said that it is the god who brought them out of Egypt.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
8.2.63  Kathleen  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.61    3 weeks ago

Sounds like you been through so much. Most people turn to religion that had hard lives, or did something wrong. 

I don’t know. All I hope is that for the sake of people that had bad lives and or died early, it would be nice to have another after this one.

All we can do is hope.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.64  mocowgirl  replied to  Kathleen @8.2.63    3 weeks ago
Most people turn to religion that had hard lives, or did something wrong.

Turning to religion is akin to being codependent with your abuser.   

There are people who actually pray for forgiveness before they commit crimes just in case they are killed while committing their crimes.   There is little to no fear of judgement because they cherry pick the Bible and only pay attention to the forgiveness text.  If the Bible were true as written, they would be in Hell for eternity since they entirely skipped the repent the sin and sin no more rule.

Personally, I don't have any wish to live for eternity.  

If Heaven existed, it would be boring beyond belief.  Everyone and everything would have to be perfect 24/7.  There is no room for individuality because that would cause conflict.  According to the Bible, everyone would happily spend eternity endlessly praising Yahweh.  This sounds more like punishment than reward.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.66  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.55    3 weeks ago
When I was a theist, I did not search for a better God, I searched for a better version of Yahweh than I had yelled at me by the fire and brimstone preachers.  I attended many different denominations of Christianity including Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Methodist and Mormon.  I had friends who were members of different denominations that could openly discuss their beliefs without becoming defensive and hostile.  I could only be comfortable with Yahweh as long as I ignored the sheer brutality, ignorance and ineptness of such a god.  I damn sure had to ignore that Yahweh condoned rape and maltreatment of women and children.

When you speak of Yahweh I think of this:    I don't know if the group at Yahweh City was associated with the Nation of Yahweh, founded by Yahweh ben Yahweh, as an offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites.  The use of the name Yahweh is uncommon in Christian discussion; the common usage in Christian discussion is Jehovah.  The name Yahweh emphasizes the orthodox Judaic canon of the Old Testament which is, indeed, very harsh.

You attribute what can be generically thought of as evil to God.  Claiming God condoned evil doesn't acknowledge that humans, alone, performed the evil.  Don't atheists do evil, too?  So, humans will do evil with or without God.  Claiming God condones evil attempts to shift responsibility away from humans who actually did the evil.  But humans are responsible for doing evil, not any god.  ' God made me do it ' is an excuse that doesn't avoid or absolve responsibility.  

Why would one God need so many denomination of churches?  Why would a God need a church at all?  Consider the possibility that the church is the myth created by humans.  Churches condone evil in the name of God.  And churches do evil in the name of God.  IMO that's why there are so many denominations; humans create denominations and churches to condone the evil that humans do.

The Bible of the church was not written by God.  The Biblical canon of the church is made up of chosen facts; there are apocryphal gospels that have been rejected by the church.  And facts can mislead to an untruth as easily as leading to a truth.  Facts chosen by the church was not intended to enlightened; the choosing of facts is intended to mislead.  Faith in the church is unwarranted.  The Bible that God wrote is nature; God created nature, humans did not create nature.  The test of truth is to compare church canon to nature.  Nature may refute or disprove church canon but that church canon is a work of humans, not God.  Science, as a human endeavor, may disprove the human endeavor of the church but that doesn't address questions about God.  Science using nature to disprove the Bible really disproves the church because science is using the Bible written by God to refute and disprove the Bible written by humans.

When science begins choosing facts to establish orthodox canon then science assumes the authority of a church.  Choosing facts is intended to mislead and not intended to enlighten.  Science acting as a church will condone evil as have other churches.  Science will shift blame and responsibility onto God by claiming that humans were made this way.  Science will justify evil by claiming that a determinate universe has imposed evil onto humans; human evil is a result of determinate cause.  And scientists will assume the role of interceding between humans and nature just as priests intercede between humans and God.

Faith in the works of humans is unwarranted because it is humans who do evil and it is humans that avoid responsibility for the evil they do by blaming God.  Personally, I'd rather have faith in God than have faith in humans.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.67  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.66    3 weeks ago
Personally, I'd rather have faith in God than have faith in humans.

Then why give any credence to the Bible ... a work of mere humans pretending to be divine?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.68  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.66    3 weeks ago
Claiming God condoned evil

If God, the creator, created everything - this would include good and evil.

If God, the creator, created humans to do good and evil as an experiment to see who would do what, then humans would be this god's lab rats.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.69  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.66    3 weeks ago
Personally, I'd rather have faith in God than have faith in humans.

Why do you have a need for faith in anything?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.70  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.66    3 weeks ago
it is humans that avoid responsibility for the evil they do by blaming God.

God is only used as a defense attack in a society that might be swayed by such a claim.

This is why our laws should not be based on a religion.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.71  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.67    3 weeks ago
Then why give any credence to the Bible ... a work of mere humans pretending to be divine?

Why give credence to any works of humans?  Humans who created the Bible and the church aren't any different than humans who created science.  Why should we believe humans would use science any differently than humans have used the church?

Theist religion and the canonical church are works of humans.  But then so are atheism and humanist secularism.  Why give credence to any works of humans?

Humans would be petty, fickle, and selfish gods.  Humans do evil for the sake of doing evil.  What's to stop humans?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.72  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.71    3 weeks ago

The difference is, the work of humans in science is supported by empirical evidence. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.73  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.71    3 weeks ago

You stated:

Nerm @8.2.66 ☞ Personally, I'd rather have faith in God than have faith in humans.

I responded to that.   Make up your mind.  Do you have faith in the human beings who wrote the Bible or not?

If you do not have faith in the authors of the Bible then how could you possibly believe it to be divine?   Why not just treat it as very influential ancient historical fiction literature and leave it at that?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.74  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.68    3 weeks ago
If God, the creator, created everything - this would include good and evil. If God, the creator, created humans to do good and evil as an experiment to see who would do what, then humans would be this god's lab rats.

I disagree.  The living universe, within the determinate inanimate universe, must exploit nature, must kill to survive. and must reproduce to perpetuate itself.  When did these necessary activities for life become good or evil?  Why are the concepts of good and evil only applied to humans?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.75  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.69    3 weeks ago
Why do you have a need for faith in anything?

Without faith I become nothing more than a domestic cat killing songbirds out of instinct rather than need.  Without faith I become a kept animal with no purpose other than to follow the natural instincts of exploiting nature, killing to survive, and reproducing to perpetuate the species.

