Evidence and the Supernatural

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Evidence and the Supernatural

In response to Caposkia's request, I've started this thread in the hopes that the conversation will actually progress somewhere. 

The topic of this conversation is very simple. 

- show me evidence for the existence of a spiritual world, basically, any world other than this one.

- evidence for the existence of a "soul."

- existence of some "creator" or "higher power."

etc.

I am pretty lenient on what is evidence: refer to a scientific journal with an article discussing evidence for the supernatural (even theist websites are okay, but it better be good. Not AIG), some aspect of nature or life that requires an outside force, valid philosophical argument, and even anecdotal evidence. 

Oh, if I start seeing stereotypical, lame arguments like the fine tuning argument, every painting has a painter, appeal to fear or guilt, argument from morality, argument from faith, I'm going to be royally pissed.    

I hope I have made this clear.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Cap, if anything could

Cap, if anything could possibly be immaterial it would be impossible for human senses to detect it. We are not even capable of imagining such a thing. Immaterial musing is 100% fantasy, and no evidence of such is humanly possible.


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caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

This is the problem - we have looked at all the arguments we are aware of, and find nothing remotely compelling to justify the outlandish concept of a supreme, sentient, universe creating being.

That's right.  I have to say the same about my point of view.  I have found nothing remotely compelling to justify the concept of the absense of a supreme being.

In what imaginary realm do you believe the above to be a serious argument? I can't justify the absence of unicorns, fairies or a host of magical creatures. That doesn't mean I'll make decisions based on the belief that they're actually there. I mean, why would I? There's a long history of believing in magic, so I can see why you would be attracted to it, but to seriously believe it enough for it to guide your life? Are you serious?

caposkia wrote:
A SPECIFIC TOPIC OR IDEA

Hey, how about the topic of this thread? I know, I know: wild idea.

caposkia wrote:
A RELEVENT source for research that you will find acceptable.

Oh, y'know, anything that uses some kind of double or triple blind method. Like a proper scientific study. Usually found in journals. There are thousands of journals.

caposkia wrote:
An open mind to the topic

Here's how open my mind is to the topic: I'll grant you the possibility that there is, in fact, ANY kind of creature you can imagine in any form somewhere in the universe. You just have to demonstrate in ANY way that it uniquely identifies your creature.

caposkia wrote:
I think a true follower is what you haven't encountered.  If you'd actually get to a point, we could discuss that more.

Okay, let's dance. The point, however, is slippery. What you'd like us to accept is something that hasn't been discovered yet, am I correct? You have something very specific in mind, and you believe in the existence of that thing. I'd call that "supernatural" because it hasn't demonstrated itself as part of the natural world (ie it hasn't shown up). You can call it whatever you like. My contention is that it probably doesn't exist. What I mean is that your conception of something that has never presented itself to you is probably not in actual existence.

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Desdenova wrote:Of course

Desdenova wrote:

Of course since you have already admitted that there is no evidence for the supernatural, this whole conversation is rather pointless.

I'd like you to reference the quote from me that actually says "there is no evidence" in regards to a spiritual world. 

Your view doesn't hold water if your only support is manipulating the words of others to say what you want them to say.


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BMcD wrote:What I would want

BMcD wrote:

What I would want to talk about SPECIFICALLY that might help me consider the idea is exactly what's been asked for repeatedly:

Present. Your. Evidence.

You say you have evidence that leads you to believe in God. Produce it. Let us examine and consider your evidence. Our rationales for holding the positions we have are all over this site. We produce our views and claims (if we, as individuals, make active claims, not all do) at the figurative drop of a hat. We're asking you to show the same consideration.

Present your evidence.

That leaves me open to a thousand different directions.  Here's the problem.  I don't want to present you "evidence" that you're either not going to believe becasue you weren't there, or aren't going to accept because it can't be physically supported. 

I want to make sure the evidence I present to you is actually evidence that you're going to consider.  I've taken pages and pages of forums in the past just trying to figure out what the other side will be willing to actually consider and discuss without imediately dismissing it as delusion or otherwise.  Granted they have no support for their conclusions, but it doesn't matter because they've already decided on their conclusion.

I apologise.  I dont' know how you will react to anything, but I don't want to waste anyone's time.  Would you be willing to discuss chains of events and happenings in others lives that you weren't there to see and therefore have to take my word on being true?  If so, I'll present you some of it.

Are you one who will only accept the physical sciences?  If so, then there's no possible way THROUGH THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES for all of you who might try to change this sentence, that I can show you evidence of spirits or the soul or necessarily spiritual or Godly influence.  Basically the physical sciences leave us with unexplained happenings, but lack of evidence and therefore end up being strawman theories due to the fact that no one is willing to look beyond the physical sciences for support. 

If you're willing to take a general logic approach, we can talk about odds of things happening on their own vs. odds of things happening due to an inteligent intervention.  We can take into consideration mathmatical equations that will clarify odds and happenings through sheer coincidence or inteligent influence.  Though the problem with that is opinions can easily be implemented into the odds factors.  It's a good support if you take odds as they are, but weak if odds are influenced by opinionated circumstance.

Are you accepting of historical happenings?  There are many things written in the Bible that are written in history outside the Bible.  One main thing is the existance of Jesus.  Some people accept that he was actually a real person, many do not.  How about moses?  How about Noah's flood?  There is a lot of history to support those happenings.   I do not have the sources imediately available to me, but I can reference National Geographic and Discovery for covering the history and science behind a lot of Biblical happenings.  I haven't read or seen them all, but we can discuss any of it if you're aware of some.

How about the personal support?  Again, it would leave you in the sense of taking someone's word over it.  If you think I'd lie about anything, it would not be a good discussion because it would get nowhere.

How about taking the scientific Method approach.  Me explaining to you the process for which others have gone through to get to where they are today in their walk with God.  After the explanation, you go out and try it yourself and report to me your conclusions.   The trouble with this approach is 99% of the non-believers I have come across imediately dismiss this as an avoidance and yet do not actually attept to accept the challenge. 

Again, I apologise.  I don't know you and therefore cannot judge the outcome of anything that I present to you, but I want to make sure we start on a topic you'd be able to consider.  Which approach listed above will you accept?  I've tried to offer most of them in the past.  Most of the time each was presented with the wrong person.  You see where I'm coming from?  Which person are you? 

BMcD wrote:

Except what you've been asked to present is your evidence which leads you to believe in God. So far, the evidence you've presented is to say "Look at this guy! He seems to know a lot, and he believes!" And if that's the basis of your belief, that's fine, just say so. But that's not what we're asking for.

You suggested an option to present a source.  I presented one.  I guess that was the wrong approach with you. 

BMcD wrote:

What things have you seen, encountered, or experienced (yes, I'll open the floor to experiential evidence, why not?) that leads you to believe in God?

Ok, one thing at a time then.  How about some friends that were unfortunate enough to get caught in the california wildfires one year.  However, for some reason, even though their house was smack dab in the middle of the fires, there was a circle of unburnt ground right around their house.  They are believers, and they prayed for protection.  Their house ended up without any damage. 

BMcD wrote:

Then you should send me your life savings. I'll let you know what I get in reply to my request for information and credible evidence.

Thank you.  I'm seeing that you're a serious person about this.  It's hard sometimes to tell with all of the fakes I've talked to on here.  I'm sorry.  I hope you understand my position as far as trying to find out what you're willing to take serious. 

BMcD wrote:

How about when you present the evidence and the sourcing, you present your methodology as well? You see, ideally, what you want to do is establish your premises, provide us with the evidence you acquired, where you acquired it from, and how you acquired it, and see if we can duplicate your results, or if we find errors that you didn't notice in your experiment. And if we do find errors, then please don't take that as a personal attack on you, Caposkia, but as us trying to help you ensure that your work is error-free, and so trustworthy. This is what is known as peer-review, and it's an important part of the scientific method.

Finally someone who's willing to do it right.  I will understand.  First thing, the wild fires story.  First let me know if you accept it, if not, then I'll move onto something else.  Also let me know if there's a better topic of discussion that you'd rather follow than personal accounts. 

BMcD wrote:

We're not asking for one piece of evidence. We're asking for all of it. If you think there's too much to present, then pick a starting point and work from there. If you'd like, I'll pick one for you:

Start with your earliest memories and work forward, through each segment of your life.

Begin with early childhood. Be thorough.

I grew up a catholic, so my memories of knowing God don't start until very late high school and into college. 

To make a long story short for now, it took my prayer of saying to God show me or are you only air for him to put some (what i call) True Christians in my life.  I never knew true Christians until that point.  I wasn't introduced to them until I prayed for it. 

It's a long story short.  If you want more, I'm willing to share.


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BobSpence1 wrote:capioska

BobSpence1 wrote:

capioska wrote:

I already know your state of mind is that there is no evidence, but that's not what I asked.  I asked what would need to be presented to you for you to consider the idea.

It obviously cannot be a physical proof.  We've agreed upon that.  What else is there?  A lot, there are chains of events, there are personal experiences, there are actual sightings from people, among other things.  You would just have to think about it.

I know you were not replying to me here, but let's talk about those things, work through them one by one. That is exactly what I am interested in, the experiences, observations, events, whatever, that you feel justify your belief. I'm sure that goes for others here as well.

Had you somehow concluded that we were only looking for what you think of as 'physical' evidence? That may be the source of our misunderstanding.

We are not asking for the "defining fact that led me to accept this belief", we fully understand that it is usually an accumulation of things, just as it is typically for us, when concluding there is nothing to support belief. It would have to be a lot more straight-forward for you to start talking about some of the things which positively contributed toward your ultimate position than for us to work through all the arguments we examined and found lacking, especially as from some of your comments you may well find some of them faulty as well.

The quickest way to find something substantial to discuss is to work thru the experiences, observations, and other things which contributed to your position, since by definition each issue must either be something we have not thought of or encoutered before, or something we disagree with. Either way we will be guarranteed to have something specific to discuss/debate.

Then I have misunderstood you and I apologise.  as I explained in my other post.  I've come across so many fakes on this site that it's hard to tell who's going to take anything I say seriously or not. 

I think we will have a good conversation.  The previous post is a small start.  We can go from there.


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Cap,

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Cap, if anything could possibly be immaterial it would be impossible for human senses to detect it. We are not even capable of imagining such a thing. Immaterial musing is 100% fantasy, and no evidence of such is humanly possible.

This is the arguement I'm trying to avoid.  Of course if it's immaterial it would be impossible for the human senses to detect it.  Therefore, we would need to use other approaches to understanding that it exists.  It's a strawman to conclude from that above statement that it's fantasy. 

 


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How would you?

caposkia wrote:

If you're willing to take a general logic approach, we can talk about odds of things happening on their own vs. odds of things happening due to an inteligent intervention.

How would you assign numbers to the likelihood of things happening with god or without god?


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Cap, how can my above

Cap, how can my above statement be a straw man???  I don't even consider it an argument, because we humans are incapable of thinking, feeling, sensing in other than material related ways. Think about it.

Utter a single thought that is not 100% material related. Is our most profound sense of "awe", we all share, rationally hint to anything immaterial? Any attempt to do so is nothing more than common emotional ignorance. Tell us anything of the immaterial .... YOU CAN"T. No one can. It's impossible.    


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caposkia wrote:That leaves

caposkia wrote:

That leaves me open to a thousand different directions.  Here's the problem.  I don't want to present you "evidence" that you're either not going to believe becasue you weren't there, or aren't going to accept because it can't be physically supported.

