Evidence and the Supernatural

butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3716
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
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


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
If you really thing about it

If you really thing about it there are many different ways the number 666 could come about if you picked three random numbers between one an one million. The first number could be 666.  The first number could be 985,666.  I can’t easily calculate how many different ways 666 could come about in such a random drawing, but I imagine that there are a lot.  I imagine that the probability of this happening isn’t as high as you might think. 


 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:So can the

caposkia wrote:
So can the affects of God [be measured] in one way or another.  Think about what you're saying

I do think about what I'm saying. You could replace "God" or whatever with an infinite number of possible unknown entities and attribute many effects to them as the cause. You can. For all the things you would describe as God's Almighty Hand, we could replace it with "The Invisible Pink Unicorn's Almighty Horn" and you would have an equally likely explanation. That explanation, by virtue of its company (that is, an infinite number of available hypothetical creatures) approaches an infinite unlikeliness.

caposkia wrote:
You forget that it's a compilation

I can't remember things you haven't told me. What's a compilation? We were discussing evidence, and you answered that personal experience wasn't the only evidence, and then the above.

caposkia wrote:
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 [that God has never shown up]

Why on Earth would I have to demonstrate that something hasn't happened? The rules of physics still haven't been broken under reasonable observation. Why would I think those rules would be suspended all-of-a-sudden? Are we talking about God or something else, because you earlier objected to my calling your conception of the supernatural "God". If we're talking about something else, like the Great Compilation, then let me know.

caposkia wrote:
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.

Nice try. No, the more specific we are about the characteristics of something fictional, the less likely it is to exist. Especially we give it concepts that we have no real understanding of, like "intelligence" and "perfection". Neither of those attributes are very helpful in forming a description of whatever creature you're talking about.

caposkia wrote:
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?

It would take God. Showing up. Anywhere would be fine. Because when you say "God", you presumably mean something specific. So this specific entity would have to show up. Otherwise, it behaves exactly the same as a figment of everyone's imagination. The similarity between God and a figment of someone's imagination is startling.

caposkia wrote:
So you've made it abundantly clear that you and I are not on the same page.

Well yes. You believe that there is a creature that you can only vaguely define, and present nothing in the way of evidence that such a creature actually exists. Do you believe that other gods exist, or just this one?

caposkia wrote:
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?

I don't actually understand how He could get angry, since He presumably has control over everything. But he must be less than all-powerful in your view. Desire and anger both come from having to wait, and being frustrated. What limits a god that can defy even the rules of physics?

caposkia wrote:
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?

If God is as said in the Bible, then those are our rules. That's what I was asking. There are hundreds of other gods, and those gods have different rules, and those rules have many interpretations. If the God of the Bible is what we're talking about, that's fine. I think we can stick to highly unlikely.

caposkia wrote:
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.

You just suggested that something outside of nature exists. You would be one of those people.

caposkia wrote:
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. [Some stuff about possible Biblical activity]

I'm sorry, are we now discussing the Bible like it's an actual historical record? There may have been a tsunami in the Red Sea, so maybe that's what they were describing about the parting of the sea. Yeah, maybe. That would be a decent basis for the story (in that extremely unlikely event). Does that really help with our discussion?

I've been clear about my point: if we're discussing the specific God of the bible, instead of the thousands of other gods people have worshipped, and millions of other incarnations we could possibly come up with, then we're discussing something highly unlikely. It is unlikely that your specific God exists. So unlikely, in fact, that probability doesn't even enter into it. When you have an infinite number of possible explanations for something, and they all happen to be based on the non-physical, it's safe to say we've reduced the possibility that this specific creature exists to exactly zero.

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


Incognito
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-04-15
User is offlineOffline
 Butter, let me turn the

 

Butter, let me turn the table around. Show me evidence that the physical world exists. You assume the validity of human senses, but you cannot prove their validity.

As for the soul, there is tons of evidence throughout all of human history of people seeing departed relatives. Just because a modern atheist is totally ignorant of this material, does not prove this material does not exist.

Many people have seem group appearances of departed people.

Read "Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave," by Ponteleimon. He catalogues many 19th century Russian occurances of ghostly appearances.

Dr. Habermas has found modern cases of NDE's where the people left their bodies and witnessed specific events with complete accuracy when their bodies and brains were totally dead. These cases were so amazing, they were written in medical journals. Check his debates and material at garyhabermas.com

 

This kind of stuff is what we would expect to find in a theistic/supernatural universe, not a atheist or materialist one.


Incognito
Posts: 36
Joined: 2008-04-15
User is offlineOffline
 This website doesn't work

 This website doesn't work right. I can't even find my post.

If the supernatural was evidenced by material or natural data, then it wouldn't be supernatural. It would be material or physical. Of course the supernatural isn't going to be as obvious to material senses and the material plain is.


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Incognito wrote: Butter,

Incognito wrote:

 

Butter, let me turn the table around. Show me evidence that the physical world exists. You assume the validity of human senses, but you cannot prove their validity.

As for the soul, there is tons of evidence throughout all of human history of people seeing departed relatives. Just because a modern atheist is totally ignorant of this material, does not prove this material does not exist.

You're willing to doubt the existence of the physical world, but you accept the words of ancient scholars on faith. Weird. 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3716
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Incognito wrote:Butter, let

Incognito wrote:

Butter, let me turn the table around. Show me evidence that the physical world exists. You assume the validity of human senses, but you cannot prove their validity.

The only things that I hold as self-evident are my existence and the power of reason. My conclusion that my senses are accurate stems from those. As I've stated before, I need no confirmation from anything outside of this world because I have no reason to believe that there is anything outside of this world. It is much more logical, as well as realistic, to conclude that the world is as I perceive it instead of worrying about The Matrix. The physical world is the status quo; thus, I'm afraid the burden of proof is on you. 

Quote:
As for the soul, there is tons of evidence throughout all of human history of people seeing departed relatives. Just because a modern atheist is totally ignorant of this material, does not prove this material does not exist.

Oh, really? You want to show me one piece of evidence?

Quote:
Many people have seem group appearances of departed people.

Don't forget what's really interesting about the title of this thread. If you can scientifically prove that ghosts exist, then, by definition, ghosts are not supernatural. Funny, huh? 

Quote:
Read "Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave," by Ponteleimon. He catalogues many 19th century Russian occurances of ghostly appearances.

That sounds extremely reliable. 

Quote:
Dr. Habermas has found modern cases of NDE's where the people left their bodies and witnessed specific events with complete accuracy when their bodies and brains were totally dead. These cases were so amazing, they were written in medical journals. Check his debates and material at garyhabermas.com

This is a Christian Apologetics website. Where are the ghosts? 

Liberty University? 

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:butterbattle

caposkia wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

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."

Now if you're willing to actually progress with the purpose of this forum.  let me try to be more specific with what I need from you.

1.  Show you evidence for the existence of a spiritual world.  Exactly what would have to be presented to you LEGITIMATELY that would make you consider the possibility.  Is there really anything? 

I ask because I"ve already presented ideas, most of which have been quickly dismissed as either delusion, or requested a physical evidence of sort for proof.  This in other forums, not these 2.

If there's nothing, then we cannot go further with that.

2.  Evidence for the existance of a soul:

Another topic completely, however still ties into a spiritual world.  Again, what evidence would you need to be presented to make you consider the possibility?  Is there any? 

3.  The existence of a Creator or higher power:

Same question applies. 

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.

If you're serious, you'll respond with a serious answer.  There must be something that would be relevent to the spiritual world that would help you consider the idea that you could tell me  you'd need to hear of or have presented to you.  Otherwise, if there isn't, how would you expect me to answer you? 

 

How nice - I can write the same objection for all three.

Asked and answered.

The point, cap, seems to be this. We both agree that there is no physical proof for the supernatural. We believe that this lack of proof raises serious questions about its existence. You, however, accept this lack of proof as the sole justification for its existence - "It can't be proven to exist so it MUST be true".

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:You are making

RatDog wrote:

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

Here we go again.  A matter of fact point was made, therefore I requested the research that resulted in that conclusion. 

Let's stay on the same page here


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:It isn’t

RatDog wrote:

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. 

...and with that I can see we're losing focus again. 

This ultimately started with a combination focus of odds and happenings.  A happening is random unless there is a found reasoning or influence.  Odds are low unless you have a reasoning or influence for its happening.  If there is reason or influence, then odds suddenly become more difficult due to the fact that you have external variables causing a change in the odds. 

If I rigged  a drawing to draw 6's 3 times in a row, the odds of it happening are obviously not 1 in a million as they would be if it was not rigged.  We get that.

The point comes down to whether God did it or not.  let's stay on focus.

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:RatDog

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

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. 

...and with that I can see we're losing focus again. 

This ultimately started with a combination focus of odds and happenings.  A happening is random unless there is a found reasoning or influence.  Odds are low unless you have a reasoning or influence for its happening.  If there is reason or influence, then odds suddenly become more difficult due to the fact that you have external variables causing a change in the odds. 

If I rigged  a drawing to draw 6's 3 times in a row, the odds of it happening are obviously not 1 in a million as they would be if it was not rigged.  We get that.

The point comes down to whether God did it or not.  let's stay on focus.

 

Since a reading of the Bible leads to the conclusion that God does exactly that - what do we have to discuss?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:I do think

HisWillness wrote:

I do think about what I'm saying. You could replace "God" or whatever with an infinite number of possible unknown entities and attribute many effects to them as the cause. You can. For all the things you would describe as God's Almighty Hand, we could replace it with "The Invisible Pink Unicorn's Almighty Horn" and you would have an equally likely explanation. That explanation, by virtue of its company (that is, an infinite number of available hypothetical creatures) approaches an infinite unlikeliness.

yea, anyone can try to explain themselves out of anything.  It's when the burden of evidence comes into play that makes it hard.  Do you have the "all fluffy Invisible Pink Unicorn's Almighty Bible?"  Or geology, history, science, etc. to back up your claim?

do I? yea, I'm taking it one step at a time.  Trying to stay focused, ya know?

HisWillness wrote:

Why on Earth would I have to demonstrate that something hasn't happened? The rules of physics still haven't been broken under reasonable observation. Why would I think those rules would be suspended all-of-a-sudden? Are we talking about God or something else, because you earlier objected to my calling your conception of the supernatural "God". If we're talking about something else, like the Great Compilation, then let me know.