A statement of faith is an expression of freewill to exert control over instincts.  I can choose.  And my purpose is to understand the choice.  My behavior may be programmed by the determinate laws of nature but I have faith that I can rewrite that programming by making choices.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.76  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.75    3 weeks ago

Wow. You honestly think that without some sort of religion, people are just basic animals with no thought or free will...

Guess what, I don't have this faith and I am not out stalking prey.

What I find amusing is people that say they have to have religion in order to keep themselves on track.

If you ask me, that is weak minded people saying they need other people to tell them what to do.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
8.2.77  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.75    3 weeks ago
Without faith I become nothing more than a domestic cat killing songbirds out of instinct rather than need.  Without faith I become a kept animal with no purpose other than to follow the natural instincts of exploiting nature, killing to survive, and reproducing to perpetuate the species.

Which faith? There are literally thousands to choose from. If just choosing any faith supposedly gives a human purpose, isn't it less to do with what you believe and more to do with simply choosing a path in life? And if you have to have faith to keep you from being an animal, aren't you admitting that you'd be a violent child rapist if there wasn't that invisible God watching you over your shoulder?

It really sounds more like you're just reading some religious marketing pamphlet. Of course the seller of a product is going to tell you that you simply can't live without their product. Your skin won't be as soft, your hair won't be as shiny, you'll never get invited to the 'cool people' parties, you'll never be as prosperous or happy without their products. Does this kind of marketing work? Of course it does, that's why businesses spend billions on marketing. There is a sucker born every minute, or more precisely, humans tend to be extremely gullible.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.78  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.73    3 weeks ago
I responded to that.   Make up your mind.  Do you have faith in the human beings who wrote the Bible or not? If you do not have faith in the authors of the Bible then how could you possibly believe it to be divine?   Why not just treat it as very influential ancient historical fiction literature and leave it at that?

An incomplete Bible made up of chosen facts could still be divine.  The divinity of the Bible doesn't address the intent and purpose of rejecting material that may also be divine.

The divinity of the source doesn't address the slicing and splicing to establish the orthodox canon of the church.  It's the divinity of the church that is questionable.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.79  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.78    3 weeks ago
An incomplete Bible made up of chosen facts could still be divine.

Then you have faith in the authors of the Bible.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.80  Nerm_L  replied to  Ender @8.2.76    3 weeks ago
Wow. You honestly think that without some sort of religion, people are just basic animals with no thought or free will...

That's not what I said.  What I said is that people without faith are just basic animals.  You're establishing a false equivalency between faith and religion.

People can practice religion as a matter of convention without any faith.  Herd mentality and groupthink doesn't require faith but people do religiously follow the herd and will repeat groupthink as a form of dogma.  Conforming to the status quo doesn't require faith; that only requires following convention.  That's why faith and freewill can pose a threat to the status quo and conventional wisdom.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.81  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.80    3 weeks ago

What I said still applies. I do not have 'faith ' and I am not some privative beast prowling the streets.

You are trying to say that people that do not have any faith in a god are lacking freewill.

The premise itself is absurd.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
8.2.82  JBB  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.80    3 weeks ago

Yet, animals do not need or believe in magic... 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.83  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @8.2.77    3 weeks ago
Which faith? There are literally thousands to choose from. If just choosing any faith supposedly gives a human purpose, isn't it less to do with what you believe and more to do with simply choosing a path in life? And if you have to have faith to keep you from being an animal, aren't you admitting that you'd be a violent child rapist if there wasn't that invisible God watching you over your shoulder? It really sounds more like you're just reading some religious marketing pamphlet. Of course the seller of a product is going to tell you that you simply can't live without their product. Your skin won't be as soft, your hair won't be as shiny, you'll never get invited to the 'cool people' parties, you'll never be as prosperous or happy without their products. Does this kind of marketing work? Of course it does, that's why businesses spend billions on marketing. There is a sucker born every minute, or more precisely, humans tend to be extremely gullible.

There appears to be a misunderstanding of the nature of faith.  

Someone can claim to have faith in humanist philosophy.  Generations of the individuals family have been humanists.  The individual has been trained in humanist philosophy since birth.  Most of the people the individual knows are humanists.  If the individual is following humanist philosophy because his family is humanists, his friends and acquaintances are humanists, and the individual has been spoon fed humanist philosophy since birth then what does faith really mean?

Does conformity to the status quo and conventional wisdom require faith?  Does following the herd require faith?  Does doing things the way they've always been done require faith?

Yes, there are thousands of religions, philosophies, and beliefs.  But faith in any or none of them is an expression of freewill.  Faith is a choice.  Faith challenges belief.

People claim that believing religions and philosophies require faith.  But that's not really true.  People can believe in religions and philosophies as a matter of convention without making any choice.  Believing in God or a church as conventional wisdom doesn't require any faith; that only requires following convention.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.84  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.83    3 weeks ago

How can you believe one side of the coin yet not the other.

If faith is a choice and freewill, would it not conclude that people without faith chose that path as well, being their 'freewill'.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.85  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.79    3 weeks ago
Then you have faith in the authors of the Bible.

I am not a Bible scholar.  But having said that, I have concluded that the various authors of the many books of the Bible were not attempting to intentionally deceive or intentionally be dishonest.  But accepting the honest intent of the many authors does not require faith in the authors. 

I must have faith in my acceptance of the honest intent of the many authors.  I have freely and independently arrived at a conclusion and I have faith in that conclusion.  I understand that my conclusion may be incorrect which would require questioning my faith in my conclusion.

Faith is my responsibility.  No one can impose faith on me.  No one can give faith to me.  I must choose and have faith in that choice.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.86  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.85    3 weeks ago
I must have faith in my acceptance of the honest intent of the many authors.

Glad we have that settled.   I do not have faith that the authors of the Bible wrote the truth.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.87  Ender  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.86    3 weeks ago

Maybe their truth...Haha

Wasn't some of the stories in the bible copied from other ancient stories.

Not necessarily copied but versions of.

Like Gilgamesh.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8.2.88  Ender  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.85    3 weeks ago

What you wrote there I can applaud you for. It was real and heartfelt.

And to be honest, I don't think anyone is condemning you for your faith.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.89  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.80    3 weeks ago
What I said is that people without faith are just basic animals.

I have found just the opposite.

The faithful use their god as their crutch, their pacifier and their scapegoat.  No thinking involved when their god is in charge and has a master plan for their lives.

Depending on the intelligence level of the faithful, they can interpret their god's words/commands in ways to justify just about any criminal act of their choosing.

When all else fails, the fail safe clause is supposed to be the forgiveness doctrine.