Except that each piece of evidence in this case would be, while possibly subjective or circumstantial, supporting and supported by every other piece. You can't present incomplete evidence and expect others to draw the same conclusions you did, because they don't have the same information you did.

Quote:

I want to make sure the evidence I present to you is actually evidence that you're going to consider.

Evidence can only be considered in context. If you leave some out, you alter the context of the rest.

Quote:

I apologise.  I dont' know how you will react to anything, but I don't want to waste anyone's time.

We're the ones who choose to read and reply, or not to. We're the ones who'll be deciding how we use our time. You just have to decide if you feel it would waste yours.

Quote:

Are you one who will only accept the physical sciences?  If so, then there's no possible way THROUGH THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES for all of you who might try to change this sentence, that I can show you evidence of spirits or the soul or necessarily spiritual or Godly influence.  Basically the physical sciences leave us with unexplained happenings, but lack of evidence and therefore end up being strawman theories due to the fact that no one is willing to look beyond the physical sciences for support.

I'm not going to lie to you: An inability to demonstrate cause can't be helpful. At the same time, truly inexplicable occurrences are always worth looking into. The real question is: Are you willing to risk someone being able to explain those 'unexplained happenings'?

Quote:

If you're willing to take a general logic approach, we can talk about odds of things happening on their own vs. odds of things happening due to an inteligent intervention.  We can take into consideration mathmatical equations that will clarify odds and happenings through sheer coincidence or inteligent influence.  Though the problem with that is opinions can easily be implemented into the odds factors.  It's a good support if you take odds as they are, but weak if odds are influenced by opinionated circumstance.

Well, that runs into a slight difficulty as well: You'd have to demonstrate that the math is correct. For example, what are the odds of life occurring on Earth? It's hard to objectively calculate that, because it requires being able to accurately calculate the odds of the sun's formation at the location and time that it did.

We can certainly look at the odds you're willing to present, but the methodology of deducing those odds will also have to be considered, and evaluated.

Quote:

Are you accepting of historical happenings?

Historical happenings, again, would need to be presented and evaluated. Historical events being portrayed in the Bible wouldn't necessarily mean the Bible's interpretation of those events is accurate. To take an example, Noah's flood: This could have been the flood of the Black Sea caused by the collapse of the Bosporus. It may have been caused by Bruce Masse's Indian Ocean Impactor (around 3,000 BC).  So, while we're willing to consider historical events, keep in mind that just because a thing happens, doesn't mean the records of the thing accurately depict it.

Quote:

How about the personal support?  Again, it would leave you in the sense of taking someone's word over it.  If you think I'd lie about anything, it would not be a good discussion because it would get nowhere.

Again, this sort of evidence would be dependant upon the rest for support, but would be necessary for us to understand the picture completely.

Quote:


How about taking the scientific Method approach.  Me explaining to you the process for which others have gone through to get to where they are today in their walk with God.  After the explanation, you go out and try it yourself and report to me your conclusions.   The trouble with this approach is 99% of the non-believers I have come across imediately dismiss this as an avoidance and yet do not actually attept to accept the challenge.

This assumes that many of us haven't already tried those methods. But please, offer them up. Perhaps we can provide you with some insight, as well.

Quote:

Again, I apologise.  I don't know you and therefore cannot judge the outcome of anything that I present to you, but I want to make sure we start on a topic you'd be able to consider.  Which approach listed above will you accept?  I've tried to offer most of them in the past.  Most of the time each was presented with the wrong person.  You see where I'm coming from?  Which person are you?

I'm not asking for this approach or that one. I'm asking for all of them. Together. And I'm asking that you be willing to consider that the man who tells you something you don't like may not be telling you something you don't need to hear. Antifreeze tastes sweet, but I'm not going to let a child drink it just because they don't know any better. Which is not to call you a child, mind you... it's just an example.

Quote:

You suggested an option to present a source.  I presented one.  I guess that was the wrong approach with you.

But you didn't present your evidence. Holding up someone as a source and then telling us you don't agree with everything he says doesn't tell us what should or shouldn't be trusted there, what methods and evidence you're holding up as compelling. It would be like me pointing you at a library and saying 'See! That! That's my evidence... just don't believe all of it.' It doesn't tell us enough to know what it is we're supposed to be evaluating or considering.

Quote:

Ok, one thing at a time then.  How about some friends that were unfortunate enough to get caught in the california wildfires one year.  However, for some reason, even though their house was smack dab in the middle of the fires, there was a circle of unburnt ground right around their house.  They are believers, and they prayed for protection.  Their house ended up without any damage.

That's one piece of information. As I said, it's all got to be considered within the context of the whole. When was this, and where in California?

Quote:

Thank you.  I'm seeing that you're a serious person about this.  It's hard sometimes to tell with all of the fakes I've talked to on here.  I'm sorry.  I hope you understand my position as far as trying to find out what you're willing to take serious.

I do understand it. And no apologies are needed. Just understand that the 'fakes' likely aren't, they're simply individuals who, like yourself, have reached a conclusion.

Quote:

Finally someone who's willing to do it right.  I will understand.  First thing, the wild fires story.  First let me know if you accept it, if not, then I'll move onto something else.  Also let me know if there's a better topic of discussion that you'd rather follow than personal accounts.

I accept it as information. So far, it's a)anecdotal, and b)incomplete. Like I said, we'll need everything if we're to really understand.

Quote:

I grew up a catholic, so my memories of knowing God don't start until very late high school and into college. 

To make a long story short for now, it took my prayer of saying to God show me or are you only air for him to put some (what i call) True Christians in my life.  I never knew true Christians until that point.  I wasn't introduced to them until I prayed for it. 

It's a long story short.  If you want more, I'm willing to share.

To quote Freddy Mercury: I want it all.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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A few comments and

A few comments and questions, capioskia.

Could you clarify just what about a person replying to you here marks them as 'fake' to you? It would help me understand where you are coming from.

About your wild fire story. Without wanting to dismiss it out of hand, there are many crucial bits of information we would need before just 'accepting it'. In the absence of actual before and after photographs of the area, we have to rely on people noticing and recalling important details which could easily point to mundane explanations.

What was the actual shape of the burnt/unburnt edge, and its distance from the closest part of the house, what was the vegetation cover on the ground around the house and how did it vary as you got farther from the house?

Had anyone watered the ground around the house recently?

As with 'historical happenings', it's not a matter of us just 'accepting' what you say.

We are fully accepting that you are honestly describing what you experienced and observed.

If we don't accept your interpretation of those experiences, that they could only be due to the influence of God rather than some combination of the workings of chance and the way our brain 'works', then we are not calling you a liar, or trying to attack or disparage you, we just think you are probably mistaken.

We are just pointing out that we think there are other plausible explanations that you may not have adequately considered, maybe because you are not sufficiently aware of  just how such things actually can work out.

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caposkia wrote:That leaves

caposkia wrote:
That leaves me open to a thousand different directions.  Here's the problem.  I don't want to present you "evidence" that you're either not going to believe becasue you weren't there, or aren't going to accept because it can't be physically supported.

I know you're talking to BMcD, but I hope you don't mind if I address this point, too. The above is the impasse at which believers and non-believers often find themselves. Evidence is very frequently physically supported, and even if someone "wasn't there", secondary evidence is usually available. Let's say footprints in the snow as evidence of someone walking in the snow.

In fact, believers will usually go for that kind of idea: that we see the footsteps of God/Allah/Thor/Wotan. The fact that we have a whole bunch of different conceptions of these deities is a hint as to how poor an explanation it is. We give the supernatural all sorts of different characteristics depending on where we're born. Now, would that be because each culture has a different way of expressing something that definitely exists? Or might it be that all people have a tendency to want parental protection and love forever? The second (and it's not a dichotomy, there are many other possibilities) just seems more likely. Secondly, the "footprints" are often not physical at all, or have many other explanations available for them that are equally absurd and/or likely. That, again, points to those things not making sense.

What I mean is that "the footsteps of God" is a phrase that contains two questionable elements, and thus loses a lot of meaning.

caposkia wrote:
Basically the physical sciences leave us with unexplained happenings, but lack of evidence and therefore end up being strawman theories due to the fact that no one is willing to look beyond the physical sciences for support.

No, basically the physical sciences strive to understand the interactions of the elements in the physical world. You'll need to present a "happening" that has no physical explanation before you declare it beyond the explanation of the physical sciences. That's why you'll often hear non-believers say "burden of proof" when you present them with bare assertions of the supernatural. All the supernatural would be is something that doesn't mesh with the rest of the observations of the physical sciences. That's all. Quantum mechanics has a bit of "spooky" in its language, which is often interpreted as supernatural, but is accepted as a description of the natural world because the careful measurement of the physical world often produces chaotic (or statistical) results.

caposkia wrote:
If you're willing to take a general logic approach, we can talk about odds of things happening on their own vs. odds of things happening due to an inteligent intervention.  We can take into consideration mathmatical equations that will clarify odds and happenings through sheer coincidence or inteligent influence.

That's not really the odds problem that's relevant. The problem explodes pretty quickly when you give the "intelligence" a name, language, and behaviour. Now you're talking about a very specific intelligence. Whether or not you're discussing an itelligence doing something is irrelevant: you mean a specific intelligence. Not only that, it's an intelligence you (by the admission of most believers) don't actually understand. So how exactly would you know if an intelligence you don't understand was doing something? Then to assign some probability to it is even more difficult.

You have an uphill climb if you want to call your personal experiences anything but personal experiences. I'm sure lots of people have had similar "walks" with God, because we all have similar ranges and patterns of behaviour. That's something else that doesn't point to any external influence.

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BobSpence1 wrote:If we don't

BobSpence1 wrote:

If we don't accept your interpretation of those experiences, that they could only be due to the influence of God rather than some combination of the workings of chance and the way our brain 'works', then we are not calling you a liar, or trying to attack or disparage you, we just think you are probably mistaken.

We are just pointing out that we think there are other plausible explanations that you may not have adequately considered, maybe because you are not sufficiently aware of  just how such things actually can work out.

Sigh. After all that typing, Bob said what I was trying to say more succinctly. I'll try not to take it too personally.

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HisWillness wrote:Sigh.

HisWillness wrote:

Sigh. After all that typing, Bob said what I was trying to say more succinctly. I'll try not to take it too personally.

He's pretty good at that, isn't he?

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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HisWillness wrote:Desdenova

HisWillness wrote:

Desdenova wrote:

Two whole minutes have passed, and you have yet to refute each and every proof , therefore god exists. Yay, I win!

And let's see what you've won! Promises of an afterlife in the clouds, all your enemies burning, freezing or being otherwise tortured forever, and all of your wishes and hopes satisfied!*

*offer only valid when deceased

Is that is what is waiting for us after we die? A boring eternity in the clouds repeatedly kissing the feet of daddy? And if we don't kiss his feet we get tourtured forever? Can I get a refund?

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Brian37 wrote:HisWillness

Brian37 wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Desdenova wrote:

Two whole minutes have passed, and you have yet to refute each and every proof , therefore god exists. Yay, I win!

And let's see what you've won! Promises of an afterlife in the clouds, all your enemies burning, freezing or being otherwise tortured forever, and all of your wishes and hopes satisfied!*

*offer only valid when deceased

Is that is what is waiting for us after we die? A boring eternity in the clouds repeatedly kissing the feet of daddy? And if we don't kiss his feet we get tourtured forever? Can I get a refund?

 

If you're mormon you get a whole planet for you and all your wives!


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Ciarin wrote:If you're

Ciarin wrote:

If you're mormon you get a whole planet for you and all your wives!