Where are you going with this?

I was talking about his name is not God, which has nothing to do with my conception of the supernatural God, it was just a statement to clarify.

Do you want to make a point, or just talk about random things?

I'm sorry if I confused you, let's get back to what you're trying to focus on please.

HisWillness wrote:

Nice try. No, the more specific we are about the characteristics of something fictional, the less likely it is to exist. Especially we give it concepts that we have no real understanding of, like "intelligence" and "perfection". Neither of those attributes are very helpful in forming a description of whatever creature you're talking about.

I see what you're trying to do.

Intelligence is a word I got from the non-believers, therefore, I've been using it to try and stay on the same page.  Perfection is a game.

Anyway what exactly are you looking for from me?  a physical description of what God looks like????

You've already made a conclusion about God being fictional, so let's start talking about specific relevent sources for that conclusion.

HisWillness wrote:

It would take God. Showing up. Anywhere would be fine. Because when you say "God", you presumably mean something specific. So this specific entity would have to show up. Otherwise, it behaves exactly the same as a figment of everyone's imagination. The similarity between God and a figment of someone's imagination is startling.

ok, and what would God "showing up" need to entail?  Something like a phisical "poof" here I am kind of thing?

God is everywhere.  As someone else once said with the wind, just because you can't feel it doesn't mean it's not there. 

HisWillness wrote:

Well yes. You believe that there is a creature that you can only vaguely define, and present nothing in the way of evidence that such a creature actually exists. Do you believe that other gods exist, or just this one?

By same page I mean working on coming to a conclusion either way.  It's clear you're not willing to work with me.  I'm taking this one step at a time.  I've tried to present a lot of evidence all at once.

Hoestly, I'll get people like you (please no offense) who will get lost amidst the information and start tangents on a few different things.  Then before we know it, we're talking about the probability of an elephant stepping on an ant and have lost total concept of the topic. 

HisWillness wrote:

I don't actually understand how He could get angry, since He presumably has control over everything. But he must be less than all-powerful in your view. Desire and anger both come from having to wait, and being frustrated. What limits a god that can defy even the rules of physics?

Back to God giving free will.  God could control us like robots, or make things happen at his every whim, but he knows the rules he's put in place and therefore will not affect them.  Just because he knows it's going to turn out that way doesn't mean he's all of a sudden going to puppet that person into doing something else so that he won't get angry at them.

HisWillness wrote:

If God is as said in the Bible, then those are our rules. That's what I was asking. There are hundreds of other gods, and those gods have different rules, and those rules have many interpretations. If the God of the Bible is what we're talking about, that's fine. I think we can stick to highly unlikely.

The Bible says there are other gods.  One is God over all, who is the Almighty YHWH. 

the word god is simply anyone that presides over another position.  Do you really want to make a case out of the term?  By definition, there are millions.  god's have gods and soforth. 

HisWillness wrote:

You just suggested that something outside of nature exists. You would be one of those people.

It's one thing to claim any natural occurance as supernatural or "of God", it's another thing when you start considering all the variables. 

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.

Timing is everything.  The odds of those timings conclude whether it was likely for it to happen right at that moment or not taking into consideration the story behind the happenings.

HisWillness wrote:

 

I'm sorry, are we now discussing the Bible like it's an actual historical record? There may have been a tsunami in the Red Sea, so maybe that's what they were describing about the parting of the sea. Yeah, maybe. That would be a decent basis for the story (in that extremely unlikely event). Does that really help with our discussion?

That depends on you.  Does it help or not? 

The ball's really in your court, I just keep hitting it back to you. 

It's all about staying on the same page.  And discussing so we both see progress in our conversations and so we don't get stuck.

HisWillness wrote:

I've been clear about my point: if we're discussing the specific God of the bible, instead of the thousands of other gods people have worshipped, and millions of other incarnations we could possibly come up with, then we're discussing something highly unlikely. It is unlikely that your specific God exists. So unlikely, in fact, that probability doesn't even enter into it. When you have an infinite number of possible explanations for something, and they all happen to be based on the non-physical, it's safe to say we've reduced the possibility that this specific creature exists to exactly zero.

again, i would love to see some of your research on this conclusion.  Please present some of it to me.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:The only

butterbattle wrote:

The only things that I hold as self-evident are my existence and the power of reason. My conclusion that my senses are accurate stems from those. As I've stated before, I need no confirmation from anything outside of this world because I have no reason to believe that there is anything outside of this world. It is much more logical, as well as realistic, to conclude that the world is as I perceive it instead of worrying about The Matrix. The physical world is the status quo; thus, I'm afraid the burden of proof is on you. 

actually, popular belief by statistic in the world is that there is a spiritual realm one way or another, therefore according to your statement above, due to the fact that the statistical status quo says that a spiritual world is real, the burden of proof I guess would have to go back to you.

butterbattle wrote:

Quote:
As for the soul, there is tons of evidence throughout all of human history of people seeing departed relatives. Just because a modern atheist is totally ignorant of this material, does not prove this material does not exist.

Oh, really? You want to show me one piece of evidence?

from his statement, you're suggesting he present to you someone who has seen it.  Is that what you're looking for?

butterbattle wrote:

Quote:
Many people have seem group appearances of departed people.

Don't forget what's really interesting about the title of this thread. If you can scientifically prove that ghosts exist, then, by definition, ghosts are not supernatural. Funny, huh? 

exactly.  Which is why I never refered to God as supernatural.  Now that we have that out of the way, let's continue


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:The point,

jcgadfly wrote:

The point, cap, seems to be this. We both agree that there is no physical proof for the supernatural. We believe that this lack of proof raises serious questions about its existence. You, however, accept this lack of proof as the sole justification for its existence - "It can't be proven to exist so it MUST be true".

The key here is "physical".  Everyone is concluding that because there is no "physical" proof, then God can't be real.  I'll go way way back.  God is not physical, so why would there be physical proof of his existence? 

We have to go further into happenings, odds, progressions, experiences, senses, etc.  Stuff that would go beyond the physical sciences.  Understanding is a big part of it.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Since a

jcgadfly wrote:

Since a reading of the Bible leads to the conclusion that God does exactly that - what do we have to discuss?

Good question.  It comes down to whether you accept it or not.  and why or why not as well as what you'd be looking for if you don't accept. 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

The point, cap, seems to be this. We both agree that there is no physical proof for the supernatural. We believe that this lack of proof raises serious questions about its existence. You, however, accept this lack of proof as the sole justification for its existence - "It can't be proven to exist so it MUST be true".

The key here is "physical".  Everyone is concluding that because there is no "physical" proof, then God can't be real.  I'll go way way back.  God is not physical, so why would there be physical proof of his existence? 

We have to go further into happenings, odds, progressions, experiences, senses, etc.  Stuff that would go beyond the physical sciences.  Understanding is a big part of it.

Ok let's go further - there is no proof of any kind for the supernatural. What you're now claiming as non-physical proof can be just as easily called coincidence or manipulation (a la the "miracles&quotEye-wink.

You also invoke the senses - what are the nonphysical senses that can pick up supernatural proof?

You see this lack of proof as the reason that God must be real.  I see it as a reason to question.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3716
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Quote:actually, popular

Quote:
actually, popular belief by statistic in the world is that there is a spiritual realm one way or another, therefore according to your statement above, due to the fact that the statistical status quo says that a spiritual world is real, the burden of proof I guess would have to go back to you.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

So, I hold the obligation of proving that the physical world exists and the spiritual world doesn't? If I can't, then the physical world doesn't exist and the spiritual world does? Oh, the irony is painful.

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


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:God is

caposkia wrote:

God is everywhere.  As someone else once said with the wind, just because you can't feel it doesn't mean it's not there.

If we can't feel the wind that does mean there is no wind, at least where we are. Try and stay logical, caposkia.

Once we are arguing about the existence of something that leaves no physical trace, has no uniquely identifiable influence on our observable world, is not detectable by our senses, we have vastly more reason to doubt it is anything more than a widely shared meme that has a strong appeal to the human mind, as we see from how widely spread a belief in this sort of idea is.

Whatever reason we have for doubting the evidence and accuracy of our physical senses, the reliability of a sense that can't even be reliably shown to exist, ie some ability to detect and respond to influences beyond the natural, is far more open to question.

His non-existence is manifest.

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


spike.barnett
Superfan
spike.barnett's picture
Posts: 1018
Joined: 2008-10-24
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:actually,

caposkia wrote:

actually, popular belief by statistic in the world is that there is a spiritual realm one way or another, therefore according to your statement above, due to the fact that the statistical status quo says that a spiritual world is real, the burden of proof I guess would have to go back to you.

 

I'm going to try and sugar coat this as much as I can... That is the stupidest idea I've heard all year. Faith offers no credible support to the conclusions  drawn from observing reality. Evidence is the only way to support conclusions. As far as I know all the evidence supports the conclusion that there is no spiritual world and the natural world is in fact the status quo. When you offer me some type of quantitative measurable evidence I will consider your outlandish claims.

caposkia wrote:

God is everywhere.  As someone else once said with the wind, just because you can't feel it doesn't mean it's not there.

I don't agree with that statement at all. When you don't feel the wind it's because it's not there. Wind is the movement of air. When the air is not moving there is just air and no wind. That was a horrible analogy.

 

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
MySpace


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:We're back to

caposkia wrote:

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.

Right. Nobody questions the 'once in a million' happening, but here's the real trick of it: It's not really once in a million. In fact, most of the time what happens is what's most likely to happen even if it appears highly unlikely. The 'once in a million' single event? Isn't a single event at all. Look back at the example of my beating the odds 'once':

One brake was only partially functioning - one event. It would seem unlikely that this one brake would be sufficient to safely stop the car when needed, especially given the often abrupt nature of braking on the BQE.

One brake was frozen open, and had it closed, would have frozen closed (we're not talking about ice, we're talking about metal corrosion and lack of lubrication). - second event. In fact, it's more likely for brake calipers to jam shut, because the sections of the calipers that see the most use (and thus, are more likely to remain smooth enough to move) are those nearest the joint, not nearer the pads, which would only come into play during hard breaking, and because there's hydraulic pressure applied to make them close, but no reciprocal pressure used to open them: rather, the mechanical construction of the system pushes for the opening, and if it's frozen up...