People really should acquaint themselves with all of the atrocities committed at the behest of the highest leaders of organized religion in the world throughout history.  

I suggest reading European history in regards to the wars over control of governments by the Roman Catholic Church.  

Read of the people tortured and murdered in heinous ways because they were of the "wrong" faith.

I don't understand how a person uses faith to control themselves, but as long as they aren't bothering others with it there is no harm, no foul.

Throughout history, the primary use of faith has been to control others in the same way it is being used today.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.90  TᵢG  replied to  Ender @8.2.87    3 weeks ago

Yes!   There are all sorts of stories in the Bible that have roots in earlier material.    Exactly what one would expect of human authors.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.91  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.80    3 weeks ago
What I said is that people without faith are just basic animals.

That's demonstrably false, and also somewhat insulting.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.92  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @8.2.91    3 weeks ago
That's demonstrably false, and also somewhat insulting.

Then demonstrate it!

But that demonstration needs to explain why only religion requires faith.  Especially at a moment when the full faith and credit of the United States is on the line.  Because that's the question I'll ask.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.93  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.89    3 weeks ago
The faithful use their god as their crutch, their pacifier and their scapegoat.  No thinking involved when their god is in charge and has a master plan for their lives.

Depending on the intelligence level of the faithful, they can interpret their god's words/commands in ways to justify just about any criminal act of their choosing.

When all else fails, the fail safe clause is supposed to be the forgiveness doctrine.

Using God as crutch, pacifier, and scapegoat doesn't really require faith, does it?  

Even you are using God as crutch, pacifier, and scapegoat.  Atheists do that all the time by making arguments that rely on blaming God for their lack of belief.  Claiming to be an atheist because God is bad is a self defeating justification; they're really theists searching for a different god.  People use science, history, and anything else they can think of as a crutch, pacifier, and scapegoat to replace God.  

Is that an expression of faith in their own victimhood? 

People really should acquaint themselves with all of the atrocities committed at the behest of the highest leaders of organized religion in the world throughout history.   I suggest reading European history in regards to the wars over control of governments by the Roman Catholic Church.  

Understanding the history of the Roman Catholic Church requires an understanding of the history of the Roman Empire.  The Roman Catholic Church is the last vestige of the Roman Republican.  SPQR.  The dying Roman Republic sliced and spliced the Bible to establish the orthodox canon of the church.

The Roman Catholic Church is as Roman as it is Christian.  

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
8.2.94  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.92    3 weeks ago
Then demonstrate it!

Millions of rational agnostic atheists prove it everyday.

If you're now trying to weasel out of the faith debate claiming you meant that all humans have to practice some sort of "faith" aka belief in a currencies value it's obvious you're losing the argument.

It is clear your original comments had nothing to do with faith in currency.

"Humans do evil for the sake of doing evil.  What's to stop humans?" "Without faith I become nothing more than a domestic cat killing songbirds out of instinct rather than need.  Without faith I become a kept animal with no purpose other than to follow the natural instincts of exploiting nature, killing to survive, and reproducing to perpetuate the species."

"Faith" in a currency clearly has no effect on whether a human would "do evil". The claim that a human without faith is a "kept animal" is clearly claiming that humans without religious faith or faith in some higher power are "animals" or wouldn't hesitate to give in to animal instincts. The facts clearly show you wrong as millions of humans live without faith in a higher power and are often less evil and less likely to give in to "animal instincts" than those with faith.

There are thousands of known cases where parents have killed their children because they believed they were "evil" or had the devil in them, history is full of religious zealots starting wars, torturing, burning and hanging other humans because of their faith. In fact "faith" can be used as a strong rationalization to "do evil" when it divides humanity and is interpreted by believers to give them the right to kill non-believers.

It is clear from your comments what you meant, no amount of twist and spin will change that, but its clear you recognize you're on the losing side of the argument when you're trying to shift your premise from "Without faith I become nothing more than a domestic cat killing songbirds out of instinct rather than need" to "full faith and credit of the United States is on the line".

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.95  Nerm_L  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @8.2.94    3 weeks ago
Millions of rational agnostic atheists prove it everyday.

Really?  Agnostic atheists have no faith?  In anything?

Faith is an expression of freewill.  Without freewill humans are just basic animals.  So, without faith humans are just basic animals.

Now explain why only religion requires faith.  Explain why atheism doesn't require faith.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.96  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.95    3 weeks ago

That is flawed logic. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.97  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.95    3 weeks ago
Really?  Agnostic atheists have no faith?  In anything?

As usual Nerm, you play fast and loose with semantics of ordinary words.

Faith (religious usage) ≠ faith (common usage)   

Faith (religious usage) = " Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. "

Faith (common usage) = " Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. "

Agnostic atheists have faith (common usage) that their cars will start, their kids love them, the sun will rise tommorrow, ...   They do not have a strong belief in God or ...

See how this works?   Don't play semantics games;  it is a cheap tactic that is easily exposed.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.98  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.97    3 weeks ago
As usual Nerm, you play fast and loose with semantics of ordinary words.

Faith (religious usage) ≠ faith (common usage)   

Faith (religious usage) = " Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. "

Faith (common usage) = " Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. "

Agnostic atheists have faith (common usage) that their cars will start, their kids love them, the sun will rise tommorrow, ...   They do not have a strong belief in God or ...

See how this works?   Don't play semantics games;  it is a cheap tactic that is easily exposed.

I'm playing semantics?  Let's exercise your dictionary.

Explain how those two usages of faith are mutually exclusive.  Explain how the thought processes are different between those two usages in practice.  Explain why those who practice transcendental religions do not have religious faith.

Explain why any belief involving God is not a religious belief.  Why is a strong belief that their isn't a God not a religious belief and why doesn't that belief require faith.

The explanations shouldn't be difficult.  The Oxford orthodox canon can explain anything.  Just have faith.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.99  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.98    3 weeks ago
Explain how those two usages of faith are mutually exclusive. 

No.   I am not going to play your games.   If you cannot see that those two usages are not interchangeable then that will have to remain your problem.

I am done explaining the absurdly obvious.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.100  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.99    3 weeks ago
No.   I am not going to play your games.   If you cannot see that those two usages are not interchangeable then that will have to remain your problem. I am done explaining the absurdly obvious.

That is a choice made possible by freewill; something inanimate matter and energy are incapable of doing.