Oh man! Sign me up! A whole planet? I bet I could ... waaaaaitaminit. This is a trick, isn't it? Damn!

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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But just think, Will...

But just think, Will... whenever you screwed up, you'd have noplace to go, nobody to escape and hang out with... except your wife. And you think they wouldn't be talking to one another? Big ol' internet chat room of 'Oh, you do NOT want to know the stupid thing he did today when I asked him to take out the trash...'?

A whole planet. No friends, just wives.

Hell, man. It's Hell.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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BMcD wrote:But just think,

BMcD wrote:

But just think, Will... whenever you screwed up, you'd have noplace to go, nobody to escape and hang out with... except your wife. And you think they wouldn't be talking to one another? Big ol' internet chat room of 'Oh, you do NOT want to know the stupid thing he did today when I asked him to take out the trash...'?

A whole planet. No friends, just wives.

Hell, man. It's Hell.

Isn't it my Planet Mormon civic duty to beat my imaginary wives into submission? Why aren't they taking out the trash? And get me a beer!

Jeez, I was all feminist until I got sent to Planet Mormon. It doesn't even sound like a nice place to visit.

Wait, when Mormons say "wives", do they mean "hot astrophysicist sluts"? I'm seeing the bright side of Planet Mormon all-of-a-sudden.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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RatDog wrote:How would you

RatDog wrote:

How would you assign numbers to the likelihood of things happening with god or without god?

Mathematical logic suggests the worse off the odds, the more likely there had to be inteligence behind it.  Oopses don't usually happen with low odds

 


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Cap,

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Cap, how can my above statement be a straw man???  I don't even consider it an argument, because we humans are incapable of thinking, feeling, sensing in other than material related ways. Think about it.

Utter a single thought that is not 100% material related. Is our most profound sense of "awe", we all share, rationally hint to anything immaterial? Any attempt to do so is nothing more than common emotional ignorance. Tell us anything of the immaterial .... YOU CAN"T. No one can. It's impossible.    

I'm not sure what you'd be looking at, though everything is impossible until you understand how it works.

e.g. It's impossible to send a picture through a wire. 

It's impossible to put a man on the moon.

It's impossible to talk to someone half-way across the world directly.

It's impossible to take a trip across the country in a single day.

or is it?


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BMcD wrote:Except that each

BMcD wrote:

Except that each piece of evidence in this case would be, while possibly subjective or circumstantial, supporting and supported by every other piece. You can't present incomplete evidence and expect others to draw the same conclusions you did, because they don't have the same information you did.

right, I'm willing to work through it step by step, but how much information can I give you at once without losing focus?

I can lay out for you the process of the formation of wind, though I'm sure from that explanation you'd have a laundry list of questions.  Those of which might fork in many different directions and have to do with many different topics within themselves.  Therefore, instead of getting to that point, I'd walk you through it one step at a time.  if we get stuck, then we work through that step.

BMcD wrote:

Evidence can only be considered in context. If you leave some out, you alter the context of the rest.

Ah, in other words, you don't trust me to be honest.  This progress could get difficult in this case.

The problem with people "altering the context" is that they 99% of the time will back themselves into a corner and start to contradict themselves.  Through the years of talking to people like you as well as other's of contradicting faiths, few have claimed I contradicted myself.  Any who have have failed in backing up that claim. 

BMcD wrote:

We're the ones who choose to read and reply, or not to. We're the ones who'll be deciding how we use our time. You just have to decide if you feel it would waste yours.

eh, I enjoy the conversation.  It's never a waste.  It's more meaningful when people want to make progress.  I appreciate your effort to do so.

BMcD wrote:

I'm not going to lie to you: An inability to demonstrate cause can't be helpful. At the same time, truly inexplicable occurrences are always worth looking into. The real question is: Are you willing to risk someone being able to explain those 'unexplained happenings'?

absolutely.  Just, the explanations need to better than "delusion" or "you're a liar".  You can believe either if you want, but I know what I know.

BMcD wrote:

Well, that runs into a slight difficulty as well: You'd have to demonstrate that the math is correct. For example, what are the odds of life occurring on Earth? It's hard to objectively calculate that, because it requires being able to accurately calculate the odds of the sun's formation at the location and time that it did.

We can certainly look at the odds you're willing to present, but the methodology of deducing those odds will also have to be considered, and evaluated.

well, I was thinking of more like odds using tangible stuff like DNA (Just an example, not necessarily the topic).  I'd have to research again, but I know there are mathematical odds calculating the complexities of DNA strands.

BMcD wrote:

Historical happenings, again, would need to be presented and evaluated. Historical events being portrayed in the Bible wouldn't necessarily mean the Bible's interpretation of those events is accurate. To take an example, Noah's flood: This could have been the flood of the Black Sea caused by the collapse of the Bosporus. It may have been caused by Bruce Masse's Indian Ocean Impactor (around 3,000 BC).  So, while we're willing to consider historical events, keep in mind that just because a thing happens, doesn't mean the records of the thing accurately depict it.

Understood.  If you wanted to take that approach, I know Discovery, Nova and National Geographic all have done extensive coverage of trying to logically explain Biblical stories.  You could pull information out of something there and we could discuss it if you wish.

However, We'd also have to keep in mind that though the stories of the Bible are understood to be of God's divine intervention, it is logical to conclude that Gods divine intervention may have used natural methods.  Why wouldn't God use his own creation to make things happen?  In my experience, God seems to be more about timing than anything else.

BMcD wrote:

Again, this sort of evidence would be dependant upon the rest for support, but would be necessary for us to understand the picture completely.

yup

BMcD wrote:


 

How about taking the scientific Method approach.  Me explaining to you the process for which others have gone through to get to where they are today in their walk with God.  After the explanation, you go out and try it yourself and report to me your conclusions.   The trouble with this approach is 99% of the non-believers I have come across imediately dismiss this as an avoidance and yet do not actually attept to accept the challenge.

This assumes that many of us haven't already tried those methods. But please, offer them up. Perhaps we can provide you with some insight, as well.

Quote:

This approach simply comes down to doing as those who believe have done.  This would include getting involved in truly seeking out Christ from your heart.  I'd have to take your word on whether you do it or not be it that you cannot tangibly prove to me that you did or didn't do it. 

BMcD wrote:

 

I'm not asking for this approach or that one. I'm asking for all of them. Together. And I'm asking that you be willing to consider that the man who tells you something you don't like may not be telling you something you don't need to hear. Antifreeze tastes sweet, but I'm not going to let a child drink it just because they don't know any better. Which is not to call you a child, mind you... it's just an example.

I understand.  I am acceptable of anything you have to offer me. 

I'm coming to the quick conclusion just from this post that I'm not like others you have encountered.  I hope you're willing to do the same as well.

BMcD wrote:

But you didn't present your evidence. Holding up someone as a source and then telling us you don't agree with everything he says doesn't tell us what should or shouldn't be trusted there, what methods and evidence you're holding up as compelling. It would be like me pointing you at a library and saying 'See! That! That's my evidence... just don't believe all of it.' It doesn't tell us enough to know what it is we're supposed to be evaluating or considering.

I said don't get caught up in OPINIONS.  There's a difference. 

If I pointed to a seminarian library and said, "there's my evidence".  That'd be a great approach on my part, though I think you'd get a little miffed unless you had a specific question in mind that you wanted answered.  I assumed that was the case here. 

I'd also assume with presenting that library to you that you could distinguish between opinionated writings and factual writings. 

Obviously giving you sources is not an option here.  You don't have a specific question I gather, therefore, let's move on from that.

BMcD wrote:

That's one piece of information. As I said, it's all got to be considered within the context of the whole. When was this, and where in California?

It was in the Northern section in the very early 2000's.  I dont' remember what year or exact location off hand.  I'd have to ask.

BMcD wrote:

I do understand it. And no apologies are needed. Just understand that the 'fakes' likely aren't, they're simply individuals who, like yourself, have reached a conclusion.

Understood, however, instead of me telling you blindly that you're wrong, I welcome your evidence that is contradictory to my believe mainly because I'm here to challenge what i know and come to an agreement with those who disagree. 

BMcD wrote:

I accept it as information. So far, it's a)anecdotal, and b)incomplete. Like I said, we'll need everything if we're to really understand.

I tried to find the firemaps of any of the california wildfires online.  They're apparently hard to come by.  Do you have any sources for that?

BMcD wrote:

To quote Freddy Mercury: I want it all.

At least you weren't as demanding as him to say that you want it now.

My story:

I grew up catholic.  Simply put, I accepted the teaching of my church blindly, assuming what they were teaching had to be true because well, they were older and wiser, therefore they must know.  I went through CCD and the whole process of getting confirmed not really understanding why.

It wasn't too long before I started questioning some things on my own.  Most of my questions were greeted with angry replies. 

It wasn't until I got to highschool and my father (my parents had been divorced for some time at this point) got married to a Jehovah's Witness and started that following.  He tried to talk to me about it. 

It was at this point that I knew he was wrong and I had to set him strait.  Though I still questioned the church, i still accepted their teachings.  It wasn't until I opened the Bible to prove my dad wrong that I learned that both my dad and my church were not teaching according to the scriptures. 

It was then that I started questioning everything including the existance of God.  At this point, I knew it would be easier to just walk away from it all and not believe.  Something inside me still felt that there had to be something more.  That God still had to be real. 

All I know is there was a point that I prayed to God saying He needed to show me he was real and that if he didn't, then I'd know he wasn't and therefore would just move on with my life. 

Soon after that prayer, God put some true followers into my life.  I call them so because they were the first friends I had who not only were believers, but actually believed what I had started learning from the Bible reading I had started. 

I had started talking to them and their family a bit more.  Learning about them and their following.  I was under the impression at the time that you had to have a denominational standard to be a follower of Christ.  When I asked them however, they claimed to be just Christian.  They didn't associate with denominational standards.

Of course through that process I still had my doubts.  It was around this time that I had vowed to myself and to God if he was real that I would not accept anything unless I could back it up with my own research.  The more we talked, the more I understood and the more made sense. 

This obviously moved through college where I met many more followers just like them.  Everyone had their own opinions about different things, but the understandings of the teachings were clear. 

I've met many different personalities and may gifted people through the years.  To this day I hold to not accepting anything without the evidence to back it up.  2 people in particular that I've become close to have had a strong tie in the past with the occult.  Devil worship and rituals.  They are very honest people and trustworthy to their word.  The stories they have are beyond comprehension, but definitely coenside with each other.  These 2 people also have never met.  It was becasue of their familiarization with the spiritual world that when they came to know God, they followed Him strong. 

I guess they have both seen demons and talked to them.  They have watched spiritual posessions happen as well as much shadier things.  Their lives are dramatically different than they were.  One of them has changed so dramatically that he claims that if he didn't have Christ in his heart, he'd most likely make you bleed.  It's not intended as a threat, but as a testimony to how much knowing Christ and following Him has changed his life.  He now has one of the biggest hearts I have ever known.

That is a summary of my coming to know and learn about God.  There of course is many things that fork off that whole summary that have helped me, including reasearch into science, history and geography.  (see Discovery, Nova, Nat. Geo.)

They're just a basis, not the only source. 

personal experience I think plays a strong roll as well.  It's one thing to research it all, it's another thing to experience it. 

Does that help?


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BobSpence1 wrote:Could you

BobSpence1 wrote:

Could you clarify just what about a person replying to you here marks them as 'fake' to you? It would help me understand where you are coming from.

Just the people who talk big about their unbelief and are very conclusive in their statements and yet don't present anything to back it up.