One brake had absolutely no pressure. Completely useless. But brake pressure is oppositional: the right rear brake is balanced against the left front brake, which had normal pressure, but the brake pads were gone, the shoes cracked, and only one of them was actually pressing (and cutting into) the rotor. Either the rear drum should've had normal pressure, or the front disc should've had none. - third event.

And the last brake had a piece of loose metal getting bounced around that should've locked up the wheel - fourth event.

The trick is, and this is especially true when we're looking into things that have already occured, it's impossible to truly know the complete precursor conditions. Why didn't that one brake pop and relock closed? Possibly it ended up rusting solid right through the joint, instead of (as is more normal) around the joint. Why didn't the 'functional' brake loose pressure when it's opposite did? Well, the brake lines in the back were rusted solid, which may have insulated it from the pressure leak. Centripedal force is the likely culprit saving me on the fourth wheel... which would have changed had I driven a different route, been in another lane...

The point is: when we see patterns in things like this, it's usually because our brains are wired to perceive patterns. We've developed that way. Patterns are important: they make things like food acquisition easier... where do the animals tend to go more often, which bushes produce berries in consistently greater numbers...

Highly unlikely events usually aren't unlikely at all. They're just events that we don't see all of the contributing factors for. Take the rise of mammals, for example. After 180 million years of reptilian dominance, it would seem incredibly unlikely for a rock to slam into the earth and wipe out massive chunks of the biosphere... and yet... that impact was inevitable. It was completely inevitable for billions of years beforehand, because it all came down to long-term gravitational mechanics. The movement of every significant gravitational body from the birth of the solar system onward contributed to that event.

What are the odds that each planet's orbit would be just right to produce that? That each moon's orbit would be just right to put that little wobble into the rotation of each planet to make the gravitational perturbations just so? Once you've got the objects above the sub-atomic scale in position and moving, right at the beginning of the solar system... it's inevitable. Incredibly hard to predict because of all of the complex interactions, sure... but those complex interactions work out the same way every time you run the numbers: the initial conditions, once set, don't change. The math doesn't change. So the results don't change. It would work out the same way, every time you ran the numbers. Rock falls, lotta critters die.

Every seemingly highly unlikely event that we look at seems to follow the same pattern: There are reasonable factors we can't evaluate that could take the event from 'unlikely' to 'nigh-inevitable' if not all the way there. So why do we see patterns emerging when we look at large sets of data? The same reason people saw 'devil faces', complete with horns, in the smoke from the World Trade Center towers: our brains naturally look for patterns, just like we naturally look for 'recognizable' features... and with any set of data, if it's large enough, you can find more or less whatever you're looking for... and we look for patterns.

"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


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Ok let's go

jcgadfly wrote:

Ok let's go further - there is no proof of any kind for the supernatural. What you're now claiming as non-physical proof can be just as easily called coincidence or manipulation (a la the "miracles&quotEye-wink.

You also invoke the senses - what are the nonphysical senses that can pick up supernatural proof?

You see this lack of proof as the reason that God must be real.  I see it as a reason to question.

The key focus here is not the sole "proof", but one peice of it. 

What you mention comes down to frequency of coincidence.  How many times can a process have the same outcome before it is no longer considered a coincidence? 

Supernatural is not what I'm trying to discuss here either.  Just that to seek out God you have to look beyond just the physical.  Don't get me wrong, there are I think anyway, some physical evidences in history and geology.  I think Discovery/Nat. Geo/Nova cover a few of the theories.  YOu cannot take them alone, but amidst all of it including the senses evidence and processes/chain of events as well as personal experiences and sightings. 

There are others who are definitely far fetched when it comes to their theoretical "discoveries". 


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

Quote:
actually, popular belief by statistic in the world is that there is a spiritual realm one way or another, therefore according to your statement above, due to the fact that the statistical status quo says that a spiritual world is real, the burden of proof I guess would have to go back to you.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

So, I hold the obligation of proving that the physical world exists and the spiritual world doesn't? If I can't, then the physical world doesn't exist and the spiritual world does? Oh, the irony is painful.

It's simply what you just proposed to us.  Quite ironic actually


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:If we can't

BobSpence1 wrote:

If we can't feel the wind that does mean there is no wind, at least where we are. Try and stay logical, caposkia.

I have extensive knowlege in meteorology.  Wind is simply the movement of air.  It is widely accepted that air is constantly moving, thus there is always a wind, though you may not feel it.  It's very logical. look it up.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Whatever reason we have for doubting the evidence and accuracy of our physical senses, the reliability of a sense that can't even be reliably shown to exist, ie some ability to detect and respond to influences beyond the natural, is far more open to question.

His non-existence is manifest.

that's your conclusion.  We're discussing the evidences.  You want to skip the process and just conclude.  Can't make progress if that's all you want to do.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
spike.barnett

spike.barnett wrote:

 Evidence is the only way to support conclusions. As far as I know all the evidence supports the conclusion that there is no spiritual world and the natural world is in fact the status quo. When you offer me some type of quantitative measurable evidence I will consider your outlandish claims.

spike.barnett wrote:

Glad you could join us.  This forum is talking about evidences just to catch you up.  I'm willing to work with the scientific method.  What evidences would you be looking for.  Just to catch you up further, the physical sciences logically would not be a reliable source for evidences. 

spike.barnett wrote:

I don't agree with that statement at all. When you don't feel the wind it's because it's not there. Wind is the movement of air. When the air is not moving there is just air and no wind. That was a horrible analogy.

Thanks, it was a non-believer on this site that came up with that one and not me.  Anyway, read my previous response, that should clarify. 


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
BMcD wrote:Right. Nobody

BMcD wrote:

Right. Nobody questions the 'once in a million' ...

Your example of the breaks is a perfect reason why odds isn't the best topic to discuss.  We'd need a mathemetician here to figure out whether there were low odds in that case or not. 

You've also reveiled the other reason why this topic is not the best.  Anyone can excuse odds due to human speculation.  Therefore, unless you take them as is, they really hold no water.  I explained this when I first brought the idea up.  So please obstain from the "you changed your perspective" talk.  (not you specifically), but anyone who might read this and feel inclined to do so.  I know there are a few.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

If we can't feel the wind that does mean there is no wind, at least where we are. Try and stay logical, caposkia.

I have extensive knowlege in meteorology.  Wind is simply the movement of air.  It is widely accepted that air is constantly moving, thus there is always a wind, though you may not feel it.  It's very logical. look it up.

Of course there is always wind somewhere, that is clearly not what I was arguing, you dishonest twit. Note "at least where we are". If we can't feel it, there is no air movement that can justifiably be called wind in our immediate location. You know that is what I was saying.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Whatever reason we have for doubting the evidence and accuracy of our physical senses, the reliability of a sense that can't even be reliably shown to exist, ie some ability to detect and respond to influences beyond the natural, is far more open to question.

His non-existence is manifest.

that's your conclusion.  We're discussing the evidences.  You want to skip the process and just conclude.  Can't make progress if that's all you want to do.

I will concede the last sentence is largely rhetorical, but the preceding statement stands. I was not even concluding that it established anything other than that we have much more a priori justification for doubting any assertion about our actual ability to sense information from outside the physical/natural realm, since it is nowhere near as evident as the sense of sight, hearing, touch etc and the direct ways we have for confirming that they are detecting information outside our own mind.

Until you can provide clear evidence that we do sense something significant beyond ourselves and nature, you have no grounds for asserting that such a sense actually does exist.

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


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Just that to seek out

Quote:

Just that to seek out God you have to look beyond just the physical.

How do you look beyond the physical?

Quote:

but amidst all of it including the senses evidence and processes/chain of events as well as personal experiences and sightings.

What is senses evidence?

What types of personal experiences do you include as evidence? 

For sightings do you count only things you personally see, or do you take other people word for what they say they have seen as well?


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
BMcD wrote:RatDog wrote:You

BMcD wrote:

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.

Sorry I missed this till now.  Thank you for correcting my understanding of the scientific methodSmiling.


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3716
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:butterbattle

caposkia wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

Quote:
actually, popular belief by statistic in the world is that there is a spiritual realm one way or another, therefore according to your statement above, due to the fact that the statistical status quo says that a spiritual world is real, the burden of proof I guess would have to go back to you.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha!

So, I hold the obligation of proving that the physical world exists and the spiritual world doesn't? If I can't, then the physical world doesn't exist and the spiritual world does? Oh, the irony is painful.

It's simply what you just proposed to us.  Quite ironic actually

Huh? Where the fuck did I propose that?

 

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


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:yea, anyone

caposkia wrote:
yea, anyone can try to explain themselves out of anything.  It's when the burden of evidence comes into play that makes it hard.  Do you have the "all fluffy Invisible Pink Unicorn's Almighty Bible?"  Or geology, history, science, etc. to back up your claim?

The Council of Nicea was set up to outline a consensus in the beliefs of Christians. You believe what was decided in the fourth century, because that's when the bible was organized. How's that?

caposkia wrote:
You've already made a conclusion about God being fictional, so let's start talking about specific relevent sources for that conclusion.

Why would I need a source to tell you that Nicholas Nickleby is fictional? God behaves exactly like a fictional character.

caposkia wrote:
ok, and what would God "showing up" need to entail?  Something like a phisical "poof" here I am kind of thing?

I don't know, to tell you the truth. I would love SOMETHING to help me put God into the non-fiction category, because everything about God points to fiction. The way people describe God points to fiction. Your example:

caposkia wrote:
God is everywhere.

Is exactly what I mean. God is also, remarkably, nowhere. God likes smiles and ice cream. God shows His Almighty Love in snowflakes. You can make up just about anything you want because God lacks a physical presence. If God had physical attributes, we wouldn't be having this argument. Even Santa Claus has physical attributes, as do any number of characters in novels or movies, and they aren't real.

caposkia wrote:
As someone else once said with the wind, just because you can't feel it doesn't mean it's not there.

You've used this one twice, now. Wind can be measured, as can air. Those have nothing to do with the argument.

caposkia wrote:
Hoestly, I'll get people like you (please no offense) who will get lost amidst the information and start tangents on a few different things.  Then before we know it, we're talking about the probability of an elephant stepping on an ant and have lost total concept of the topic.