My comment @8.2.75 wasn't talking about religion which is also absurdly obvious.  Here's the comment if you don't want to click:

"Without faith I become nothing more than a domestic cat killing songbirds out of instinct rather than need.  Without faith I become a kept animal with no purpose other than to follow the natural instincts of exploiting nature, killing to survive, and reproducing to perpetuate the species.

A statement of faith is an expression of freewill to exert control over instincts.  I can choose.  And my purpose is to understand the choice.  My behavior may be programmed by the determinate laws of nature but I have faith that I can rewrite that programming by making choices."

What does a domestic cat chasing songbirds out of instinct have to do with religion?  I explicitly stated that a statement of faith is an expression of freewill to exert control over instincts.

You chose to play semantics and defend the falsehood @8.2.76 without reading what I wrote.  That, too, was a choice made possible by freewill.  Your twisting and spinning linguistics was a choice made on faith.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.101  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.93    3 weeks ago
Claiming to be an atheist because God is bad is a self defeating justification

Honestly, you are making this far more complicated than it is.

I am not an atheist because your God is bad, inept or ????.  I believe in just one less god than the people who believe in one god.

The people, who worship one god, have rejected belief in the other 30,000+ gods people have created and worshipped.  Again, I believe in just one less god.

I do not worship anything or anyone.

I am in awe of existence itself.  That is enough for me.  

I do not speak for other atheists so if you really want to understand their thought processes you will have to ask them.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.102  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.2.101    3 weeks ago
Honestly, you are making this far more complicated than it is.

I am not an atheist because your God is bad, inept or ????.  I believe in just one less god than the people who believe in one god.

The people, who worship one god, have rejected belief in the other 30,000+ gods people have created and worshipped.  Again, I believe in just one less god.

I do not worship anything or anyone.

I am in awe of existence itself.  That is enough for me.  

I do not speak for other atheists so if you really want to understand their thought processes you will have to ask them.

Honestly, you are overlooking the complication.  Atheists cannot use God as an excuse.  God cannot condone evil because there is no God.  People do evil simply because people are people.  Evil is part of human nature.

Should we accept people doing evil as an inherent part of human existence?  People are only doing what people do because of their evolved natural instincts; that's the way the determinate universe of cause and effect made people.  Or should we attempt to control the natural instinct to do evil?  And how would we go about controlling the natural instinct of humans to do evil?  Who is going to have the authority to control human nature?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.103  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.102    3 weeks ago
Who is going to have the authority to control human nature?

How did people have governments without a god belief?

How do people have governments now without a god belief?

This is not complicated.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.104  sandy-2021492  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.102    2 weeks ago
Atheists cannot use God as an excuse.  God cannot condone evil because there is no God.

One more time for those who refuse to understand.  mocowgirl said

I am not an atheist because your God is bad, inept or ????.

She's not using God as an excuse for not believing in God.  She just doesn't believe, and in the absence of evidence, needs no excuse for her lack of belief.  I'm pretty sure everyone can understand that concept.  So your accusation of using God as an excuse for not believing in God is a strawman.

Persisting in propping up a strawman when it has been pointed out as a straw man is dishonest and ridiculous.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.105  Nerm_L  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.2.104    2 weeks ago
She's not using God as an excuse for not believing in God.  She just doesn't believe, and in the absence of evidence, needs no excuse for her lack of belief.  I'm pretty sure everyone can understand that concept.  So your accusation of using God as an excuse for not believing in God is a strawman. Persisting in propping up a strawman when it has been pointed out as a straw man is dishonest and ridiculous.

Atheists do not accept there is a God.  If there is no God then God cannot condone evil.  Atheists using the Bible to say what God does, allows, or condones is pointless because there is no God.  Why would atheists discuss God in definite terms if there is no God?  

Without God, humans are the source of all human evil.  Atheists attempt to claim that a belief in God causes human evil but there is no God.  So, eliminating a belief in God will not eliminate human evil because only humans are the source of human evil.  There is no God so there is nothing to blame except humans. 

Atheists discussing God and placing blame on God are using God as an excuse because there is no God for atheists.  Atheists are attempting to blame something that isn't there.  Atheists attempting to blame God and the Bible are doing the same thing as those who have a belief in God.  That's not a rejection of the idea that there is a God; that's searching for a better God that meets their expectations.

You can cobble together all sorts of allegations and accusations by slicing, splicing, and editing comments to fit your worldview.  But that doesn't alter that atheists discussing God as cause of anything cannot make those arguments if there is no God.  There must be a God if God causes and condones evil.  Atheists making allegations and accusations against God are doing more to prove God than disprove God.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.106  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.105    2 weeks ago

A correction: atheists do not accept claims for a God without evidence. But most are probably willing to reconsider their position should evidence be forthcoming. As it is, there is no evidence for any god/s. If atheists use God or the Bible to discuss such matters, it's essentially debating theists on their own terms. The proverbial fighting fire with fire. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.107  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @8.2.106    2 weeks ago
A correction: atheists do not accept claims for a God without evidence. But most are probably willing to reconsider their position should evidence be forthcoming. As it is, there is no evidence for any god/s. If atheists use God or the Bible to discuss such matters, it's essentially debating theists on their own terms. The proverbial fighting fire with fire.

Is astrology science or religion?  Atheists can believe in spirits and metaphysical phenomena, without evidence, and still be atheists.  Atheists can practice religion and still be atheists.  Agnostic atheism does not preclude gnostic beliefs.

Debating theists on their own terms is actually fighting metaphysical fire with metaphysical fire.  That's actually a debate between gnostic atheists and theists.  The debate is still a religious debate with atheists expressing religious beliefs.  And atheists must make their arguments based on faith in their own conclusions (and beliefs).

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.108  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.107    2 weeks ago

You're discussing God and the bible while referring to atheists. So why are you trying to move the goalposts by switching to astrology? Poor form Nerm!

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.109  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @8.2.108    2 weeks ago
You're discussing God and the bible while referring to atheists. So why are you trying to move the goalposts by switching to astrology? Poor form Nerm!

Directly addressing your assertion is not moving the goalposts.  Ignoring the rebuttal to your assertion so you can discuss something else and make false allegations is not honest, rational discussion.

You are attempting to argue in the same manner as a Jesuit Catholic.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.110  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.109    2 weeks ago

Nowhere did I remotely mention astrology or the like. I specifically referred to God and biblical claims with regards to atheists, while correcting your misconceptions. Instead, you're the one trying to deviate from that, which is blatantly obvious.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.111  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @8.2.110    2 weeks ago
Nowhere did I remotely mention astrology or the like. 

I never claimed you mentioned astrology.  What's your point?