BobSpence1 wrote:

About your wild fire story. Without wanting to dismiss it out of hand, there are many crucial bits of information we would need before just 'accepting it'. In the absence of actual before and after photographs of the area, we have to rely on people noticing and recalling important details which could easily point to mundane explanations.

What was the actual shape of the burnt/unburnt edge, and its distance from the closest part of the house, what was the vegetation cover on the ground around the house and how did it vary as you got farther from the house?

On the map I saw, it was a circle (pretty close to perfect)

Distance at the closest point was probably about 30-50 feet.  give or take.

it was brush that went up a hill in their back yard.  Much of the brush was destroyed except for close to the house from the pictures I saw.  From what i was told, their neighbors weren't so lucky. 

From the pictures I saw, it was hard to tell the consistency of the brush due to the fact that it was all charred, though it's my understanding that it was all consistent with exception of the lawn and bushes in the immediate property.  Their property as far as I understand was not unique to other's property in the same area. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Had anyone watered the ground around the house recently?

don't know, though others who had still lost their home in these particular fires

BobSpence1 wrote:

As with 'historical happenings', it's not a matter of us just 'accepting' what you say.

We are fully accepting that you are honestly describing what you experienced and observed.

If we don't accept your interpretation of those experiences, that they could only be due to the influence of God rather than some combination of the workings of chance and the way our brain 'works', then we are not calling you a liar, or trying to attack or disparage you, we just think you are probably mistaken.

understood

We are just pointing out that we think there are other plausible explanations that you may not have adequately considered, maybe because you are not sufficiently aware of  just how such things actually can work out.

Sure, it's very possible.  There is a lot I don't know.


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HisWillness wrote:I know

HisWillness wrote:

I know you're talking to BMcD, but I hope you don't mind if I address this point, too. The above is the impasse at which believers and non-believers often find themselves. Evidence is very frequently physically supported, and even if someone "wasn't there", secondary evidence is usually available. Let's say footprints in the snow as evidence of someone walking in the snow.

In fact, believers will usually go for that kind of idea: that we see the footsteps of God/Allah/Thor/Wotan. The fact that we have a whole bunch of different conceptions of these deities is a hint as to how poor an explanation it is. We give the supernatural all sorts of different characteristics depending on where we're born. Now, would that be because each culture has a different way of expressing something that definitely exists? Or might it be that all people have a tendency to want parental protection and love forever? The second (and it's not a dichotomy, there are many other possibilities) just seems more likely. Secondly, the "footprints" are often not physical at all, or have many other explanations available for them that are equally absurd and/or likely. That, again, points to those things not making sense.

What I mean is that "the footsteps of God" is a phrase that contains two questionable elements, and thus loses a lot of meaning.

That's why we have to be careful on how we approach the topic.  You can't say draw me a picture of wind when you and I both know wind isn't able to be seen.  WE do know however that wind is tangible and measureable and therefore we can use other methods of understanding wind. 

HisWillness wrote:

No, basically the physical sciences strive to understand the interactions of the elements in the physical world. You'll need to present a "happening" that has no physical explanation before you declare it beyond the explanation of the physical sciences.

seeing an angel... ok.

HisWillness wrote:

That's why you'll often hear non-believers say "burden of proof" when you present them with bare assertions of the supernatural. All the supernatural would be is something that doesn't mesh with the rest of the observations of the physical sciences. That's all. Quantum mechanics has a bit of "spooky" in its language, which is often interpreted as supernatural, but is accepted as a description of the natural world because the careful measurement of the physical world often produces chaotic (or statistical) results.

I would just like to point out that I have not coined the term "supernatural" due to its implications. 

I like your definition of it however and I agree with you on it. 

HisWillness wrote:

That's not really the odds problem that's relevant. The problem explodes pretty quickly when you give the "intelligence" a name, language, and behaviour. Now you're talking about a very specific intelligence. Whether or not you're discussing an itelligence doing something is irrelevant: you mean a specific intelligence. Not only that, it's an intelligence you (by the admission of most believers) don't actually understand. So how exactly would you know if an intelligence you don't understand was doing something? Then to assign some probability to it is even more difficult.

To understand God and to know God are 2 different concepts. 

As a child, I know my mother, i can identify her in a crowd of people.  I may not understand her ways or her strength, but I know who she is and what her personality is like.  As an older person, I'd know now that if someone told me my mother did something irratic like shot someone in the head, I'd know they'd be mistaken because my mother doesn't know how to shoot a gun. Due to her personality if she were inclined to kill someone, she'd be more apt to slit their throat versus shoot them. 

HisWillness wrote:

You have an uphill climb if you want to call your personal experiences anything but personal experiences. I'm sure lots of people have had similar "walks" with God, because we all have similar ranges and patterns of behaviour. That's something else that doesn't point to any external influence.

You seem to think that's the only reason why I believe


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 If you're mormon you get a

 

If you're mormon you get a whole planet for you and all your wives!

If you're a Jehovah's Witness, you get to own Earth and clean up the mess after the apocolypse!!! WOOT!!!


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caposkia wrote:RatDog

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

How would you assign numbers to the likelihood of things happening with god or without god?

Mathematical logic suggests the worse off the odds, the more likely there had to be inteligence behind it.  Oopses don't usually happen with low odds 

Mathematical logic has absolutely nothing to say about the likelihood of intelligence invoved in some low probability event.

Are you saying that an ordinary storm is natural, but the once-in-a-thousand-year hurricane is almost certainly sent directly by God?

OK....

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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caposkia wrote:I AM GOD AS

caposkia wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Cap, how can my above statement be a straw man???  I don't even consider it an argument, because we humans are incapable of thinking, feeling, sensing in other than material related ways. Think about it.

    >>> Utter a single thought that is not 100% material related. <<<

Is our most profound sense of "awe", we all share, rationally hint to anything immaterial? Any attempt to do so is nothing more than common emotional ignorance. Tell us anything of the immaterial .... YOU CAN"T. No one can. It's impossible.    

I'm not sure what you'd be looking at, though everything is impossible until you understand how it works.

e.g. It's impossible to send a picture through a wire. 

It's impossible to put a man on the moon.

It's impossible to talk to someone half-way across the world directly.

It's impossible to take a trip across the country in a single day.

or is it?

Cap, you are missing the simple logic of my recent posts. (( And knowing "how / why" gravity works (etc) isn't necessary for "using" it. Animals use it. ))

AGAIN, Utter a single thought that is not 100% material related, imagined.

 Regarding scripture, have you read the Dead Sea Books and adjusted your NT canon? I find, "gave his only begotten son", truly sad and ignorant. Superstition, dogma, separatism, fear and it's cousin greed, are still this day of our profoundest enemies. I have always agreed that the religious "do not know what they do" ... The myth God of Abraham was born of fear and terrorism. Presenting beaten dead Jesus on a cross , as g-o-d truth, is vulgar sick child abuse.

 I'm tired and forgot what I was leading up too. Maybe you have some thoughts on this ancient,

The Epicurean Riddle:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
     Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
     Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
     Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
     Then why call him God?

MORE -  http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/epicframe.htm

 

 

 


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caposkia wrote:right, I'm

caposkia wrote:

right, I'm willing to work through it step by step, but how much information can I give you at once without losing focus?

I don't know. I'm not saying you have to provide the sum total of your awareness and knowledge at one go. Just keep plugging away. Smiling

Quote:

Ah, in other words, you don't trust me to be honest.  This progress could get difficult in this case.

No, I'm just reminding you that everything reflects onto everything else. If I didn't trust you to be honest, there wouldn't be much point, would there? I trust people to be honest until they demonstrate they're not.

Quote:

eh, I enjoy the conversation.  It's never a waste.  It's more meaningful when people want to make progress.  I appreciate your effort to do so.

Well, you see? There you are, then.

Quote:

absolutely.  Just, the explanations need to better than "delusion" or "you're a liar".  You can believe either if you want, but I know what I know.

That's perfectly fair.

Quote:

well, I was thinking of more like odds using tangible stuff like DNA (Just an example, not necessarily the topic).  I'd have to research again, but I know there are mathematical odds calculating the complexities of DNA strands.

Except those odds get skewed by factors they don't take into account. For example: What was the actual chemical composition of the primordial ooze that the first proteins formed in? If it was severely lacking in amino acids, for example, the odds drop.

Quote:

Understood.  If you wanted to take that approach, I know Discovery, Nova and National Geographic all have done extensive coverage of trying to logically explain Biblical stories.  You could pull information out of something there and we could discuss it if you wish.

However, We'd also have to keep in mind that though the stories of the Bible are understood to be of God's divine intervention, it is logical to conclude that Gods divine intervention may have used natural methods.  Why wouldn't God use his own creation to make things happen?  In my experience, God seems to be more about timing than anything else.

Welll, that brings in a whole host of other complexities, too. For example: God uses a natural process like an impact to generate the flood. That means God set those events into motion many millions of years earlier in order to get the object there at the right time (it can't have been simply dropped into existence when we warned, Noah, for example, because that would have perturbed the entire gravitational balance of the solar system within the span of recorded history), if not having to set the initial conditions of the entire universe perfectly for that impact... which then gets into the whole 'but does that mean all those people were doomed before they were even born, before they sinned' etc.

Still that's the kind of God that seems to fit the best: one that plays the probability game more than overt mojo.

Quote:

This approach simply comes down to doing as those who believe have done.  This would include getting involved in truly seeking out Christ from your heart.  I'd have to take your word on whether you do it or not be it that you cannot tangibly prove to me that you did or didn't do it.

True, though some Christians would posit that as long as the atheist remains unconvinced, that in and of itself is proof that the athiest has not sincerely made the attempt.

Quote:

I understand.  I am acceptable of anything you have to offer me. 

I'm coming to the quick conclusion just from this post that I'm not like others you have encountered.  I hope you're willing to do the same as well.

I love finding out I'm wrong. I agree w/Penn on that one: It means I'm learning, and learning is always cool.

Quote:

Obviously giving you sources is not an option here.  You don't have a specific question I gather, therefore, let's move on from that.

I think the specific question most of us would have is 'what makes you believe?'. Which is, well, a pretty all-encompassing one, yeah.

Quote:

It was in the Northern section in the very early 2000's.  I dont' remember what year or exact location off hand.  I'd have to ask.

Cool, cool.

Quote:

Understood, however, instead of me telling you blindly that you're wrong, I welcome your evidence that is contradictory to my believe mainly because I'm here to challenge what i know and come to an agreement with those who disagree.

Well, see, I'm what we call a 'weak atheist', or 'agnostic atheist'. I don't actively disbelieve in the existence of God, I simply don't believe in him, either. A lot of people claim that's just agnosticism, but gnostic/agnostic is really just a position on surety, not on what it is you're sure of. (Example: I am an agnostic sockist. I believe you own socks. I don't claim to know what they look like.)

So for me, what it comes down to is: we have the data presented by the observable universe and our explorations and experiences of it. Thus far, there is no evidence of God in the data. None of the evidence in the data requires the addition of God to explain. Thus, the principle of Occam's Razor compels me to not add God to the equation. I can't exclude him, mind you, because he was never demonstrated to be there to be excluded. This results in my position of 'Does God exist? I don't know, and that's not belief.'

Just so we're clear on where I stand, so you don't expect me to be firmly denouncing any possibility of the divine. Eye-wink Far as I'm concerned right now, it's the same question as 'what do your socks look like?' I just don't know, and so form no beliefs about it.

Quote:

I tried to find the firemaps of any of the california wildfires online.  They're apparently hard to come by.  Do you have any sources for that?

Not yet, but I know a couple of people who might know where to find such things. I'll let you know if I get anywhere on that one.