I don't think we've entered into derailing tangents quite yet. My arguments where God is concerned are that 1) He behaves just like a fictional character, so probably is, 2) presumably exists on a plane of non-existence, which is problematic, and 3) is extremely unlikely to exist in the specific form described by the Bible.

I won't waver from those.

caposkia wrote:
Back to God giving free will.  God could control us like robots, or make things happen at his every whim, but he knows the rules he's put in place and therefore will not affect them.  Just because he knows it's going to turn out that way doesn't mean he's all of a sudden going to puppet that person into doing something else so that he won't get angry at them.

It strikes me as bizarre that you're privy to so much information about God, but let's assume you know all these things for the sake of expediency. God, then, is constrained by time (God has to wait for someone to do something "wrong&quotEye-wink. And yet presumably God made the rules. So is God playing a game?

caposkia wrote:
The Bible says there are other gods.  One is God over all, who is the Almighty YHWH. 

the word god is simply anyone that presides over another position.  Do you really want to make a case out of the term?  By definition, there are millions.  god's have gods and soforth.

... my point being that hundreds of cultures claim their god to be supreme. Hundreds of cultures give this supreme deity a name and stories, and they are all worshipping the wrong god in the eyes of other cultures. Is YHWH toying with these people by having them be born into a culture of the "wrong" god?

caposkia wrote:
It's one thing to claim any natural occurance as supernatural or "of God", it's another thing when you start considering all the variables.

There's no way for me to understand what you believe all the variables are, so let me know.

caposkia wrote:
Timing is everything.  The odds of those timings conclude whether it was likely for it to happen right at that moment or not taking into consideration the story behind the happenings.

I don't know if you could make a case that way. I've had very unlikely things happen to me (seeing friends while traveling, etc) which would not have happened should the timing have been different. I can't assign numerical odds to such things. That would be nonsensical.

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

When you have an infinite number of possible explanations for something, and they all happen to be based on the non-physical, it's safe to say we've reduced the possibility that this specific creature exists to exactly zero.

again, i would love to see some of your research on this conclusion.  Please present some of it to me.

I'm not sure how I would research the non-existence of something. Your statement that God is everywhere is negated immediately by empirical evidence. God is clearly nowhere. But since you require no evidence to believe that God is everywhere, and more than overwhelming evidence to believe that God is nowhere, I'm not sure how I can help you see what is plainly in front of you.

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Ok let's go further - there is no proof of any kind for the supernatural. What you're now claiming as non-physical proof can be just as easily called coincidence or manipulation (a la the "miracles&quotEye-wink.

You also invoke the senses - what are the nonphysical senses that can pick up supernatural proof?

You see this lack of proof as the reason that God must be real.  I see it as a reason to question.

The key focus here is not the sole "proof", but one peice of it. 

What you mention comes down to frequency of coincidence.  How many times can a process have the same outcome before it is no longer considered a coincidence? 

Supernatural is not what I'm trying to discuss here either.  Just that to seek out God you have to look beyond just the physical.  Don't get me wrong, there are I think anyway, some physical evidences in history and geology.  I think Discovery/Nat. Geo/Nova cover a few of the theories.  YOu cannot take them alone, but amidst all of it including the senses evidence and processes/chain of events as well as personal experiences and sightings. 

There are others who are definitely far fetched when it comes to their theoretical "discoveries". 

How does one discuss a supernatural being without discussing the supernatural? You have to talk about God in his alleged environment - it's that nasty thing called context.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Of course

BobSpence1 wrote:

Of course there is always wind somewhere, that is clearly not what I was arguing, you dishonest twit. Note "at least where we are". If we can't feel it, there is no air movement that can justifiably be called wind in our immediate location. You know that is what I was saying.

lol, I admit you made me laugh.  I apologise if you weren't trying to be funny. "dishonest twit" heh.  It's just how it sounded, personal humor.... anyway.

Let's keep it simple here.  Everyone else on here besides you apparently is so on top of the technicalities that I felt compelled to clarify. 

I know what you were getting at, but it was a poor counter be it that you also understood what I was getting at.  Now that we understand each other, can we move on with this.  If not, let's focus on something else. It's really not worth arguing over what wind is. 

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

I will concede the last sentence is largely rhetorical, but the preceding statement stands. I was not even concluding that it established anything other than that we have much more a priori justification for doubting any assertion about our actual ability to sense information from outside the physical/natural realm, since it is nowhere near as evident as the sense of sight, hearing, touch etc and the direct ways we have for confirming that they are detecting information outside our own mind.

That is a stalemate argument just waiting to happen.  There are many out there that would outright disagree with your statement above and have substantial examples to back themselves up.  No, I don't have all the answers for that, but I've heard both sides and the conversation starting there definitely goes nowhere.

Everything you understand has more justification than what you don't understand in your mind because you don't understand yet. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Until you can provide clear evidence that we do sense something significant beyond ourselves and nature, you have no grounds for asserting that such a sense actually does exist.

right, but I'm not going to just spit everything I know out at you.  You need to tell me what you're looking for.  I can work from there.  I will either tell you that the information you seek is not relevent to the conversation due to X or I will proceed with what I understand to be true.  What are you looking for for "clear evidence"?

If you pay attention, there has been a start in that category. 

Also, you have to understand this will be a process, just like a black hole in space, there's no specific visual I can give you that will make you dawn on God.  You will have to personally understand it.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:How do you look

RatDog wrote:

How do you look beyond the physical?

I've looked in many ways beyond the physical.  I've used prayer, sight, feeling (emotion and touch), process, miraculous changes, scientific method, etc. 

To answer the question in a way you'd want it to be answered, I'd have to know what non-physical science, sense, process, etc. you would accept to better understand? 

RatDog wrote:

What is senses evidence?

Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. 

RatDog wrote:

What types of personal experiences do you include as evidence? 

For sightings do you count only things you personally see, or do you take other people word for what they say they have seen as well?

I assume the second question further clarifies the intentions of the first, so I'll answer as one question.  Sorry if that was not your intention, just let me know.

I account for what I personally see, but not only. I take what other people say they experience and compare it to other claims as well as Biblical basis and what I've experienced myself.  I know God well enough to usually know when someone's experience is made up or real and whether it was most likely from God or not. 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Of course there is always wind somewhere, that is clearly not what I was arguing, you dishonest twit. Note "at least where we are". If we can't feel it, there is no air movement that can justifiably be called wind in our immediate location. You know that is what I was saying.

lol, I admit you made me laugh.  I apologise if you weren't trying to be funny. "dishonest twit" heh.  It's just how it sounded, personal humor.... anyway.

Let's keep it simple here.  Everyone else on here besides you apparently is so on top of the technicalities that I felt compelled to clarify. 

I know what you were getting at, but it was a poor counter be it that you also understood what I was getting at.  Now that we understand each other, can we move on with this.  If not, let's focus on something else. It's really not worth arguing over what wind is. 

So my point now stands that that, since you know what I was getting at and still refused to respond in an honest straight-forward way by conceding that your initial expression about the wind was just a rhetorical expression and conceding that it was not a valid counter to the 'non-observability of God'.

You instead made some irrelevant comment about your knowledge of meteorology, etc. And now I get your other standard dodge about it not being relevant to the issues and "let's move on". My issue is not about the wind, it is about your difficulty in admitting that you may have said something wrong, stupid, or at least totally irrelevant to the argument.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

I will concede the last sentence is largely rhetorical, but the preceding statement stands. I was not even concluding that it established anything other than that we have much more a priori justification for doubting any assertion about our actual ability to sense information from outside the physical/natural realm, since it is nowhere near as evident as the sense of sight, hearing, touch etc and the direct ways we have for confirming that they are detecting information outside our own mind.

That is a stalemate argument just waiting to happen.  There are many out there that would outright disagree with your statement above and have substantial examples to back themselves up.  No, I don't have all the answers for that, but I've heard both sides and the conversation starting there definitely goes nowhere.

Everything you understand has more justification than what you don't understand in your mind because you don't understand yet. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Until you can provide clear evidence that we do sense something significant beyond ourselves and nature, you have no grounds for asserting that such a sense actually does exist.

right, but I'm not going to just spit everything I know out at you.  You need to tell me what you're looking for.  I can work from there.  I will either tell you that the information you seek is not relevent to the conversation due to X or I will proceed with what I understand to be true.  What are you looking for for "clear evidence"?

As I think I said before, I do not expect you to "spit everything I know out at you". Just start with you describing an experience or sequence of events that was strongly persuasive to you.

As for "clear evidence" I mean something that is not readily explainable in non-supernatural terms, and actually suggests something at least somewhat specific about the nature of the entity responsible, ie more than just pointing to a 'gap' in our naturalistic understanding.

Quote:

If you pay attention, there has been a start in that category. 

Also, you have to understand this will be a process, just like a black hole in space, there's no specific visual I can give you that will make you dawn on God.  You will have to personally understand it.

It doesn't have to be any one specific thing, visual or not, I have already said way back that I understand that. I have been watching, and am waiting for something more than just a dodge in response.

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


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:RatDog

caposkia wrote:

RatDog wrote:

How do you look beyond the physical?

I've looked in many ways beyond the physical.  I've used prayer, sight, feeling (emotion and touch), process, miraculous changes, scientific method, etc. 

To answer the question in a way you'd want it to be answered, I'd have to know what non-physical science, sense, process, etc. you would accept to better understand? 

RatDog wrote:

What is senses evidence?

Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. 

RatDog wrote:

What types of personal experiences do you include as evidence? 

For sightings do you count only things you personally see, or do you take other people word for what they say they have seen as well?

I assume the second question further clarifies the intentions of the first, so I'll answer as one question.  Sorry if that was not your intention, just let me know.

I account for what I personally see, but not only. I take what other people say they experience and compare it to other claims as well as Biblical basis and what I've experienced myself.  I know God well enough to usually know when someone's experience is made up or real and whether it was most likely from God or not. 

Cap, why do you include the physical in your "looking beyong the physical"?

Also, when you look for a "Bibliical basis" in an experience, how much does your bias play into it? That is, are you looking at what the Bible actually says or what you think it says/means?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:The

HisWillness wrote:

The Council of Nicea was set up to outline a consensus in the beliefs of Christians. You believe what was decided in the fourth century, because that's when the bible was organized. How's that?

now's probably a good time to tell you that I take into consideration books that were not put into the Bible, but still have to do with God.  In other words they could be books that were rejected from inclusion or maybe never considered.  E.g. Book of enoch, some of the apocrypha, though that was later taken out, historical content of the time.  Anything pretty much that is offered to me to consider. 