I specifically referred to God and biblical claims with regards to atheists, while correcting your misconceptions. Instead, you're the one trying to deviate from that, which is blatantly obvious.

I also referred to God and biblical claims in regards to atheists in my rebuttal to your assertion.  And my direct rebuttal was to demonstrate your misconceptions and weak logic.  Now you are expending effort to avoid and ignore that rebuttal.  I am not the topic of discussion.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.112  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.111    2 weeks ago

You went from God to astrology. Now you're trying to backtrack while suggesting I'm the one off on this. Your so called "rebuttal" doesn't address my statement. It's little more than a deflection from it. Don't waste my time with your games!

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.2.113  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @8.2.112    2 weeks ago
You went from God to astrology. Now you're trying to backtrack while suggesting I'm the one off on this. Your so called "rebuttal" doesn't address my statement. It's little more than a deflection from it. Don't waste my time with your games!

We were discussing atheists engaged in religious debate concerning God and the Bible.  We were not discussing God.  Atheists were the topic of discussion; God was not the topic of discussion.

Atheism does not preclude holding spiritual beliefs and does not preclude practicing non-theist religion.  Is astrology science or religion?  Atheists can believe in astrology for spiritual guidance which would be a religious practice not based on worship or acceptance of a deity.  Again, the topic of discussion is atheists; the topic of discussion is not God.

I went from a discussion of atheists to a discussion of atheists.  You're the one trying to change the topic of discussion.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.114  sandy-2021492  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.105    2 weeks ago

You realize that when we criticize the God of the Bible, we can do so without believing in its existence, yes?

Voldemort was both a tragic and terrifyingly malevolent character in the Harry Potter series.  Ditto for Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise.  Lady Catherine de Bourgh was an overbearing old biddy in Pride and Prejudice, and Wickham was a fortune-hunting cad.

None of the characters I described existed.  I described them and their actions in the context of the literature in which they featured.

Atheists do the same regarding your God.  They especially do so when theists claim moral superiority based on their literature, which features a protagonist who champions terrible morals and is self-serving, needy, and arrogant.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.2.115  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.105    2 weeks ago
Atheists attempt to claim that a belief in God causes human evil but there is no God. 

Whoever wrote the Bible directed people to kill other people for various things that his god (Yahweh) found offensive.

So you are probably absolutely 100% correct.  People, who follow Biblical law, are evil or they would reject that god as barbaric, bloodthirsty and completely unacceptable to be considered the epitome of morality and benevolence.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.116  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @8.2.113    2 weeks ago
We were discussing atheists engaged in religious debate concerning God and the Bible.  We were not discussing God.  Atheists were the topic of discussion; God was not the topic of discussion.

And yet, you said this, "Atheists do not accept there is a God.  If there is no God then God cannot condone evil.  Atheists using the Bible to say what God does, allows, or condones is pointless because there is no God.  Why would atheists discuss God in definite terms if there is no God?" 

That sure sounds like a discussion involving God and the bible, which is specifically what I focused on, since your opening statement is somewhat inaccurate.

Atheism does not preclude holding spiritual beliefs and does not preclude practicing non-theist religion. 

I never said it did. I did not mention spiritualism or religion. That's a Strawman on your part!

Is astrology science or religion? 

Neither.

Again, the topic of discussion is atheists

Again, I focused primarily on your aforementioned statement.

You're the one trying to change the topic of discussion.

No Nerm, you deflected from my critique of your statement and started playing these games!

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
8.3  mocowgirl  replied to  Nerm_L @8    3 weeks ago
The real contrast at the heart of the argument is between determinism and indeterminism.

Humans want order - not chaos.

That is probably why their god has a definite plan with a definite outcome.  In Christianity, the plan is the rapture, apocalypse, judgment, eternal reward or eternal torture. - Everything set in stone as to outcome.  If their god has a perfect plan then the outcome has already been decided since their god poofed into existence.

Patterns: The Need for Order (psychcentral.com)

Patterns: The Need for Order

Humans have a tendency to see patterns everywhere. That’s important when making decisions and judgments and acquiring knowledge; we tend to be uneasy with chaos and chance (Gilovich, 1991). Unfortunately, that same tendency to see patterns in everything can lead to seeing things that don’t exist.

Consider the following scenarios, and the costs of being incorrect:

  • False positive : You hear a loud noise in the bushes. You assume it is a predator and run away. It was not a predator, but a powerful wind gust. Your cost for being incorrect is a little extra energy expenditure and false assumption.
  • False negative : You hear a loud noise in the bushes and you assume it is the wind. It is a hungry predator. Your cost for being wrong is your life.

Of course, in modern society the implications for false positives and false negatives have changed. But, as illustrated above it is easy to see how this tendency to see patterns could have been shaped by evolution.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.3.1  Nerm_L  replied to  mocowgirl @8.3    3 weeks ago
Humans want order - not chaos. That is probably why their god has a definite plan with a definite outcome.  In Christianity, the plan is the rapture, apocalypse, judgment, eternal reward or eternal torture. - Everything set in stone as to outcome.  If their god has a perfect plan then the outcome has already been decided since their god poofed into existence.

Which explains why humans engage in astrology and Feng Shui.  But are astrology and Feng Shui science or religion?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.3.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.3.1    3 weeks ago
But are astrology and Feng Shui science or religion?

A science will produce explanations —based on verifiable objective evidence— that are falsifiable and predictive and which can be repeated by objective third parties.   If Feng Shui or astrology were to consistently make accurate predictions (for example) based on verifiable objective evidence and repeated by objective third parties then they would likely be considered sciences.   As of now, that is not true.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
8.3.3  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @8.3.2    3 weeks ago
A science will produce explanations —based on verifiable objective evidence— that are falsifiable and predictive and which can be repeated by objective third parties. 

That precisely describes what astrology and Feng Shui does.

If Feng Shui or astrology were to consistently make accurate predictions (for example) based on verifiable objective evidence and repeated by objective third parties then they would likely be considered sciences.   As of now, that is not true.

Astrology and Feng Shui have been used to make accurate predictions for thousands of years; astrology and Feng Shui predates Abrahamic religions.  Those predictions can be replicated and reproduced; random chance is not involved in making the predictions.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.3.4  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @8.3.3    3 weeks ago
That precisely describes what astrology and Feng Shui does.

falsifiable?   predictive?   repeated (that means verified to be true) by objective third parties?  

Only in the loosest usage of those words (and certainly not in the scientific usage of those words).