Quote:

At least you weren't as demanding as him to say that you want it now.

I learned patience at the feet of Master Po... wait, no, that was David Carradine...

Quote:

My story:

(snip for the quote. I read it, I promise)


They're just a basis, not the only source. 

personal experience I think plays a strong roll as well.  It's one thing to research it all, it's another thing to experience it. 

Does that help?

It most certainly helps, if in nothing else, by giving us a solid grounding framework for everything else. And you might find we're not so different as many tend to think. I grew up Catholic, myself, including the 'taught by nuns', altar boy, CCD, the whole nine yards. Even contemplated the priesthood for a while. My personal take on the Bible is that the Old Testament is one of the great classic legendariums of a tribal nation's history as they remember it, and the New Testament is four stories about a really, really together guy that I think I'd have liked to have known, followed up by (and please, take no personal offense at this) a paper trail of a Johnny-come-lately opportunist con man who subverted the message of the really together guy in order to pretty well set himself up to freeload off of the gullible for the rest of his life. (I'm not a big fan of Paul.)

Also, since we actually seem to come from similar backgrounds religiously, lemme just ask you this as a total aside:

Do you think Judas Iscariot has gotten a bum rap? If God's plan all along was that Christ was to be sacrificed to redeem mankind, then Christ's death was God's Will. If (from the Christian standpoint) Christ was fully divine (and fully human) during his lifetime, and he accepted his upcoming death, then his direct statement to Judas of 'Go and do what you must' is pretty much God telling Judas to make the arrangements.

So with a solid double-dose of Judas's 'betrayal' of Christ being God's directly expressed Will... then isn't Judas, by delivering up the sacrifice, not only not sinning, but in fact functioning almost as the priest for Christ's sacrifice?

It's just one of those little things that occur to me.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Marbles

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

How would you assign numbers to the likelihood of things happening with god or without god?

Mathematical logic suggests the worse off the odds, the more likely there had to be inteligence behind it.  Oopses don't usually happen with low odds

 

Let’s say I put 1 million marbles in a hole.  Each of these marbles has a different number written on it from one to one million.  If I randomly pick a marble from that hole the odds are small that the number I pick will be 6(one in a million to be exact).  If I pick 6 does that mean some kind of intelligence was behind this random selection?    What if instead of a million marbles I had used one billion.  Does that make it even more probable that my random selection was caused by some kind of intelligence?


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caposkia wrote:That's why we

caposkia wrote:
That's why we have to be careful on how we approach the topic.  You can't say draw me a picture of wind when you and I both know wind isn't able to be seen.  WE do know however that wind is tangible and measureable and therefore we can use other methods of understanding wind.

Right. It's the main problem with the supernatural that it cannot be measured. But one would expect that, because we can only measure things in the natural world. I'm not trying to lead you down the garden path to some ultimate argument I've concocted; the whole of my assertion is that the natural world (insofar as physical reality is concerned) has been explored thoroughly, and what's commonly known as "the paranormal" has yet to present itself. That takes them out of the category of "rare" and pushes them toward "highly unlikely".

caposkia wrote:
seeing an angel... ok.

But people who starve themselves or drop acid see angels. That's not really something you can hang your hat on. 

caposkia wrote:
I would just like to point out that I have not [used] the term "supernatural" due to its implications. 

I like your definition of it however and I agree with you on it.

The above paragraph probably clarifies my position, but just to show you I'm not entirely closed-minded about this: the supernatural is merely what we have not discovered to be part of reality. It can take the form of fairies, demons, poltergeists, leprechauns, or gods. In fact, anything you can imagine can be part of the supernatural. That's what erodes my belief in it. It doesn't mean that there will never be a leprechaun discovered. It means that I consider that possibility so remote that I'm willing to hold the position that it probably won't happen.

caposkia wrote:
To understand God and to know God are 2 different concepts. 

As a child, I know my mother, i can identify her in a crowd of people.  I may not understand her ways or her strength, but I know who she is and what her personality is like.  As an older person, I'd know now that if someone told me my mother did something irratic like shot someone in the head, I'd know they'd be mistaken because my mother doesn't know how to shoot a gun. Due to her personality if she were inclined to kill someone, she'd be more apt to slit their throat versus shoot them.

Your chilling assessment of your mother aside, the above scenario is very familiar to criminal lawyers and police, who often hear the same "I know her - she wouldn't do that" kind of talk. People can be wrong about physically real people with whom they have a physical experience. With intangible, invisible, and otherwise unmeasurable entities with which they have no physical experience, it would be extremely likely that people could be wrong about such an entity. Such an entity, in fact, defies description, because all of the words we could use to describe something come from the physical world.

But again, that's beside the point. The likelihood that a very specific intelligent entity acts upon the universe but presents no physical presence at all - especially when the only thing we can comfortably call intelligent is one species on the planet - becomes less and less likely when we consider that our experience with intelligence may not be enough to describe it as a property at all.

caposkia wrote:
You seem to think [a personal experience] the only reason why I believe

It's all you've given me. It's also all you've described. I'm trying to understand why someone can form an argument like you have, and yet miss your bias. I know that my bias definitely runs toward a lack of gods in the supernatural because I've never seen a rigorous demonstration that genuinely upsets the natural order. So to my mind, the supernatural remains on shaky ground, much less would it be inhabited by specific entities.

Again, I stress that it is (to me) so phenomenally unlikely that I consider it reasonable to discount explanations that involve the supernatural, and thus gods.

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BobSpence1 wrote:caposkia

BobSpence1 wrote:

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

How would you assign numbers to the likelihood of things happening with god or without god?

Mathematical logic suggests the worse off the odds, the more likely there had to be inteligence behind it.  Oopses don't usually happen with low odds 

Mathematical logic has absolutely nothing to say about the likelihood of intelligence invoved in some low probability event.

Are you saying that an ordinary storm is natural, but the once-in-a-thousand-year hurricane is almost certainly sent directly by God?

OK....

no, you have to take the statistic in context with patterns and process of events.  You can't just assume an outlier is God's hand.


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:The

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

The Epicurean Riddle:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

no

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Is he able, but not willing?

no

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Is he both able and willing?
     Then whence cometh evil?

yup he is. 

Evil comes because we allow it, or have not allowed God's intervention.  God is only where we want Him to be.  If He is not welcome there, then he will not be there. By we I mean the human race, not believers or any other specific group of people. 

Also, many people claim a lot of things evil that may actually be for a greater good that might not immediately be known. 

e.g. without distructive Hurricanes, the equilibrium of the world's ecosystem would be out of whack and thus everything would die.  The stronger the storm, the more things are out of whack and need readjusting. (simply put)

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Is he neither able nor willing?

no

 

 

 

 


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BMcD wrote:Except those odds

BMcD wrote:

Except those odds get skewed by factors they don't take into account. For example: What was the actual chemical composition of the primordial ooze that the first proteins formed in? If it was severely lacking in amino acids, for example, the odds drop.

That is true.  We'd have to beat through each detail one step at a time.  It's probably not going to be the best focus be it that I dont' have much expertise in that debate.

BMcD wrote:

Welll, that brings in a whole host of other complexities, too. For example: God uses a natural process like an impact to generate the flood. That means God set those events into motion many millions of years earlier in order to get the object there at the right time (it can't have been simply dropped into existence when we warned, Noah, for example, because that would have perturbed the entire gravitational balance of the solar system within the span of recorded history), if not having to set the initial conditions of the entire universe perfectly for that impact... which then gets into the whole 'but does that mean all those people were doomed before they were even born, before they sinned' etc.

I'm not sure if I'm aware of the impact theory for the Noah flood, I guess it's a possibility, but then your questions are something to consider. 

However, depending on where the meteor or comet was created and how large it was; (needs to be smaller than 6 miles wide so as to not wipe out Noah and his ship as well) it may not have been such an issue to create it later.  Though God is aware of stuff happening before they happen, therefore would still have had plenty of time to prepare for this.  The Bible does not indicate how long God let the attrocities go on for.  My understanding it was much longer than the lifetime of Noah, which happened to be over 600 years. 

Also, be it that God would have had to create the universe to begin with, it would be logical to figure he'd have more inside knowlege of the workings of the universe and possibly used a wormhole or some other method to bypass any issues that may have been caused by such an abrupt change. 

It seems we could go on and on with this.

Also, if the impact theory is plausible, is there evidence that the "impact" was from space, or was it a domestic impact?  Possibly from a volcanic erruption or... other???

BMcD wrote:

True, though some Christians would posit that as long as the atheist remains unconvinced, that in and of itself is proof that the athiest has not sincerely made the attempt.

I guess it would depend on what they mean by that.  It is hard to seek out with your whole heart a being that you truly believe in your heart to be non-existant.  You'd have to sincerely want to find Him. 

BMcD wrote:

Well, see, I'm what we call a 'weak atheist', or 'agnostic atheist'. I don't actively disbelieve in the existence of God, I simply don't believe in him, either. A lot of people claim that's just agnosticism, but gnostic/agnostic is really just a position on surety, not on what it is you're sure of. (Example: I am an agnostic sockist. I believe you own socks. I don't claim to know what they look like.)

We can all come up with 1000 different names or descriptions for how we follow or what we believe, but when it all comes down to it, it just proves we're all unique and different from each other.  Coined names or descriptions don't really mean much. 

BMcD wrote:

So for me, what it comes down to is: we have the data presented by the observable universe and our explorations and experiences of it. Thus far, there is no evidence of God in the data. None of the evidence in the data requires the addition of God to explain. Thus, the principle of Occam's Razor compels me to not add God to the equation. I can't exclude him, mind you, because he was never demonstrated to be there to be excluded. This results in my position of 'Does God exist? I don't know, and that's not belief.'

Finally, someone who thinks logically.  Thank you. 

This is where we have to go from here.  the "observable" universe is physical, I"m sure you agree.  If God is real, He is Spiritual, which is not physical, but contradictory to popular atheistic belief, is not non-existant. 

We have to come to some sort of agreement on how we can conclude on the spiritual.

BMcD wrote:

Just so we're clear on where I stand, so you don't expect me to be firmly denouncing any possibility of the divine. Eye-wink Far as I'm concerned right now, it's the same question as 'what do your socks look like?' I just don't know, and so form no beliefs about it.

how do you know I wear socks?!!!  GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!! AAAHHH!!!!!

BMcD wrote:

Not yet, but I know a couple of people who might know where to find such things. I'll let you know if I get anywhere on that one.

Thanks

BMcD wrote:

 

It most certainly helps, if in nothing else, by giving us a solid grounding framework for everything else. And you might find we're not so different as many tend to think. I grew up Catholic, myself, including the 'taught by nuns', altar boy, CCD, the whole nine yards. Even contemplated the priesthood for a while. My personal take on the Bible is that the Old Testament is one of the great classic legendariums of a tribal nation's history as they remember it, and the New Testament is four stories about a really, really together guy that I think I'd have liked to have known, followed up by (and please, take no personal offense at this) a paper trail of a Johnny-come-lately opportunist con man who subverted the message of the really together guy in order to pretty well set himself up to freeload off of the gullible for the rest of his life. (I'm not a big fan of Paul.)

heh, it seems many aren't.  Paul was definitely agressive.

BMcD wrote:

Also, since we actually seem to come from similar backgrounds religiously, lemme just ask you this as a total aside:

Do you think Judas Iscariot has gotten a bum rap? If God's plan all along was that Christ was to be sacrificed to redeem mankind, then Christ's death was God's Will. If (from the Christian standpoint) Christ was fully divine (and fully human) during his lifetime, and he accepted his upcoming death, then his direct statement to Judas of 'Go and do what you must' is pretty much God telling Judas to make the arrangements.