The Bible is a good summary and gives you simply enough information to understand what the intentions of a follower are while at the same time giving you a decent history of how things came to be as is.

HisWillness wrote:

Why would I need a source to tell you that Nicholas Nickleby is fictional? God behaves exactly like a fictional character.

Most fictional characters are based off of a real counterpart.  What defines a fictional character? 

Maybe I've never heard of Nicholas Nickleby and just by name, he could be real.  You and I both know there is a source that would clarify that if there ever was a question.  The same request is presented.

HisWillness wrote:

I don't know, to tell you the truth. I would love SOMETHING to help me put God into the non-fiction category, because everything about God points to fiction. The way people describe God points to fiction. Your example:

caposkia wrote:
God is everywhere.

Sounds to me you are looking for physical evidence. 

Not to tick any certain people off here (not my intention), but a perfect example is the wind analogy.  Were there not a few on here that readily argued with me that if you can't feel it than there is no wind?  Same idea. 

Point and case: 

If I had a super-sensitive anemometer that could measure the slightest of air movement, I could prove that on a small scale, wind still occurs.  They easily argue the latter because they have not sensed it.

Same idea with God.  It's easy to say there is no wind becasue you can't sense it.  It's easy to say there is no God because you can't sense him.  It doesn't mean He's not there.

You just have to know what you're looking for and how to "sense" it.  I'm not sure what would work for you either.

I have proposed to many a scientific method approach of "trying it yourself" and truly from your heart seeking out God.  Here's the thing.  There is no one peice of information that I can tell you that will make you believe in God and seek out a relationship with him.  You'd have to take what I tell you and experience it yourself.  You'd have to research it yourself if it's tangeble information and understand it yourself if it's testimonial information. 

You have put in your own mind that all of it is fake, therefore, if you go into it as; "I can't believe any of this because I know it's fake", then of course you're never going to understand it.  You've already told yourself it's not worth understanding. 

If you actually want to try that approach, let me know.  We can talk further about what might work for you.

HisWillness wrote:

I don't think we've entered into derailing tangents quite yet. My arguments where God is concerned are that 1) He behaves just like a fictional character, so probably is, 2) presumably exists on a plane of non-existence, which is problematic, and 3) is extremely unlikely to exist in the specific form described by the Bible.

I won't waver from those.

I know we haven't gotten there yet, it just seemed as if you were progressing towards it.  I could be wrong.  Thanks for clarifying. 

Just a question:

Do you have a strait forward explanation of why God is extremely unlikely to exist in the specific form described by the Bible? I'm curious.  Thanks

HisWillness wrote:

It strikes me as bizarre that you're privy to so much information about God, but let's assume you know all these things for the sake of expediency. God, then, is constrained by time (God has to wait for someone to do something "wrong&quotEye-wink. And yet presumably God made the rules. So is God playing a game?

not that I'm aware of.  He just promised not to change.  That would include going back on his word or his laws. 

HisWillness wrote:

... my point being that hundreds of cultures claim their god to be supreme. Hundreds of cultures give this supreme deity a name and stories, and they are all worshipping the wrong god in the eyes of other cultures. Is YHWH toying with these people by having them be born into a culture of the "wrong" god?

not that I understand. 

From what I've seen in the writings of those other cultures for example, there are pretty clear trademarks that signify whether their God is supreme or not.  Many cultures actually follow the YHWH God, yet call him something different and maybe don't follow him in the way I understand to be right.  E.g. Jews and Muslims. These cultures have trademarks that signify their misunderstanding as far as I understand.  They all have opportunitites to the Truth.  It's whether they choose to accept it or not. 

HisWillness wrote:

There's no way for me to understand what you believe all the variables are, so let me know.

Timing of the circumstance is a big portion of it.  It also has a lot to do with understanding.  Was there anything else that might have led up to that natural happening that had nothing to do with that happening, but affected the outcome of the other process? 

Was the process and happening a coincidence or were there prayers involved/other common sense reasoning to consider the idea that the occurance and happening coenside.  If so, then (understanding comes in here) does this look like an approach God would have taken, did it help/hurt the outcome?  Is there more to it than just the process that got affected?  How many things were affected in ultimately bettering ways because of this natural happening? 

What good actually came of it/could come of it?  Is there more than we understand at the moment from it?

Of course this is just talking about natural occurances and nothing more.  You have to accept the fact that too, you can't always analize every happening as "of God" or not.  Some are clearer than others.  It's really not important to dwell on those happenings anyway once you understand how God works. 

These happenings could also be so minor that no one would take notice unless they were looking for it.  Some are so major that everyone notices, but few may understand what process was changed on the account of it and how or why. 

I think that covers most of it for that focus.  Does that clarify?  That was just a general explanation.  We really don't seek out natural happenings and analize them so diligently.  This would be for your sake really. 

HisWillness wrote:

I don't know if you could make a case that way. I've had very unlikely things happen to me (seeing friends while traveling, etc) which would not have happened should the timing have been different. I can't assign numerical odds to such things. That would be nonsensical.

you're right, it really would.  Just a theory, but you may not understand what future events changed due to your meeting.  "butterfly affect" 

I'm not saying that was God's intervention or not either.  Just a concept to consider.

HisWillness wrote:

When you have an infinite number of possible explanations for something, and they all happen to be based on the non-physical, it's safe to say we've reduced the possibility that this specific creature exists to exactly zero.

 

I'm not sure how I would research the non-existence of something.

In this instence, I'm not asking you to research a non-existence.  I'm asking you to present your research for the above conclusion. 

Simply put, your statement says any possible explanations based on anything that's not physical cannot be true because the non-physical does not exist. 

How did you conclude that it does not exist?  Research had to have been done in order to come to that conclusion, otherwise, it's always a possibility. 

Anything that science says is defineably impossible has research to back up that conclusion. 


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:How does one

jcgadfly wrote:

How does one discuss a supernatural being without discussing the supernatural? You have to talk about God in his alleged environment - it's that nasty thing called context.

Supernatural implies fallacy.  It's really just the term.  Spiritual or non-physical is what I try to focus on to avoid the definitions bias.  I've gotten in enough debates about the term to learn not to use it in what I"m trying to explain.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:So my point

BobSpence1 wrote:

So my point now stands that that, since you know what I was getting at and still refused to respond in an honest straight-forward way by conceding that your initial expression about the wind was just a rhetorical expression and conceding that it was not a valid counter to the 'non-observability of God'. You instead made some irrelevant comment about your knowledge of meteorology, etc. And now I get your other standard dodge about it not being relevant to the issues and "let's move on". My issue is not about the wind, it is about your difficulty in admitting that you may have said something wrong, stupid, or at least totally irrelevant to the argument.

  um...

alright:

1.  If you're looking for me to admit I was wong, read around in the forums I've participated in.  I think you'll learn that I always admit when I was wrong when I learn so.

2.  You really don't want to move on from this do you?  What I was trying to do is avoid a pointless tangent into my analogy so that we can progress with the conversation.  I acknowleged that we both understood each others intentions and not once claimed that it was an invalid example. 

3.  Air is always moving. God is always there.

ANY movement of air is defined as wind.

if you use the right methods and processes, you can see that air is moving.

if you use the right methods and processes, you can see that God is there. 

Would you like to move on now? 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Until you can provide clear evidence that we do sense something significant beyond ourselves and nature, you have no grounds for asserting that such a sense actually does exist.

You're right.  We're working on that.  I'm not sure where you fall into this, but there are others on here who are asking questions and focusing on the topic.  I'm giving them answers to the best of my understanding. 

I'm guessing you're not a very patient person.

BobSpence1 wrote:

As I think I said before, I do not expect you to "spit everything I know out at you". Just start with you describing an experience or sequence of events that was strongly persuasive to you.

well, a good start would be to go back to my story of how I came to know Christ and pull something out of it to talk about. 

The fact that I have a relationship with this being and an understanding of how he works is a big part in my belief today.  It's the process of building that relationship that continues day to day and has to do with always challenging what I know and learning more about what I still don't understand.

BobSpence1 wrote:

It doesn't have to be any one specific thing, visual or not, I have already said way back that I understand that. I have been watching, and am waiting for something more than just a dodge in response.

who's dodging responses here?  consider the wind analogy and your response to it.

The dodge thing is weak and really doesn't diginfy you. 

How about the dramatic changes in the lives of people due solely to building a relationship in Christ.

is that a dodge or a response?


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

How does one discuss a supernatural being without discussing the supernatural? You have to talk about God in his alleged environment - it's that nasty thing called context.

Supernatural implies fallacy.  It's really just the term.  Spiritual or non-physical is what I try to focus on to avoid the definitions bias.  I've gotten in enough debates about the term to learn not to use it in what I"m trying to explain.

So when you say that the non-physical can be physically detected (the senses are physical)...?

The best you or anyone can do is tell me what the spritual/non-physical world is not. It's interesting but it doesn't answer the question "What is it?".

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Cap, why do

jcgadfly wrote:

Cap, why do you include the physical in your "looking beyong the physical"?

This is why I kept asking people to present to me something specific that they wanted to talk about.  As with other forums, there are now a few topics floating around and it's going to get confusing. 

Some have asked questions about physical evidences, others are asking more questions about the non-physical.  The conversations have split.

I try to focus on individuals if they at least keep a progress in their conversation with me. 

jcgadfly wrote:

Also, when you look for a "Bibliical basis" in an experience, how much does your bias play into it? That is, are you looking at what the Bible actually says or what you think it says/means?

The story of how I came to know Christ should clarify that.

I look at what it actually says.  I get an understanding from that and try to back it up with further research.  If the research  jives, then I have a clearer understanding.  If not, then I have to start from the beginning and find out why. 

I try to keep my bias out of it as much as possible. 


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:So when you

jcgadfly wrote:

So when you say that the non-physical can be physically detected (the senses are physical)...?

We are physical beings.  As far as I understand our senses are physical.  The spiritual can affect the physical.  Usually it's more through senses. 