If we were to take the predictions of Astrology, for example, that came true compared to those that did not come true, would you expect Astrology to be 90% correct?   ... 50% ... 10%.   Give me a gauge on what you think qualifies as being predictive when compared to a scientific theory (which of course is the predictive meaning I am talking about).

NOTE:  A scientific theory that produces the wrong prediction for that which it should have predicted is considered to be a broken theory and is either scrapped or reworked.   

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Unfortunately very few people have addressed the premises of the seed. 

Not really a surprise on Newstalkers though. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9    3 weeks ago
Unfortunately very few people have addressed the premises of the seed. 

I think I have.  So what is the premise of the seed that you think we are ignoring?   Be specific and maybe we can correct this situation for you.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @9.1    3 weeks ago

Can the existence of God be proven through philosophic argument, or do you require scientific proof? The premise of the article is that science can not disprove philosophic argument and transcendent experience. 

Many of the comments on here are complaints about the Bible religions, which is not at all what the article is about. Many of the comments on the seed argue that believers have the burden of proof , which is also wrong. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.1    3 weeks ago
Can the existence of God be proven through philosophic argument, or do you require scientific proof?

The existence of God (defined as sentient creator since you did not do so) cannot be proved true or false by philosophical argument or by science.

The premise of the article is that science can not disprove philosophic argument and transcendent experience. 

Yes, thus far, but that does not mean the philosophic argument or transcendent experience is true.

Many of the comments on here are complaints about the Bible religions, which is not at all what the article is about. Many of the comments on the seed argue that believers have the burden of proof , which is also wrong. 

In an article, the comments will naturally fracture into variations.   This happens all the time and you know this.  

The premise of this seed, as you have now authoritatively declared as the seeder, is very simple and very obvious.   Not much to debate.   Further, I do not know of anyone who claims that science can disprove a SOUND philosophical argument.   Science (i.e. modern knowledge) can render an argument UNSOUND by countering the truth of at least one of its premises.   But that is not what you described.

So, if one were to argue:

1.  God is the sentient entity which directly created the first two homo sapiens

2.  Adam and Eve were directly created whole by a sentient entity

⛬   God exists

Science (evolution) shows that premise 2 is false.   Human beings are the result of the process of evolution.   Thus the argument is unsound and the conclusion is not shown to be true.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.2    3 weeks ago

Either "nature" (what we call this existence ) is eternal , without any beginning, OR this existence was created from outside.  Either one of these choices would be described as supernatrural.  Nature did not create itself, and the only way we can avoid a creator is if nature is eternal. 

Don't we know that every effect must have a cause? The big bang is an effect, no? 

I think the best argument for atheism is that nature (this existence) is eternal, but that is not something anyone can comprehend. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.3    3 weeks ago
Nature did not create itself, and the only way we can avoid a creator is if nature is eternal. 

Simplifying:

  • There must be a first cause
  • The first cause is either sentient or it is not

True.   And we do not know if the first cause is sentient or if existence itself is the first cause.   If the first cause is sentient then somehow the most complex, sophisticated, powerful entity has always been and is irreducible.  One must avoid thinking about what that really means to believe it.   If the first cause is existence itself then all of reality is just emergent properties of existence interacting with itself.

By the way, if existence itself is the first cause then it actually makes the notion of a sentient creator more sensible.   The sentient creator could have emerged after uncountable interactions.   Once emerged, this sentient creator could then create what we know as our universe.

Alternatively, and with parsimony, our universe might have simply emerged without the intermediate step of a sentient creator.

I think the best argument for atheism is that nature (this existence) is eternal, but that is not something anyone can comprehend. 

Nobody here is arguing FOR atheism.   Atheism is not a position (unless you one of the few, irrational gnostic atheists).   Atheism is a condition or state, not a position.  Atheism = 'not being convinced a god exists'.

You suggesting that atheism must be argued for tells me that you continue to not understand atheism.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.4    3 weeks ago

Up until the bs started, most people recognize three categories of belief or non-belief in God.  Believers, agnostics and atheists.  Now you and others want to incorporate atheism into agnosticism, presumably to try and gain an advantage in arguments.  If atheism is nothing but a lack of belief in God why do you want to argue about it so much, constantly asking people to prove the unprovable?  It is totally fair for believers to say to atheists "ok you prove your argument too". This is all related to the assigning of the default position. The side , in an argument where no one has any proof, that can claim the default wins the argument. 

Lets stay with believers, agnostics, and atheists. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.6  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.5    3 weeks ago
Now you and others want to incorporate atheism into agnosticism

Good grief John, I did not invent this.   All that has been done is to take atheism and theism and then divide each of those into camps based on the dimension of knowledge.  

Ergo we have the gnostics who hold their beliefs as certainty:

  • gnostic atheist ☞ no god exists, I cannot be wrong
  • gnostic theise ☞ my god exists, I cannot be wrong

The gnostics are both irrational since they presume omniscience.

The remaining two are rational:

  • gnostic theist ☞ I believe my god exists, but I recognize that I could be mistaken
  • gnostic atheist ☞ I am not convinced any god exists, but a god might indeed exist

This is not some conspiracy or movement.   It is part of philosophy and it matches what happens in reality.

I am an agnostic atheist.   It is possible that sentient creator does indeed exist, but I am not persuaded that this is true.

XX, Drakk, etc. are gnostic theists (unless they acknowledge that their god might not exist)

I suspect you are an agnostic theist.

I do not know anyone here who is a gnostic atheist.

Lets stay with believers, agnostics, and atheists. 

That confuses belief and knowledge and is too simplistic.  It would force me, for example, to simply be an agnostic but that is not correct.   An agnostic does not know if a god exists or not (and/or thinks it is unknowable) but some think a god is more likely then not while others think the opposite.   You seek to bundle theists and atheists into the same pot.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.5    3 weeks ago
If atheism is nothing but a lack of belief in God why do you want to argue about it so much, constantly asking people to prove the unprovable? 

If someone makes a claim of certainty they should be challenged.   Why does that bother you?   If someone says:  'I believe in God' they are not challenged to prove that they hold a belief.  It is those who claim truth such as 'if you do not believe in my God you will burn in hell' that are challenged.  And if someone makes a claim that has as its foundation the certainty that their god exists then that should be challenged.