Ah, a quesiton that plagues the nations.  Yea, I do. 

There has been much debate within Christiandom on this topic.  The best conclusion I have heard so far is as follows:

Jesus hand picked his disciples knowing their personalities and what their roles would be within his ministry.  Though he had taught them throughout scripture he knew (from what we understand) who would get it and who wouldn't.  He also made it clear in scripture that he knew the outcomes long before they were going to happen. e.g. "before the cock crows, you will deny me three times" thus it happened... and of course Judas, "one of you will betray me"

Therefore, it is understood that Jesus was aware when he picked Judas that he was ultimately going to betray Him.  However, contrary to some beliefs, I don't believe that it was the only reason he chose Judas. It may not have been a reason to choose him at all.  There were many who could have been just as good of candidates to betray Him.  Judas helped his ministry a lot through the years including being the treasurer (I think it was) for the group.  Jesus knew that Judas was going to be sufficient for what was needed throughout the ministry of Jesus just as the others. 

Also, if Judas didn't betray Jesus, there are a list of other possibilities that would have ultimately unfolded.

1.  If not Judas, someone else would have/could have.

2. They may have found Jesus anyway at a later time, it's not like Jesus went running and hiding everytime he was confronted. 

3. Jesus knew he ultimately had to die on the cross for his ministry to be complete, therefore, I believe he could have just as easily put himself in the situation to get caught.

4.  He knew before it happened that Judas was going to betray him.  If the betrayal wasn't going to work for his plan, Jesus would have had plenty of time to run off into hiding until the hype died down.  People forget that Jesus could have walked away from all of it at any given time.  He had the power to do so.  He knew it needed to be done to redeem the world.

BMcD wrote:

So with a solid double-dose of Judas's 'betrayal' of Christ being God's directly expressed Will... then isn't Judas, by delivering up the sacrifice, not only not sinning, but in fact functioning almost as the priest for Christ's sacrifice?

It's just one of those little things that occur to me.

This is where I wonder though, and I'm not sure if there's an answer.  As I displayed above, there were many other ways that Jesus could have been "caught" including Jesus just saying "it's time" and walking into their hands. 

I'm not sure if it really ultimately was God's will that Judas betray Jesus, in fact, I'm sure it isn't because if so, I don't believe it'd be viewed as a betrayal and he sold out his brother basically.  It's quite an insult among any group. 

The thing that everyone misses it seems is that because Jesus ultimately died for "the world" that means that Judas among everyone else was also "forgiven".  Judas couldn't fogive himself and ultimately hung and gutted himself. 

ultimately, Judas gets a bum rap.  He was forgiven just like the rest of us and he was no more sinful than the rest of us.  If anything, Judas can be the reflection of us.  If it wasn't for our sinfulness, Jesus wouldn't have had to go through what he did for us. 

 


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RatDog wrote:Let&rsquo;s say

RatDog wrote:

Let’s say I put 1 million marbles in a hole.  Each of these marbles has a different number written on it from one to one million.  If I randomly pick a marble from that hole the odds are small that the number I pick will be 6(one in a million to be exact).  If I pick 6 does that mean some kind of intelligence was behind this random selection?    What if instead of a million marbles I had used one billion.  Does that make it even more probable that my random selection was caused by some kind of intelligence?

no, but no one ever questions a once in a million.  Now if in those million, or even say Billion marbles, you were able to pick out the 6 say 3 or more times in a row and it was understood that your picking was completely random each time, then I'd start to wonder 1 of 2 things.

1.  Either you set it up to happen that way

or

2. there was an outside influence on your random selection.

either way, I suspect intelligence. 

It's not about a random happening, but a pattern of happenings, that's where the math comes in.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million different numbers randomly is 1 in a million.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million marbles 2 times in a row are one million squared or 1X10 to the 12th.  To pick that same number randomly out of a million 3 times is astranomical odds.  Basically, you're getting to a point where the odds are so great that it is logically impossible, or you should play the lottery because you're guaranteed to win. 

once means nothing, a pattern usually means something.

 


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HisWillness wrote:Right.

HisWillness wrote:

Right. It's the main problem with the supernatural that it cannot be measured. But one would expect that, because we can only measure things in the natural world. I'm not trying to lead you down the garden path to some ultimate argument I've concocted; the whole of my assertion is that the natural world (insofar as physical reality is concerned) has been explored thoroughly, and what's commonly known as "the paranormal" has yet to present itself. That takes them out of the category of "rare" and pushes them toward "highly unlikely".

you mean it cannot be tangibly measured.  My mistake for using a physical to try to explain a non-physical entity. 

Just like someone mentioned, just becasue you can't feel it, doesn't mean it's not there. (this was in reference to the wind, but same idea)

caposkia wrote:
seeing an angel... ok.

But people who starve themselves or drop acid see angels. That's not really something you can hang your hat on. 

I was sober and had no influence of drugs, perscribed or otherwise.  I dont' hang my hat on it be it that it's not my support for God's existence.

People who drop acid also see pink elephants.  Do they worship a pink Dumbo?

caposkia wrote:
I would just like to point out that I have not [used] the term "supernatural" due to its implications. 

HisWillness wrote:

I like your definition of it however and I agree with you on it.

Supernatural is understood as beyond reality.  For that reason, I do not use that term. 

HisWillness wrote:

Your chilling assessment of your mother aside, the above scenario is very familiar to criminal lawyers and police, who often hear the same "I know her - she wouldn't do that" kind of talk. People can be wrong about physically real people with whom they have a physical experience. With intangible, invisible, and otherwise unmeasurable entities with which they have no physical experience, it would be extremely likely that people could be wrong about such an entity. Such an entity, in fact, defies description, because all of the words we could use to describe something come from the physical world.

Be it that this entity is beyond the physical and psychological persuasions of the physical world, it automatically makes this being more predictable.  Also, due to the fact that not only does God claim it, but has proved it according to scripture through the generations that he is the same as he always was and will be thus.  Therefore, there is no reason to doubt such.

also, I could never see my mother killing anyone and therefore would absolutely stand up in a court of law and defend her.  I'm saying I know my mother well enough to know that if she ever did kill someone, which I doubt she would, a gun would not be her way of doing so.  It's not what she has access too, and she's much more efficient with a knife in many tasks, therefore, it's logical to conclude that would be her weapon of choice.  She also tends to grab a knife if she feels an intruder has come in.  Another reason to cancel any suspicions of using a gun. 

HisWillness wrote:

But again, that's beside the point. The likelihood that a very specific intelligent entity acts upon the universe but presents no physical presence at all - especially when the only thing we can comfortably call intelligent is one species on the planet - becomes less and less likely when we consider that our experience with intelligence may not be enough to describe it as a property at all.

well, I agree that we cannot claim intelligence as property at all, though I don't see how that makes God less likely.

HisWillness wrote:

It's all you've given me. It's also all you've described. I'm trying to understand why someone can form an argument like you have, and yet miss your bias. I know that my bias definitely runs toward a lack of gods in the supernatural because I've never seen a rigorous demonstration that genuinely upsets the natural order. So to my mind, the supernatural remains on shaky ground, much less would it be inhabited by specific entities.

Again, I stress that it is (to me) so phenomenally unlikely that I consider it reasonable to discount explanations that involve the supernatural, and thus gods.

Just because it's all you've seen from me at this point doesn't give you justification to conclude on that.  A logical person would ask if there was anything else. 

Why would God have to genuinely upset natural order in order to be real?  If he created natural order, does it not make sense that he would use it to his benifit? 

I'm not saying he hasn't upset natural order, it's just a thought question. 

One thing I've seen when it comes to people trying to explain God's work on Earth is that people tend to look to the natural answer before concluding that it was beyond the ability of nature to do so.  Many of OT happenings seem to have some natural explanations for their occurances.  it's not so much how it happened as much as the timing of it's happenings.  this again is where mathematical odds would come into play.


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caposkia wrote:RatDog

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

Let’s say I put 1 million marbles in a hole.  Each of these marbles has a different number written on it from one to one million.  If I randomly pick a marble from that hole the odds are small that the number I pick will be 6(one in a million to be exact).  If I pick 6 does that mean some kind of intelligence was behind this random selection?    What if instead of a million marbles I had used one billion.  Does that make it even more probable that my random selection was caused by some kind of intelligence?

no, but no one ever questions a once in a million.  Now if in those million, or even say Billion marbles, you were able to pick out the 6 say 3 or more times in a row and it was understood that your picking was completely random each time, then I'd start to wonder 1 of 2 things.

1.  Either you set it up to happen that way

or

2. there was an outside influence on your random selection.

either way, I suspect intelligence. 

It's not about a random happening, but a pattern of happenings, that's where the math comes in.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million different numbers randomly is 1 in a million.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million marbles 2 times in a row are one million squared or 1X10 to the 12th.  To pick that same number randomly out of a million 3 times is astranomical odds.  Basically, you're getting to a point where the odds are so great that it is logically impossible, or you should play the lottery because you're guaranteed to win. 

once means nothing, a pattern usually means something.

 

I'm sorry, but where in statistical math is any pattern found in random numbers EVER considered impossible, no matter the odds against?


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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caposkia wrote:you mean it

caposkia wrote:
you mean it cannot be tangibly measured.  My mistake for using a physical to try to explain a non-physical entity. 

Just like someone mentioned, just becasue you can't feel it, doesn't mean it's not there. (this was in reference to the wind, but same idea)

The wind can be measured. In fact, at this point, it's safe to say that the whole of the natural world can be measured in some way or another. Not so of God (or Wotan, Shiva, Amon Ra, Jove, etc.).

caposkia wrote:
I was sober and had no influence of drugs, perscribed or otherwise.  I dont' hang my hat on it be it that it's not my support for God's existence.

People who drop acid also see pink elephants.  Do they worship a pink Dumbo?

I don't follow you. I'm assuming you don't worship angels, or am I wrong? Because that tangent was confusing. I was just saying that personal experiences aren't really evidence for a tangible paranormal.

caposkia wrote:
Supernatural is understood as beyond reality.  For that reason, I do not use that term.

Okay, I'll use "paranormal" unless you can give me a better word for things that are not observable.

caposkia wrote:
Be it that this entity is beyond the physical and psychological persuasions of the physical world, it automatically makes this being more predictable.

But how can you say that? What you just said is that something that obeys no known natural order is much more predictable. But we know nothing of the order in which it operates. Therefore we cannot predict its behaviour at all. How does that make it more predictable?

caposkia wrote:
Also, due to the fact that not only does God claim it, but has proved it according to scripture through the generations that he is the same as he always was and will be thus.  Therefore, there is no reason to doubt such.

You'll excuse me, but an entity named God has never shown up to claim those things. There is a book wherein those things could very well be written, but we're not sure about the actual God part, considering this entity has never made an appearance.

caposkia wrote:
well, I agree that we cannot claim intelligence as property at all, though I don't see how that makes God less likely.

You said God was "an intelligence". Since we don't know the nature of our own intelligence, much less the possible intelligence of a creature we've only heard about, it makes that hypothetical intelligence much less likely.

caposkia wrote:
Just because it's all you've seen from me at this point doesn't give you justification to conclude on that.  A logical person would ask if there was anything else.

Okay, is there anything else? I do want to know, I just don't have any idea what to ask about because I can't anticipate your point of view. It already defies physics, so I'm at a loss.

caposkia wrote:
Why would God have to genuinely upset natural order in order to be real?  If he created natural order, does it not make sense that he would use it to his benifit?