Please understand that's just one small part of understanding.  It's one of many reasons why I believe.  The topic of non-physical is about trying to understand something beyond physical.

I don't know if that made any sense.  Sorry

jcgadfly wrote:

The best you or anyone can do is tell me what the spritual/non-physical world is not. It's interesting but it doesn't answer the question "What is it?".

There are a few reasons for that approach:

1.  You understand the physical, therefore it's best to compare to something you can actually grasp.

2.  In our languages, we have made words that describe physical becasue we're physical beings.  There are only a few words that talk about anything beyond physical.  Emotion's one, but to understand emotion, we digress back to physical explanations.  That doesn't mean that emotions don't exist however. 

As far as studies on Spiritual.  One example of a study used a CAT scan to observe electronic impulses in the brain when in a spiritual meditation.  This I think included spiritual interaction.  I don't quite remember. 

Anway, the outcome was exactly what I expected.  They noticed hightened brain activity in the metitative state.  That's a physical outcome.  It did not conclude that this person was actually talking to a spirit or having any spiritual encounter, though most meditating individuals would lower their brain activity to meditate. 

I'm not sure how to explain to you what the spiritual is.  I'm not sure what you'd be looking for.  In my experience, it's really something you'd need to experience yourself.  All I can tell you is how to go about understanding it. 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

So my point now stands that that, since you know what I was getting at and still refused to respond in an honest straight-forward way by conceding that your initial expression about the wind was just a rhetorical expression and conceding that it was not a valid counter to the 'non-observability of God'. You instead made some irrelevant comment about your knowledge of meteorology, etc. And now I get your other standard dodge about it not being relevant to the issues and "let's move on". My issue is not about the wind, it is about your difficulty in admitting that you may have said something wrong, stupid, or at least totally irrelevant to the argument.

  um...

alright:

1.  If you're looking for me to admit I was wong, read around in the forums I've participated in.  I think you'll learn that I always admit when I was wrong when I learn so.

2.  You really don't want to move on from this do you?  What I was trying to do is avoid a pointless tangent into my analogy so that we can progress with the conversation.  I acknowleged that we both understood each others intentions and not once claimed that it was an invalid example. 

3.  Air is always moving. God is always there.

ANY movement of air is defined as wind.

if you use the right methods and processes, you can see that air is moving.

if you use the right methods and processes, you can see that God is there. 

Would you like to move on now? 

Ok - you define wind as any air movement, whereas the standard definition refers to 'perceptible natural movement'. I had already specified that I considered wind as referring to air movement that we can feel, as per most standard dictionary definitions - which I did 'look up' as you requested in an earlier response, and what I read was generally consistent with my definition, not yours. Especially when phrased as "the wind".

To quote you, "It's very logical. look it up.". Please. And not just the first one which seems to agree with you. Note that "Any air movement" would render the word "windless" virtually meaningless, so the normal usage of the term implies "perceptible", as confirmed by at least some dictionaries.

This is precisely why your detailed response here is important - we need to clarify such different understandings of words, since this a major reason why so many debates and discussions like this go off track.

I actually find the only way to make progress in these sorts of discussions is to drill down on one topic at a time, identifying and sorting out these conflicting definitions along the way, to identify the fundamental difference in understanding and/or approach to ratifying knowledge or belief that explains why we end up with such different world-views.

In this case, it is because you are using an unconventional definition of even such an everyday thing as wind. This makes it very confusing to argue with you because we don't understand even such basic words in the same way.

I spent so much time on this somewhat tangential subject precisely because it was a clear example of a difference of understanding and did not have religious aspects to distract the discussion.

Thanks for clearing that up. So now we can move on, now that I have established that I have to assume that even the simplest terms may be misunderstood.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Until you can provide clear evidence that we do sense something significant beyond ourselves and nature, you have no grounds for asserting that such a sense actually does exist.

You're right.  We're working on that.  I'm not sure where you fall into this, but there are others on here who are asking questions and focusing on the topic.  I'm giving them answers to the best of my understanding. 

I'm guessing you're not a very patient person.

I do tend to get impatient with what comes across to me as persistent dodging of the questions I do ask, even when it may not be deliberate.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and retract my accusation of dishonesty. I will accept that your position on 'wind' is arguable, while not accepting it as the most natural understanding of the word.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

As I think I said before, I do not expect you to "spit everything I know out at you". Just start with you describing an experience or sequence of events that was strongly persuasive to you.

well, a good start would be to go back to my story of how I came to know Christ and pull something out of it to talk about. 

The fact that I have a relationship with this being and an understanding of how he works is a big part in my belief today.  It's the process of building that relationship that continues day to day and has to do with always challenging what I know and learning more about what I still don't understand.

BobSpence1 wrote:

It doesn't have to be any one specific thing, visual or not, I have already said way back that I understand that. I have been watching, and am waiting for something more than just a dodge in response.

who's dodging responses here?  consider the wind analogy and your response to it.

I have covered that above, and prepared to accept you were not 'dodging' there, just misunderstanding.

But if you saw my response as 'dodging', that further underlines our different understandings here. Just what exactly do you think I was 'dodging'? Let me be clear here, I am genuinely interested, to further my understanding of your point of view, which I see as fundamental to gaining an understanding of your position.

Quote:

The dodge thing is weak and really doesn't diginfy you. 

How about the dramatic changes in the lives of people due solely to building a relationship in Christ.

is that a dodge or a response?

Yes, that is a response, and a very common one, and does not logically require that God or Christ exist as more than a shared belief. The psychological processes involved are fairly well understood.

But please continue.

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


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5851
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Caposkia, just to make it

Caposkia, just to make it clearer why I hammered the 'wind' thing, I regard that as one of the most illogical, stupid arguments put up to defend the God hypothesis, and we get variations on it so often. Actually the 'feel' version is somewhat less dumb that the one about not 'seeing' the wind.

Up to that point you used it, I really thought you had more understanding and insight than that.

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


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:To answer the

caposkia wrote:

To answer the question in a way you'd want it to be answered, I'd have to know what non-physical science, sense, process, etc. you would accept to better understand? 

What are the non-physical sciences, and how are they different then the physical sciences? 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:The Bible is

caposkia wrote:

The Bible is a good summary and gives you simply enough information to understand what the intentions of a follower are while at the same time giving you a decent history of how things came to be as is.

I understand that the above is your firmly-held belief, and I've been short with you previously because I've never found the Bible to be as helpful as scientific hypothesis in answering my questions. For instance, I couldn't possibly read the creation myth and take it at face value, and then conclude that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That's just heavily unlikely. The way that radioisotopes work, we can have a decent idea of how old the earth is without consulting the bible. In fact, if we had not separated ourselves from biblical dogmatism in the enlightenment, we might never have known what radioisotopes are.

caposkia wrote:
Maybe I've never heard of Nicholas Nickleby and just by name, he could be real.  You and I both know there is a source that would clarify that if there ever was a question.  The same request is presented.

Oh, I see. No, the burden of proof (really, evidence) is still with you, I'm afraid. It's an extraordinary claim to say that a character featured in a story is not only real, but a completely reliable account of that character. That is the claim you make. Just by name, Nicholas Nickleby could be real. Nicholas Nickleby as described by Dickens is much less likely to have been a real person. Not just because he's a fictional character, but because of the very specific description of Mr. Nickleby. Less likely is the key to my point. I'm not saying that never was there ever a Nicholas Nickleby. In fact, I'm not saying that it is impossible that there is a God, or that there is a Santa Claus or aliens among us. I maintain that those things are extremely unlikely.

caposkia wrote:
Sounds to me you are looking for physical evidence.

So that we can be fair to one another, this is obviously our impasse. My trust of the scientific method and mathematics is much greater than that of claims written 2,000 years ago by people who had yet to really explore historical rigour. Certainly Sallust wanted his account to be free of flaw, and so did Herodotus. But their works were not historically rigorous in the modern sense. The accounts of the Bible are likewise suspect. Just as I would judge Sallust to be self-serving, so do I judge the authors and compilers of the bible. They shouldn't be completely discounted, but it's fair to say that they had something to gain by writing in a certain way and exaggerating.

caposkia wrote:
Not to tick any certain people off here (not my intention), but a perfect example is the wind analogy.  Were there not a few on here that readily argued with me that if you can't feel it than there is no wind?  Same idea.

This is the third time you've used wind. Wind is moving air. Air is matter, and thus material. It is available to be measured. Gods make themselves unavailable for measure at all times, and completely. In that way, they behave the same as a figment of your imagination. Can't measure that, but it doesn't mean it's not a figment of your imagination. However, that doesn't substantiate the figment. I understand that "wind" is a coupling of air and movement, but if we're using terms in a relaxed way, then Santa Claus doesn't exist, right? I mean in the most colloquial use of the word "exist", Santa isn't there. Probably. That's the level of my belief in God.

caposkia wrote:
You'd have to take what I tell you and experience it yourself.  You'd have to research it yourself if it's tangeble information and understand it yourself if it's testimonial information.

But it always is testimonial. It's a belief and a relationship in something you believe is true despite its heavily unlikely nature. You (and a culture of others) picked writings to believe. But you've done so without critical thinking. If there were critical thinking involved, you would doubt if what you're reading is true, which you presumably cannot once you've committed to the idea that God is real.

caposkia wrote:
You have put in your own mind that all of it is fake, therefore, if you go into it as; "I can't believe any of this because I know it's fake", then of course you're never going to understand it.  You've already told yourself it's not worth understanding.

Not entirely true. I want to understand the mechanism that makes you believe in something that never works its way into the physical world. I imagine you've told yourself the same thing about many gods. Perhaps Wotan and Zeus are not YHWH, but they once had a following, and were just as earnestly worshipped. Now we have Scientologists honestly believing in alien lordship. Human beings do this. We make gods who resemble our cultural superego. That's a much easier explanation than the idea that all these gods actually exist, and are just hiding, waiting for us to screw up.

caposkia wrote:
Do you have a strait forward explanation of why God is extremely unlikely to exist in the specific form described by the Bible? I'm curious.  Thanks

It's the Nicholas Nickleby example above. Could there have been an entity that did not exist (that is, did not take part in the physical plane - same difference) and fit the exact description of a fictional character? It's possible, just highly unlikely that a real Nicholas Nickleby walked the earth. In the same sense as Santa and his flying reindeer.

caposkia wrote:
not that I'm aware of.  He just promised not to change.  That would include going back on his word or his laws.