The arguments are almost always triggered by theists.   Gordy wrote a series of articles on the Bible but outside of that, there are very few articles here on NT from atheists.   The atheists on NT are typically reacting to what theists write.   If you have a problem with that then that is your issue to deal with.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.8  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.7    3 weeks ago
Gordy wrote a series of articles on the Bible

And that was only because someone (who shall remain nameless) accused me of posting "anti-religion" articles, even though at the time I infrequently posted anything dealing with religion. I figured it would have been rude of me to make them a liar. Hence, the Fallacy of Biblical Stories  series (9 parts in total) was born.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
9.1.9  charger 383  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.8    3 weeks ago

and they were good and made sense

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.10  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @9.1.9    3 weeks ago

Thank you. I appreciate that. jrSmiley_15_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.11  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.8    3 weeks ago

Indeed.    The perception (and thus the accusation) was that articles on religion from atheists were common but the metrics showed that they are actually extremely rare.    Funny how perception can at times be so at odds with reality.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9.1.12  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.11    3 weeks ago
The perception (and thus the accusation) was that articles on religion from atheists were common

Tell us from where you are deriving that conclusion. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.13  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.12    3 weeks ago

A member of NT made the accusation that NT atheists were frequently writing/seeding anti-religion articles.   The name will not be disclosed.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.14  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.11    3 weeks ago

So true. I even counted the number of articles I posted dealing with religion at the time. Compared to the amount of time I've been on NT, the articles were relatively few. And they generally were not " anti-religious." They dealt with a religious issue, but that was about it. But then, how often have we been accused of anti religious animus simply for challenging a religious based claim? Perception is indeed a funny thing sometimes. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.15  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.14    3 weeks ago

In religious topics, mere disagreement is often viewed as an attack.   I understand the emotions involved given I have lived my life surrounded by Christians (family and friends), but that does not make it true.

That is why I am very cautious about the topic with family and friends and instead use forums.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
9.1.16  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.6    3 weeks ago

Claiming that babies are born atheists is absurd. Stop saying such absurd things and maybe people will stop giving you a hard time. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.17  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.15    3 weeks ago

I've noticed responses to challenges to religious claims are often emotionally driven. The longer the challenge is drawn out or pushed, the more emotional and irrational the "defending" party becomes.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.18  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.16    3 weeks ago

Are they born with a belief in God or religion? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.19  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.14    3 weeks ago

Also, I think a common religious reaction is that our counter-arguments are taken as an attack on their intelligence.    The better our rebuttals, the more they presume we think they are stupid.

That is one of worst reads in these discussions.   Those who can actually put forth a decent argument for religious belief are necessarily intelligent (and clever).  I would never want to be in a position to defend many of these beliefs.   So many times (while rebutting) I am genuinely impressed with the skill that is involved in crafting what I find to be an utterly wrong view.    To work with crap material and turn it into something that at least looks like a good argument is impressive to me.

Of course most people just react emotionally (you know, like endlessly repeating a simplistic complaint that the only thing we ever really say is 'prove it'  LOL).  But there is nothing that can be done about that other than never broach the topic.

Stupidity (so to speak) tends to emerge in political conversations; not religious conversations (albeit there might be a glaring exception to that).

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.20  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.16    3 weeks ago
Claiming that babies are born atheists is absurd.

It is if you define 'atheist' exclusively as gnostic:   'there is no god'.   It would be absurd to claim babies hold that position.

It is not absurd to note that babies do not believe in a god.   Their condition is one of agnostic atheism:  lack of belief in a god.

We are all born without a belief in a god.

This has been explained to you repeatedly but you refuse to understand and instead cling to your own personal totally incorrect fabrication of what we have written.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.21  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.19    3 weeks ago

Agreed. I'm also mystified as to how some can cling so tenaciously to belief and utterly reject anything which contradicts the belief, even in the slightest, and even when there is evidence which directly contradicts or discredits the belief and/or belief based claim.  How often have we heard people say "The bible/God says it, I believe it, that's it!?" It's irrational and close minded 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.22  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.21    3 weeks ago

Especially the Bible.   The Bible is so obviously errant and contradictory.  Instead of simply re-reading the Bible, people ought to read the analysis by biblical scholars and learn something about the meaning of words in that time period, the blending of different sources into a single story (in particular the Flood), the extremely questionable original authors, the passage of time from the claimed event before it was ever penned, etc.

History alone tells us the origin of the books of the Bible (e.g. the Council of Nicaea).   So without even opening the Bible one should be wary about the claim that this is the divine word of a perfect god.

But then when one reads the content and observes the many, varied attempts by apologists to explain away its flaws ... things just get ridiculous.   The Bible itself demonstrates that it is the work of ancient men (e.g. condoning slavery) over many years with many revisions.   It is ancient men penning their imaginative thoughts through the lens of their culture and based in part on lore from their ancestors.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.23  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.21    3 weeks ago

Ken Ham is my exemplar for this behavior.   He actually argues that the Ark carried dinosaurs.    He logically was forced into that because he holds the Earth to be <10,000 years so that means dinosaurs had to be around at the time of the Ark.

Oh, and the dinosaurs on the ark were babies who, after the ark settled, grew up, mated and then there was a massive explosion of species which then all quickly died.  

How can someone possibly believe such crap?   Worse, he has a successful organization designed to spew this kind of crap and is actively teaching this to the younger generations.   What a disservice to society.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
9.1.24  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  JohnRussell @9.1.5    3 weeks ago
If atheism is nothing but a lack of belief in God why do you want to argue about it so much, constantly asking people to prove the unprovable?

Perhaps they are agnostic atheists who would love to be a believer but just can't believe without some compelling evidence. Most atheists are agnostic atheists who are not certain there is no God but are unable or unwilling to believe without evidence since to do so is effectively accepting that ones belief is essentially active fantasy role playing and is no different than any other faith based purely on conjecture and imagination with no concrete evidence.

With so many thousands of different God/Goddess/gods beliefs even if you want to believe, and have decided you don't need evidence to convince you, how do you choose between the God beliefs when they all have the exact same amount of evidence? How does one choose between Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Hinduism? If we look at the different faiths it is fairly clear that the most determinative factor in people choosing a certain brand of belief is either where they were born and raised on the planet or to whom they were born. And if location or heritage are the largest factors in determining which faith a person will accept isn't it essentially proving that peer pressure is the most likely reason people believe what they believe?

If you are born in an area where most people are Christian or Muslim, where your parents and peers have already accepted a certain belief passed down through history by their ancestors in that region, why would any rational person believe that faith to be 'more true' than any other faith? And if it's not 'more true' then any other faith, why wouldn't any rational person ask for more, like say evidence of the God those around them are trying to convince them of on which those believers doctrines, traditions and beliefs are based on before they accept those beliefs as 'true'?