I don't know. How could I? You're the one making the rules for God. Does God have desire?

caposkia wrote:
One thing I've seen when it comes to people trying to explain God's work on Earth is that people tend to look to the natural answer before concluding that it was beyond the ability of nature to do so.

Who are these people who look at a natural occurrence and conclude that it was beyond nature? Not only is that nonsensical, it's a very strange for the natural world to exhibit behaviour that is completely unexpected.

caposkia wrote:
Many of OT happenings seem to have some natural explanations for their occurances.  it's not so much how it happened as much as the timing of it's happenings.  this again is where mathematical odds would come into play.

You're going to have to run that by me again. I don't understand what the timing of some events that possibly took place have to do with mathematical odds.

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One in a million

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

Let’s say I put 1 million marbles in a hole.  Each of these marbles has a different number written on it from one to one million.  If I randomly pick a marble from that hole the odds are small that the number I pick will be 6(one in a million to be exact).  If I pick 6 does that mean some kind of intelligence was behind this random selection?    What if instead of a million marbles I had used one billion.  Does that make it even more probable that my random selection was caused by some kind of intelligence?

no, but no one ever questions a once in a million.  Now if in those million, or even say Billion marbles, you were able to pick out the 6 say 3 or more times in a row and it was understood that your picking was completely random each time, then I'd start to wonder 1 of 2 things.

1.  Either you set it up to happen that way

or

2. there was an outside influence on your random selection.

either way, I suspect intelligence. 

It's not about a random happening, but a pattern of happenings, that's where the math comes in.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million different numbers randomly is 1 in a million.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million marbles 2 times in a row are one million squared or 1X10 to the 12th.  To pick that same number randomly out of a million 3 times is astranomical odds.  Basically, you're getting to a point where the odds are so great that it is logically impossible, or you should play the lottery because you're guaranteed to win. 

once means nothing, a pattern usually means something.

 

In the above example the odds of you picking 6,6,6 in three random selection is very low.  It is important to note that the odds of you picking the numbers 7,4,3 are exactly the same.  You also have the same odds of picking 8,6,4.  The fact that the number 666 might have some kind of significance for you that 743 or 864 don't means nothing.  In life there are vast numbers of random occurrences, it would be very strange if these occurrences didn't occasionally result in patters you would personally find meaningful.  That doesn't mean that those patters were anything but random.  I believe this is something worth thinking about.

 
Now if you were able to guess the three numbers beforehand that would be something else entirely, especially if you could do so reliably.  If the random numbers can be predicted then they are not really random at all.  If occurrences are not random then it is worth finding out what causes them.  


I believe this is probably were you wanted this conversation to go from the start.  You have stated several times that you believe that science could be used to provide evidence about god (at least about weather or not he exists). Here is a possible experiment for you.  


You have three groups if sick people.  All of which have about the same degree of sickness, preferably the same disease as well.  These groups should be divided at random.  One of these groups will have people pray for them but they are left unaware of this.  Another group has no one pray for them, and is also left unaware (Note this is the control group).  The last group has people pray for them, and are told that that people are praying form them (Note this is to measure placebo affect).   The people caring for these people should be unaware if they people they are caring for are being prayed for or not, this is to prevent them from some how altering the results either intentionally or unintentionally.  I think they call this double blind.  


The hypnosis in this experiment is that if god exists and if he answers prayers we should see more of the people who are prayed for get better then we do with the people who are not prayed for.  If you wish to convince me try to find information about experiments like this which support your beliefs.  Also list links to where you got this information so we can verify it for ourselves.  Note that in science certain criteria must be met in order for results to be considered valid.  I don’t now what all these criteria are, I think being published in peer review journals might be one of them.  Whatever these criteria are exactly please don't be offended if people question the validly of you sources.  It's nice talking to you, see you again next postSmiling.

 


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caposkia wrote:no, but no

caposkia wrote:

no, but no one ever questions a once in a million.  Now if in those million, or even say Billion marbles, you were able to pick out the 6 say 3 or more times in a row and it was understood that your picking was completely random each time, then I'd start to wonder 1 of 2 things.

1.  Either you set it up to happen that way

or

2. there was an outside influence on your random selection.

either way, I suspect intelligence. 

It's not about a random happening, but a pattern of happenings, that's where the math comes in.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million different numbers randomly is 1 in a million.  The odds of you picking 6 out of a million marbles 2 times in a row are one million squared or 1X10 to the 12th.  To pick that same number randomly out of a million 3 times is astranomical odds.  Basically, you're getting to a point where the odds are so great that it is logically impossible, or you should play the lottery because you're guaranteed to win. 

once means nothing, a pattern usually means something.

Just as a side note, because this touches on the whole 'what are the odds of everything being set up perfectly for us?' issue: The results of any complex series of events always look like an incredibly unlikely outcome. What are the odds of all of your ancestors just happening to move through their lives in just the right way to meet their respective spouses/partners and produce you, down the line?

The problem comes when you're looking at outcomes and attempting to reverse-engineer intent. Your ancestry did, in fact, 'just happen' to produce you: if they hadn't, you wouldn't be here to ask the question. Just so with the universe. What are the odds that everything would work out perfectly on this rock to produce us? Impossible to say with any surety. All we can say is: For us, here, we came up jackpot. Not because the processes lined up perfectly to produce us, but because we're a result of how the processes worked out.

Example:

In 1994, I drove from my home in NY into New Jersey and back once a week. On the way home, I heard some grinding from my left front brake. The next day, I took the car in to the shop and was told that I'd more or less won the lottery: that grinding was the brake almost giving out, the right front brake had frozen *open*, the right rear brake drum had no pressure, and there was a piece of loose metal in the left rear brake drum that, had it bounced wrong, could have locked the wheel in place at any time. I'd been driving w/1 brake at about 10% effectiveness, and 2 brakes that could have caused the car to sieze up at any time, including at 70 mph on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway... not a lightly traveled road.

But I beat the odds. If everything hadn't happened just right, I'd be dead. But that's not 'everything happened just as it needed to for you to not die', that's 'I'm not dead, because everything happened the way it did'. Everything could have happened slightly differently. If it had, I'd be dead. That I'm not doesn't mean there was an intelligence behind it, only that we observe the results of highly unlikely events because if events had played out differently, we wouldn't be observing those results.

That, to paraphrase a Vulcan... is life, Jim, just as we know it.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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caposkia wrote:BMcD

caposkia wrote:

BMcD wrote:

Except those odds get skewed by factors they don't take into account. For example: What was the actual chemical composition of the primordial ooze that the first proteins formed in? If it was severely lacking in amino acids, for example, the odds drop.

That is true.  We'd have to beat through each detail one step at a time.  It's probably not going to be the best focus be it that I dont' have much expertise in that debate.

Tell you a secret? Nobody does. Experts in the field have educated guesses on the conditions, and experts in other fields have educated guesses on the conditions that gave rise to those conditions, but we don't really have enough specific information on the conditions in the regions of space our sun's been through to go calculating odds.

Quote:

I'm not sure if I'm aware of the impact theory for the Noah flood, I guess it's a possibility, but then your questions are something to consider. 

However, depending on where the meteor or comet was created and how large it was; (needs to be smaller than 6 miles wide so as to not wipe out Noah and his ship as well) it may not have been such an issue to create it later.  Though God is aware of stuff happening before they happen, therefore would still have had plenty of time to prepare for this.  The Bible does not indicate how long God let the attrocities go on for.  My understanding it was much longer than the lifetime of Noah, which happened to be over 600 years. 

Also, be it that God would have had to create the universe to begin with, it would be logical to figure he'd have more inside knowlege of the workings of the universe and possibly used a wormhole or some other method to bypass any issues that may have been caused by such an abrupt change. 

It seems we could go on and on with this.

Also, if the impact theory is plausible, is there evidence that the "impact" was from space, or was it a domestic impact?  Possibly from a volcanic erruption or... other???

Well, Massee believes the impact crater's off the coast of Madagascar, and that the impactor would've been about a 3-mile wide ball of ice. 3 miles across isn't much in terms of gravity, but keep in mind that it's got to have time to accelerate to a speed that'll give it the energy it needs to do such massive damage.

And the issue isn't 'could God have put one there', but rather that if, for example, God opened up a wormhole to move this thing into position, then wouldn't that be direct evidence of God violating the natural order of the universe? And if not, then the conditions that gave rise to the wormhole's opening would have needed to be in place well in advance, and the conditions that gave rise to those conditions, and so forth back pretty much to the Big Bang. In that context, 600 years is a blip. And so the question again arises: If God would've needed to set things up at the Big Bang to play out across all of time, then wouldn't that mean it's all predetermined, and those who're going to suffer divine retribution were always doomed to do so?

Quote:

I guess it would depend on what they mean by that.  It is hard to seek out with your whole heart a being that you truly believe in your heart to be non-existant.  You'd have to sincerely want to find Him.

Mostly, they tend to mean that since they believe that if you sincerely open your heart to God, God will always respond, then if you haven't found God, you haven't sincerely looked... no matter how sincerely you thought you'd looked. It shifts the burden onto the seeker, not the one promising 'seek, and ye shall find, ask and ye shall be answered'. It means that no matter how sincerely, how honestly, in some cases how desperately someone searches for God... until you 'find' him, the problem lies with you.

Quote:

We can all come up with 1000 different names or descriptions for how we follow or what we believe, but when it all comes down to it, it just proves we're all unique and different from each other.  Coined names or descriptions don't really mean much.

No, but they do help to communicate concepts, just like every other word. And communicating concepts helps us to understand one another's position more clearly as a baseline for discussion.

Quote:

Finally, someone who thinks logically.  Thank you.

I think you will find that most of the folks (not all, but most) who've been participating in this thread espouse a similar position: Follow the evidence.

Quote:

This is where we have to go from here.  the "observable" universe is physical, I"m sure you agree.  If God is real, He is Spiritual, which is not physical, but contradictory to popular atheistic belief, is not non-existant. 

We have to come to some sort of agreement on how we can conclude on the spiritual.

Well, for example: I'm gathering from your discussion w/Will that you believe that you've seen an angel. Would this not then be part of the 'observable' universe, as you've observed it?

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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RatDog wrote:You have three

RatDog wrote:


You have three groups if sick people.  All of which have about the same degree of sickness, preferably the same disease as well.  These groups should be divided at random.  One of these groups will have people pray for them but they are left unaware of this.  Another group has no one pray for them, and is also left unaware (Note this is the control group).  The last group has people pray for them, and are told that that people are praying form them (Note this is to measure placebo affect).   The people caring for these people should be unaware if they people they are caring for are being prayed for or not, this is to prevent them from some how altering the results either intentionally or unintentionally.  I think they call this double blind.

You need a fourth group to really measure placebo effect: Those for whom nobody is praying, but are told people are praying for them. Difficulty: You have to keep them from praying.

Quote:

The hypnosis in this experiment is that if god exists and if he answers prayers we should see more of the people who are prayed for get better then we do with the people who are not prayed for.

Think you meant 'hypothesis', ol' bean.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Cap and yours. Everything is

Cap and yours. Everything is god or nothing is god, just as everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle. 100% of either are true while no degree of both can simultaneously be true. We are god or nothing is god. All idol worship is separatism poison mockery. You make absurd endless excuses for your lame, unfounded, pathetic, desert dogma god.

I despise your god, and felt I needed to keep you clear of my complete intolerance of any such thingy. As the atheistic jesus character called peter satan, I humbly and sadly declare you to also be under the spell of wrong thinking.