But He did change. He stopped all that slaughter and slavery that he thought was the way the Israelites should behave originally. After Jesus, there are no orders to kill, and no orders to enslave.

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

... my point being that hundreds of cultures claim their god to be supreme. Hundreds of cultures give this supreme deity a name and stories, and they are all worshipping the wrong god in the eyes of other cultures. Is YHWH toying with these people by having them be born into a culture of the "wrong" god?

not that I understand.

That's sort of the problem. I don't understand the God character because of His Conflicting Nature in the Bible, but you occasionally do understand God, and have no problem educating others. Is it that there's nothing in the Bible specifically talking about other gods? Or just that because YHWH is a jealous god, that you shouldn't spend too much time cavorting with the gods of others?

caposkia wrote:
Many cultures actually follow the YHWH God, yet call him something different and maybe don't follow him in the way I understand to be right.  E.g. Jews and Muslims.

Again, I don't know how you figured out that you're right, here. Was that the luck of the draw? Jews have the same God that Christians do, and share a common history. But somehow you can tell that they're wrong. This is your knowledge of God, that seems to be beyond what you could know.

caposkia wrote:
What good actually came of it/could come of it?  Is there more than we understand at the moment from it?

These are all fine questions, but what could we come away with saying simply that this was the work of God? If planes went into the twin towers because that was the "will of Allah", and Allah managed to get them in under God's radar, then what does this say of God? 

caposkia wrote:
Of course this is just talking about natural occurances and nothing more.  You have to accept the fact that too, you can't always analize every happening as "of God" or not.  Some are clearer than others.  It's really not important to dwell on those happenings anyway once you understand how God works.

But you do understand how God works, so you'd be able to tell me whether or not Allah was able to sneak some planes by Him. Or push Hurricane Katrina ever closer to the houses of the less fortunate, and not to the rich people. That seems inconsistent with the opinions on rich people written in the New Testament.

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

When you have an infinite number of possible explanations for something, and they all happen to be based on the non-physical, it's safe to say we've reduced the possibility that this specific creature exists to exactly zero.

Simply put, your statement says any possible explanations based on anything that's not physical cannot be true because the non-physical does not exist.

That's practically the definition of not existing.

caposkia wrote:
How did you conclude that it does not exist?  Research had to have been done in order to come to that conclusion, otherwise, it's always a possibility.

It IS always a possibility. But an equally possible explanation to anything where you'd say "God did it" is "Wotan did it", "Zeus did it", or "The Flying Spaghetti Monster did it". Since all you have to go on are the writings in the Bible, and those are equally as credible as the stories of the Koran, or the earliest creation myths, you have a nearly infinite array of non-physical entities whose behaviour cannot be confirmed outside of their respective stories. 

caposkia wrote:
Anything that science says is defineably impossible has research to back up that conclusion. 

Science is clear on things that are falsifiable: if any statement is able to be falsified, it can make its way into scientific knowledge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

God is not falsifiable because observation and experiment do not apply to God. The only statements regarding God come from The Bible. God cannot be observed or measured, and so removes Himself from the realm of the quantifiable real.

Now ... does there exist a separate plane in which all the gods congregate outside of the realm of reality? Maybe. But then how could such a creature be understood? How could you possibly understand that creature to be like human beings, if that creature has no participation in the physical plane? You would doubt my faith in the existence of leprechauns and fairies just as I doubt your faith in God.

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


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Well, Cap, now you might

Well, Cap, now you might begin to see why I said the whole 'open your heart to God' things becomes a problematic standard: You're taking the position that the people you're talking to haven't done this. Many of us, in fact, have either attempted such a thing with complete sincerity, or been devout and fervent believers ourselves, in the past.

So, a couple of questions come up:

Other than the necessarily subjective standard of someone coming around to believing in God, how can we establish if a person has attempted to develop an open an honest relationship w/the divine? Is there any way? Is there any way to firmly establish that the positive effects of religion in some lives aren't effectively psychosomatic, where someone convinces themselves that there's reason to take a brighter outlook, and that brighter outlook yields positive results through more favorable interactions with other people?

"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


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Ok - you

BobSpence1 wrote:

Ok - you define wind as any air movement, whereas the standard definition refers to 'perceptible natural movement'. I had already specified that I considered wind as referring to air movement that we can feel, as per most standard dictionary definitions - which I did 'look up' as you requested in an earlier response, and what I read was generally consistent with my definition, not yours. Especially when phrased as "the wind".

To quote you, "It's very logical. look it up.". Please. And not just the first one which seems to agree with you. Note that "Any air movement" would render the word "windless" virtually meaningless, so the normal usage of the term implies "perceptible", as confirmed by at least some dictionaries.

I'll play along for a bit:

No meteorologist that I know of would properly refer to a day as windless.  Usually they would say "calm" which according to the Beaufort Wind Scale is an estimate of wind speed.

This is what I'm talking about when I say people try to make things more complicated than they are.  The strait forward simple and precice answer for the definition of wind is "the movement of air".  It doesn't need to get more complicated than that. 

e.g. wind: (following definitons are referenced by number from dictionary.com when "wind" was put in the search field)

1. air in natural motion.

12. air carrying an animal's odor or scent.

Granted wind is any and all of the definitons that come up, but it also can be the 2 listed above.  Air carrying a odor or scent is not always moving fast enough to feel it. 

You suggested more detail in my answers.  Is that what you were looking for?

BobSpence1 wrote:

I actually find the only way to make progress in these sorts of discussions is to drill down on one topic at a time, identifying and sorting out these conflicting definitions along the way, to identify the fundamental difference in understanding and/or approach to ratifying knowledge or belief that explains why we end up with such different world-views.

this is all I've been trying to say

BobSpence1 wrote:

In this case, it is because you are using an unconventional definition of even such an everyday thing as wind. This makes it very confusing to argue with you because we don't understand even such basic words in the same way.

it's because you try to make it more complicated than it is.  Whether you want to believe it or not, wind is simply the movement of air, nothing more, nothing less.  Air is always moving.  How much more strait forward and clear can we get with this?

The definition is not unconventional, it is the first definiton that comes up in every dictionary I've looked at one way or another.  see the reference of definitons above.  It is widely understood in the scientific community to be that way. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

I spent so much time on this somewhat tangential subject precisely because it was a clear example of a difference of understanding and did not have religious aspects to distract the discussion.

notice it still got lost however, no matter how simple the concept was.  Why was it so hard to see the movement of air as "wind"?  I understand it to be because you've never considered wind anything beyond what you could feel.  Is that true?

BobSpence1 wrote:

Thanks for clearing that up. So now we can move on, now that I have established that I have to assume that even the simplest terms may be misunderstood.

It seems to be the case.  Though usually when that's the case, people try to say I change the meaning of the word.  I think we've clearly established that I have taken the literal basic meaning of the word and nothing more or less. 

I kept on this longer because this is usually the fallout when it comes to "religious" discussion.  People know it one way, so when I present something different, it can't be true because that's not how you know it.  Do you see the point of this whole analogy yet? 

Just to note, we're starting to see there were more layers to this analogy than first assumed. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Until you can provide clear evidence that we do sense something significant beyond ourselves and nature, you have no grounds for asserting that such a sense actually does exist.

I've presented a few things already.  Have you not considered them?

 

Also, this is why I presented a challenge to you to "try it yourself".  Even if you've been there, dispensationalism and cults can really mess up your perception of what is real and true.  I'm asking you to try it without the guidance per-se of a religious organization. 

This may still require you to talk to Christians and/or explore religious organizations in your area, but you'd go into any of that with a controlled mind and understanding that anything you are told or presented you are going to take and only accept if you find it to be true yourself through reflection, research, prayer and understanding. 

The trick to all of this is you'd have to do what many people who even claim to follow Christ don't do.  You'd have to persue God with your whole heart.  Sincerely seeking Him out.  It's a task most on here have not been up to taking.  I would have no idea whether you'd be fully seeking Him out or not either.  This would be a personal journey.  The choice is always yours.

BobSpence1 wrote:

I do tend to get impatient with what comes across to me as persistent dodging of the questions I do ask, even when it may not be deliberate.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and retract my accusation of dishonesty. I will accept that your position on 'wind' is arguable, while not accepting it as the most natural understanding of the word.

alright

BobSpence1 wrote:

I have covered that above, and prepared to accept you were not 'dodging' there, just misunderstanding.

But if you saw my response as 'dodging', that further underlines our different understandings here. Just what exactly do you think I was 'dodging'? Let me be clear here, I am genuinely interested, to further my understanding of your point of view, which I see as fundamental to gaining an understanding of your position.

I think it's clear then.  Neither of us are dodging each others questions.  From here on, they are misunderstandings until otherwise noted.  I'm on here not to dodge, but to challenge what I know.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Yes, that is a response, and a very common one, and does not logically require that God or Christ exist as more than a shared belief. The psychological processes involved are fairly well understood.

But please continue.

Alright, one example.  I'll keep it breif and to the point for now and if more detail is needed, then we'll go from there:

 

A friend of mine was as he says, "running with the devil".  I'm not very well versed in his complete history, but I do know he has claimed spiritual experiences in that life.  I'm not sure to what extent.

He came to know Christ through the movie "The Passion".  He says he couldn't understand how someone could go through what Christ did and not fight back or condemn them. 

This view comes from an understanding that he was aware of Christ's existence, but was not accepting of His ways.

Once he found Christ, from that day on his life changed dramatically.

He changed from a man you'd run in fear from due to the fact that he'd probably leave you bleeding in an alley if you didn't to someone with the biggest heart in the world and is a very compassionate and loving Character. 

Granted this change took some time and wasn't comnpletely overnight.  His life change was fast still.  People who have known him for years can't understand logically how he changed so fast and dramatically. A complete 180. 

His quote of his life change; "I went from wanting to travel the world exploring different cultures and people so I could kill them, to wanting to travel the world, exploring different cultures and people so I can save them." 

For 20 years he used to hurt people.  It took less than 1 year for him to change completely. 

 

let's go from here.   

 


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:What are the

RatDog wrote:

What are the non-physical sciences, and how are they different then the physical sciences? 