If believers were honest with themselves they would admit they believe because they want to believe even though they have no evidence their faith is any more valid than any other religion or religious traditions and that they are most likely a believer in that faith due to the random chance of being born into a region that adopted a specific brand of faith hundreds if not thousands of years ago and they have accepted the benefits of 'fitting in' by adopting the religion of the region. Social acceptance is a very powerful motivator.

Those who refuse to simply believe just because everyone around them is attempting to recruit them by marketing the benefits of 'fitting in', being a part of a larger social group that can open doors, get you jobs and other opportunities within that community, are truly the brave people who reject the status quo in favor of seeking truth instead of simply seeking acceptance and following the path of least resistance. Those who seek truth often ask for evidence on which they can build a foundation of belief. Only those who are asked for proof but know deep down they cannot provide any would feel uncomfortable or get angry and even attack the questioner when asked for proof which is really evidence of their own lack of faith or understanding that their faith is really built on the sandy foundation of random birth location chance.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
9.1.25  TᵢG  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @9.1.24    3 weeks ago
Only those who are asked for proof but know deep down they cannot provide any would feel uncomfortable or get angry and even attack the questioner when asked for proof which is really evidence of their own lack of faith or understanding that their faith is really built on the sandy foundation of random birth location chance.

Cutting to the chase, eh?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.26  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.25    3 weeks ago

Indeed. And we've seen how...irate certain individuals become when challenged.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.27  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.23    3 weeks ago

It speaks poorly of our society that people like Hamm con others or possibly worse, other who buy into Ham & Co BS, no questions asked.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
9.1.28  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Gordy327 @9.1.27    3 weeks ago
It speaks poorly of our society that people like Hamm con others or possibly worse, other who buy into Ham & Co BS, no questions asked.

I think the fact that faith/religion is a multi-billion dollar enterprise which requires no facts or evidence and simply appeals to emotional fulfillment, basically selling memberships to specific clicks, like being able to buy your way into the cool kids group in school, it invites people like Hamm or Jesse Duplantis to sheer the sheeple.

Almost every faith spends a large amount of time and effort convincing their followers that being sheered of their excess wool is a good thing, it's the best state of being and that being shorn isn't something to be ashamed of but revered. Those who give the most are treated as hometown heroes, some faiths allow you to effectively buy your way, or that of dead loved ones, into heaven.

Their business model relies on their followers never questioning the foundation of their faith and focuses on praising and rewarding those who continue to invest in it blindly, because once heavily invested the effects of the sunk cost fallacy phenomenon effectively chain the believer to that specific faith and even motivates those captured to convince others to invest which is a way to validate their own investment.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
9.1.29  Gordy327  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @9.1.28    3 weeks ago

You are quite correct. 

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
10  Kathleen    3 weeks ago

Here is a question, how do you explain things that science cannot explain?

Evidently there are some instances that baffled people and they can’t seen to explain it away with science. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @10    3 weeks ago
... how do you explain things that science cannot explain?

How about:  'we do not yet know'?

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
10.1.1  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @10.1    3 weeks ago

Then could it be possible that it could be something supernatural?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @10.1.1    3 weeks ago

By definition, everything that is outside of the realm of science to explain is supernatural.

supernatural = (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

At one point in time, volcanic eruptions were supernatural events.

The religious view of supernatural is an imagined environment that is distinct from the natural reality we experience (i.e. our universe).   If you take that as your definition then of course it is possible but, also, by definition, nobody would have any possible way of evidencing it.   So why do people speak of something that clearly is based strictly on imagination?

It is simply a safe host for religious beliefs.   If someone deems something 'supernatural' then that pretty much ends intelligent discussion since there is no way to show otherwise.   ' Supernatural ' is a tool to shut down debate.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
10.1.3  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.2    3 weeks ago

I was referring to something not religious or anything such as natural occurrences like a volcano.

I was wondering if there could be something else that we can’t scientifically explore because we do not have anyway to do it. 

As they say, ‘The other side’ but not in a religious sense.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @10.1.3    3 weeks ago
I was wondering if there could be something else that we can’t scientifically explore because we do not have anyway to do it. 

Yes, of course, there is an entire universe (and possibly beyond) of things we cannot explain because we have no current way to do so.

You know this is true, everyone knows this is true. 

As I noted, sure there might be some magical reality out there.   There might be a Star Wars 'the force' that permeates all life forms.   Almost anything that we can imagine might be true. 

Not sure where this is going.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
10.1.5  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.4    3 weeks ago

The reason why I was asking these questions are because I always thought these types of questions were fun and interesting. I wasn’t challenging anyone about this more less thinking out loud. Some can try to put their opinion about it or not even reply at all, just something to think about. I don’t know if it has to go anywhere, just something to think on. We all wonder, that’s what I was doing. If you feel this is not something worth talking about, then you could have just passed on it. Although I am glad you decided to participate in the discussion. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1.6  TᵢG  replied to  Kathleen @10.1.5    3 weeks ago
If you feel this is not something worth talking about, then you could have just passed on it.

I was attempting to give you the conversation you sought.   But, as noted, I do not see where it was headed.

 
 
 
Kathleen
Professor Principal
10.1.7  Kathleen  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.6    3 weeks ago

Okay, fair enough.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
10.1.8  JBB  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.6    3 weeks ago

Surprise! You can't roller skate in a lava flow...

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
11  charger 383    3 weeks ago

If a God, of whatever type, is there and wants us to believe in and worship the God and the God knows how people are and many want proof then why does the God hide itself?   

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
11.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  charger 383 @11    3 weeks ago

He's testing our faith.

Of course, being omniscient, he should know exactly how faithful we are at any given moment, but somehow, we still need testing.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
11.2  TᵢG  replied to  charger 383 @11    3 weeks ago

Well Charger, it would seem that at most ⅓ of the planet will be saved.   Does not seem as though God really is all that into the salvation thing.    And the process seems pretty wasteful (66% waste).

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
12  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
Professor Principal
3.4.114     Gordy327     replied to    JohnRussell   @ 3.4.113       8 hours ago
You're busted. 

At what? I think you meant to make that reply to TiG.

I wont bother with the other 10 comments I was going to post. 

I doubt it would help your case anyway.

 
like.png?skin=ntNewsTalkers3&v=1613695469   2  
     LOCKED [Freewill]          
========================================================
You're right about one thing, that comment was intended for Tig. It was Tig's words I was quoting. 
Sorry it went to you. 
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
13  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

This article is going to be closed when it

reaches 550 comments, or the end of the

day Friday, whatever comes first. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
14  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

The discussion has been concluded.   Thanks to everyone. 

 
 
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