 


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butterbattle wrote:In

Forget it, I'm making this an OP.


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JillSwift wrote:I'm sorry,

JillSwift wrote:

I'm sorry, but where in statistical math is any pattern found in random numbers EVER considered impossible, no matter the odds against?

Literalist????  I guess you missed "logically".  You also missed the point

Are you saying you'd put money on someone picking the number 6 out of a million 3 times in a row?  The point was it would not logically happen.  Logic implies that the odds are so low, it's not impossible, but common sense says there was an external source manipulating the drawing, thus being "logically impossible".  There was a reason why the word didn't stand on its own.

Did you seriously not understand that or were you just trying to see if I could answer it?

The point was, would that really happen by chance over and over again???


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caposkia wrote:Are you

caposkia wrote:

Are you saying you'd put money on someone picking the number 6 out of a million 3 times in a row?  The point was it would not logically happen.  Logic implies that the odds are so low, it's not impossible, but common sense says there was an external source manipulating the drawing, thus being "logically impossible".  There was a reason why the word didn't stand on its own.

In the situation that was specified the odd of picking any three numbers are exactly the same.  The odd of picking 666 are the same ass the odds for picking 457.  The fact certain numbers my have personal meaning for you is unimportant.  We all tend to see patters in random events, that doesn’t mean those events were anything other then random. 


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HisWillness wrote:The wind

HisWillness wrote:

The wind can be measured. In fact, at this point, it's safe to say that the whole of the natural world can be measured in some way or another. Not so of God (or Wotan, Shiva, Amon Ra, Jove, etc.).

I'm glad you agree.  So can the affects of God in one way or another.  Think about what you're saying

HisWillness wrote:

I don't follow you. I'm assuming you don't worship angels, or am I wrong? Because that tangent was confusing. I was just saying that personal experiences aren't really evidence for a tangible paranormal.

depends on what you're looking for.   It seems you're expecting that to be the only evidence as well.  You forget that it's a compilation

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, I'll use "paranormal" unless you can give me a better word for things that are not observable.

whatever you want to use just as long as we're on the same page.  Too many people were not on the same page with me when using the term supernatural.

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
Be it that this entity is beyond the physical and psychological persuasions of the physical world, it automatically makes this being more predictable.

But how can you say that? What you just said is that something that obeys no known natural order is much more predictable. But we know nothing of the order in which it operates. Therefore we cannot predict its behaviour at all. How does that make it more predictable?

Look at the context my statment was in.  There was a comparison implied for that response to be said.  That response does not go beyond that comparison at this point though there is more to it.

HisWillness wrote:

You'll excuse me, but an entity named God has never shown up to claim those things. There is a book wherein those things could very well be written, but we're not sure about the actual God part, considering this entity has never made an appearance.

I never said his name was God.  It's just who he is.

Again for such a matter of fact statement, you must have sources to back that claim up.  Don't give me the whole, can't back up the claim of nothing becasue you're suggesting the writings of the Bible andothers are wrong, therefore there is a source that you're claiming is not true. 

I also don't need a general link to people trying to discredit the Bible, few of those sources have actually done some homework on the subject.  I'd be looking for specifically what you claimed above

HisWillness wrote:

You said God was "an intelligence". Since we don't know the nature of our own intelligence, much less the possible intelligence of a creature we've only heard about, it makes that hypothetical intelligence much less likely.

ah ok... so the less we know about something... the less likely it must be.  got it.

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, is there anything else? I do want to know, I just don't have any idea what to ask about because I can't anticipate your point of view. It already defies physics, so I'm at a loss.

I can't anticipate your point of view either.  The only way we can figure this out is to ask specific questions that require specific answers. 

It seems to me that you'd need to see something physically to accept the possibility of a higher power such as God.  Is that your only way?  What would it take, what kind of evidence would you need or would you consider to accept the possibility of God?

HisWillness wrote:

I don't know. How could I? You're the one making the rules for God. Does God have desire?

oh sweet!! I'm making the rules for God. woah!  totally stellar man!. 

So you've made it abundantly clear that you and I are not on the same page.  Therefore you and I need to start over.  Let's start with your question.

As I understand, God does have desire.  He made us in his image, that's not just physical image, but inside and out.  Therefore, I believe God has the same emotions we have.  If he can get angry, why couldn't he have desire? 

By the way, if God is as said in the Bible, can you logically explain to me how I can make the rules for Him?

HisWillness wrote:

Who are these people who look at a natural occurrence and conclude that it was beyond nature? Not only is that nonsensical, it's a very strange for the natural world to exhibit behaviour that is completely unexpected.

exactly.  I don't know who they are. 

HisWillness wrote:

You're going to have to run that by me again. I don't understand what the timing of some events that possibly took place have to do with mathematical odds.

Eh, math is everywhere.  We don't need to get into that.  The explanation just covers the basic idea that God could have put a series of events into play to cause a few things to happen that looked like miracles beyond nature's ability. 

E.g. Moses and the parting of the sea. 

ONE THEORY SUGGESTS:

That there was a large erruption of a not to distant volcano that caused a tsunami in the red sea.  There is geological evidence of one happening at that time. 

Before a tsunami crashes down, it usually draws water away.  This drawing of water can take several minutes.  Enough time for a group of people to cross the red sea in this case.   then it crashed down on the persuing group.

What about water on both sides?

Geologists found that there is a higher point of land in the proximity of where it is theorized that Moses and his people crossed.  It makes sense that the tsunami could have drawn enough water away to expose that raised portion of land for them to walk on. 

I hope that clarifies.

Also, the reason why I capitalized "one theory suggests" is that there are others, I like that one myself, (seems to make more sense than others I've heard) but many have come up with explanations, you can do the research if you want.  Just look for "the parting of the red sea" in a research or history section of a library, sometimes searches will turn things up as well. 

 


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RatDog wrote:In the above

RatDog wrote:

In the above example the odds of you picking 6,6,6 in three random selection is very low.  It is important to note that the odds of you picking the numbers 7,4,3 are exactly the same.  You also have the same odds of picking 8,6,4.  The fact that the number 666 might have some kind of significance for you that 743 or 864 don't means nothing.  In life there are vast numbers of random occurrences, it would be very strange if these occurrences didn't occasionally result in patters you would personally find meaningful.  That doesn't mean that those patters were anything but random.  I believe this is something worth thinking about.

I get it.  I agree.  It doesn't matter what numbers they are and how random, it comes down to a presupposition and for the outcome to comply.  i figured that was clear.

RatDog wrote:

If occurrences are not random then it is worth finding out what causes them.  


I believe this is probably were you wanted this conversation to go from the start.  You have stated several times that you believe that science could be used to provide evidence about god (at least about weather or not he exists). Here is a possible experiment for you.  


You have three groups if sick people.  All of which have about the same degree of sickness, preferably the same disease as well.  These groups should be divided at random.  One of these groups will have people pray for them but they are left unaware of this.  Another group has no one pray for them, and is also left unaware (Note this is the control group).  The last group has people pray for them, and are told that that people are praying form them (Note this is to measure placebo affect).   The people caring for these people should be unaware if they people they are caring for are being prayed for or not, this is to prevent them from some how altering the results either intentionally or unintentionally.  I think they call this double blind.  

The problem with this experiment however is you're automatically assuming that every prayer is going to play out as asked. 

That's like assuming that every law sent into congress will pass.  You and I both know without experimenting that it will not turn out that way.  why?  Because congress has the freedom to say yes or no.  In the same way, so does God.  God could say yes to half the people in the control group and no to the other half, then we're back at square one. 

Just because you pray does not mean that God no longer has a choice in the matter.

With God, it's better to look at outcomes rather than trying to set up your own experiment in hopes that God's going to play along. 

If you don't agree, then try this.  Go to the Queen of England and tell her you're doing an experiment.  All she has to do is agree and follow through with everything you ask of her.  What do you think will happen? 


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BMcD wrote:Just as a side

BMcD wrote:

Just as a side note, because this touches on the whole 'what are the odds of everything being set up perfectly for us?' issue: The results of any complex series of events always look like an incredibly unlikely outcome. What are the odds of all of your ancestors just happening to move through their lives in just the right way to meet their respective spouses/partners and produce you, down the line?

The problem comes when you're looking at outcomes and attempting to reverse-engineer intent. Your ancestry did, in fact, 'just happen' to produce you: if they hadn't, you wouldn't be here to ask the question. Just so with the universe. What are the odds that everything would work out perfectly on this rock to produce us? Impossible to say with any surety. All we can say is: For us, here, we came up jackpot. Not because the processes lined up perfectly to produce us, but because we're a result of how the processes worked out.

Example:

In 1994, I drove from my home in NY into New Jersey and back once a week. On the way home, I heard some grinding from my left front brake. The next day, I took the car in to the shop and was told that I'd more or less won the lottery: that grinding was the brake almost giving out, the right front brake had frozen *open*, the right rear brake drum had no pressure, and there was a piece of loose metal in the left rear brake drum that, had it bounced wrong, could have locked the wheel in place at any time. I'd been driving w/1 brake at about 10% effectiveness, and 2 brakes that could have caused the car to sieze up at any time, including at 70 mph on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway... not a lightly traveled road.

But I beat the odds. If everything hadn't happened just right, I'd be dead. But that's not 'everything happened just as it needed to for you to not die', that's 'I'm not dead, because everything happened the way it did'. Everything could have happened slightly differently. If it had, I'd be dead. That I'm not doesn't mean there was an intelligence behind it, only that we observe the results of highly unlikely events because if events had played out differently, we wouldn't be observing those results.

That, to paraphrase a Vulcan... is life, Jim, just as we know it.

We're back to focusing on one happening amidst a million.  We could go back and forth on whether there was an angel looking out for you or not.  Like I said, no one quesitons a once in a million happening, it's when it happens again and again that people start to wonder.

 


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caposkia wrote:Don't give me

caposkia wrote:
Don't give me the whole, can't back up the claim of nothing becasue you're suggesting the writings of the Bible andothers are wrong, therefore there is a source that you're claiming is not true.

You are making a positive claim.  That means the burden of proof is on you.  If you claim that what the bible says is true then you need to prove that it is true.  Just like if I said big foot exists I need to prove big foot exists


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RatDog wrote:In the

RatDog wrote:

In the situation that was specified the odd of picking any three numbers are exactly the same.  The odd of picking 666 are the same ass the odds for picking 457.  The fact certain numbers my have personal meaning for you is unimportant.  We all tend to see patters in random events, that doesn’t mean those events were anything other then random. 

Most scientists expect a results to happen the same over and over again.  They usually allow 3 in a row before they dismiss it as a random happening.  Therefore, when do you say it's no longer random?  3 times? 4 times? 10 times?


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caposkia wrote:RatDog

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

In the situation that was specified the odd of picking any three numbers are exactly the same.  The odd of picking 666 are the same ass the odds for picking 457.  The fact certain numbers my have personal meaning for you is unimportant.  We all tend to see patters in random events, that doesn’t mean those events were anything other then random. 

Most scientists expect a results to happen the same over and over again.  They usually allow 3 in a row before they dismiss it as a random happening.  Therefore, when do you say it's no longer random?  3 times? 4 times? 10 times?

It isn’t random if you can predict what will happen before hand.  If I can say before I even draw the numbers that I will get the number 666 then it might not be random.  If you have enough random events eventually you are going to get something that would seem to have meaning.  We as a species tend to try to find meaning in everything around us.  We are always looking for certain patters.  If we wait long enough eventually we will find those patters some were.  That doesn’t mean what we observed was not random.  If you can predict something reliably then it is not random, otherwise it probably is.