Physical is understood to be what is material. I'd prefer sticking to the scientific method in seeking out God versus actually looking for a specific science that might study the spiritual or the possibility thereof. 

Any science that studies something other than material would be considered non-physical science.


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Caposkia,

BobSpence1 wrote:

Caposkia, just to make it clearer why I hammered the 'wind' thing, I regard that as one of the most illogical, stupid arguments put up to defend the God hypothesis, and we get variations on it so often. Actually the 'feel' version is somewhat less dumb that the one about not 'seeing' the wind.

Up to that point you used it, I really thought you had more understanding and insight than that.

I work with what you give me.  I'm sorry you misunderstand my understanding and insight.  Due to the fact that you think I have less than you thought before leads me to believe you still didn't understand.  I'm not at all saying in any way that I think I'm smarter than your or extremely insightful for that matter.  These analogies aren't ones that I've made up, but what I've understood from people who are known for their insightfulness and understanding of the subject matter.   

Therefore, I can say with certainty that you still didn't understand. 

After my responses, do you have a better comprehension?


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Caposkia, just to make it clearer why I hammered the 'wind' thing, I regard that as one of the most illogical, stupid arguments put up to defend the God hypothesis, and we get variations on it so often. Actually the 'feel' version is somewhat less dumb that the one about not 'seeing' the wind.

Up to that point you used it, I really thought you had more understanding and insight than that.

I work with what you give me.  I'm sorry you misunderstand my understanding and insight.  Due to the fact that you think I have less than you thought before leads me to believe you still didn't understand.  I'm not at all saying in any way that I think I'm smarter than your or extremely insightful for that matter.  These analogies aren't ones that I've made up, but what I've understood from people who are known for their insightfulness and understanding of the subject matter.   

Therefore, I can say with certainty that you still didn't understand. 

After my responses, do you have a better comprehension?

You mean they have more insight and understanding than you? How much is that really saying?

Does it just mean they'e more subtle at using made-up definitionas and poor analogies than you are?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
Theist
Posts: 2616
Joined: 2007-05-15
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:I

HisWillness wrote:

I understand that the above is your firmly-held belief, and I've been short with you previously because I've never found the Bible to be as helpful as scientific hypothesis in answering my questions. For instance, I couldn't possibly read the creation myth and take it at face value, and then conclude that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That's just heavily unlikely. The way that radioisotopes work, we can have a decent idea of how old the earth is without consulting the bible. In fact, if we had not separated ourselves from biblical dogmatism in the enlightenment, we might never have known what radioisotopes are.

This is where I would like to go from here actually.  It's apparent that my belief and following may be different than you think.

Your example of a 10,000 year old Earth:

Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that the Earth is 10,000 years old or less, but more precisely, it backs up scientific claims of an Earth that is Billions of years old. 

To clarify this misunderstood belief.  The English Bible (possibly other languages, I don't know) translate in Genesis God's creation in "days".  However, if you research the Hebrew word in it's place, you'll see that the word isn't exactly "days' and is actually a reference to an unknown period of time.  It was generally understood before the translation of those periods of time into days that those periods of time logically were much much longer. 

The reason why it's translated into days is becuase the Hebrew word used cannot be accurately translated into English.  The best way to do it was to claim a specific period of time that the majority of people would understand be it that the word suggested a specific period of time but didn't reference to how long that was. (this is my comprehension of it anyway.  I still don't see the justification of such a translation and think there could have been better words to use.) 

The Hebrew word specifically when translated into English would be saying something like: "a specific period of time".  To put it into Genesis, they would have had to translate it as, "The first specific period of time God... then, the second specific period of time which was the same length of time as the first period of time, God..."  I guess it was just easier to say "day".

 

I would like to stay focused on this and other misunderstandings like this.  I'm not however going to ignore the rest of your post. 

 

HisWillness wrote:

Oh, I see. No, the burden of proof (really, evidence) is still with you, I'm afraid. It's an extraordinary claim to say that a character featured in a story is not only real, but a completely reliable account of that character. That is the claim you make. Just by name, Nicholas Nickleby could be real. Nicholas Nickleby as described by Dickens is much less likely to have been a real person. Not just because he's a fictional character, but because of the very specific description of Mr. Nickleby. Less likely is the key to my point. I'm not saying that never was there ever a Nicholas Nickleby. In fact, I'm not saying that it is impossible that there is a God, or that there is a Santa Claus or aliens among us. I maintain that those things are extremely unlikely.

If you were unaware of the existence of a Duck Billed Platypus and I described it to you, how likely would that animal be to actually exist in your understanding?

did I miss your point?

HisWillness wrote:

So that we can be fair to one another, this is obviously our impasse. My trust of the scientific method and mathematics is much greater than that of claims written 2,000 years ago...

I actually like to use scientific method.  It doesn't necessarily have to do with material objects.  It can be used in any process of discovery.

HisWillness wrote:

This is the third time you've used wind. Wind is moving air. Air is matter, and thus material. It is available to be measured. Gods make themselves unavailable for measure at all times, and completely. In that way, they behave the same as a figment of your imagination.

You see the issue with others on this site and defining wind as is.  Who said God cannot be observed?  he cannot be physically observed, but that doesn't mean people have not observed him.  There are many who believe and many who do not follow God that would disagree with your statement.

HisWillness wrote:

But it always is testimonial. It's a belief and a relationship in something you believe is true despite its heavily unlikely nature. You (and a culture of others) picked writings to believe. But you've done so without critical thinking. If there were critical thinking involved, you would doubt if what you're reading is true, which you presumably cannot once you've committed to the idea that God is real.

have you read the part about how I came to know Christ?

HisWillness wrote:

Not entirely true. I want to understand the mechanism that makes you believe in something that never works its way into the physical world. I imagine you've told yourself the same thing about many gods. Perhaps Wotan and Zeus are not YHWH, but they once had a following, and were just as earnestly worshipped. Now we have Scientologists honestly believing in alien lordship. Human beings do this. We make gods who resemble our cultural superego. That's a much easier explanation than the idea that all these gods actually exist, and are just hiding, waiting for us to screw up.

ok, God did work his way into the physical world though through Christ...  Though that's what I'm talking about, that's just a story to you right?

HisWillness wrote:

It's the Nicholas Nickleby example above. Could there have been an entity that did not exist (that is, did not take part in the physical plane - same difference) and fit the exact description of a fictional character? It's possible, just highly unlikely that a real Nicholas Nickleby walked the earth. In the same sense as Santa and his flying reindeer.

highly unlikely keeps coming up.  I guess I should ask what would make God more likely in your understanding?

HisWillness wrote:

But He did change. He stopped all that slaughter and slavery that he thought was the way the Israelites should behave originally. After Jesus, there are no orders to kill, and no orders to enslave.

due to the fact that Jesus fulfilled the law.  He took the penalty for all of us who seek that forgiveness.  There was no scape goat before.

HisWillness wrote:

That's sort of the problem. I don't understand the God character because of His Conflicting Nature in the Bible, but you occasionally do understand God, and have no problem educating others. Is it that there's nothing in the Bible specifically talking about other gods? Or just that because YHWH is a jealous god, that you shouldn't spend too much time cavorting with the gods of others?

no, the Bible isn't my reasoning for believing, it is my way of better understanding God and understanding who I should be as a follower of Christ.

HisWillness wrote:

[Again, I don't know how you figured out that you're right, here. Was that the luck of the draw? Jews have the same God that Christians do, and share a common history. But somehow you can tell that they're wrong. This is your knowledge of God, that seems to be beyond what you could know.

one example.  The muslims believe in Jesus Christ as a powerful prophet.  However, for Jesus to claim all he did, including being the Son of God as he did (the Muslims do not believe he is the Son of God) for the Muslim faith to be true and to accept Jesus as they do, they would have to accept the fact that Jesus among their other prophets are liars. 

HisWillness wrote:

These are all fine questions, but what could we come away with saying simply that this was the work of God? If planes went into the twin towers because that was the "will of Allah", and Allah managed to get them in under God's radar, then what does this say of God?

not that allah got it under God's radar (though to clarify, Allah and YHWH are historically understood to be the same God, just different followings of Him), but that God allowed it to happen.  We might not understand, but the future dramatically changed because of that event. Only God would know what could have come from either future.  There's I'm sure more than we know.  

HisWillness wrote:
 

But you do understand how God works, so you'd be able to tell me whether or not Allah was able to sneak some planes by Him. Or push Hurricane Katrina ever closer to the houses of the less fortunate, and not to the rich people. That seems inconsistent with the opinions on rich people written in the New Testament.

yes, but that doesn't mean I understand why those events were allowed to take place. 

Don't forget that the planes going into the towers was the act of people.  God will not affect free will and therefore would not stop a persons choice to fly planes into the World Trade Centers.

HisWillness wrote:

That's practically the definition of not existing.

therefore memories do not exist. 

HisWillness wrote:

It IS always a possibility. But an equally possible explanation to anything where you'd say "God did it" is "Wotan did it", "Zeus did it", or "The Flying Spaghetti Monster did it". Since all you have to go on are the writings in the Bible, and those are equally as credible as the stories of the Koran, or the earliest creation myths, you have a nearly infinite array of non-physical entities whose behaviour cannot be confirmed outside of their respective stories. 

We're getting lost here.  I've claimed to believe the Bible stories to be true.  I haven't been focusing on them as my source for happenings.  You're in control of where we go. I'll just answer what you ask to the best of my ability.

HisWillness wrote:

Science is clear on things that are falsifiable: if any statement is able to be falsified, it can make its way into scientific knowledge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

God is not falsifiable because observation and experiment do not apply to God. The only statements regarding God come from The Bible. God cannot be observed or measured, and so removes Himself from the realm of the quantifiable real.

I've been saying there's much more than the Bible.  Maybe you and I should not talk about Biblical happenings until later. 

I still want to stick on the first topic just to clarify what i believe and what you understand to be true.

HisWillness wrote:

Now ... does there exist a separate plane in which all the gods congregate outside of the realm of reality? Maybe. But then how could such a creature be understood? How could you possibly understand that creature to be like human beings, if that creature has no participation in the physical plane? You would doubt my faith in the existence of leprechauns and fairies just as I doubt your faith in God.

would i?  What would be your reasoning for believing? I'm sure if it's something you feel I should consider to be true, you'd have more than just the stories to back it up just as I do about God.